Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fed's Move to Lower Rates May Backfire

Federal ReserveIt's a classic example of the law of unintended consequences. Some experts feel that the Fed's move to lower mortgage rates in order to stimulate the economy via an improved housing market may not deliver the expected results. In fact, the vast majority of new mortgages are re-fi's which won't provide any real help to the housing market, since no homes are bought and sold. Go to the article on CNBC.com to the whole story.

New Weather Sensor In Eastham

What stands 33 feet in the air, is made of concrete and sits at First Encounter Beach? If you guessed the new weather tower, you would be correct. Go to CapeCodTimes.com to read the article. Of note, the weather data will be available on the Eastham government website.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1st Annual Lower Cape Business-Home-Garden EXPO

Garden ExpoPress Release: Spring 2009 — The Lower Cape Chambers of Commerce will host the 1st Annual Lower Cape Business-Home-Garden EXPO at Four Points by Sheraton, in Eastham, on Saturday April 4th, 2009 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. Sixty exhibitors will promote a broad spectrum of goods and services and additional demo/lecture rooms will feature local and syndicated experts in several fields of interest. Horticulturist Paul Parent, host of Sunday morning’s Paul Parent Garden Club on WXTK 95.1, will be available for three one-hour lectures and question & answer sessions during the event. EXPO offers free admission, raffles, exhibitor giveaways, food and beverages and free parking. Go to the Expo's website for more information.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wellfleet Partial Sale - A New Trend?

Wellfleet Cape HouseA new listing showed up on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) today. A home in Wellfleet is for sale, but only a 49.5% ownership. The Buyer would share all expenses, deductions, and use, of the home. The Seller would retain the 50.5% share and would have rights to the July weeks, with the Buyer getting August. The remainder of the weeks would be 'mutually' split. The Seller concedes that the Buyer could have the winter weeks. The asking price is about 54% of the current assessed value. Hmmm!

I see this kind of time-sharing as problematic. Who decides when a new roof is necessary? Does the minority owner have any say as to how his/her money gets spent? Who ensures that the taxes get paid? Can someone get a mortgage for a partial share? Lastly, what happens when the majority owner wants to sell his share?

Want access to the Cape & Islands MLS? Go to http://mls-listings.robertsheldon.com/ to sign up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Right Whales - "Like the Swallows of Capistrano"

Right WhalesIt's spring. Like the swallows of Capistrano, the right whales arrive in Cape Cod Bay to feed on the abundance of zooplankton that the Bay provides. This year, so far, about 70 different whales have been sighted. A good year. It is believed that a record number of calves, 40, were born this winter off the coasts of Florida and Georgia. Read the full article, on Boston.com. The whales can best be seen from the shore between Race Point and Herring Cove beaches. Check out this video from last spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Piper Plovers Strike Again!

Now that spring is coming, the true power of the tiny piping plover is again quite evident. Due to the plover's manner of laying eggs on the open sand and it's fear of 'large flying objects', pets and kites will be banned from some Outer Cape beaches. Read the story ...Here. The 'good news' is that these restrictions are temporary, only until the plovers hatch.

Monday, March 23, 2009

German U-Boat Attacks Cape Cod

U-Boat Attacks OrleansThat was on July 21st, 1918. A German U-boat surfaced offshore and begin firing on an unarmed tugboat and the four barges it was pulling. Torpedoes set the tug ablaze and injured its crew, while constant shelling sank the barges. Thanks to the skill and courage of Coast Guardsmen, everyone was rescued. Some of the shells fired from the sub landed on Nauset Beach, making this the first time the U.S. mainland had been attacked since the War of 1812 and the only time the country was attacked during World War I. Read the whole story... HERE. Fascinating!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Get Ready For A Spring Housing Boom

That's the first sentence in a CNBC web article, highlighting the historically low mortgage rates and the expected influx of new listings (eg inventory). One possibility, highlighted in the article, is that folks will 'move up' to a larger home. Although they will receive less that they hoped for their current home, they will be able to get the 'new' home for a bargain price AND with a great mortgage rate. Check out the CNBC article.

Here on the Outer Cape, inventory sees a normal seasonal uptick. Lets hope that the lower mortgage rates translates into increased buyer demand.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Chequessett Golf - Wellfleet

Chequessett Golf Club

The Chequessett Yacht & Country Club is a 'semi-private' club in Wellfleet that has a 9-hole golf course with spectacular views. I had my first outing this past Wednesday (the temperature was about 50 degrees) and I was reasonably happy with my performance. I shot this picture with my Blackberry from the fifth hole's green. You can see Wellfleet harbor in the distance.

Home Ownership - Tax 'Advantages'

I've been working on my taxes the last few evenings and have wondered where the 'good old days' went, when I had a simple W2 to tell me what I made the prior year. Well, the good news that remains is that owning a home still provides tax advantages.

The primary tax advantage of owning a home is the mortgage interest deduction, which can add thousands of dollars to your purchasing power, every year! As good as it sounds, the mortgage interest deduction is just one of several tax perks of owning a home. There are some of the other tax deductions and advantages that are available only to homeowners. Go to HGTV's FrontDoor.com for a good article on maximizing the benefits of home ownership.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cramer: Time to Refinance!

"Time to refinance". That was Jim Cramer's response to this afternoon's announcement by The Fed that the key federal funds rate will remain unchanged in a range between 0% and 0.25%. The Fed also promised to keep that figure low for the foreseeable future. Cramer has been calling for 4% mortgages and refinancing for all homeowners and buyers, and he thinks today’s announcement allows for that. Go to the CNBC website and read the whole story.

I believe that these low mortgage rates, fair inventory on the Outer Cape, reduced economic uncertainty, and Spring, make this a great time to buy real estate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nostalgic View of the Outer Cape Beaches

Outer Cape ToursWay back in the 'old' (is it 'olde'?) days, seeing the beaches of the Outer Cape was much different that today. Take a Nostalgic View of the Outer Cape Beaches. There were beach-buggy tours that would take you on the beaches where visitors could see all the bird and wild-life. Of course, these are no longer available - it's not like the old days!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spectacular Builder's Custom Cape

Alice Rd, EasthamNEW LISTING - This 2006 Eastham home is a builder's custom Cape, with all the bells and whistles that you might expect. Designed for one-floor living with the laundry, all 3 bedrooms, both formal and informal dining areas, and a huge living room with vaulted ceiling all on the first floor. Upstairs is a great bonus room and a large loft area with another living area and an office area. The exterior is designed for minimal maintenance and maximum curb appeal, and includes a circular driveway, mahogony decking, and a beautiful outdoor shower. Listed at $679,000. For photos and more information go to http://160alicerd.robertsheldon.com/.

My April Newsletter Is Now Available

Eastham NewsletterMy April 2009 newsletter is available now! This issue features an update to the Eastham real estate marketplace and a number of other articles. It also has the details of my Outer Cape Cod Real Estate "Stimulus" Package. To request your copy of the April 2009 newsletter, Click HERE...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eastham Beach Video - Summer Is Coming!

Looking for a quiet spot to just relax? The Patriot Ledger created this video about 18 months ago, showing Nauset Light Beach and Coast Guard Beach, at their relaxing best. Enjoy! (Summer is coming!!)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Manny's Boston Penthouse For Sale

Manny RamirezManny Ramirez's (Manny who?) Ritz Carlton penthouse is for sale, for a whopping $8.5 million. Well, what do you expect for a 4 bedroom, 5 1/2 bathroom, 4,400 sqft condominium in downtown Boston? It's just a few steps from the theater district and many of Beantown's best restaurants. Manny, of course, was 'transferred' to the LA Dodgers for $45 million for 2 years. Of note, Manny bought this condo in 2001 for about $5.8 million. Go to Zillow.com to read the whole story and to see the listing sheet.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Top 10 Tax Tips for Home Buyers, Sellers and Owners

Tax season is here (big surprise!). HGTV's FrontDoor has put together a 'top 10' list for home buyers, sellers and 'just plain' homeowners. Take a look at FrontDoor.

The Sounds of Silence - Cape Cod in The Off-Season

The New York Times ran an article today in its "Escapes" section entitled "Sounds of Silence on Cape Cod". The off-season on the Outer Cape has it's unique pleasures. Read the article Here. Interesting reading!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Highland Links - Great Winter Golf Deal

When the snow finally leaves (it should be gone soon!), it'll be time to catch a bit of Winter golf at the oldest course on Cape Cod, the Highland Links in Truro. This 9-hole course is a true 'links' style course, not unlike the famous "Old Course" at St Andrews. Check out this video....

The Common Loon - The Bird

The 'common loon' has been seen on the Cape this winter, along the shore and, occasionally, a distance off-shore. Although the state bird of Minnesota, this bird often 'winters' on the Cape. Check out the recent activity on the Wellfleet Audubon blog. Did you know (who knew?) that the loon can dive up to 200 ft in search of food?