The New York Post recently reported on a seemingly shocking trend taking place in the Hamptons. In their article, they revealed that multiple families from East Hampton to Montauk have rented out their homes for the summer – and moved into trailers.
Thanks to a collection of partially truthful, but somewhat misguided stereotypes, people have a hard time imagining supposedly high-maintenance Hamptonites willing to downgrade from luxurious homes, in some cases worth as much as $1.2 million, to modest studio apartment-sized trailers. These relocations often last for as little as two months, and the owners can reap a $30,000 to $60,000 profit for the location change, essentially being paid exorbitant amounts simply to live less luxuriously.
It seems that the only thing that could drive the Hampton elite out of their uber-expensive houses is the promise of more money, and although some of these renters are motivated to sacrifice comfort purely for cash profit, others are participating in this seasonal downgrade for more relatable reasons. According to the Post article, Hamptons real estate agent Danielle Becker-Wilson acknowledged her family plans to use the extra money to increase the value of their house, and an anonymous, retired firefighter claimed he plans to use his new windfall to put his daughters through college.
The notion that people in the Hamptons living more humbly is newsworthy might come across as vaguely insulting, until the article mentions the actual quality of the trailers in question. Becker-Wilson was quoted in the Post, referring to the practice as “glamping,” or “glamour-camping,” which incidentally, is exactly what it is. These trailers are certainly no million-dollar mansions, but they’re not quite comparable to the rundown, aluminum stock-image mobile home that’s called to mind.
The article also notes that Becker-Wilson’s trailer is valued at $700,000 and the community where it’s parked is hardly rugged. Featuring two swimming pools and 900 feet of coastline waterfront, Montauk Shores is actually a popular destination for many seasonal renters from out of town. Far from your stereotypical trailer park, paved roads, a community clubhouse, and a gated entrance all justify its characterization as a resort by the Town of East Hampton. This housing swap is most definitely a profound adjustment of living standards for some Hamptons residents, but it is far from the sensationalized story of rich, elite socialites spending the summer in poverty that people seemed to be hoping for.