NEW KDHamptons Lifestyle Diary: Lifelong Hamptonite Howie Guja



Howie Guja




This week, KDHamptons catches up with lifelong East Ender, Howie Guja, who currently lives in a charming 1890 shingle style home in Bellport with his wife Jana and their two darling daughters, Lilly (4), and Nora who is two months. Rounding out the Guja brood a horse named Sean, a Havanese named Sailor, and two cats, Teddy and Sandy. The couple share nostalgic childhood connections to the Hamptons: Jana’s family lives in East Hampton and Amagansett on her mother’s side, and Howie’s parents summered in Montauk since the early ’70s. Learn more about Howie in his NEW KDHamptons Lifestyle Diary below:




Howie with wife Jana, and daughter Lilly




KDHamptons: How long have you been visiting the Hamptons? Why do you love it so much?

Howie Guja: I’ve been spending time here my entire life. My parents had been coming out to the South Fork, specifically Montauk, since the early 1970’s. The landscape and architecture of the area made an impression on me at a very young age. I remember noticing the change in feeling and the light as soon as we arrived. It’s that same quality today that has kept me coming here, and why I chose to live in Bellport, which has the same allure for me.




Montauk Lighthouse




KDHamptons: Please describe your perfect Hamptons day for our readers?

Howie: It depends on the season, but it usually starts early in the morning at either Tate’s in Southampton or at Jack’s Coffee in Amagansett. From there, we usually visit the East End Children’s Museum, which my daughter loves, then we’ll do some shopping in town, get lunch and stop by the beach, before heading home to relax by the pool. Sailing, paddle boarding, fishing, or surfing are a few of our favorite pastimes. Anything that involves the natural landscape of the Hamptons. We really love antiques and collecting, and spend a lot of time in the summer on our wooden sailboat, Whitecap.




Daddy daughter day




Tate’s Bake Shop, Southampton




KDHamptons: Please describe your company, Old Purchase Properties? Do you have a favorite new listing to share with our readers?

Howie: Established in 1979, Old Purchase Properties is the leader in sales in the Bellport area. As an agent, I work primarily in Bellport and the East End, with a focus on interesting and stylish properties. I also enjoy working with my family on our private equity investments such as Caneel Bay, and other Caribbean ventures. My favorite current listing would be the “Near the Bay” estate, which was once owned by Birdsall Otis Edey, an early organizer and eventually national president of the Girl Scouts of the USA. [Click HERE for more]




The Guja’s beautiful Bellport home




Near The Bay listing in Bellport




KDHamptons: What is the current climate in real estate now in Bellport vs. the Hamptons? What price range is moving the quickest?

Howie: Actually, 2014 was a record breaking year, both for Bellport and the Hamptons, and 2015 looks to top that. While Bellport is located just west of the Hamptons, it has a similar aesthetic and charm, and attracts many people looking for a quiet weekend, or seasonal home in an idyllic coastal setting. The Bellport market tends to mirror the Hamptons as far as interest and desirability go, but Bellport is more under the radar. Anything between $500k and $1.2MM is moving quickly, and inventory has been fairly low at that price point. Anything waterfront tends to move quickly and is highly desirable.  Summer rentals are very popular as well obviously.




Biking in Bellport




KDHamptons: Do you find that new buyers are looking for modern contemporary homes or traditional estates?

Howie: Bellport, like much of eastern Long Island, has done a wonderful job at preserving its sense of place, including historic homes. Buyers are aware of this attribute and many come here specifically for this reason. Unique homes with charm and character tend to be the most sought after. Though when contemporary homes do hit the market, they often move quickly, in part because there are not many available.




A horse named Sean




KDHamptons: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant, got a favorite dish & drink you order every time?

Howie: Since we usually have our two young daughters with us during the day, we
really love Bay Burger in Sag Harbor. The burgers are amazing, and they have a solid local beer selection. The owners Joe and Liza also make ridiculously good ice cream using fresh local ingredients. At night, if we go out without the children, we like East Hampton Grill, where I usually order the ribs and a local glass of wine.







KDHamtpons: What is your favorite childhood memory of summers spent at your parents home in Montauk?

Howie: Fishing! My dad was a fanatical fisherman and he passed it onto me. Fly fishing has always been one my family’s biggest passions, and hooking into a striper on a fly while standing in the surf is like nothing else.




Howie sets sail on Whitecap




KDHamptons: Do you have a favorite “dream home” in the Hamptons?

Howie: So many of the world’s most amazing properties are right here, but if I could live in any of them, I’d take the manor house on Gardiner’s Island. Though the longest privately held island in the United States is off-limits to the public, it’s a dream of mine to visit. Stories about the old hunting leases and the mythical oaks of Bostwick Woods kept me up reading for hours when I was child. The island has an incredible & colorful history, and I love the view of it’s famed white windmill seen from Cherry Harbor.




Howie and Jana



* For more information about Howie Guja properties please go to: Old Purchase Properties and follow Howie on Instagram @howieguja ~ he has a great gallery!