Porch Sitting in the Lakes Region of NH
Porch Sitting in the Lakes Region of NH
The Fourth of July has come and gone, summer is in full swing, and it is time to occasionally sit back and relax on the porch, survey your domain, talk about whatever with whomever, and enjoy the simple pleasures of those simpler times. Sounds simple, right? Not always. There never seems to be enough time. So sometimes you just gotta make time. You know you can schedule it on your blasted smart phone. However, it can also be a little tough to do if you don’t have a porch of your own to start with. You might have to go to someone else’s porch and sit on it. And that could get tricky if they aren’t expecting you.
Porch Sitting Made Easy
To solve that particular problem there is The Professional Porch Sitters Union. It was founded in Louisville, KY in 1999 by avid porch sitter Crow Hollister to help celebrate our nation’s porches. And, I am happy to say that the Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603 is hereby established to allow area residents that might not have their own porch to partake in this activity. However, if you do have a porch and want to join that would be really nice as we do anticipate a rotating porch schedule somewhat akin to the NASCAR Cup Series.
Just like NASCAR, the Professional Porch Sitters Union has rules. Well, actually only one rule and that is; there are no rules. If NASCAR had that same rule it would be a lot more fun to watch than it is now. They have just way too many rules! The Professional Porch Sitter Union has no regulations, no agendas, no dues, no committees, no scheduled meetings, no membership requirements, and no meeting minutes. Our official drink is the infamous Porch Crawler which is made in bulk with a 12 pack of beer, one liter of vodka, and one package of Kool-Aid lemonade.
What is a good porch for porch sitting?
The age old question is; what makes a good porch? There is no easy answer. Obviously, as with all real estate, location is a key element. And the fact that it should be attached to a house is generally a given, but which way it faces and what you can see from the porch is pretty important. Porches on waterfronts or mountainside homes obviously can provide great views and give everyone something to “Ooh and Ahh” about. But so do some pastoral and urban settings where you watch the comings and goings of natives and tourists alike. I particularly like porches with views of docks and boat launches.These porches provide hours of entertainment watching inept or inexperienced boaters try to launch or dock their boats. It’s even more fun on a windy day.
A screened porch is perhaps the most desirable but many a fine evening can be spent on an open porch as long as it isn’t black fly or mosquito season. A combo unit might be even better. Some porches are plain Jane’s while others are pretty fancy or over the top. My favorite is the old camp style screened porch where you have fishing rods, snow shoes, boat paddles, and old memorabilia hanging on the walls. There are sure to be some stories behind each piece. Some old rocking chairs, a table to play cards and a comfy couch to sleep on after one too many Porch Crawlers is just about all you need for furniture. Of course, lighting should come from an old kerosene lamp to set the proper mood.
Porch Sitting Knows No Bounds
Porch sitting crosses all economic and social bounds. I’ve been on many very nice upscale porches as well that work beautifully and I could call home. You know, the ones with built in stone fireplaces, barbecues, full bars, heat, and electronic bug zappers. These upscale porches are generally attached to upscale houses and while these folks might be perceived to be among the elite they generally put on their porch sitting pants the same way as the rest of us do.
Looking around the MLS system I found some properties with some great porches you can buy if you are looking for your first porch or if you want to upgrade. There’s a great farmers’ porch with a country setting at 91 Black Brook Road in Meredith for $309,900. You can get a cozy screened porch on a fixer upper waterfront cottage at 432 Bear Island in Meredith for $399,000 or a classic turn-of-the-century porch with a water view in the heart of the Weirs at 59 Doe Ave for $399,900.
There is a great farmers porch to rock the evening away on at 139 Kaulback Rd in Sanbornton for $449,000. You might see an Alpaca there and that will give you something to talk about. Another perfect farmer porch with fantastic long range Winnipesaukee views is at 280 Woodlands Rd in Alton. This porch will set you back $2.49 million but it is a million dollar view so you can subtract that from the price of the porch. You do have to do a lot of rocking to get your money’s worth, however.
So, if you want to join the Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Local #603 drop me an email. I’d sent you a form to fill out, but we don’t have any. Maybe you could volunteer to be the secretary and take care of that part.
There were 812 single family residential homes for sale as of July 1 in the twelve communities covered by this report. The average asking price stood at $645,779 and the median asking price was $299,900. The current inventory level represents about a 7.4 month supply of homes on the market.
Data was compiled using the NEREN MLS system
South Down – Long Bay Sales Report May 2017
There were five condo sales in South Down and one single family home in Long Bay that found new owners in May. Not too bad!
Condo sales ranged from an even $200k for a three bedroom, two and a half bath, 1,600 square foot unit with a garage at 15 Williamsburg Circle in Colonial Hills to $376,950 for a three bedroom, three bath immaculate unit with great views at 58 Eagle Drive in Birchwood.
The lone sale in Long Bay was at 139 Long Bay Drive. This 2,253 square foot, four bedroom, two and a half bath classic cape has lots of recent updates . It has a fabulous kitchen, hardwood floors throughout the first floor, a living room with wood burning fireplace, large dining room, den, first floor master suite., a huge deck and three season porch. This property was on the market at $475,000 and sold for $460,000.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
Real Estate Non-Starters and Deal Killers
Selling real estate is hard. You don’t know how hard unless you are actually in this crazy business and deal with it on a day to day business. The occasional buyer or seller sometimes thinks that they know a lot about real estate because they have sold or bought a couple of properties in their lifetime. To them I say, “Come walk a mile in my shoes.” Or, any other agent’s shoes. They might get a different perspective after dealing with hundreds of properties, their associated buyers and sellers, and the stuff we deal with on a day to day basis. And then, there are the real estate non-starters and deal killers!
There are lots of things that I would classify as a “non-starter” in selling a piece of real estate. These are issues or defects in a property that right out of the gate are detriments to the sale of a home and that usually will send a prospective buyer running for the hills. Some things can’t be fixed. Others could have been addressed by the owner of the property prior to listing a property but didn’t. Usually they didn’t because of a lack of money or time.
A home’s location is probably the biggest thing that can’t be fixed. The old adage that it is all about “location, location, location” is so true and no amount of money is going to change the location. There are others that can’t be fixed without spending more money then you could possibly get back. A chopped up or dysfunctional floor plan might require too much money to bring up today’s buyers’ expectations. While it is hard to physically “fix” these kinds of issues they can be “fixed” by a lower asking price.
Other “non-starters” can be corrected. Buyers’ appreciate homes that are presented in their best possible condition. The biblical-like saying “cleanliness is next to godliness” applies succinctly to housing sales. An unkempt or smelly home is a big turn off for any buyer. Don’t believe me? If a house smells overwhelming like a litter box and makes your eyes sting don’t expect a long showing or an offer in my lifetime.
A sure fire “non-starter” is going down to show the basement of a home and find a couple of inches of water on the floor. Don’t expect a buyer to go wading around without hip boots checking out the rest of the basement…it ain’t gonna happen. It is “about face” and back up the stairs. Seeing signs that the basement was wet before at some point can also be the kiss of death and gives rise to that dreaded “M” word….mold. Depending on the extent and location of the mold, remediation is usually not that big of a deal but it does cost money to have it taken care of.
So those are just some of the “non-starters.” There are also “deal killers” which generally pop up at the home inspection stage. Probably one of the biggest deal killers is a failed septic system. Usually, the seller has no idea the system is bad until that fateful inspection day. The seller may have reduced his price during negations as far as he could so there is no more room to negotiate. But, nobody is going to buy a house with a failed system. This is one of the highest repair cost items that a seller may face and if an accommodation cannot be made to get it fixed you can bet the deal will go south very quickly.
Lots of time multiple issues will combine to create a “Death Star Deal Killer.” You know, like in Star Wars. You might have a failing roof, radon air, radon water, signs of water in the basement, and mold in the attic caused by an improperly vented bathroom exhaust fan. Or it could be the hot water heater is leaking, the boiler needs servicing, the electrical panel needs updating, the Jacuzzi tub doesn’t Jacuzzi anymore, and, oh yeah, the deck is falling off the back of the house. Dealing with a Death Star Deal Killer isn’t easy. It is a real estate agent’s job to identify the “non-starters” and try to mitigate them up front if possible and to deftly deal with the “deal killers” large and small. May the force be with us…
There were 128 residential home sales in May in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sale price came in at $386,078 and the median price point stood at $246,100. Last May there were 121 home sales with an average price of $305,161 and the median price point was $212,000.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system
Winnipesaukee -Winnisquam Waterfront Report – May 2017
Things were rocking and rolling in May with seventeen waterfront sales on Lake Winnipesaukee at an average price of $1.224 million and a median price point of $900,000. Wouldn’t you like to have $900k to spend on a waterfront property? Don’t hesitate to call me if you do! This brings us to a total of 43 sales for the year at an average price of $1.344 million compared to 52 sales last year for the same period at an average of $1.136 million.
The Entry Level
The entry level bargain on Lake Winnipesaukee for May is 248 Bear Island in Meredith. This 20’s vintage, 1,200 square foot cottage has three bedrooms, an updated kitchen with granite counters (pretty fancy for an island get-away!), a large living room with a fireplace (of course), and a great farmers porch to sit on and drink your favorite cocktail. The cottage sits on a .6 acre lot with 96’ of sand frontage and a dock. This is the way it is supposed to be! The property was listed at $389,000 and sold for $405,000 after just three days on the market! That tells me the buyer wanted it and he wanted it NOW! Good for him…or her! Have a great summer!
The Mid Point
The median price point representative is 61 Harris Shore Rd in Gilford. This 1930’s vintage, 1,760 square foot, thee bedroom, three bath home was tastefully renovated in 2009. It has a great kitchen with hickory cabinets, solid surface counter tops, island, and stainless appliances. The living room has great lake views and a gas fireplace. There are three bedrooms up including a suite which is perfect for the mother-in-law. The detached two car garage has in-floor heat, its own bath, and an outdoor shower. This is where you will stay when mom-in-law is in the house. The house sits on a .29 acre lot just steps from the water (which is kind of redundant as you would have to be steps from the water to start with.) You’ve got 55’ of sandy frontage and a dock plus long range views. That’s pretty perfect in my world. So guess what? This property was listed at $900K and sold for $900K in just three days. That’s also pretty perfect in my world!
The Big Kahuna
The highest sale on Lake Winnipesaukee of the month was at 31 Wallace Point in Moultonborough on the Kona shoreline. This exceptional Adirondack waterfront property was built in 2005 and has a whopping 10,000 square feet of living space that includes fifteen rooms, seven bedrooms (yup, three suites), nine baths (in case you are really dirty), a massive great room with soaring ceilings, a chef’s kitchen, first floor office, lower level family room, five fireplaces, a screen porch, and a three car garage. There’s 235’ of sand frontage with two beaches, a boat house, a 58’ crib dock, and long range views. Living here would most certainly be a drag. The this property was listed in April of 2016 for $4.345 million, listed this year at $4.25 million, and sold for $3.875 million after just three days (this time.) If the new owner would let me stay in one of the seven bedrooms, I promise you will never see me…
Over on Lake Winnisquam there were three sales in May. A 952 square foot, three bedroom ranch built in 1963 in need of some serious updating at 92 Sunset Drive in Belmont on a .25 acre lot with 80’ frontage sold at the listing price of $315,00 in four days! Over at 113 Jefferson Rd also in Belmont, a 1,516 square foot three bedroom, two bath three season cottage on .4 acres with 63’ of frontage listed for $425,000 sold for $385,000. Also, in Belmont at 39 and 40 Breck Shores, two adorable 1935 vintage cottages totaling 1,627 square feet, with five bedrooms, two baths, field stone fireplaces, and all the charm you could want also found a new owner. They sit on two lots totaling .79 acres with 94’of frontage. It only took two days for them to sell at $525,000 which was over the asking price of $509,900. I guess the buyers were not going to let that one get away!
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
Dealing with the Undisclosed Defects
It is really amazing to me how the CBS radio show from 1958 called The Couple Next Door covers just about every pitfall of a real estate transaction that buyers and sellers can get themselves into. I am beginning to wonder if the writers were real estate agents. If they weren’t, they must have gone through numerous difficult transactions to be able to write the series. They even thought of exploring undisclosed defects and the emotions those can cause!
In the last episode, the sellers and main characters of the show, Ethel and Albert, were dealing with the very uncomfortable situation of not telling their buyer, Mr. Clayton, in advance that they had once had termites. It seems their little Betsy spilled the beans when she was mistakenly left home alone for ten minutes and Mr. Clayton and his wife stopped by to look at the house. She thought having termites was a fun thing! Obviously, things got a little heated between the buyers and sellers even though the termites were exterminated. Mr. Clayton leaves in a huff saying he would be consulting his attorney in the morning.
In the next episode, The Deal Goes Through, after an obvious sleepless night Ethel and Albert go to their attorney, Jack, the next morning to seek advice. They explain the situation to Jack and he says not to worry, they have a contract and Mr. Clayton would have to forfeit his $10,000 deposit if he backs out of the deal. Albert explains that he could sue him for not disclosing the termites. Jack says that Mr. Clayton would have to have a witness to prove that he asked about termites and asked if there was anyone else with him at the property. Albert says, “No.” So, this is a classic case of “he said, she said” with nothing in writing. Something to be avoided in real estate deals.
Albert tells Jack that they were not trying to put anything over on anyone, that Mr. Clayton basically “called me a liar,” and that it sounds funny but “I just forgot we had termites!” Jack assures him that it will sound even funnier in court!
Undisclosed Defects Can Cause a Lot of Mistrust
Albert and Ethel go out to lunch to discuss what to do. This episode is all about emotions that happen in real estate deals. In this case there is some initial anger on both sides, but then Albert starts feeling awful about being accused of something like this. He feels extremely upset about the whole thing and doesn’t like being thought of as dishonest. He doesn’t want Mr. Clayton mad at them and decides the best thing is to give him his deposit back and forget the whole thing even though they have already bought some land to build on. They decide to go back to Albert’s office to call Mr. Clayton and tell him (remember this is the good old days…no cell phones.)
Just then they see Mr. Clayton and his attorney in the restaurant and they feel like crawling under the table. Mr. Clayton sees them and heads in their direction. This is going to be bad dealing with this in public, Albert thinks. Mr. Albert asks if he can sit down and then says that their attorney had called this morning. Albert blurts out that “If you are unhappy with the house my wife and I have agreed to release you from the contract and return your money! Mr. Clayton is stunned! “Return my money?” he says. Albert says, “I don’t want to make any such deal when you feel we have misrepresented the condition of the house.” “No, no, no,” Mr. Clayton says, “I might have been a little hasty last night. The truth is my wife has a thing about termites and doesn’t understand that they can be kept under control. When she thinks about termites she thinks things are going to crumble into sawdust…”
Mr. Clayton apologizes for the way they reacted and assures them that they want to go through with the deal. But there is a hitch because he is not being transferred there until fall. He proposes that they still close on the property as planned and that Ethel and Albert can rent the house back from him while they are building their new house. Since Ethel has not been able to find anything to rent anywhere this is almost too good to be true! To save on another trip back to town in ten days to do the closing, they go to the attorney’s office and complete the transaction that afternoon.
So, despite the roller coaster emotions all is well that ends well! Except that night when they get home the boiler explodes and water starts going everywhere! Ethel says to Albert, “Well, one nice thing dear, we don’t own the house anymore. Isn’t that the landlords job to fix things that go wrong? Well, is it?!” You do know the trouble this is going to cause, don’t you??
So what’s on the market?
What is for sale in the Lakes Region of NH? There were 770 residential single-family homes on the market in the twelve communities cover by this report as of June 1. The average asking price was $656,593 and the median price point was $299,00. The current inventory level represents a seven-month supply of homes on the market…that’s up from five and a half months just a short time ago…
The Expired listings in the MLS are generated by homeowners who knew more than their real estate agent.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system…
South Down – Long Bay Sales Report
A two bedroom, one and three quarter bath, 1,280 square foot unit in Colonial Hills at 3A Williamsburg Circle sold for $162,000. Nothing fancy here but it did have a garage. It was listed at $169,900 and found a buyer in just ten days.
Over in Golf Village there’s a new owner at 4C Duffers Drive. This turnkey unit came furnished and has three bedrooms, two full baths, 1,380 square feet and unobstructed views of the 13th fairway. It was listed at $245,900 and sold at full price in two days.
An 1,874 square foot, three bedroom, two bath unit at 7 Fox Crossing Unit 2 also sold quickly…in just four days at an even $400,000 which was $100 over the asking price. I guess the new owner wanted it! This oversize unit has three floors of living space and views of the lake from just about every room. It has an open concept main level with a first floor master suite, two bedrooms up, and a finished walk out lower level.
Down at Birchwood, at 10 Hummingbird Lane, a nice front row detached unit with 1,744 square feet of living space, three bedrooms including a master suite, and two and a half baths also traded hands. This home has new hardwood flooring and central hot air and a.c. throughout, a wonderful four season porch and amazing views of the grounds and lake. It was listed at $409,000 and sold for $406,000 after 139 days on the market.
You can see what is new for listings in South Down and Long Bay by visiting www.DistinctiveHomesNH.com or by CLICKING HERE anytime!
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
Disclosing the Undisclosed – Lakes Region Real Estate Market Report
So, the misadventures in real estate for The Couple Next Door in the CBS radio show broadcast in 1958 continues with the episode entitled The Claytons Come to See the House. The main characters of the show, Ethel and Albert, have seemingly made every possible mistake they could make in selling their home and buying a piece of land to build a new home on.
On an impulse they agreed to sell their home to Mr. Clayton who is moving to town to run the new chemical plant that is opening up. They agreed to be out of the house in thirty days. When they went to sign the preliminary paperwork at Mr. Clayton’s attorney’s office, they had a number of disagreements about what was supposed to stay with the property. Everything from the stove, refrigerator, the front door knocker, and even a tree were the subjects of heated debate.
They then bought a piece of land out on the edge of town on a lake with gorgeous views. Much to their dismay, it turns out that the lot is all ledge so they have to blast to put in a foundation. On top of that, they find out that the lot isn’t serviced by the municipal water system so they have to drill a well. They also discover that the lake dries up in the summer and that there is no way to get to the lot other than to build a new road to it. These seem like things a real estate agent would have asked about if they had one. They also thought that they got a lot more for their house than it was worth, but it appears that the cost to build their new home far exceeds their expectations so they have to severely cut back on their wish list.
Mr. Clayton Comes to Visit
In this episode, Mr. Clayton calls to see if he can bring his wife by that evening to look at the house and measure for curtains. Remember, he made the offer on the house without her seeing. This is back when men were men. That doesn’t happen anymore. Ethel is aghast as she feels the house is a mess and runs upstairs to straighten things up. Albert, who is supposed to be helping, decides to run to the drugstore to get cigarettes. Ethel yells to her eight year old daughter to come up and clean her bedroom but she is busy coloring. Ethel comes down the stairs to get her and realizes that she needs cream for the coffee to serve Mr. and Mrs. Clayton. Thinking that Albert is in the basement she rushed out to the store leaving little Betsy all by herself.
The Clayton’s arrive early so Betsy lets them in. They ask where her parents are and she tells “Mommy and Daddy aren’t home.” They are shocked that they would leave an eight year old home all alone. “I must say I am appalled that anyone would leave a child alone like this!” She’s thinking “What kind of people are these?” She warns her husband that he had better have checked over the house closely. Mr. Clayton points to the fireplace and declares how much he loves it. He says to Betsy that her Dad must have had some nice fires in it. Betsy relies, “no, it doesn’t work.” What do you mean he asks? She says, “It smokes! And Mommy and I had to run upstairs to the bedroom and open the windows to let the smoke out! I think it is fun but Daddy gets real mad!”
Mrs. Clayton glares at her husband and says he had better have checked out the plumbing and electrical. “Did you ask about termites?” she says. Sheepishly, he says that he didn’t think that he did…he doesn’t remember. He says he is sorry but he was so busy he couldn’t remember everything. Betsy says” That’s alright Mr. Clayton, we have termites! We had them last year. Mommy said to Daddy we have some flying ants” Turns out they were termites…
Albert arrives back from the drugstore and Mr. Clayton accuses him of misrepresenting the property. “When I make you the offer on this house not one word was said to me about termites!” Mr. Clayton. Albert says, “You never asked if we had termites.” “It seems to me…yes, yes I think I did ask.” Mr. Clayton retorts. Albert says that he most certainly did not because if he had asked he would have told him that yes, we did have termites. He stammers, “The truth is, I forgot!”
Just then Ethel comes in the door and Albert asks where she had been. He said he just got home as well and they both realize that they left their little girl home alone! Albert tells Ethel that Betsy told the Claytons that they had termites and that they were just discussing it. Doubly embarrassed, Ethel says she forgot they had termites to which Mr. Clayton replies, “That’s too, too funny. You both forgot you have termites?”
Ethel explains that they don’t have them anymore, that they had a company come out, and it cost them $500 to treat them. She explains that it also got rid of the carpenter ants in the garage and not to worry about the little holes in the wood as that was just powder post beetles but they are gone now… What do you think? Maybe there should have been an agent with a Seller’s Property Disclosure involved here and a home inspection?
Mr. Clayton declares that he will be consulting with his lawyer in the morning. This is fun, isn’t it?
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquam Real Estate Market Report April 2017
There were eight Lake Winnipesaukee waterfront homes sold in April. The average sales price was $952,428 and the median price point was $885,000. That brings the total so far this year to 22 sales which is down significantly from the 39 sales in the first four months of 2016.
This month’s entry level property, if $650,000 is considered entry level, is at 243 and 248 Woodlands Road in Alton. This was a two bedroom, two bath, 2,212 square foot home built in 1983 on a lot across the street from the water. It has an additional lot on the waterside with 13’ of frontage, a bunkhouse, and dock. There was not much of a description in the MLS on this one so details are few! The property was on the market for just 84 days.
The median price point representative is at 214 Ferry Road in Moultonborough. This 2,369 square foot, four bedroom, three bath home was built in 1984 and has a beautiful open concept main level with that sought after lodge feeling. There’s a beautiful kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless appliances and hardwood floors that extend into the dining area and great room with vaulted wood ceilings and soapstone stove. The exterior is done in cedar shakes and the architectural roof has copper highlights so it really is pretty cool looking. There are three decks and the rear one looks over 150’ of frontage with a large beach area and double docks. This home was listed at $1,099,000 and sold for $885,000 after 134 days on the market.
The Highest Sale on Lake Winnipesaukee
Honors for the highest sale for the month goes to the property at 22 Adams Shore Road on Long Island in Moultonborough. This 3,553 square foot, five bedroom, three and a half bath home was built in 2013 on a .46 acre lot with 121’ of frontage. The property has amazing, long range sunrise views down the lake toward Rattlesnake Island and Alton. The home has stunning water views from every room. This custom built home has all the bells and whistles and even has two kitchens so you can bet there will be a lot of entertaining going on here! I can see it now. The great room features cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, floor to ceiling stone fireplace, and large windows to bring in the lake view. There’s a first floor master suite and two bedrooms up and two on the walkout lower level along with the family room.
This home has plenty of entertaining space both inside and out. There’s a sunroom and large deck plus waterside patio and perched beach area. The professionally landscaped yard features a nice lawn, gardens, and hardscape. A 40’ dock provides plenty of space for your boats as well as the many guests that are coming to party. There’s a two car and an attached one car detached garage for the rest of the toys. This home was originally listed at $1.775 million, was reduced to $1.7 million, and sold for $1.5 million after 169 days on the market. Someone is going to have a great summer out there! Please call if you need company!
There were no sales on Winnisquam in April so there’s nothing to report there. But you know, the season is just getting started!
Data compiled using the NEEN MLS system
You Can’t Go Around a Triangle
If you have lived in the Lakes Region for a while, you most likely know about the “Corners” in Gilmanton; that’s the intersection of Routes 107 and 140. Some people call it the “Four Corners,” but there are actually five roads converging there when you count Currier Hill Road which used to be called the Old Belmont Road. But most don’t know about the triangle. In a book by Jane Scriven Cumming called Gilmanton Summers: Memories of a New Hampshire Village in the Early 1900’s she writes that “you can’t go around a triangle.” I guess that’s a pretty astute observation. The triangle that she is referring to is the one formed by Route 107, the Old Belmont Road, and High Street. The Temperance Tavern sits at the bottom of the triangle if you consider High Street as the base. No, I don’t know if it is a scalene, equilateral or an isosceles triangle! But, I do know there’s a lot of history in this section of town.
The old Corner Store sits on the east side of Route 107 just before the “Corners” and just across from the tip of the triangle. I don’t mean the Corner Store turned Corner Slice that was fighting to keep an oversized “open” flag out front. The original corner store was directly across from it in an 1800’s colonial structure that used to house the dry goods store, a soda fountain that sold ice cream, and the post office. The store was owned and operated by L.W. and M.H. Schultz. They also sold gasoline from the vintage 1920’s style gas pumps seen in the photo and it appears that on the north end of the structure there is a livery stable that quite possible saw a few Model T’s from time to time.
The Gossip Bench
In Gilmanton Summer’s, the author mentions that there was a long rail in front of the store to tie horses up to as well as a long bench. She wrote that her Granddad called it “the gossip bench.” I don’t see a woman sitting there in the picture so I suspect the conversations revolved around the weather, farming, and politics. Unfortunately, no period pictures can be found of the interior of the building. It would be fun to see what it looked like. I can imagine the counter with an old cash register, a wood stove, a small enclosed post office area, the requisite pickle barrel, shelves full of canned goods, and bags of grain. The property was owned later by Harmon and Roxy Stockwell who actually built the other Corner Store across the street.
Doug to the Rescue
The property fell in to disrepair until around 2000 when it was rescued by well know old home preservationist Douglas Towle of Gilmanton. As with all of his projects (there have been 17 of them,) Doug restored the property preserving the original features while incorporating all the modern amenities and features one would expect in today’s homes.
This 3,500 square foot residence’s exterior is done with feathered quarter sawn spruce clapboards. It has a cedar shake roof, an exposed granite foundation, a screened porch with brick floor, beautiful landscaping, and a three bay post and beam carriage shed.
Inside, the hand-hewn plank wainscoting, wide pine floors, exposed beams, Indian and Shaker shutters, original door hardware, and old wavy glass are juxtaposed against a designer kitchen, high end plumbing fixtures, central air, and whole house surround system.
The main level of the home is comprised of two very large rooms one of which was the store and post office and the other which was the livery. They both are used today as extraordinary living and entertaining spaces. The stunning great room features a brick floor with in-floor radiant heat, exposed beam ceiling, hand hewn plank walls, and a brick Rumford fireplace with wood beam mantle. The living room has wide pine floors, an exposed beam ceiling, hand-hewn plank and plaster walls, wainscoting, and another Rumford fireplace. The current owners have added a first floor guest suite in the same style.
Not your Granny’s kitchen…
On the upper level is a modern chef’s kitchen with stainless appliances including a Viking four burner gas stove with griddle, Viking warming drawer, Sub Zero refrigerator, soapstone counter tops, wide pine floor, hand hewn plank walls, and plaster ceiling. An adjacent family room and dining area features a third brick Rumford fireplace, built in TV cabinet and closets, wide pine floors, and hewn plank walls. There’s also a cozy nook at the back of the house perfect for reading a book. A large master bedroom suite, a guest room, and full bath round out the rooms on this level.
This remarkable home is on the market and is looking for a new “storekeeper.” You can almost hear the old timers in the store downstairs sitting around the wood-stove telling stories…
Problems with the Lake Property – Lakes Region Real Estate Market Report
In the episode of the Couple Next Door called Problems with the Lake Property broadcast by CBS radio on February 21, 1958, Ethel and Albert are bemoaning the fact that building their new dream home on the lot they purchased out by the lake is going to be quite a bit more expensive than they thought. They get the feeling their home is going to end up being a three room shack or maybe a Quonset hut but at least they are going to have a big picture window so they can see the lake. Albert says “maybe the house won’t be as big and not have all the things we wanted but we have a beautiful piece of land!”
Their architect, Mr. Rogers, calls and says that he’s coming over to discuss “a few problems” he found with the land they bought. What’s next they wonder? Mr. Rogers arrives and they ask him “what did you think of the view? When can you start digging?” to which Mr. Rogers says, “Right after we finish blasting!” “BLASTING!?! It turns out the property is solid ledge. Ethel asks meekly, “Is blasting expensive?”
Mr. Rogers say it can be done but we’ll have to “keep our fingers crossed when we start drilling for water.” “Oh, no, no, no! We don’t have to drill a well, we are within the city limits,” Albert says. Mr. Whipple clarifies the situation, “Yeah, but there is no city water out that far…You mean to tell me you didn’t know you had to drill a well? Did you ask about water?”
“I’ve never lived anywhere without water!”
“I’ve never lived anywhere without water!” says Albert. The possibility of having to drill a well never crossed their minds. They were so worried about missing out they had to act quickly before someone else bought the land! Albert perks up when he remembers the real estate agent, Mr. Whipple (no, not that Mr. Whipple,) saying the city was bringing water out there! “Yes,” says Mr. Rogers, “in about five years. In the meantime what are you going to use for water?” They decide that they’ll just have to drill the well. Things could be worse… (The show didn’t mention a thing about a septic system…but maybe that comes up later!)
“Like your insurance rates?” says Mr. Rogers. He informs them that because there are no hydrants out there the insurance rates are going to be a lot higher! The fire department will have to pump water out of the lake. He says “Let’s hope you don’t have a fire in August when the lake dries up!” “DRIES UP!!” exclaims Albert. Well, the good news is apparently it doesn’t dry up completely, but it goes down quite a bit. Mr. Rogers figures they’ll need about a hundred foot dock to get out deep enough to dock a boat. But these are just “trivial matters.”
TRIVIAL!!?? “Yes,” Mr. Rogers asks “How do you get to your lot?” It is a long ways through the woods. Albert recalls calling Mr. Whipple but can’t quite remember what he said! “Well, I gotta have a road!” he exclaims. Mr. Rogers explains that this estate was just broke up into two acre lots and the lot they bought is the only one some distance from the main road and in looking at the plan there doesn’t seem to be any way to access it! “How am I supposed to get to my lot? A helicopter?” Albert exclaims. He then remembers Mr. Whipple mumbling something like “Oh, naturally, you got to have a road…”
At the urging of Albert, Mr. Rogers calls Mr. Whipple right then and there. “Oh, yes. I see Mr. Whipple…the north boundary line” he says to Mr. Whipple after listening to the explanation. He turns to the couple and explains everything is OK, there is access, and it was clearly in the sales contract. There is an easement on the north boundary line. All you gotta do is put the road in. Ethel asks if building a road is expensive…”well, we don’t have to pave it right away…”
As Mr. Rogers is leaving he encourages the despondent couple “No, don’t be discouraged, as your wife says in a few years you’ll be laughing about this!” Ya, think?
Problems with the Lake Property
So far, the Couple Next Door has made just about every conceivable misstep possible in selling and buying real estate and we aren’t anywhere near closing on their home or starting their new build. Stay tuned for future episodes and more examples of problems that could be avoided if you have a real estate agent working for you when buying or selling property. Don’t touch that dial…
As of May 1, 2017 there were 697 single family homes on the market in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average asking price stood at $659,946, the median price was $299,000, and the average time on market was 148 days. The current inventory level represents about a 6.5 month supply of homes on the market.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.