Benjamin Dixon, of The Mackay Dixon Team, has a passion for transforming poorly designed or underutilized spaces into sophisticated interiors fully renovated to maximize potential. Dixon has an expansive portfolio of renovated homes under his belt after successfully completing over 20 personal real estate transactions. After buying his first home at age 21 and converting it to a single-family home he later went on to resell for 80% more three years later. Dixon has found success regardless of market cycles or trends. Most recently, he worked on 24 Pheasant Road, a sophisticated home in Sag Harbor masterfully renovated to perfection. Haute Residence caught up with Dixon to discuss the latest market trends and more.
HR: Walk us through every stage of the process – from purchasing to renovation, to placing the home on the market.
I worked with my investor partners, Raul River and Erwin Villaorduna, to identify a dozen potential properties which we then narrowed down to a short list of three. We then made three aggressive offers and eventually acquired our #1 choice. The identification process started in the Fall of 2017 and we purchased the property at the end of February 2018. We had a very specific idea of what the home could be an engaged Sandra Brauer of Sandra Brauer Design to help us realize our vision. After a competitive bidding process, we selected Beni Shoshi of Shoshi Builders to build it. Demolition began in April 2018 and Beni worked hard and fast to finish by October 2018. There were bumps along the way as there are in any significant renovation, but the team worked quickly to address everything and keep us on track. Listing a home is always exciting and a bit stressful, even for real estate professionals. So far the response has been extremely positive.
HR: Have you done this before? If so, what tips do you have for your clients looking for advice in doing something similar? If not, what did you learn and how do you think it will aid you moving forward with future listings and projects similar to this?
I renovated a number of homes years ago in San Francisco, but this is my first major renovation in the Hamptons. I really enjoy the process and the creativity involved. It is so satisfying to see the vision become reality. Tips – make sure you have a good team and you ask as many questions as you can possibly think of up front. Have a detailed and strong contract with your builder – there is a lot of money at stake and a lot of questions are going to come up along the way – a good contract will guide everyone through these questions. Specifically in the Hamptons, look for worn down properties that may be poorly kept but offer privacy, quiet, sunshine and room for a pool if one doesn’t exist – that is a must.
HR: What drew you to want to get involved with this project?
Renovations are stressful, but I enjoy the finished product enough to work through the stress. It is like a big puzzle that takes months to put together. I had also wanted to work with these investment partners – the team is really important to me.
HR: What is the current buy/flip trend like in your market?
Hampton buyers want turn-key properties. They are busy people who want to relax and enjoy their beach homes, not manage a contractor for months on end. They are also picky and demand the best. These buyers see through low-quality quick flips and demand the best – if you cut corners, you will pay for it; not them.
HR: Tell me a little about what makes this property special.
The danger of completing a “flip” is falling in love with the house, which I am afraid I have done here. The approach to 24 Pheasant is grand but not over-the-top and the mature trees and open lawns give the property a sense of history while all of the modern finishes keep it fresh. I also cannot get over the view from the dining room and kitchen out to the pool. With six large and luxurious en-suite bedrooms, two living rooms and parking for seven, it is going to be an amazing place for someone who likes to fill their home with family and friends!
For more information, please contact Benjamin Dixon at [email protected]
Photo courtesy of The Mackay Dixon Team