Have a Memorable Fourth of July

Have a blast this July 4th using the following recipes, backyard décor ideas, and fun outdoor activities.  

 Fourth of July Recipes 

  • These delicious July 4th picnic recipes will result in an all-star gathering.    
  • Stir this Provencal pesto into a bowl of boiled potatoes or pasta salad with shredded chicken.  
  • Mix a refreshing pear vinaigrette with this grilled vegetable and mozzarella ensalada. 
  • These open-face pesto-chicken mozzarella melts will be a huge hit at any gathering. Serve these grilled chicken burgers on a slice of ciabatta bread with a few fresh basil leaves for one incredible meal.  
  • Serve flavor-packed black bean chipotle burgers that will make everyone’s tastebuds dance with joy.  
  • Easy to grab, delicious to eat, these hamburger sliders with cranberry chutney are perfect for any backyard gathering.  
  • Bake one white and one red velvet cake. After they have cooled, cut each cake into about 1-inch slices and stack them alternating each layer, so it looks like the stripes on the American flag. Add blue food coloring to icing before spreading it on top, and then for the final touch, add white star sprinkles.  
  • End the day with a fresh and berry-topped, berry delicious flag cake 
  • Bake an Independence Day cookie pizza! Press and flatten cookie dough into a 14-inch pizza pan and bake it until golden. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, and then scatter mini marshmallows across the top. Then sprinkle the top with red and blue candy-coated chocolates. Easy and delicious.  
  • This patriotic berry flag tart is just as tasty as it looks.  
  • Make American flag pretzel sticks by dipping a pretzel into melted white chocolate about 5 inches. After it has cooled, dip the same end of the pretzel into melted blue chocolate about 1 inch and place white start sprinkles on the blue portion before it dries. Fill a piping bag with red icing and drizzle it back and forth across the white chocolate to create the stripes.  

  • Get your patriotic party on with incredible 4th of July drinks 
  • Enjoy these refreshing summer cocktails that are exactly what your guests will enjoy at the end of a hot day.  

Backyard Preparation and July 4th Décor 

Outdoor Activities for the 4th of July 

  • Get your game on and discover some family fun with fourth of July games for kids.  
  • Make a photo booth in your backyard! Use construction paper to cut out patriotic themed props such as red hats and blue bowties. Take silly photos and share them with loved ones.   
  • Discover endless entertainment with these games you’ll be playing all summer long 
  • Build a rocket out of cardboard boxes so the young ones can fly high. Take a large cardboard box, cut out ½ of one side, and place it upright so the opening serves as a window. Cut out two wings and tape one to each side. For the top of the rocket, cut out a triangle and attach it to the top. If you want to take it another level, you can paint the outside or wrap it in fun wrapping paper. Glue painted bottle caps on to look like buttons and use a paper plate as a wheel. Blast off!  

  • These fun outdoor yard games are great family entertainment and will be a hit at parties.  
  • Set up a kid’s craft table. Use toilet paper or paper towel tubes to make little rockets! You and the kids can paint the cardboard red, white, and blue and then glue ribbons or tassels onto one end. Paint little stars on the outside to give it a boost! For the top of the rocket, make a cone shape out of paper to glue it to the top. 

This post was originally published on BHGRE Life.  https://www.bhgre.com/bhgrelife/have-a-memorable-fourth-of-july/

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

Will Increased Migration to Northern New England Bring a Post-Covid Boom?

We're proud to share this recent article published on www.Masiello.com. The Masiello Group is a fellow member in the nationwide Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate brand, and a strategic partner of ours.  

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Bedford, NH --Maine and New Hampshire are attracting home buyers from around the country, drawn by the lower cost of living and higher quality of life in Northern New England. The increased demand from out-of-staters has contributed to a rapid rise in home prices and record-setting lows in inventory throughout the region. If this trend continues through 2021, it could bring significant economic growth to Northern New England, changing the face of communities large and small across these states.

Real estate data from the National Association of Realtors show that the median home price in the Northeast during February was $356,000, up 20.5% from February 2020. Year-to-date numbers for 2021 indicate the increase is part of a longer, recent trend. Home prices thus far in 2021 are 23% higher than all of 2020 for single-family homes and 16% higher for condos.

The price increase is driven by higher demand, and not just from the typical sources. Historically, people move to a new home within 10 miles of their current home. But since Q3 2020, Masiello Group real estate agents have seen an increase in home buyers from major Eastern Seaboard locales like Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC. There's also been an increase in the number of people from Sunbelt regions like Florida and Arizona, and expensive West Coast cities such as Seattle and San Francisco.

Buyer data collected by the Better Homes and Garden The Masiello Group, which has 33 real estate offices throughout Northern New England, found that 35% of people who bought homes in New Hampshire and Maine during the latter half of 2020 came from outside Northern New England. 

What's behind the move?

While there is no hard data yet to confirm that the COVID pandemic had a direct impact on people moving to Northern New England, the timing of the increased in-migration points to a connection.

A survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy found that people have been moving to New Hampshire to be closer to their family, for work, and to enjoy a higher quality of life and better lifestyle. This bolsters the anecdotal evidence many agents are hearing from people moving here from outside the region.

"Home buyers today are less restricted on where they can live, thanks to more liberal remote work policies. Given the choice, people often go with the location that's safer, offers more home for the price, and has the highest quality of life," said Chris Masiello, President and CEO of the Masiello Group. "What many of us who have made Northern New England our home already know is that the lifestyle here can't be beat. We have much of the same infrastructure and amenities as larger metro areas, yet we have a lower cost of living and close proximity to the outdoors. It's a place you can truly live, work and play."

The increase in home sales by out-out-state buyers tracks with the timing of announcements made in 2020 from major companies like Twitter that they would move to a permanent remote work model. For people unrestricted by location, they can opt to move somewhere that offers a better quality of life, larger home, bigger yard and closer-knit communities. 

"Both Maine and New Hampshire are a great choice for these amenities," said Masiello. "They have more affordable housing than locations further south, they have safe communities, modern infrastructure and are still close enough to urban centers that you don't feel too isolated. On top of that, New Hampshire has a low tax burden and business friendly climate."

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Potential economic boom on the horizon

High demand from home buyers outside of the region means it's never been a better time to sell a home in Northern New England. According to Tom Cole, 2020 President of the Maine Association of Realtors and Broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group in Brunswick, Maine, residential real estate activity in his state "is vigorous."

"In most markets across Maine, Realtors are reporting multiple offer situations on move-in ready listings. The increased competition for historically low for-sale inventory availability is resulting in price appreciation," Cole said.

What makes this in-migration trend so noteworthy is that it appears to be happening across all residential property types throughout Northern New England, not just for single-family homes or in isolated communities. People who are thinking of buying a bigger home in a more affordable town nearby are surprised to find home prices are rising there too. This trend also comes after a period of community investment throughout the region, funded by a healthy pre-pandemic economy. Communities are investing in basic infrastructure and amenities that attract residents, such as revitalized downtowns, park renovations, and hiking and biking trails.

These investments, combined with an increase in home prices, are likely to spur development, resulting in overall growth in these communities. If demand remains high for an extended period, it could launch an era of substantial economic growth across the region as the economy begins to open again.

New London, New Hampshire | Could You Live Here? - New England Today

Commercial properties are also highly desirable

Increased interest in real estate in downtown areas is further evidence an economic boom is on the horizon. Having a row of storefronts instead of vacancies will certainly boost a community's downtown revitalization efforts, in addition to the jobs and economic activity it brings.

Another emerging trend is out-of-staters moving to Northern New England—and bringing their businesses with them. "Commercial agents saw an increased interest in 2020 from business owners looking to relocate from major metropolitan areas," said The Masiello Group VP of Commercial Sales, Chris Pascucci. Business owners from big cities create opportunities for new businesses that provide services city dwellers have come to expect, such as take-out and delivery services, ethnic food, and personal care services.

"People from places like New York want to be somewhere safe and to have a better work-life balance," said Pascucci. "Relocating to Northern New England offers the connectivity, more affordable home prices, and plenty of opportunity for businesses to open and grow."

Where this economic boom could face some pressure is if nothing is done to alleviate the region's low inventory rate and competitive, fast-paced market. In Rockingham County, New Hampshire, average time on the market in February 2021 was 35 days, down 52% over February of last year, and new listings of homes in New Hampshire were down 31% in February 2021 when compared to the same month last year. According to the Maine Association of Realtors, home values and sales volume is outpacing last year thus far, however, "a continuing positive trajectory for 2021 is dependent on homes for sale coming onto the market." If there are not enough homes to supply-demand over the long term, it could discourage some home buyers from entering the market at all.

Northern New England is fortunate to see signs of a strong economic future in rising home prices and increased demand. How long this trend will continue and the degree to which prices continue to rise is somewhat uncertain as major cities begin to reopen and return to normal. However, we're confident the market will remain strong, thanks in large part to the desirable location that Northern New England offers. 

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About Better Homes & Garden Real Estate | The Masiello Group 

With 33 offices throughout Northern New England, BHGRE The Masiello Group has been the region's leader offering a full range of services to brokers, sales associates, and home buyers and sellers. It is the only company in region to offer home services, including mortgage, title, home warranty, homeowner insurance, and relocation services under one roof. Visit www.masiello.com to learn more.

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Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

Welcome to the Neighborhood: 5 Great Gifts for Neighbors

Moving to a new neighborhood is never easy. Why not show a warm welcome by giving a welcome basket to your new neighbors? As an established ambassador of your block, now’s your opportunity to bring over a few little gifts for neighbors to make them more comfortable in their new home.

Fruits, vegetables and flowers

If you’re a gardener, consider sharing the bounty. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a big hit. They may even inspire some fun, future garden rivalry. Feeling inspired? Pack your treasures into a box with a few seed packets that easily grow outdoors, a tool for weeding and a nice pair of gardening gloves. 

Snacks and a drink

Who doesn’t love treats? Although it used to be the tradition to bring by a bottle of wine for new neighbors, be cognizant of the fact that some may prefer not to drink alcoholic beverages. Instead, bring over a bottle of sparkling water and fruit juice to make a spritzer. To accompany the refreshers, pack a small fruit basket and chocolates.

If you really want to impress your new neighbors, bring them baked goods straight out of the oven. Make sure to provide a full list of ingredients in case your neighbors have allergies. You may want to make options that are free of nut, dairy and eggs.

A gift card to a great local restaurant

Your new neighbors may not feel up to preparing a meal. After all, their kitchen may still be filled with boxes! Offering a gift card to your favorite local restaurant is a nice gesture that will also prevent your neighbors’ stomachs from rumbling. Fortunately, gift cards can be purchased in a wide range of amounts to avoid worrying about overspending. A typical amount for new neighbors is anywhere between $20 to $50. Try to choose a restaurant with a lovely view and a wide variety of menu items to suit all dietary needs.

Host a small gathering

Plan a meet and greet as a gift for neighbors. It’ll give you an excuse to have a party and will help your new friends acclimate to the neighborhood. You don’t need to plan anything fancy. A small backyard BBQ is always fun. You can move the party indoors during the cooler months. Have plenty of snacks on hand, including an assortment of finger foods. This is also an opportunity to ask everyone in the neighborhood to contribute. Rather than prepare all of the food yourself, plan a potluck and have people bring their favorite dishes.

A touch of green

Even neighbors who don’t have green thumbs will appreciate a nice plant. Stick with a plant that doesn’t require a lot of care. Spider plants, devil’s ivy, philodendrons and calla lilies are safe bets. Instead of a houseplant, put together a small herb garden as a gift for neighbors. Mint, basil and thyme come in starter sizes. Get creative with the containers you choose. Whether you give your neighbors a houseplant or a selection of herbs, just make sure to provide instructions on how to care for their new plant.

After giving your neighbors a small gift, ask if there are any ways you can help them get settled in and just generally make yourself useful.

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

Source:  www.bhgrelife.com

Music at the Sunapee Coffeehouse

Don't miss tonight's performances with Local Talent Night at the Sunapee Coffeehouse.  

Come see Lindsey Schust & The Ragged Mountain Band - Lindsey Schust is a New Hampshire based singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and drummer.  Her group, founded in 2011, plays a blend of Country, Folk, Bluegrass, and some Afro-Cuban styled songs.  The repertoire includes original songs like "Hippie Hill" and "Country Way".  The band is made up of family and friends, with Grace Schust (drums and vocals), Jim Schust (acoustic guitar), Paul Currier (Mandolin, Dobro, Fiddle & vocals), Jim Connell (bass & vocals), Robert Grasmere (harmonica), and Jesse Schust (percussion).  Expect a lively evening of songs, stories, and fun! 

Also performing tonight is Will Hatch - Will Hatch is a singer-songwriter from Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Illustrating a nuanced take on classic American themes, Hatch’s songs feature honest lyrics about heartbreak and loss, reality and desire. Despite his melancholic introspection, there is a silver lining. Spinning spider webs on guitar and banjo, his songs meld poetry with detailed finger picking. Fans of Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen, or guitar greats Mississippi John Hurt and Doc Watson, will appreciate Hatch’s style. Hatch tours New England as a solo act when not playing with his band Will Hatch & Co.

Next week, 3/8/19, is open mic night.

The Coffeehouse is located downstairs in the Sunapee Methodist Church, 9 Lower Main St., Sunapee, NH.  Admission is free; a hat is passed for performers.  Coffee, tea and snacks are available.  Performances begin at 7 p.m.  Come on down for a night of music and fun!

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Gobble, Gobble!

Don't let all that food on Thanksgiving widen your waist!  Sign up for the Sunapee 5K Turkey Trot in Sunapee Harbor Thanksgiving day.  Register on Wednesday, November 22, 5-8pm at the Harbor House Livery.  Bibs and pins can be picked up on race day, 7-8am or at pre-registration.  Race starts at 9am.  The 1K Chicken Run for kids begins at 8:15am.  For more information, visit www.sunapeeturkeytrot.com

“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.

Need New/Used Ski Equipment?

Don't miss Mt. Sunapee's annual ski swap held in the Sunapee Lodge November 18 from 9-noon.  New and used skis, boots, snowboards, poles, skates, cross country, clothing and more!  Local shops will also have equipment at great prices as well.  This is the largest ski swap in the region and is organized and run by the Mt. Sunapee Area Ski Club.

If you have an item you would like to sell, you can drop them off in the Spruce Lodge at the mountain on Friday, November 17 between 12pm-7pm. They will accept equipment in good condition, skis with approved bindings, skates, snowboards, clean winter clothing, etc. No straight skis.

If you would like to expedite your drop-off of equipment to be sold, you can download, print, and fill-out the Sale Item Sheet beforehand and bring it with you when you drop off your items.

If your item is sold, you will receive 75% of the sale.  The other 25% of the sale is donated to the Mount Sunapee Area Ski Club's Junior Programs.  You can pick-up your unsold equipment and any sale money between 2:00pm - 3:00pm the Saturday of the swap.  Any unclaimed money or equipment will be donated to local programs.  www.mtsunapee.com

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Want to Get Your Irish On?

Stop by the Sunapee Coffeehouse Friday, 2/3/2017 to hear Matt & Shannon Heaton. 

With engaging stage presence and masterfully-crafted music, Boston-based Matt & Shannon Heaton offer well-travelled Irish music from the heart. Steeped in sessions in County Clare and brewed in the acoustic music scenes of  Chicago & Boston, their flute/guitar/bouzouki instrumentals and sweet husband-and-wife harmony singing draw deeply from the Irish tradition.

The Heatons also gently incorporate the Thai music Shannon learned in school as a kid and rootsy Americana sounds that surrounded them during their three years in bluegrass-haven Boulder, Colorado.

Since their move to Boston in 2001, the Heatons have become an integral part of Boston’s vibrant trad music scene. 

Matt and Shannon are poised, passionate American performers with Irish roots and universal appeal. They are comfortable onstage and have a warm connection with their audiences. They move listeners with their love of traditional music (and each other), and their sense of adventure and fun in exploring new directions and possibilities.

Performance begins at 7pm at the Sunapee Methodist Church, corner of Route 11 and Lower Main Street (9 Lower Main Street), Sunapee, NH in the downstairs room.  Admission is free; a hat is passed for donations to the musicians.  

For other upcoming shows go to www.sunapeecoffeehouse.org.  Enjoy!

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Burn Those Calories Before Your Thanksgiving Day Turkey at the Sunapee Turkey Trot!

The 10th Annual 5K Sunapee Turkey Trot will be held in Sunapee Harbor this November 24th at 9:00am.  Online registration is now open at http://sunapeeturkeytrot.com/. Bibs and pins can be picked up at Pre-Registration on Wednesday, November 23 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. They can also be picked up on race day (November 24 from 7:00-8:00 am; however, due to a large number of people registering on race day, we urge racers to pick up their bibs and pins at the pre-registration. Race day registration is from 7-8am and the 1K Chicken Run begins at 8:15am for the children.

The Sunapee Parent Teacher Organization will hold a pie sale during the Pre-Registration as well as on race day. Pies will be $10 each, and it is a great way to support the SPTO as well as get out of having to bake!

In an effort to reduce waste, Prospect Hill Antiques will be setting up water stations at the start and finish lines. Please bring your own reusable bottle, and fill up whenever you’re thirsty. Thank you Prospect Hill Antiques!

Gather the family and make this your morning Thanksgiving tradition!  No dogs please!

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

Like to Perform?

GuitaristHead over to the Sunapee Coffeehouse next Friday night (3/11) for Open Mic night at 7pm.  The Coffeehouse is held downstairs at the Methodist Church, 9 Lower Main Street, Sunapee, NH.

Tonight Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards will perform Americana, old country, and harmony singing, commanding crafted melodies and poignant, introspective lyrics, backing them with delicate arrangements on ukulele, clarinet, guitar and banjo.

Check out the upcoming performances at www.sunapeecoffeehouse.org

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.

Happenings at Mt. Sunapee

Mt. Sunapee logo2You have until this Sunday, 8/9, to visit Mt. Sunapee Resort and view the annual League of NH Craftsmen's Fair.  The Fair showcases the work of more than 350 craftspeople's items made by hand. It's the place to see an incredible variety of beautiful, one-of-a-kind craft items that are functional, decorative, and built to last.

And don't forget the Adventure Park at South Peak!  You'll find disc golf, mini-golf, guided canopy tours, an aerial challenge course and more!

Visit their web site and come enjoy the local fun, www.mtsunapee.com

You’ll be moving in the right direction with Coldwell Banker Milestone Real Estate.