So, here's the deal. I think every house should have a name. Houses always used to have names because, well, because they didn't have street addresses way back once upon a time. If I said I was going down to 1 Lodge Street you might mistakenly think that I was going down to the Fraternal Order of Elks, but in fact, I would be going to the fabulous Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. which most likely has a few stuffed elks in the humongous game room. Nobody ever refers to this place as 1 Lodge Street.
I like houses with names and I suspect that the owners who actually name their homes must really love them a lot. And a house loved is usually a house that shows well. House names can be descriptive of the place, the style or architecture, the size, and even the owner's personality. And, in real estate, having a name adds a little cache and style to the listing. I've had some homes on the market that had interesting names like Stonybrook Farm, The Farley Garrison House, Temperance Tavern, and Windsong to name a few. These names tell you something or give you a feeling about the property before you even see it.
One of the earliest terms used in house names was "hall." Early halls were homes with just one room where everyone slept, ate, and just tried to survive. Often these were called mead halls. Eventually, rooms were partitioned off to give the lord of the house some privacy and the entry way and corridor retained the name "hall." There was apt to be a large room with a fireplace called the "great hall." That has evolved in to the "great room" of today. Now we think of halls as meeting places, town offices, concert venues, pool rooms, or college dorms down at UNH. Toad Hall is a great name for a house...if you like toads, I guess.
You can tell a lot about the house by the name. Words like "manor, mansion, or estate" when affixed to a name like "Rothschild" will set your expectations pretty high. The words "house" and "place" give you the feeling that either something great happened there or the property has some history attached to it. The term "lodge" can be taken as a sprawling lake house or a tiny shack in the woods. "Camp" could also be taken either way. You can have a camp up in Pittsfield which could be a far cry from one of the Great Camps in the Adirondacks.
In the Lakes Region there are some places that everyone knows by the name and not the address. Castle in the Clouds and Kona Mansion in Moultonborough, Moulton Farms in Meredith, The Lamprey House or Coe House in Center Harbor, and the Benjamin Rowe House in Gilford. But there's not many houses with names until you get down by the lakes.
It seems like lots of lake front property owners are often so excited and happy about being on the water that they just have to call the place something! I wish everyone was like that. These owners love their houses enough to name them. And if their property is for sale that feeling can perhaps impress and stay with the buyers that are looking at it, too. I'd rather market and show the Blue Heron Lodge, Eagle's Nest, Bayside Delight, Quiet Water Camp, Sandy Haven, Sunset Cove Retreat, or Long View Lodge instead of a bland 13 Point Drive or 103 Maple Street any day.
But what about names like Windswept, Mountain View Lodge, or Ridgeline Retreat for those places up on the hill? If you have some acreage you could go with Sunny Slope Farm, Wild Acres Retreat, or Willowgrass Acres (just don't use "Green.") If you have a great place, give it a great name! Get creative and go get a sign made and put it by your entry. It's cheap money and can make an impact and separate you from all those other houses that don't have a caring, loving owner like yourself.
So start thinking and using words like bungalow, cabin, camp, cottage, house, lodge, farm, acres, retreat, haven, respite, refuge, haven, delight, rest, cove, lakeside, shores, or view. Woodsy terms like pine, oak, cedar, and mossy will work nicely. Animal names like moose, bear, dear, chipmunk, and squirrel always work. Who wouldn't wanna live at a place called Chipmunk Lodge or Moose Tracks Retreat? But please, avoid using terms like shanty, hut, or shack. Those won't help.
On July 1, there were 1,284 single family homes available in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The median price point stood at $275,668 meaning that half of those homes were listed under that price point. There were 364 homes available under $200,000. That's a lot of affordable inventory! There's a lot to choose from and interest rates are still low so it is a great time to go look for your new home. You can name it "Nu Beginnings Lodge."
Pease 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 compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 7/1/15.
Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.
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