Blog :: 2013

What Do You Want in Your Dream Home?

According to Realtor.com when they reviewed the home features that visitors searched for the most in 2013, the results we're all dreaming of are totally normal things: a laundry room, a fireplace, central air, a basement and the ultimate backyard amenity: a swimming pool. Check out a couple pictures of some very interesting property features that certain homeowners obviously put a lot of thought and energy (and money) into.

Contact us to start searching for your dream home! 4-Bed-Swing1

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Join Us in Manchester December 7th!

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Join Us in Manchester, NH December 7th at 3:15 PM for the Santa Claus Shuffle with Holiday Parade to follow at 4PM. Stop by Pelletier Realty Group Office at 1361 Elm Street Suite 106 to watch the festivities as they SHUFFLE BY! Deb Smith from our office will be suiting up as Santa and joining in the RACE. This is truly a great community event and we OPEN our DOORS in SUPPORT to the runners & viewers!

Katie Murphy's Home Search

Finding Home

Home!

Home!

I am thrilled to share our happy news: Roger and I have found a farm to call our own! After more then a year of looking, and five offers later, we have finally found a home for ourselves and our four-legged family members. We could not be more thrilled, and yet terrified at the same time.

It has been a long and arduous process. Time after time, we were certain we would never find a property within our parameters, and yet each time an offer fell through, the next property was better then the one before.

Autumn Hill Farm

Autumn Hill Farm

Property #1: The Dream Farm. An 1,100 square foot 1970?s ranch with 24 acres on the same road as my parents. I had loved that property since I was a child, and would fantasize about living there as I road by on my conditioning sets. Well, 20 years later and a closer look revealed that the home was tiny, painfully outdated, in need of repair, and the 30+ year old barn had no foundation. Additionally, the land is traversed by two streams, which makes clearing for more paddocks difficult. Not such a dream after all. Negotiations ended with a $10,000 difference of opinion. Roger was angry. I was stubborn. We are now both grateful.

Formal entry

Formal entry

Property #2: Moist Stunner. This property took our breath away. A stunning late 1700?s Colonial that had been completely renovated, and aside from a contemporary bathroom, was true to its historical character. The antique bank barn was in disrepair, but Roger's relative, an antique home and barn restoration specialist, was able to ease our concerns. However, the water frontage along the Piscataqua River was cause for apprehension, and through our own due diligence, we learned the property's fields were in a flood plain. The low-lying fields were moist, and although neighbors assured us there had never been standing water, we feared that pasturing horses there would have been a detriment to the land and this beautiful home.

The kitchen with eating area.

The kitchen with eating area and fireplace.

Property #3: The Pig Farm. Sited on 90 acres of conserved land just miles from our town home, this little gem was a darling example of beautiful design and construction. Another petite home, the living space was designed after an antique home at a smaller scale. Used as a pig farm, the out-buildings were ideal for our horses after a few equine-friendly modifications. Though the existing fields were limited, the location was peaceful and protected. We submitted our offer along with three other buyers, and upon resubmitting a highest and best offer, we placed second. We were disappointed and frustrated, though upon reflection we realize the property may not be the best match for us given our needs and the conservation restrictions. At this time, we decided to wait until the spring of 2013 to continue our search.

The dining room with authentic bee hive oven and parson's pantry.

Dining room with bee hive oven and parson's pantry.

Property #4: The Plague House. Yup, you read that right. 12 beautiful acres on a quiet dirt road, with a private pond and historic colonial of an ideal size. The home came with new windows, new wiring, recent septic and leach field, and an automatic whole-house generator. It also came with a history. While driving back to feed the horses, we shared our good news with my parents over dinner and they asked for the address. Later that evening over dinner, we learned a little more about this special property:

  • Carol (my mother): "So, did your father tell you what he found?"
  • Tom (my father): "You told me not to tell them!"
  • Me: "What?" (Roger and I are expecting fun news about wonderful neighbors, community happenings, etc.)
  • Carol: It's called the Plague House." At this point, Roger dropped his fork, and pushed back from the table in his chair as the happiness drained from his face.
  • Roger coughed and nervously sipped his Gingerale. Me: "I'm sorry. What was that?"
  • Tom: "The Plague House. It's all over the internet with personal accounts. People with the disease were sent there to die and were buried in the woods to prevent animals from eating their bodies. The only problem was that the people caring for the ill also caught the disease, and they died too. And, there is a woman in white that is known to walk across the property at dusk."
  • Me: With the enthusiasm of a teenage boy watching a ballet performance, I replied, "Awesome." Roger said nothing - for the rest of the evening.

The master - adjacent to the paneled room.

The master - adjacent to the paneled room.

We decided to submit an offer. Despite being located in a less then desirable town, when we first arrived at the property, I immediately saw that Roger loved it. Ghosts or not, Roger was excited and happy. Inspections uncovered several substantial issues and after some negotiations, our contract ended. Perhaps the current "residents" did not care for us?

The paneled room - our future dressing room.

The paneled room - our future dressing room.

Property #5: "Disbelief". After the upset of The Plague House, we decided to take a break. That did not last long. 24 hours later, I was on the web searching for our future home. I discovered this gem: The house was stunning, the land was perfect, and there was even an historic barn. The home was large, the price was large, but my heavens I had to see this house. As we drove through the wooden gate, our jaws dropped. A meadow stretched alongside the private drive towards perennial gardens, and woodlands provided a buffer from eager eyes. Set atop the hill, the Colonial stood tall and proud on an original granite foundation. To our right, field appeared from behind the tree line and stretched beyond our view. An historic barn centered the property, blending beautifully with the scenery. Original granite fence posts created the illusion of a bygone courtyard now speckled with apple, pear, peach and apricot trees. Behind the home, a gunite pool welcomed a dip of our toes and another field stretched towards the rear of the property behind a stonewall with entry. Hello heaven. I had not been in the house, but I was sold. Roger said he loved the property and was amazed that we may have found 'the one'.

The antique barn - to be modified for 4 stalls

The antique barn - to be modified for 4 stalls

As we walked room to room, I was amazed" plaster walls, original paneling, chair railing and indian shutters, 7 fireplaces and two bee hive ovens. Opening each door was like unwrapping a present - I could not wait to see what was behind the next one. With a cool exterior, Roger asked me: "What do you think?" With a muffled voice so the seller's agent would not hear, I replied "I love it! Don't you love it?! This is incredible!" Devoid of all joy and enthusiasm, he replied "I hate it. It's old. It's dirty - there are bugs everywhere." Stunned by the contrast of our impressions, I frantically searched the walls and floors for dirt and bugs. I saw none. There were none. I was upset, but I was not giving in. After all, I was willing to sleep with hundreds of damned souls in a crummy town for him!

The large field

The large field

After the showing, we talked. We reviewed. We spoke with our lender. We visited the property once more. Roger admitted to seeing our future at Autumn Hill Farm. We made our offer, and from that point forward, everything was seamless.

The other field, behind the home and pool

The other field, behind the home and pool

While we transition from our town home to The Farm, we are also meeting with professionals to modify the barn for horses and install a riding ring. We are excited and still in disbelief. As we turned onto our new driveway this afternoon, tall and proud on the knoll, the Colonial basked in the summer light and seemed to welcome us. Roger and I are not just home owners - we are stewards. And we could not be more excited or more proud to care for Autumn Hill Farm from this day forward sad so many have before us.

Privately sited from the main road.

Privately sited from the road.

Katie Murphy- Murphy Eventing

Turning Point for Housing Market? Key Drivers Shift from Supply to Demand

 

 

Rising inventory, slow-and-steady price increases signal healthier outlook in most markets

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Rising inventory, slow-and-steady price increases signal healthier outlook in most markets

 

Realtor.com®, a leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc., has released the realtor.com® National Housing Trend Report for August 2013. As the year's peak home-buying season comes to a close, key market indicators point to a shift in the dynamics of the housing market, suggesting that future home value appreciations may likely be driven by market demand, rather than inventory shortages.

 

An analysis of the summer home-buying season ending in August shows year-over-year changes now within the single-digits for three key indicators - inventory count, median age and median list price, signaling a leveling of the market not seen for some time. The national market was virtually flat month-over-month compared to July for both inventory and median list price, and registered a slight increase in median age of inventory.

 

"Where we have seen significant volatility in many markets, including double-digit declines in inventory as well as increases in median price for both yearly and monthly views, we are now looking at a housing market that is less heated and moving closer to normalcy," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move.

Realtor.com®, a leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc., has released the realtor.com® National Housing Trend Report for August 2013. As the year's peak home-buying season comes to a close, key market indicators point to a shift in the dynamics of the housing market, suggesting that future home value appreciations may likely be driven by market demand, rather than inventory shortages.

An analysis of the summer home-buying season ending in August shows year-over-year changes now within the single-digits for three key indicators - inventory count, median age and median list price, signaling a leveling of the market not seen for some time. The national market was virtually flat month-over-month compared to July for both inventory and median list price, and registered a slight increase in median age of inventory.

"Where we have seen significant volatility in many markets, including double-digit declines in inventory as well as increases in median price for both yearly and monthly views, we are now looking at a housing market that is less heated and moving closer to normalcy," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move.

Kitchen remodeling ideas for under $500

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Remodeling a kitchen may sound like a big, expensive project. But the truth is that there are ways to breathe new life into an old kitchen without spending much money.

"A kitchen remodel can be done on any budget," says Lowe's spokeswoman Jaclyn Pardini. "The secret to success lies in careful planning. Conduct research ahead of time, find your inspirations, and know which projects you can complete yourself and which ones you'll leave for an expert."

Naturally, there are limits to what you can do on a budget. But many home-remodeling experts stress that moderately handy homeowners with just a little cash to spend can make a big difference in their kitchen. And if the work looks good, you're adding equity to your home, according Erin Davis, lead designer for Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, Ore.

Here are some kitchen remodeling projects that cost $500 or less.

1. Spruce up walls with fresh coat of paint. 2. Freshen up cabinets by adding or replacing hardware or get more involved and        paint them. 3. Give the kitchen sink a makeover with a new faucet. 4. Update the lighting. 5. Add a backsplash. 6. Install more storage.

Supply of Homes For Sale Below Last Year

Tight Housing Supplies

Plague Spring Market

Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home sales are "stuck" this spring due to the limited number of homes available to buy, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®.

The supply of homes for sale is 17 percent below year-ago levels, according to NAR data.

For-sale inventories are most constrained on the low-end of the housing market, where investors had moved in floods to purchase distressed homes and hold them as single-family rentals, housing experts note. About a four-month supply of homes is available under $100,000. As such, sales of low-end homes have dropped 16 percent from year ago because there just isn't enough inventory, according to NAR.

Some home owners are still hesitant to sell, noticing the recent price increases and hoping for more, notes Richard Smith, CEO of Realogy Holdings. "If I am underwater in my equity and now suddenly I'm not, but I'm up 5 percent and the market around me is appreciating 6,7,8,9, 10 percent, why don't I wait and perhaps get a 10 percent return on my investment, not a 5 percent return?" Smith explains.

"The housing shortage is going to continue," Yun told CNBC. He says that home builders will need to ramp up their housing starts by 50 percent to help meet demand, but he says that is unlikely due to constraints such as land and labor shortages.

Source: "Housing's Spring Bloom 'Stuck' Due to Short Supply," CNBC (April 22, 2013)

 

Learn About Homebuyer Tax Credit Program

 

MORE ABOUT THE HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT PROGRAM

How does the Homebuyer Tax Credit work?

The Homebuyer Tax Credit is a direct dollar-for-dollar reduction in your federal taxes worth 10% to 50% of the interest you pay on your mortgage.

You can estimate your potential savings by using the following

formula:

"Mortgage amount x loan interest rate = annual mortgage interest paid. Annual mortgage interest paid x Homebuyer Tax Credit rate = annual tax credit."

Example:

$150,000 mortgage x 5% interest rate = $7,450 paid in annual interest

$7,450 x 35% Homebuyer Tax Credit rate = $2,607 ($2,000 maximum annual tax credit). Keep in mind the remaining annual interest paid, that is not taken as a tax credit, can still be itemized on your tax return.

Note: Your annual tax credit savings cannot exceed $2,000. You also must have a tax liability to use the credit.

How can I apply for the Homebuyer Tax Credit?

To apply for a Homebuyer Tax Credit, contact a Participating Lender. There may be a nonrefundable fee to apply for the Homebuyer Tax Credit. If your clients is combining the Homebuyer Tax Credit with a New Hampshire Housing mortgage product, the fee may be reduced. For more information about this discount and to see a list of Participating Lenders, visit www.GoNewHampshireHousing.com.

New Foreclosures in NH are declining

Foreclosure Deeds

 The 252 foreclosure deed recordings in New Hampshire in November of this year are a decrease of 8% from foreclosure deeds in November of 2011, and a decrease of 5.6% from the prior month. The cumulative total for January through November 2012 is nearly 4% below the same period in 2011, and 10% below the same period in 2010. With signs of improvement in overall economic conditions, as well as some improvement in the statewide and regional housing markets, the number of new foreclosures in New Hampshire will decline slowly. Foreclosed and distressed properties will, however, continue to have a negative influence on the housing market.

 

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