What is Up and Down at the Same Time?

If there are two things I would say about the real estate market today, it would be inventory is down and prices are up.  This is seen pretty much everywhere in the US as housing inventory decreased 8% from last year (through March) and listing prices are 8% higher.   Statewide, NH closed sales are about the same as last year, the median sales price is up 6% to $260,000 and the average days on market was 86 days.  Looking at Newbury, New London, & Sunapee combined, sales are about the same as last year through 3/31/18 (25 solds), the average days on market was 192 days and the median sales price increased about 15% to $392,000.  Despite fewer homes being on the market, buyer demand is strong enough to keep prices rising for the foreseeable future.  New listings will favor higher income buyers making it very challenging to find homes priced under $200,000.  Typically, our spring market will bring an influx of new properties for sale – we just need to have spring arrive!!  Contact me if you are thinking about buying or selling and want to know how the market impacts you.  603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, Donna@DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

Charming Home on 10 Acres

This lovely home on 10 acres with three barns offers a quiet, peaceful setting on a dead end road. Forced hot air oil heat and whole house air conditioning. Heated sun room with windows on three sides serves as an office and/or extra sleeping space. Large master bedroom, full bath and guest room on second floor. Half bath on first floor. Views of Ragged Mountain beyond rolling field. Large barn is three stories with room for hay storage and equipment storage as well as stalls. Garage barn has room for two vehicles plus a workbench and storage above. Small barn is one open room with a lower level currently being used for equipment storage. Paved, level driveway. Less than a half mile to Bradley Lake with public access for swimming and boating. Short drive to Proctor Academy and Andover village.  Offered at $359,000.  For more photos, visit http://tour.circlepix.com/home/8MXWYK/65-Hall-Road-Andover-NH-4687251

Joan Wallen, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

What's the Scoop on the Lake Sunapee Market?

Waterfront homes on Lake Sunapee have always been an intriguing and specialized market.  Even though Newbury, New London, and Sunapee share the lakefront, the uniqueness of each property along with the fact there really aren't that many homes along the shoreline, seems to determine the overall market.  In the past 7 years for example, the total number of waterfront homes sold each year hovered around 10, give or take.  In reviewing the sales in the past 3 years, the typical price breakout is about 8-10 houses selling for under $1 million, about 9 selling between $1-$2 million, 3 sales in the $2-$3 million and about one a year over $3 million.  

A few more statistics - in the last two years, the median selling price per square ft. was $574/SF.  In 2017, the average selling price was 99% of the asking price and in 2016 it was 89%. It took an average of 219 days to sell a lakefront home last year and 185 days in 2016.

As the saying goes, if you are lucky enough to own on Lake Sunapee, then you are lucky enough!  If you are looking to capture some of this serenity for yourself, then contact me to work as your buyer's agent!  603-526-4116, Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com

Figures are based on information from the New England Real Estate Network, Inc. for the period 1/1/11 through 12/31/17 and 1/1/15 through 12/31/17.

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

Who Are Today's Home Buyers?

The National Association of REALTORS conducts a survey* every year on recent home buyers and sellers.  Below are highlights on buyers from their most recent report.

  • 34% of buyers were 1st time buyers. 
  • The median purchase price of a home was $235,000.
  • 84% of buyers purchased in a suburb, small town or rural area vs. an urban area.
  • 83% of buyers bought a single family home.
  • 87% used a real estate agent.
  • 95% searched online.
  • 65% of buyers were married couples, 18% were single females, 7% were single males and 8% were unmarried couples.
  • The typical home purchased was 1870 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and built in 1991.

Thinking of selling?  Contact me if you’d like to know how these facts could impact your sale.  603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, Donna@DonnaForest.com

*2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – National Association of REALTORS

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

2018 Housing Market Starts Strong

After a record 2017 in the New Hampshire residential housing market, 2018 showed no signs of slowing with a brisk first month of the year. There were 911 closed sales in January, a 2 percent increase from the same month a year ago, and the median price of those homes was $260,000, a better than 5 percent jump from January 2017.  Click here for statewide January statistics

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

Banner Year for 2017

New Hampshire home sales continue on an upward trend and ended the year with the largest dollar volume of sales in its history.  It was 7% ahead of last year for a total of $5.5 billion in closed residential sales.  Below are some of the highlights reported by New Hampshire REALTORS.

  • The median sales price was $266,000, the 2nd highest in NH history and just $4000 off the historical high point in 2005.
  • The average days on market dropped to 68 days.
  • About the same number of homes sold in 2017 as 2016.
  • The average % of list price received was 98%

To put a more local spin on it, below are some stats for New London, Newbury & Sunapee combined:

  • The median sales price was $345,000. ($372,500 at peak in 2005)
  • The average days on market was 127 days.
  • 203 homes sold, the average % of list price received was 96%.

Whether buying or selling, contact me to see how the market impacts you!  Donna Forest 603-526-4116, Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com

Figures are based on information from the Northern New England Real Estate Network, Inc. for the period 1/1/17 thru 12/31/17

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

How to Know When a Home is Worth Buying

To buy a home, or to not buy a home. It’s a common debate for many people. There’s no denying that renting is basically paying for someone else’s monthly mortgage without receiving any equity from the property, but that does not always mean that buying a home is the better option for each individual. Everyone’s situation is different, and home buying can be expensive. People’s lifestyles also change and their motives for wanting to buy a house are just as varied. Determining whether or not it’s worth buying a home has a lot to do with individual specifics. It’s highly recommended to speak with a real estate agent who can give you detailed real estate advice based on the information you provide. However, the general costs and rewards of home buying can be found right now to help steer you in the right direction.

Maintenance Costs

When you buy a home, you are taking on the responsibility of maintenance costs. They’re inevitable for all homeowners, but they can be significant depending on the specific property. Before buying a home, maintenance costs and unexpected repairs must be considered. It’s recommended to hold back 1% of the home’s value annually for maintenance and appliance replacement, but that does not cover unexpected repairs.

Property Taxes

Property taxes can be a significant expense. The actual amount can fluctuate, and this must be considered before buying a home. There are a variety of factors to determine the amount of property taxes, such as the area, state, and local budget cuts, renovations, as well as many other things.

House Insurance

Many mortgage loan lenders require homeowners to have house insurance. Unlike rental insurance, which covers possessions, homeowners’ insurance covers both possessions and the cost of the property. Although it’s an extra expense, it’s beneficial to have even if it is not required. As for the cost of home insurance, it depends on the specifics, but you can get an estimate by dividing the home’s value by 1000, and then multiplying that by 3.5 (HomeGuides).

Tax Deductibility

A benefit that comes when you buy a home is the tax deductibility of mortgage interest. This number is hard to estimate from a general standpoint because it greatly depends on your specific financial situation. However, owning a home can provide you more savings than if you were to rent, simply because of the tax deductible.

Home’s Value Appreciating

The appreciation of a home’s value is generally high. However, this can change rather quickly depending on the housing market, as well as many other factors. ABC News estimates home prices will appreciate around 3%, according to the historical average. The thing that many people forget is that as a home’s value increases, the cost of maintenance and insurance does as well, due to inflation.


In terms of liquid money, home ownership won’t bring you much of that. However, buying a home does have the potential to bring you a high return on investment. More importantly, your monthly bills go towards something you own. When renting, you’re essentially paying someone else’s mortgage without receiving any ownership. Many additional factors also need to be considered when determining if buying a home is worth it, such as whether you want to buy a home as an investment property, plan on flipping the house, or want to retire in it. The first step is to answer the inevitable question, “Can I afford a home?” and these general guidelines can help you determine that.

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

Source:  Reprinted from www.bhgre.com/bhgrelife/

Looking for Maintenance-Free Living?

Come see this special condominium at Hilltop Place in New London, NH!  Lovely airy and bright unit in a quiet and private location with many other significant upgrades and improvements.  Beautiful new custom kitchen was installed in 2015.  The Master bath also offers a brand new (2017) fiberglass walk-in shower with both hand-held and overhead shower heads, a removable seat, mutiple grab bars, and built-in shelves for convenience.  Large den/office (3rd bedroom) with direct access to screened porch and open balcony.  Generously sized living room has a propane fireplace installed.  The unit is fully air-conditioned and has been converted to baseboard hot water heat.  Move right in!  Offered at $229,600.  For more photos and details, visit www.HilltopPlaceNH.com

Marilyn Kidder, Listing Broker, 603-526-4116

Teamwork from the Team that works –Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

What's with the Lack of Homes for Sale?

Low housing inventory has been the topic of conversation nationally as well as in NH this year.  There just seems to be a lack of homes for sale.  So why now?  It’s a combination of many factors: homeowners are moving every 10 yrs. compared to historically being 6-7 yrs., many homeowners are staying put as their mortgage interest rate is lower than what rates are now, there was a lack of new construction during the recession, and owners don’t want to sell as they are fearful they will not find a home to buy.  As a result of having low inventory in many markets, prices are going up.  In NH, the median sales price is up 6.2% through October compared to 2016.  A stable market has a 6 month supply of existing homes to sell.  Anything less means home values will rise and anything longer than 7 months will cause prices to fall.  As of October, NH as well as the rest of the U.S., had about a 4 month supply.  Bottom line, buyers will continue to compete for homes and sellers will see home values rise.  Contact me to see how this market impacts you!  603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna@DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

2018 Housing Market Forecast

Having read numerous articles lately on the housing market, my takeaway is most economists feel 2018 will see an increase in total home sales and median sales price.  National Association of REALTORS Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects sales to increase 3.7% in 2018 and the National median existing home price to rise around 5.5%.  Freddie Mac forecasts home sales to increase about 2% and about 4.9% in price.  Core Logic predicts a price increase of 4.7%.  The reason for this optimism is the economic environment remains favorable for housing and mortgage markets; we have moderate economic growth, solid job gains, and low interest rates.  Freddie Mac forecasts these conditions to continue into next year.  What are the downsides for 2018?  Limited inventory will be a persistent problem.  This will keep prices elevated and prevent some buyers from home ownership.  Also, the proposed tax reform plan includes a limit on mortgage interest deduction when could impact home values, especially in higher priced cities with home values over $500k.  In the words of Lawrence Yun, "Assuming no changes to the tax code that hurt home ownership, the gradually expending economy and continued job creation should set the stage for a more meaningful increase in home sales in 2018."  Contact me if you're wondering how the market will impact you!  603-526-4116, Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.