Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I love real estate - my Shelter Island visit

For Memorial Day weekend my wife and I stayed at The Ram's Head Inn on Shelter Island and I was reminded of why I work in this field of law in the first place.

As we disembarked from North Ferry, leaving Greenport, our eyes hit the artwork that is Shelter Island real estate. Modern, contemporary, stately, each home called to me with a challenge to understand its story. Some were the places of artists; others corporate tycoons; still more were the homes of retirees who had stumbled upon the Island years ago while on vacation and promised it a more permanent return. There were also the farms, which remain in full function amidst the compounds and retreats that have been claimed by New York City's elite. Also, one cannot think of Shelter Island without discussing its dedication to nature which is embodied by the Mashomack Preserve, a landmass that comprises roughly one-third of the entire Island.

There were old homes, hundreds of years past their prime; new mansions on the sides of cliffs; and bungalows reminding you that you were at the beach. Yet, what is truly miraculous about Shelter Island real estate is how the homes exist in harmony with the natural topography. You see Shelter Island real estate exists on the land, in the land and with the land; not on a flat surface of plowed forest that unfortunately has become much of suburban realty. The trees, from the time of the Native Americans sprawled, the creeks glistened with sunshine and the mirror of the homes standing at its shores. A look in the water reviewed a Gothic Revival, than in the pond around the bend you would see a Victorian in its luster. Everywhere, it felt like there was candy for your eyes.

Yes, real estate is not merely this beauty. It is also reviewing the Town Code, construction contracts, and memorandums of sale. Often times we focus on the sanitation systems or the Wetland Permits. In so doing its easy to forget the bigger picture. Real estate is lasting. It is defining. The results are uplifting. Its energy is alive. Once and a while we need to stop reading the rules and just enjoy the fruits of our labors. Go visit Shelter Island and become rejuvenated and find your passion for why you work in this field in the first place. Take a drive, rent a bike or moped and just peek your head into each and every driveway. Shelter Island is a real estate museum. Enjoy the sites.

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