Start a New Habit: Follow the Real Estate Market on Martha's Vineyard


“The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.” 
― Albert CamusThe Plague

Habits give us a sense of control, calm and happiness. Habitual behavior lights up so many pleasure receptors that it can even become addictive. Vacationing on Martha's Vineyard is a tradition shared by many families and friends seeking respite and relaxation from their daily lives. The habit portion of this is evident in the timing, duration, location and activity schedule of the vacation tradition.

Island visitors tend to come for the same week(s) every year; they rent in the same location, Katama, East Chop, Chilmark...and typically they make reservations at the same restaurants and plan on attending their favorite yearly events. Visitors this week have enjoyed the Ag Fair, Oak Bluffs' Grand Illumination Night and getting glimpses of President Obama hitting the links at Farm Neck and the Vineyard Golf Club. And tonight is the highlight of the summer for many, with the Oak Bluffs Fireworks, perfectly enjoyed from a blanket or beach chair on Ocean Park. 

Double Boom Boom at Oak Bluffs Fireworks

Vacation Time vs. Investment Time

Habit serves us very well when we're in pleasure seeking vacation mode. Our last post discussed that transition from renter to homeowner "Vacation Rental Income Property". When the scale does tip and you're ready to investigate buying a home on Martha's Vineyard, timing DOES matter, and finding the best investment usually doesn't sync up well with your annual vacation week. This is when its time to break the habit, and pay attention to the rhythm of the sale market.

I'm including our Monthly Market Report for Buyers - to show the activity in the market right now. 


Property Research Time!

A successful investment property purchase approach looks like this:

  • Winter/Spring 

    • Confirm your week(s) on island and location 
    • Discuss your search criteria with your agent and ask to be updated via email with listings that match your needs
    • Speak with your bank at home, or ask your agent for local bank contacts to discuss loan products that will suit your financing needs for this purchase
  • Summer 

    • Narrow down your list of homes to preview while you are on island and ask your agent to schedule showing appointments for you
    • Investigate areas of the island that you may not be familiar with, but have good fitting properties for you. This way you can more accurately evaluate new listings that come on at the end of the season, when you've gone home
    • Keep tabs on the selling activity with market updates from your agent 
  • Fall 

    • Regroup with your agent and review your list
      • Complete property research for the short list
        • Contact town boards and departments to verify expansion possibilities
        • Get quotes from island contractors for remodeling, pool installation, landscaping and other property repairs and improvements
        • Verify rental income potential with a rental agent and determine the costs of cosmetic property improvements such as furnishings and room design
      • Ask your agent to do a price analysis for the final property options to determine an appropriate offer price
    • Reach out to your bank contact from the Spring and discuss loan options and get the details on the financing values that you are comfortable with to be included in the offer
    • When your offer is accepted - your agent will walk you through the transaction and get you to the closing table before you sign another rental lease for the upcoming summer season

Smart buyers need good information - Sign up for Sandpiper Realty, Inc.'s Monthly Market Report via email. Start a new habit of keeping your finger on the pulse of the Martha's Vineyard Real Estate Market, so you're ready when the timing is right!


xo Rose Ryley Courcier