Coldwell Banker’s Branded Websites Remain the Most Visited among Real Estate Franchises

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – According to Nielsen and comScore Media Metrix, the two global leaders in digital measurement, Coldwell Banker branded websites had the highest number of unique visitors among all national real estate franchise brands for full-year 2011.  This marks the second consecutive year that the Coldwell Banker brand ranked No. 1 in Web traffic among all real estate franchisors.

“The Coldwell Banker brand is clearly top of mind when consumers go online and search for a home,” said Michael Fischer, chief marketing officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.  “Consumers know our great brand and have shown a desire to utilize the suite of online tools seen throughout the Coldwell Banker network at the national and local levels.” According to Nielson, Coldwell Banker websites had 17.5 million unique visitors in 2011, which was more than 28 percent higher than the next nearest franchise brand competitor (13.7 million). Similarly, Coldwell Banker branded websites (26.1 million unique visitors) had the highest Web traffic ranking among real estate franchisors in the comScore Media Metrix full-year ranking for 2011, easily outpacing its next nearest competitor by 21 percent (21.6 million unique visitors).

The Coldwell Banker brand continues to place an emphasis on developing its website into a hub for consumers to find and prepare for the home buying and selling process.  Recent additions include the lifestyle search page and first time home buyer resource center.

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC accessed the aforementioned information through its subscription to both Nielson and comScore Media Metrix. The rankings encompass all consumer Web traffic (unique visitors) to national and local websites operated by the franchise brands as well as by their franchisees.

Interested in the Results of the 2010 Census?

To view the New Hampshire profile as compiled by demographer Peter Francese, click here.

For the profiles of each county click here, then click on the county you are interested in viewing.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE BEST TEAM IN TOWN!

May the simple joys of the season fill your home with warmth and good cheer.  Thank you for your referrals.

 

Chimney Maintenance for Warmth and Safety

Your fireplace, the most low-tech piece of equipment in your house, may seem like a simple load-and-light operation, but ignoring annual maintenance can impair its performance, leading to heated air (and dollars) blowing out the chimney, harmful smoke inside, and possibly even a chimney fire. The average number of annual U.S. home fires caused by fireplace, chimney, and chimney connectors between 2003 and 2005 was 25,100, and the average costs for those fires was $126.1 million, based on the most recent statistics from the Chimney Safety Institute of America. That’s roughly $5,024 in damage per home. Annual chimney maintenance removes flammable creosote, the major cause of chimney fires, and identifies other performance problems. Is it worth the $205 fee, two-hour service call, and all that ash possibly blackening your carpet? Here’s what you need to know to decide.
Annual inspections keep flames burning right Creosote—combustible, tar-like droplets—is a natural byproduct of burning wood. The more wood you burn, the wetter or greener the wood, and the more often you restrict airflow by keeping your fireplace doors closed or your damper barely open, the more creosote is produced. Soot build-up, while not flammable, can hamper venting. One half-inch of soot can restrict airflow 17% in a masonry chimney and 30% in a factory-built unit, according to the CSIA. Soot is also aggressively acidic and can damage the inside of your chimney. The more creosote and soot, the more likely you are to see signs of chimney fire—loud popping, dense smoke, or even flames shooting out the top of your chimney into the sky. Chimney fires damage the structure of your chimney and can provide a route for the fire to jump to the frame of your house. “If the chimney is properly maintained, you’ll never have a chimney fire,” says Ashley Eldridge, the education director of the CSIA. The best way to ensure your chimney isn’t an oil slick waiting to ignite? Get it inspected. Three inspection levels let you choose what you need A level-one inspection includes a visual check of the fireplace and chimney without any special equipment or climbing up on the roof. The inspector comes to your house with a flashlight, looks for damage, obstructions, creosote build-up, and soot, and tells you if you need a sweep. If so, he’ll grab his brushes, extension poles, and vacuum, and do it on the spot. “You should have it inspected every year to determine if it needs to be swept. An annual inspection will also cover you if the neighbor’s children have thrown a basketball in it, or a bird has built a nest,” says Eldridge. A level one typically runs about $125. Add a sweep, and you’re talking another $80, or about $205 for both services, according to CSIA. Consider a level-two inspection if you’ve experienced a dramatic weather event, like a tornado or hurricane; if you’ve made a major change to your fireplace; or bought a new house. This includes a level-one investigation, plus the inspector’s time to visit the roof, attic, and crawl space in search of disrepair. It concludes with a sweep, if necessary, and information on what repair is needed. The price will depend on the situation. A level three inspection is considered “destructive and intrusive” and can resemble a demolition job. It may involve tearing down and rebuilding walls and your chimney, and is usually done after a chimney fire. The cost will depend on the situation. Small steps can improve your fireplace’s efficiency Besides the annual sweep, improve your fireplace’s functioning with responsible use.
  • Only burn dry, cured wood—logs that have been split, stacked, and dried for eight to 12 months. Cover your log pile on top, but leave the sides open for air flow. Hardwoods such as hickory, white oak, beech, sugar maple, and white ash burn longest, though dry firewood is more important than the species. Less dense woods like spruce or white pine burn well if sufficiently dry, but you’ll need to add more wood to your fire more often, according to CSIA.
  • Wood, only wood! Crates, lumber, construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood releases chemicals into your home, compromising your air quality. Log starters are fine for getting your fire going, but they burn very hot; generally only use one at a time.
  • Close your damper when not using the fireplace to prevent warm indoor air—and the dollars you’re spending to heat it—from rushing up the chimney.
  • On a factory-built, prefab wood-burning fireplace, keep bifold glass doors open when burning a fire to allow heat to get into the room.
  • Have a chimney cap installed to prevent objects, rain, and snow from falling into your chimney and to reduce downdrafts. The caps have side vents so smoke escapes. A chimney sweep usually provides and can install a stainless steel cap, which is better than a galvanized metal one available at most home improvement retailers because it won’t rust, says Anthony Drago, manager of Ashleigh’s Hearth and Home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  • Replace a poorly sealing damper to prevent heat loss. “You can get a top-mounted damper that functions as a rain cap, too, an improvement over the traditional damper because it provides a tighter closure,” says CSIA’s Eldridge.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in your house—near the fireplace as well as in bedroom areas.
  • If you burn more than three cords of wood annually, get your chimney cleaned twice a year. A cord is 4-feet high, by 4-feet wide, by 8-feet long, or the amount that would fill two full-size pick-up trucks.
  • To burn fire safely, build it slowly, adding more wood as it heats and keeping your damper completely open to increase draw in the early stages. Burn the fire hot, at least occasionally—with the damper all the way open to help prevent smoke from lingering the fireplace and creosote from developing.
By the way, fireplaces aren’t officially rated for energy efficiency because they’re so varied. Depending on the source of information, they can be 10% to 30% efficient in converting fuel to heat. No inspection will turn a masonry or factory-built fireplace into a furnace, but it can improve efficiency somewhat, decrease the amount of heating dollars you’re sending up the chimney, and increase your enjoyment of your hearth time by reducing smoke. If a sweeping prevents a chimney fire, you’re talking about the difference between another ordinary January day, and the potential loss of your home, or even life.
Wendy Paris Wendy Paris a New York-based freelance writer who has written for This Old House magazine, as well as for The New York Times and Salon.com.
Visit Houselogic.com for more articles like this.  Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

 

Community Events and Entertainment at Colby-Sawyer College

Have you taken advantage of all the cultural events at Colby-Sawyer College in New London?

On November 17th at 7:30 p.m. in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Center, don't miss Randy Armstrong and Venezualan percussionist, Jose Duque,  transform and uplift people from all walks of life with their music.  Their music draws from sources as diverse as mainstream American jazz, Native American flute playing, West African drumming and North Indian sitar motifs - all blended by the ingenious combination of acoustic, high-tech, synthesized technology. Come see a vibrant performance of original fusion music played on a spectacular array of instruments from around the world!  Free admission.

To find out what other events are coming to the college click here.

Who Says a Home is Not a Good Investment?

There are plenty of reasons why buying a home IS a good investment.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun sent the following response to the Letters editor of The Wall Street Journal in reaction to a July 11, 2011 article, “A Home Is a Lousy Investment.”

Click to read his response.


Spring has come early…


Here are the first quarter real estate statistics from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. Although these are statewide stats, they certainly reflect to a degree what has been going on in New London, NH, real estate and the Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region so far in 2010.

Spring has come early…

Here are the first quarter real estate statistics from the New Hampshire Association of Realtors. Although these are statewide stats, they certainly reflect to a degree what has been going on in Sunapee real estate and the Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region so far in 2010.

Here are three things New Hampshire REALTORS® can celebrate this spring:

  • Home sales are up 13 percent, condo sales are up 30 percent, and prices are up over the first quarter of 2009;
  • New Hampshire non-farm employment is rising: we’re only state in region to see an increase; and
  • Our state still leads region in the key index of economic activity, and it is also rising

Not only are New Hampshire home sales up over the first quarter of last year, but median home prices have also risen 6 percent statewide and are up in seven of our state’s 10 counties. Condominium prices are also 4 percent above the first quarter of last year.


The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS®.  NHAR has taken no officlal position on the matter of expanded gambling in New Hampshire.

Half the counties in our state saw double digit home sales increase over last year, which suggests an awfully fast start for the year, no doubt aided by the homebuyer’s tax credit. But economic indicators in our state are so much better than other New England states that tax break or none, we are likely to fare better than they will in terms of home sales, unless we choose to follow their lead with expanded gambling.

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in February (the latest numbers available), which was more than two points below the national rate and the second lowest in New England (Please see charts below). But the unemployment rate only looks at the small part of the picture.

The full part is measured by total non-farm employment, which in New Hampshire has been increasing since the middle of last year. Since then, 11,000 more people are working in our state, and we’re the only state in the region where that’s happening.

These indicators of New Hampshire’s economic health both point in the same direction. Our state is on track to lead New England out of this awful recession, and our real estate market is also likely to recover faster than other nearby states.

New Hampshire was again voted as the safest state in the nation, and we are still ranked fourth in terms of economic activity index. That index is also rising and is up almost three points since mid-2009. Again, we are the only New England state where that measure of our economic well-being has increased since then.

On nearly every measure of quality of life, as well as many other indicators, New Hampshire leads the nation and all other New England states. But our longstanding New Hampshire advantage is being threatened as never before by the rush to permit slots and casinos. To lose our substantial advantage would be an irreversible tragedy.

Here’s just one example: Property taxes per person in 2007 in Connecticut were $2,313.42, compared to $1,917.83 in New Hampshire (17 percent less than Connecticut), according to the Census Bureau. Adding lots of gambling venues certainly hasn’t done much to lower Connecticut's property taxes.

The bottom line is this: Both demographic and economic trends are quite negative for the Southern New England states. Income taxes and sales taxes, along with slot machines and casino gambling, have not improved either their economy or their demography. Do we really want to do what they have done and go where they have gone?

Table I: New Hampshire unit sales and median price first quarter 2010

County Unit sales 1Q 2010 % change 2009-10 Median $ 1Q 2010 % change 2009-10
Belknap 11

+16%

$180,000 +10%
Carroll 107 -7% $178,000 +5%
Cheshire 88 -1% $159,950 -3%
Coos 57 -7% $100,000 +67%
Grafton 125 +24% $170,000 +14%
Hillsborough 482 +4% $217,450 -1%
Merrimack 227 +38% $190,000 +3%
Rockingham 437 +19% $252,000 +4%
Strafford 181 +20% $190,000 +7%
Sullivan 62 0% $131,500 -9%
Statewide 1,885 13% $207,000 +6%

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STATE PARKS IN THE DARTMOUTH-LAKE SUNAPEE REGION

About

The Best Team in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Area…

Not the Biggest, Simply the Best!

We can skillfully and effectively meet all your real estate needs:  whether you are buying, selling or renting-either for vacation or year-round living.  Our team offers professional, experienced, knowledgeable, & conscientious service.  Buyers and Sellers consistently rank our performance as top-notch!  We get the job done by communicating well, responding quickly, and staying in touch!  We follow through with all the details which insures that your buying or selling experience will be as smooth, easy and enjoyable as possible! We know the area and our market and provide a great resource to our clients before and after the sale.  With our entire team working for you, your real estate experience will surpass all expectations!  Get in touch!  We’d love to make you our next success story!

ABOUT:  Established: 1987. Team: Marilyn Kidder, Broker/Owner; Judy Merrill, Office Manager; Cheryl LaPrade, Concierge &; Jessica Davis, Information Manager; Pam Bowen, Saturday Receptionist; Rental Manager & Sales Associate:  Joan Wallen; Sales/Broker Associates:  Sara Ellis, Chris Murray McKee, Sharon LaVigne, Emily Campbell, Jane Snow, Stacey Platte-Viandier, and Donna Forest. Location/Mail: 224 Main Street/PO Box 67, New London, NH  03257 Area served: New London, Wilmot, Sutton, Springfield, Newbury, Bradford, Warner, Andover, Sunapee, Grantham, Eastman, and many of the contiguous surrounding communities. Contact: 1-800-838-1500, Fax:  603-526-2723; info@cbmilestone.com; http://wwwcbmilestone.com http://www.coldwellbankerteamnh.com/; http://www.coldwellbanker.com/.  Also, become a Fan of Coldwell Banker Milestone on Facebook! Or view our area listings at Coldwell Banker on Location on YouTube.