7 Things to consider when buying a condo

In our area, 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.

June 2014 Market Report

We hope you are enjoying your summer. The Carroll County market report has just been released and can be found here: June 2014 Market Report. Here’s a quick summary of the report:

In the residential market, the number of closed sales are down 3% compared to this time last year. Homes are taking longer to sell as days on market are up 7%, or 10 days longer. Sales volume is up 12%, making the average sale $271,276, compared to last year’s average of $223,419, a great improvement in terms of prices!

In the condo market, the number of closed sales are up 1% compared to this time last year. Days on market are down 10.5%, so condos are selling over 2 weeks faster. The not so good news is that the average sale at this time last year was $179,592 and this year it is $167,676, almost 7% lower, which is still low, but last month the year to date average was down 11%, so we are catching up!

For an idea on what is going on nationally, you can read this article which is an update of the industry as a whole for the first half of 2014. Interesting stuff!

Our busy season is underway and we are excited to do what we can to improve these numbers in the coming months! There is a good amount of inventory out there, so it’s as important as ever to stay competitive and be realistic about pricing. If you’d like an updated market analysis of your property, just ask! You can contact us with any questions you may have.

Stay cool,


The Future of Real Estate…

Some of my favorite stories at our sales meetings, or real estate conferences, are about what real estate used to be like. How all the listings used to be printed weekly and added to a big book to show to clients. Or how agents used to have to drive around from office to office collecting keys to listings before they could show them. Or how buyers and sellers would have to sign contracts and mail them to each other, rather than scanning stacks-of-paperand emailing. Listening to it now, it seems so comical and inefficient, but back then it wasn’t. It really makes me think, what will real estate be like in 5 years, or 10 years, or even 30 years? What will become obsolete that seems perfect now?

Real estate was introduced to the internet in 1994, and the feeds that push listings from the MLS to company websites was introduced in the early 2000′s. Source: here. Now we can find data on properties that aren’t even listed, see an estimated value, or time on market, or listing agent right from a mobile app on our cell phone. What can we improve on? Personally, I think that contracts could be a simpler process for clients. We are getting there, but it still isn’t perfect. Picture yourself as a home buyer. You look at several homes and finally fall in love. How great would it be to sit down at the table of the house you want to buy, fill out an offer with your Realtor, and then sign with your finger? NH has, over the past couple of years, become more open to electronic signatures and now accepts them, so we are getting close! I’d also love to see the searching process become easier. An app that could produce a “drive by” viewing of a property so you could check out the neighborhood before you drive by. With Google Earth you can spin around 360 degrees, but it’s cumbersome to try to go up and down a street. How cool would it be to put in an address and then be able to see a video of the last mile or so of the drive to, and from, the house? IPad_keyboard

At JtRealty, we constantly look for ways to improve, simplify, and modernize our service. We aren’t afraid of change and embrace it wholeheartedly. And we aren’t afraid of feedback!

What do you think? Would you ever make an offer on a house after taking a Skype walkthrough with a Realtor on their cell phone? Would you be nervous to give up signing and faxing or scanning contracts or does the idea of clicking to sign seem more your style? Technology is only as good as the person who wants to use it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that’s out there, and we are trying to sift through all of the apps and gadgets in order to make buying or selling real estate as easy as buying a cup of coffee. Can you think of any ideas? Contact us and feel free to challenge us and see how easy we can make it. We are up for it!

Why Lake Trips Are Important

A Life of Infatuation with Water 

I spent countless afternoons on the water before I could walk. I remember sitting in grandmother’s lap from a Grand Lake Stream canoe and my father saying, “Mom, look sweetie, the moose is right there, it’s even moving a little, see it?”

Well, grandmother’s eyes weren’t quite what they used to be and she had never really seen a moose before so she answered, “Oh my Warren, that is a lovely moose.” And true to my grandmother’s devout nature, a woman who spent much of her life in Kentucky, grandmother wasn’t really fibbing because I’m sure what she saw in her imagination was in fact, a lovely moose. “That is so nice Warren, lovely.” The experience was important for grandmother and father both even if the sighting was unclear.

Father and I would often drive to the end of old dirt logging roads, shoulder our fishing gear, and then hike sometimes miles in search of the elusive Native Brook Trout. The Black Flies were always thick, the walking difficult, and raining only meant that the fishing was sure to improve and sometimes we caught as many fish as we wanted, other times we left empty handed. That wasn’t the important part so much either.

My first whitewater canoe expedition was with my sister, in a damaged and limping canoe that floated only inches above the river. Our line was true, our strokes were certain, and our eyes were huge and I remember seeing my sister’s yellow hair high above me as we traveled up and over the standing wave, and then capsized as we took on too much water. The narrow coil of rope my friend tossed missed us so 1. 5 miles later I had the brute washed up on a sandbar.

During college summers I learned intimately the nature of whitewater and guided rafting groups down the Kennebec River. The pull of the river was too strong and raft trips too cumbersome so soon I discovered all I needed was a kayak, some gear, and grand moving water for thrills.

I spent a summer on a fishing boat in Resurrection Bay Alaska and never got accustomed to the immense size of nature, the abundance of sea-life (gray whales, porpoises, Bald Eagles), and how quick the ocean can turn on a man.

BUT PERHAPS the most important trip on the water was my most recent with my father and most of my family. At 83 years old a man can get cabin fever so we made an arrangement that was wheel-chair friendly.

“FREEDOM” is what you would have heard were you with us this afternoon. Sometimes time on the water is the best medicine.

...with Ryan Mahan











We have three incredible lakes in Mt. Washington Valley: Click Below for a Report 

Conway Lake
Silver Lake
Ossipee Lake  

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Happy 4th!

Happy Fourth of July! The Valley is bustling in all it’s summertime glory. There are several firework shows this weekend, you can check out the locations of a couple here. If you happen to be in Maine, a list of Fourth of July activities can be found here.fireworks

We are now in our busiest season, the agents are buzzing about, the phone is ringing, and we’re looking forward to a record-breaking summer! If you’ve been thinking about buying or selling this year, contact us for a no-pressure discussion on your goals for the remainder of 2014. We can help you determine whether or not the timing is right.

Have a very safe and Happy Fourth of July!

What to expect when you’re home inspecting

When you’re getting ready to buy a home, you need to know exactly what you’re buying. Imagine how awful it would be to find out that the hot water heater wasn’t working—in the middle of a shower! This is why you should have a home inspection before you buy. It is an important part of buying your home. Before you hire a home inspector, ask candidates a few questions to make sure you hire a trustworthy inspector. Inspection Report and Keys

  1. What does your inspection cover? Not all inspections are the same. Ask for copies of previous home inspections so you can see exactly what they will check inside the home. If you are concerned about something specific, like a leaky faucet in the bathroom, or a drafty window, mention that to the inspector so that you can be sure they check it out.
  2. Can I contact any of your past clients? If someone is doing a good, honest job, they wouldn’t be worried about someone contacting past clients. Even if you don’t actually call, ask for a number or two of people that have used them in the past.
  3. What kind of report will you give me? You should expect a written report detailing what the inspector found. Most inspectors will give you a typed report within a week of the inspection. Make sure the inspector will be available to explain anything on the report that doesn’t make sense to you.
  4. Will I be able to attend the inspection? If the inspector refuses to let you be present during the home inspection, find someone else. This is your chance to know exactly what you are buying and what potential repairsyou or the seller will have to make. Of course, you don’t have to attend, but the option should be available to you if you want it.

None of this is meant to scare you. There are plenty of fixes that can be done yourself, and not everything that shows up in a home inspection report is an urgent repair, so read them with that in mind.

As Realtors, it’s out job to guide you through the home buying process. Let us help. Contact us for more information, and visit our page of tried and true home inspectors for our favorites.


Saco River Trips with Ryan the Realtor

Sundays in July and August — Past and Current Clients the River Calls

The river first calls to me when the ice-jams let out, when the water swells brown after a heavy rain, and indeed my fingers and toes often become numb as some pals and I maneuver around boulders, drop small ledges, and stand high on the tops of river waves in Mt. Washington Valley from our kayaks.

Later in the spring, when air temperatures become tolerable, the river levels drop and whitewater becomes impossible to find.

But the rivers won’t let me go and they call to me again in late June and early July for pleasant canoe trips, waterfall gazing, dipping in chest high pools off the Kancamaugus Highway and plunging head-long into the Saco after dozing on her sandy beaches.

Come for a Canoe Trip with Ryan July 13th — Other Dates TBA




A Castle in Barlett, New Hampshire?

Shining Light on Hidden Marvels — Welcome to Castle Living 

I suppose 13-years-ago I pedaled my bike past this property in pure ignorance. And 6 years ago I suppose I raked leaves of neighboring homes with a landscaper friend of mine, again, in pure ignorance.

So ignorance of what you might ask?

Ignorance of a castle that sits a few minutes walk from my office and that a client of mine would one day contact me for a showing. While buying and selling real estate can be a linear, objective process, my time in real estate also proves the necessity of “house love,” or in this case, “castle love,” and the real need for potential owners to see themselves enjoying the property after purchase.

 castleEnjoying the property would not be  difficult in the case of 361 Hurricane Mountain Road: a home movie theater in the basement, a formal dining room that makes you feel like Swedish Royalty, a guest house to suit the Rockefeller’s, and the only way I could avoid getting lost in the castle was to use compass directions, “Okay, I’m in the West part of the castle, okay, now I”m in the South.”

Also, there is Knight dressed in full armor to keep guard over the bedroom quarters — you now understand the price of $1,785,000. My client and I shared many jaw-dropping moments examining the fine details of this luxury property.

And at one moment I paused and ran my hand along the edge of trim in a doorway. Each trim board had been cut with a ban-saw to fit snugly among the rocks in the castle wall. The time involved for this project is HUGE as the number of doors and entrances are too many to count.

interior castle

If your goals include luxury homes in Mt. Washington Valley, one-of-a-kind historic homes, request a report below.

I am off to Narnia through 361 Hurricane Mountain Road :)

direct (207) 462-3874.

Post & Beam Home with Organic GardenFor Sale in Eaton, NH

$199,900 Post & Beam Home with Organic Garden — A Home with Charm & Utility — New Listing

If a house could tell secrets on the current owners, 2012 Eaton Road would say the following: Tim is a professional cook who designed his kitchen for guests and function, or maybe also that Tim sometimes sneaks out of the house early to fish on Crystal Lake in neighboring Eaton, or maybe that Christine grows a strong organic garden and has for years. Also, this house raised two children who shared happy memories on Eaton Road before leaving for college.

This quiet country home has a wood stove, burns two tanks of oil annually, has a covered porch that faces the back yard and wraps around the house for grilling and enjoying the sun, and a walk-out basement for North Country toys and tools.

Ryan the Realtor ListingHere’s another secret: Tim & Christine are proud home owners who applied touch up paint to trim, stained decks, and finished odds and ends to make the transition for the next home owners easy. They have loved their home and they want the next folks to love their home as much as they do.

In short, they are a Realtor’s dream as they actually act upon suggestions and observations. Included are some additional photographs of this special property :)

Minutes to King Pine, Cranmore Skiing, and a short walk to historic Eaton Village Store.


Looking to buy a primary or second home and want the full listing sheet?

Downsizing, Up-sizing, Looking to Sell? FREE “Home Prep” Report and visitation from Ryan

DINING.2 LIVING.1 RAISED.BEDS BED.2.1 Ryan Mahan's New Listing





Being a landlord is not a pain!

I recently had a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home for rent in Conway Village. Ultimately the owner decided that she would rather sell than rent, but I was overwhelmed with the response to the rental. I kept hearing over and over that there is  nothing out there in that size and price range. The rent was just under $1000.

Rents continue to rise across the country, and there are more and more renters out there looking for somewhere to live! I saw proof of that.  I also am noticing a slight shortage in seasonal rentals. I have received several inquiries looking for a rental for the 2014/2015 ski season. If you home for rent in Conway Villagehave a property that you aren’t using, or were thinking of selling but chose not to because of the potential pricing, it might be a good time to think about renting. Here are some benefits you can expect:

1. $$$$. If you choose to rent out your property, we would treat it just like a sale, and we would do a market analysis to determine your potential rental amount. Then you can sit back and enjoy, letting us find your tenant and all you have to do is collect a check.

2. Peace of mind. Sure, renting to strangers can be scary. But we have a proven process with background checks that make it more secure. Besides that, you will know that your property is not vacant. There will be someone there to report any problems to you, to make sure the heat is working all winter, and can make being a distant property owner much easier for you.

cash3. Build equity. If you have a mortgage on your property, the longer you make the payments, the more principal gets eaten up. If you weren’t happy with a market analysis or appraisal you received, you can rent the property for a couple of years, putting you in a better position a few years from now to make a move.

Sure, there are risks to renting. Nightmare tenants, mortgage payments when the property is unoccupied, the hassle of finding tenants…but that’s where we come in. We will work hard to find you a great tenant quickly, and you won’t have to lift a finger.

To learn more about our rental program, email Emily@JtRealty.com or visit our rental page.


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