Monday, January 31, 2011

New Listing - Solar Heated Contemporary With Pool

Time to go Green? This custom-built ocean-side contemporary has lots of great features that need to be seen. An open kitchen/dining area with a wood/coal stove, large living room, 3 large upstairs bedrooms, and partially finished basement. A 2 story glass and cedar solarium provides a significant source of heat. The kitchen has newer stainless appliances and a sub-zero fridge. Newer well, septic, and roof. Wrap this around a large deck and a wonderful swimming pool.

The location is ideal for access to the North Eastham commercial area, as well as ocean side beaches. The Cape Cod Rail Trail bike path is across the street.
Priced at $459K. Go to for more info and photos. Go here for a Virtual Tour.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Mid-Week Storm - Really?

The weatherman is promising another mid-week storm this Tuesday into Wednesday. So far, the Outer Cape, including Eastham, has largely dodged these bullets. I'm sure glad that we have been spared the deep snowfalls of the I-95 corridor, including metro-Boston. Check out the map, below.

PS. I wish I was kidding!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Estate Tax Law - A Portability Provision

The new tax laws are upon us, including new rules and rates for inheritances for the wealthy. Somewhat of a surprise is a new 'portability provision' which allows carry-over of one spouse's 'unused' inheritance exclusion to be used by the surviving spouse. The new $5M personal exclusion can become a $10M exclusion for the surviving spouse. Read about this new provision and it's implication, at the Fidelity Viewpoints website. 

The subject of estate taxes is one that needs to be addressed with your attorney and tax accountant. The new higher exclusion ($5M vs $3.5M in 2009) and the new portability provision are useful, but only these 'trained professionals' can lead you through this difficult minefield.

Nauset Newcomers

Nauset Newcomers is an organization designed to help new residents of Outer Cape Cod get acquainted with life on the peninsula, meeting others, and doing things together. Founded 34 years ago, they have over 1000 members, mostly from Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Brewster. The many activities include such things as golf, bridge, dining out, and travel. The group also helps others through Community Service opportunities.

Their meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month from September through May at the Wellfleet Cinemas, on the Eastham/Wellfleet town line. Check out their website at

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Turkey Attacks Truck - On Cape Cod

This is a dumb video about an even dumber turkey that seems to be attacking a postal truck in Centerville, on Cape Cod. I first saw this video on a national TV news show this afternoon. The video is credited to the Cape Cod Times.

Mid-Week Snow Storm - Only 3 to 4 Inches

While the rest of the northeast got pummelled, Eastham received only about 3 to 4 inches of snow. Works for me!  The weatherman is telling us about another snowstorm coming our way, in another 9 - 10 days. We can hardly wait!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Eastham's Rental Tax for 2011

I went to the Town Clerk's office at the Eastham town hall a few weeks ago to ask about rental taxes for the 2011 rental season. (Background - see my 5/4/2010 blog entry) The Town Clerk told me that the tax has not yet been approved by the State legislature and, therefore, was very unlikely to take effect for the 2011 season. She also indicated that they, currently, have no plan to collect the taxes for 2011. I also spoke to an Eastham rental agent about this. She said that all rents have been established and many rental weeks have been reserved, making collecting additional taxes nearly impossible. My hope is that this tax can again be on the Town Meeting warrant and voted down, this time.

It's Deja Vu - Midweek Snow Again!

It seems like we are on a bi-weekly snowstorm routine. This time it's coming tonight, into tomorrow and into Thursday. Check out the snowfall chart, below. Last time, the Outer Cape didn't get too much snow. Let's hope!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Complete Eastham 2010 Sales Data

The Eastham sales data for 2010 reveals some very interesting observations. Go to my website's 2010 Sales page for the details.

What we saw was that the number of sales was up 31% from 2009, and the average home sale price was down 5.4%. But (and importantly) the median was up 3.3%. These stats show that we've fairly well 'recovered' from the 2009 sales slump, caused by the economic uncertainty of late 2008 through 2009.

This information, along with details about inventory, is from my February 2011 newsletter. Download a copy of my February newsletter, Here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This Winter: Save Energy to Save Money

Saving energy always means saving money. That's a no-brainer. Yet there are a few habits we get into that are not as efficient as we wished they were. Check out these 11 winter energy saving tips that are sure to save you a few dollars this winter. Maybe quite a few. 

Go to the Home Warranty of America website to check out these 11 tips.

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Listing - To-Be-Built - Contemporary Cape

Eastham - This is a to-be-built custom Contemporary Cape house, built on a Cape Cod acre (40,000+ sqft) on private road. Lot will support your 4 bedroom dream house. Seller to provide natural gas to this property. This property is convenient to National Seashore beaches, to Nauset High School, and the Brackett Rd shopping area, yet be as private as you want it to be on this large wooded lot. This house is roughly 1800 sqft, has hardwood floors, custom trim, solid-surface counters, 2 car attached garage, and lots of extras. This house is listed at $549,000.

Go to to download the detailed building plans.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My February 2011 Real Estate Newsletter - Available Now!

My February 2011 Eastham real estate newsletter is available now! This issue has the year-end results for the Eastham real estate market. The newsletter also provides my 2011 predictions; where we are and where I believe we're going.

Eastham's 2010 sales remained significantly ahead of 2009's sales, as predicted. The prices show a moderate improvement in the median sales prices. Go to to download your copy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow - Not So Much!

The snow storm that came up the coast and delivered over 2 feet of snow to parts of Connecticut and 'upstate' Massachusetts finally delivered snow to Eastham and the Outer Cape. Here, in Eastham, we got about 4 inches. We escaped the worst part of the storm, even though we had near white-out conditions and some winds well in excess of 35-40 mph. In Provincetown they clocked winds of 70 mph.

Check out the photo below, taken by friend and former client, Leslie Riordan, during a walk this morning on Coast Guard Beach. Check out all of Leslie's photos from this

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our Next Storm - Ugh!

We are slated to get our next blast Tuesday night, into Wednesday morning. Check out this weather photo. Usually they are wrong about the Cape's snowfall numbers. we'll see.

Wall Street Journal - Vacation Home Markets Are Up!

Today's Wall Street Journal ran an article that highlighted the fact that vacation home areas are experiencing a rebounding marketplace. This is, of course, what we've been seeing here in Eastham and the Outer Cape (see prior article, below). As discussed in the article, vacation and second home markets react differently from 'normal' markets. Very few folks have to sell, and very few have to buy - providing a bit of stabilization to the market.  Check out the

The article points out that across all of Barnstable County (a.k.a. Cape Cod) sales volume was up 9%. Eastham saw a 31% increase.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Eastham Home Sales for 2010 - Preliminary Results

Well, 2010 is over and it's time to tally up the results. In short...
  • there were 106 single family homes sold in Eastham, up from 81 last year (up 31%)
  • total value of almost $47M
  • the median sale price was $383,250, up 3.3% from 2009
In summary, 2010 was a great recovery year from a fairly dismal 2009. I believe the improving economy and the record low mortgage rates were the key factors, bringing back some of the buyers that couldn't pull the trigger in 2009.

To get a detailed snapshot of the Eastham market, go to Also, checkout my monthly newsletter, where I publish much more detail and commentary. Subscribe to my

Friday, January 07, 2011

Uncle Tim's Bridge

A narrow walkway crosses Duck Creek, connecting South Wellfleet and the village center, known as Uncle Tim's Bridge. This bridge was initially built in 1844 and was simply the 'bridge over Duck Creek', until the 1940's. Uncle Tim was Timothy Daniels, who died around 1893.

Not much is known about Uncle Tim. He was apparently was a local fisherman, seaman, merchant and tour guide. Apparently a handy guy, willing to lend a hand. The real question is 'why Uncle Tim' as a bridge name? We may never know!

Check out the old post card of Wellfleet center, from across Uncle Tim's Bridge.  Is this card from the 1940's?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Cape Cod National Seashore Is 50 Years Old

You are probably gunna get tired of this, but the Cape Cod National Seashore was 'born' 50 years ago this year, on August 7th. The National Parks Traveler, a website dedicated to promoting our National Parks, has a great article to kick off the year of events scheduled to take place at the Seashore's various visitors' centers. This article provides a bit of history and a taste of what's in store for the year's festivities.  Read the article on their website. 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Wellfleet's Recent Beach Erosion

When Bev & I were on our walk on Coast Guard Beach on Jan 1st we noticed the erosion on the embankments, caused by the prior week's Nor'easter that swept up the coast. Although we got no snow, the wave action was fantastic. The damage didn't take out the stairs, however.  In Wellfleet one house was just too close to the edge, and has been in the paper. Check out the following video from the Cape Cod Times - WOW!

Monday, January 03, 2011

French Cable Station Museum

The French Cable Station, in Orleans, was the American termination point for a telegraph cable that came directly to Orleans from France, known as "Le Direct" (the direct cable). It was installed in 1898 and was almost 3200 miles long, from Brest France to Orleans, a distance of almost 3200 miles.

The first French Cable was installed in 1869 and landed in Duxbury Ma. It had been routed through St Pierre Island near Newfoundland. Duxbury was a busy port and the cable suffered a number of breaks. A new French Cable was laid in 1879 to North Eastham, at Nauset Light, and a two story station was built there. North Eastham was too isolated and was difficult to reach in bad weather. The current building in Orleans was built in 1891.

The 'Station' has been opened as a museum, with mostly summer hours. The museum is at the corner of Cove Rd and Rt 28, in Orleans. Check out the French Cable Station Museum's website.French Cable Station Museum

Saturday, January 01, 2011

January 1st - Coast Guard Beach

It was 48 degrees and no wind this morning at Coast Guard Beach. What a difference a week can make. Bev & I took our annual January 1st beach walk, where I took this photo.