Making the Most of a Montauk Summer Rental
One of the most popular destinations on Long Island has a lot to offer, but it’s all about timing and planning when considering summer rental options.
First Off, Don’t Wait
These houses are finite resources and should be booked as soon as you possibly can after the New Year. Obviously, this requires a bit of advance commitment for the rest of the year, depending on your budget. You’ll ultimately be paying more than just the rent, so you have to factor a lot in. If you can start looking at those costs around the holiday season, you can go into January armed with numbers that can make your search more efficient. But if you wait until March or April to start looking, you may be cornered into something you aren’t excited about or that is way outside of your price range.
Factor Your Costs
Owners are going to want quite a bit up front, aside from the rent. Some leases in Montauk could come with a utilities deposit that covers electricity, water, pool maintenance, landscaping, housecleaning — the sort of thing you probably aren’t going to want to deal with yourself all summer. That’s a substantial cost up front you need to factor in, and depending on the resources you use, you might not get it all back. There’s also the added expense of a beach parking pass, which can run upwards of $400 for a season.
How Much Time Do You Really Want?
If the cost for an entire summer is too daunting, you can shave your expenses drastically by booking time early or late in the season. August is when monthlong leases are highest, and if you think you’d be able to use the house at various times in the summer, you might be better off renting for the season. The cost of a month in August can be already half of what you would pay to get about three more months in a longer-term lease. Prices famously drop after Labor Day, but it’s likely you’ll still be getting plenty of warm weather in a shorter lease.
Find the Best Location for Your Entertaining Needs
Do the visions you have of your Montauk summer include grilling, poolside parties, a large yard for outdoor dinners? Get a sense of what these options are against the cost of the place. Sometimes, for a little more you can end up with a lot more amenities for socializing. What would the use of a pool be if there’s no gas grill, and what would the point of the gas grill be if there’s little room for people to gather by the pool? Don’t just look at the price tag — look at what you really want to do when you’re there. If you actually plan to spend most of your time at the beach and dine out often at some of Montauk’s incredible restaurants, then you probably don’t need the enormous yard that comes with a massive grill and an extra fee for monthly landscaping.
How Often Will You Be At the Beach?
Those aforementioned beach parking passes run out quickly, but they don’t only come in seasonal packages; you can buy day passes if you don’t think you’ll be there every day. But the finite aspect of them still applies. Summer is peak season for Montauk’s beaches, and there are only so many parking spaces. Finding one, or just even planning your day around being able to find one, can be an added hassle. If you find a place close enough to bike or walk or run, maybe a higher rent is still cheaper than getting a parking pass and living somewhere further away. There’s also an app-operated shuttle service called Hampton Hopper that has a free, 10-stop Montauk Loop from June to Labor Day. If transportation and parking is more hassle than it’s worth to you, you could save in the long run with a slightly higher rent that puts you closer to these conveniences.
OK, Maybe You Can Wait
Biding your time until May can be advantageous. If homeowners haven’t had a full season rental yet, they may be impatient to get at least something out of the property. You may end up with more negotiating power when it comes to the length of a lease or the added costs. And if you’re looking to just spend a couple weeks somewhere and the location is not the number one priority, you can find some week-to-week leases that don’t carry the same weight on your budget.