Affordable Housing Comment - Martha's Vineyard - 5/8/09

Real Estate Agent with Sandpiper Realty, Inc.

Sharon quoted in The Vineyard Gazette:


Sharon Purdy, owner of Sandpiper Realty in Edgartown and also a member of the Edgartown Affordable Housing Committee.... Mrs. Purdy searched her database and found 116 properties selling for under $550,000 on the Island. But she said many of these homes need repairs and some are not suitable for year-round occupancy.

She found 23 properties selling for under $400,000, and five selling for under $350,000.

Mrs. Purdy agreed there are less expensive homes available on the market for the first time in years, but she said buying one could result in added expenses. She too has heard rumblings about whether buying a home through an affordable housing group that sets a cap of four per cent equity on the resale of the property, was a good value. She said in fact the comparison is not that simple.

"A year ago you couldn't have posed the question of buying a home on the open market or going through [the housing trust], because you couldn't find anything for under $500,000, never mind $400,000. But people should be careful to put all the pieces together before answering that question . . . the buyer should be aware of all the costs - starting with the down payment," Mrs. Purdy said. As an example, she chose what she called a "nice little house" in Oak Bluffs currently on the market for $399,000. If a buyer came up with a $40,000 down payment, and received a 30-year mortgage at five per cent, they would need to secure a loan for around $360,000.

The monthly mortgage payment would be around $1,900, she estimated, with taxes bringing the average monthly cost to around $2,100, not including insurance. "And remember to make that work, you need to come up with a substantial down payment, and a lot of people have a hard time coming up with that out of pocket," she said.


Sharon is an affordable housing advocate, serving on the Edgartown Affordable Housing Committee, and is an avid supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

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