Climate Change on Cape Cod: Why You Should Care

September 24, 2009

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.


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?

Why Use a NAR Green Designee?

May 7, 2009

Green “NAR’s Green REsource Council helps create market leaders in the green industry.”
Dale Stinton, NAR EVP & CEO

Everything is “green” these days, usually as a gimmick. But my involvement with Cape Cod’s fragile enviroment and the relationship between how we build, buy and sell led me to obtain the Green Resource Council’s Green Realtor designation.

If you’re looking to buy a green home or building, use an NAR Green Designee as your resource throughout the buying process. NAR Green Designees work to serve you, not sell you. With extensive education on products, practices, and features of green buildings, an NAR Green Designee will find the property that’s right for you.

Residential Buyers

Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, and often the most complex. If you’re looking to green your lifestyle, reduce your carbon footprint, or take advantage of the long-term savings green homes afford, an NAR Green Designee can help you:

-Identify green features, appliances, building methods and materials
-Understand green mortgage options
-Realize the benefits of an energy audit and work towards obtaining one
-See the short and long term value of green homes
-Eliminate toxins in your green home
-Improve air and water quality and reduce noise pollution
-Take advantage of government grants encouraging green homes

Buy your green home with confidence with an NAR Green Designee focused on residential properties. Get started today!

Market Round-Up for Friday the 13th. Half-price House!

March 13, 2009
Seagull Beach, Yarmouth

Seagull Beach, Yarmouth

Would you like a high end home at half price? Continuing the theme from last week’s “Perseverence Pays,” a lucky buyer now owns 60 Captain Linnell Rd. in Orleans for $500,000 less than the original asking price of $ 1,295,000.00. It is near Skaket Beach with marsh views and closed at $795,000 after 291 days on the market. Astounding. 72 Windward Passage in North Chatham has sold for $600,000.00, traveling down from $699,900 in only 119 days. A relatively quick sale. There were also three quick, low end condo sales reported today. So when you hear that nothing in the middle is moving, here are two that did, although the Captail Linnell wins this week’s wildly overpriced listing award that actually sold, albeit at nearly half its opening bid. *Data CCIAOR /MLS

Anatomy of A Foreclosure

December 22, 2008

Although not a cheery holiday subject, foreclosure presents itself as an opportunity for some and a tragedy for others at any time of year. The new Administration may soon rework all of the regulations relating to foreclosures and short sales, so stay tuned. The following is from one of my professional organizations, REBAC and is appropriate at this time. The best advice is still, “Don’t try this at home!” or without a qualified Buyer’s Representive. It’s a nightmare for even the most seasoned professional, I promise. Your state laws may vary. More information to follow, and keep and eye on the new Housing Secretary.

Foreclosure Process

Foreclosure is a process that occurs over a period of time, involving three major stages. Interested homebuyers can make a purchase offer and potentially acquire property at any point in the foreclosure process. However, there are different variables to consider at each stage, and different parties involved, depending upon how far the home has proceeded down the path towards foreclosure.

Stage 1: Pre-foreclosure
When homeowners default on their mortgage, their property is considered to first be in a state of pre-foreclosure. Lenders are typically quick to respond to that first late payment, with phone calls to the borrower.

How the foreclosure process actually proceeds from this point forward varies greatly from state to state. It’s important to know, for example, how your state determines property ownership prior to foreclosure, since this largely dictates which steps will be taken and how long each step will take.

Buyers may find that properties that are in the pre-foreclosure period are attractive investments. While it’s unlikely that a highly discounted price can be negotiated, especially for desirable properties, there are several advantages to purchasing at this stage.

First, there may be less competition from other buyers before the property is put up for public sale. Also, if your agent approaches the current homeowners with sensitivity to their situation, you’ll improve the odds that a cooperative agreement can be reached, eliminating many of the problems and uncertainties that make purchasing foreclosure properties in auction sales a risky business.

Stage 2: Sale/Auction
If the lender and borrower are unable to work out a solution during the pre-foreclosure stage, the lender will take steps to sell the property to new owners. Following a notice of sale, a foreclosure property is typically listed for sale at auction. The timing and procedures of these sales vary by state and, to some extent, sales terms will be determined by the lender. For example, an auction can occur through a public sheriff’s sale, or through a private party. Some lenders may even opt for a short sale, which means the property is sold for less than the amount of money owed, simply to remove a non-productive asset from the books.

Frequently, the best bargains in distressed properties can be found at auction sales, although numerous pitfalls can be encountered. First, it’s fair to say that you probably won’t have complete information about what you’re purchasing. Because defaulting homeowners frequently still occupy the home at this point, and are not likely to open their doors to show you around, you won’t be able to see beyond the exterior, much less bring in inspectors. In this type of sale, there are no requirements to disclose flaws; properties are sold “as is,” without any warranties.

It may also be difficult to determine if there are any old debts that could surface later as liens on the title. For example, you may become obligated to settle with the contractor who put a new roof on the home, but was never paid. And if the old homeowners still occupy the home, you’ll have to contend with the awkward business of evicting them, facing the additional risk that they will damage the property before they vacate.

Another challenge can be paying for the home. Usually, public sales require cash payments, meaning that your financing will need to be in place well in advance of the auction.

Stage 3: Real-Estate Owned (REO)
If a foreclosure home does not successfully sell at auction, it moves into the lender’s inventory and is considered a real-estate owned (REO) property. Generally speaking, lenders don’t like to hold non-performing assets, especially ones that require upkeep and maintenance, so they may be motivated to sell. At the same time, lenders still want to maximize their profits and are unlikely to accept deep discounts.

Buying foreclosure property at the REO stage is typically the easiest and most straightforward approach. Many of the risks that are present at the auction stage have now been eliminated. However, the potential return on your investment has also been reduced. On the other hand, expenses such as taxes and liens, that aren’t generally covered in an auction sale, may be covered by the lending institution in an REO sale.

If the home is held by a smaller bank, you and your buyer’s rep may be able to negotiate a purchase directly with the lender. It’s more likely, however, that you’ll be working through an outside real estate representative who has been retained independently by the bank.

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