Real Estate Confidential: What about the kids?


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.

The question many homebuyers are facing this year is, “Why is it so hard to find a house?” We’re in the ultimate sellers’ market, which means real estate is ultra-competitive for buyers right now.  We are faced with the lack of supply of homes to buy, whether pre-owned or new construction. Some of the shortage particularly on the Vineyard was families moving out of cities to more rural living with work-from-home considerations. We also are facing a lack of new construction, so no homes for homeowners to move up to and making their current homes available to the next generation of buyers.

A second question is more of a statement: Parents say that their home-buying decisions are largely influenced by their offspring. So just what are some of the things Mom and Dad are looking for when it comes to moving with kids and overcoming moving anxiety? I saw a generic list of what homeowners want, and my biggest concern was at the bottom of the list: the number of electrical outlets.

What are the general characteristics buyers look for? Space to breathe and grow, storage space, a functional layout, a great outdoor space, and a family-friendly location. For the Vineyard, I would certainly include: access to a beach, suburban or rural, proximity to kid-friendly activities, and access to bike paths and hiking trails, especially for families with dogs. With the serious lack of homes available for sale, finding a home with all the features you want can be very difficult, and the key to success will be patience.

The homes I selected this week all had most of the attributes described above, as well as being in a (Vineyard) affordable neighborhood. They mostly have multiple bedrooms on large lots with expansion possibilities.

Properties with guest houses are always in high demand. 219 Herring Creek Road has one with 2 bedrooms on 1.5 rolling acres, including stone walls and lush gardens. You will have an idyllic and private Island retreat with easy access to Lake Tashmoo, the town beach, Mink Meadows golf course, and a 10-minute walk to Wilfred’s Pond Preserve. The house is post-and-beam construction, and it provides plenty of light with its oversized windows. You will be spending much of your home time on the large, wraparound, covered porch.

41 Paula Avenue boasts 1.5 Lambert’s Cove acres in a park-like setting with stonewalls, evergreens, and a gazebo with electricity. The house, accessed by a circular driveway, sits high on a hill set back from the road. A highlight is an addition containing a great room with cathedral ceilings, skylights, and a Vermont Castings gas stove. There is a finished lower level providing extra living space. The property has a five-bedroom septic ready for a guest house and maybe a pool.

68 Twentieth Street South is turnkey and ready to move right in. This is truly the perfect family house with 4 bedrooms (2 ensuite), a basement, and a 2-car garage. There is still room to add a guest house and a pool. The property is close to Pennywise Preserve for hiking and long walks with your dogs and kids. Also convenient to the down-Island towns and beaches while being close to the bike path and bus stop. The house has an excellent, profitable rental history as an investment or for extra income as a summer home for that lucky family.

In the center of the Island, you will find 5 Farm Path, a beautifully and well-maintained cape. The home has an open floor plan with Brazilian cherry floors, and a kitchen with quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. There have been many upgrades over the past few years, including new siding and a houseful of new windows. This property also has plenty of room to expand to make use of the 6-bedroom septic system, and to add a guest house, pool, and garage.

Click here for a list of other family-friendly homes.

For more Real Estate Confidentials, click here.