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What To Know Before Moving To Cape Cod

Cape Cod is an excellent place to live. Whether you’re looking to retire here or simply want a change of scenery, there are some important things to know before you move to Cape Cod:

1. There Are Several Towns On The Cape

The Cape has fifteen townships which include Mashpee, Barnstable, Falmouth, Bourne, Sandwich, Harwich, Brewster, Wellfleet, Truro, Eastham, Dennis, Yarmouth, Orleans, and Provincetown. Barnstable, the largest municipality, has a population of just over 45,000 people and serves as the Cape’s transportation and business hub.

2. Commuting to a Major City

If you’re considering living on the Cape and commuting into a larger metro area for work, you’ll want to choose your new hometown carefully. The commute time from the Cape to metropolitans varies depending upon where on the Cape you’re located. It will take you around 1 hour to get from Sandwich, Massachusetts (located at the beginning of the Cape) to Boston. From Provincetown, located on the tip of the Cape, the commute is more than two hours. Thankfully, it won’t take you as long to get to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Plymouth is only a 20-minute drive from Sandwich, Massachusetts. It takes an hour to an hour and a half to commute from Sandwich, Massachusetts to the major cities of Rhode Island.

3. The Climate Of Cape Cod

Since Cape Cod is located on the coast, the winters are milder than in many other parts of the northeast. Often this area sees rainfall instead of snow. Also, summers are somewhat cooler than in central locations. During some years, hurricanes and tropical storms affect the region. These storms pose a grave concern if you live along the coastline. The most recent of the worst Cape Cod hurricanes was Hurricane Bob back in August 1991 which forced an evacuation of the entire Cape and some residents without power for almost two months.

4. Things To Do Here

There are lots of things that you can do on Cape Cod. Since there are numerous beaches in the region, there are many places to swim. The scenery on the beaches is quite stunning. In some parts, there are sand dunes and lighthouses. An especially scenic area is the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Cape is also ideal for boating and sailing enthusiasts. While sailing is possible on the east and south side of the cape, the bay often tends to feature calmer conditions than the east and south side of the cape. There also are organized tours of Cape Cod Bay. For those who like spending time on land, numerous outdoor activities don’t involve the ocean. Nickerson State Park is a bit inland and features forested area with rolling hills. Plus, Cape Cod is a great place to go running or biking.

As far as the Cape’s food scene, the area boasts many great restaurants including the Ocean House and Jimmy’s Hideaway, in addition to cheaper eats like The Knack and Far Land Provisions. Since the Cape was settled in the 1600s, there are numerous historic sites to explore. Some examples of these sites are the Cape’s historic lighthouses, mansions, and museums featuring artifacts from times past. Furthermore, many towns and cities on the cape have an active art scene, especially Provincetown.

5. Moving to Cape Cod

If you’ve decided life on the Cape is for you, we’d be thrilled to help you find the perfect place to call home. Our agents specialize in Cape Cod real estate, with offices conveniently located in Provincetown, Orleans, Chatham, Barnstable, and Falmouth. We are a full-service real estate firm, so we can help you find somewhere great to live, whether you want to start with a rental or jump straight into buying a house. When it’s time to move, be sure to consult our page for local moving company recommendations.

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5 Most Popular Destination Towns in Cape Cod

Cape Cod is one of the most popular Northeast vacation destinations during the summer and fall months. Visitors to Cape Cod can enjoy the beautiful weather, sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, and seafood brought in daily to the many area restaurants. Most people divide the Cape into three sections, the upper Cape, the mid-Cape, and the lower Cape. Many small towns and villages dot the Cape Cod landscape. The following are 5 of the most popular destination towns on Cape Cod.

1. Provincetown

This town, found at the northern tip of Cape Cod, is one of the most popular for those looking for some excitement on the Cape. The town has many shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Commercial Street, a favorite destination for visitors, has everything from sidewalk vendors to museums and galleries. From Provincetown, you can take a whale watch cruise or take a tour of the dunes. There is also a monument dedicated to the Mayflower Pilgrims which is the tallest granite structure in the United States.

The breakwater in Provincetown stretches a mile-long, offering protection to the inner harbor.
The breakwater in Provincetown stretches a mile-long, offering protection to the inner harbor.

2. Sandwich

This beautiful seaside village along Old Kings Highway is what most people picture when they think of historic Cape Cod. Sandwich has tree-lined streets, colonial architecture, and minimal commercialism. When you step into Sandwich, you can visualize what it may have been like to live in the area during Colonial times. Sandwich is Cape Cod’s oldest town and is has fantastic views of Cape Cod Bay. The village is also home to many quaint dining options, including some with seafood caught the same day.

3. Yarmouth

This beautiful village has everything that a Cape Cod town should have. There are homes from the Colonial Era, antique shops, and the southern part of the village has access to Nantucket Sound. Visitors can see the Bass Hole Boardwalk, which stretches hundreds of feet over the salt marshes to Cape Cod Bay. Nature lovers will appreciate the birds and wildlife seen from the boardwalk. Those who enjoy eating blue crab will be pleased to know that Crab Creek, found at the town border, is a top crabbing spot on the Cape.

4. Hyannis

This lovely town has a Main Street that is reminiscent of bygone days. The John F. Kennedy Museum is a popular attraction in Hyannis. The Town Green is a beautiful place for a picnic, and they have live music in the evening during the summer months. Visitors can walk down to Hyannis Harbor where you can take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.

For seafood lovers, Cape Cod offers abundant opportunities for clamming and crabbing.
For seafood lovers, Cape Cod offers abundant opportunities for clamming and crabbing.

5. Falmouth

This town, located between Buzzard’s Bay and the Vineyard Sound, the ideal vacation spot for nearly anyone with its eight different villages. Each community is unique and caters to different interests. You can spend time biking or walk by the water on the 10.9 mile Shining Sea Bikeway. The Nobska Point Lighthouse, originally built in 1829, can be viewed from the outside. If you’re in Falmouth, be sure to see Historical Falmouth Village which has many shops, restaurants, and historical interests.

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What to Know Before Buying a Vacation Home

Buying a vacation home can be an excellent personal choice and long-term investment. While there are plenty of advantages that come with the purchase of a vacation home, there are some risks that people need to be aware of as well. To ensure you make the best decision possible when buying a vacation home, you must know several things before choosing a home and closing on the sale.

Costs of Management and Ownership

The first thing to know when you are going to buy a vacation home is what the costs will be to manage it and protect it. Thieves and vandals often target vacation properties since they are often vacant. Because of this, most owners will buy additional security systems and hire management companies to look after the property when it is not in use. Be sure to study what the costs of this will be to ensure the purchase still fits within your budget.

Purchasing a ski place in Tahoe when you live in Florida, may not be the most practical choice. You'll probably get more use out of a vacation home if you buy one within driving distance.
Purchasing a ski place in Tahoe when you live in Florida, may not be the most practical choice. You’ll probably get more use out of a vacation home if you buy one within driving distance.

Accessibility and Likeliness of Use

While a vacation home can seem like an excellent idea, many people end up regretting the purchases if the home is not too accessible. Ideally, you should find a property located within a reasonable drive of your home. If you must fly to the property, it is much less likely you will use it regularly due to the higher costs and time requirements to get there. Furthermore, if there is an emergency at the property, being close by will prove to be advantageous.

Ability to Rent

One of the main advantages and reasons that people will buy a vacation home is to also use it as an income property. In many situations, a person that buys a vacation home will be able to rent it out throughout the year to the point where they can offset their ownership costs. While renting out a vacation home can be a great option, there are often rules and regulations that can prevent someone from being able to do this. To ensure that you can rent the home out if you want, it would be a good idea to check with all city, county, and association rules and regulations to ensure that there are not any restrictions on rentals.

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Talk with other property owners or local real estate agents to determine how many weeks you can expect the property to rent out every year.

Mortgage Options

When you are looking to buy a vacation property, you also must understand what the mortgage options are. While mortgage rates today are very low, and there are a lot of attractive mortgage options available, most of those options are only available for primary residences. If you are looking to purchase a vacation home, you will likely have to pay a premium on the interest rate and will probably have to have a down payment of 25% or more.