A Ghostly Disclosure
Last week I received a call to go out and meet with a homeowner who wanted to possibly sell her home. As I approached the house, which turned out to be at the end of a long dirt road, I noticed several out buildings and a barn all of which seemed to be in great condition. I stopped in the large circular driveway in front of the house and could not help but admire the setting and how well kept the home was.
As I went up the steps to the large front porch of the farm house, I noticed an elderly couple sitting at the far end. The early morning light wasn't great as the sun was behind them, but I could see that the elderly gentleman was rather thin and pale and had long grey hair with a bit of stubble on his face. He was dressed in a worn blue suit, linen shirt, was holding an old wood handled hammer, and on the floor next to his dusty boots was a bucket of hand tools. The woman, who I assumed was the lady who had called me, was dressed in a long floral patterned dress and an apron that reminded me of my grandmother. She looked like a typical spinster with a slight build and her silver hair was neatly up in a bun. I looked twice as I thought she had a chicken in her lap but I realized, thankfully, it was just a feather duster. A broom was leaned against the railing next to her. They just kind of stared blankly, seemingly surprised to see me.
I said "Hi, how you doing?" and as I started to approach them, the old buck nodded toward the front door and pointed a long bony finger in that direction. I had visions of Keith Richards for a second, but got the message and turned back toward the door and knocked. A younger and prettier version of the lady on the porch quickly answered the door to welcome me in. As I started to step inside, I glanced toward the end of the porch and the couple was still there, staring off into space.
The homeowner led me to the living room and told me that she and her husband had bought the property about 10 years ago. Her husband had a job opportunity in another state that he wanted to take so now they had to part with it even though they loved it. The home had belonged to her great uncle and aunt whom she knew only for a short time before they passed away. It had changed hands several times since their passing and when it finally came available again they jumped on the chance to buy it. She said she and her husband, along with two children and a menagerie of dogs, have truly enjoyed the home but now it was time to move on.
She gave me a tour of the home and I couldn't help but be impressed with it even though it was built in the mid 1800s. It was tastefully updated, nicely decorated, and yet retained a lot of the early character of a quaint country farm. And, it was spotless. I mean really spotless. I commented on how clean the home was and the lady said, "You know, this home is the easiest place to take care of that I have ever lived in! Even with two kids and the dogs running through it all the time, it's a breeze to keep up with! Even my husband barely needs to do any maintenance around here other than mow the lawn and the place looks great."
I told her I would go back and do a market analysis for her and get back to her with what I thought the value would be. I then asked if there was anything that she would want a prospective buyer to know. She thought for a moment and whispered, "You know, sometimes we hear strange noises at night. Sometimes it is just banging, sometimes like sawing, and other times it a swishing noise, like someone is sweeping the floor."
I said it was nice that her parents had come to stay with her a while and that I had kind of met them on the porch on the way in. She looked surprised and exclaimed, "My parents live in Florida! Someone was on my porch?!" As we stepped out on the porch, off course, no one was there ... just the broom.
So, let's be clear, if you are buying a home in New Hampshire, you should know that there is no line in the Seller's Property Disclosure to tell you if a house is haunted. Remember, this is the Live Free or Die state. There's bound to be a bunch of dead people still haunting more than few homes around here. So if you are faint of heart, scared of things that go bump in the night, worried about ghosts and demons, afraid to hear moans, groans, screams, and the wailing of souls that are trapped between the living world and the dead, you should definitely ask the listing agent if the house you are looking at is haunted or possessed. I promise, if I know, I will tell you because I don't want you haunting me after you buy the place! But you know, you might just get a spirit that keeps your house clean. They ain't all bad, you know...
September was a great month for residential sales in the 12 communities covered by this real estate market report. There were 111 homes that found new owners with an average sales price of $378,900 and a median price point of $229,900. This brings our total so far this year to 808 sales at an average price of $342,499 compared to 726 sales at an average price of $315,592 for the same period in 2014. That's an 11 percent increase in total sales over last year. Pretty spooky, right? Happy Halloween!
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 Oct. 18. 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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