Cape Cod's Specialist in Residential Property Valuations

 


Service Area

As a valuation specialist in the unique market area of Cape Cod, Barnstable Appraisal Services concentrates its service area on Barnstable County, Massachusetts and the bordering towns in adjacent Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

Cape Cod Service Area for Barnstable Appraisals

Click here for a list of TOWNS, VILLAGES & ZIP CODES within our service area.

WHAT MAKES CAPE COD SO DIFFERENT?

Cape Cod (Barnstable County), Massachusetts is a large peninsula extending eastward into the Atlantic Ocean and is separated from “mainland” Massachusetts by the man-made Cape Cod Canal.  Cape Cod is accessible by only two motor vehicle bridges, as well as a single railroad bridge.  This limited access across the canal gives this unique coastal region a fairly “remote” geographic appeal.

Due to its natural beauty, nautical ambience and historic “Old New England” charm, Cape Cod has become a popular tourist destination as well as a haven for second-home owners and retirees.  Barnstable County includes only fifteen towns, yet all of these towns are comprised of eclectic “villages”, each having their own distinct character and market appeal.

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE…This is often the single most influential characteristic affecting property value on Cape Cod.  No matter where you are on the Cape, you’re not far from a water body of some sort.  This arm-shaped peninsula is bordered by Cape Cod Bay to the north, Nantucket Sound to the south, open Atlantic waters to the east, and the Cape Cod Canal & Buzzards Bay to the west.  Add to this the countless tidal marshes, harbors, coastal inlets, large fresh-water ponds, rivers and small “kettle ponds”, and you have a ubiquitous presence which is integral to the region’s character and affects all of its residential real estate to some degree.

Beyond the obvious attraction of direct waterfront property, there are also less apparent water-related influences which may significantly affect a property’s value.  Such influences to be considered include proximity to public and/or private beaches, deeded beach access, boat mooring & dock rights, access & view easements, association amenities, flood zones, coastal erosion/accretion areas, etc.

All this water also creates a seemingly infinite variety of aesthetic views from many properties including panoramic ocean vistas, pond & marsh views, distant or partially obstructed water views, etc.  The views afforded a residential property can often be the primary motivation for buyers in this region and may dramatically influence market value.

UNIQUE PROPERTY TYPES – Cape Cod is also home to a plethora of unique property types including multi-dwelling estates, custom designed luxury homes, unique period buildings such as restored lighthouse & windmill structures, and antique homes & carriage houses dating as far back as the 1600’s.  A property’s “unique” character may also be derived from its considerable land acreage.  On Cape Cod excess land acreage may feature such diverse amenities as a small pond, beach frontage, extensive gardens/farmland, equestrian facilities, cranberry bogs, etc.  In addition, many residential properties on Cape Cod, particularly condominium cottages on the Outer Cape, may also be affected by occupancy limitations such as seasonal use restrictions by deed or local ordinance.

LOCATIONAL COMPETENCE – Because of these varied influences and unique characteristics affecting property values in this region, appraising real estate on Cape Cod can often be a complex and challenging endeavor.  Even the seemingly simple appraisal assignment may actually be a fairly complicated undertaking once all of the physical, environmental and legal characteristics of the property are taken into consideration.  These factors combined with the sometimes volatile nature of the second-home, recreational and luxury home market segments can create special challenges for the real estate appraiser.  Property values can frequently vary quite drastically even within the same immediate neighborhood.

These varied and unique market characteristics found within the Cape Cod region give rise to the critical importance of the appraisal concept referred to as “Locational Competence”.  Simply stated, Locational Competence dictates that an appraiser must be sufficiently familiar and experienced within a particular market area in order to recognize and understand the value influences within that area, and subsequently render a credible opinion of value.

Due to the confluence of the many aforementioned factors affecting property values in this region, nowhere is the concept of Locational Competence more important than on Cape Cod.  Unlike regions with extensive tract housing and homogeneous neighborhoods, Cape Cod does not often lend itself well to unfamiliar or inexperienced appraisers, limited scope “drive-by” appraisals, or superficial automated valuation models (AVM’s).  It is with this in mind that Barnstable Appraisal Services dedicates itself to the ongoing market research and due diligence necessary to provide its clients with the most reliable residential real estate appraisal services available in this wonderfully unique part of the world.