The New York Connection
After reading how the number of homes sold in the Hamptons grew by 48% in 2014 according to Douglas Eliman statistics, I am somewhat surprised that we have not seen more of a boost of home sales to New Yorkers looking to take advantage of our area for its proximity
to the city by train or car, as a weekend getaway and/or summer home.
The exact numbers are difficult to calculate without going through the entire tax roll. I contacted
both the Westport Town Clerk and the Town Tax Collector to see if they would have an idea of what these numbers are, and neither of these departments were able to help me. My own guess, and it is only a guess based on personal experience, both as a Realtor and a town resident, is that the numbers are somewhere in the 10-15% range in Westport, and lower in surrounding towns.
On a personal level, relatives of mine purchased a home in the beach area over 50 years ago that they
have used in exactly this fashion-spending summer months walking to the beach, taking sailing lessons at The Longshore Sailing School (One of the oldest in the country), playing an occasional round of golf or tennis, or signing up for summer events organized by Parks & Rec.
The largest share of our real estate taxes go to pay for schools, but we have so much more to offer a town resident. In addition to the aforementioned amenities, there are the town marinas, Mahackeno summer camp, Compo Beach camp, Earthplace, Westport Playhouse, local hiking areas such as Devil's Den and Trout Brook, not to mention the simple pleasure entertaining friends with a backyard bar-b-que, or during this time of year, ice skating at Longshore or sledding at Winslow park.
There isn't much happening in the Hamptons in the winter months, which is why most of the restaurants and many of the stores are closed until the summer season.
Perhaps it's better that more people haven't realized what our area offers. The highways are already
pretty busy, and it's nice to have a slowdown on the weekends.