Before The Hamptons became “The Hamptons,” I bought a house that had two bathrooms, three bedrooms, an attached garage, a driveway, a sidewalk, a lawn, and some shrubbery. Also, for a while we had a trampoline. Also a bird feeder. I paid $42,000 for this house. The land was half an acre. And it was on the side of a hill. It was around 1980. Taxes? $550.
Around me, I quickly saw houses being built with three bathrooms, four bedrooms and an attached garage that sold for $100,000. During this time my wife and I made good use of the hill. In the winter, we would take the kids’ sled down the hill to the street. It was only 500 feet. One year when there was no snow, my kids said they wanted a pool. So I put one on. A beautiful. And that made the house a little shabby. So I redid the house and installed slides, decking, masonry, grill, poolside furniture, sprinkler system and elaborate gardens and landscaping. Now it could be sold for around $200,000. Taxes? $1,000.
I live in this house today. And if I wanted to sell it, which I don’t, it might fetch $1,000,000 – actually more like $1,500,000 with what’s going on in the real estate market these days.
Recently I learned that there is a publicly known price for what my house might sell for. Unbeknownst to me, professional appraisers hired by others have looked at my house across the street and posted online what it should sell for. I’m not joking about this. They’ve done it for every house in the East End, for sale or not. It changes every month. For August 2022, my house was worth $1,650,000 if I chose to put it up for sale, which, as I mentioned, I don’t have.
Around me, amenities are multiplying and houses are getting bigger. At $2,000,000, they have four bathrooms and five bedrooms, three fire pits, a brick deck surrounding a pool, fire pit, pickleball court, outdoor hot tub, and a fence off the street. Taxes are $8,000.
At $3,000,000, you get five bathrooms and six bedrooms, a bigger pool, and an enclosed outdoor shower. Also added now, in addition to the above amenities, is a bar, tennis court, verandah, outdoor dining area and, instead of a wooden picket fence, a 6ft hedge with a gate that s will open if you get out of your car and do it. Also, a Belgian block interface between the driveway and the street. Taxes? $30,000.
At the $4,000,000 level, the homes are now built on 3 acres with six bathrooms and seven bedrooms, all of the above amenities and, in addition, a private office, nursery, billiard room, cave for men, a croquet lawn, an emergency generator, an indoor exercise room and a 1-hole putting green. Taxes? $80,000.
For $7,000,000, in addition to the amenities above, you get seven bathrooms and eight bedrooms, an indoor and outdoor hot tub, basement basketball court, weight room, Olympic-size swimming pool, a guest house, a media room, 8 foot hedges and a door that opens but only after successfully entering a code. Taxes? $105,000.
A $10,000,000 home will have eight bathrooms and nine bedrooms, all the above amenities plus a man-made pond with koi carp, artist’s studio, poolhouse, playhouse, library, walk-in closet , a private cinema with two screening rooms, a circular walkway, a man-made waterfall, a barn for tutoring classes, a day camp for children and a view of the water. Taxes? $165,000.
$20,000,000 will get you all of the previously mentioned amenities plus 12 bathrooms and 10 bedrooms on 10 acres, 200 feet on a bay, porte-cochere, stable, pasture, game room and movie theater that can accommodate 12 people, a nightclub, two private balconies (one for sunrise, the other for sunset), a three-hole golf course and a dock. Additionally, the barn is now an antique, historic affair built in 1586 and imported stick by stick from England. Taxes? $550,000.
At the $50,000,000 level, expect all of the previously mentioned amenities, plus 350 feet of beachfront, 12 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, an Olympic-size heated infinity pool with a self-sliding pool cover in place during stormy weather, a roof terrace and widow’s walk, an elevator, an indoor basketball court, an indoor Olympic swimming pool with high diving board, a walk-in wine cellar, a private power plant, a garage for 10 cars, a regulation baseball diamond, a five-hole putting green, an English garden, a chauffeur’s house, an outdoor swimming pool with a 10-piece orchestra and 10 working fireplaces. Taxes are $800,000.
For $100,000,000 you get 18 baths and 14 bedrooms on 40 acres, everything previously mentioned, plus two polo fields, a house of prayer, an art and sculpture gallery, a waterfall, a garage for 20 cars with 24-hour video surveillance. cars, 500 feet of waterfront with a beach house, a boathouse by your dock with your 250-foot yacht moored, and an 18-hole golf course, complete with both a helipad and a runway. airport out of bounds along a par 5. Additionally, the house has a name, such as Hamptons High Paradise, and has a notoriety or legendary story about a common who resided there or a celebrity who had lived there, a scandal , a murder or an ancient orgy. Also, separate quarters for a staff of 25. Taxes? If you have to ask, this isn’t for you.
The latest addition is a hammam. It is set above the $50,000,000 level. It is an indoor Turkish marble structure with Greek columns, a water fountain spurting into an indoor Roman pool, a hose and sprayer, and a Turkish steam massage area with a hot charcoal heater that warms birch branches to be used by servants to beat you and boost your circulation.
Of course, anything over $50,000,000 has a view of the sunset over the water, a boardwalk to your private beach, a conference room, a short bike ride to downtown. and – did I miss something? Oh yes, a zoo.