Tag Archives: first-time buyers

Right Price Equals a Quick Sale

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.

Good News for Cape Cod Vacation Home Buyers

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: mwatson@capecodfive.com). 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

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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

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