Holiday Time at Homestead!

It’s only 3 days until Christmas! And Homestead would like to wish everyone the happiest of holidays. We hope that a visit to Cape May has been part of your recent plans. If not, there’s still time! Escape from the bustle of holiday festivities to the wonder of Christmases past, as no place captures its essence quite like Cape May does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through January 1st, 2018, The Carol Gallery of the Emlen Physick Estate is transformed into a model Dickens Village. There’s even a unique and stunning Christmas tree that allows guests to actually stand beneath it and bask in the beauty of times gone by. Children also have the opportunity to write a letter to Santa, a task for which it’s never too late-or too early-to complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May’s Holiday Trolley Rides will continue in the historic district through New Year’s Eve. Listen to Christmas music, learn about Victorian tradition, and admire the stunning homes in the enchanting light of the season. It’s a beauty that is truly unparalleled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the holiday season, another of Cape May’s incredible landmarks, Congress Hall, transforms its Grand Lawn into a Winter Wonderland. It’s a magical experience complete with gorgeous décor, holiday cocoa and treats, a shopping village stocked with one of a kind gifts, and of course, Santa’s workshop. There, you’ll be greeted by the “Congress Hall Express” train ride as it winds its way through the wonderland. It’s a fun and festive time for all ages!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In these last few days of the holiday season, some of the very best times in Cape May can be had by simply strolling around town and taking it all in. If you’ve been a regular summer visitor, you’ll be struck by the seamless blend of holiday buzz and peaceful tranquility that Christmas in Cape May encompasses. And being as we’re all decked out for the holidays this year; be sure to take a walk (or ride) past Homestead’s offices as well. We’re right across the street from Free Love Bridal…a store that you especially can’t miss, given the sparkling white window displays and massive flocked Christmas tree just outside their door! We love seeing local businesses going above and beyond for the holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much fun as the season has been, alas, it will be coming to a close in just a bit over a week. While some may enjoy the quiet and renewal of the approaching mid-winter season, others are probably mourning the coming end to this most festive season of the year. It’s a polarizing time, and not just because of the incoming polar weather! But whatever your thoughts are about the winter doldrums, remember that once the holidays are behind us, it’s fun to look ahead to the spring and summer seasons that are yet to come. Summer thoughts naturally lead to vacation brainstorming– and it can be a challenge, so let Homestead be a part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been an exciting year for us, and our rental team has continued to add new properties to our already outstanding inventory. When approving a new rental property, we always do so with YOU, our guests, in the forefront of our minds. We listen to your feedback, we pay attention to the evolving vacation rental industry, and most of all…we never stop striving to be the best we can be as Cape May’s premier real estate company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as you enjoy the remaining days of this holiday season, we invite you to reflect on what you’re most excited about for the coming year. And when those thoughts lead to considerations of a vacation in Cape May, give us a call! We can’t wait to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homestead would like to remind everyone that our office will be CLOSING for the holidays on Saturday, December 23 rd at 1 PM. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd at 9:00 am. Remember that even when we are closed, you may RESERVE A RENTAL PROPERTY ONLINE at anytime. All rental leases for online reservations will be sent during the first week of the New Year. All inquiries to our office will also be promptly answered upon our return on January 2nd.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Homestead. We can’t wait to see you in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready or Not, Here it Comes…The Holiday Season begins in Cape May!

As we proceed into the final month of autumn here in Cape May, the weather has taken a brisk turn, and the fall foliage is peaking beautifully. There are few things quite so beautiful as a golden autumn sunset, or the seasonal colors of historic tree-lined streets, like Hughes Street or Columbia Avenue, just to name a few. And with Halloween behind us and the cooler weather settling in, the first vibes of holiday spirit are beginning to permeate Cape May’s landscape. Halls are being decked in Victorian Style, tree lightings are being scheduled, and of course, plans are underway for West Cape May’s annual Christmas parade!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it too early to be preparing for the holidays? That depends on who you ask, of course. Here at Homestead, we think mid-November is just about the right time to begin the planning. This year, our beautiful office has been outlined with Christmas lights. The recent chilly nights coupled with the conclusion of daylight saving time have certainly tempted us to let there be light….but we won’t be unveiling the display until Thanksgiving. If you’re planning a holiday visit, be sure to add Homestead’s office to your list of holiday light sightings!

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of seasonal lights, Cape May’s holiday preview weekend is coming up, and we think it’s one of the very best ways to channel the holiday spirit. Kown as the official outset of Cape May’s holiday season, events include an Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit, various themed trolley rides, and holiday tours of the magnificent Physick Estate. The annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony on the grounds of the estate will take place on Saturday, November 18th at 7 pm. Santa will arrive to flip the switch, so you won’t want to be late!

 

 

 

 

 

The holidays are rooted in tradition, and that’s especially true here in our Santa’s Trolley RideVictorian winter wonderland. Traditional, however, does not mean stale! Be on the lookout for Christmas displays that might appear a bit different from previous years; experience trolley rides that shed some new light on fond old memories, enjoy creating new memories by trying out a restaurant you may have never been to or attending a special holiday event. There are endless possibilities for making the season bright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those who might be finding holiday preparations more excruciating than they are exciting…we hope a visit to Cape May will help change your mind! However, there’s plenty going on around town that is not strictly Christmas themed. One such event is the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival. This semi-annual festival is popular among locals and visitors for its stellar lineup of award-winning artists. In fact, we think it’s the perfect way to relax before the hustle of the holidays really takes hold. The Jazz Festival will continue now through Sunday, November 12th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May Beach House Vacation RentalsSo what’s going on at Homestead this time of year? A LOT! Yes, it’s technically the “off-season”, but for us, we’re already utilizing this time to plan for the summer of 2018. We’re working to continue offering our guests the best possible Cape May rental experience. We don’t settle for mediocrity in ANY aspect of our business…and neither should you when you’re looking ahead to your vacation planning. Remember that select Homestead rentals are available for off-season weekends, holidays, and even long-term winter stints. Whichever sort of property you’re looking for; rest assured that we’ve got you covered.

 

 

We’d like to wish everyone a wonderful weekend and a very Happy Holiday Season. Whether you’re keeping it low key or planning the biggest celebration you’ve ever had….we’re looking forward to being along for the ride!

 

We’d like to thank the fabulously talented Jan Bendyna for allowing us use of her work as this week’s blog cover photo! Check out more of her beautiful work!!

 

 

Halloween, Holidays, and Summer! Here’s what’s going on NOW and what to Look Forward to in Cape May…

It’s a beautiful Friday here in Cape May, and we hope you’re as excited as we are for the weekend to begin! While out and about during your daily lives, we suspect you’ve been seeing Christmas decorations creeping in from all directions. We love the holiday season here at Homestead…but we’re not in the habit of rushing it along. Soon enough we will be decking the halls and planning for the Christmas parade…but for now…it’s Halloween weekend! Let’s talk about seasonal events and the continuation of autumn festivities…

 

 

 

This evening, Friday, October 27, 2017, Cape May Point State Park will be hosting a Halloween event. A “fun for the whole family” affair, participants are encouraged to come in costume and bring flashlights. There will be Halloween crafts, a live animal show, and trick or treating on the nature trail. What a fantastic way to begin this festive weekend. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We remind you that “Scarecrow Alley” continues on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. Homemade scarecrows are on display, and you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite. This event ends on Halloween, so this weekend is an ideal time to take a stroll on over and see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, October 28th, the Cape May Zoo presents “Boo at the Zoo”. This annual event begins at 10-am and runs until 2 pm at the Cape May County Park, located just 11 miles north of Cape May. The FREE event is open to the public and visitors of all ages are invited to attend. Costumes are of course encouraged, and a costume contest will take place at 11 am. There will also be a entertainment, interactive games, and of course, candy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love our pets here at Homestead, so we’re excited that the Rusty Nail restaurant and beach bar has decided to hold their first annual Doggie Halloween Parade. The event will take place on Sunday, October 29th. Registration will begin at noon and end at 1 pm. The parade and subsequent judging will take place from 1 until 2 pm. So dress up your dog and head over for some fun. Numerous prizes will be awarded for the best costumes including the funniest, scariest, and best overall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May cottage rentalsCape May’s Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts has been hosting numerous “Halloween Happenings” through the course of October, and there are only a few more days to take advantage of these exciting events. One of the best ways to experience Cape May in any season is to enjoy a guided trolley tour, and Halloween is no exception! The Cape Mayhem tour is especially fun, as it centers upon an explanation of the traditions, beliefs, and mysteries of the fascinating Victorian Era…an era in which Cape May is deeply rooted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, mark your calendars for Trick-or-Treating in Cape May. City wide trick or treating will take place on Halloween night, this Tuesday, October 31st from 5 to 7 pm. Culminate the season with this old fashioned tradition. The best part of Cape May trick or treating is that children can enjoy their treats while adults are awarded the bonus of a beautiful walking tour of the area. It makes for an event that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween will be coming to a close this week, but annual festivities remain well underway. Mark your calendars for these exciting happenings that are soon to come:

November 3rd- 5th: Sherlock Holmes Weekend (presented by Cape May MAC)

November 3rd: Fall Arts and Crafts Festival at Cape May Convention Hall

November 9th-12th: Exit Zero International Jazz Festival

November 17th-19th: Cape May Holiday Preview Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

As you enjoy these crisp and gorgeous autumn days, remember to be looking ahead to the summer. 2018 rental bookings are in full swing here at Homestead, and the way to beat the winter rush is to book now! Set your vacation plans in motion before the holidays and you’ll be able to relax this winter knowing that your first choice of vacation rental is secured.

 

 

 

 

We wish everyone a wonderful weekend and a safe, enjoyable Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Summer Slowly Fizzles…Here are 4 Types of Cape May Rentals to be Planning NOW…

You can feel it in the heavy air, shorter evenings, and lush overgrowth of many gardens, trees, lawns and shrubbery. Summer is heading towards its finish line. It’s been a wonderful summer here in Cape May. And for many, there are still a few weeks of rest remaining before school begins and autumn activities commence. The reality though is that prime season is winding down. Weekly summer rentals are already heating up for 2018…but they’re just about out of steam for the current year. What does that mean? A few things! For one, now is the time to plan ahead and reserve your 2018 Cape May vacation. And secondly…if you’ve been waiting to plan that impromptu autumn getaway, holiday escape, or tranquil winter weekend…there’s never been a better time to get started. Don’t miss out on the Cape May time you’ve been longing for. Let’s get started in taking a look at the next steps for booking your escape…

 

 

 

 

 

 

First and foremost…there are numerous rental properties with full weeks remaining available. Saturday, August 19th is the LAST week of prime season here in Cape May. Believe it or not, there is still time to book that week if a very last minute rental should come onto your agenda. Please contact Homestead and speak with one of our rental agents directly, as they would be glad to check on availability for you. At this late date…final availability would be subject to each property owner. Moving forward, rates for full week rentals gradually begin to decrease starting with the week of August 26th. And by the time we reach September, MOST properties that are renting through the fall are in a reduced status. September and October are absolutely gorgeous months in Cape May. There is always lots going on, and generally perfect weather. If you’ve missed out on the summer…don’t fret…as the fall is ready to welcome you with warmth, relaxation, and fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up on the rental agenda…it’s winter rentals. You may have heard this term before and wondered just what it meant. Generally speaking, a winter rental is a long term monthly rental that offers flexibility, value, and convenience if you need or want to stay in Cape May through the entirety of the off-season. The pricing structure for winter rentals is entirely different than it is during the summer resort season. It’s based on a monthly rate that generally falls between about $900 up to about $1500. At times, some utilities are included! Homestead does have a selection of winter rentals that we advertise…but sometimes our property owners will consider a long term, off season rental even if they don’t specifically advertise for one. So if this sort of rental is what you’re looking for…the best way to begin is to select your budget, time frame, and desired monthly rate. Utilizing that information, we can match you to an ideal property for your off season Cape May stay. Experience our town in the golden crispness of the fall and the sparkling serenity of the winter season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICape May Beach Sunsetf a long term winter rental is just not practical (or needed) at this time…maybe a short term weekend rental would fit the bill! Weekend rentals are all about fun. Whether you’re going to be in Cape May for a wedding, special event, or just need a getaway…there are plenty of options to suit your needs and budget. Often times the cost of renting an entire home or condominium is LESS than staying in a hotel for the weekend. It also awards you more space, more privacy, and the ability to bring your pet! (to one of our pet friendly rentals). Some upcoming great times to be here in Cape May include Columbus Day weekend (and its accompanying Lima Bean Festival!), Halloween, Thanksgiving, the Christmas Parade, etc.* Again, the best way to plan your weekend rental is to research the properties that interest you, and then contact our rental team to finalize the booking process. Don’t forget to add linens to your rental! In the off season, linen packages for our rentals are offered at a 50% discount for short term reservations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, we know this is the time of year when excitement begins to build around the coming of autumn. Therefore, summer of 2018 may seem too far in the future to be of consideration. BUT…if you know that you would like to come to Cape May next summer, and if you know the week(s) that you want to be here….NOW is the time to book! For one, any reservation made between now and December 1st will be placed on a 3 payment schedule for your convenience. And as the dust settles on our re-booking season, this is also the time that availability for 2018 falls into place and the selection of available properties is at its largest. Remember that Homestead does offer Travel Insurance on ALL of our leases. Add the insurance for your early booking to increase your piece of mind should the unexpected occur between now and next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you’re a habitual visitor to Cape May, planning to vacation here for the first time, or find yourself required to be here for a special event…Homestead has you covered. Enjoy the remainder of your summer and the coming of autumn. And remember that anytime is a good time to visit Cape May.

 

 

*Although we encourage the rental of our properties for accommodations, please remember that rental homes cannot be used as “event homes”, and must be for accommodations only, or small events that adhere to the property occupancy.

 

 

Homestead for the Holidays!

Homestead Real Estate sincerely hopes that everyone has enjoyed a wonderful holiday season! Throughout the past few weeks, we’ve striven to highlight Cape May’s Christmas events, and we certainly hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy some of those wonderful experiences. As the 2016 Holiday Season reaches its culmination, we wish everyone the happiest of holidays and best wishes for an outstanding 2017.

 

 

 

 

Homestead has enjoyed 2016 and we have much to be thankful for as we look forward to the coming New Year. We’ve witnessed a growth in our rental inventory and are pleased that so many property owners have chosen to work with us. We’ve also reviewed and enjoyed feedback from our rental guests and have utilized this information to ever improve our procedures. We’re excited that so many of our guests had a wonderful experience in Cape May and have chosen to return to town (and to us!) in 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you that have booked your 2017 Cape May vacation…congratulations! For those who have not…now is the time. Over the past few years we have seen a SURGE in bookings immediately following the holiday season. The explanation for this is a simple one. Family and friends unite over the holiday break, and after weeks of preparation and holiday plans, they finally have time to relax a bit and set their sights on summer. With everyone together, it makes for easier planning and discussion of summer vacations and fun. If this scenario sounds familiar to you and your loved ones…that’s great! But remember, there will be many others with the same idea. Luckily, this is where the convenience of Homestead’s online booking process excels.

 

 

 

 

Online bookings for full week rentals can be placed 24/7, including holidays. So ifLamplighter Christmas Tour you and your family find the perfect rental, there’s no need to wait until after the New Year to call and reserve it. Instead, you can do so right from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Also, note that
the credit card used to place your reservation will NOT be charged immediately upon booking. It is simply obtained to place a hold on the property and remove it from the rental market. When you receive your electronic lease (the first week in January), it is us upon return of said lease that your first payment will be processed.

 

 

 

 

By the time you’re ready to book a rental, chances are you’ve decided on such key factors as budget and week of choice. But you’ll also need to keep the following in mind when placing your reservation:

 

 

Is a pet friendly home needed?Cape May pet friendly vacation homes

 

How many bedrooms do you need?

 

How many occupants will you be in total?

 

Which area of Cape May best suits the needs of your vacation? (West Cape May, Cape May Point, Cape May proper, Offshore/Bayside)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once this information is confirmed, you’re ready to seamlessly reserve your property. Again, many of you are familiar with this process. And for the newcomers, we trust that you will be pleased with how easy it is to reserve your Cape May vacation and hope that you will become a loyal Homestead guest!

 

 

At Homestead, we have become very accustomed to the patterns of the booking season and we feel that part of our job is to pass this knowledge on to you, our guests. At least once per day we receive an inquiry stating: “When do we need to reserve our rental”? It’s an especially good question from those who may have never been here to Cape May. And while there’s no right or wrong time to reserve, we reiterate to everyone that the best time is “the sooner the better if you have a specific rental in mind”.

 

 

We’d like to remind you that our office will be closed beginning on Friday, December 22nd,, 2016 at NOON. We will reopen on Monday, January 2nd, 2017 at 9:00 am and will resume our normal business hours at that time. Leases will be sent and all inquiries will be answered as soon as possible on January 2nd.

 

 

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to all!! We can’t wait to hear from you next year!

 

 

Christmas in Cape May: Shopping, Sightseeing, and so much more!

christmas-316448_960_720Brrrrr. It’s a COLD start to the weekend here in Cape May! But that’s okay, because we are in the heart of the holiday season, and everything around town looks and feels just as festive as ever. For those of you who had the pleasure of attending West Cape May’s annual Christmas parade last week, we hope you had a great time and had the chance to wave to the Homestead cars! We remind everyone that tonight, Friday, December 9th, is the second night of Cape May’s annual hospitality event on the Washington Street Mall. If you’ve not been to the mall in some time, we especially recommend paying a visit this holiday season. Hospitality night is an ideal time to do so. You’ll find that the offerings have become a bit more eclectic in recent years, and there is truly something for everyone on your list…even if they aren’t a beach or shore decor lover.

 

 

 

With Christmas a mere two weeks away, there will be fervor of holiday events and activities around town. Here’s a look at what to do, where to be, and what not to miss over the next few weeks…

 

 

 

 

christmas-1750978_960_720The always popular Christmas Candlelight House tours continue, and if you’ve not yet experienced a tour you will want to hurry, as there are only two Saturday’s left before Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn1924If you’re excited to see Cape May’s Christmas lights but may not be enthusiastic about a full walking tour, a great alternative is the Evening Yuletide House Tour of the Emlen Physick Estate. This is a magical way to step into Christmas past, and it can also be combined with a Holiday Lights Trolley Ride! Relax and stay off your feet in the warmth of the trolley as you view Cape May’s historic district in its full Christmas glory.

 

 

 

 

 

wine-1078605_960_720On Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th, check out the Fourth Annual Holiday “Sip and Shop ‘Local Love Drive’” at the Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May. Admission is FREE. This is your chance to sample and purchase numerous local wines WHILE you shop! There will be over 60 vendors at the winery, indoors AND out. It will be cold, but be sure to bundle up and brave the outdoors because you won’t want to miss any of the fabulous selections of gifts crafted by local small business owners and artisans. Offerings will include jewelry, baked goods, and pottery…just to name 10174847_1523205574587789_1135376240108415258_na few! Finish up your holiday shopping and treat yourself while you’re at it. If you plan to attend this holiday event, it’s requested that you bring along a non-perishable food item to donate to the West Cape May Fire Department food drive. You may also bring an unwrapped toy for tots. Your donation will automatically qualify you to win over 50 prizes throughout the weekend. So shop, sip, and support this holiday season!

 

 

angel-8186_960_720Holiday events aren’t just for the weekend. On Wednesday, December 14th at 7:00 pm, Angelus Chorus will be performing a FREE holiday concert at Cape May Convention Hall. Enjoy the sounds of the season as a beautiful selection of traditional and secular music will be performed.

 

 

 

 

 

christmas-1857461_960_720It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without attending a proper ugly Christmas sweater party. Have some fun on Saturday, December 17th at Fins Restaurant for the Ugly Holiday Sweater Ball. Enjoy food, friends, and even prizes! The event will begin at 10:00 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cmlfferrycrossingOn Sunday, December 18th from noon-3:00 pm, the place to be is the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal for a “Ferry Merry Christmas”. Santa will be on site, as well as Christmas games, a hot chocolate/cookie bar, and fun activities for children ages 3-9. This is a great event for the entire family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We hope you are able to enjoy some or all of these wonderful events over the exciting few weeks ahead. The anticipation of Christmas and the joy in the air creates a magical environment in Cape May, no matter what you choose to do! We encourage riding (or walking) around town to view the Christmas lights, dining in Cape May’s decked out restaurants, or maybe even taking a chilly stroll on the promenade while contemplating the beauty of the season and the tranquility of the winter to follow.

 

 

For our rental guests, whether you are planning a return to one of our properties or you’re discovering us for the first time…we thank you for your business and remind you to reserve soon. We know that after Christmas many of you turn thoughts to summer and sun! Everyone seems to have a similar idea, and there is a surge in summer bookings just after the commencement of the new year. So relax and book before the holidays to secure the summer property you want! Homestead also has numerous homes available for weekend rentals OR for the entire winter. It’s not too late to spend Christmas in Cape May, but if that’s not possible, try visiting just for a weekend!

 

 

We wish a joyous holiday season and a very Merry Christmas to our guests, neighbors, friends, and Homestead family. The holiday season will be end just as quickly as it began, so take time to relax and enjoy this wonderful time of the year.

 

 

 

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