As many of you may know, I lost my Martha’s Vineyard vacation home to fire last winter. Starting anew with a property search on the Island has given me a unique opportunity to focus and redefine my definition of a perfect vacation home for our family.

The beauty of the island speaks for itself – fabulous beaches, nature, charming towns. The effort to get to an island retreat makes it that much more of a true getaway. Once the ferry docks, I enter a slower, more relaxed world.

Martha’s Vineyard is surprisingly varied. You could live in town and walk to everything. You could live on a wooded parcel or in a rolling field “up island.” You could splurge for a home with sweeping ocean views and its own private beach.

Of course the ocean is key to the island’s appeal. But the Vineyard’s variety offers a vacation dream spot for every lifestyle. Over the summer, I took a walk through the town of Oak Bluffs. Oak Bluffs is about history and community. It isn’t necessarily about views. But it was still lovely. It was dusk, and the fog was just starting to roll in. We strolled through the “campground” a community built in the 1870s as a religious retreat. People sat on their porches of their gingerbread cottages while their kids played in the little streets. Maybe these families had been neighbors for generations. I could peek into the living rooms through the wide screen doors. Many of the compact Victorian rooms retained their original furnishings.

I returned to my rental home. I savored this very different Vineyard lifestyle. This house was all about its setting and luxury with wide-open sunny spaces – both inside and out. Here my closest neighbor was an osprey family. Beyond their nest, unspoiled views stretched before me of ponds and the ocean. Inside the house, the home’s open layout allowed for fabulous family entertaining, and the gourmet kitchen was much appreciated.

So here I am, an experienced Realtor and, like many of you, I’m “looking for it all.” I would love to find a home that is close to Edgartown, but not too close. Private yet convenient to shopping – I’ve heard that phrase over the years from my clients! I’d love a view of a field but water views are even better. The house needs to have flexible spaces so my husband and I can feel cozy there in the winter but be able to open it up to my visiting sons and their families. I’m eager to see all the options that are out there. Just like many of you – I’m shopping for the house that’s just right for us.

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