In real estate, it's all about standing out from the crowd. That's why properties with distinctive amenities often have an edge when it comes to selling. Whether it's a moat at the front entrance or a putting green in the backyard, marketing a home's unusual feature helps to get more eyes on the listing.
"Having unique features and furnishings in your home can, perhaps, make it more attractive to the right buyer," said Jane Dollinger, of the National Association of Realtors, the Chicago-based trade group. "A distinctive feature can inspire buyers to envision themselves living in and enjoying the space."
Here are some homes for sale that are sure to at least catch their eye.
FREE BOAT ON A PRIVATE ISLAND
An Oakdale ranch on the market for $725,000 is on a private island in the mouth of the Connetquot River -- and it comes with a boat, although a bridge will take the owner by car or foot to the home.
The property includes a man-made beach. An 18-foot Center Console with a Johnson 88 HP engine is also part of the package, along with three boat slips that could be rented out.
The island is one acre and is split between two properties. The landscape is filled with trees and shrubbery, including, pine, birch, maple, oak, bamboo and holly. Barbara Leogrande of Douglas Elliman Real Estate (631-553-8599), who is listing the house, calls it a "nature sanctuary."
"It's so quaint because you go over a tiny, little bridge to your own little island," adds Leogrande.
The house was recently renovated and has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a master suite with a walk-in closet and dressing room.
CROSS A MOAT TO THIS QUOGUE HOME
Fairy tale meets reality when you walk over a drawbridge, crossing a man-made moat, to this Quogue home on the market for $3.75 million.
The moat is in front of the entrance of the house with lilies floating in the water. Fran Carroll of The Marketplace Realty (631-255-9904), who is listing the house, says there were once schools of goldfish swimming in the moat, which was there when the current owner purchased it.
"I've never seen anything like this before," says Carroll of the moat.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house is on Ogden Pond, which can be seen from the 1.2-acre property's heated L-shaped pool.
The solarium is the best room of the house because of its view of the pond, said Carroll.
Other notable features of this house include the barbecue entertainment area, which is equipped with a hot tub and a Japanese garden.
PRACTICE PUTTING IN YOUR BACKYARD
Golfers of all skill levels will love this Setauket house, on the market for $749,000, with a four-hole putting green in the backyard.
"Golf is something you need to practice all the time," says Kathy Guliano, who owns the house. "The more you play, the better you get. If you're out there practicing your putting stroke, you'll get better on the golf course."
Guliano and her husband, Anthony, both avid golfers, had the 600-square-foot putting green with one sand trap installed in their 1.1-acre property so they can practice frequently. The couple stays in Florida during the winter so they can golf year-round.
The putting green is just a few steps out of the den.
There is also a boccie court on the property.
The 1929 farm ranch has five bedrooms, 3½ baths, a balcony off the master bedroom and bathroom, and a living room with a fireplace.
The listing is with Maria Gac, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate (631-246-7828).
ESTATE WITH ITS OWN NIGHTCLUB
This 23,000-square-foot shingle-style Shelter Island mansion, listed for $28.5 million, comes with its own nightclub.
There is also a skeetshooter on the 7.5-acre property on Coecles Harbor, on the eastern side of Shelter Island. There is a beach and a 100-foot dock protected by bulkheads.
The 10-bedroom, nine-bath, three-half-bath home comes with a guesthouse with a squash court inside, heated pool and spa, tennis court, eat-in wine cellar, gym, sauna and home theater.
Beate Moore of Sotheby's International Realty (516-527-7868) has the listing.
FORMER ZOO WITH CHICKEN COOPS
A three-bedroom, two-bathroom Cutchogue farmhouse with eight chicken coops that was once home to several breeds of chickens, along with peacocks, zebras, ostriches, parrots and other farm animals, is on the market for $459,000.
"I used to have 400 birds and animals in my petting zoo -- I had basically everything from A-to-Z," says Diane Bergmann, who is selling her home because it's too much to keep up with now that her children and grandchildren have grown up.
Every spring, Bergmann buys various breeds of chickens and takes care of them in the coops in her yard. She usually sells the chickens in the winter because it's hard to take care of them in the snow.
Bergmann and her late husband, Eric, once had a petting zoo called Pumpkinville on their one-acre property. She says they sold fresh chicken eggs at their farm stand.
"There's nothing better than a fresh egg," adds Bergmann, who is listing the house with Dolores Peterson of Colony Realty (631-413-7572).
The 1913 farmhouse was maintained and restored with its original features, including a wood stove. There is also a rotunda area with high ceilings, where you can sit to get a panoramic view of the whole farm.