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.
South Down – Long Bay March Sales Report
Things are looking up a little as there were five sales in South Down – Long Bay in April, 2017. These Lake Winnipesaukee water access communities offer the best package of amenities in the Lakes Region homes and condos and therefore they are always in demand.
South Down Condo Sales
A meticulously cared for three bedroom, two bath, 1,548 square foot end unit in Colonial Hills at 3C Williamsburg Circle was the entry level sale of the month. It has upgrades that include hardwood and tile floors, new vinyl windows, Harvey wood patio doors, and a new kitchen. This home was on the market just 54 days before finding a buyer at the full asking price of $184,900. It is assessed at $151,700
Over at 7 Mulligan Court in Golf Village a1,30 square foot, three bedroom, two bath completely remodeled unit also found a new buyer after just three days on the market! Kind of makes you head spin right? This home has a brand new kitchen with custom cherry cabinets, granite, stainless, and a river rock back splash. The unit was listed at $359,000, sold for $350,000, and is assessed at $278,500.
South Down Single Family Home
Just inside the South Down gate at 97 Clover Lane a nice home in a very private location also changed hands in March. This home was built in 1989 on a large 2.49 acre lot near the end of Clover Lane. It has a total of 4,183 square feet of living space, three bedrooms, and five baths. It has a great kitchen, hardwood and tile floors, first floor master, a living room with fireplace, and a den with a wet bar. There’s a family and game room in the lower level. From the large back deck you look down at your own private tennis court. This home was listed at $429,900 and sold for $403,000 after 122 days on the market. It is assessed at $395,400.
Long Bay Homes
There were two home sales in Long Bay in March. Over at 53 Ponds View Lane a 2,928 square foot, single owner contemporary built in 2005 found a new owner after an extended time on the market. This home has four bedrooms and three and a half baths. It has an open concept first floor with custom kitchen, granite and stainless , a formal dining area, and a first floor master. This home has a great setting with a view of the pond behind it and abutting common space so there is great privacy. The home was first listed in May of 2015 for $549,000 and again in January 2016 for $499,000. It was introduced again in August 2016 at $499,000 and sold this time for $480,000. Total time on market was 558 days.
The other sale was at 58 Carriage Lane. This 4,578 sq, four bedroom, two and a half bath cape was built in 2007. This home has an open floor plan with a beautiful great room with soaring ceilings, a gas fireplace, hard wood floors, and numerous windows to bring in views of the pond. There is a sumptuous first floor master suite with a fireplace and an amazing master bath. There are three bedrooms on the second level and the lower level has a large family room, bar, and craft rooms. The oversize .51 acre double lot is a huge plus. This home was listed in September of 2015 at $539,900 and reintroduced this year at $559,000 and culminated in a sale at $537,500. The total time on market was 628 days. It is assessed at $484,400.
Data Compiled using the NEREN MLS system
The Saga of the Couple Next Door Continues – Lakes Region Real Estate Report
If you have been following my retelling of the story of Albert and Ethel from the 1958 CBS radio broadcasts of the Couple Next Door in the Lakes Region Real Estate Report, you will remember that they sold their home on their own for what they thought was a lot of money ($27,500.) Now have thirty days to get out. They are looking for an apartment to rent while they build a new home on some land they just purchased with beautiful views and lake frontage. But, they didn’t really consider the fact that there is no road to get to it. This is a story of real estate mishaps gone wild. If you haven’t been following the story, well, you are pretty much caught up!
In a following episode, a local architect, Mr. Rogers (no, not that Mr. Rogers!), arrives at their home to start working on a set of house plans for them. Albert wants to make it very clear right from the start that they don’t want too much, just “a nice, simple livable home with modern conveniences that’s all. We can do without the six car garage and swimming pool.”
Mr. Rogers asks them what style of home they had in mind. Ethel says they hadn’t agreed on the final style. She wants a colonial or “English style” and Albert wants a “70’s modern” home. Clearly at odds on this basic style they decide to start on the inside first…
Ethel wants large rooms with “room to breathe” and things like window seats, French doors, cozy nooks, lots of built ins, and “lots and lots” of closets. “Lots and lots” is Ethel’s most favorite expression to use when designing her home. She also wants all the appliances in the kitchen to be built -in so it doesn’t look “too ‘kitcheny,’ you know.”
Albert pipes in that if there is one thing that he wants even if can’t have anything else and that is “my own private den.” Ethel says he also needs a workshop where he can keep his tools and work on things. There are just one or two other little things she would like. You know, like a fireplace in the living room, dining room, master bedroom, the den and even in the kitchen. She shows Mr. Rogers a picture of a kitchen she likes she cut out of a magazine so he can see what she wants.
The Floor Plan
They pull out a floor plan they had drawn. Ethel points out the living room with fireplace and French doors leading to flagstone terrace. She explains she wants old-fashioned bow windows with window seats. Albert shows him where the den is and wants floor to ceiling built-in book cases, with indirect lighting, and paneled walls.
They both keep firing away with their ever-growing list of desires including a big front hall with a suspended winding staircase, closets all over the place, a pantry with “lots and lots” of shelves, a sewing room that would lead out to the gardens, a rumpus room with ping pong table in the basement, beamed ceilings in the living and dining rooms, and a two-car garage with maybe just two little guest rooms above. Ethel shows him the master bedroom with French doors leading to a sleeping porch, the fireplace, “lots and lots” of closets, and bathroom.
Albert chimes in he wants glassed in showers everywhere. Ethel says there is to be a guest room and she also wants a kitchen in there overlooking the lake. Mr. Rogers looks at the plan and asks what this room is and Ethel says that’s “sort-of” her den upstairs. They decide they want a circular drive so people don’t back into each other. They’d also like a little green house outside if that doesn’t cost too much but if it does they can scratch that off the list.
Albert states emphatically he wants only the very best materials to be used in the construction because it will last a lot longer. Mr. Rogers agrees that most people just don’t understand that and object to the cost of using quality building materials which actually saves money in the end.
The Million Dollar Question
Albert then asks Mr. Rogers the million-dollar question “How much will this cost, I know you can’t give an exact amount on the spur I the moment?” Mr. Rogers murmurs, pausing, and ponders a bit, “well, roughly, I didn’t see why you can’t do it very nicely for $175,000.” Things go pretty silent…
After cutting to the commercial break, Ethel says “We’ll just have to get another architect, that’s what we’ll do.” Albert says Mr. Rogers is the best one in town! She laments, “Why should it cost so much more money to have a stairway that winds rather than one that goes up straight?” Albert says” I feel like a fool, I had no idea things cost so much.” “Well, we’ve never done any building, Dear, not a thing.”
Ethel moans “and I still don’t see why it costs so much…I got the ideas out of a magazine, here look at this ‘We built our lovely home for only $24,000’ and look at it, it is just done. I got all my ideas out of things like this.” Albert says.” Well, the trouble with us is we took an idea from this and one from that and never added them together!” They decide that they could still have a nice house but that they’d have to cut back a little and maybe do additions a little later…but they still have to have four bedrooms and “lots and lots” of closets. Does any of this sound remotely familiar?
The March Real Estate Sales Report
There were 84 residential homes sales in March in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $293,022 and the media price point was $205,000. That brings the total number of sales for the year thus far to 205 compared to 201 homes sold in the first three months of 2016. That’s “lots and lots” of homes… but we need more new listings to keep up the pace!
Lake Winnipesaukee – Back in the Day
Anyone familiar with Lake Winnipesaukee knows the dock on Bear Island. This picture, taken in 1906, shows a boat with properly attired folks coming in to spend some quality time on the island. Looks like some were packed to stay for a while! You can find the latest listings on Lake Winnipesaukee by clicking in the picture below and going to DistinctiveHomesNH….imagine that, like magic!
From Wikipedia: “Bear Island is the second largest of some 274 islands on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, United States. In the summer it is accessible only by boat because it is not connected to the mainland via a bridge. In the winter it can be reached by crossing the frozen lake, including by snowmobile. According to the Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society, the island got its name when a few hunters along with a few members of the Pennacook tribe were sent to survey the island. However, they encountered a few bears, which they decided to hunt. Originally the island was named “Big Bear Island”, which was later shortened to “Bear Island” when the island was annexed by the town of Meredith in 1799.”
Winni Waterfront Report March 2017
The Winni Waterfront Report.
There were just five waterfront sales on Lake Winnipesaukee in March, 2017 at an average price of $1,389,800 and a median price point of $1,450,000. That brings the total for the first quarter of 2017 to 15 sales at an average price of $1,545,173 with a median price point of $1.5 million. That’s a far cry from the 25 sales posted in the first quarter of this 2016. The average sale price for the first quarter last year was $1,046,300 and the median price point was $825,000. Just seven of the those 25 sales in 2016 were over the million dollar mark while twelve of the fifteen sales so far this year exceeded $1 million and three of those were over $2 million. So, the expensive properties seem to be moving!
The lowest price sale last month was a property at 64 Prescott Ave in Laconia. This 1950’s vintage, 2,500 square foot home has four bedrooms, two baths, a waterside family room with fireplace and lots of glass to view the lake, an eat in kitchen, and a dining area. The house sits on a level .13 acre lot with fourteen feet of frontage and a u-shaped dock. What more do you really need to get on the water? This property was originally listed at $499,000, was reduced to $459,000, and sold for $400,000 after 283 days on the market.
The Median Sale
The mid-priced sale last month was at 33 Cummings Cove Road in Meredith. This eleven room, four bedroom, three and a half bath Adirondack style home was custom built in 1999 and has all the bells and whistles you’d likely want.
It has a wide open floor plan, hardwood floors, a living room with towering floor to ceiling fireplace, a bright kitchen with granite countertops, stainless appliances, center island with gas cook top, and a first floor master suite with its own fireplace and office area. The finished lower level contains a family room and fourth bedroom. It opens out into a level .77 acre lot with large lawn and 87’ of southerly facing frontage with a 40’ dock and sandy beach. Of course, there are ample decks and a screened porch to sit and look out over the domain! This property just sold in 2015 for $1.3 million but was listed again this year at $1.475 million and sold for $1.45 million after just five days on the market.
The Big One!
The highest sale last month was at 82 Iroquois Lane in Moultonborough and I can see why it was. This stunning and tasteful cedar shake Adirondack waterfront is done the way they are supposed to be! It has a great open floor plan with natural woodwork, wainscoting, wood ceilings with exposed beams, two beautiful field stone fireplaces, and lots of glass to bring in the lake views. It has 4,568 square feet of space with five bedrooms, and five and a half baths.
The stunning eat in kitchen with stainless and granite flows easily into a dining area and the great room. This is the perfect entertaining space. There’s a first floor master suite with access to the wrap around deck. On the second level are four en-suites along with a home theater room and loft area. The home sits on a very secluded 1.87 acre lot with gorgeous landscaping, walkways, patios, and 164’ of sandy frontage with a U-Shaped dock. This property was listed at $2.4 million and sold in 80 days for 2.3 million. I wonder if they’d let me stay down in the shed by the water?
There were no sales on Winnisquam in March. None, nada! So, if you have a place over there and want to sell, I am sure I could have it arranged to happen pretty quickly! There’s not a lot on the market so it is a great time to get top dollar!
The Couple Next Door -Lakes Region Real Estate
The next episode of “The Couple Next Door” that deals with real estate entitled “Signing the Papers” was Broadcast on CBS Radio on February 12, 1958. It starts out at the buyer’s (Mr. Clayton) attorney’s office where Albert and Ethel will sign a preliminary agreement to sell Mr. Clayton their home. The agreement states that Albert will get a $3,000 deposit to hold the property until they sign final documents in thirty days.
While reviewing the document Mr. Clayton notices the stove and refrigerator aren’t mentioned and he states that it was his understanding they were included. After all, he says, he is paying more than the house is really worth. Albert protests saying he never mentioned anything about the stove and refrigerator staying and that he expected to use them in their new house. Things were starting to get a little heated.
The Attorney Helps Out…
The attorney jumps in to try and asks Mr. Clayton if he still has the stove and refrigerator from his old house. He replies no, that he sold them as part of the deal. The attorney explains that it is customary practice to leave the appliances with a house as part of the sale. Ethel decides that she would rather have new appliances in their new house despite how cheap her husband might be, so they let it go.
But, then she realizes nothing was mentioned about the big, brass, 200-year-old doorknocker on the front door that belonged to her mother. She declares she is taking it with her. Mr. Clayton responds rather adamantly that he does not want the house dismantled. The doorknocker is one of the things that give the house so much character and that’s the reason he wanted the it in the first place! (See, these things happened, even then.)
Once again, the attorney jumps in and suggests that the doorknocker be replaced with an identical one. Reluctantly Ethel agrees and now all she has to do is find an identical 200-year-old doorknocker. Good luck with that! (It would have been a lot easier to have a Sellers Property Disclosure outlining what stays and what doesn’t, don’t you think?)
Albert then realizes that they didn’t put anything in the agreement about the blue spruce tree in the front yard that he planted for their daughter, Betsy. That can’t stay, it has to go to their new property! Now steaming, Mr. Clayton makes it clear that it is staying and that Albert will not be leaving holes in the front yard! While Ethel and Albert feel that they are giving in on everything they agree to replace that blue spruce with an even bigger and better one. Sellers today can blame Albert and Ethel for starting this trend!
After the meeting, Albert tells Ethel that there is no way that her Mother’s gold, 200 year old doorknocker is going on the front of the modern style house they are building. She replies that it will go perfectly well on the colonial style home they will be building. You see how easy this is going, right?
Looking at Lakefront Property
In the next episode, “Looking at Lake Front Property,“ Ethel comes into town to Albert’s office to take him to see the “most beautiful land” she has ever seen. “It is just what we want she exclaims!” She apparently had been looking at property all day with a “real estate man.” She wants Albert to see it and meet him because he can ask him all the right questions. But she is sure that “this real estate man” wouldn’t sell them anything unless it was OK.
So, they meet Mr. Whipple, the “real estate man,” and he tells them to park their car so they can walk through the woods to the parcel of land. Albert wonders why they have to walk to the property, isn’t there a road, do I have to build one?! Ethel says “Don’t worry about that now…” “It might be just a teensy, weensy road.”
They go traipsing off through the woods and Albert wonders how much father it can be as he feels like Sargent Preston of the Yukon. (Do you remember him?) Albert asks Mr. Whipple if the snowplows come out this way? “Ohhh, sure,” mutters Mr. Whipple. Then Albert sees the unbelievable view of the lake, the city, and the park on the other side.
It turns out that the lot is two acres, which is more than they really had considered, but it does have lake frontage with a cove, beach, and a “babbling brook” (that always cinches the deal!) Albert asks if the property is within the city limits and Mr. Whipple replies yes and “That is the beauty of it. You have all the advantages of city life in the city and you have the feeling of being in the country.”
It Won’t Last Long
Whipple tells them these lots were recently subdivided and they won’t last long. Albert is excited and agrees as you just don’t find views like this, but wishes they had more time to think about it. But then, he also thinks he could get a little sail boat once they get settled. She says that would be wonderful for him because he would get to exercise more like he has always wanted. And the best part is their darling little Betsy could even go to the same school system. Yup, they are hooked! “Golly, look at that view!”
Albert decides to ride back to town with Mr. Whipple so they can talk on the way and he would do a little figuring. Well, apparently, Albert bought the land on the way home. He comes home to tell Ethel that he put a deposit down because he was sure he didn’t want to lose it. She is ecstatic! “Oh, oh, oh” she says, “What did he say about a road?” “Did you ask him?” You can see that blank stare on his face even through the radio! “No, no, golly, that right, a road!” “Well, don’t worry about it!” she says.”
“A road, yeah…” he meekly mumbles to himself…
What’s for sale?
There were 597 single family residential homes for sale in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average asking price was $680,164 and the median price point was $299,000. All of these homes have roads to them…
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system
As a real estate agent I spend a lot time in my truck listening to the radio going to and from appointments. I like talk radio, especially the real estate home improvement shows on the AM station like “The Money Pit” and “At Home with Gary Sullivan,” but obviously they are not on all the time. I also have a Sirius XM Satellite radio to listen to a hundred other stations but even with that, sometimes it seems that there is nothing worth listening to.
The other day I tuned into Channel 148 which is the “Radio Classics” channel and features programs from the 40’s and 50’s like the “Shadow”, “”The Green Hornet”, “The Jack Benny Show”, “Gunsmoke”, and “The Adventures of the Thin Man.” While these radio programs were just a shade before my time, many of them did make the jump to television in the mid to late fifties and they bring back lots of memories. It seems kind of strange to listen to old radio shows on a satellite radio, but I do lots of strange things. The problem with listening to this channel is that the programs are close to half an hour long and I always seem to either miss the beginning or the end of an episode.
Anyway, the program I tuned into is called “The Couple Next Door” which was broadcast from 1957 to 1960 on CBS radio and featured Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce. The program is about an everyday, ordinary married couple dealing with everyday situations that seem to get a little out of control. The particular episode I tuned in on actually had to do with them selling their home. Since I’d missed most of it I checked it out on the internet when I got home. It turns out the Oldtime Radio Network (http://www.otr.net) has the compete series of programs and it didn’t take long to find the show about real estate. The “House For Sale Episode” was broadcast February 10, 1958. Just from the episode titles I could see there were a number of episodes that dealt the sale of this couples’ home and the purchase of land, and the subsequent building of their new dream home.
Same real estate problems even back then!
It is interesting that this show, which was produced some sixty years ago, clearly illustrates the same trials, tribulations, anxieties, and emotions that buyers and sellers face today. It also shows the amount of trouble the characters got into both with, and without, the help of real estate agents. The house sale saga starts when Ethel starts getting calls from strangers asking questions like “how many bathrooms do you have?” and “do you have a screened porch?” Thinking it is a crack pot (today Craig’s List comes to mind) she has Albert answer the next call.
The next guy tells him that he is calling because there is an advertisement in the paper offering their home for sale. They look at the paper and sure enough there is an ad for someone else’s home but their phone number. The calls keep coming. Albert keeps telling the callers that no, their house is definitely not for sale, but his gears start turning and he starts to wonder what they could get for their home.
Albert concludes that all the activity must be because a new industrial chemical plant is coming to town and all these new employees will need a house. After fielding a couple dozen phone calls, he concludes the market is red hot and maybe they really should sell. Alice isn’t interested in moving at all. She says she finally has gotten this house just the way she wants it and is not moving. Period! No way!
Albert takes a call from a Mr. Clayton, who turns out to be the son of the owner of the new chemical plant, and he is desperate to find housing. He tells Albert he wants to see his house but won’t spend more than $30,000.
With big dollar signs in his eyes, he invites the guy right over. Ethel and Albert squabble until the guy arrives and he is full of praise about their home. He said he admires the home and found it “inviting and comfortable the minute you walk in the door” (I think I have used that line) and that it had “elegant simplicity” (I have used that, too), and that it “should be in a magazine” (ditto.)
Hearing this praise, Ethel begins to change her mind and thinks about cashing in. Mr. Clayton is desperate to find a house as he has to move there in a month so he offers $25,000 for the house. Albert says he wants $30,000 and Clayton replies he knows a lot about houses and it is not worth that but he is willing to do $27,500. They tell Mr. Clayton they will need to think about it.
The Next Episode
The next episode starts the very next day when Ethel comes into town to have lunch with Albert at a local restaurant. Mr. Clayton had called that morning to let Albert know he needs a decision on whether they would sell and that they would have to be out in thirty days. They talk it over and realize they may never get another offer like this.
While they are sitting there, friends stop by to congratulate them on the sale of their house and on building a new one. Real estate is a hot topic! Apparently, Ethel told one of her friends that morning what was going on and now the whole town knows. One friend says they should stay put and one tells them about the pitfalls and high costs of building a new house. One says don’t do it, this is “no time to sell your home,” real estate will be worth a lot more in ten years! They think maybe they better forget the whole thing. But they don’t see how they could ever get any more for their house.
Then another friend stops by their table and tells them how smart they are for selling now because of the new 100 lot subdivision and shopping center that is going in behind them! They realize that if Mr. Clayton hears about that subdivision he won’t buy their house so they rush home to call him (no cell phones then remember.)
Ethel is now fully invested in selling her house! She is sick of hitting her head on that old beam going down the stairs and doorknobs coming off in her hands. Albert says he wants to sell because you can’t build a fire in that darn fireplace without the whole house filling full of smoke and muses that Mr. Clayton will have many memorable nights with that fireplace. So far, everything is playing out pretty much the same as I would expect whether it is 1958 or 2017… to be continued!