ALWAYS A GOOD INVESTMENT
by Nancy J. Keeshan
While Montauk is still very much a small town, it continues to be a summer hot spot for visitors now more than ever. People have always come to Montauk to get away from it all, much as they do today, but did you know that its resort status dates back to the early 19th century? Back in the day, old timers spoke of going on and off Montauk, as if it were an island separated from the rest of the world.
Around the turn of the century, Montauk caught the attention of two remarkable real estate investors, Carl Fisher and his predecessor Arthur Benson. Benson bought Montauk in its entirety in 1879 for a mere $151,000. And years later, in the 1920s, Fisher bought up 10,000 acres and began to develop Montauk as the “Miami beach of the North”. Both men recognized the “magic” of Montauk and dreamed of turning Montauk into a retreat for the rich and famous, but it was Fisher who really left his mark. He built a luxurious hotel, the Montauk Manor and Playhouse, polo grounds, a beach club, the Montauk Yacht Club, a golf club and among other places, his own office, the Montauk Tower, a unique seven story building that stands today in the center of village.
The Great Depression put a halt to the development of Montauk as a high end resort at that time but today, nearly a century later, the dreams of those early investors are being realized as Montauk has become a playground for the rich. Make no mistake, Montauk is still enjoyed by families and old timers, but it has truly become a high-end destination frequented by celebrities, artists, musicians, and the like. Some of the wealthiest businessmen and women in the world are making their homes here, enjoying the beautiful beaches, the exquisite sea food, surf spots and finding some peace and tranquility; all in close proximity to Manhattan.
As a real estate broker, I can say with confidence that in 2019 we are experiencing more tailwinds than headwinds in the market despite the higher interest rates.
Prices have stabilized and real estate buyers are now the millennials. They are surging into the Montauk real estate market, competing with the boomers for properties and finding amazing deals. Many of these buyers are purchasing first homes and local businesses. Others are those who have wonderful childhood memories here. My friend Tracy and her family fit that bill. They spent a few months looking for a house with me for this very reason. Her family had spent summers in Montauk in “the day” and now as adults, her brothers and sisters were now looking to buy a place together that would be big enough to accommodate everyone. It took a bit of searching but we found the perfect four bedroom house that was just a short walk to the ocean beach. They moved in last fall and they were thrilled. “Montauk is a special place for us and to be able to come back here and share it with our own kids after all these years is incredible.” Once you experience being “on Montauk”, you too will find that there’s no place on earth that compares. History has shown us that buying real estate in Montauk is a definitely a smart move. Common sense tells us that it’s an investment you and your whole family will enjoy for years to come.