Are you thinking of buying a house in Nantucket? Pros and Cons of living there

The island of Nantucket is 30 miles away from Cape Cod and about the same distance away from Martha’s Vineyard. It has become one of the most desired destinations for second and first homeowners in recent years. It is a relatively small island, and at the same time, the local authorities and conservation organizations are working actively against limiting new building work and development. This means that the prices have gone rocket-high, and the availability of properties for sale is limited.

It is no surprise that some of the properties there have ranked as the most expensive in Massachusetts for the first half of 2022.

Luckily, many of the local house owners and companies rent their properties off short-term for visitors to the island during the summer and the rest of the year. This will allow you to get a feel of what it is like to live on the “Little Gray Lady of the Sea” without breaking the bank.

But if you are ready to overcome the obstacles and are ready to invest in a property in Nantucket, you may be wondering what the pros and cons are of living in that house.

The first thing to consider is whether you are buying the property as your first home and permanent residence, as a vacation home, or as a potential investment for renting out to other travelers.

The difference between living on this New England island all year round and only during the summer is huge.

During the summer, from May to October, the number of people on the island can bulk up considerably. At the peak of the season, the residents can reach up to 50,000 and more, while the permanent population is only about 10-15,000.

So, the difference between living in Nantucket in the summer only and living there all year round is pretty contrasting.

Another key factor when deciding whether or not you want to live in Nantucket is the fact that it is, after all, an island, so you will be dependent on the weather and sea conditions to get there and leave. Plus, the shipments and deliveries, including the imported labor from mainland USA are more complicated and expensive than elsewhere because you can reach Nantucket only via ferry or plane.

If you are an outdoorsy person who doesn’t mind some harsh weather in the winter, life in Nantucket still has a lot to offer but sans the crowds. If you worry about being isolated or bad weather, you may not be the perfect candidate for a full-time island resident.

One can still enjoy foraging, fishing, hiking, birding, kayaking, and other outdoor activities even in the winter in Nantucket. But many of the local residents do seek refuge somewhere else for a few weeks when the weather gets really harsh in the winter.

Winter can cause depression, and locals have been coping with problems with alcohol and drug use during the bleak winter season there. At the same time, it is during this season when many of the locals are at their happiest and have a chance for some privacy, a quieter time, and closer interaction with their neighbors.

Many eateries, galleries, and some stores close up during the winter, so there are limited options for public gatherings then. Still, there is a movie theater, kindergartens, and schools open all year round for the full-time residents and their children.

In the summer, Nantucket becomes a vacation paradise. It is the season when all the restaurants and other venues open, and the hustle-bustle of the Town can be experienced at its best. But when the crowds of summer homeowners and tourists start arriving, this can be a problem for people who prefer a more introverted and quiet lifestyle as well.

During the summer, you can visit some of the best restaurants in the state and in the country in Nantucket. The same is not valid for the months from November to early May.

So, whether or not Nantucket is the best place to live all year round depends on your lifestyle preferences and personality. If you are a quiet and homey type, you will like living there, especially in the winter. If you love the hustle and bustle of the summer, you may want to consider living in Nantucket only during summer.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the local restrictions for renovations, construction work, and changes you can make to a building or property are stringent. So, you will have to comply with them, even when it comes to the color of your house, its roof shape, and other elements and amenities. So, you must be sure that you are happy with the house’s features before buying it because renovating it may be difficult and, in many cases, even impossible in Nantucket.

Another crucial thing to consider is the price of living, the cost of upkeep, and the available jobs in Nantucket.

This is a place where you will need to pay more for just about anything you own or need on the mainland USA. Temporary work may be available during the summer or in housing, but it is also limited. This means that the poverty rate is low, which is a plus for homeowners there too.

Here is an overview of the pros and cons of living in Nantucket:


  • Low crime rate and a low poverty rate
  • Excellent livability
  • Available good education
  • Joining a tight knit community
  • Beautiful setting and many outdoor activity options
  • Great restaurants and other attractions during the summer
  • Buying a property there is a promising investment


  • High property prices
  • Regulations for renovations and building
  • A high cost of living
  • High delivery, upkeep, health service, and other goods and service costs
  • A surge in the population size in the summer season
  • Slower and more expensive transportation to other parts of the USA
  • The weather may make transport to and from the island impossible at times
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