It takes a great deal of patience, knowledge and dedication to be one of the top brokers on the East End and Alan Schnurman of Saunders & Associates, exemplifies just that. Real estate is his passion and the business of buying and selling properties comes naturally to this former trial attorney.
Tell us about the current market in the Hamptons.
The market is as active as I have seen it in the last five or so years. Just in the last week, 47 homes went into contract on the South Fork. There is an accelerating rate of inventory absorption. We are finding at the higher end we have multiple bidding on well-priced homes. The sweet spot is under $1 million.
I see no near-term let-up to the increasing absorption of the existing inventory. The market psychology tends to feed on itself. As more homes are sold, buyers realize that their choices at the desired price point and location are becoming fewer. When they’re outbid on a given residence they will most likely increase their bid on the next house. The market is very efficient. I have found that over the years there is a direct relation between the financial markets and East End real estate. Many of our customers work in related fields to the equity markets.
What are some of the more popular areas on the East End?
Sagaponack and Bridgehampton are currently in favor, offering a central location with beaches, ocean breezes and long, farm field views. The financial world seems to congregate in its waters. The estate sections of East Hampton and Southampton, which were quieter, are becoming more active. Montauk is hot, especially with younger families.
What makes Saunders & Associates unique from other real estate firms?
After practicing law for over 40 years, I retired. It wasn’t long before I realized that retirement was not for me. I decided to follow my passion for real estate and become a broker. I interviewed all the major firms on the East End. Taking into consideration my extensive background in development, buying, selling and renting over the last 35 years, I received multiple offers. I chose Saunders over the larger and more established firms, which I had done business with. There was no other brokerage that had their emphasis on marketing utilizing a ‘team’ approach. In 2012, Saunders was responsible for selling 34% of all the homes in the Hamptons.
How has the rental season been so far this year?
The rental market this year was strong, but fragmented. Some homes got rented early and others which had a history of seasonal rentals are still available. Shorter than seasonal rentals (Memorial Day to Labor Day) are becoming more common than in years past.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I love to work and I love to play. I have finished 15 marathons, hiked and trekked from the Colorado Mountains to the Mount Everest Region, and love to ski and play tennis.
What do you love about the Hamptons?
The Hamptons is one of the special places in the world. There’s water all around you. From its beautiful beaches, culture, restaurants and its proximity to the city, it’s a great place for families to get together.
Schnurman has great insight when it comes to East End real estate. The real estate markets in Manhattan and the Hamptons are always in demand and attract the same client base. Hamptonites live in one of the most sought-after locations in the world.
One of Schurman’s most notable listings is a unique property worth checking out—a Shelter Island Mansion offering 300’ of private beach frontage, nestled on 3.25 acres of pristine, natural beauty. This 16-room mansion boasts 6 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, a gourmet kitchen, fitness room, banquet-sized dining room, elevator, media room, library, grand living room, a guesthouse with 3 additional bedrooms and 3 baths, a separate pool house and magnificent infinity pool. Listed at $14,995,000.