There were 96 residential home sales in October in the 12 towns covered by this Lakes Region real estate report. The average sales price came in at $350,760 and the median price point was $209,250. Last October we posted 97 sales at a lower average of $287,919. We just had three straight months of hundred plus sales, so our yearly sales numbers should look pretty good if we finish out the year strong. This sure feels better than going in the other direction.
With Thanksgiving coming right up, I thought I would focus a little bit on the most important room of the house on that day; the kitchen. More precisely; the "gourmet kitchen." Obviously, you need to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, unless you take the easy route and go to Hart's Turkey Farm. That, however, could interrupt watching the football games which in my house is contrary to the true meaning of Thanksgiving. I have a long standing tradition established in my early childhood of watching , what was then, Tom Landry's Cowboys and the hapless Lions play their annual Thanksgiving Day games. Those were the days! The only things that have changed are there are three games to watch now and the Cowboys are almost always the hapless ones.
Anyway, if you are going to cook a turkey, you should have a gourmet kitchen to cook it in unless you've got one of those outdoor deep fryers that will turn the whole thing into one big chicken nugget in seconds flat. But what is a gourmet kitchen exactly? Well, no one seems to know exactly, but real estate agents use the term a lot. According to the Urban Dictionary, a gourmet kitchen is "an abstract term used by realtors to add appeal to listings. Theoretically, it refers to a higher-end kitchen, but it has become used so loosely, that there are no clear defining factors that separate a 'gourmet kitchen' from a 'kitchen.'"
While there may be no exact definition of a "gourmet" kitchen, you can usually tell when you are in one. High end appliances such as Viking, Subzero, Wolf, and Bosch are a must. Six burner gas stoves, double ovens, convection ovens, warming drawers, pizza ovens, wine refrigerators, high end cabinetry, granite or other high end countertops, plenty of work space, center islands, and pantries are all key components fancy food loving buyers look for.
Now some people say realtors use the term "gourmet kitchen" too much so. So, I thought I'd take a look to see how many great gourmet kitchens are available right now on the MLS. Much to my surprise, of the 911 current listings in Belknap County, there were only a measly 14 kitchens that were touted as "gourmet" when I search for that term! Shocking, to say the least. Surely there are more than that; after all, we do get the cable cooking shows here. Where are Rachael Ray, Gordon Ramsey and Emeril when you need them?
You apparently don't have to spend a fortune to get a gourmet kitchen in a house. I found one in a $239,000 house in Meredith, but it might be a little suspect as there were no pictures of the kitchen on the MLS. Maybe the chef there was a guy named Boyardee?
Other gourmet kitchens were found at 28 Boulder Drive in Belmont (listed at $399,900), 62 Secord Road in Gilmanton ($495,000), 65 Cotton Hill Road in Belmont ($595,000), and a real nice one at 90 Minge Cove in Alton ($1.795 million.) There are hundreds of homes out there with absolutely stunning kitchens, but searching for them by using "gourmet" as a search term won't bring up all of them. Check with your realtor to find out which homes have that truly special kitchen you've been looking for. Undoubtedly, he knows several great examples of designer kitchens because he's been to open houses where he has chowed down in one or two of them... It's a rough job, but that's what we have to do! Bon Appétit ...
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 using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System as of November 19, 2013. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.