Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: Looking for a Holiday Bargain


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.

We have been looking at end-of-year values for summer living but what is an Island family to do? The advantages we have discussed for buying a vacation home in winter mostly remain the same for Islanders or investors.

  • Home prices are way above the bottom and are expected to keep rising, so waiting makes no sense.
  • Mortgage rates are projected to increase. Waiting to buy will impact your monthly payment.
  • Unless you are living with family rent-free, you are paying a mortgage, either yours or your landlord’s. Put your housing cost to use building your equity instead of a landlord’s.
  • If this is the right time for your family is to purchase this winter, buying sooner than later could lead to substantial savings. It is time to move on with your life.

If you are looking for a bargain, put on that wool coat and go buy a home before the spring thaw. Although inventory remains low on the Vineyard, a winter buyer has much less competition, so be ready to negotiate. Let your broker guide you and be sure to remember no lowball offers. Regardless of the season, making an offer possibly offensive to a seller is not the best first move for negotiating or having an easygoing transition. Negotiating is more likely to include more repairs than you find in other seasons, again because of the reduction in other bidders.

You will need to use your imagination. Your house tour may include snow covered landscapes or empty homes with no heat. If this was a perfect home with no imagination needed it would have sold during prime buying season. Observe how some easy and inexpensive changes could be made to make the home more functional for you and your family. Look at characteristics more difficult to change in making a decision — overall space, ceiling height, and natural light.

Finally, make sure your broker is winter savvy and brings along a fold up shovel.

If you need a family home, a summer home or an investment property, look no further than the newly updated home at 13 Hvoslef Way in Vineyard Haven priced at $585,000. A traditional Cape Style home with easy access to town and schools plus proximity to a public boat landing on Lake Tashmoo, playground, tennis and picnic area adding to summer enjoyment. You can launch your kayak and head over to Tashmoo Beach. Whether needing extra living space for your growing family or someplace to send those unexpected summer visitors, a finished basement awaits you.

The home at 19 Fawndale in Vineyard Haven, priced at $679,000 is ideal for a young, growing Island family. A quiet neighborhood close to town, out of town shopping area and Vineyard Haven School. The home provides spacious and open living with a first floor bedroom. The entire house has refinished hardwood floors, fresh paint, new second floor carpet, a full basement, outdoor shower and a storage shed. The home is in excellent condition and ready and waiting for you and your family.

Yet another home ready for an offer is just steps away from Lagoon Pond and summer enjoyment. 20 Carole Avenue in Oak Bluffs priced at $629,000 in a quiet tree-lined neighborhood is perfect for year-round or vacation enjoyment. The home provides easy living on one floor plus a finished room with bath and shower over the insulated garage. I have very fond memories of the area, including evening paddles across the Lagoon for a movie at the Film Center, or buck-a-shuck at Beach Road Restaurant.

Another home just steps to the Lagoon is 24 Fitchburgh Avenue priced at $699,000. The location, easy care and like-new condition, with a strong rental history make this one of the better investment/vacation homes in my list of opportunities. Whether for investment, a summer home or for year-round living, the chef’s kitchen, finished basement and “bonus room” for an office, study or hobby room can fit multiple and varied needs and uses. And, of course, those paddles across the Lagoon, or over to Eastville Beach while stopping to fish along the way.

Click to view my Best Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate Buys.

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