Lifestyle: Spotlights

Taking Stock

Getting Your home Ready For Fall
By Rachel Bosworth - August 26, 2019

Labor Day is descending on the Hamptons, marking the unofficial end of summer. It’s the last weekend of note for those that spend long and seemingly endless weekends out east, maximizing their time at the beach, perusing local farm stands, dining in casual beach attire at trendy restaurants that often feature terms like “farm-to-table” and “catch of the day” on their menus. The classic Hamptons beach home once saw the windows shuttered and doors locked after Labor Day, but the season seems to extend itself a little more each year. That being said, preparing one’s home for the transition from summer into the cooler months is essential, no matter how often the home is used. Those in the know share tips and tricks as you get ready to take stock of your summer home.

Renting a home for the summer is still a popular way to enjoy the Hamptons. Douglas Elliman licensed associate real estate broker Raphael Avigdor and licensed real estate salesperson Aleksandrina Penkova see their fair share of rentals each year. They know what it takes to get these homes in shape for the following season to appeal to a new round of tenants, and suggest getting started on any upgrades right after summer ends. A fresh coat of paint in light and neutral colors goes a long way in making it feel like a summer home, especially when accented by coastal color palettes. On the exterior, work often begins in early fall through the following spring. It’s important as well not to overlook anything in the offseason. 

“Gutters need to be cleaned properly, especially in the fall as clogged gutters may cause serious issues such as water-in-the-basement problems,” Penkova explains. “The other issue many owners overlook is lining up a snow removal service and having the contact of companies who plow driveways, so we suggest to be prepared with a list of a few service providers before the winter season comes.”

As some rental homes may lie dormant for months at a time, proper ventilation throughout that stagnant period is critical. Avigdor is a big advocate for dehumidifiers, suggesting at least two for lower levels and basements, and even one on the main level with access to external drainage. Nothing can be more off putting to a buyer than a musty smell. 

“Even if the house does not seem to suffer from a humidity issue, houses that are unattended and that possibly don’t have management companies checking in on them periodically can quickly develop a problem if neglected even just for a few weeks,” says Avigdor. “Having dehumidifiers only helps to ensure in a preventive manner that a moisture issue never begins.”

Moisture does not just affect the smell of the home, but it can also have an impact on materials as well. When storing linens, interior designer James McAdam says everything must be laundered and completely dry to avoid the risks of mold or mildew. When using padded hangers, allow for enough room between items for airflow. Folded items should be stored in a cool, dry place such as an armoire, trunk, or dedicated linen closet.

During the summer, outdoor furniture is used as often if not more than what’s in the interior of the home. After months of pool parties and outdoor entertaining, McAdam says patio furniture could use a little TLC before being stowed away for winter.

“Remove cushion covers and machine-wash in cold water, using mild, bleach-free laundry soap, and then air-dry,” McAdam says, adding certain liquids and sunscreen can cause discoloration, therefore cleaning as soon as possible is key. “Rinse, and air-dry. Some fabrics have a water-repellent finish that loses effectiveness over time. To restore repellency, clean and dry the material, and then apply a fabric protector. Store in a clean dry space. Repeat these steps at the end of every summer.” 

Management companies help take the guesswork out of what needs to be done to prepare one’s home for the winter. Seacoast Property Management is also a firm believer in having outdoor furniture thoroughly cleaned. It makes life easier when the next season rolls around, and there is little worry about having to replace furniture or cushions each year.

With a philosophy of keeping things well organized to make life easier come spring, the company helmed by Chris and Garrett Pike understands the ins and outs of winterizing a home. This covers everything from ensuring utility companies are in place for things such as oil and gas deliveries, snowplowing, and of course, property managers. A year-round service, offseason features include seasonal openings and closings, winter pool management, interior and exterior inspections, emergency response, and more offered in various packages.

“Another thing we do for our clients is plastic wrap anything that may need extra protection from the harsh winter months,” the Pikes share. “This usually includes outdoor speakers, barbecue grills, or any furniture that doesn’t go into storage.”

Summer and the Hamptons are synonymous, and it is no secret that the season from Memorial Day through Labor Day is the busiest. Whether you rent out your home for the warmest months, use it yourself to host family and friends, or simply utilize it as a getaway year-round, second homes in the Hamptons need some TLC to be ready for each coming season. Prepare for the winter months by taking care of all the necessities inside and out with the help of management companies and utility services. Freshen up spaces for the next season with home improvement projects beginning in the fall to be ready for spring. Take extra special care of your linens and décor, ensuring they won’t need to be replaced in the future. All of the steps you take after Labor Day will ensure your property is ready to enjoy or even put on the market should you so choose. It’s been a fun summer in the Hamptons and as the season winds down, we look forward to all of the ways we’ll spend our time out east in the months to come. 

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