Real Estate

5 Sebastian Way South Yarmouth, Cape Cod MA | $329,000 | 2BR/2BA Saltbox | JUST LISTED

    Don't miss out on this well-kept, immaculately maintained 2+ bedroom saltbox at the end of a dead-end street in super-convenient South Yarmouth.  Fresh kitchen and 2 completely updated full baths.  Flexible floor plan with cathedral living room and en-suite master. Level, low maintenance yard, with deck and outdoor shower.  .4 miles from grocery, pharmacy, post office, restaurants, dry goods, and more. 1.2 miles to beach, convenient to Route 6 - you've got it all.  

See the listing here

Here are a few nice shots to whet your appetite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Cape Cod open houses

We have some excellent open houses this weekend.  From a just listed charmer in South Yarmouth to a luxury home in East Dennis overlooking beautiful Quivet Neck, we invite any and every buyer to come and take a look.  For a list of all upcoming open houses in the Cape Cod are, please follow this link.

 

9 Osborn Snow Drive, East Dennis | $2,075,000

This is a beautiful example of a luxury home on Cape Cod that fits beautifully with the antique charm of East Dennis.  Incredibly private and featuring low maintenance siding, decking and gutters this house is and will continue to look beautiful for years to come.  Enjoy its many distinctive indoor and outdoor entertaining areas including an expansive deck, fire pit, wood paneled den and more.  This one is not to be missed.

 

 

28 Oconnor Lane, South Dennis | $369,000

**Price Reduced** This 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch has a large comfortably carpeted 3 season room in the back adding to the ample living space and a partially finished walk out basement with lots of natural light.  With proximity to the Wixon School, Patriot Square and Route 6, this home features both convenience and quiet.

 

 

5 Sebastian Way, South Yarmouth | $329,000

Don't miss out on this well-kept, immaculately maintained 2+ bedroom saltbox at the end of a dead-end street in super-convenient South Yarmouth. Fresh kitchen and 2 updated full baths. Flexible floor plan with loft, cathedral living room, and en-suite master. Level, low maintenance yard, with deck and outdoor shower. .4 miles from grocery, pharmacy, post office, restaurants, dry goods, and more. 1.2 miles to beach. Convenient to Route 6 - you've got it all.

As always, please contact us if we can help you in any way.

Things to do in the Fall on Cape Cod

Ask Agnes Vol IV: Fall on Cape Cod

Cape Cod Chatelains: "Can you believe, Agnes, that Labor day is almost here and fall is just around the corner?"

Agnes: "Unbelievable.  I love the summer on Cape Cod but fall is fantastic for a lot of different reasons."

CCC: "That certainly makes my next question easy...what do you love about fall Agnes?"

A: "First and foremost I love this time of year; days are warm, nights are cool and the weather is dry.  Outside activities are a treat and I particularly love birding in the fall.  Between South Beach in Chatham and the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary the outer Cape abounds with spectacular fall species.  Many of the marshes in Dennis and Harwich (Like Crowes Pasture and Bell's Neck) are also excellent places to see migrants as they prepare for their journeys.  I also enjoy listening to Mark Faherty's bird report on the local NPR station WCAI."

CCC: "Great thoughts thanks Agnes.  What else do you love about fall?"

A: "Well, I love the hustle and bustle of the summer season but I also love being able to drive around again and take advantage of the summer amenities that are still open, and largely quiet.  This is still a great time of year to enjoy a meal outside at one of the many fine establishments on the Cape...and without having to wait 45 minutes for a table!  The Cape Dining Review has some excellent suggestions that are frequently updated.  The weather is so wonderful that I really enjoy getting a chowder or a sandwich and sitting on an empty beach for lunch (and sometimes going for a quick dip as well since the water is still delightful).  There are so many beautiful beaches and, while a busy summer beach on a hot day is great, I like the cool quiet beaches of the fall too. "

CCC: "Very poetic Agnes, you are a romantic aren't you?"

A: "    "

CCC: "Anything else great about fall?"

End of the seasonA: "Well you can't think about fall on Cape Cod without at least mentioning that we live in New England, which has the market cornered on amazing fall activities.  It is easy to forget how close Cape Cod is to the rest of the world and, as much as we love spending time here, it is great to have a change of scenery every now and again.  Go apple picking, enjoy a hayride, view spectacular foliage, relish a drive off-Cape, see a witch in Salem, really the list is endless.  In fact here are some great ideas for things to do throughout Massachusetts. "

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

 

5 Things to Consider When Hiring a Contractor

Fall is a great time to consider more significant home improvements including bathroom and kitchen remodeling, exterior residing and shingling, and landscaping upgrades and improvements.  With the holidays still months away many projects can be completed before guests, turkeys, and trees begin occupying your time.  If your project is a more significant undertaking, you can at least begin a conversation so that improvements can be done next year.  With this in mind here are our top five considerations when hiring a contractor.

1. ASK AROUND

The most significant way to spare yourself a headache down the road is to ask your friends and neighbors about their experiences.  If you notice quality craftsmanship at a dinner party, ask about the responsible contractor; if exterior repairs and painting look stunning, check for signs in the yard; if landscaping is exquisite... well, you get the idea.  If someone comes highly recommended they more than likely do a great job.  The trim pictured at left should raise a red flag if newer construction; in this case, this is 30 years old and in an outdoor shower, we figure we'll cut the builder some slack.

2. GET REFERENCES AND EXAMPLES OF WORK

A good contractor will stand by their work so ask to see examples (particularly of older work to determine longevity).  If a contractor does a dynamite paint job that in two years is chipping away, consider going elsewhere; also be aware that interior work is difficult to see in occupied homes but you can always ask the contractor - as should be obvious, inviting yourself onto others' property is inappropriate.  If you don't like the work they do, don't use them.  We love the custom tile work at 9 Osborn Snow Drive in East Dennis, pictured at right, as well as so much more in this luxury home.

3. EXPECT A WRITTEN CONTRACT

While operating on a handshake is doable, writing down your specific agreement insures both you and the contractor know what is expected.  Written contracts can easily be appended in the event of changes so don't think they lock you into an immutable arrangement (also four months is a long time to remember whether the painter was responsible for trim on the dog house or not).  Our advice - make sure 'clean-up' is well defined and a part of any agreement.

4. GET MULTIPLE BIDS

Too often people go with the first offer without considering other bids - this is a mistake.  Furthermore asking for bids from multiple contractors informs one of the most important things about them, their timeliness.  Frequently we make four or five calls for a job and receive only two calls back.  No matter how highly recommended someone is they don't win points by being hard to reach, late with offers, or otherwise discourteous in any way.

5. BE REASONABLE AND PATIENT

Even excellent contractors can't make every deadline and there are plenty of legitimate reasons why something may not go as expected.  Good contractors are busy and may not be able to work with you for months, or even years.  In addition, when you are working with someone don't expect that they will be able to do everything today, be understanding with reasonable delays, and be kind.  If things aren't going as expected then you can always refer to your written contract about how to end the work.  In fact, the land at 196 Baxter Street, South Dennis - pictured at left - has been on a contractors docket for nearly 15 years, but we are constantly reassured a house will be built any day now (just kidding of course.  But give us a call if you are interested in this land...it is a lot to love.)

 

If you have any questions about how home improvements affect your property in the market feel free to contact us today, we are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Market Trends and Analysis - Part 3

    Our goal in this series is it to help you understand how we interpret markets on the Cape and how this informs our recommendations when developing pricing strategies.  In this installment we will be evaluating a specific market - single family homes on the water, Barnstable to Orleans (Homes on Water Bodies & Homes on Beaches). Immediately we notice some relevant trends.

    First the median sales price for these homes is much higher than the Barnstable County median at $1,200,000, yet take far longer to sell with a median days on market of 95 (and an average of 231).  To be fair these are expensive waterfront homes, occupy a smaller market niche, and ultimately take longer to sell.  We also see, based on the bar graph at left, that the group of fastest selling homes (43 days or less) sell for 94% of the asking price - as compared to Brewster in Part 2, those fastest selling homes did so in 25 days or less with 99% of the asking price. 

    Getting back to the waterfront case study, the homes that take longest to sell require price reductions on the order of 12% off the original asking price and only sell for 79% of the original asking price.  What we see here is that people tend to price waterfront homes very aggressively (high) and require significant reductions before they sell.  Furthermore these homes are sold for far less than the original asking price as well as the current asking price - something to think about if you are in the market for a $1,000,000 home on the water.  Consider also that many of these sellers have a price in mind and are willing, can afford, and believe that waiting will get their asking price; however, as is evident in the data, waiting longer does not return a higher sale price.

    We discovered one more interesting thing here.  When analyzing certain markets it is useful to know how square footage affects sale price - and it may not be what you think.  In this market (and this is not always the case) the larger the home the fewer dollars per square foot ($/sqft) it returns.  Using the trend line on the graph we would predict that a 9000sqft home would sell for about $500/sqft whereas a 1000sqft home would sell for closer to $600/sqft.  Mind this is a loose relationship but it is a trend that reappears in many markets.  The takeaway?  Larger waterfront homes are having a harder time selling than smaller ones - price reductions may be warranted earlier in developing a sales strategy.

  Check back next time for our final part in the series: some long term analyses.

Ask Agnes: Selling and Buying on Cape Cod - Part 3

In this series we examine the process of selling on Cape Cod - and don't worry, we'll get to the buying soon.  This installment includes getting from negotiation to closing.

"Hey Agnes, I finally have a good offer?  What now?"

"Congratulations!  You have been putting up with the inconveniences of showings and open houses and it has finally paid off (for an idea of the process up to this point, check out part 1 and part 2).  Now is when we work with both parties to agree on a contract for the sale.  The truth is that price is only part of what can be negotiated when selling a home.  Other items that we frequently see involved in negotiations are deferred repairs (like aging roofs, windows etc...), septics, and personal property."

"Wait, a buyer can ask me to repair my roof before they buy my house?"

Well they can certainly ask - but the outcome is negotiable.  Let me use an example: your house is on the market for $350,000 and has an aging roof.  A buyer offers $350,000 if a new roof is installed.  After some back and forth both parties agree to $340,000 without a new roof.  In this case the cost of the roof is the negotiating point and the seller will not need to install a new roof before the sale.  We can imagine that this negotiation may have started with a buyer offer of $335,000 (from a quote of $15,000 for a new roof) but the savvy seller found another quote for only $5,000.  The two parties decided to split the difference.  A main point to keep in mind as the seller is how your pricing strategy reflects the 'listing price'.  If your home has a lot of wear and tear, an aging roof, and old windows, but it was priced accordingly, then items like the roof may not be negotiated at all.  You may have seen this in homes listed in 'As Is' condition, meaning the seller isn't willing to negotiate on items related to the condition of the home.  Employing a qualified real estate agent is a great way to worry less about the details of the negotiation (that's our job).  If you are interested in a home that doesn't need anything except to put your feet up and enjoy the water view, check out this property at 13 Beachwood Rd, South Yarmouth."

"That sounds great, but what do you mean 'personal property'"

"Well, often homes are sold empty, but sometimes they are sold furnished or a few items (pianos, pool tables and kids play areas are good examples), can be a part of the negotiation and sale as well.  Negotiations that don't involve furniture or other items of personal property are often smoother.  Believe it or not negotiating several $200 items in a $350,000 sale can literally make a deal fall apart, so it helps to keep the big picture in mind. This is always a sticky situation and we recommend to our clients that the family heirloom french armoire be explicitly excluded from a sale in the listing descriptions."

"OK, we finished negotiating and agreed on terms, what next?"

"Well done.  Negotiating to this point is a challenge, but there is still a lot that needs to happen.  The most important thing to a seller is the home inspection contingency.  In this case the buyer is allowed supervised access to the home where they can have a knowledgeable professional(s) look the house over from joist to rafter.  Sometimes, buyers will pull out of a transaction based on this assessment, or they will attempt to negotiate repairs or a lower price.  Having a real estate agent on your side can help with further negotiation or identify if a contract should be terminated."

"And that's it?"

 "Not yet.  Buyers will often require financing (a mortgage) to buy a home which can take a long time to acquire (45 days or more).  Also appraisals may need to be done, along with inspections, final bills and certificates of compliance from a variety of governmental agencies.  On the seller side most of this time is spent setting up your own move while your agent works to keep everything plugging along smoothly. Finally the house will 'close' when paperwork is signed and the deed is recorded at the registry of deeds."

Thank you Agnes.  As usual we rely on your years of expertise and insight.  Our next installment will involve getting from negotiation to closing.  Feel free to contact us with questions.

Making your home photo ready

Photos! Photos! Photos!  Are crucial to attracting buyers to your home and getting them in the door.  Since all of our listings are syndicated to numerous websites it is essential that your first showing (your online photos) are done right the first time.  Here are some tips for sellers to prepare your home for an excellent photography appointment.  

~ Stay out of the shots, and Fido too ~

Family photos on the fridge, stairwell and mantlepiece are necessary to making your house feel like home - YOUR home.  However, potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space, so consider removing some or all of these personal items.  And while photos are being enjoy a nice relaxing walk with the dog (or cat) so the photographer can do their work uninterrupted.

 

~ Arrange furniture for guests ~

We mean a couple of different things here but the main idea is that simplicity is the heart of elegance.  Remove excess furniture and decoration so that rooms feel more open, just like you would for a party.  Set out your patio furniture, create separate sitting areas that feel inviting and intimate (but not cramped).  Here is a nice example of the warmth that a patio set can bring.  47 Asack Drive in South Dennis has a beautiful deck that is even more appealing because your imagination inserts corn on the cob and iced tea.

 

~ Declutter ~

And don't take this the wrong way, we all live busy lives and have that pile of unread magazines on the coffee table.  But it doesn't look any nicer if you just straighten up the edges,  why not get rid of it completely?  Reduction is the most important point here; counter tops, coat racks, end tables, and refrigerators should all be clean and empty.  For a nice touch consider a modest centerpiece as an accent though.  Here is a great example of decluttering at a water view listing, 13 Beachwood Road in Yarmouth.  The shelves are clean and filled with only one accent piece, coat rack is empty and the beds are made without a pile of stuffed animals.

 

 

Check out some of our other blogs on selling your home here and, as always, give the Chatelains a call for all of your buying and selling needs.