Zombie Apocalypse Laser Tag

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Did you know that Pelham NH has a zombie problem?  

Zombie Patrol Central

Zombie Patrol Headquarters

The Pelham Rec Department did, and started the Pelham Zombie Patrol (PZP).  Tour through Veterans Memorial Park, starting with a hayride. Enter the deep dark woods, travel out of the “safe zone” to combat the zombies with laser guns. Quite the adventure!

The Pelham Python Robotics Team are offering goodies for sale: from chili, tacos, kielbasa, sweets, and more. Offerings change nightly!

pumpkin fire log pelhamEvent runs: Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm-10pm until Halloween NIght!

Here’s the Pelham Rec Department site: http://www.pelhamweb.com/pelham-parks-and-recreation/urgent-alerts/are-you-aware-of-the-pelham-zombie-problem

Well done Pelham Recreational Department and all the high school student zombies!!

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Do you want chickens with that new home?

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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.

Highlights:Co

  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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What’s an arms length transaction in real estate?

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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.

ArmsLength


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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Negative Environmental Influences in Real Estate

We’ve all heard the saying that when buying real estate it’s about location-location-location.  Houses in some towns have higher predominant values than others, the same with some neighborhoods, but what I’m talking about is more specific: negative environmental influences.

An appraiser looks at surrounding lots to determine the uses and influences that would affect the subject property.  It could be a positive influence like conservation land or a park.  In many cases there can be negative influences such as commercial or industrial businesses, high-tension power lines, or even contaminated or Superfund sites.

What is a Superfund site?  It’s a site where toxic waste has  been dumped and the Environmental Protection Agency has designated the site to be cleaned up.  Typically the area has restricted access and is fenced in.

A more detailed explanation on the differences between a Superfund site and a Brownfield site can be found on this post: www.jennifercote.info/superfund-or-brownfield/

The typical buyer wouldn’t know how to begin a search on site influences other than what they see driving by.  Would your typical real estate agent know this information?  If they know, they should be disclosing it to you, but they don’t always know.   The appraiser would be reporting site influences in the appraisal report…you need to read that report thoroughly.  Unfortunately, by the time you get a copy of the appraisal you will be near your closing date, or worse, you find out after you move in!  In many cases these sites have been cleaned up, but it could affect the marketability long-term.

Whether it be buying a house, stocks, or even a Doctor’s diagnosis, you need to be your own advocate.  Do your own due-diligence.  Research, research, research…takes time and practice but the more you do it the better you get.  I happen to do it for a living, and my endless curiosity pushes me to take extra steps in researching a property…be it for an appraisal or a client.

The reason for this post is because I did an appraisal on such a property in Nashua, NH.   The state owns the property behind this lot, the tax records do NOT indicate it’s a Superfund site, but town has the owner as the State of NH, Dept of Environmental Services.  Hmmm, so I went on the EPA site and found out it indeed is a contaminated brownfield.

contaminated site in Nashua NH

A well labeled site in the picture to the left is very obvious.  The Mohawk Tannery Site is located in a neighborhood close to downtown Nashua and adjacent to the Nashua river. 

The EPA defines a brownfield site as: “the redevelopment or reuse which may be complicated by the presence, or potential presence, of a hazardous substance…”

 

Check it out to see what’s near you. EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/swerosps/bf/index.html

Just my thoughts.  Jennifer Cote- Everything Real Estate

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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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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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Real Estate Prices to Fall in 2011?

Just read this Inman News article by Steve Bergsman http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/stevebergsman/real-estate-prices-fall-least-5-in-2011. It had a great analysis of the housing market. We all want a recovery of the housing market, it is a key indicator to a healthy economy. But are we being too optimistic?

Reliable trend analysis can only be established with a large data set over a longer period of time: 1-3 years. I leave the “forecasting” to the economic experts…it is basically an educated guess. I am in the trenches and can come up with my own hypothesis on continued trends, but it is more specific to my areas of expertise…southern NH. Things have been fairly stable, entry level properties in good condition sell quick, investors are busy buying and flipping, the mortgage market is loosening up, and consumer optimism is increasing.

There are so many excellent points in this article, but every area is different. We are in the slowest time of year for southern New Hampshire real estate: winter. In areas with severe winter conditions the fluctuations between seasons can be large. Therefore short trend analysis is unreliable and possibly misleading and may or may not reliably indicate the future market trends. The coming spring market is just around the corner and without the artificial boost from last years tax credit we will get a more accurate picture of the real estate health.

So I am waiting until spring to give-up on my real estate recovery. Call me an educated optimist…

-Just my thoughts.

www.TopNHhomes.com
www.JACoteAppraisals.com

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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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