As Town and Country Real Estate (TCRE) is in the process of completing their new Southampton offices on Hampton Road, Dan’s caught up with one of their new, but experienced, agents Kathy Carey Strom. Strom has been selling beautiful East End properties for 12 years. Prior to her career in real estate, Strom was as an investment banker headhunter. Says Strom, “I really honed the research and sales skills that I find very useful in real estate.”
Strom told us “I am so pleased to have joined Town and Country. I have worked with several of the agents before and find that it is a very strong group. Lots of experience. I also love the idea of a locally-owned firm. I guess that you would call it a “boutique” firm but I think that word implies small, which TCRE is not. They cover the whole East End and North Fork as well. I like the idea of being able to call on the owners of the firm to go on a listing presentation if needed. They say that all real estate is local and it is a big positive to have the owners have a vested interest in the community as well as the company.”
Strom grew up in Westchester County and summered on the Jersey Shore. Strom said, “I am from a large family and we all used to gather at my grandparents’ home [on the Jersey Shore.] We had such a great time! I first started coming to the East End on a regular basis when my daughter was babysitting for my sister. We enjoyed it so much that I ended up buying a condo and spending more and more time here. I got married in 1999 and my husband had grown up in Quogue during the summers and his parents are still in the area. When we were deciding where to live it just seemed natural to gravitate toward where both our families were.
“We recently sold our home on the water in Westhampton and bought 2.5 acres down the street. My daughter and son-in-law and their two little girls (3 and 4) have spent the last few summers with us. We are building a new home that is designed to accommodate our two families. Lots of space for everyone to enjoy the summer. The property has a large barn and a guest cottage that I hope to redo as a playhouse for the girls. We have a new eight-pound Havi/Poo who is 10 months old, named Lovey.”
What does Strom do when she’s not in the office? “I try to play golf, but only with people that don’t take it too seriously. I have started to play bridge again after many years and my passion is Chinese art and history. I lived in Asia for many years and have a Masters in Asian Studies. I still like to travel there and just got back from a trip to Indochina this fall.”
What brings Strom the most joy in living on the East End? “My family and the ocean. I don’t think that I could ever live too far from the sea.”
Strom’s take on the current East End real estate market: “We have been through some very tough times but it appears that we are definitely on an upswing. I think that the market has bottomed out and it is now the time to buy. I think that going forward, the best appreciation will be in real estate. Everything is looking very positive. I think that people were waiting until after the election and are looking more actively now. There was a huge pent-up demand that now seems to be easing. I anticipate that I will have some very nice listings on line this winter.”
Strom’s advice that to homeowners who want to rent a property: “Make sure that everything is in top form. Everything works, the house is clean and that you are accessible to the tenant if anything goes wrong. The biggest mistake that people make when they try to sell a property themselves is that they are too emotionally involved to see the transaction clearly. I feel that the more knowledge people have, the easier it will be to make a decision when the right home comes on the market. I like to keep my customers updated on everything in the market. Even after a transaction has concluded I keep in touch with my customers and clients and some have become great friends.”