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That special something that makes a home stand out

Even luxury houses need a standout feature to

Even luxury houses need a standout feature to pique buyer interest.

In a market in which selling homes remains a challenge, it helps to have something special. Newly built houses, in particular, can benefit from a standout feature. In a time when many houses are sitting idle, this distinction can help reduce the amount of time on the market by 50 percent or more, says Diane Saatchi, senior vice president in the East Hampton office of The Corcoran Group.

"A special feature in a new home that can enhance the resale value down the road is particularly desirable," she adds.

Here are four newly built luxury Long Island homes offering something a bit different. CLICK HERE for the photo gallery.

NORTH HAVEN

Price: $3.99 million
Location: 65 Fresh Pond Rd.
Estimated taxes: $6,500
Square footage: 2,800 square feet
Plot size: Half-acre
Home style: Modern

What makes it different: This three-bedroom, four-bathroom home has solar panels and geothermal heat (the home is heated and cooled through an outside underground pump that sends water over a coil, eliminating the need for oil or gas). The walls are made from recycled farm products, such as straw, hay and rice, from farms in Texas. The materials used to make the kitchen cabinets are recycled, the stainless-steel appliances are Energy Star-certified, and the oven uses steam to heat food. The wood paneling on the home's second floor comes from sustainable forests in Quebec (they are replanted once trees are cut down). The home also has glass pocket doors that can open the entire house to the outdoors. All the green features can cut energy costs by 50 percent annually.

Other features: Bayfront, located at Great Fresh Pond, which leads out to Sag Harbor Bay. Heated pool, outdoor shower, unfinished basement, four-car driveway (no garage), ethanol-burning fireplace in living room, and oversized shower and separate oversized whirlpool in the master bathroom.

Information: Peter Sabbeth, co-president and builder, Modern Green Builder Llc, Sag Harbor, 631-899-4225.

MONTAUK

Price: $3.995 million
Location: 57 Startop Dr.
Estimated taxes: $12,000
Square footage: 4,300 square feet
Plot size: 1 acre
Home style: Modern

What makes it different: This five-bedroom, six-bathroom home is ultracontemporary, which is unusual for the area, where there are many traditional-style homes. There also aren't many hilltop homes in the area that have this kind of ocean view, which looks onto Montauk Lake, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The layout offers a kitchen/family room and two bedrooms on the first floor and the living room and three bedrooms on the second floor. Exposed steel beams inside are painted with automobile paint for durability.

Other features: Sixty-foot-long heated pool, three indoor and two outdoor fireplaces, third-level open deck, unfinished basement with nine-foot ceilings, three-car garage, kitchen with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to pool patio, commercial grade appliances.

Listing agent: Diane Saatchi, senior vice president, The Corcoran Group, East Hampton, 631-375-6900.

UPPER BROOKVILLE

Price: $3.400 million
Location: 1215 Pine Valley Rd.
Estimated taxes: $29,000
Square footage: 7,000 square feet
Plot size: 2.02 acres
Home style: Colonial

What makes it different: This six-bedroom, 51/2-bathroom home, which has the look of a European country manor, has built-in antiques and special details that are part of the residence itself. There are hand-carved posts on the front and rear staircases that date back to Connecticut estates of the 1890s; stained-glass doors near the master bathroom and 8-foot stained-glass windows on a staircase landing that date back to the 1880s. In addition, there's a 10-foot-high hand-carved sandstone mantel in the great room that is a re-creation of a 16th century mantel from an estate in Tuscany. Other features: This three-level home is situated on a private road and has a heated pool with a waterfall; unfinished basement; kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, cherrywood cabinets, rosewood granite countertops, onyx backsplash, butler's pantry and wine cooler; roof with lifetime warranty; media room; and library.

Listing agent: Sarah and Eileen Gilligan, licensed broker-owners, Gilligan Realty Inc., Sea Cliff, 516-674-3777.

SEA CLIFF

Price: $2.299 million
Location: 6 Prospect Ave.
Estimated taxes: $12,000
Square footage: 4,800 square feet
Plot size: Half-acre
Home style: Colonial

What makes it different: There are very few new homes built in this area; many of the older homes have landmark status. The oversized two-car garage of this five-bedroom, 51/2-bath home also has a dog bath similar to what is found in a groomer's shop.

Other features: This three-story waterview home has a finished basement with French doors leading out to a patio; full walk-up attic; radiant heat, family room; kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, stone floors and stone fireplace; balcony off one of the bedrooms; decking off the kitchen; two walk-in closets; and two smaller closets in the master bedroom.

Listing agent: Kim Vigliotti, licensed sales agent, Sherlock Homes Realty Corp., Sea Cliff, 516-671-1717.

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