A small agricultural village on the Atlantic Ocean boasts New York’s most expensive real estate. Founded in 1653, Sagaponack, which used to be known mostly for its potatoes, still has wide farm fields that stretch down to the ocean. Just 4.56 square miles, the rural village has only about 350 year-round residents along with one of the very few remaining one-room schoolhouses in use in the country.
The village also is home to one of the largest and most valuable estates in the U.S., industrialist Ira Rennert’s Fair Field, which spans more than 60 fully landscaped oceanfront acres anchored by palace-sized home that measures in at a mere 110,000 square feet. Rennert’s spread reportedly includes 29 bedrooms, 39 bathrooms, three swimming pools, a 164-seat home theater, a basketball court, a bowling alley, a synagogue, and its own power plant. It’s a village of its own, really.
Considerably smaller and less opulent than Fair Field, but arguably more tasteful and charming, is a post-and-beam house in the same village, about three miles away. The $2.75 million asking price is by no means cheap or even affordable to anyone but a millionaire, but at the same time it’s one of the lowest priced homes currently on the open market in the famously expensive village. On about 1.5 acres adjacent to a protected reserve, the five-bedroom, five-bath home is available through Jackie Dunphy and Greg Schmidt at Corcoran.
When built in 1998, the shingled farmhouse-style abode had about 2,600 square feet. A 2016 renovation saw the lower level finished, which brought the total living space to 3,400 square feet. Interesting touches include 100-year-old light fixtures from the New York City subway system and vintage hardware on the outdoor shower.
The great room is light and bright from many windows and exceedingly high ceilings with exposed structural elements. In addition to the living room and the inviting blue farmhouse-style kitchen, the main level features the primary bedroom and bath, plus an additional guest bedroom and a full bathroom. Upstairs, you will find 2 more bedrooms, each with a en-suite bath, and a large loft, ready to be used as an office area, reading nook or art station. The finished basement is given over to TV and rec rooms.
Oversized French doors in the great room lead to the backyard, with lush and mature landscaping that includes hydrangeas for a classic Hamptons look. There’s also an expansive lawn perfect for croquet or badminton, a large deck for al fresco dining, a 40-foot pool surrounding by bluestone terracing, and raised garden beds with a handy drip irrigation system. There’s also a cute shed for storing pool floaties, beach chairs and the lawnmower.
All this relaxed Hamptons-style comfort, and for about one-hundredth of what Fair Field would likely fetch if it ever came for sale! Certainly, no one needs a baronial estate with 29 bedrooms to enjoy the good life. But in Sagaponack, it will still take almost $3 million to slide into that lifestyle.