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Sanborn – Three tips for buying a home in 2014

Wanna buy a home this year? Here are three tips for buying a home in 2014...or any year for that matter!

1. Get a good New Hampshire realtor.

Just as sellers shop for realtors to sell their properties, to represent them, and protect their interests during the course of the transaction, buyers should also take some time before their home search begins and carefully select an agent with whom to work. It is, after all, the largest purchase you are likely to make (at least until you make enough to get that new Lear Jet you've always wanted). Having someone to guide you through the unknown territory here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire is invaluable if you are from out of town. And, whether this is your first home or your last, having an agent to guide you to your dream property and then through the buying process itself makes the whole experience a lot easier.

All agents are not created equal. We all have different personalities, abilities, knowledge, and expertise. We all have different levels of dedication to our profession and livelihood. You should look for an agent who demonstrates an ability to listen to you, has demonstrated success, and has some experience under his or her belt. Look for someone who knows the market, is a dedicated full time professional, and most importantly find someone who meshes with your personality. Selecting the right Lakes Region realtor will lead you to your dream property on a much quicker and more direct path.

2. Deal with local Lakes Region lenders.

This is a biggie to me. If you are contemplating the purchase of a new home you probably need to borrow money like most folks. And whether this is your first or last home, the best advice I can give to you is to find a lender that has a local office. Dealing with someone here in the Lakes Region that both you and your agent can easily reach, meet with, and interact with in person as the financing process progresses is invaluable in today's market. Local lenders are usually much more responsive to you than someone half a world away that you will never see.

3. Educate yourself.

This is more important now than ever. You should educate yourself on the area, neighborhood, and community you are buying in, about the home buying process itself, the types of mortgages available, and the many advantages to home ownership as well as the costs and challenges. Taking a first time home buyer class is highly recommended if you are a newbie. The Laconia Area Community Land Trust offers frequent classes, so check out their website and sign up for one! Buying a home is, in itself, an educational process. As you look at properties, you will formulate your own sense of market values, realize what your real wants and needs are, and learn a lot about home construction to boot. Your home may be the biggest long term investment you'll ever make, so make it an educated one. And your realtor is there to help you with that, too!

We started off the year with 56 residential home sales in January in the Lakes Region communities covered in this report. The average sales price came in at $347,736. That's pretty good as there were 54 sales in January, 2013 at an average of $189,399. Every little baby step is a positive one.

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 2/17/13. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 09:03

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Sanborn – January 2014 Lakes Region Waterfront Sales Report

We start 2014 off with eight waterfront transactions on Lake Winnipesaukee in the month of January at an average sales price of $1,150,771. Last January, there were just two sales at an average of $660,000 so you'd have to say this is a good start for the year.

The lowest priced sale for the month was at 49 East Side Drive in Alton. This home was originally offered at $599,000 in August of 2012, was reduced to $495,000, and sold for $480,000 after a total of 413 days on the market. This 1890s vintage home has been updated and has 1,881 square feet of living space, three bedrooms, one and a half baths, a modern kitchen (versus a non-modern one, I guess), high ceilings, bead board, and a fireplace in the living room. There are six sets of sliders and a wrap-around porch to ensure you've got a good view of the lake. A small boat house and docking for five boats is right across the street on the lakefront. It's like having your own marina over there! But, the fact that you do have to cross the road to get to the lake always impacts the value of a property and hence the lower sales price.

Over in Laconia at 146 Birch Haven on Paugus Bay, a 2,207 square foot, Adirondack style home built in 2006 found a new owner in just ten days! This is a great example of a smaller waterfront home with tons of character and appeal. This open concept home has four bedrooms (two on the main level and two upstairs), two baths, a great room with cathedral ceilings, a fieldstone gas fireplace, an eat-in kitchen, lots of natural woodwork, and a wall of glass to bring in the views! This house sits on a .27 acre lot with 100 feet on frontage. It was offered at $989,000 and quickly went under contract in just 10 days at $775,000. The tax assessed value is $558,400. This just goes to show that not everything has to be way below assessed value to be a good deal.

The home at 17 Echo Landing Road in Moultonborough wins the Gold Medal for January with the highest sales price of $2,255,000. This home is a spectacular, 4,848 square foot, Adirondack style lake house with five bedrooms including the first floor master suite and four and a half baths. This is one gorgeous home with cathedral ceilings, exposed beams, wainscoting, floor to ceiling fieldstone fireplace, a wonderful country gourmet kitchen, a fabulous three season sun room, a lower level family room (of course) and a three car garage. There is stunning superior craftsmanship throughout! The home sits on a professionally landscaped 1.24 acre lot with 126' of frontage on Moultonborough's Gold Coast. It was offered at $2.495 million, reduced to $2.395 million, and sold for $2.225 million after 147 days on the market. It is currently assessed by the big city of Moultonborough at $1.776 million. Good deal? I bet the new owner thought so...

There were two sales on Winnisquam in January. Over in Belmont, at 29 Gilman Shores Road, there is a cute three bedroom , one bath, 1,143 square foot cottage built in 1945 sitting on a .31 acre level lot with 99' of frontage. It came on the market at $399,000, was reduced to $389,000, and sold for $332,500 after 89 days in the market. The assessed value was listed as $392,600. On the other end of the lake at 25 Eastman Shore Road in Laconia there is a 1950s, two bedroom seasonal camp that also has a new owner. This little fixer-upper sits on a .86 acre lot with 170' of frontage with a gradual entry into the water. It was listed at $425,000 and sold for full price after just seven days on the market. It is assessed at $527,100. I'd say it was a pretty good deal to sell that quickly.

Up on beautiful and serene Squam Lake, there was only sale for the month but it was a pretty nice one. The property is located at 213 Metcalf Road in Sandwich on Rattlesnake Cove. While there is a 60s vintage, two bedroom, seasonal camp to use there the real value here was in the 3.8 acre lot with 300' of pristine Squam frontage. The property provides great privacy and beautiful sunsets, so I highly suspect the plan might be to build a new home there. This property was listed at $1.695 million, reduced to $1.495 million and sold for $1.350 million after 204 days on the market. The assessed value is listed as $1,798,600.

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 2/12/14. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Pat Buchanan - Great Society has failed to move people from welfare to work

The Congressional Budget Office did not exactly say Obamacare would cost the nation 2.5 million jobs.

But what it did say is vindication of what conservatives have preached since Barry Goldwater stood in the pulpit 50 years ago: The more liberal the welfare state, the greater the disincentive to work and the more ruinous the impact upon a nation's work ethic.

The CBO has just given us a statistical measure of that truth. The Obamacare subsidies, it said, will cause some to quit work, others to cut back on the hours they work, and others to hold off going to work, so as not to lose the benefits.

The cumulative impact of all these decisions will be equal to the loss of 2.5 million jobs by 2024. A devastating blow to an economy where the labor force participation is at a 30-year low.

The CBO has put a number of what everyone knows to be true: If people don't have to work to provide the needs of their daily lives, some will drop out and become permanent charges on the pubic purse, deadbeats.

The father of modern liberalism, FDR, never disputed this. As he warned in 1935, welfare is "a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."

This used to be called common sense. Growing up, we all knew or read that those who inherited great wealth often ended up never holding a "real job" and spent their days in a life of self-indulgence.

However, a related and larger question is raised by the CBO: If Obamacare alone will cost the equivalent of 2.5 million lost jobs to the U.S. economy, what is the impact of our entire welfare state on the vitality and dynamism of the U.S. labor force? As Robert Rector of Heritage Foundation wrote in January, if we judge Lyndon Johnson's Great Society only by the dollars spent to improve the lives of the poor and near-poor, an astronomical $20 trillion, it was a success.

Rector describes its dimensions: "The federal government runs more than 80-means tested programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans. Government spent $916 billion on these programs in 2012 alone, and roughly 100 million Americans received aid from at least one of them, at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient. (That figure doesn't include Security or Medicare.) Federal and state welfare spending, adjusted for inflation, is 16 times greater than it was in 1964."

Yet, if we judge the Great Society by its goal, providing the poor with their basic family needs so they can go out into the marketplace and find jobs and join their fellow Americans, it has been, writes Rector, "a catastrophe." Scores of millions of Americans are today less able to achieve self-sufficiency through work than were their grandparents.

And by providing for all the needs that the father used to provide for his family, the Great Society has helped make fathers superfluous. We have created a system where a teenage girl who becomes pregnant can have all her basic needs met by government. This is a primary cause of the rise in illegitimacy in America from 6 percent of all births in 1963 to 41 percent today, and to 53 percent among Hispanics and 73 percent among African-Americans. And that record illegitimacy rate is directly tied to the drug use rate, the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate.

If the goal of the Great Society was to turn America's tax consumers into taxpayers, it has been a total failure. We have now a vast underclass of scores of millions who are dependent upon government for most or all of their basic needs, a class among whom many, if not most, have lost the ability to survive without government money, food and shelter.

This is something new in America, something we did not know with the Irish boat people of the 1840s, the Okies in Dust Bowl days or during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Monday's New York Times reveals a relevant and startling fact. Only 8 percent of the cab and rental car drivers in New York City are native-born Americans. Three times as many yellow cabdrivers in New York were born in Bangladesh than in the USA.

What is happening in America is that the vast cohort of working men and women, immigrants, illegal and legal, who have come in recent decades, 30 to 40 million, have displaced, have dispossessed, the native-born. But we may be coming to the end of the line. From Detroit to Greece to Puerto Rico, government's ability to expand the benefits of the welfare class by taxing the working and middle class is reaching its limit.

Taxpayers are rebelling, budgets are falling dangerously out of balance, and the welfare state is beginning to buckle under the load.

Perhaps T. S. Eliot was right: "This is how the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper."

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Housing inventory getting closer to healthy level

As of February 1, 2014 there were just 762 homes available in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered in this market report. That is pretty amazing to me as it is the lowest number I have seen in a long, long time. The current inventory level represents just an 8.8 month supply of homes on the market. That compares to an 11.5 month supply in February 2013, a 15 month supply in 2012, a 12 month supply in 2011, and 15 month's worth in February, 2010. We are approaching what would be considered a healthy inventory level rather than being awash in listings that are stagnating on the market. One can only hope that a good balance of supply and demand may be on the horizon!

We are one month into the New Year and we've had skaters skating, ice fisherman fishing, and the sled dogs will be running next weekend. There are a lot of great activities in the Lakes Region to take part in or watch this time of year. If your winter activity includes house shopping, here's a look at some of the new listings that have come on since the first of the year that might just be the bargain you have been looking for. There's a bank owned 1,984 square foot, six room, three bedroom ranch on a 1.35 acre lot at 90 Cherry Valley Road in Gilford that is on the market for $195,000 with an assessed value of $247,740. It was built in 1980 and features a master suite, a fireplace in the living room, partially finished basement, two car garage, and an in ground pool. The pictures look like it will need some updating, but hey, it seems like the price is pretty good compared to its assessment and it is Gilford so it may well be worth a visit to see what it's like.

There's a 1980 vintage shingle style cape at 118 Seavey Road in Belmont that might also be a bargain. It is priced at $174,900 which is 77 percent of the assessed value of $228,400. This home was built in 1980 and sits on a nicely landscaped, 5 acre level lot. It has 2,195 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, one bath, hardwood floors, a family room with cathedral ceilings and a brick fireplace, and a walkout lower level with the potential of an additional bedroom. Looks like a good deal to me...

There's a nicely maintained 2,432 square foot, three bed, two bath, contemporary home at 949 Cherry Valley Road in Gilford that is on the market for $249,000 which is 87 percent of its assessed value of $287,130. This home was built in 1986 and has an open concept floor plan, nice mountain views, a first floor master suite with two more bedrooms in the lower level along with a family room, a spacious screened porch, and two car garage. It is definitely worth a look!

There are a couple of nice properties that I wanted to mention just because they look very appealing and I could see myself living in either one. There is a nice Winnipesaukee water access home at 11 Jeremiah Smith Road in Moultonborough that has great curb appeal. This 3,545 square foot colonial has three bedrooms including the master suite, three baths, and a family room with a fireplace, cathedral ceilings, and exposed beams. The eat-in country kitchen also has exposed beams and a wood stove to keep everyone cozy and warm. There's a formal dining room, a wonderful four season room, and a wrap around farmer's porch that's perfect to rocking away the night...in July that is. This home has a two car garage and sits on a 1.83 acre lot close to snowmobile trails and is just 2/10 of a mile to a sugar sand beach. It is being offered at $436,000. Check out the pictures on-line and you'll agree it looks pretty nice!

Another nice property that was previously listed but just came back on the market is up on top of the world at 215 Pinnacle Hill Road in New Hampton. This is a 2,762 square foot ranch that was built in 2002 on a gorgeous 4 acre lot with mountain views. The home has a master suite with whirlpool tub, separate shower, and a walk-in closet. There are two guest bedrooms, an eat-in kitchen with black cherry cabinetry and hardwood floors, a living room with a gas fireplace, a bonus room over the two car garage, a walk out basement, and two covered porches. This property has easy access to Route 93 so it is a great commuter location. It is being offered at $334,900. Is it a good deal? You'll need to find out for yourself so give your agent a call, stop by the fishing derby, and then go take a look!

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 2/1/14. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 09:24

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Bob Meade - Planned Parenhood: A government funded oxymoron

Back in the early 1920s, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was promoting Eugenics as a way to improve the human race. Eugenics is the belief that the race can be purified by sterilizing or otherwise ridding the population of people who have some genetic defect. The Chancellor of Germany, who wreaked havoc on Europe in the 30s and 40s, and who caused the murder of over six million Jews, shared in that opinion.

By definition, an "oxymoron" is a contradictory term. One would think that the term "Planned Parenthood" would indicate an organization dedicated to helping people understand how to plan a family. Nature has instilled in every living creature the desire to mate. Without that desire, life forms as we know them would have ceased to exist long ago. If Planned Parenthood were truly devoted to "life", their time would be spent teaching young men and women things such as how to reasonably measure the chances that a woman is in a fertile state, what foods and drink should be consumed or avoided when the woman is pregnant, what exercises are helpful, what changes in the body are to be expected and what is normal or abnormal, and so on.

In teaching about family "planning", one would think that Planned Parenthood could also provide a variety of instructions, to both men and women, on how to avoid becoming pregnant. Such as, abstenance is not a life sentence, it's a temporary condition. For some, their family planning might include instructions on contraceptive options for either or both partners. It would seem that if a couple really wants help in "planning for parenthood", these steps would be commonplace.

That leads us to the "oxymoron issue". Planned Parenthood annually provides about one third of all abortions that occur in the United States. That is about 350,000 of the over one million babies that have been aborted in this country, every single year since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, have been done by that organization. Is planning to abort "family planning", or is it a sad answer to having failed to plan?

Money is "fungible" . . . it can be used for any number of things. If you receive a gift of money to buy a new sweater or blouse, you may decide to use that money to get an oil change for your automobile . . . because money is fungible. The Congressional Hyde Amendment, authored by the late Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde and enacted into law in 1977, prevents the use of federal funds for abortions. Countless pro-abortion activist organizations have railed against this amendment ever since, calling for it to be removed, even though money's fungibility virtually makes the issue moot.

In the case of Planned Parenthood, the Federal government grant to them in 2013 was slightly more that $540 million, which amounted to 45 percent of the organizations $1.2 billion budget for the year. Think of fungibility, and the over 350,000 abortions in this country that are performed by Planned Parenthood every year. Yet, Planned Parenthood disingenuously claims that only 3 percent of its activity is for abortion services. That organization equates a clerk answering a question, or a referral to a doctor, or some such thing, as having the same weight as a baby being aborted. The fact that they would be so devious in misrepresenting the weighting of the different functions is outrageous. In their terms, they're claiming that Planned Parenthood's performing of over ten million mostly administrative functions are each comparable to the termination of life for about 350,000 unborn children. Outrageous!

The leader of this country's Chamber of Commerce recently stated, "Demographics is destiny". He is correct. What he didn't say though, is that we have the ability to control demographics as we choose to birth or to abort. Since Roe v. Wade, we have denied citizenship to over fifty million people. Social systems have been built here and around the world that are dependent on positive birth rates to survive, and as those birth rates diminish, so too does society flounder. In addition to the demise of the social structures, how many of those who have been and are yet to be aborted would have had the skills and abilities to find the cures for debilitating diseases . . . alzheimers, cancers, multiple sclerosis, and on, and on. Was the next Bill Gates the expendable price for a night of pleasure? Or a Jonas Salk? Or a Luciano Pavroti. How much potential brilliance went into the disposal?

We now have people arguing over whether or not poverty is the result of single parenting, as we mistakenly replace the value of marriage with a trust in government to make our boo-boo's all better. And, we have people pleading for votes for candidates based on the candidates willingness to abort the defenseless child. Look back at our history. This country was built on hard work, strong family units, and morality. Respect and religion went hand in hand. Now we eschew those things based on empty political promises and people ask us to vote for politicians based on their willingness to literally, throw the unborn under the proverbial bus.

Yes, demographics is destiny and right now . . . it's not looking too good.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:47

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