When Warren Goodercraft was a child, he played serious games of “cowboys and Indians” at his family’s vast Cold Spring Harbor estate, skiing across frozen fields in the winter.
“I just remember the freedom it gave the kids and the wonderful open spaces,” Kraft, 65, says of the property he lives in today with his family. “There were nice little cabins and areas where you could sit and just sit in solitude, but we spent most of our time outside. We had a tree house and a theater with a cobblestone fireplace.”
Kraft Residence is just one example of properties or homes of 7,500 square feet or more on the market on Long Island — a category of homes that have increased in demand as the pandemic began to ease in the summer of 2020, according to real estate experts. .
“The high-end market has taken off at an astonishing pace,” says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuels, citing two reasons: “High wage earners have seen less economic damage than shutdown, and many people have been locked out and had plenty of time to think about Where they want to live, how much space they want.”
In the first quarter of 2022, Miller says, nearly one in four luxury homes were sold above asking price — the second highest rate in history — and about one in four luxury sales went to bidding for wars for the third consecutive quarter.
“They’ve gone for the best is the best, especially at the higher end of the luxury goods market,” he says. “It was a very strong, fast-moving market and I think it took people by surprise.”
There are 63 homes of 7,500 square feet and more on the market in Nassau County and 46 in Suffolk, with prices ranging from $800,000 to $40 million, according to OneKey MLS.
Luxury home buyers expect the best of everything and more, says Ron Scala of Scala Properties in Remsenburg. “You expect it to be high-tech, have top-notch automatic security cameras, a top-of-the-line audio system, and all the high-end hardware like the Wolf and Sub-Zero,” says Scala.
Newer luxury properties in particular have movie theaters, wine rooms, hot tubs built into the ground pool, motorized pool covers, outdoor fire pits, custom outdoor kitchens, steam showers, saunas, gyms, and car electrical connections,” says Kimberly Camarata, real estate agent with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s. International Realty in Westhampton Beach.
“They want their home to be an experience – like a luxury hotel, but private,” Cammarata says of the owners.
Here are five huge homes for sale on Long Island.
Skala is a listing broker for a 20-room property in Mauritius Bay in Remsenburg, adjacent to Westhampton, seeking $13 million. The 9,000-square-foot home, on Club Lane, was built in 2014 on 1.6 acres. It has six bedrooms, nine full bathrooms, two semi-baths, balconies, fireplace, pool and railing, with smart appliances that can be controlled by phone from anywhere. Annual taxes are $65,569.
There are unobstructed views of the bay from the living room, formal and informal dining rooms, elevator, guest spaces, waterside family room, 1,600-square-foot master suite with fireplace, and 800-square-foot pool house with gym, and fireplace. Pool with hot tub, waterfall and full-service mahogany bar.
Kraft says bigger has always been better for him. His grandfather, John Craft, was an insurance business and bought the 8,000-square-foot Cold Spring Harbor home in 1956.
“While this is a mansion, it is very livable,” says Regina, wife of Kraft, an interior designer, of the main house in this Georgian-style building. She has fond memories of hosting a fun “Halloweiner Parade” and other Dachshunds at the property.
The Krafts say they also appreciate that their home doesn’t have an open concept design, which is a must-have feature in many modern homes. They say they are selling in order to downsize and split their time between properties they own in Tucson, Arizona and the Adirondacks.
Kraft says the Cold Spring Harbor home “beautifully flows, but every room is its own.” But, his wife adds, “Currently in the breakfast room, the wall can be removed so you can have a room outside the kitchen. I think it would be an easy change of footprint to update it.”
Described on the listing as a “real estate,” the property is located on 23.75 acres on Woodbury Road and has a price tag of $7.5 million. Taxes $123,125.
The house was built in 1934 by the famous architect Mott B. Schmidt, known for his structures in the classic Georgian American style. His designs include the apartment buildings on Park Avenue in Manhattan and the Susan B. Wagner suite in Gracie Mansion.
A quarter-mile tree-lined walkway leads to the main house, which has seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms as well as a three-bedroom, two-bath service suite. There is also a two-door three-bedroom, three-bedroom ranch, and a 10-bay garage.
Another big property on the market is Somerset on Wallis Lane in Nissequogue. It was inspired by Governor’s Mansion in Williamsburg, Virginia, and businessman and owner George Wallis says warm-weather gatherings there are “Gatsbysk.”
With gardens that are about 100 years old, “there is a European feel of antiquity, but the site is one of a kind on Long Island,” says Wallis. He adds that while he lived there, “there were always parties to commemorate the seasons, like the azalea party in May when the place comes alive with new life.”
The $10.6 million 9,000-square-foot home, located on nearly 11 acres and overlooking Long Island Sound with views of Smithtown Bay, was completed in 1935. It is adjacent to the David Weld Preserve It covers an area of 125 acres and includes seven bedrooms and five bedrooms. Full and half baths. Taxes $104,284.
Among the former notable residents was the Lauder Greenway family. In the late 19th century, George Lauder founded a steel company with his cousin Andrew Carnegie that later became US Steel. Wallis has lived in the house since he bought it in 1984.
“Taking one walk around the perimeter of the property is like meditating,” Wallis says. “It is very quiet, very private; it is heaven.
A 9,200-square-foot modern home for sale in Red Creek Circle in Hampton Bays comes with an unusual offer: If the buyer meets the full asking price of $3.3 million, the seller will install an in-ground spa tub for free in a pool, cave, and waterfall.
Taxes are $26,984 on the home, which was built in 2009 and has an open plan. It is located on 0.96 acres and includes six bedrooms, six full and half bathrooms, a family room and a large kitchen-dining.
Pascal Schmidt, a retired paralegal and head of several philanthropic endeavors, was looking for something different but more modern in 2017 when she and her husband Christopher, who runs a dental insurance company, arrived at their 9,600-square-foot, 5-acre home. On the Skunks Misery in the Valley of the Locusts. It is for sale at a price of $2.5 million. Taxes $34,675.
Built in 1982, the house was designed by famed architect Norman Jaffe, who is credited with initiating modern rustic design for homes in the Hamptons. It is distinguished by its distinctive use of natural elements such as glass walls, skylights, and the stone of the Tennessee River Valley.
“I heard that while he was building it, he was living on the property in a small cottage,” Schmidt notes.
Schmidt says the house’s quirkiness and how different it is from many Long Island homes was a plus, adding that “this house is like a hotel in the Swiss Alps.”
Schmidt says that with seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, with a second basic en suite on the first floor and a two-bedroom guest suite, the house has been a refuge for her family during the pandemic.
We had nine people [living at the home] “Sometimes you don’t see anyone,” she says. “You can be with people or you can’t be with them – everyone can do whatever they want.”
Schmidt says her grandchildren especially love the indoor saltwater pool. There is a floodlit tennis court, playground, filtered water pool and waterfall, plus two kitchens and a guest suite.
“On a snowy day, kids can go swimming inside,” Schmidt says.