Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cape Cod Times Online Beginning Subscription Service

Apparently the Cape Cod Times perceives that a large number of their readers have been reading the paper online, for free, instead of paying for the printed paper. In order to be compensated for their labors, they have devised a pay-per-view strategy to collect money from the website's readers. Unfortunately, it feels like a short-sighted reaction to what may be the inevitable truth.  For me, it'll mean that articles from the Times will be off-limits for my blog. It would make no sense to refer to an article that my readers can't see.

Read the press release ... here.

Endangered Sea Turtles Rescued Off Cape Beaches

This is the time of year when the declining Bay water temperatures take their toll on the turtle population. The hook of Cape Cod blocks a number of turtles from their trip south as they follow the warm water's retreat as winter approaches. Unfortunately, many turtles die from hypothermia as they are forced to survive in water considerably colder than they are accustomed to. Luckily, many come ashore in search of warmth only to be found by volunteers who save them from certain death. This year, the number of endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtles found on the Outer Cape's Bay beaches seems much higher than 'normal'. Catch the details in the following stories...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Amazing Eastham Photo Collection

I found this truly amazing collection of Eastham photos - check it out ..Here.   

Multiple Offers On a Home? Who Would Have Thought?

With prices somewhat depressed and mortgage interest rates so low, it was inevitable that some well priced homes would be the recipient of multiple offers. That leaves the potential buyers with the possible 'problem' of having to bid-up to 'win' the property. That could simply mean offering more money or it could means offering better terms, such as all-cash. There hasn't been much head-to-head bidding on the Outer Cape, but it's bound to happen.

Read the article on SmartMoney.com, entitled "Home Buyers Face a New Challenge: Competition" that discusses competition and when to not play the competitive game.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness;
   Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God;
   It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
   We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
   And into His courts with praise.
   Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
   His mercy is everlasting,
   And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100, NKJV

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gliding Above Wellfleet

From Newcomb Hollow to Nauset Light - it doesn't get much cooler than this. Paragliding along the ocean bluffs is a sight to see. Probably even more fun to do! 

Check out the photo gallery from the online Cape Codder.... Here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eastham Rec's Annual Rubber Duck Race

The Eastham Recreation & Beach Department is having its annual Thanksgiving rubber duck race this next Sunday (November 21st) on Bee's River, at the end of First Encounter Beach.  Prizes will be 'awarded' to the top 5 finishers. It's a buck a duck and they start swimming at 1:30 PM - sharp! This should be a lot of fun. If you'd like to buy a duck (for a buck), call the Rec Department at 508-240-5974 - starting today. When all the ducks are gone, they're gone. This is a rain or shine event. Don't miss it! To see the Rec Department's flyer, go .. Here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My December Eastham Newsletter Is Available Now!

My December Eastham real estate newsletter is available now. It has Eastham's results through October and my year-end 'best guess'. Also find a new Bayside listing, second home tax considerations, and a link to my Facebook page.

Eastham's sales have begun to exhibit the normal seasonal slowdown, but remain significantly ahead of last year. Prices show a moderate improvement in the median sales prices. Go to http://newsletters.robertsheldon.com/ to download your copy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Updated: Tax Rules for Second Homes

Second homes (i.e. vacation homes, rentals, investment) can be a good source of income, partly because the tax system treats them favorably. Income from rentals can be offset by some serious deductions, including depreciation. Additionally, some income may (keyword - 'may') be tax free.

New to the tax code is an update to the $250,000 ($500K for married couples) tax exclusion on the appreciation of your primary home. In the past, many folks simply made their second home the primary home for the 2 required years, then sold it to get the entire exclusion. The 'new' rules require that the time after 2008 be prorated. A bit convoluted. Here - details matter.

Check out this article from Kiplinger Magazine's online edition... here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Edward Hopper's 'Martha McKeen of Wellfleet'

Edward Hopper, one of the most famous American artists of the last century, spend many a summer in his Truro cottage overlooking the Bay. In 1944 he painted a water scene that he called The Martha McKeen of Wellfleet, presumably the name of the pictured sailboat. It was revealed in a 1947 Life magazine that Edward named the picture for a friend whose father founded the United Fruit Company. The United Fruit Company was founded by Lorenzo Dow Baker, a native of Wellfleet, in 1899. The United Fruit Company  became the nation's largest importer of bananas and is currently the Chiquita Banana Company.

2010 Eastham Turnip Festival - November 20th

The annual Eastham Turnip Festival will be held this year on Saturday, November 20th. There will be judged dishes (turnips, of course) and games and activities for all ages. Bring a few bucks for tee-shirts, arts & crafts, and, of course, for Eastham turnips. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Eastham Library who are partnering with the Eastham Elementary School Parent Group. The festivities start at 1 PM at the Eastham Elks Club on McKoy Rd.

Come join the fun!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Battery Operated Thermostats - Winter Trouble?

One thing we often forget to change are the batteries in is our fancy programmable thermostats. They, eventually, just go dead. They don't beep, they don't flash lights, they just stop working.

Unfortunately, the consequences for closed up seasonal homes can be disastrous. They are one of the causes of very expensive home freeze-ups. Thermostat batteries should be changed when you close up your home for the winter. Of course, if you drain all the pipes this is a non-issue. But many folks just turn down the thermostats to 50 degrees, or so. These folks should ensure that their thermostats are operational and have fresh batteries.

To keep life simple, I generally recommend old-fashioned mechanical thermostats (i.e. without batteries) for seasonal homes.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Is It Eastham? Or Orleans??

What may be shaping up as a border dispute will be interesting no matter how it turns out. As beaches erode and re-form, the spit of sand that we know as Nauset Beach is growing toward the north, into what some feel is Eastham. Others, however, feel the new beach belongs to Orleans, because that's where it 'grew' from. At stake is resident status for Eastham taxpayers when it comes to the ORV (off road vehicles) permits.  And, a new revenue stream for the Town of Eastham.

This story has been evolving over the last 30 years, but has only recently become interesting.  Read the story from the Cape Code Times... Here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

October Preliminary Results - Eastham Home Sales

October wasn't a great month for sales. The fall 'slowdown' seems to have begun early. The facts...
  • There were 6 closings in October (down from 11 in September) with an average sale price of $376,450, and a median of $379,500. 
  • This year, October's closings totaled $2.3M. Last year's total October sales were $6.6M on 14 sales.
  • There were 92 closings year-to-date (10/31/10), up 42% from 2009's 65 sales (note: single family homes).
  • Currently, there were 103 homes for sale in Eastham, with an average list price of 608K, and a median price of $469K.
For a snapshot of Eastham market conditions, including sale details, listings, and community information go ... Here..