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Blog :: 2015

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. 

TIME TO MOVE--MORTGAGE RATES ARE GOING UP

If you have been waiting for the market to improve before buying a Cape Cod property, it's time to get the job done.  The Fed has indicated that mortgage rates are on their way up, and in anticipation the markets have already started raising rate.  Last week alone we saw the rate for a 30 year conventional fixed mortgage at one local bank jump from 3.5% to 4%.  This added nearly $30/$100,000 to your monthly payment.  If rates go up to 5%, your payment would go up nearly $90 per month per $100,000!!!!   So it's time to get moving.  Check out 21 Chase Avenue that has room for your entire gang and all our other listings.  Give us a whistle to make your move headache-free and fun.     

GREAT TIME TO BUY ON CAPE COD

Time is ripe for buying on the Cape. Prices are still below their highest point in 2006.  Mortgage rates are historically low.  The beaches are beautiful.  The air is clear and crisp.  No better time to become a Cape Cod owner of a sweet three-bedroom two bath ranch, or a lake front home with expansive views.  Check them out and give us a whistle.  Enjoy the end of summer!

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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