More stories

  • in

    Drew Barrymore’s Bucolic Hamptons Retreat Can Be Yours for $8.4 Million

    For the past several years, Drew Barrymore has been splitting her time between a modestly appointed apartment on New York‘s Park Avenue—where she can be seen in a TikTok clip watching The Wedding Singer in a particularly teeny TV room—and an equally unpretentious yet powerfully charming residence in the Hamptons. But now the actress and talk show host is looking to lighten her real estate load, having hoisted her “converted barn estate” in the ritzy Sagaponack enclave on the market for a smidge under $8.5 million.

    Records show the beloved E.T. star paid $5.5 million back in 2019 for the 1.7-acre property, which is showcased by a farmhouse-style home boasting six bedrooms and five baths in nearly 6,900 square feet of living space accented throughout with rustic hardwood floors, high exposed-beam ceilings, and French doors offering seamless indoor/outdoor environs. There’s also a separate one-bedroom, one-bath guest cottage, set off an oversized roof deck, that has its own living room and office area.

    The rustic-chic living room is warmed by a brick fireplace.

    Lena Yaramenko for Sotheby’s International Realty

    Built over a century ago but extensively renovated during Barrymore’s tenure, the wood-shingled structure features a living room sporting a brick fireplace and built-in shelving, plus a terracotta-tiled kitchen outfitted with glass-front cabinetry, butcher block countertops, stainless appliances, and an eat-in peninsula. A see-through divider separates the kitchen from a breakfast nook and a great room, with other highlights including a pink-hued dining area with a window seat and skylight, as well as a primary suite that opens to a private patio.

    Stealing the proverbial show, however, are the picturesque grounds, which are laced with rolling lawns, specimen trees, and gardens and host a sundeck-encased swimming pool flanked by a pool house, along with a bocce court and several spots ideal for al fresco lounging and entertaining. An added bonus: The Atlantic Ocean is less than a mile away.

    The park-like grounds are spotlighted by a Gunite pool surrounded by a sundeck.

    Lena Yaramenko for Sotheby’s International Realty

    Barrymore, 49, was born into a showbiz family and first gained fame as Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial when she was just 7 years old. She’s gone on to star in numerous other films, including Charlie’s Angeles, Boys on the Side, The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Never Been Kissed, and Grey Gardens, which earned her Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards. On TV, she appeared in the Netflix comedy series Santa Clarita Diet and can be seen daily on her eponymously named talk show, which was recently renewed through 2025.

    The listing is held by Kathy Konzet of Sotheby’s International Realty – East Hampton Brokerage.

    Click here for more photos of Drew Barrymore’s Hamptons house.

    Harris Allen for Sotheby’s International Realty More

  • in

    Is This Wooded Enclave the Best-Kept Secret in the Hamptons?

    Tucked away from the opulent seafood towers at Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor, The Surf Lodge’s famously raucous summer soirees in Montauk, and the designer boutiques in downtown East Hampton is a quiet, under-the-radar enclave in the Amagansett North area that is known to those in the know as Devon Colony. Among its laid-back charms are its tiny, no-frills downtown area and its 116-year-old yacht club, its swathes of preserved agricultural land, its authentic fish markets, and historic residences.

    Devon Colony, between East Hampton and Amagansett, was founded in 1908 by four wealthy businessmen from Cincinnati: William Cooper Procter (of Procter & Gamble), Richmond Levering (of Lever Brothers), Joseph Rawn, and William Rowe. The men first came across the area during a hunting trip—back then, hunting was common on the East End of Long Island—and they eventually acquired 1,000 acres in the Amagansett Highlands, where they built a cluster of homes they used as their summer residences. 

    The enclave was one of the first gated communities in the Hamptons, but because Procter & Gamble’s soap sales helped pay for the homes within Devon Colony, it initially garnered a contemptuous reputation among some of the more high-brow Hamptonites as “Soap Hill.” The foursome also founded the still-standing Devon Yacht Club, which includes a small private marina.

    Historic photos of the Procter and Levering homes during construction in 1909.

    Courtesy of the East Hampton Library, Long Island Collection

    Mickey, Marilyn, McCartney

    “Devon Colony is tucked between Napeague Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; it’s much less crowded than the lanes or dunes of Amagansett,” says Martha Gundersen, a listing agent with Douglas Elliman in the Hamptons. “What people love about it are big plots of land surrounded by the Peconic Land Trust, which is state-owned land. There are 500 acres of New York State land that will remain undeveloped that surround Cranberry Hole Road, which is where many of the homes are. Many successful people seeking an under-the-radar destination own here, including [Galaxy CEO] Michael Novogratz, businessman Mickey Drexler, and entrepreneur Fouad Chartouni, among others.”

    Those “others” include Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, Randy Lerner, and, on occasion, high-profile renters like Bill and Hillary Clinton; in the 1950s, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller shacked up for a short time a charming cottage converted from a windmill. Still, despite its history of illustrious residents, Devon Colony has largely remained an unheralded hideaway, with neither a Chanel boutique nor a Sant Ambroeus cafe within miles. 

    More Elbow Room, More Privacy

    “For as long Devon Colony has existed, people have taken the environment into consideration,” Gunderson says. “People come out here to enjoy the bird life and slow-paced living. A certain caliber of people don’t just want a house, they want land, privacy, and to be a part of the community. You’ll see Paul McCartney on his boat driving past, you’ll see Randy Lerner downtown.”

    The completed Procter home, seen here in 1910.

    Courtesy of the East Hampton Library, Long Island Collection

    Gunderson goes on to say that once people get a feel for the landscape of the Hamptons and discover Devon Colony, it appeals because “there’s more elbow room and a more laid-back, less-crowded atmosphere,” she explains. Situated within the elevated Amagansett Highlands, Devon Colony has far-reaching views of Gardiners Bay, the ocean, and the surrounding land. Situated within thickets of forest, horse farms, and farmland, the lack of development is thanks to the large amount of preserved land. 

    Over the years, Devon Colony has also become known to design– and architecture-loving locals for its historic homes and picturesque gardens. Indeed, homes in Devon Colony are regularly included on the East Hampton House and Garden Tour that’s put on annually by the East Hampton Historical Society. 

    Yesterday’s Traditions, Today

    When the men from Cincinnati built their homes for their families, they crafted four grand stucco mansions and one shingle-style home, which were originally known as ‘the cottages.’ The families tapped Cincinnati-based architectural firm Tietig and Lee to create the Italianate villa-style homes with English-style perennial gardens. This stucco-over-concrete style was unusual for the Hamptons at the time. Not just that, but these homes rivaled the size of other famed mansions in Long Island’s blue-blooded Gold Coast, particularly those in Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor.

    All five of the original homes are still standing, though they’ve had extensive renovations and alterations. Many of the homes have remained in the same families since they were built. The Levering house was last sold in 2018 for $8.75 million to its current owner.

    The original Levering house has undergone several renovations and last sold to its current owner in 2018 for $8.75 million.

    Brown Harris Stevens

    At the heart of the community is the Devon Yacht Club, which has remained largely unchanged since its founding in 1908, and that’s just the way members like it. Situated along Gardiner’s Bay, the club has long been popular as a family-friendly club that hosts kids’ sailing and tennis lessons. It’s also one of the few private members’ clubs that still holds old-school traditions true; a dress code is enforced throughout, from the beach to the dining room and the tennis courts. “They still shoot off a cannon at sundown,” says Paul Brennan, a listing agent with Douglas Elliman, who lives and works in the area.

    Putting Down Roots

    At a time when the Hamptons real estate prices are skyrocketing—and bidding wars have reached an all-time high—agents are seeing increased interest from buyers seeking close proximity to their favorite Hamptons hotspots and the beach, yet with more land, lower taxes, and additional privacy. 

    Among the current offerings is a brand-new, $5 million modern farmhouse-style estate that sits on three quarters of an acre directly across from a 30-acre preserve and an eight-bedroom residence on two acres that’s just five minutes from the beach and priced at $11.7 million. And just south of Montauk Highway, another new build, a 12,400-square-foot spread that borders the golf course of South Fork Country Club and isn’t too far from the popular Amber Waves Farm, Market, and Cafe, is on the market for $14.75 million.

    A brand-new residence on Timber Trail is listed for $11.7 million.

    Liz Glasgow Studios/Douglas Elliman

    “The thing that attracts me the most—and I think the thing that attracts people like the Randy Lerners and Mickey Drexlers of the world, is that they can step onto the public bay beaches and swim, kayak, and paddleboard without anyone bothering them,” Gunderson says. “It offers clean air and a quiet life.” 

    A world apart in many ways, Devon Colony is also convenient to the farm stands in Amagansett, downtown East Hampton and popular hot spots like the Stephen Talkhouse music venue. For many modern buyers, the solitude of the forested land and the working farms might not appeal. But once you get accustomed to the open spaces and slower pace of living, it’s pretty hard to leave.  More

  • in

    Marilyn Monroe Once Stayed in This Windmill in the Hamptons. Now You Can Buy It for $12 Million.

    Like a lot of artists, literary figures and actors in the 1950s, including Edward Albee, Jackson Pollock and Truman Capote, newlyweds Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller headed to the Hamptons in the summer of 1957.

    The couple reportedly shacked up in a humble cottage at the historic Stony Hill Farm in Amagansett, part of which is nowadays owned by Alec and Hilaria Baldwin. However, so the story goes, to thwart the press, the frequently paparazzi-tracked pair would also stay at another place on nearby Quail Hill, in an old windmill that was invisible from the road and that had been converted into a unique and simply appointed residence. It was only five years later that Monroe died in her home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles that was recently purchased by a neighbor who initially wanted to tear the house down.

    Monroe and Miller’s funky, romantic hideaway in the Hamptons, not quite two miles inland from popular Atlantic Avenue Beach and appropriately known as The Windmill House, has recently popped up for sale for $12 million. The almost 5.5-acre, mostly wooded property offers total privacy thanks to it being bordered on two sides by protected land owned by the Peconic Land Trust.

    The 19th-century windmill was expanded and converted into a rustic residence in the 1950s.

    The windmill sits on the high point of Quail Hill and was built in the mid-1800s. It pumped water for the farm on which it sat for about 100 years, but sometime around 1950, Samuel Rubin, the founder of Fabergé Perfumes, converted the three-story windmill into a rustic guest house. It was around this time that a structure was added to the back of the windmill to house a kitchen, along with a bedroom and a bathroom. 

    The property was acquired in 1967 by Deborah Ann Light, a philanthropic heiress to the Upjohn pharmaceutical fortune (and a Wiccan priestess!), who donated the adjacent 20 acres to the Peconic Land Trust, a Southampton-based land preservation nonprofit organization for which she was a founding member. Tax records indicate the seller has owned the property for at least a dozen years.

    The kitchen has all that is necessary for whipping up simple summer meals.

    Today, the approximately 1,300-square-foot home remains an unpretentious getaway in one of the most exclusive and expensive resort enclaves in the United States. It has a cozy sitting room, a pint-sized kitchen with a tiny built-in table for two, a couple of bedrooms, one of them an octagonal space on the second floor, and a single bathroom. The unfinished third floor, a one-of-a-kind walk-in closet or storage space, still has the windmill’s mechanical equipment; a metal brake holds the blades of the windmill in place.

    Just outside the windmill’s front door is a large brick patio for enjoying sea breezes, and elsewhere there’s a detached two-car garage and a small accessory building that has previously been used as an art studio.

    The original mechanical equipment remains in place; a metal brake keeps the windmill from turning.

    Besides Monroe and Miller, The Windmill House has been a temporary refuge for several decorators and designers over the years, along with English actor Terence Stamp (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) and satirical novelist Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five).

    Listing agent Bobby Rosenbaum of Douglas Elliman has also stayed at The Windmill House over the years and told Robb Report, “You can really sense the awesome power of Mother Nature in the beauty that surrounds this special home, from the aroma of fresh, clean, salty air blowing gently over Quail Hill, to the musical sounds of the gusts of wind that kiss the trees and rustle their branches.”

    Still, this is the Hamptons, the summertime playground of the world’s richest and most famous. And so, the value of this property may not be so much in its literary and show business provenance but rather its potential to build, according to marketing material, a residence of up to 20,000 square feet with distant views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Montauk/Napeague Bay. 

    Click here for more photos of The Windmill House. More

  • in

    Mid-Tier Hamptons Homes Are Seeing Massive Price Cuts. Here’s Why.

    After a pandemic-era boom, home prices in the Hamptons are starting to plunge.

    Last month, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage hit a whopping 8 percent for the first time since 2000. Back in 2020, the average rate clocked in at around 3 percent, and it’ll likely be a long time before rates dip that low again.

    As a result, a slew of properties in the $2 million to $5 million range—the middle range for luxury homes in the notoriously expensive string of Long Island communities that comprise the Hamptons—are seeing major price cuts, the New York Post reported. In recent months, seven-figure homes in the affluent enclaves of Sag Harbor and Amagansett have seen asking price reductions of up to 20 percent as rising interest rates continue to spook buyers.  

    The asking prices of homes listed in the $2 million to $5 million range are being slashed across the Hamptons.

    Susan Wood/Getty Images

    In addition, New Yorkers who fled to the Hamptons during the pandemic are now facing a return-to-office push that’s putting an end to the work-from-home era. “Now that people are back at the office, they don’t need all that space for a ‘Zoom room’,” a source told The Post. “I know a lot of people turning their remote offices in the Hamptons back into bedrooms and putting them on the market.”

    According to a report by Douglas Elliman, the median sales price for a Hamptons home was $1.4 million, an 11.4 percent drop from a year ago, while the average price for a luxury property was just shy of $6.2 million, a 3.2 percent decrease. Conversely, sales at the top end of the market are booming. Deals in the East End spiked 11.6 percent from the second to the third quarter, while trophy home sales were up 11.5 percent. In fact, it was the second time in almost 20 years that there were more transactions between July and September than between April and June. 

    “There’s a ton of wealth, and people will always want to be in the Hamptons,” David Mazujian, a realtor with the Corcoran Group, told The Post. “There’s a ton of demand.”  More

  • in

    13 Spectacular Hamptons Summer Houses That Are Still Available to Rent

    Courtesy of Douglas Elliman New Yorkers, anxious at the best of times, are having an especially angst-ridden year. For those free from health or employment woes, What-To-Do-About-Summer has been a mounting source of anxiety—especially for working parents facing months without camps or nannies. The classic Hamptons rental season, bookended by the Memorial and Labor Day […] More

  • in

    Luxe Rentals in the Hamptons Skyrocket as the Wealthy Look to Quarantine Away From the City

    “People were calling on a Wednesday and wanting move in by Friday. They’d sign the lease, wire the funds and be on their way,” says Gary DePersia, noted Corcoran broker who has specialized in Hamptons’ luxury real estate for over 25 years. “It started in mid-March when people realized there would be a shutdown. The calls haven’t stopped.” […] More

  • in

    As Sales of Second Homes Collapse, Sellers Hunker Down for the Long Haul

    For those living in cramped, Covid-infested cities, vacation homes are worth more than gold. In the US, anyone who has one is living there right now. In countries with a stricter lockdown, retreating to a rural weekend bolthole is less straightforward—Scotland’s chief medical officer had to resign on Monday after being given a police warning […] More

  • in

    The Hamptons’ Most Expensive Rental Is This $1 Million Per Month Estate With its Own Baseball Field

    Those living in the Empire State have become somewhat desensitized to exorbitant rental prices—especially since they hit an all-time high earlier this year—but this opulent estate’s monthly fee is sure to make even the most seasoned renter’s eyes water. Located in bougie Bridgehampton, the expansive mansion is now available to rent for a cool $1 […] More