If you had told me…

Back in March, if anyone had said I would have 8 properties under contract by the end of May, I would never have believed it! But suddenly, the current real estate market on Cape Cod is HOT! Remember the opening of the flood gates the experts were talking about? It is happening way sooner than we expected! The number of showings and sales is way up from when I last wrote.  Last year, buyers toured an average of 12 homes before buying. Right now, the average is 3! Although the number of sales has not caught up with last year yet, the median sale price in the County in April was up 4.2% over April of 2019.

At least for now, buyers are absolutely driven to find a Cape escape where they can safely enjoy the summer! Multiple offers are also common when a property is in great condition, offers features buyers want, and is priced right. My Sea Pines condo listing recently received 6 offers and a single-family home I listed last Thursday night received 4 offers by the end of Saturday! Both are selling above the list price.

A few properties are selling sight-unseen, but most buyers are able to get here to tour properties. It has helped to provide video tours. Showings are handled using CDC protocols, using masks, gloves, and even shoe coverings in properties that are occupied. All steps of real estate transactions are possible, and we are able to close sales.

Forecasters are still optimistic about the rest of the year, but nobody has a crystal ball, given all of the unique and, for many, difficult and tragic circumstances people are facing. With demand this high and inventory still low, right now might be the very best time to sell a property on Cape Cod for the foreseeable future.

This is also a great time to buy with interest rates still at historic lows! More properties are being listed every day. Be sure your pre-qual letter is updated and keep your checkbook handy.  The best values go fast so be ready to hop in the car!

How about my garden? As you can see from the photo, it is a success! We are enjoying lettuce and spinach and almost ready to spice up salads with cilantro! The only problem is that now I don’t have time to weed it!

Although life is not back to normal, I am grateful that my family and I are all still well here. Amazingly, in my mother’s assisted living facility, 100% of the residents and staff tested negative to COVID-19!

Summer weather is here and I’m enjoying being able to help people move on with their lives! I hope you and your loved ones are also well. Stay safe and be patient! I’d love to hear from you!

Sincerely,
Amy


Posted on May 31, 2020 at 12:03 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

Cape Cod Real Estate Update

 

 

Cape Cod Real Estate Update

Hello,

Hoping this finds you and yours well and comfortable.

If you need a break from the news and are curious about what is happening in Cape Cod real estate, it has been a surprising week:

  • Had 1 showing at my unoccupied listing. (The buyers’ agent used the lock box.)
  • Received a showing request that we did not do out of caution for the sellers of an occupied listing.
  • Received 1 offer on a listing from a buyer who had seen my listing last week. The offer was extremely low so the deal did not come together.
  • Received 1 offer on another listing from an agent (for himself) who never visited the house. The offer was ridiculously low.  No deal.
  • Had 3 successful closings without attending any of them.
  • Sent a new listing to my buyers on March 23rd. They wondered when they would be able to see it, but 4 days later it had already gone under contract! Sixty properties went under contract on Cape Cod in the past 7 days.
  • Signed a listing agreement for a new listing.  It is unoccupied so will be easy to show using a lock box.
  • Hired a photographer to start filming videos of the interiors of my listings.

As buyers show more caution, the number of showings has slowed significantly, but real estate activity has not stopped completely. With technology, we can continue to work relatively safely.  See the graphic below for a summary of what we can and cannot do at this time.

I’m feeling very grateful that:

  • My family, friends, and clients are staying healthy so far.
  • We can safely exercise on Cape Cod beaches and in Nickerson State Park while following CDC guidelines.
  • There are dedicated medical personnel and other workers on the front lines making sacrifices for all of us!  Thank you!

Feel free to call or email with questions.

Above all, be well!

Sincerely,
Amy

Please see my Facebook for Cape Cod beach videos if you need a quick dose of Cape Cod!

Search Listings at AmyHarbeck.com

 


Posted on March 29, 2020 at 4:03 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

This is NOT like the last time!

5 Simple Graphs
Proving this is NOT Like the Last Time
With all of the volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some are concerned we may be headed for another housing crash like the one we experienced from 2006-2008. The feeling is understandable. Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview:
“With people having PTSD from the last time, they’re still afraid of buying at the wrong time.”
There are many reasons, however, indicating this real estate market is nothing like 2008. Here are five visuals to show the dramatic differences.
1. Mortgage standards are nothing like they were back then.
During the housing bubble, it was difficult NOT to get a mortgage. Today, it is tough to qualify. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association releases a Mortgage Credit Availability Index which is “a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.” The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage. As shown below, during the housing bubble, the index skyrocketed. Currently, the index shows how getting a mortgage is even more difficult than it was before the bubble.
2. Prices are not soaring out of control.
Below is a graph showing annual house appreciation over the past six years, compared to the six years leading up to the height of the housing bubble. Though price appreciation has been quite strong recently, it is nowhere near the rise in prices that preceded the crash.There’s a stark difference between these two periods of time. Normal appreciation is 3.6%, so while current appreciation is higher than the historic norm, it’s certainly not accelerating beyond control as it did in the early 2000s.
3. We don’t have a surplus of homes on the market. We have a shortage.
The months’ supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued appreciation. As the next graph shows, there were too many homes for sale in 2007, and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory which is causing an acceleration in home values.
4. Houses became too expensive to buy
The affordability formula has three components: the price of the home, the wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time. Fourteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%. Today, prices are still high. Wages, however, have increased and the mortgage rate is about 3.5%. That means the average family pays less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than they did back then. Here’s a graph showing that difference:
5. People are equity rich, not tapped out.
In the run-up to the housing bubble, homeowners were using their homes as a personal ATM machine. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up, and they learned their lesson in the process. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over fifty percent of homes in the country having greater than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like the last time. Here is a table comparing the equity withdrawal over the last three years compared to 2005, 2006, and 2007. Homeowners have cashed out over $500 billion dollars less than before:During the crash, home values began to fall, and sellers found themselves in a negative equity situation (where the amount of the mortgage they owned was greater than the value of their home). Some decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a rash of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at huge discounts, thus lowering the value of other homes in the area. That can’t happen today.
The Bottom Line
If you’re concerned we’re making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, take a look at the charts and graphs and graphs above to help alleviate your fears.

Posted on March 22, 2020 at 11:40 am
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

Call your lender!

Mortgage rates are crazy low right now! If you haven’t checked with your lender lately about how much house you can afford, time to rework the numbers!  Some buyers have been pleasantly surprised and open houses on the Cape were busy this past weekend! However, sellers may prefer to just do individual showings starting this weekend.  Please call to set up a property tour.

Listings are entering the spring market now too, making this a great time to buy real estate!

Time to update your pre-qual letter and jump start your house hunt!  I’m available and happy to set up a tour for you. Call or write anytime. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely, 
Amy Harbeck

Is now a good time to get a mortgage?

Lenders say yes! Click to read more.


Posted on March 16, 2020 at 11:14 am
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

Be Kind

I had to share this email I received from Ken Estridge this morning. Ken Estridge is a Certified Executive Coach & Business Growth Expert, Author & Speaker out of Boston, MA. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Click here to visit Ken’s blog for more inspiring content!

gazelles-coach-scaling-up-ken-estridge-executive-coach

Kindness Never Goes Out of Style

“In these days of too much to do with work pressures and family pressures, there are many ways to tune out with phones, computers, alcohol or drugs.

The world often seems to be a dark place with more conflict at home and abroad than I can remember. In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to remember what it means to just Be Human, have an open heart and most of all, Be Kind.

When I was young, my Dad used to tell me to do at least one good deed a day. That deed could be small or big. The important thing was to look for a way to add positive energy to the world, be kind and make a difference. The most magical moments often start with a smile. I have never forgotten his words and still hear his voice in my head around this teaching every day.

During this season of holiday celebration, my gift to you is to remember the best gifts are human connection, being present and really seeing and hearing the people around you. This holiday season light up the world with your smile. And, most of all, BE KIND. “

By Ken Estridge


Posted on December 17, 2019 at 12:09 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

2019 Cape Cod Farmers’ Markets

Time to buy at local Cape Cod Farmers’ Markets!

Find their schedules, websites/social media, and special events here courtesy of Amy Harbeck!

Sundays

Brewster Historical Society Farmers’ Market

Sundays 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

51 Drummer Boy Road  Windmill Village at Drummer Boy Park

June 23rd – September 8th (No market on September 1st)

Harvest Market Sunday

October 13th 10 am – 2 pm

https://www.facebook.com/BrewsterHistoricalSocietyFarmersMarket/

https://www.brewsterhistoricalsociety.org/farmers-market/

Mondays

Truro Farmers’ Market

Mondays 8 am – 12 noon

20 Truro Center Road

June 3rd – August 26th

https://www.sustainablecape.org/programs/truro-farmers-market/

@trurofarmersmarketcapecod

Tuesdays

Sandwich Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays 9 am – 1 pm

164 Route 6A on the Village Green

June 18th – October 8th

https://www.facebook.com/SandwichFarmersMarket/

www.SandwichFarmersMarket.com

@sandwich_farmers_market

 

Chatham Farmers’ Market

Tuesdays 3 pm – 6 pm

1652 Main Street

https://www.facebook.com/chathamfarmersmarketcapecod/

Wednesdays

Wellfleet Farmers’ Market

Wednesdays 8 am – 12 noon

200 Main Street

Pre-Thanksgiving Harvest Market

Preservation Hall, 335 Main Street
Sunday, November 24th

http://www.wellfleetfarmersmarket.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WellfleetFarmersMarket/

@wellfleetfarmersmarket

Thursdays

Bass River Farmers’ Market in South Yarmouth

Thursdays & Saturdays 9 am – 1:30 pm

311 Old Main Street

June 13th – September 5th

https://www.facebook.com/BassRiverFarmersMarket/

www.bassriverfarmersmarket.org

@bassriverfarmersmarket

 

Harwich Farmers’ Market at Brook’s Academy

Thursdays 3 pm – 6 pm

80 Parallel Street

Mid June – Mid October

https://www.facebook.com/harwichfarmersmarket/

www.harwichfarmersmarket.org

 

Falmouth Farmers’ Market

Thursdays 3 pm – 6 pm

180 Scranton Avenue    Marina Park, Falmouth Harbor

Mid June – Mid October

https://www.facebook.com/FalmouthFarmersMarket/

www.falmouthfarmersmarket.org

@falmouthfarmersmarket

 

Fridays

Osterville Historical Museum

Fridays 9 am – 1 pm

155 West Bay Road  at the corner of Parker and West Bay Road

June 21st – September 13th

https://www.facebook.com/OstervilleFarmersMarket/

http://www.ostervillefarmersmarket.org/

 

Hyannis at Cape Cod Beer

Farmers Market Meets Happy Hour

Fridays 3 pm – 6 pm

1336 Phinney’s Lane

May 24th – September 13th

https://www.facebook.com/CapeCodBeer/

www.capecodbeer.com

@capecodbeer

 

 

Saturdays

Bass River Farmers’ Market in South Yarmouth

Thursdays & Saturdays 9 am – 1:30 pm

311 Old Main Street

June 13th – September 5th

https://www.facebook.com/BassRiverFarmersMarket/

www.bassriverfarmersmarket.org

@bassriverfarmersmarket

Orleans Winter Farmers’ Market – In-Door

Saturdays 9 am – 12 noon

70 Route 28 at Nauset Regional Middle School Cafeteria

December – April 27th

Orleans Summer Farmers’ Market – Out-Door

Saturdays 8 am – 12 noon

21 Old Colony Way

May 11th – August 31st

Saturdays 9 am – 12 noon

September 7th – November 23rd

https://www.facebook.com/OrleansFarmersMarket/

http://www.orleansfarmersmarket.com/

@orleansfarmersmarket


Posted on May 11, 2019 at 8:52 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog, Cape Cod |

It’s Cape Cod Baseball Season!

PSA Brewster Whitecaps & Stony Brook Elementary from Lower Cape TV on Vimeo

2019 Cape Cod Baseball League Season begins June 10th!

One of my favorite summertime activities is going to see a Cape Cod Baseball League game!


Posted on April 15, 2019 at 3:06 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

Kinlin Grover Real Estate Awards Night at Chatham Bars Inn!!

Always fun to celebrate our 2018 accomplishments with colleagues & friends! Kinlin Grover remains #1, selling more real estate than any other company on the Cape!
 
My personal awards included “Diamond Elite” for customer service plus these production rankings:
#2 KG agent for number of transactions
#3 KG agent for number of properties listed
#8 KG agent for $ volume
Among the 2,254 members of the Cape & Islands Association of RealtorsⓇ, my ranking for transactions in 2018 was #14.
 
Thanks to my loyal clients, 2019 is off to a great start as well!

Posted on March 20, 2019 at 9:22 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

Housing Options for Seniors

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The Cape and Island’s NPR station (WCAI) addressed an important issue this morning!

“As we grow older, our housing needs change. There could be a need to downsize, eliminate stairs, or enter assisted living. Others might want to age in place or reduce their housing costs. They discuss different housing options, plus new zoning bylaws that might allow for accessory apartments that could create housing or rental options for seniors. Guests on the program are: Hadley Luddy, Executive Director of the Homeless Prevention Council; and Holly Bellebuono, CH, MPA, Executive Coordinator for Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard.”

Listen to the full report here on the WCAI website

 

 


Posted on March 6, 2019 at 8:57 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |

Cape Cod named in the Top 10!

Barnstable Town

Cape Cod Ranked the 8th Fastest Growing Retirement Area!

The Cape has been a favorite retirement destination for years and the number of retirees is growing. What I find remarkable is the number of those retirees who are have had remarkable careers elsewhere and then bring their dynamism to enrich our Cape communities in so many ways! Their ideas and energy are the key to keeping this special island green, interesting, and welcoming!

“The white sandy beaches of Cape Cod (part of the Barnstable Town metro) have long been prized vacation refuges for New Yorkers and Bostonians looking for a getaway. But in recent years, there’s been an influx of retirees moving in—or, perhaps more accurately, back. Many of these folks spent their working careers vacationing here and now want to live out their golden years here full-time.

“[That familiarity] makes it easier to sell that big house in the suburbs and buy a smaller home in a beach destination like Cape Cod,” says Chuck Tuttle, a broker associate at Kinlin Grover Real Estate.

Barnstable Town tends to attract more affluent retirees who buy summer homes and then head to Florida for the winter. In recent years, when stocks hit record highs, more of these folks cashed in and bought second homes here. Indeed, 40% of all homes here are secondary residences.”

Click here to read more about the fastest growing retirement towns according to realtor.com!

 

 

 

 


Posted on March 6, 2019 at 8:41 pm
Amy Harbeck | Posted in Amy Harbeck's Blog |