For over 70 years, Nantucket has been a premier New England destination for people looking for second, third, or vacation homes.
In fact, Nantucket’s real estate market hit record sales volume in 2021.
Today there is a relatively limited range of residential and commercial properties on the island. It is therefore advisable to act quickly when you find a property to your liking.
Nonetheless, once you have decided to buy property in Nantucket, whether for permanent or vacation residence or business, there are a few factors and specifics that you are likely to be aware of and should keep in mind.
Here are the things you should know about buying real estate and living in Nantucket all year round.
Life on the island is different from the mainland
Although this island is not that far from the US mainland and is actually only 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, it is still isolated and not that easy to get to or leave, especially in extreme weather conditions.
The only way to get to Nantucket is usually by ferry or plane. There are no bridges or tunnels, so you can’t drive back and forth. To get your car there, you’ll need to hop on the Steamship Authority’s traditional car ferry.
However, during storms, heavy fog, snowfall and other extreme weather conditions, transportation to and from the island may be restricted or suspended altogether.
So, you must be prepared to deal with such potential situations.
Although there are various shops, hardware stores, and markets in Nantucket, many of the products are shipped and shipped from the mainland. As a result, shipping and final product prices are higher, and in some cases it may take longer to receive a product of your choice than when shopping in the US mainland.
Last but not least, the island of Nantucket is relatively small, and its permanent population is only about 11,000 residents. The community is very close-knit and almost everyone knows everyone. So if you decide to live there permanently, be prepared to be recognized by most people and asked to get involved in very active community service, charities and life.
Different neighborhoods in Nantucket have their pros and cons
Although Nantucket is small, there are several neighborhoods and areas that are very different from each other.
For example, historic downtown Nantucket is New England in style. Siasconset is a more European style village.
The city of Nantucket itself is made up of different neighborhoods. There is historic downtown with some of the oldest mansions, houses and streets and nearby are the dockyards and lighthouse of Brant Point.
Other areas on the island are Cisco and Madaket, preferred destinations by younger people, surfers and the like. Siasconset, with its beautiful weathered gray clapboard style cottages and old fashioned gardens, is a preferred village for those seeking a quieter and more relaxing seaside place to live.
Other areas include Quidnet, Miacomet, Cliff, Quidnet, Polpis and more.
It is recommended to choose the neighborhood based on your personal lifestyle preferences as some of them are busier and more modern while others are quieter and more private.
Renovations and construction on the island are complicated and expensive
Before you buy a property in Nantucket, you should keep in mind that the regulations and rules for conducting renovation and construction work on the island are very strict.
The Nantucket Historic District Commission is responsible for preserving the architecture, historic and cultural charm, views and infrastructure.
There are very strict codes even for details like the shape of the roof, the height of the house, the colors of the shingles used and more.
Each building must be approved before construction or renovation.
In addition, due to the distance from the mainland, the prices for building materials, construction and renovation work are considerably higher than elsewhere in the USA.
All property owners pay a Land Bank Tax
Before you buy property in Nantucket, you should be aware that there is a 2% fee on the purchase price that you must pay to the Land Bank and the island’s conservation organizations.
This tax ensures that all of the island’s flora and fauna remains as untouched and protected as possible and that access to all beaches and water remains free.
Because of these conservation and conservation laws, building a brand new property on the island of Nantucket is very difficult and quite limited.
This is another reason why you should make a quick offer when you find a Nantucket property that you like.
Property maintenance is expensive
Proper care and maintenance of a home or other property on Nantucket is expensive. This is especially true if you don’t live there in the winter and out of the summer season.
Because in winter there can be heavy snowfall, rain and storms, which, like this year, can lead to severe flooding and water damage.
Finding locals to look after your property there year-round can cost a lot more than using such a service in the US mainland.
Perhaps you want to rent out your property
Renting private homes to vacationers and short- and long-term visitors is a common practice in Nantucket.
This way you can get back part of your investment in buying the property there for the months that you are not using the house yourself.
Luckily there are many realtors and agencies that deal with the rental of all types of houses and properties on the island that you can rent to take care of this matter for you.