Published DateThere were 54 sales in January in the Lakes Region communities covered by this real estate market report. The average sales price was $189,399 and the median price came in at $169,430. I thought that was pretty dismal until I looked at last January's sales numbers and realized we only had 48 sales then. Even though last January's average sales price was higher at $295,068 and the median price was $184,500, right now I'll take the higher activity level as we need to keep the inventory levels down.
There appeared to be some pretty good buys last month. I'm not talking about the after Christmas sales at the mall, but good buys on all kinds of Lakes Region real estate. For example, there is a property at 536 Endicott Street in Laconia which is across from the Funspot parking lot that was owned by Freddie Mac. It sold for a mere $38,500, which was just 25 percent of its assessed value of $152,100! I can't say much about the house as I haven't seen it and there really isn't much info in the MLS, but what the heck, it is a four bedroom, two bath cape built in 1958 on a .98 acre commercially zoned lot with public sewer. Seems like this was a great buy regardless of the condition of the home?
A property in HUD's vast stable of foreclosed properties sold at 19 Westview Drive in Laconia for $99,500, or just 50 percent of its assessed value of $199,500. This is a 1965 vintage, three bedroom, two bath ranch, with 1,640-square-feet of living space, and a two car garage that sits on a .53 acre lot with views of Lake Winnisquam. Water views at $99,500? As with most bank owned or HUD owned properties there wasn't a lot of effort given by the listing agent to describe or to give any info on this property. He was pretty adept, however, at letting you know that the property is being sold "in as-is condition," that the "property is sold AS IS AS SEEN," and "neither the owner or the agent makes warranties or representations." Despite having to deal with the Sergeant Shultz mentality of "I Know Nothiiinngg," this was probably a pretty good deal with some good upside potential for the buyer.
Also in Laconia, over at 139 Eastman Shore Road North, someone got a great deal on a nice 1,978-square-foot, three bedroom, one-and-three-quarter-bath ranch. This home was built in 2003 and was in "turn-key" condition. This home was light and bright and features an open floor plan, a kitchen with a pantry and office area, a living room with a soap stone gas stove, a finished walk out lower level, a four season room finished in pine, bedrooms with cathedral ceilings, a farmers porch, and a two car garage. This home sits on a 2-acre lot with beach rights to Winnisquam. Unlike the previous two homes, this home was owner occupied, so the buyer got the all the property disclosures to help him get comfortable with his purchase. And based on the fact that the new owner bought the property for just $176,000 or 75 percent of its assessed value of $236,100 and $43,000 less than the original asking price, I bet he is pretty comfortable!
If you like older homes with charm and character you would have liked the property at 528 Cherry Valley Road in Gilford. Built in 1928, this 3,642-square-foot, four bedroom, three and a half bath cape has large bright rooms, cathedral ceilings, exposed beams, two fireplaces, hardwood and tile floors, a first floor master suite, a walkout finished lower level with game room, large deck, a detached two car garage, and great views of Winnipesaukee. The house sits on a well landscaped 2.29-acre lot near the Gunstock Recreation Area. This home was originally listed back in 2008 at $489,000, but this go around it came on the market at $274,000 and sold for $274,000 which is 78 percent of the assessed value of $350,170. What a difference a few years and a few hundred thousand dollars makes...
Last week I wrote about the "unexpected" low number of sales on Winnipesaukee in January. That was just one sale, by the way. Well, I got an "unexpected" e-mail from an agent that read the column and she was sure that the waterfront listing she sold at 301 Trask Side Road in Alton was the one I would have described. Unfortunately, that property was not included in my report because she omitted a key piece of data when she entered it in the MLS. In the MLS you indicate the type of water access that a property has from a drop down menu with choices such as "owned," "shared," or "ROW." This field was overlooked and left blank on this listing so it was not picked up in the search. So anyway, "unexpectedly," this listing doubled the number of sales on Winnipesaukee in January to two! This home is a 1965 vintage, 3,164-square-foot, six bedroom, three bath contemporary ranch with two completely separate living areas and kitchens. The house features an open floor plan, two stone fireplaces, lots of natural wood work including wood ceilings, and more importantly lots of glass to bring in the big lake sunset views. This home sits on a .6 acre lot with 144-feet of level frontage with two docks and a lake side deck. The sale also included a 6 acre lot across the street.
So, I do feel a little better that we had two sales instead of one, but not really, really great as we need more. But, I also heard from the buyer of that property about how happy he was to be on Winnipesaukee. As a matter of fact, he said, "We feel Great! As it is a terrific house in a fantastic location. I refer to it as box seats on the forty yard line of the big lake!" And I think he got a good deal to boot. This property was listed at $879,000 with a tax assessment of $845,900 and was purchased for $785,000. A good deal and a very, very happy buyer! Now that's what I call great!
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled as of 2/19/13 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