Homeownership on Cape Cod
Cape Cod has so much to offer residents. Our guide to homeownership in this beautiful region provides information for current residents and prospective homeowners. An excellent place to begin is the Barnstable County government website that includes numerous resources and services for residents and property owners. To highlight a few:
- Cape Cod Commission: "The Cape Cod Commission (CCC) is the regional land use planning, economic development, and regulatory agency created in 1990 to serve the citizens and 15 towns of Barnstable County, Massachusetts."
- Cape Cod Cooperative Extension: The education department for Barnstable County including excellent resources for planting and maintaining local plants, tick mitigation and much more.
|Barnstable County||Taxes 2017||Chamber of Commerce||School District|
|Barnstable (town)||$9.54||Assessor||Town, Hyannis||Barnstable|
|Bourne||$10.30||Assessor||Cape Cod Canal||Bourne|
|Sandwich||$14.93||Assessor||Cape Cod Canal||Sandwich|
Town & County Specific Information
Each town on Cape Cod hosts a website with a variety of information ranging from beach and transfer station sticker information, to events and town committee agendas. We pulled out the county's and each town's website, taxes, assessed values and field cards, local chambers of commerce, and school districts.
Barnstable County houses a registry of deeds, in the town of Barnstable, on route 6A. Here you can discover much about the ownership record, title history and liens on properties as well as much more. Don't be discouraged by the nuanced interface, the county employees are helpful in person and over the phone. As an interesting side note, the first ninety-four volumes recorded at the registry were lost in a catastrophic fire in 1827. As a result, some of the property history is still in land court if instruments could not be re-recorded. So don't be discouraged if you can't find what you are looking for, just check in 'land court' instead of the 'recorded land'.
Cape Cod Homeownership
One very common and sometimes befuddling aspect of local homeownership on Cape Cod relates to septic systems. Put simply these are systems that collect wastewater from the home, separate solids from liquids, and leech the liquids back through a natural soil filter into the ground. For more information on septic systems please check out some of these useful links
Local Building and Construction in Brief
Regarding construction on Cape Cod, the traditional 'Cape' style house (pictured with red painted clapboards) stems from a New England style of utter utilitarianism. The fairly high pitched roof prevented the crushing weight of heavy snowfall from collapsing the building and the upstairs bedrooms meant the heat would rise upstairs to make sleeping more comfortable. You can find 'Half Capes' and full Capes all over, though many have seen additions or dormers added to increase usable space. Most construction on Cape Cod is wooden framed with cedar shingles or clapboards for siding and pitched asphalt roofs. Some homes also have red cedar shingling on the roof. We have a graphic here, that does a phenomenal job of illustrating the elements of homes.
A fact of life on Cape Cod (as with anywhere) is the occasional power outage. Cape Cod, being a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean, receives a number of storms during the year, particularly during the winter. Affectionately known as Nor'easters from the direction of the wind, these storms can cause some damage to the unprepared house.