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.

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Source:  Reprinted from

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

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;;

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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,,

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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  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

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  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.

Looking for Low Maintenance Living?

Take a look at this New London condo!  The Seasons at Lake Sunapee Country Club is a premier residential community.  Lake Sunapee Country Club offers an 18 hole golf course, tennis and a pool for its members (not included in fees).  A public restaurant is within walking distance.  This three bedroom three bath unit overlooks the 10th green with views of Mt. Kearsarge.  Monthly association fee is currently $777.  Offered at $250,000.

Jane Snow, Listing Agent, 603-526-4116

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Outdoor Enthusiasts Wanted!

Don't miss out on this newly listed home in New London on 9.7 acres which abuts 90+ acres of conservation land on Clark Pond and sits across from Messer Pond.  It's just the right size and in an ideal location with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, screened porch, fireplace, two car garage and wood shed.  There's even a home brewery (equipment sold separately)!  A peaceful, tranquil setting, yet just over a mile to Main Street in New London for all the activities.  Offered at $384,000.  For more photos, visit

Susie Moore, Listing Agent, 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.