Which Exit are You? Revisited

First Catch

Back in January, 2010, I wrote about this encounter I witnessed in Brewster:

I overheard a conversation last week at “Soccer Totz.”  Two moms who had just met: “I’m exit 12 but I used to be exit 4. What exit are you?” Second mom replies, “I’m exit 10, then South.”  These moms are not cartographers nor traffic engineers, they are typical Cape Codders.  What exit you live near can determine your work, home, and social life!  Now the Cape is not that big, but the differences between Bourne and P’town are vast. And distance and time are directly related to the time of year and day, so the journey between the two can vary greatly.

So as you search for, or market, your Cape Cod home, work with a qualified Realtor to maximize the potential of your exit, community and soccer moms.

It still makes me smile to think about that. However lately I’ve been thinking more intensely about the importance, really critical significance, of where one raises one’s children.  Not only in which part of Cape Cod, but where and how a family is globally positioned. This musing extends to what experiences young people have while not in school, i.e. how they spend their summer vacations.

The rise of the leisure class allowed urban dwellers to leave the unhealthy, oppressively hot cities for vacation destinations such as the Catskills, the Adirondacks, the Hamptons and Cape Cod. Father may have remained at work during the week and joined the family on weekends. Often, vacationers relocated for the entire season, servants and babysitters in tow. The popularity of driving vacations and the advent of the motel, coupled with improved highways and cheap gas let American kids range across the U.S.. The experiences of these lucky kids, at camps and in cabins, swimming and playing tennis, with beach bonfires en masse have shaped their adult perceptions of what summer vacation should be for their own kids.

I work with many buyers who come to Cape Cod to buy a home based on their childhood experiences here. Occasionally, I meet retirees who vacationed
here with their young families and want to return after many years away, gathering extended family on the same beaches. Real estate isn’t just bricks and mortar, by any means. Particularly with a vacation home, the ideals brought to the process are a critical part of the search and decision-making process. The more things change, the more things stay the same, but it’s so important that the location be understood by the buyer agent as it exists today, to avoid pitfalls brought on by nostalgia.

This season, as economic woes drag on interminably, vacation rentals on Cape Cod are up as is the price of those rentals according to the Boston Globe. This has led to some vacation home owners not using their own properties during prime rental season, as well as year-round residents moving out of their homes for 8-10 weeks. When purchasing your vacation or investment home be certain of its value and appeal as a rental property, even if you don’t intend it to be a rental at the outset.

Cape Cod offers unique summer experiences for kids in every area, at every exit. Camps are educational or sports oriented, town programs offer a wide variety of activities, and outdoor music and arts events abound. How your kids spend their summer vacations matters, and owning a home here can be good for their souls as well as your real estate portfolio.

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