Waterview Properties on Martha's Vineyard

Waterview Properties on Martha's Vineyard

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Water View Properties

Water view properties are valuable because they provide an ever-changing scene for Martha’s Vineyard homeowners to enjoy. Views of the weather and how it changes the look and shape of the sea and the waves that ride above it provide endless fascination.

And the sights and sounds of the island’s renowned varied flotilla of water craft:

that ply the waters around Martha’s Vineyard never cease to entertain. Who wouldn’t want a water view?

Types of Water View

Thus, the demand for water view properties is always understandably high. However, on Martha’s Vineyard a ‘water view’ can mean many things:

Water Views from High & Low

These widely varying water views can be obtained from many types of locations: oceanfront, harbor, hilltop in the middle of the island, atop a bluff above a beach, in the woods set above an inland pond and so on. Thus, just looking for a water view is only a part of the search for a watery horizon that satisfies the soul. You need to know what that view consists of and the setting.

Frequently, a water view may be obtained by trimming a few tree branches and vines. But sometimes those obstructions are on a neighbor’s property and so you’ll need to ask permission to remove them. If the tree or tree limbs are close to the water, you may be prevented from removing them by zoning laws or the Conservation Commission because they are essential to preventing erosion or preserving the coastline.

Depend on Your Buyer’s Agent

Depend on your Buyer’s Agent to dig deep and find out exactly what you can and cannot do to vegetation near the water. The answer may dramatically affect your decision to buy.

And, not every Seller Agent will be explicit in what you can or cannot do. They will often lay the burden on the buyers and their Buyer Agent, advising them to do their own due diligence. So look to your Buyer’s Agent for the answers.

Water Views from Near & Far

Elevation changes can be a boon to those looking for a water view. A home can sit near the water’s edge at sea level and enjoy a lovely water view. Or, a home may sit on one of the island’s highest elevations and enjoy a panoramic view of Vineyard Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

The highest spot on the island is at Peaked Hill in Chilmark which stands 311 feet above sea level. You’ll find elevations approaching that height in the up-island towns of Chilmark and Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head), and perhaps along the bluffs at Makonikey which straddles Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury.

Also, check out the bluffs in West Chop and East Chop which provide stirring views across Vineyard Sound to the mainland and the Elizabeth Islands. Thus, it’s important when looking for a water view property to check out its elevation and note its distance from the water’s edge.

The Quality of a Water View

A close inspection of the nature of a water view is critical, too. Look into a property’s descriptive copy on the sales sheet to discern the quality of the offered water view. The listing description may qualify the view with some of the following words or phrases in which a view may be:

It follows, then, that the quality of the view will directly impact a property’s value and price. The most desired views are often called ‘panoramic,’ ‘stunning,’ ‘unforgettable’ or provide ‘dramatic sunsets.’ And, keep in mind--better views will also translate to higher taxes.

Water Views & Taxes

A general rule island-wide: the closer you are to the water, either physically or visually, the higher your real estate taxes. Thus, when considering a home within sight of water, make this formula part of your deliberations: location + quality of view > effect on asking price > effect on property taxes.

Of course, taxes may not be a factor when you are searching for the ideal water view. And you can be sure, if you desire one, you can find a water view on Martha’s Vineyard that will be spectacularly world-class that will delight you and your family for generations to come.

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