354 Nashua St Milford, NH aka Conant House c1782


This remodeled antique home and offices are now on the market.  Character, mixed use, expansion potential in barn, public utilities and on over half an acre. Traffic count is 13,000 daily and two curb cuts on Route 101A with parking lot, as well as a private driveway on Vine Street.
Excellent street presence and curb appeal!

  • Keep it offices…
  • Medical? It is currently a Naturopathic Clinic
  • Prior owner ran a Veterinarian office (Classic Cat Clinic).
  • Make a 1-floor in-law suite: aka ADU- accessory dwelling unit.
  • Open an inn. It was Victoria Place at one point.
  • Daycare?
  • Need a workshop…most of the huge barn is still unfinished and one of the L’s was used as a work-shop.

    More details on the blog: history, zoning info, and more photos:  https://conanthouse.wordpress.com/

Residential: MLS Listing

Commercial: MLS Listing

-Just my thoughts. Jenn


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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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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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Happy Pie Day – 2014 Home Sales in Greater Nashua


In CELEBRATION of NATIONAL PIE DAY,…some pie charts.

Home sales in Nashua, Hudson, Merrimack, and Hollis New Hampshire by price range.

 Are home values increasing? 2014 versus 2013 homes sales.

Greater Nashua Home Sales by PriceOver half of 2014 home sales were under $250,000. Compared to 2013, we see no change for prices over $400,000, but a 4% increase in sales between $300-400K and a 4% decrease in price points under $300,000.2013homesalesbypricechart

Does this mean home values are increasing?  There are many factors that go into play for determining increases, and this is just one.


Just my thoughts. -Jenn

*Data from Trendgraphix, Inc. Charted 2015

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New Hampshire 2014 Property Tax Rates

I just updated my webpage at www.TopNHhomes.com with the current list of NH property tax rates: http://topnhhomes.com/nh-tax-ratesNH Tax Time

Why your assessed value is not usually your market vale and what is an equalization ratio explained.

Please take a look.


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Development Projects Gone Bad


This is a follow up from: http://jennifercote.info/nashuas-mill-revival/

Jackson Falls and the Nashua Riverwalk trail.

Jackson Falls and the Nashua Riverwalk trail.

So the title was to get your attention, while the design of this development may have had some flaws (downtown with limited public parking can have a negative impact), somebody was thinking outside the box and I’ve always been fond of this development.

The development I want to discuss is not a rehab of a mill, but new construction that tries to blend in with the architecture of downtown Nashua, NH. Jackson Falls Condominiums were built back in the mid-2,000’s.  Beautiful inside and out with high-end finishes…but the limited parking, narrow entrance, high initial offering price, and then the real estate crash caused the project to go into foreclosure.

The main driveway into the development from Main St, Nashua, NH

The main, single lane, driveway into the development from Main St, Nashua, NH


Below is the plan, each unit has one parking spot in the garage on the main level, and the guest parking is only around 10 spaces. The Nashua River is on one side, and fenced railroad tracks on the other, it would be nice if there was a pedestrian crosswalk for the residents to walk over to Canal Street from the parking lot.


Jackson Falls Plan - click to enlarge

Jackson Falls Plan – click to enlarge to see additional comments

With the continued redevelopment of this area, additional parking is sorely needed.  We have the very popular Portland Pie that opened on the other side of the tracks :), and parking is a problem there too.  We have Railroad Square which has a decent parking lot, but it’s usually pretty full with some great pickings like Fody’s Tavern, and the Riverwalk Coffee Roasters, and then there is parking along either Main or Canal Streets.

Upscale downtown living.

Upscale downtown living.

After a new builder/developer took over the units at Jackson Falls Condominiums, they sold for far less, but still with high-end finishes.  Even with what I consider development flaws I still love the idea behind it, and it is a beautiful building.  Fantastic downtown location, the concept of living near your work and not needing a car…or maybe having just one car, and being adjacent to the Nashua Riverwalk are reasons alone to want to live here.


Another post I did on new construction gone bad: www.jennifercote.info/subdivisions-builders-and-appraisers/

I would love to see more developments like this downtown, this one was a little ahead of it’s time, and as the city improves the parking situation, the marketability should improve.

-Just my thoughts.  -Jenn

*The units shown in this blog are all vacant or of the model unit.  The photos are taken from my cheap camera I use for appraising….so they are not that great, but you get the idea.

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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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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 www.NHdeeds.com 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: http://jennifercote.info/superfund-or-brownfield/

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.  http://www.thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/

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. http://www.epa.gov/oerrpage/superfund/programs/recycle/faqs/index.html

Check out my blog post on negative environmental influences in real estate: http://jennifercote.info/negative-environmental-influences-in-real-estate/

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