Blog :: 04-2009

Making the Most of Curb Appeal

As more homebuyers and real estate agents use the internet to research properties, first impressions are more important than ever. Before scheduling appointments or visiting open houses, homebuyers and their agents will often drive by homes for sale and make assessments based on the exterior. More often than not, if a homebuyer doesnt like the outside of a home, they wont care to see the inside. Yet, it is possible to dramatically alter the appearance of your home with a few simple tasks. As you prepare to list your home, consider implementing some of the tips mentioned here to maximize your propertys curb appeal. Before you begin making repairs to the exterior of your home, you may want to analyze your home from a distance. Look at your home from across the street and try to pinpoint the best and worst qualities of the property. As you walk towards your home, try to make note of both your first impressions and any elements that stand out. When looking at your home from the exterior, you may also want to compare its appearance to other homes in the neighborhood. While you may feel as if you know the details of your home intimately, this step can help you think like a potential buyer and assist you in maximizing the curb appeal. When it is time to get to work, you should approach the exterior of your home in the same way you would a bedroom or kitchen. Just as you wouldnt want a prospective home buyer to see dirty dishes in your sink, you want to make sure the front of your home is as attractive as possible. While the chores associated with maximizing curb appeal will differ from home to home, the following are the most common and effective methods of enticing potential buyers indoors for a closer look: Paint Perhaps the most effective of all pre-sale repairs, a simple coat of paint to the exterior, doors and shutters can make your home appear well cared for and in good condition. When painting the exterior of the home, you may also want to consider if new door knobs and other hardware could boost the appearance of your home. If you dont replace any of the metal on the exterior of your home, polishing brass hardware and cleaning or painting iron fences can also give your home a fresh look. Lawn There are a number of landscaping tricks that may improve the curb appeal of your home. First, the lawn should be mowed, raked and edged. Next, try to thoroughly weed all planter boxes, trim larger plants and include some extra flowers near the front of the house. If any large trees hang over your home or obscure the view from the street, you may want to cut away some large branches. You may also want to consider investing some extra money into landscaping by hiring professionals to make your front yard as attractive as possible. Windows and Gutters Much like the fresh paint applied to the exterior, taking time to clean the windows can certainly change the appearance of your home. Likewise, try to keep your rain gutters free of leaves and debris as you never know where a potential homebuyer might look. Driveway If you have an old, cracked driveway, hiring a professional to reseal the surface can add to your homes curb appeal. If the driveway rests in direct sight in front of the home, this step can become even more important. Lighting As potential homebuyers could drive by your property at any time, you want to make sure your home is inviting at night. By installing a street lamp and a front porch light both of which should match the style of your home you will dramatically boost your homes 24/7 curb appeal. If you anticipate potential homebuyers coming onto the property after dark, calm lighting that lines the driveway and path to the front door can put your visitors at ease. Pressure Clean This process can be applied to both the exterior of the home and the driveway. Just one treatment can eliminate years of dirt, mold and mildew from your property. If you need to improve the curb appeal of your home before putting it up for sale, the best tool could be your ability to think like a buyer. By repairing or minimizing your propertys flaws and drawing attention to key selling points, you may be surprised by the responses you receive from potential homebuyers. The staff at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty writes select articles about important topics related to real estate. For more information about buying a home or selling your current property, visit WrightRealty.com today!

The Official North Conway NH Real Estate Website!

For more than 30 years we have served the real estate needs of our neighbors and customers in:

Albany NH |Bartlett, NH |Brownfield Maine |Conway NH |Denmark Maine Eaton NH |Effingham NH |Freedom NH |Fryeburg Maine |Gorham NH Hales Location NH |Harts Location NH |Jackson NH |Madison NH Ossipee NH |Conway NH |North Conway NH

SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Protecting your Privacy when your NH Home is on the market", url: "http://blog.wrightrealty.com/blog/posts/2009/04/16/protecting-your-privacy-when-your-nh-home-is-on-the-market/" });

Selling your NH or Maine Home - with Pets.

You love you pets and so does the rest of the neighborhood. However, when it comes time to sell your home, you shouldnt expect the same of those interested in your property. While it is difficult for some homeowners to understand the negative perceptions about pets held by some prospective buyers, you should try to make your home as appealing as possible to everyone who walks through the door. Before showing your home, consider some of these steps to minimize the impact of pets and potentially maximize interest from prospective buyers. Before showing your home to buyers, you should try to remove all signs of your pets. Start by putting away any food and water bowls, pet toys and litter boxes. If your dogs use a doggie door to get in and out of your home, consider replacing or sealing up the door. If you keep photos of you and your pets on display, pack the images away when prospective buyers are in your home. Lastly, if you have any items that are too big to hide like cages or dog carriers find a discreet storage location in the garage or outside the home. To ensure that you dont offend the eyes (or noses) of prospective buyers, you may want to devote extra time to cleaning your home. If you have cats or dogs that roam freely in the home, start by vacuuming the entire house. Next, as most pet-loving homes have a carpet stain or two, consider hiring a professional cleaner to get rid of the offending spots. If you find any stains that cannot be removed, you may want to replace the carpet or flooring before showing your home. To remove the last whiffs of pet smell from your home, avoid air fresheners (some of your guests may have allergies) and try using a heavy-duty enzyme cleaner. When you are confident in your cleaning, ask a friend or extended family member to inspect for stains and smells before showing the home. Ideally, homeowners may want to try relocating their pets while their home is on the market. Rather than keeping your four-legged loved ones locked up in the garage, consider asking your friends and family to help out. If you cant find anyone with the ability to watch your pets, you may need to consider using a nearby kennel. While this might be incredibly difficult to do for pet and pet owner alike this step could go a long way towards helping prospective buyers feel comfortable in your home. By keeping your pets out of your home while it is on the market you will be able to minimize the impact theyve had on the property and avoid any mishaps with prospective buyers. However, if you cant bear to part with your pets while your home is on the market, you should still try to remove your furry friends during open houses and tours. While there may be plenty of pet-friendly homebuyers that visit your open house, it is important not to offend anyone who looks at your home. In fact, even some pet owners might be turned off by the presence of your pets. After all, plenty of pet owners believe their own animals to be cleaner and better behaved than anyone elses. Hence, when it comes time to show your home to prospective homebuyers, you should try your best to minimize your pets impact.

Rural Development Income Limit Modification

A statement from Rural Development regarding Income Limit Modification:

As a result of a direct final rule published in the Federal Register, income limits will change effective April 20, 2009. The existing income limit structure will be revised for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP). Instead of eligible adjusted income limits based on households ranging from 1-8 persons, a two tier income structuring consisting of a 1 - 4 member household and a 5 - 8 member household will replace the 1 - 8 person structure. The present add on limits for larger households will remain the same. What this means is that more buyers will be able to take advantage of this great program! In Carroll County, for a 1-4 person family, the income limit is $84,100. For a 5-8 person family, the income limit is increased to $111,000. The increases are substantial, especially since a lot of NH home buyers are in this range. The Rural Development Guaranty Program allows customers to purchase a home with no down payment, no monthly mortgage insurance, and the seller can contribute up to 6% of the sale price, which is usually more than enough to pay the closing costs!

NH Home Sales Looking Optimistic

NH Home Sales are looking brighter

Before we can look forward we have to look back, even if we would rather not. During the first two months of this year, fewer than 1,000 residential units were sold and year-to-date sales volume ($214 million, not including condominiums) was half of what it was three years ago. Condominium sales volume ($39 million) was 70 percent lower than in 2006. Whatever the weather, this could turn out to be the coldest winter on record for New Hampshire Realtors. We can only imagine how bad it must be in other states where the economy is in so much worse shape than it is here in the Granite State. Our state has by far the lowest unemployment rate in New England (See Chart above) and one of the ten lowest rates in the nation. Our state also has the fourth highest index of economic activity, according to the Federal Reserve (See Chart II). The problem, in terms of consumer confidence, is that these indicators of the substantially better economic conditions here in New Hampshire are unknown, except for a few savvy real estate investors. Tables I and II at the end of this piece show the county level details of home sales from NNEREN for the first two months of this year. But the last column on Chart I also shows a very important indicator: the ratio of median home value to median household income. Historically that number, which is one measure of general housing affordability, has usually been at 4.0 or below. When it rises above 4.0, too many buyers are not able to purchase a home. When it returns to 4.0 or below, it signals a time when many more potential buyers will think that a home they would like to buy is within their reach. Potential buyers, however, must also have some level of confidence that better economic times are in the near future. And lenders need to feel more confident, too. So far, that confidence has not shown itself. But early believers in its imminent return will be able to buy one, or maybe even two, very reasonably priced homes. What is important to keep in mind, however, is that the median sales price figures in tables I and 2 are very heavily influenced by foreclosed and short sales. While it is true that home foreclosures are less than one percent of all owned homes in New Hampshire, they can be, and often are, a much larger fraction of all sales in a county, particularly when there are so few transactions. This distorts the perception of home values. By Peter Francese

Protecting your Privacy when your NH Home is on the market

Protecting Your Privacy While Your Home is on The Market

Privacy home buying real estateIf your home is on the market, you have probably already taken great care in cleaning the interior and making necessary renovations that could help attract prospective buyers. However, before your home is shown to any buyers or agents, you should consider performing a few tasks to help protect your privacy. Not only should you try to remove personal items from tabletops or counters, but it is also wise to remember that potential buyers will open closets, cabinets and built-in drawers as they assess the property. To protect your privacy and prevent prospective buyers from forming any biases against you, you may want to follow these four simple steps before showing your home.

1. Hide your mail

When dealing with your mail, you should either remove it from your home or place it where it cannot be found. If prospective homebuyers spot collection notices or excessive credit card bills in plain sight, they might immediately assume that you are in debt and need to sell your home quickly. Furthermore, as no one wants strangers to read any of their personal materials, you should try to conceal all of your mail - down to the last furniture catalog.

2. Take down photos and diplomas

While some home sellers feel that such personal documents could add an atmosphere of coziness to their property, you may want to consider clearing the walls. Following this simple step could help prevent any type of bias from prospective homebuyers. For instance, home sellers with recent diplomas might be perceived as deep in debt and willing to sell at any price. Likewise, wedding photos can reveal the homeowner's religion, which could influence certain buyers.

3. Clean the closets and drawers

If you have ever been to an open house or toured a home for sale, you can probably understand the desire to dig around. In most cases, prospective homebuyers simply open closets and cabinets to inspect the space or make judgments about the construction of the home. While most people who view your home will not try to snoop in your personal belongings, try to pack away anything that could tell an unwanted story about your life. You may want to clear out all drawers and closets entirely before the home is shown to buyers. After your personal belongings have been removed from the home or carefully packed away, work with your agent to stage closets and large cabinets. By replacing your own belongings with examples of how the home can be utilized, you will take the focus off yourself and help prospective buyers visualize themselves in your home.

4. Turn down the answering machine

This final step is probably the most overlooked by home sellers. Just as you can not anticipate what arrives in the mail each day, you cannot predict when you might receive an unwanted phone call. If you are engaged in an open house or private viewing, you certainly don't want a prospective buyer to overhear a message from a collection agency or credit card company. Furthermore, as you are in the process of selling a home (and possibly buying another), you don't want buyers to know anything about your personal business. Hence, before any prospective buyers enter your home, you may want to mute your answering machine to prevent any uncomfortable exchanges. In conclusion, when you are ready to show your home to prospective buyers, try to remove anything that might drive a buyer away or create an unwanted bias. Whether it's as simple as removing your personal mail or staging the closets of your home's bedrooms, a bit of work can not only protect your privacy but can potentially help sell your home. The staff at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty writes select articles about important topics related to real estate. For more information about buying a home or selling your current property, visit WrightRealty.com today!

The Official North Conway NH Real Estate Website!

For more than 30 years we have served the real estate needs of our neighbors and customers in:

Albany NH |Bartlett, NH |Brownfield Maine |Conway NH |Denmark Maine Eaton NH |Effingham NH |Freedom NH |Fryeburg Maine |Gorham NH Hales Location NH |Harts Location NH |Jackson NH |Madison NH Ossipee NH |Conway NH |North Conway NH

Buying your North Conway NH Home

Things for Buyers to Consider when Determining the Appropriate Property Value and Offer Price

North Conway NH Real EstateDetermining the value of home can be sometimes a difficult task for a buyer. Just as there are many factors that can impact a home's value, the details and potential success of your offer also rely on several pieces of information. If you are thinking about buying a home, you may want to consider the following tips to gain a better understanding of property values. By utilizing these recommendations and discussing the findings with your agent, you might be able to not only find the best house for your money, but also a home that surpasses all of your expectations.

1. Investigate Locally

When searching for a new home, many prospective homebuyers start by checking local listings. After the search is narrowed down to a few neighborhoods of interest, walking or driving through these areas can give you a better idea of overall neighborhood quality. As you narrow your search, it might help to attend a few open houses in the local market to gain an understanding of pricing trends and witness how much interest is being paid to the homes already for sale. In the early stages of shopping for a home, it can also be helpful to have your agent perform a Comparative Market Analysis. This report will show you the past sales prices of homes in the area and allow you to contrast those statistics with the current homes for sale.

2. Get behind the numbers

After you have compared the list prices of the homes you are interested in with other homes that have sold in the area, there are a few assessments of value you may want to consider. The most telling estimate of a home's value will be a professional inspection. Another statistic that will provide you an estimated value of a home is the assessed tax value. However, as the assessed tax value sometimes doesn't take into account the amenities of a home, upgrades to the property or the nuances of the housing market, this value can vary from a professional estimate. Work with your agent to compare the details of your appraisal and the assessed tax value, taking into account all of the home's amenities and any issues of particular importance to your family - including such factors as the quality of the neighborhood, local schools and even how the home matches up to your long-term goals.

3. Think about the market

When trying to determine the value of a home for sale, it might also help to consider the status of the overall housing market. First, take into account national trends and determine whether it is a "buyer's market" or a "seller's market." Next, compare the local housing market to the national trends, considering both the neighborhood of the home for sale and a broader geographical region incorporating the surrounding city or other nearby communities. It is quite possible that a particular area may not be affected by national market trends, creating for instance a small seller's market within a broad buyer's market, or vice versa.

4. Pay attention to the details

Besides looking at local and national housing trends, there are a few more issues that can affect the value of a home and the details of your offer. First, you and your agent should find out how long the home has been on the market. It is believed by many that if a home has been for sale more than 30 days, sellers are often more motivated to sell and are more receptive to lower-priced offers. In addition to the time spent on the market, you and your agent should also try to find out if there are any additional factors that could motivate the seller for a quick sale. For instance, if the seller has already purchased another home or is relocating to another state, you may receive a better response to your offer sheet. After taking all these factors into account, you and your agent should be able to determine both the market value of the home and the right amount to bid if making an offer. Furthermore, the more you take the information you've gathered into account, the better you will be able to prevent potentially overbidding - which, of course, costs the buyer more money - or underbidding - an error that could discourage a seller from further negotiations. Lastly, try to remember that the process of ascribing value to a home is not an exact science. Each time a house is sold on the open market the sales price will represent careful negotiations between the buyer and seller, with all of the factors here taken into account by each party. Therefore, above all else, the right home should not only represent a good value when analyzing appraisals and various market factors, it should also be the best value for you and your family. The staff at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty writes select articles about important topics related to real estate. For more information about buying a home or selling your current NH propertycall toll free 800-447-2120 or browse all of the homes in the North Conway NH real estate market. We are here to help.

Moving to North Conway NH is good for your health!

Move to north conway nh for better healthWant to live longer? Move to North Conway New Hampshire! The annual 50 state check up done jointly by the American Public Health Association, The United Health Foundation and Partnership for Prevention ranked New Hampshire #3 among the 50 states for the healthiest place to live with the nation's smallest percentage of children living in poverty. The #1 state was neighboring Vermont state for the second year in a row. Check out AmericanHealthRatings.org to see how your state stacks up!

The Official North Conway NH Real Estate Website!

For more than 30 years we have served the real estate needs of our neighbors and customers in:

Albany NH |Bartlett, NH |Brownfield Maine |Conway NH |Denmark Maine Eaton NH |Effingham NH |Freedom NH |Fryeburg Maine |Gorham NH Hales Location NH |Harts Location NH |Jackson NH |Madison NH Ossipee NH |Conway NH |North Conway NH