Tips for West Coasters Buying Vacation Homes in the Hamptons

Dana Trotter

Ninety miles east of Manhattan, on the South Fork of the East End of Long Island, the Hamptons await. The Hamptons are world renowned for exceptional white-sand beaches. They're perfect for laying out and soaking up the summer vibes. It’s no wonder why A-list celebrities and professional athletes continue to visit this Long Island gem. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you're looking to buy a piece of East Hampton real estate for your next vacation.

Work with an experienced agent

Life is busy. Sometimes, there's not enough time in the day to get everything done. In fact, we often overestimate how much we will be able to achieve. This applies to the search for a second property, too. For this reason and more, it pays to work with an experienced real estate agent.

Your agent should be able to tell you about the history of your desired neighborhoods as well as other important information. They will be able to give you an idea of local businesses, weather patterns, and the current market. These aren't the only factors relevant when purchasing your vacation home, but it's best to take everything into consideration. Not to mention, having a handle on the local market allows your agent to find you the exact type of home you're looking for. And in the right price range, too. If you have any questions about New York’s real estate laws, you can ask your agent.

Making an investment

The Hamptons is considered a luxury, seasonal, second home market. Due to the strong, summer rental demand, owners often choose to rent their home for time periods when they won’t be using the property. Therein lies the beauty of the second home, an investment you can use. There are a variety of investment opportunities at a range of price points in the Hamptons.

Know your goals and habits

How much time do you spend in the Hamptons and how do you like to spend it? Activities and amenities can determine which location or house style a customer prefers. If it's important to be within walking distance to some of the area's best eats and beaches, this will affect your property options.
Another consideration is accessibility to highways and airports. If it's important to have quick access to the city, there are properties located near the train stations, Jitney stops, and airport.

Find the neighborhood that suits you best

This goes alongside choosing a desirable area, but it relies on an important aspect: the local lifestyle. An area can have great homes but the lifestyle makes quality of life. All of the villages and hamlets in the Hamptons carry their own unique charm. The tranquil homes found in Sagaponack are ideal places for privacy. Compare this to the streets of Sag Harbor Village, which are often lively. There are a few easy ways to learn about these neighborhoods before choosing which one to settle in.

Take a trip to the Hamptons before you browse through listings with your real estate agent. Renting a home short-term is an accessible way to learn what you like and dislike about each neighborhood. The history of each area is unique, creating a diverse culture in agrarian seaside setting. This shines through in the architecture. Shingled traditional, colonial revival, Greek revival, beach house, and farmhouse styles are telltale nods to the area's past. For a more cultural Hamptons experience, tour the local art galleries and museums. The Bridgehampton Museum and The Dan Flavin Art Institute are great ways to spend an enriching afternoon.

Know the best times to look

It's no secret that, above all else, the Hamptons are a summer vacation destination. The area sees seasonal highs and lows, busy and slow seasons, which also applies to its real estate and housing markets. Market seasonality is something you can use to your advantage when looking to purchase your vacation home. Although the Hamptons are vibrant and beautiful year round, fewer people tend to spend time out east in the winter months.

Make sure to get homeowners insurance

Just as you carry homeowner’s insurance for your primary residence, you'll need insurance for your vacation home, too. Make sure the structure of your home and your belongings are all protected in case of damage. It pays to find a reliable and reputable homeowners insurance package, especially when it comes to a vacation home. Contact us for recommendations of insurance agencies to find a policy that will work best for you.

When you're ready to buy a vacation home in one of the most beautiful beach locales in the United States, the first step is hiring the right real estate agent. For an expert in real estate all over the Hamptons, look no further than Dana Trotter. Dana has over 25 years of experience selling Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton real estate. She has deep, local knowledge of Amagansett home sales and wants to help you find your dream home in your ideal neighborhood. Reach out to Dana Trotter for all of your home purchase needs.

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Dana's portfolio includes high-end residential sales and rentals as well as investment and land opportunities. She has successfully negotiated hundreds of property contracts and continues to work vigorously for buyers and sellers alike.

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