This is a new experience, so it's especially important to do your homework. Getting a pre-approval from a mortgage lender is important before you start your "in person" versus "virtual search". There are a number of different loan programs targeted especially for first time home owners. If you need a referral for reliable local lenders, I'd be happy to provide you a list of excellent experienced loan officers and lenders. Once approved, it will save you time and money to work with an agent familiar with the particular loan requirements for which you have been qualified to ensure the house will qualify based on condition and the required clauses are in the mortgage contingency clause in your contracts.
Depending on your pocketbook, do you want a cottage or castle, condo or single family home? Do you want room to roam or something manageable? Privacy or part of a community? Many buyers want their Cape Cod home to have different features or style than their primary homes to maintain the feeling of being on vacation. Keep in mind that the closer you get to salt water, the less house your dollars will buy. The same house (size and style) sitting inland will be priced less than a similar property on or near salt water. This also applies to fresh water. There are homes in a variety of price ranges that have frontage, access or deeded rights to Cape Cod's 360+ ponds and lakes. The good news is, you are never far from water, fresh or salt, on Cape Cod.
If you have decided to make Cape Cod your permanent residence, I love working with "Wash-a-Shores". Do you need to sell before you buy? Coordinating a purchase with the sale of a home you currently own requires special consideration and steps to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. In many situations, this includes a potential "prior home sale contingency" in any offer you make on a Cape Cod home. I can help you through that process. Also, if you have not already secured an agent for the sale of your current home, I'd be happy to refer you to a good and experienced agent in your area. Feel free to call for a consultation on how to best position yourself for a Cape Cod transition based on your own particular circumstances.
Different states vary significantly on how agents and brokers work with consumers. Did you know that if you are randomly calling Massachusetts agents and brokers who have homes listed that strike your interest or are just visiting open houses, the agents you meet will most likely be representing the the SELLER'S interests? Educate yourself, learn about The Benefits of Buyer Representation so you can be a wise consumer and get the best service and personal representation possible and most often without any additional expense to you because Multiple Listing Service (MLS) contracts encourage cooperation and offer compensation to buyers' agents. I specialize in buyer representation and would be happy to explain the added benefits that can be available to you at no out-of-pocket cost.