Blog :: 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. 

Cape Cod Market Update November 2020

October Review: Oct Market update

  The Cape Cod real estate market continues its unprecedented year.  Most remarkably is that median sales price remains at $550,000, up 25% from this time last year.  What is driving this increase?  Demand.  Both closed sales and pending sales are up more than 40% from this time last year and inventory is incredibly low, at just under 2 months of inventory.  Stay healthy and safe everyone!  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

    Aug     Sept     Oct  
    Closed Sales    509     559     564  
   Inventory     1,019     921     808  
   Median Sales Price   $545k     $550k     $550k  
   Avg Days on Market    99     97     84  
   Avg % of Original Price    96%     97%     98%  

Cape Cod Market Update November 2020

October Review: Oct Market update

  The Cape Cod real estate market continues its unprecedented year.  Most remarkably is that median sales price remains at $550,000, up 25% from this time last year.  What is driving this increase?  Demand.  Both closed sales and pending sales are up more than 40% from this time last year and inventory is incredibly low, at just under 2 months of inventory.  Stay healthy and safe everyone!  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

    Aug     Sept     Oct  
    Closed Sales    509     559     564  
   Inventory     1,019     921     808  
   Median Sales Price   $545k     $550k     $550k  
   Avg Days on Market    99     97     84  
   Avg % of Original Price    96%     97%     98%  

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    Realtor Case file #57 – why local relationships matter

    Whether you are buying, selling, or renting your home, one of the most important decisions you will make is who will represent your interests during the transaction. Those representatives should always be experienced local professionals with strong relationships in the community. I recently closed a transaction that perfectly illustrated just how important those relationships may end up being. Take a look:

    Three days before closing on a seller client’s home the buyer’s attorney discovered two title issues which were going to prevent us from closing: an undischarged mortgage and an outstanding right of first refusal from the original developer. Title issues are always trouble but this was particularly troubling because my sellers were using the funds from their sale to purchase another home on the same day – a delay on the sale would cause serious complications for everyone involved. But my clients had done the right thing – they had carefully selected a team of experience professionals with strong connections in their respective professional communities. Here’s what happened:

    We were in a rush so the attorney asked me (as the seller’s agent) to work on the right of first refusal while she and the sellers dug in on the mortgage. Because of my local knowledge, I happened to know who the developer was, and that he had retired and sold his business about 15 years ago. I also happened to know who he sold the business to, and have a working relationship with that person. So I called him up and got the contact info for his predecessor. I then spoke with the developer who sent me to his attorney here in Yarmouth. I called the attorney, with whom I have closed dozens of deals and asked for a favor. That afternoon the document was prepared and signed. First problem solved.

    But what about the second problem? The mortgage on the home had been paid off for 10 years, but the bank never recorded the discharge. [Editor’s note: this happens ALL THE TIME. Always call your bank to make sure they recorded the discharge after your last payment to avoid this issue yourself]. The mortgage was, sadly, with a large national bank, so my sellers’ tearful trip to the branch was useless. So they regrouped and, on a lark, called their financial advisor. At dinner time on a weeknight. He picked right up. They explained the situation and he said, “You know what, I know someone who works in the mortgage department at that bank’s headquarters. Let me reach out to him.” By noon the next day they had satisfactory documentation of the discharged mortgage in hand, thanks to their finance guy’s local relationship within the bank.

    We sent the completed file to the buyer’s attorney, the transaction closed as scheduled on Friday, my clients bought their new house that afternoon, and everyone walked away happy. Disaster averted.

    So what was the trick? Local relationships. My clients had carefully selected a team of local experts and it paid off big time. Think about it like this – what if their Realtor hadn’t been local? Would the seller’s attorney have known and trusted him to solve part of the problem, or would she have had to extend the closing date to give her time to do it herself? Would the agent have known immediately who to call to track down the long-since retired out of state developer? Would the developer’s attorney have been willing to do the agent a favor by rushing the file? What if their financial advisor had been a nameless associate at a large firm who they couldn’t reach after hours? Or who didn’t have personal local relationships within the industry? Would they have still closed on time? Maybe. Maybe they would have gotten lucky. But why leave it to chance? Real Estate is a team sport – when you assemble your team, make sure to pick local professionals who have the experience and relationships in their industries to give you the best representation possible.

    Four ways to pay off your mortgage early

    Every few years it is worth evaluating the costs and benefits of paying off your mortgage early.  We'll discuss four scenarios with a home purchased for $450,000, 20% down and 2.75% interest on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. For the purposes of this exercise we will be calculating principal and interest payments and not including mortgage insurance or escrow payments for taxes and insurance. To see our math you can refer to the embedded Mortgage Payment Calculator at the end of the blog.  Each scenario has a tab at the bottom so you can switch back and forth for comparisons. Let's proceed.

    Standard Payment:

    In this scenario you pay your mortgage just as it appears on your bill.  Over the course of 360 months (30 years) your entire mortgage is paid off.

    Maximum Principal and Interest (P&I) payment: $1,469.67

    Payoff time: 30 years

    Total Interest Paid: $169,080.57

    Scenario 1: Double your monthly principal payment

    In this situation you simply mail your mortgage payment with twice the amount of the principal payment.  In our hypothetical, the first payment would therefore include $644.67 more than the standard $1,469.67, or $2,114.34.  This amount would slowly increase each month as your principal payment increases.

    Max P&I Payment:  $2,931.26

    Payoff time: 15.1 years

    Total Interest Paid: $84,843.26

    Scenario 2: Add an extra $500 to each principal payment

    Here you simply pay $500 more to pay down your principal each month.  

    Max P&I Payment:  $1,969.67

    Payoff time: 19.8 years

    Total Interest Paid: $107,023.83

    Scenario 3: Annual bulk payment of $10,000 to your principal

    Imagine that you save up all year and pay down a large chunk of the principal in December, we hypothesize $10k.

    Max P&I Payment:  $11,469.67 ($1,469.67 max standard month)

    Payoff time: 16.4

    Total Interest Paid: $88,772.70

    Scenario 4: Double principal and $20k annual payment

    This situation may not be feasible for many people, but we included it to illustrate a point.  Here we combined strategy #2 and #3 but increased the annual payment to $20k. Using this strategy the payoff time can be brought down to just over 8 years with only about $46k in total interest

    Max P&I Payment:  $22,865.24 ($2,930.77 max standard month)

    Payoff time: 8.3

    Total Interest Paid: $45,906.64

    Synopsis: Which is best for me?

    There is no one correct solution here. Each homeowner has a different financial situation, and these may change over time anyway.  Consider simply that paying down your principal results in fewer payments and less interest charged overall, but there is a reason that a standard mortgage is paid over 30 years.

     

    As always contact us to discuss what buying or selling looks like in today's market.

     

     

    Bottom

    Cape Cod Market Update October 2020

    September Review: Aug Market update

     The Cape Cod real estate market continues its foray into uncharted waters.  September saw the highest single family median sales price ever recorded in Barnstable County at $550,000. Additionally inventory remains incredibly low with only 921 homes available cape-wide.  These two factors are putting incredible pressure on buyers by resulting in multiple offer scenarios and many homes being sold for over asking price, indicating the desperation for housing on Cape Cod.  While this market seems good for sellers in the short term, an unsustainable housing market on the Cape is not good for anyone, even sellers. Stay healthy and safe everyone!  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

        July     Aug     Sept  
        Closed Sales    582     509     559  
       Inventory     1,128     1,019     921  
       Median Sales Price   $499k     $545k     $550k  
       Avg Days on Market    106     99     97  
       Avg % of Original Price    95%     96%     97%  

    Cape Cod Things to do in the Fall...despite COVID

    Though it’s practically treason to say so, fall -- and not summer -- is my favorite season on Cape Cod. With fair skin and a short attention span, lying on the beach all day has never been overly appealing to me. But give me a crisp autumn day wandering around in a thick sweater, sipping a hot beverage -- now you’ve got my attention!

    Wing IslandUsually the Cape’s fall schedule is packed with Fests, road races, and craft fairs, but this is hardly a typical year. Still, there are plenty of ways to make the best of this quieter, cooler season!

    Wellfleet’s famous OysterFest is moving online this year! As always, it’s the weekend following Columbus Day, and will feature a live stream of the Shuck Off for the 20th iteration of this great event. Support the community by ordering Wellfleet oysters to eat while you watch, bid on auction items, and buy some great local merch!

    Forget pumpkin spice: the fall is cranberry season. There’s something very pleasing and orderly about watching them round up all of the cranberries for harvest (not to mention highly Instagrammable). Watch the process in action in Harwich off Exit 10 or in Yarmouth on Weir Road, go for a walking tour of a working bog, or just pick up some delicious, locally-grown goodies! 

    Lower temperatures mean more time spent outside without immediately being covered in sweat. Nothing beats soaking up the warm sunshine, cool ocean breezes, and changing foliage on a Thoreau-esque stroll in nature! Try the Boardwalk Trail in Wellfleet or on the John Wing Trail in Brewster for a peaceful moment of solitude that feels miles away from civilization….but is still close enough to grab lunch when you’re done. 

    Somehow, we’ve made it this far through 2020. The change of seasons is a perfect moment to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come…and then brace yourself for the upcoming holiday season. So enjoy being outside while the sunlight lasts, and as always, wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep your distance! 

    Cape Cod Market Update September 2020

    August Review: Aug Market update

      We are in an unprecedented market on Cape Cod folks.  Sellers are heavily favored in the current clime as we are seeing multiple offers over asking price on many properties, a norm previously only seen in super-hot markets like Boston, San Francisco and other booming urban areas.  Inventory is down 51% from August last year and the lack of inventory is driving up median sales price (up 27% from last year).  Despite the lack of inventory, both pending sales and closed sales are up significantly as well, 71% and 31% respectively, indicating an incredible demand for single family homes on Cape Cod.  What do we expect for the fall? Who knows? We are in uncharted waters here. What we do know is that, if you are thinking of selling, now is an excellent time.  If you are thinking of buying, while the market may seem outrageous there are still good values out there so don't get discouraged. Stay healthy and safe everyone!  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

        June     July     Aug  
        Closed Sales    419     582     509  
       Inventory     1,296     1,128     1,019  
       Median Sales Price   $475k     $499k     $545k  
       Avg Days on Market    108     106     99  
       Avg % of Original Price    95%     95%     96%  

    Cape Cod Market Update August 2020

    July Review: July Market update

    July, like June, saw a significant uptick in real estate activity on Cape Cod. Presumably buyers are seeing the benefits of the Cape lifestyle and, through demand, creating an exceptionally hot market. Closed sales and pending sales are both up significantly from this time last year leading to the dearth of inventory that is still driving the market (as well as driving increasing prices). This is a heavily favored seller's market with only 3.1 months of inventory available across the county (less in certain markets) and properties seeing multiple offers and going under contract quickly. This trend follows the larger national trend of more interest in suburban, exurban and rural areas than cities. If you are looking for a getaway from the craziness in your area, we do still have a few weeks available in late August and September at our seasonal vacation rentals. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

    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

        May     June     July  
        Closed Sales    239     419     582  
       Inventory     1,479     1,296     1,128  
       Median Sales Price   $455K     $475k     $499k  
       Avg Days on Market    102     108     106  
       Avg % of Original Price    95%     95%     95%  

    Ahhhh... Summer on Cape Cod Part 3

    Sunfish!The (Sun)Burn Book: Beaches Edition

    Some people are die-hards for their favorite baseball or football team; others are ready to throw hands over deep dish vs. thin crust pizza. Here on the Cape, we display loyalty (and a fair amount of smugness) through our choice of beach. 

    Where to spend your time enjoying the wind, sand, and surf is a deeply personal choice. Are you a bayside person, as variable as high and low tide? Bold and rugged, like the National Seashore? Or perhaps you’re a sound-side person, steady and occasionally covered in seaweed. Staring at the waves and thinking one’s thoughts is a time-honored Cape tradition, so you’ll have plenty of time to mull it over. Whatever your dream beach is like, I’ve got options for you:

    Beach must-have: Parking! 

    A quick way to ruin your chill vacation vibe is getting to the beach and discovering that there’s no parking. If you’re like me, you lie awake all night and stress about this eventuality. Fun AND relaxing! 
    Of course, the National Seashore lots are all large, but if you’re staying in the Mid- to Lower-Cape and want something close by, Red River Beach in Harwich and West Dennis Beach in (you guessed it) Dennis both have ample lots. Bonus: they run parallel to the beach so you can minimize the distance you have to drag one thousand pounds of beach chairs, small children, and assorted plastic toys across the sand. 

    Beach must-have: Tidal flats!

    Sure, high tide is neat. The dramatic crash of the surf, wondering if the water is going to surge under your chair, getting really wet when the next wave does exactly that, it’s a hoot. But the cool kids know that low tide, especially on the bayside, is the bee’s knees. Brewster boasts some of the most impressive tidal flats in all of North America, stretching over a mile into Cape Cod Bay. Forget fighting over a tiny little strip of sand at high tide -- spread out on the flats, look for unique rocks, and stare off into the middle distance like your lover has forsaken you to sail the endless seas. Corporation Beach in Dennis and Skaket Beach in Orleans are both great places to do all three, but Crosby Beach in Brewster is really where you’ll get the full experience. 

    West Dennis Beach SunriseBeach must-haves: Absolutely no chance of sharks

    The ocean is where sharks live, and they’ve been around for millenia, so we have to respect that. If you swim with exuberance, or you dislike ending the day crusted in sunscreen and sea salt, maybe you’re a pond person! Luckily for you, the Cape is essentially a big piece of Swiss cheese so ponds are myriad. Splash to your heart’s content in Harwich at Long Pond or Hinkley’s Pond. In Brewster enjoy Sheep Pond and in Eastham, Herring Pond. Remember to reapply sunscreen often and watch for pruney fingers!

    At the end of the day, it isn’t about which beach is best for you: it’s about being vaguely condescending about other people’s beach preferences. Just kidding! It’s about enjoying whichever one you chose - so keep your distance, wash your hands, and leave the place nicer than you found it!

    For more information on buying or selling on Cape Cod contact Amand Bebrin --HERE--

    Cape Cod Market Update July 2020

    June Review:

    June led to some interesting market outcomes. Obviously much of the real estate market, and society, continues to be influenced by the reality of COVID-19. This has, however, impacted the Cape Cod market in an unusual way. According to the NAR Market Recovery Survey, 60% of urban markets are paused or slowly entering recovery. This is not what we are experiencing here on the Cape. June saw a 76% increase from 2019 in pending sales (sales that have signed contracts but are not yet completed). This is, frankly, incredible. Obviously after nearly 3 months in phase 1 of reopening, and historically low interest rates, the pent-up demand from buyers came to a head in June. Cape Cod continues to provide a lifestyle many people find appealing and June demonstrated this like we have never seen before. While buyer demand is way up, we continue to experience a dearth of available housing, indicated by inventory down nearly 40% from this time last year. July sales are usually a bit slower as people settle into the summer season but, frankly, we don't see it happening this year folks.  However, if you are looking for a getaway from the craziness in your area, we do still have a few weeks available in August at our seasonal vacation rentals. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

    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

        Apr     May     June  
        Closed Sales    264     239     419  
       Inventory     1,455     1,479     1,296  
       Median Sales Price   $440K     $455K     $475k  
       Avg Days on Market    116     102     108  
       Avg % of Original Price    95%     95%     95%