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Homeownership on Cape Cod Part II

We have just introduced a new informational page on the website, 'Homeownership on Cape Cod'.  We will be adding more information to it in the future, but for now here is the second part of that page with some useful information on septic systems, building norms and utilities.  As always contact us for information about both buying and selling on Cape Cod.

 

Cape Cod Homeownership

Septic Systems

    One very common and sometimes befuddling aspect of local homeownership on Cape Cod relates to septic systems.  Put simply these are systems that collect wastewater from the home, separate solids from liquids, and leech the liquids back through a natural soil filter into the ground.  For more information on septic systems please check out some of these useful links

Local Building and Construction in Brief

    Regarding construction on Cape Cod, the traditional 'Cape' style house (pictured with red painted clapboards) stems from a New England style of utter utilitarianism.  The fairly high pitched roof prevented the crushing weight of heavy snowfall from collapsing the building and the upstairs bedrooms meant the heat would rise upstairs to make sleeping more comfortable.  You can find 'Half Capes' and full Capes all over, though many have seen additions or dormers added to increase usable space.  Most construction on Cape Cod is wooden framed with cedar shingles or clapboards for siding and pitched asphalt roofs.  Some homes also have red cedar shingling on the roof.  We have a graphic here, that does a phenomenal job of illustrating the elements of homes.  

Utilities

    A fact of life on Cape Cod (as with anywhere) is the occasional power outage.  Cape Cod, being a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean, receives a number of storms during the year, particularly during the winter.  Affectionately known as Nor'easters from the direction of the wind, these storms can cause some damage to the unprepared house.

Upcoming Cape Cod open houses

We have some excellent open houses this weekend.  From a just listed charmer in South Yarmouth to a luxury home in East Dennis overlooking beautiful Quivet Neck, we invite any and every buyer to come and take a look.  For a list of all upcoming open houses in the Cape Cod are, please follow this link.

 

9 Osborn Snow Drive, East Dennis | $2,075,000

This is a beautiful example of a luxury home on Cape Cod that fits beautifully with the antique charm of East Dennis.  Incredibly private and featuring low maintenance siding, decking and gutters this house is and will continue to look beautiful for years to come.  Enjoy its many distinctive indoor and outdoor entertaining areas including an expansive deck, fire pit, wood paneled den and more.  This one is not to be missed.

 

 

28 Oconnor Lane, South Dennis | $369,000

**Price Reduced** This 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch has a large comfortably carpeted 3 season room in the back adding to the ample living space and a partially finished walk out basement with lots of natural light.  With proximity to the Wixon School, Patriot Square and Route 6, this home features both convenience and quiet.

 

 

5 Sebastian Way, South Yarmouth | $329,000

Don't miss out on this well-kept, immaculately maintained 2+ bedroom saltbox at the end of a dead-end street in super-convenient South Yarmouth. Fresh kitchen and 2 updated full baths. Flexible floor plan with loft, cathedral living room, and en-suite master. Level, low maintenance yard, with deck and outdoor shower. .4 miles from grocery, pharmacy, post office, restaurants, dry goods, and more. 1.2 miles to beach. Convenient to Route 6 - you've got it all.

As always, please contact us if we can help you in any way.

5 Sebastian Way South Yarmouth, Cape Cod MA | $329,000 | 2BR/2BA Saltbox | JUST LISTED

    Don't miss out on this well-kept, immaculately maintained 2+ bedroom saltbox at the end of a dead-end street in super-convenient South Yarmouth.  Fresh kitchen and 2 completely updated full baths.  Flexible floor plan with cathedral living room and en-suite master. Level, low maintenance yard, with deck and outdoor shower.  .4 miles from grocery, pharmacy, post office, restaurants, dry goods, and more. 1.2 miles to beach, convenient to Route 6 - you've got it all.  

See the listing here

Here are a few nice shots to whet your appetite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeownership on Cape Cod Part I

We have just introduced a new informational page on the website, 'Homeownership on Cape Cod'.  We will be adding more information to it in the future, but for now here is the first part of that page with some useful town and county information.  As always contact us for information about both buying and selling on Cape Cod.

 

Cape Cod has so much to offer residents.  Our guide to homeownership in this beautiful region provides information for current residents and prospective homeowners.  An excellent place to begin is the Barnstable County government website that includes numerous resources and services for residents and property owners.  To highlight a few:

  • Cape Cod Commission: "The Cape Cod Commission (CCC) is the regional land use planning, economic development, and regulatory agency created in 1990 to serve the citizens and 15 towns of Barnstable County, Massachusetts."
  • Cape Cod Cooperative Extension: The education department for Barnstable County including excellent resources for planting and maintaining local plants, tick mitigation and much more.
Barnstable County Taxes 2017

Assessed Values

Chamber of Commerce School District
Barnstable (town) $9.54 Assessor Town, Hyannis  Barnstable
Bourne $10.30 Assessor Cape Cod Canal Bourne
Brewster $8.39 Assessor Town Nauset
Chatham $5.03 Assessor Town Monomoy
Dennis $6.15 Assessor Town D-Y
Eastham $7.90 Assessor Town Nauset
Falmouth $8.53 Assessor Town Falmouth
Harwich $8.97 Assessor Town Monomoy
Mashpee $9.08 Assessor Town Mashpee
Orleans $6.33 Assessor Town Nauset
Provincetown $7.71 Assessor Town Elementary, HS
Sandwich $14.93 Assessor Cape Cod Canal Sandwich
Truro $6.98 Assessor Town Nauset
Wellfleet $6.78 Assessor Town Nauset
Yarmouth $10.02 Assessor Town D-Y

 

Town & County Specific Information

    Each town on Cape Cod hosts a website with a variety of information ranging from beach and transfer station sticker information, to events and town committee agendas. We pulled out the county's and each town's website, taxes, assessed values and field cards, local chambers of commerce, and school districts.

Barnstable County houses a registry of deeds, in the town of Barnstable, on route 6A.  Here you can discover much about the ownership record, title history and liens on properties as well as much more.  Don't be discouraged by the nuanced interface, the county employees are helpful in person and over the phone.  As an interesting side note, the first ninety-four volumes recorded at the registry were lost in a catastrophic fire in 1827.  As a result, some of the property history is still in land court if instruments could not be re-recorded.  So don't be discouraged if you can't find what you are looking for, just check in 'land court' instead of the 'recorded land'.

 

Cape Cod Fireworks Parades and Concerts 2017

Cape Cod is a great place to spend the summer.  In addition to a day at the beach, why not spend an evening enjoying one of the many displays of fireworks across the Cape?  Or take in an evening concert.  Also don't forget the numerous parades on the 4th of July.  Check out the CapeCod.com list and free concerts from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and see our additions below.  We will be updating this as we gather new information so check back again!

Fireworks

July 2nd

Orleans
Rain date July 6th
Time: Dusk
Place: Rock Harbor

July 4th

Falmouth
Time: Dusk
Place: Falmouth Heights Beach

Hyannis
Rain date September 2, 2017
Time: Dusk
Place: Lewis Bay

Provincetown
Time: Dusk
Place: MacMillan Wharf

August 26th

Dennis
Time: 7pm
Place: West Dennis Beach

 

Parades

July 4th

Orleans
Time: 10am

Wellfleet
Time: Antique Cars at 9:30am – Float Parade at 10am
Location: Start at the Town Pier

Sandwich Boat Parade
Time: 9pm
Location: Shawme Pond

July 8th

Chatham Boat Parade
Time:12:30-1:30pm
Location: Start and end at Stage Harbor, turning around at Oyster Pond Beach

 

Concerts

Dennis Port
Time: 6pm
Location: Dennis Port Village Green: Hall St
Tuesdays 7/11 - 8/8
Thursdays 7/6 - 7/27

Orleans
Location: Various - Village Green, Parish Park, Main St Square, Art Cottages, Orleans Marketplace
Tuesdays 7/11 - 8/15
Check out the Chamber's Facebook Events Page or the webpage for the chamber for more information

Sponsored by TD Bank

 

Open Houses

We are having an open house extravaganza this weekend!  Four wonderful properties featured from Barnstable Village to East Dennis.  If you are interested in viewing all open houses in the area click here.

 

9 Osborn Snow Drive, East Dennis | $2,200,000

 

    This home is not to be missed.  From the three gas fireplaces to warm your heart, to the 900 bottle wine cooler to keep your guests cool, this luxury home has every amenity and the views to match.  

Come and take a look Sunday 6/25 from 1-3pm

 

 

41 Deacon Court, Barnstable Village | $610,000

   

    With the feel of a country home including exposed beams and a warm gas hearth, this home will warm your heart too.  1.29 acres of beautifully manicured landscaping and so close to Barnstable Village this one is not to be missed.

Come and take a look Saturday 6/24 from 1-3pm

 

 

33 Aunt Janes Way, Bass River Yarmouth | $439,000

 

    A stroll away from the windmill on Bass River and one of the prettiest neighborhoods for a Sunday drive, ride or walk this home is a perfect opportunity for someone looking to modernize a home in a phenomenal location.

Come and take a look Sunday 6/25 10-12

 

 

14 Braun Road, West Yarmouth | $399,000

 

    This home has the livability of a ranch including a first floor master with the benefit of an addition in the back and an added master bedroom above the garage.  Spread your guests or family out in this 4 bedroom 3 bath.

Come and take a look Saturday 6/24 10-12

Things to do in Brewster, Cape Cod MA

Ask Agnes: Vol II

Again we find ourselves looking for some wonderful things to do on Cape Cod.  This time our 'Ask Agnes' feature explores Brewster and some of its hidden (or sometimes overlooked) gems.

Cape Cod Chatelains: 'Hey Agnes, the kids are driving me nuts, what can I do with them?'

Agnes: 'First and foremost is the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Museum of Natural History This treasure located right on route 6A in Brewster contains a variety of fascinating and enriching exhibits and nature trails.  I especially like to check out the bees which have a hive sandwiched between two pieces of glass so that you can watch them at work.  When I get tired of being inside the miles of walking trails are a wonderful respite.  Travelling over the marsh, through the woods and all the way to the Bay they are an education in the local biology and geology with every step.  If the kids need to get out some wiggles the summer program and Mudflat Mania! are both great opportunities for the kids to have a great time and learn something to boot.'

CCC: 'Sounds great.  Is anything else close to there?'

Paines CreekA: 'I'm glad you asked.  Just on the east side of the marsh is Paines Creek Landing and Beach. This beach generally does not get as swamped with people as some of the other beaches around (but as always get there early).  In addition the 'creek' which is tidal, is a blast for riding with the tide on a tube.  The current can rip through there though, so keep an eye on young ones.  GristmillWhat is truly fascinating is that Paines Creek (its name North of 6A) is also Stony Brook (its name south of 6A) and, in the spring, herring swim against the current to Mill Pond to spawn.  You can enjoy this natural spectacle at the Stony Brook Grist Mill, which is a truly magical site, also...'

 

CCC: 'Wow, there is a lot to do in a small space!'

A: 'Hold on I wasn't finished.  Also you can go to Drummer Boy Park and enjoy the playground.  At different times the Brewster Historical Society holds events here (along with a lot of other groups) and you should be sure to go when the windmill and the blacksmith are open.'

CCC: 'Wonderful, as usual we are dually impressed with your knowledge of the area.  Thanks Agnes.'

A: 'I have a lot more to say about Brewster though!  It's such a great town!'

 

Well thank you again Agnes, we are lucky to have your decades of experiences here on Cape Cod.  Also see our previous blog about places to walk your dog as there are some references to Brewster locations in there too.  As always, please contact us with any questions about your real estate needs, we are happy to help.

38 Mayflower Rd W Yarmouth MA | $279,000

38 Mayflower Road West Yarmouth, Cape Cod MA, JUST LISTED --- $279,000

Cute as a button! The essence of Cape Cod best describes this adorable cottage that is less than half mile to a warm Nantucket Sound beach. It offers wood floors, living room with fireplace, dining room, two first floor bedrooms, and two additional rooms upstairs that are currently used as bedrooms.  The yard with a wonderful outdoor shower offers a place to relax and enjoy friends while grilling your favorite summer foods. A very sweet cottage with all the charm the Cape has to offer.

 

Here are just a few photos to give you a taste but this home is an absolute gem! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zestimates as appraisals

We have been tracking an interesting development with the 'Zestimate' function of Zillow.  You can find an article here by Kenneth Harney in the Washington Post and another here by Rachel Koning Beals of Market Watch.  To briefly summarize Zillow.com uses a feature involving a proprietary algorithm that pulls sales data and other factors (again we aren't sure what these factors are exactly) and produces an estimate on the price of the property.  From Zillow's own definition found on their website "The Zestimate® home value is Zillow's estimated market value for an individual home and is calculated for about 100 million homes nationwide. It is a starting point in determining a home's value and is not an official appraisal. The Zestimate is automatically computed daily based on millions of public and user-submitted data points."

Currently a class action lawsuit has been filed in Cook County, Illinois that claims the Zestimates® look too much like official appraisals and are misleading consumers.  In addition the suit points out that no consent is given by the homeowner for an estimate to be posted online.    

Our take?  In the absolute simplest terms real estate is a market like any other and the market determines the price (not Zillow, not your neighbor and not even your real estate agent).  Take this example, a house lists at $400,000, five buyers appear on the first day and each offer full price for the house.  The seller allows for the 5 buyers to present their final and best offer which turns out to be $420,000.  In this case the high demand allowed for a higher sale price.  If the house appraised at $400K it likely would still have sold for $420K because the MARKET demand was so high.  The alternative: a house lists for $400,000 and is appraised for the same.  However, in this hypothetical market there are lots of houses just like this one for sale.  The house is eventually sold after a very long time for $375,000 because the high supply of similar homes and low demand from buyers influenced the price for the home - the MARKET dictated the sale price.  

Do we think we know about writing a sophisticated algorithm that analyses millions of data points and synthesizes the result into an estimate of value?  Absolutely not.  Do we know if the new town zoning law restricting improvements to land adjacent to a salt marsh affects the price of your undeveloped land?  You bet.

Why don't you give us a call and see if three decades of experience and two generations of tradition can help you in the real estate market here on Cape Cod. For a professional home valuation done by local agents click here.

 

 

Things to do in Orleans, Cape Cod

Ask Agnes...

We'd like to introduce a new feature in the blog - 'Ask Agnes'.  Agnes, the better half of the 'Ed and Agnes' foundation of Cape Cod Chatelains, was the first to enter real estate in 1992.  Ever since, she has been adding her professionalism and love for her clients to each of her deals.  We appreciate Agnes for her insight into the local area and her knowledge of the real estate market.  For this week's feature we ask Agnes about Orleans, one of the towns on the lower Cape.  In fact the Boston Globe just named Orleans one of the two best seaside towns in New England.  Check out that article here.

Cape Cod Chatelains - 'Hey Agnes, what are great outdoor activities in Orleans?'

Agnes - 'One of my favorite ocean beaches is Nauset.  As I let the pressure out of my tires to drive out on the beach (click here for permit info) I feel the pressure of the world escape from my soul.'

CCC - 'Really... the pressure of the world?'

A - 'In all seriousness Nauset beach is beautiful.  I love to drive out early and spend all day grilling, walking along the beach and dunes, and playing in the surf with the grandkids.  Watching surfers provides wonderful entertainment and the camaraderie that exists between Nauset beach-goers is something special.  Another one of my outdoor favorites is the Pleasant Bay Community Boating.  They provide a great opportunity for residents and visitors to experience Pleasant Bay from the water - and if there's one thing I love, its experiencing life from the water'

CCC - 'Then why do we always get yelled at to keep the boat from heeling?'

A - '   '

 

CCC - 'What are some great places to eat in Orleans?'

A - 'I love the knack, especially when I have family or friends with me.  The patio seating can be moved around a little to accommodate different sized groups and the food and shakes are phenomenal.  My personal favorite is the avocado burger that has some type of mysterious sauce that can't be explained except to say that it is delicious.  I also like that you can order online and pick up your food without having to wait in the line - which can be extensive - I guess the word is out on this great burger.  

'If I am out and about earlier in the day I like Hole in One, right on 6A for their homemade donuts and dynamite breakfast.  The bonus about Hole in One is that you can sneak in downstairs and take a box of pastries to go without needing to wait too long.  I like to enjoy a donut and coffee just down the street at the windmill

 

CCC - 'What is another one of your favorites here in Orleans?'

A - 'One of the best parts of summer is the Cape Cod Baseball League.  This gem of the Cape is where many great college baseball players come to spend the summer months playing on one of many local teams.  The Firebirds are the hometown team in Orleans and play in the 'East Division' of the league.  Their home field has wonderful grassy stadium seating and is a favorite with the little ones.'

 

Well thank you Agnes, we are lucky to have your decades of experiences here on Cape Cod.  As always, please contact us with any questions, we are happy to help.

 

combined-feed

Client Testimonials

Agnes, Thanks to you and Ned and Ed for all your support throughout this process.  You walked us through this process and were very patient with us every step of the way.  Your willingness to work hard on this sale, even when your experience told us we had priced the house too high demonstrated how professional you and your team are.  Your frequent communication and honest feedback was so important to us.  We knew that you were the right agent for us when we asked for your honest opinion, before we signed a sales agreement, on what the house was worth.  You came back with a figure that was less than we hoped, but right on the money.  Other agents gave us inflated unrealistic figures. Agnes, you deserve to go around telling the doubters, “I told you so.”  They thought there were too many problems with the house for it to sell.  You proved them wrong and sold it in less than 60 days - not the 500 we were prepared for.   Thanks for everything.  We’re coming to you for our next move - hopefully it will be awhile :)  

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