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

Londonderry board rejects workforce housing variances

READER COMMENTS: 0

Following a lengthy public hearing Wednesday evening, the Londonderry Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously rejected several variances for a 288-apartment work force housing complex.

Executive Council postpones vote on condo docks proposal

READER COMMENTS: 0

The New Hampshire Executive Council on Wednesday postponed a vote on property restrictions that would have allowed a Manchester condominium complex to build docks on the Merrimack River.

Hackett Hill housing project gets final nod from aldermen

READER COMMENTS: 0

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday gave final approval to redrawing the zoning map to allow the construction of multi-family residential housing on two parcels on Hackett Hill that had been...

Raymond selectmen reverse, place acres in outside hands

READER COMMENTS: 0

Raymond selectmen rescinded a vote to place 145 acres of Flint Hill as a deed restriction and put it in a conservation esement instead.

Conflict arises over docks at Manchester riverfront condos

READER COMMENTS: 0

A conflict raging at a Manchester riverfront condominium complex over docks, eagles and missing paperwork is scheduled to be played out in two public forums this month.

Building height restriction considered for Salem town center

READER COMMENTS: 0

The Planning Board is considering bringing forward an amendment in March that would limit building heights in the town center to three stories or 45 feet.

Home & Garden

Home & Garden

The Villa Augustina School has stood empty since it closed in June.

Goffstown School Board abandons plans to buy, renovate Villa Augustina

READER COMMENTS: 0

Following a tour of the Villa Augustina School on Mast Road on Saturday, the Goffstown School Board has decided to not pursue purchasing and renovating the former Catholic school to address growing...

The Villa Augustina School has stood empty since it closed in June.

Goffstown School Board tours Villa Augustina School as purchase explored

READER COMMENTS: 0

Members of the Goffstown School Board, School Administrative Unit 19 Superintendent Brian Balke, and town residents toured the closed Villa Augustina School property on Saturday, hoping to get a...

Stayci Fast of Ivy Home & Garden in Windham make a kitchen island holiday display that includes flowering bulbs and spices at a home in Windham.

Professional designers talk about high-end trends in holiday decor

READER COMMENTS: 0

Professional decorators share a glimpse of this year's high-end holiday trends

School district moves ahead on appraisal of Villa Augustina property

READER COMMENTS: 0

The Goffstown School Board continued discussions on Monday night about the possibility of purchasing the former Villa Augustina School campus to address growing space needs in the district.

Fall color in Yellowstone National Park.

Nature photography a shared passion for Nashua couple

READER COMMENTS: 0

A hobby became a passion and a career for the photographers Hudnall

The Planning Board recently OK'd a subdivision of the Rockingham Park property.

Planning board decision will clear path for sale of Rockingham Park parcel

READER COMMENTS: 0

A parcel on the north side of the 170-acre property is under agreement for a sale to local developer and restaurant owner Joseph Faro.

Portsmouth's 1763 Moffatt-Ladd House will be decked out for its first Celebration of Wreaths and Trees this weekend.

Portsmouth events put a period on decorating

READER COMMENTS: 0

Decorations help set the tone for most people's holiday experiences, which serves as the backdrop for two very unique and different events — one brand new, the other well into its fourth decade...

Susan Dromey Heeter's Down to Earth: From free events come great memories

READER COMMENTS: 0

While driving to school with my daughter, we spotted one of those ancient television sets on the side of the road — the kind that worked not only as an entertainment center in the '60s and '70s...

Some gardeners won't be welcome at Salem community farm

READER COMMENTS: 0

Overseeing Salem's community gardens at Hawkins Farm has come with its share of challenges over the past several years.

Salem zoning board says no to 2nd hearing for senior housing development on mausoleum property

READER COMMENTS: 0

There will be no second hearing on a variance that would allow a senior housing development to be built on the property of a Pond Street mausoleum.

Diane Paul's hand-stitched leather work ranges from belts and bags to chaps and sleigh bells.

No machines for North Hampton leather artisan Diane Paul

READER COMMENTS: 0

Diane Paul, 52, is a self-taught leather artist whose repertoire includes everything from sleigh bells to stick horses. She does everything by hand — everything.

Issues halt development of senior housing project in Salem

READER COMMENTS: 0

The Planning Board has granted conditional approval of a 16-unit senior housing project off Pleasant Street.

Subdivision road work in Salem under scrutiny

READER COMMENTS: 0

The issue came up recently when residents of the Deerfield Street subdivision wrote to selectmen asking for help in getting their road completed.