Character Filled Log Home



Log Home on Brookline Rd in Mason, NH

Brookline Rd in Mason, NH

Never a doubt that a log home exudes character.  You either love them or they’re just not your style.  This log design is a milled D-shape with a butt and pass corner style.   This rural piece of real estate sold back in 2010, always loved it.


Log Home with Large Front Porch

Log Home with Large Front Porch- log homes should always have large overhangs and porches are one of the best ways to protect the exterior.  Water is not a friend to the log and you want it to project away from the house.

Just my thoughts. ~Jenn

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Land Use, Development Potential, and How Important it is in Real Estate


Region-wide Buildout Impact Analysis from the Nashua Regional Planning Commission.  Thank you Jen Czysz for helping me find this study.

There are areas in southern NH that are ripe for development.  I happen to be working on a group of properties in Litchfield and was doing an analysis on vacant land.  It got me thinking of what the development potential is in the surrounding towns.  Read the conclusion…you’ll like it too if you don’t fall asleep.

According to the town of Litchfield, NH’s Master Plan (Table V111-2 p.9) there are: 5,620 acres of land in-use(built upon), 1,541 acres constrained(cannot develop), and 2,622 acres are unconstrained (able to develop).  This data is from 1999, yeah it’s old.


Build-out analysis is one step in the land use planning process to help municipalities plan for growth.   “Buildout is a theoretical condition and exists when all available land suitable for residential and nonresidential construction has been developed.”*

The charts below give you a better perspective of what may be available to develop.  Many towns have a proactive zoning ordinance that tracks the growth and can restrict building permits if/when the infrastructure cannot meet the needs.

The top, Nashua, has the least availability…the 2nd largest city in NH by population, no surprise.  I was completely taken back by Pelham…I double checked: 50%?  Read the NRPC PDF which explains the process of what factors they used.  Note: the data is from 2005, this would change if the town zoning requirements where modified otherwise it should keep fairly consistent being a percentage.



Data from NRPC Regional Build-out Study- link above

So all of these towns/city are in southern NH…easy commute to Boston.  Why do Pelham, Litchfield, and Hudson have so much potential?  Look at a map…highway access!! 

SO REMEMBER…widen a highway, and you will have a lot of new development in these towns.

-Just my thoughts.  –Jenn


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Q&A Timberframe Value for Construction Loan

I received an email asking about the potential value difference between a new construction timberframe (post and beam, timber-frame, timber peg) home and the cost to construct it.Beam Timber Wood


 I plan to build a small timber frame home on a lot I own in NH but I am worried about the appraisal for the construction loan. In your experience, do new construction timberframe homes appraise significantly lower than cost to build? Thank you.

Hi Gene,

  There are so many variables that go into valuing a home.  Quality of construction is one of them…timberframe homes are certainly one of my personal favorites, and would typically merit a quality adjustment.  I say typically because some towns do not lend themselves to custom built homes so therefore no quality adjustment would be given.   

  Try to keep the value close to the median of that town, don’t be the most expensive home.  Seeing as it’s a small home, and perhaps a more simple frame, you may be fine. 

  So my answer is that “it depends” but most likely a timberframe home would not appraise lower than typical construction…if anything it may be slightly higher due to the unique construction.

041213_1459_NashuaNHRea3.jpgWhen building a new home there are many things you need to keep into consideration if you need to get a loan.   Don’t over build in size, in upgrades, in amenities…just don’t overbuild.  If you are building your dream home, plan on living there for a long time, and have the extra cash when the appraisal comes in low then go for it.  The timing for new construction has to be right too, with values going down over the last few years you could buy a existing, prebuilt, home for far less than new construction.  That’s changing now that the housing market has been stable in most areas in southern and eastern New Hampshire.  Housing starts are starting to increase!

-Just my thought.  –Jenn Cote

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Nashua’s Mill Revival


The Mill-yard Smoke Stack – the green at the bottom of this picture is all the crumbled bricks from one of the buildings being razed.

It’s finally happening.  I grew up in Nashua and have always loved the downtown area.  Back in high school (when there was 1), I would take the city bus to the downtown station and walk up Main Street to my part-time job at an eye doctors office on Concord Street.  My stops included the soda counter at Woolworth’s, Espresso Pizza, Alex’s Shoe store (when it was located on East Pearl), and lots of window shopping.

This is the first post on the Nashua mills.  I’ve been taking photos of the mills for a number of years and this will be my outlet for those photos.

-Just my thoughts. -Jenn

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What’s that vacant lot next door to my home?

As both a real estate agent and an appraiser, I look at the entire neighborhood, not just what’s next door.   I can remember a property in Merrimack I was working on at the end of a cul-de-sac.  Nice quiet neighborhood, but through my research you could see the subdivision ends with a couple large lots, one of which is zoned for commercial uses.  It was just under 100 acres with frontage on a main route.

Here's the GIS map of the same area now.

Here’s the GIS map with the zoning overlay of the area now.  The R is residential, the C-2 is commercial area that was in place, but the large commercial building was built after.

Sure enough a few years later a large “box” store opened and you could definitely hear, and “see”, the noise through the neighbors yard.    Can you imagine buying your new home on this quiet cul-de-sac, and then a few years later having this happen?

Cul-de-sac in Merrimack, NH

Cul-de-sac in Merrimack, NH

So here are a few ways you can find out for yourself (if I’m not your agent):

  1. Google maps is the easiest first step.  Zoom in, do the street view (little yellow man icon) and look around.  Of course Google Earth is stunning, A 3D globe.
  2. My favorite is using a GIS viewer you can usually find on a towns website.  Do a search for GIS and the name of the town/municipal location.  GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems and it is an overlay mapping system combing lots, zoning, wetlands, and all sorts of information.  For more information about GIS mapping here’s my previous post on GIS maps in New Hampshire communities.
  3. Online deeds and/or plans.  Here in New Hampshire we have and you can look up your deed in most counties.  From the deed you can get the subdivision plan # in many cases.  Enter the plan # and you get the subdivision plans.  Really great information!

My point is to look at the surrounding land, the uses.  I can hear my clients say: “but Jenn, we don’t mind that…”

It could be the property is one street over from a major highway, a property with only 2-bedrooms, or industrial zoned land next door, they may not perceive it as a negative.

Key Point:
Do the majority of home buyers see it that way?  I help my clients become informed, for the future marketability of the property.





What is the difference between a Superfund site and a Brownfield?  Check out an earlier post:

Just my thoughts. –Jennifer Cote- Everything Real Estate

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Financing Manufactured or Modular Houses.

This is a continuation on my post titled:  “Trailer, Manufactured, or Modular?”

One more point on the differences between a manufactured or modular home is the types of loans you can get.  When trying to mortgage a modular home you would be looking at typical mortgage products because the dwellings are built to local codes and comparable to a stick-built (wood framed) property.  Overall it’s fairly typical.

Financing a manufactured home is different.  Not every lender will finance a manufactured home, and the rates can sometimes be higher.  One of the reasons for this is that manufactured homes tend to depreciate in value, and have shorter life-spans than a traditional property, causing more risk to the lender.

If it was “manufactured” prior to the HUD code established 1976 it is considers a mobile home and not eligible for government backed financing, FHA, etc.  Most of these end up being cash sales due to the lack of financing available.

Depending on how “mobile” the home is will determine if it’s “personal” property or “real” property.   If it’s on wheels, not permanently attached to footings, you would most likely need to get a personal loan, not a mortgage.



The manufactured home market is changing.  There is now a larger demand for smaller homes and a new movement coined “The Tiny House Movement” is in full swing making manufactured homes cool.

For more information you should talk to your lender.  I am only a real estate agent and appraiser, not a mortgage professional.

Just my thoughts. ~Jenn


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Superfund or Brownfield…what’s the difference?

A Superfund, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), is a name given to an environmental program established to address abandoned hazardous waste.  It allows the EPA to clean up these sites and to compel the responsible parties to perform cleanups or reimburse the government.

A Brownfield is a contaminated site being redeveloped, usually with lower concentrations of contaminants.  It is possibly being done by a person that is not potentially liable for cleaning up the site.

Nashua Real EstateThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a website that will allow you to look up both Superfund sites and Brownfield sites.

-Superfund Look up-
-Brownfield Look up-

There is so much information on the EPA website.  I looked up a site on Bridge St in Nashua, NH which is in process of being cleaned up for reuse.  It shows the status of the clean-up effort, the contaminants, and there’s even a link to the neighborhood demographic information.

Brownfield Status in Nashua

Brownfield Status in Nashua

In short…they are both contaminated sites, and have been identified as such by the government, but the process to try and have them be productive is different.   Superfund sites are typically worse and the EPA is actively involved in the cleanup effort.  Brownfield sites are typically abandoned sites that are being cleaned up by private entities looking to redevelop them.

Check out my blog post on negative environmental influences in real estate:

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Trailer, Manufactured, or Modular? Real Estate Terms


What’s the difference?

Well, a trailer or mobile home, is now referred to as a manufactured home.  A modular, on the other hand, is a regular house.  Really, that’s it!

Ok, maybe there’s a little more than that:


Is this a modular or stick built on site?  Usually you cannot tell the difference.

on-site stick built home

An on-site stick built home with wood-frame construction.

modular is typically of wood frame construction, built off-site, and in a factory setting.  It is built to local codes and would offer the same marketability as a standard site built home.  There are varying degrees of quality from an entry-level basic structure to a real high-end upgraded structure.

A manufactured home is also built in a factory.  They are typically built on a metal frame with axles that are used to transport the sections.  They are built to HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) standards…a separate national code for construction.  The tolerances may be different than local code depending on the area: sometimes more strict, sometimes less.  In 1976 HUD standards where developed and the term “manufactured” was coined to describe these dwellings.  I suppose it sounds better to say I live in a manufactured home rather than a trailer.

These are very basic definitions, but hopefully it helps you understand that the only difference between regular house construction and modular construction is one is built on-site and the other in a factory setting under a controlled environment.  From an real estate value standpoint they would be comparable.  Whereas a manufactured (trailer) may also be built in a factory, but it is not built to the same standards and therefore not comparable.

Here is part 2 on financing differences between Manufactured and Modular homes:

Just my thoughts. ~Jenn

Here is a BBC article, I thought interesting about manufactured statistics in the US:

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Can I Sell My House Short?

One of the key elements to selling a house as a short sale will be proving a hardship.  See my post on hardships.

Need Help?

Need Help?

When I list a short-sale I provide my clients with some choices for a short-sale negotiator, this is the person who will be working with your lender.  The sellers lender will typically pay the costs to sell the house, from the real estate fees to the negotiator fees.  There still may be some associated fees which the negotiator may be able to explain and will often depend on the lender.

Buying or selling, every case is different and there are no guarantees, but working with a professional who has experience in short-sales is the key.  The process is longer, more complicated, and the factors for listing can be different than a traditional sale.  I go over all this with my clients.

If you have any questions, or need help, please contact me.

-Just my thoughts.  -Jenn Cote

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In Brief: What is a short-sale?

A short-sale is when a property is sold at less than what is owed (i.e. the mortgaged amount is higher than the sales price).  The seller will have to get approval from their lender in order to sell the property “short.”   One of the largest factors in  getting approval will be for the sellers to prove they have/had a hardship.  See my post on hardships.

Need Help?

Need Help?

Every short-sale I’ve done has been very different.  The only constant I’ve seen is a longer time frame to get to closing (even bank-owned are typically quicker).

A buyer needs to be informed.  I educate extensively about the process.  My experiences helping people buy and sell short-sales provide the necessary information to help with decision making.  My own experiences purchasing a  short-sale in 2011 are helpful.

Buying or selling, every case is different and there are no guarantees, but working with a professional who has experience in short-sales is the key.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

-Just my thoughts.  -Jenn Cote

If you’d like to know when I post another article on this topic “like” my Facebook page:

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