Growing up, Christy Murphy often accompanied her father, who was an engineer, to job sites.
By Robin Jovanovich
Growing up, Christy Murphy often accompanied her father, who was an engineer, to job sites. She went on to do drafting work for him over the summers.
So, she was interested in houses and their construction from an early age. But it wasn’t until 1994 that she started working in real estate.
“I’d managed the Commodities cash desk at Merrill Lynch, but with three daughters (now all in their 20s) when I decided to go back to work I knew it wasn’t going to involve commuting to the City,” Murphy said. “I decided to try residential real estate.”
When Christy and Tom Murphy moved to Rye in 1989, Maureen Kirkpatrick, a legendary broker then and now, was their agent. “We met her one weekend, we saw the house on Highland and bought it the following weekend. Maureen told us we were her ‘ideal customers.’”
Murphy’s first job was at Merritt Associates, alongside Kirkpatrick. “Those were the days of working off field cards and before cell phones. It was a big thing if you had a beeper!”
Fourteen years ago, well before Merritt closed, Murphy moved to Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s. “It was the right move,” she said. “I love working here. There is good teamwork and Pati (Holmes) is a great manager.” She adds that she has good working relationships with all of the other real estate agencies, which has proved extremely helpful over the years.
What she enjoys about being a realtor is that there is no one typical day. “This morning I was at an inspection; yesterday I was at a photo shoot. I like the variety, from researching information at City Hall or the Square House to the marketing.”
And she’s enjoyed her clients. “With one couple I spent ten years in search of the perfect house for them, and we finally found it. You’re in this business for the long haul and to make sure everyone feels they were shown every possibility and fairly treated.”
Her very first listing was a very old house in Rye Brook that had been owned by someone who fought with George Washington. “I love old houses and discovering their history, but I also love brand-new ones that have been thoughtfully designed for a long life.”
One of her current listings is a 1925 house at 6 Windcrest Road that once belonged to Joan Shipman. “My clients, the current owners, have lived there for 21 years. They kept the original details but worked to make the house fit for modern family life.” Murphy credits architect Peter Cole and landscape designer Katie Brown for doing a masterful job on the house and the property. “There are so many things about the house that I love so it’s a pleasure to show it to potential buyers. It’s in the perfect location, close to town, and with a deeded path in back to Sunset Lane, close to Apawamis Club.”
Among her other listings is 14 Boxwood Lane, “nestled on over an acre between two golf courses”; 408 Grace Church Street, a waterfront property which is “polished to perfection with a pool, tennis court, pool house, peninsula, dock, indoor pool, wine room, and more”; 5 Guion Road, “a diamond in the rough that has exceptional views of the Sound”; 11 Valley Ridge Road, a brick Colonial on 1.45 acres with a pool; and 79 Winfield Avenue on three generous acres in Harrison. Two of her listings just went into contract: “exceptional” new construction at 980 Forest Avenue, and a classic brick Colonial at 70 Park Drive North, across from the Westchester Country Club driving range.
While Murphy, like all successful agents, is very busy, she makes it a point not to take on 15 or 20 listings at a time. “I want to be able to devote personal attention to every client.” When she was a board member of the Rye YMCA, they had a campaign called “Expect the Best”, and she is a firm believer in that principle.
She looks back at the days of juggling family life with real estate with amazement. “I’d drop the girls off at sports practice, dash to an open house and make it back to watch their game.”
“I could not have done this without the support of my husband Tom, who is glad that I enjoy what I do, and my daughters, who were very patient and understanding.”