August 2014 Carroll County Market Report

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 By Emily

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

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 By Emily

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!

July 2014 Carroll County Market Report

Friday, September 12th, 2014 By Emily

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

3 Tips to Help Secure a Favorable Mortgage Rate

Friday, August 8th, 2014 By Emily

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

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 By Emily

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.

June 2014 Market Report

Monday, July 28th, 2014 By Emily

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,

Joy

Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 By Emily

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!

Spring from “For Sale” to “Sold”

Friday, March 21st, 2014 By lindsay

Happy Spring everyone! So-long winter!

Happy Spring everyone! So-long winterYesterday marked the first day of spring with the vernal equinox occurring mid-day; although you’d never know it with the amount of snow that was on the ground when we woke up yesterday! I’m sure all you skiers out there were thrilled for one more day of powder skiing. The rest of us non skiers are just about ready for this snow to melt. Bring on the mud! I’m looking forward to warmer weather, longer days, blooming flowers and green grass!

Spring is known as a great time of year to think about selling your home. As more and more buyers come out in the months of April, May and June than any other time of year looking for that new place to call home. To prepare your home for a sale, there are a few things you can do beyond your typical spring cleaning.

  1. Clean your windows (inside and out). This includes the glass, panes, and sills.
  2. Rake your yard and do some landscaping. A few new flowers, mulch and green grass can make a huge difference. When the outside of your home looks nice, it will make potential buyers want to look at the inside.
  3. Once the weather permits, open up those windows! Letting fresh air in will make your home smell crisp and clean. Also, make sure you keep curtains drawn back and blinds/shades open to let in natural light.
  4. go from “For Sale” to “Sold”If  possible, redecorate your home with décor and furnishings more appropriate for the season. For spring, use light, bright colors and textures. You don’t want your rooms to feel weighted down with darker colors and big blankets that are more comfortable for winter.
  5. Once your home is listed, be sure to have an outdoors mat so that visitors are able to clean their shoes before coming inside. You don’t want mud to be trekked through your home after all that cleaning!
  6. List your home for sale with JtRealty Lakefront to Mountainside!

 

Hopefully with these tips and some nice weather (come on mother nature!) you will be set to sell and go from “For Sale” to “Sold”.

Worst Time Of The Year May Be The Best For Real Estate Buyers

Monday, November 18th, 2013 By Emily

1/4 mile up the road, cross country ski trailsWhy is the worst time of the year, often the best time for real estate buyers?

The holiday season and the following “worst weather” months are widely considered the worst time of the year for selling or buying real estate. In reality, these distraction-packed months – November to February – carry benefits for determined buyers. Join the “herd” of buyers who are active during traditional “good weather” home shopping months – starting with the spring frenzy of home buying – and this competition for properties can mean buyers pay more, lose out on good-value listings, and receive less attention from swamped mortgage professionals.

Get outside the traditional “box” of right times to buy and you’ll deal with sellers who are very committed to selling, real estate and mortgage professionals able to give you their full attention, and less competition for good-value listings. This lack of competition should mean you get more for your money with less hassle, more personalized service, and time to make confident decisions. Yes, tradition may dictate that you put your dreams and your life on hold to spend and eat too much over the holiday season, and then cut corners when bills come in during the winter. However, “we’ve always done it that way” tradition does not mean we’ve ever done it the right way. What priority do you give your real estate goals and dreams? Is it time for you to break from the buyer “herd” and make sure you receive the best buying opportunity possible?

The key advantage of shopping for a home during “the worst times” is that sellers who have listed their property during these periods are serious, often very serious, about selling. Motivated sellers understand why they benefit from taking offers to purchase seriously and take the time to explore how they may be able to work with the buyers. As we’ve discussed before, it’s about a lot more than purchase price. For instance, offering to match the seller’s perfect closing date can carry considerable value for the seller just as not asking for a huge shopping list of inclusions means savings for sellers.

There’s a practical side, too. Viewing property at “the worst time” can tell you a lot about what you can really expect from a property:

  • Visit a house during a hard rain and you’ll see how well the eavestrough system does its job. No overflowing gutters, waterfalls at corners, or soaked exterior walls. There should not be exterior water damage or water in the basement (at least from that source). Observe how the rain water flows off the land. Does it collect around the house or move to the street?  Pooling may indicate a potential basement problem. The longer water problems from poor maintenance continue, the greater the cost of repairing the damage. Paint may camouflage the trouble, but the problem will persist.
  • Drive by houses after a fresh snowfall and you’ll discover which are well insulated (snow on roof) and which are losing heat (melted snow).
  • Tour a house on a very windy day and drafts, insufficient insulation, and poorly-sealed windows and doors will be revealed.
  • Spend time in a house on a cold day and study how well the furnace heats the whole house. When a furnace is replaced, the duct work is not always adapted. Is it noticeably colder in the back rooms? How’s the second floor and the bathrooms
  • During the holiday season when parties and cooking are popular pastimes tour condominium units and you’ll see how far noise and smells travel in the building and into the suite or townhome you’re considering.

 

Are you ready to turn “the worst times for home buying” into the best time for your successful real estate transaction? Contact us at JtRealty  today to get your property listed for sale or to take advantage of the season!

 

Guest blog written by PJ Wade of Market Street Settlement Group, contact EWidmer@mssg.com for all of your closing and title needs. www.MSSG.com

September 2013 Market Report

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 By Emily

Dear Clients and Friends,

The Carroll County September 2013 Market Report has just been released and can be viewed here: September 2013 Stats

The residential market looks pretty good this month, although still not the improvement we were expecting this year. Sales are up 9% while new listings are only up 3% when compared to this time last year. The average sale went down 6% from $284,555 in 2012 to $268,090 this year to date, as the higher end homes are not selling as well as previous years. Days on market are 10 days shorter.

Great news in the condo department this month! The condo market continues to bounce back, with new listings up 15% but more importantly, sold listings up 37% from this time last year. The average sale price also went up, from $155,194 in 2012 to $176,553 in 2013, a 12% increase. Days on market are just about the same. If this trend keeps up, it will compensate for the declines of last year.

We have a couple of good weeks left in our selling season before things quiet down for the holidays. For an updated price review on your property, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Happy Fall,

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