Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: So, you have decided on an antique


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.

Yes, you can have the best of both worlds: An antique home with all the luxury features you might expect in a newly constructed home. Some are renovated already, and others require a bit of work (and money). One significant aspect of luxury antique homes on the Vineyard is that they often sit back from the water’s edge, high on hills, and have retained a waterside cottage, guest house, or boat house, open to your imagination.

It’s easy to fall in love with a historic home or neighborhood, and Martha’s Vineyard has many such neighborhoods, mostly in the downtown areas of the down-Island towns of Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs. Historic homes have charm and beauty as well as historic significance, both in terms of architecture and previous ownership. Personally, I am more drawn to expansive, renovated up-Island homes with spectacular views that retain a sense of history and charm, or large inland farmhouses that have retained their farm-size lots.

Historical homes have numerous benefits, including that they are aesthetically pleasing with unmatched architecture; you will get to live in a piece of your town’s history; local historic or conservation commissions help maintain a consistent look, and historic districts often have a strong sense of community where residents care about their homes and the neighborhoods.

108 William Street: 1870

This dramatic home in a Vineyard Haven historic district is among my current favorites. The home in its bracketed-Italianate style really needs to be seen to be appreciated. So what makes this special? Watching sunrise and moonrise over the ocean; steps to town from a neighborhood of well-maintained, historic 19th-century homes; or the impeccable restoration? I find the most interesting feature to be its history. The home, called the Benjamin Cromwell House, was built by the captain of one of the first steam-powered side-wheelers to travel the islands. This home will captivate the attention of the most discerning buyer.

71 South Water Street: 1900

Quintessential Edgartown captains home. This beautiful antique home was fully renovated in 2012, creating a home that retains old-world details but with all the luxurious amenities that you desire. Sited in downtown Edgartown, this family retreat with sweeping views of Edgartown Harbor and the Edgartown Lighthouse has a covered porch perfect for entertaining, and  impeccable landscaping. Plus, there is a guest house and boathouse, all framed by the perfect Edgartown white picket fence. If you are looking for the perfect antique Edgartown home with all the amenities of today, this is it

32 Temahigan Avenue: 1870

This home was meticulously renovated from top to bottom in 2000, under the direction of noted architect Joseph Dick and Island builder Everett Whorton. Today, this luxurious home maintains all of the original character and architectural details of the era, including beautiful coffered ceilings, gorgeous custom wood paneling, and finely crafted millwork throughout. My favorite aspect is the 750-square-foot waterfront boathouse near the dock with its original beachstone fireplace. The home has views from all three floors across the 3.2 acres of rolling lawn across Vineyard Haven Harbor, Vineyard Sound, and beyond.

21 Squibnocket Road: 1850

This home, just steps from the beach, is one of 16 homes surrounded by 535 acres of conservation and protected land in Squibnocket Ridge. There are unspoiled and dramatic views of sand, dunes, grassland, and ocean as far as the eye can see. Squibby is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Squibnocket Pond, and surrounded by several miles of sandy beaches. This paradise is considered one of the finest waterfront communities on the East Coast. Originally known as the Hilly Mayhew House, this property was for over 80 years the haven for the international modernist painter Vaclav Vytlacil and his family.  

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