|By Sarah Shemkus, Cape Cod Times,
Hyannis, Mass.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 20, 2008 - --Thinking about leaving the cubicle behind for life as an innkeeper at a quaint bed and breakfast?
The current market offers both opportunities and challenges for aspiring innkeepers, area experts say.
Prices have come down perhaps 5 percent from their peak and interest rates remain low, said Carol Edmondson, a real estate agent who specializes in selling inns.
At the moment, however, inventory is lower than usual, she said.
As a rule of thumb, one can expect about 20 percent of the bed and breakfast properties in an area to be on the market at a given time, she said.
Currently, there are about a 20 inns for sale from Sandwich to Provincetown. With close to 200 such properties on the Cape, the present listings fall far short of the 20 percent benchmark.
Edmondson said this relatively low number of listings can be attributed to the strong financial performance of inns at the moment. The economy is keeping people closer to home, she said, and the weak dollar is encouraging more European tourists to the area.
One of Edmondson's favorite available properties is the Inn at Sandwich Center, a six-unit bed and breakfast currently listed for $975,000.
"It's just in a perfect location," she said.
Prospective buyers, however, could find it difficult to afford an inn -- many of which are priced over $1 million -- without first selling their home, said David Petrasko, another real estate agent focused on inn sales. And in the current market, that might not be an easy feat.
"It's a tough market right now," Petrasko said.
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