As a real estate broker, a big part of my job is to help clients see the “real” Martha’s Vineyard — that enchanted Island behind all the legend and popular opinions. I tend to keep those secrets close to the vest. But with the holiday season gearing up, I figured I’d open my vault and share some of them with the general public. Hope you enjoy!
The three most underrated real estate spots on the Vineyard
Oak Bluffs. Chilmark. Edgartown. Those are the best neighborhoods to purchase a home in on the Vineyard, right? Island insiders know better. In recent years, three neighborhoods have emerged as attractive locations to own a home:
The small island of Chappaquiddick to the east features less expensive beaches, greater privacy, and larger lots. There, a waterfront property with dock looking over Katama Bay will cost about half compared with other parts of the island.
To the southwest, the town of Aquinnah — seat of the Wampanoag tribe — is actually gaining in beach size, and offers peace from the hustle and bustle of the Island’s busier parts.
The small community of Vineyard Haven, within the town of Tisbury, is known as “the new Edgartown” — with convenient access to the harbor, easy walks into town, and lots of historical charm. It’s also said to host the best Halloween night on the Island!
Try working with an Island bank
Many would-be residents of the Vineyard default to working with big off-Island banks without even thinking about their lending options on the Island. That’s a shame, as local banks possess better knowledge of the market and of the realities of owning a home on the Vineyard. They also offer more personalized services, and can tailor the loan to suit the buyer’s needs with more discretion than big banks. Customer service tends to be friendlier, too.
The home-buying process is painless, even if you’re on the mainland
Buying a home is stressful enough, so what happens when you can’t be around for most of it? The majority of our buyers only visit the Island a few times during their real estate search. We handle everything, so the whole process is completely worry-free. Once you’ve chosen the perfect home, our offices can help you:
- negotiate with the sellers remotely
- attend home inspection and appraisal on your behalf
- have a local attorney handle all the legal paperwork
- email or overnight closing documents
You don’t even need to be there for the closing!
Tips to act like a genuine Islander
You’ve just purchased your first home on Martha’s Vineyard, and are looking to fit in with the locals. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Don’t admit to standing in line for Back Door doughnuts (even though everyone does).
- Before left turns, always give cars approaching from the left a brake and a flash. Turn after they do.
- More hand waving, less honking.
- Never brag about your private beach unless you are extending an invite.
Bonus History Fact: A war hero was the first president to vacation on the Vineyard
Everyone knows President Obama, former President Clinton, and a host of celebrities vacation on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer. But do you know who the first U.S. president to have done so was?
Although John Adams reportedly visited the Island, that happened two decades before the nation gained its independence from Great Britain. It wasn’t until Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th president, landed in 1874 that the first sitting U.S. president visited the Vineyard. The venerated general spent three days at the Vineyard’s Camp Meeting Association, and was constantly followed by thousands of curious onlookers.
Those are my top Vineyard real estate secrets.
Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can always reach out to me at email@example.com with all your real estate questions. For additional information on real estate opportunities on Martha’s Vineyard visit mvbuyeragents.com.