All posts by steveclay

Cape Cod Fall Events

October is here, and with it comes the beautiful fall season, which has already started to turn the Cape Cod area into a sea of yellows, oranges, reds and golds. Of all the areas to visit during the fall months, Cape Cod needs to be on your list. Not only are there tons of local events to enjoy, you will fall in love with the natural beauty that showcases Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Family Fun

Below you can browse a small sampling of the local events and things to do on Cape Cod in October:

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2009 Cape Cod (MA) Condos Listed/Sold Comparisons

  

This beautiful condo in a waterfront community that is being offered at $317,000 is an example of good buys awaiting Cape Cod condo buyers.

This beautiful condo in a waterfront community that is being offered at $317,000 is an example of good buys awaiting Cape Cod condo buyers. Click on the picture for full details and a virtual tour.

 
       
       
  Current Sold Absorption
Town Listings 6 Mo. Rate
       
Barnstable 94 35 16.1
Bourne 43 20 12.9
Brewster 63 28 13.5
Chatham 21 5 25.2
Dennis 83 21 23.7
Eastham 14 4 21.0
Falmouth 72 24 18.0
Harwich 46 8 34.5
Mashpee 105 46 13.7
Orleans 37 11 20.2
Provincetown 187 32 35.1
Sandwich 28 6 28.0
Truro 56 10 33.6
Wellfleet 26 4 39.0
Yarmouth 90 36 15.0
       
TOTAL 965 290 20.0

What does this mean?

Since the absorption rate for condo sales in a balanced market is usually around 5 months, a 20 month absorption rate means that the number of condos available exceeds the number of potential buyers. This would indicate that buyers still have the advantage in negotiating sales prices and conditions.

Lobster on the Lawn Mondays

Now that the summer is winding down, it’s time to do those things that you wanted to do all summer but somehow never got to do.

Lobster on the Lawn Mondays

Families on the Lawn in Falmouth, MAEvery Monday night during July and August from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Falmouth Village serves all meat lobster rolls with all the trimmings for just $15 per person. My wife Mary Beth and I finally made it this past Monday. Hundreds of locals and visitors gather on the church’s expansive lawn. Tables and chairs are provided, but many people bring blankets and sit right on the grass. They also offer free PB & J with juice, chips and a cookie for kids under age 10.  Finally, you get a choice of lemon meringue or blueberry pie…of course mine was blueberry!

Community Atmosphere

Part of the attraction is the casual community atmosphere that permeates the evening. Frisbees, flying footballs, and even a life-sized lobster are part of the fun, and you can end the evening with a stroll down Main Street.

There’s Still Time

The program wraps up for the summer on August 31.

Until next time, Steve

An Overview of the 2009 Falmouth Condo Market (Through July 31)

 2009 Falmouth Condo Market Overview
  Dec. 31, 2008 May 15, 2009 July 31, 2009
Units on the Market 56 76 68
Average Sales Per Month 4.5 3 4
Absorption Rate* 12.4 Months 25.3 Months 17 Months

*Absorption Rate: The number of months that it would take for all Falmouth condos presently on the market to be sold. A balanced market is around 5 months.

  Dec. 31, 2008 May 15, 2009 July 31, 2009
Sales % of Original List Price 85.3% 85.2% 89.5%
Sales % Of List Price 92.7% 94.57% 94.1%

 

Here are some Falmouth Real Estate  statistics by price range: 

  $0-$299,000 $300,000- $399,000 $400,000- $499,000  $500,000 and up
Listings 14 19 18  13
Sold (6 Months) 9 6 4  5
Pending 5 2 1  1
Average Days On Market 188 257 92 267

 

Cape Cod Real Estate Positives:  

  1. The fact that the number of Cape Cod condos listed for sale is down 11% is a good sign.
  2. The absorption rate is also down.

Cape Cod Real Estate Negatives:

  1. The average sales price is down 10% from the same period a year ago (2008: $407, 812; 2009: 367, 576).   
  2. In the past six months, 53 Cape Cod Area condos have come on the market while 22 have been sold. 

Conclusion: The continued downward pressure on sales prices means that the Cape Cod home buyers market continues.

Until next time,
Steve

NAR Released Second Quarter Condo Statistics

Cape Cod Real Estate News

The National Association of Realtors has released its second quarter sales results for Cape Cod condos. The good news is that lower prices and attractive interest rates have increased affordability for both year-round and second Cape Cod home buyers. Click the link below to see the survey.
NAR Second Quarter Condo Sales Results

Searching for a Cape Cod Condo

If you are ready to browse the Cape Cod MA MLS listings, then feel free to contact me, Steve Clay, your Cape Cod Condo Realtor to set up home viewings or to learn more.

Until next time,
Steve

Condo Financing Still Tough on Cape Cod

The downward pressure on the sales prices of Cape Condos continues as the challenges of getting financing continue.

Buying a Cape Cod Condo

The very same condo that I mentioned in May had a new buyer and a new lender and fell apart again at the last minute. This time it was about the buyer’s income. Needless to say, the bank (in this case Citizens Bank) had preapproved the buyer, received all the information requested in a timely manner, and gave no indication of a problem until the day of the final commitment when they issued a “declination letter.”

Another condo in a very well managed, well funded complex that has never had a special assessment, is under agreement with a strong buyer. The buyer is putting 20% down. Yesterday, the date of the final commitment, the lender (Provident) could not meet the original commitment date because their underwriters are backed up. The commitment is now due next week. Stay tuned.

You Can Buy A Cape Cod Condo At A Great Price

Needless to say, this continues the downward pressure on condo prices because buyers are reluctant to get involved.

On the bright side, however, I do have a closing today on a very nice Cape Cod condo. Bank of America is providing the financing for this one.

Until next time,
Steve

FHA Condo Loan Falls Apart Over Association Questionaire

Selling Cape Cod Real Estate

We recently had the sale of a condo at Sea Oaks in Mashpee, MA fall apart over the condo association’s refusal to answer four questions that required an opinion or judgement.

Working With Cape Cod Home Buyers

The mortgage provider had sent a form to the association’s management company, American Properties Team of Woburn, MA. American Properties provided a comprehensive form of their own that provided in-depth information but failed to answer four questions. Neither the lender nor APT would budge.

What an Expert Cape Cod Real Estate Agent Can Do For You

There are several questions that I am attempting to get answered:

1. Can a condo be purchased with an FHA backed loan at a property managed  by APT or any association whose attorneys refuse to allow them to answer questions requiring an opinion? (i.e. Is the maintenance reserve adequate?)

2. Do all lenders use the same form?

3. Which lenders will accept the pre-prepared form provided by the association?

I will keep you updated.

Until next time,
Steve

Buyers Still in Control of Falmouth (MA) Condo Market

Falmouth Home Buyers Are In a Great Position

Some startling statistics show that it’s a great time for anyone to be a Cape Cod condo buyer in Falmouth (MA). This is especially true what with the ample Cape Cod real estate inventory that is still growing. That means Cape Cod sellers are usually more flexible. With mortgage interest rates at historic lows, it could entice more condo buyers to emerge from their winter hibernation.

What Does This Mean to You as a Cape Cod Condo Seller?

Since there have been more Cape Cod condos coming on the market than have been sold, there is still downward pressure on prices and the inventory remains high. Condo buyers are Three bedroom condo in Falmouth , MA waterfront communityclearly in control and will stay in control until there are three consecutive months with more Cape Cod residences being sold than come on the market. The key to selling your Cape Cod condo in this market is to price the property correctly.

What’s Your Feedback?

Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Until next time,
Steve

Get on Stage – It Really Works!

Small, but better staged than vacant

This one bedroom, free-standing condo in North Falmouth, MA had been on the market for nearly a year. The sellers decided to enter into a short-term lease with a couple who was renovating their home as long as they could continue to market the property. The tenants moved in and tastefully decorated their temporary home. The next buyers who came in bought it!

Staging Your Cape Cod Home For Sale

I became an instant convert. The current market certainly requires that homes be priced properly and effectively marketed, but staging seems to have a larger role than ever before. Statistics show that staging a home can increase the selling price by up to 7%, but there are still skeptics everywhere.

HGTV states on its website that “in a cold market, a properly-staged home can sell in half the time.” It now offers several series that focus on staging, and the network will have a separate staging special, “Staging Secrets and Myths,” on Sunday, April 12 at 8:00 PM.

Clutter, Clutter Everywhere Hurts Your Cape Cod Home Sale

Occupied homes present a unique challenge. It is the opposite of home decorating. A home decorator helps home owners to personalize the home to their own tastes and needs. A home stager, on the other hand, depersonalizes the home so that buyers can more easily visualize themselves and their furniture in the space.  Even more important than the depersonalization, in my mind, is the decluttering that is always part of the process.  Each home I’ve seen staged seems to have doubled in square footage after the home stager’s visit.

Since this process can be threatening to Cape Cod real estate sellers, and therefore dangerous to the welfare of the real estate agent, I have made special pricing arrangements with talented stagers to provide 1.5 hours with my sellers to provide them with a “to do” list. I provide this at my expense and use it as an incentive to secure listings.

For the most part, the “to do” list is simply a case of “packing now” rather than waiting until the house is under agreement. In some cases, the stagers have made suggestions about repainting particular rooms, rearranging/editing furniture for better “flow,” or substituting a more appropriate furniture piece to better fit the space.  In other cases, it requires some serious sprucing up. In all cases, the results have been very encouraging.

Painting on a Blank Canvas

Pristine, yet vacant, living room/dining area

Vacant homes and condos offer a unique opportunity. Local furniture stores will, for a fee, stage a home as long as it is not occupied. I recently listed an updated, 2 bedroom 1056 square foot ranch condominium with an open floor plan.  The first two open houses and several showings resulted in two primary comments from potential buyers:

1.   I’m not sure my furniture will fit in here.

2.   Since it was built in the late 70’s, it’s too old for me.

Bring on the Stagers!

A view of the staged, living room/dining area

I called a stager and told her that I wanted to give buyers an idea of the real size of the rooms and to make the home feel more current. The owners agreed to a two month staging agreement and the furniture was delivered.

The results have been amazing. The most enjoyable aspect for me has been seeing the look on the people’s faces as they entered the condo. Of course, an offer will be even more enjoyable.

You can view the staged condo and take a virtual tour at www.273seawardbend.com.

Until next time,
Steve