Happy New Year to all. I'm looking at Cape Cod real estate in the year ahead and wondering how many homes will still be standing this time next year.
My unofficial gauge of rising economic fortune in the northeastern U.S., is falling houses on the Cape. The more the stock market goes up, the more that houses come down.
In the center of tiny Harwich Port alone, four older homes have been torn down and are in various stages of replacement within the last year. There is massive, overdue commercial renovation occurring in the business district too, and that will be the subject of an upcoming article, but first, the houses.
98 Miles Street
This two-story home went up last summer, a prefab structure that cranes assembled an entire floor at a time in one single day. It replaced a two-bedroom ranch.
No photos exist of the previous 1952 home, however you can see from the surrounding homes the size and scale of the street. The new building comprises 4 bedrooms and 2,388 square feet on a quarter-acre lot. It towers over its neighbors.
86 Miles Street
First, what the home used to look like, an 845 square foot home with no septic system, in uninhabitable condition on a killer 1 acre-plus lot close to EVERYTHING. It was marketed as a teardown and sold for $360,000 in 2013.
And here is the site today. The new owners leveled all the trees and now have a view of the Harwich Port golf course beyond the backyard. The home features 3,434 square feet with four bedrooms.
7 South Street
This 1813 home had survived for 203 years, until 2016. Whether or not it should have survived a year longer is debatable. Here are the interiors of the old place.
And here is 7 South Street today. The owners haven't done the landscaping yet -- it is that new. But the addition of a wreath on the front door shows life rushed along in the new place. Once the cedar shingles get some salt air on them they'll weather down to the gray we all associate with Cape Cod. In my opinion this new home upholds the Cape aesthetic. The home in the background at right lie on Main St. in the village so these homeowners can park their car and not get in again until they need provisions. The village and beach are all right there. Nice job in making the house blend in.
17 Sea Street
We don't know yet what the new house will look like as construction has just begun. There is only one story so far. I will be surprised if it stays at that. Everyone builds a second story now, and most take over all the air space to the maximum height allowed by town building codes, 28 feet, so stay tuned. Check out the little cottage at right. It's what Sea Street used to look like.
Here is what once was at 17 Sea Street. It was a1938 home perched on a bluff with ocean views and a three-house walk to Sea Street Beach. It sold for $917,000 three years ago and was demolished in the fall. Classic, isn't it?
Elsewhere on Sea Street...
Two houses south of 17 Sea Street, with direct oceanfront, lie1 Sea Street which sold this fall for $3,250,000. It was built in 2007, a total rebuild after the owners bought a little cape-style home the year before for $1,725,000 and tore it down. Check out the before and after.
The present day photo also shows the neighboring property which was another rebuild. The old home was unmistakenly Cape Cod. The new home looks like it could be on the Jersey Shore. It's gorgeous and the interior spaces are to die for.
With the destruction of number 17 this fall, the original little Cape homes on the street is down to two. Here they are.
Take them in while you can. Everyone loves visiting the Cape and seeing the quaint little cottages, but it doesn't seem anyone wants to live in them anymore.