RENTALS: The Summer Shuffle Has Begun

“It is definitely inconvenient, but the financial gain is worth it”

    Whether they will travel, move in with extended families, rent a smaller space, or relocate to their second home, ’tis the season for many local residents to pack up their belongings and vacate their houses to generate rental income from those who wish to enjoy the South Fork for the summer months.
    “It is definitely inconvenient, but the financial gain is worth it,” said one such renter, who wished to remain anonymous because of tax issues. She explained the process and reasoning behind her family’s temporary move: In a month, she will bring in as much as she would make from working all year. Among other things, the rent she receives from uprooting her family enables her children to enjoy a summer of camp and tennis, which she wouldn’t have been able to otherwise afford.
    Most people who rent their houses for the summer prefer to work with a real estate agent, said Brendan Byrne, a real estate salesman with the Corcoran Group in Bridgehampton, because they have access to more clients. In the case of the Corcoran Group, those clients hail from New York City, Palm Beach, and even internationally. This clientele often gives homeowners a higher net after commissions than they would have gotten on their own. “It is customary for seasonal rentals commission to be paid by homeowners,” he said. Because many of those who rent are looking to travel, they can also easily arrange a rental for themselves at the same time.
    Others who rent for shorter terms take the project on themselves. In addition to the advertising, weekly or weekend rentals mean the owner has to arrange for cleaning between rental periods, and be there to greet and orient new renters.
    “It is enough work just to move out,” a single mother of two explained. “Every drawer must be emptied,” she said. She had a closet built in the basement to store personal items, photographs, and valuable mementos, along with winter clothing and other belongings that would not fit in the downsized space she will occupy while her own house is rented. She also purchased, as many do, a separate set of dishes for the renters. “You get better at it over time,” she said.
    There are additional benefits, she said. Since it is customary for high-end renters to pay all of the utilities, pool care, and landscaping, and to have a weekly cleaning service, she said she enjoys the lessened responsibilities as well as the walk-to-ocean rental she secured for herself. A major downsize from her four-bedroom house, she will pay one-fifth of the price she is receiving for the August rental.
    According to Mr. Byrne’s Web site,, which links to Corcoran’s sales and rental listings, Tuesday showed 766 houses still available for seasonal and monthly rentals in East Hampton. With 10 rentals over $200,000 from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the highest priced listing for the season was $300,000 for a five-bedroom, five-bath pondfront house on 2.5 acres. The lowest rental listed on the site Tuesday was in the Clearwater area of Springs, and was offered for $3,000 for July.