Until 2001-2002, Southold was a sweet and quiet little part of the North Fork of long island where the middle class family could still enjoy the best of Long Island Living. Known for its great farm stands, miles of beaches, saltwater fishing and boating, and quaint little towns, a good if not spectacular life was to be lived there. Post 9-11 however, the town was descended upon by those who wanted a place to escape NYC and NJ, but could not afford the far more spectacular (and expensive) South Fork. The realtors did everything they could to market this area as though it was an exclusive one...so they could charge simply ridiculous prices for the modest homes that dominated the region. It worked ! Then came the McMansions, and the surrounding neighborhoods rose in value by association. Effectively, this "selling of the North Fork" is a big con job. Yeah, miles of sod farms and dozens of wineries are pretty to look at, but Napa Valley it ain't and there is NO significant employment to be had within 50 miles. It is still a beautiful location, more so for its lack of poverty than its degree of riches, but a 3/2 ranch on 1 acre for $550,000???? It is estimated that 2/3 of the people living on the fork could not afford their homes at the current prices. The market pressure of 15 million people living less than a "day trip" away and a finite amount of buildable land has severely distorted prices. The only way a resident can actually benefit from this...is if they leave ? In spite of an increase in traffic, influx of a more urban mentality, and rising real estate taxes, it's still a great place to live, especially if you got in early, but if not...well..bring your gold bullion with you. You'll need it.