Home » Real Estate

Click here to view
the full print edition
of Avenues
View Property Transfers


AVENUES PARTNERS:
NH homes for sale



Search MLS

Courtesy of


Type:
Residential
Condominium
Multi Family
Land
Mobile Home
Commercial
Rentals

Towns & cities:
Price:
Low:   $
High:   $
Villages:

Locate open houses

Search By MLS #

Classifieds


 ♦ REAL ESTATE
 ♦ APARTMENTS
 ♦ HOME SERVICES
 ♦ HOUSEWARES

Click to place free online ad for items valued under $500.

Opinion

March 06. 2014 10:54PM

Real Estate Corner: Be deliberate, not desperate, when buying a house


DAVE CUMMINGS 

With the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (nhhfa.org) scheduled to host its 12th annual Home Buyer Fair on Saturday (9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire in Manchester), this seems as good a time as any to talk a little about home buyers and the home-buying process.

First, a few home buyer facts.

Did you know, for example, that the median age of home buyers in New Hampshire, at 38, is four years younger than the median age of all United States home buyers? Or that the median income of those home buyers, at $93,700, is $10,400 higher than that of home buyers nationally?

And whereas first-time home buyers make up 38 percent of all home buyers throughout the country, it’s considerably more, at 43 percent, in New Hampshire.

That national first-time home buyer number has been dropping consistently since 2009 (47 percent) and 2010 (50 percent), and in fact in January, only 26 percent of home purchases were by first-time buyers, the lowest single month since January 2008.

Why is the number of first-time buyers so low?

Several factors are making it difficult for them to purchase a home in today’s market — things like tight credit, limited inventory, higher home prices and higher mortgage interest rates.

First-time buyers are also citing student debt as an obstacle to owning a home. An NAR survey showed that, of the first-time buyers who said it was difficult to save for a down payment, 54 percent said student loans made it tough to save money.

Enough with the facts, though. Let’s talk home buying process.

If you’re one of those would-be home buyers, first-time or otherwise, who is considering attending the Home Buyer Fair this weekend, you might be in the position where you’re eager to make an offer and get negotiations started. If you’re buying in a tight market where sellers have the upper hand, you may even feel pressured to put in an offer the moment you see a house.

But before you write that check for your earnest money deposit, you should take a little time to investigate the house and the neighborhood so you have a better idea of what you’re buying.

Here are a few thoughts on the subject from Michele Lerner at realtor.com:

Your local Realtor can be a valuable resource in gathering information for you and getting the answers to your questions from the seller’s agent. In the meantime, you can be proactive and do some of your own research.

1. Search for neighborhood information online. If you already live in the community, you may be able to skip this step, but it’s always worthwhile to search local newspaper websites, local government sites, community sites and blogs to find out what’s happening in terms of upcoming development or other issues.

2. Check the crime report. Your local police station will have statistics on crime and you can also go to www.crimereports.com to find information according to a particular address or ZIP code.

3. Check on the schools. Even if you don’t have children, buying a home in a good school district is an important way to make sure your home maintains its value. You can find information on each school district website or go to www.GreatSchools.com for ratings.

4. Check for local amenities. You can go to Google Maps for a Street View of a community to see what’s nearby, or visit www.WalkScore.com to find out what is within walking distance of the home. If you have a particular activity that you enjoy, such as tennis or golf or swimming, find out how far you’ll have to go to get to a facility.

5. Check for neighborhood amenities. If you’re buying within a homeowners association, you can usually find information online about community activities, but even in areas without an association some neighborhoods have frequent community-wide gatherings or sports leagues.

6. Visit the home at different times of day. If you want to know what it will be like to live somewhere, visit on a weekday, a weeknight and a weekend to see how quiet or active the area will be.

7. Test your commute. If you only visit a home on a weekend you’ll have no idea what the traffic pattern is like during rush hour, which could have a big impact on your enjoyment of the property.

8. Schedule a home inspection. Your purchase offer should include a home inspection so you know what repairs must be made and about how they will cost.

You may be able to negotiate for the seller to pay for home improvements, but it’s always better to go into a house with full knowledge of its condition.

9. Talk to the sellers. If they are willing to share information with you, they’re the best resource of all to learn about the community and the house. You can ask the sellers about renovations they’ve done and even talk to them about whether your plans for the house are possible.

10. Ask about taxes, homeowner association dues, homeowners insurance and utility bills. Your monthly housing payment includes more than just the principal and interest on your loan. Make sure the taxes, insurance, homeowner association dues and utility bills will fit into your budget.

As much as anything, going through these steps will force you into careful consideration of the considerable purchase you may be about to make. The greatest enemy of any buyer — whether it’s one shopping for a gas grill, a new car or a home — is desperation.

Know your options, take your time, and make a great choice.

.

Dave Cummings is the director of communications for the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. Material from the National Association of Realtors 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and “10 Things to Consider Before Making an offer on a Home,” by Michele Lerner of realtor.com, was used for this report.




Real Estate

New senior housing facility planned in Nashua

READER COMMENTS: 0

With waiting lists already in place for senior housing in Nashua, a proposal has been submitted to create a new, three-story elderly housing development near Salmon Brook.

Proposed elderly apartment complex clears zoning hurdle in Londonderry

READER COMMENTS: 0

On Wednesday night the zoning board granted several variances for a proposed 110-unit senior apartment complex in Londonderry.

Built in 1774, the former home of Josiah Bartlett was placed on the market last weekend.

Josiah Bartlett homestead goes on the market

READER COMMENTS: 0

The 1700s homestead once owned by Declaration of Independence signer Josiah Bartlett, is available for sale for the first time.

The 39-acre Hett Farm property in Portsmouth will be auctioned at 6 p.m. July 30. The next open house at the farm, which includes horse barns, riding areas and a home that dates to 1810, is from 4 to 6 p.m. July 23.

17th-century Hett Farm to be auctioned in Portsmouth

READER COMMENTS: 0

The first of two open houses at a 39-acre historic farm in Portsmouth drew more than 20 interested people Tuesday, an auctioneer on the site said, ahead of the farm's auction July 30.

Former Chester College site sitting largely due to lack of interest

READER COMMENTS: 0

After it was sold in 2012 because of financial problems, the fate of the former Chester College site remains uncertain.

Supreme Court rules against Charlestown in land tax case

READER COMMENTS: 0

Charlestown officials failed again in their effort to remove three tracts of land owned by TransCanada Hydro Northeast Inc. from its open space designation so they could tax it at a higher rate.

The redevelopment of The Balsams, pictured on a recent weekend, got a boost when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed into law a bill that would keep the tax burden low in Dixville and neighboring Millsfield.

PILOT agreement allowed to stand after Hassan signs bill

READER COMMENTS: 0

The North Country in general, and specifically the small number of property owners here and in the even more sparsely settled Dixville, got some good news recently when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed...

State to sell building to Concord

READER COMMENTS: 0

Executive Council approves sales of building to Concord, approves Medicaid expansion contract and planning process for Route 101 expansion.

State ends fiscal 2014 with $5.8 million revenue surplus

READER COMMENTS: 0

Revenues are on target for fiscal year 2014, but business and interest and dividend taxes pose a problem in coming year.

Concord wants New Hampshire building

READER COMMENTS: 0

The Employment Security building will be sold to the state and then torn down for new development.

Casino referendum in Mass. seen as having no NH impact

READER COMMENTS: 0

A Massachusetts referendum on casino gambling is not likely to sway expanded gaming's fate in New Hampshire, supporters and opponents say.

Snow covers the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace this past February. The shrine, which features more than 50 marble and granite sculptures, including scenes depicting the birth, life and crucifixion of Jesus, as well as one of praying motorcycle riders, is slated to close on July 1 due to decreased attendance and financial support.

Colebrook shrine known for 'Blessing of the Bikes' closing July 1

READER COMMENTS: 0

The Shrine of Our Lady of Grace – which has been known as both a place for quiet contemplation as well as the roar of motorcycles during its annual “Blessing of the Bikes” event...

Utility assessments remain hot topic in Coos County

READER COMMENTS: 0

The value of utility-owned property continues to be an issue in Coos County where seven more communities have received money from a special county fund to defend their assessments.

Home & Garden

Real Fallu shows off some of the daylilies providing a blaze of midsummer color in his Goffstown perennial garden.

Acres of summer color, without irrigation

READER COMMENTS: 0

Tucked away from the winding street at 425 Tibbetts Hill Road is the home of Real and Leslie Fallu — a property filled with brilliant, fiery color in the second half of July each year, courtesy...

In anticipation of the July 14 start of the 2014 season, Sheila Fabrizio on Wednesday inspects the incoming blueberry crop at Windy Ridge Orchard and Christmas Tree Farm in North Haverhill. There are 1,000 pick-your-own, high-bush blueberry plants, divided among five varieties, on a two-acre parcel at the orchard which is also well known this time of year for its blueberry pancakes and blueberry wine.

Despite late start in growing season, North Country's blueberry picking season soon to be here

READER COMMENTS: 0

Despite a slight delay due to a colder-than-normal spring, the 2014 blueberry season will soon be here and it should be delicious, say North Country growers and agriculture officials.

Terri McKinnon walks along a path through perennials in the yard in Goffstown.

Good neighbors make great gardens in Goffstown

READER COMMENTS: 0

That three special gardens in greater Manchester are right beside each other is mostly a (very big) coincidence.

Salem community gardens enjoying a successful summer

READER COMMENTS: 0

The growing season is a little late this year, thanks to a wet spring, but everything seems to be running smoothly at the town's community gardens at Hawkins Farm.

Home & Garden

Real Fallu shows off some of the daylilies providing a blaze of midsummer color in his Goffstown perennial garden.

Acres of summer color, without irrigation

READER COMMENTS: 0

Tucked away from the winding street at 425 Tibbetts Hill Road is the home of Real and Leslie Fallu — a property filled with brilliant, fiery color in the second half of July each year, courtesy...

An aerial view of the plot at 12-8-4 Kilton Road, which would include a health club, retail building and restaurant.

Bedford health club proposal raises concerns

READER COMMENTS: 0

Residents who live near a proposed health club, to be built at the corner of Kilton Road and Sullivan Drive, expressed concerns over the project at Monday night's planning board meeting.

Artist Mauli McDonald with an armful of raw materials for her designs.

Nature is the essential medium for Sunapee-area artist Mauli McDonald

READER COMMENTS: 0

From childhood fantasies of fairy houses and unicorns, a career as a botanical artist is born.

An aerial view of the plot where the mixed-use development, including an 116-unit senior apartment building, would be built.

Developer spells out mixed-use plan for Bedford project

READER COMMENTS: 0

A proposed mixed-use development, including a 55-and-older housing facility, at 379 South River Road is one step closer to fruition after a request for conceptual review at Monday night's Planning...

In anticipation of the July 14 start of the 2014 season, Sheila Fabrizio on Wednesday inspects the incoming blueberry crop at Windy Ridge Orchard and Christmas Tree Farm in North Haverhill. There are 1,000 pick-your-own, high-bush blueberry plants, divided among five varieties, on a two-acre parcel at the orchard which is also well known this time of year for its blueberry pancakes and blueberry wine.

Despite late start in growing season, North Country's blueberry picking season soon to be here

READER COMMENTS: 0

Despite a slight delay due to a colder-than-normal spring, the 2014 blueberry season will soon be here and it should be delicious, say North Country growers and agriculture officials.

Terri McKinnon walks along a path through perennials in the yard in Goffstown.

Good neighbors make great gardens in Goffstown

READER COMMENTS: 0

That three special gardens in greater Manchester are right beside each other is mostly a (very big) coincidence.

Salem community gardens enjoying a successful summer

READER COMMENTS: 0

The growing season is a little late this year, thanks to a wet spring, but everything seems to be running smoothly at the town's community gardens at Hawkins Farm.

Route 101 expansion process in Bedford begins

READER COMMENTS: 0

Executive Council asked to name two committees to begin laying out Bedford expansion project.

Fresh strawberries from Barrett Hill Farm in Mason, one of many New Hampshire farms offering Community Supported Agriculture programs for customers.Kathleen Baglio Humphreys

CSA offers customers a share of the farmer's green thumb

READER COMMENTS: 0

You want garden fresh vegetables but just don't have the green thumb, land or time to plant then tend to your own garden all summer long? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an affordable and...

Hooksett School Board to consider land purchase

READER COMMENTS: 0

School board members have agreed to discuss the idea of purchasing a large piece of landlocked property adjacent to Cawley Middle School, though a potential sale is far from imminent.

Karen Holland's garden jewels can be designed to sit on the ground or, as seen above, mounted on a copper pole to create a taller focal point in the garden.

Lyndeborough woman makes unique garden art

READER COMMENTS: 0

Karen Holland started A Touch of Glass NH and began selling her hand-made, one-of-a-kind garden jewels last fall, and the interest is growing as fast as her garden grows.

Hearing for Goffstown townhouse project moved to July

READER COMMENTS: 0

Applicants GPS Properties decided to continue the hearing to July because a quorum was not present to review the case at the last ZBA meeting.

Knowing when - and what - to let go of with garage sale

READER COMMENTS: 0

MY GARAGE sale has come and gone and with it a letting-go of sorts - of possessions, plans, dreams, false ideas.

Weare prepping for 250th anniversary

READER COMMENTS: 0

Weare's is celebrating their 250th Anniversary with a different theme each month which started in January and will end in September. June's celebration will be a lawn party on June 21 at the Clinton...

Farmers Market Open in Downtown Hanover

READER COMMENTS: 0

Bring home the makings for a fresh, locally-grown meal or grab a snack, straight from the farm to the table.

The exterior of the 1870 mill in November shows it state prior to the completion of renovations to create 50 affordable housing apartments in Milford.  The first 13 of 50 tenants have already moved into the new apartments the Pine Valley Loft.

State preservation awards for two Milford projects: mill and armory

READER COMMENTS: 0

Two Milford restoration projects were among the outstanding recipients and recognized at a ceremony in Concord on May 13.