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The Ultimate Guide to House-Hunting in the Hamptons

There may be snow on the ground, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start thinking about summer – particularly when it comes to making real estate decisions. For those who would like to spend their summer in the Hamptons, now is the time to start looking for a place to rent or to buy if you want to have your pick of the litter.

To get tips on how to navigate the Hamptons market, we hosted an event at One Hudson Yards with J.B. Andreassi, a broker with Nest Seekers International who specializes in selling and renting property on the East End. Read on to find out where you'll want to look, when you'll want to look – and how there might be more properties available than meets the eye.

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Find a Good Spot: The first rule of real estate is location, location, location, and that's no different out East. If you have the budget for it, Andreassi notes that the one area that is 100 percent recession-proof as an investment is the land south of Route 27, stretching from Westhampton all the way to Amagansett. Other desirable areas north of the highway are plots of land or homes that abut farmland, because the land is preserved and no structure can be built upon it.

Zillow Doesn't Have the Whole Story: While listing sites like Zillow and Realtor.Com have a selection of the homes on the market, that's only a fraction of what is actually available. Oftentimes for privacy reasons, owners do not publicly list their homes, but that doesn't mean they're not interested in selling. The only way to learn about these so-called "whisper listings" is to work with a knowledgeable broker,"We know that stuff that the customers wouldn’t know," Andreassi says.

Start Looking Now: While it may seem early, winter is actually prime time to lock down a house for the summer. If you're looking to buy, Andreassi says an oversupply of homes on the market has made it a buyer's market right now. "A lot of what we’re seeing now are things that are marked down 15-20% than what the true value is on those homes just because there’s an excess in inventory."

Consult a Lawyer: The 2017 reforms impacted the tax implications of owning a first or second home, particularly with the new limit on the mortgage interest deductions and home equity loan deductions. Before buying or investing, be sure to consult a reputable real estate attorney to understand how these new laws will affect you.

It's Never Too Late! If you just can't deal with worrying about a summer house right now, Andreassi says not to fear – he's found summer homes for people looking as late as June. "There are still things available, but they may not be exactly what you want," he says, "But it's ok – you'll still be able to enjoy your Hamptons days in the summer."

The Related Life is written and produced by Related Luxury Rentals. Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest events, news and announcements in your area, and tag us for a chance to be featured @therelatedlife and #therelatedlife.