Roy Sanborn - Home thefts increase in Lakes Region

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There were 77 residential homes sold in the twelve Lakes Region of N.H. communities covered in this report in April of 2013. The average sales price came in at $299,681 with a median price point of $192,500. Last April we had only 61 sales but the average sales price was a bit higher at $324,580. With 56 percent of the sales below the $200,000 mark last month it is bound to have an effect on the average sales price.
Just like last year, there were a number of home thefts in April in the Lakes Region. I am not sure if the local authorities are going to be able to do much about it. Just like last year these thefts occurred in broad daylight and the perpetrators seemed to have inside help on most of them. Some of these heists required some patience though and they had to be carefully planned and executed to be successful while other used the art of surprise to pull this caper off.
Take for example the case at 351 Horne Road in Belmont. This three bedroom, two and a half, 1,400-square-foot, split level (disguised as a raised ranch) with a D.O.B. of 1989 was whisked away sometime after 9:00 a.m. on April 26th for the criminally low price of $135,000. Where's the crime? Well, this was a short sale in progress, or a "211" Sergeant Joe Friday said. It took only a total of 71 days for this swindle to come down and the thief got away with this property for 58 percent of the tax assessment of $235,500. Now this old girl needed some TLC and was stolen "as is," but the super location, the two car garage, the heated workshop, a 1.46-acre level lot, and an in-ground pool make this a home with a lot of upside. I just hope the new owner doesn't launder money in the pool.
A few weeks earlier at 49 Pinecrest in Gilford another seller got shorted so that the buyer could literally walk away with a whole bag full of equity. This crime scene is a 1967 1,393-square-foot, three bedroom, two bath contemporary home that is in good shape, is situated in a great neighborhood, and has a really nice half acre lot. This crime took a little longer to unfold in this case with the subject property being on the market 426 days and under contract for 161. It took a while for the underworld lawyers to work out the details and how much their cut was going to be. But with a sales price of just $145,000 and a tax assessed value of $218,900, this culprit's patient really paid off.
Another property theft occurred at 171 Sarah Circle in Laconia. This area is known as a very nice part of town and people there just aren't use to this type of criminal activity. Sure enough though, no area is safe. This four bedroom, two and a half bath, 2,261-square-foot cape is a quality built home constructed in 2005 on a .37 acre lot with beach rights to Winnisquam. An agent known as the "undertaker" was involved in this short sale transaction. He enabled some lucky chump to walk away with this fine property for only $197,000 which was way under the current $293,200 assessed value. Six feet under, to be exact. It took him a total of 343 days to mastermind this operation, but the "undertaker" is always willing to wait. It's part of his training.
A bank owned property at 201 Red Hill Road in Moultonborough also got lifted. This contemporary home built in 1994 has 3,468-square-feet of living space, a dedicated second floor master suite, two guest bedrooms, three baths, a beautiful great room with gas fireplace, great deck with mountain views, and guest quarters in the walkout lower level. This home sits on a nice 2.4 acre lot with mountain views in a quiet location that would be perfect for a family meeting if you get my drift. Now this had to be an inside job. Most bank jobs are. I actual sold this property back in 2004 for $496,000 and now even though it is assessed at $350,500 someone managed to steal it for $266,000. There had to be people on the inside on this one.
I am not sure that local law enforcement agencies are equipped or trained to stop this. There were at least 21 sales in April that sold for three quarters or less than their assessed values! Some sold even as low as 26 percnet! When will this crime spree end?
Please feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. . Roy Sanborn is a REALTORĀ® at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.