If, as the saying goes, good fences make good neighbors, then an impassable 360-degree ocean moat makes the best neighbors of all. Living on a private island is just about the most antisocial thing you can do, aside from wearing Crocs in public, so it goes without saying that I’m intrigued by the idea. Just imagine, your very own land mass! You could probably rename it after yourself and everything. And yes, while most islands are selling in the $10-20 million range, there are a few affordable ones out there. At the very least, imagine being able to use “I own a private island” as your Tinder tagline. You can’t put a price on that. (Actually, yes you can – it’s in the $10-20 million range, with the occasional bargain.)
Anyway – to the islands!
NAMASTE ISLAND, MICHIGAN
Let’s start with the cheapest one first – Namaste Island, in Michigan. Priced at just $795,000, your choice is essentially between half a rowhouse in Northwest, or AN ENTIRE MINIATURE CONTINENT. At just over 7.5 acres, and 900 feet from the mainland, this would make a nice private little retreat, though it’s still close enough that you can get electricity from the grid. According to the listing, there are wild blueberries on the island, and the view of the stars reflecting on the lake “defies description,” though really it just sounds like a desktop background photo my aunt would download from desktopbackgroundphotos.com. Also, there’s a “high end outhouse,” which is an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one. “Hey, give me some water, but the dry kind.”
SIPSON ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS
This Cape Cod jewel just hit the market this week, so it’s possible that it’s already been snatched up by a Kennedy cousin or a Red Sox player or whoever else has money up in that neck of the woods. (One of the Afflecks?) While it is one of the more photogenic of all these islands, keep in mind the latitude up there; half the year you might as well be living in Antarctica. But yes, that’s me jealously hating in advance on your $12.5 million private island paradise. At 25 acres, this island (located in Pleasant Bay) has eight separate parcels, which raises the intriguing and quintessentially American possibility of buying this island on credit, selling the seven crappiest parcels for $2 million or so apiece, and keeping the last one for yourself, for free.
WATCH ISLAND, NEW YORK
This tiny little island (only 1.3 acres!) in the St. Lawrence seaway is home to a gorgeous Victorian home crammed full of fine antiques that the owners will throw in for free if you just buy the island. Come on, just buy it! Not that there’s any reason for urgency. Why would there be? This island is going to be just fine for the foreseeable future. Nice and stable. No reason to even bring up global warming or rising sea levels, they’re just not relevant to this conversation. They probably aren’t even real, per an email forward I got from my uncle. I can forward it to you if it’ll put your mind at ease. Yeah, just a big hoax, trust me. So go ahead and buy this tiny little island that’s like ten feet above the water level that’s just now hitting the market for no reason. No reason at all. Cash payment would be great. No refunds.
PETRA ISLAND, NEW YORK
And finally there’s Petra Island, which is so expensive that the price isn’t even listed anywhere. Considering that it’s an 11 acre private island that’s less than an hour’s helicopter ride from New York City, with not one but two Frank Lloyd Wright houses on the island, it’s safe to say that it’s going for at least $20 million. While there’s some controversy about the exact degree of authentic Frank-Lloyd-Wright-iness of the main house, it certainly passes the eye test. The dramatic house is 5000 square feet, with 2000 square feet of outdoor deckspace, and has a helipad on the roof. Safe to say the island is pretty quiet, as the listing somewhat desperately mentions old trees and “rock formations” as some of its most interesting features.