Stunning $2M 'summer palace' sells for jaw-dropping $200,000 (2024)

A stunning Nantucket summer home once worth nearly $2 million has been sold for just $200,000 - and the owners couldn't be happier about it.

Jane Carlin and Ben Gifford, who purchased their dream getaway on Nantucket's west end in 1988, have been forced to sell their beloved property for a fraction of its value as Mother Nature is threatening to reclaim it.

The 1,700-square-foot home, assessed at a whopping $1.9 million in 2024, now sits dangerously close to the Atlantic Ocean after years of relentless erosion have eaten away at the shoreline.

'It's about ready to go in,' Jane told the Nantucket Current. 'It has really been relentless. It used to be a neighborhood, and you knew who lived where. And now, if you take a drive out there, there's not much to see.'

But the couple received an unexpected offer for their home on Sheep Pond Rd from their neighbor, Don Vaccaro, a businessman who owns the property next door.

A stunning Nantucket summer home once worth nearly $2 million has been sold for just $200,000 - and the owners couldn't be happier about it

Vaccaro swooped in to purchase the endangered home for a mere $200,000.

'All winter I had been really frantically trying to see if any of the organizations would consider taking the house and moving it, and we would help with the cost of moving,' Jane said. 'I didn't want to see it fall into the ocean or get demolished. But I had no luck whatsoever.'

Read More Homeowners with stunning ocean views are forced to flee before crumbling cliffs battered by extreme weather dump properties in the ocean

'We said 'Whoa! We're not going to say no',' Carlin added.

'You don't want to sell to someone when you know a storm could take it out next week,' Carlin said when asked why they didn't put the house on the market. 'We wanted to be ethical and honest about it. Then this miracle dropped from the sky above and we sold it to him for nothing.'

'It was so emotional the other day leaving the house for the last time,' she added. 'But we are really just fortunate also. I'm not feeling sorry for myself at all. Given the dire housing situation on Nantucket, we're just grateful for the time we had there.'

Vaccaro, who rents out his adjacent property for up to $13,000 per week, is well aware about his new acquisition's fate.

Jane Carlin and Ben Gifford, who purchased their dream getaway on Nantucket's west end in 1988, have been forced to sell their beloved property for a fraction of its value as Mother Nature threatens to reclaim it

The couple received an unexpected offer for their home on 28 Sheep Pond Rd from their neighbor, Don Vaccaro (pictured) a businessman who owns the property next door

A photo released by the Nantucket Natural Resources Department shows properties sitting precariously on eroded cliffs

'Basically, the house may not last more than six months,' Vaccaro said. 'Inevitably the ocean will win. The house is only temporary, everything in life is temporary.'

'Since we own 26 Sheep Pond Road there are some creative things we can do to extend the life of the house and even if the house is destroyed we may have additional land,' he said.

'We also plan to implement some erosion mitigation strategies that will likely extend the time before the house becomes inhabitable. The easiest is sea grass planting – which should be done within weeks. The second is V-shaped, low-height (less than 1 foot) bio-degradable silt fencing, which has been successful in a few other areas to a degree.'

The idyllic island of Nantucket, playground to the rich and famous, could be wiped off the map entirely by the end of the century, according to alarming projections.

A group of homeowners in Nantucket recently lost a battle to keep a self-funded 'shield' they erected to keep homes safe from the sea. Pictured: a flooded home on the island

This summer hotspot, known for its pristine beaches and quaint cobblestone streets, is facing an existential threat as rising sea levels threaten to engulf large parts of the island.

According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), much of the island could submerge by 2100.

Nantucket is also expected to experience 1.15 feet of sea level rise by 2040, 2.36 feet by 2060, 4.36 feet by 2080, and 6.66 feet by 2100.

These projections may just be the tip of the iceberg as they don't account for other factors such as destructive storms, powerful waves and further erosion.

Stunning $2M 'summer palace' sells for jaw-dropping $200,000 (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated:

Views: 5734

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.