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.
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.
We received news on Friday that at least one local Cape Cod lender, Cape Cod Five, is reinstituting 90% loans for second home buyers. (NOTE: Contact Meryl Watson for details: firstname.lastname@example.org). This was made possible because no title insurance companies would insure more than 80% loans but now at least one company is willing to offer the coverage.
95% Financing is Available for Cape Cod Condos
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.
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.
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.
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
Every 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!
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
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,
The downward pressure on the sales prices of Cape Condos continues as the challenges of getting financing continue.
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.
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,