Buyer Tips

4 Tips to Improve Your Home Without Breaking the Bank - JTRealty

With housing prices increasing, now is the time invest in your home to capitalize on its value. However, like most home owners, the thought of renovations and home improvement probably feels a little discouraging. With these low-budget tips it doesn’t have to be!

Tip #1 – Paint, Paint, Paint!
A couple fresh coats of paint makes an entire room feel clean and updated One of the biggest and simplest improvements is paint! A little bit of paint can go a very long way. A couple fresh coats of paint makes an entire room feel clean and updated — and that means more value. When selecting paint colors, neutral colors appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. Another alternative is an accent wall, it can be a perfect way to break up a large room, or to emphasize an architectural feature. Here’s an example of an accent wall that receives ooh’s and ahh’s at showings. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $30, so go buy a few gallons and get busy!

Tip #2 – Low-maintenance landscaping

(click photo to see property)

No question that shrubs and colorful plants will add curb appeal to any home, but when shopping at your local garden center, make sure that you "think green." Purchase plants that are native to your region or plants that are drought-tolerant; these require less water and maintenance, which means more savings to you and more green in your wallet. Your grass is important to keep in mind, overgrown or patchy lawns and outsized bushes will cause your home to stand out — in a bad way. A little landscaping goes a long way.

Tip #3 – If you're short on square footage, make it FEEL bigger!
The size of your home is a huge factor, as I'm sure anyone selling their home is aware of. The size of your home is a huge factor, as I’m sure anyone selling their home is aware of. However, it’s not just the square footage that makes an impact it’s also about visual space and how big the buyer FEELS the room is. Replace your old dark, heavy draperies with vertical blinds. Vertical blinds allow much more light into a room – and sunlight always makes a room feel bigger. Also, try to find space for a large mirror in the room to visually double the space.  Last but not least, clutter. Your buyer needs to walk in and feel like they are already at home, so pack up the personal photos, and ditch the vintage collection of Beanie Babies on the top shelf and the less cramped it will feel!


Tip #4 –  Replace Worn Carpets or rugs

WOW -- a 6 Bedroom 4 Full Bath Contemporary home for less than $500, 000!
(click photo to see property)

Sometimes the problem is right under your nose, or in this case your feet. Are your carpets and area rugs stained or worn? Nothing turns buyers off more than the thought that they will immediately need to replace all of the flooring in a home. Ideally, you may want to replace them all, but if a limited budget puts a snag in that plan, start by having the carpets professionally cleaned, or replacing the carpet in the room that shows the most wear and tear and the others as your finances allow.  
If your home has hard wood that appears scratched and damaged, look into a fun area rug. Not only will it help disguise some cosmetic imperfections, but it will add some extra sizzle to the room.

Joy Tarbell's Market Report - August 2015

Dear Clients & Friends,

Mount Washington Valley, NH condo market continues to growThis business is so much more fun when I have good news to report …
The Carroll County Market Report YTD through August 2015 shows the number of single family home sales up almost 11%, median home prices up 8% to $200,000 and the days on market down 5% -- yes!  With pending sales also up over 10%, everything is moving in the right direction.

Not to be left out, the condo market continues with even more good news: the median sales price YTD through August 31, is up 21% to $175,000.  Sales Volume is up 26%, plus pending sales are up almost 10%.

We have seen a steady flow of buyers in the marketplace in the past few weeks and have been especially busy with calls and showing requests.  Not everyone will be at the Fryeburg Fair this week!  Foliage is peaking late this year which should bode well for the number of visitors we have to the Valley.

NH Market Report August 2015

If you’d like specific info on your own community, shoot me an email. We just merged with Keller Williams Lakes & Mountains, giving me more time to focus on my personal clients. I’m here for you!

Warmest Regards,

Joy Tarbell, CLHMS, CRS, GRI

Lots to Love in the Mount Washington Valley of NH

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Lot E54 Stanton Farm Road BartlettI have often heard real estate agents talk about Buyers who literally look for a home for years. They visit as many as 30 properties a season, looking for that perfect home. After all, buying a home is the biggest purchase most families will make and they want to get it right. So why not get it right from the beginning? Buy a lot and build it yourself.

In the Mount Washington Valley and Western Maine there is a lot of pristine land out there just waiting for the right person to come along and envision their dream.  September is usually a time when things slow down a bit in the real estate industry. Kids are back to school, vacations are behind us and focus shifts to everyday life.  It is the perfect time to look for a lot and start the process.

I thought of writing this Blog when I was driving out to Stanton Farm Road in Bartlett. Such a beautiful drive through the development of Stillings Grant up to the end of a cul-de-sac where the owner of Lot E54 had just cleared the 2.5 acre lot for a home site.  Here you are minutes from North Conway and skiing at Attitash yet you feel like you are a world away, in a country setting with mountain views.  I left planning my wrap around porch as I drove down the hill. The lot currently for sale at 12A Switchback in Jackson, NH.

In addition to Bartlett, we always have folks interested in Jackson, NH.  The lot currently for sale at 12A Switchback is one of the biggest lots in this highly desirable resort town at over 11 acres, and the potential for mountain views. It is very close to Jackson Village offering plenty of privacy and still walking distance to town.

Love to ski Cranmore? You can't get much closer than  Cranmore Birches. Lots have been cleared and you will love the views of Cranmore Mountain, so close you can see the groomers on the hill. Lot/Building packages including a garage start at $398,900, or you can choose your own builder. If you like the idea of resort living but not the high cost of trailside ownership then this is your location with Cranmore a short walk away.

In Conway, there is the inviting community of Runabout Bay at Conway Lake. From these lots on Hill Road you can walk to the public beach and boat ramp on Conway Lake, just a few blocks away.  Hill Road ends in a cul-de-sac so there is no through traffic. Lots 4 and 6 are undeveloped at $42,000 and $40,000 and Lot 104 has all its infrastructure in place and is ready to go at $67,000.

Riverfront lots available on Saco River NHIf you like the idea of water access it's hard to beat a private sandy beach on the Saco River at Evergreens on the Saco. Lots start at $40,000 with Riverfront lots available at $95,000. Here you can take advantage of level, cleared lots with utilities and water at the road. The neighborhood is well designed with walking trails winding around pine trees and an abundance of common areas to protect the privacy between you and your neighbors. Take a stroll on easy walking paths to the private beach and in winter hit the slopes with Mt. Cranmore only 10 minutes away! An easy location, close to everything but has the feeling that you're far away from all the hustle and bustle!

For true wilderness living, there is an amazing 45 acre lot in Chatham, NH. It is surrounded on 4 sides by the White Mountain National Forest. Here you can enjoy a remote, off-the grid location for someone who wants ultimate privacy. It is listed for an astonishing $75,000!

How many people love their home but wish there was something they could change about it? A more open floor plan, larger kitchen, first floor master bedroom, a better view? There are Lots to Love in the Mount Washington Valley. Give us a call and let us help you find the perfect location for your dream home.

Click on any of the photos above to be taken right to the listing, check out some other great properties below, or go to

Vista View Rd Cranmore Birches North Conway NHDurgin Rd Freedom nh104 Hill Rd Conway Lake Conway NH

Mobile technology - A blessing and a curse!

Yesterday it finally happened - my phone broke. I had some warning - the touch screen started jumping around earlier in the day. I ignored the screen movement secretly hoping the phone fairies would magically fix the problem. No such luck. By 5pm I knew the phone was a goner.
After work, I sped to the phone store. I was not the only one there in a worked-up state over a broken phone. The lady in front of me pleaded with the salesperson "you don't understand - I need to have my phone!" Although I had insurance, somehow I knew getting a new phone would be a challenge. And it was. After waiting in line - the representative handed me a pamphlet - call this number and they will send you a new phone. He said this with a straight face - hello - I don't have a working phone. After a great deal of effort, I was able to order a replacement phone online. 
Every day I see our clients clinging to their smart phones like a lifeline. One of the great things about looking for a home today is that you can access everything while you’re in the car. Not while driving of course. More buyers are starting their search on a mobile device. Our mobile site has been out there for a year now, with “Property Search” prominently featured. Here are my favorite real estate apps: is a good site if you know what you want in a home. You can find the home to meet your specific needs, from lot features, amenities, square footage - right down to the home’s flooring. These search features and the volume of available listings are by far this website’s strongest assets. - Most know Yelp as a tool to find restaurants, hotels and gas stations. But it also is a great way to find local real estate companies. Yelp maps out the locations of real estate companies and provides reviews as well. is easy to use and provides great visuals.  Trulia is big on providing lots of interior and exterior photos of its properties, and excels in the slideshow function. A prospective buyer can see every detail of what they’re browsing.
Homesnap is a bit more creative than some of the others, allowing users to find out more about places they already like. Snap a photo with Homesnap and it will give you the location on your Mt Washington Valley dream home. You mean it costs, HOW MUCH!? Now that the housing market is coming back, this app helps you identify which properties have good "investment potential" and shows you homes that you'll be able to flip.
Now that you've found an awesome home, Zillow Mortgages is an app that helps you figure out whether you can pay for it. Look at the "affordability calculator." Find out everything you need to know from loan term to lender fees, before you make the call. Talk about a time saver.
When my husband and I were getting ready to purchase our home in Glen, nearly the entire transaction involved electronic signing. Docusign allows you to securely sign and manage documents online from any device with the most widely used e-signature solution.
And don’t forget the AutoSearch in our MLS. It may not be an app, but if you register with JtRealty and save your favorite listings, you can get email updates when new properties match your search criteria.
As a seller, you can get feedback from showings without waiting for the agent to get back to the office. And the paperwork? Well, just sign electronically. The mobile process makes everything so much easier. 
I've managed to get through today without my cell. While the world did not collapse there is a void. Apparently I have muscle memory for texting as I reached for my phone several times. Mobile technology is much more of a blessing than a curse!

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.

Home Sweet (new) Home

 By Corinne

North Conway home in winterYou know you're in heaven when you can fold laundry while looking out at the Attitash Mountain ski trails!

I read somewhere that the greatest happiness comes from enjoying the daily things in life - not just waiting for big things to happen.

And for the past 6 months, I've found that to be true. Recently, my husband and I have been skiing during the week - a new and fabulous experience for us. No crowds! No waiting in the lift lines!

Our move to this area was rather sudden. My husband retired as a police chief of a Massachusetts North Shore city last year. We thought, "What are we waiting for? Let's move to God's Country up north!"

The time was right. Three of our 4 children are grown and our youngest son, Alex, would be starting high school this past fall. So last spring we sold our house in Massachusetts and began the search for the home we've always wanted to enjoy the next phase of our lives.

And we found it - in Glen, NH. We looked at a lot of homes. Over the years, we've bought and sold a number of homes. The requirements changed as our lives evolved. Our last home was where we raised our children. It was close to everything, shopping, parks, schools and our neighbors were like family. It was a tight-knit neighborhood where people looked out for each other.

Mark & Corinne Bretton WoodsIn 2005, my husband spent a year in Iraq. In addition to his law enforcement job, he also served 30 years in the military. When Mark was deployed to a dangerous area in the region - the Triangle of Death - we had children ages 5, 9, 11 and 14. It was amazing to know the neighbors were always there to help. If I was at work and one of the kids forgot his or her key - there was always a welcoming neighbor home offering milk and cookies until I could get home.

My husband and I both led active work lives and our family time was precious to us. The ski trips to the North Conway area are some of the best memories we made with our children as they grew up.

For this home, we envisioned a place where we could have family and friends stay with us. We wanted to be near mountains and we hope one day to be teaching our grandchildren to ski (not yet though!).

Buying a home is such a personal experience and having a vision of what you want in a home base is vital. We looked at a lot of perfectly nice homes but nothing stood out. However, when we first laid eyes on the one we ended up buying - we knew this was it. Love at first sight!

We live in a quiet area, with a panoramic view of the mountains. We enjoy having family and friends stay with us and we have enough room for everyone. We live near Story Land so we are a favorite destination for our relatives with young children.

One such visit really tested this. For this particular visit, my husband hosted his sister and his brother-in-law, 2 nieces, their husbands and 6 children under the age of 7.

I confess that I was somewhat happy to know I was going to be out of town for work during the visit. Sure, this was somewhat gutless on my part, but I figured my husband was up to the challenge. He was a military commander after all.

When I called to check in, I expected to hear a lot of screaming/crying in the background. But it was not the case.  It turned out to be a terrific visit. The adults had the guest rooms and the kids set up air mattresses in the downstairs living room. It was like indoor camping!

I look forward to working at JtRealty and seeing other people realize their dream lifestyles as well. When my husband and I come downstairs in the morning - we take a look out at the mountains and give each other a big high-five!