As we inch toward spring, warmer temps bring thoughts of summer getaways. And no matter what the haters say, there is nothing like summer in the Hamptons. The pristine beaches, the beautiful views, the fresh local food — there’s a reason people pay a premium to bunk up for the summer in Long Island’s most expensive beach towns. Mid-March is actually on the late side to begin looking for a summer rental. February, around Presidents Day, is usually the best time to start, and April can be too late to secure anything great.
While headline-making rental prices are fun to read and make for great cocktail party chatter, there are still some rentals in the Hamptons that cost as little as $25,000 for the Memorial Day-Labor Day season. Of course, there are also many more homes that cost upwards of $25,000 a week, or even $25,000 a day. In the case of a brand-new Bridgehampton mansion asking $1.65 million just for the month of July — not even the best month of the season, that’s August — the cost for each of July’s 31 days comes out to a brain-freezing $53,225.
Even if money is no object, finding a summer rental requires some time and patience. Most agents recommend seeing prospective rentals in person. So hop on the LIRR, or the Jitney, or hell, take a helicopter from Manhattan if you’ve got the dough. It’s worth the time (and expense) to know ahead of time where the place is located relative to the town, the beach, supermarkets, as well as the layout of the house and the yard.
Once you’ve found your perfect summer spot, pounce. Prime rentals go fast and the person who sees the place right after you just might put down a deposit on the spot. And be ready to pay big. Fortunately for the renter, the owner pays the broker fee. However, in addition to paying the entire rental fee up front, in most cases a sizable deposit is required to cover electricity (24-7 air conditioning is expensive), internet and cable connections, pool heating and maintenance, and landscaping. The deposit typically runs about 10% of the rental fee, and you’re unlikely to get any of it back.
Got all that? Now, the game is afoot! Be prepared for sticker shock. But if you look long and hard enough, there just might still be an available rental that, for the Hamptons, is a great bargain.