Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Sunset over Vineyard Haven from East Chop…AMAZING!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our Newest West Tisbury Listing

Take a tour of our newest listing in West Tisbury.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

A Vineyard Autumn

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Doug's November Reflections

Halloween came and went, as did the beautiful full harvest moon of October. The beginning of November is always a quick reminder that winter is soon to arrive.

The sales statistics for “year to date” are encouraging in comparison to the same period in 2009. The total number of units sold so far this year is 324 compared to 238 in 2009. This total already surpasses the total number of sales in 2009! The average price is $979,000 compared to $935,000 in 2009 and the median price is $550,000 compared to $527,500 in 2009. Additionally the average days on market dropped to 308 from 337 in 2009.

There are presently 63 properties “under agreement” on the island.

All of this is good news and a strong indication that we hit the bottom of the market in 2009. Be aware, however, history tells us that once we hit the bottom of the “cycle”, we will stay there for about 3 years before seeing any significant increase in values.

Interest rates continue at historic low levels and should continue to help fuel the market. I anticipate sales for the remainder of 2010 to be steady and this will help for a strong winter/spring market on the island.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Doug's October Letter To Sellers

Happy October greetings from a cloudy, wet Martha’s Vineyard. I am not complaining, however, as we needed the rain.

First I need to make a correction from my September letter. Sales in August were incorrectly reported. There were 23 sales, not 12 as I reported so that is good news -- sales in August were up not down. September sales reported so far, total 15 with an average price of $1.25M and a median price of $675,000. The average days on market are down from 288 in August to 255 in September.

Properties showing under contract in LINK today number at 55, which is promising for a productive 4th quarter. The 4th quarter in 2009 was the strongest quarter last year…let’s hope for the same this year. Of these 55, 23 are over $1M with one topping the $10M mark, so the upper end of the market appears to be strong. One recent sale in Chilmark does, however, show that this current downturn in the market affects all prices ranges. A home along the south shore that sold in 2007 for $8.75M just sold for $5.4M last month.

Interest rates again are offered at historic low rates and continue to help buyers “get off the fence”. This trend is expected to continue through the remainder of the year which is contradictory to predictions from last spring. Just like TV weathermen, economic forecasters can be wrong!

Monday, September 27, 2010

How Assessed Values Can Help

Here's a great article that help you figure out your properties real value.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hurricane Earl Information

Martha's Vineyard Chamber of CommerceSeptember 2, 2010

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has asked us to communicate important information to you regarding Hurricane Earl.
Currently, Earl is a category 4 hurricane, trending on a course that, if it stays on the projected path, may pass approx 20 miles south east of Nantucket Friday evening. It is expected that the hurricane watch now in place will be upgraded to a hurricane warning later today.
Dangerous marine conditions are expected, including:
Very dangerous rip currents now through Sunday
10-15 foot seas on the coast, 20 foot+ just off coast, and 30+ foot seas in open waters

Right now, the expectation is that we will see heavy rain preceding the winds, likely starting tonight or tomorrow morning, through Saturday morning. The worst of the wind is anticipated early evening on Friday through the night. PLEASE NOTE: there is still plenty of time for this information to change, so please keep an eye on the local forecast for up to the minute information.

MEMA officials urged us not to panic, but to be prepared and take necessary precautions. Please see below a list of suggestions for small businesses.

MEMA officials have assured me that no evacuation plans are in place for the Cape and Islands at this time, but that boaters are strongly encouraged to securly moor their boats and swimmers are asked to use extreme caution. If winds reach 75 mph tomorrow evening, the Bourne and Sagamore bridges will be closed. Ferries will post updates with local media and on their websites.

MEMA is working with local officials to set up shelters and emergency supplies.
The most up to date information will be through the media. Please keep and eye on the forecast, and review the tips below to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and business. Additional information can be found on:
MEMA's Hurricane Tips for Business Owners
Review your property insurance with your insurance agent. Take photographs or make a video of your business establishment, both inside and outside.
Determine and establish a written Hurricane Preparedness Plan for your business and its contents. Coordinate this plan with local and state officials. Specify the conditions under which the plan will be implemented.
Test your plan, reviewing it annually. Establish an employee-training program on your Hurricane Plan.
Make plans for protection of your computer files, including an off-site back-up system to secure and safely store data.
Protect corporate records, keeping duplicates at an alternate location.
Well in advance, acquire emergency protective equipment and supplies. Heavy plastic sheeting, duct tape, sandbags, emergency generator, chain saw and large pieces of plywood will help protect your property.
Bring in display racks and other objects, such as trashcans that might cause damage if airborne. Remove outdoor signs, especially those that swing or are portable.
Move merchandise, equipment or furniture away from windows or skylights. Elevate boxes or equipment, if possible.
Turn off electricity and disconnect all electrical appliances and equipment (except for refrigeration equipment), in case there is a power outage. An ensuing power surge could be damaging to connected equipment.
Inform all employees on when and how you will notify them to report back to work.
Develop an employee identification system, such as picture ID badges. This may help employees gain access to the area after a hurricane.
If possible, make arrangements to pay employees in cash. It may be several days before banking institutions are operational.
© 2010 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Family Hurricane Preparedness Tips
As we enter the 2010 Hurricane Season, which experts are predicting to be very active, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is offering personal preparedness tips for the all of the citizens of the Commonwealth.
"Every home and business should have a stocked basic emergency supply kit that could be used for any emergency, regardless of the time of year," states MEMA Acting Director Kurt Schwartz. "Everyone should keep certain items around the house and workplace in the event you are isolated for three to five days without power"
Each kit will be unique to each family, but should include a portable radio, flashlight, extra batteries, a supply of non-perishable foods, along with bottled water, a first aid kit, extra prescription medication, and extra food and supplies for infants and pets.
"All families should develop a 'Family Emergency Communication Plan' to help ensure everyone is safe. You should contact your local authorities to learn about your community's potential evacuation routes and the location of emergency shelters," said Schwartz. "It is important to familiarize yourself with your Community's Emergency Plans before an emergency situation occurs."
Develop a Disaster Supply Kit 'Go Bag', with essentials in case you must evacuate quickly.
Canned goods and nonperishable foods that do not need cooking:
Canned meats and fish
Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned soups and puddings
Canned fruit juices
Dried fruit and nuts
Bread, cookies and crackers
Peanut butter and jelly
Coffee and tea
Manual can opener
Bottled water (1 gallon per person/per day)
Prescription medication (2 week supply)
Extra eyeglasses
Pet food/supplies
Water purification tablets (halazone)
Disposable plates, cups, and utensils
Infant care items:
Disposable diapers
Baby wipes
Baby food
First aid supplies
Masking and duct tape
Flashlight or lantern, with extra batteries
Battery operated radio, with extra batteries
Watch or battery operated clock
Ice chest
Canned heat (sterno)
Portable outdoor camping stove or grill with fuel supply
A certain amount of cash
Important documents (Such as wills, deeds, prescriptions, passports, birth certificates, health record, proof of address, Social Security number)
Plastic trash bags
Plastic sheeting or tarp
Chlorinated bleach
Personal hygiene items
Other useful items:
Work gloves
Sun lotion
Insect repellent
Razor knife
Ax or chainsaw
Rope caulking
Nails and screws
Rope and wire
Broom, mop and bucket
All-purpose cleaner
Portable generator
Tree pruner
Shovel, rake and wheelbarrow
Sheets of plywood
Develop a Family Emergency Communications Plan in case family members are separated from one another during an emergency (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school, camp or at a friend's house). This plan should also address reunification after the immediate crisis passes.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person. During and immediately after a disaster occurs, it is often easier to access a long distance telephone number than a local one. Also, calling outside a disaster area is usually easier than calling into the same area.
Make sure everyone knows the name, address and telephone number of the Family Emergency Communications Plan contact person.
Designate two meeting areas for family members - one within your community (your primary location), and one outside of your community (your alternate location). Sometimes an emergency could impact your neighborhood or small section of the community, so a second location outside of your community would be more accessible to all family members.
A Family Emergency Communications Plan can help reassure everyone's safety and minimize the stress associated with emergencies
Educate yourself and family about emergency plans for your community, place of business, your child's school and camp. Know what potential risks your community and neighborhood are susceptible to in a hurricane, such as storm surge, flooding, etc. Carefully monitor the Media and follow instructions from Public Safety officials as hurricane approaches.
© 2010 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Dear Doug,
For the highest readability, start your letter with a short sentence.

Message Headline
By breaking up the body of the letter into logical topics, your readers can focus in on the topic that they deem most relevant.
Select your wording carefully. Most people scan their emails very quickly. Keep your paragraphs to seven lines or less. If you have more information, include a link to your website where your readers can get further details.

Thank your customer, tell them how valuable they are to you, but don't go overboard. Insincerity is easy to spot.


Nancy GardellaMartha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Real Estate on the Vineyard

Summer arrived on the Vineyard 2 weeks ago and the 90 degree temperatures have warmed the local waters to almost 70 degrees. Many years we do not see this water temperature until August.

The real estate market has also heated up…in regards to the number of sales. In the month of June there were 49 real estate transactions. Included in this number are 7 bank foreclosure sales (about 14% of the market). This is up 100% from last month when we saw 24 sales and up 90% from a year ago when there were 27 sales in June. The average sales price was $711,836; the median price was $549,250 and the number of days on market averaged 311 days. The median price has been fairly consistent over the past 12 month period which is a strong indicator that prices are stabilizing.

Looking ahead, there are presently 31 properties under contract or at Purchase and Sales, so July sales numbers will probably be lower than those in June. These numbers will be somewhat increased when the bank foreclosures go on record since many of these sales are not listed for sale in LINK. Speaking of foreclosures, the experts tell us that the number of foreclosures will be increasing over the next 12 months, reaching the peak in August of 2011. This is primarily due to the “option ARM” loans that are in sharp contrast to the sub-prime loans that started this foreclosure mess. The option ARM loans were initiated by many professional people who have subsequently lost their job in the current economic downturn, so the anticipated values of the upcoming foreclosures will be higher than those of the sub-prime era.

Interest rates have again reached record lows. A conforming 30 year fixed rate mortgage dropped to 4.5% for the first time in history! Mortgage lending does have tough new standards so the time and requirements to obtain a loan has increased. As a seller, this means (once we find a buyer) you need to be patient as the bank works through their process.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Doug Chosen for Top Producer Panel

WALTHAM, Massachusetts

– May 22, 2010 –

Local REALTOR® Doug Reece was recently chosen to participate in a sold out Top Producer Panel presentation by the Massachusetts CRS Chapter, held at the Cape Cod and Islands REALTOR® Association in West Yarmouth, MA.

Reece was one of four award winning CRS panelists chosen from across the state to share their marketing techniques, industry knowledge, and their insight on how best to serve the needs of clients.

During the discussion, moderated by Gary Rogers, CRS, topics such as property marketing, best internet marketing strategies, and client-care ideas were some of the most popular with the audience. All participants agreed that education and earning designations were key in their success.

The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest Designation awarded to sales associates in the residential sales field and is held by less than 5% of all REALTORS® nationally. The CRS Designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both experience and education.

Cape Cod REALTOR® Lynette Helms, President of the Cape Cod and Islands Association of REALTORS® said, “Our REALTORS® instantly recognized the expertise of the panelists and were grateful to them for sharing their great ideas”.

Massachusetts CRS Chapter President Lenny Harris, CRS, stated , “Doug Reece is one of the best agents in the Martha’s Vineyard area and is also recognized across the state as being a leader in the industry by constantly raising the bar for the best in customer satisfaction. He also impressed the audience by sharing some cutting edge marketing ideas that will help other agents get their clients’ homes sold faster and for more money.”

Doug Reece, broker/owner of RE/MAX on island has helped over 200 families with their real estate needs on the Vineyard for the past 12 years. Doug can be reached at

508-696-3704 or to learn more, visit www.remax-onisland.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

(click on the chart to see larger image)
The Bank of Martha’s Vineyard is offering the following interest rates today. Rates change daily so if you are intrigued by these “historically” low rates give the bank or your mortgage person a call. These are for conforming loans under $417,000 with a 20% down payment. What a great time to purchase or refinance.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May Musings

“The best spring I have seen on Martha’s Vineyard in my 66 years”. This is a quote from a long time island resident I spoke to last week. And, I must agree. April was a gorgeous month and May began where April left off.

The real estate market, although better than the spring of 2009, is not doing as well as the weather. There were 22 sales in April (down 18% from March) but still strong from one year ago. The median sales price was $525,000 and average days on market were 225. With 28 properties presently “under agreement”, sales in May should be a mirror image of April.

One good point of interest is that only 1 of the 22 sales in April was directly related to a bank foreclosure. Bank foreclosures are responsible for keeping many buyers from making a decision to purchase as the buyer hopes for that “great deal” to appear. The experts tell us that nationwide 2010 will be the worst year ever for number of bank foreclosures…I hope they are wrong.

Buyer activity is busy but sporadic. The typical buyer in this market is well educated (or working on becoming educated) and this can be frustrating for you as a seller. Buyer’s and their agents are “tight lipped” when it comes to showing feedback, so we never really know where things stand with a buyer. Once thing is for sure, buyers are only buying when they see a value and value is based on pricing and property condition.

Interest rates are continuing to hold steady in the low 5’s for a 30 year fixed conventional loan and 5 year ARM’s are as low as 3.75%(I just refinanced to take advantage of this). Unfortunately, the experts are still expecting rates to start an upward trend in the fall.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Musings

We finally have a sunny day on the island…one of the few in the last 30 days. March brought us the rains we usually expect in April; record rainfalls according to the weather reporters.

March also brought us a strong number of sales; 24 to be exact. This is a consistent number when looking at the sales in January and February of this year. The “mean” price for March was $655,000 with 5 of the 24 sales exceeding $2M. This “mean” price is up from $635,000 in February. I find this to be a strong indicator of a busy spring market.

There are many reports nationwide that say we are “set” to come out of this down market. I truly hope they are correct.

You can now visit us on facebook; please become a fan. Also, take a look at our Youtube channel as we are now videotaping our listings and marketing our listings in this fabulous venue.

As a reminder, interest rates are still holding at historic lows although banking standards and underwriting reviews are stricter than before. Loans that used take 3-4 weeks for approval are taking 6-8 weeks in many situations. I find local banks are much easier to deal with than off island lenders.

The first week of April has been quite busy for everyone here at RE/MAX on island. There are plenty of qualified buyers around and many are submitting offers. Also we have just received 2 new quality listings, so please visit our website and take a look. Now is a great time to buy and, if you are selling, a great time to advantage of the many buyers in today’s market.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The following article was published on The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS
WALTHAM, Mass. – March 31, 2010 –

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that median prices of single-family homes were up 7.7 percent compared to February 2009 while condominiums were up 12.8 percent compared to the same time last year. Home sales have now increased for eight straight months and were up 14.3 percent compared to the same time last year while condominium sales were up 14.8 percent.

"February was another good month for the Massachusetts real estate market as momentum continues to build toward more normal market levels across the state,” said 2010 MAR President Kevin Sears, broker/co-owner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield. “While more homes for sale would help ensure prices stabilizing, it was a positive sign that February had the smallest percentage drop since year-over-year inventory declines started 23 months ago.”

There were 1,882 detached single-family homes sold this February, a 14.3 percent increase from the 1,647 homes sold the same time last year. On a month-to-month basis, home sales were down less than one percent from 1,897 homes sold this past January.

The median selling price for single-family homes in February was $271,950, an increase of 7.7 percent compared to $252,500 in February 2009. This is the third straight month of year-over-year gains. On a month-to-month basis, the February median selling price was down 9.4 percent from $300,000 in January 2010.

The February condominium market was up 14.8 percent compared to the same time last year (from 691 units sold in 2009 to 793 units sold in 2010). On a month-to-month basis, condominium sales were down 6.6 percent compared to the 849 units sold this past January.

Condominium median selling prices in February were up 12.8 percent from $213,250 in 2009 to $240,500 in February 2010. On a month-to-month basis, the median selling price of a condominium was down 6.8 percent from a January 2010 median of $257,980.

Inventory and Days on Market:
The inventory of single-family homes as of February 28, 2010 decreased 3.0 percent from February 2009 (25,317 listings in 2009 to 24,434 listings in 2010) which translates into 13.0 months of supply in February 2010. This is down from 15.4 months of supply last year and up from 12 months in January 2010. February supply was at its lowest level since February 2002 and down 32 percent from the February peak of 35,907 homes in 2006. This is the 23rd straight month that inventory has gone down compared to the previous year.

The condominium market saw February inventory decrease by 6 percent from last year (11,028 listings in 2009 to 10,362 listings in 2010), which translates into 13.1 months of supply, which is down from 16 months in February 2009 and up from 11.1 months this past January. This is the 23rd straight month that inventory has gone down compared to the previous year.

Detached single-family homes stayed on the market an average of 137 days in February 2010 compared to an average of 153 days in February 2009, while condos stayed on the market an average of 142 days, down from an average of 187 days in February 2009. On a month-to-month basis, days on market for single-family homes were up from 130 days and condos were down from 144 days in January.

About the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®:
Organized in 1924, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade organization with more than 20,000 members. The term REALTOR® is registered as the exclusive designation of members of the National Association of REALTORS® who subscribe to a strict code of ethics and enjoy continuing education programs.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We've known the island is a great place to live but now even the Globe agrees with us. West Tisbury was named one of the top 12 places in Massachusetts to live in a recent article. Check it out...
Top 12 Places to live in Massachuseets

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Doug's Thoughts For March

I write to you this month from “not so sunny” Florida where I am attending the annual RE/MAX international conference. For 4 days I will be educated in seminars and discussions focused on the real estate industry, economic trends, developments in technology and just about everything I need to keep on the cutting edge of our industry.

For now, the local news:
There were 22 sales on the island in February, a 20% decline from that in January, but still an increase from last February. There were 5 sales in February over $3M and 3 of the sales were bank foreclosures. Presently there are 17 properties “under agreement” with ½ probably closing in March and the other ½ in April or May, so the upcoming months will show a decline in number of “closed” sales.

This actually follows what I learned in an economic class yesterday about national statistics. All indicators say we will have a busy first 2 quarters of the year and things will slow in the 3rd and 4th quarter. This is partly due to an expected increase in interest rates by the end of the year and, on a national basis, the ending or changing of the first time homebuyer stimulus money. One staggering number I learned was that there are over 3 million foreclosures expected in 2010.

The past 4-6 weeks have seen a slowdown in the number of property showings. This is primarily due to the weather conditions across the northeast and upper mid Atlantic states. People in DC, Philly and NY are still digging out of their historic snow storms and the constant rain in eastern MA has kept people home. Once the weather breaks I think we will see a big influx of property showings and hopefully more sales. This is supported by an increase in Internet activity and property inquiries from our website.

Interest rates are holding steady (for now) at 5% on a 30 year fixed mortgage, which is good. But, as a seller, please be aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have seriously tightened the qualifying regulations. What this means for you is a frustrating loan process as the buyer is put through the “hoop jumping” required to get all documentation to the loan underwriter. Plan on 40-60 days just for loan approval!

Here’s wishing for an early spring.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Martha's Vineyard This Week

Our Featured Listing...

This wonderful Vineyard Haven house is located at 100 Center Street. This Greek Revival home is currently a great investment property divded into two apartments. Or convert it back to a single family home and live in style near the Edgartown historic district. Take visual tour now...
Play VisualTour


Call 508/696-3704 for more information on this property or any of your real estate needs on Martha's Vineyard.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welome Our New Agents

We'd like to welcome two new agents to our RE/MAX on island family. Brian Byrne & Barbara Twiss have joined our Vineyard Haven office.

Brian or Barbara will be happy to help you with any questions you may have about the island or buying and selling real estate here on Martha's Vineyard.

Welcome Brian & Barbara!