New Hampshire’s Real Estate Cycle- Up Markets



Real Estate in NH Increasing

During the decline of the last real estate cycle I wrote a post about how different towns function in the cycle.  I.E. top towns are the big indicators when the market will start to stabilize after a decline: Top Towns in a Declining Market

Right now we are in a completely different market, but the point remains the same.  Top towns LEAD the UP-cycle, they are a good indicator when prices start to rise. So it’s “First Out” of a declining real estate market.  There are still New Hampshire towns struggling, but most are stable, if not slightly increasing.

Just my thoughts. -Jenn

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Do you want chickens with that new home?


The new trend is farming at home….corn, chickens, and deed restrictions.  Oh my.  Loved this article on “The Rise of the Backyard Farm” by Meg White for Realtor Magazine.  She covered so much in this article I’m not sure what I could add.


  1. Is that chicken coop coming with the house?
  2. The deed restricts livestock and poultry…but the town’s zoning allows for it.
  3. If I remove my lawn to plant food will that devalue my property?
  4. Are the solar panels included, or are they leased?

Well maybe it brings up more questions than answers.  Stay tuned.

Just my thoughts. -Jenn

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The Top 4 Items Buyers Need to Know for Short-sale Purchases

The key to buying a short-sale property is understanding the process.  It can be complicated, so becoming acquainted with what they are, and how they work, can be key to a successful purchase.  Read my brief description: “What-is-a-short-sale?”

Repairs to short sales prior to closing are unlikelyl

Repairs to a short sale, prior to closing, are unlikely.

A few items a buyer needs to understand when purchasing a short sale:
1. Many of these homes have some form of neglect.
2. The seller is unlikely to make repairs…there is no incentive for them, and typically they don’t have the funds.
3. The length of time to close is longer…you need to be patient.  Their lender needs to approve the offer, which can be slow.
4. Determining the viability of selling a short-sale: besides being underwater, the lender needs a letter of hardship from the owner to approve the transaction.

Now that the real estate market is improving in New Hampshire, deals are harder to find.  Short-sales are one way to buy a home for a good price, you just need to understand the process, have a Realtor who understands the process, understands what adds value to real estate, and be patient.

-Just my thoughts. -Jenn

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Popular Green Home Features by Generation


This is from National Association of Realtors(c) graphic on popular energy efficient home features, with recent home buyers and segregated by generation.

Going Green

Home Buyers top choices for energy efficient homes. Click for larger view.

Number 1 overall is heating and cooling costs, which shouldn’t be a surprise.  One of a homeowners top monthly expenses, and it’s only getting higher.

-Just my thoughts. Jenn

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What’s an arms length transaction in real estate?


New Hampshire Homes

An arm’s length transaction is important in determining the market value of real estate. Appraisers know this term as it’s what helps determine if a comparable sale is truly comparable. So what’s an arms-length transaction?

The key concepts: the property must be on the open market for a reasonable amount of time, neither the buyer nor seller can be acting under duress, they must have reasonable knowledge of the property, be acting on their own self-interests, and from equal bargaining positions.


Here are the top 3 NON arms-length transactions:

  1. Bank owned property
  2. Family sale
  3. Most short-sales

THE BIG QUESTION: Why is this important in selling your house or buying a new house? If a sale is not an arms-lengths transaction it will not be used to determine the value of that property because it would not be market value.

Market value is the highest price a buyer would pay and seller would accept for an item in an open and competitive market.

-Just my thoughts. -Jenn

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What is “HOME”?


home  noun: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

HOME: noun, the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

A prior post I wrote: “The End of the Hometown” focuses on where you would consider your hometown: your birthplace or the town you settled in.  I stumbled upon this #TEDtalk titled “Where is home?” by Pico Iyer which twists and turns as it moves around the subject of what is home.

The definition of home implies permanence, but in today’s mobile society it’s no longer that simple.

“home is not just the place where you happen to be born, it’s the place where you become yourself” -Pico Iyer

I deal with homes in the brick and mortar sense, I see the attachment people have to a location and how people perceive what is home.

-Just my thoughts.



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Is spring the best time to list your house for sale?


When does the spring market start?

When does the spring market start?

While spring typically has the most closings, it is not necessarily the best time to LIST your house for sale.  The graph below shows a 1-year history of properties for sale, sold, and new listings on a month to month basis in the Nashua region (Nashua, Hudson, Hollis, and Merrimack).  The red arrow points to the new listings on the month just before the inventory grew. The green arrow is when home closings where highest.

The best time to list a house for sale.

Nashua, Hollis, Hudson, Merrimack Sales History

Nashua, Hollis, Hudson, Merrimack Sales History

A large increase of homes came on the market in March(red arrow), which equates to more competition for a house listing.  The months from May to August you see closings (green arrow).  Since the time for a real estate transaction, from new listing to closing, can typically take 60-120 days (2-4 months) it makes sense the best time to list is the 3 months prior to the peak in closings.

So when is the best time to list a home for sale? The chart says: March through May, with early March being the tops. The market slows down considerably in August, so keep that in mind. This cycle is typical in New Hampshire.

-Just my thoughts. -Jenn

 If you would like a free market analysis of your home please fill out the form below.

The Nashua area real estate market. Merrimack real estate for sale. Hudson home for sale.


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Do you prefer a walkable mixed-use or big lot suburban community?


The 2013 community preferences survey from the National Association of Realtors is an analysis on the types of communities people prefer to live in.  On one hand compact, walkable communities continue to have leaps in demand, but detached houses with large yards and lots of privacy are still tops.  You can read all about it in this 51 page slide show:

WalkablecommunitiesSplitpieOne of the things I was surprised to see is the breakdown between a walkable, mixed-use community and a conventional suburban one to be very balanced.

Anyway, you should check out the slideshow…good stuff.

-Just my thoughts.

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Condex is not a made up real estate term.


What is a Condex?  If you’re not from New Hampshire or Massachusetts you may have never heard of it.  Like a New Englander style home…unheard of elsewhere, but that’s for another post.

A Condex is a duplex style condominium development consisting of only 2 units.  They can be found in some southern New Hampshire towns like Hudson, Derry, Litchfield, and Pelham (to name a few).

In NH the Attorney General has to approve a condominium’s association documents, and it’s the same for Condex’s.  Condominium developments have a master insurance policy for the entire development to cover the grounds and any amenities that are owned in common.  It’s the same for the smaller Condex…there is a master insurance plan for both units.  This is in addition to your own homeowners policy.  The cost for this isn’t usually much and it’s shared between both units.

Condex Multi-family DuplexLower prices, and no condo fees are the top benefits of a Condex.  You also have your own yard…with all it’s maintenance too!  Sounds very similar to owning your own single family property, other than each unit shares a wall.

The drawbacks are you own the land and exterior, in common, with your neighbor.  So you need to have a friendly relationship with the other owner….just in case you need to work together.  To fix the roof for example.

How about when the other side goes into foreclosure?  My client purchased such a unit in Hudson NH 2 years ago, and we had a pickle of a time contacting the owner of the other unit, they where renting it out.  Turns out the other owner purchased their own master insurance on the development because the previous owners stopped paying their side of the premium.  So my client purchased their own master policy, so she could get financing, it wasn’t much but something you should be aware of.

-Just my thoughts. -Jenn


For more information click on the links below:

State of NH Condominium Act

State FAQ Community Associations

New Hampshire Housing helps first time home-buyers with assistance programs:
*see page 3 for Condex approval

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What happens first? The preapproval, the search….buying a home for first time homebuyers(loans: FHA/USDA).



“We are just starting to look for homes. I’m 100% sure we need to find something FHA approved. What do you think the best approach is, should we find out how much we are approved for first before we begin our search?”




“There are so many programs out there for first time home-buyers.  FHA is great if you don’t have a lot of cash on hand for a down payment.  Rural Housing is similar to FHA and they offer additional help with their no money down option…you still need some money for closing costs.  Many times asking the seller for funds towards closings costs is a great way to help out too. My post on USDA Rural Housing 2012:

It is certainly a great idea to talk to a lender first, they will look at your credit to see if there are any red flags.  I always say even if you are approved for a higher amount, make sure you will be comfortable with the total monthly cost…mortgage, taxes, utility costs, etc.

If you want to get together to talk, so I can answer any questions, that’s great.   My main office is in the Nashua RE/MAX.  Of course we could take a look at 1 or 2 properties and chat, walking through a home is a good way to get acquainted.

The market under $200,000 is very active right now…multiple offer scenarios going on.  You would get approved for more on a house because there is no condo fee…but there’s isn’t a lot of inventory.  Any town along a major highway…Merrimack, Nashua, Bedford to even Hudson, Litchfield, tend to be the hot ticket towns.  A few clients I just helped looking under $200,000 we started looking in Goffstown, Milford, Wilton and towns west as you can get more for your money typically the more inland and north you go.  Manchester is a good option too, but it is the biggest city in NH….the closer you go to the edge of the city the bigger the lots get and more “rural” feeling.

Sorry for the lengthy email.  Here’s a link to some towns with properties under $200k, remember, condos you want to go lower because the condo fee is figured into what you are pre-approved for:


-Just my thoughts-  Jenn

**Rural housing uses FHA standards for their appraisals.  Blog post from 2009 on FHA requirements:

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