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Moving to the Hamptons? Here’s What You Need To Know

December 28, 2021 | Moving

If you’re thinking about moving to the Hamptons from the Big Apple, you’re certainly not alone. New Yorkers flocked here to work remotely during the pandemic, but as months turned into years, people are trading their rental keys for mortgages.  

The Hamptons are not a close-in NYC suburb like Randolph, NJ. And you must love beaches and be willing to travel several hours to reach the mountains. But Long Island has a long rich cultural history still celebrated in its many towns and hamlets and an abundant agricultural region to explore. With 17 four-year colleges, private and public schools, there are great educational opportunities for families with children. 

So if you’re considering a move out of New York, here’s why people moving to the Hamptons have discovered it’s much more than an exclusive summer-only home destination.

A Little Bit About The Hamptons 

The Hamptons, located on the tail end of the southern part of New York’s Long Island, is a string of seaside communities marked by long stretches of beautiful beaches, towns, and villages. 

Historically, Southampton and East Hampton were established in the mid-1600s as farming, fishing, and whaling communities and started to develop a reputation for summer travelers escaping New York summers as early as 1879. Today, more people are moving to the Hamptons from NYC and Manhattan to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle and raise families.

It’s worth noting that the Hamptons are considered the longest New York commute, and you can expect to clock in up to 3 hours each way. That’s why moving to the Hamptons is so appealing to telecommuters. Here, one can find more space—from large backyards and bigger closets to more bedrooms—when compared to apartment-living in the Big Apple. 

Besides the two predominant towns (Southampton and East Hampton) serving as the region’s namesake, you’ll find hidden gems amongst the villages and hamlets also located here: Wainscott, Springs, Amagansett, Watermill, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack, Sag Harbor, and Montauk make up the Hamptons. 

More Than a Vacation Destination for the Rich and Famous

When the Coronavirus pandemic struck, people moved out of big cities across the country in droves—deciding instead to stick out quarantine in smaller urban and suburban communities with access to nature.  

The Hamptons continue to see a large influx of New Yorkers who’ve decided to put down permanent roots in notoriously expensive areas such as Sagaponack and Water Mill. And once the summer passes and fall begins, the large crowds start to subside, and the magic of the area’s lesser-known treasures (besides the beaches!) are waiting to be discovered.  

The center of Long Island is predominantly farmland and vineyards. As a result, fall farmer’s markets are loaded with phenomenal produce like eggplants, Brussels sprouts, squashes, and carrots. The orchards are full of delicious apples and there are activities like apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, and corn mazes. 

Whether you’re at the beginning of your new home search or already have plans to move to the Hamptons, there are several other factors to consider like friendly and safe neighborhoods, easy access to the outdoors, a sense of community, and good schools.

The Hamptons offer all these things and more, including thriving local businesses and shopping districts and an overall feeling of safety. 

The Best Time of Year to Move to The Hamptons

Westhampton Beach is in Suffolk County and is considered one of the best places to live in New York thanks to its vast long stretches of soft-sand beaches. Living in Westhampton Beach offers residents a dense suburban feel, and while most residents own their homes, there are apartments to be found. Many retirees also live in Westhampton Beach.

The weather on Long Island is influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which means summers experience heat and high humidity thanks to the subtropical climate. Even so, it gets very cold and snowy during the winter months. Snowfall is typically the heaviest in December and January, with an occasional blizzard. 

The best weather for moving to East Hampton begins at the end of June and lasts for four and a half months, ending around mid-November. If you want to avoid moving during the hottest days of the year, choose a date closer to September or November.

  • Average Winter Low:  January low is 25°F.
  • Average Summer High: Around 80°F in July.
  • Rain: Averages of 50-inches of rainfall per year.
  • Snow: Anywhere from 19 to 35 inches of snowfall per year.

Even when muggy, moving during the summer heat is usually preferred over a winter move when slipping on the ice, and driving conditions can be hazardous. However, with the proper precautions and planning, a winter move can be done safely and more affordably than relocating at the height of the moving season—May through September—when demand drives up prices for moving services and housing.

Fun fact: If you’re moving to the Hamptons in June, keep in mind that the longest day is June 20, with 15 hours, 7 minutes of daylight! 

Cost of Living in The Hamptons

Because of its exclusivity and proximity to Manhattan, the cost of living in the Hamptons is higher than comparable coastal towns. One of the most fantastic perks of living here is the pristine beaches alongside the farmer’s markets, in addition to friendly people and businesses.

According to Zillow, the median home value in East Hampton, NY, is $2,266,870 and $1,945,819 in Southampton, NY. It’s worth noting that the median home cost for the U.S. is $291,700. Also, if you’re worried about the biting cold Long Island winters, renting before buying a home may be advisable.  

The average Southampton 1-bedroom apartment is currently $1,700. Studio apartments rarely come on the market. Three and four-bedroom apartments start at $2,500 and go up from there. It is possible to find more affordable areas like Hampton Bays, Montauk, and Westhampton. 

As in any city, your primary expense is the rent or mortgage. But what about the other living costs such as utilities, transportation, and groceries? All are considerably higher than the national averages across America, so living here requires a New York-sized income. 

The Best Beaches on Long Island’s South Fork

Main thoroughfare in Hampton Beach.
Credit: Wiki Commons

The Hamptons’ beaches are some of the best beaches on the East Coast, and a haven for New Yorkers as the Hamptons are one of the best weekend trips from NYC. These beaches offer many miles of pristine shoreline, great food options, and spectacular views.

Main Beach, East Hampton

The top-rated Main Beach in the Village of East Hampton is among the closest beaches to downtown, where you will find shops to rent kayaks, paddle boards, and surfboards. 

Beachgoers love Main Beach, a well-maintained, pristine beach with miles of white sand beaches and beautiful blue ocean water. Visiting mid-week is advisable during high tourism season when this favored beach is less crowded for those who live in The Hamptons. Main Beach is located near East Hampton at the end of a long tree-lined road making it a beautiful drive. 

When you need a break from the sun, a shaded deck at the pavilion provides relief. Main Beach also has lifeguard stations, restrooms, outdoor showers, and a concession stand selling snacks and ice cream. 

Local’s Tip: Bike as much as possible to avoid the steep day fees, which are as high as $30 per day for parking. It’s about a 25-minute walk from town, where you won’t want to miss local attractions like the Home Sweet Home Museum and the old-fashioned windmill at Old Hook Mill.

Coopers Beach, Southampton

Coopers Beach is the quintessential Hamptons beach. Here you’ll find a backdrop of sprawling colonial-style mansions, a familiar sight, and one you’ve no doubt seen on TV or in a movie. Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Fallon, and Scarlett Johansson are just a few of the many celebrities who own homes in the Hamptons.

Everyone from families, tourists, and locals love hanging out at Cooper Beach to sunbathe, splash in the water and watch the surfers. Thankfully, locals say the beach never seems crowded. Lifeguards are present in the summer, and there are restrooms and showers in addition to chair and umbrella rentals. 

Like Main Beach, Coopers doesn’t require a seasonal pass but charges a steep $40 per day to park. Parking fees are one reason why so many people love to bike to the beaches in the Hamptons. Of course, Uber is available on Long Island, and depending on where you live, it could be a cheaper option than paying for parking. 

Local’s Tip: Both Coopers Beach and Main Beach have live streams online, so you can check crowd conditions before venturing out. 

Cupsogue Beach County Park, Westhampton

Cupsogue Beach County Park is a 296-acre park located at the end of Dune Road at the west end of Westhampton Island. This is the place to go for beautiful beachfront views, swimming, fishing, and camping.

Besides swimming, surfing, and fishing, activities to enjoy include off-roading on the outer beach (shoreline) as long as you obtain a Suffolk County Parks Recreational Vehicle Use Permit. The snack shack located here is Tiki Joe’s food concession on the pavilion. Hungry beachgoers will find an assortment of fresh seafood and pasta dishes, and specialty drinks.

Local’s Tip: Cupsogue Beach has some of the best saltwater bass fishing in the area. Fishing is permitted between sunrise and sunset. 

Commuting Options to NYC from the Hamptons

When it comes to transportation options for getting to and from the Hamptons, you’ll have plenty of choices. However, be forewarned, traveling by car to and from New York will take approximately two-and-a-half to three hours. 

That’s why moving to the Hamptons is so appealing to telecommuters. Faster options on most days include the Montauk branch on the Long Island Rail Road or the iconic Hamptons Jitney bus. 

The Hampton Ambassador or the Hampton Luxury Liner private buses offer more comfortable seats and better amenities if you’re looking for more upscale private transportation options.

The good news for pet owners is you can bring your pets in the offseason but unfortunately, not during the height of tourist season from May through September. However, you can bring bikes, beach bags, and surfboards so that you can bring everything and everyone along. 

Moving to the Hamptons with Metro Self Storage

Newly expanded with new clean and convenient storage units, you can count on Metro Self Storage in Southampton, NY, to meet your business and household storage needs. 

Situated at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in the heart of Southampton, our location on Leecon Court is easily accessible just south of Highway 27 and off County Road 39. Find us by the Sunoco gas station at the corner of County Road 39 and Magee Street.

If you need storage for your Westhampton Beach home, visit Metro Self Storage on Old Riverhead Road in Westhampton, NY. Our facility sits just at the corner of Old Riverhead and South Perimeter Road, due south of the Francis S. Gabreski Airport. If you’re coming south from Sunrise Highway, cross the train tracks and look for us on the right side of the road. Visit our Hampton storage facilities today, give us a call, or reserve a self storage unit online at any time!