July 4th Week
Over 4th of July this year, there are two opportunities for vacationers since the holiday falls on a Wednesday: a long weekend beginning Friday June 29th or a long weekend beginning Tues July 3rd. Either way, the calendar translates to a promising real estate week ahead for both sellers and buyers.
On the sales end, customers have been methodical in their search, in many cases planning around the weather forecast and family holiday celebrations which include graduations, Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days. As was the case in 2017, spring this year has been rainy and on the chilly side, not conducive to a happy day of real estate tours for some customers, especially those with young children. In 2016, the first sunny and warm weekend occurred over July 4th.
This season, many determined buyers who braved the inclement weather and trudged through rain and mud, found the home they were searching for; Recently, at the final walk through before a closing, the first-time home buyers appeared in colorful, light summer clothing. I marveled “this is the first time we’ve seen each other in warm weather clothes under blue skies!”
With a series of starts and pauses, the spring to beginning of summer selling season has been one for the focused, both for sellers and buyers. For every listing sold, there have been many offers that never came together; some incredibly decent offers and others, offers which sellers determined to be too low to consider. Unlike a primary home real estate market, sellers in a second home market often say they do not necessarily need to sell, and buyers often say they can purchase at any time. There are several transactions in contract that, when closed, will point to a rising market.
Many customers prefer touring vacant land during the winter and spring because the contours are more easily discernible and there is less brush to wade through. Acreage sales did well in June–Here are some highlights which coincidentally, are all located within close proximity of each other:
–17 North Midway Rd, one acre bordering the former Hampshire Farms, listed 5/10/17 at $395k, last listed at $350k, sold for $345k on 6/18/18;
–6 Lords’ Lane, 2.2 acres on an inlet of West Neck Creek with dock, listed 4/15/16 for $1.58m, last listed at $1.45m, sold for $1.1m on 6/25/18
–12 North Menantic Rd, 11.7 acres bordering the former Hampshire Farms, listed 8/12/17 for $2.135m sold for $1.575m on 6/1/18
Water conservation has been an ongoing topic at Town Board meetings, particularly since Community Preservation Trust funds, derived from the 2% transfer tax a buyer pays upon purchasing a property, can now be used toward water conservation. Board members have conferred with the Town’s Water Advisory Committee and are considering mandatory septic upgrades for homeowners looking to sell their properties. A customer, seeing the June 19th meeting on Channel 22, reported that they are relieved, as it would be one less renovation expense. I asked the opinion of several clients I am working with, who expressed that it would be a hardship to take on a project of this magnitude and expense. They also questioned how much time an upgrade, and possible Town approval might add to the process of selling their house. Undoubtedly, all Shelter Islanders view water quality and conservation as an important topic, however many selling a home cannot afford to upgrade septic systems in order to transfer their property.
Many tenants moved into rental properties over the last couple of weeks, and happily, all have gone well. Organized Landlords, who scrutinize rooms for cleanliness, leave detailed instructions, and have responsive vendors to care for their homes, are indeed a gift. There are still many incredible rentals available for all time frames, with organized Landlords who are ready for the next Tenant.