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.