Summer Traffic in a Lake Resort Town

By Becky Whitcher,

Summer Traffic. It’s the talk of the town this time of year. Seeing that I am a local and know my way around these parts I thought I would offer some helpful hints to those of you who haven’t learned the short cuts. If you don’t know the shortcuts, then you can’t get theah from heah!

If you’re going to Center Harbor or Moultonborough from I-93, be sure to take Route 104 (Exit 23) to Meredith. But before you get into town, take that road on the left that goes out to Dr. Vorsek’s old place and follow it and it’ll come out kind of near Belknap College. Take that road by the field with the rock that looks like a bear and go past where dad used to go hunting for the bear that looked like a rock and it’ll bring you right into Center Harbor. When you get to Center Harbor don’t forget to get some groceries at Heath’s. Shop local!

If you need to get through Meredith from the traffic circle (or the “roundabout” as the DOT folks call it), take the back road where the Spragues used to live and where the Ruels still do, and go all the way to the bottom and scoot out across the road to that other road where you get to the back entrance of Doc Nadeau’s old clinic.

Go to the bottom of the hill past McHughs and Sedley Bartlett’s house. If the traffic is backed up on Main Street, take a left by Dr. Dennault’s office and then a right at the Cloughs. That’ll bring you around to the back parking lot of Anderson’s Bakery and Allaire’s Furniture Store. Go through the lot and over the bridge past Weeks’ store and then up the hill where they used to go sliding, shoot through the church parking lot, go left up over the hill and around and come out at the other church. Our office is there on the left at 3 Main Street where Vernal Drake’s office was located for years, right around the corner from the Dairy Bar. You’ll really feel like a local when you pull that out of your bag of tricks.

Becky is an associate in our Meredith Office and obviously knows her way around these parts. She can be reached at 603-393-7072.

How and Why do We Classify Our Lakes and Ponds?

Carl Sack is an agent in our Meredith office and is an avid fisherman. He understands the importance of understanding what makes one lake versus another a good one to fish in. Lakes and ponds are classified according to their water quality.  The classification is based on clarity, bottom structure and concentration of weeds and can affect such activities as fishing and summer beach closures.

Lake Morning Cropped

Q. What is an Oligotrophic lake? 

Carl: An oligotrophic lake is a lake with low nutrient content. These lakes have low algal production and consequently have very clear waters along with sandy or rocky bottoms.  They typically have ample oxygen supporting many fish species some that require cold, well-oxygenated waters.  Rarely are there any beach closures on these lakes and ponds.

Q. And how about Mesotrophic lakes?

Carl: Mesotrophic lakes have an intermediate level of algal productivity. These lakes commonly have clear water, sandy, rocky or hardpan bottoms or beds of submerged aquatic plants. There is a medium level of nutrients and aquatic plants possible along shallow shorelines. Occasionally there will be beach closures.

Q. And Eutrophic Lakes?

Carl: A eutrophic body of water can be a lake or pond with high biological productivity. Due to excessive nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, these water bodies are able to support an abundance of aquatic plants and algae. The algae engages in photosynthesis which supplies oxygen to the fish and biota. Occasionally an excessive algae bloom will result in fish kills and make the water not safe for any activities.  The process of eutrophication can occur naturally or by human impact on the environment. These lakes will be impacted by hot summer months with frequent Beach Closures!

The NH Department of Environmental Sciences test beaches during the summer and if high bacteria counts are found will close them to the public. For updates on your favorite beach’s condition, visit:  www2.des.state.nh.us/WaterShed_BeachMaps/WaterShed_BeachMaps.aspx

For a list of local lakes and water classifications visit Carl’s website at www.nhlakesrealty.com.

 

Great News for Skiers at Mt Sunapee Resort

The Sunbowl Quad chairlift at Mount Sunapee Resort is being replaced with a High-speed Express Quad chairlift for the 2014-2015 winter season. This 4,300 foot lift manufactured by Poma of America will cut the ride time to the summit by more than half to just over 4 minutes. The lift has a vertical rise of over 1,000 feet and services 17 trails. Now, both lifts to Mount Sunapee’s 2,743 foot summit will be Poma high-speed quads.

“In recent years this has been the #1 request from our guests,” says Jay Gamble, general manager of Mount Sunapee Resort. “With the ride time to the summit cut by more than half on the second longest lift at Mount Sunapee, our guests will enjoy a lot more skiing and riding during the day. The Sunbowl is very popular, especially when the morning sun is shining on the trails.”

“What is really exciting is that this high-speed lift in the Sunbowl will trigger a series of lift and trail improvements over the next several years at Mount Sunapee which have already been approved in our Master Development Plan,” added Gamble. A fixed-grip quad chair will be installed on North Peak and a triple chair will be installed from the bottom of the Sunbowl to the summit of North Peak. This lift reconfiguration will be accompanied by new ski terrain from the top of North Peak down into the base of the Sunbowl and snowmaking on additional trails.

Mountain Operations Manager, Alan Ritchie says, “The lift reconfiguration will have a positive effect on the skiing/riding patterns and experience at Mount Sunapee. We will have faster distribution of guests around the mountain and access to some exciting new terrain in the Sunbowl. The speed of the Sunbowl Express Quad and an additional lift up out of the Sunbowl will increase the number of runs our guests can enjoy during the day as well as spread them out more evenly throughout the mountain.”

For more information visit www.mountsunapee.com or call 603-763-3500.

Home Renovation Loans

A Conversation with Brian Neidhardt

Q: How do you feel about the challenges of home renovation?

Brian: It can be a both daunting and exciting proposition. As the popularity of HGTV shows like ‘Property Brothers’ and ‘Rehab Addict’ have grown so have the questions from potential buyers about taking on renovation projects. One question that comes up most often is “can I get a loan that helps with remodeling costs?”

One mortgage product out there for home renovations is the FHA 203k. It is a federally backed loan given to buyers who want to buy an older or damaged home that needs repairs. For instance, say you have a house that needs a new kitchen. An FHA 203k lender would give you the money to buy (or refinance) the house plus the money to do the necessary renovations. Rates vary by lender so it is still important to shop around for the best deal possible.

There are two main types of FHA 203k mortgage loans. The first is the regular 203k, which is given for properties that need structural repairs such as a new roof or a addition. The second is the streamlined 203k is for non-structural repairs such as painting and new appliances. Qualifying homes include one to four family homes that are at least one year old. Some condos also qualify as well.

Applying for the loan can be time consuming because you need to have independent contractors and or inspectors prepare a detailed report of the scope of the work and the cost estimates for each item. If you have been contemplating renovating an older home, which we have many of in New Hampshire, then this type of loan can be a very good option.

For more information Brian can be contacted in our Meredith office at 603-738-3798.

 

Sotheby’s International Realty Announces Relationship with Bloomberg

unnamedSotheby’s International Realty® announced the launch of a content marketing relationship with Bloomberg, a global business and financial information and news leader, designed to showcase the Sotheby’s International Realty® network’s listings to Bloomberg.com readers.

As part of the relationship, in 2014 the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s content units will appear in exclusive positions throughout Bloomberg.com’s property section on its Luxury Property channel. Bloomberg created the program exclusively for the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, which will showcase its network’s inventory of properties through a location comparison, new to market spotlight, search widget and lifestyle feature.

“The Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s target consumer is a direct fit with Bloomberg’s core audience, which is made up of today’s affluent leaders,” said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “Bloomberg’s global readership is made up of those consumers searching for a second or third home that will meet their lifestyle needs, and who recognize the unique value real estate plays in building wealth.”

“Bloomberg is excited to have the Sotheby’s International Realty brand as a content marketing partner,” said Hugh Wiley, head of strategic account partnerships for Bloomberg Media. “The Sotheby’s International Realty brand content aligns perfectly with the Luxury Property section of Bloomberg.com’s Luxury Channel. Providing luxury property offerings around the world will appeal to Bloomberg.com’s audience, which is both affluent and global. This exclusive partnership further extends both the Bloomberg and Sotheby’s International Realty brands into the world of luxury lifestyle.”

Massachusetts Firm Joins Sotheby’s International Realty Brand

Sotheby’s International Realty®  today announced that Harborside Realty in Marblehead, Mass., is the newest member of its real estate network and will now operate as Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty.

Michael Cannuscio, Dick McKinley and Matt Dolan are broker/owners of the firm, which is located at 72 Front Street in Marblehead, and serves Marblehead and the adjacent markets. With the addition of this firm, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand now has 31 offices throughout Massachusetts.

“Michael and his team of 30 associates have a true understanding and appreciation for their market’s unique attributes,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “They are known for their focus on service, and we proudly welcome them to our worldwide network and the outstanding group of offices that serve Massachusetts.”

According to Cannuscio, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand offers his firm a global reach that complements their local market experience. “With the support of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, we will receive worldwide exposure for our market and the outstanding properties we represent,” he said. “Our market area has distinct characteristics filled with historic districts and wonderful seaside neighborhoods that necessitate an in-depth local knowledge, which our agents are known for. We are focused on achieving our clients’ objectives and their satisfaction with a high level of professionalism, market knowledge and service.”

Sotheby’s International Realty® Network Launches 2014 Marketing Program

Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty today announced that Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates launched its 2014 marketing program, designed to reach a global audience of qualified luxury consumers.

At the core of the brand’s 2014 strategy are its relationships with pre-eminent media powerhouses in both the print and online arenas including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph Media Group, Google, Architectural Digest, the Hong Kong Tatler and the Financial Times. These relationships were developed to showcase unique properties from the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand’s 700 offices in 52 countries and territories through unique, media-rich advertising units that offer an immersive experience and position the brand in front of a relevant audience of consumers worldwide. Several relationships feature elements that are exclusive to the Sotheby’s International Realty brand.

“Our 2014 marketing plan was designed to deliver 800 million overall impressions, with nearly half of that dedicated to global markets, ensuring we are positioning the Sotheby’s International Realty brand where consumers are searching for real estate,” said Wendy Purvey, chief marketing officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates. “Our 2013 campaign exceeded our planned projections. As our program continues to evolve, our goal remains the same: providing our network with unique tools and resources designed to assist them in securing listings and reaching buyers around the world. Our plan utilizes content rich proAnthology Icongrams that incorporate both editorial and video. This year’s campaign features hand-selected media partners and our strategy was built around state-of-the-art technology and implementation.”

Click Image to watch brief video…        

The complete Sotheby’s International Realty marketing program is available for network members to present to consumers on listing presentations via a unique and interactive digital format presentation created last year using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. The presentation, which is delivered via tablet devices, allows for the brand to continuously make updates throughout the year so the latest information is available to its network at all times. It also provides an immersive experience for consumers through slideshows, interactive images, embedded videos and live links to online components of the plan, making it easier for agents to present and allowing consumers to see first-hand the avenues of exposure available to them.

“Last year, we launched our iPad app, called ‘Anthology, the Collection of an Extraordinary Brand,’ using a new relationship with Adobe Digital Publishing,” said Purvey. “We were the first company in any industry to use this software to communicate our value proposition as a direct point of contact to consumers. This year, we will continue to enhance its interface, tapping into the latest technologies and innovations.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s website, sothebysrealty.com, will continue to be enhanced throughout 2014 to further incorporate the brand’s unique lifestyle focus through the use of video. As part of those efforts, the brand in the first quarter will launch a video series called “Extraordinary Angles,” focused on lifestyle and distinctive amenities including extraordinary kitchens, wine cellars and pools. Last year, the brand saw visits to sothebysrealty.com increase by 40 percent and its lead generation double.

“This year’s program will enable us to reach a global audience of consumers where they are searching for real estate. This in turn benefits our listing clients no matter the price category they are in,” said Alan DiStasio Managing Director of the firm. “The Sotheby’s International Realty brand is making it easy for us to communicate our value proposition with prospective clients with clarity and by utilizing the latest technologies.”

 

Why List With Us? A conversation with Associate Roy Sanborn…

Q. What is the most important thing a seller should know when considering listing their home with Four Season’s Sotheby’s International Realty?

Roy:  I emphasize how our brand marketing and the quality of the service delivers significant benefits to our clients.

Q. What do you mean by benefits?

Roy:  Our brand provides a level of distinction which a property benefits from by being associated with Sotheby’s International Realty.  Homes listed by us stand out from other listings on the market.  It comes from the brands reputation for representing finer homes across all price points.  We don’t list just high priced homes; rather we focus on homes that exude a certain quality. Distinctive homes in turn attract buyer’s attention.

Another important benefit is credibility. Credibility is enhanced by superior marketing materials with professional grade photography that is distributed to a worldwide network of media partners and outlets which of course leads to more exposure to targeted, qualified buyers.

Once a client has a chance to experience firsthand what we can do for them, they develop confidence in knowing that their property is being properly marketed.  They don’t have to worry whether their home is being exposed to the right buyer pool; They know it is. Now that’s a pretty nice benefit…

Q. So, I expect this premium service comes at a premium price?

Roy:  Not at all. Our fees are in line with the majority of brokerages in the Lakes Region. However, we are not a discount house either. You can’t pay below market fees and receive above market services. We believe that our clients receive real value for the fee they provide. Anyone thinking of selling their home should shop around and compare services and fees. We are confident that we will compare favorably in the marketplace. Please visit www.fourseasonssir.com or  www.lakesregionhome.com for  more information or feel free to  give me a call anytime at 604-455-0335. I’d be happy to hear from you…

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand to Enter Beijing

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates announced it has secured approval to conduct business in mainland China, and has signed an agreement with Beijing Xin Rui Zeng Yi International Real Estate Brokerage Co. Ltd., which is owned by Plus Investment Holding Group (Beijing), to open Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty.

Liu Gang will serve as chairman of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, Kevin Corbett will serve as chief executive officer, and Jim Hao as general manager. Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty is scheduled to open in the first quarter of this year.

“Doing business in China is a key milestone for our brand,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “In September 2012, Sotheby’s became the first international auction house licensed to conduct auctions in China through its joint venture Sotheby’s (Beijing) Auction Co., Ltd. Concurrent development in China has been a priority for the Sotheby’s International Realty brand for the last several years. We strongly believe that under the leadership of Mr. Gang and Mr. Corbett, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand will have a strong foothold in Beijing, China’s capital.”

“Our team has extensive experience with high-end consumer goods, and together with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s global reach, we can combine our local knowledge to create a trusted resource for those seeking to invest in Beijing’s real estate,” said Gang. “We look forward to further growth and expansion in the key luxury markets of mainland China.”

With the opening of Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand will have 27 offices throughout Asia in Australia, Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

2013 Market Report Now Available…

We have produced our first Annual Market Report. In it you will find year over year market trends from 2012 to 2013 for the four main regions we serve; the Lake Sunapee Region, the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont, the Lakes Region and the Merrimack Valley.

New Hampshire overall posted gains in botReport Coverh unit sales of single family homes and average selling price (on average 4.2% over 2012). However real estate markets are local in nature and while all four markets we serve did show year over year unit increases in single family home sales, three regions experienced lower average selling prices in 2013. Only The Merrimack Valley posted a year over year increase in Average Selling Price outperforming the state average. And within each region the results were mixed on a town by town basis. While some towns experienced double digit decreases in average selling prices; others saw double digit increases. These facts will play a significant role on how a homeowner should price their home and what a buyer should decide to pay for a new home in 2014.

So where is 2014 heading?

We believe the housing market in New Hampshire will continue to expand with moderate increases likely to occur in the luxury second home market. This category saw a fair decline in 2013 versus 2012. The overall pace of growth may become more moderate in 2014. And it remains to be seen what effect the draw-down of the Fed’s stimulus program will have. However, the economy grew a total of 3.2% in the 4th quarter of 2013. The jobs outlook combined with pent-up demand, continued home affordability and most importantly, rising consumer confidence are all expected to play a meaningful role in this year’s real estate market.

We hope you find our first Annual Year-End Market Report helpful as you evaluate your real estate options in 2014. For more detailed information including reports broken out by price point, please contact Alan DiStasio Managing Director at alan.distasio@sothebysrealty.com.