There is no doubt a big change is coming to the Hamptons this fall. New homeowners are enrolling their children in the schools with many working from their new homes. Reports of extended home rentals also add to the equation. East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc even mentioned something about this new development in a recent interview. He said the Board was planning on an increase of full-time residents.
I have noticed different traffic patterns around all the back roads. In an interview that included a school principal, she mentioned the new students as part of the problem of safe spacing classes when schools reopen.
I recall talking to a former old timer who recalled how the Hamptons, specifically Montauk, changed after the war. Lots of folks started buying second homes and retiring out East. The rich always had their mansions and the farmers and local tradesman always had their modest traditionally styled homes. That changed.
An explosion of people building homes with new signature designs took hold all over the East End. There are parts of the Hamptons like North West Woods where no two houses look the same. In my opinion, the individual expressionism changed the Hamptons in many ways. It began the process of making the Hamptons more diversified.
I believe that process changed the basic population makeup of the Hamptons. It is still on-going, but will now accelerate. An indication marker might be this: until recently a major conversation point among locals I know was of the influence in the growth of the Latino community on the East End, specially in the school population. Now the talk is about the folks buying homes to exodus New York City. They openly wonder how this is going to change the town.
Beaches usually mildly populated on those magical Indian summer days of September and October may be a touch busier. No doubt the Internet will be taxed more than usual in the off-season.
Anyone who owns a boat has noticed the new increase of volume of pleasure boats in the many bays. For years, the trend was less and less boat traffic. Not that way now.
Those in favor of keeping the East End as rural as possible have not always welcomed people from NYC with open arms. On the other hand, the newcomers don’t always respect or know the traditions and legacy of those who came before them. When I moved out here, I made that a point to study know and learn as much as I could on how to blend in. Still, I had some awkward moments as will some of the new homeowners.
Until the Coronavirus, the real estate conversation circled around rich folks who purchased homes to either tear down and rebuild or covert to more luxurious summer homes. Now the new buyers are buying to live in the homes. Almost every real estate agent out on the East End is having a record-breaking year. The Community Preservation Fund Tax on home sales is also setting new records. The prestigious Ross School has seen its largest rise in application for attendance in many years. No doubt change is in the air and on the ground on the East End.
It was once said, “You either ride the wave of change or get crushed by it.”