Monday, May 31, 2010

May's Preliminary Sales Results

May's results continue our 'return to normal'. The fairly mild late winter/early spring weather brought a fair number of potential buyers which resulted in a fair number of sales. Here are the facts...
  • There were 8 closings in May (the same as April), with an average sale price of $476K, and a median of $375K.
  • This year, May's closings totaled $3.8M. Last year's total was $3.1M.
  • There were 39 closings year-to-date (5/31/10), up 56% from 2009's 25 sales.
  • Currently, there were 102 homes for sale in Eastham, with an average list price of 591K, and a median price of $477K.
For more details, graphs, and commentary, subscribe to my monthly newsletter...Here.

Photo of the Day - Memorial Day Weekend

We could not have had a more delightful weekend. The sky was blue, the water was warm enough for the kids, the company was great (2 of my kids, with their families), the food was really good, etc. We had a picnic on Eastham's First Encounter Beach and a swim on Great Pond Beach (a.k.a. "Pond Beach"). Time for walks, quiet drinks, dominoes, and (our new favorite) Blokus. Anyway, below is my photo from First Encounter Beach. Such fun...

Friday, May 28, 2010

2010 Wednesday Night Concerts at the Eastham Windmill

The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Eastham Visitor Services Board are presenting free Wednesday night (6:30 - 8:00 PM) outdoor concerts at the Eastham Windmill Green. These concerts are in addition to the Monday night concerts discussed earlier. Go to the concert schedule on the Arts Foundation website.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Golfing the Cape - The Outer Cape is Rough Golfing

The Boston Globe ran an article highlighting the three public courses on the Outer Cape. The story was about the Highland Links in Truro, Chequessett Yacht and Country Club in Wellfleet, and the Chatham Seaside Links in Chatham. Although they are all only 9 hole courses, they represent 27 of the toughest, roughest, and most challenging holes just about anywhere. The courses all sit overlooking the water, 'suffer' from prevailing winds, and have roughs that could hide small children. I've played all three courses, Chequessett many times, and greatly enjoyed the floggings they delivered. Read the article.... Here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Figawi Race Weekend - May 29th to 31st

What began in 1972 as a friendly 3-way sail from Hyannis to Nantucket has turned into a 3 day regatta involving over 250 boats, well over 1200 individuals, a charity ball, and over $200K raised, per year, for local charities. It's a sight to see! Check out their extensive website for details and lots of photos. This race is a big deal and, I'm sure, lots of fun for all the sailors (and crew).

Photo of the Day - Eastham Railroad Station

Well, it's really not a photo, rather it's a scan of an old post card.  This is the Eastham railroad station. I'm pretty certain that the buildings span Samoset Rd where the current bike path (aka Cape Cod Rail Trail) crosses Samoset Rd. To the east of the trail lies a few old concrete piers that I believe supported the water tower on the post card. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Photo of the Day - Nauset Light Beach Stairs

I stopped by the beach at Nauset Light, in Eastham, to get an update on the repair of the stairs that were destroyed during the last big storm. Well, the stairs are almost completely repaired. Repaired isn't really the correct word here. The stairs were completely and totally rebuilt, top to bottom. The work was 99% completed, with just a few handrails needing to be finished. The new stairs are, actually, two complete staircases, with common landings. A work of art. Miraculously, the engineers figured out how to make the up-side shorter than the down-side (just kidding). 

This Week Is Restaurant Week

This week (May 17th to May 23rd) is Restaurant Week on Cape Cod. It is a perfect time to check out a few of the restaurants that you've not had a chance to try, for one reason or another. During this week, these destination restaurants are each offering you a special three-course exhibition menu for you to select from. The cost of dining from any of these special menus will be fixed at a low price of just $25 or $35, depending on your choice of restaurant. There are restaurants across the entire Cape, from Woods Hole to P-Town.

Be sure to visit their ‘Restaurant List’ to check out each location’s menu, pricing, and contact information. And so, with a roster that includes many of the finest dining destinations the Cape has to offer, and no passes, tickets, or coupons required to receive the full benefits of these events, there is no reason you should miss out on this wonderful opportunity. The list (with a map) is Here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Eastham Chart - May Active Histogram

I have a chart that didn't fit in my June newsletter. The chart below is a histogram of the current list prices of all of Eastham's single family homes. It shows that there is inventory of homes at all price points, particularly in the $300K to $600K range.

Want to see the WHOLE newsletter?  Download it ...Here.

My June Eastham Real Estate Newsletter Is Available Now

My June Eastham real estate newsletter is available. This issue has the Eastham results through April, a discussion of Eastham's new rental tax, and two new listings. So far, the market seems to be improving, both in terms of sales volume and sales prices.

Download your copy of my June 2010 newsletter ..Here.

Would you like to subscribe to my monthly newsletter? Simply .. Click Here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Listing - Very Private - Great Rental

EASTHAM - NEW LISTING - This home is surrounded by 30 acres conservation land. This immaculate split level is sheltered from the street by a long tree-lined driveway. On the first level are two bedrooms plus a family room that doubles as a bedroom, and a laundry room. On the main level is a large master bedroom with a sitting area opening onto the huge deck. This level also offers a light and airy living room with a fireplace, a cathedral ceiling, dining room and an updated kitchen, also with a sliding door to the deck. You can spend your time sunning on the deck while gazing at the many gardens, reading in your hammock, hiding in the vine-covered pergola, or playing Bocce in the large backyard. It's just a short car or bike ride to Eastham's beautiful ocean, bay and pond beaches. You can return to a hot outdoor shower, barbecue on the deck's gas grill and just relax. Very close to the Cape Cod Rail Trail bike path. Great Rental property.  Priced at $449,000.

Check out the listing at  More photos, a Virtual Tour, and a Map. Check it out!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bedrooms And Septic Systems - Oh My!

As we look for a home in Eastham (or anywhere on the Outer Cape),  I, as your Realtor, will constantly be talking about the number of bedrooms and the number of LEGAL bedrooms. These two numbers aren't always the same. Although the listing agent should have done their homework to ensure that the number of bedrooms in a home is not misrepresented, it's not always the case. The installed septic system is usually (but not always) the key to the number of bedrooms.  I will personally ensure that the home you choose to buy will be properly (and legally) described as far as the bedrooms is concerned.

Read this article about the relationship of bedrooms and septic systems... Here. This article is from Bill Gassett of RE/MAX Executive Realty of Hopkinton, MA. 

Thursday, May 06, 2010

New EPA Lead Paint Regulations - Effective April 22nd

As of late April the regulations governing home improvements and repairs have been tightened as they pertain to homes built prior to 1978. Any repairs performed by contractors must be done by contractors who have undergone specialized education in the removal and disposal of lead-based paint. These new EPA rules will likely be problematic for a short while, at least until enough contractors have been through the training. Long term, it will drive up the costs of improvements for older homes.

Check out this article on the EPA lead paint law, which goes into effect April 22... Here.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Eastham Painters Guild - Weekly Art Shows

The Eastham Painters Guild is again holding their outdoor gallery and sale every week (well, almost every week) at the Eastham School House Museum. The Guild has been doing shows since 1980. The gallery and sale will be held, most weeks, on Thursdays and Fridays. Go to their website for a detailed schedule.

The Guild will finish up their season on September 11th & 12th at Eastham's Windmill Weekend on the front lawn of Town Hall.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

New Taxes For Eastham Renters

At Town Meeting last night, the voters chose to add a new tax on rental homes and condos. The new 5% tax, set to start January 1st, 2011, will be imposed on rental landlords on the rent collected for the short-term (under 90 days) use of their rental property. In spite of objections from several townspeople that this new tax will put Eastham at a disadvantage to our neighbors, as well as the obvious poor planning as to who and how this tax will be collected, the voters chose to balance future budgets on the backs of the summer people.

The sad part of this story is that the folks most affected, the rental landlords and the tourists, had neither a say nor a vote. In my opinion, the amount of projected revenues was grossly overstated ($400K to $500K), the collection mechanism was under-thought, and the long-term effects were totally neglected.  The 'projections' showed 1100 rental properties, at $1000/wk, for 8 weeks per season. The 'plans' had no additional tax resources (ie employees) to collect and enforce these new taxes.  The unintended consequences will be that Eastham will be thought of as less friendly to the very folks who have made the town the ideal place to own and live.

Other subjects were discussed also. Go to the Cape Cod Times article for more information about last night's meeting.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Cape Cod Maritime Days Are Underway!

The 17th Annual Cape Cod Maritime Days, a celebration of the Cape's rich maritime history, set for the entire month of May - are underway!  There's an exciting line-up of events for 2010, including lighthouse & walking tours, nautical art exhibits and maritime lectures. Also, there will be boat-building exhibits and kayak excursions. There are events for folks of all ages and interestes, throughout the whole Cape. Check out the Maritime Days website... Here.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

April's Preliminary Sales Results

April is a strange month for Eastham home sales. It's so dependent on the weather in January and February. This year, apparently, the weather wasn't so bad. Here are the facts...
  • There were 8 closings in April, with an average sale price of $459K, and a median of $420K.
  • This year, April's closings totaled $3.67M. This is almost twice the total of last year's $1.84M.
  • There were 31 closings year-to-date (4/30/10), up 77% from 2009's 18 sales. 
As of yesterday, there were 105 homes for sale in Eastham, with an average list price of 580K, and a median price of $472K.

For more details, graphs, and commentary, subscribe to my monthly newsletter...Here.

NYC's Freedom Tower - Current Photo

This weekend my wife & I visited our son, Matt, who lives in Battery Park City. His apartment overlooks the 'ground-zero' site and the construction of the Freedom Tower. I took the photo, below, from his window. It looks to me that the tower is about 30 stories tall at this point. Work continued through the weekend.  Impressive!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Jeremiah's Gutter - The First Cape Cod Canal

What's now the border between Orleans and Eastham was once a somewhat shallow continuous passage between Cape Cod Bay and the open Atlantic Ocean. The 'river' that ends at Boat Meadow Beach, in Eastham, once wound it's way east, through what's now the Eastham rotary, to Town Cove. Records show that it was used by British government frigates in 1717 in an attempt by the governor to recover the booty from the pirate ship Whydah after it sank off the outer beach. During the war of 1812 it was used by salt carrying boats to evade the British blockage around Provincetown.

The canal was always a shallow affair, and it's Bayside entrance on the sand flats made it undependable, even at high tide, thus eliminating it from the list of passages when the current Cape Cod Canal was being engineered.

There's been a fair amount written about Jeremiah's Gutter, including a short piece in Henry David Thoreau's book, Cape Cod, written in 1865. My research came, mostly from the book It Happened on Cape Cod By Shawnie M. Kelley (2006).