Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Winter Surfing at Nauset Light Beach - BRRR!

On a day that had mid-20's temperatures and winds gusting in the 40 mph range, there were a few folks who couldn't stay out of the water. Here's a video, courtesy of the Cape Cod Times, of a surfer catching a wave. He wasn't alone.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Capital Gains Relief - 2010 May Be The End

For the last several years we've enjoyed lowered tax rates for long term capital gains. The current rates, through 2010, are 0% (yes - zero) and 15%, depending on your adjusted gross income. Starting in 2011, unless Congress extends these rates, they go to 10% and 20%. The lower capital gains rates apply to those in the lowest federal income tax brackets, with the higher rates for all others.

Confusing enough? Well, you can go to the TurboTax website for a summary of this and other tax changes for the next several years. I expect that the current activity in Washington will alter a lot of future tax considerations.

The REALLY good news is the capital gains exclusion, of up to $500,000 for a couple, on the sale of your primary home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have A Happy Holiday Season!

As we close out another year, I'd like to extend the best of wishes for your Holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. And, I thank you for continuing to think of me when it comes to real estate in Eastham and the Outer Cape.

I expect next year to be very interesting. I'm projecting an improvement in the real estate landscape. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eastham's Captains Quarters Sold

Captain's Quarters MotelYou may have seen my post about the Captain's Quarters Motel going to auction. It told of a public auction, scheduled for the end of November, where the 75 unit motel was being sold. Well, the sale is complete. Apparently a Panama City, Florida, group purchased the motel for $1.7M. We'll have to stay tuned to see what's next for the motel. Read the story in this article from the Cape Cod Today website.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Storm Hits Outer Cape

We saw it coming, but didn't believe that it would hit us very hard. The net was a storm that started in Eastham at about 10PM last night and dropping about a foot of heavy snow, ending late this afternoon. The hope, of course, is that the warm waters of the ocean and the bay will provide the warmth that will melt the snow in short order. We'll see.

Snowstorm in Eastham, Cape Cod

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Lights - Ditto

This photo needs to be shared. I have no idea where it came from, but it's hilarious...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My January 2010 Newsletter Is Available Now!

Eastham WindmillMy January 2010 Eastham real estate newsletter is available now! This issue contains my real estate report of sales through November and my 2009 year-end preview. Worth a look! Download your copy of the January 2010 newsletter ..Here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eastham's Dolphin Strandings

As the weather turns cold, we've had more than the 'normal' number of dolphin strandings on the bayside of Eastham. The last two days has had two, one on Campground Beach and another in Rock Harbor. Read about them on the Cape Cod Times website.

Also, check out this video...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nauset High School - Silver Medalist - US News & World Report

Nauset Regional High SchoolNauset Regional High School, the public high school for Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, and Brewster has earned a Silver Medal from the US News & World Report magazine for its academic excellence. Only 19 Massachusetts public high schools achieved the Silver Medal ranking. Harwich High also achieved a Silver Medal ranking. Nauset & Harwich were among only 461 schools in the US to achieve the Silver, behind only 100 schools to achieve the Gold Medal. These rankings put Nauset & Harwich in the top 2 - 3 percent of all public schools in the US. Read the story on the Cape Codder website...Here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cash for Caulkers - Stimulus #2

Cash for Clunkers was such a success (??) that the Federal government is thinking of doing it again, this time by providing stimulus money to homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. The goal, of course, is to create more jobs. It looks like there may be up to $12,000 per household of matching funds for these energy related improvements. Read about this new stimulus package in the website. There is still some legislative wrangling to be had before this gets final approval - stay tuned!

Eastham Hostel Named Among Best in the World

Eastham Hostel - Hostelling InternationalAfter a difficult year dealing with the Town of Eastham, the Eastham Hostel, a member of Hostelling International, has been named one of the best hostels in the world. Specifically, it was named one of the most efficient locations. The hostel is on Goody Hallet Rd, just off Bridge Rd, in South Eastham, and near Boat Meadow Beach. Check out the Eastham hostel on their website.

Read the article about the 'award' on the Cape Cod Today website.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stonehenge in Harwich?

StonehengeThe mystery at Stonehenge has only been partially solved. It's clear that the builders were able to make some astrological observations using the stones, but could they go beyond that to predict eclipses? Anyway, there is a movement afoot to build a Stonehenge in Harwich, on a large tract of land known as the Thompson’s Field Conservation Area. Read about it....Here. Be sure to check out the video.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mortgage Rates Set New Record Low

News - The 30 year fixed rates have dropped to a decades old low. The national mortgage rate has dropped to an average of 4.71%, according to the weekly survey conducted by Freddy Mac. Wow! Interestingly, the article points out that these rates can't last too long and will likely go north of 5.5% by the 2nd quarter of 2010. Read the whole story on

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Eastham's November Home Sales - Slowness Returns

Eastham, MAThe preliminary results for home sales in Eastham are in! The sales volume has returned to the slowness that has characterized this year so far. The facts..
  • A total of 6 homes sold in Eastham in November, compared to 13 in October.
  • Total sales were roughly $3.1 M - the average home sale price was $515K. This is less than half the sales volume of October.
  • The median sale price was $393K.
  • There were 70 single family homes sold year-to-date (11/30) - this compares to 95 sales for YTD 2008

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

New Saltwater Fishing License - Oh My!

Rock Harbor Fishing BoatsStarting January 1st, 2010, sport fishermen (and sportfisherwomen!) will be required to have a saltwater fishing license. This is due to a new federal mandate, seeking to gather better data on fish caught by recreational fishermen along the coast. And improved data collection is expected to lead to improved management of the fisheries. To that end, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is requiring that all recreational fishermen be part of the national saltwater angler registry by Jan. 1st, 2010. Coastal states that adopt their own recreational saltwater fishing license law are exempt from the federal fees. Yeah!

The good news is that the fee will be zero ($0) for 2010, but going to $10 for 2011. Personally, I don't see where collecting $0 (or $10) will enhance any data collection. Sportfishing in saltwater should remain free. Gov. Duval didn't ask me. Read the details in this article in the Vineyard Gazette.