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Ned Chatelain

Sounds of Summer

Summer is in full swing here on the Cape.  And along with the gorgeous weather and crowds of happy beachgoers, the lively outdoor music scene is at its height!  

Nearly every public outdoor space in the mid-Cape area hosts its own Summer concert series - the Dennis Port village green alone has twice-weekly free concerts, and Drummer Boy Park, Brooks Park, and the Dennis Village Green on 6A all host their own series. 

So when you get off the beach, don't head right back to the cottage - swing by a park or green somewhere, pull up a beach chair, and enjoy the sounds of summer!

 

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    CHANGE COMING TO REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS

    Changes are coming on October 3, 2015 to real estate closing procedures and to the closing forms. These changes will impact buyers and sellers.  Extra time may be necessary between a deal being struck and the closing date in order to meet the new regulations.  Both buyers and sellers will be required to present documents requested in a very timely fashion. Otherwise, closings will be delayed. 

    In the past, estimates were given to buyers for their closing costs. Some wiggle room was allowed on those estimates.  Beginning in October, lenders will be accountable to the exact charges listed on the forms presented to buyers in the initial mortgage process and to come within 10% on many of the other charges.  Additionally, there will be no changes allowed to closing documents at the closing table. 

    So, everyone involved with closings will have to provide accurate documentation in a timely manner from the get-go in order for closing delays to be avoided.

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      Tough weather makes for a tough market

      Whether you are buying or selling a home this winter, you are no doubt frustrated by the slow market.  February usually marks the beginning of the Cape's busy spring market, but because of record snowfalls throughout the region (and more coming all the time), we have yet to see the usual uptick.

      The effects of the snows are shot through the entire market: sellers are delaying putting their homes on the market because of the difficulty of keeping their homes clean and ready to show; buyers are unable to make appointments to see homes because of the unpredicable weather; those buyers who do have the desire to see homes are struggling to actually make appointments because many homes here on the Cape are not plowed or shovelled out; if you already have a transaction in the works it can be difficult or impossible to inspect basements, crawl spaces, septic systems, and more because of the snow.

      All these factors have conspired to make February a very challenging month for the real estate industry.  However, with spring right around the corner, don't despair!  With interest rates still very low, a balanced market, and a predicted surge of inventory, we expect March and April to be great months to buy or sell a home.  

       

       

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        Things to do on Cape This Snowy Weekend

        With another 8-10 inches of snow coming this weekend, Cape Codders are buckling up and sharpening their snowshovels. But let's not forget that the Cape knows how to recreate in the winter as well as in the summer!  Below are a few ideas from the Cape Cod Times for activities to keep you out of the cold on this stormy February weekend.  Enjoy!

        February 14, 2015 - Happy Valentine's Day!

        Turtle love times two over Valentine weekend Saturday, 

        The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary will offer two distinct programs this weekend. On Saturday, children can become turtle researchers for a day and find out how stranded turtles are rescued, how to collect data, and how rehabilitated turtles are readied for a return to the water. On Sunday, sanctuary director Bob Prescott will present "Shellshocked: Reflections on the 2014 Sea Turtle Stranding Season," a review of the season's highlights and possible reasons for the huge increase in turtle strandings.

        When:  10 a.m. to noon Saturday; 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday
        Where:  Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, 291 State Highway (Route 6), South Wellfleet
        Admission:  Saturday: $9; $7 for members; Sunday: $12; $10 for members
        Information:  www.massaudubon.org or 508-349-2615

        Rhapsody in Bluegrass concert

        The Cape Symphony and the Annie Moses Band will join together for a musical tour of American music, featuring songs associated with each region of the country. Including music from New England, jazz from the Deep South, bluegrass from Kentucky and then music of Wild West, the concert will feature such well-known songs as "Summertime," "Shenandoah" and "Simple Gifts."

        When:  3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday
        Where:  Barnstable High School Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main St.
        Tickets:  $30 to $69 (shows are nearly sold out)
        Information:  www.capesymphony.org or 508-362-1111

        Sunday, February 15

        Astronomy talk covers past, present and future

        The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will host speaker Chuck Kunesh's presentation called "Planet Quest: The Search for Another Earth." His talk will cover our own solar system; what people from ancient times through the 20th century thought about the possibility of other solar systems; and astronomers' plans to find Earth-like planets and to look for evidence of life on those planets.

        When:  1 p.m. Sunday
        Where:  Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, 869 Main St. (Route 6A), Brewster
        Admission:  Free with museum admission (adults: $10; seniors: $7; children ages 3 to 12: $5; free for museum members, children under 3, Massachusetts Teachers Assoc. members and active duty military and families with current military I.D.)
        Information:  www.ccmnh.org or 508-896-3867, ext.133

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          Winter home ownership hazards

          This week's powerful Nor'easter has caused many second homeowners to bite their nails wondering if their Cape house survived the storm unscathed.  If you are in this category, don't forget that here at the Cape Cod Chatelains we provide a full-service realty firm, including property management.  Our weekly and post-storm inspections routinely help our clients to mitigate potentially disastrous circumstances.  Just yesterday we discovered that the furnace vent at one of the homes we manage had been covered by snow during the storm.  Sensing the blockage, the furnace had gone into emergency shutdown mode.  The temperature in the home was 42 degrees upon our arrival.  If we had not been there to check the house, unblock the vent, and allow the furnace to cycle back on, the home (which was built last year) could have sustained catastrophic damage due to a broken pipe.  Instead, a disaster was converted to a minor irritation.

          If you own a second home or investment property on the Cape which is vacant for long periods, we strongly recommend engaging a property manager to help manage the risk of leaving your home unattended.  We would be happy to answer your questions at any time.

           

          In the meantime, be safe and enjoy the sledding!

           

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            Home ownership rates down, but don't be discouraged

            According to the US Census bureau's third quarter housing report released this week, home ownership rates in America are down to their lowest point in 19 years.  Sounds like bad news for buyers and sellers alike, right?  Not so fast...a closer look reveals that buyer behavior has more to do with it than strict market conditions. 

            Mortgage rates have been stable over the last 18 months, and are still at near-historic lows -- yesterday's advertised rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at one local bank was 4% - exactly what it was in June of last year.  In addition, lending standards have loosened considerably over the last year.  We are seeing bridge loans, asset-based underwriting, and first-time homebuyer products hitting the market for the first time since 2008.  In fact, USDA, FHA and MA Housing all now offer low-to-no down payment products with little or no PMI.  The bar for first time homeownership has not been lower in many, many years.

            So why are ownership rates so low?  According to industry analysts, it is the changing life choices of millenials that are driving market conditions.  Young people are getting married later, having children later, and consequently waiting longer and longer to buy a home.  Sam Zell of Equity Residential was quoted in Bloomberg as saying that "the deferral of marriage has...a staggering impact on real estate."

            There hasn't been a better time to buy a home in recent memory - near-historically low interest rates, continually loosening lending and underwriting standards, and a balanced local inventory ensure that you can find a home at a good price, finance it at a great rate, and put very little money down.

            As always, if you are thinking of buying, give us a call - we would be delighted to answer your questions, and help you take advantage of this excellent market.  We look forward to hearing from you!

             

             

            Investing in a weekly rental cottage? Not so fast...

            If you are looking for a vacation rental, look no further than Olde Cape Cod. However, if you are looking for a year-round rental, you are in for a long search. County-wide, almost 40% of homes are used asseasonal or second homes, and in some towns (like Dennis), the number is over 50%. Of these, nearly all are rented out on a weekly basis to the droves of vacationers that visit the Cape every year. This emphasis on weekly rentals leaves a huge market open for year-round rentals. Tight lending practices and low home inventory have characterized the Real Estate market over the last few years, leaving many homebuyers (especially first-time homebuyuers) in the rental market for longer than they would like. These are often highly qualified renters who are able to pay premium rates for a good quality home.

            If you are considering buying an investment property here on the Cape, don't immediately assume it has to be a weekly rental. Weekly rentals are part of a highly competitive market with high overhead in the form of cleaning fees, brokerage costs, advertising, and utilities. Year-round rentals can prove an extremely wise investment both in the short- and long-term.

            As always, if you are interested in buying an investment property on the Cape, give us a call any time to discuss your options. Whether it's a vacationor long-term rental investment, we are here to answer your questions and help you decide on a course of action that will maximize your investment and help you to meet your long-term goals.

            We look forward to hearing from you!

            Village Highlight - Dennis Port

            The village of Dennis Port has been experiencing a renaissance over the last few years that is not to be missed! No fewer than three new restaurants have opened just this spring, in addition to the many established merchants. These include two music studios, various art galleries, an antique shop, the town library, a large and inviting park with pavilion and playground, and much more.

            Dennis Port also offers a large park that frequently hosts public events. Every Tuesday night of the summer (and every Friday in July) there are free concerts on the green. This year's national Night Out is being held in Dennis Port. And this year brought the first annual Dennis Port block party to town, with all the merchants opening their doors and hosting the town to an old-fashioned good time.

            All in all, Dennis Port has more to offer than ever before! Whether this is your first time to the mid-Cape area or you are a seasoned veteran of Dennis summers, make sure to swing into the 'Port to check out what's happening.

            This Week's Open Houses

            Summer is here, and with it comes Open House season!! Come in, stroll around, ask questions, and maybe find your perfect home.

            Both Open Houses will be this Saturday, 5/31 from 1-3:00:

            Hyannis - 304 Oak Neck Road - $335,000 Click here for listing details

            Walk to the beach for some sun, then walk into town for dinner, then stroll home on quiet and peaceful Oak Neck Road with ice cream in hand! You can't beat the location of this recently updated three bedroom, two bath home. Lots of recent upgrades. Open floor plan, large yard and deck. Ready for you to move in!

            West Harwich - 42 Bell's Neck Road - $329,000 Click here for listing details

            Impeccable home -- the epitome of Cape Cod charm. Located on beautiful Bells Neck road within steps of the enormous West Harwich Conservation area and all its benefits - enjoy deer grazing, watch osprey fish in the scenic Herring River, bring the children down to the bridge to go crabbing or fishing. Tastefully remodeled and immaculately maintained this 3 bedroom home features sparkling wood and tile floors , cathedral ceiling, a wood-burning fireplace, bay window, spotless basement and large shed for plenty of storage. Its location is one of the best in the Mid-Cape and is perfect for a summer home or year-round living. Being sold furnished--turnkey ready. Please see attached information.

            We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

            Summer is Nigh!

            It's that time! Memorial Day weekend is only a few days away and we are getting geared up here on the Cape to welcome the first batch of summer guests. Here at the CapeCodChatelains office we have scheduled three open houses to give those of you who are house hunting yet another reason to jump in the car and head over to Old Cape Cod for this traditional first weekend of summer.

            Saturday, 11-1: 101 Glendon Road, Dennis Port. This freestanding condominium captures the Cape Cod experience. Versatile property with porches overlooking the ocean on every level. Steps away from Glendon Road Beach. Wet bar in family room, 2 Jacuzzi tubs with views, open floor plan, loft upstairs, floor to ceiling with windows and skylights, balconies, porches, basement with 10' ceilings and full bath. Listing sheet can't do it justice - you have to see this home to believe it! Great rental history and rental potential that will help pay its way while you enjoy.

            Saturday, 1-3: 464 Main Street, West Dennis. Water views and direct access to Grand Cove from this gracious antique. Many recent updates and upgrades. Fully fenced-in pool with cabana. Home is set far back from Main Street with a large front yard. Solar panels to offset electric bill. Easy walking distance to world famous West Dennis Beach and village amenities. Open first floor plan ; livingroom/diningroom combined with fireplace; light and bright family room leading to deck, pool and cabana; renovated kitchen with center island, office with views, fabulous library with sitting room and more views; three nice bedrooms and three full baths. Great place to call home!

            Sunday, 1-3: 12 Melbourne Rd, Hyannis. Think Spring * Location, location * beautifully updated * within 1.5 miles of beaches (more than 4 to choose from) for great swimming, sunbathing or catching sunsets *shopping * eateries * groceries * farm stands * entertainment * ideal home all renovated and ready to go * beautiful kitchen with stone counters and central island * lovely cabinets * open gracious floor plan * master with private air jet tub * 3 baths * large deck * central vacuum * a real find

             

            We hope to see you at these homes, but if not, have a great Memorial Day!

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            Client Testimonials

            I was faced with selling a house on Cape Cod as part of my father's estate. It felt like a difficult task since I live in Buffalo, NY. Agnes handled everything long-distance through phone, and email. She sold the property quite quickly at a great price and handled the closing without a hitch.  

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