Have you been thinking to yourself lately, “Why, I’d love the ease and convenience of living in a single-wide trailer home. But, darn it, they’re just too low-priced for me!” If the answer is “Of course,” then take a look at Montauk Shores, the trailer park condominium complex for billionaires. One unit, for example, is currently available for just $1.62 million, while the unit pictured here sold this summer for $1.6 million. Stop laughing. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with fellow owners like Jimmy Buffett, billionaire Wall Streeter Daniel Loeb, Energy Brands co-founder Darius Bikoff and socialites out the wazoo.
The “condo” that sold this summer is just 595 square feet, with two bedrooms and one bathroom, but the trailer can easily be removed, and an upgraded, larger unit put in its place. The other trailer, still for sale and listed by Betsy Cronley at Corcoran, is a comparatively massive 625 square feet. Keep in mind, it’s not unknown for owners to spend a million dollars upgrading the interiors of their trailers condos as well.
So what’s the deal? Of course, much of the value of the property is the view. The trailer pictured, which sold for $1.6 million (along with its view!), is an oceanfront unit and the horizon of the blue Atlantic is uninterrupted. Units farther back have less of a view, obviously. As for the rest of it, Montauk, the boho-chic part of the Hamptons, is known for surfing culture, and Ditch Plains, where this complex is located, is considered the surfing capital of the East Coast. For many of these high-net-worth types, their trailer condo is a glorified changing room after a morning spent surfing. For other residents, it’s a getaway from their usual Hamptons haunts, as well as a place to summer while their year-round houses are rented for the summer.
For others, Montauk Shores retains the same blue-collar image it’s had since the 1970s: a real community where everyone knows everyone else’s name and kids and dogs run wild and free all summer. The place began as a pop-up tent campsite in the 1940s and 50s, and eventually became a haven for Long Island’s middle class, with police and firefighters, teachers and fishermen crowding the area.
In the 1970s, the complex was faced with bankruptcy; residents purchased the 20 acres to save it as New York’s first trailer-park condo association. There is and was one rule: anything new had to be a trailer. As Montauk (as well as surfing) became more and more trendy, the zillionaires moved in. You’ll see Ferraris and Porsches parked outside the oceanfront units, as well as late model minivans a few feet back. But most of all, the park is still a close-knit neighborhood, with a pool and clubhouse, where retired police officers, youthful Wall Streeters, and the “Margaritaville” singer all hang out together.