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The South Down – Long Bay Sales Report – November 2019

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The South Down – Long Bay Sales Report – November 2019

Data compiled using the NEREN MLS System

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The Ukrainian Legend of the Christmas Spider

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The Ukrainian Legend of the Christmas Spider

There were 134 single family homes sold in November in the Lakes Region communities covered by this report.  The averaged sales price was $419,001 and the median price point was $297,450. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Everyone has heard the classic tales of Christmas about Santa and his reindeer, Rudolph, the three wise men, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Then there is the Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34nd Street, and Christmas Vacation. But have you heard about the Ukrainian Legend of the Christmas Spider? It’s another tale about home and the holiday and yes, it is another Ukrainian tale…really.

Christmas spiderThe story about the spiders and the Christmas tree seems to have several versions but they all end up in the same place. It seems that a long, long time ago a woman and her children lived in a small hut. They had very little money and were just getting by. This was long before welfare and food stamps.

The story goes that one day a pine cone fell from the tree outside. In one version the pine cone fell outside on the ground and in another it fell on the dirt floor of the hut. That means that (1) the poor old gal had a hole in her roof and (2) that this was before the advent of linoleum. In any event, the pine cone took root and began to grow…yup, even inside the house. Apparently, Mom didn’t sweep up much.

Regardless of where the tree was, the children were excited because they would have their very own Christmas tree. The children planned all summer on how they would decorate the tree. But, alas, there was no money for decorations. I think perhaps the deadbeat dad forgot, once again, to mail the child support payment. As I said, one version of the tale says the tree was growing outside and that is where it stayed, and yet another says that they brought the tree inside. Not sure that it really matters except that they wouldn’t have had to pick up pine needles if the had left it outside.

Anyway, on Christmas Eve they all went to bed knowing that there would be no decorations on the tree. The children were very, very sad and they laid in bed and cried. This is where the spiders come in. They were a family, too.

spiderThe spiders heard the little children crying and Mommy spider decides that they should all go out there and spin their beautiful webs all over the tree to decorate it. So, they did…they covered that sucker with cobwebs. I really suspect that the spiders already had some webs on the tree to start with. If a pine cone can grow into a tree in your living room floor while you are living there, then I  bet the tree never got dusted to start with.

So, when the children got up, they were delighted to see that the tree was beautifully decorated with webs. Then suddenly, the morning sunshine hit the tree and the cobwebs turned to the most beautiful silver and gold strands. Another Christmas arachnid miracle!

Now, there is yet even another version, believe it or not, that has all the spiders of the house banished from the home as it is spotlessly cleaned for Christmas by the mistress of the house.  She was a clean freak and hated spiders. I think this might have been somewhere in Maryland near D.C. and not actually in the Ukraine. Their webs were all broken as she flailed her broom and feather duster into every corner and crevice.  The poor family of spiders had to scurry deep into their hiding places up in the dark attic.

As they retreated, some of the younger spiders had gotten a quick look at the Christmas tree and wanted to see it again. They had also heard that the Christ Child comes to the bless the house at midnight… you have to ask yourself; how do spiders know this stuff?  The elder spider in the family said that they couldn’t go back. It was just too dangerous. But the young ones badgered the old guy until he relented. The old guy said that they could go down on Christmas Eve while everyone in the house was fast asleep.

spiderShortly before midnight, the family crept down to the tree and they couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. They were delighted to look at all the beautiful ornaments and lights. They were enthralled as they crept from one ornament to another and as they scurried about, they weaved they silky webs. Pretty soon the tree was covered with silky strands. Just then, on cue, the Christ Child appears. He loved the little spiders, but he realized that the mistress of the house would be really upset with all the cobwebs on the tree when she awoke. Having the divine wherewithal, he reached out and touched the cobwebs turning them into strands of silver and gold. Thus, tinsel was invented.

So, what’s this got to do with houses, you ask? Well, it just goes to show that no matter what kind of house you live in; whether it has a dirt floor, a hole in the roof, or a house that needs to be thoroughly cleaned, you can still have a nice Christmas if you let the spiders do their thing.

Chrsitmas spider

Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system

 

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The Winni Waterfront Report – November 2019

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The Winni Waterfront Report – November 2019

There were nine waterfront sales on Winnipesaukee in November 2019. The average sales price was $1,323,888 and the median price point came in at $1,050,000.

Winni Waterfront ReportThe entry level sale for the month was at 16 Pleasure Lane in the Balmoral community in Moultonborough. The property is located on Middle Brook which provides affordable and direct access to Winnipesaukee. This two-bedroom home was built in 1990 and has 1,664 square feet of recently remodeled living space. It has a new kitchen with granite countertops, stainless appliances, hardwood and tile floors, and knotty pine walls to give it a comfortable feeling.  The home sits on a quarter acre lot with 70’ of frontage with two docks.  It was listed at $499,000 and sold for $470,000 after 53 days on the market.

Winni Waterfront ReportThe median price point sale was at 1 Littlest Mud Island in Wolfeboro.  This property is very special; it is the entire 1.9-acre island with a main lodge, two smaller cabins, and a two-bay boathouse. The main lodge was built in 1953 while the cabins were constructed in 2011.  The main lodge has that rustic feel with wood floors, pine walls, exposed rafters, and a large brick fireplace. There are seven bedrooms between the three structures so there is plenty of room for guests. Recent updates include new metal roofs on the lodge and boathouse, new underground electric lines, and a ten-bedroom septic system. The interior of the island is selectively cleared providing walking trails and space for outside activities. The 1,320 feet of shoreline provides amazing sunrise and sunset views. Sounds like it is pretty close to paradise to me. This property was listed at $1.2 million and sold for $1.05 million after 154 days on the market.

Winni Waterfront ReportThe highest sale for the month was one of the last 19th century Winnipesaukee Great Camps known as Boulder Lodge located at 378 Rt 11D in Alton. The property consists of a main shingle style lodge with six guest cottages sitting on a 5.87 lot with 641’ of frontage.  The main lodge has been totally restored and winterized and features high ceilings, natural wood finishes throughout, two fireplaces and a large wrap around porch. The guest cottages have anywhere from one to three bedrooms. There is also a  dining cottage has a commercial kitchen in case you want to throw a party and there is a covered outside dining area with a fieldstone fireplace. There’s a sandy beach area, a permanent deep-water dock with a second story deck plus a separate docking area with thirteen deep water slips. This property was originally listed at $4.5 million, was reduced to $3.9 million and sold at that price after 1,486 days on the market.

Winni Waterfront ReportThere were two sales on Winnisquam in November. A very well maintained, 1964 vintage, three-bedroom, one bath cottage with 880 square feet of living space at 73 Collins Brook Rd in Meredith found a new owner in just 20 days. The cottage sits on a half-acre lot on the northern end of the lake with 210‘ of frontage and a new aluminum docking system. It was listed at $610,000 and sold for $590,000. The other sale was at 486 Shore Drive in Laconia. This 3,845 square foot, five-bedroom, four bath contemporary style home was built in 1974. It has a great floorplan with a completely renovated kitchen with high end stainless appliances, a large living room with a gas fireplace, and second floor family room. All of the bedrooms have great views of the lake and each has its own private balcony. The home sits on a 1.26 acre well landscaped lot with 165’ of sandy frontage and sunset views that Shore Drive is known for. This property was listed at $1,199,900 and sold for $1,144,900 after 34 days on the market.

Winni Waterfront Report

Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system

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The 2019 Handy Hubby Christmas Gift List

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The 2019 Handy Hubby Christmas Gift List

As of December 1, 2019, there were 528 listings on the market in the fourteen Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average asking price was $607,910 and the median price point was $339,900. The current inventory level represents a 4.3-month supply of homes on the market.

Another Christmas is upon us.  If you are the lady of the house, you may be struggling to get your handyman hubby that perfect gift. As Cousin Eddy says, if you want to give a gift that “keeps on giving,” consider these following ideas. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to find him something he can use over and over again and make his household tasks a lot easier to accomplish!

Hubby Christmas ListFirst consider a pair of Vampliers. The name alone is something that he will appreciate and chuckle about when he uses them. These high-quality pliers are designed to help you get out a screw or bolt that has broken off close to the surface. They have “uniquely designed concave shaped jaws with vertical and horizontal serrations on the inside jaws which make it possible to grab on to a stripped/rusted/corroded screw or rounded nut for extraction.”  I can’t say it any better than they describe it. They are available on Amazon and come in different sizes. The six-inch ones are under $30.00 an the eight-inch ones are around $35.00 with a set of four shown at around $90.00.

This sounds crazy, buy it irritates me. Every time I drill a hole in dry wall to hang something, I make a little mess. Drywall dust always falls on the floor and I  gotta clean it up. Its not a big deal but it still is a pain. Hubby Christmas ListIf you get an Adir Pro Drill Buddy Dust Collector, it will totally eliminate the mess. You stick the drill bit though the hole and the dust is collected inside the thingamajig. It also has a laser level, so it is like two gifts in one. Its only $16.99 on Amazon and is also available at the Home Depot.

Hubby Christmas ListMy buddy, Gordon Blaisdell,  and I both had to go the hospital this year because we were acting stupid and got stuff in our eyes that wasn’t supposed to be there. He knows better as he has worked at nuclear power plants and I…well, I should have known better, but I am part redneck so I learn slowly. I’d suggest getting a pair of German Made Safety Googles from the Garret Wade Catalog. Theses aluminum framed glasses have leather padding and clear 1 5/8” diameter shatterproof lenses. You can also get gray UV protection lenses and dark welder’s lenses. They are pretty funky looking and I think they are also perfect for riding a Harley or if you happen to be going to the Burning Man you’ll fit right in. A real cool gift for under $20.00.

Hubby Christmas ListWhile you are on the Garret Wade website, check out the Extra Heavy-Duty Screwdriver set. These wooden handled flat headed screwdrivers were original issued to use on tanks, so you know they have to be rugged. They are also pretty ugly, but that’s part of the charm. I remember seeing screwdrivers like these in my Dad’s toolbox. You can bang on them with a hammer and use them as pry bars or chisels. On sale right now for $30.00.

One source of never-ending frustration is the good old ratchet strap. Ladies, that’s the flat nylon strap with a mechanism attached that you hubby used to tie down that new furniture you got in the back of the pick- up truck. I’ve got a bunch of them. The problem with them is that the straps get all tangled up and tied in knots if you are not careful. I have a hard time being careful, especially if it is cold outside. The Quick Loader Ratchet Strap on the Grommet Website solves the problem. It features a mechanism that neatly coils the strap so it will never tangle when stored and it also keeps tension on the strap while you are tying things down making the whole process much easier. Check it out. Only $19.95

Finally, give your handyman the correct message. Get him a “Fix Your Stuff For Beer” T shirt on Amazon for just $16.99. Might as well acknowledge the ground rules on both sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system

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The Median Turkey

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The Median Turkey

median turkeyThis is the first year that the Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603 is hosting the NH Professional Porch Sitters Thanksgiving Day celebration.  It was up to Travis D. Coletrain, Dirk Davenport, and me to do the shopping for this gala event that would bring Porch Sitters from near and far. To avoid conflicts with the traditional Thanksgiving, which might actual cause dismemberment, we hold this gathering on the Sunday after so that we can still be able to watch football while chowing down. The appointment of Travis and Dirk to the shopping committee was made for their obvious love of food and ability to spot bargains. I was there to keep them from going too overboard.  Also, along for the ride was wanna-be porch sitter named Little Joe.

We head on into Hannaford and in search of stuffing, potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies, and of course some turkeys. Now, we are expecting a throng of porch sitters, so we figured we’d need a flock of frozen Butterballs. That’s the tricky part of this event as we are going to be cooking turkeys in at least a half dozen locations and then bring them down to the Grange Hall at the appropriate time. Seems like it would have been easier to have Hart’s deliver!

Anyway, as Travis approaches the turkey freezer, he let out this yelp of delight and excitement that made half the people in the store look at him. He gasped, “Look at that! That is the biggest Butterball I have ever seen in my life!” And it was. It dwarfed the other turkeys that were left by two to one. The price tag said it was 40.14 pounds!

“I gotta have it!” exclaimed Travis.

“How you gonna get that in and out of the oven?” I asked.

median turkey“I might have to use a hoist to pick it up and deep fry it in the backyard, but I’m gonna do it!” he replied. No sense in arguing. The bird was his to prepare. We loaded it into a shopping cart and put the remaining six other smaller birds left in the freezer in another cart. A third and fourth cart had all the other fixings. We checked out and took it all over to Dirk’s house which was the designated central distribution spot for the other members to come and pick up a turkey and other dishes to prepare. We are a well-oiled machine.

We are sitting at Dirk’s house,  sipping on some Porch Crawler beverages,  waiting for the other members to come pick up their share of the food and Little Joes says, “You know, I was reading last weeks real estate market report and I don’t understand something.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I was looking at homes that sold in Meredith in October and it says the average sales price of a home was $461,147 and the median price was $389,000,” he replied.  “In Moultonborough the average sales price was $821,423 and the median price was $405,00.  I know what an average is, but what the heck is the median price. I don’t get it.”

median turkeyWell, you aren’t alone. A lot of people can’t grasp the concept of the median price.” I said, “Let’s make it simple and talk turkey. You see those seven turkeys on the counter? Go over there and line them up by weight from the lightest to the heaviest which is obviously Travis’ turkey from another planet. Write down how much each one weighs. Round the ounces up or down as appropriate…I wanna keep this lesson simple.”

Little Joe goes over and arranges the turkey by size and comes back with the weights scrawled on the back of a napkin.  He reads it off, “We got an 8 lb, a 10 lb, a 12 lb, two 16 lb ones, an 18 lb one, and the 40 lb one.”

“Ok, so what’s the average weight of the turkeys?” I asked.

Little Joe grabs a pen out of Dirk’s pocket and starts scratching on the napkin. “That’s easy.” he answers proudly like he just passed an exam. “The average weight of the turkeys is 17.14 lbs!”

“Ok,” I replied, “The median turkey weight is the turkey in the middle where there are an equal number of turkeys on each side that either weigh less or that weigh more. Go over in tell me which turkey is in the middle.”

“That would be a 16 lb one. That’s the median?” he asked.

“Yup, you got it!  Now go over and removed Travis’ mega turkey and give me the average weight of the six remaining ones,” I instructed.

Little Joe goes over, moves the big turkey, recalculates his average and says, “The average of the remaining turkeys is now 13.3 lbs!  The average dropped by around 4 lbs.”

“So, what’s the median weight?” I asked. “What’ the weight of the turkey in the middle now?”

Little Joe just stared blankly at the turkeys and finally says, “There isn’t any one turkey in the middle now…there are two middle ones! A 12 lb one and a 16 lb one.”

In this case it’s the invisible one in the middle. You go exactly halfway between weight of those two turkeys and pretend there is another one there. What would it weigh?” I asked.

“That would be 14 lbs,” he replied as the light bulb in his head went off. “The median weight didn’t change as much as the average.”

“You just mastered the meaning of the median.” Travis piped in, “Now, can you imagine how two or three million-dollar waterfront sales in a month distorts the average sales price in a town in the Lakes Region. While the average sales price can be dramatically affected by some large sales, the median sales price is more constant and reflective of the actual marketplace.”

median turkey“Hey, that’s a lot easier to understand when you explain it in turkeys.” Little Joe exclaims.

“Gobble, gobble. Happy Thanksgiving!”

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South Down – Long Bay Sales October 2019

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South Down – Long Bay Sales October 2019

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Barney Fife Realty Part Deux

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Barney Fife Realty Part Deux

Anyone can be a real esatate agentGetting back to where we left off on Season 6 Episode 15 of the Andy Griffith Show, Barney has embarked on a lucrative career in real estate. He has “nudged” Sheriff Andy Taylor into considering selling his house to buy the larger home with the big trees out by the highway that belongs to the Williams family. Andy has talked it over with Aunt Bea and she seems to be all for it.

The doorbell rings at Andy’s house and it’s Barney.  He says excitedly, “I got a couple out in the car. Can I bring them in?”

Andy says, “You got what?”

“I’ve got customers in the car. They want to see your house!” Barney says.

“Now?” Andy asks.

“Yes, now!” Barney says as Aunt Bea comes into the living room. Andy explains that Barney has some customers in the car to see the house…right now. Aunt Bea tells Barney she can’t have people coming in just like that… she needs time to straighten out the house, it’s a mess. Andy asks Barney to have the come back another time.

Barney exclaims, “No, no, no! I’ve been telling them about the house and have them worked up to a fever pitch! We can’t let them cool off. This might be it! Besides, the house looks great, it looks marvelous! What do you say?”

Aunt Bea agrees, but they need a few minutes to straighten things up a little. So, they scurry around the living room picking up things and stuffing them in the coat closet including Opie by mistake. The buyers come in and introductions are made. It’s Mr. and Mrs. Simms. Opie pops out of the closet to their surprise. The buyers are surveying the living room and Andy says that he was thinking of painting in here in a month or two.

Barney leans over and whispers in Mr. Simm’s ear, “There is a little work to be done but with your imagination you folks could really do something with this one.” Andy tells them that they really love it here.

Mr. Simms asks Andy why he is selling, and he replies, “Too small” as Aunt Bea says, “too big.” He then explains that they might buy the Williams’ house. Mr. Simms asks Barney where that house is. Barney replies that it is way out in a different neighborhood, and “not for you folks!”

They go into the kitchen and look around. Mrs. Simms is impressed. Andy says he painted the whole room and gave it all two coats! Opie remembers the lesson Andy gave him about telling the truth about things that were wrong with his bicycle when he was trying to sell it and pipes in that you can’t hardly even see the crack in the ceiling now.

Barney Fife RealtyWith the buyers’ eyes fixated on the ceiling, Opie asks his father, “you gonna tell them about the noise in the faucet, Pa?” Mr. Simms spins around and turns on the faucet. It rumbles, groans, and rattles. Barney says it probably just needs a washer. They finish looking at the rest of the house. Barney says the house has a few minor issues and it all could be taken care of for $100.00.

Then Opie says, “Did you forget to tell them about the roof, Pa? You know how it leaks.” Andy sheepishly tells the buyers that if you have a real big heavy storm then you might get a few drips. “But, Pa, we only had a drizzle last week and you had to get out that big bucket.” Mr. and Mrs. Simms cannot leave fast enough.

Barney Fife realtyAndy and Opie have one of those “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” talks in which Opie comes out on top.

The next morning Barney is fit to be tied. He tells Andy “Do you know what that boy of yours cost me? $3,478!” Andy says that’s a lot of money, how did he figure that? Barney says. “I had the Clarks buying the Mortensons’ house, the Mortensons buying the Simms’ house, the Simms buying your house, and you buying the Williams’ house. Add the total at five percent, that’s $3,478. I had 3,478 semolians until that kid of yours opened his big mouth!”

Just then the phone rings at the P.D. and it is Mr. Simms. Barney had been trying to reach him. He convinces them to talk with him again that evening. Barney drags the Simms over to Andy’s that night for another look at the house. On arrival, Barney tells the Simms that the house does need a little work you know and perhaps Opie was exaggerating about the things that were wrong with the house. Andy steps up to the plate and replies that no, no, everything that Opie said is true and that he wasn’t exaggerating. He says, “I gotta level with you. The house is thirty-five years old and there are things wrong with it.”

barney fife realtyMr. Simms thinks that Andy is trying to get out of selling him the house and says he will give them a full price offer right now! Andy says to hold on a moment. The only way he is going to sell his house is if he can buy the Williams’ house and they haven’t been in it for years. Barney, almost wetting his pants, jumps up to set up a showing!

Andy and Aunt Bea go to look at the Williams house and they tell Mr. Williams that he has done it up real nice. They all sit down in the living room and in comes Mr. Williams’ son. The same boy that Opie was trying to sell his bicycle to… the bike with the bad coaster brake, the broken chain, and bad inner tubes.  The boy’s feet are soaked and his dad asks him if he has been down at the creek this time of night”

He says “No, I have been here all this time, down in the basement sailing my boat!?

Andy repeats him, “Down in the basement sailing your boat?!”

“Yes,” he replies, “there’s about a foot of water down there. It’s great! And, oh yes, Dad. The crack in the furnace is getting big. I guess we’ll have to get a new one like the man said.” Predictably, Andy decides to keep his own home and suggests that Mr. Williams should do the same.

You should tune in and watch Barney’s final meltdown as a real estate agent. Like I said, anyone can be a real estate agent…but not everyone will stay one.

Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system

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The Winni Waterfront Report – October 2019

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winni waterfront reportThe Winni Waterfront Report – October 2019

There were twenty-three Winnipesaukee waterfront homes sold in October 2019. The average sales price came in at $1,317, 278 and the median price point was $1,260,000.

winni waterfront reportThe entry level sale for the month was at 10 Blackbird Lane in the Balmoral Community in Moultonborough. You won’t get lost in the 1978 vintage, 960 square foot cottage but there are three bedrooms, one bath and it has all been nicely renovated so you can come to do what you wanted to; enjoy the lake. It has new spray foam insulation, new windows and doors, new heating system, new kitchen cabinetry, a propane stove in the living room, pine vaulted ceilings and new engineered oak flooring. Although the .19-acre lot is not right on the open water it has 75’ of shoreline and a dock on Shannon Brook which provides easy access to the big lake. This was a pretty neat property and someone musty have agreed as it sold at $5,000 over the asking price at $335,000 in just five days!

winni waterfront reportThe median price point sale this month was at 193 Dockham Shore Rd in Gilford. Dockham Shore is always a desirable address to have. This 2,799 square foot contemporary ranch was built in 1986 and has three bedrooms and two full plus two half baths.  The home has an eat in kitchen with lake views, a living room with vaulted ceilings and wood stove, three bedrooms on the main level with another in the walk out basement along with a family/game room. The home sits on a 1.2-acre lot with 200’ of frontage with a permanent dock. The lot has a great view, a large lawn area with waterside deck, and a two-car garage for the toys. This property was originally listed at $1.495 million, was reduced to $1.395 million, and sold for $1.26 after 189 days on the market.

winni waterfront reportThe highest sale for the month was at 72 Parker Island in Wolfeboro and it was a nice one. This 9,546 square foot contemporary home was built in 1986 and has eighteen rooms, six bedrooms, and eight baths. Of course, there’s a high-end kitchen complete with a Wolf gas range, convection ovens, center island, granite countertops, and hardwood floors. A living room, family room, formal dining room, den, sunroom, a luxurious master suite and two guest bedrooms round out the main level. The lower level provides fun spaces for all with a pool room, ping pong room, wet bar and sauna. The second level has another master suite and two more guest bedrooms.  Four fireplaces will keep you warm on a chilly day. The home sits on a very private 3.37-acre lot with fabulous landscaping and large stone patios. The 216’ of southwesterly facing frontage has a perched beach, breakwater, permanent dock, and affords great broad views of the lake. There’s an oversized three car garage for the land yachts and toys. This property was listed in May 2017 for $4.975 million and again in April of this year at $4.495 million. It sold at $3.2 million after a total of 681 days in the market.

winni waterfront report
Leighton Ave

There were five single family waterfront sales on Winnisquam in October with the average price coming in at $659,000. The entry level sale was at 8 Nancy Drive in Belmont. This 3,324 square foot, three-bedroom, three bath home was built in 1921 on a third acre lot with 80’ of frontage on the back “pond” which has access to the main lake through a canal. This property was listed back in June 2017 for $375,000. It had a price increase to $450,000 in May of 2018 and was relisted in May 2019 for $399,000. It finally sold for $370,000 after a total of 408 days on the market. The highest sale on Winnisquam for the month was at 192 Leighton Ave N in Laconia. This is a 1,693 square foot three bed, three bath home built in 1997. It has been completely remodeled and has a light and bright open concept kitchen living and dining room area, a first-floor master suite, and screened porch to die for. The home sits on a half-acre lot with 100’ of frontage with a U-shaped dock. It was listed at $899,000 and sold for $950,000 in one day! Pretty nice? ‘nuf said…

winni waterfront report

winni waterfront report

Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system

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 Barney Fife Realty

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Barney Fife Realty

There were 677 single family homes on the market in the fourteen Lakes Region communities covered by this report as of November 1, 2019. The average asking price was $621,082 and the median asking price point came in at $349,900. On November 1, 2018 there were 712 homes on the market, the average asking price was $651,002 and the median price point was $339,900. The current inventory level represents a 7.8-month supply of homes on the market

Anyone can be a real esatate agentAnyone can be a real estate agent. Yup. Even Deputy Barney Fife. In Season 6 Episode 15 on the Andy Griffith Show which aired way back in 1965 Sheriff Andy Taylor comes into the P.D. to learn that Barney has taken on a new part time gig as a real estate agent. Andy asks, “Since when have you been in real estate?”

Barney says since he bumped into Mr. Summer, the real estate man, at the diner yesterday and he got him thinking. Barney explains to Andy that Mr. Summer just sits around his office all day smoking a big fat cigar and he never stirs until someone wants to buy something. Then he takes them out in that old rattle trap of a car of his and if they buy, he collects five percent.  Barney exclaims, “Well, has he got it made or has he got it made!”

Anyone can be a real esatate agentBarney brags he already has two deals cooking because he made ten phone calls last night, just kind of fishing in the dark, and he got two bites! Andy asks who and Barney says that the Clarks and the Mortensons both want bigger houses. He figures he is going to put the Clarks in the Mortensons’ house and the Mortensons in the Simms’ house if he can find them what they want.

Barney exclaims that he has “been in business less than twenty-four hours and he has learned something fantastic.”

Anyone can be a real esatate agentAndy asks, “What’s that?”

Barney replies that “Everyone wants to sell their house!” He expertly explains to Andy that nine out of ten people aren’t completely happy with the house they live in and would sell in a minute if someone gave them a little “nudge.”

Andy says as he sips on some coffee, “Well, I can tell you one fella that’s completely happy with the house he’s living in, and that’s me!”

Ever the consummate deal making professional, Barney coyly says “Ayup, what if I told you the Williams’ house was available?”

Andy responds, “You mean the big white house out on the highway with the big trees?”

Barney says, “Uh huh, the one you always point out to me when we drive by. Would you sell your house if I told you I could put you in the Williams’ house?” Andy asks how he knows if the Williams want to sell, to which Barney replies that he had called them last night and they said they would sell if they got the right price.

Andy shrugs and says “Oh, they probably want a whole lot!”

Barney zeroes in and says, “What if I told you I could put you in that little unit for $3,500?”

Andy replies unbelieving, “Your kidding, $3,500?!”

“Sure,” silver tongued Barney explains, “we can get $24,000 for your place, we can pick up the Williams for $27,500 and you can get a mortgage at the bank for the difference and pfftt! You’re in the Williams’ house!”

Andy starts giggling about this being such a far-fetched idea, but you can see he has been “nudged” appropriately. The hook, as they say, has been set.

Anyone can be a real esatate agentAndy goes home to find his son, Opie, trying to sell his bicycle to another kid named Tyler for five dollars. Tyler asks Andy if he thinks that’s a fair price. Andy asks if Opie had told him about the coaster brake slipping? Tyler says no, what about the coaster brake? Opie explains it doesn’t do it all the time. Andy then says that the chain is worn and keeps coming apart where it is wired together. Opie laments that all you gotta do is put another piece of wire in there. Andy also points out that the inner tubes are shot and covered with patches.

Tyler angrily says, “You haven’t told me any of this stuff!”

Opie indignantly responds, “You never asked!”

Tyler says, “So what, you should have told me anyway.”

Andy tells Opie that when you are selling something that the buyer has a right to know everything that’s wrong with it, otherwise it is not quite honest.

Opie tells Tyler he will let him have the bike for four dollars to which Tyler responds, “I wouldn’t take this hunk of junk if you gave it to me!”

So, we have learned some real estate from this tale so far. 1. Anyone can be a real estate agent. 2. Real estate agents don’t do much.  3.Everyone will sell their home if nudged properly. 4. And tell your buyer that the coaster brake doesn’t work all the time. More to come on this episode after next week’s Waterfront Report. Until then, don’t call Barney.

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The Porch Sitters on Staging

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The Porch Sitters on Staging

staging adviceThe Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603 met this past week on the porch at Gordy Blaisdell’s house in Meredith. It was a fitting place to meet to discuss real estate issues and the upcoming deer hunting season as he resides out in the boonies on top of a mountain. We figured we might see a deer walk through his back yard whilst we imbibed on porch crawler beverages and chomped on venison jerky. Dirk Davenport, Bubba Gunter, Travis D. Coletrain, Little Stevie Prestone,  John “Leadbellie” Goode, and Rollie Rollins were all in attendance. It was a perfect autumn afternoon.

“I noticed you got a couple of nice buck heads hanging on your living room wall,” said Rollie as he plunked down on a rocker. Rollie is also an avid hunter and is always looking for another hunting spot to bag a big one. “Where did you shoot him?”

Not wanting to give up any info, Gordy replies, “In two places.” He grinned and continued, “You know I was thinking of selling this place down the road. Do you think I would need to take down the deer heads in order to sell? They look pretty good up there and they add lots of character!”

“You’re the character,” Bubba said. “I think you should take them down, so you don’t offend anyone and scare the kids.”

staging advice“They aren’t half as scary as the stuffed bear and beady-eyed little fox down in the game room.” Gordy replied. Just then a loud gunshot rang out making everyone jump. Then another and another.

“That’s just Jimbo down the road target practicing,” said Gordy. “This is a regular occurrence up here. If someone doesn’t like the deer heads, they’re sure not gonna like the shooting!”

This is New Hampshire, you know!” added Travis. “People should realize that they aren’t moving to the city. You get out just a little way from downtown anywhere around here and you’re likely to hear some gunshots.”

“Probably not as many as in Chicago though and at least here you know they aren’t shooting at other people,” added Dirk.

“Well,” Little Stevie pipes in, “You know the general rule of thumb is to get rid of all the clutter, personal collections, and family pictures if they are overwhelming. You want to stage the place so buyers can imagine they live there. “

staging advice“Yeah, but you know,” I said. “I’ve sold houses with all kinds of animal heads with no problem. Someone looking at this house, in this setting, might be more offended by a huge collection of creepy dolls looking back at them rather than a few deer heads?”

“Yeah,” added Leadbellie. “Tell your agent to ask if the buyer is from New Hampshire or if he is from NaHamsha. If he is from NaHamsha, you can leave the deer heads up. If he is from New Hampshire, take them down and put up one of those plush fabric moose heads.”

staging advice“Or, how about a Jackelope or two? They won’t know what to think,” Smiled Bubba. “I once had a guy that had a collection of hundreds of beer steins lining the walls in his family room. There was no way to take a good picture of the room.”

“Good photography is one of the most important things and I am not talking about the family photographs on the wall!” I said. “Sellers always ask about whether they need to take all the family photos down.  It’s all about taste. If you got walls covered with dozens and dozens of photos, it’s probably too much. A few here and there are OK, though.

“I guess you gotta take it on a case by case basis and see what your real estate agent advises,” said Gordy. “But I am not taking down my trophies!”

staging advice

 

Just then, as we suspected might happen, a big buck appeared at the far end of Gordy’s field. “You just come back in a couple of weeks now, ya’ hear,” Gordy whispered. “And I just might have three heads up there!”

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