Cape Cod News

Market Update June 2018

May Review: Last month was characterized by the Spring market frenzy.  While 399 closed single family homes may not seem like much of a frenzy, compared to the January-April dearth, it was.  Overall though, sales and inventory are down compared to this time last year, which we believe says more about the unusually busy 2017 market leaving us with lower inventory to start 2018.  Conditions still favor sellers and buyers are encouraged to have strong offers (excellent financing and few contingencies) placed early to be considered.  We are encouraged to see an increase in new listings which is helping to rebuild the inventory here in Barnstable County.  Experts are also considering the idea that the current market conditions (higher prices and fewer days on market) are more sustainable than originally expected due to improved lending practices to more qualified borrowers.

Featured Search: Cute Mid-Cape Cottages for less than $350,000 What's New in Barnstable County?  Find out here

Recent Market Summary

  March April May
Closed Sales 255 329 399
Inventory 1,584 1,755 1,924
Median Sales Price $415,000 $399,000 $429,000
Avg Days on Market 137 108 114
Avg % of Original Price 95% 96% 95%

 

Open Houses 6/9-6/10

We have six excellent open houses this weekend.  If you are interested in any of these homes or to learn more about any other open houses on the Cape, contact us today.

Saturday 10-12 | 9 River Road, West Dennis

Bring your beach balls...This Cape Cod year-round getaway with proven rental history is turnkey ready for fun with plenty of room for outdoor games. It is being sold furnished along with the booked rentals. It is nestled on a cul-de-sac and features wood floors, three bedrooms, living room with cozy fireplace, nice sized eat-in kitchen, enclosed porch, wonderful deck for barbecues, and large storage shed. The location offers easy access to warm Nantucket Sound beaches, shopping, kayaking on the Swan River, and bicycling on the Cape Cod rail trail. It is well kept, has a newer furnace, a whole house fan, and washer and dryer. This is a true gem.

 

Saturday 10-12 | 17 Mayflower Lane, South Yarmouth

Fall in love with this sun-filled South Yarmouth charmer. Grab some appetizers from the cathedraled kitchen, then step outside and sip a drink on the lush patio. Cooling off? Warm up by the gas stove in the front-to-back living room. Stretch your legs with a peaceful stroll down to one of two beaches on lovely Long Pond. Flexible 5-room floor plan, super convenient location, newer roof and boiler...welcome home.

 

 

 

Saturday 1-3 | 1685 Hyannis Road, Barnstable Village

Two homes on one lot! This 1.67 acre estate consists of a tastefully renovated gracious main house plus guest cottage in a verdant setting. Situated in Barnstable Village and less than a mile from Millway beach this property is currently unmatched, yet still has room for expansion. How about a tennis court, swimming pool, or bocce ball court? The possibilities are endless. The main house boasts a gourmet kitchen, beautiful hearth with an elegant custom mantle, gleaming wood floors, renovated baths with river-stone tile, butler's pantry converted into a dignified office, nooks and crannies galore. The detached one bedroom guest cottage with its beautiful floors and window wrapped den, along with the main house, make this versatile property perfect for large gatherings and summer soirees.

Your imagination will delight when you encounter the outdoor fire pit, travertine patio, gardens, green house and fruit trees. All of these are just a minute to coffee shops, restaurants, post office, galleries, and village market. The renovations undertaken since 2003 include new kitchen, baths, windows, furnace, hot water heaters, roof, painted interior and exterior, to name a few. The landscaping is beautiful and allows for simplicity or formality. This is a one of a kind property to be proud of and love.

Saturday 1-3 | 9 Osborn Snow Drive, East Dennis

Enjoy bird watching in spring and fireworks over Cape Cod Bay on the 4th of July from the spacious custom crafted home. The setting has character that is un-matched with expansive views of Quivet Neck, lush grounds, and easy access to Crowes Pasture, Cold Storage and Sea Street Beaches--a most sought after location in East Dennis. The home's flow is inviting and gracious with three gas fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and sparkling floors. There are outstanding entertainment areas from gourmet kitchen, outdoor brick oven, and large deck to gracious dining room. For work-at-home folks the private office cannot be beat. This is a one-of-a-kind lovely home that offers more than the ordinary.

Sunday 1-3 | 438 Main Street, Osterville

Set yourself apart from the ordinary. This unique & refined home is to be enjoyed in summer and year long. Just minutes to Fancy's Market, library, post office, galleries, coffee & brunch; or to Dowses Beach for sunny walk or cooling dip; or launch a kayak down East Bay to Centerville River. This home is tastefully renovated with versatile floor plan ideal for entertaining. The heart of the home features a family room/kitchen combination that spills onto the large gracious sun room, deck & patio. The living room with lovely bay window is set apart allowing for intimate chats. 2 of the bedrooms each have private baths. There is additional large sleeping areas with half bath for visitors. The home is air conditioned throughout. Plenty of parking for guests. This is what life is all about.

Sunday 1-3 | 56 Clear Brook Road, West Yarmouth

This excellent starter, retirement or vacation home is conveniently located with easy access to shopping, beaches, and amenities. It is very well maintained and offers a nice floor plan with two bedrooms, granite counters, wood floors, newer windows, newer roof, Hardie plank siding, Azek trim, air conditioning, top of the line heating system including on-demand hot water, Generac generator, a large half acre private yard, garage and full basement. Bring your colors and love this sweet surprise that awaits you.

Best Shellfishing Spots on Cape Cod

Courtesy of C Dannhauser

Spring makes us love the Cape for a lot of different reasons, not the least of which is the warming weather and water.  Warmer water means that we no longer need to worry about hypothermia when participating in one of the best Cape Cod activities, shellfishing.  Each town has unique regulations and areas that are open and closed depending on the season.  Check out the listings below for more details in your town.  We also provide one or two suggestions of our favorite places but we suggest you find your own!

 Town information  Our Favorite Spot (but check for seasonal closures)
Bourne Buttermilk Bay
Sandwich Mill Creek
Falmouth Waquoit Bay
Mashpee Great River south of the landing
Barnstable Scudder Lane or West Bay
Yarmouth Gray's Beach
Dennis Cove Rd (West Dennis Side)
Brewster Ellis Landing
Harwich Wychmere Harbor
Chatham Mill Creek or Oyster Pond
Orleans Little Pleasant Bay
Eastham Boat Meadow Creek
Wellfleet Indian Neck or Chipman's Cove
Truro Pamet River
Provincetown West of the Breakwater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of C. Dannhauser

Open Houses April 21 and 22

We have three excellent open houses this weekend and, with the first prediction of clear skies in some time, will be a great weekend to get out and preview your dream home!

New Price |  9 Osborn Snow Drive, East Dennis | Sunday 1-3

Location is everything and this home has it all - expansive views of Quivet Neck conservation land as far as Cape Cod Bay, lush grounds that set the tone for the Cape Cod lifestyle and all only a stroll to Cold Storage and Sea Street Beaches. The gracious interiors cover 6600 square feet which include separate living quarters and a large private office that makes this home ideal for a professional home office. Every inch was custom crafted with low maintenance in mind. Boasting a fabulous chef's kitchen and oversized deck, entertaining is a breeze. Delight your clients with delicious treats prepared in the brick oven while enjoying the sweeping views and wine on the deck or by the fire pits. This special place features 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, sparkling wood, tile, vaulted ceilings, This is truly private and in an exceptional neighborhood. Bring your personal touches.

 

Brand new to market |  1685 Hyannis Rd, Barnstable Village | Saturday 1-3pm

Two homes on one lot! Charm best describes the tastefully renovated gracious antique main house on a 1.67 acre estate setting smack dab in Barnstable Village less than a mile from Millway beach with lovely three bedrooms, three baths. The detached one bedroom guest cottage along with the main house makes this versatile property perfect for large gatherings & summer soirees. Your imagination will explode when you encounter the outdoor fire pit, travertine patio, gardens, greenhouse and fruit trees. All this just a minute to coffee shops, restaurants, post office, galleries, and village market. Step inside the main house to find sparkling floors, gourmet kitchen, nooks and crannies at every turn. Send guests to the cottage with its beautiful floors, window wrapped den and enjoy your space. This is a sensational property with room for expansion. How about a tennis court, swimming pool, or bocce ball court? The possibilities are endless. The renovations undertaken since 2003 included new kitchen, baths, windows, furnace, hot water heaters, roof, painted interior and exterior, to name a few. The landscaping is beautiful and allows for simplicity or formality. This is one of a kind property to be proud of and to love.

 

New Price |  438 Main St, Osterville | Saturday 10-12

Set yourself apart from the ordinary. This unique & refined home is to be enjoyed in summer and year long. Just minutes to Fancy's Market, library, post office, galleries, coffee & brunch; or to Dowses Beach for sunny walk or cooling dip; or launch a kayak down East Bay to Centerville River. This home is tastefully renovated with versatile floor plan ideal for entertaining. The heart of the home features a family room/kitchen combination that spills onto the large gracious sun room, deck & patio. The living room with lovely bay window is set apart allowing for intimate chats. Two bedrooms each have private baths. There is an additional large sleeping area with half bath for visitors. The home is air conditioned throughout. Plenty of parking for guests. Take part in what life is all about.

 

If you are interested in any of these homes or to learn more about any other open houses on the Cape, contact us today.

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

 

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.

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.

 

 

PIGS and SNOWDROPS

This week on the cape has seen the full array of February weather.  From cold mornings to beautiful sunny days, evidence abounds that Spring is desperately trying to emerge.  In fact, one of the best indications that winter is almost over is the patch of snowdrop flowers peeking out of the ground at our listing on 14 Amos Road in West Yarmouth.  Looking ahead to the weekend’s forecast, we see the potential for some sprinkling but hopefully, for the sake of the families down on The Cape for February vacation, the weather - as well as the temperature - holds up.  Here’s hoping for continuing warming weather!

 

Snowdrop at 14 Amos


In other news, our office at 15 Cape Lane Brewster, saw some interesting activity yesterday when a local pig - no kidding -  went hog wild and escaped from its home.  The Brewster Police and and local reporters were on the scene down the street (check out the story here).  While we are not sure if it is looking for rental or investment properties, we want our prominent porcine friend to know the Cape Cod Chatelains have a nice piece of property for sale in Sandwich that may be perfect for a small farm animal (as long as the Sandwich isn’t a BLT).

 

 

CAPE COD SECOND HOME OWNERSHIP

Seasonal/Recreational/Occasional Use Homes also known as Second Homes

Have you ever wondered as you are driving around the Cape, how many homes are not primary residences?  It is a surprise to find out how different the percent of second homes is in the various towns.  Below are the percentages noted in the 2010 US Census Demographic Profile Data.      

  • Sandwich            13          
  • Bourne                20.6
  • Falmouth             32.3
  • Mashpee             34.5
  • Barnstable           22
  • Yarmouth             31
  • Dennis                 50.9
  • Brewster              39.6
  • Harwich               40.5
  • Chatham              52.9
  • Orleans                38
  • Eastham              55.8
  • Wellfleet               64
  • Truro                    64.6
  • Provincetown        52.8

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!