The condo market on Cape Cod has been very slow, but there is clear evidence that if a unit is in good condition and is priced right, it will sell.
A case in point is a closing that took place yesterday. When I was meeting with the seller about listing her beautiful condo, the seller had a price in mind that was considerably above the fair market value that I had determined. I suggested that she have an appraisal done so that we would have an independent third party’s view of the property value. Another good reason to have an appraisal done is that there will be a day of reckoning when the bank appraisal is conducted after the home is under contract. No matter how much the prospective buyer loves the home, if the home does not “appraise,” there is no sale.
After the appraisal came in, the seller listed the home and priced it accordingly. The condo sold in 63 days at the appraised value to a couple who had been scouting the market for over two years. They knew that the home was priced right and was a good value in this market.
Coffee with a View in FalmouthPort
Besides the typical association amenities such as snow and rubbish removal and landscaping, FalmouthPort, a well-managed condo community in Falmouth, MA, also offers homeowners a number of amenities that appeal to people of all ages: 4 tennis courts, a heated waterside association pool, community clubhouse, 1.5 miles of managed walking trails, and 2 association docks with deep water access.
For my wife and myself, who now live in FalmouthPort, it was the water that drew us in. As I write this I can hear the slight drone of a lawnmower in the background (a clear sign of the weekend to come), but the sounds of ducks, sea birds, and some passing kayakers have created a lovely backdrop for our morning coffee.
To take a short video tour of FalmouthPort, click on the video link.
This 3 BR 2.5 bath Falmouth condo has been completely renovated!
The number of months it takes a seller to sell a condo decreased 33% from October 2009 to February 2010. In October, the absorption rate stood at 20 months and it is now at 13.5.
The most dramatic drop is in Wellfleet where the rate dropped from 39 months to 7.8, followed by Provincetown with a drop from 35.1 months to 12.2.
What does this all mean? It is a positive indication that the sale of condos has picked up significantly. The absorption rate of single family homes is now only 2% better at 11.3 months, the closest the two have been in over two years.
There are many steps to financing a condo purchase when times are good. In today’s market when things are not so hot, there are even more hoops to jump through. Just as you want a highly competent medical specialist and a world-renowned hospital when you are sick, you need a highly competent mortgage broker and a mortgage company with realistic underwriting guidelines in challenging real estate markets.
What prompted this post is a closing that took place yesterday…over a month after the original closing date. The reason was the mortgage company…and not necessarily the mortgage agent! By the way, the buyers put 20% down, had exceptional credit scores, and both husband and wife have well-paying jobs!
Three Steps to Stress-Free Condo Financing
1. Assuming that you have secured the services of a competent real estate agent, seek the agent’s guidance in selecting a mortgage provider. An experienced agent will know which companies are “condo friendly” and which agents have the best track records.
2. Use a mortgage provider that has provided mortgages in the condo complex where you buying. On Cape Cod, some of the local financial institutions are better bets than those with off-Cape underwriters.
3. Use a local mortgage agent who is familiar with the area and the condo complex. Since they have already jumped through hoops for previous clients, they will know how to guide you through them for your closing.
Maybe “stress-free” is a bit of an overstatement, but if you follow these three steps, your purchase will be a lot less stressful.
A maintenance reserve: What an idea!
In the midst of our country’s major financial crisis and with daily news casts about both public and private credit debt, it is refreshing to see a condominium community that has wisely put money aside since its inception. So while other complexes defer projects due to a lack of funds, FalmouthPort in Falmouth, MA just goes on about its business.
FalmouthPort is a waterfront condo community on Cape Cod. Since it was built in the late 1970’s, the Association Board with its current professional management company, the American Properties Team, have managed the property in a highly professional manner.
Three points need to be highlighted:
1. The Board knew from day one that even though the complex was new, the day would come when repairs would be needed.
2. A Long-range Repair and Replacement Plan was adopted, and money (a maintenance reserve fund) was set aside .
3. The funds were invested conservatively. When stocks were rising wildly, the fund did not grow as fast as some would have liked. When the market tanked, however, the fund was barely touched.
What spurred this entry? Today the main road was repaved. No, there was not just a top coat applied; the old road was removed, and a new one put in its place.
And most important: there was not a special assessment.
There are many wonderful Massachusetts condo communities you can call home in the Cape Cod area, but you should definitely have the town of Barnstable at the top of your list while searching for a Cape Cod Condo for sale.
| 2009 Falmouth Condo Market Overview
||Dec. 31, 2008
||May 15, 2009
||July 31, 2009
|Units on the Market
|Average Sales Per Month
*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
|Sales % Of List Price
Here are some Falmouth Real Estate statistics by price range:
|| $500,000 and up
|Sold (6 Months)
|Average Days On Market
Cape Cod Real Estate Positives:
- The fact that the number of Cape Cod condos listed for sale is down 11% is a good sign.
- The absorption rate is also down.
Cape Cod Real Estate Negatives:
- The average sales price is down 10% from the same period a year ago (2008: $407, 812; 2009: 367, 576).
- 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,
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
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,
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.
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 clearly 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,
You’re probably asking yourself, “why in the world would comedian Ray Romano consider buying a luxury condo in Cape Cod?” First of all, Mr. Romano is no stranger to Cape Cod. As a matter of fact, Mr. Romano was the Celebrity Guest Conductor for the 22nd Annual TD Banknorth Pops by the Sea concert back in 2005. Need more reasons why you might see the “Everybody Loves Raymond” guy purchase a Cape Cod condo? Take a look at my impressive list of 4 great reasons why Ray (or any celebrity for that matter) would consider buying a condo on Cape Cod:
Comedian by Day, Conductor by Night!