Real Estate News

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

New Hampshire Diners Discount Delight

It's Friday night and you've had a long week. You decide to go out to dinner with friends. How great would it be to walk into a restaurant and get $3 off or a free dessert – excellent, right!

AdoredA New Hampshire company has launched an app that does just that. Adored is a smartphone app that enables restaurants, bars, shops and attractions to build stronger relationships with loyal customers. For the customer, it eliminates that painful rummaging through your purse to find that loyalty rewards card. And it's better than a one-size fits all coupon. This intuitive app will quickly learn and respond to your consumer habits and offer you rewards that are most meaningful to you.

There is a bit of a Big Brother feel to it as the app communicates with tiny Bluetooth "beacons" set in key locations within participating businesses. But it's effortless to use and the interaction with consumers' phones is completely anonymous. There are no passwords to enter, no scanning QR codes, no punching cards. As soon as you walk through the door to your favorite business or restaurant you'll get a special offer. This app truly provides savings without struggle.

Red Parka Pub Glen NHTerri O’Brien, owner and general manager of the Red Parka Steakhouse and Pub in Glen, has been using the app for less than a month and is very pleased with her customers’ reaction. “We’ve had almost 100 people sign up. We’re looking to use the app to increase loyalty with our local customers.” If a customer comes in – the app will know that it’s the customer’s 4th visit and a free appetizer notice will pop up. 

If you're making plans to head out - take a moment to launch the app and save $$$. It's available on Apple iOS and Android phones. The app is fairly new as it launched in Manchester last fall, but it's growing in popularity.

One of the greatest benefits to folks who retire here is the great choice of restaurants. Are you considering relocating to the Mt Washington Valley? You get a lot of house for the prices here.

The 9 local merchants who have chosen to participate in the Mount Washington Valley launch of Adored, include:

Tuckerman Brewing Company, Conway

Black Cap Grille, North Conway

Frontside Coffee Roasters, North Conway

Chef's Bistro, North Conway

Delaney's Hole in the Wall, North Conway

The Local Grocer, North Conway

Vintage Baking Company, Glen

Red Parka Steakhouse and Pub, Glen

J Town Deli, Jackson

 

Check it out and let us know what you think.

 

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 www.JtRealty.com mobile site has been out there for a year now, with “Property Search” prominently featured. Here are my favorite real estate apps: 
 
Realtor.com 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.
 
Yelp.com - 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. 
 
Trulia.com 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!
 
 
 
 

Digging in .... learning to garden in the Mount Washington Valley

NH patioLast summer my husband Mark and I were invited to our neighbor's home for a cookout. Jackie and Lloyd are an active retired couple. Lloyd was a Merchant Marine and Jackie was a teacher.
Jackie gave us a tour of her garden - it was paradise. Jackie had rows of box gardens, each box brimming with vegetables or flowers.
 
You could live off the land! 
 
I've lived the past 2 decades pretty much a city gal - until we moved to Glen last May. When we bought our house there was still snow on the ground.
We had no idea what we actually had as a lawn. We were thrilled by what was revealed after the snow melted. The previous owner was a landscape contractor - we had flowers! Last summer, my husband and I had a ritual in which we would "walk the grounds" at dusk. Saying "walk the grounds" would crack us up - as though we were British snobs like in Downton Abbey! But whether its a home like ours, or a more grand estate, it's a great way to end the day.NH backyard
 
We have a friend, Chris, who is a police captain in Massachusetts and has a second home in North Conway. Chris is passionate about gardening (and cooking) and he always has fresh vegetables on hand. Chris is also a strong believer in the healing power of herbs. 
 
I thought he might have gone too far when he proudly showed me he had garlic bandaged on his thumb as a remedy for a nail fungus. "This works great and didn't cost me anything," he said. While I heartily support Chris's frugal ways - there's a place to draw the line. I think, first I wouldn't say I had a nail fungus, but if I did I'd spring for the $5 remedy at CVS. 
 
This spring, inspired by Jackie's green thumb, I plan to garden. My experience with gardening is pretty much limited to what I see on TV and the occasional basil plant I keep in the kitchen.  I have zero clue about when to plant or how to plan. But that's what Youtube is for! 
My boss, Joy, has a green thumb. I'm thrilled that I've managed to keep the office plants alive! Spring brings new beginnings - from the ground up.
  

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."

 

New NH Kitchen Fires up Interest in Cooking

Can a great kitchen produce a great cook? Beats me, but I think so.
 

Bartlett NH Dining RoomTraditionally, I've been an efficient but not a great cook. My strength was in running a short order operation in our former kitchen. While the 4 kids were growing up, they each had different tastes, each had a different schedule depending on sports. My husband worked crazy hours (police, National Guard), I worked crazy hours (news editor, private detective) so chaos generally reigned.
 
I'm not proud of this, but there were a few times when I ventured into my husband's Army bag and tossed the kids an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) for dinner. A delicate balance of desperation (no shopping time!) and an attempt at good parenting - I'd make it kind of a game with the kids.
 
KitchenThe kids loved the MREs and they were sad to see the practice end when I glanced at the calorie count. Yikes! They are designed for sustainance during war conditions after all!
 
But on holidays, like Easter that's coming up, we always made a point to be together and eat dinner in the dining room. If my husband was home, we cooked the meal together. Our former kitchen was cramped and it was a delicate dance to not jostle into each other.
 
My husband, Mark, rebuilt the kitchen when we bought our home in The Mount Washington Valley this May. It's not fancy (no stainless appliances) but, to us, it's fantastic. We have been enjoying the company of our Massachusetts friends visiting us often - usually staying for dinner.
 
Husband CookingThey've noticed a change in me. Mostly they mock my new interest in cooking. "Are those flowers on the table? Have you turned into Martha Steward? This actually tastes good (with shocked expression)!"

Quite frankly, I'm surprised how much I enjoy the experience. Maybe a basic in learning to cook is to actually spend time in the kitchen. Perhaps a pleasing ambiance can draw out a talent that you might not know existed.
 
Bon Appetit!

 

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.

Making that dream of a second home in the Mount Washington Valley of NH a reality - it's possible

This past week I've seen more of my Massachusetts friends up here in the Mount Washington Valley than I had in the past couple of years that I actually lived in Massachusetts. 

Most of our friends want to have a second home in the Mount Washington Valley area. Here are a few possibilites that are currently available for the second home dream. 

Jackson Ski TouringSaturday, February 28
This is a shoe-in for a good time! This event is a Two Hour Instructional Nature Tour on Snowshoes with an Expert Guide. Jackson Ski Touring Foundation guides will show you places along the trails and off the system that most people would never get to find. Tour starts at 10 am and 1 pm.

Friday, February 27
Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center: Buy 1 ticket and get the second free with coupon from the website

Friday, February 27
Torch Light Parade at King Pine Ski Area. For more information call 603-367-8896

Saturday, March 1
Chili Cookoff at North Conway Community Center. This an event that will warm you up inside and out. 

Friday, March 6
EMS Randonee Night Tour
At Cranmore Mountain. This night skiing event benefits the New England Ski Museum. 

2014's Hottest Neighborhoods in Mount Washington Valley, NH

We keep a close eye on what's selling and what's not. Here's our opinion on the best-selling markets in 2014:

Nordic Village: This upscale Glen (Bartlett) NH resort saw huge market improvements in 2014. There were 9 sales, from a one-bedroom condo all the way up to a large two-bedroom lockout. This means a big range of styles and prices. 2014 sales more than doubled 2013 sales!  This ate up a great deal of the inventory there, so this first quarter should see some great activity!

Mountainside on Attitash: This luxury trailside condo development soared this year. There were five sales, which was more than the two prior years combined! The ski-in ski-out convenience and spacious layouts of the development must have been a huge draw. With little inventory on the market as of January 2015 and a big demand, things should heat up nicely for Mountainside sellers in 2015.Attitash Mountain in Bartlett, NH

River Run: When it comes to Attitash, River Run is the most affordable way to own a year-round vacation home as close to trailside as possible ... it's across the street from the base lodge! With a slew of amenities, there's always something to do there. There was 9 sales in 2014, in a range of sizes and prices. That's 33% more than 2013!

Ledges of Birch Bend: This luxury community sits high up off of Glen Ledge Road in Glen. After a sleepy couple of years, the $500,000 price point performed well in this neighborhood, a mix of new construction and resale homes. Demand should be just as strong in 2015.

So what's in store for 2015? Our predictions are that River Run will continue to perform well, since there's still a lot of inventory on the market and people are buying there. The luxury market was strong last year and will continue to grow. Look for more activity in Hale's Location Country Club and Mountainside on Attitash. We also think developments like Cathedral Trail at Attitash and Cranmore Birches will make it back to the top of buyers' lists.

For more info on these or any other properties, please email Info@JtRealty.com or call (603) 356-7200.