Real Estate Confidential is a 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. It appears each Friday in The Minute.
The real estate market on Martha’s Vineyard is like no other. Buyers who are unfamiliar with the area understandably have questions. One of the most common: When is the best time to buy a property on the Island? If there is any one time of year that can be considered a buying season on Martha’s Vineyard, that time has arrived. Sellers are ready to move on especially if they have already discovered their next “dream.” By the time spring rolls around again buyers may change their minds and feel they might has well hold on to it for one more season.
Sellers are often more anxious to sell in the fall than other seasons. They have enjoyed the use of their home for the summer, they have maximized any rental income, and hope not to have the expense and maintenance work of carrying a property they will not own next time summer rolls around. Fall marks the end of the busy real estate season on Martha’s Vineyard. Sellers who realize the market will be slowing down might be more open to negotiations, while as a buyer, fall is the perfect time to move on a rental property, as many seasoned Island visitors know that by spring some of the best properties are already booked.
If you have been looking for a while, and you find a property that has been for sale longer than average, take a chance; make an offer. One word of caution: Heed your broker’s warning if a property is already reduced to a good value. Someone will snatch it up as soon as that point is reached. Do not get in a situation making an unsupported offer leaving you with no response and out in the cold.
With your agent’s help, do your due diligence and make certain there is not some defect which has made the home a difficult sale. Make certain you pay the “right” price and you will have no regrets. If you are still in a holding pattern on making an offer, watching daily changes to the market is crucial. Sellers want to sell now. If they lower their asking price and decide to include furniture or the house is perfect for you, do not hesitate even a moment. Those of you already clients have heard me say often: It seems the stars and planets are in line and many buyers jump at the same moment for a property that may have been listed that day or has been for sale over a year or more.
This month I am looking at homes that have been on the market for an abnormal length of time.
Many Island buyers are surprised to find six months on the market is not considered a long time. I looked at homes that have been listed for more than six months, have had at least one and possibly more price reductions, may still be above my interpretation of a fair market value and, of course my best reason, because I think they “should” have sold.
I really wish someone could explain to me why the contemporary ranch at 142 Otis Bassett Road in West Tisbury has not sold. What had been a basic and dated ranch has new windows, roof, sunroom, subway tiles, and wood floors plus a large heated enclosed porch suitable to be used as a den or office with outside entrance. A wraparound deck surrounds the front and side of the home plus there’s a newly sodded lawn and multi zone irrigation. If you find the need, there’s plenty of room for a garage and/or accessory apartment (some restrictions apply).
An usual opportunity for this time of year perfect for the buyer looking for a quiet and tranquil escape with a quintessential and expansive Martha’s Vineyard waterview is the Chilmark waterfront property at 137 Quansoo Road. The house fronts on Tisbury Great Pond and captures pond views across Quansoo Beach and the Atlantic ocean beyond. The great ponds are considered some of the best fishing and boating spots on Martha’s Vineyard. Many buyers would want to create a new waterfront compound on the expansive 3 acres, and I could be very comfortable in the 3-bedroom almost 1,500 sq. ft. home enjoying kayaking to the barrier beach, shellfishing in the pond or sitting in the screened porch, on the deck, or one of the many gathering areas enjoying sunset and end of day.
My favorite, and not surprisingly the highest priced in this list, is a rare property on Herring Creek Farm. The casual, bright and easy-living home at 26 Crackatuxet Cove Road with pond frontage, ocean views, and a private Atlantic ocean beach with a sense that the Vineyard that was could be yours. From a short walk to the farm to watch the grazing horses, sheep, goats, and alpaca, to a paddle across Crackatuxet Cove to your Atlantic ocean beach, a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If more of a luxury home is your dream for Martha’s Vineyard, a site plan has been proposed to maximize the view of the cove and ocean beyond. Imagine the fun driving your golf cart with family and friends to the beach, the farm, the Right Fork Diner, or your small plane parked at Katama Airfield.
Actually I have another favorite, more reasonably priced and that also has not sold this season which I find surprising. The rambling expanded farmhouse, surrounded by conservation land with large pond and pastoral views at 5 Murphy’s Road in West Tisbury is very magical. You might want your own art studio in one wing, you can garden the hours away in the greenhouse or walk across the road to Mermaid Farm. This six-bedroom farmhouse has blended modern amenities with the charm of an historic home. Expansive rooms with oversized fireplaces overlook surrounding fields dotted with grazing livestock, the pond and ancient stone walls. As with many other properties, I have enjoyed many dinners and parties at this home.
For a look at many properties that are prime for end-of-season offers, check out My Favorite Homes on Martha’s Vineyard. Many are waterfront and or luxury waterview properties as well as several very affordable down-Island homes.
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