NH Ranks as BEST State to Live In!

By Tami PelletierLive Free or Die
pelletiergroup.com

You may have heard about this report created by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) on the news or read other articles ranking NH#1 in best overall performance when comparing quality of life indicators with all 50 states. The most important indicators are as follows:

1. Health
2. Safety
3. Housing
4. Access to broadband
5. Civic engagement
6. Education

This has lead me to believe that we have been underestimating our little State in quality of life and perhaps taking it for granted a bit. Obviously we are doing something right. Of course as a Realtor I was most interested that they gave NH a PERFECT 10 for housing. Again I think housing opportunities have been taken for granted and overlooked as well.

Now it is loud and clear that NH is a great place to live. Most people living here don’t need a report to tell them that but it is reassuring when a report supports it; especially one that compares us to the rest of the nation. It’s certainly something to smile about as you throw on a sweater, head up to the apple orchards or take your boat off the lake this weekend!

 

Looking to buy or sell a home in NH?

Click here to get in touch with Pelletier Realty Group, NH’s most knowledgeable local real estate experts.

 

Sell Your Home in NH this Fall!

Fall in NH9/29/14
By Tami Pelletier
pelletiergroup.com

If you are selling a home in NH you know that sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged as the season starts to cool down. Keep in mind though that buyers never stop looking and buy all year long.

A lot of times when sellers think back about when they bought they realize, “ooh yah, we closed in January!” As the NH Fall season rolls in remember that every showing is an opportunity to impress the buyer with your property.

You may be tired of having it ready for showings but this property is “new” to every buyer who is seeing it for the first time. Sometimes it is easy to let the little things start to slide but they can start to add up and in this market every seller is competing.

Here are a few helpful reminders on sprucing up before showing your house in NH this Fall:

EXTERIOR:

  1. Nothing beats a just mowed & trimmed lawn, especially after being raked clean of leaves during a NH Fall season
  2. Keep the garden beds & walkways weeded and edged
  3. Keep shrubbery trimmed and perennials cut back
  4. Add a splash of color with mums & pumpkins
  5. Fresh paint on the front door
  6. Wash windows

INTERIOR:

  1. Clear out the excess!
  2. Accent the fireplace or wood stove if applicable
  3. Add a bowl of fresh picked apples to give it that “Fall in NH” smell & look
  4. Update the kitchen faucet & cabinet knobs if dated
  5. Organize your closets, linens and storage
  6. Clean out the cobwebs, dust off light bulbs and clean out overhead lights

No property is perfect but when you are selling your home in NH let it SHINE!  Home buyers will appreciate your property that much more if they see it in it’s best possible condition.

 

Have a home to sell in NH?

Click here to list your home with Pelletier Realty Group, NH’s most knowledgeable local real estate experts.

 

Elderly Parent Refusing to Move

Elderly ParentBy Tami Pelletier
pelletiergroup.com

I spent some time yesterday discussing with a real estate client about our aging parents, both of whom live alone in NH homes. I completely understand that when our parents dig their heels and say” I am not moving”…they really will not move!  What do you do when you are faced with this situation where you can see that very soon they really should not be living alone! This may not be an issue so much when you live 15 mins away from them, but it can become a big one when they are 30 mins away or worse yet in another state. I don’t think I am alone in this and would love to hear from others on how they are working or not working this out.

Of course services are great in NH if your parent lets them in, which mine does NOT. I know there is help you can hire for meals and cleaning but the problem is my parent likes being in control and even though it is clear to ME that accepting my help or others is what can KEEP them independent my parent is adamant that ”Help is not necessary.”

What really struck me talking to my client is that his parent was exactly the same way. They love where they live in NH and don’t want to be a burden to anyone else. They both have a fierce independent streak that is passionate. That is really great and all as when I’m in my eighties I don’t expect to be told what to do either.. don’t they deserve to make up their own minds??? Unfortunately for us as their children it is so much more complicated; health, driving, maintenance, finance, YIKES, there is a lot to worry about.

In regards to housing what will this look like when it is inevitable that our aging parents cannot be alone and refuse to go into assisted living or care? I would gladly take in my parent and rework my living space to accommodate their needs, but not everyone has this option. Are in-law apartments or extended family residences going to be more important as our society lives longer?

This is the world we find ourselves in today especially as baby boomers are retiring in droves and elderly parents are living longer. We need to find a solution to this problem with the right balance for everyone involved!

 

Balanced Market vs Buyer’s Market

As with everything in NH real estate it’s all about location, location, NH Real Estate
price, price and condition, condition! This combination is the key to selling. In certain markets demand is out weighing supply however most local markets are seeing supply increasing to keep up with demand (aka “balanced market”). Changes the sellers experience in a balanced market is an increase in activity right when the listing comes on the market. The buyers experience a quicker market in which they have to act fast in order to compete with other buyers.

So whether you are looking to sell a home in NH or buy a home in NH, it is always smart to be aware of current market conditions in the area and adjust your approach accordingly.

Tami Pelletier

tami@pelletiergroup.com

 

Spring Market in NH

The Spring Market is right around… the corner? Well really Spring is here now and your new NH home could be right around the corner as well. Those who have been out looking at property in NH will certainly agree that there is a robust mixture of price ranges for single family, multi family, condos and foreclosures etc.

This Spring however is the first in years to show signs of lower inventory levels. Hooray for that but at the same time it has not dropped to the point where buyers have no choices. More and more Sellers are pricing realistically and are eager to attract the buyer by having homes ready to go! 

We are excited about this great combination and hope to see buyers taking advantage of this Springs inventory while it is still here.

Tami

tami@pelletiergroup.com

10 Things to Consider Before Making an Offer on a Home

Checking Home OnlineIf you’ve narrowed down your choice of a home to one, you may be eager to make an offer and get negotiations started. If you’re buying in a tight market where sellers have the upper hand you may even feel pressured to put in an offer the moment you see a house.

But, before you write that check for your earnest money deposit, you should take a little time to investigate the house and the neighborhood so you have a better idea of what you’re buying.

Your REALTOR® can be a valuable resource in gathering information for you and getting the answers to your questions from the seller’s agent. In the meantime, you can be proactive and do some of your own research.

1. Search for neighborhood information online.

If you already live in the community, you may be able to skip this step, but it’s always worthwhile to search local newspaper websites, local government sites, community sites and blogs to find out what’s happening in terms of upcoming development or other issues.

2. Check the crime report.

Your local police station will have statistics on crime and you can also go to www.crimereports.com to find information according to a particular address or ZIP code.

3. Check on the schools.

Even if you don’t have children, buying a home in a good school district is an important way to make sure your home maintains its value. You can find information on each school district website or go to www.GreatSchools.com for ratings.

4. Check for local amenities.

You can go to Google Maps for a Street View of a community to see what’s nearby, or visit www.WalkScore.com to find out what is within walking distance of the home. If you have a particular activity that you enjoy, such as tennis or golf or swimming, find out how far you’ll have to go to get to a facility.

5. Check for neighborhood amenities.

If you’re buying within a homeowners association, you can usually find information online about community activities, but even in areas without an association some neighborhoods have frequent community-wide gatherings or sports leagues.

6. Visit the home at different times of day.

If you want to know what it will be like to live somewhere, visit on a weekday, a weeknight and a weekend to see how quiet or active the area will be.

7. Test your commute.

If you only visit a home on a weekend you’ll have no idea what the traffic pattern is like during rush hour, which could have a big impact on your enjoyment of the property.

8. Schedule a home inspection.

Your purchase offer should include a home inspection so you know what repairs must be made and about how they will cost. You may or may not be able to negotiate for the seller to pay for home improvements, but it’s always better to go into a house with full knowledge of its condition.

9. Talk to the sellers.

If the sellers are willing to share information with you, they’re the best resource of all to learn about the community and the house. You can ask the sellers about renovations they’ve done and even talk to them about whether your plans for the house are possible.

10. Ask about taxes, homeowner association dues, homeowners insurance and utility bills.

Your monthly housing payment includes more than just the principal and interest on your loan. Make sure the taxes, insurance, homeowner association dues and utility bills will fit into your budget.

 

Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

With spring selling season arriving, take the time now to polish your home to perfection.

 

1. Let the sun in. Make any room look brighter with clean blinds and windows. Mix a solution of one part white vinegar to eight parts water, plus a drop or two of liquid dishwashing liquid, for a green window cleaner. Spray on and wipe with newspaper to avoid streaks. (Washing on a cloudy day also reduces streaking.)
Showing tip: Replace heavy drapes with lightweight shears during warmer months to give a room a brighter, lighter feel for prospective buyers.

2. Sniff out smells. Check the drip tray underneath your refrigerator and wash out any standing water from defrosting. Remove inside odors by washing the inside of the fridge with a baking soda and water solution. Boil lemon juice in your microwave and add it to your dishwasher to eliminate bad smells. Also, put the lemon rinds down the disposal. Add activated charcoal in the fridge to keep odors at bay.
Showing tip: Make the fridge smell fresh instantly with cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract or orange juice.

3. Make your bed better. Vacuum mattresses and box springs, and then rotate and flip over. Do the same for removable furniture cushions. This is also a great time to wash or dry-clean the dust ruffle and mattress pad.
Showing tip: Add new loft to a lumpy comforter by having two people vigorously shake the quilt up and down to redistribute stuffing.

4. Clean those coils. Improve energy efficiency by vacuuming grates, coils, and condensers in your furnace, stove, and refrigerator (either underneath or in back). If a vacuum won’t reach, try a rag tied to a yardstick.
Showing tip: Shut some air conditioning vents on the first floor or basement so that more air will reach and cool the second floor. Reverse the process in winter for heat vents.

5. Wash the walls. Grease, smoke, and dust can adhere to walls and make even the best decorating look dingy. Wash walls using a general-purpose cleaner with hot water. Start at the top of the wall to avoid drips and in a corner so that you wash one wall at a time. Rinse the mop head frequently in clean water. And don’t press too hard because flat latex paint won’t absorb too much water.
Showing tip: Resist the temptation to spot-clean walls since it will make the rest of the wall look dingy.

Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission. Image courtesy of  David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Do You Want in Your Dream Home?

According to Realtor.com when they reviewed the home features that visitors searched for the most in 2013, the results we’re all dreaming of are totally normal things: a laundry room, a fireplace, central air, a basement and the ultimate backyard amenity: a swimming pool. Check out a couple pictures of some very interesting property features that certain homeowners obviously put a lot of thought and energy (and money) into.

Contact us to start searching for your dream home!
4-Bed-Swing1

5-King-of-the-Castle-Child-Bedroom-Experience1

Join Us in Manchester December 7th!

santa-Event-Page-Header

Join Us in Manchester, NH December 7th at 3:15 PM for the Santa Claus Shuffle with Holiday Parade to follow at 4PM. Stop by Pelletier Realty Group Office at 1361 Elm Street Suite 106 to watch the festivities as they SHUFFLE BY! Deb Smith from our office will be suiting up as Santa and joining in the RACE. This is truly a great community event and we OPEN our DOORS in SUPPORT to the runners & viewers!

Katie Murphy’s Home Search

Finding Home

Home!

Home!

I am thrilled to share our happy news: Roger and I have found a farm to call our own! After more then a year of looking, and five offers later, we have finally found a home for ourselves and our four-legged family members. We could not be more thrilled, and yet terrified at the same time.

It has been a long and arduous process. Time after time, we were certain we would never find a property within our parameters, and yet each time an offer fell through, the next property was better then the one before.

Autumn Hill Farm

Autumn Hill Farm

Property #1: The Dream Farm. An 1,100 square foot 1970′s ranch with 24 acres on the same road as my parents. I had loved that property since I was a child, and would fantasize about living there as I road by on my conditioning sets. Well, 20 years later and a closer look revealed that the home was tiny, painfully outdated, in need of repair, and the 30+ year old barn had no foundation. Additionally, the land is traversed by two streams, which makes clearing for more paddocks difficult. Not such a dream after all. Negotiations ended with a $10,000 difference of opinion. Roger was angry. I was stubborn. We are now both grateful.

Formal entry

Formal entry

Property #2: Moist Stunner. This property took our breath away. A stunning late 1700′s Colonial that had been completely renovated, and aside from a contemporary bathroom, was true to its historical character. The antique bank barn was in disrepair, but Roger’s relative, an antique home and barn restoration specialist, was able to ease our concerns. However, the water frontage along the Piscataqua River was cause for apprehension, and through our own due diligence, we learned the property’s fields were in a flood plain. The low-lying fields were moist, and although neighbors assured us there had never been standing water, we feared that pasturing horses there would have been a detriment to the land and this beautiful home.

The kitchen with eating area.

The kitchen with eating area and fireplace.

Property #3: The Pig Farm. Sited on 90 acres of conserved land just miles from our town home, this little gem was a darling example of beautiful design and construction. Another petite home, the living space was designed after an antique home at a smaller scale. Used as a pig farm, the out-buildings were ideal for our horses after a few equine-friendly modifications. Though the existing fields were limited, the location was peaceful and protected. We submitted our offer along with three other buyers, and upon resubmitting a highest and best offer, we placed second. We were disappointed and frustrated, though upon reflection we realize the property may not be the best match for us given our needs and the conservation restrictions. At this time, we decided to wait until the spring of 2013 to continue our search.

The dining room with authentic bee hive oven and parson's pantry.

Dining room with bee hive oven and parson’s pantry.

Property #4: The Plague House. Yup, you read that right. 12 beautiful acres on a quiet dirt road, with a private pond and historic colonial of an ideal size. The home came with new windows, new wiring, recent septic and leach field, and an automatic whole-house generator. It also came with a history. While driving back to feed the horses, we shared our good news with my parents over dinner and they asked for the address. Later that evening over dinner, we learned a little more about this special property:

  • Carol (my mother): “So, did your father tell you what he found?”
  • Tom (my father): “You told me not to tell them!”
  • Me: “What?” (Roger and I are expecting fun news about wonderful neighbors, community happenings, etc.)
  • Carol: It’s called the Plague House.” At this point, Roger dropped his fork, and pushed back from the table in his chair as the happiness drained from his face.
  • Roger coughed and nervously sipped his Gingerale. Me: “I’m sorry. What was that?”
  • Tom: “The Plague House. It’s all over the internet with personal accounts. People with the disease were sent there to die and were buried in the woods to prevent animals from eating their bodies. The only problem was that the people caring for the ill also caught the disease, and they died too. And, there is a woman in white that is known to walk across the property at dusk.”
  • Me: With the enthusiasm of a teenage boy watching a ballet performance, I replied, “Awesome.” Roger said nothing – for the rest of the evening.

The master - adjacent to the paneled room.

The master – adjacent to the paneled room.

We decided to submit an offer. Despite being located in a less then desirable town, when we first arrived at the property, I immediately saw that Roger loved it. Ghosts or not, Roger was excited and happy. Inspections uncovered several substantial issues and after some negotiations, our contract ended. Perhaps the current “residents” did not care for us?

The paneled room - our future dressing room.

The paneled room – our future dressing room.

Property #5: “Disbelief”. After the upset of The Plague House, we decided to take a break. That did not last long. 24 hours later, I was on the web searching for our future home. I discovered this gem: The house was stunning, the land was perfect, and there was even an historic barn. The home was large, the price was large, but my heavens I had to see this house. As we drove through the wooden gate, our jaws dropped. A meadow stretched alongside the private drive towards perennial gardens, and woodlands provided a buffer from eager eyes. Set atop the hill, the Colonial stood tall and proud on an original granite foundation. To our right, field appeared from behind the tree line and stretched beyond our view. An historic barn centered the property, blending beautifully with the scenery. Original granite fence posts created the illusion of a bygone courtyard now speckled with apple, pear, peach and apricot trees. Behind the home, a gunite pool welcomed a dip of our toes and another field stretched towards the rear of the property behind a stonewall with entry. Hello heaven. I had not been in the house, but I was sold. Roger said he loved the property and was amazed that we may have found ‘the one’.

The antique barn - to be modified for 4 stalls

The antique barn – to be modified for 4 stalls

As we walked room to room, I was amazed” plaster walls, original paneling, chair railing and indian shutters, 7 fireplaces and two bee hive ovens. Opening each door was like unwrapping a present – I could not wait to see what was behind the next one. With a cool exterior, Roger asked me: “What do you think?” With a muffled voice so the seller’s agent would not hear, I replied “I love it! Don’t you love it?! This is incredible!” Devoid of all joy and enthusiasm, he replied “I hate it. It’s old. It’s dirty – there are bugs everywhere.” Stunned by the contrast of our impressions, I frantically searched the walls and floors for dirt and bugs. I saw none. There were none. I was upset, but I was not giving in. After all, I was willing to sleep with hundreds of damned souls in a crummy town for him!

The large field

The large field

After the showing, we talked. We reviewed. We spoke with our lender. We visited the property once more. Roger admitted to seeing our future at Autumn Hill Farm. We made our offer, and from that point forward, everything was seamless.

The other field, behind the home and pool

The other field, behind the home and pool

While we transition from our town home to The Farm, we are also meeting with professionals to modify the barn for horses and install a riding ring. We are excited and still in disbelief. As we turned onto our new driveway this afternoon, tall and proud on the knoll, the Colonial basked in the summer light and seemed to welcome us. Roger and I are not just home owners – we are stewards. And we could not be more excited or more proud to care for Autumn Hill Farm from this day forward sad so many have before us.

Privately sited from the main road.

Privately sited from the road.

Katie Murphy- Murphy Eventing

Why a Pineapple