Buying a Home in Southern NH

My first Listing with Coldwell Banker

My First Listing with Coldwell Banker

This is my first listing as an agent affiliated with Coldwell Banker! It is locate at 1 Iris Lane in Londonderry NH. It a beautiful craftsman style home and the interior it just gorgeous. If you would like to see ti or if you would like to have me sell your home, feel free to give me a call at 603-548-7230.

How to Know You Have Found the Right Home Inspector in Southern NH

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The importance of hiring a reliable home inspection is one of the bedrock principles every home buyer reads and hears about from all quarters. Any Realtor® worthy of the name will be able to recommend southern NH home inspectors with the kind of strong credentials that establish the validity of his or her report--it's part of the full service a real estate professional brings to the process of buying a home.

 The object of the inspection is, of course, to prevent the unexpected: repair bills that might otherwise go undetected until after the purchase. A good inspector finds problems before you close on a property. Although a home inspector's fee may require an investment of a few hundred dollars, it's certainly better than spending tens of thousands down the road.

A thorough inspection and the report that follows are what you are looking for--what earns a new home buyer peace of mind. And choosing the right candidate isn't difficult, as long as you are willing to follow a few common sense procedures.  For instance, the written inspection report is an important part of the process, yet some inspectors wind up sending only a checklist. The best ones accompany that with their more detailed written observations. Before you commit, ask the candidate if you can see a sample of the kind of report that will be prepared.

It's a very good idea for you to be present when the inspection is made--it's a one-time chance to see for yourself some of the workings of the property from a professional's point of view. A good inspector may suggest it...and certainly will not object when you invite yourself to the party. If he or she objects, my advice is to find someone else.

Remember that in Southern NH besides a general home inspection, you will want to complete a well water test, a septic system inspection, a radon air and water test, and a lead paint test if the property was built before 1978.

Obtaining a Professional Home Inspection is the single most important thing a buyer can do for their protection. I urge all of my prospective southern NH buyers to seek professional opinions regarding property condition and to have a professional home inspection completed.

A professional home inspection report will provide the buyer with detailed information about the home's physical condition, its systems and fixtures and usually note any potential future problems. This is your chance to verify information provided to you by the seller in the "Seller's Representation of Condition." The buyer should carefully review an inspector's proposal to determine the scope of the inspection. Some home inspectors limit the systems or components they will inspect. We do also recommend that you interview home inspection companies to make sure that they are experienced, a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors and have errors and omissions insurance.

Buyers should not rely upon reports done for others (pervious buyers and/ or sellers), because the report may not be accurate and buyers may have no recourse against an inspector they have not retained. Standard Purchase and Sales Agreements in New Hampshire allow for a home inspection to be completed in a certain time frame. Additional information about inspections may be found at the American Society of Home Inspectors website .

As with any other expert, check the candidate's reputation online. The Better Business Bureau website, Angie's List, Yelp, and all the other websites that post continuing reviews of professional service providers can supply good feedback. But again, be thorough: watch out for 'paid' ratings; check more than one source; and if a complaint is registered, be sure to bring it up when interviewing an otherwise-qualified candidate.

Home inspectors who are strongly tied to the southern NH business community, or who are involved in national-level home inspector organizations, have their reputations on the line with every inspection. These inspectors may provide higher quality service than others, and although choosing a leading Southern NH home inspector may wind up costing a few dollars more, when you're about to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a home, paying a bit extra is usually money well spent.

Whenever my clients ask for advice in choosing a home inspector in Windham NH, I supply a choice of several, along with what I have heard from other clients who have used them recently. It's part of the service I'm pleased to offer--and another good reason to give me a call!

Southern NH Rental vs. Purchase Choice Involves Multiple Factors

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When your primary residence is a southern NH rental property, from time to time you may find yourself pausing, pen hovering over checkbook, thinking, “What if this check were going to buy this place, instead…?” 

It’s a nearly unavoidable thought because common wisdom has it that buying a southern NH home usually makes more financial sense than renting it. That sounds sensible simply because at the end of the day (or, more accurately, at the end of a 15- or 30-year mortgage term), ownership means you no longer have to write those checks: you own that southern NH rental. It could be true—but there’s a lot more involved in the purchase-or-rental decision. If you make it a point from time to time to recalculate your situation, should it turn out that you aren’t any better off exiting the rental ranks, writing those checks to the landlord will become a less stressful activity.

The first consideration is location, location, location—but not in the usual sense. The question is how permanently you are likely to stay where you are. What are the odds that your job or family issues will take you away? If it’s likely that you will be moving out of southern NH area within five years or less, a rental could well be a better choice. Buying and selling expenses—plus the time and effort involved—are factors that often make it wiser to delay buying until you are situated more permanently.

Then there is the real monthly outlay comparison between the two. Realistic calculations for owning take into account all of the monthly expenses involved. They include property taxes, homeowner or condo fees, insurance, gardening expenses, utility costs, and maintenance costs (they tend to be more than you first estimate). If your southern NH rental check is significantly smaller than the monthly home owning total, your financial ship might float higher if you put the difference into a savings account. You should consider whether your money might be put to better use elsewhere.

That last item points to the overriding issue: whether your current savings are able to support a purchase without incurring too much financial strain. That monthly home ownership calculation did not include the initial cost—the down payment. This part may have become less of a hurdle recently: the Federal Housing Administration has reduced its requirements. In fact, it may be possible to buy a house with an FHA mortgage with as little as a 3.5% down payment…although a higher down payment means a lower mortgage payment and no private mortgage insurance.

The last part of your calculation is one that can be a very positive financial benefit of ownership vs. rental: the mortgage interest tax deduction. Especially for those in higher income tax brackets with hefty mortgages, it can tilt the scales toward ownership.

I’m here to offer help and advice about any southern NH rental and ownership questions—in fact, about any of your real estate questions. I hope you won’t hesitate to give me a call!

Forming an Effective Team Puts Your Windham NH Agent to work Doubling You Agent's Effectiveness.

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Forming an Effective Team Puts Your Windham NH Agent to Work Doubling Your Windham Real Estate Agent's Effectiveness  

Your Windham NH Agent: Doubly Effective When it's Game On!

One of the most effective ways to maximize your chances of achieving the best residential real estate deal possible lies in your ability to partner effectively with your choice of a Windham NH real estate agent. Your agent is your local guide through the complexities of Windham's market--your assistant, tutor, and trusted right arm in the enterprise of buying and selling a residence. It's your Windham agent's job to make the team an effective one--but for all parts to truly work as a unit, some basic elements should be in place...and clearly understood by everyone:  

For prospective buyers, when your real estate agent fully understands your search criteria, the end product is a more focused search that yields the intended results most efficiently. It will conserve an under-appreciated asset (your patience)--and free your schedule by eliminating properties that aren't right for you. Shopping for a home can lead to a bewildering jumble of options. Simply searching online for properties, or driving around likely neighborhood choices looking for "For Sale" signs is an inefficient and time-consuming stratagem. What's more, tapping into a Windham agent's comprehensive understanding of the market--past and present--makes you much more likely to unearth the best value/price offerings as they become available.

For those who are selling a Windham home, an experienced agent wades through less-than-serious inquisitors, keeping you from getting bogged down with fruitless showings or unreasonable offers.

A move into an unfamiliar area comes with a certain level of risk. A trusted agent equips you with the insights you would otherwise be missing. It can mean the difference between landing your dream property and buying into a subpar situation--one you might regret for years. You only need imagine buying a home in the warmer months only to be blind-sided when access becomes iffy during the snowy season. An agent will have a more complete understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of all of Windham's neighborhoods--as well as the ability to help you make an informed choice, irrespective of when you are available or ready to buy.

Establishing a candid relationship with your Windham real estate agent will not only afford you a buying or selling experience that's as untroubled as possible, it will also provide you with a resident's comprehensive knowledge of all the local factors long-time residents take for granted. Buying or selling, I hope you will consider giving me a call for a no-obligation chat about the current market!

Programs for First Time Buyers in Southern NH

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There's help for First Time Home Buyers in Windham New Hampshire: First Time Home Buyer Rates Drop to Near 30-Year Lows. There are Many Programs that Can Aid Southern NH First Time Home Buyers.

WINDHAM NH: Kristie Dinsmore

As the end of 2014 approached, the National Association of Realtors® was able to come up with some general observations on the makeup of the current market--facts that anyone expecting to deal with southern New Hampshire home buyers in the coming year should find useful. With consumer attitudes showing improvement across the board, you might have expected that all segments of the home buying public would have shown increased activity. Not so.

According to the NAR's annual survey--the big one that they've been conducting since 1981--the percentage of first time home buyers sank to a nearly 30-year low. It dropped 5% in just one year. Throughout the 40+ years of the survey, first time home buyers have usually made up about four of every ten home sales...but in 2014, that rate fell to 33%. 1987 was the only other year with a comparably weak rate.

We don't tally separate statistics on southern NH's first time home buyers, but there's no reason to suspect our buyer profiles wouldn't reflect the same trend. But there's some good news, too. Help may on the way.

The reasons first-timers have been having a hard time was addressed by Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. He points to obstacles to southern NH first-time homebuyers are likely to face--many of them connected with the rising difficulty young people have in saving for a down payment. Rising rents plus student debt and auto loan payments combine with stagnant wage levels to cramp savings growth. Added to that, the cost of mortgage insurance for Federal Housing Authority-insured loans have been rising. In 2010, 56% of first time home buyers used affordable FHA loans to purchase their home; by 2014, that number had dwindled to 35%.

Dr. Yun's analysis is borne out by a separate RealtyTrac analysis of housing affordability and down payments. This, too, was a wide-ranging survey, examining affordability in 500 counties across all states. It found that for buyers with no additional debt, housing is affordable in 90% of markets --regardless of whether a 3% or a 20% down payment was contemplated. But for buyers with additional debt (like Dr. Yun's student loans and car payments), housing is affordable in only 48% of real estate markets. Many who find themselves in that category are first-time home buyers. No wonder their activity is down.

That sounds like daunting news for many aspiring first time home buyers looking for a home in Windham NH, but some good news is waiting in the wings. RealtyTrac footnoted a big one. According to data collected by Down Payment Resource, there more 2,300 separate programs are out there to assist buyers with down payments and closing costs. Finding which ones a southern NH first time home buyer might be eligible for is easy: DPR offers online help. Add in recent good news on the economy (job growth in particular) and government efforts to loosen mortgage loan requirements by lowering down payments, and it looks likely that 2015 will find more first timers crossing the threshold to their first home. I hope it is the wave of the future--and I'm standing by to help make it happen!

If you're a first time buyer looking in southern New Hampshire, give me a call. I work hard for my customers and help them overcome the hurdles facing first time home buyers.


A Buyers Agent for Waterfront Property In NH

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Finding a waterfront home in southern NH, that meets your needs, takes the skills of a dedicated real estate professional. Listen to what one of my past clients, who purchased a home, in 2014 on Beaver Lake, in Derry NH had to say:

"I contacted Kristie 8-9 months prior to purchasing a home. Kristie is very knowledgeable about the area and surrounding towns and the real estate process. I gave her my checklist and she helped me look for months. This one was too big, that one was too expensive, the other one was a dump, until finally we found "the one", of which some items were not on my checklist! She helped me to negotiate the price by offering suggestions as to what were legitimate issues and what were frivolous. She then kept the process moving, advising me of what I needed to do next and giving me contacts for the process. She was very responsive, never hesitant about getting on her phone. At all times I felt she was on my side and looking out for my interests."

If you're looking to buy a waterfront property in New Hampshire, please feel free to contact me, for a low key, no pressure conversation about what your goals are.


Totally Redesigned Windham NH Condominium

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28 Wynridge Road, Windham NH

Totally remodelled custom condominium.

Come home and enjoy this stunning, reimagined townhouse in desirable Wynridge. Every room features luxurious upgrades and designer touches. Greet friends and family in a real entrance hall with gleaming Brazilian wood floors, handsome pilasters and moldings, plus the convenience of a privately located powder room. The open floorplan allows light and conversations to flow throughout the first floor. The great-room is a smart and sophisticated environment, where you can kick back and relax or entertain with a formal flair. Features include Brazilian cherry floors, crown moldings, and Shaker style cherry cabinets with warm, backlit uppers with “Flemish” glass. A gorgeous slab travertine “crema marfil” marble fireplace is the focal point of the room. The warm, rich palate of the incredible kitchen is achieved with the cinnamon finished, cherry cabinets with lighted glass upper accents, matte industrial granite counters in Laurentian green antique finish, light maple hardwoods and African stainless steel back splash. Kitchen is very open to the great-room and also offers a breakfast counter and a wonderful computer-planning desk plus “Elite” Kenmore stainless steel appliances. The master bedroom suite offers cathedral ceilings, walk-in closet. The whirlpool bath features “Botticelli” tile, custom cabinetry with granite counter tops and brushed nickel accessories and lighting. The second bedroom features ensuite bath, with granite counter vanity and tile shower with frameless glass enclosure. The lower lever offers a spacious walk-out family room with an abundance of glass to let the light shine in. There is also a bonus room that can be used for many purposes. All this plus the convenience of an attached garage.  Please see the Seller provided upgrade and amenity list for the full details on the one townhouse in Windham that truly stands apart.