Buying and selling real estate in the communities of Long Island
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Realtors get two offers on Madoff house in Montauk
Financial ponzi scheme: $65 billion. Montauk beach life: priceless. But set a price we must.
The U.S. Marshal Service, which confiscated Bernie Madoff’s relatively modest Montauk hideway, have put an $8.75 million price tag on the four-bedroom, three-bath, 3,000-square-foot 1980s period home whose 182 feet of direct waterfront is its greatest asset. They gave Corcoran senior vice president Joan Hegner and her husband, Raymond, the listing on Tuesday. She put it on the market Wednesday. Two people made offers by Thursday. Could we be on the verge of an old-fashioned bidding war?
That would be in keeping with the retro nature of the house. The property, which covers 1.2 acres, was purchased in 1980 for $250,000. A perfect example of 1980s postmodern design, the house is preserved in situe, with its formica built-ins, grey stucco walls, industrial bathroom tiles, old fixtures and rusty shower door. Why didn’t the Madoffs renovate?
It doesn’t matter. It is one of a handful of houses situated so close to the dunes, on Montauk’s Gold Coast, and irreplaceable. There are beach views from all but bathroom windows. The living room spills onto a deck with pool and a path that leads directly to a full sandy beach. “You could never build a house like this today,” said Hegner, who has been selling Montauk property for 35 years. “The setback regulations are much stricter now.” At 50 feet off the dunes, it’s 100 feet closer than currently allowed. With no other house visible, and almost twice the average amount of private beach front, there is total privacy.
Besides, says Scully and Scully interior designer Jonathan Tait, “This '80s style is making a return.”
“People just don’t sell these kinds of properties," Hegner explained. “They keep them in the family.” Other Montauk notables have included Paul Simon, Robert DeNiro, Julianne Moore, Peter Beard, Dick Cavett, J Crew chief executive Mickey Drexler, Andy Warhol and Richard Avedon.
It was a family retreat for the Madoffs as well. “Ruth spent every summer there, and Bernie commuted back and forth,” remembered Town & Country Montauk Realtor Theresa Eurell, who knew the Madoff sons. “It was the kind of place where you could let your hair down and not be noticed. No one knew who they were. Maybe that’s why she never renovated it. Not one of the locals were ever approached to buy into his club, and none ever asked. Their friends out here are still in shock.”
See video of the house -- and read the latest -- here.
Newsday Photo /Karen Wiles Stabile