Blog :: 03-2015

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” (cnbc.com).   

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!

Cold Winter, Hot Spring, Great Prospects for Windham NH Real Estate Market.

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You've all heard the saying, cold hands, warm heart, but in the Windham NH real estate market, it seems that the saying for 2015 will be, cold winter, hot spring. With just the first warm rays of the Spring-time sun starting to melt the snow banks around Windham, we are observing as very strong market. Windham NH houses, are going under agreement at a quickening pace, many of which are sporting very strong asking prices. If you are ready to sell your home in Windham contact me directly on my cell at 603-548-7230. I have the experience to price you home so you get top value in today's market and posess the skills to create the new listing buzz that will get your home shown and sold. In the meantime, please enjoy the following information about raising your homes emotional IQ:

Selling Your Windham NH House Means Raising its Emotional IQ

When it comes to selling your Windham NH home, the first attributes that will bring in prospective buyers will be found in your listing description: size, location, and all the details that either match prospects’ wish lists (or don’t). Price is in there, too. Next comes curb appeal, which can turn on or turn off prospective buyers. Although it is often the second “at bat” you get when you are selling your house in Windham, it’s not usually decisive. The third attribute can be just that—a bunch of factors that can hook your ultimate buyers.

Call it your home’s “emotional IQ.”  Everything else is important, but emotion plays a powerful role in selling your Windham house. That’s because home is, well, home—where people hang their hats, raise their kids, and spend their precious downtime. When potential buyers come to your house, they may think they are checking out four walls and a roof, but they are much more likely to be seeking a place that tugs at their emotions.

All very well and good, but how do you up your home’s emotional IQ (and snag the sale in the process)? Look objectively at your home, then think about the emotional plays that will get them where it count—through their senses. Give your home a quick sensory scan, looking for things that cue all five:

Sight. Is your home clean? Is it decorated and staged (but not so much that potential buyers can’t imagine themselves in it)? Make sure your home is as spotless as possible, and warm but not personal. When room entrances are arranged to feel open, they look welcoming: a strong way to please the eye.

Sound. Does your home sound like a home? There’s nothing less emotionally pleasing than doing a walkthrough of a perfectly empty shell of a house. Attractive floor coverings (rugs and throws) can eliminate the unbroken echo of footsteps—and make your home feel more inviting; less clinical. And don’t forget a drop or two of 3-in-1 oil or WD40 for squeaking doors!

Smell. The nose is a powerful emotive factor. Aromas can evoke nostalgia, bringing on the feeling of well-being that comes with familiarity—but it can also sound alarm bells. Make sure the air doesn’t carry strong chemical or perfume smells. Better to throw a few cookies into the oven before walkthroughs arrive. It makes it easy for potential buyers to imagine themselves living, working, eating, and enjoying time in your home. Also, pet odors are the number one turn off.

Touch. Look for surfaces potential buyers may touch, and make them clean and inviting. Importantly, door latches and light switches should feel sound and serviceable.

Taste. No—nobody can really taste a home, but selling your house may come down to leaving your personal taste at the door. It’s risky to forget to focus on the most tasteful place of all—the kitchen. The old real estate agent trope that gorgeous kitchens sell houses is more true than not, so if yours is hopeless, you may judicious to spend your upgrade dollars in a modern, open kitchen space.

How does your home’s emotional IQ add up? If you’re lacking in just one area, congratulations. You know what to fix, and a few subtle tweaks will help a lot. If you’re lacking in many areas, give me a call! I may be able to recommend some quick fixes, or point to a home staging professional. Don’t forget: Whether buying or selling your house, things can get emotional. Take a deep breath, remember the real purpose of a home, and be ready to move!
 

OPEN HOUSE: Explore the Possibility of Condominium Living in Windham NH

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Villages of Windham Lamplighter Village

 

Explore the opportunities for condominium living at a low key Open House. Sunday March 8th from 1-3 P.M. Two spacious and luxurious Windham NH condominiums will be open for viewing. Both are ranch style end units. One is located in Lamplighter Village and is offered at $339,900 and the other is located in the Villages of Windham, and is being offered for $369,900 and is nearly brand new. Why not plan to take this opportunity to explore condominium living, at a low key open house event. Here are the adresses: 37 Gordon Mountain Road, Windham NH and 50 Mountain Village Road, Windham NH.

The Best Real Estate Agents in Windham NH are True Team Players

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Windham NH Realtor Team PlayerIn the weeks before you decide which of the Windham NH real estate agents will represent you and your home once it goes on the market, you’re probably looking for a Windham NH Realtor® with the qualities that make a great sales person: knowledgeability, directness, personality, trustworthiness. Likeability is always helpful, but it’s only one among many qualifications. This is a business decision, and an important one for you and your family.

Then, the instant you make your selection, the landscape changes completely! You are no longer on your own: you and your Windham NH real estate agent are members of a team that’s ready to get to work on the project. You both want your home on and off the market as quickly as possible, so the smoother the workflow with your real estate agent goes, the better.

Your real estate agent will already be hard at work assembling the marketing program that will attract prospects from near and far, but you can be helpful even with that effort. It’s the first of three key ideas that are often pointed to as key contributions owners can make:

· Help your agent with unique selling points

What makes your home different from all the others that will be listed for sale? Every property has unique selling points that don’t fit into the standard check boxes, so let your agent know. Qualified agents are already thoroughly familiar with Windham’s broad attractions, but you’ve experienced specific advantages to living in this home, in this neighborhood. Each selling point is another facet that could fire a buyer’s imagination. Having a rich store of real life anecdotes to draw upon will strengthen your agent’s ability to put your home in the limelight.

  • Keep it cozy without clutter

Most times, an owner is still living at home, so your Windham NH real estate agent will be working with what you have available when it comes to furniture and home décor. It’s a strongpoint when prospective buyers are able to project themselves into being the comfortable homeowners. If they’re prevented from envisioning your home as their own, they’ll be out the door and onto the next! Clearing away personal items helps with that—and keeping the clutter level low increases the sense of spaciousness. If buyers see an overstuffed closet, they’ll sense a house that lacks storage space. If kitchen counters are cluttered, they’ll think the space is too small.

·Be flexible with your schedule

Your real estate agent lists your house, makes sure to market it in all the many venues available, arranges open houses and showings, and spreads the word throughout the industry. During this part of the process, you help greatly by being as flexible as possible when it comes to showings. Sometimes potential buyers may seem to be placing insensitive scheduling burdens on the team—but as any serious-minded house hunter can tell you, they have their own scheduling issues, too!

 Selling a home is a team effort, for sure; one you can decide to launch with a simple phone call to me at my office! Call me direct at 603-548-7230