Real Estate Confidential: Dog Houses

11 Howell Lane, Menemsha, listed by Flanders Real Estate — Courtesy Fred Roven

Weekly chit-chat about new listings, sales or other insider info on the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market, by Fred Roven, Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents.

For many buyers, the first request for properties includes, among other primary needs, a good place for dogs. They are part of the family, so dog safety and space becomes as important a consideration as that extra bathroom or that newly renovated kitchen It is obvious that your 20-acre waterfront estate would be perfect in terms of dog freedom but what about smaller, inland locations.

Having been a dog owner for almost 50 years with over half spent on Martha’s Vineyard, I have formed some opinions (pro and con) and can offer some examples that might start you in the right direction.

Whether for your dog’s enjoyment, your relaxation or consideration of others, having a property a dog can run and play in with easy access to hiking trails and beach walks may be the best place for dog owners to begin their search. You will want to be away from any high traffic roadway unless the dog can be fenced in or secured by any method.  

Having easy access to any of the scores of hiking trails on the Vineyard that allow dogs is a plus. (Those that do not is a topic for another day). One that stands out, and one of my favorites because of the exercise value and dogs able to run, is Waskosim’s Rock. For history buffs and Vineyard enthusiasts, the rock marked the beginning of the “Middle Line,” a stone wall boundary running to the Menemsha Pond in order to separate English and Wampanoag lands in the mid-1600s.  

Although there are many possibilities, a home that fulfills all the pet requirements is the property at 15 Valley Lane in Chilmark just over the West Tisbury town line priced at $2,600,000. The home is described as a contemporary farmhouse with end-of-the-road privacy. a gourmet kitchen, a beach stone fireplace, and a few minute walk to the Waskosim’s Rock entrance. If you have hours to walk, proceed on to Tiasquam River Reservation.

My favorite dog-friendly interior is at 11 Howell Lane in Menemsha, priced at $2,950,000. It is a post-and-beam home which provides a bit more casual living than others, and with quality craftsmanship throughout. You are a few minutes walk to deeded access on Menemsha Pond to enjoy some playtime with your pet and bring your leash along (so your dog does not lose you) for a peaceful walk to the village. You and your dog can fall asleep listening to the Menemsha bell clanging in the distance.

With 8.5 acres of land in Upper Makonikey, 94 Norton Farm Road priced at $2,195,000 gives you all the amenities you and/or your dog might want. A finely crafted home that includes an elegant cook’s kitchen and a stone fireplace in the living room for your dog to relax in front of after a long day roaming the property, as well as the Makonikey Association’s miles of walking trails and private sandy beach.  

Any beach time with your dog depends on conservation and town rules vary with time of day and seasonally. Your very best choice for water access with your dog is a large oceanfront lot.  15 Maqua Way on Chappy, priced at $2,999,000 is just such an opportunity. Over 5 beachfront acres with a 300-year-old renovated home makes for the ultimate sun, sea, and sand experience with fishing, clamming, swimming, and boating out your back door. The sellers will even give you a $400,000 credit if you would like them to take the structure and leave. In that case, I encourage you to build a dog house first!

I am available to answer any real estate or Island question you might have, and I encourage you to be creative in searching for property by adding keywords to your search. I would love to have your suggestions for future topics. What is your top real estate question about Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate? Send your questions to