Blog :: 2013

After more than 25 years of living, working and playing on Cape Cod we have a lot to share about the area.  Our blog topics run the gamut from fun things to do, working with contractors, and homeownership tips and tricks, so check back frequently to see what's new.  If you have questions or would like to learn more about Cape Cod or owning property on this beautiful peninsula please contact us for more information and to set up a showing for any listing. 

Holiday Things to do in Dennis

It's Christmas time here on Cape Cod and the mid-Cape communities are celebrating! This weekend there are a number of great events that are worth checking out. Here are three favorites.


Dennis Port Christmas Stroll - Dennis Port

An outstanding family event. Local merchants will be participating in a "find the Elf on a shelf" hunt.


Lemon Tree Village Stroll - Brewster

Singers, musicians, artist demonstrations, hayrides with Santa, treats and more.


Dennis Christmas Stroll - "Visions of Christmas"

Enjoy hayrides & trolley rides, Christmas tree lighting, face painting, village stroll (visit all the shops), silent auctions, petty zoo, food sampler on Village Green, toys and food donations, Santa & Mrs. Claus, FREE gifts, ornaments and so much more. Music at the Village Green Bandstand and many special events. (From Chamber of Commerce website)


We hope to see you this weekend!

Fantastic Business Opportunity

If you are looking for a great business opportunity here on beautiful Cape Cod check out this West Dennis listing! The business is a 12-year-old antiques and treasures shop located right on busy Rte. 28. The business is a local fixture for fine antiques, bargain furniture, home furnishings, and treasures and finds.

The business operates year-round, with reduced hours during the winter to allow for plenty of relaxation after the busy summer season. Lots of room to grow the business by adding more employees, extending hours, and ramping up estate sales and online sales.

The business is being sold with the real estate, approximately $10,000 in inventory, and a negotiable training period with the current owner for $225,000. Real estate only for $215,000.

If you are interested, dont hesitate to give us a call today at 508-776-4725 or drop us an email as always at We look forward to hearing from you and helping you get into the Cape Cod dream!

Fishing on Cape Cod -- Fall is Bluefish Season!

Its fall on Cape Cod the leaves are changing, the days are growing shorter, the cranberry bogs are flooding, and most importantly, the fish are running! Autumn is the best time of year for fishing one of the regions exciting fish Bluefish.

Blue fish not just fun, but good eatin too!

Blue fish are oft-maligned for their strong taste and aggressive temperament, but are incredibly fun to catch for young and old alike. This time of year schools of small or snapper blues come into the protected bays, harbors and estuaries of Cape to feed on the plentiful autumn baitfish and when they do, they come hungry! Snapper blues are extremely aggressive and will bite on just about anything (including a bent paper clip). I generally use lures because when you are in a school of snappers you cant keep your hook baited quickly enough! I recommend using a small spoon or a popper that makes lots of noise on the surface. Also, treble hooks take best advantage of their small mouths. Look for birds working the surface of the water and throw your lure near them often the larger fish chase small stuff up to the surface where the birds (and you) can get at them. Either way, get out and have some fun and when you get home, try Neds Snapper Blue recipe - this is the season for bluefish!


Neds Snapper Blue Recipe

Marinade bluefish filets in a ziploc bag with enough lemon juice and orange juice in equal parts to cover the fish. Add black pepper to taste and olive oil. Grill in aluminum foil over a very hot grill until flesh flakes apart easily with a fork. Enjoy!



Is Now The Right Time to Buy?

Buy now or buy later?

In the current rapidly changing economic environment the question on nearly all buyers' minds is "is this the time to buy?" While there is no easy answer to this question, the following is some basic information which we hope will assist you and your family in deciding whether the time is right to make your move.

The rising interest rate/availability of financing dilemma

Interest rates are finally on their way up after reaching near historic lows last year and persisting below the 4% mark well into 2013. This is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that, according to a recent National Association of Realtors study, an interest rate jump of 1.5% will price approximately 3 million currently renting households out of the first-time-buyer market.

The Good News

However, higher interest rates are not all bad news. For example, higher rates means that banks are becoming less risk-averse and relaxing some of the extremely stringent lending requirements which have dominated the mortgage landscape for the last several years. According to Lawrence Yun of the National Association of Realtors, in the next few months, conventional loans could be made available to those borrowers with credit scores in the 720's rather than the 760's as has been the practice for the past several years. This amounts to 15-20% more households qualifying for loans than only a few months ago.

The bottom line

So what does that mean for you? First of all, now is the time to buy! No matter how you look at it, an interest rate below 5% is still an incredible deal and makes this an historically great time to buy property. This is especially true for first time home buyers or those with low cash reserves. Rising interest rates are sure to price these borrowers out of the market first.

However, if you are in a good cash position but have less-than-ideal credit, the rising interest rates may be to your benefit as lending requirements are relaxed in the coming months.

What is my next step?

If you are serious about buying a home and want to know what you can afford, the first step is calling your local bank and asking for a preapproval letter. This letter will give you an exact idea of what you can afford at current rates. It takes only a few minutes, can be done over the phone, and can immediately decide the question for you. If you need recommendations for local Cape Cod mortgage brokers or lending banks, don't hesitate to call us - we would be happy to point you in the right direction.

We are here to help

And if, after consulting with your mortgage broker, you decide it is time to start shopping for a new home, give us a ring - we are here to help put you in your dream home!

Cape Cod Waterfront

Conceivably the greatest joy of living here is the instant access to the beautiful Cape Cod waterfront. An oft-cited local statistic states that you are never more than 9 minutes from a swim-able body of water on Cape Cod! That means 9 minutes from swimming, fishing, kayaking, sailing, sandcastle-building, or simply relaxing with a beach read.


Fresh Water Fun

Although the various joys of the ocean beaches cannot be overestimated, the hidden secret behind fun in the Cape Cod is its literally hundreds of small freshwater ponds. These ponds are an enduring reminder of the Capes geologic history - when the advancing glaciers of the last ice age came to a halt near here and began receding about 12,000 years ago they deposited a vast amount of sand, stone, and ice. Over time, this enormous pile of glacial till settled and formed into modern Cape Cod. When the large chunks of ice melted, they formed the hundreds of crystal clear, secluded Cape Cod kettle ponds.


Tom Matthews Pond

Peaceful Serenity

These ponds offer a variety of recreational opportunities. They are generally steep-sided and quite deep, making them perfect for swimming and fishing. Most are quite small and cannot accommodate motor boats or jet skis, so they remain as peaceful and quiet as they were during the last ice age. Many are located in the Cape Cod National Seashore and are completely untouched by any human development at all, just waiting for you to make the short walk down a shady path to visit them!


All-sport Opportunities

For the water-sports enthusiasts, some of the larger Cape ponds are designated all-sport ponds. These can accommodate water skiing, wake boarding, and jet skiing in addition to all the other water pursuits.


Local Waterfront Properties for Sale

Fortunately for home buyers, the hundreds of Cape kettles make an incredibly beautiful setting for a home. The steep-sided ponds often mean that homes are located on a bluff with a great view, and the Capes uniformly sandy soil put private sandy beaches within even the most budget-minded homeowners reach. If you are interested in pond front living on Cape Cod, but within walking distance of the famous Dennis beaches, take a look at this adorable getaway in West Dennis.


Appraisal Basics

Planning financing?

If you are planning on securing funding from a bank or other lending institution for the purchase of your home, that institution will require an appraisal by a third-party. This appraisal will be used to establish an independent opinion of the value of the home, which assures the bank that their loan is adequately secured.


Four levels of certification

Appraisers in Massachusetts arecertified at four levels by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Appraisers.

1. The first level is as a trainee. These appraisers operate under the supervision of a Certified Appraiser and cannot inspect a property without him or her present.

2. Licensed Appraisers can independently appraise any residential property up to $1,000,000, but cannot appraise homes of greater value without the supervision of a Certified Residential Appraisers.

3. Certified Residentialappraisers can appraise any residential property.

4. The final and highest level of certification is Certified General Appraiser. Since these appraisers are in high demand to appraise commercial property, they are rarely used to appraise residential property.


Appraisal vs. Comparative Market Analysis

Appraisers use a process very similar to a Realtors Comparative Market Analysis to arrive at a value for your home. They ideally look for three identical homes sold on the same day to use for their comparison -- this is clearly impossible, so they generally use comparable sales within similar areas, within the past year.


How we handle appraisals

If you list your property with us, we make sure to attend any bank appraisal of your home. While it is not necessary for the listing agent to attend the appraisal, we feel strongly that professional representation of the seller at the appraisal is a valuable means of advocating for our clients. We work as closely as possible with the appraiser to ensure that they are well-appraised of any significant factors which affect the value of the home, but which may not appear in the appraisers database of recent sales. For example, major town improvements to the neighborhood, recent improvements made to the home or property, or pending sales in the area are all significant factors which affect the value of your home, but which may not be readily available to the appraiser. We make sure that they are aware of these factors to ensure that the home is valued as accurately as possible. Furthermore, we only recommend lenders who we know use local and experienced appraisers. The choice of lender is yours to make, and the appraiser is hired by the lending institution, but we are always available to make recommendations or answer questions you may have.


Newcomers to Cape Cod Real Estate

Buying Real Estate?


When first the idea of moving to Cape Cod enters our consciousness, we think of all the pleasures the Cape has to offer beaches, golfing, boating, bird watching, etc. Then, the worry sets in. After leaving old friends, who will we spend time with to enjoy this new Cape Cod life? Will we be isolated? Will we regret the move? The answer is Absolutely No!

Join in the best social life the Cape has to offerCape Cods Newcomers Clubs

Barnstable Newcomers

Chatham-Harwich Newcomers

Dennis/Yarmouth Newcomers

Falmouth Newcomers

Nauset Newcomers

Sandwich Newcomers

The Newcomers Clubs offer activitiesLeisure Walking, Trail Walking,, kayaking, bowling and, social events which include Wine Tasting, book clubs, card games. Monthly meetings include enlightening speakers, choral groups, and other entertainment.

For more information on Cape Cod Newcomers Clubs, please e-mail us would be happy to send you the information.

Real Estate Short Sales

Pertinent short sale update

Due to the shoddy title work that was done in the previous few years, many title issues are surfacing that are taking an inordinate amount of time to resolve and may, in fact, not be resolvable. There has been much talk about new rules and regulations that are supposed to make short sale purchases more "user friendly". These rules are in place, but, they are not necessarily being adhered to by the Lenders involved. Therefore, it is still taking a lot of time to move deals along. Additionally, FHA rules are tightening up for Buyers and properties. It is harder to get a Buyer qualified and distressed properties are not as easy to finance as they were in the past.

In sum, while short sales are often priced attractively, they are not for the faint of heart. They should be approached only by Buyers who have financing in place, have a strong stomach and are patient. Good luck!

Waterfront on Cape Cod

River-front and Pond-front


Two unique water-related homes are available for purchase this summer. One is a free standing vintage Cape Cod seasonal condo cottage on Kelley's Pond for $180,000 and the other is a newly "rebuilt" year-round home on the Centerville River for $1,549,000. Something for everyone is available this year. Come and check them out.

Spring is on the way even though it may not seem to be. Cape Cod is currently experiencing activity in the real estate market primarily due to the continued low interest rates and availability of well-priced and well-maintained inventory.

Please give us a call to make your summer the best!