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Blog :: 05-2017

Things to do in Orleans, Cape Cod

Ask Agnes...

We'd like to introduce a new feature in the blog - 'Ask Agnes'.  Agnes, the better half of the 'Ed and Agnes' foundation of Cape Cod Chatelains, was the first to enter real estate in 1992.  Ever since, she has been adding her professionalism and love for her clients to each of her deals.  We appreciate Agnes for her insight into the local area and her knowledge of the real estate market.  For this week's feature we ask Agnes about Orleans, one of the towns on the lower Cape.  In fact the Boston Globe just named Orleans one of the two best seaside towns in New England.  Check out that article here.

Cape Cod Chatelains - 'Hey Agnes, what are great outdoor activities in Orleans?'

Agnes - 'One of my favorite ocean beaches is Nauset.  As I let the pressure out of my tires to drive out on the beach (click here for permit info) I feel the pressure of the world escape from my soul.'

CCC - 'Really... the pressure of the world?'

A - 'In all seriousness Nauset beach is beautiful.  I love to drive out early and spend all day grilling, walking along the beach and dunes, and playing in the surf with the grandkids.  Watching surfers provides wonderful entertainment and the camaraderie that exists between Nauset beach-goers is something special.  Another one of my outdoor favorites is the Pleasant Bay Community Boating.  They provide a great opportunity for residents and visitors to experience Pleasant Bay from the water - and if there's one thing I love, its experiencing life from the water'

CCC - 'Then why do we always get yelled at to keep the boat from heeling?'

A - '   '

 

CCC - 'What are some great places to eat in Orleans?'

A - 'I love the knack, especially when I have family or friends with me.  The patio seating can be moved around a little to accommodate different sized groups and the food and shakes are phenomenal.  My personal favorite is the avocado burger that has some type of mysterious sauce that can't be explained except to say that it is delicious.  I also like that you can order online and pick up your food without having to wait in the line - which can be extensive - I guess the word is out on this great burger.  

'If I am out and about earlier in the day I like Hole in One, right on 6A for their homemade donuts and dynamite breakfast.  The bonus about Hole in One is that you can sneak in downstairs and take a box of pastries to go without needing to wait too long.  I like to enjoy a donut and coffee just down the street at the windmill

 

CCC - 'What is another one of your favorites here in Orleans?'

A - 'One of the best parts of summer is the Cape Cod Baseball League.  This gem of the Cape is where many great college baseball players come to spend the summer months playing on one of many local teams.  The Firebirds are the hometown team in Orleans and play in the 'East Division' of the league.  Their home field has wonderful grassy stadium seating and is a favorite with the little ones.'

 

Well thank you Agnes, we are lucky to have your decades of experiences here on Cape Cod.  As always, please contact us with any questions, we are happy to help.

 

Trends in home ownership

    One question that comes up frequently in conversations these days is "why is inventory so low right now?"  This is a great question to ask and informs much larger discussion about the economy, local real estate markets, and larger social trends.  But let's start at the beginning.

    When real estate agents talk about 'inventory' they are really speaking of the number of homes, lots, commercial properties etc... that are currently for sale.  Generally the unit in which inventory is expressed is time - in other words 'there are 8 months of inventory'.  The inventory is the supply (homes) available in the market and so has an effect on both the sale price as well as the amount of time that homes stay on the market.  In other words, potential buyers in a market with high inventory may not be motivated to make strong offers because they know that there are a lot of comparable homes they can buy.  Additionally buyers may spend more time shopping around because there are so many homes to see that match their criteria.  If you were a buyer in the early '80s or '90s you may have experienced a market like this (although regionally markets vary quite significantly). A more recent example of a high inventory market was a result of the great recession when the housing bubble burst.  In this instance the unprecedented level of foreclosures flooded the market with homes, when taken simultaneously with the concurrent financial instability, some homes spent years on the market.  The graph from the St. Louis Fed gives a nice snapshot of housing inventory from 1963-2017.

    The alternative to a high inventory market is, obviously, a low inventory market.  These are generally characterized by fewer days on the market and higher sale prices.  Potential buyers outnumber the available homes so bidding wars and offers over asking price are more common.  A great example of this is the market in San Francisco currently - the city is so desirable for a variety of reasons that home supply is inadequate to meet the demands of the market - the result, outrageous prices.  

    With this background let's return to our original question, 'why is inventory so low?'.  There is no short answer but we have a few theories and found this article by Connor Dougherty from the New York Times to be incredibly insightful.  In brief his theory is that people are not selling their homes but instead are choosing to stay in smaller, traditionally starter homes, or choosing to upgrade their existing homes rather than move for more space or amenities.  The economic impact of the great recession allowed many homeowners to refinance into incredibly low interest rates, as a result they are deciding to stay in their current homes rather than incur the expenses of a move with a higher interest rate.  Additionally the demographic of baby-boomers are largely at an age where many are still in the workforce (partially due to the great recession) and are are not quite ready to downsize. Because of the disproportionate affect of the boomers on the economy the availability of homes is low.

    Will this last forever? probably not, but here are some things to consider.  First, as the boomers age, they will begin to downsize with more frequency thereby increasing inventory.  Second, many millennials were young professionals early in their careers and family lives when the great recession hit.  They saw the result and suffered the consequences at a time in their lives when they were least equipped to deal with it.  Many lost jobs, moved back home or chose to continue renting rather than stick their necks out with a mortgage.  Additionally and for whatever reason, millennials are delaying starting families.  Given the size of this demographic this is surely impacting the market, we'll see how millennials will affect the real estate market as more and more of them graduate into adulthood.

If you are interested in learning how your home will compete in the market or your position as a buyer, contact us today.

 

When is the right time to sell your home?

Have you been tossing and turning at night wrestling with the decision to sell your home?  When is the right time to sell?  Am I going to regret not selling my home now?  Will the housing market slip back towards favoring buyers?  Deciding to sell your home can be a serious decision but don't be discouraged; keep these points in mind and you will be on the right track to making a good decision about whether to sell your home.

 

Equity

    Put simply, equity is how much of your home you actually own.  It is a funny thing to think about but mortgages, liens, home equity loans etc... all mean that something other than you (usually a bank) have an ownership interest in your home.  If you sell, all of these mortgages and liens need to be paid before you.  Getting a comparative market analysis from a real estate agent gives you an idea of the value of your home in the current market. Then you can calculate how much equity remains in your house for you to take away. 

 

Equity is not Net

    Unfortunately, your net profit from the sale of your home is not, simply put, net = sale price - mortgage.  Just to list a few of the often overlooked expenses for which sellers are responsible: Attorney's fees, broker's fees, title V septic inspections, and sales tax stamps all subtract from the overall proceeds of the sale.

 

 

 

Trends in the Market

    Everyone loves to predict the future so why should prospective sellers be any different?  Familiarizing yourself with the local market data as well as talking to a real estate agent about comparing your home to others in the area (comparative market analysis) will help you decide if now is a good time for you to sell.

 

 

Personal Needs

    One factor that should never be overlooked is simple reality.  When you (you have time) to sit down and rationally evaluate your current life situation, often the decision to sell or stay becomes more clear.  Are you expecting triplets and the one bedroom condominium suddenly seems like a closet?  Selling and upgrading is probably the right decision regardless of how much of the mortgage is paid off.  Are you tired of that old drab kitchen?  Perhaps new cabinets and fresh paint is all you need.

As always please contact us with any questions and put three decades of experience and two generations of tradition in your corner.

 

33 Aunt Janes Road South Yarmouth | FOR SALE | $469,000 | CAPE COD

33 Aunt Janes Road, South Yarmouth has just come on the market.  This home is in a fabulous location: quiet, convenient, and year round. Enjoy a stroll down scenic Pleasant Street and nearby River Street and enjoy the views of Bass River from Windmill Beach.  The large lot abuts two streets making it very accessible from two locations. The spacious floor plan includes room for separate living quarters making it an ideal home for both vacation home seekers and permanent home seekers. Opportunity knocks!  Materialize your ideas and reap the benefits of living in one of the most desirable areas of Yarmouth.

Please don't miss the introductory open house Sunday 5/28 from 1-3pm.  See you there!

Here are just a few photos and a photo tour of the home.

 

 

23 Millers Road South Dennis 02660 | FOR SALE | $309,000 | CAPE COD

23 Millers Road South Dennis 02660 | $309,000 

We are pleased to announce the sale of this impeccable home.  This is a quintessential Cape cottage with bright charm dripping from the walls and double the benefit with an adjacent lot being sold with the property. Meticulously maintained outside and in, this home features a two sided gas fireplace, central air conditioning, deck, full basement with interior access, beautiful landscaping, updated bathroom, recently painted interior and exterior. Turn-key ready with convenience to the beautiful Cape Cod Rail Trail, Route 6 & Patriot Square.

Here are a few snapshots but the home speaks for itself when you see it in person.  We think you will fall in love with this property as much as us.

  

 

 

 

9 Osborn Snow East Dennis, Price Reduction, $2,200,000

9 Osborn Snow Drive ** Price Reduction ** $2,200,000

   This spectacular home has just seen a price reduction.  Get a small taste from the pictures below and give it a look by following the link.  Amaze at the quality and attention to detail in this wonderful home. Arrive from the 3 car garage, pass the walk-in wine cooler, enter the gourmet kitchen with beautiful views of Quivet Marsh. Top of the line stainless steel appliances, stove-top, refrigerator, and ovens. Granite countertops adorn the custom cabinets and spacious island for cooking or entertaining. Take a break in a sitting room with gas fireplace, warm wooden panelling and wide views of the private backyard & meticulously maintained fruit tree orchard. The living room and formal dining rooms sparkle. Give guests their privacy in the lower level 2 bedrooms suite. Invite clients to the private upstairs office spacious enough for a conference table. A first floor master with a luxurious bathroom make this home a must see.

   

 

 

Spring Cleanup adds value to your home | Real Estate | Cape Cod

Maximize the Sale Price of Your Home this Spring

    Potential sellers always ask us about the best ways to maximize the sale price of their home.  Even before we begin the conversation we frequently see defeat in their eyes because they expect us to name big big ticket items like kitchens, roofs, or bathrooms.  While these can indeed help to maximize return we think these three low-cost projects are an excellent use of homeowner resources.  

1. Landscaping

    We understand, trying to maintain a yard on Cape Cod is asking a lot. Pitch pine needles and salt spray are not conducive to green and lush grass, but who says you have to have perfect grass to have curb appeal?  Using local plants that thrive on the Cape is a great way to improve the health of the local ecosystem as well as make your home feel like it fits into the landscape.  Check out the link here for more information on local species.  Furthermore simple clean-up tasks like edging and mulching your flowers, cutting your grass, and removing downed trees and branches all improve the look and feel of your home.

2. Wash and Paint

    Now don't get too excited, we understand that painting trim and siding is an expensive job for a professional and time consuming for the owner-enthusiast.  However peeling paint can be an immediate turn off to potential buyers so here is our recommendation - wash the house and touch-up the paint.  Washing doesn't have to involve a professional company - a garden hose and sturdy brush will clean much of what needs to be taken care of.  Rain splatters dirt around the foundation and shaded areas provide excellent habitat for mildew, moss, or lichen.  Pay special attention to removing mildew in corners and on or around gutters.   

  Painting can seem onerous as well but the good news is that it really isn't that bad.  Keeping up with flakes and chips every spring adds years to the life of a paint job and makes your home look well-tended and loved (which adds a lot of value).  Open a paint can (that matches the color please) and spend a few minutes a day walking around and retouching. 

3. Do That 'Honey-Do'

    All homeowner's have a project in the yard that makes them say,  'I really do need to get this done'.  Weeding paths, planting flower boxes, fixing broken fence rails, repairing screens or cracked glass, etc... stop procrastinating and do it already.  Those little projects are on your list and they will be on a buyer's as well.  No one wants something preventing the sale of their home, so take care of that nagging thing today.  

 

 

  One example is 9 Osborn Snow Drive, East Dennis.  While we all wish we could have such a spectacular luxury home we can still learn a lot from its neat and tidy planted gardens and ornamental plants that are BELOW the windows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Here is another wonderful home, 41 Deacon Court, Barnstable.  Notice the neatly kept crushed stone driveway, low plants and maintained paint.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Here is a beautiful example of a new listing coming soon to the market.  23 Millers Road South Dennis.  We choose it as our stellar example of a perfectly maintained Cape Ranch.  

 

 

 

 

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Client Testimonials

The Chatelain team of Agnes, Ed, and Ned are the best to have when undertaking the enormous task of selling your house and moving. Agnes and her team really went the extra mile for us. We value their honesty, knowledge, and their willingness to work with us and provide great answers to all our questions. Trying to sell the house was an especially stressful event and they helped so much with their expertise and handling of so many things that came up, relieving much of that stress. The house sold much more quickly than we could have hoped. Due to the positive experience we had with team Chatelain, we highly recommend them.  

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