Published DateIt seems like every day you hear about something unexpected happening. Like the unexpected rise in unemployment claims, or the unexpected drop in the nation's gross domestic product, or that the Pope unexpectedly is going to step down. Well, two out of three have pretty much become expected. But just to keep it rolling, unexpectedly there was only one waterfront home sold on Lake Winnipesaukee in January. I expect that kind of thing on Squam or Winnisquam (which also only had one sale,) but not on Winnipesaukee. This is not the way we should be starting off the New Year after finishing up 2012 with an unexpected 22 percent increase in waterfront sales over the prior year.
The only sale on Winnipesaukee in January was at 11 Craig Way in Tuftonboro near Melvin Village. This is kind of a neat property as it consists of a vintage 1935 main home and two cottages on a .41 acre lot with 95-feet of frontage, a beach, a 40-foot dock, and southwesterly sunset views. There wasn't a lot of info given on the MLS sheet but the pictures revealed that the charming main cottage has cathedral ceilings, a rustic knotty pine interior, a large brick fireplace, two first floor bedrooms plus two more in the loft, and a great deck. The two three bedroom cottages seemed to be a little more modern but also are very appealing... at least from the pictures. We'll get back to that in a moment. The listing agent noted that it was unknown if the cottages were year round or seasonal, but I would bet the lack of insulation and heating systems might limit the usage to the summer months. If you thought otherwise, you would be unexpectedly leaving for warmer places come November. This property was originally listed at $625,000 and was on the market for 215 days before finding a buyer at $535,000. The tax assessed value is listed at $761,800.
The only sale on Winnisquam was at 20 Winnicoash St. in Laconia. Look for a Winnebego in the yard. I don't really expect one to be there, but I liked the near-alliteration. This home is a turn of the century, three bedroom, two bath New Englander with 1,624-square-feet of living space. This charming older home has a newly remodeled kitchen, a formal dining room, hardwood floors, a new roof (so if it leaks, well that's unexpected,) a one car garage, and a nice lawn leading down to 78-feet of frontage with sunset views and a new dock. This home was on the market for 210 days starting at $525,000, then was reduced down to $449,000, and sold for an even $400,000. The tax assessment was shown as $487,400.
There were no sales on Squam Lake in January which was kind of expected given the few sales we see up there.
There are some other things in real estate that are definitely not unexpected anymore: (a) low ball offers, (b) low appraisals, (c) appraisals being rejected due to totally unexpected issues in underwriting, and (d) buyers being vaporized by unseen forces. These examples have all gone from the realm of unexpected to almost always expected.
But there are still some unexpected things going on. Buyers often find the unexpected when they go to look at property. Like finding a badger in the basement or a home that is much nicer on the inside than the outside (or vice versa.) Many times the pictures on the MLS don't reflect how really nice or how disappointing a property might be. Real estate agents have an amazing knack for making homes look really nice in pictures. Consequently, you should go see a property in person before you rule it out. And remember, never judge a book by its cover. For example, some buyers might have ruled out this home after they did a drive by. But a good REALTOR® would have encouraged them to go inside because he had seen it. See, you must always be prepared for the unexpected...
Please feel free to visit ww.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled as of 2/13/13 using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System. Roy Sanborn is a REALTOR® at Roche Realty Group and can be reached at 603-677-8420