Southern NH Real Estate

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.


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WINDHAM NH: This Great New Listing will be available to be seen beginning on May 6th. Pride of ownership is evident throughout this home featuring a vaulted ceiling great-room with gas fireplace, kitchen with granite, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and 2 car garage. Plus central air and generator. Priced at just $354,900. Be the first to see this beautiful home. Give me a call for the full details and to arrange a viewing. 603-548-7230

Windham NH Home Value and the Puzzling "Starbucks Effect:

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Will a Starbucks will boost your home’s value?

This was the  “hot home-buying tip” splashed all over the airwaves at the end of last month—one that Windham NH real estate watchers probably assumed had to be one of those weird, crazy coincidence feature stories that crop up from time to time. I was a little surprising that Zillow, the big national real estate firm, was said to be the source. It was all over the TV and radio newscasts, usually providing the cutesy end-of-broadcast segment. It hit dozens of news blogs, led by headlines like “Starbucks will boost your home’s value” (Fortune) and “Starbucks increases neighborhood, home values” (   

Yeah. Sure thing—just like the one about a rock on Mars that looks just like a monkey. Here in Windham, we’ve seen Internet stories like this come and go before… And besides, Windham NH is more of a Dunkin Donuts and specialty coffee type of town. Windham offers 3 Dunkin Donuts and the Village Bean coffee shop along with Green Mountain Coffee available at many convenience stores. Starbucks, not so much, and Windham is still one of the most desirable towns in Southern NH.

But then, after delving into the actual source, it turns out that this tall tale actually does have an unchallengeable basis in fact. Zillow research shows that in the 17 years leading up to 2015, homes within a quarter mile of a Starbucks location grew in value by 96%. That’s more than 30% greater than the average increase! It was enough to puzzle even the most skeptical Windham homeowner.

But there is a logical reason that explains it—one that’s a little different from what the headlines might lead us to believe. It’s one that won’t make some fast food execs very happy…

First of all, Zillow did come up with the research. Why is not exactly clear (other than to grab a bunch of headlines), but their blogger Melissa Allison is the author of the ‘hot home-buying tip:’

Buying near a Starbucks has benefits beyond easy access to your double-tall, non-fat, bone-dry cappuccino,” she wrote, followed by the head-scratching statistics. She also clarified that the effect was not common to all coffee vending shops. Homes near Dunkin’ Donuts locations appreciated only 80% during the same period. And there was a U.S. map pointing out the cities with the most pronounced ‘Starbucks effect’ (Boston and Philadelphia). Well, there not a lot of difference between Dunk's 80% and Starbuck's 96%.

Here in Windham, though, regardless of how relevant it is (or isn’t) to area home values, it was definitely one statistic worth investigating further. You just had to—in case there really was some obscure nugget of home value wisdom to be had. In fact, after reading through a half dozen commentaries, there does seem to be at least one logical explanation, and with it, as Ms. Allison promised, a home value tip:  

  1. The real estate executives at Starbucks are very good at picking their locations. They find areas where home values are going to rise a lot faster than elsewhere.
  2. The real estate executives at Dunkin’ Donuts—not so much.
  3. Don’t take headlines literally. “Markets Where Starbucks Boosts Home Values the Most” is very misleading. Where an area as a whole is hot, home values rise. Starbucks is just good at slipstreaming behind them.

Windham NH home values rise when their owners improve the property, or when the neighborhood grows in popularity, or when the trend has all area home values on the rise. The best ‘hot home-buying tip’ to come out of this?

Don’t start looking for a Starbucks sign; just give me a call!

Boomerang Home Buyers in Southern NH Emerge from 7-Year Limbo

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There is a seven-year window for some past Windham NH homeowners--and it's one that's opening, not closing. The 'window' in question is the one that could activate southern New Hampshire "Boomerang Buyers"--which would come as good news for the local Windham and southern NH home sales.

Some background about Windham NH Boomerang Buyers. It's a term coined in the wake of the subprime mortgage fiasco, describing those burned by the housing crisis. They were, on the whole, Baby Boomers and GenXers who were caught up in the Great Recession. For many who became enmeshed in the effects of the nasty confluence of the cliff-dive of the subprime mortgage bond market and collapse of residential valuations that swept the nation, foreclosures or short sales became, literally, offers they couldn't refuse. Not only did the bitter aftertaste leave many with a spoiled appetite for homeownership, but the damage done to the credit ratings of millions made that a moot point: they had fallen off the scale when it came to qualifying for a new mortgage.

But that was then; this is now. It's a now that, in RealtyTrac Newsroom's breathless phraseology, "the first wave of...homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure or short sale during the foreclosure crisis are now past the seven year window they conservatively need to repair their credit and qualify to buy a new home."

Soon, more and more Boomerang Buyers in Southern NH will be in the clear, if they choose to be; and they are only the first wave. "Nearly 7.3 million potential boomerang buyers nationwide will be in a position to buy again from a credit repair perspective over the next eight years," says Newsroom. Bankrate, the mortgage and financial advice website, sees the group as particularly well-qualified. They quote a broker in North Carolina to that effect: "If you've been through a foreclosure, you've already been a know the process. You've been through hell sometime in the last seven years..."

That word 'sometime' is apt, because the seven year period has been anything but uniform. Guidelines for that "waiting period" have sometimes been three years for FHA qualifiers, or even shorter for portfolio loans that lenders keep on their own books. But whether it's three or seven years, the clock usually starts ticking only when a foreclosure has been completed. But according to FICO, although a foreclosure remains on a credit report for seven years, "the negative impact will fade as time passes."

For potential southern NH Boomerang Buyers still waiting for a foreclosure to disappear altogether from their credit reports, there are other routes that can lead to a homeownership reboot. For more on buying or selling, I'm always pleased to sit down and discuss some of the great opportunities in our current market!

When is the Best Day to Enter Your Home in the Southern NH MLS Listings?

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The Goal is to enter your Home Listing in the Southern NH MLS on a Weekday.

It is a good bet that the first place the public will spot your house for sale will be the Southern NH MLS listings. If 90% of those who actually do buy a home go to the web during their search (researchers at the National Association of Realtors® say so), they will either go directly to the Windham NH MLS home listings or find them through a Realtor’s site.

If you think like an advertising director, you might wonder when, exactly, the best time would be for your new listing’s premier? Is it in the dead of winter? Springtime? Summer? And is there a perfect day of the month, or (come to think of it) day of the week?

The NAR® has weighed in with some concrete answers. Well, actually, not really answers per se—more like information to help satisfy our curiosity. It turns out there really is no single best time for southern NH MLS listings to debut, for a couple of reasons; nonetheless, in case you’re curious (I was) about the findings, here they are:

The most popular home listing debut last year was Thursday, May 1, 2014. Second, April Fools’ Day. April and May were sprinkled liberally through the Top 25; but June, and March were all up there, too. But although the 20th was one of the top days of the month for listings launches (as well as the 24th through 30th), the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked often enough to tilt the overall results toward early in the month.

As for the most favored day of the week, there really wasn’t a clear winne­­r—though there were definitely a couple of losers. Saturday and Sunday were all but ignored as days anyone first listed their homes. The reason is quite simple. As a Windham NH Realtor I want to make sure a new listing coming onto the market is seen by as many interested people as possible. My prime target market is to other Realtors, who may have buyers they are working with, searching for the type of Windham NH property like yours that I am listing that day. Most Realtors and many Buyers get a “hot sheet” of new listings delivered to them daily in their e-mail. New listing buzz is important and I want my new listings to premier on a weekday when other Realtors are likely to be in the office or working on real estate matters. On weekends, many Realtors and Buyers are busy with personal matters and may not notice a new listing coming on the market. So always launch on a weekday, the earlier in the day the better.  

Closings—the days that home sales are signed and sealed—­­­had the same unpopular pair of days: weekend closings were predictably rare, as were Federal holidays. Two strange exceptions did pop up last year: Sunday, November 30, and Sunday, August 31. That has to be because of the natural inclination for people to pick the end of a month when they need to come up with a deadline. Often enough, we have to scramble to meet any deadline…if it happens to fall on a Sunday, too bad!

But although we have all this information about what the most common days to inaugurate a listing or finalize a home’s sale, that ­­really doesn’t answer what’s the best time to do either. After all, just because more people pick similar dates, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily advantageous. You might even argue that the best day to begin listings in Windham and southern NH would be the least popular one, since your listing would be more likely to stand out when it’s the newest. Lonely, but brave!

There is one good answer to when is the best time to list your home: it’s whenever you’re ready. There are plenty of prospective buyers at all times—and as has been well-documented, a lot of them start looking in the dead of winter, when outdoors activities are at a minimum. As for when is the best time to give me a call? Anytime!

Thank You to All of My Southern NH Real Estate Clients and Customers.

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2014 was a great year thanks to all of my wonderful real estate clients and customers. It was busy year and I closed my last real estate listing, a condo unit in Hardwood Heights, in Windham NH, on the December 31st. I just can't express what a privilege it is for me, to help so many wonderful people, as they make such important life decisions regarding real estate. If you're thinking of buying or selling a home in Windham or thoughout southern New Hampshire, I would be happy to discuss your needs and how my skills, strategies and experience can help you meet your goals. 

Distinctive Custom Cape in Windham NH with Designer Upgrades and Amenities.

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   Set privately at the end of a long driveway, you’ll discover a sensational home that is just loaded with designer upgrades and amenities. Greet friends and family in the spacious entrance hall with its double closet and gleaming hardwood floors. Pass through a pair of French doors into the spacious living room with hardwoods, crown moldings and sweeping bay-front window. Pass though another set of French doors into the designated formal dining-room, with hardwoods and custom built-in hutch or continue to use the space for other purposes. A designer’s hand is seen thoughout the elegant custom kitchen. Enjoy gorgeous custom cabinets, the richness of hardwoods, granite counters, china cabinet and thoughtful touches such as pot filler spout above the cook-top. Plus there is a bay window overlooking the back yard. The kitchen will be the gathering spot of the home, opening as it does, directly into the family room with hardwoods, masonry fireplace with gas log and beautiful custom cabinets. The mudroom area features a sensational pantry with beautiful cabinets, storage areas and a powder room that is  tucked off the hall.  The first floor is completed by two spacious bedrooms and a full bath with beautiful details including granite counters.

     The master bedroom suite features a luxurious bath. Enjoy ceramic tile flooring is warmed by radiant heat and watch the snow falling, through the picture window, from a private spa bath. There is an incredible double head, shower with distinctive glass block windows, handsome double vanity with dressing area, separate enclosed commode, the decadence of heated towel warmers and even a fridge. The spacious walk-in closet offers an abundance of built-ins and organizers. Also on the second floor is a charming bedroom with hardwoods and dressing area including unique closets with built-ins. The main bath features a beautiful tub and a whimsical dolphin water spout. There is also a second floor laundry with more custom built ins.

     The back yard is level and is highlighted by a recently refinished deck with A/G pool and a large fenced in play or pet area.

     Overall, the features and amenities found in this distinctive home set it apart from competing properties in the town of Windham. Please see full amenity list.



New Listing: Beautful "Country House" in Windham NH

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Just Listed: Wonderful Country Home in Windham NH


WINDHAM NH: As you drive down the winding driveway, past an ancient stone wall and a thicket of hardwood trees, you glimpse the property that is about to become the backdrop for your life. Outdoor living will be the hallmark with the “L” shaped in-ground pool, cabana and screen house, with open fields beckoning beyond.  There is an awesome wrap around deck and thoughtful accommodation and fencing for pets. The house itself is a classic colonial that has seen many recent updates including remodeled kitchen and baths, hardwoods and central air. The first floor features a spacious family room with brick fireplace/hearth with gleaming hardwoods that opens to a recently remodeled kitchen. The kitchen features and abundance of cabinets, tiled backsplash, tile floors and breakfast area with bay window that takes in the expansive view. There is also a formal living room with boxed bay window. Formal dining room with hardwood floors and French doors opening to the wrap-around deck. Plus the convenience of a half bath and laundry just off the mudroom. You’ll enjoy the bright and airy sun-room that features vaulted ceilings, tile and electric heat. The second floor features hardwood flooring and an updated full bath. The master suite offers private, recently updated  3/4 bath and double closets. Three additional bedrooms with hardwoods complete the second floor. The third floor features a two suite which offers bonus space for a variety of purposes. Finally, there is an attached two car garage and generator hook-up.

If you want to take a look give me a call: Kristie Dinsmore  603-548-7230


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.