2018 Housing Market Starts Strong

After a record 2017 in the New Hampshire residential housing market, 2018 showed no signs of slowing with a brisk first month of the year. There were 911 closed sales in January, a 2 percent increase from the same month a year ago, and the median price of those homes was $260,000, a better than 5 percent jump from January 2017.  Click here for statewide January statistics

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Banner Year for 2017

New Hampshire home sales continue on an upward trend and ended the year with the largest dollar volume of sales in its history.  It was 7% ahead of last year for a total of $5.5 billion in closed residential sales.  Below are some of the highlights reported by New Hampshire REALTORS.

  • The median sales price was $266,000, the 2nd highest in NH history and just $4000 off the historical high point in 2005.
  • The average days on market dropped to 68 days.
  • About the same number of homes sold in 2017 as 2016.
  • The average % of list price received was 98%

To put a more local spin on it, below are some stats for New London, Newbury & Sunapee combined:

  • The median sales price was $345,000. ($372,500 at peak in 2005)
  • The average days on market was 127 days.
  • 203 homes sold, the average % of list price received was 96%.

Whether buying or selling, contact me to see how the market impacts you!  Donna Forest 603-526-4116, Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com

Figures are based on information from the Northern New England Real Estate Network, Inc. for the period 1/1/17 thru 12/31/17

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How to Know When a Home is Worth Buying

To buy a home, or to not buy a home. It’s a common debate for many people. There’s no denying that renting is basically paying for someone else’s monthly mortgage without receiving any equity from the property, but that does not always mean that buying a home is the better option for each individual. Everyone’s situation is different, and home buying can be expensive. People’s lifestyles also change and their motives for wanting to buy a house are just as varied. Determining whether or not it’s worth buying a home has a lot to do with individual specifics. It’s highly recommended to speak with a real estate agent who can give you detailed real estate advice based on the information you provide. However, the general costs and rewards of home buying can be found right now to help steer you in the right direction.

Maintenance Costs

When you buy a home, you are taking on the responsibility of maintenance costs. They’re inevitable for all homeowners, but they can be significant depending on the specific property. Before buying a home, maintenance costs and unexpected repairs must be considered. It’s recommended to hold back 1% of the home’s value annually for maintenance and appliance replacement, but that does not cover unexpected repairs.

Property Taxes

Property taxes can be a significant expense. The actual amount can fluctuate, and this must be considered before buying a home. There are a variety of factors to determine the amount of property taxes, such as the area, state, and local budget cuts, renovations, as well as many other things.

House Insurance

Many mortgage loan lenders require homeowners to have house insurance. Unlike rental insurance, which covers possessions, homeowners’ insurance covers both possessions and the cost of the property. Although it’s an extra expense, it’s beneficial to have even if it is not required. As for the cost of home insurance, it depends on the specifics, but you can get an estimate by dividing the home’s value by 1000, and then multiplying that by 3.5 (HomeGuides).

Tax Deductibility

A benefit that comes when you buy a home is the tax deductibility of mortgage interest. This number is hard to estimate from a general standpoint because it greatly depends on your specific financial situation. However, owning a home can provide you more savings than if you were to rent, simply because of the tax deductible.

Home’s Value Appreciating

The appreciation of a home’s value is generally high. However, this can change rather quickly depending on the housing market, as well as many other factors. ABC News estimates home prices will appreciate around 3%, according to the historical average. The thing that many people forget is that as a home’s value increases, the cost of maintenance and insurance does as well, due to inflation.


In terms of liquid money, home ownership won’t bring you much of that. However, buying a home does have the potential to bring you a high return on investment. More importantly, your monthly bills go towards something you own. When renting, you’re essentially paying someone else’s mortgage without receiving any ownership. Many additional factors also need to be considered when determining if buying a home is worth it, such as whether you want to buy a home as an investment property, plan on flipping the house, or want to retire in it. The first step is to answer the inevitable question, “Can I afford a home?” and these general guidelines can help you determine that.

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.

Source:  Reprinted from www.bhgre.com/bhgrelife/

Looking for Maintenance-Free Living?

Come see this special condominium at Hilltop Place in New London, NH!  Lovely airy and bright unit in a quiet and private location with many other significant upgrades and improvements.  Beautiful new custom kitchen was installed in 2015.  The Master bath also offers a brand new (2017) fiberglass walk-in shower with both hand-held and overhead shower heads, a removable seat, mutiple grab bars, and built-in shelves for convenience.  Large den/office (3rd bedroom) with direct access to screened porch and open balcony.  Generously sized living room has a propane fireplace installed.  The unit is fully air-conditioned and has been converted to baseboard hot water heat.  Move right in!  Offered at $229,600.  For more photos and details, visit www.HilltopPlaceNH.com

Marilyn Kidder, Listing Broker, 603-526-4116

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What's with the Lack of Homes for Sale?

Low housing inventory has been the topic of conversation nationally as well as in NH this year.  There just seems to be a lack of homes for sale.  So why now?  It’s a combination of many factors: homeowners are moving every 10 yrs. compared to historically being 6-7 yrs., many homeowners are staying put as their mortgage interest rate is lower than what rates are now, there was a lack of new construction during the recession, and owners don’t want to sell as they are fearful they will not find a home to buy.  As a result of having low inventory in many markets, prices are going up.  In NH, the median sales price is up 6.2% through October compared to 2016.  A stable market has a 6 month supply of existing homes to sell.  Anything less means home values will rise and anything longer than 7 months will cause prices to fall.  As of October, NH as well as the rest of the U.S., had about a 4 month supply.  Bottom line, buyers will continue to compete for homes and sellers will see home values rise.  Contact me to see how this market impacts you!  603-526-4116; www.DonnaForest.com; Donna@DonnaForest.com

Real estate markets are local, and we have the real scoop on ours.  Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team

2018 Housing Market Forecast

Having read numerous articles lately on the housing market, my takeaway is most economists feel 2018 will see an increase in total home sales and median sales price.  National Association of REALTORS Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects sales to increase 3.7% in 2018 and the National median existing home price to rise around 5.5%.  Freddie Mac forecasts home sales to increase about 2% and about 4.9% in price.  Core Logic predicts a price increase of 4.7%.  The reason for this optimism is the economic environment remains favorable for housing and mortgage markets; we have moderate economic growth, solid job gains, and low interest rates.  Freddie Mac forecasts these conditions to continue into next year.  What are the downsides for 2018?  Limited inventory will be a persistent problem.  This will keep prices elevated and prevent some buyers from home ownership.  Also, the proposed tax reform plan includes a limit on mortgage interest deduction when could impact home values, especially in higher priced cities with home values over $500k.  In the words of Lawrence Yun, "Assuming no changes to the tax code that hurt home ownership, the gradually expending economy and continued job creation should set the stage for a more meaningful increase in home sales in 2018."  Contact me if you're wondering how the market will impact you!  603-526-4116, Donna@DonnaForest.com, www.DonnaForest.com

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Want to Spend Less Time Cleaning?

This one floor living home offers a lifestyle choice without the sacrifices of a tiny house.  Compact, move-in ready and offers many of the same advantages of a tiny house with a bit more space!  Live with less clutter and spend less time cleaning.  You still have space for privacy, an ample sized kitchen, a one car garage, and yes, a full basement for storing things you just can't part with.  If you want to live big by living small, give this one a serious look!  For more photos and details, visit www.RanchinNH.com.  Offered at $178,000.

Donna Forest, Listing Broker, 603-526-4116

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New Price Adjustment

Price reduced on this New London raised ranch on 2.2 acres.  Was $247,700, now $238,500!  Three bedrooms, 2 baths, new carpeting, new wall oven and cook top. You'll love walks through this neighborhood or enjoy sitting back and relaxing on the huge wraparound deck.  Great location for commuting north or south.  Make your appointment today!

Anne Marie Appel, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

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Condo Living at its Best

Incredibly private, 4+ bedroom, 4.5 bath free-standing condominium has so much to offer!  Hardwood floors, spacious eat-in kitchen, many custom built-ins, screened porch and plenty of living space.  The second level has two ensuite bedrooms and reading loft.  The finished lower level includes a family room, office, bunk room, laundry, cedar closet and excellent storage space.  Attached, two car garage.  Monthly assessment iincludes trash, snow removal, water and lawn maintenance.  Offered at $570,000.  For more information, visit http://tour.circlepix.com/home/M5KGNM/42-The-Seasons-42-New-London-NH-4648203

Emily Campbell, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

Looking for a positive home buying/selling experience? Call Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team!  603-526-4116

A Natural - Inside and Out

"Nature is not a place to visit.  It is home." (Gary Snyder - Poet)  Once you see this impressive timber frame, you will immediately feel at home along with a deep sense of peacefulness.  Set on the Blackwater River with its own island, it is the perfect spot for paddling, swimming, bird watching, or just relaxing.  Designed for easy living, the post and beam construction artfully frames every room, from the kick-your-shoes-off-and-stay living room to the expansive kitchen, to every bedroom - all of which have their own tile and glass block bathrooms.  No detail is overlooked - large mudroom, boat storage under the garage, a practical laundry room, whole house air conditioning, and an ERV system.  Warm woods, cathedral ceiling, skylights, and an abundance of windows all combine to create this captivating home.  For more information, visit www.NHRiverfront.com.  Offered at $439,900.

Donna Forest, Listing Broker, 603-526-4116

“Word of Mouth” is the best advertisement, and we love it when you refer your friends and family to Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - The Milestone Team.