Selling your home when you get a divorce: what is the process?

By Myriam Benhamou

One of the difficult consequences of a divorce is that you often have to sell the family home. Of course, homes are often sold, and for a variety of reasons – for example, the need or desire to buy bigger or smaller, or to change neighborhoods or cities – and while these events can certainly be a cause of anxiety and trepidation, it can generally be assumed that sellers will experience this event relatively well and that most will even look forward to moving to their next home. But when the motivation is a divorce, the situation is likely to be quite different, and unless the divorce is amicable, there is a good chance that the sale will prove much more difficult.

To better understand the situation, we must first talk about the importance of the family home before we can discuss the challenges inherent to its sale and how to meet these challenges and finally highlight the advantages of working with a real estate agent specializing in divorce.

The importance of the family home

To start, the home is an asset that is likely to have different meanings for the parties involved and it becomes even more complicated when there are children still living at home.

  • First there is the emotional aspect – the home holds memories and for many, memories of a happier time when the spouses had dreams and made plans together for the future. It was a witness to the baby’s first steps, birthday parties or family festive dinners. And while happy memories may gradually have turned into bad memories (sometimes even nightmares), having to leave the home may still be difficult to accept, and that is often because of what the family home traditionally represents.
  • Indeed, the family home is generally synonymous with stability, security (especially for children) and for some, even social status. 
    • It makes it possible to delineate the family perimeter and give support to family members.
    • It contributes to the sense of belonging and the notion of identity.
    • It is a sanctuary that protects our privacy and houses everything that is important to us and to which we are attached (whether people, personal belongings or souvenirs).
    • Finally, it preserves the family and social bond and is therefore the place where children are expected to flourish. 

Consequences can be catastrophic for the spouse who is forced to leave the home; consequences often amplified in the context of “gray divorce” where couples separate late, after several decades spent together. “Gray divorces” are difficult for both parties, but unfortunately, often even more so for women than men, and can seriously damage both spouses’ finances. It is indeed more difficult to rebuild financially for obvious reasons related to age and the fact that there is not as much time left to find work or continue working. Similarly, one of the spouses may not have had the same career progress or earning potential. As a result, one or both spouses’ life journey will often be completely disrupted.

So, what are the challenges?


They are numerous and are present at every stage of the transaction.

  • Motivation.  The spouses’ motivations and expectations for the sale can be completely different. For instance, one spouse may want to sell as soon as possible (and therefore not necessarily at the highest price) in order to be able to start his or her life over with the person he or she has already met. But for the other spouse, the higher the selling price of the family home, the better that spouse’s chances to find a decent apartment
  • Exclusive sales agreement. If both spouses are on title, both spouses must sign the exclusive sales agreement with the real estate agent – which means that the agent will represent both parties, in a situation that can be very conflictual.  
  • Lack of cooperation. Representing a couple can be difficult in the best of cases, but at least the spouses have a common goal: to sell the home for the best possible price; and it is therefore reasonable to anticipate being able to find a common agreement.  Here, however, the objectives are different, the motivations are different and above all the sale will have consequences that can be radically different for each party. There is, therefore, a good chance that the parties will make decisions separately and will be contentious on just about anything and everything.
  • Selling price. Before they can sign the exclusive sales agreement with the real estate agent, the parties must agree on the sale price. Several scenarios can arise: a party is very emotionally attached to the home and thinks that it is worth much more than in reality; or a party may want to get as much money as possible because he or she needs it post-divorce as his or her financial future may depend on how much money is derived from the sale; or the parties have simply come to detest each other and do not want to cooperate. This can lead to fierce fights between spouses with very little room left for a reasonable outcome.  
  • Sales dynamics. The parties must also agree on details such as the preparation of the home for the sale (e.g., decluttering and storing, which requires some cooperation and which costs money); acceptable times for visits by potential buyers; or how much to spend on advertising or marketing.
  • Offer. Both parties must accept an offer and be willing to negotiate it.
  • Closing of the transaction. Finally, the spouses must accept and sign the necessary documents for the closing of the sale, which again, requires some cooperation.

How to meet these challenges and what are the advantages of working with a real estate agent specializing in divorce?

What is the best way to address these challenges – and why is it important to hire a real estate agent who specializes in divorces? As has been demonstrated, a sale resulting from a divorce cannot be treated as a regular transaction because it is not a regular transaction.

  1. Why a real estate agent specializing in divorce is an asset

In order to be able to receive a certification as a “Real Estate Certified Divorce Specialist”, an agent has to receive prior training that allows him or her to recognize the applicable challenges and deal with them before they become unmanageable. This specialist is better equipped than a more traditional agent to assist a couple who is divorcing because he or she has a better understanding of the ramifications of a divorce (whether financial, legal, or psychological) and its impact on the sale of the home. The agent can therefore provide a divorcing couple the necessary support throughout the process. 

2. How can these challenges be met?

It is important to work with a real estate agent who will know to:

  • Remain neutral. The agent must first remember that the agent represents both parties and that they may be very unlikely to cooperate with each other – but nevertheless, the agent must remain neutral and impartial, and must take a diplomatic approach to each decision (including knowing when it is advisable to give the parties the space they need to reach a consensus). This is not always easy because, in some cases, one of the spouses has already left the marital home which means that by necessity (for example, organizing visits) the agent tends to be more in contact with one of the spouses than the other, and sometimes that spouse gradually becomes more comfortable and can indulge in some confidences that can impact the neutrality of the representation.
  • Communicate. The agent must explain very clearly how he or she intends to communicate with both parties (keeping in mind that both must be kept always informed and in the same manner).
  • Rely on facts. Deciding on the value of the home can be difficult because the parties often have very different ideas about the value of the home in question. The agent must propose a selling price that clearly relies on the reality of the market. He or she will therefore have to prepare a detailed, fact-based valuation where the agent will indeed have to demonstrate in detail the previous comparable sales to make it clear that the proposed price is in line with the market. It is also a way to remove the emotional aspect from the equation.
  • Stay flexible. The agent must know how to remain flexible (and patient!). Some spouses, in fact, become true masters in the art of delaying the sale.

Myriam Benhamou is a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker and a Real Estate Certified Divorce Specialist and is at your service, always looking forward to fulfilling your housing needs and protecting your best interest. Contact BARNES New York below to tell us more about your needs.

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BARNES International brings the French “Art of Living” to the US

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BARNES International is expanding, after being present in the U.S. for more than a decade. With offices in New York and Miami, BARNES is on its way to open a brand new agency in Larchmont, north of New York City.

BARNES, a major player in high-end residential real estate and an ambassador of ‘Art of Living’, supports its clients with all aspects of their lifestyle ambitions. Discover one of the world’s most recognized and trusted International Luxury Real Estate Group, established in the entire New York area, with a prominent presence in Westchester and the Hamptons, as well as Miami. Eventually, BARNES goal will be to expand in the Hamptons and Greenwich, Connecticut.

Established with over 100 offices in about 20 countries, including major international cities and top holiday destinations, BARNES offers an exclusive selection of premium properties in Europe, the US, the Middle-East, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. From high-end hotels worldwide, landmarked castlesequestrian propertiesvineyards in France’s top winemaking districts and art collections, BARNES offers a wide range of custom services that will suit the client’s specific need. With a truly international team, we welcome all clients and accommodate them in their native language as much as possible.

The brand provides its clients with global expertise through both consulting services in investment arbitration for international real estate and tailored local support, assisting you in any of your endeavors.

G&O ART Installation at BARNES New York

Artwork installed at BARNES New York in partnership with G&O ART

BARNES is proud to announce its partnership with art promotional agency G&O ART, leading to the installation of ten remarkable pieces of art showcased at the BARNES New York office in the heart of Manhattan.

You’ll be able to discover conceptual x-ray photography from photographer David Arky, striking and innovative still life visuals that offer a new perspective on many aspects and items of our daily life. David Arky was one of the first photographers to see the artistry in X-ray images. The discovery of the revealing contours and textures not yet examined by the naked eye unlocked a secret and intimate world that fascinated him. An inner life is uncovered in the nature of x-ray photography and in the actions of the subjects. Static props from everyday life become animated and humanized with recognizable personas.

You’ll also get a glimpse of Christine Robion’s work, a sophisticated graphic style and painting technique that is profoundly linked to a deeply personal narrative, a reflection of her attitude to life. Her paintings derive from recovering traces, discreet or anodyne. Upon a frame of superimposed images are found all kinds of paper: tickets, letters, newspapers, fragments of personal notes either handwritten or printed. All these materials are drawn from the artist’s life and become the form and content of the work.

Finally, be seduced by VALANTIN’s abstract photography, halfway between photography and painting, between reality and dream, giving the urban landscape a new, more artistic dimension. The specific works installed at BARNES are part of a series of photos taken from a bridge overlooking the “périphérique” (a sinister beltway around Paris). By creating abstract shapes using the slow shutter speed shooting technique, VALANTIN was able to “sculpt” the light and draw figures that evoked musical notes.

G&O ART is a representative and promotional agency for international contemporary artists, a unique art source-expert catering to Private and Corporate Collectors, International Institutions and Foundations, Hospitality and Luxury industries, Galleries, Art Dealers and Museums. Basing its success on close working relationship with all clients, G & O ART provides a wide range of visual arts of nationally and internationally recognized as well as emerging artists.

Art in the background with the BARNES round logo on the window overlaying.

Dynamic player in the art market since 2000, at the instigation of its founder Heidi Barnes, BARNES Art advisory supports young talent in contemporary creation through a programme of exhibitions and Art installations at prestigious venues where the brand is established and through partnerships with major artistic events (FIAC, PARIS PHOTO, etc.).

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Real Estate Opportunities in New York City post-pandemic

While the Covid-19 pandemic does not seem to be slowing down, or resuming as a second wave depending on the location, there are many lessons to be learned, almost six months after the start of the first containment measures.

From a global perspective, real estate has reasserted itself as a safe haven at a time when economic activity is contracting and stock markets are fluctuating nervously, both as a source and consequence of notorious instability.

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As far as New York real estate is concerned, it is interesting to note, once again, the very strong resilience of this market, which has so far had only limited impact. Although historically there has been virtually no room for negotiation, in 2019 and early 2020 we saw the first signs of a “buyer’s market“, i.e. that it was (finally) possible to negotiate a little bit on asking prices, at a rate of a few percent depending on the neighborhood and the property. Since the second quarter, this trend has increased somewhat as demand has contracted in the wake of containment measures and restrictions on international travel. The fact that at the same time the inventory has also been reduced by around 30% (some people have taken advantage of the situation to withdraw their goods from the market in anticipation of better days) has tempered the increase in this margin for negotiation; we are now seeing price reductions of around 5% to 10% in the former.

On the other hand, it is a sector that is particularly affected by the effects of the pandemic, and especially by travel restrictions (especially international travel). These are new programs that are mostly targeted by buyers who do not live in New York, and/or rental investors. Moreover, these new programs have much more impactful scheduling and financing constraints than an individual owner, and they must “sell off their inventory” as quickly as possible in order to honor the commitments made to the various stakeholders, including financing and regulations.

It is on the strength of this observation and the recent negotiations conducted by BARNES New York with various developers, which revealed unprecedented commercial discounts, that we now recommend that wise investors take a close look at this real estate sector. Although this varies by project, inventory and neighborhood, we are relatively confident that we will achieve negotiation targets that go even beyond 15%. In some places, our clients have even been fortunate enough to exceed 25% cumulative discount (price and closing fee concessions). While the New York real estate market has historically, and on many occasions, demonstrated its strong resilience and ability to absorb various economic shocks, the exceptional discounts currently granted (until the health and economic situation in the world normalizes) should translate into as many gains in value in the short to medium term.

Do not hesitate to contact us now so that we can present you with the most relevant options today; as well as to pre-register for the next webinar we will be holding on this topic in the coming weeks.

Register for the next webinar – New Developments

Last but not least, which mainly concerns residents more than investors (although), the containment measures and the risks incurred in high-density areas have favoured a significant growth of the residential real estate market in the inner suburbs. Any property located less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, in a lower density area, with a stock of single-family homes and a satisfactory school offer, has seen its appreciation increase considerably since the beginning of the year. It is still uncertain at this stage what the long-term effect of such an exodus will be: is it for secondary use (weekends, holidays) or for permanent settlement? In any case, “suburbia” has a bright future ahead of it, and this could be more sustainable than the pandemic. With this in mind, BARNES New York is preparing to open an agency in Westchester, as close as possible to the French-speaking communities of Larchmont and Mamaroneck. Although we are already working on this project through our network of agents active in the area, we will be making a new panel of resources and an office available to you by the end of the year.

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Six Senses, BARNES, New York and Crans-Montana…

Elected for the second year as the best hotel group in the world, discover the future and first establishment of Six Senses in the United States, within the New York condominium under construction, the XI. And take advantage of BARNES ‘partnership with their Crans-Montana site, in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

Now renowned for being the best luxury hotel group in the world, Six Senses has earned this worldwide fame thanks to its values, its architecture always in harmony with the local environment, and its outstanding service. Six Senses’s mission is to promote luxury and personal health, while being sustainable; their vision being to improve all aspects of the experience specific to the needs of each client, from sleep to food and of course well-being with exceptional spas and a physical support service and personalized spiritual.

Six Senses is present in the most coveted regions of the world: Maldives, Seychelles, Thailand, Oman, Portugal… The chain now has 19 hotels around the world and numerous opening projects in new and equally exceptional locations.

New York – The XI, future first American installation of 6S

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « xi six senses nyc »Located in desirable Chelsea, the XI is an entire block of residential condominium development, overlooking the Hudson River on one side and the High Line on the other, right in the heart of New York City. Led by the developer HFZ Capital Group, and designed by the architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, this project with two towers (the X and the I) will include 247 apartments, the famous Six Senses hotel with 137 rooms, 8,000 m² of premises commercial, an artistic space, …

The XI will therefore host the very first Six Senses hotel in North America. The residents of the XI will be able to benefit from the advantages and exclusive services of the hotel (laundry, housekeeping, valet, restaurants, room service, conference rooms, lifestyle expertise and concierge, etc.) and will also be able to take advantage of commercial discounts in all areas. chain hotels. They will also receive a free two-year membership to 6S Place, their private health club, including: multi-service spa, heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, fitness center, sauna, hammam, meditation room, yoga studio, bars juice, coworking spaces, lounges, …

Located at 76 11th Ave, this new program will be delivered in early 2020; with prices ranging from $ 2,350,000 for a 1-bedroom to $ 9,000,000 for a 4-bedroom.

Crans-Montana – Barnes Suisse 6S offer

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Barnes Suisse sells the Six Senses Residences in Crans-Montana, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, an enchanting village surrounded by striking nature. It shines through the excellence of its hotel industry, its major sporting events, its social and cultural life. Just an hour’s flight from the main European capitals, the resort enjoys ideal accessibility. Six Senses Résidences presents an exceptional opportunity to become the owner of a prestigious apartment in the jewel of the Alps. New program delivered in 2021, only 17 apartments are available. Owners will have access to the exclusive amenities and privileges of the 6S resort while enjoying the privacy of a private second home.

Built with renewable and local materials, in compliance with energy and water consumption standards, the residences have a low environmental footprint while offering sumptuous and comfortable spaces for an ideal vacation in the mountains. It is important to note that the Six Senses in Crans-Montana is the only luxury real estate product that foreigners can buy in Switzerland, as a secondary home and without applying for a Swiss residence.

Contact your BARNES New York branch for any information regarding the Six Senses offer in New York or Crans-Montana.

Long Island City: New York’s artistic niche

Long Island City (LIC), a neighborhood in Queens, New York, has been gaining more and more popularity in recent years. Located on the edge of the East River, opposite the United Nations Headquarters (Murray Hill), it is obvious that Long Island City offers breathtaking views of Manhattan. Composed of buildings, townhouses, and many green spaces, Long Island City offers a solution just as modern and practical as Manhattan with significantly less hustle and bustle. Ideal for young couples or families, Long Island City is just a stone’s throw from Midtown Manhattan.

Once an epicenter of the manufacturing industry, Long Island City is today renowned for being home to one of the most exciting art scenes in the country. The district is made up of industrial buildings which have since been transformed into galleries, museums, studios, restaurants, shops, etc. The district continues to develop and today represents an excellent investment, given the rise in prices in the neighboring districts of Manhattan; offering the advantage of living in peace while remaining only a few metro stations from the heart of the city. In the same vein, also consult the BARNES guide on Dumbo.

A major attraction in Long Island City, the MoMa PS1 is a former public school (Public School 1), which has been renovated and transformed into an artistic space; today it is an extension of MoMa – Museum of Modern Art – one of New York’s most recognized museums.

Founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss, originally under the name PS1 Contemporary Art Center, the site is used as a studio, performance hall, exhibition space, and serves artists from around the world. A champion of new ideas, the PS1 actively seeks out new emerging artists, new genres or new original works in order to support innovation in contemporary art. In 2000, the PS1 Contemporary Art Center became a member of the Museum of Modern Art with the aim of associating the contemporary mission of the PS1 with the strength of the MoMa, one of the largest and oldest non-profit contemporary art institution in the States. -United. The “birth” of the MoMa PS1 therefore actively contributes to this rich artistic scene today present in Long Island City. Note that the area also hosts the Noguchi Museum (museum in a large garden presenting the work of the American-Japanese sculptor, Isamu Noguchi), and the Socrates Sculpture Park (large outdoor facilities overlooking the East River).

And to talk about real estate, we cannot mention three of LIC’s most ambitious new constructions, namely:

  • Skyline Tower: Lots of superlatives for this massive project destined to become the tallest building in Queens, peaking at nearly 240m by 2021. Stunning views spread over 67 floors for 802 condominium apartments; the project will be the first to exceed $ 1 billion in revenue. Note a private entrance for metro line 7. From studios at $ 650,000 + to 3-BRs from $ 2,300,000 +.
  • Hero: Project with remarkable architecture, being delivered at the end of 2019; it benefits from a property tax reduction (421-A). Offering over a hundred apartments over 23 floors, it has a great range of amenities with magnificent views of Manhattan, including a shared rooftop. From studios at $ 600,000 + to 2-BRs starting at $ 1,100,000 +.
  • Galerie: Located directly across from MoMa PS1, and in close proximity to the Hunter’s Point transport hub, the project was delivered last year. It also offers a superb suite of amenities (including a swimming pool), coming in at roughly the same prices as its competitor Hero: from studios starting at $ 600,000 + to 3-BR starting at $ 1,700,000 +.

For any details and interest in these projects, do not hesitate to contact your BARNES New York experts.

Dumbo, one of New York’s most desirable neighborhoods, continues to grow

As Dumbo, a hip and rather expensive Brooklyn neighborhood, prepares to welcome a new wave of condos, rental buildings and offices, BARNES New York gives you a quick overview.
New York is used to reinventing its neighborhoods; but the changes already made over the past 5 years, and underway in Dumbo, have propelled the neighborhood into another dimension.

Indeed, when New York artists began to flock to post-industrial Brooklyn of the 1970s, they discovered many abandoned warehouses with sweeping views of Manhattan. Today, those same abandoned streets are full of start-ups, hotels, trendy restaurants and luxury boutiques, while the roofs of old factories have been converted into rooftops with swimming pools, bars and restaurants.

Since the opening of the Empires Stores in 2016 (a transformed warehouse that includes a large selection of restaurants as well as a shopping center), Dumbo’s popularity has exploded. Soho House, a chain of hotels with a worldwide presence and access to a private club reserved for its members only, has opened its latest project “Dumbo House” in the same Empire Stores building. Other world-famous establishments, such as the Cecconi’s or Sugarcane restaurants, have also opened their doors nearby. Just a few blocks away is 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, a luxury eco-hotel that houses the upscale Osprey Restaurant. All of these recent commercial projects have made Dumbo an attractive area for residents and visitors. Mechanically, the developers have invested and continue to invest heavily in the neighborhood, building on the success of recent years.

BARNES New York presents recent and upcoming projects in the Dumbo district:

  • 98 Front Street

Condominium currently under construction, and slated for delivery in Spring 2020, 98 Front offers a variety of 165 apartments, spread over 10 floors, from studios starting at $ 700,000, to 3-bedrooms starting at $ 1,855,000. All with a very nice “amenity” offer, including swimming pool, spa, rooftop, …

  • Front & York

Mixed complex made up of a rental property on the one hand, and condominiums on the other; the whole to total around 800 units, with splendid common areas spread over the entire program. Life Fitness has just signed a lease for the fitness offering. 1-BRs start just under $ 1 million; and the 3-BRs from $ 2.5M. Public sales have just started.

  • 10 Jay Street

Red brick and glass facade, 10 Jay Street was delivered last year. Originally designed for condos, 10 Jay Street was converted into an office building during construction. Indeed, a strong demand for workspaces has emerged in recent years in Dumbo, especially by start-ups that are leaving the chaos of Manhattan for the tranquility of Dumbo.

  • 181 Front Street

Rental building open since 2018.; it has 12 floors and 105 units. Although it is near capacity, there are still units available: 1-BR starting at $ 3,850, 2-BR and 3-BR over $ 6,000 / month.

  • 1 John Street

Since opening 1 John Street in 2016, purchase and rental prices in Dumbo have skyrocketed. This 42-unit micro-project had sold all of its apartments as soon as it opened. Today, you can find a few rentals and units for sale (notably a 1,500 sqft. 2-BR for $ 3M).

  • Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park

The first structure to overlook Brooklyn Bridge Park, built in 2015, was very successful due to the combination of a hotel program (1 Hotel) and a range of condominiums. All of this obviously in direct contact with the East River.

  • 168 Plymouth Street

And for a charming option, why not turn to these old paint factories turned into condominiums. Delivered in 2020, 168 Plymouth Street is a conversion of a now landmarked building; it offers forty options over five floors with very reasonable prices ($ 1,300 + / sqft.).

Dumbo is undoubtedly one of the most buoyant neighborhoods in Brooklyn today, and is even becoming one of the most desirable in New York City. Benefit from the excellent knowledge of BARNES New York, and all the more so to guide you in the constantly changing offer of New Developments.

Summer 2019: Focus on Fire Island, a little piece of paradise in New York State

Following our recent article on the Hamptons, BARNES New York takes you this week to Fire Island, located in Long Island, New York. This small, car-banned island offers white sandy beaches, a friendly, family-friendly atmosphere, but also a lively atmosphere, a historic haven for the LGBT community, just a few hours from the ongoing bustle of Manhattan. Fire Island is the perfect escape from the bustle of the city for a getaway…

Fire Island is a long strip of land that runs along southern Long Island. Located 96 km from Manhattan, it is a popular resting destination for New Yorkers who love the sun and the sand. The 17 “beach communities” that make up Fire Island range from crowded beaches (Ocean Beach, Cherry Grove) to unspoiled beaches (Saltaire, where an island population discourages foreigners). Cars are not permitted on the island; residents must get around on foot, by bike, or by boat …

During the year, Fire Island has just over 300 residents… During the summer, that number increases to 20,000. Since its main attraction is the pristine white beach, the season for Fire Island begins in May during Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day, early September. The main activities on the island consist of picnics, boat tours, surfing, fishing, hiking, and bird watching… The area also hosts a raucous party culture, amplified by Rocket Fuel cocktails, a local specialty. ..

If you want to stay on the island, you have a choice of several rental houses and a few hotels. BARNES recommends that you stay in areas like The Grove, and Ocean Beach. Find below the BARNES New York guide to make the most of your stay on Fire Island.

How do I get to Fire Island?

If you are traveling from Manhattan to Fire Island, allow 1.5 to 2 hours for the trip. Most visitors access the island via train (LIRR) and ferry. The LIRR departs from Penn Station. Depending on where you want to go on the island, you can stop at different ferry departure locations: Bay Shore, Sayville, or Patchogue. From there you will have to walk or take a car to get to the ferry. Alternatively, you can drive to Bay Shore, Sayville, or Patchogue and take the ferry from there.

From Bay Shore, you’ll take Fire Island Ferries to popular central Fire Island destinations such as Ocean Beach, Kismet, and Ocean Bay Park (round trip for $ 19 for adults). If you are going to Sayville, take the Sayville ferry to Fire Island Pines, Cherry Grove, and Sailors Haven ($ 16). The Davis Park Ferry in Patchogue will take you to Watch Hill and Davis Park ($ 17).

The island of Fire Island is famous for not accommodating a car (which makes the small villages even more charming and pleasant). However, both ends of the island have parking facilities for visitors to use. You can park at the Fire Island Lighthouse to the west or to the east at the Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness.

Keep in mind that although the island is 250m wide, it is 32km long! This means that if you plan on keeping yourself at one end of the island and want to walk to the Grove, it can take almost half a day. Once the car is parked, you can walk, take a bicycle or a water taxi to get to your destination. Water taxis cost between $ 10 and $ 30, and stop about once an hour in each of Fire Island’s 17 communities.

Fire Island Pines

Fire Island Pines, or “The Pines,” represents the community east of The Grove. Since the mid-20th century, The Pines has welcomed owners and tenants, as well as a large community of boaters. Like everywhere on Fire Island, the best activities can be found on the waterfront. Gay bars at The Pines are well known on the island: Sip N Twirl, Blue Whale, and Pavilion.

Cherry Grove

Cherry Grove, or “The Grove”, represents the oldest and most well-known LGBTQ community on Fire Island. Before the modern gay rights movement began in the late 1960s, The Grove was home to an open and proud community of gay residents. Its “Community House” and theater are today considered national historic monuments.

The Grove’s most popular attractions are obviously sunbathing and other beach activities. Here you will find bars such as Cherry’s On The Bay and the Ice Palace Night Club where you can party day and night. For spectacular views and dining, visit The Sandcastle at The Ocean, one of the best restaurants on the island. Only steps from Cherry Grove is Sunken Forest, a natural wonder in Sailors Haven Bay. This rare grove grows from seawater and is home to rare wildlife species …

Ocean Beach

Certainly the most popular destination on Fire Island is Ocean Beach. On an island as residential as it is lightly commercial, Ocean Beach remains the somewhat lively downtown of the island … In addition to a very popular beach, Ocean Beach is full of restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries to visit when you have need a break from the beach. Must-sees in the area are Scoops Ice Cream Shop, Rachel’s Bakery, and Houser’s Bar. For dinner, Hideaway Restaurant is known for its famous lobster risotto. In addition to local house rentals, the Palms Hotel Fire Island offers upscale accommodation. Ocean Drive is also the island’s most family-friendly community with children.

Fire Island National Seashore

The parks of Fire Island are collectively known as the “Fire Island National Seashore”. The Sunken Forest and Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness are wilderness areas designated by the local government. They are part of the “National Seashore”. The beaches at Sailors Haven and Watch Hill also offer campgrounds. The historic Fire Island Lighthouse, built in 1858, is located in the west of the island and can be visited as well.

Focus on the Hamptons, the favorite destination of New Yorkers

It’s officially summer season for the Hamptons, an area northeast of Long Island, New York, a short drive from Manhattan. It’s New Yorkers’ favorite place to escape the chaos of the “Big Apple” and relax in the sun, or party in the hippest spots of Southampton and Montauk …

The Hamptons have been very popular for years. Its villages provide an ideal mix for New Yorkers during the summer: oceanfront, rural atmosphere, historic and exclusive charm, all within a convenient distance from New York. Indeed, from Manhattan, it is easy to get there by train, car, bus, or even helicopter. If the people and the local atmosphere are reminiscent of New York City, the area is much more laid back and pleasant for the summer.

Many famous people own vacation homes there, and the absence of paparazzi and privacy make the place conducive to lounging and relaxation. For others, the Hamptons are characterized by world-class beaches, renowned restaurants, and a very lively atmosphere …


Visitors generally start arriving at the Hamptons from Memorial Day (May); but the real high season is from July to Labor Day (early September). This is where the “social scene” is at its peak, with various festivals and events … You can also spend a weekend in the Hamptons in the off-season (September – October), when the villages are less crowded and the weather remains mild.


The easiest way from New York is to drive. This is a 2-3 hour drive from Midtown to East Hampton Village, depending on traffic. Many visitors also get there by bus, via the famous “Hampton Jitney” or the “Hampton Luxury Liner” which stops in major hamlets and villages.

Another option is to take the LIRR “Long Island Rail Road” train. Local trains can take up to 3 hours to get to Montauk from Penn Station. There is, however, an express train serving the Hamptons every Friday afternoon in the summer.

The quickest option is to get there by helicopter from Manhattan, avoiding traffic jams and reaching the Hamptons in less than half an hour; finally, for those who can afford it …


Vacation Rentals: The best way to spend summer in the Hamptons is to spend a weekend, a month, or all of the summer in a house or apartment. August is the most expensive time to book; it’s rare to find even a modest rental for less than $ 7,000 per month, and prices for more luxurious homes even hit six figures!

Hotels: The Hamptons remain limited in terms of hotels. Montauk is the place with the most choice for finding rooms and a variety of options.

Camping: It is also possible to pitch a tent in Montauk’s Hither Hills from $ 35 per day (if you book early). Campground therefore remains the most affordable option to spend the summer in the Hamptons …

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Manhattan Market Figures – Second Quarter 2019

The Manhattan real estate market is once again bringing mixed news for the second quarter of 2019. Benefiting from the delivery of many new projects, price indicators and number of sales are on the rise, yet masking a general trend of market correction to the benefits of buyers.

Sales increased year over year for the first time in two years (+ 5% from 2018). Over 3,300 sales were made this quarter, totaling $ 7 billion (+ $ 1B from 2018).

It is, however, too early to celebrate a recovery, as many sales this quarter are actually off-plan sales (nouveaux développements / sponsors), signed during the previous quarters. Note also that the entry into force of the new tax law on July 1, 2019 prompted many buyers to close this quarter (especially in large budgets; more details here). The contracts signed this quarter, the most reliable indicator of activity, are however stable compared to the second quarter of 2018: acceleration in April (consistent with the tax reform two months later), followed by a drop in May and June.

At the same time, the already high inventory has continued to grow, exceeding 8,000 mandates for the first time since 2011. Price cuts continue, bargaining margins increase; also, the average duration on the market reached its highest level for 6 years.

On the other hand, the median price hit a record high of $ 1,225,000, and the average price its two-year high at $ 2,119,000. These figures, contrary to the bearish market trends, are inflated again by the new developments delivered this quarter, when the contracts had been signed well before, in a better market context. Thus, the price per square foot remains almost unchanged compared to the same quarter of 2018 (and would even have fallen without this influx of sponsor sales).

Some important numbers

  • Increase in the number of sales for the first time since 2017;
  • Inventory progress for the seventh consecutive quarter;
  • New record for median selling price;
  • New developments have taken their largest market share for 2 years;
  • The new developments show their smallest average sales area for 6 years;

Co-ops – Median price:
Studio : $425,000
1-BR : $720,000
2-BR : $1,300,000
3-BR : $2,335,000

Condos – Median price:
Studio : $584,000
1-BR : $1,150,148
2-BR : $2,160,000
3-BR : $3,842,500

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