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10 Tips for Purchasing a New Home on Nantucket


Homeowner Resources

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Purchasing a Home on Nantucket

Who wouldn’t want to own a piece of this beautiful island? It’s a big decision and there’s a lot to learn about the ins and outs of the market. Fisher Real Estate is here to help with our comprehensive, quick-reference guide of the key steps and tools to find, purchase and finance a Nantucket home that meets your needs and preferences.

1. Find a Qualified Agent

To help ensure a successful home purchase, it is important to interview your agent. Ask for their experience, credentials, references and services provided. Make sure you are well represented and there is a good relationship between you and your agent. Learn more about our awesome Fisher team here

2. Determine Your Budget

In addition to considering the requisite down payment and monthly mortgage amount, don’t forget to account for real estate taxes (which are actually quite low on Nantucket!), utility expenses, property manager fees, landscaping, etc. A Fisher agent can help you with an estimated pro forma to ensure you aren’t omitting common expenses and may also help you estimate your rental revenues if you plan to rent the property.

» Also, don’t forget about the two percent Land Bank purchase fee, which helps us all enjoy the island a little more by funding the purchase of open spaces and amenities like Skinner’s and Miacomet Golf Courses. 

3. Consider Financing

Financial preparations are central to most home purchases. In addition to helping you make better decisions about what you can afford in a home, a buyer who already has financing in place is often in a better negotiating position when it’s time to make an offer.  The team at Fisher has a host of trusted lender connections so don’t hesitate to ask who we think might be best for your purchase.

4. Get to Know the Real Estate Market

Market conditions change regularly so it’s important to ask your agent to keep you informed about inventory levels in a price point (are they high, low or average), what is the average marketing time and what you might be able to expect in terms of a discount from the asking price. Knowing key market metrics will aid you in knowing how quickly to act and how to write your offer when you find the right property.

5. Obtain a Local Authority

Nantucket has a unique set of zoning and environmental regulations so we recommend you engage a local attorney to ensure you are well-represented. All too often we hear stories of buyers (or sellers) learning a key fact about their property after a purchase when it would have been far more beneficial to learn about it ahead of time.

6. Negotiate Terms and Outline Contingencies

It is critical to have a well-informed and experienced agent/attorney team assisting you with your offer and purchase. It will ensure your bases are covered and that common contingency requests have been identified and properly requested, including mechanical, structural, septic, buildability, water and natural resource concerns.

7. Prepare for the Closing

Prior to the closing, your agent will assist you with the transfer of utility accounts, recommendations for a service crew (caretaker, landscaping, cleaner etc) and facilitate a final walk-through of the property to make sure everything is in order prior to closing.

8. Close on Your Nantucket Property

Once all contingencies have been met and financing, if applicable, is set, the closing will take place. Unlike many other locales, buyers and sellers typically do not attend the closing. In fact, nearly all transactions are handled remotely with the buyer’s attorney and seller’s attorney meeting to exchange and record documents. The only reason for you to be here is to begin enjoying your property right away!

9. Move into Your New Home

Moving your personal items to an island 30 miles out to sea is an adventure of its own. Ask
your agent to recommend a team who can help you move your items, or store them if you are renovating. If you are receiving deliveries to your new property but aren’t yet on the island, make sure someone is there to check on them regularly and make sure they are secure.  Fisher agents will continue to be a resource long after the purchase!

10. Celebrate!

This is the easy and fun part but if you need assistance planning the celebration, we can help with that too!