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I'm a millennial who wants to experience life, not have my money sit in the bank. So I spent $2.4 million on a vacation home in the Hamptons.

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: Business Insider:::
December 22, 2023 at 15:11
Emilie Gerber, 34, purchased a $2.4 million Hamptons house this year. Courtesy of Emilie Gerber
Emilie Gerber, 34, purchased a $2.4 million Hamptons house this year. Courtesy of Emilie Gerber

She's spent $57,000 on house upkeep this year, and continues to rent a New York City apartment.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Emilie Gerber, the 34-year-old founder of public relations firm Six Eastern, about her decision to purchase a vacation home in the Hamptons while continuing to rent in New York City. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.


I was born and raised in San Francisco and was ready for something new. In 2020, I moved to New York and started renting a 600-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in the West Village for $3,600 a month.

Who knows what I'm going to want to do long-term. Buying a two- bedroom in the city didn't really sound like it would make that much impact on my life.
 

Emilie Gerber's Hampton house with matte black siding, sprawling green grass backyard, and a pool
Gerber's Hamptons house is in Springs, New York. 
Courtesy of Emilie Gerber


I think about things from a very practical sense. My business has been doing really well. You can easily put your money into accounts where it might make money but you never really get to see it or experience it. I came up with the idea of doing a project around something where I could both enjoy it and have it increase my quality of life.

I came up with the idea of this vacation rental that I could use for supporting other women entrepreneurs. My company is actually all women currently — we're planning to do the off site there.

I wanted somewhere that was accessible. So, really, it was down to upstate New York or the Hamptons. And I just felt like the Hamptons would have a little bit more draw to it.
 

Emilie Gerber's backyard pool with neon and checker-patterned floaties
Gerber's backyard pool. 
Courtesy of Emilie Gerber


I looked at probably 20 houses with friends. It's just one of the most exhausting things just looking at house after house. It feels like you're on a road trip because we're driving between all these areas in the Hamptons.


This house was exactly what I was looking for

There was no second choice.

I paid $2.4 million and put in $1 million for a down payment. It's a four-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Springs, right on the border of Amagansett.

I didn't want a standard family home. I wanted something that was very architectural. This is very unique in the way that it's designed. It feels very showstopper when you walk into the house. And I think the thing that immediately stands out to everyone is this wall of windows, and the living room has a pitched ceiling.
 

Floor-to-ceiling windows in a white-walled dining room with a chic woven light fixture
Gerber said the wall of windows and pitched ceiling gives her Springs home an architectural feel. 
Courtesy of Emilie Gerber


There's a massive kitchen island, probably the biggest I've ever seen. All the bathroom and kitchen finishes are brass. There's a really large backyard and a pool already, which is, I think, a requirement for a house in the Hamptons, if you're trying to also rent it.

My house has a gorgeous fireplace. I was just up there for a week and had the fireplace going the whole time. I'm kind of surprised how empty the Hamptons is in the winter because it's super gorgeous, especially during Christmas. It's just very cozy.


I've spent $57,000 on its upkeep and have no regrets

I didn't think of the house as something that needed to turn a huge profit and so I've been slowly ramping up. It was fully booked in July and August and netted around $35,000 per month in bookings.

I'd like to get it to a place where I feel like I'm breaking even. I don't need it to cover my mortgage, but I'd like to have it cover the upkeep costs.

Taking care of a house this size is expensive. I spent $1,600 for pool-related costs between March and December and $2,300 in utility bills. I paid a house manager $24,000 and spent $3,700 on cleaners. In total, I've spent $57,000 on house management this year.

I bought this house when I was 33 and single. I'm very big on not putting your life on hold for something that might or might not happen. So a year later, now I'm dating someone in San Francisco and not sure where life will take me.

Some people may say, 'Oh that's not ideal, you have a house in the Hamptons.' But I don't think about it that way at all. I'm in an advantageous position where I can afford to take risks and make big bets. And so I'm happy I did it.

     
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