Real Estate Confidential: The Joy of an Antique Vineyard Home – The Martha’s Vineyard Times


Real Estate Confidential is a biweekly chit-chat about new listings, sales, or other insider information on the Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate market, presented by Fred Roven, owner/broker of Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents. It appears every other Friday in The Minute.

Yes, you can have the best of both worlds: An antique home with all the luxury features you might expect in a newly constructed home. Some are renovated already, and others require a bit of work (and money). One significant aspect of luxury antique homes on the Vineyard is that they often sit back from the water’s edge, high on hills, and have retained a waterside cottage, guest house, or boat house, open to your imagination.

It’s easy to fall in love with a historic home or neighborhood, and Martha’s Vineyard has many such neighborhoods, mostly in the downtown areas of the down-Island towns of Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs. Historic homes have charm and beauty as well as historic significance, both in terms of architecture and previous ownership. Personally, I am more drawn to expansive, renovated up-Island homes with spectacular views that retain a sense of history and charm, or large inland farmhouses that have retained their farm-size lots.

Historical homes have numerous benefits, including that they are aesthetically pleasing with unmatched architecture; you will get to live in a piece of your town’s history; local historic or conservation commissions help maintain a consistent look, and historic districts often have a strong sense of community where residents care about their homes and the neighborhoods.

The charming vintage cottage and a separate detached studio at 301 Main Street is ready for a new owner’s inspiration. This is a beautifully maintained parcel of land and one of my favorite renovation opportunities in part because of a six bedroom septic system. The home is a short stroll to the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club and close by the library. A short tree lined path leading to the deeded ten foot right of way to and from the beach and water of Vineyard Haven Harbor just adds to the value. The property also offers a separate studio with an open floor plan, loft and bathroom. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy the wonderful charm of the Vineyard. 

The home at 1115 Main Street in Vineyard Haven is situated atop a gentle bank with a magical path through the vegetation to the beach. Built in 1893 it represents one of the classic Grand Dames of West Chop. A well thought-out renovation was completed honoring all of the home’s character and charm. With large windows everywhere you will experience incredible North Shore sunset views from nearly every room in the house as well as a wrap around porch and balcony. All of this is located within close proximity to the West Chop Club, Mink Meadows Golf Course and downtown Vineyard Haven.

With 7,000 square feet of living space, 52 South Summer Street in Edgartown is a perfect example of in-town luxury living. Known as the Captain Ellsworth West House, this renovated Greek Revival captain’s home is steeped in history, and it was beautifully renovated inside and out by Hutker Architects. The property features a main house with four floors of living space, plus a private porch with a wood burning fireplace. Also, it has a detached, two-story Carriage House with a pool cabana facing a private, outdoor living area that has a gunite pool and a built-in whirlpool spa. 

The vintage charmer at 16 Mill Street is loaded with quintessential Vineyard charm and offers all the best of in-town living. Built originally in 1908, the home was completely renovated in 2021 pursuant to plans by noted architect, Patrick Ahearn. The result is a beautifully renovated home with fresh touches and modern amenities, all within the classic historic facade. Enjoy the summer with your guests on a spacious 240-square-foot covered porch and bluestone terrace. This charming home is move-in perfect and is being offered turnkey — with stylish designer furnishings, artwork and accessories ready to use or rent.

Click here for a list of other Antique homes for sale.

For more Real Estate Confidentials, click here.

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