Real Estate Confidential: Could you be happy on Chappy?

North Neck beckons.

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.

Right next to Edgartown’s Memorial Wharf, the Chappaquiddick “On Time” three-car ferry service takes cars and passengers back and forth all day to the island-within-an-island. As we motor across the channel I give the best property preview ever: Chappaquidick is just not that bad.

The island only has a year-round population of about 100. Most houses built there are vacation homes. The remoteness of Chappaquiddick is one of its main draws, and its remoteness has helped it to retain its timeless charm. Visitors are struck by the calmness and pristine beauty of the mini-island, with its native salt marshes, salt pond, unique colony of hardy red cedar trees, and gorgeous ocean views. Chappaquiddick is very much a rural island, with only one main road and one retail business, the one-room “Chappy Store,” (along with Slip Away Farm, which has a farmstand). Residents are very keen on conservation, and in fact about 1,000 acres out of about 3,800 are public conservation lands, making Chappaquiddick a paradise for bird watching, fishing, hiking, bike riding, swimming, and all kinds of outdoor fun.

The luxury estates of Chappaquiddick are some of the most exclusive waterfront homes for sale on Martha’s Vineyard, with commanding views of the ocean, often starting at upwards of 2 million dollars. Due to the exclusivity of the island and limited availability of land, demand remains high and homes tend to retain their value very well.

If you’re looking for the ultimate refuge on the ocean surrounded by nature, it’s tough to beat Chappaquiddick and its offerings millions of dollars less than similar properties on the mainland.

There are several options when buying waterfront property on Chappaquiddick. One is a property on the Edgartown Inner Harbor on Caleb Pond offering a sandy shoreline and a deepwater dock. A perfect example of privacy yet with proximity to Edgartown allowing you to paddle or putter for morning coffee and biscuit. Or take the short bike ride to Chappy Ferry and bike or walk across. The house is listed by Sandpiper Realty and priced at $6,500,000.

Another option is a peninsula within a peninsula attached to an island, North Neck. A North Neck property is currently listed by Sandpiper Realty with amazing, endless views from Edgartown Harbor, across Nantucket Sound and around to Cape Poge Bay. The property provides nearly 500’ of private sandy beach and dock, priced at $3,995,000. And very importantly, the property provides you with a short walk to a private, nearby (very casual and short) golf course, The Royal and Ancient Chappaquiddick Links. Established in 1887, their FB page describes it: “work WITH rather than against your environment – the ultimate ‘play it as it lays’.”

Click here to view all Chappaquiddick properties priced from $525,000.

For many buyers, next to outrageous fishing opportunities, the vast expanse of conservation land and beaches makes Chappaquiddick an easy decision. Each Conservation Area Has Its Own Unique Charm. The island has 3 main conservation areas ─ Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, Mytoi, and Wasque─ with others that are overseen by the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission.

The Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is the largest conservation area on the island, and includes the beach covering most of the eastern shore of Chappaquiddick, from Wasque Point to Cape Poge. The refuge serves as a nesting area for many varieties of New England shorebirds. The only man-made structure in the refuge is the Cape Poge Lighthouse, constructed in 1801.

Mytoi is an exquisite 14-acre Japanese-style garden that really puts you in a meditative state of mind. This carefully designed and manicured garden has multiple stone and flower gardens, walking trails, and a footbridge that leads to a small island in the middle of Houcha Pond, where you can see turtles, frogs, and occasionally osprey fishing from the air.

Wasque, at the southeastern corner of Chappaquiddick, is known for its excellent open-sea fishing, where it’s possible to catch bluefish, striped bass, and more. And miles and miles of oceanfront beach.

What do you think? Does the real estate value, remote feel and accessibility to both beaches and Edgartown make Chappaquiddick a location that you would consider for a Martha’s Vineyard vacation home?