Vineyard Haven is the year-round town. That is, it has a ferry port that operates 12 months of the year and has shops and restaurants that you can frequent between January and March, as well as the other nine months of the year. If you're thinking of living on the island full-time, then Tisbury (Vineyard Haven's official town name) is the first place to consider.
Vineyard Haven also has the highest population of locals on island. So you can expect to have neighbors who are year-rounders, too.
Buying Property in Vineyard Haven
There are six general areas of Vineyard Haven in which you will find real estate for sale. Prices vary with North Shore waterfront (off of Lake Tashmoo) and water frontage on the harbor, Lake Tashmoo, West Chop and Lagoon being the most expensive.
West Chop – Home to the West Chop Trust and private West Chop Club. Homes range up to $11M+.
Downtown Vineyard Haven – In-town living, two town Har-Tru tennis courts, town dock & public beach. Prices from $1 million to $2.495M+
Lagoon – Close to town, water views, near Martha's Vineyard Museum, marina and post office. Prices from the $800s to $2.5M+
Central Vineyard Haven – Just out of town, but you can bike or walk to downtown. Amenities include the private Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, public beaches nearby, public tennis and pickleball courts and library. Prices from $600K to $1.7M+
Lambert's Cove – More rural area of town that starts to look like West Tisbury and up-island, with prices from $1M to $5.5M+
Lake Tashmoo – Lakeside living w/ access to public North Shore beach, get your clamming license! Prices from $1.1M to $5.7M+.
The Town of Tisbury provides a public school for children from Kindegarten to eighth grade. A comprehensive website offers all the information you will need to interact with the school and its administration. Click on this link to the Tisbury Public School website where you'll access:
- Nurse's Web Pages
- Cafeteria, Menus, Applications
- Web Based Programs
- Teacher's Web Pages
- Staff Directory
- Parent Teacher Conferences
- Parent Section
- MVPS COVID-19/Parent Symptom Check Agreement
Links to information about all of Martha's Vineyard Public Schools: https://mvyps.org/
In Vineyard Haven there is also a Montessori School for children ages 6-14 in elementary and middle school. Form the website: "We are an exceptional, progressive school that offers our students and their families a nurturing environment which challenges all students to do their very best. Our community has a strong commitment to excellence in education, which is reflected by the quality curriculum and enrichment programs we offer."
Real Estate Taxes
Real estate taxes levied upon Tisbury residents vary from year to year based on the town's spending budget. For 2023, the rate is $7.32 per $1,000, down from $8.70 per thousand.
If you're planning to make Tisbury your main residence and will live here year-round, you may qualify for a residential exemption which can reduce your property taxes.
The town’s residential tax exemption for 2023 has been boosted from 18 percent to 22 percent. The change comes as Tisbury’s average assessed value has jumped 35 percent for fiscal 2023. The average assessed value for a home in Tisbury is now $1,435,392.
Thinking about a Guest House?
A popular Vineyard amenity is a guest house. A guest house is an ideal solution to an abundance of needs: overflow guests, visiting children, rental income or a place for an aging parent. Zoning laws have to be considered, however. In order to add a guest house to your property, consider these requirements:
a. The lot area exceeds, by 25% or more, that required for a single-family dwelling (see
Schedule A in zoning laws)
b. The guest house is no larger than one-half (1/2) that of the principal structure on the same
lot as determined by square footage. Maximum square footage allowed:
i. A maximum of 600 sq. ft. of living space for the R-10 Zone
ii. A maximum of 800 sq. ft. of living space for the R-20 Zone
iii. A maximum of 800 sq. ft. of living space for the R-25 Zone
iv. A maximum of 800 sq. ft. of living space in the R-50 Zone.
Maximum height in all zones will not be greater than 24 ft.