The High Price of Sagaponack Is Totally Worth It
Who would have thought a former potato field would become one of the most expensive zip codes in the United States?
The Village of Sagaponack became incorporated on September 5, 2005, after a failed attempt by Dunehampton in 2003, which was rejected by Southampton Town supervisor Patrick A. Heaney. The petition would have transformed a seven-mile stretch of land into the Village of Dunehamtpon, which would have included what we know today as Sagaponack, blocking the village from the beaches on the Atlantic Ocean.
Sagaponack is a small village nestled on the East End of Long Island, and is so close the Atlantic Ocean you can practically feel the salt on your skin. Year after year, Forbes ranks Sagaponack as one of the top five most expensive zip codes in the country, in part due to its majestic beauty, but also because of its proximity to the beach and the fact that its farms are still active even today.
Not to mention, the village also offers an abundant real estate market, with luxurious rental properties for summer getaways, and waterfront homes to call your own. With pristine beaches and Victorian era charm, you’ll find everything you need in the village’s Commercial District. From locally grown produce, flowers, and of course, wine from Casales Flower & Farmstand, and be sure to stop by the neighborhood delicatessen and café for a bite, the Sagaponack General store for supplies, and of course, the popular gourmet shop, Loaves and Fishes.
What many describe as one of the most beautiful beaches on the East End, Sagaponack is a true jewel of Long Island. With a relaxed vibe of a small beach town and direct access to the ocean, Sagaponack is a wealth of natural beauty, which aside from its gorgeous farm field vistas, is also home to quaint horse farms and lush vineyards.
Sagaponack also boasts the historical Madoo Conservancy, a diverse garden established in 1967 by artist, gardener, and writer Robert Dash. There’s also the The Wölffer Estate, inspired by a traditional Italian villa, and regarded as one of the most sought after vineyards in the South Fork since 1987. The founder Christian Wölffer also opened Wölffer Estate Stables, a welcoming riding facility of over 100 acres.
It’s no wonder that artists have historically flocked to the area to capture on canvas all the beauty that Sagaponack has to offer. Since the 1960s and 1970s, great minds like Truman Capote, James Jones, George Plimpton, and Kurt Vonnegut spent time in Sagaponack in search of inspiration and relaxation. Even literary greats like E. L. Doctorow, Robert Caro, Peter Matthiessen and Jason Epstein spent time enjoying what was the often known by locals as the “Sagg.”
But it wasn’t always this way. First settled in 1656, Sagaponack was originally a hamlet of the larger Southampton area, and did not attain its village status until the demise of the 2005 Dunehampton referendum. It’s original unofficial status as the “Sagg” can still is still reflected today in village markers such as Sagg Main Street, Sagg Pond and Sagg Main Beach. But most notably, Sagaponack is best known for its long history as an unspoiled potato farming land by the sea.
Long before celebrity Sagaponack homeowners like Jimmy Fallon could be seen biking around the village with Justin Timberlake, the Shinnecock Indian Nation once inhabited the area, describing the region as the “land of the big ground nuts” or more specifically, potatoes. The original potato fields—which remained active through the 20th Century—are now mostly protected as sacred agricultural reserves, preserving the natural beauty of the area.
However, some Sagaponack estates—which have undoubtedly enhanced the value of real estate there—have been built on the potato fields. These are the very estates that have made Sagaponack one of the most sought after places on Long Island to take up temporary and even permanent residence. What was once a barren stretch of land that connected Southampton to East Hampton now features the famous Rennert mansion, a 29-bedroom masterpiece on 62 acres of oceanfront property.
Yet despite its popularity, Sagaponack still remains quiet and even quaint. In 2010, the population of the village was just 313. As of 2017, that number climbed up to just 324. According to Business Insider, in 2018 the desirable 11962 zip code was listed as the most expensive in New York and the second most expensive in the U.S., with the average home sale price at around $5,125,000. With a price tag that high, you would need to make at least $850,000 a year in order to live there comfortably. And at just 2.5 hours by car from Manhattan, it’s no wonder then why so many wealthy CEOs and successful actors, musicians, and entertainers choose to call this tiny village their second home.