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!

The Happiest Jobs in America

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 By Emily

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

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

The Future of Real Estate…

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 By Emily

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!

A Castle in Barlett, New Hampshire?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 By rmahan

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 :)



Ryan@JtRealty.com
direct (207) 462-3874.

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

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 By rmahan

$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

 

 

 

 

A day in the life…

Thursday, May 15th, 2014 By Emily

One of the best parts about being a Realtor is that your job changes every day. One day you’re at a desk all day doing paperwork and answering emails and the next day you’re driving around showing property all over the place. Some days you do both in one day! You never know what the next day might look like and even if you think you know you could get a new listing or an email postponing a closing, and everything could change at a moment’s notice. If this sounds stressful, well, it should. Sometimes it is! But sometimes…sometimes you get to get to hike up to a listing to take photos and take a few quiet moments to enjoy views like this:

Panoramic view from the top of Billy Goat Road

Every step you climb up seems to melt more and more stress away, and finally reaching the top and taking that first look around has a magical way of erasing any negativity and really making you appreciate what you do and where you live. I have lived here most of my life and a clear view of Mount Washington with snow on top still takes my breath away. Every. Single. IMG_4136Time. I secretly (well, not so secretly now) refer to her as “Mother Mountain” in my head, and have this vision that she watches over the Valley, sort of our north star, if you will. Cheesy as it might be, I bet that you’ll find that almost everyone that calls this place home feels the same loyalty and favoritism towards the majestic mountain. And we all dream about owning a home where we can sip our morning coffee, or twilight glass of wine, while taking in the mountain’s beauty.

But back to the listing! You can learn more about it here, and see how that view could be yours every day. But for now, I’ll enjoy it while I can.

If you are interested in an ever-changing, exciting career, check out our Careers page to learn more.

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