Real Estate Confidential:  The Peaceful Beauty of Makonikey  


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.

Every week real estate agents on the Vineyard get out to see new listings to the market, and of course socialize and network. I was pleasantly surprised by three well-priced homes. I began to wonder about apparently excellent values for waterfront and waterview properties in Makonikey and why it remains so undiscovered, undervalued and underappreciated.  

Makonikey provides access to two of the Island’s most beautiful private beaches excellent for bathing and boating (tucked away in the brush, a half-dozen owners kayaks sit ready to hit the water).  You are 6 minutes to down-Island shopping, 8 minutes to up-Island shopping and 10 minutes to the boat. Close to Uncle Seth’s Pond, where many young children have their first freshwater experiences. Sit on your deck as you watch the boat head across Vineyard Sound, and head over as the boat rounds West Chop and get there in plenty of time to wave goodbye to your guests. There are beautiful views from many properties across Vineyard Sound to the Elizabeth Islands and endless sunsets.

Makonikey is divided into two sections: Lower Makonikey in Vineyard Haven and Upper Makonikey in West Tisbury, and each has its own beach access. Possibly you will find your home taxed at a lower rate in West Tisbury, but most of that is balanced out with higher valuations. Lower Makonikey has more year-round residents, and is considered one of the more desirable neighborhoods in Vineyard Haven, with large homes on expansive lots and, as mentioned, water views. The name comes from Makonikey Head, a nearby land feature defined as jutting far out from a coast. The “head” follows a straight line to Lambert’s Cove Road and marks the dividing line between Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury.

While  beginning my research of the area, I came across a passage in a book titled “The Story of Martha’s Vineyard” by C. G. Hine (1902). He reports: “On the way we pass the entrance to that monumental failure, Makonikey, of which many a Vineyarder can truly say, we mourn our loss. This is a sightly spot, where it seems as though a Summer colony should thrive there.” My sentiments exactly. Hine is referring to a hotel that stood at Makonikey Head (and my guess is close to Windy Way as both sites have been designated as the highest point in Makonikey). The hotel was described as a fancy three-story hotel named the Makonikey Inn built in 1893, and was the first hotel on the Island with its own electric (generated) light. In addition to the hotel, the original investors acquired 200 additional lots which were the original Makonikey home sites.  The hotel was a colossal failure; Makonikey lives on.

When out viewing the new listings, I definitely had a favorite, 14 Uncatena Terrace listed by Sandpiper Realty and priced at what seemed to me a very reasonable $1,425,000. It did not have the best views nor was it closest to the beach. But it did feel like a home where you could relax and unwind. As with most of Makonikey, a perfect location offering up-Island atmosphere and all the advantages mentioned above, plus maximum views of lush landscape from large expanses of glass. A place to call home.

77 Massabesic listed by Tea Lane Real Estate is all about the views.  There are stunning water views from every room of this post-and-beam home on over 3 acres.  The views have been maintained over the years with careful pruning of the graceful trees behind the home. Of course there are three fireplaces to enjoy the home on cool evenings and through the winter months, but for now let’s focus on those beaches.

The property at 26 Kennebago listed by Coldwell Banker Landmarks seems ideal for an Island family with plans to grow. It is a spacious colonial set on 3 acres with 5 bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, and mudroom. I must admit my favorite part of viewing the property was the architect-designed garage/workshop/office, which of course has an eyebrow window in case it needed to be more distinctive.

The above mentioned properties are all in Lower Makonikey and all at reasonable prices. To view all properties for sale including Upper Makonikey and homes closer to the “head,” check out The Beauty of Makonikey.

For more Real Estate Confidentials, click here.