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Old 06-29-2010, 02:48 PM
6 posts, read 22,125 times
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My husband is retiring and we're contemplating a move from DC to the Cape. We're looking to balance quality of life with access to some cospopolitan amenities. (Dining, shops, town...) What would be the town you'd choose (upper or mid cape) for year round living and why? Upper or mid cape is our preference as I need options re. work, however if you think, for instance, Chatham is the best town--we'd welcome your opinions.

We've stayed in Yarmouthport along 6A and found that area quite charming---as we could walk to a few restaurants and shops. We'd like that feel, but perhaps a bit closer to town...

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:03 PM
Location: Massachusetts
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Default Try the town of Barnstable.

Barnstable is made up of 7 very different villages. Take a look at some of the villages in Barnstable. You pretty much can get all of the cape in one town. Barnstable has the village of Hyannis which has the Cape Cod Mall and more chain type resturants. Then you have the village of Osterville which is more "rich". Then you have quaint Cotuit. And if you liked 6A try barnstable village or west barnstable.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:56 AM
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Upper Cape, Sandwich in the village area is a great choice. My disclaimer is I LIVE here- but am NOT a real estate agent. There is a terrific walkable downtown area with restaurants, shops and historic sites. Town Neck Beach, the Cape Cod Canal and the boardwalk is a short walk or bike trip away and lots of conservation area for outdoor pursuits. Lots going on year round. Farmer's Markets all summer, arts festivals, concerts on Shawme Pond, Christmas Carol sing alongs, and the Fourth of July parade events make it feel like a Normal Rockwell painting. Before anyone jumps in to argue, that it's a great place to live, the 2 negatives always brought up are taxes, (highest on Cape) and lack of curbside trash pickup. You can pay someone to do it or you can go to the landfill. There has been recent political strife in town, including the ousting of the Superintendent of Schools but fortunately, those situations have not been the result of criminal or morally inappropriate activities as has occurred in other local towns. (I am sure being from DC, small town politics will not bother you) LOL.

West Barnstable is another good choice. The downtown is not as bustling as others on Cape but it does have some good restaurants and a few shops. The taxes are lower and it does have that "old Cape" feel.

Osterville is great but sort of "stuck in the middle" and not the most convenient spot for travel. Mashpee is more commercial, less expensive than the first towns mentioned but has some nice neighborhoods tucked away off the beaten path. Traffic can be an issue along 28 which unless you learn backroads is the only way to get to and from most places that you would want to be going much like Osterville.

On the other side, I like Cataumet (part of Bourne) West Falmouth, and North Falmouth. Not walkable downtowns per se but quintessential Cape Cod. Downtown Falmouth is a great destination for shopping and dining and Woods Hole is a short jaunt and wonderful spot to spend an afternoon.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:10 AM
Location: South Yarmouth, MA
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Default We were considering Upper Cape until...

I hate to put a damper on things, but we were thinking of moving to Bourne or Sandwich and changed our mind. The MA Military reservation is a large presence on the Upper Cape. It's in the towns of Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, and Mashpee. There are great deals to be had if you are willing to be near the base, such as in the Forestdale section of Sandwich. But as a result of environmental concerns, property values are down and houses are not being kept up. There is a scary number of cancer cases in the general area, which includes Barnstable, about 4 times the typical normal rate. The evidence isn't conclusive about the cause, but the numbers are concerning. Look it up.

Our search has moved eastward toward Yarmouth and Dennis as a result.

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Old 07-02-2010, 08:20 PM
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No damper, real concerns. We were fortunate to have a real estate agent who showed us a detailed map of high incidence cancer areas. Check out information on Camp Pendleton. (not on Cape I know) but it was recently found that a jet fuel spill resulted in higher cancer rates and one ex GI just received a staggering settlement for a rare form of blood cancer directly linked to the spill. A number of years ago a school on Otis was closed due to extremely high PCB levels around the school.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:00 AM
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The high cancer rates are no secret. Just do your research and choose wisely.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:54 AM
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Thank you very much; based on the cancer clusters, we are now considering mid- and lower Cape---- really more Mid-Cape. That said, I *completely* agree w/ those who suggested Sandwich, W. Barnstable, and Osterville---after a weekend of looking at houses/neighborhoods, those were the ones we chose. Lovely little town amenities w/ v. pleasant neighborhoods, close to 6A and the beach (but for Osterville). Unfortunately, it's back to the drawing board given the health info/data for those areas. Also, we're looking more at the North or Bay (inner side of the Cape) side of the area, rather than the Hyannis or Chatham side. Again, any favorites?
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:11 PM
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Wherever you go, if you are along 6A the further east you go, (north of 6a) the better but also expect to pay more.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:05 PM
Location: Metrowest, MA
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Narragansett Bay in RI... may be an option if cape does not work out.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:41 PM
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Not a fan of the mid-Cape - great during the summer for kitschy tourist stuff if you are into that but to live year round..not so much. I would go further and perhaps Brewster. I love Chatham but you said that was not an option? I think it's my favorite Cape Cod town and would not hesitate to live there but for convenience.

I understand your concern with cancer clusters but I did my research and there are clear areas of concern, not entire towns. Regardless of where you settle, be wary of fresh water ponds- especially those in areas of cranberry bogs. There are some, that have not been proven, but are highly suspected to have been the cause of cancer and other issues in Sandwich and other communities. People still swim in them which is startling to me.

Someone else mentioned RI, would you consider a town like Marion or Westport? Very pretty, not on Cape but very nice.
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