Archive for the ‘Home Buyer Information’ Category

Why Are So Many Homes For Sale in this Neighborhood?

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Have you ever driven through a neighborhood and noticed that a number of houses all have a For Sale sign posted out front? Did you wonder “what the heck is going on here, is something WRONG that is making everyone move?!” Let me address this as it relates to Chatham and Lower Cape Cod. But first, we have to backtrack.

Investing in vacation homes on Cape Cod, particularly Chatham and the Lower and Outer Cape, really became more doable for people around the 1950’s. Transportation and roads improved, making the ride to the Cape quicker and easier. People had more discretionary income after the war years, and owning a second home became a real possibility. Planned neighborhoods started popping up around the Cape. During the 1960’s and 1970’s there was steady growth and summer populations increased as more home buyers secured their own piece of Cape Cod.

Fast forward to Today. Many of those neighborhoods are that much older. In their heyday, they were new, popular, desirable places to own. Today, most of these homes now belong to the children and heirs of the original owners. While their location hasn’t changed and they are still desirable places to live, many of the homes haven’t changed much, either. So we now have neighborhoods that once flourished with homes that are not in keeping with the standards that today’s Buyer is accustomed to. And while some heirs hang onto the house, for most it is not a reality and they end up selling.

We are at the point where these homes are hitting the market at a higher rate than in the past. Thus, some neighborhoods now seem completely for sale as this cycle of life continues. These properties will be bought and renovated, or in some cases, torn down and rebuilt for today’s lifestyle. The most important thing to keep in mind is LOCATION, because that doesn’t change. If you like a property in a neighborhood where there are several others for sale, look to see if there is evidence of a rebirth of the neighborhood. Are other Owners renovating, building, updating their home? Like they say, “you want the worst house in the best neighborhood”. That is usually a smart investment in any market, in any decade.

So if you see a lot of “For Sale” signs in a certain area, don’t assume this is a negative. Look a little deeper to see if the neighborhood is heading in the right direction. And if it is, you’ll be more than ready to jump when you recognize a listing that’s a good deal.

What Happens if you Skip Installing a Chimney Cap?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Home inspectors always point out that “a chimney cap is a good idea, although it’s not required”. Like most people, I KNOW it’s important but it probably doesn’t seem like a huge deal when it comes to prioritizing what to spend money on. Especially if it’s a vacation home or part-time residence. Well, I recently learned first-hand why having a chimney cap really IS a good idea!

I walked into a house recently and knew immediately that something was wrong when I saw the fireplace logs strewn in the middle of the living room. Vases and lamps were overturned and knocked off tables. Then I noticed large piles of wood shavings on all the windowsills and on the floor under each window. Upon closer examination, I found that the wooden sills of almost every window in the house had been chewed away. Some poor critter had fallen down the chimney and had been trying to chew its way out of the house.

I called Animal Control and we went through the entire house looking for what did the damage. We never found it, but the Animal Control officer decided it was a squirrel and not a raccoon. And that it had somehow climbed back UP the fireplace and went out the way it came in.

This creature had chewed nearly every window in every room of this house. The Owner now had to file an insurance claim to replace the windows at a cost of probably $500 per window. All of this could have been avoided by installing a chimney cap for $150.

If your house doesn’t have a chimney cap, it is a matter of time before this happens to you. Don’t delay any longer!

chewed window