Tag Archives: #capecodandplymouthrealestate

Is Multi-Generational Living an Option?

Whether it’s for financial or health-related circumstances, or simply because you’ve reached a new phase in your life, you might be wondering if living with multiple generations under the same roof is the right move. Many have have found themselves in similar situations and have found that living in a multigenerational home is a good idea.

What Is a Multigenerational Home?

The Pew Research Center defines a multigenerational household as a home with two or more adult generations. They include households with grandparents and grandchildren under the age of 25. As you weigh your options and decide if multigenerational living is right for you, here’s some helpful information including testimony from homeowners living with additional loved ones.

The Benefits of Multigenerational Living

A recent report from Generations United surveyed individuals living in a multigenerational setting and asked them about the key benefits of this arrangement. It says: “Nearly all Americans who live in multigenerational households (98%) feel their household functions successfully citing various aspects of home design, family relationships and interactions, and supports and services influencing their success.”

The study identifies some of the top benefits of this lifestyle including an improved financial situation, better mental and physical health, and strengthened bonds with loved ones.

Millions of Americans Have Discovered the Benefits of Multigenerational Households | MyKCM

Those are just some of the reasons why most people who decide to live in this situation find it worthwhile. As Donna Butts, Executive Director at Generations United, says: “Families may come together from need, but they are staying together by choice.”

With More Adults Living Under One Roof, You May Need More Space

If you decide to look for a multigenerational home, it’s important to understand what everyone will need to make the arrangement work to its fullest. Something that often makes the top of the list is additional space for privacy. This could mean more bedrooms and bathrooms or features like an in-law suite or a basement.

If you’re still living in a house with several bedrooms where you raised your family, but now only use just a few rooms, your property may be of interest to someone looking for a multi-generation setting. Marketing your home and taking advantage of the equity you have in your house could help you finance your next move to a smaller home or a condo.

Curious about multigenerational living and your options as either a buyer or seller? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Mari and Hank

Does the Weather Have You Thinking About Making a Change?

We’re more aware than ever of the effects weather, climate change and natural disasters can have on where we live. According to a report from realtor.com, more than 3 in 4 recent buyers took climate into account when deciding where to locate.

The study also found that many existing homeowners (34%) have already considered selling their houses and moving to a new location, because of the climate.

Many of us remember when we bought our homes on Cape Cod and were told we could play golf all year round, because it just didn’t snow that much.

If you’re a “snowbird,” are you spending more time at your other home, because the weather there seems to be better longer?

Or has our weather made you decide that it’s finally time to upsize, downsize or make that “someday” move whether on Cape or elsewhere?

Here’s some information to keep in mind if you’re thinking about marketing your Cape Cod home because of weather concerns.

Do Your Research

As a homeowner, it’s impossible to completely control what types of weather events your house is exposed to. Every area has its unique climate challenges.

So, the first step is understanding how to navigate your decision making process with your specific concerns in mind. For example, are you tired of the snow, but not crazy about high humidity and temperatures? Is easy transportation to family important? Is it time for a condo or do you still want a house with a yard? While getting the answers to these questions — and a multitude of others — can seem like a difficult undertaking, with the appropriate resources and experts on your side, you can simplify the process.

The Mortgage Reports provides some tips for making your next move, including, but not limited to: 1) Vet the location. 2) Research Climate Action Plans and learn if the community you’re interested in has one. 3) Work with professionals for additional assessments on a home’s ability to withstand the local weather. Maybe you’re moving away from the snow, but locating to an area that is prone to hurricanes.

Ultimately, your best resource throughout the process is a local real estate professional, who understands the area and has access to the experts, who can answer your questions.

And have no fear, there are plenty of buyers for your Cape Cod home. Most likely, many. With the record low number of houses available for sale right now, your property — if priced right — will attract interest and you’ll receive a good return on your investment that will help finance your next move.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions. Because of our involvement with the Tom Ferry organization, we can also assist you in finding a top notch real estate professional in the area you’re interested in.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

…and for now, enjoy the snow!

Mari and Hank

Time to Sell Your Vacation Home?

As summer comes to a close, is it time to think about selling your vacation home?

Based on recent data and expert opinions, it’s something you may want to consider. According to research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), vacation home sales are up 57.2% year-over-year.

If you’ve taken your last vacation this summer, here are reasons you should consider selling your vacation home this year.

1. Remote work continues to drive demand for vacation homes.

As the report from NAR says, based on continuously evolving work needs, there could be more interest in your second home than you think: “In 2020, the fraction of the laborforce that works from home is typically higher in vacation home counties than in non-vacation home counties…The opportunity work from home could further raise the demand for vacation home in future years.”

Barnstable County/Cape Cod is certainly a vacation home county. Median prices for single family homes across Cape are up more than 30% YTD. But, for those communities that we would consider more vacation-y, prices are up in Dennis (32.3%), Brewster (31.3%) and Wellfleet (34.9%), for example.

Recent data shows we’ll likely see a sustained increase in the rate of remote work over the next five years. That means your vacation home could be highly sought after by certain buyers. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, puts it best: “With many businesses and employers still extending an option to work remotely… vacation housing and second homes will remain a popular choice.”

With the virus not yet under control. many businesses have changed plans and delayed return to work schedules or made at home options permanent. This gives employees the freedom to consider other opportunities like vacation homes.

2. Selling could allow you to upgrade your vacation spot – or even your day-to-day scenery.

When demand is high, so is buyer competition. When competition is strong, buyers will do everything they can to make their offer on your vacation home as appealing as possible. This can include things like all-cash offers and concessions in terms of time you need to move, etc.. If you sell now, you’ll be able to benefit from high buyer competition and pick the offer with the best possible terms for you. That offer could give you the opportunity to purchase the home of your dreams.

Or, if you find that you’ll continue working from home, you could consider taking up permanent residence in your vacation property and selling your primary residence. While this isn’t a choice everyone can consider, it could be a great option.

Buyers remain interested in vacation homes this year for a number of reasons. Now that summer is winding down, it’s time to think about taking advantage of today’s demand for vacation homes. Interested in reviewing your options? Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to help.

Talk soon…

Mari and Hank

Home Values To Keep Rising

As we enter the final months of 2020 and work through the challenges the year has brought, many remain surprised by increasing home values. As we reported in last week’s blog, the median sales price for a single family home on Cape Cod set an all time record in September.

But it is certainly legitimate to wonder whether the continuing virus crisis and possible economic fallout could impact home prices in the months ahead.

Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand give us the clearest idea of what we can expect.

Due to the undersupply of homes on the market, there’s upward pressure on prices. Consider simple economics: when there is high demand for an item and a low supply, consumers are willing to pay more. That’s what’s happening today. The housing supply shortage is also resulting in bidding wars, which drive price points higher.

Home Values Projected to Keep Rising | MyKCM

There’s no evidence that buyer demand is going to wane. As a result, experts predict that price appreciation will continue over the next 12 months.

Here on Cape, open houses are busy and multiple offer situations not uncommon. Homes that are priced right and marketed correctly move quickly.

At the start of 2020, no one would have looked at a home that was appropriately priced and on the market for a few weeks and wonder “what’s wrong with it?” Those comments were reserved for houses that had been for sale for a few months. That question is now being asked about properties that have been on the market for as little as a few days!

Maybe selling your home in 2020 wasn’t part of your plan. Maybe you held back on making your move this year, because of concerns about the virus and the economy.

We can only tell you that the opportunity exists right now for you to realize a solid return on your real estate investment. Concerned about where you will find next home? Low inventory doesn’t mean no inventory. Your choices are just fewer than they would have been in the past. New construction is also an option as builders are responding to the continuing demand.

Curious about your options? Helping our clients make the best decisions has been our full time jobs as realtors for 21 years. It’s not a part time hobby. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We hope to be speaking with you soon…

Like to cook?

Or do you just like to see what others are having for dinner?

Back in the spring, Mari started a Facebook group, Cape Cod Dining at Home (and anywhere else.) She hoped it would be an opportunity for people to share their creativity during the early days of the virus shut down. She also wanted to promote local restaurants that were providing take out.

Since its start a few months ago, the page has grown to nearly 3,000 members from across the country. There are competitions that are often sponsored by local restaurants. Home chefs share photos of their dishes and recipes.

We’ve heard many times that members appreciate the group because it’s fun; they enjoy seeing and making different foods, and it’s a welcome respite from the crazy world we live in.

If you haven’t, please consider joining. This week’s competition has a Halloween theme. Details are on the group page.

Closing days of Election 2020

Please remember to vote. There are many ways to cast your ballot this year. Last week’s blog also contains links to an interview Hank did with our Town Clerk about your options in Massachusetts. If you have specific questions, please contact your local election officials.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

It’s Been Hot on Cape Cod

We’ve had a great summer here on Cape Cod. The weather has been hot. And as crazy as it may sound, so has the real estate market.

In the latest segment of A Moment with Mari — one of our programs that is distributed across our various social media platforms and archived on YouTube — Mari reviews the latest stats and discusses the opportunities that are available right now for buyers and sellers.

Please watch here. Then, let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss your options as a seller and/or buyer. Thanks.

We both enjoy what we do, so it’s good to hear that our efforts are appreciated. We just received this Five Star Zillow review from one of our recent clients:

“Mari and Hank are top notch and get the job done! They not only found us the perfect home, but sold our previous home in just a few days! They worked very hand on both ends to get the job done and made the process easy. Highly recommended. Thanks again!” – Peter Bracken, Sandwich, MA.

Thanks, Peter, for the kind words. We hope you’ll enjoy your new home for many years!

As we head into the waning days of summer, here’s a check list of home maintenance tasks that you should be considering in anticipation of the fall and winter months. (Courtesy of our colleagues at Residential Mortgage Services.)

  • Clean your garbage disposal.
  • Inspect your roof for soft spots or damaged shingles.
  • Schedule a service call for your furnace.
  • Trim back any trees, bushes or plants that are close to your house, deck or windows.

There are many more important tasks to get your home ready for the change in seasons. For a complete list, please click here.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

How Important Are Local Schools?

As realtors, we expect families moving to a new community to ask about the quality of the school district.

But, with the on going virus crisis and remote learning a definite option in many places, how important is the quality of the local school district in deciding where a family will live?

According to a new article in HousingWire — an online real estate industry publication – more buyers with kids are seeking homes with bigger spaces, without counting the value of the school district their children may attend.

In the middle of spring, COVID-19 caused schools across the country to shut down and go virtual. In a shift that feels similar to the way many people are reconsidering how close they need to be to their physical workplace, many parents are questioning how close kids need to live to their school, if classes are going to be some version of online for the foreseeable future.

Hudson Santana, founder of Santana Properties in Cambridge, is quoted in the article as saying that his clients have been gravitating to suburbs with yards and more space, not generally thinking about the quality of schools or district zoning.

“We’ve seen lots of people move to suburbs and giving up Cambridge in order to go to a place where they have a big yard, where they have a home office and be able to compromise more with the school,” Santana said.

In Massachusetts the public schools are generally really good, he said. “But we’re definitely seeing a huge trend of buyers moving and really focusing on space, [whereas] before they were really focused on school district.”

This is line with our recent experiences with buyers, who have school age children. More often than not, we talk about the nearby location of schools as a positive point of the properties we are showing.

Just yesterday Hank did a virtual showing of one of our listings for a family in Indiana. They asked many questions, but none were about schools.

Still not convinced that buyer interest is strong?

2020 Homebuyer Preferences [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The study shows the current health crisis isn’t slowing down today’s homebuyers.
  • Many buyers are accelerating their timelines to take advantage of low mortgage rates, and staying home has enabled some to save more money to put toward a down payment.

Maybe now is the time for you to take advantage of high buyer interest. Please visit our website to receive a free valuation of your home.

Then let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com and we can review your options. With the equity many of us have in our homes, this could be the perfect time to move to your “someday” neighborhood. Thanks…

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Is the Urban Exodus Continuing?

Will We See a Surge of Homebuyers Moving to the Suburbs? | MyKCM

The Boston Globe reported last week that many businesses are now telling employees that they won’t be returning to their offices until after January 1.

As remote work continues and many weigh the risks of living in densely populated areas, will the initial trend of urban dwellers looking for more open spaces like Cape Cod continue?

The answer appears to be “yes.”

According to recent data from Zillow, there is a current surge in urban high-end listings in some larger metro areas. The month-over-month increase in these homes going on the market indicates more urban homeowners may be ready to make a move out of the city, particularly at the upper end of the market 

Why are people starting to move out of larger cities?

A July survey from HomeLight lists the top reasons why people are moving today:

  1. More interior space
  2. Desire to own
  3. Move from city to suburbs
  4. More outdoor space

More space, proximity to fewer people, and a desire to own at a more affordable price point describes Cape Cod.

This may be a prime time for you to realize a solid return on your investment in your home. If you’d like to discuss your options, please connect with us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We can meet at a safe distance or via technology.

With businesses discovering new and innovative ways to function remotely, as well as cut operating expenses, this shift has the potential to stick. The smart investor won’t miss out on the opportunity.


Mari’s Facebook group, Cape Cod Dining at Home (and anywhere else), has caught the attention of industry consultant Beth Incorvarti. In a recent newsletter she wrote:

Mari Sennott started the Cape Cod Dining at Home Facebook group and now has almost 2600 members! There’s real engagement, real value, and a real sense of community here. Give the people what they want – and they want FOOD! Mari is building a huge following and this is certain to be reflected in her business. Bravo!”

With members from across the country, participants share pictures of their culinary creations and recipes. A weekly contest determines the cover photo for the group page. There are also frequent competitions sponsored and judged by Cape Cod restaurants for specific types of cooking — BBQ, Italian, summertime drink, etc.

Winners receive a gift certificate to the establishment that’s sponsoring that week and the possibility that their recipe will be featured on the menu. (Out of state winners receive a gift card to be used at the restaurant of their choice.)

We’re also planning on producing a cookbook to be available in time for the holidays. Proceeds will benefit local non-profits.

Please consider joining. It’s fun and a great way to learn about new culinary creations. Thanks.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Homes Haven’t Been This Affordable in Years

Everyone is ready to buy a home at different times in their lives. Despite the virus crisis, these days are no exception. Understanding how affordability works and the key market factors that impact it may help those of you who are ready to buy a home take advantage of today’s prime opportunity.

These are three main factors that go into determining how homes are affordable:

  1. Mortgage Rates
  2. Mortgage Payments as a Percentage of Income
  3. Home Prices

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index, which takes these factors into account and determines an overall affordability score for housing.

The higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Below is a graph of the index going back to 1990. The green bar represents today’s affordability. You can see that homes are more affordable now than they have been at any point since the housing crash, when distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) dominated the market. Those properties were sold at large discounts never seen before in the housing market.

Taking Advantage of Homebuying Affordability in Today’s Market | MyKCM

Although there are three factors that drive the overall equation, the one that’s playing the largest part in today’s home buying affordability is historically low mortgage rates. It is more affordable to buy a home today than at any time in the last seven years.

If you’re considering purchasing your first home or moving up to the one you’ve always hoped for, it’s important to understand how affordability plays into the overall cost of your home. With that in mind, buying while mortgage rates are as low as they are may save you quite a bit of money over the life of your home loan.

Let’s connect to discuss your options. We can do so at a safe distance or via technology. You can reach us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

As regular readers of this bog know, we donate $200.00 from each closing to a non-profit suggested by one of our clients.

With last week’s closing, we are happy to make a donation to the Matthew 25 Fund at Christ the King Parish in Mashpee. The fund supports the parish’s food pantry.

That brings our total donations to $3,000.00 for the year. (With more to come…)

We also support the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, FL. Home to Winter and Hope of “Dolphin Tale” movie fame, it’s a favorite of our granddaughter. We had plans to take her there this year, but the trip has fallen prey to the virus crisis.

If there’s a non-profit that’s near and dear to your heart that you’d like us to add to our donation list, please contact Hank at hsennott@todayrealestate.com. Thanks…

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate | MyKCM

Earlier this month, realtor.com released their initial Housing Recovery Index, a weekly guide showing how the pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. The index leverages a weighted average of four key components of the housing industry, tracking each of the following:

  1. Housing Demand – Growth in online search activity
  2. Home Price – Growth in asking prices
  3. Housing Supply – Growth of new listings
  4. Pace of Sales – Difference in time-on-market

The index then compares the current status “to the last week of January 2020 market trend, as a baseline for pre-COVID market growth. The overall index is set to 100 in this baseline period. The higher a market’s index value, the higher its recovery and vice versa.”

New Index Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate | MyKCM

This graph charts the index by showing how the real estate market started out strong in early 2020, and then dropped dramatically at the beginning of March when the pandemic paused the economy. It also shows the strength of the recovery since the beginning of May. It’s clear to see that the housing market is showing promising signs of recovery. As noted by Dean Mon, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): “as the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward.

We can report that interest in Cape Cod properties remains strong. The median sales price for a single family home continues to inch up. Properties that are priced right and marketed effectively can be the subject of bidding wars as inventory is lower than what it was a year ago.

However, buyers should not be discouraged as low inventory does not mean no inventory. Mortgage interest rates make buying a home an attractive investment as the economy emerges from the virus crisis. Homeowners, who have been thinking about selling, are in a strong position to market their homes and upsize, downsize, or move to that “someday” neighborhood, because of the substantial equity many have in their properties.

As always, we are happy to meet with buyers or sellers to review options. We have several stories to share of successful transactions during the last few months. In one instance, we worked with a military couple being transferred to the Cape, who purchased their home virtually and did not physically see their new house until they arrived a few days before the closing! (Details to come…)

Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss how we can help.

This Saturday will be a Fourth of July unlike any other that we’ve experienced.

Back in the day, we would venture to Boston for the Pops Concert and fireworks extravaganza that followed.

More recently we’ve been enjoying the fireworks in Falmouth with former clients, who are now good friends. Along with many others, we also would bring our lawn chairs to Holly Ridge Golf Club in Sandwich to view the fireworks display from the Ridge Club.

But, there’s none of that this year. So, however you celebrate this important holiday, please do so safely so that next year we can enjoy all those traditions that make the Fourth of July so special.

Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank

Buyers Shopping Outside Urban Areas

Over the last several weeks, we’ve been sharing with you reports that in the wake of the virus crisis buyers are looking to move to more open spaces. Here’s more evidence of this apparent shift in buyer behavior.

According to the industry newsletter HousingWire, new data released last week by realtor.com showed that listing views in suburban ZIP codes grew 13% in May, nearly doubling the pace of growth in urban areas.

“After several months of shelter-in-place orders, the desire to have more space and the potential for more people to work remotely are…contributing to the popularity of the ‘burbs,” explained Javier Vivas, director of research for realtor.com.

“Suburban interest in May outpaced last year’s July peak, which could indicate even stronger interest in the suburbs as the summer home-buying season continues to heat up,” he added.

This is good news for Cape Cod homeowners, who have been thinking about selling their property. With inventory still below last year’s levels, competition should be strong for well priced and effectively marketed homes.

If you’re undecided as to whether this is the right time for you to jump into the current market and upsize, downsize or move to that “someday” neighborhood, we’d be happy to assist you in reviewing your options. We can meet virtually or at a safe distance. Let’s connect at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

Industry standards have changed regarding Open Houses. This graphic lists some of the new procedures that are being adopted across the country in consultation with sellers.

At Today Real Estate, we’ve been working in pairs during an Open House.

One person stays outside collecting information for contact tracing and sharing details about the property, while the other is stationed inside conducting tours and insuring that appropriate protocols are followed. Only one buyer and/or family is allowed in the house at a time to further insure everyone’s safety.

Masks are required at all times. Booties and other precautions are at the discretion of the homeowner.

Just a reminder that if you’re thinking about selling or buying, our summertime guides are now available. Please visit our secondary website and click on the option for either guide in the banner. (Or maybe both??). They’re delivered via email. If you have any questions after reviewing a guide, please don’t hesitate to contact us. (508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com)


Stay healthy. Stay optimistic.

Mari and Hank