Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Telecommuting from The Outer Cape

The following blog is by Paul Roycraft, a recent home buyer on the Outer Cape.Posted by David Newell, Realtor for Mr. Roycraft at The Real Estate Company.

Reflecting back on 2008, the real estate market on Cape Cod has been unlike any other in recent memory. Homes under $400,000 have comprised the vast majority of closings, outselling higher-priced properties more than 5 to 1 of late. The “cute little house in a good area” whose price had escalated beyond the means of many buyers throughout the real estate boom years of 2003 – 2007 has become a reality once again. The recent price retrenchment and the breadth of inventory available across all price ranges has helped to further open up the Cape Cod housing market to a new category of buyer – the idyllic lifestyle relocator.

That this is a “new” category is not entirely correct – Cape Cod has long been a haven for artists and chefs and owners of small boutiques and other businesses who seek the unique quality of life offered here. What is new is that a different type of relocator is emerging – the telecommuter – who typically brings his or her job with them from off-Cape.

As technological advances in the Internet, cellular broadband, and collaboration software make telecommuting more feasible, companies will strive to hire and maintain the best workforce available to them, regardless of location. The office that formerly needed to be in or near a large city can now be in a home overlooking a small pond, conservation area, or be within steps of the local town-center coffee shop (often with its own wi-fi). The expansion of the airport in Hyannis, plus the proximity of Logan and TF Green also makes Cape Cod attractive for those who still need to travel for business on occasion.

Clients relocating from Boston, perhaps still occasionally commuting to offices there, comprise the majority of this type of buyer so far. However, the desire to leave behind the crowding and expense of major metropolitan areas is a phenomenon that is occurring across the country. TREC has sold to clients relocating from outside of Massachusetts who will become full-time Cape Cod residents while continuing to work for their current off-Cape employers, and we expect this trend to grow.

Advances in the tools available to REALTORS including MLS Propertyfinder alerts, detailed satellite imagery to view properties and neighborhoods, and the ease of taking and e-mailing digital photographs has facilitated working with remote clients. The use of these tools in addition to the extensive knowledge, experience, and personal touch of the local REALTOR will be increasingly important in 2009 and beyond.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cape Cod Winter

I was recently asked why you would want to be on Cape Cod in the winter. My first reply would be why not. But, I guess that wouldn’t satisfy anyone who didn’t understand.
After, the bustle of summer has passed the real Cape Cod emerges. The small town atmosphere and home town quality comes back to life. Each town has their fall celebration; be it the cranberry festival, the oyster festival, turnip festival or windmill weekend. Each community has their own unique way of celebrating. It may be a parade of local businesses and families, the fastest oyster-shucking contest, the turnip cook-off or the ever-famous craft fair.
You won’t find ski resorts but you can find a quiet fire road or trail to cross country sky after a snowstorm. Your family won’t find an amusement park but you will find a beach to stroll for an hour and never see another soul. You won’t easily find a Wal-Mart or many other chain stores so you will have to shop locally where they remember your name. You may also find yourself getting lost in a general store for hours or a boutique, antique shop or even an art gallery.
Activities do exist in the winter. Some suggestions include the Audubon Sanctuary, The Natural History Museum, Cape Cod Art Museum, Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Sandwich Glass Museum, and Whydah Sea Lab and Learning Center. There is also the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, which is the largest private non-profit ocean research engineering and educational organization. You may want to travel to the Outer Cape where 44,000 acres is owned and preserved by the government as the Cape Cod National Park Service. This land is devoted to saving Cape Cod as it was when Henry Thoreau first visited and wrote about such an exquisite, rare, quiet piece of land- the winter is when you can actually have this experience.
You can go still go shell fishing, saltwater fishing, and or ice fishing. Walking, biking and yes for some surfing is still possible! The Cape does not completely close down after the summer. For most Cape Codders after the summer is when the Cape opens. It’s time to enjoy a peaceful day at the beach snuggled in a warm down jacket, watching a sunrise or sunset all by yourself, or observing a blue heron search for food in a marsh, or just drive down to the beach to read and watch the waves.
So, it’s not for the quick paced family or vacationer that’s wants to be occupied for 24/7. It’s for the people who are looking for a place to stop, relax, enjoy, and know how to entertain themselves.
Karen O'Connor