Chatham : Massachusetts

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What it's Like to Retire in Chatham

Probably everyone has a vision of Cape Cod, even if you haven't been there. Picture a wealthy and postcard-perfect Cape Cod, and you have Chatham, Massachusetts. For many active adults, it could be the perfect retirement community. Set at the Cape’s outer elbow, the town’s is surrounded on 3 sides by ocean. The Chatham Bar is an extremely long sand bar that is hazardous enough to warrant the Chatham Light, a lighthouse that has been warning off sailors for centuries. Monomoy Island is just off the coast to the southeast.

There is excellent shopping on the quaint Main Street. Many good area restaurants offer fresh seafood as well as sophisticated menus. As you drive along the town’s roads, your eyes will be treated to competing views - the ocean’s pounding surf, fishing vessels, and large and beautiful homes in the Cape Cod and Nantucket style.

Active adults are flocking to the Cape for its beauty and relatively mild (for New England) climate. In fact there is not really a slow time here any more, just a less crowded season. Children and grandchildren love to visit here. There are many very good golf courses. The art and antiques scene is first rate. Towns butt up against each other here, so if you choose not to live in Chatham as your retirement community,the nearby towns of Harwich, Orleans, Yarmouth, and Brewster off somewhat similar experiences.

Where to Retire in Chatham and Home Prices

Some condominiums are available in addition to single family homes. Retirement living in town is very attractive in many quiet neighborhoods, and there are a lot of water views over the ocean, bays, and inlets such as Stage Harbor. Prices are very high, reflecting Chatham’s presence at the top of the Cape Cod real estate food chain.  Median sale prices of homes in late 2014, according to, were a little over $500,000. reports the median sale price to be $514,346 in early 2015.


What is special about Chatham

Chatham has a charming downtown with excellent shopping and restaurants; the famous Chatham Bars Inn; the ocean and the Chatham Bar on 3 sides, topped by the Chatham Light; Monomoy Island and Stage Harbor; ocean views and beaches


What is not special about Chatham

The only possible bad things to say about Chatham are that it is expensive, and crowded in season.


Who will like retirement in Chatham

Chatham attracts a community of retirees who want to live in a charming and historic old town where just about everything is beautiful. Chatham is a very walkable community. For more information about how to retire in Massachusetts or towns like Williamstown


Local economy is driven by

The economy is driven by tourism, construction, and the remnants of some fishing

Climate and Physical Environment

Chatham is on the outer elbow of the Cape, east of Falmouth as it turns toward its terminus in Provincetown. Chatham is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and bays on 3 sides, and gently rolling land on the other.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Art and antiquing are big here. The Chatham Historical Society has an excellent collection and frequent program. The Society is located in the historic Atwood House Museum, one of the oldest homes in town and which dates to 1752. The expanded library is a tremendous resource for the town. As a resort community there is a great choice of good restaurants both in Chatham and in surrounding towns like Orleans.


Crime is low in Chatham.

Medical facilities

Cape Cod Hospital is 23 miles away in Hyannis


Barnstable Airport is 22 miles away in Hyannis

Valuable Links

Chatham Gables Inn


What people are saying about Chatham

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Facts about CHATHAM
  • State: MA
  • Environment: Coastal,Small Town,Boating Community,Resort Community,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $500,001+
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: jfb

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 3 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 5.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 2.7/5 ( 3 votes cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 5.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 1 vote cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.7/5 ( 3 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 2.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
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9. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.5/5 ( 2 votes cast)


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