Climate Change on Cape Cod: Why You Should Care

September 24, 2009

CapeCodad
Let’s face it: there will be no Cape Cod real estate if the seas rise. And if you have oceanfront property, you’re on the front line. So it’s all of our responsibility to keep the waters cooler.

I came across this SMARTGuide to transportation on the Cape. There’s even a slick cd. If you complain about the endless traffic and the dreaded bridge, you need this. There ARE buses on the Cape! If you are staying in P’town and want to visit the National Seashore, leave the car in P’town and take the Flex Bus! The SMARTGuide has the schedules for the Plymouth and Brockton Bus, Fast Ferry, Boston Harbor Cruises, Cape Air, Capt. John Boats (Plymouth to P’town), Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch and more.

We have to care, ask the Chatham North Beach families who watched their homes wash away this year. As the world gathers soon, our own Cape’s existence is on the line. Bike, boat or walk, anything but drive here as a single person in a vehicle. I want to leave my home to future generations.


Recent Editorial on “Why a Realtor?”

July 1, 2009

Jamie Regan, REALTOR

There Will Always be Realtors
By Jamie Regan, REALTOR, CCIAOR President
President@cciaor.com

On a recent Sunday, the Cape Cod Times ran a syndicated column from the west coast suggesting a diminished role for real estate agents in the Internet Age. While there may be a trend in that direction in California, here in the east – and especially on Cape Cod and the Islands – Realtors remains an invaluable linchpin between home buyers and sellers.

No matter how sophisticated the online listings become, a trained, knowledgeable and experienced agent will always make the difference between a successful purchase and sale, and the risk of a transaction falling apart.

With the daily demands of work and family, the prospective home seller and buyer are short on research time. They will always benefit from the guidance of a Realtor who has “been there, done that” hundreds or even thousands of times. With a personalized touch, Realtors provide property research and disclosures, sales comparisons and data that foster objective decision-making. And they operate under a strict code of ethics.

What’s more, this challenging economy has presented new opportunities to the buyer and seller. Federal lawmakers realize that the way back from recession is through a rejuvenated housing market. Thus they have enacted a new $8,000 tax credit (often with the money up front) to encourage first-time homebuyers to invest now, while home prices are deeply discounted.

Realtors are schooled to understand mortgage financing, and they know where local loan money can be found. Because they live and work here, Realtors know about the quality of schools and tax rates from one town to another. They can assist with obtaining legal forms, inspections and most of all, offers and counter-offers.

Anyone who has been through the purchase and sale process knows the comfort of having an experience professional by your side. Timing is everything in life – and in real estate – and one bad move made on your own could result in calamity and the potential loss of thousands of dollars.

A recent survey by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors showed that a commanding percentage of all home buyers were helped by a Realtor. In fully half the transactions, Realtors served clients by pointing out unnoticed features or faults with properties they wanted to buy.

Here on Cape Cod, there are about 1,000 homes now available for less than $300,000 and a few hundred for around $200,000. These present historic opportunities for first-time buyers and second homeowners to realize their long-held dream of home ownership on Cape Cod. What once was thought to be an impossible dream is, in fact, achievable in 2009.

Why would anyone not seize this moment without skilled professional help? By going online to MLS, prospective buyers can find a local Realtor and see houses that are currently open for inspection. In the Internet Age, online resources and local Realtors have become a priceless team.


Making Ends Meet

May 25, 2009

HAC

There is wonderful, optimistic news on the Cape about an uptick in the market. I certainly see it in my business at every price point. The slowest segment, however, is that which congress had hoped to stimulate most: first time home buyers. However, few who live on the Cape, and work here, are able to take advantage of the tax credit. The Housing Assistance Corporation reports:

The yearly income needed to purchase a median-priced home on Cape Cod is
$105,0001 and yet the median yearly income for a four-person household is only
$66,8002 — a deficit of nearly $40,000.

In the last few years, the average home price has increased 97 percent, while wages
have increased only 19.8 percent.

Cape and Island residents overwhelmingly feel (91 percent) that the cost of housing
prevents young families from living in the community in which they grew up.

Approximately 41 percent of Cape and Island residents found that their monthly
housing payment made it difficult for them to make ends meet.

Some employers take advantage of housing programs as part of compensation packages, and this is smart. If you are an employer, and want to know how to participate in this valuable recruitment program, contac HAC.

If you are a renter and want to know just how much house you can get into with prices and interest rates down in combination with incentives, give me a call! You may be surprised that you can own a home this Summer!


Keep On Giving

May 13, 2009

As promised, I am continuing to give 2% of net commissions to Housing Assistance Corporation. What can you do?


Vote Now to Save Boston’s Architectural History!

April 25, 2009

Amex carousel

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have partnered to give a Boston property a grant: and you choose the grantee. Vote online for your favorite landmark. The frontrunner is the Paragon Carousel in Nantasket Beach, between Boston and Cape Cod. Included is the Louisa May Alcott house, a personal favorite. Vote Early and Often!

Why your vote counts
American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have selected twenty-five places of historic, cultural and aesthetic significance in Greater Boston as participants for the 2009 Partners in Preservation program.

From April 14 – May 17, 2009, you have the opportunity to cast one vote each day online for the historic places that you care about. At the end of the voting period, the site with the most votes is guaranteed funding for their requested project (maximum amount of $100,000 per site) from a total of $1 million that American Express will give away to support the preservation of historic places in Greater Boston.

Your votes also will help American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and an Advisory Committee comprised of Greater Boston community leaders determine how best to distribute the rest of the $1 million in preservation grants. The voting results, along with each historic place’s preservation and monetary needs, will be considered.

Partners in Preservation encourages you to learn more about the 25 eligible historic places below and to vote early and often from April 14 – May 17, 2009.


I’ll Go Out on a Limb: the “bottom” has been reached on the Cape for sales volume

April 11, 2009

soldThe Friday Market Update (my own, not something official) of the CCIAOR MLS shows that the number of new listings Cape-wide has reached relative equilibrium with the number of sales. For the past 7 days, there were 162 new listings (some may have been listed previously but are considered “new” after a break) and 149 homes under agreement or sold (note:single family only. The condo market has tanked.) Nearly as many homes left the market as entered it. This will mean some stabilization of prices, but as rates are so low and inventory is shrinking or stable, look for a shoring up of prices, too. Sellers should sell, buyers should buy: not a pitch, an economic reality.


Green in a Big Way on the Vineyard

February 28, 2009

Reuse!

Reuse!

On the verge of March, a very green month of shamrocks and such, comes a story of reuse and green practice from Martha’s Vineyard. This month’s Preservation Magazine from the National Trust is its Green Issue. It’s wonderful, check it out before you tear out your wooden windows.

By Eric Wills | From Preservation | March/April 2009 Michael Kidder wanted to build a new house to replace his dilapidated Greek Revival on Martha’s Vineyard. But he never considered demolishing the old structure. Rather, he placed an ad in a local paper, asking whether anyone was interested in salvaging his 19th-century house. “It seems to be a thing we do on the island,” Kidder says, “to donate a house and try to make use of what we’ve already got.”

Kidder soon heard back from the Island Housing Trust, a nonprofit group dedicated to affordable housing on Martha’s Vineyard. Six years ago, the trust helped start a program called House Moves, to rescue and reuse old homes, and soon Kidder had worked out arrangements for his structure. The bottom floor, a studio once used by an island artist who made weathervanes, proved beyond rescue. But the top floor was indeed salvageable.

The trust split the house in half, much like separating a two-layer cake, and carted off the top section on a giant flatbed. Then workers deposited it on top of a new first floor already built nearby, and just like that, a pair of island residents had a new home.

“I think more and more people are conscious of what a waste demolishing a home is,” says Philippe Jordi, executive director of the trust, which has moved six houses so far. The program, he says, “is just a tremendous way of reusing existing resources.” It also provides housing for residents such as carpenters and teachers, often priced out of the island’s real estate market, and preserves a sense of community.

The concept is not without its challenges. People have to be willing to donate their houses (they can apply for a federal tax deduction), and pay the cost of moving the structures. And the Island Housing Trust has to find affordable lots where the donated houses can be rebuilt.

Nevertheless, donations can prove advantageous for homeowners. In addition to potentially lower tax bills, they can save the considerable costs associated with transporting demolition waste off Martha’s Vineyard. “I’ve said that throwing away a piece of Sheetrock here costs more than buying it,” Kidder says. “If you can recycle, it’s just a better deal for everyone.”

See the Island Housing Trust for more information.


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