Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: So you want to build a house …


Real Estate Confidential is a weekly chit-chat about new listings, sales, or other insider info on the Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate market, presented by Fred Roven, owner/broker of Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents. It appears each Friday in The Minute.

Customization is a huge pro for building a new home. You’ll get to personalize the details of your house when you’re building from the ground up — from the layout, cabinets, and flooring to the sinks, lighting, paint colors and doorknobs — plus customization in color choices, flooring options, and finishes. New homes are built to meet current building codes, are often more energy efficient, and can incorporate up-to-date technology. For the first few years, you’re less likely to deal with big-ticket maintenance issues like leaky roofs or failing heating and cooling systems in a newly built home. 

There are some important guidelines to follow when you decide to build on Martha’s Vineyard. An important consideration is checking out what permits will be needed and what conservation restrictions you may encounter along the way, particularly for waterfront land. Every town is different. For any building project, I recommend hiring an engineer to determine buildability and restrictions possibly even before you hire an architect and/or builder.  Be certain to check references, licensing, and get everything in writing before selecting anyone. If you will be contracting construction yourself, an engineer is an absolute necessity.

So, where and what should you buy. Following are a few suggestions, and be sure not to miss the slide presentation of Martha’s Vineyard land with views.

By far the best opportunity for building that luxury home with a waterview is at 34 High Meadow Lane in Chilmark. The 4-acre lot, priced at $799,000, offers a building site on a knoll with views over the North Shore out to the Elizabeth Islands. This rural Chilmark neighborhood, including tennis courts, abuts 184 acres of conservation land with walking trails. Ownership gives you access to Lucy Vincent and Squibnocket plus a well is in place and utilities are onsite; just bring a shovel and a hammer.  

If privacy, great water views, and pondside boat access will work for you, the 4.6 acres of fields and trees at the end of Sarita Walker Road in West Tisbury is perfect. This level lot with views in every direction is priced at $1,995,000. There is plenty of room for house, guest house, barn and swimming pool surrounded by large pastoral fields. Osprey nests (and osprey) already in residence.

I always have a favorite in any grouping of opportunities, and the lots surrounding Big Homer’s Pond in West Tisbury are my favorite for building that oceanview home protected by the pond and South Shore beach. This 15-acre pond-front parcel, priced at $3,500,000, offers direct South Shore oceanfront views.  From the substantial compound you create, you can walk directly through the dunes to access over 1,200 feet of private beach. This entire parcel is accessed through over 150 acres of conservation-restricted land offering a majestic entrance of partially cleared forests and fields.  There are many other options for lot size and views to choose from around the pond.

For the ultimate in waterfront  privacy, nothing compares to the six lushly treed acres at 135 Middle Point Road with a surprising price of only $1,250,000.  This lot on Tisbury Great Pond offers 450 feet of water frontage on Thumb Cove for boat launching and access to a pristine South Shore barrier beach. The combination of the barrier beach and Tisbury Great Pond offers some of the best swimming, beaching, boating, kayaking, and shell fishing on Martha’s Vineyard. The location also offers easy access to Long Point Preserve and its miles of hiking trails. Bring the dog(s) and start building.

No list of land on Martha’s Vineyard would be complete without the place James Cagney loved “beyond words” for the freedom and peace it provided. With its storied history, the 70 acres at 277 North Road in Chilmark with walking trails, seclusion, riding trails, woodlands, pond and beach access offers total privacy rare even to Martha’s Vineyard. Entering the property through its expansive farm fields, you are greeted with a mile of stone walls, as you ride past the antique post and beam barn, a granite bridge over Roaring Brook leads you to the back meadows and a beautiful ridgeline with strong views of the Vineyard Sound and the Elizabeth Islands. Maybe hop on your horse, ride to the beach and take a swim. Not many places on Martha’s Vineyard for that experience. Oh, right, the price is $12,500,000, and think about what that buys you!

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