Preparing for the Storm (some silly, but mostly helpful)

Aside

IF ONLY I KNEW…

Real estate activity is the slowest during the winter in New Hampshire

Real estate activity is the slowest during the winter in New Hampshire

Many of us here in New Hampshire remember Snowtober, 2011. How long was your power out? I had just moved 6 weeks earlier into our home…we were not prepared. Snowtober had just under a foot of snow…nothing big around these parts. It was the rain that did us in as the snow turned to heavy ice. Eagle Tribune 10/31/2011 Article

Halloween was cancelled that year, the power was out for over a week. You think you can stick it out…after the 3rd day you regret not booking a hotel, because it really sucks! Sure, you don’t have TV, internet, and lights. That’s not that bad, but no heat, no cooking, can’t flushthe toilet, dirty dishes covering every surface of the kitchen, and a fear of the pipes freezing.

You go to bed cold at night, everybody trying to snuggle into one bed to keep warm. Your body aches from tensing up in the cold. Your kids are tired, bored, and hungry. Nothing is open for hours from home. You regret not booking that hotel early on…now they are all booked up, even 3 states over.

You can only imagine the relief when the power finally came back on. Really, the smell was getting to me.

As we enter into another grand scale storm, a blizzard called Nemo.  Here is a list of important items I did to prepare myself.


THE BIG LIST
    • Catch up on laundry as soon as you hear the weather. I found out the hard way what it’s like to run out of underwear.
    • Make sure you have food that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. It’s hard to cook when your stove and microwave don’t work…and it’s just too cold to use the grill.
    • Know where your candles and matches are stored. Nothing worse trying to find them in the black of night, kids crying because they’re scared. You know you have a zillion Yankee candles somewhere!
    • The same goes for flashlights. Know where they are, and make sure you have the extra batteries. I mean really, when was the last time you purchased D batteries?
    • Wood, yes wood…bring it close to the house. Yeah, you’ll have to restack it, but there’s nothing worse trudging out in 2+ feet of icy cold snow and carry it into the house.
    • Make sure you have room in the garage to put the cars. Drives me nuts when the plow guy comes and he can’t get close to garage because of the cars. Then I have to shovel all that snow before it builds up into a 3″ layer of ice. I’m trying something new: parking the one car that doesn’t go into the garage off to the side, not even near the garage, so the plow can get close.
    • Fill all the gas cans you have so you don’t run out for the generator. Oh yes people, get a generator! A small portable one is fine; at least you’ll save all the food in the fridge. We lost a lot of food that year, expensive replacing everything in both the refrigerator and the freezer in the garage.
    • Very, very important: water! Remember, even if you have public water, the filtration systems will stop working. Stock up on bottled water. When you have a well, fill your bathtubs. Nothing worse than going a couple days without being able to flush the toilets!! The clean up after is a nightmare, again, trust me.

My Nemo

Its 10:30pm now, the wind is picking up and the snow is coming down fast. Nemo is swimming around out there. I’ll update in the morning with more pictures if I have internet. Power loss is inevitable with the strength of that wind out there.

-Just my thoughts.  -Jenn

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Market Update in NH – Real Estate

Time for another market update.  What’s going on?  I decided to expand my data to include all of Hillsborough county, NH.  Some of the towns in Hillsborough are: Amherst, Bedford, Hollis, Hudson, Litchfield, Manchester, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, and Pelham.

Hillsborough County 2 year Real Estate Trends

Hillsborough County 2 year Real Estate Trends

May and June are the busiest months in New Hampshire.  This chart shows 3 years of June activity.  What’s real interesting is this year and 2010** are similar in sales, but pending listings have jumped up this year!  That means in the next 2 months you are going to see a large increase in closed sales over the last 2 years.

This is great news for the real estate market!  The market has stabilized, many towns in this area are experiencing multiple offer situations, marketing times have decreased, and interest rates are crazy low!

Percentage Change in Real Estate

Percentage Change in Real Estate – click to enlarge

**Let’s not forget, 2010 was the year of the tax credit for new buyers which artificially inflated the activity that year.

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CHANGE: HAS A PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT ON THE MIND

-TO THE FEARFUL IT IS THREATENING: THINGS MAY GET WORSE.

-TO THE HOPEFUL IT IS ENCOURAGING: THINGS MAY GET BETTER.

-TO THE CONFIDENT IT IS INSPIRING: THE CHALLENGE EXISTS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

King Whitney Jr.

 Live outside your comfort zone…it’s a confidence builder for me.

Changing Leaves

The Changing Leaves in Hollis NH

 

Just my thoughts.  –Jenn
 

If you’d like to know when I post another article  “like” my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TopNHhomes

Contact Me At: 603-821-8285 or Jenn@TopNHhomes.com

www.TopNHhomes.com
www.JACoteAppraisals.com

RE/MAX Properties – 169 Daniel Webster Hwy Nashua, NH 821-8285

J.A.Cote Appraisals, LLC – 142 Lowell Rd Hudson, NH

040713_1653_NashuasPast2.jpg

 Real Estate in Nashua, Hudson, Merrimack, Amherst, Pelham, and Windham.

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Hudson NH Real Estate Trends

The Old Bensons Animal Park - Hudson, NH

 

What’s going on in Hudson?  The spring market hit well over a month ago (the spring real estate market starts in February or March) and looking at the graph below you can see the increase in listings going under contract.

Hudson New Hampshire Market Trends

Once a property goes under contract it will typically close in 60 days, so the increase in contracts will make the next couple months show a large increase in sales.  Just look at January and Febuary of last year.

The active listings show 4 months of inventory….a stable market typically has 3-6 months active inventory.

Looking pretty good!

-Just my thoughts…Jenn

Top New Hampshire Homes

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Finding Properties That Can Use Government Assistance Programs

There’s a wonderful new web tool called “Down Payment Resource” that is integrated into New Hampshire’s MLS system.  It helps determine if a buyer is eligible, and if a property is eligible, to use government-funded programs for down payDownPaymentResourceNashuament assistance, affordable fixed-rate mortgages, mortgage credit certificates, and rehab loans.

This tool was voted most Innovative New Techonology in 2011 by Inman News.  Click on the image and it will direct you to the site.

“Opening New Doors to Home Ownership”

Just my thoughts!

 

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Top Towns In A Declining Market

Something I noticed in the recent real estate debacle was that more “desirable” areas fared better overall. They were the last to start declining and they were the first market areas to stabilize. This may not be news to everybody but I thought it was rather interesting to point out.

-Just my thoughts.

www.TopNHhomes.com

www.JACoteAppraisals.com

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My Very Own Portable WI-FI Hotspot!

My PalmPre Hot Spot saves the day! I went to a listing appointment in Mason, NH wanting to show my client some comparable listings she may be interested in. My client only has a dial-up connection. Being a tech goddess I took my laptop, my 19″ flat-screen monitor, and my PalmPre Plus cell phone. Mind you, deciding to bring all these things was a last minute thing, but easy enough to pack.

My mobile hotspot on the Pre is one of the BEST tools I have. I logged onto the hotspot and wa-la…WI-FI hotspot, for up to 5 computers, at my clients home. She enjoyed looking at all the listings….and on a large screen. Just imagine the possibilities with your own wi-fi hotspot and a laptop.

My initial purchase of the Palm Pre Plus was to use on my new iPad that should arrive April 3rd. Check out my blog on my decision to purchase the iPad at: AppraiserJenns Blog

I will be using these tools for both my work as a Realtor and Appraiser.

-Just my thoughts.

Www.TopNHhomes.com

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“HUD TAKES ACTION TO SPEED RESALE OF FORECLOSED PROPERTIES TO NEW OWNERS”

This is great news for investors!  FHA is temporarily removing the restriction for investors.  FHA didn’t allow a new buyer to purchase a home that has been owned less than 3 months by the seller (typically an investor-aka flipper).  The regulation was for curtailing flipping the property.

This change is a smart move for FHA/HUD because many of the homes being purchased by investors are in pretty poor condition and a typical buyer wouldn’t want to, or just couldn’t, purchase the home.  This allows investors to purchase the property, do the necessary improvements, which will usually help the new buyer get a conventional loan on the property.  Many, and I do mean many of these foreclosed properties don’t quality for conventional lending because they are, well, basically a mess!

Doing a quick search for “Flippers” brought up some very negative comments.  They are often looked at as the bad guy, and that is just inaccurate.  There is good and bad in every aspect of life, profession, business…you get the point.  Flippers are ultimately just investors.  Just like any other opportunity they are looking for a profit…is that bad?  They are assuming the risk.  A property might look like it just needs a couple cans of paint and new baths, but underneath all that could be a dragon rearing it’s ugly head.  The investor will do their due-diligence, but things are often missed, and herein lies the risk.

Moving foreclosures off the market is great.  In this market investors will typically price these properties low for a quicker sale and this helps your first-time home-buyer get a house that’s fixed up and a pretty good deal.  Southern New Hampshire has seen it’s fair share of foreclosures, but it has not been the dominant market.  Arms-length transactions have been the norm.

Just my thoughts…

www.TopNHhomes.com

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