Real Estate Confidential is a weekly chitchat about new listings, sales, or other insider info on the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market, by Fred Roven, Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents. It appears each Friday in The Minute.
In years past, summer visitors to Martha’s Vineyard longed for an escape from the glamorous offerings of big cities and the neighborly comfort of suburbia to be in the middle of paradise with views to forever. There are breathtaking, secluded escapes even on the more and more “civilized” Martha’s Vineyard. Although there are homes on the Vineyard — mostly on Chappy or one of the great ponds — that are truly “off the grid” most of us will need to be satisfied with simply escaping the hum of city life.
You could go to the South Pacific and find an island a thousand miles from another or to Alaska within the Arctic Circle, but what if you want to be close to communication, electrical power, and even food for that matter? Possibly it will take a little make believe and close to the same experience can be had on Martha’s Vineyard. What would that look like? You will certainly want to be away from the sound of engines, be in the middle of many acres of land to separate you from neighbors and, since you are on an island, views that go on forever across a vast expanse of water.
And what amenities can you expect? You might find a home on Chappy most easily accessed by boat; an expanded beach house although well maintained, very rustic and for summer use only; your own peninsula to build on surrounded only by water and sky; a new or renovated home with all the amenities you thought you had to leave behind — air conditioning, modern kitchen and appliances, wired and wireless communication, and even a waterfront cottage a short walk to downtown Edgartown.
Try as I might, describing the experience with words is no match to the feeling of “this is it.” When you first stand in your little piece of paradiseand hear your only neighbors (the winged variety). Remember those aerial photos you have stared at longingly in travel magazines and blogs? That experience can be yours and not all that far from the world you want to leave behind.
Sure city life has its advantages from theater and restaurants to concerts and supermarkets. But what if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle and be closer to nature. Remote locations offer plenty of advantages. There is less stress because of the absence of air and noise pollution from car engines and sirens all day. The cleaner air results in better health and encourages you did get out and swim, bike, hike or paddle rather than jumping in your car. More remote locations are perfect for enjoying the simple pleasures of life that you thought you had to leave behind living in a 21st century world. If you long for privacy and tranquility, open space and clean air, a slower pace and even the possibility of sustainable living, living a in a secluded location is where you need to be.
So how far can you actually go and still be on Martha’s Vineyard ? Aquinnah offers at least two opportunities. The Rainbow House on Moshup Trail is the most well known. Certainly the Vineyard dream of getting away can be found in this quintessential beach cottage nestled in the dunes with the sights, sounds and smell of the ocean ever-present. Not exactly off the grid, with updated kitchen and with views that literally go on forever and walking through your dunes to the sand and surf — that’s about as close as you can get to the end of the rainbow. It is truly an incomparable setting.
Another is on the beach that fronted the house I occupied for my first visit to Martha’s Vineyard. When I stayed, the house we rented had running water indoors but only an outhouse and seemed as far as you could possibly travel from civilization. The property on Dog Fish Bar at Oxcart Road has come a long way with a top to bottom renovation a few years ago including every modern amenity you might want. The house still has retained the sense of seclusion helped by unbuildable lots as neighbors, a rarely traveled road in front and miles of beach and salt water to the rear. I have been to many parties in this house and have stayed when the drive down-Island was inadvisable. Walking up to the views and solitude is an experience not soon forgotten.
As far as you could travel in the opposite direction is the Road to the Gut past the end of Lighthouse Road on Chappy. This secluded retreat with water views all around plus a view of the Cape Poge Lighthouse is far from off the grid living. The ideal lifestyle choice for any and all water sports or for those seeking the escape you so deserve from the stress of city living. The house and 1-bedroom guest house have been meticulously maintained, are surrounded by 500 acres of conservation land and accessed only over sand or by sea. I can imagine myself spending hours, days and weeks relaxing on the roof deck or taking in the views from the tower room. I promise, you will not want to leave this retreat that is truly like no other.
As surprising as it may seem, there is still a property I would consider an escape but within a 15-minute walk to downtown Edgartown. The 4-bedroom 2-bath home on Trapps Pond Road sits on 10 acres fronting on Sengy with views over the barrier beach and across Nantucket Sound. The sunset views and the birdlife are among the most relaxing Island-wide. You could subdivide this precious piece of Martha’s Vineyard and that is an option, but once you sit on the roof deck and enjoy the views or make use of all the pond and ocean have to offer. You will find this could be your home forever.
There are so many yet to talk about and I hope you will check out all listings for secluded living on Martha’s Vineyard at Living the Dream. There is everything from a secluded 6-acre peninsula jutting out into Tisbury Great Pond priced at $1,649,000, up to a 20-acre ocean lot priced at $18 million and close to 100 acres with frontage on Squibnocket and the Atlantic priced at $22M.
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