Why this is Not the 2008 Housing Crisis

True, this pandemic is causing an economic slowdown.  However, from what I read, recovery will begin once the infection rate peaks.  Many financial institutes such as Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo Investment Institute expect strong gains in the 3rd & 4th quarter and into 2021.  Here is why home prices will NOT be dropping like they did starting in 2008.

1.    There is still a shortage of homes to sell, here and nationwide.  

2.    Housing is more affordable today.  The average family pays 15.5% of their income vs. 25.4% in 2006.  Prices are high, however wages have increased and mortgage rates are lower.

3.    There are stricter lending standards in place.  The 2008 housing crisis was caused by fraud & greed - too much borrowing, flawed financial models & predatory lending.

4.    Homeowners today have plenty of equity in their homes.  From 2005-2007, homeowners treated their houses like cash machines and refinanced $824 billion worth of home equity.  Compare this to 2017-2019 which totaled $232 billion.

5.    Home values increased in 3 of the last 5 US recessions.  (And, in 1991, they only dropped by 2%.)  

There are many variables to this current housing market – work with a professional who can keep you updated on its impacts.  Feel free to contact me for your real estate needs at 603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, or Donna@DonnaForest.com


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Coronavirus and the Real Estate Market

While there are many concerns about the coronavirus and its impact on life as we know it, I thought it might be helpful to have some input on what we are seeing in regards to real estate.  At the moment, buyer interest is strong and they are still out looking at homes. According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) survey released the week of 3/9/20, only 16% of REALTORS nationwide reported seeing reduced buyer interest in their markets.  Obviously this varies as I’m sure cities like Seattle are seeing greater impacts than in rural areas like ours.  Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, reported “two weeks ago I would have said the biggest hurdle is a general housing shortage. But that’s changed.  The coronavirus is an unprecedented event, and even though we don’t know how everything will play out, it’s currently a big uncertainty that’s hitting the stock market.”  He also feels that in the short term at least, home sales will be down by around 10%.  For now, our area is still seeing a shortage of homes to sell and good buyer demand with extremely low interest rates.  We are not seeing price reductions because of current conditions.  It is uncharted territory and evolving, but I will leave you with this quote “Tough times never last but tough people do.” 

 If you're looking to buy or sell a home, give me a call at 603-526-4116 or email me at Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com.

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


5 Reasons Why Your House isn’t Selling in a Hot Market

The average days on market last year in NH was 56 days.  If your house has been on for way longer, there are a multiple of reasons as to why it hasn’t sold.  Below are some common causes.

  •  The house is overpriced - the #1 reason why most homes don’t sell. 
  • The house isn’t properly prepared for the market.  Cluttered, too personalized, not sparkling clean, not staged. 
  • Poor listing photos.  93% of buyers are searching online and weed out homes based on photos alone.
  • The property needs too many repairs or updates.  Buyers want move-in condition and are unwilling to take on the cost and effort of repairs & renovations.
  • You are too emotionally attached.  Not listening to recommendations by your agent, micro-managing the process, having unrealistic expectations, etc.

Homes are selling every day because they are at the right price and prepped for sale.  Contact me if you want honest & realistic advice on getting your house sold.  603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna@DonnaForest.com

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

Worry-free Condo Living

No more shoveling snow from this special Hilltop Unit in New London!  3 bedrooms, 2 baths, tastefully remodeled with unique fixtures and finishes throughout.  The sun shines in with wall to wall windows.  Gas fireplace in living room for those chilly winter nights.  Large master suite with walk-in closet and tiled bathroom.  Private patio and garden area.  Walk to the clubhouse and community garden.  Monthly association fee of $705.  One time buy-in fee $4,230.  Offered at $274,900.

Anne Marie Appel, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

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

Traits of the 2019 Buyer

Every year the National Association of REALTORS conducts a survey of recent home buyers and sellers to gain insight on the home buying and selling process.  Below are some highlights from this report about buyers last year.

  • 33% of all home buyers were firstt time buyers and financed 94% of the purchase price.
  • Buyers searched 10 weeks and looked at 9 homes before buying a home.
  • The typical home purchased was 1850 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, built in 1990.
  • 93% of buyers found online websites their most useful source; photos and detailed information were an important factor.
  • 89% of buyers purchased their home using a real estate agent.
  • The top 3 factors influencing what buyers chose were: (1) quality of neighborhood, (2) convenience to job, and (3) overall affordability.

Sellers should be aware of how these buying traits might impact them.  For example, a house located out in the boonies with 5 bedrooms and 3000 sq. ft. doesn’t target the typical buyer – which could mean longer time on market.  Contact me if you’d like to know how these factors might impact you.  603-526-4116, www.DonnaForest.com, Donna@DonnaForest.com

Data from the NAR 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

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2019 Market Data for NH

Interested in home and condo sales in New Hampshire for the past year?    To review the market data from New Hampshire REALTORS for 2019, click here 2019 Market Data from NHAR.pdf 

Looking for a Home with Views?

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.  (Oprah Winfrey)  If your dream is to live in down-to-earth simplicity in an antique farmhouse on 47 acres, then this is a must-see.  Privately located on a dead-end road with a picturesque settiing of perennial gardens, shade and apple trees, a swim pond, plus acres of fields and woods and gorgeous mountain views - including views of Mt. Sunapee.  The huge barn includes 7 stalls, a tack room, hay storage, and multiple bays for vehicle and other storage.  Trail riding, hiking, snowmobiling are right out your front door!  Gorgeous sunrises, stargazing at night, bird watching, rocking on the porch.  Seldom do you come across a home that immediately slows your heart rate, lets you take deep breaths, and evokes a deep sense of peacefulness.  Sale is a portion of the existing deed.  Offered at $469,000.  To view virtual tour:  https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=Qt5nb8ZmyUB&mls=1

Donna Forest, Listing Broker, 603-526-4116

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

Artist's Retreat in Whimsical Wilmot

Meander up the paved driveway, lined with lilies, roses, ferns and hollyhocks.  Pass the 28' x 38' studio that has many possible uses - space to create and sell, tradesman's workshop, yoga or music studio.  Enter the lovingly maintained, soaring and light-filled great room, recently renovated with many significant upgrades.  New maple floors and tiled entry downstairs and new carpet upstairs, new stainless steel appliances and double sink in kitchen with new countertops, complete interior painted throughout, new garage doors and openers.  Lots of natural woodwork and windows, exposed beams, charming original bathrooms.  Professionally cleaned right down to the polished windows.  Attached two car garage with storage above and solar panels for net metering electricity.  Unfinished basement provides even more space.  Conveniently located midway between Hanover and Concord - minutes to New London, easy access off of Route 4A.  This home has many possibilities for use and is ready to move right in!  Offered at $359,000.  Virtual Tour:  https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=QKoKkS1HN6E


Anne Marie Appel, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

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

Discover the Perfect Time for Buying a Vacation Home

If you’re lucky enough to have reached the time in your life when you can seriously contemplate buying a vacation home, there’s much to be excited about.  According to the National Association of Realtors, one in eight homeowners are thinking of buying a second home. While summer may be the time of year you start to think longingly about sun, sea and sand, it may not be the best time to buy a cottage.

Here are some things to consider when you’re buying a vacationhome.

Peak of season is seldom a good idea

Avoiding peak seasons makes sense in supply and demand terms. Peak season, whether you have your eye on a Vail ski chalet or a Cape Cod sea shanty, is when the area in which you’re looking is at its finest. Since vacation homes can be sentimental investments, many who’ve inherited them rent them out as additional sources of income so they can hang onto a property. They may be sharing it with siblings or have had to buy them out. They also may be part-time vacation home investment owners who got in early on a new resort but need to ensure 100 percent occupancy during peak season to make their investment pay off.

Aim for the final weeks of the high season to make your offer or hold off until just after peak season ends. If you’re looking for a summer vacation home, the time between Labor Day and Thanksgiving is the perfect window of opportunity.You’ll still take possession early enough in the year to be able to get a glimpse of what future summers can hold, and you’ll also have a chance to do any needed repairs before winter sets in. Then you can spend the winter planning what you need to do to make the place your own the following summer.

If you’re looking at a winter vacation home, spring is the best time to make an offer. While diehards may still be renting or occupying their vacation homes, hoping to get one or two more days of spring skiing or boarding in, most will have placed their properties on the market. Just be careful not to leave your offer for too late in the year if the area you’re interested in is remote. Some owners board up their properties for the off season, making it harder to get viewings. Also, don’t forget the power of spring mud. Properties accessible through three seasons may become harder to access during spring thawing and flooding.

Be sure the time is right

Before buying a vacation home, you need to think long and hard about a whole host of considerations. First and foremost is whether you will be able to use it enough to make it worthwhile for you financially. Even if you buy a vacation home and plan to rent it out to defray expenses, that means your time there will be limited. While you may love a cottage on a lake in fall, not everyone else does. If you can’t afford to spend the 4th of July at your own cottage, this may not be the time to buy.

Second, have you considered all the duplicate expenses involved? Whether you want your vacation home to mirror your principal residence in all ways, you can’t escape the fact that you’re going to need two of everything now. Unless, that is, you want to treat every weekend you spend at your vacation home like a camping trip (which may well be the case). You’re not going to want to haul lawn mowers and leaf blowers to the cottage every summer weekend. That goes double for appliances, linens and furniture. You’ll also have a second set of bills for property taxes, insurance, yard maintenance, internet and cleaning costs. In addition, there may be HOA fees, too.

Third, what are your vacation goals? If you want to visit every continent and are running out of time to tackle Asia and Africa, does a vacation property make sense? If you find you’re drawn to experiential vacations like hiking the Appalachian Trail, swimming with the dolphins or building someone else a home with Habitat for Humanity, a vacation home may be an anchor you don’t need.

On the other hand, if you know you can afford to invest in a second property and have a long-term plan to use it as a home base while you globe trot in retirement, or if you want your family to have the freedom of the great outdoors while they’re growing up, it might just be time to seize the day.

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

Source:  www.bhgre.com/bhgrelife

Take Me to that Cozy Cabin!

A very cute, comfortable and cozy cabin with open porch and nice views.  Open patio for grilling or relaxing.  Two bedrooms, plus additional sleeping area in the finished attic, living/dining room with stone fireplace.  Restaurants and shopping nearby (including a super deli right at the bottom of the hill).  A great getaway near Lake Sunapee, hiking and snowmobile trails, and Mt. Sunapee for year-round recreational opportunities.  A wonderful place to build family memories!  Septic is unknown.  Boiler likely needs to be replaced.  Sellers are offering property in its current condition.  While it will need some improvements, it's a great comfy cabin in a neat location!  Offered at $170,000.

Marilyn Kidder, Listing Broker, 603-526-4116

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