Blog :: 09-2012

Lake Horace Luxury Townhouse Community

From amid southern New Hampshire's rural beauty comes an opportunity for both elegance and comfort in a secluded country setting.

Fragrant, vibrant Springs, cool refreshing Summers, crips Autumns exploding with color, warm cozy Winter evenings - Collins Landing offers New England at its best.

Located in Weare, New Hampshire, Collins Landing is situated on 185 acres of wooded, lakefront property, including a permanent conservation preserve, Collins Landing provides a haven from today's hectic pace. Watch the seasons change as you walk along quiet nature trails, relax on the beach, fish, swim or don cross-country skis and enjoy the peaceful, snow covered trails in the preserve.

The planned, 92 luxury townhome community is nestled in the hillside, each with its own special view of Lake Horace's beautiful clear water or abutting hillside. The exterior design is distinctly "New England," while the spacious interiors offer the homeowner numerous living space options and an array of modern amenities.

Collins Landing offers an exceptional environment, a sound, affordable investment and a home to be proud of. Whether you are looking for a year-round residence or a vacation retreat, Collins Landing offers the best of New England in all seasons. Visit CollinsLanding.com We currently have a selection of available units in all budget ranges. Contact Pelletier Realty Group at 603-529-2020 to schedule a showing today.

Buying A Short Sale

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A short sale is when the Seller is negotiating with their lender to accept a discounted payoff in order to avoid foreclosure. The listed price is typically lower then what the Seller owes on the property. The Seller may also be in default (stopped making mortgage payments) and should have received a letter from their mortgagee as to their current status. Typically the Seller has to provide financial information and explain their hardship and inability to continue to make mortgage payments.

The Seller is working to avoid foreclosure and is motivated to have your offer accepted, although the Seller may counter your offer if they think the bank may reject it and waste the Sellers marketing time. The short sale approval can take up to 90 days, so patience is required!

The process usually requires that you have your title company prepare a HUD statement so the Seller's lender can confirm their closing costs based on your closing date. Be sure to have a closing date that is at least 90 days out . You can also give a time frame for when the Sellers lender has to respond by in case your situation changes as you can always extend your time frame for acceptance bearing in mind you may not hear a response for 90 days.

The Seller should sign your offer and submit to the litigation dept which will assign a negotiator. The negotiator may order an appraisal or Broker Price Opinion to make sure the property is not selling way below current market value.

If the Seller still occupies the property they can supply information as to the site and the utilities may still be on.  Most financing options will consider the short sale the same as other resale's although you have to watch the rate changes over such a long time frame for acceptance. If the property is vacant you should request the Sellers' lender secure the property and maintain its condition.

Ask the listing agent whether there is a second mortgage that also needs to be notified and if the short sale process has been started with the second mortgage as well as the first. Usually the first will determine what the second will receive should the first mortgage accept the contract.

To learn more visit about short sales and foreclosures visit our website at:  PelletierGroup.com

Top Remodeling Projects - Cost vs. Value

If you are planning to stay in your current home or looking to do some spruce ups to be prepared to sell, homeowners want to know what will give them the most bang for their buck so to speak. Having a major system that is not in good shape will hurt the value of a home, such as a leaky roof, or an older or non-functioning heating system. Ensuring that these systems are in tip-top shape does not have the highest payback, but, if they are in need of help, they will drive your price down. For example; roofing in the New England Area,  a homeowner can expect to see a return on their investment 54.6%, but a home needing a roof could cause the buyer to negotiate for an amount higher than the cost of replacement.

Being careful that all remodeling projects fit in with the surroundings is important. Before you decide to put on an addition that will make your home larger and more impressive than the neighborhood can support may not be a good idea. However finishing a basement, while it may not have the highest return, would add needed living space and give a bigger return than an unwise addition.  The same applies for converting attic space to living space.

Adding a marble bathroom to a home that is mostly carpet and vinyl may not be the best choice, when a more mid-range option is available. Upgrading to a mid-range tile, perhaps adding a cabinet package available at home improvements stores, with cabinets, solid surface top, and faucet for around $500 may be the better option. And, remember you can never go wrong with a fresh coat of neutral colored paint.

So all in all think smart.  Looks that are new and well cared for yield higher returns than going the extra mile for the higher end.  So, save some money and reap a larger return!

Tips for House Hunters

Buying a home can be an emotional process and although you can't completely remove the emotions involved in purchasing a new home it is important to keep your goals in perspective. We sometimes want what we can't have and often aim too high straining our purse strings. Identify and write down what you need and then when you find the house that meets your needs write down what the property  has for features you want.

1. Identify what you need: Why are you moving to begin with? Do you need a shorter commute, more bedrooms, and larger yard? Make a list of what you need and prioritize them.   If you moving to gain living space, then what living space, bedrooms, kitchen or baths?   Determine location, style, size, age and condition.

2. Which features would you like but don't have to have: If you have always wanted to have a fireplace but don't feel this is necessary to your purchase, when a property has everything you need plus a few things you want, this may be the house for you.

3. Buy the floor plan not the decor. Try to visualize the property without the owner's furnishings and decorating. Although this can help you to see the potential of a room it may be deceiving as to how you would actually use the room. Picture your furniture in the room and picture your family living there. Do you really need that 4th bedroom or in-ground pool? How does your family live now? What would enhance your lifestyle?

4. Consider the up keep. Sometimes the property that has it all can also consume all your free time to maintain it. Ask the owner for the costs involved with owning the property. You should be able to review fuel bills, electricity, property taxes, water and sewer bills, and service contracts such as landscaping, plowing or pool maintenance. Knowing the age of the systems and house structures such as the roof, septic and furnace is also helpful in determining the efficiency and possible replacement costs. Most sellers provide a property disclosure that answers numerous questions about what the seller knows about their property and gives some costs associated with it.

5. Hire a Home inspector: Even though the Seller's Disclosure is informative, the home inspection provides a wealth of knowledge. This is a hands on see it for yourself lesson on the property you are about to own. Home inspectors are trained to see and identify conditions and factual aspects, not the cosmetic or personal perceptions. Most home inspectors are a part of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Try to hire a home inspector who includes photos in their report. This can be especially helpful when negotiating repairs in order to identify to the seller where and what repair is needed.

6. View more then one property. In order to gain perspective and comparisons you need to see at least three properties. It's also a good idea to view one below, one above and one in the middle of your price range. You should also know what has recently sold in the neighborhood. You don't necessarily want be the most expensive house on the street that increases others value while your value stays flat.

7. Narrow down your search and investigate the property and the neighborhoods. Visit the property a second time and measure rooms and open closets and storage areas you may have missed the first time through. Drive by the property at different times of the day and check the commuting time.

8. Finding the right Realtor for you. Treat your meeting as a job interview and determine how knowledgeable the agent is and whether they will be providing the best service for you. Have they listened to what you requested? Did they take the time to address your needs and wants? What services can they offer?

9. Get pre-approved for financing before you start looking. Knowing your true price range can take the mystery out of looking. The seller will respect your offer and be more willing to negotiate knowing you have done your homework and are serious. Being pre-approved also takes the last minute stress of finding financing in order to submit an offer on the house you truly want. A general rule of thumb is your mortgage payment should be approximately one third of your gross income. If possible try to have 6 months of mortgage payments in a savings account for an emergency account.

10. Be prepared for your closing day. In the process of financing your lender should give you a Good Faith Estimate, itemizing the estimated closing costs, pre-paid items and down payment. Your total estimated mortgage payment should also be on this form. You should have a good idea of what funds will be required to close. The title company should be able to provide you with a HUD 1 Form 24 hours prior to closing.

Prepare to Sell - Great Tips to Get Ready!

Prepare to Sell! Once you have established your value and have decided to put your property on the market you should gather the following information Buyers will want to review.

First, Gather These Items:

Deed - You may have a copy of this or a Book and Page so that your agent can print a copy from the registry.

Copy of Plot Plan.

Copy of Septic Design. If you do not have a copy, this may be on record in the building dept at your town hall.

Water and Sewer Bills - Copy of last monthly bills as well as the location and source of municipal water supply.

Current Tax Bill - You will need to provide the total tax amount for the year and show the actual bills confirming the amount.

Current Status of Approval for the Development - If you have subdivision plan and approvals, copies should be provided.

Declarations of Covenants, Restrictions and Easements - This is usually attached to the deed and can be found at the registry as well.

Last 2 to 4 Months Utility & Fuel Bills - Most companies will provide an online summary of your average annual use.

List of Upgrades & Repairs Recently Completed - You can add this to the last page of the Seller Information Report which educates the Buyer about your property. This form is signed by both parties and becomes an integral part of the Purchase and Sales.

Copy of Condominium Bylaws and Condo Rules - You should also fill out a Condo Rider Form to the Sellers Information Report.

Copy of Park Rules - If in a manufactured housing park.

Road Maintenance or Road Agreement & Costs - If access is on a private road.

Itemized List of Property Features - This can be a brief paragraph of what you as the home owner appreciate about the site or the building. Is the location convenient for commuting or close to schools? Do you have specific wildlife or great sunset views? Is there abutting conservation land or easy access to nearby hospital and services?

What to do to the Property Prior to Selling and While on the Market You may not be able to finish the basement or remodel the kitchen, but you can improve the market value of your house. It is important to attract as many qualified Buyers as possible. In preparing your home for sale it is important to look at your home through "Buyers' Eyes." People buy what they see. So look at your home as if you were in the Buyers' shoes. Make your home as appealing and uncluttered as the home you would like to buy.

OUTSIDE YOUR HOME

o Cut the lawn every week during the marketing period o Edge the lawn - up the driveway and along the sidewalks (both front and back) for a finished appearance. o Trim all shrubbery away from the house and remove low lying tree limbs. o Rake leaves; remove dead plants, flowers and shrubs. o Fertilize your lawn to make your grass look lush and green. o Plant flowers in the front yard, dress up around shrubs and lamp post with large quartz stones, railroad ties, pine bark mulch, etc. o Replace downed shutters, gutters and downspouts. Remove debris from gutters and downspouts. o Paint any trim that is blistering. o Repaint or re-stain the front door to create a pleasant first impression. o Replace torn screens on windows and on front and back doors. o Check for broken roof shingles, straight lines on gutters, shutters, windows and siding. o Put away tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys and building materials neatly in the garage. o Clean windows and doors. o Seal or resurface driveway. o Clear patios or decks of planters, flower pots, charcoal and barbeques.

INSIDE YOUR HOME

In general, paint the rooms that really look worn, faded or finger printed. Have wall to wall carpeting and draperies cleaned. Fix any dripping faucets. Spray lubricant on all squeaking doors, windows, closets and cabinets. Place a solid deodorant in each room and closet. Pre-pack any items which may clutter your home.

CLEAN YOUR HOME FROM TOP TO BOTTOM!!!

Foyer

o Use a bright light bulb in foyer light fixture. o Turn on all lights in home in the evening to welcome potential Buyers. o Fill the house with the pleasant aroma of cinnamon or other fresh scent. o Spotlessly clean woodwork, carpeting, and windows throughout the house. o Clear window ledges of all objects to give a nice glimpse inside and out. o Repaint walls if necessary, in a neutral color such as antique white.

Living Room

o Discard worn furniture and move extra furniture to storage area. Too much furniture makes rooms look small. o Visit a model home to get decorating ideas. o Clear away all magazines, books, and unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. o Take down pictures that hide walls. Patch nail holes and paint. o Add lamps and lighting if dark. o Open curtains. o Set out fresh flowers.

Kitchen

o Professionally clean oven and stove. o Replace broken appliances, repair squeaks, drips or binds in cabinet drawers. o Clean all appliances inside and out until they are spotless. Wax and polish floors. o Fix any dripping faucets. Perhaps only a washer is needed. o Discard old food and leftovers from refrigerator. o Clean refrigerator front of messages, pictures and magnets. o Clear all magazines, small appliances and cookware from countertops. Expose maximum counterpace. o If it hasn't been used for months...put it away!

Family Room

o Clean fireplace. o Replace carpet if it's a loud color. (I know it costs money, but you'll get it back at settlement), o Remove all magazines, books, toys and worn furnishings that might influence a Buyers feeling about the room. o Create an easy-going relaxed atmosphere in your family room. This is where most families spend their time so make it look good!

Bathrooms

o Remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs and commode. Put as much away as possible and make each bathroom look like a "Guest Bathroom." o Fix leaky faucets, rust stains and faulty plumbing that may squeak or bind. o Caulk and grout tile. Bleach discolored grout. Replace old caulking around the bathtubs. This can be done with one tube of new caulking and a putty knife. o Replace or remove any wall paper that isn't "conservative." o Coordinate towels to one or two colors only. o Place softer bulbs in bathroom fixtures and scented flower arrangement on vanity top.

Master Bedroom

o This is the second most important-to-be-appealing room in a home (after the kitchen, before the family room and garage). o Define areas, sleeping, dressing and sitting by the furniture arrangement. Try to have the bedroom look as simply furnished as possible. o Be sure all clothes are hanging up, not lying out in room. o Make closets more appealing by storing off-season clothes elsewhere so they don't have a cluttered look. Go ahead and pack them up since you're moving anyway. o Remove items from the floors of walk-in closets so that prospects can have easy access.

Children's Bedrooms

o Here's a challenge: ask children and teenagers to help by thoroughly cleaning up their rooms, removing all posters and questionable photographs. Low lighting and clutter make bedrooms look smaller or darker than they are. o Paint and patch walls as necessary. o Open curtains. o Pack and store unnecessary toys and clutter.

Garage

o The perfect garage contains only cars. But if this is not possible, clean up, fix up, sell or toss out unneeded items. (This may be your only opportunity). o Clean and seal cement floor. o Neatly stack tools and clean up work bench. o Tidy up storage shelf areas. o Stack all items against the walls to show maximum floor space. o Vacuum the floor and rafters.

Basement

o A finished basement is great!! Just follow the same guidelines given for preparing the family room. o If unfinished, make sure concrete floor is well swept and clean. o Seal or paint concrete floors (battleship gray). o Clean water heater, change filters, and put strong light bulbs in fixtures. o Stack all items against the walls to show maximum floor space. o Vacuum rafters.

Q&A

Should we remodel or redecorate?

While redecorating can make a home look more attractive, it is difficult to anticipate what a new buyer may be looking for in your home. It's best to simply prepare your home with a clean, uncluttered appearance. If anything, you may want to invest in some fresh paint. Paint can go a long way in enhancing the appeal of your home. If your home is in need of paint or carpeting, it's better to invest the money and buy it ahead of time. Rather than hope a buyer has a vivid imagination of what your home will look like without spots on the carpet and chipped paint on the walls, make it look its best when they see it. You only have one chance to make a good first impression!