Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: Go play in the basement


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.

In thinking about a topic for this week’s Confidential, I was surprised to find (and had to go back and check), I have never addressed homes with finished basements. After reviewing the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a home, the next question from a potential buyer is usually “Does the home have a finished basement?” It could be a rental unit if a walkout, a place for the kids to gather on a rainy day, or possibly a spot for overflow guests. In the 60s seems many contained a home bar and card room; today often you will find a home theater.

The advent of watching movies at home has brought elegant finished spaces to an otherwise dark and dreary space. There is really no limit to how the space can be used and many, if not most, newer homes  have plenty of room for an exercise room and if it has a high ceiling, a spot for a pool table and/or a ping-pong table.

There are three prime reasons a finished basement could be right for you. First, you have extra living space set aside from the rest of the house. Sometimes houses are limited in size by building codes, and a finished basement can add up to 50 percent to your floor space, often without any additional taxes. You may use the space for an extra bedroom if zoning laws allow, or a great area to send the kids to play on a rainy day.  Second, you may be planning ahead and hope to have aging family members live with you but have their own space. Hopefully not for kids graduating college and moving back home.

The third advantage of a finished basement on Martha’s Vineyard is primarily for year-round residents wanting some additional income from a basement apartment. As you search, it is important to ask if a lower-level bedroom will be legal, particularly if the basement does not provide a ground level walkout.  The rent from the apartment can go a long way to make what may have been an unaffordable house now an affordable home, providing shelter for years to come.

Homes with finished basements come in all shapes and sizes; even a home built in 1720 with heated brick floors (not 1720!) but a brick bread oven that is from 1720. For homes more suitable for most homebuyers, the following provides some good examples. You can currently find finished basements in homes starting at $725,000.

The home at 27 Clambelly Road is a place of serenity tucked in the woods of Chilmark, and offers an impressive list of 2018 upgrades added during a complete renovation. The kitchen has concrete countertops, sub zero refrigerator, Wolf Oven & Speed Oven. There is beautiful reclaimed wood flooring, radiant heat in mudroom and all bathrooms. The finished lower level includes a media room with Sonos Music System, and Lutron Radiora Switching System, and you can control all from your smartphone. As with all of Chilmark, you will have access to Squibnocket and Lucy Vincent beaches, and are in close proximity to Great Rock Bight and Menemsha Hills for beach and hiking.

If you are looking for a brand-new large home in Edgartown with every amenity you can imagine, plus within walking distance to Morning Glory Farm, look no further than 14 North Bog Road.

The 3,900-square-feet of floor space offers sophisticated design with a beach house vibe. Open concept living with a Chef’s Kitchen; ideal for entertaining family, friends or just relaxing. Close to 2,000-square-feet of the basement is finished and offers 9-foot ceilings that will not be an obstacle to pool cues or ping-pong paddles. This property is very private and peacefully located at the end of a cul-de-sac. 

My favorite this week can only be 28 Black Point Road in Chilmark, primarily because it comes with your very own key to Black Point Beach; one of the most beautiful on Martha’s Vineyard. This charming cottage is set on 5.4 acres where you can hear the rolling ocean waves and walk to the beach, although most buyers would want to bike or drive. The home features an open concept living area and a screened porch, while the lower level contains a bedroom with full bath and a second living area. The home has been renovated inside and out, including a new heating/cooling system and is ready to move in.

77 Massabesic Avenue in Vineyard Haven offers the convenience of proximity to Steamship dock and town, however, has the feeling of being up-Island on a larger parcel of land. This 3-acre property is in Lower Makonikey off Lambert’s Cove Road and has its own private beach on the North Shore. There are many sweet interior details, including three fireplaces, a loft space, and a fully finished walk out basement that provides additional living space. The home has been well maintained including recently installed new red cedar shingles and new roof.

Click here for more information and other properties with finished basements.

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