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Old 07-30-2017, 05:03 AM
 
Location: West End-Hartford
625 posts, read 1,858,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
While you're driving by, take a glance at Westport, Ma and South Dartmouth, Ma. The Adamsville part of Little Compton, RI, too. Coastal towns with low property tax rates where property prices are low because they're not commutable to the Boston jobs. Like everywhere else, inventory is kind of low right now but you can get 3+ br/1600+ sf and enough land for gardening for well below your target price.

My girlfriend lives in West Hartford Center. I can get to my summer place in Padanaram Village in South Dartmouth in 2 hours 5 minutes leaving at 6:30pm on a Friday. That's I-84/74/44/6/I-95/I-195 the last two Fridays. If you leave earlier, you hit trucks crawling up the hills on 74 and Providence rush hour. I can't imagine driving from the West End to Harwich every weekend.
Thanks. We don't have any interest in RI because of the economy and honestly it just seems too small to me. We lived in MA for several years in our 20s (in Amherst and then outside of Boston) and really just like the state and people there. The Cape house would probably be a rental for a few years and eventually become our retirement home, so I don't know how much weekend driving we would really end up doing. We would do Saturday morning drives anyway. It takes us 2.5 hours to get to Woods Hole when we leave at 6am on a Saturday. A three hour drive to mid-Cape seems reasonable to me.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:16 AM
 
17,639 posts, read 9,852,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyBergquist View Post
Thanks. We don't have any interest in RI because of the economy and honestly it just seems too small to me. We lived in MA for several years in our 20s (in Amherst and then outside of Boston) and really just like the state and people there. The Cape house would probably be a rental for a few years and eventually become our retirement home, so I don't know how much weekend driving we would really end up doing. We would do Saturday morning drives anyway. It takes us 2.5 hours to get to Woods Hole when we leave at 6am on a Saturday. A three hour drive to mid-Cape seems reasonable to me.
Does the rental math work for a $600K house on the Cape? At the bottom of the market, I'd believe it. Today? I'm not so sure.

Make sure you understand homeowner's insurance on the Cape. If you have a long relationship with your insurance company, you might avoid the whole high risk pool thing. I'm 50 feet MSL so it's not like I have coastal flooding issues. If I didn't have a 25+ year relationship with Amica, my insurance options would have been pretty limited. My understanding is that all of Cape Cod has the problem.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:19 AM
 
Location: West End-Hartford
625 posts, read 1,858,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Does the rental math work for a $600K house on the Cape? At the bottom of the market, I'd believe it. Today? I'm not so sure.

Make sure you understand homeowner's insurance on the Cape. If you have a long relationship with your insurance company, you might avoid the whole high risk pool thing. I'm 50 feet MSL so it's not like I have coastal flooding issues. If I didn't have a 25+ year relationship with Amica, my insurance options would have been pretty limited. My understanding is that all of Cape Cod has the problem.
We've financially planned for carrying the Cape house vacant, so if the rental math doesn't work, it doesn't really matter.

With our current house, I would believe we're already considered undesirable. Historic district, 100+ years old, slate roof, etc. We've been with State Farm for over a decade, so would think we should be able to get insurance. And we're already used to paying astronomical insurance rates, so it wouldn't be anything new. We do plan to stay out of any type of flood plain situation. I have no interest in paying for flood insurance and at some point the federal government is going to stop subsidizing it, so the situation will only get worse.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:13 AM
 
1,936 posts, read 4,648,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Does the rental math work for a $600K house on the Cape? At the bottom of the market, I'd believe it. Today? I'm not so sure.

Make sure you understand homeowner's insurance on the Cape. If you have a long relationship with your insurance company, you might avoid the whole high risk pool thing. I'm 50 feet MSL so it's not like I have coastal flooding issues. If I didn't have a 25+ year relationship with Amica, my insurance options would have been pretty limited. My understanding is that all of Cape Cod has the problem.


Your understanding about all of Cape Cod is not accurate. The "whole risk pool thing" doesn't apply to every property on the Cape. Some, surprisingly close to the water aren't part of it.

That said, homeowners insurance evaluations are also more complicated that how long you have been with the company.
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod
14,925 posts, read 9,955,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyBergquist View Post
We currently live in CT and are thinking about buying a second home on the Cape, that we would eventually retire to. Both my husband and I are real estate agents, so know all of the ins and outs of home buying, we just aren't familiar with the Cape market. We plan on having a buyer's agent when we buy and I have already spoken to one to get some general thoughts about the market, but am also looking for additional information.

We are targeting mid-Cape, thinking that Dennis, Yarmouth, Brewster, and Harwich would be our towns of focus. We do not need to be near the water and would actually prefer not to be, given rising sea levels. We have no interest in being in the flood plain. After looking at what's on the market now (which seems to be spring market leftovers, for the most part), it appears that our budget up to $600,000 is reasonable. We would want 3+ bedrooms, 1,600+ square feet, and are fine doing renovations to a place, if needed. I would like something of a yard because I enjoy gardening. We want to be close to "stuff." We live in a city now and I do not want to have to drive more than 10 minutes to get to a grocery store and every day normal shops. Schools are mildly important to us. We don't exactly know when "retirement" will happen, but we have a child now and if we retire young, they may still be in school, so we would need a reasonably good district.

My questions are, when is the best time to search to see the most inventory? Does our price range for our needs seem reasonable? How quickly do things move if they are in good shape and priced correctly? Basically, am I going to have a day to be able to get out there to look at a place before it's gone? Are the majority of people buying on the Cape cash buyers? We would have a 50+% down payment, but would not be cash, so I am wondering how competitive, or not, that will make us. Are there any other towns you would suggest to us? (We wouldn't consider anything further out than Chatham) How much do taxes tend to fluctuate? Our property taxes have increased by 90% since we moved into CT 13 years ago. Wondering if I need to plan for something similar in MA.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. We are looking forward to starting this process and just like to do a lot of research up front.


It is very much a sellers market right now with a lack of inventory property that is standing tall and priced right is on the market for days not months. We have a house under agreement right now for example that would have fit your needs. It is in Dennis 3 bed 2 bath 2000 SQF 1/3 of an acre 10 minutes from shops and highway listed at $450,000.
Your budget of up to $600,000 will open up many options for you. Of the towns you listed Chatham carries a premium then Brewster, then Dennis Harwich and Yarmouth. As you know water front, water view, walk to water will also cost more for less house. We have cottages on the water that can be a million dollars and they sell.
Buyers in your price range will often have a few hundred thousand to put down so your 50/50 would be attractive in your offer and having "a good chunk" to put down will help when the bank comes out to do an appraisal. They are making loans but they are still tight fisted which is a good thing so we avoid another crash.
Taxes do pop up but we are talking about .20- .50 cents a year not dollars.

You will find the most shopping and "stuff" in Hyannis and that is within easy driving distance from the towns you mentioned.

Flood mapping for insurance has been a problem that have prevented some from buying so you will want to keep an eye on that when looking and ask the listing agent up front if the property is in a flood zone.
The south side of Dennis for example is very flat so the flood maps go further inland and insurance would be mandatory.


The best time to search for property is in the Spring and the Fall when houses are generally listed. The Summer can be slow due to people enjoying themselves.

I'm sure there is the perfect house for you out there and the search is part of the adventure.

Happy house hunting.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:21 AM
 
Location: West End-Hartford
625 posts, read 1,858,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Cod Todd View Post
Buyers in your price range will often have a few hundred thousand to put down so your 50/50 would be attractive in your offer and having "a good chunk" to put down will help when the bank comes out to do an appraisal. They are making loans but they are still tight fisted which is a good thing so we avoid another crash.
Thanks for your thoughts, Cape Cod Todd. They are helpful.

How often do you see properties not appraise to contract price? The market we cover has pretty much recovered, so "short" appraisals are rare. Just curious how common that is. Do sellers ever negotiate with a short appraisal, or is the buyer just stuck bringing extra cash/losing equity?
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Old 08-01-2017, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Cape Cod
14,925 posts, read 9,955,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyBergquist View Post
Thanks for your thoughts, Cape Cod Todd. They are helpful.

How often do you see properties not appraise to contract price? The market we cover has pretty much recovered, so "short" appraisals are rare. Just curious how common that is. Do sellers ever negotiate with a short appraisal, or is the buyer just stuck bringing extra cash/losing equity?

We don't see it often but it does happen. A house goes on the market, buyers bid up the price, they win the highest and best offer back and forth and then the bank does their appraisal and the numbers are tight.
In rare cases the buyer has had to bring extra money to the closing table or up their down payment. In other situations if possible it is back to the negotiating table.
This usually happens with first time buyers who are trying to get into a house in a sellers market but they don't have much money.

The Cape did not suffer nearly as much as the rest of the country did when the real estate bubble burst but we still had our share of foreclosures and short sales. We have a majority of citizens like you. They have worked hard and smart and retired to the Cape.

In general houses do appraise right up to or just over the agreed upon price.

Renting out a $600,000 house has its ups and downs because as others have mentioned the math doesn't add up though we do have a client that is doing just that. She bought the house because she liked the location and plans to rent it for the next several years until she retires.
A 3 bedroom house is renting year round for approx. $2000 depending on the town it is located in.
Weekly rentals in the Summer you can get a bit more. If you are near the beach you can get lots more.
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Old 08-02-2017, 01:19 PM
 
Location: West End-Hartford
625 posts, read 1,858,004 times
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Thanks for this. Looking forward to seeing where things go. We have a few years to figure it out, so no real rush, although I would like to get in before prices max out.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod
14,925 posts, read 9,955,032 times
Reputation: 24473
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyBergquist View Post
Thanks for this. Looking forward to seeing where things go. We have a few years to figure it out, so no real rush, although I would like to get in before prices max out.

I would say do your research, keep an eye on Zillow and sign up to website that will give you daily reminders for houses that fit your criteria when they hit the market. I can send you the link if you like.


We have our ups and downs just like your market does. Prices will always be a bit higher on Cape then off but I don't think we will ever "max out" like they did before the bubble burst.
There will always be deals to be had but when you do find a house that fits your needs you need to act quickly because chances are there are other people who love it as well.

If you can you should come to the Cape for a visit this September. The crowds are gone and the weather is still perfect. You can get a feel for each town and perhaps narrow down your search a bit.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:04 AM
 
641 posts, read 312,470 times
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Not to derail the thread, but what towns do you think have the greatest upside? Are there any towns that you think are currently undervalued? ....appreciating no one has a crystal ball.

We may do a 1031 exchange to cash out a rental property in Boston market and buy something on the cape or RI.
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