Martha's Vineyard Real Estate: Vacation Rental Income Property

Martha's Vineyard is a good place to invest in vacation rental income property. Just think, some property owner in Chilmark is cashing a big check from the White House covering President Obama's stay on the island this week. And let's not forget, Mrs. Hillary Clinton is resting and relaxing in between her book signings at the Bunch of Grapes at another island home-owner's residence. The island attracts some high qualified tenants for sure. 

Hillary Clinton Attracts Overflow Crowd for Book Signing

Most of the buyers we work with are people like the Obamas and Clintons, not that they're famous, but that they've been vacationing on the island for years. Some people rent the same home year after year, while others like to mix it up and experience a different part of the island each summer. Then the time comes, when they make that fateful calculation of how many rental checks they've written versus how many more summers they intend to spend cracking lobsters in the sunset's glow on the back deck of a beautiful home on this magical island. When the scale tips and they want more summers here, and less rental checks, they call us, and we find them a vacation home for themselves...and whoever else they want to rent it out to!!! 

What do you look for in a Vacation Rental vs.  Properties For Sale?

The criteria we talk about for rentals vs sales is categorically different.

For a Vacation Rental search, tenants usually look for:

1. A/C

2. Screened-In Porch  

3. Pool

When looking for Properties For Sale, buyers request:

1. Close to the Beach

2. Good rental income potential

3. Whatever happens I don't want to overpay for this!

It's clear that when you're about to shell out a lot of clams for your piece of paradise you boil it down to what really matters. And as our buyers know, those A/C mini splits are a great investment! You will now notice them on virtually every house you see - Check for the skinny white tubing on the side of the house with a little box condenser at the bottom. Honestly, they are amazing for comfort as well as keeping this moist island atmosphere from affecting the interior of your house. 

So, as I am asked these two questions constantly,

What is the best area for rentals? and How can I get the highest rental rate?

I will give some answers here:

Edgartown Rental Areas by Rate 

$3,000 - $6,000

Properties in this range tend to be three bedrooms, simple and older, no a/c, and are farther from South Beach and the Village. 

  • Edgartown-West Tisbury Rd 
  • Near Triangle
  • Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd 

$10,000 - $15,000

Properties in this range are 4 or more bedrooms, in highly desirable areas, closer to South Beach or in the Village, with a/c, renovated or new construction and/or have a pool. 

  • Katama 
  • Edgartown Village

$20,000 - $45,000

Properties in this range are the total package, as many bedrooms as you have friends, in highly desirable areas, waterfront, with a/c, totally renovated or new construction with pool.  

  • Katama 
  • Edgartown Village

Note: These are general rates. There is crossover of course, Chappy for instance has rental properties in all of the price ranges. 

Increase your Rental Rate

  1. Install A/C (Ductless Mini Split A/C)
  2. Furnish it like it's a real HOME, splurge on details like tasteful glassware, fancy bedding and brand new towels. (One Kings Lane)
  3. Put in a pool if you can - Your rate will go up by thousands of dollars a week and you will book your whole season by March. (Island Pools and Spas)
  4. ACCEPT DOGS - Have you ever BEEN to Martha's Vineyard? You have a dog, I have a dog, we all have dogs. Boost your rate, vet your tenants (this where an agency helps), and just let the dog people into your house. They are normal people. The worst case scenario is that the dog ruins something in the house, and well, if you're happy with your rate then it's the cost of doing business. Worried about turning off the people who want to rent your home who have ALLERGIES? Give them the contact info for the many hotels, inns and B&B's onisland. If you want to get the highest rate: appeal to the masses, and the masses have dogs. 

Take the Plunge

Transitioning from tenant to owner can be a very simple process. Your agent should give you all the info you need to find the house that will make you excited to stop testing the waters and fully commit to plunging into home ownership on Martha's Vineyard. Be an islander! Be proud of your home! Get it just the way you like, and when your needs change, SELL IT and buy another one. That easy right?!

For questions, click one of the topics below and I'll help you!


Xoxo Rose Ryley Courcier