Five Flights Up
There were 100 single family residential homes sold in April in the fourteen Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $407,208 and the median price point was $267,250.
Do you want to watch a good real estate movie?? “Five Flights Up” is a movie about Alex and Ruth, an older couple, who have lived in the same fifth floor walk up studio apartment in Brooklyn for forty years. They are played by Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. They have a small, old dog named Dorothy who plays an important role in a sub-plot of the movie. They realize that they aren’t getting any younger and stairs aren’t going to work very well for much longer. They love their neighborhood but know they are going to have to relocate somewhere else in the city to find an affordable building with an elevator.
After watching the movie and then reading its reviews, I realized that as a real estate agent I had a completely different take on the movie than many. I tend to key in on the real estate subtleties more than the average viewer I guess. This movie has as many twists and turns in it as any real estate deal does …perhaps a little more.
The movie starts out with them having their niece Lily, a New York real estate agent, list their apartment for sale. This could be considered their first mistake. Hiring a relative to sell your property could possibly lead to problems if things go badly. You might get taken off the Christmas card list.
She is getting them ready for an open house that Lily is holding the next day. Lily advises to de-clutter, open up the shades because “light is money,” make the house smell inviting by boiling cinnamon, and tells Alex to tidy up his art studio. Lily hopes she can get a million dollars for the apartment. Alex wonders if Lily can handle all the people that will be coming through and grumpily expects people to steal stuff. While Ruth is excited about the process, Alex doesn’t want to be railroaded by Lily into a sale. Lily should have insisted that they leave the apartment during the open house, but doesn’t…
Alex and Ruth get to see and meet rude would-be buyers who put down their much loved home with crass comments. They get to answer bizarre questions about their home and observe equally as bizarre behaviors including a lookie-loo lying on their bed. They get to endure the stressful and wonderful multiple bid process complete with short deadlines and with heartfelt letters from buyers hoping to set themselves apart from the crowd.
They also get to feel the emotional drain and uncertainty of not knowing where they are going to live should they accept an offer. They go and look at other apartments on their own without their agent because they can do “whatever the hell we want” including making an offer and unintentionally cutting their agent (and relative) out of a commission. But, I won’t ruin the whole story. Suffice it to say there is a lot of real estate in this movie that is worth paying attention to. It all happens…all the time. In the end, all is good except that Alex and Ruth won’t be going to Lily’s for Thanksgiving dinner. You can catch it on Netflix.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system
April Winni Sales Report
There were nine single family waterfront sales on Lake Winnipiseogee in April 2019. That’s right… Lake Winnipiseogee. It’s about time we start spelling this pond by the original correct name. You know “smile of the Great Spirit” or “beautiful water in a high place.” I wonder if the Pennacook Indians were in some kind of high place when they named the lake?? Anyway, the average sales price for the month was $1,409,500 and the median price point was $1,150,000. Lotta wampum…
The entry level sale on this beautiful water in a high place was…believe it or not, not an island property! This sale was at 128 and 129 East Side Drive in Alton. This property consists of a 1920’s vintage year round, 1,438 square foot, three bedroom home on .1 acre waterfront lot with 110 feet of frontage right in Alton Bay and a three bay carriage house with a one bedroom apartment above it just across the street. The home has that charming period character with a country kitchen, exposed beams, wainscoting, a wonderful porch with a bead board ceiling, updated baths, a waterside deck, patio, and U-shaped dock. This property was offered for the first time in 89 years so you know it was cherished by the family. It was originally listed at $885,000, was reduced to $827,900, and sold for $786,000 after 221 days on the market.
The median price point sale was at 21 Clark Drive in Meredith and it is a bit unusual. This 1,874 square foot, seasonal three bedroom cottage built in 1904 is only accessible by foot or by boat making it the ideal secluded get-a-way. This quintessential turn of the century cottage has the features you’d want in a vintage home including a wood burning fireplace, wood floors, tongue and groove and bead board paneling, and most importantly a wrap around covered porch. Oh yeah, it sits on a .93 acre lot on a point of land with 300 degree views, 1,500 feet of shoreline, and an oversize boathouse. Pretty special! It was listed at $1,599,999, was reduced to $1,300,000 and sold for $1,150,000 after 292 days on the market.
The highest sale for the month was at 78 Spruce Road in Wolfeboro. This 5,753 square foot waterfront estate was built in 1994 and has four bedrooms (plus additional sleeping spaces,) seven and a half baths. This home was made for entertaining with a large kitchen that flows into a dining area and great room with vaulted wooden ceilings, walls of windows and a two story granite fireplace. There is the requisite family room with bedrooms and baths in the walk out basement. A huge wrap around deck offers beautiful views of the lake. A detached four car garage across the cobblestone drive provides plenty of room for the Benz , the boat, and the jet skis. This home sits on a 4.5 acre lot that has 351 feet of frontage with two covered slips, a sandy beach, and 180 degree views of the lake and the Belknap Mountains. The property was originally listed back in 2015 for $4,695,000, in 2018 at $3,975,000, again at $3,975,000 this year and found a buyer at $3,140,000.
There was but one sale on Lake Winnisquam in April. I could not seem to find the origin of the name “Winnisquam.” My guess is that because the word “squam” in Abenaki means water and since the H2O in this lake flows in from Winnipiseogee the Indians must have just decided to call it Winnisquam? Maybe someone out there knows? The one sale last month was at 51 Lower Smith in Sanbornton. This 1986 vintage, four bedroom, two and a half bath home has 2,600 square feet of beautifully remodeled space. The owner spared no expense in updating this open concept home with high end appliances, custom cabinetry, granite countertops, hickory flooring, a stone gas fireplace, new furnace, a whole house generator and more. The home sits on a one acre lot and 143 feet of frontage with a two bay boat house. Pretty nice! This home was listed at $1.2 million and sold for $1.145 million after 154 days on the market.
Data Compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
A More Meaningful Sales Price
There were 605 homes on the market as of May 1 2019 in the fourteen Lakes Region communities covered by this market report. The average asking price was $693,157 and the median price point was $349,999.
The average asking price of homes in the Lakes Region is definitely inflated by the many high priced waterfront homes that are on the market. Big time! You’d almost think we were in California or Boston when you look at the $693,157 average asking price above. While the actual average sales price each month is less, even that number is inflated by the abundance of waterfront sales in the area! For the first three months of 2019 the average sales price for single family residential homes in the communities covered by this report was $422,098. That’s a scary number for a lot of folks!
So just for the fun of it I ran the numbers for residential sales in each of our towns for last year without the waterfronts included. As you can see by the accompanying chart that has a significant effect on the average sales prices. It also paints a truer picture of which communities have more affordable homes.
The towns that have a lot of waterfront showed the biggest price drop. The overall average sales price in Moultonborough was $732,217 but when you take out the waterfront homes the average sales price drops down to $257,454! Meredith went from an average of $504,819 down to $293,973. In Tilton, New Hampton, and Gilmanton where there aren’t as many waterfront sales the change was much less.
The chart also shows the 2018 tax rate for each town which also is a big factor for many buyers when purchasing a home. So, if you are looking for a home you might think that you’d want to pay the average sales price in Laconia of $196,899 and have the Moultonborough’s tax rate of $7.72? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. But never mind… cut this chart out and put it on the fridge, it might come in handy if you are looking for some new digs!
Data compiled using the NEREN mls system
South Down-Long Bay Sales Report March 2019
Once again there is not a lot to report for sales in South down and Long Bay In March! Just one in each community!
A unit at 86 Gables found a new buyer for $387,000 after just 24 days on the market! This 1,834 square foot three bedroom unit had $70,000 worth of upgrades including hickory hardwood flooring, a remodeled master bath and solarium, stainless steel appliances, and new heating system. It also has a finished walk out basement and a garage. With a current tax assessment of $340,300 I think they did pretty good!
The other sale was at 604 Outerbridge Drive in Willow Pond in Long Bay. This 2,938 square foot, three bedroom two and a half bath contemporary home was built in 2015 has just about everything you’d want! There’s hardwood floors, oversized windows, great kitchen with custom cabinetry and granite countertops, a three car garage, and professional landscaping. This home was offered at $699,000 and sold for $689,000 after just 46 days on the market!
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system…
March Lakes Region Residential Sales Report
There were 97 single family residential home sales in March 2019 in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price was $325,920 and the median price point stood at an even $250,000. For the first three months of 2019 that brings the total number of sales to 240 at an average price of $422,098! That is pretty good compared to the first three months of 2018 where there were 211 single family home sales at an average of $330,609.
- Who said “Real estate is the best investment in the world because it is the only thing they are not making anymore?”A. John D. Rockefeller B. Donald Trump C. Frank Roche D. Will Rogers
- Where would it be hardest to find a rental?A. Laconia B. Gilford C. Mongolia D. Manchvegas
- Which famous person’s estate has two pools; one on the east side and one on the west side of the house so you can see both sunrises and sunsets while taking a dip?A. Bo Derrick B. Jane Fonda C. John Lennon D. Bill Gates
- Who is generally credited with the game of Monopoly?A. Clarence Darrow B. Charles Darrow C. Clyde Barrow D. Charles Darwin
- The goal of Monopoly is to: A. Accumulate the most real estate B. Drive your spouse insane C. Be mean and make the other players go bankrupt D. Avoid going to jail
- Who owns the most property? A. Donald Trump B. Ted Turner C. Queen of Sheba D. Queen of England
- The oldest wood frame house in NH was built in 1664. Where is it?A. Gilmanton B. Portsmouth C. Lyme D. Rye
- If you live on a cul-de-sac, you live:A. at the end of the street B. on a circle C. on a corner D. at the bottom of the bag
- If you sell your $375,000 home for $350,500 and give your buyer a credit for $7,500 toward his closing costs. The State of NH levies $15.00 per thousand in tax stamps and you are responsible for half of that amount, you owe the State of NH: A. $25,725.00 B. $2,572.50 C. $0 D. $2,628.75
- In real estate, the term “PITI” means: A. Prepaid interest, taxes, and insurance B. Sorry, you didn’t get the loan! C. Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance D. Payment, insurance, taxes, income.Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system
Answers: 1. (D) Will Rogers …but Franks says that a lot, too. 2. (C) Mongolia-all homes are owner occupied 3. (C) John Lennon 4. (B) Charles Darrow 5. (C) Be mean 6. (D) Queen of England 7. (B)The Jackson House in Portsmouth (although a home built in Billerica in 1665 was actually moved to Gilmanton) 8. (D) Sorry, it’s French for the bottom of the bag 9. (B) $2,572.50 10. (C) Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance
Winni Waterfront Report – March 2019
There were just five waterfront sales on Lake Winnipesaukee in March! The average sales price came in at $1,546,400 and the median price point was $515,000. Last March there were nine waterfront sales at an average price of $1,282,666.
The entry level sale was at 2 Moose Island in Alton. The new owner won’t get lost in the 643 square foot, three room cottage or on this tiny island, but he may get lost in time here. After all it was built in 1950 and has timeless views both East and West so you have both sunrise and sunsets. There’s no electrical power here but there’s a wood cook stove, a hand pump for the sink, a perfect deck just steps from the water, and a protected dock. What else do you need? The property was listed at $299,000 and sold for $280,000 in 139 days. I am betting there are very few moose on the island.
The median price point sale was at 17 Chipmunk Lane in Moultonborough. This five room, three bedroom, two bath ranch was built in 1975 and has 964 square feet of living space. It sits on a nice level .39 acre lot WITH 100’ of frontage, a sandy beach, and three docks. The property was billed as “Diamond in the Rough.” The property did have a bit of a rough time finding a buyer as it was listed back in November 2013 at $595,000, in June of 2016 for $585,000, in January of this year for $525,000 and closed finally at $515,000. It was on the market a total of 1,363 days. Persistence does pay off. Now the new owner can polish this gem!
The highest sale of the month was at 129 Shore Rd in Gilford. This Governors Island home was built in 2006 and has over 6,000 square feet of space. That would be equal to 9.3 Moose Island cottages. This fantastic home has thirteen rooms, four bedrooms including the first floor master suite, five and a half baths, and an open concept floor plan. The home features soaring ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, a towering field stone fireplace, granite, stainless steel appliances, and walls of windows to bring in the lake views. The home sits on a level well landscaped 1.3 acre lot with 215’ of frontage, a sandy beach, and covered U-shape dock. This property was originally listed at $4.895 million, was reduced to $4.495 million and sold for $3.9 million after 511 days on the market.
The only sale on Lake Winnisquam was at 55 Stoney Brook Road in Meredith. This 2,786 square foot contemporary home was built in 1986 and has ten rooms, four bedrooms, four baths. The home features an open concept floor plan with cathedral ceilings, a floor to ceiling brick fireplace, a first floor master, loft, lower level family room and a huge deck overlooking the lake. The house sits high up on a secluded 11.5 acre lot with 100’ of frontage. It is a bit of a trek down the stairs to the lake and dock but the views from the home are worth it! The property was originally listed at $875,000, was reduced to $724,000, and sold for $550,000 after 563 days on the market
Data compiled using the nEREN MLS system
When to List
There were 499 single family residential homes for sale in the twelve Lakes Region towns covered by this report. The average asking price was $685,032 and the median price point was $339,000. This inventory level represents a 4.1 month supply of homes on the market.
At the last Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603 meeting we were discussing some of the real estate sayings that we all use and hear just about every other day. One of those sayings, “timing is everything,” was the subject of an article posted on March 29th on the National Association of REALTORS® website entitled Study: Homes Listed on Thursday Sell Faster and for More Money.
The article was about a study done by the Seattle based brokerage Redfin. With little else to do in rainy Seattle, a team stayed inside and analyzed over two million home sales in 2018 across 148 metro areas. Lakeport was not included in the study. They found that homes listed on Thursday sold on average .74 percent more than a home listed on Monday. That means a $250,000 home listed on a Thursday should being $1,850 more than if it were listed on Monday.
People always ask us when is a good time of year to list a home but rarely is anyone concerned about what day of the week it hits the market. Delving in a little further on the internet I even found some articles about the time of day that someone should put their listing into the MLS. That was a little too much, so I decided to form a top secret task force within the Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603 to develop our own findings. After all, knowing the exact day and time to list a home would give us all a leg up on the competition and let us corner the real estate market in the Lakes Region. I contacted Dirk Davenport, Bubba Gunter, Travis D. Coletrain, Little Stevie Prestone, Rollie Rollins, Ainsley Gratham, and Megan Bowman and told them to analyze their sales data and come up with the very best day and time to list a home. We convened one week later on a porch at an undisclosed location.
“Well,” I said once everyone was seated. “Tell me what you all came up with.”
Dirk stood up and started the discussion, “I am a little confused about this whole Thursday thing being the best day to list a property. I understand that by putting a house on the market on Thursday a buyer can see it before the weekend and make plans to go look at it…but if it was on the market on Wednesday they would still see it on Thursday, right?”
“That’s right!” said Bubba. “And what about if your buyer left to go to Costa Rica on Wednesday? He wouldn’t have seen the house at all. He would have missed out completely and bought a shack in the jungle instead. I think you should put a home on the market on Monday at 11:35 a.m. so buyers can look at it all week at work before they go on vacation!”
Travis pipes in, “Maybe you just got back from there but you never had a buyer leave go to Costa Rica, you idiot. I wonder how they prove for sure that a particular home listed on Thursday would sell for more money than another day. If that exact same house was listed on Tuesday or Friday what would it sell for? The same, more, or less? They don’t know.”
“Maybe the houses listed on Thursday just happened to be priced correctly so they sold closer to asking price and faster because they were a good deal,” Megan said.
“Well,” said Little Stevie, “any home that is listed on Thursday at an unrealistic price is not going to sell faster I can tell you that much. It doesn’t matter what time of day or day of the week you list it, it has to be priced right!”
“That’s absolutely true,” Ainsley spoke up. “Not only does the property have to be the right price, it has to be presented correctly, professionally, and ready for market in every way possible! Most importantly, the listing has to have professional grade photography to attract the buyer …not just one fuzzy photo… and all the info and description has to be in there as well!”
“A recent article by Zillow says the best day of the week to list was a Saturday in the first part of May. It claimed you’d get $2,500 more and sell it two weeks faster.” I added. “And we all know you can believe everything Zillow says!”
“Yeah, right!” exclaimed Travis. “Well, it looks to me like we are all somewhat in agreement. It doesn’t matter so much what day or time you list a house in the MLS as much as it does that you list it for the right price and do a great job in presenting it! Right?”
“No!” Dirk countered. “My analysis says you should put in on the market at 10:37 a.m. on Wednesday of the second week of the month if it has thirty days in it, otherwise you go for Tuesday at 4:15.”
“Dirk, you’re an idiot!!” we all responded simultaneously.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
The South Down and Long Bay Report – February 2019
Hey guys! Not a lot of sales in the Lakes Region’s premiere gated communities of South Down and Long Bay in February. There was just one as a matter of fact!
That sale was in Golf Village at 21 Golf View. This is a three bedroom, two bath, 1428 Square foot unit with a garage. It had a newly painted interior, remodeled bath, new Rinnai heater, and stainless steel appliances. It was listed at $325,000, reduced to $304,900 and sold for $282,000 after 109 days on the market.
There is not a lot for sale either right now, so if you are thinking of selling now might be your best time to list!!
Real Real Estate Sayings
There were 64 single family homes sold in the Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $478,862 and the median price point was $224,500. The average time on the market was 101 days.
The Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603 gathered last week for its annual “Jeezum, I Hope the Winter’s Almost Over” meeting. We decided to hold the event at Rollie Rollins’ house because we hadn’t been there a while and we knew he had stocked up on goodies from the Winnisquam Market. In attendance were myself, Dirk Davenport, Bubba Gunter, Travis D. Coletrain, Little Stevie Prestone, and Ainsley Gratham. We also had a special new member, Lori Bonin, join us. She is a lender and we were excited to get her take on the current state of mortgages.
We all plunked down into the available chairs on Doug’s four season porch. All of us, except Travis D., that is. It turns out that even with the kitchen chairs brought in, Rollie was one seat short. Rollie got up to go get us the obligatory Porch Crawler Beverages and snacks from the kitchen so Travis, with a big grin on his face, immediately jumped into the vacant seat.
Upon Rollie’s return to the porch with a wide eyed stare, Travis quipped “Timing is everything in real estate and porch sitting!”
To which Rollie replies laughing, “Yes that is very true and there is an a** for every seat! Except here, where we are one seat short!”
That kind of started off a discussion on common real estate sayings that we hear or say almost every day or two. Like the saying “There’s an a** for every seat” or a “Lid for every pot” in real estate no matter what kind of house you have or what kind of condition it is in, there is a buyer out there for it if it is priced right.
“I know one,” said Dirk, “It is all about ‘location, location, location!‘location, location, location!’ That’s one of the key things a buyer should look at when buying a home!”
“Yup,” Little Stevie replied, “and ‘don’t buy the most expensive house on the block!’ ”
“How many times have you said ‘they aren’t making any more waterfront?’” Ainsley piped in.
“And what about the saying that ‘buyers are liars?’” said Bubba, “It’s really not that they are liars, it just means that they often times don’t really know what they want until they see it! They’ll buy the total opposite of what they told you they wanted.”
“Don’t you just love it when your seller client says ‘I don’t have to sell!’” says Dirk.
“How about ‘Your first offer is probably the best,’” Travis says, “That usually rings pretty true! When you first list a home there is an educated buyer pool waiting for your home to come on the market. These buyers have been in the market a while and will make an offer based on comparative values. The market ultimately sets your sales price.”
“When you are asked about where the housing market is going, how many times have you had to say to your client ‘I don’t have a crystal ball?’ No one really knows where the market is going that’s for sure. Sometimes you just have to rely on gut instinct!” injected Bubba.
“What about you, Lori? What are common sayings in the lender’s world?” I asked.
“Well,” she responded after a short pause, “How about, ‘Don’t buy a new car between now and closing!’ or ‘Don’t change your job until we close! Those are big issues that will kill your home purchase.”
“Well said,” replied Little Stevie, “there was a lot of good concise real estate advice here that you ‘can take to the bank!’”
“Yes!” replied Lori, “Just take it to my bank!”
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system