Blog :: 2011

TO BUY OR TO RENT?

Buy or Rent a home in New Hampshire or MaineTo buy or to rent? Recent graduates, young couples, relocating professionals and others have all asked themselves this question at one point or another. While each option has its benefits, the decision to purchase an apartment, condominium or house as opposed to renting, is complex and based on a number of factors. According to a survey from October 2010 from the National Association of Realtors, nearly eight out of 10 respondents believe buying a home today is a good financial decision The question that remains is whether or not now is the right time to purchase a home for you.

For most people, deciding to purchase a home is the largest financial decision of their lifetime. Before making the jump into homeownership, potential home buyers should consider the soft lifestyle issues as well as the hard financial ones. The professionals at Coldwell Banker Wright Realtyhave provided the following four financial and lifestyle questions to consider when determining if buying a home is the right decision for you:
  1. Do you have a steady income? At or near the top of every potential homebuyers mind is whether or not they can afford to buy a home right now. Buying a home remains a sound financial decision for those with documented income and a good credit history, and a steady income can provide a strong backbone for the initial down payment and future mortgage payments. The Affordability Radar tool on coldwellbanker.com is a great way to begin this planning and assess how much home you can afford. Dont hesitate to speak with a real estate professional even before youre ready to buy a home. Along with a financial planner, a real estate professional can help you answer and uncover questions about the cost of homeownership.
  1. Do you plan to stay in a home for an extended period of time? With proper planning, a home purchase has historically proven to be one of the strongest investments one can make. Along those lines, its imperative to understand that investing in a home is much different than investing in a stock portfolio. Homes typically appreciate in value over time while the owner builds his or her equity through monthly mortgage payments. If you anticipate staying in a home for only one or two years, it doesnt necessarily mean buying is not for you, but you are less likely to see a significant financial return on your investment.
  1. Do you plan to sell a house in order to buy a house? A local real estate professional can help you understand current local market conditions and will help you make smart decisions when listing a home on the market. If you do not currently own a home that needs to be sold prior to purchasing a new one, now is a particularly smart time to buy. Even with lenders becoming increasingly more thorough in their approval process, mortgage financing is still widely available for those with a steady income and solid credit. High inventories and low interest rates give first-time homebuyers a tremendous amount of opportunity and flexibility in markets across the U.S.
  1. How do your other options compare? For renters, calculating month-to-month housing expenses is as easy as inquiring about the monthly rent and average utilities. The calculation gets a bit more complicated when considering the monthly cost of owning a home. A real estate professional can help you understand a range of financial considerations from annual property taxes to the tax incentives for owning a home.
There is no one right decision when it comes to renting versus buying a home.Each individual should take the time to look at their personal and financial situation to decide what will work best for their needs and lifestyle.

March Real Estate Market Statistics - Carroll County, NH

The statistics for existing homes sold in Carroll County in New Hampshire and the towns we serve in Western Maine are now available for March through the Northern New England Real Estate Network (NNEREN).

New Hampshire Waterfront Home in Eidelweiss The two best selling price ranges were $120,000 - $139,999 and $250,000 - $299,999. This would suggest that first-time homebuyers are becoming very active in the low range. Move up buyers are becoming most active for homes just under $300,000. In the luxury homes market, the $700K - $800K range was most active.

More than half of all homes sold used conventional loans. Just under 1/3 of all existing home sales were cash deals, which is quite a high percentage. Just a few homes sold with VA, FHA and other loan types.

Tips for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

There are plenty of things to do to make your home more sellable. One of the most important things you can do is to de-clutter your home and get the details right. Realtor Magazine has a great article on getting your home ready to sell, Finishing Touches by Melissa Dittman Tracey. According to Tracey, if you're planning to sell you can stageyour home, or use some elbow grease. Here are some fantastic tips from her article:

Box it up. Most people pack up after they sell the house, but why wait? Sellers should start packing as early as possibleideally, before they put the home on the market.

Show off the laundry space. Buyers will be impressed if the laundry room is fresh, inviting, and organized. Make sure light bulbs are working, and hide soaps in a cupboard or line them neatly on a shelf.

Focus their attention. Pick a focal point for each room. For example, the focal point of a bedroom is usually the bed, and for a music room, its the piano. If a room is mostly empty, you can help draw attention to a corner with a plant or mirror.

But there's much more. Tracey gives expert advice on:
  • Floors
  • Lighting
  • Painting
Here's the full article. If you are all ready,fill outour form where we sell New Hampshireor Maine real estate.

The Mount Washington Auto Road Celebrates its 150th Anniversary This Year!

It's hard to believe. Especially since there were no automobiles here 150 years ago. According to AAA in their Northern New England Journeyquarterly magazine, the original road opened on August 8th, 1861. And,"Freelan O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, made the first motorized ascent of Mount Washington on August 30, 1899, in his Stanley Locomobile." We thought there was something strange about it being called the "auto" road way back when. It was originally called the Mount Washington Carriage Road. For more information about the "auto road" and the 150 year anniversary, visit mtwashingtonautoroad.com.

Home Values Forecast to Rise in New Hampshire and Maine

Both New Hampshire Homesand Maine Homesare forecast to rise in value during 2011according to HousingPredictor.com. Maine is expected to do slightly better. HousingPredictor.com wrote: "Healthy employment, fewer foreclosures and distressed properties are producing a better housing market in Maine as the state recovers from the real estate crash and financial crisis. Maine ranks in the five lowest states in terms of foreclosed properties." In fact, they predict Portland, ME to be the top market in the country this year. New Hampshire will fare well also according to HousingPredictor.com: "Stoked by better employment than in most other areas of the country and record international exports, the New Hampshire economy is eyeing the New Year with an optimism not seen in many areas of the U.S. Thats not to say the state is out of the woods yet in the financial crisis, but its driving a recovery in housing markets." All in all, it looks like the White Mountains and Western Maine will see a turnaround this year if HousingPredictor.com is on the money.

The Mount Washington Hotel is in the February Edition of AARP

AARP magazine has just published an article, Vacation Like a Vanderbuilt, America's most lavish vintage resorts can be surprisingly affordable, by Bill Newcott. They make mention of a recent $60 million expansion and renovation. AARP has rooms listed as available for $199 per night. Among guests, 3 presidents have visited the hotel. The A-list of guests, according to AARP include Babe Ruth, Winston Churchill, and Princess Margaret. The Omni Mount Washington Resortis listed 4th in the series of affordable, lavish hotels. If you're looking for a luxury mountain home to buy in the Mount Washington Valley, here's the perfect place to stay and set the tone.

The Mount Washington Hotel is Listed in AARP for February 2011

Courtesy Omni Mount Washington Resort

AARP magazine article in this month's issue, Vacation Like a Vanderbuilt - America's most lavish vintage reorts can be surpisingly affordable by Bill Newcott. The Omni Mount Washington Resort. According to the article, 3 presidents visited the hotel. Their A-list guests were Babe Ruth, Winston Churchill, and Princess Margaret.