What Can You Learn From Your Rental?

If you’re looking to rent in the Hamptons this summer, it’s time to step up. With Memorial Day weekend a matter of weeks away, the 2023 search-and-show season is upon us. If you’re a landlord with intentions to rent, your home should be listed by now. If you’re a would-be renter considering a full- or partial-season stay, remember that the best inventory gets snapped up first, so now is the time to lock in your dream summer rental.

2023 Trends: Healthy Rental Inventory, More Demand for Flexible Stays

Unlike our current sales market, rental inventory remains healthy. Many of our former seasonal tenants are now homeowners who purchased during Covid and have added their homes to rental inventory. Our market continues to adjust to this paradigm shift in supply and demand. What has not changed is the desire to be out east. I’m seeing would-be buyers starting to sign rental leases as we edge closer to Memorial Day. They’re realizing that by the time they negotiate, inspect and cross the t’s, they’ll be closing well into summer.

Another 2022 trend continues this year with families opting for single- and partial-month leases rather than renting for the full summer season. People are excited to travel further afield, so they’re seeking more flexible rental dates. If you’re a landlord, consider this and list accordingly, and don’t forget the tax benefits that come with a two-week rental.

Why You Should Try Before You Buy

Whether you’re a potential buyer navigating our current sale market or a prospective renter just looking for a relaxing vacation, if you choose wisely, your summer rental home can teach you not only about the East End, but about yourself, your family and your ideal lifestyle.

Here are my best tips for taking advantage of this year’s thriving vacation rental market. 

·      Keep an open mind. During the pandemic, many buyers purchased under pressure and didn’t have the luxury of time to explore. Now, you can and should lean into uncertainty. If you are more flexible in considering different towns, villages and lifestyles, a rental can help guide your family to the best option. And if you’re a seasoned renter who gravitates to the same area each year, try getting to know a new town. You don’t know what you don’t know!

·      Try life as village people. Village living comes at a premium, and a rental trial can help you figure out if it’s right for you. If you’re used to the anonymity that comes with living in a New York City apartment, know that our villages have a much more intimate feel. You might meet someone when you’re both out walking your dogs, and then spot them one table over at a local restaurant during dinner that night. But for many people, the convenience, walkability and neighborhood feel of the villages make them incredibly desirable.

·      Switch up the seasons. For those who may want the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience, consider an extended fall and winter rental. For well below the cost of a peak summer rental, you’ll get to experience the magic of autumn, one of our most beautiful times of year, as well as our festive holiday season.

·      Rethink your commute. If you work in Manhattan but have a hybrid schedule, consider challenging any preset notions that you must be further west to access the city. If you expand your search eastward, you might find yourself loving the bay communities, world-class ocean beaches and thriving villages packed with style and culture that define the towns further east.

·      Try waterfront living at a fraction of the cost. Always dreamed about waking up on the water? Waterfront homes are the most sought-after and expensive real estate on the East End. With a seasonal rental, you can experience this splendor at a price that’s considerably lower than what you’d pay to purchase.

·      Swap the dock for a marina. Hoping for your own dock? East End zoning has gotten more restrictive, especially on the fragile, vulnerable waterfront. Dock permits are at best difficult to get and in some areas there is a moratorium on construction of new docks. If you remove this requirement from your “must have” list and opt for a slip at a local marina, you’ll have many more waterfront homes to choose from.

·      Get into the woods. Some of my clients have an aversion to wooded areas. But many of these parcels are larger by design and exist in our water recharge zones. Their size and clearing restrictions are intentionally mandated for environmental protection. What many folks don’t realize is that both space and privacy are two of the leading benefits of such rentals — I was happy to have both after escaping the city’s bustle.

·      Stay flexible with tennis. If you’re looking to purchase a home with a tennis court (or space to add one), know that this will impact the scope of your search. Consider renting a home with a court and think carefully about how much you use it. Some people might find the maintenance worth it, but you can also opt to join one of our many tennis clubs, let someone else worry about court upkeep and enjoy delving into a whole new social network.

I could go on, but I think you get the point — this is the ideal market for you and your family to do some reconnaissance about your ideal Hamptons lifestyle. If you choose wisely, you might drive away at the end of the summer with a more expansive set of parameters for your next purchase or rental, and your chances of landing your ideal Hamptons home will be increasingly within your grasp.