Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: Martha’s Vineyard Starter Homes


Real Estate Confidential is a bi-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 every other Friday in The Minute.

Investors are sharpening their pencils and Island residents are scratching their heads as the median sale price on Martha’s Vineyard has increased over $100,000 in one year to $956,250. More thinking, planning, and doing is needed because “only doing does it.” The “it” is having homes affordable for purchase by Island residents and at prices which investors see as potential as year-round rental opportunities.

During the summer months I have a habit of reporting on waterfront homes, homes with pools, and estates providing vacations for generations to come. As prices creep and sometimes leap forward, what is affordable or at least lower than average moves higher every year. There is some hope as mortgage interest rates remain (for now) at the lowest rate in modern history.

In past editions of “what can I buy” I used a minimum of three bedrooms and a maximum price of $600,000 as the top of the group. When I used those numbers for a search today, there were not enough single family homes on which to support. And fear not, the list did provide some excellent opportunities, if I can call them that, for Island buyers and investors. They range from a cute ranch in the Lake Tashmoo area of Vineyard Haven priced at $565,000 to a Cape style in the same area priced at $749,000.

The charming traditional clapboard home at 9 Walker Way in Vineyard Haven  is within walking distance to town, school and shopping. For the growing family,  the home can be expanded in years to come and a possibly add a guest house for summer rental; it’s ideal for investors. With the mature trees surrounding  the property and a lush yard filled with perennials, a private safe oasis exists for children, family and friends. The property currently has a newly renovated artist studio and a detached huge workshop/garage structure with high ceilings. An excellent opportunity to continue as a rental investment or for year-round living!

For buyers interested in curbing high utility costs, the home at 92 Spring Hill Drive in Vineyard Haven is a one of a kind home with a passive solar design. The home is situated in a mostly year-round neighborhood and an easy walk to Tisbury School and a bit longer walk of 15 minutes to town and the Steamship Authority. A walk on the trail from the house through the woods takes you to all the enjoyment and relaxing activities Lake Tashmoo has to offer. 

The house is equipped with the high-end Lutron lighting system and a sound system that can be fully controlled while relaxing in the peaceful yard. This is a perfect home for the first-time home buyers, investors or anyone looking for privacy within the Town. 

There seems to be a pattern developing here. The house at 156 West Spring Street is also walking distance to tennis, town, school, or Lake Tashmoo. Island residents and investors alike often look for a second unit providing additional income while living in the main home. The finished basement fits the town by-laws to have a second living unit and there is an existing four-bedroom septic system waiting to accommodate. The home shows large with additional room for growth and shows like new after a thorough renovation. As is, the home is perfect for resident use with occasional rentals.

Exactly one mile to Oak Bluffs Harbor is a charming two story home at 10 Winemack Street. In addition to town access, you can walk to Eastville Beach,  Lagoon Pond access, and short drive across Beach Road bridge to Vineyard Haven from this charming home and grounds. At some point in its life, a campground cottage was moved to this location close to The Highlands. The home has been a three-season retreat for more than 20 years by the current owners who use it until Thanksgiving. The property is 100 years old and offers many possibilities only limited by your imagination.

For the rest of this Real Estate Confidential and house photos, click here.

Click here for a list of starter and investment homes on Martha’s Vineyard

For more Real Estate Confidentials click here.