LandVest: Luxury Sale and Rental Properties on Martha's Vineyard

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Juniper Point, Woods Hole, MA
 
We have all seen spectacular sunsets, but they seem to be particularly brilliant during the fall and winter. As that giant, burnt-orange sphere sinks towards the horizon, have you ever stopped to wonder: why is it that as the air gets crisper, and the days get shorter our sunsets get brighter?
 
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Beach Street Oceanfront,
Rockport, MA
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The Edgerly Estate on Lake
Winnipesaukee, Tuftonboro, NH
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Silver Herring Point,
West Falmouth, MA

The simple answer is this:

At sunset, light from the sun must pass through more of our atmosphere before reaching our eyes, so it comes into contact with more molecules in the air. These molecules scatter much of the blue light, making the reds and oranges more pronounced. During the fall and winter, weather patterns allow for dry, clean Canadian air to sweep across New England, so more colors of the spectrum make it through to our eyes, producing brilliant sunsets that can look red, orange, yellow or even pink.

Above and below are some of our favorite sunsets over LandVest properties. Where one would be inclined to settle down with a warm mug of cider and watch a painted sky turn to stars.

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The Ark,
Harvard, MA
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Heron Cove,
Sedgwick, ME
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Little Eskutassis Pond,
Burlington ME

To get more information about our properties in Middlesex County, North Shore and Cape Cod, MA; Central New Hampshire; and Maine visit LandVest.com.

For more information about the color of sunsets check out the National Geographic article, “Red Sky at Night: The Science of Sunsets”.

 
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Vermont properties are trading at prices near those of a decade ago while timber value is on its way up. Combine great deals on land with a timber kicker, all wrapped up in beautiful places to be enjoyed with friends and family, the case is made.

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Timberland investing is championed by such investment luminaries as David Swenson of the Yale Endowment and Jeremy Grantham and has become an integral part of institutional and high net worth investing. LandVest clients have been investing in timber for decades. What makes timber stand out relative to other “real assets” is that it is sustainable, green, and, unlike crops, you only need to cut when the markets are good. If not, wait. The trees just keep growing.

What we really love about timber investments is that you can enjoy them. Walk, ski, soak in the natural beauty and grow your assets.

Here are two Vermont country retreats that combine natural beauty and top-flight real estate assets with a valuable timber resource:
 

Rogers Farm

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The 642± acre property is at the base of two mountains – The Gallop at 2,585 feet and Spruce Peak at 2,803 feet, and is surrounded by the Green Mountain National Forest. Town-maintained Rogers Road ends at the farm entrance. Ancient sugar maples line the driveway to the main house, a 6,837-sf open plan four bedroom Greek Revival built on the original farm site in 1999. The farm compound includes all the goodies: a swimming and trout pond, run-in sheds and fenced paddocks, broad meadows and a Scandinavian-inspired guest house. The meticulously managed woodland is primarily a northern hardwood forest laced with an exceptional trail system well-suited for walking, snowshoeing, riding horses, and snowmobiles. This timberland provides demonstrated resource value of $1.17 million on 607 acres or $1,928/acre. Sugar maple accounts for 50% of the basal area stocking on the property and 53% of the estimated saw timber volumes. According to the forester, the maple resource could support up to 23,650 taps.


 

Grey Meadow Farm

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Carefully evolved over decades by conservation-minded owners, 1,278 acre Grey Meadow Farm offers all the components of a perfect Vermont farm retreat. The property is located on Tinmouth Mountain in the Taconic Mountain Range at the end of the Mettowee Valley, and located near Manchester and its skiing, restaurants and shopping. The farm is completely private and stunningly beautiful. The Taconic Mountains have 
carbonate-rich bedrock that generally provides good growing conditions supporting a greater variety of trees. The 1,104 forested acres is dominated by Northern Hardwoods with Sugar Maple making up 44% of 15-tree species. The well-managed timberland has a resource value of $1.17 million with good sugaring potential. There is an extensive trail system throughout the property that transitions from open meadows to back country woodlands.


For more great properties combining destination quality retreats with timberland investments,
contact T. Story Jenks, sjenks@landvest.com.

 

 
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Harvard, Massachusetts, is a beautiful town year round, but summers in Harvard are especially great. Here are five things we love about living in Harvard:

 

  1. Fruitlands Museum: Love a beautiful picnic spot, with a panoramic mountain view? Add neat small museums and a locavore café thanks to our favorite restaurant entrepreneurs, Groton’s Webber Restaurant Group, and you’ve got Fruitlands Museum.
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  3. Harvard General Store: Pick up a great latte, biking equipment (Harvard is a biking mecca), or some local produce at the Harvard General Store. Be sure to stop by August 15 – 17 when the annual Central Mass Longboard Festival is in town for their event (the Harvard General Store is the headquarters for the event).
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  5. Vermont scenery close to Boston: Harvard has been proactive about land conservation (including the owner of the Ark) with the benefits of gorgeous views and miles of trails to explore. For more information on Harvard conservation land and trail maps, click here.
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  7. Great access: Harvard is an anomaly in that it is right off major highways, but largely untouched by sprawl or strip development. Just off Routes 2 and 495, and close to the commuter rail in Littleton, Harvard is easy to get to. Especially relative to many other Boston semi-rural suburbs, where narrow routes make for very slow commuting.
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  9. Stunning topography: Much of Harvard is high on a ridge, making for lovely sunset views of Mount Wachusett and Monadnock, as well as twinkling skyline views of Boston to the East. Apple orchards love the soils, with some of the larger growers in the state based in Harvard, covering the hills with blossoms in the spring.
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Check out the longboard festival in Harvard,
August 15-17
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Benny Goodman shows the way in one
of Harvard’s many conservation areas
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Harvard’s big western views to Mt. Wachusett

 


LandVest’s Stanley Edwards calls Harvard “home”.
Visit her favorite listing, the Ark, as well as her other area listings in nearby Concord.

 

 
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LandVest has long admired Tom Peters and his In Search of Excellence.  We are delighted to be marketing the 1278± acre Vermont farm he and his wife, artist and author Susan Sargent, have renovated, expanded and conserved over the last 20 years.  As their work now takes them further afield, Tom reflects on the story of their purchase of the farm and their many happy years there:


in-search-of-excellence1The White House announced that unemployment had passed 10% for the 1st time since the Great Depression. Car sales were in the basement—the only items moving off the lots were small vehicles, most of which were apparently made in Japan. With the luck of the Gods, into that quagmire of American despair, circa 1982, my McKinsey colleague Bob Waterman and I launched In Search of Excellence: Lessons From America’s Best Run Companies. That little sliver of potential good tidings led to book sales that went through the roof. For me, madness followed, including unimaginable travel to support 100-150 speeches per year. There was even a de facto business press paparazzi that chased me to my front steps.VT0652-4

Four years later, on a Sunday morning in September 1986, I was sitting on my back terrace in Woodside, California, idly thumbing through the Estate Section of the New York Times. My weary eyes sped by a 1/8th-page ad for a 525-acre property in Vermont. Frankly, I’m not sure I had been to VT, but the notion of 525 acres more-or-less “away from it all” at an affordable price by SF Bay Area standards had an inchoate appeal.

Those Gods of luck visited again: For the 1st and only time in my career, I had a speech scheduled in Albany, NY, about two weeks hence. A quick check revealed that the advertised property was only 90 minutes from the Albany Airport. For the sheer hell of it, I called the realtor and set an appointment to pay a visit to Tinmouth, VT.

To cut to the chase, I gave my A.M. speech in Albany (a GE research group as I recall), hopped in my rental car, drove what I now know to be 78.4 miles, crossed the Vermont border for the 1st time in my 44-years on earth, met the realtor, walked the property for an hour, called my business partner, made a full-price offer on the spot, and began a what’s now 28-year-old romance.
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Peace. Quiet. Space. And a beauty I had never experienced—and have still not matched or topped. A lovely 150-year-old farmhouse, though marginal on the inside, and my very own barn—a big deal to a kid who’d grown up in the D.C. suburbs and had perhaps never been in a barn.

What in 1986 was meant to be a hangout cum hideaway a couple of months a year gravitated to half time by the early nineties and full time when the new millennium launched and the new electronic tools made it no longer necessary to spend much time in my Palo Alto, CA, office.
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I added land piece by piece until I was 360-degrees privacy protected—and my wife, Susan Sargent, majestically transformed the farm house, added two fabulous studios and turned an operating “sap house” (where maple sap is boiled down to make maple syrup) into a spectacular facility set beside a large farm pond.

It is no exaggeration to say that I thank those lucky stars every day for having sent that New York Times ad my way—and also even bless the (literal) madness in my 1986-flavor life that led me to break with everything I knew as a Tidewater-lad-turned-diehard-Californian  and re-pot to magnificent Southwestern Vermont.

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(I don’t want to lay this on too thick, but the fact is our Tinmouth farm and its environs became a spiritual retreat and a mystical place for me. And that’s one hell of a mouthful coming from a Cornell engineer-Stanford MBA who dreams in statistical distributions and has never been to a Zen retreat.)

Tom Peters
July 2014
Tinmouth, Vermont

 
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Do you love New England’s open countryside and beautiful trails? Here are some farms, country reteats and great deals:

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Swimming ponds in the Green Mountains

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Great places to ride at great values

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Trying to please a horse person and a fisherman?

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Or a horse person and a golf/ tennis player?

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To see other country retreats, click here.

 

 
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rjd New Bedford’s Historic Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum Hosts its Annual Dinner Dance June 14, 2014. Swing into summer with the RJD Annual Dinner Dance on the shores of Padanaram Harbor in South Dartmouth. harbor lights

For reservations, check the link:

http://www.rjdmuseum.org/harbor-lights/

Always one of the most popular events of the season on the South Coast, enjoy cocktails, dinner, dancing, and a silent auction of a wonderful array of trips, art, food and even a picnic on the Elizabeth Islands with LandVest’s Stewart Young. See the selection of silent auction items:

http://www.rjdmuseum.org/2014silentauction/

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Built by shipwrights in 1834 for whaling merchant William Rotch Jr., the Rotch-Jones-Duff (RJD) House and Garden Museum epitomizes the “brave houses and flowery gardens” described by Herman Melville in Moby-Dick. Greek Revival in style, it was designed by architect Richard Upjohn, a founder and first president of the American Institute or Architects.

Today this National Historic Landmark offers house tours, a variety of cultural programs and changing exhibits, and curriculum-based educational programming to more than 2,000 students annually.

We invite you to visit 396 County Street and step back in time to experience the history of a community closely tied to the sea.

Save the Date!

RJD Annual Dinner Dance

June 14, 2014

While on the South Coast, check out LandVest’s listings that include some of the finest waterfront properties and gentleman’s farms:

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 South Dartmouth Classic
at Salter’s Point
 Westport River Land  Round Hill Lot  Goodspeed Island
 MA1746_9  26 Main St, Mattapoisset MA  RI0064_1a  MA1765_3
 13 Shipyard Lane  Purrington House  Wunnegin Farm  Rexhame Beach
Waterfront Lot

 
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In the last 5-10 years, Maine has experienced a surge in the creation of small family farms. As the demand for organic and locally-grown food has risen, Maine has found itself perfectly poised to respond. Combining this with a growing desire among young urban and suburban professionals to reconnect with nature, to find a peaceful and beautiful place to live and raise children, and we find a significant new subsector of the market.

We in LandVest’s Camden office have seen a significant increase in the number of buyers who fit this profile. Most of them are coming from cities, many have connections to Maine, and the majority have young children. They often have successful careers and plan to either work from their new home, commute, or retire in order to farm full-time.

LandVest Listing Photography Two Century Farm Bristol Maine

In just one example, the 133-acre Two Century Farm in Bristol, which we sold last fall, is going back to its roots—the new buyers are going to re-establish a small-scale family farm. The house is one of the oldest in Bristol (it is, in fact, the building where the town of Bristol was incorporated) and the property was lovingly maintained by the seller, whose family owned it since the 1960s. With old stone walls and fields surrounding the ca. 1769 Cape, the land offers rich soils for the seeds of this family’s dream.

Maine offers wonderful options for buyers, and we expect to see more sales reflecting the increasing interest in farming in the months and years to come.

For more information on great Maine Farms for sale, contact Terry Sortwell, Joe Sortwell  or Shannon Thompson.

 
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Stay Tuned…
for blogs featuring the conservation aspects
of special LandVest listings.
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Is conservation good for the value of properties or does it restrict marketability?
Can you answer this question for your property or for a property you are considering for purchase?

Over 19 million acres of land are conserved through conservation easements nationwide, many of them very valuable properties. With so many of the best properties conserved, it is critical that brokers who serve the high end are well-versed in conservation easements. LandVest has assisted in the conservation of over a million acres,  primarily through the use of conservation easements.  Many of our record sales are of properties subject to easements.

We understand both how easements help to increase property values – by preserving truly unique properties and creating protected landscapes for those properties in perpetuity – and can also seriously impair property value if poorly designed.

Q: ‪What a beautiful view!  Is it protected?‬
A: The first question we often get when a buyer arrives at a special property is “what can happen to mess up this beautiful place?”  Conservation easements can eliminate that risk, increasing the value of the few remaining protected landscapes.  We often say “abuts conservation sells”: protected views, the guarantee of quiet, and access to trail networks make all the difference in value.

Q: How do I know if a conservation easement will work for me or for future buyers?
A: Look hard at the reserved rights: for many properties, the easement is designed to prohibit future development, but to allow the owner to do pretty much what they’ve always done: have horses, build a pool, cut down trees, maintain fields, farm the land.  But some easements are either unclear, or unduly restrictive.  It is important to read the reserved rights section of the easement to make sure that it allows the uses that make the property useful to the broadest market – other than development, of course.

Q: Won’t someone always be telling me what to do?
A: Most conservation easements are held by private non-profits, whose reason for being is in helping landowners conserve their properties in a workable manner.  Usually, their oversight is limited to a yearly review with a land steward, which can be a fun opportunity for the landowner to learn more about the natural attributes of their property.  These encounters can be less enjoyable if a careful review of the reserved rights didn’t happen, and the landowner violates terms of the easement.  But generally, land trusts depend on the good will of landowners to work within the easement language and try to avoid expensive and unnecessary conflict.

Please contact David Rosen, Director, Real Estate Consulting Group or Ruth Kennedy Sudduth, Director, Residential Brokerage, to find out more about the value of conserved properties.  Stay tuned to our blog for features on some of our great conserved properties for sale.

 
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Main_residence_overlooks_fields_and_stone_wallsCoverly Farm was a labor of love for its owner, who designed the house himself and enjoyed it for years with his family. Drawing inspiration from traditional English country manors and the nautical influences surrounding the property, the house incorporates contemporary style with beautiful craftsmanship.

LandVest Listing photography: Coverly 20090916 LandVest Listing photography: Coverly 20090916

It overlooks fields and stone walls that sweep to the Bagaduce, a beautiful tidal estuary that forms the Castine peninsula. The guest house is a charming 1- or 2-bedroom post and beam house, and the barn offers a studio space as well as garden and tractor storage. While someone may well just maintain the open fields, enjoying the view and the wildlife that flourish, there’s also the potential here for a full-scale farming operation of some kind. With 40 acres mostly in fields (the woods here really serve to offer privacy on the property borders and cover for wildlife), there are all kinds of opportunities.

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The farm is located just a few miles up the road from one of the oldest villages in the nation, Castine. This historic year-round community is situated on an island-like peninsula on the eastern shore of Penobscot Bay. Its antique grace is preserved by the white clapboard residences that line its streets. Castine is home to Maine Maritime Academy, the Castine Yacht Club, and the Castine Golf Club. A variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants are located in the village and in nearby Blue Hill.ME0901_1N
LandvestFor more information on this property or other waterfront homes in coastal Maine, contact Terry Sortwell, tsortwell@landvest.com, Shannon Thompson, sthompson@landvest.com or Joe Sortwell, jsortwell@landvest.com in our Camden Maine office.

 

 
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Provenance, quality and location drive value. The great properties of Lake Champlain are no exception. Here are three favorite properties from the LandVest team in Burlington, Vermont,  Wade Weathers & Averill Cook:

1.  Wings Point, Charlotte, VT

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Named after Reverend Wing, and later the property of Sir Willfred Grenfell, knighted by the Queen of England, Wings Point is a point of reference to all boaters of Lake Champlain. We are offering a wonderful compound on the 4+ acres: a main house right on the water, a separate guest or caretaker’s house at the driveway entrance, a former boat house and a studio. With over 600’ of lake shore the property is an irreplaceable asset.


 

2. The Pinnacle, Charlotte, VT

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Overlooking Converse Bay, The Pinnacle is a Lake Champlain landmark. Constructed in 1896 by William J. Van Patten, a former mayor of Burlington and lumber magnate whose access to superb timber provided the fine woods in the interior, Mr. Van Patten commuted to his Burlington office right from the Pinnacle dock on the famous Ticonderoga.


 

3. Bay Point, Panton, VT

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Bay Point is one of the finest Gentleman Farms on Lake Champlain. This 125± acre peninsula, one of the few completely private residences on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, is set among fields, stone walls and towering pine and oak trees. A historic marker on the property describes how Benedict Arnold scuttled his fleet in Arnold Bay to escape the British in the battle of Lake Champlain in 1776.


 

Wade Weathers and Averill Cook head up the LandVest team in Burlington, Vermont.
For more information, please call or email them at wweathers@landvest.com or acook@landvest.com
Burlington, Vermont Office: (802) 651-5392

 
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