Going the extra mile is worth the run

Kathy Prittie, an agent at JtRealty and a mother of 4, loves running outside. "It clears my head of distractions, stress and drama. It's always quiet and peaceful inside my head when I'm running." Several times a week, Kathy meets friends at Cranmore - and off they go. "It's better to run with friends because having someone beside you pushes you both to run a little further and a little harder than you would do yourself," says Kathy. Kathy and her friends look pretty pumped after an early morning run (right).

GirlfriendsI know she's right. I've been running for 40 years - with friends and by myself. I'm currently temporarily hobbled (ill-advised ski jump) so I'm running vicariously by listening to Kathy. My son, Alex, 15, recently took up running. While athletic, Alex - up until now - hated running. He started 3 weeks ago. The first run was a killer. We live off Glen Ledge Rd and the end of the run up to our house is the steepest road in Bartlett. He couldn't make the final leg of the run and came inside the house red faced and completely out of breath. As he gasped for air he asked me, "Mom is there really a runner's high?" After I explained how running sets off the good chemicals in your brain - releasing endorphins, I confessed that I only felt the "runner's high" if I've gone for really long runs.

My runs are shorter - but I have my own runner's high - it's when the run is over! Alex, however, is getting the runner's high and I' couldn't be happier that he's found this outlet. Kathy says she wants her kids to know that while running isn't easy, if she can do it, they can do it even better. I love seeing that happen with Alex.

GirlfriendsI have to say, though, my running thoughts tend not to be lofty. I usually plan what I'm going to make for dinner! Kathy agrees, "Coffee after a run never tastes better. I run for pie - I love chocolate pie!"

After a couple of runs Alex mastered the hill and he looks forward to his runs after school. Running is a great confidence builder. Whether it's running or some other type of exercise - when you push your limits you feel special and wonderful.

Kathy puts it well. "When it's 15 degrees out and I'm out there running - I know I'm powerful and strong, that I'm not average."


Nerves shot! Making the move to Mount Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Last spring, my husband & I put our Beverly, MA home up for sale. We had always wanted to live in New Hampshire and we decided to "just do it."  I worked in sales at the time - and was good at it. I thought "I can sell this house faster than any real estate agent."

We decided at the last minute to at least hear from a real estate professional. We chose a husband & wife team, mainly because I knew the wife from the gym. We met with them last February and really listened to what they had to say. We chose to go with them. 
I knew the history of the house and the neigbhorhood as we'd lived there for more than 20 years. But the realtors knew the market, the advertising/marketing and how to stage the house to get the most money for our property.
And they did!
We aimed for a listing date of March 1. We had 4 weeks to de-clutter a home in which we raised 4 kids and numerous pets. I couldn't believe Mount Washington Valley, New Hampshire homeall the stuff we had to get rid of. It wasn't an episode of "Hoarders" but still - we had to rent a dumpster! The race was on and we got rid of all the junk, took down our family photos and made the house look as neutral and clean as possible. 
It was like living in a model home - which was weird - but it was a good move.
We listed the home March 1 and the first open house was the first weekend - we had more than 150 people attend. 
We sold the house within the month - the closing was in April. We had found a place in Glen we loved and made an offer. After enduring the nerve-wrecking process of selling/buying we realized we had a gap in which we'd have no home for 2 months. The new home's closing was May 31. Who rents for 2 months and to a family with a Rottweiler? No one - that's who.
As the date to move approached with alarming speed, we finally found a rental home that fit the bill. Whew!
It all happened so quickly. As stressful as it was, I realize now how lucky we were to find the right agents to sell our home.
Mount Washington Valley, New Hampshire houseWe also had a buyer's agent who gave us great advice regarding our new home.
This spring, in our new home, I plan to learn how to garden. While my hopes are not high regarding my planting skills, I'm thrilled to embrace the coming days of warmth and sunshine.

What do you really want in a NH home?

I found an e-mail that my husband and I compiled during our search to buy a house in the Mount Washington Valley. Here’s the list:

  • Mountain view or plenty of woods around us
  • Close to ski resorts
  • Multi-stories
  • Master bedroom not on the first floor
  • Hardwood floors
  • Wood stove or fireplace
  • A great set up for entertaining and having family stay with us

We did not compile the list when we first started looking, however. In fact, we were going in a different direction. School was the priority. We had planned to buy in the Fryeburg area so that our 14 year old, Alex, could attend Fryeburg Academy. We aimed to relocate before he started high school.

Happily, we began looking. Our realtor was very patient! After house #4, it occurred to me that I should see what the tax implications were for my husband’s pension. As with everything, I googled it. This was on the way to taking another look at one of the houses we liked.

It turned out my husband’s pension would have been taxed at 8%. My husband and I looked at each other and said “new plan.” I turned to Alex, riding in the back seat, and said to him, “Hey son, the Academy is out – you’re going to Kennett High.” Our son is quick. Without missing a beat, he said “Fine by me”. And happily, fine it is.  

Kennett’s been a great school. Alex has an easy-going nature – a benefit of being the youngest of 4 kids. After raising the first 3, we’re tired! So maybe we are now more easy-going parents.  

So we did our “what do we want in our house” list. Being decisive people by nature, we didn’t think we needed one. But we did.  When it came down to it – what we saw when we looked out of our windows was as important as the house itself. I didn’t need a dream kitchen – my husband (lucky him!) could build one. But we knew we couldn’t change the view.

Jt Realty Broker Suzie Laskin with her dogWe’re not the only ones who appreciate the outdoor part of home ownership. Suzie Laskin, Broker, JtRealty, shared that her property is like a calming balm. Suzie and her husband, Bert, live in Chatham. Their home is on 5 acres surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest. They enjoy a gorgeous waterfall in the backyard.

No matter what you love, a modern kitchen, a certain school district, a big house or a small house – it really helps to write the list. In the end, I’m happy to say, our realtor helped us locate the home we love. As it turns out – it has everything on the list.

However, as winter rolls along, I sort of wish I’d put “garage” on that list!


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Get Outside and Embrace Winter in Mount Washington Valley, NH

Winter in Mount Washington ValleyIs there a dream land where you can lose weight, improve your heart health and generally live a longer, better life? Yes! Mount Washington Valley.

There's a reason this area is a 4-season resort destination.

Okay, I'm excited my family moved here. So much so - The MWV Chamber of Commerce ought to be paying me a spokesperson fee. I knew I felt better since we've moved here - but now I know there's actual science behind it. Google "exercise and good health" and you'll see for yourself.

While I've always been active physically, the range of things to do here is amazing. Good thing too. Since the restaurants are all so good, we've been eating out like never before. During the winter, we love to ski. Of course, that gets to be expensive. One of the things we've always appreciated is that there are military discounts/weekends offered by MWV ski resorts. See below.

Engaging in the activities offered in this area is a great way to combat the winter blues.

Here are just a few:

Winter events Jackson, NHEvents at Wildcat Mountain

Events at Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, NH

Events at Attitash Mountain in Bartlett, NH

Activities at Brettonwoods Mountain in Bretton Woods, NH

With all the specials and clinics offered- it's never too late to pick up a new sport. While physical activity is key, the experts say, to good health - I also think there's a mental/physical connection to living in the mountains. Until recently, I commuted to Massachusetts for work. For 6 months I worked from a home office and made the trek across the border almost weekly.

I always felt my blood pressure rise once I left the mountains. Once you cross the border - you've got to be on your game! The road rage, the competition, the crowds and noise. If you're not hyper-vigilant - you're toast! My blood pressure seemed to boil.On the reverse side, on the return trip home, as soon as I passed Wontons Restaurant on Route 16 and suddenly there's that gorgeous view of the mountains - I could feel my heart rate plummet. I hope to see you out on slopes!