Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: The horror of as is


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.

For some buyers, seeing the term “as is” in a property listing strikes horror. This does not and should not be the main reason for avoiding a purchase. As the median price for purchasing a home on Martha’s Vineyard surpassed $825,000 this year for single family homes, and new construction is difficult to achieve for under one million dollars, the average home buyer may have to expand their thinking past the concept of turn-key and move-in condition and consider homes more than 30 years old.

As I looked through homes under $825,000, I found many that were well maintained and structurally sound. Some may need paint or refinishing of floors, others may need more serious renovation, especially if your kitchen needs to be state of the art. As you look through the photos for these homes, you will see what many buyers see as kitchens in need of updating. The homes I selected this week are screaming, “This is an 80’s kitchen.” Most Cape style homes on the Vineyard built in the late twentieth century have the exact same kitchens or so it often seems. For the most part they are not in dire need of immediate repairs.

In many cases homes, homes in need of repair are priced particularly well and the reason for repairs not being completed before sale may be as simple as the seller just does not have the funds to make needed repairs. Even if a buyer agrees to purchase a property as is, you still will have the opportunity for a home inspection. After reviewing the inspection, it will be your decision whether to move forward or not. If there are major structural issues or expensive plumbing and electrical repairs, the seller still has the opportunity to complete repairs or you simply walk away.

If you search under $600,000 you will find many homes worth consideration and they should be purchased with thoughtfulness and care. The following homes are more than 30 years old and more in the “need paint and kitchen” category rather than the “need new home” category and all are excellent opportunities.

155 Skiff Avenue stands out for many reasons. One immediately obvious amenity is a kidney-shaped swimming pool that can bring years of family fun and for many buyers, summer rental fees that can approach double the rate with no pool in place. The home, tucked away by The Lagoon in Vineyard Haven, is in an ideal, and convenient Island location. Downtown Vineyard Haven is a short bike or car ride away. Imagine working from your quiet, vaulted ceiling office overlooking the pool or taking a stroll to water or hiking access around the Lagoon.

 26 Firehouse Lane in Oak Bluffs is a surprise gem that I encourage serious consideration. Much of the house with a garage apartment and large shed has already been renovated and ready for your consideration. The home was built by a well known Island builder and lovingly maintained by a skilled woodworker shows in the many custom details featured throughout the house. The open living area has a wood burning stove with a brick hearth and the kitchen features stainless steel appliances, Corian counters, custom glass front cabinets and tiled floor. And, count them, 5 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms.

You might want to debate whether 6 Whistling Swan located on a quiet cul-de-sac in Island Grove is actually Katama; it does have the convenience of easy access to town and South Beach. There is a walking path directly off the back yard that leads to Morning Glory Farm and all those breakfast treats and the best in farm to table living. The home is already connected to town sewer and during renovation you may want to expand to 6 bedrooms.

Edgartown beckons from the classic colonial at 13 Briarwood Drive. The home is on a generous .62 acre lot in Sandy Valley a short bike ride into Edgartown and easy access to all down island advantages and still convenient to the South Shore. Let your imagination fly with the many possibilities offered by this solidly constructed home. The home has multiple gathering areas perfect for casual island living and a full basement ready for that home theater or playroom for rainy days. And your own tennis court for those days home from the beach.

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