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Tips for buying a house in Sag Harbor

The Sag Harbor Yacht Club on Dec. 5,

The Sag Harbor Yacht Club on Dec. 5, 2016, is among the amenities in the waterfront village. Credit: Veronique Louis

Sag Harbor, once a whaling port, is “an active and historic harbor,” says Deputy Mayor Robby Stein.

To maintain the historic nature as building takes place in the community, the village board passed a new zoning code earlier this year “to keep the scale and historic character of the village in relationship to everything around it,” Stein says.

Architectural designs reflecting Sag Harbor’s past are evident in a recent real estate project that transformed the vacant Bulova Watchcase factory into a development of luxury homes and penthouses. The 63-unit complex, known as Watchcase, is 70 percent sold, with 85 percent of residences in the original factory building sold, says a representative for the development. A collection of penthouses and town houses, from two to six bedrooms, are available at prices ranging from $2.72 million to $6.975 million.

James Larocca, a village trustee, says an effort is being made to save Sag Harbor’s last piece of undeveloped commercial waterfront, a nearly two-acre plot just west of Long Wharf. He says a preliminary agreement is in place with developers to form John Steinbeck Waterfront Park through the community preservation fund. It will include open space and walkways that celebrate Sag Harbor’s literary and historic figures and environmental assets. “It fills in the last unspoken-for property in a way that opens up and celebrates the waterfront rather than another row of condominiums.”

With its walkable nature, proximity to the water and boating community, Sag Harbor has become “probably the hottest town on the East End,” says Carol Tintle of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

Most property lots are generally of modest proportions, with houses being close together, Tintle says. The area, a haven for artists and writers, boasts many 19th century homes, ranging from Colonials to Victorians to saltbox homes and other styles.

“The houses are historic, and they have been bought up on a regular basis and restored to perfection,” Tintle says.

John Jermain Memorial Library on Main Street reopened in July after a five-year renovation costing about $16 million. Other well-known sites in Sag Harbor include the Custom House, the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum, Bay Street Theater, the American Hotel, and the Sag Harbor Cinema, which was put on the market in July for $14 million.


There are 37 condos on the market ranging in price from $675,000 to $7.9 million, per Hamptons Real Estate Online.


Between Nov. 1, 2015, and Nov. 29, 2016, there were eight home sales with a median sale price of $746,248, based on sales listed with the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. The low price for that period was $440,000 and the high was $1.1 million. During that period a year earlier, there were 13 home sales with a median sale price of $610,000. The price range was $415,000 to $1,697,500.


Most students attend Pierson Middle-High School. In 2015, 49 percent of graduates earned a Regents diploma with advanced designation. That’s up from 46 percent in 2014.


Town: Southampton and East Hampton

Area: Southampton, 0.9 square miles; East Hampton, 0.8 square miles

ZIP code: 11963

Population: 2,169

Median age: 47.3

Median household income: $94,784

Median home value: $965,000*

LIRR to NYC: Bridgehampton, 150 minutes at peak

Monthly ticket: $485

School district: Sag Harbor

SOURCES: 2010 Census;; LIRR;*Based on sales in the past six months, according to MLSLI


Bay Street, $4.75 million

After 462 days on the market, this four-bedroom home sold for $300,000 more than its original asking price. The home, with five fireplaces, includes 3.5 bathrooms, a formal dining room and a renovated chef’s kitchen. The 0.65-acre property, a half mile from Bay Street Theater, features a pool and pond. There’s also a separate cottage with a kitchen, living room with a fireplace, bedroom and bathroom. Taxes are $12,224.

Archibald Way, $2.2 million

This six-bedroom Postmodern sold for $50,000 less than its asking price after 420 days on the market. The 1998 home, at 3,850 square feet, features 4.5 bathrooms and two master suites. A fireplace and three sets of French doors adorn the living and dining area. A deck overlooks an in-ground pool. The half-acre property also boasts a full basement, two-car garage and wraparound front porch. Taxes are $10,500.

Suffolk Street, $850,000

Originally listed for $895,000, this four-bedroom cape sold in September after 83 days on the market. Built in 1958, the 1,000-square-foot home has one full bathroom, an eat-in kitchen, living room and full basement. The house sits on a 0.43-acre tree-lined property, which is around the block from Round Pond. The taxes are $5,101.


Starter, $889,000

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom split-level sits on a 0.46-acre property. The 1976 home also features a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen. Eileen Sumpolec, Realty Connect USA/Simon Harrison Real Estate, 631-236-2579.

Trade-up, $2.5 million

This four-bedroom, 4.5 bathroom home features an eat-in kitchen, a master suite with a fireplace, sitting room and private terrace. A wall of glass doors overlooks the 0.52-acre property and pool. Catherine Ross and Barbara Lobosco, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-658-3861, 631-546-8215.

High-end, $9.6 million

This seven-bedroom, five-bathroom Federal-style house includes a front parlor with a fireplace, a great room that opens to a covered porch and master suite with a marble bath. The 0.43-acre property also includes a pool and guesthouse. Terry Cohen, Saunders and Associates, 631-804-6100.


Number of houses. 244*

Price range. $479,000 to $18.75 million*

Tax range. N/A


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