Blog :: 04-2020

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. 

Surviving and thriving during COVID lock-down: Part 3

Continuing our series on how to make the best of an unusual situation we bring back Amanda Bebrin for her thoughts.

Whether you’re still going to work, managing kiddos, working or taking classes from home, or just plain going stir crazy (or all of the above), everything can feel really overwhelming at the moment. So, if you could use some ideas to help fill these many, many hours in isolation, I’ve got your back.

Sweat it out:

The on-going difficulty of our lives generates a lot of stress, which is not good to carry around all day long. A handy way to stop thinking about how 2020 is a garbage fire is to do an activity so strenuous that you can’t think about anything else. Maybe you’ve heard about yoga? A cursory YouTube search will give you several year’s worth of content -- or, you can support a local studio like Power Yoga of Cape Cod, which is offering classes via Zoom throughout the week. The classes are rigorous and the wonderful instructors offer adaptations for a variety of skill levels. Plus, since you’re participating online, no one will notice when you lose your balance in downward-facing dog. 

Focusing on anything but memes and headlines:

Mental exertion is just as important as physical exercise, especially if it occupies your hands allowing you to put down your phone. Classics like chess, jigsaw puzzles, card games, and board games are being dug out of closets and basements all over the country (and immediately reminding you and your loved ones why you hid them away in the first place….sometimes it’s okay to let the children win at Connect 4, DAD!). Or, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, this is the perfect moment to attempt whatever trendy craft you keep seeing on Pinterest! Hand-lettering, knitting, and embroidery are all the rage -- and also have a ton of resources to help get you going. The act of creation is always a nice endorphin boost when everything else is a hot mess. (Try Puzzles from Sativa -- in Harwich).

There are a ton of articles and lists going around the internet about how to be making the most of this time (this one included), that you should be coming out of quarantine with a new skill, or side hustle, or your house in perfect condition. For many people, that’s just not at all possible. And for all of us: this is a global pandemic. Everything is in flux, and there will be no going back to the way things were before, for better and for worse. Right now, there is no agenda other than surviving. So if at the end of all of this, if the “only” thing you’ve managed to do is keep yourself alive and relatively sane, that’s enough.

….But if you do happen to see a cool bird or make a craft that you’re super proud of and post in on Instagram (as you should), please tag me. I’ve done everything on this list and still have 22 hours of my day left to fill!

Cape Cod Market Update April 2020

March Review:

Well, life looked a lot different in March than we are used to and we can only assume that any changes the Cape Cod real estate market felt in March are merely the beginning of a trend line that we do not yet have a full view of. Some good news is that Gov. Baker has deemed real estate an essential service so we are still able to perform all of our normal functions, but with some adaptation based on the social distancing recommendations. This is crucial as it allows for home purchases, often not remotely discretionary, to continue in an otherwise crazy time. Looking at last month here is what we know.  Inventory is down significantly from this time last year, by approximately 20%.  Additionally we did not see a significant rise in the number of new listings and some homeowners chose to temporarily withdraw their properties from the market in light of COVID-19.  These factors have resulted in a mere 3% gain in inventory instead of the 8% gain we saw for the same period in 2019.  Another important point here is that the magnitude of the shutdown was not felt until the middle of March so these numbers do not reflect a market completely under the current lock-down guidelines. However closings were up compared to 2019.  This is likely because the time that it takes for transactions to finalize, typically 45 days, means many of these closings were initiated back in January.  We expect that this lack of inventory may push prices up further in the short-term though the longer-term consequences of a nation's economy stuck in first gear are much more difficult to predict. However, mortgage rates are at record lows and the increased number of closings in March indicated what would have been a strong Spring market if not for the lock-down. We are hoping that enough of the emergency economic measures for renters and homeowners will keep people in their homes safe and healthy. Stay healthy and safe yourself!

Contact us today, we are always glad to discuss the market in further detail if you have questions. For more market data check out our blog category Real Estate Trends.

Recent Market Summary

    Jan     Feb     Mar  
    Closed Sales    270     324     326  
   Inventory     1,397     1,426     1,471  
   Median Sales Price   $431K     $435K     $441K  
   Avg Days on Market    108     120     124  
   Avg % of Original Price    93%     93%     94%  

Surviving and thriving during COVID lock-down: Part 2

Cape Cod Rail Trail - A. BebrinAfter making it through the longest March ever, we’re now staring down an equally long April spent in lockdown. For a society that’s usually lamenting never having enough time to do the things we want, we’re now facing a month’s worth of hours to fill. Whether you’re still going to work, managing kiddos, working or taking classes from home, or just plain going stir crazy (or all of the above), everything can feel really overwhelming at the moment. In my experience, it does help to find something small, and feasible, to accomplish, to have some semblance of control - at least over your own life and space. So, if you could use some ideas to help fill these many, many hours in isolation, I’ve got your back.

Nickerson State Park TrailsBird *is* the word: The weather is finally getting nicer, and while we’re all cooped up inside, the birds are back in action! Cape Cod boasts a diverse population of feathered former-dinos, which you can observe out your own windows. Provided that you’re staying the recommended 6 feet away from any other burgeoning birders, the Cape Cod Rail Trail and local conservation trails are also great places to spot Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, Ospreys, and more. Mass Audubon has tons of materials to help you identify the birds you do see -- I would not recommend trying to Google them based on a loose series of descriptors. “Small bird black red patches” does not return the results you want and also Google will think you’re having a stroke. 

Actually tackling your honey-do/home improvement list: As any professional procrastinator knows, there comes a point when you’ve exhausted your entire list of activities and are still so bored that you’re willing to do things that you’ve been avoiding for years. This is the moment to rid your closet and bureau of all those clothes that don’t fit you; to finally organize that drawer/pile of miscellaneous mail, accessories, and free promotional stuff; to patch and repaint the hole in the bathroom wall where you *accidentally* ripped down the towel bar two years ago. Extra points will be awarded if you choose to do anything on the outside of your house, or that involves the words ‘lawn clean-up’ or ‘mulch.’ 

Check in again for more great things to do on Cape Cod next week!  And click here to contact us with any questions about buying and selling real estate - and enjoying all that Cape Cod has to offer.

Surviving and thriving during COVID lock-down: Part 1

We hope this finds you all hale and hearty in these trying times!  We are thankful to still be open for business and meeting the real estate needs of our clients, for a little more detail on how we are managing this please see our previous blog here.  Today we wanted to share the first of a few ideas for how to improve your home to add value (since you may have spare time these days), whether you are thinking of selling this year or in the future.

Quality of Life and Aesthetic Improvements

BeforeWAftere always recommend that you undertake upgrades that will make you enjoy your home more!  If you can afford it, don't wait 20 years to replace a bathroom you hate, improve and enjoy it now while you are living in your home.  Some sellers stress about doing these improvements just before selling and often don't reap monetary benefits as a results (see our blog about recouping investment on upgrades here).  You can even undertake very inexpensive projects that improve the overall look and livability of your home that - while mostly intended for you - also make your home more appealing when selling.  See the after and before photos (before has the mess of wires on the right) of a quick organization of home electronics.  This makes your home more livable for you and, by being tidy and neat, can improve buyers' first impressions.  A visibly clean and orderly home with very few 'punch-list' items implies that the owners are taking care of larger, invisible maintenance items -- this can have significant positive impacts by attracting higher and earlier offers when selling

If you are considering listing your home, please give us a call to put two generations of tradition and three decades of experience in your pocket.  For some more tips for homeowners check out our blogs tagged here.


April 3 COVID-19 Update

Here at Chatelain Real Estate we are taking the current social distancing guidelines very seriously. We've put the following services in place to make sure we are able to keep everyone safe while also providing essential services to our clients.

If you have a transaction in progress, we have the capability of disclosing all documents for electronic signature - all from the comfort of your home.  All closing functions (lending, attorney services, etc...) are designated as essential by the governor, so there should not be any major disruption to your closing.

If you are a buyer, please don't hesitate to call and ask for a remote viewing of any properties you may be interested in.  We'll be happy to set up a video conference link and conduct a live 'virtual showing' at your convenience.  

For short-term renters, we have revised our refund policy to allow for a full refund of any booking up to 30 days before occupancy.  So book now - we're all going to need a vacation when this is over.

And the office may be closed, but we aren't letting the cobwebs grow - during the shut down we are expanding into an adjacent suite to more than double our current office space - when things get back to normal, we'll look forward to seeing you at our new and improved digs!

As always, if you have questions about how COVID-19 is affecting the market, your search for a home, or the timeline for selling your current home, please don't hesitate to ask.  We are here to help however we can.

Until then, stay safe.


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