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330 Ocean Road in Bridgehampton is ready for 4th of July. (Photo courtesy Town & Country Real Estate)

This week marked the first day of spring, but also, unofficially, the beginning of another season: summer house rental hunting. For those keen on scoring a Hamptons hideaway or a hot spot, now’s the time to start your search.

Judi A. Desiderio, chief executive officer at Town & Country Real Estate, which has eight offices across the North and South Forks, says the agency has been writing up leases since January and the interest has been steady. Options vary according to price range, with more availability among the higher-priced rentals, but she said, “If you’re looking for a four-bedroom place with a pool on a nice piece of property for under $100K for the summer, you’re stampeding with the herd.” 

Desiderio said the rule of thumb is that when house sales decrease, rentals increase, and the combination of increased interest rates for mortgages and recent bank instability might present deterrents to prospective home buyers. 

As far as what renters might expect to pay, it’s too early to tell. Desiderio said prices before the pandemic hadn’t increased for three or four years, resulting in an artificially low market. During the pandemic-driven mass exodus from the city, prices were artificially inflated. She projected 2023 will be a “very typical year” that will more closely reflect the larger 10 to 15-year trend in pricing.   

“It’s not going to be a great year nor a bad year. The question of the year is what’s the new normal?” she says. 

No matter your price, if you’re in the market for a rental, hunting season has started. Here’s a roundup of a few places that can be your summer dream home. 

330 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton

(Photo credit: James Calandrino)

This traditional shingled five-bedroom house has traditional finishes inside, too, from the large, recently renovated country-style kitchen to the comfy couches and cottage-style furniture. The first floor primary bedroom suite features a king bed, large shower and claw foot tub; the four bedrooms upstairs—one of which has twin beds; the others two full beds, one queen, and a king—share two fully updated bathrooms.

The main-level living room features a wood-burning fireplace for chilly evenings, a dining room and a built-in breakfast banquette in the kitchen. Set on .71 acres, the grounds are planted with cottage-style perennials and flowering bushes. Flagstone areas around the heated gunite pool offer a couple of seating and dining options. Amenities include an outdoor shower, hammock and firepit.

July: $75,000; July to Labor Day: $155,000; August to Labor Day: $85,000

Contact: Kathleen M. Conway, Town & Country; 631-537-3200, ext. 106

202 Halsey Street, Southampton

(Photo courtesy Town & Country Real Estate)

This five-bedroom shingled house has undergone a contemporary update and offers multiple places for large clans or friend groups to gather—or not. Starting with the large eat-in kitchen anchored by a seated island for hanging with the cook(s) during meal prep. Sliding glass doors let the light shine in throughout the main level, with an open plan living/dining area, and a separate den.

The primary bedroom suite is on the main level, and upstairs, four bedrooms with varying sleeping accommodations share three bathrooms. The finished basement includes a home theater room, a gym and a third ensuite guest room. Unique to the house are three laundry areas. Outside, the pool house is equipped with a kitchenette/bar, changing room, outdoor shower, powder room and laundry. It goes without saying that the pool is heated, but a nice, unexpected touch is the marble patio around it. 

August: $85,000

Contact: Nancy C. McGann, Town & Country; 631-283-5800, ext. 301

28 Stacy Drive, Westhampton Beach

(Photo courtesy Town & Country Real Estate)

You don’t have to wait ‘til summer to get into this four-bedroom house and enjoy the water views. Available now and through Labor Day, this custom-built house on nearly an acre offers access to Moriches Bay and a boardwalk to a private dock and, just beyond, Dune Road.

The house features two large upper and lower decks, a wooden walkway to the heated bay-side pool with its raised wooden deck. The eat-in kitchen features a seated island/breakfast bar and fireplace and the open plan flows into the living room and a window-side dining area with expansive views. La Ronde Beach Club is nearby. 

May: $25,000; June: $40,000; July: $65,000 August: $75,000; August through Labor Day: $85,000

Contact: Melinda P. Kern, Town & Country; 631-288-3030, ext. 527

13 Cooper Lane, East Hampton

(Photo courtesy Town & Country Real Estate)

This four-bedroom pet-friendly getaway offers complete privacy, both tucked at the end of a privet-lined driveway and surrounded by ample plantings and hedges offering more of the same around the yard and fenced pool. A seated island and a raised hearth stone fireplace anchor the large kitchen, which is equipped with Sub-Zero, Wolf and Bosch appliances, wine fridge and two dishwashers. A separate dining room seats 10 and features built-in shelving and backyard views. The large, comfy living room’s windows and French doors allow plenty of light on both sides, and a woodburning fireplace can take the chill off if you rent this house year-round.

The primary suite on the ground floor features a large air-jet soaking tub, twin walk-in closets and access to the exterior; the other bedrooms are configured for company and privacy: two share an oversized bathroom with double sinks and the fourth bedroom is part of a private suite with its own sitting room and bathroom. The house is a block from the East Hampton Long Island Railroad station (Montauk branch).

Memorial to Labor Day: $175,000; July and August through Labor Day: $165,000; year-round: $250,000.

Contact: William R. Stoecker, Town & Country; 631-324-8080, ext. 220