While I was on a trip to Ireland last week, I called into the office and was saddened to learn a long term colleague and friend of mine had passed away. I made a stop at an old historic Irish church, lit a candle, and said a prayer for my close friend Kent Locke. I reflected on the memories of Kent and thought of his many accomplishments and the things he contributed to the Lakes Region and New Hampshire.
I first met Kent in 1974 up in Waterville Valley, where he and his brother, Jim Locke, were developing Waterville Estates, the region's largest second-home community built over three hillsides in Campton. I enjoyed Kent so much. He was approachable, full of enthusiasm, and had a visionary eye towards the future. Waterville Estates was a huge undertaking in those days. It encompassed close to thirty miles of roadways, a man-made swimming pond, a small ski area, a huge community center with indoor pool, and tennis courts. Today, Waterville Estates includes approximately 700 homes and condominiums, which contribute enormous tax revenues to the town of Campton. I still have memories of Kent working long hours from his office above the community center. Little did I know that my future interest in real estate would be carved out by this remarkable man.
It should be noted that prior to Waterville Estates, Kent Locke worked in his family business. With his father and two brothers he developed Locke Lake Colony in Barnstead. There they created a 160 acre man-made lake and developed another major second-home community.
After Waterville Estates, Kent moved down to the Lakes Region to operate Hounsell Realty and later Keewaydin Properties, which was a large development company based out of Dracut, Mass. I followed Kent's move and joined Hounsell Realty with him where he became my mentor. Kent was instrumental in opening three Century 21 real estate offices in Laconia, Center Harbor, and Bristol. They became the top offices in New England under his management. During the same time period, he successfully managed and developed the Salem Industrial Park (one of New Hampshire's largest) and the O'Shea Industrial Park in Laconia, which today is the home of some of the Lakes Region's largest businesses. He also developed an industrial park in Concord.
Kent was responsible for developing Wildwood Shores Condominiums on Lake Winnisquam in Laconia. Here he won an award from a professional builder magazine for concept and architectural design. At the same time, he managed the Pheasant Ridge Country Club in Gilford for Keewaydin Properties, which today is a well-respected 18-hole golf course. For years, Kent managed the Keewaydin company headquarters at 272 Union Avenue in the old Scott & Williams knitting factory. In this huge manufacturing building, he leased space to Laconia Shoe, J & J printing, the real estate office, and many other companies over the years. This landmark property was converted into 60 affordable housing units in Normandin Square with the Lakes Region Child Care Center and the LRGHealthcare Center on site.
Kent was also involved in many residential subdivisions over the years, including Wildwood Shores, Shore Drive Extension, and Penny Lane in Laconia, as well as Old English Lane in Gilford. Under Kent's direction, the Keewaydin company successfully marketed many developments throughout the Lakes Region, including South Down Shores, Long Bay, Windward Harbor, Broadview Condominiums, Samoset, and many more.
I always looked at Kent as being the eternal optimist – a positive thinker who had a tremendous work ethic. He always took the time to sit down with his associates, clients, and friends to discuss the events of the day and real estate matters. That is one of the reasons why he was consistently late, because the poor guy had so much on his plate – way too much for the average real estate professional to sort out. Being the competitor he was, from his high school roots in Alton on to the University of New Hampshire, he always strived for accomplishment. He gave back to the communities he served in so many ways, whether it was the Lakes Region Board of Realtors, the Gilford Planning Board, or the Rotary Club. He was so proud of his three children, Susan, Nancy, and Andrew. All three of them excelled at some of the finest colleges in the country in both academics and sports and have gone on to lead very successful lives. I have to say that both Kent and his former wife, Jean Aberg of Gilford, did a remarkable job raising those three kids considering they had so much going on in their busy lives.
Kent courageously fought with Parkinson's disease over the past 25 years. He approached this with the same fighting spirit that he applied to his real estate endeavors. He always had that great smile on his face and always had the time to lend an ear and provide good advice. Vince Lombardi summed up Kent's life beautifully when he said, "The quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence regardless of his chosen field of endeavor."
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, N.H. and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 September 2015 05:50
BACK TO MY FAMILY ROOTS
Over the years I've seen many couples return to the Lakes Region because of our desirable lifestyle, natural beauty and four seasons of recreation. James and Jamie McCuddy are a good example of that type of couple. Education and job opportunities pulled them away however the magnetic attraction of our region brought them back.
Jamie where did you grow up?
J: "I was born in Portsmouth and moved to Moultonborough when I was 6 years old to my grandparents' house on Lake Winnipesaukee. In 1999 I graduated from Moultonborough Academy where I played softball and basketball. Then off to Keene State College, where I graduated with a degree in Business Management in 2003."
After college, where did you go?
J: "I moved to Boston to start my career at Eaton Vance, an Investment Management Firm. I worked there 5½ years and during that time I met my future husband, James who also worked at the firm."
After Eaton Vance?
J: "I started working at T's Capital LLC based in Boston and New York City and I've been with them ever since. In 2012 we moved to Milwaukee for a corporate relocation for James job, when he was promoted to Regional Vice President for Wisconsin at Eaton Vance. At first I was devastated because I didn't want to leave Boston or my entire family on Lake Winnipesaukee."
James where are you from?
J: "I grew up in Greenville near Peterborough. I joined the Coast Guard after college and I was stationed in Woods Hole, Mass., and New Castle. In 1991 I was involved in the search and rescue of the REA Gale 250 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The movie "The Perfect Storm" was later filmed. After six years with the Coast Guard I took a position with PFPC Global Kind Services in western Massachusetts. In 2001 I started working at Eaton Vance in Boston and I've been with them for 13 years."
So how did you adjust to Wisconsin?
J: "We lived at Whitefish Bay on Lake Michigan it has a small-town feel and is only 10 minutes outside of Milwaukee. It's very family oriented where there's a strong sense of community. In 2015 we purchased a brick colonial five blocks from the lake. Lake Michigan is big and cold; it's a lot like the ocean because of its size. Some days it looks like the Caribbean while other times it's dark blue. However, I still miss Boston and especially Lake Winnipesaukee."
Why Lake Winnipesaukee?
J: "My great-grandfather, Morris Watson, started Long Island Campground 50 years ago just before the bridge that goes out to the island. He owned a large waterfront parcel along Watson Shore and sold off pieces of Lakefront at $100 per foot to finance, the construction of the campground. The campground now has 111 sites with a big sandy beach with moorings and dock on the lake. Gramps passed away in the early 1980s and left it to my grandfather, Daniel Watson. The campground has been operated since that day and we were all involved. That's why I have such fond memories of Lake Winnipesaukee growing up and enjoying all the lake experiences with my family.
So how did you get back to your roots while you were living in Wisconsin?
J: "We always wanted to get back to the lake because of our past experiences and memories growing up. We wanted especially to be near our family. We were up visiting our family one weekend and we noticed a lake cottage that came on the market on Watson Shore Road the property was just around the corner from the campground. So we called real estate broker Nancy Clark and said we would love to take a look at it. When Nancy brought us through we immediately fell in love with the spot. And to make it even better the land was originally owned by my great grandfather who sold the lot to them! It was so sentimental where we could walk to the campground and spend time with the family. My great-grandfather helped frame the original cottage. We could see the potential with the sandy beach, dock and westerly views. So we called Scott Elliot of native timberworks and his sister Melinda Laflamme to coordinate ideas for the remodeling project and re construction. Both Scott and Melinda are Nancy's children and it worked out perfectly. They were able to create "a true lake feel" with a cottage that we could use for vacations and time away with family. Some day we can hopefully retire in the future at this great spot."
So James what attracts you to the Lakes Region and Lake Winnipesuakee?
J: "I love New England it's the convenience, everything is so close compared to the mid-west. You have a huge assortment of lakes and mountains to constantly discover, you're only two hours from Boston which is a great city, and you can be in a different country enjoying Montreal or Quebec within hours. What I like most is it's a total escape from being in the city. We absolutely love lake living and the lifestyle is offers.
We enjoying hiking in the White Mountains and there are some fun concerts and great restaurants to visit throughout the lakes region. Additionally I love the 'Live Free or Die' moto."
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lake Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 September 2015 05:40
As real estate agents we get bombarded with emails about new properties coming on the market, open houses, and price reductions. And I do mean bombarded. We also get emails from people and companies offering all kinds of services to improve our businesses, get new clients, and sell more houses. Add to that all the inter-company emails about policies and procedures, educational opportunities, and other earth shattering gossip and info. Most of us are, therefore, on information overload. But, I suspect it is that way no matter what kind of business you are in. As a result of this barrage of information spewing onto our digital portals to the real estate world we tend to ignore some of these all important messages if they just don't sound important enough to open.
They say the subject line is the key to getting someone to open your email. According to trusted sources on the internet (ha!) you have to keep the subject line short and focused, pique interest, offer value, and create urgency. I think being a little creative and humorous helps as well.
Take for instance the "price reduction" emails we get. These have gotta be the right up there at the top of the heap as I usually see a couple per day. They usually come with a subject line like; "Price Reduction, 34 Redwood Street MLS #443301 $325,000." That's not very exciting, unless you live at 34 Redwood Street. It also didn't say how much it was reduced. If it read; "Giant Price Reduction of $50,000, 34 Redwood Street MLS #443301," that might get someone's attention. Would a $5,000 price reduction work? Probably not. In order to get someone to look at a price reduction email you gotta go big. Create some noise.
In order to get other agents to open their emails on price reductions some have tried the term "price adjustment," "price improvement," and "newly priced" seemingly to avoid the word "reduced" which was the purpose of the email to start with. Not sure those are working, either.
Now we could play with the words "price" and "reduction" a little and see if we can come up with some new subject lines to disguise what is going on while creating some urgency, pique some interest, and offer value all at the same time. How about; "Hurry, significant $10,000 capitulation on the whole nut" or "Act now, $10,000 valuation reconsideration!" or "Urgent! Ownership Position Premium Drastically Minimized." Probably not.
Wal-Mart uses the term "Roll Back Pricing," should we? How about; "Fantastic $10,000 Discount Double Check at 12 Rodgers Road?" Maybe; "You deserve a break today at 53 McDonald Ave! $10,000 off and you get fries with that." Or; "One Whopper of a Valuation Subjugation." You can get carried away here.
I suppose agents could take to begging a little with subject lines like; "Please God, help me sell this house with this $15,000 price reduction" or "I can't take this much longer. Price reduced $7,500. Please send buyer, now." How about; "Last $10k price reduction before I get fired. Please help!" I think these actually might work.
Sales of residential homes in the twelve communities covered by this report were very strong in August with 130 transactions at an average price of $364,503 and a median sale price point of $226,050. That kind of mirrors the 133 sales last August at an average of $320,824. For the year thus far there have been 697 residential sales in these communities at an average price of $336,721 compared to 629 sales at an average price of $315,818. That's almost a 5 percent increase in the selling price and a 10.8 percent increase in total sales. Nice...
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 9/23/15. Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 September 2015 07:30
It wasn't just the Republican candidates who, with one exception, went out of their ways to outdo one another in their condemnation of an organization that is the sole provider of basic gynecological, obstetric and preventative care services to millions of American men and women.
That's 5 million people worldwide, and 2.7 million in the United States.
And, need I add, not only do most of these patients not come for abortions, but no federal funds are used to pay for abortions in any Planned Parenthood clinic — which has not stopped Republicans from threatening to close down the government unless the House cuts off funding to Planned Parenthood.
Shutting down the whole government like this, something the Republicans have done before (and paid the political price for) makes even less sense here than it did when Republicans were playing games with Obamacare, closing the government down even though there was no chance that doing so would undo the Affordable Care Act. In this case, there isn't even a plan to bring up similar legislation in the Senate, where there seem to be a few more grown-ups (although unfortunately, none of them are running for president). So the plan is, "Let's close down the Government, which will hurt all kinds of people having nothing to do with abortion, so we can protest an organization that helps millions of American women." Genius.
Did I mention that 1 in 5 American women has visited a Planned Parenthood clinic sometime in her life? Now, if you eliminate about 20 percent of women voters before you start — and 84 percent of Planned Parenthood patients are over the age of 20 — it means you need to get 6 out of 8 of the women who haven't visited a Planned Parenthood clinic to win a majority. No, but wait: many women don't go alone. They have mothers and sisters and husbands and boyfriends — male voters who might also react negatively to attacks on the one organization that provides desperately needed health care to many of our loved ones. Write them off, too.
These candidates are the crowd that would tell a pregnant rape victim or a pregnant incest victim or a woman carrying a baby who cannot survive to carry that pregnancy to term and have that baby anyway. This is the crowd that wants the government to tell a pregnant woman that her unborn child's life counts for more than her own. Imagine the government deciding that. And they call themselves conservative.
When I first moved to Los Angeles, I joined two boards: Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles and the California Abortion Rights Action League. The latter (CARAL) was full of hard-core political activists, campaign veterans and community organizers. I was among the well-dressed, establishment types. Planned Parenthood was another story. I was one of the least well dressed, and the least conventional, people at those meetings — that is, I was a Democrat. Planned Parenthood had some of the richest, most powerful, most socially connected Republicans in town on its board, and that is how it was around the country. Planned Parenthood was composed of men and women who cared about women and children. Why would anyone put such a group on its list of enemies?
Oh, we Democrats have our problems, with a socialist, who won't be elected president, inching embarrassingly close in the polls to the heiress apparent, Hillary Clinton; and Uncle Joe Biden and his cadre of very talented aides getting tantalizingly close to a contest that is unlikely to end well for him. But when it comes to actual issues, to policy rather than labels or style, Democrats are a case study in unity and compassion compared to the folks on the stage at the Reagan Library. They were all doing their best to imitate the Gipper, but none came close.
And if the Republicans on stage were hard to imagine in Reagan's shoes, some of their supporters would make the late president aghast. Need I mention, only briefly, Ann Coulter? For some reasons, Republicans (and news networks) continue to treat her as if her words were worth our consideration. This is what she tweeted Wednesday night: "How many (expletive) Jews do these people think there are in the United States?"
How many people can you offend in a single evening? A lot, maybe even enough to lose an election.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 September 2015 05:46
During the 1950s, the twin pillars of worldwide anti-communism were Dwight Eisenhower's America and the Roman Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII.
During the 1980s, the last decade of the Cold War, Ronald Reagan and the Polish pope, John Paul II, were the pillars of resistance.
When Pope Francis arrives in Washington on Tuesday afternoon, the country he enters will be a very different one from Eisenhower's America or Reagan's America. And Catholics will be welcoming a new kind of pope.
In America 2015, homosexuality, abortion on demand and same-sex marriage — shameful crimes in Ike's America, mortal sins in the catechism of Pius XII — have become constitutional rights. These represent the values that define Barack Obama's America, the values our officials defend at the United Nations, the values we preach to the world.
What Ike's America saw as decadence, Obama's America calls progress. And among its noisiest celebrants are our Catholic vice president, Joe Biden, and the Catholic leader of the Democratic Party in the House, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Since Eisenhower's time, Christianity, the faith that created the West, has been purged from American public life. The Bible, prayer, and all Christian art, books and symbols have been expunged from the public schools as they were in Cuba when Fidel Castro took power.
Our cradle faith cannot be taught in our public schools.
America is a different country today, a secular and post-Christian nation on its way to becoming anti-Christian. Some feel like strangers in their own land. And from the standpoint of traditional Catholicism, American culture is an open sewer. A vast volume of the traffic on the Internet is pornography.
Ironically, as all this unfolds in what was once "God's country," Vladimir Putin seeks to re-establish Eastern Orthodox Christianity as the basis of morality and law in Russia. And one reads in The Wall Street Journal on Monday that Xi Jinping is trying to reintroduce his Chinese Communist comrades to the teachings of Confucianism.
The world is turned upside down. Every civilization seems to recognize the necessity of faith except for the West, which has lost its faith and is shrinking and dying for lack of it.
In a New York Times article this month — "Are Western Values Losing Their Sway?" — Steven Erlanger writes: "In its rejection of Western liberal values of sexual equality and choice, conservative Russia finds common cause with many in Africa and with the religious teachings of Islam, the Vatican, fundamentalist Protestants and Orthodox Jews."
Yet what Erlanger describes as "conservative Russia" does seem to share values with America, only it is the America of 1955, another country from the America of 2015.
Which raises a question: Does moral truth change? Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market."
But is this true? A decade after his beer hall putsch failed in Munich, Adolf Hitler's Nazi party won the largest number of Germans ever to vote in a democratic election. He had succeeded in the marketplace of ideas. Did that democratic ratification make Hitler's ideas true? Or does truth exist independent of the marketplace?
Secular America, which has purged Christianity, preaches a new gospel to the world: liberal democracy as the salvation of mankind. Yet did not Winston Churchill, icon of the democracy worshippers, tell us that "the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter"?
The Catholic Church, too, faces a growing crisis of moral consistency and credibility.
The church of Pius XII and John Paul II taught that the truths of the Ten Commandments brought down from Sinai and the truths of the Sermon on the Mount are eternal. Those popes also taught that a valid marriage is indissoluble, that homosexuality is unnatural and immoral, that abortion is the killing of the innocent unborn, an abomination. Yet one reads regularly of discussions inside the Vatican to alter what is infallible church teaching on these doctrines to make the church more appealing to those who have rejected them.
As the pope arrives in America, some Catholics are calling for an acceptance of contraception, the ordination of women and a new acceptance of homosexuality. Yet the Episcopalians, who have embraced all these "reforms" and more, appear to be going the way of James Fenimore Cooper's Mohicans.
In Cuba, Pope Francis declined to address the repression of the Castro brothers. Will he also avoid America's moral crisis to chatter on about income inequality and climate change and find common ground with Obama?
What has come out of the Vatican in the past two years is moral confusion. Yet as Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput reminds us, "confusion is of the devil." It is also trifling with schism.
Having emerged victorious in the 70-year ideological struggle against one of the greatest enemies that mankind has ever known, Marxism-Leninism, are the United States and the Catholic Church heading for the same desuetude and disintegration?
(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, 23 September 2015 08:50