Falling for Color: Tips to help brighten your home for the holidays.

Fall is here and with holidays around the corner it’s a great time to brighten up your home with some splashes of color. I’ve put together a little list with suggestions to help prepare your home for cozy days and family parties. Impress your guests and add some color as you prepare your home with these helpful tips:

1. Clean up the yard: Last year we hired a landscaper to come and clean up our leaves. It was the best money spent. It saved us time and really they did a much more thorough job than we ever could. We will do it again in a heartbeat. The yard looked great! I highly recommend this tip.

2. Paint the front door: A pop of color can change the whole look of your home. It brightens the exterior and evokes a cheery feeling for whoever enters. Try burnt orange, brick red, slate blue, emerald green or radiant orchid.

3. Add some bright colored rugs: Modern bright colored rugs can really bring a room together and make it feel cozy and inviting. I suggest placing a large rug under your dining room table, or in your bedroom. Place smaller throw rugs in the kitchen and at the entrances to your home. Use the small throw rugs to add some punches of color to those spaces.

4. Change up your window treatments: Fun colorful printed curtains can add some fall spice to your home décor. Try pale yellow, pumpkin orange and deep crimson, which mirror the changing leaves. Not only do these colors match the current outside color scheme they bring warmth and comfort into your home.

5. Add some fall foliage: Mums on the front steps will always remind me of fall. They are hardy and add some nice color when the tree leaves are gone. Or bring the fall foliage indoors with some nice centerpieces for the dining room and smaller flower arrangements in the living room or bedroom. This will give your home some beautiful color and sweet fragrance.

These are some fun ideas to prepare your home for the holidays, but remember the best thing is to fill your home with the people you love and be thankful everyday for each and every one of them.

I see pumpkins and hot cider in our near future!

Well… the summer days are fading and fall is upon us. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! I LOVE the weather, the humidity is gone, the island quiets down a bit, all my favorite shops and restaurants are still open to enjoy. School starts again and with it the routine of life. This is the first full week of school and in my house we’re all still adjusting. Some adjustments are easier then others, going to bed earlier is tough for my 6 year old. The way I combat the possible bedtime battle is to tire him out in advance. I take him to the skate park, or for a bike ride, the playground or maybe to the beach although it’s been a bit nippy for that. The only problem with this plan is that it also tires me out. I am very happy that this week some sports start for the kids. Tomorrow we will be at the West Tisbury School for soccer! There are many other fall school activities to enjoy as well; the YMCA offers swimming lessons, Vineyard Youth Tennis has tennis lessons (lucky if you remembered to call and got in!), there are ice skating lessons and hockey at the MV ice arena.
We try not to overschedule our little one, however, he does need to get out and be physical. I try to get him out and about as much as possible especially because soon it’s going to be too cold for these fun outdoor activities. We have to soak it up while we can.
If your elementary aged kiddo is not into sports or needs some activity that is less physical there are wonderful art classes offered at Featherstone. They take place weekdays after school and on weekends. The local libraries also have special project days and for those of us with younger kids they offer story time. Check with your library for details.
There is still plenty to do after school for the time being so, take advantage of all the opportunities our beautiful island has to offer.
Happy Fall everyone!!

10 Tips to Help Sell Your Home

Everyone wants the secret to selling their home fast and there is no magic formula, however there are things you can do to help with the process. There are ways to make your home more appealing to buyers and here are few tips to get you started:

1. Declutter

I cannot stress this enough. Prospective buyers want to see the potential in the home. They don’t want to feel cramped or overwhelmed when they walk through the door. It can give them a negative association with the house and that’s what you want to avoid. So… box things up and give them away. It will help you prepare for your move anyway. If you can’t bear to part with some of your items then put them in storage or box them and put them neatly in the basement. The point is to make the place look tidy, which brings us to tip #2.

2. Always be prepared to show

Yes, you will need to keep your house clean. The easier it is to show at a moments notice the more likely it is to sell quickly. People who have to wait for you to prepare may move on and find something else they like while they wait to hear about seeing your home.

3. Price it right

A real estate agent will be able to help you evaluate comparable sales in your area. This information will help you price your home competitively. If the home is over priced it may scare away potential buyers. Buyers today do their own research and will usually know if a home is overpriced. Pricing it high and hoping that someone will just make an offer doesn’t work to your benefit, it deters potential buyers and prolongs your home’s days on the market (DOM). If you price it correctly you are more likely to get serious buyers through the door and more likely to get real offers.

4. Conceal Critters

Animal lovers adore their pets, but not everyone likes animals (gasp!). I know, I know, but its true and its part of tip #5 De-Personalizing your home. Having a dog that is excited when buyers are coming through could distract them. Maybe move kitty and cat box to the garage to eliminate unwanted odors.

5. De-Personalize it

Yes, it is your home (right now), but you want it to be someone else’s home don’t you? Not everyone appreciates a beer can collection (for example). Remember buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the home and if there are too many personal touches then they can be distracted by it.

6. Don’t Move Out Entirely

A vacant house can look forlorn and that could be a disadvantage to you. Buyers get the impression that you have another home and are ready to go and this could lead to lower offers. Leave some furniture to allow them to visualize themselves in the space and not get the impression that you are desperate to sell.

7. Curb Appeal

Make sure to pick up around the yard. Plastic toys, furniture strewn all over the lawn, long grass and unattended flowerbeds do not make a home inviting. Cut the grass and make it look welcoming to prospective buyers. People like homes that appear cared for.

8. Use a local agent

Hire someone who is familiar with the area. In our case this is someone who lives on the island of Martha’s Vineyard and understands the nuances of the area. Someone who is available for showings, open houses, and has connections to help market your property. Someone off island will have a harder time finding time to be present at your home when its necessary.

9. If possible offer gender -neutral paint and decorations.

Obviously, I am stressing this point very much: buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home and many cannot see past very personal touches. It can help tremendously to make the home welcoming and inviting to all different kinds of people. The easiest way to do this is with neutral paint and neutral décor.

10. Hire a Marketing Magician

Find someone who will work for you. This person will use traditional newspaper ads, social media, open houses, virtual tours and will also have other ideas on how to market your property to the right buyers. Its important to find someone enthusiastic that will work to sell your home not just put it in the multiple listing service hoping an offer comes along.

There you have it our 10 tips to help sell your home. I hope you find this helpful and when you are ready please give us a call! Let us know you read our blog. 508-693-6626

For Sale By Owner: Is it a do or a don’t?

Should you sell your home yourself or list it with a real estate agent?

To decide which option suits your needs you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. How quickly do you need to sell your home?
2. Do you know the market well enough to price your home correctly?
3. Do you have the time to spend marketing your property; meeting with buyers, and holding open houses?
4. Do you have the money to spend on advertising?
5. Do you know what small improvements to make to make your home more appealing to buyers?

You may be able to sell your home on your own, but I don’t think it will save you money in the long run and it definitely won’t save you time. Having the assistance of a real estate agent means having a professional on your side, an advocate working for you to help achieve your goal. A real estate agent can determine what similar homes have sold for and therefore help you price your home accordingly. When a home is priced correctly it definitely makes a difference to potential buyers. If a home is grossly over priced it can tend to scare people away.
Over 88% of buyers use a real estate agent to purchase a home. Think about that number. Do you have the time and money to put into finding a buyer for your home? On the Vineyard a sign in the yard might not be beneficial if your home is down a dirt road and off the beaten path. Real estate agents have made connections within the industry. Part of what they do is build future relationships. They then use these connections to help sell your home. They advertise for you. They know the market that your home will attract and they know how to target that group.
If you are working do you really have the time to hold open houses, be at the home to show it to potential buyers, and deal with paperwork or questions that arise? Real Estate Agents know how to do the research necessary to find answers to potential buyer questions. They have the time to hold open houses. They have the ability to hold a broker’s open house, which will allow other agents to come and preview your home. This is another marketing strategy that broadens the reach for potential buyers.
Additionally real estate agents know what small improvements can be made to your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. They will make suggestions to help you prepare your home for sale. This is a huge benefit to you. Agents see many homes, they hear what clients notice and you can benefit from that experience. It doesn’t always involve spending a lot of money. Sometimes when you live in a home you don’t notice things that may stand out to others in a negative way.
If you are a seasonal resident on the Vineyard then it could be very costly and time consuming for you to try and sell your home yourself. You will need to travel here and take the ferry just to open the house for a 20 minute showing. The benefit of having an agent working for you is very obvious in this situation.
Yes, it will cost you some of the profit from your sale to list your home with an agent, however in my mind it is well worth it. The agent has the same goal that you do to sell your home and they work diligently on your behalf to make that happen.

Price Revision: Beautiful Custom Built Vineyard Haven Home Now $695,000

229 stateroad 300x218 Price Revision: Beautiful Custom Built Vineyard Haven Home Now $695,000140353558353 lon 300x225 Price Revision: Beautiful Custom Built Vineyard Haven Home Now $695,000Incredible opportunity to own a beautifully built home centrally located in Vineyard Haven.  This home features high end details with 3,300 square feet of living space.  There are 4 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms, a third story bonus room, a media room, and an 800 square foot garage/shop/office.  The home has two separate kitchens, which allows for multiple living situations.  The property is ideal for extended families or those looking to earn extra income renting out the additional living space.  There is plenty of room and lots of possibilities.  The home is in a great area close to town and the ferry with easy access to other parts of the island. This stunning home offers many options and the price has been reduced to $695,000!! Contact us today for more information or to arrange a showing 508-693-6626.

Featured Listing: In Prestigious Hidden Cove


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Hidden Cove

2dfa01bc 2 300x225 Featured Listing: In Prestigious Hidden Cove

Hidden Cove

04f4844e 300x225 Featured Listing: In Prestigious Hidden Cove 18454d53 300x225 Featured Listing: In Prestigious Hidden Cove Lighthouse Properties‘ newest listing is a beautifully renovated home in prestigious Hidden Cove. The home has a wonderful layout that would accommodate large or extended families. The living level boasts a stunning year round sun-room, living room with fireplace, custom kitchen, spacious dining area with wet bar, laundry and pantry, powder room and a large, breezy screened porch. The master bedroom and second en-suite bedroom with loft are on the second level while the walkout level adds two more bedrooms, family room and office. **Total square footage including 2 lower level bedrooms, full bath and walk-out family room is 3400. All this for $885,000! Call us today for more information and to schedule a showing 508-693-6626.

Outdoor Movies in Owen Park Are Big Fun!

About a week ago now I took my 6 year old son to see E.T. in Owen Park. It was so much fun! E.T. is such a classic movie and watching it outside near the little harbor there was magical. There were fireflies dancing around us and a few little rain drops here and there. Not only were we in a great location and atmosphere, I got to see the look on my son’s face when he saw E.T. for the first time. My night was complete when he turned to me and said “this is so cool”. It was!
The event was put on by Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. They have so many wonderful family fun activities. We had a really great time, it brought back memories for me of drive-in movies as a teenager.

If you missed E.T. the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival photo3 300x224 Outdoor Movies in Owen Park Are Big Fun!has another opportunity for you to enjoy a magical evening of your own. August 15th they are airing The Wizard of OZ in Owen Park. Tickets can be purchased when you arrive and they offer popcorn and lemonade for sale. Check out their website for the other amazing family activities they provide.

West Tisbury Farmer’s Market, Artisan’s Fair and Other Unique Shopping Experiences.

IMG 0522 300x225 West Tisbury Farmers Market, Artisans Fair and Other Unique Shopping Experiences. IMG 0513 300x225 West Tisbury Farmers Market, Artisans Fair and Other Unique Shopping Experiences. IMG 0511 300x225 West Tisbury Farmers Market, Artisans Fair and Other Unique Shopping Experiences. IMG 0515 300x225 West Tisbury Farmers Market, Artisans Fair and Other Unique Shopping Experiences.Open Wednesday’s and Saturday’s from 9-12 at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury this Farmer’s Market features some of the best fresh produce, locally grown meat, herbs, preserves, tasty food, drinks, live music and some fun island made gifts.
You will find beautiful hand made items offered by Island Alpaca Co. of Martha’s Vineyard (scarves, shawls, mittens, toys, hats and socks). It’s a great way to start your Christmas shopping early, find a beautiful hostess gift, or treat yourself to something luxurious.
Seastone Papers has beautiful cards and notebooks. They also provide classes where you can learn to make your own creative paper products.
Vineyard Herbal Teas & Apothecary offers delicious loose -leaf teas and some wonderful alternatives to general medicine or bug spray. This is one of my favorite stops.
I enjoy the flavor of local honey and you can pick some up from Island Bee Company. It’s a great addition to your herbal tea!
If you have never tried New Lane Sundries sweet red pepper jelly you are missing out! It’s a family favorite for us. They offer so many jelly varieties in different sizes, you’ll be sure to find something you love. You can try before you buy to make sure it suits your tastes. Pick up something fun for guests, or purchase something for a hostess gift (always good to have a few of these around).
These are just a few of my favorite vendors there are many more with items that are sure to delight. If you are having a dinner party or just want to enjoy locally grown vegetables or meat then this market is a must.
Pick up a fresh squeezed glass of lemonade while you shop and listen to the live music play as you peruse the vendors.

This same location has Artisan’s Market Thursday and Sunday from 10-2. I haven’t made it out to the market this year, however I have found some amazing items in years past. There are many truly gifted artists that live on this island. Having several of them in one location makes shopping easy and fun. The difficult part will be choosing because there are so many beautiful pieces.

If you don’t make it to West Tisbury, but you want to find some unique island gifts visit Night Heron Gallery. You will find one of a kind pieces of jewelry, art, pottery and many other handmade items.  The Gallery is a locally owned and operated cooperative business where several highly sought after island artists sell their art and fine craft items. It is also unique in that one or more of the artists are always present in the shop.


Vineyard Haven Featured Listing

229 stateroad 300x218 Vineyard Haven Featured ListingThis magnificent home built by one of the island’s preeminent craftsmen is located in Vineyard Haven. Close to town, shopping, ferry and beaches this lovely in-town oasis has it all. Offering beautiful architectural details along with high quality materials and systems this home is sure to delight. With 4 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, 2 half baths, a partially finished basement that would be excellent for a media room, two-car garage with room for an office, beautifully landscaped outdoor space and deck. This home is great for extended family and can accommodate guests or could be set up to offer two separate living spaces allowing the option for additional income.

The front part of the house contains an open kitchen and dining area, living room with rumford fireplace, wood paneled study, and two bedroom suites. The back of the house features a large kitchen and dining area, bedroom with his and her baths, expansive third floor bonus space and media room. The 800 square foot garage could be used as a shop or office. With a separate entrance the space is ideal for an in-home business.

A gorgeous home with multiple possibilities offered at $875,000.

Visit our website for more pictures or give us a call to schedule a showing!

Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Fee

Marthas Vineyard Island 300x200 Marthas Vineyard Land Bank Fee

Cliffs in Aquinnah

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission came to existence in 1986 and they are charged with the care of 3100 acres. This land, which only comprises 5% of the Vineyard, is protected and cared for by the commission. Part of how he MV Land Bank pays to conserve this land is by charging anyone who buys a home on the island 2% of the purchase price. This 2% is then put towards maintaining the conserved land and also requisitioning new parcels if the opportunity arises. The only way to avoid part of this fee is to be a first time home- buyer. First time home-buyers are allowed a pass on up to $400,000 of their purchase price. Anything over the $400,000 they will pay 2% of to the land bank.

The Land Bank properties are open to the public. There are so many that I am including a link with a map to all the properties you could visit on the island. Some of my favorites are Felix Neck Preserve, Great Rock Bite and Edgartown Great Pond.
http://www.mvlandbank.com/newfullmap4.shtml There is information about each property and a description of how to find it. There is no fee to go hiking on these properties. It is a great way to see the natural landscape of the island.