Secret Places & Homes in Mt. Washington Valley

Mt. Washington ValleyThere are secret places and homes in Mt. Washington Valley. This photo to the left captures one of them. On this sunny, late September day I stand at a trusstle and watch small trout rise from a clear pool on the Saco. The boy in me stirs and wants to return with a fly rod but not today as the hum-drum world moves me forward. The fish will wait. I can enjoy the now.

Yes, I have swum in this location with my kids, I have paddled this stretch of river in raft and canoe, and I have caught native Brookies with a fly-rod. I had no particular reason to be here today but stopped for the quiet, to feel the sun on my face, to remember and watch the magic of where I live.

My client and I began our friendship in part around fishing. One morning he displayed a magnificent Lake Trout he had caught through the ice on Conway Lake. The fish had been packed in ice and the clear belly showed white. And quite frankly, Tim catches fish year round and has spent the last two decades in Mt. Washington Valley in his country home in Conway.

While Time might not divulge his fishing secrets, there is one thing he wants to make plain as he sells his house:

Some features of this lovely property:EXTERIOR.COMPRESSEDDOG

a) 1,47 country acres
b) organic garden
c) post & beam
d) wood stove & oil heat
e) kitchen designed for a chef
f) farmer’s porch, side-deck for grilling

 


For More Information on 2012 Eaton Road — Please Submit Form Below

 

August 2014 Carroll County Market Report

Carroll County

The Carroll County residential market continues to level out over the improvement we saw in 2013. You can view the full report here: August 2014 market report. The number of closed sales is down 7% and days on market are longer. Despite that, sales volume is up even more than last month at +6%, and the average sale is up to $285,064 compared to $249,072 last year, as pricier homes are selling. Good news for the luxury home market!

In the condo market, days on market are down 129 vs. 155 days — condos are selling over 3 weeks faster. However, the number of closed sales are down 5% compared to this time last year, sales volume is down 9% again this month, and the average sale is down to $169,767 compared to $176,471 last year. We don’t expect this correction to last, but it sure is a good time for condo buyers.

At the NH Association of Realtors Conference in Bretton Woods last week, I listened to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, talk about the real estate recovery lagging in New England (except for Boston, which had made real estate ownership almost impossible for the Millennial generation). He specifically mentioned New Hampshire as having some real opportunities in the market for home buyers right now, especially with the inevitability of mortgage interest rates rising to 5% in the next 2-6 months, and to 6.5% by 2016.

If you have any questions about the market, feel free to contact us, we’re happy to help.

Best,

Joy

How To Be The Perfect Buyer

As Realtors, we are constantly striving to be the best we can be. We participate in continuing education (sure, we’re required to, but we do it with a smile on our faces!) we update our technology tools, we invest in marketing and advertising, and we really focus on improving our service. Of course, this is what puts food on our table, but we know how important great service is, and we try to provide that to our clients. So I thought I’d turn the tables a little bit and describe our perfect buyer. Even if you do one thing from this list, we’ll be forever grateful!

1. Get pre-qualified. If you are very interested in buying a property within the next 4 months, call a lender and get a pre-qualification letter. bankIt takes less than a half hour, barely touches your credit report, and makes things much easier. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a property and then finding out that you can’t get qualified for it. Don’t set yourself up for heartbreak. Get a pre-qualification letter from one of our preferred vendors and look within that price range.

2. Drive by the houses. I realize that you might not live in the area, but taking the time to drive by the 31 houses you want to see next weekend will be worth it for everyone involved. I guarantee that your list will be cut in half, or even further, once you drive by the properties. Sometimes it’s the area, or it looks nothing like the photos, or the proximity to the street, whatever. It saves you time and saves us time.

3. Be realistic about showings. Again, we understand that you might not live in this area, and you have limited time. However, try to keep the number of properties you want to see down to 8 or less. More than that for one is exhausting, and two, it’s hard to remember which one is which when you have “marathon showings” and this is a big deal, you want to keep a clear head. There’s always another weekend if you don’t find something you love on your first time out. Besides that, showings take a minimum of 15 minutes each, so by the time you’ve seen 5 or 6 not only are you tired and overwhelmed, but hungry too!

4. Be loyal. There are a lot of Realtors out there, and we know how easy it is to find another one instantly online. We strive to get you information as quickly as possible, take you to see several properties, and help answer any and all of your questions. It just about kills us to spend so much time with a person, develop a relationship, and then a week or two later get an email saying “sorry, but we saw more houses with so and so, and we made an offer on one”. Listen, I’m not saying you can’t pick and choose who you’re working with, but be up front. If you’re not going to commit to one Realtor, just be honest. If you see 6 houses with us and think it’s just not a good fit, tell us! We would much rather know up front that you are working with several Realtors, or that you’re going to look at houses with someone else, or that our personalities don’t click with yours, than learn about it weeks later after several failed attempts to contact you. happy home buying family

5. Don’t think we’re the enemy. The best part of our jobs is the fact that we get to help people. We are on your side. The paychecks are great, but don’t think of us as stereotypical salespeople, dying to get a commission NOW. In fact, many of us don’t even like to consider ourselves “in sales”! We honestly want what’s best for you, and take our job as your educator seriously. We know that you will make a decision on purchasing a house on your own, and don’t want to push you. We want to offer you all of the information we have and help you make a smart decision. If at any point in a sale things seem to be going in a bad direction, we will tell you! We’d rather start all over in the process of finding a property than have you make a bad decision and blame us. We want to be your Realtor for life, not just for this one transaction, and we will do what we can to make sure you trust us.

At JtRealty, we consider our clients our friends too. It’s important to us to be honest and forthcoming with you so you will use us in the future, and tell your friends about us. If there’s anything you wish Realtors did differently, we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below!

A-Zipping We Will Go!

JtRealty staff at Bretton Woods Canopy TourOnce a year in the summer, we all get together and have a big cookout. This year, we decided to try a different approach, and booked a trip on the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour. Ziplining! I had never gone before. I had the chance to on a recent vacation to Mexico, but unfortunately (not really, I was totally relieved) it started thundering and lightning and they wouldn’t allow us to do it. So this was a JtRealty staff riding the chair liftredemption trip! I said yes without thinking, and then slowly started to freak out about a week before.

We got to the base lodge a few minutes early to sign a waiver (P.S. I shouldn’t say this but I’d advise NOT reading the waiver if you’re already freaked out. You know what the gist of it is, you don’t need an extensive description!) and then headed over to the zipline building. The guides got us all strapped in and gave us a quick rundown of safety tips. Then, onto the chairlift we went!

We got off the chairlift at the top, and walked about 10 minutes to the first line. It was a small mini-line. We then got the full set of instructions from the guides, and we each went on the small line in order to practice steering, braking, and pulling ourselves in. This made me feel SO much better. You really are completely strapped in and doubly hooked up. The guides even said that the most dangerous part of the tour is the walk from the chairlift, and I believe it!The top of Bretton Woods Canopy Tour

The course is designed to build your confidence, so the lines start out short and at a relatively low elevation and then work their way up. There are 9 lines altogether, ranging from 120-830 feet in length and up to 165 feet off of the forest floor. We went effortlessly from line to line, stopping at tree platforms build waaaay up in the trees. We also trekked across two 50 foot sky bridges, and repelled off of three platforms! It was really an adventure. Our guides were fantastic, they were knowledgeable about the area, and funny too! Our guide Beech zipliningeven told jokes on each platform as we were waiting for all of our group members to go across. This was a huge help, because to me, standing on these platforms high up in the trees was the scariest part! Even though the whole day had a light and joking feel, I appreciated that the guides, while funny and joking, still could sense when someone was a little freaked out, and gave a gentle “look at me, you’re fine, I’ve got all the control” which was so reassuring.

The entire tour took about 3 and a half hours, and by the end we were beat! The hot cider and rum in the lobby of the Mount Washington hot cider and rum in the lobby of the Mount WashingtonHotel was well deserved after a long day zipping down the mountain. I would highly recommend this tour. I was so nervous to do it, but so glad that I did! We had a great day together, trying something new and soaking in the mountain views we all love so much.

If you have any questions about the tour, or any other outdoor activities, contact one of our local loving agents. Between all of us, there’s not an outdoor activity we haven’t conquered.

July 2014 Carroll County Market Report

Hello and happy fall! Our Carroll County market report has just been released and can be viewed here: July 2014 stats. We are sorry for the delay on this, but the NH Association of Realtors recently moved their offices, and it caused some communication delays.

The residential market improved a lot last year, so the improvement in the market seems to be leveling out this year. The number of closed sales is down 6.5% compared to this time last year and days on market are longer, 134 last year vs. 146 this year. Despite that, sales volume is up 5%, and the average sale is also up, $274,774 this year compared to $245,263 last year. Looks like prices are creeping up!

In the condo market, the good news is that days on market are down 11% — condos are selling over 2 weeks faster. However, the number of closed sales are down 3% compared to this time last year. Sales volume is down 9%, and the average sale is also down, $165,486 this year compared to $176,724 last year. The positive side is that condos, ski condos in particular, show sales straight through the ski season, so we still have time to catch up.

We’ve got about 6 weeks left of our busy season, so timing is everything! If you’d like an updated CMA on your property, just contact one of our agents.

Warmest regards,

Joy

How to Make Your Move Manageable

So, you’re under contract and getting ready to move in to your new home. The hard part is over right? Not always. You still have to pack up your stuff and move! Sometimes that can be the hardest part. Here are some tips to help you with the process:

1. Get rid of some stuff! Moving is the perfect time to prioritize all of the “stuff” you’ve been holding onto, and get rid of some. My personal rule of thumb is if I haven’t worn it, used it, or looked for it in 6 months, it goes. I try to go through my house at least twice a year with this in mind, excepting only very sentimental items. I donate clothes, shoes, household items constantly to a local thrift shop, and will also put stuff aside for a spring time yard sale. Early this summer one of my friends was having a yard sale so I figured I’d join in with a bunch of yard-salestuff I was going to give away anyway, and ended up with over $200 for a couple hours of sitting out in the sun with mimosas. Pretty sweet deal! Be creative when saving personal things. Scan photos or kids school artwork to cloud storage, box up kid’s clothes by size and give them to friends or family that can use them. Call your local Habitat for Humanity to see if they will take any household items for one of their yard sales. They even pick it up! Don’t forget to get a donation receipt for a tax write off.

2. Start with the rooms you don’t use first. Leaving everything for the last minute can be super stressful. Try to start packing weeks or months in advance to lessen the load in those final days. You probably won’t need your wedding china or winter clothes before your October closing in 3 weeks. Or your seldom used kitchen appliances. You can make do for a couple of weeks with minimal items, and it will save you time and headaches before your move.

3. Clearly label boxes, including the room they will be going to. Don’t just say “Glasses” on a box. Take the extra 3 seconds and write “Glasses, bar, formal dining room”. This way, no matter who helps you move, they will be able to put each box where it belongs, and you will be able to unpack one room at a time and know what you need to unpack first.

4. Get creative with packing. Look at pinterest for ideas on this. The possibilities are endless. A few of my favorites:

1. Use Glad Press n’ Seal for drawers. Pull the drawer out of the dresser, use the wrap, and pack it just like that. You’re packing the items in the drawer and making moving the dresser easier.

2. Use clothing to wrap dishes, glasses, and other breakables. It will save you money on bubble wrap, and as a bonus you’re packing clothes too!

3. Keep sandwich bags handy. Whenever you disassemble a piece of furniture, put all of the hardware in a bag and label it. Tape the bag to the piece of furniture, if possible. This way you aren’t searching for parts.

5. When it gets to be a few days from your move, pack an overnight bag. No one feels like searching for their toothbrush or pajamas after a long day of packing, loading a truck, and driving to their new home. Do yourself a favor and pack a bag with your essential toiletries, pajamas, and an extra outfit for the next day. That way you can get to your destination, unpack your bed, and get some rest.

6. Breathe. It will get done, and soon the nightmare of packing and moving will be over and you’ll be relaxing in your new home. Focus on the end result, take short breaks, and look at a photo on your phone of your favorite relaxfeature in the new house to keep you going.

Bonus tip: If you are moving to this area from out of state, consider using our preferred vendor list to help find movers, contractors, cable providers, etc. All the vendors on our list have been used by us or someone very close to us, and we highly recommend them all. Take the guesswork out! Also, our Realtors aren’t just here for real estate. We are always happy to help someone find the best grocery store near them, or give a take out recommendation. Don’t be afraid to ask us! We’re die hard locals that know the best secrets.

 

5 Tips for Cordial Negotiating (AKA don’t be that guy)

“There’s something to be said for cordial negotiations” is a line I heard from David Emmet, when I first started here at JtRealty. At the time, it was just another tip I heard around the office, but now as I begin my venture into sales, it pops into my head constantly. Negotiating a sale is the trickiest part for all parties involved. Here’s a few things to try to remember:

1. Check your ego. Remember that everyone involved wants the same thing. The sellers want to sell. The buyers want to buy. The Realtors want it to close. While breaking it down might seem like you are on two different teams, the truth is that everyone is working towards a common goal. Remembering this fact and keeping in mind that it’s not about you can go a long way. So what if the seller didn’t come down as much as you wanted them to? Did they come down at all? Is the home affordable to you? Is it worth it? So many deals fall apart over a couple thousand dollars, or LESS, because emotions get involved.

keep calm do your homework2. Do your homework. Together with your Realtor you should do your research and have a very good handle on the market before you make an offer. Know what has sold, what hasn’t sold, and what is pending. Look around and get a very good idea as to what you think the house is worth, but be able to back it up with information. Don’t lowball just to see if the sellers will bite. 9 times out of 10 this won’t do anything except anger the seller and immediately start things off on a bad foot. Even if they counter offer, chances are they’ll be insulted, and less likely to offer any further concessions when it comes to inspections, etc. Once again, there’s something to be said for cordial negotiations…

3. Figure out what really matters. When it comes to your inspection, it’s typical for lots of issues, no matter how small, to come up. Don’t ask for every little repair to be made. Think about if you had the same issue in your own home. Sure, some people fix every problem as soon as it happens, which of course is what you should do, but sometimes people put things off if they aren’t a big deal. Would you immediately replace a window if there was a little fog in it? Would you call a plumber if your faucet had a tiny leak? Probably not. So don’t get caught up on the smaller things and ask the seller to repair them. If there are major problems, of course, work those into the negotiations, but don’t use the inspection as a way to get more money out of people.

4. It’s not a game. Similar to #1, ego can get in the way and make people “play the game” even if they don’t care about whatever is monopolyhappening. Deals can fall apart over pretty ridiculous things, such as a couch set, or a cord of firewood, just because one party is ready to put their foot down over something.  Try to take a step back and look at the big picture, the fact that you are buying a house. Not whether or not the seller is leaving the pretty painting on the wall.

5. Walk away if you have to. Always have one or two back up houses in mind. Don’t let this one house cloud your judgment and make you not think clearly and agree to anything the seller wants. If they aren’t being cordial, you don’t have to buy their house! Don’t say yes to things or prices that you aren’t comfortable with. There’s a lot of houses out there, you can find another one. But once you buy, it’s yours, and being angry because you feel like you were taken advantage of is no way to start your life in a new home.

Negotiating can be difficult, and scary, but for us, it can be the best part! It’s because we are trained and skilled at what we do. It’s best to have buyer representation so you know that you’ve got someone in your corner with your best interests at heart. Contact one of our agents and ask about buyer agency, and they’d be happy to tell you about all of the fantastic benefits it offers. Don’t go at it alone! And the best case scenario would be to walk out of the deal with both sides happy and ready to move forward. Good luck and happy negotiating!

The Happiest Jobs in America

I saw an article on Facebook the other day titled “The 20 Happiest Jobs in America for 2014” and was pleasantly surprised to see “Realtor” at number 3! It got me thinking, what makes working in this industry so great? Then I realized I have 8 happy Realtors within my reach, so why not ask them? Here’s what they have to say about this challenging, but rewarding career choice: JtRealty staff | North Conway NH

“It’s exciting and motivating to be a major role in helping someone find a property that is going to have such an impact on their life. It’s a lot of work, but it feels like something else.” – Kathy Prittie

“What I like the most is the flexible scheduling. My job allows me to enjoy the mountain lifestyle and provide a great income.” – David Emmet

“It is a very rewarding job. I love being the one who helps keep things moving forward and keeping them together. From the first email or phone call…to the showings (getting to know them)…then helping negotiate, the inspection, working with the bank & title company. I love being a Realtor because I end up with more friends.”- Elizabeth Scully

“I appreciate coordinating the transaction once we get launched and under agreement. It feels like being an NFL quarterback, an air traffic controller, and there is a gentle pressure the entire time but that is where relationships are forged and where Realtors truly earn their money.”-Ryan Mahan

“I love helping families make a lifetime of memories.” – Nella Thompson

“To sum it up, I primarily love my real estate career because of the autonomy – I can control my job and my days. In fact, I only work half days and can choose any 12 hours I want! Seriously, I found my niche over 35 years ago – I am a bottom line problem solver and this career offers plenty of opportunities to implement this skill, both for co-workers and clients.” – Joy Tarbell

“For an industry that tends to get pinned as something that just older people do, I am constantly surprised at the innovation and technology that the real estate industry provides. It’s always changing, exciting, and fun! Helping people find a property that is perfect for them, or sell a property that no longer works for them, is addicting, and I find myself checking my emails and getting a little skip in my heartbeat when there’s a new client in my inbox. What’s better than that?” – Emily Kubichko

JtRealty staff“I love the freedom and flexibility of being able to work on my own schedule, the ability to work from home or anywhere, even on vacation! No two days are alike; each day brings a new challenge and I’ve never stopped learning.  It’s a great way to earn a living in Mt. Washington Valley where I can enjoy the mountain lifestyle that I love and also introduce people to the things I love to do in the Valley.” – Suzie Laskin

Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? If you are interested in finally working as hard for yourself as you currently do for someone else, check out our careers page to learn more.

 

3 Tips to Help Secure a Favorable Mortgage Rate

The best way to ensure you get a good rate on your mortgage is to become an informed buyer. The more you know about mortgages, the more you’ll be able to save, and that doesn’t just mean knowing where to find the best interest rate.

While interest rates play an important role in determining the price of your mortgage, there’s always more to a mortgage than just the interest rate. Here are three things you need to know about mortgages to make sure you secure a favorable rate.

Understand The Fees Involved – And How To Avoid Them

Aside from the interest rate, the biggest factor affecting the price of a mortgage is often the fees involved. These fees won’t always be easy to find, so you might have to do some homework if you want to compare fees charged by different lenders.

Sometimes, it’s possible to have these fees waived or removed. For example, if you end up moving your mortgage from one lender to another, the original lender may have some sort of mortgage pre-payment penalty. You’ll want to make sure the terms of your existing mortgage loan don’t include fees like this before you refinance.get a quote for a mortgage

Understand How The “Lock-In” Process Can Affect Your Interest Rate

When you get a quote for a mortgage, each lender will offer a “lock-in period” in which the lender guarantees the interest rate for your mortgage stays the same. Because interest rates fluctuate so often, this “lock-in period” ensures that you end up paying the same rate you were initially offered should you choose to take out a mortgage with that lender.

If you need a longer lock-in period of two months or more, many lenders will charge a higher interest rate for that provision. For this reason, it’s a good idea to be sure about the closing date of your sale so you can avoid missing out on the lock-in period or being forced to ask for a rate-lock extension.

Understand How Your Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage Rate

Generally, a better credit score means a better mortgage rate, but it’s important that you don’t damage your score while you’re shopping around for mortgages.

Every lender will want to know your credit score and see your credit history. The good news is that every inquiry of the same tyep (mortgage in this case) will only count as a single inquiry on your score.  However, if you have other types of credit pulled, like furniture or auto financing, then too many inquiries into your credit history can lower your credit score.  Your best bet is to hold off on any additional financing until your home purchase loan is completed.

Of course, it’s always important to shop around and compare rates when you’re looking for the best mortgage deal. And now that you know these extra pieces of information about how mortgages work, you should have an easier time differentiating between a good mortgage rate and a bad mortgage rate. A mortgage rate that looks good at first could end up being a bad mortgage rate in the end because of hidden fees and other cost factors.

To learn more about finding the best mortgage rates, give your trusted mortgage professional a call. And to find the perfect house you want to finance, contact one of our agents

Guest blog brought to you by Liz Widmer, from Market Street Settlement Group

7 Things to consider when buying a condo

In the Mount Washington Valley, condo sales make up a great deal of our business. Buyers coming from out of state looking for a second home tend to have a lot of questions about condo ownership, as they aren’t used to the idea. Besides that, usually vacation home buyers are excited (with good reason!) and we want to be sure you know the right things to look for and questions to ask. We thought it would be helpful to provide you with a list of things to keep in mind during your searchCondo Property:

1. Rentals. Lots of condo associations offer rental programs so you can rent out your condo while you aren’t using it. Of course, this isn’t mandatory, but lots of owners choose this to help offset the expenses. Some buy them specifically for this reason alone! So if you are looking to buy for a rental, make sure you look at condos that allow short term rentals. Also be sure to find out what type of restrictions exist, such as pets, number of guests, etc. This way you aren’t offering people something you can’t deliver on.

2. Amenities. Different associations offer different amenities. Amenities can be a huge draw when choosing a condo. It’s not just about the interior! When you look at condos, be sure to ask for a tour of the amenities so you can see what there is to enjoy at each development. You might spend a lot of time using them.

3. Condo fees. Look carefully at the condo fees and what is included. Getting a clear picture on what is and isn’t included is important, and will help you to avoid surprises in the future that you hadn’t budgeted for.Attitash Mountain Ski Area

4. Special assessments. Every so often, a repair project comes along that goes over and above what the association has budgeted for and a special assessment needs to be issued. Examples would include new roofs, paving, or unexpected disaster damages that go over the condo reserves. It’s important to look at the budget and see how much money the development keeps in reserves, and also ask if there is currently a special assessment in place. Typically the buyer is responsible for any special assessment payments that are due after closing, even if the assessment was imposed before the closing.

5. Pets. Not all developments accept pets, so if you’re planning on bringing your favorite four legged friend, make sure they will be allowed!

6. Rental income. As stated before, lots of vacation home buyers choose to rent out their condo while they aren’t using it. It’s great to find a condo that already has good rental income so you can get an idea. Ask for the rental history for the past couple of years so you can get an average net income for your planning purposes. Overlooking The White Mountains

7. Location, location, location. Keep an open mind when looking online at certain condo developments. Come and drive around some of them. Chances are, you will fall in love with a development, and then you can narrow your search to just that certain location. There are a lot of options here! If there’s nothing on the market that interests you in the development of your dreams, just be patient. Good things are worth waiting for, and you want this decision to make you happy and comfortable, not rushed, or like you’re settling for something. Your Realtor can help by setting you up to receive new listing notifications in your desired location, so you’ll be one of the first to know!

Purchasing a condo should be an exciting, rewarding experience. We are proud to have many condo sales under our belts, and we are skilled and well versed in the local developments, rules, and regulations, and are happy to help you find the perfect vacation condo.

Contact us for more information, or to find out our favorites! Happy searching.

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