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HOME, SUPERLATIVE HOME

There's a lot of competition out there, but the descriptions of these Long Island homes for sale would even make TV's ultimate ad man, Don Draper, proud.

What makes this Long Beach condo stand out? Aside from its locale on the Atlantic Ocean, the three-bedroom, two-bath unit has an "incredible aura and hypnotic views," according to the listing with Gerald and Marina Hirschhorn of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. For $899,000, the sellers promise the home will become your "sanctuary" and make you "thank your lucky stars."

There are decks, and then there are decks like the one at a Ronkonkoma Colonial listed for $379,990 with Prudential's Annette Mina. There, the homeowners suggest you "ballroom dance on your deck and overlook your oversized property."

"Ahoy, yachtsman - it's all about the water," bellows the listing with Kathleen Rosenbaum of Lloyds Realty for a Greenport ranch on the market for $849,000. The three-bedroom, two-bath home comes with 100 feet of bulkhead and floaters.

Then there's a Lindenhurst Cape that has a "private corner Disney-like property," thanks to its perennials and grape, pear, cherry and apple trees, says the listing with Joseph Perrone of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. If Snow White came by to explore the $356,500, 100-by-80-foot property, she'd also find three waterfalls nestled in the landscape. - VALERIE KELLOGG


PUMP AND SLUMP

Another report shows home sales slumped on Long Island from spring to summer, due in a big way to the rush to get the federal home buyers tax credit, which had been due to expire April 30.

It's tough to tell the true health of the housing market because of stimulants to the economy, says Jonathan Miller, a Manhattan-based appraiser who compiled the report. Yes, the tax credit has ended, but not all the artificial boosters are gone from the system, he says. "We got a couple years to really be sort of free (of tax credits and other government stimulus programs). We're doing everything we can to not let the market clear on its own. We're in a post-stimulus world, really, except for interest rates."

Miller is referring to lending rates kept low by the Federal Reserve: "The Fed is trying to get the banks not to collapse, and that has worked. But you get used to it. When you remove it, it's like the tax credit. Sales fall through the floor."

But, hey, who's calling the feds a stimulant dealer?

Miller, outspoken about the ills of the market, won't go there. All he'll say is this: "The housing market has sort of been kept going by federal stimulus, and that would be sort of the drug of choice right now." - ELLEN YAN

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