It’s D-Day #1 in the Hamptons… What it Really Costs to Operate on the East End!

Just in case you didn’t know, today is D-Day in the Hamptons for real estate agents (the second D-day is the first Friday in August).   It’s the day when most of the seasonal rentals move into their houses.    While many tenants get confused and call it “check in,” I’m here to remind them that renting a house is not like checking into a hotel and your real estate agent isn’t a concierge.   But while I’ll no doubt get a few calls this weekend complaining about broken toasters, lousy towels and confusing pool heaters… and yes I will try to answer them…  there is something I won’t have to deal with this season.   It’s the sticker shock from what it costs to operate a Hamptons home!    Why?  Because my mantra to every tenant is you’re essentially owning this house for the next few months and that means you’re going to have to pay for it!

So what does it cost to operate a home during the summer season on the east end?   I’m going bare bones here but let’s take a look:
They charge more to wear this!


1) Maid Service – most rental contracts require the tenant to hire a maid and clean the house once a week.   Some landlords insist you use their current housekeepers (aka spies) in order to keep the house in the same order as when the tenant walked in the door.  So let’s figure 8 hours once a week at an average rate for housekeepers of $20 per hour.  Add $160 to the weekly cost and we’re off and running up that tab!
2) Lawn Service – Unless you’re willing to pull that cord on your Briggs and Stratton you’ll have to fork over a few bucks to maintain that lush green Hamptons yard.   While some yards are bigger than others (not a Smith’s song), I’m going to put the weekly lawn maintenance at about $90 a week.   Some landlords will also require you foot the bill for the gardening but for the sake of erring on the side of caution, we’ll omit that pricey little point!
Hey, you like that guy from NCIS?

3) Phone, Internet and cable – I know a large number of my customers, clients and friends choose that “Triple Play” thing from Cablevision.   For the basic package you’re looking about $80.00 a month.  While it’s not the costliest expense for the summer, if you add those extra movie channels or rent an occasional “pay-per-view”  event or flick it adds up!

4) Pool Service – Sure you can throw some chemicals in the skimmer basket and call it a day but $150.00 per week.   Now, I know you’re saying “HOW MUCH?” but remember this is the Hamptons!  You want you’re pool to sparkle… sparkle… sparkle!!! Once again if you’re a renter this is usually required in the lease and you’ll be responsible to pay for the service plus supplies (chemicals).

5) The Electric, The Heat and the Rest – Now while this depends a lot on the weather let’s put this in a logical way.  If it’s hot outside, you’re not going to heat the pool and you’re going to pump the air-conditioning.   If it’s cooler outside, you’re gong to open the windows and crank the heat on the pool.   Either way you’re going to want to spend the money (unless of course you’re my father who would never turn on the air conditioning unless it was 95 degrees) Now I might be a little high here but I don’t think I’m totally out of the park.   I’m going to put this somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 a month and that’s based on a 3500 s/f house.

Benjamins are required!!!

Ok, so let’s tally this puppy up….. click click click click click click…. change the calculator battery… clack clack clack clack!   Our grand total to own or rent a house out east is about and I say ABOUT… no haters here….  about $2500.00 per month or about $620 a week more or less.     So there you have it and I didn’t even include the $100/person pizza dinner at Serafina (which I have a new respect for… went last night and it was really good).    This isn’t the Jersey Shore folks!

Speaking of which, the New York Daily News quoted me today and I want to clarify.  I love the Jersey Shore and I’ve been many times.   I grew up going to places like Margate, Long Port and Long Beach Island.  So when I say people don’t want the Hamptons to become the Jersey Shore, I’m talking more about the show then the actual area!      Now, will someone tell my friends from home to stop giving me grief over this!  REMINDER:  I just wrote about how to get rid of house guests (scroll down)!

I’m telling you there’s less than 100 Beach permits left for East Hampton Village!!! Plus some links to help you get your feet wet and sandy!

It looks nice this picture… doesn’t it??! Well if you don’t hurry, forget it!! If you weren’t already aware, full-season resident and non-resident permits are available now! Non-resident permits are limited in number and are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. And as of today, there are only about 60 permits left (according to the woman at Village Hall I spoke with)>

Permits are available in person at Village Hall from 9-4pm! It’s too late to do this by mail in my opinion. Both residents and non-residents must provide; a copy of a valid vehicle registration , drivers license, street address and owner of the property as listed on their tax bill as well as proof of residency
Non-residents must also provide a check or money order in the amount of $325 per vehicle, payable to “Village of East Hampton” . Here is the link if you need more information:

Meanwhile, for Southampton village, East Hampton town and Southampton town; permits are not limited so you can rest a little easier. But here are the links you may need for information on all of this!

Beach permits for EH Town cost is about $350.00 for non-residents $25 for resident, yeah, it used to be free.

Now for Southampton information:

SH Village is free for village residents, $200 for town residents and $350 for non residents.

SH Town $30 for residents and $225 for non residents.

Most beaches have day passes available, check out the websites to find out which beaches have that option.

Now, finally every year I get a new bunch of folks who are coming out to rent in the Hamptons for the first time. So, here it is. Some of the stuff you need to read before you go to the Hamptons. When you rent a house, most payments are half at the signing of the lease and the rest a week or so BEFORE you move in. Don’t worry about the commission, the landlord pays that. So, in turn don’t forget your agent is working for the landlord.

As for the expenses, the following are all usually paid for by the tenant unless you have a really generous landlord. Phone, cable TV, electric, gas, lawn care, pool maintenance, maid service/cleaning, trash pick up (or you can go to the dump)and cleaning supplies. This is a general rule of thumb. Are there some landlords who will pay for all this? Sure, the same landlords who leave mints on your pillow are the same ones who pay for all of this. If you don’t want to deal with all of this, there are some great B+B’s out east… just google! I’m glad to be back!!