Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: What does $1,000,000 Buy?


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.

Not as much as it used to. Owning a million dollar home is not the rarity it used to be. Based on inflation, what will cost you one million dollars today would have cost you $687,178 in 2000. Of course there have been many ups and downs during the intervening years and, as with every other commodity except thumb drives, costs are in just one direction. Rising real estate values, a tight inventory and a lack of new construction are contributing to the surge in million-dollar homes. 75% of the 3+ bedroom homes on the Vineyard market right now are listed for sale over $1 million.

On average you will find a 2,000 square-foot home on a bit under 1 acre of land, and taxes of $3,800 a year. Although one million dollars will not buy you what used to be considered a luxury home, adjust your expectations just a bit and you might be surprised at the amenities possible at what has become an average price on the Vineyard. You can find one in most any area of the Vineyard: an up-Island farmhouse, a Katama home with a pool or a high-ceiling contemporary with beach and boating access.

And there may even be some hopeful signs over the next few months. Although the sales of homes priced over one million peaked last year, the average may have dropped slightly in the current market and this may be the right time to make an offer on these homes and possibly look at homes priced a bit higher than your current limitations would suggest. Looking at a condominium might be one alternative, with the cost of single family homes seeming to increase faster that the carrying costs of a condo that in the past had been a deterrent.

Tastes have changed over the years and you can find homes that give you many current home priorities in this price range. The Katama home at 70 Martha’s Way is a good example. Instead of small rooms with low ceilings, this home has a vaulted ceiling living room, a gas stove in kitchen with all stainless appliances, central air conditioning, and a dining area that opens to a sunroom. The home also features a first floor master bedroom suite with walk-in closet and full ensuite bath with access to the enclosed outdoor shower. There is room for a guest house and pool and has easy access to the new paved bike path to South Beach.

Contemporary homes and homes with more interesting design characteristics have taken a foothold on Martha’s Vineyard since 2000. The Sengy Association home at 6 Mourning Dove Way provides an excellent example. Vacation homes are tending to be more low maintenance than years past and have an open, high ceiling design as provided with this property. The multiple decks and patios provide great places to enjoy your morning coffee or entertain friends. Other current priorities are tennis courts, an association beach with boat launch and kayak storage all present in Sengekontacket plus easy access to the 3 down-island towns.

No grouping of Martha’s Homes would be complete without an antique farmhouse. The Chilmark home at  3 Catherine’s Way built in 1888 has been well cared for with many renovations and upgrades over the years. The property is a 5-minute walk to Chilmark Chocolates (sorry about that) and less than 10-minute walk to Chilmark Store and Chilmark Tavern plus a 5-minute drive to Lucy Vincent Beach. If you prefer staying at home, you can enjoy the beautiful perennial gardens and the spacious interior with a first floor bedroom. One of my favorite features is the oversized out building which could transformed into a summer bunkhouse but I see it as a studio for a mid summer getaway from visiting family and friends.

You can even have your very own family compound at the enchanting 3-acre parcel at 56 Old Courthouse Road in West Tisbury. The four structures on the property are separated in a way that allows privacy for you to live in one and rent out other spaces both year round and for summer use. There is a 2-bedroom main house and 1 bedroom guest house, either of which could be used for comfortable year-round living. A studio with a loft has ½ bath and outdoor shower perfect for a summer guest and finally a small shed which could double as a writing or art studio. The parcel is convenient to West Tisbury town center, grocery store and multiple beaches.

For a look all properties currently for sale with a minimum 3 bedrooms and 2 baths priced around $1M, including a Katama home with a swimming pool, check out Million Dollar Martha’s Vineyard Homes.

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