Is there anyone who hasn’t fantasized at some point about leaving behind their old stuff, selling their house, and stepping into someone else’s life?
Maureen Taylor and Lee Beiler of Montauk and Kauai, Hawaii, are betting on that fantasy as they attempt to sell their Montauk house, fully furnished and decorated, and their two cars in a direct, “family-to-family” sale for $3.6 million.
Mr. Beiler is a former owner of the Blue Parrot in East Hampton. Ms. Taylor was an owner of Samadhi House, a yoga studio in Montauk that burned down four years ago. Once they were both out of the business world, a plan started simmering, said Ms. Taylor.
“In the absence of the Parrot and Samadhi House, we’re now in Kauai eight months out of the year. With all the traveling, we started thinking, ‘Why are we doing this?’ ” Ms. Taylor said.
The decision to leave the hamlet and move full-time to their second house on Kauai was prompted in part by the changes Montauk has undergone in the past few years. “Summers have gotten crazy. As I get older I want to simplify,” Mr. Beiler said by phone from Kauai. “To break the tradition after 40 years is hard; I love Montauk, but things change,” he said.
“Kauai is Montauk 30 years ago,” Ms. Taylor said. “A big night out is a hibachi on the beach watching the moon.”
They designed their Montauk house themselves. When they were building it nine years ago on a hill overlooking East Lake Drive with wide views of Lake Montauk, they didn’t think about the day when they would eventually sell it. Everything from the hula girl lamps to the antlers, beach glass, and driftwood on the mantels was purchased or found specifically for the house. The dining room is dominated by a 200-year-old distressed table from Mexico with traces of its original paint. Much of the house’s interior trim and the kick plates under the counters came from an old barn salvaged from Pennsylvania.
Because the things in the house seemed so much a part of the house, the couple came up with the concept of “selling a life,” which led them to create their own Web site for the purpose, Sellingalife.blogspot.com. “We thought it would be fun to totally hook up the family that bought our home,” the couple wrote on the site.
Included in the $3.6 million price tag for the four-bedroom, three-bath house are the couple’s Porsche Carrera and Ford F150 pickup, a cache of surfboards, works of art and photography, not to mention all of the house’s furnishings and finishes.
“It’s so much more than a house. It’s the light, the smell in the air, the darkness,” Ms. Taylor said.
But what the couple will miss more than the house, she said, are the people. “Montauk will always be in my heart.”