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Not Your Granddaddy’s Cottages

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 22, 2014 09:32 AM

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The Heritage Sands flak pitched the oceanfront project as emblematic of a growing trend towards old-fashioned, cottage-style vacation homes on the Cape.

Goodbye McMansions and hello little seaside cabins.

OK, these are definitely not McMansions. But it would be a stretch to call the upscale homes taking shape at the new Heritage Sands development in Dennis Port cottages, at least in the classic Cape sense of a one or two room getaway that might have been built by your grandfather over a weekend.

The first phase of the 63-unit project is taking shape on a prime, eight-acre stretch of Nantucket Sound waterfront. Previously an RV park called Grindells, it is set to open this fall.

Illustration, Heritage Sands.png

So first a little reality check. Ranging in size from 900 to more than1,300 square feet, we are talking about weekend getaways pads that are more the size of a small home than a cottage.

Nor are the prices particularly cottage-like, ranging from $365,000 - about the value of my Natick home - to $671,000. That's a lot of cash period, let alone for a second home.

All that said, I think the concept is kind of cool, even if it is way out of my price range - and that of a lot of other buyers out there well.

Instead of mansioning off the waterfront with another ostentatious estate, the project will bring dozens of families down to the seashore, with the project taking shape right along the beach.

Of course, the old Grindells provided a similar escape for the RV crowd, but sorry, an RV parking lot, however affordable, is not my thing.

Not alone, a number of other cottage-style developments are also taking shape in other Cape towns, including Mashpee and Brewster, the Heritage Sands flak helpfully pointed out.

One thing you can't do is camp out year round at your new Cape escape on Heritage Sands year round. While you can stay as much as you want from April 1 to October 31, buyers are rationed on the number of off-season days they can spend in their cottages.

Seems a bit odd, since the homes have heat, but I don't have the answer to that one right now.

While it's easy to poke fun of the humble spin given to these new, upscale and ultramodern vacation homes - after all, they are far from your 1930s style seaside camps and cabins - times and expectations change.

"The old cottages reflect the space standard of a bygone era," Daniel Fortier, Dennis Port's town planner, told the Cape Cod Times. "What people were willing to go to 80 years ago and the amenities they want today are very different."

Interior Heritage Sands.jpg

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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