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A MassRealty Tour of Buying Real Estate on the Cape and Islands

By Eleanor Boschert

You've always wanted to do it and finally, it feels like the economy and the real estate market are picking up enough for you to purchase a vacation home on the Cape or Islands. So, how? And, where? Here is a snapshot of a handful of towns on the Cape and Islands that are perfect a vacation home escape.

From stem to stern, the Cape stretches 559 miles of coastline, beaches, and includes 40 miles of National Seashore as well as 15 distinct cities. From sun, shore, recreation, history, to exciting attractions, culture, hushed privacy, and pristine natural beauty, it offers everything a vacation home could need.

Lower Cape

A quaint resort town, Chatham offers New England shopping, dining, and cultural appeal. Its 24 miles of beaches are nestled within the waters of Pleasant Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and Nantucket Sound.

Population: 1,421

Median Home Cost 2012: $546,700

Home Appreciation 2012: 1.60%

Look for homes for sale in Chatham


>The largest town on the Cape, Barnstable is comprised of seven unique villages: Barnstable, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Hyannis Port, Marstons Mills and Osterville, each with their own distinct features. Stretching the north and south shores of the Cape, Barnstable offers gorgeous beaches, both public and private.

Population: 45,193

Median Home Cost 2012: $414,300

Home Appreciation 2012: 1.85%

Look for homes for sale in Barnstable

Boasting 70 miles of coastline, Falmouth is comprised of eight quintessential New England coastal villages featuring one-of-a-kind shops, exciting arts & culture, and dining. It is an ideal launching point for day trips to Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Provincetown.

Population: 3,799

Median Home Cost 2012: $472,500

Home Appreciation 2012: 1.82%

Look for homes for sale in Falmouth

Outer Cape

>Located at the tip of the Cape, Provincetown is known for its cosmopolitan, eclectic community as well as its natural resources and eco-tourism. Lauded as one of the most exciting resort towns, it boasts both gorgeous beaches and a vibrant cultural scene.

Population: 2,642

Median Home Cost 2012: $404,900

Home Appreciation 2012: 1.82%

Look for homes for sale in Provincetown

The Islands

An oasis of pristine beaches among its 40% conservation land, the historic island 30 miles off the Cape offers an everlasting natural beauty. Within its downtown, the cobblestone streets and Federal-era buildings sit alongside first-rate attractions, luxurious accommodations, many shops and restaurants.

Population: 7,446

Median Home Cost 2012: $1,142,500

Look for home for sale on Nantucket

Martha's Vineyard
>Martha's Vineyard offers everything from pristine beaches, historical and cultural attractions, exquisite dining, fine accommodations, diverse outdoor activities, boutiques, and breathtaking scenery. Its towns and many beaches boast an appeal ideal for many different vacation types.

>One of New England's most elegant communities, Edgartown was Martha's Vineyard's first colonial settlement and now displays a picture book setting with its harbor, charming downtown and waterfront, historical homes, and superb beaches.

Population: 4,087

Median Home Cost 2012: $620,400

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Oak Bluffs
A lively resort town on the northeast shore of Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs offers a diverse population, an active downtown with restaurants, inns, shops, galleries, places to enjoy live entertainment, and several beaches.

Look for homes for sale in Oak Bluffs

Population: 4,527

Median Home Cost 2012: $481,400

Vineyard Haven/Tisbury
Excellent shops, fine restaurants, a bustling Main Street, beautiful harbor and beaches make Vineyard Haven a great vacation destination. Being the main port of entry into Martha's Vineyard, it is easily accessible to vacationers from the Cape mainland.

Population: 2,740

Median Home Cost 2012: $628,500

Look for homes for sale in Tisbury

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