Jill Zarin may be considering buying an 8,000- to 10,000-square-foot home in the Hamptons, but “The Real Housewives of New York City” star once lived in a 1,500-square-foot house in the Five Towns.
“There were a couple of very wealthy neighborhoods nearby, but we didn’t live in one,” writes Zarin with sister Lisa Wexler in the introduction to “Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love” (Dutton, $25.95), the new book they co-wrote with their mother, Gloria Kamen. “Many people we knew were neither rich nor fashionable.”
Real estate records show that the Woodmere house, shown here, has seven rooms, including two bathrooms. Located in the Lawrence school district, the Cape was built in 1952 on .2 acres.
Kamen sold the house for $295,000 in 1995, according to public records.
But the house is listed as having 2,556 square feet, nearly twice as much as the authors recall in the introduction. Zarin could not explain the discrepancy, but Wexler says, “When we were growing up, we had an attic upstairs that was one huge room with a green linoleum floor on which Jill and I used to roller skate and play ‘slip and slide.’ Eventually, Mom and Dad did put a bathroom up there and carpeting and some walls. That must be the difference. They never did expand the outside walls of the original structure.”
In fact, Zarin says, “The house is exactly the way it was, except now the trees are 40 years older.”
The Woodmere that Zarin and her sister recall in the book was like the TV show “The Wonder Years,” with cul-de-sacs, games of street tag and homemade go-karts. “Every single Sunday afternoon, Papa Benny and Grandma Helen came over to our house in Long Island from Queens in their Pontaic Catalina,” they write, adding, “Ten minutes after arriving at our house, they … took us for a Carvel ice cream cone and a comic book.”