Born in the Bronx and raised in Long Island, Billy Joel definitely has a love for hustle and bustle of NYC. For decades, when the city gets to be too much, he has simply made the 2.5 hour trek to his Hamptons beach house for a little rest and relaxation.
Over the years, he has owned multiple homes along the Atlantic shoreline, which seem to only get more and more amazing as he’s upgraded from Oyster Bay estates to incredible Hamptons home, including one in the tiny, yet super-wealthy Village of Sagaponack. Purchased in 2007 for $16.8 million, the stunning home offers peace and quiet in a lavish setting complete with gentle ocean breezes and beautiful water vistas. There is lots of speculation that he purchased the home specifically for his third wife, Katie Lee, who he married in 2004 and divorced in 2010. On a side note, he bought a horse ranch in Wellington, FL for his fourth wife (and the mother of his two youngest daughters), Alexis Roderick, just a few weeks ago.)
Simply put, the house and the meticulously landscaped 1-acre lot it sits on is nothing short of spectacular, which is why it is hard to believe that he sold it in 2014 for slightly less than the $19.95 million asking price. (He originally put the house on the market in November 2013 with a $22.5 million asking price, but later reduced it.) Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get a glimpse at the home. To give you an idea of just how fabulous it was, here are 20 photos of Billy Joel’s former $20 million mansion.
1. About the Property – View from Above
Built in 1994 by the late actor Roy Scheider for his family, the 5,500 sq. ft., two-story home is clad in classic Hamptons shingles and includes four en suite bedrooms, seven baths, two kitchens, four fireplaces, a separate music studio, and a garage large enough to comfortably fit two cars. Outside, the lush green grass gives way to 145 feet of pristine sandy beach, which allows most of the rooms in the home a 180-degree ocean view, visible through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls. While there is a permit in place for an oceanfront pool, Billy never had one built. So far, the new owner, whose name has not been disclosed, hasn’t either.
Unlike many home in the area, the four bedrooms are on the bottom floor, while the huge living room, kitchens, and dining room are located on the upper level. This was likely done to ensure the best ocean and beach views were visible from the main living space. Now, let’s look at the house.
This aerial view gives you a good look at the overall size of the property, as well as how close it is to the beach. However, it also shows that the house doesn’t have a lot of privacy. Take a look at how close the neighbor’s pool is on the right. While there are trees/ shrubs/ bushes that do separate them, you can walk right through them onto Billy’s former property. On the left, there appears to be a street leading to the beach, though it’s not known if this is a public or private walkway.
2. From the Beach
Here’s a view from the beach, which only proves how close the property is to all the neighbors. Interestingly, this view also makes it look as if Billy’s house is the smallest in this enclave of houses. A quick Google search confirms that this is true, for the most part. Houses on this road are as large as 11,000 sq. ft. in size. Of course, there are plenty that are smaller. In fact, Billy’s former house isn’t for sale, but one down the street is. If you have $11.5 million that you simply don’t know what to do with, you can purchase this 1,700 sq. ft. bungalow built in 1890.
3. A Closer Look at the Back of the House
From the back, this house is the quintessential Hamptons beach home with tons of charm. The grey shingles, expansive deck, high pitched thatched roof, and unpretentious elegance were often synonymous with homes in the area around the turn of the century. From here, you can see that the house is actually perched over the ocean below and requires you to go down plenty of stairs to reach the sand.
4. The Terrace
The huge upper terrace offers the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze, along with the stunning seascapes. It’s also a great place to eat, thanks to the large table, topped with umbrellas for shade. By the way, the house, including this terrace, was decorated by Nate Berkus, an interior designer who became famous as a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Billy and Kate hired the designer to give the home a fresh new look right after they purchased it.
5. Coming in the Gate
It’s no surprise that the house is gated. What is shocking is how close it is to the road. This just shows you how expensive and in demand real estate is in the Hamptons…not even huge stars can get a home with tons of privacy. Thankfully, the hedges do deter people from stopping to stare at the home, although they could get a good look through the gate even when it is closed.
6. The Living Room
It’s time to move inside the house, where the huge living room takes center stage. It’s hard to know where to look first. You’ve got beautiful views from the open doors, but the A-frame, cathedral-style ceiling with exposed beams and ductwork is almost as attention grabbing. Then, you have the gorgeous brick fireplace, which is flanked by built-in bookcases. Thanks to the wide open doors, the room is perfect for seamless indoor/ outdoor living. Overall, it’s a stunning, yet simply decorated room that relies on architectural elements and the views to wow you.
7. The Kitchen
Before you look at the out-of-this-world kitchen, keep in mind that Katie Lee is a TV chef and cookbook author, who probably got good use of it. The cathedral ceilings and gorgeous hardwood floors continue in to the kitchen, where top-of-the-line appliances are everywhere you look. Katie likely took full advantage of the huge Wolf range, as well as the warming drawer to the right of it and the butcher block countertops that provide plenty of prep space when cooking.
8. Another View of the Kitchen
From this view of the kitchen, you get a look at the humongous stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator (on the left), the built-in cutting boards on the countertops, the wall-mounted TV, microwave, and the many pennant lights hanging from the ceiling. The shadows in this photo make it look as if the cathedral ceiling possibly has a skylight. By the way, those French doors lead into the butler’s pantry, which is basically a second kitchen.
9. Yet Another Look at the Kitchen
The kitchen is almost impossible to look away from. After all, every angle offers a look at something you haven’t seen before. Take this view, which gives you a glimpse at even more cabinets and counter space, as well as a farmhouse sink, and a built-in bar with storage space underneath. Plus, you get a good look at the walls, which have been covered in white subway tile with dark-gray grout. Strangely enough, the chef’s kitchen fits perfectly into the beach house. You wouldn’t think it would because it’s so obviously high-end and beach houses are usually more casual and laid back.
10. The Butler’s Pantry
Why should a house have just one kitchen when it could have two? This is actually referred to as the butler’s pantry, but if we’re being real, it’s a better kitchen than lots of people have. In here, the white subway tile with gray grout continues, though the cabinets have been swapped out for stainless steel. Next to the massive farmhouse sink, a Miele dishwasher blends right in.
11. Dining Room
Chances are the dining room isn’t used very often. After all, you have that huge table on the spectacular terrace, while this table is smaller and the room’s décor almost seems like an afterthought. A gaudy egg-shaped crystal and gold lighting chandelier hangs over the table. Apparently, it’s an antique, as is the sideboard cabinet on the right. In all honesty, it’s a completely forgettable room with the exception of the cool fabric on the dining room chairs.
12. Master Bedroom
The large master bedroom includes scenic views of the ocean, its own fireplace, a unique ceiling design, and a color scheme that is just right for a beach house. The muted shades of sand, cream, and kelly green, accompanied by the punches of orange from the pillow and high backed velvet couch, go surprisingly well together. Interestingly, the bedside table has been draped with a garish orange throw and topped with what appears to be a piece of glass that sticks out like a sore thumb and distracts from the rest of the room.
13. Sitting Area in Master Bedroom
This photo was taken from the end of the bed and lets you see what Billy and Katie could see right from their bed…the phenomenal ocean views. The French doors open to a private terrace and a gilded, gold framed mirror sits on the right, giving off more ocean views. The sitting area also includes the orange sofa, a pair of (most likely) uncomfortable rounded back chairs, and a small table with that either has a marble or mirrored top.
14. Heading into the Master Bathroom
Nate took advantage of the very short hallway that connects the master bedroom and bathroom by using it as a spot to display photos. Either the built-in shelving includes lighting or it’s been painted an awfully bright shade of tangerine. Take a look at the sliding door that separates the two spaces. The intricate flower-like cutouts are fabulous, but they don’t provide much privacy.
15. Master Bathroom
After a long day of relaxing on the beach, it’s nice to know that Billy and Katie had a just as relaxing spot to return to. The soaking tub is easily the size of a trough and is perfectly situated to allow anyone in it to partake in the outstanding views from the French doors, as well as the heat from the brick fireplace on those cold nights at the beach. The kelly green walls, old-fashioned sconces, and multiple framed mirror come together to give the room an elegant vibe.
16. The Office
Even when you’re at the beach, you occasionally have to get some work done. How else are you going to manage the massive monthly payments? In here, the built-in book shelves hold plenty of books that have probably never been read, but do look good. The mirrored desk doesn’t quite fit the look of the room (plus it seems like it would be too small to get anything done on), but the leather executive chair and chandelier that features a globe light in a cage are outstanding. Finally, a recliner provides a space for a nap when work gets to be too much.
17. The Piano Room
Of course, the room includes a piano room. After all, “Piano Man” was Billy Joel’s first major hit back in 1974. Positioned to the side of yet another fireplace, the grand piano has a huge presence in the room. More built-in shelving allowed Nate to display more of the couple’s favorite things, while the couch and chairs give guests a place to sit and listen to Billy play. Now, take a look at the hardwood floors. They have been whitewashed and painted gray in a bizarre honeycomb pattern that really does nothing for the room.
18. The First Guest Bedroom
Remember, the house has three en suite guest bedrooms in addition to the master bedroom and the guest bedroom in the garage. While this room does appear a bit small, it is more than adequate for a guest that you probably don’t want to stay too long anyway. The room primarily features muted shades of gray, blue, and seafoam green with the exception of the two lemon yellow lamps that catch your eye in a good way.
19. Another Guest Bedroom
This bedroom looks to be about the same size as the first one, but the décor is fair less appealing. Again, muted shades of gray and blue have been used. However, instead of brightening up the room (and giving it a cheerful feel) with yellow lamps, Nate opted to bring in boring dark green lamps and throw a muted yellow comforter trimmed in red on the full-size bed. A small bench with what appears to be decorative gold sides sits at the end of the bed, but really does nothing for the room.
20. The Recording Studio
Although you can’t tell from this photo, inside what almost resembles an old farmhouse is a world-class recording studio. Originally, this was a separate plot of land that happened to be adjacent to Billy’s property. In need of a place for a music studio, he purchased the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage on 1.2 acres of land for $12.99 million in late 2007. After the purchase was finalized, Billy had it gutted and renovated to create the perfect music studio. It’s unclear whether the studio was sold with the other property that includes the house or not. (When you consider the selling price, it is highly doubtful it was included.) This plot of land includes 140 feet of ocean frontage, which is worth a small fortune in this area.