Deal or No Deal? – Lakes Region Real Estate Market Report – 3/20/09
There were 39 residential homes that changed hands in the month of February in the Lakes Region of NH compared to 30 in same month last year. The bulk of the sales were below $200,000 so that obviously has an effect on the average sales price shown. Activity does seem to be picking up on the lower priced properties and I have even run into several multiple offer situations on some of them. The decreased days on market in some of the towns show that when buyers see value they do buy.
There are certainly great buys on some of the properties in the Lakes Region right now. You can find many properties listed for far less than the town’s current tax assessment. Last week one buyer put a nice bank owned townhouse in South Down Shores under agreement. It appeared to be a very good deal as it was offered at $134,000 or $100,000 under the tax assessment. The unit next door is currently on the market for $219,000. Similar units were selling in the mid to high $200,000 range not long ago. Another home that went pending was a bank owned, 1988 vintage, 4 bedroom colonial on South Rd in Belmont. It was offered at $184,900 which was considerably less that the assessed value of $313, 400. A property on Windsong Place in Meredith was also quickly put pending when the price was reduced from $139,900 to $124,900. It is currently assessed at $251,000. This was a solid, 1,500 square foot home with a two car garage on 5 acres. It definitely needed some cosmetic work and upgrades but was undoubtedly a great deal for the right buyer.
If you are looking to pick up a deal in today’s market, here are a few things to consider:
Just because a property is offered at what seems to be an unbelievably great price it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a good buy. A home offered way below the tax assessment doesn’t make it a steal, but it is a place to start your search. You really have to go look at a property closely to determine if it looks like a good deal. The $70,000 to $100,000 waterfront or water access camp is probably really not going to turn out like what you envisioned. If the price seems to be too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Many times an extremely attractive price equates to a property in very poor condition, but there are the exceptions.
Home inspections are always recommended and even more so with a bank owned property. Bank owned properties are often left in a deteriorated state by the former owners, they are sold in “as is” condition, and you won’t get disclosures or any history about the property. Bank owned properties are winterized and left unheated which really is not good for the house. Some homes have had water damage which can turn into a mold problem when the heat is turned back on. Many of these properties are better left for contractors to go in and rehab. But you will find some in excellent condition or simply in need of some cosmetic work and those are the good buys.
A really good option to bank owned property is to look for a competitively priced, owner occupied, property that is in nice condition. Someone who has owned a property for a long time can often be competitive in pricing and the home is usually better maintained. Buyers will also get all the proper disclosures and history of the property. Sometimes the better deal is not necessarily the home with the cheapest price tag.
Report covers the towns of Aton, Barnstead, Belmont, Center Harbor, Gilford, Gilmanton, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, New Hampton, Sanbornton, and Tilton