Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: Tax Benefits of Martha’s Vineyard



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.

Well, maybe not exactly a benefit but certainly property taxes are lower on Martha’s Vineyard than most areas of the country. The tax rates are posted at Martha’s Vineyard Residential Tax Rates. There has been a lot of discussion over the years about the large disparity in rates across the Vineyard and one likely explanation is the propederence of non-taxed entities like schools, the hospital, and houses of worship in Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs as well as the fact they offer town services not available in more rural areas. Edgartown has managed to keep their rates down because of historically high assessed land value and, I believe, good financial management.

This seemed to be a good time to look at values from alternative directions as the housing market has been a hot topic in the news lately. Depending on which media outlet you watch, it can start to be a bit confusing to understand what’s really going on with interest rates and home prices. For example, interest rates have dropped this year from a high of 4.5% to 4%; income is up 2% average for all categories; and, average home prices have steadied at about the same point they were a year ago. Interest rates are low, income is rising, and home prices have experienced mild deceleration over the last nine months. If you are considering buying a home or selling your house, let’s get together to chat about our market.

The median price for the Vineyard has been hovering around $1.5M for a while now. I took a look at homes between $1M -$2M and between 2,000 and 3,000 SF. In that range they can be suitable for many second home buyers as well as island families. There was a clear picture of homes that have reasonably low taxes for their price and size. Although Chilmark has the lowest tax rate, there were not any homes in this group as the sale price per SF for Chilmark was higher than other towns. Edgartown had the next lowest at $3.87 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2018.

The home at 14 Bold Meadow in Edgartown with taxes of $4,174 stood out because of quality, location and price. It is located within easy access to Edgartown Village, Morning Glory Farm, the bike path and beaches with South beach available via the newly paved Meetinghouse Road and Long Point a few miles away. This classic New England colonial was built by Rosbeck Builders and features open-designed living spaces now in demand, oversized windows filling the home with natural light and a gourmet cook’s kitchen and a first-floor master bedroom.

I know I have mentioned previously that 20 Leona Lane is part of Nat’s Farm with one of the most thoughtful original association plans on the Vineyard. As part of the association there is a private trailhead to access the state forest plus a ball field and tennis courts close by at the Edgartown School. This sunny contemporary offers a central living area with cathedral ceilings, fireplace, and a south facing deck. The master bedroom suite with fireplace, balcony and an open loft occupy the second floor with other bedrooms off the great room on first floor. The property has a private yard with native mature plantings and manicured lawns.

The Beach House with a detached bedroom suite at 54 Schoolhouse Road in Edgartown Estates is as close as we get to Katama with low taxes of $3,208 and an asking price of $1,075,000. This property is the epitome of what the island is all about for summer home living. An outstanding feature is the 4-season porch that keeps the house light and bright as well as providing a gathering space off the living room and kitchen. The detached bedroom suite, accessed by a boardwalk edged with beach sand and beach grasses, continues a similar island charm as the house.

The best value in this group has to be 321 Chappaquiddick Road with taxes of $3,139 and priced at $1,100,000 with almost 2300 SF of living space on an acre of land. The home was recently renovated and features easy living inside and out with an open concept kitchen and dining area and a hot tub on an expansive deck. A recently completed barn adds charm and function, ideal for storage of all things boating, beaching and fishing plus all your other toys. The property abuts conservation land with miles of trails and less than a mile to the calm waters of Katama Bay.

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Click here for a complete list of similar homes with reasonable taxes under $2M.


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