3 Things to Know When Buying a Home on Martha’s Vineyard

Jen Hawkins O'Hanlon, REALTOR®


Are you thinking about making a purchase on Martha’s Vineyard? If so, there are three very important things you need to know.

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Is the First Thing You Need to Know About.

Why? Because when you purchase property on the Island, you will be paying 2% of the purchase price to the Land Bank at closing.

Yes, this can be a considerable amount of money and that is why you need to know about it now and include it in your budget.
Now, the good news is that by doing this, you are contributing to the amazing open spaces, walking trails, and beaches we have here on the Island that are available to the public because of the Land Bank.
Another piece of good news is that there is an exemption for first-time home buyers and if you qualify, you only pay 2% on any amount over $800,000 (as of January, 2023), which can be a really great savings.

The Second Piece of Information You Should Know About Is the Cost of Building on the Island.

During my years of working with Buyers, I have always found that people are very surprised at just how expensive it is to build or even do renovation projects on Martha’s Vineyard and the timeline for completion.
The cost of both labor and materials is much higher here than in other areas of the country and it continues to go up.
We also have a shortage of builders, since housing options are limited and expensive. This drives up the cost of labor and makes for a long timeline to get work done.
However, for those who have the experience or time to take on a new construction or renovation project, it is definitely a great way to build equity quickly.
Because of the expense and time, it takes to get new homes completed, we have seen a huge increase in modular construction. This can be a fantastic way to choose a floorplan and finishes while saving a considerable amount of time and money.

The Last Thing You Should Know About Is the Contract Process.

Although the locals often refer to the mainland as “America”, we are in fact part of Massachusetts. And as such, it’s important to know that, unlike many other states, we use an Offer to Purchase contract (submitted by the real estate agent with a small deposit).
This is followed up in a few weeks by a Purchase and Sale agreement, typically drawn up by an attorney who will handle the closing. A larger deposit is paid at the time the Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed.
There are many other details that set Martha’s Vineyard apart from other areas, in regard to the home buying process. The O'Hanlon group is made up of year round Island residents who are active in our community. Give us a call so we can help you navigate this unique market and make the purchase of a home on Martha’s Vineyard a stress-free dream come true!


As a team, we work in harmony for the benefit of our clients. We handle multiple transactions at once and are able to execute a complex marketing strategy by leveraging team resources. We can be in several physical locations at once to ensure showings are always possible for our buyers and sellers. Our clients benefit from the combined experience of our agents and administrative staff.

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