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Buying a Home on Martha's Vineyard

So you’re thinking of buying a home on Martha's Vineyard. Well first and foremost congratulations! Buying a home is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, purchase in someone's entire life. When it comes to buying property on Martha's Vineyard there are some unique considerations to keep in mind compared to buying a home nearly anywhere else in the country. While there are many intricacies unique to each property you might consider there are a few general questions to keep in mind at the start of the process that can help you on your search for the right place to live on the island.


At the outset, it's important to understand the Martha's Vineyard real estate market is really unique. Prices from houses can vary wildly from town to town even though the island is such a small place, and the number of properties that are available at any given time that meet your criteria could be much smaller compared to many other parts of the country. Here at Grace Hagerty Real Estate our team of experts is ready to help you navigate this unique and exciting market. For starters, let's take a look at some key considerations for any kind of home purchasing journey here on Martha's Vineyard. 

Perhaps the most important thing to consider here is if this purchase is going to be for a year-round home or summer home. If this is going to be a year-round home you may consider living in areas like Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, or Edgartown as each of these areas are closer to traditional “downtowns” and shopping centers. If you're looking for something more secluded, Chilmark, West Tisbury, and Aquinnah are all wonderful options but may require a bit more of a hike to any downtown style areas here on Martha’s Vineyard.


Another closely related topic is whether or not you're buying a home for yourself, you and your significant other, or your family. If you’re living solo or are with your significant other, you may really enjoy the added tranquility and private nature of the “up Island”  towns like West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah.  However, if you're raising a family on Martha's Vineyard, as the kids get older they will undoubtedly want to meet up with friends at downtown destinations in Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, or Edgartown. It’s important to emphasize that the island is small enough that everything is really just a 20-30 minute car ride away, but you may not enjoy shuttling your teens from Aquinnah to Oak Bluffs regularly if you're thinking of a year-round purchase.


A major consideration for any home purchase, but especially one on Martha's Vineyard is if you're looking for a house that's essentially ready for you to move in at the time of purchase or more of a fixer upper. Both of these are totally valid options and naturally a fixer-upper more often than not will carry a much lower price point when compared to a house that's ready to move into on the spot.  However, one thing to keep in mind about a fixer-upper property is that on Martha's Vineyard there are no mega home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot for those of you that are looking to do work on a fixer-upper yourself. Instead you will be looking at local non-chain stores for your renovation needs which often carry a higher price compared to the super stores like Lowes or Home Depot.


If a lot of this sounds overwhelming, the specifics of Martha's Vineyard life and home purchases feeling a bit foreign to you, then a wonderful option that many folks do before buying a house on the island is renting a place longer-term during the summer season. During an extended rental period you'll be able to get a feel for each of the Island's towns and the unique life-style that comes with living on Martha's Vineyard, whether it's for the summer season or year-round.  You can check out our number of rental properties on our website -  any of which would be perfect for your stay.


If you're ready to take the next step in the process of owning property on Martha's Vineyard, please reach out to us on our website or check out our properties available to buy online. The team at Grace Hagerty Real Estate is here to help you on this exciting journey!


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