A lifelong lover of Shelter Island is ready to share with newcomers all she and her family have found special through the years. She’s hoping to entice those who want to come to the Island as either full-time residents or second homeowners to allow her to introduce you to your ideal home.
She’s Marianne Carey, one of the 14 children of former Governor Hugh L. Carey and his wife Helen, who purchased their home in Westmoreland in 1968. Ms. Carey is a licensed sales associate with M. Wein Realty. Melina Wein was a classmate of Ms. Carey’s late brother Paul, meeting him when they were both students at Skidmore College.
“In the Carey family, a friend to one is a friend to all, and Melina’s friendship extends throughout the family,” she said. The house in Westmoreland is still shared by Carey children and their families and others have purchased properties in other parts of the Island.
“We now extend through multi-generations,” she said. “My happy place starts the minute I get on the ferry. It’s a place I love to share.”
Much as she loved the Island, Westchester became her family’s home and she worked in the City. Armed with an undergraduate degree from Boston College and an MBA from Columbia University, she had “a multi-faceted career” in art auctions, finance and philanthropic event fundraising.
Being involved in philanthropy came as an natural extension of the family’s foundation, The Paul Robert Carey Foundation, which joins donors and Island vendors to support local community organizations.
Coming from a large family and through her career moves, she honed people skills and thrived on getting to know people, Ms. Carey said. “I enjoy the client interaction and learning about people’s backgrounds and what brings them to appreciate the specialness of Shelter Island.”
The pandemic brought her to the Island and revived an earlier conversation with Ms. Wein about the real estate field. An online licensing course enabled her to start her new career at the height of a robust market that saw many people choosing to relocate from urban areas to places like Shelter Island.
“Under Melina’s expert tutelage, I was able to hit the ground running and worked on closing six home sales and multiple leases the first year,” she said. “It’s been a win-win working with Melina and a great team, including agents Don Bindler and Peggy Jetter, and our star office administrator, Pat McGayhey,” Ms. Carey said. “It’s a joy to go to the office and Friday pizza is never to be missed. I feel I’ve gotten decades of experience packed in already.”
The joyous parts of the job are translating her love of the Island — the place where she grew up and learned to swim, bike, water ski, sail and make life-long friends.
She and her late husband, Dennis Hayes, met on the Island and the couple summered here with their children, Owen and Delia. Her children were campers and later counselors at Camp Quinipet. The wider Carey clan continues to participate in many fundraising events, including fielding a large group in the Shelter Island 10K each June. Ms. Carey’s immediate family have also found joy in many Island events, including the annual fireworks, the Fire Department’s Chicken Barbecue, the Snapper Derby and harvest hayrides at Havens House.
“Introducing families — be they parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles — and individuals to the Island and helping them find the right home for their family and friends, is like finding that key piece in a jigsaw puzzle,” Ms. Carey said. “When you find that right fit, all the pieces fall into place.
Meeting people looking for rentals is satisfying, since it affords the opportunity to get to know them, and today’s renters often become future buyers, she said. When her parents first brought the family to the Island, they started as renters and she has fond memories of experiencing different homes around the Island in the Heights, Ram Island and Silver Beach. “The transition to a newfound opportunity in a lifelong place of treasured experiences has been very exciting and rewarding,” Ms. Carey said.
And, yes, it is frustrating on occasion when you put a lot of work into finding properties for clients only to have them abandon the effort. But often they return and “you have to be creative” with new ideas and opportunities.
She has advice for anyone considering a career in real estate: “Choose a community you love and you’ll feel like your work is a labor of love.”
This is one in a continuing series of Reporter profiles of Island real estate professionals.