Blog :: 2009

December Just Might be the Best Time to Buy a Home in Windham and Southern NH!

iStock_000001092430SmallI know what you're thinking, with all the holiday activities, colder weather and just so many other things on your mind, December is the worst time for you to buy a home. The fact is, December offers a gift to home-buyers in search of a great value. First of all, people who have their homes on the market this time of year want to sell them. Many have made significant price reductions and many homes are being offered at the lowest prices of the year. Yes it is nicer to be able to move in the warm weather but if you make that choice, you will be competing with all of the buyers like yourself, who have waited for Spring. In the southern New Hampshire market, there is a general drift upwards of asking and selling prices as the Spring market begins to bloom. Sellers feel that they have the luxury of many months of good weather ahead of them and there are many more buyers in the market competing for property. This was especially true over the past year. It's impossible to predict what next year will bring but the home-buyer tax credit may impact the market and prices. Buyers may be out in force next spring as they rush to lock in deals before the deadline of April 30th. And who knows where interest rates will be come next Spring? If you buy now there will be less competition and you will have exactly the home you want, have your tax credit locked, and have a low interest rate as well.

Check out some of the holiday home values that are being offered right now. Click on picture for full details.

Windham: Initial List: $499,9000 Current Price: $459,900 Town Assessment: $558,500

Windham: Initial List: $499,9000 Current Price: $459,900

Windham: Initial List: $443,000 Current Price: $429,900 Town Assessment: $517,100

Windham: Initial List: $499,9000 Current Price: $459,900

Windham: Initial List: $479,900 Current Price: $429,900 Town Assessment: $467,600

Windham: Initial List: $499,9000 Current Price: $459,900

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2009 was a busy year for real estate on Cobbetts Pond !

28 Horseshoe

Sold New Hampshire Waterfront: 28 Horseshoe Road, Windham, on Cobbett's Pond

The selling season on Cobbett's Pond in Windham was one of the best in recent memory. The fact that this beautiful lake is within easy reach of I-93 and Boston has made Cobbetts a very desirable waterfront address.

Many waterfront homes changed  hands, including Prudential Dinsmore Associates, REALTOR'S listings at 28 Horseshoe Road and 16 North Shore Road. Both of these homes sold in a very short period of time indicating excellent demand exists for waterfront property on the lake. 28 Horseshoe Road was listed by Debbie St Jean and sold by Eliane Unsworth both with Prudential Dinsmore Associates.

28 Horseshoe Road closed for $1,250,000 and 16 North Shore Road closed for $815,0000.

Kristie Dinsmore of Prudential Dinsmore Associates also represented the buyers in the purchase of a single family detached condominium at Heron Cove which sold for $540,000.  Debbie St. Jean at Prudential Dinsmore Associates also worked with the buyers of 9 Grove Street which was a bank owned waterfront cottage which sold in March for $265,000.

There were also several private sales on the lake. 28 Ash Street was a waterfront contemporary which sold for $745,000 and 21 Rocky Ridge Road sold for $457,500 according to public records. 17 Armstrong Road, a year round waterfront cottage,  also sold privately for $280,000 according to public records. Currently (11/4/2009) there are two more homes pending on the lake.

The inventory in Windham on Cobbett's Pond is still dynamic and varied. These two listings, Cobbett's Pond waterfront and water access, give you an idea of the variety still avialable:

MLS# 2777196 - Windham 2-Bedroom - Cobbett's Pond Water Access

Sold New Hampshire Waterfront: 28 Horseshoe Road, Windham, on Cobbett's Pond

This charming, reasonably priced Windham home has 2 bedrooms, a Boat Mooring, a wood fireplace, and 50' of private water access for under $350K.

Windham NH Real Estate - Cobbetts' Pond Waterfront

Sold New Hampshire Waterfront: 28 Horseshoe Road, Windham, on Cobbett's Pond

"Waterfront elegance with 114 feet of lake frontage on Cobbetts Pond"

This spectacular property has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, custom kitchen,  and the "Luxurious master bedroom suite features spa bath with lake views" for less than $1M.

Buyer Tax Credit Cheers Southern New Hampshire Buyers, Sellers & REALTORS

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The extension and expansion of the home-buyer tax credit is good news for buyers, sellers and REALTORS in southern New Hampshire. The federal government hopes that the extension will have a positive effect on the real estate market. The first time tax credit had a big impact on the lower end of the market in southern New Hampshire towns like Derry, Salem and Londonderry. The expansion of the credit to move up buyers means that the upper end of the market should benefit, especially in a town like Windham NH with higher priced homes.  At one point in October there was only two home available for sale in the $200,000 to $275,000 range in Windham. The inventory was depleted as a result of first-time buyers rushing to put homes under agreement before the November 30th deadline. Now all buyers have a chance to benefit from the program. This should help with the inventory of higher priced homes in town. Here are the details:

The time limit for the program has been extended. You must have a home placed under agreement before April 30, 2010. The closing on the property must take place before June 30, 2010. First time buyers will still qualify for up to $8,000. Income limits have been raised so that single buyers can earn up to $125,000 and still get the full credit while a married couple can earn $225,000. A FIRST TIME BUYER MAY NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK! Under the program, you are a first time buyer if you have not owned a home during the last three years.

Now, buyers that want to trade up can also qualify. Those who have owned and occupied a residence for the at least five of the past eight years can claim a $6,5000 tax credit if they close on a purchase before the end of June.  Also, this program does not require you to pay the money back to the government as earlier versions did. Prudential Dinsmore Associates, REALTORS are not accountants or tax advisors and if you plan to participate in the program we urge you to consult with a tax planning professional before you purchase a home. Here is the IRS link to the program information.

If you want to explore your options, why not contact Prudential Dinsmore Associates, REALTORS today.

Windham NH Cemetery Walk

Cemetery W A L K

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The friends of the Windham NH Historic Commission will be hosting a cemetery walk to benefit Searles School and Chapel on October 11th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Local residents will play the roles of those buried beneath the ground. Among those portrayed will be David Greg who was killed by Indians near Golden Brook in 1740 when he was just nine years old. Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for children under 18. Why not come and find out who lays slumbering in the dust in the Cemetery on the Plain in Windham NH.

Gravestone EPITAPHS

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For those of you who plan upon your death to have your body placed in the cold, still, earth rather than the more free spirited spreading of ashes, the question becomes how will you mark your grave? Today people have their faces and their Harley's etched on their head stones.  In the past, the historic stones have reflected the inevitability of death and how best to approach it.

    Many years ago, before I was married, my wife and her cousin Sue Alosky stopped by my house after they had just walked through the "old" Cemetery on the Plain. They recited the following epitaph to me.  

"As you pass by remember me, As you are now so once was I, As I am now so you must be, Prepare for death and follow me."

 A few weeks ago, my wife and I walked through the "old" cemetery again and found the stone and the epitaph. This particular verse is very popular and is found on several grave stones in town.  We also noticed that many of the stones are becoming very difficult to read which is sad because they have stories to tell. Take the stone of Hannah Campbell who died in March of 1789. On the stone with her are the names of four of her children who died before the age of four and of another infant who was still born. Her epitaph reads:

 "Tis God that lifts our comforts high, Or sinks them in the grave, He gives and blessed be his name, He takes but what he gave."

The epitaph on the stone of Lieutenant Jeremiah Hills sums up the eternal question;  Why am I here, what is the meaning of life, is there a God and if there is a God am I a part of an eternal future beyond death. People who live to find out often leave with more questions than answers. Lieutenant Hills epitaph: 

Tis a point I long to know, Oft it causes anxious thought, Do I love the Lord or no, Am I his or not?"

Many of the stones reflect the belief in the resurrection of the body. Jennet Park who died at 81 in 1830's has on her grave,:

 "These ashes poor, this little dust, Our father care shall keep, Till the last angel rise and break the long and dreary sleep."

 Mary Meeker who died in March of 1836 at the age of 19 indicated that her spirit will be in heaven to be rejoined later by her body:

"Let all who now behold me here, be faithful till the Lord appears, Farewell dear friends, a short farewell, Till we shall meet again above, I go from you to heaven to dwell, To realize a Saviors love. Though friends and kindred weep around, my body slumbers in the ground, Till the last trumpet shall bid it rise, To meet the Savior in the sky."

 Nancy, the wife of Isaac Cochran, who died in 1826 has a stone that states:

"From husband torn for friends and family dear, At life's bright moon of death laid her body here, So let it rest from joys and sorrows driven, Till Christ shall call her sleeping dust to heaven."

Deacon Samuel Morrison who died in 1816 at 69 has an epitaph that reads:

"Forgive, blest shade, the tributary tear that mourns thy exit from a world like this, Forgive the wish that  would have kept  thee here, And stayed thy progress to the seats of bliss"

NEW DATE!!!!! So see you on October 11th...there is no telling what you might find among the stones.

History of Big Island Pond in New Hampshire

Big Island Pond is a 532 acre lake located in the towns of Derry, Hampstead and Atkinson New Hampshire.The lake has a long and varied history going back to the aboriginal peoples and the possible settlement nearby of Irish Culdee monks over 1,000 years ago. Chief Escumbuit's life from 1665-1727 intertwines with the history of the Big Island Pond. Into the twentieth century there was even a brothel located near the pond called "Laverne's Place." All of the interesting history is available in the book "Legends of the Pond, Stories of Big Island Pond, Atkinson, Derry and Hampstead"  by Alfred E. Kayworth. Mr. Kayworth's book gives a fascinating look at the pond and the people who have lived nearby.

One interesting character on the pond was George Eli Whitney.  "Derry from Turnpike to Interstate,' says that  "For nearly fifty years a steamboat provided enjoyable trips on its waters. It was unique in that the man who built the boat in 1900 operated It for forty eight summers. He was George Eli Whitney, a descendant of Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin. No Sunday school picnic or family reunion at the pond was complete without a ride on Whitney's steamboat. At a certain point along the way, in a shaded cove, Whitney always stopped the craft for a few minutes while he related a fanciful tale about pirates. Adults might smile, but the children listened eagerly."  According to Hayworth the boats name was the "Ida F." Whitney built steam yachts and launches in Boston. He designed and built a small steam engine for automobiles for the Mason Regulator Company. It was one of the first production engines for automobiles. Soon after Whitney was building steam automobiles of his own design. Whitney was an early resident of Big Island Pond and lived at what is stilled remembered as Whitney's Grove.

Today, I wanted to share with you to beautiful old photographs of Conley's Grove on Big Island Pond. These photographs were identified by the original photographer as "Westville, N.H. which was the mailing address for Atkinson at the time.   Conley's Grove and pavillion were both located in Atkinson,  New Hampshire. Hayworth says that, "By the end of the Roaring Twenties people began to explore the world beyond the ethnice neighborhoods of the city. As more and more people bought automobiles, the unerringly headed for the seashore and the country in their time off. The "Big Band" era was in full swing and the dance halls located at lakes and ponds were a strong draw for city-bound people. Big Island Pond features two dance halls; one was built on the shore at Conley's Grove and the one at Chases Grove is still active. Working class people were able to afford the cost of a mass produced automobile and people were no longer limited to electric trolleys. Big Island Pond with its scenic beauty and its dance halls became a big draw."  The cottages pictured at left were owned by Elsie Lippold. The descendants of the Lippold family still live in Conley's Grove today.

Big Island Pond is a beautiful lake with a beautiful shoreline and water depths that reach up to 70 feet. Governor's Island is "the big island" in the middle of the lake for which the name is derived. If you want more information about real estate for sale on Big Island Pond please follow this link.

On one of the signs at the front of the pavilion is the name "Jack Mills ___ Orch."  Jack Mills Company represented many orchestras in the twenties including Duke Ellington. Another sign on a tree advertises "Bathing suits and boats to let."

The Changing Face of Cobbetts Pond in Windham NH

Cobbett's Pond, in Windham New Hampshire, has experienced a dramatic transformation over the past twenty years. The summer cottages and seasonal lifestyle have been totally replaced by upscale homes with year round residents.  

My great-grandfather's farm ran to the shore of Cobbetts Pond in Windham and my grandfather rented summer cottages along the shore. I grew up on Cobbetts and still live there today. The changes that are taking place along the shoreline are simply amazing to me.  The old summer cottages are being replaced by luxurious waterfront homes and the recession has had little impact on the pace of change.

A little history first: Cobbett's Pond was named for the Reverend Thomas Cobbet, a minister from Lynn and Ipswich, Massachusetts who received a grant of 500 acres on its northern shore in 1662. The first summer cottage was built in 1886. From then until the 1970's the pond remained largely a summer community with public beaches, a dance hall over the water and a thriving summer theater nearby. When I grew up on Cobbetts most of the residents disappeared after Labor Day. There were a smattering of year round residents but all my lake buddies were gone in the fall.

All that began to change in the eighties when a few cottages were demolished to make way for modest year round homes. The real change occurred in the early 1990's. Prudential Dinsmore Associates sold 3 waterfront lots on the "big pond" that had remained vacant for years.  The prices in the $225,000 to $250,000 range raised the bar at that time. At that same time, we also sold quite a few summer cottages in the $300,000-$350,000 range which were torn down for new upscale homes. This was the beginning of the changes on the lake. Today, it seems that a cottage is being torn down every time you go out in your boat being replaced by a lavish new home. 

 

The increased desirabilty of the town of Windham has raised the cache of Cobbetts. The main appeal is that you can enjoy waterfront living close to work. If you are going to make a large investment it is nice to know you can enjoy your lake house each and every day without having to travel two hours to the north. Many business owners and professionals from southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts call the lake home. A good many of the new homes are being built by Windham residents who want to stay in town but want to live on the water. Of course Boston is a straight shot down Interstate 93, less than 35 miles to the south.

The market for waterfront property on Cobbetts remains strong in spite of the current downturn. Waterfront properties that are priced correctly are selling to the pool of buyers who want to be on the lake.  

Imagine enjoying your "front" yard by the water as the warm sun rises over the lake while a Great Blue Heron flys by, low over the water.  Savour the drive home from work, turn onto your narrow road, knowing the day is done, and walk barefoot to a lakeside patio to enjoy the an evening cocktail. That is until the kids start begging to go tubing or water skiing. There is a firework display over the water on the fourth of July. Even the winter is enjoyable watching the carnival of ice fishermen, skaters and snowmobilers. This is lakeside living at its best and it all can be yours.

Cobbetts Pond is a 302 acre spring fed lake with an average depth of about 30 feet and with 50 feet being it's deepest. The "Big Pond" and the "Little Pond" are divided in the middle by the "Narrows" giving the outline the lake an hour glass shape. There is a seperate village district that taxes for lake improvements and water quality initiatives. All waterfront construction is governed by local Windham zoning laws and the state of New Hampshire Shoreline Protection Act.  More information about waterfront living in southern New Hampshire here. 

Overlooking the "Narrows" this exquisitely appointed residence offers crown moldings, hand-crafted cabinetry and designer fixtures. Incredible custom kitchen features granite and opens to the great-room which offers panoramic lake views. Luxurious master bedroom suite with fireplace an spa bath overlooking the water. Over 6,000 Sq.ft with ten rooms. 3 car attached garage plus a 3 car carriage house with an unfinished bonus room above. A unique lot with over 100 feet of frontage and offering beautiful views and sunsets.  Offered at $1,395,000. Click here for full details and more pictures.

Waterfront elegance can be enjoyed in this beautiful custom home. 114 feet of lake frontage allows you to enjoy sweeping lake views. Impressive entry with leaded glass doors and handsome wood and cast iron staircase design.  Designer kitchen with granite counters. Beautiful master suite and attached two car garage. Offered at $1,150,000. Click here for full details and more pictures.

 

BUILDING LOT WITH ALL APPROVALS ON COBBETT"S POND.  $349,900 CALL OR E-MAIL FOR FULL DETAILS

See all of the current homes for sale on Cobbetts Pond in Windham NH.

Windham NH Flat and Fast 5K Race - June 7th

Prudential Dinsmore Associates is proud to announce that they are one of the sponsors of the upcoming Windham NH Flat 'n Fast 5K to be held at the picturesque Windham Rail Trail. This annual event is scheduled for Sunday, June 7, 2009. This is a fun event held on the paved Rail Trail that runs through the scenic woodlands of Windham NH with several tranquil ponds, rock gorges and abundant wildlife. The race starts at 8:30 with the walk starting immediately after the last runner. This event is sponsored by the Windham Rail Trail Alliance in conjunction with the Windham Recreation Department. Please check Cool Running for on-line registration.  Register online of on race day from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. Certified 5K race starts at Roultson Road and finishes at Windham Depot. The course is fast, point to point, shaded with no cars, no intersection or hills. Free shuttle bus takes your from registration (near finish) to the starting line. Buses will run from 7:00 to 8:10. Entry fee is now $25 for and individual and $7o for a family. Click on the following link for full details of the event. Be sure to check out this great running-walking event in Windham, all for a good cause. Click here for a Windham Trail Map.

Salem New Hampshire: Much more than Horse Racing, Ferris Wheels, Shopping and a Hill of Mystery.

Dispatch from Salem NH: The outsiders who come to Salem for what they want and then leave might think they know the town.  Salem is much more than just strip malls and tax free shopping along Route 28, horse racing at Rockingham Park, a summer afternoon of amusement park rides at Canobie Lake, or a summer solstice experience at Mystery Hill. The people who actually call Salem home know that it is a place where lasting friendships are made in the neighborhoods around town.

I have to admit that I am not a Salem resident BUT my family was always closely associated with the town. For thirty years, my parents built a large number of homes in town on Mason Drive and in the Samoset Drive area. I graduated from Salem High School in 1975. The Blue Devils were a force to be reckoned with then as they still are now. I graduated with Billy Hagen who with his brothers contributed a lot to the Blue Devils success in the seventies. He is now the principal of the high school.  For many years Windham students have attended Salem High School but this tradition will all be phased out soon with the opening of Windham High School.  Gov. John Sununu was a prominent, long time resident of town and all of his children attended Salem NH schools and Salem High School.

Once you get off the main thoroughfares in Salem NH you'll find a town of quiet neighborhoods. North Salem is a more rural area. The lots are larger and the homes are more spread out in the subdivisions.  Arlington Pond is located here and offers a chance for waterfront living. Mystery Hill  "America's Stonehenge" is also located in North Salem NH and is a "quiet" tourist attraction. Nobody is quite sure how all the piles of rock came to be here and there are fierce debates over the origins of the place. In my humble opinion, the best explanation is that the "Culdee"  (which means companions of God) monks who were fleeing the Vikings, travelled from Scotland and Ireland to North America. Their ancient stone ruins are found throughout New England including over 250 stone beehive huts. Others are free to disagree. Also in North Salem, the Town Forest with nearly 4 miles of trails is one of the best kept secrets in the community. 

Canobie Lake is also located in Salem NH. The residents who live here enjoy the quiet ambiance that can only be found with lakeside living. Canobie Lake, unlike her more active sister lake Cobbett's Pond, boasts a nesting pair of loons. Of course, residents share the lake with Canobie Lake Park in the summer months. Along the shore you can find the massive stone remains of Searles Estate where it is said the local ministers used to preach to people in boats. Canobie is a wide and open lake that offers beautiful views from the homes along it shores. The best view is travelling along North Policy Street. For most of it's life this lake was know as Policy Pond but Windham residents and railroad officials had the name changed to Canobie in the 1880's.

Salem residents have always been actively involved with the community. The Salem Boys and Girls Club offers a beautiful facility that is the result of hard work and donations from local businesses and citizens. Salem property taxes are supported by a broad base of commercial real estate. There is a budget committee that is actively involved in overseeing town spending.

If you're looking for homes in Salem New Hampshire there is a wide variety available for sale. There are many neighborhoods where well cared for splits, ranches and capes can be found and then there are very exclusive and upscale neighborhoods.

You can read a complete profile on Salem New Hampshire at PrudentialDinsmore.com which includes links to just about everything you want to know including detailed Salem NH school information. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Things about Windham NH

Choosing the ten best things about Windham, New Hampshire is a little subjective but these things really stand out in my mind. If you want to add a favorite thing you're welcome to do so.

  1. COBBETTS POND: O.K. I'm very biased on this one since I live on the lake. Every morning when I get up and look out the windows and watch the sun rise through the mist covered pond I find this place magical. And what a place to raise kids. Swimming, fishing, tubing, lake friendships, what could be better.  In the winter a whole knew character overtakes the place with ice fishing huts, ice skating and power sports.  Personally, I like coming home on a summer evening after work. As soon as I pull onto my narrow road that winds to my home I know that I'm done for the day.  I can kick back, put on my shorts, walk around bare-footed and have a cocktail while watching the boats go by.
  2. WINDHAM'S ABUNDANT OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION AREAS: Most people have know idea about all of the opportunities to get outside in Windham. There are the many open space preserves. Incrediblyscenic Deer Leap, a high granite cliff overlooking Moekel Pond with walking trails. Foster's Pondrecreation area with beautiful trails, pond and wildlife. Canoe launch area on Canobie Lake. Boat ramp for Windham residents on Canobie Lake. The town beach on Cobbett's Pond. The Windham "Rail Trail" which offers one of the most picturesque places for a walk or bike ride in southern New Hampshire. And of course Griffin park with all of it's recreational amenities.
  3. THE PEOPLE OF WINDHAM: Windham NH is a great community with many warm and wonderful people. It's a diverse community where people are passionate about what is "best" for Windham. Hundreds of people tirelessly volunteer to make our community a better place.
  4. WINDHAM SCHOOLS: Windham NH has an excellent, well funded school system. Windham parents are passionate about providing the best education possible for their children. This is epitomized in the new Windham High School. The teachers who our children have had over the years have been caring and involved. They have made a real difference in how our children take on the world.
  5. THE HILLS AND VISTAS:Riding around the town of Windham NH offers some incredible scenery. It is a town of rolling hills and this makes for some panoramic views. The views approaching the Castle Reach neighborhood as you pass Searles Castle and overlooking the apple orchard, is one of my favorites. The views from the homes on Jenny's Hill are superb. The new neighborhoods at Ryan Farm and Terra Bella have incredible home-sites with views.
  6. EASY TO GET TO AND FROM: One of the best things about Windham NH is that you can easily get to where you want to go on interstate 93. I-93 is a straight shot into Boston. I can be in the North End for dinner in less than 35 minutes (without traffic). The seacoast is less than an hour away and the lakes and mountains of northern New Hampshire are under two hours.
  7. COMPASSION:WIndham NH resident have been at the forefront of helping people who are in need. The Shepards Pantry helps feed those in need locally and is a joint project of St Matthews Catholic Church and Windham Presbyterian Church. Helping Hands is another group that does an incredible service to those in need. There are individual initiatives like the founding of Nobody's Children by a local physician to provide medical and humanitarian aid to children in Romania and Bosnia.  It's the initiative of the Windham Presbyterian Church in provided aid to communities in Rowanda including a water project for a local clinic. All of the examples above have led me to provide support a Zezouma Sanou, a teacher and the people of his village in Bukina Faso. Compassion and concern for the needs of other is a great testament to the spirit of the town of Windham.
  8. BREAKFAST AND LUNCH: The best place for breakfast or lunch in Windham is found at Windham Junction. Great sandwiches and delicious salads. Eat in or out in a great atmosphere adjacent to the Windham Rail Trail.  
  9. GELATO VS. ICE CREAM:  Of course nothing beats getting a great scoop of ice cream at a local stand and for this Johnson's Farm is the best. Not only is there the ice cream but also farm animals. Windham Junction is a great place to grab an ice cream if you're out enjoying the rail trail. My new weakness is found at Shabby Chic. Of course this place would be located just down the street from my home. The home made gelato is wonderful and of course the cupcakes can't be beat.
  10. A cocktail and appetizer upstairs in the Common Man.

11. What's your favorite thing about Windham NH?

If you think that Windham NH might be a place you would want to explore check out the homes for sale and detailed community informationat PrudentialDinsmore.com

So you want to Buy a Bank Owned Home in Southern NH? What you need to Know before You Begin.

Bank owned homes are currently a huge segment of the the real estate market in southern New Hampshire making up about 20% of the sales in the first quarter of 2009, according to Peter Francese of the New England Economic Partnership. So you've heard the stories splashed all across the media about how bank owned homes are being listed and sold below market value offering home buyers the potential to "steal" a home. Our experience it that there are tremendous opportunities for buyers purchasing bank owned properties but, and this is a big but, you need to know the rules of the game and be prepared for them in advance. This is where a knowledgeable real estate professional can be extremely helpful.

RULE # 1: BE PREPARED FOR PROPERTY CONDITION ISSUES. Many bank owned properties have serious condition issues. During the last bank downturn in the early 1990's the banks often spent a great deal of money renovating and preparing their REO property for the market. Today, because of the large numbers of homes in inventory and the convoluted issue of who owns the mortgage, properties are being sold strictly "as is." In a normal real estate transaction you receive a seller's representation of condition but with bank owned property you will receive no seller's representation about the property condition. If you are lucky you will recieve a form with all of the information blank and be notified that the property is sold "as is."  Essentially you are buying the property blind with the right to inspect.  Some bank owned properties are in relatively good shape and in need of very little repair but others need substantial work and repairs. As a buyer, you have to realize that this is why many bank owned homes have such great prices.

RULE #2: BE PREPARED FOR MUTLIPLE OFFERS.  There are often multiple offers on bank owned properties and this is to be expected since many are prices below market. You need to know that there are no order of contacts and the seller can accept any offer no matter when it is presented. You may or may not know about other offers. There is no requirement that you as a buyer be informed of other offers. As a buyer you have to be prepared for the fact that you may lose a property to a competing buyer. 

RULE # 3: BE PREPARED FOR UNRESPONSIVE ASSET MANAGERS AND LONG WAIT TIMES IN NEGOTIATIONS. Bank asset managers and the listing real estate agents are dealing with hundreds of properties. Some who are experienced and have adequate support staff are quick, about responding to offers and issues, and are easy to work with but others are arrogant and unresponsive. In fairness, the approval process requires multiple decision makers. This may be the most frustrating part of the process.

RULE #4: UNDERSTAND THE BANK ADDENDUM.  When you write your offer you will be required to sign the REO Addendum. Be assured that all of the terms of this Addendum protect the REO seller not you. You should have it reviewed by an attorney. Also be assured that unless you sign this agreement your offer will not be accepted.  Watch for you inspection times which often begin at the time your offer is "verbally" accepted and per Diem penalties for not closing on time.

RULE #4: HAVE A GOOD SOURCE OF FINANCING IN PLACE.  You need to be working with a bank or mortgage company that is responsive and quick to act. If you are financing with FHA there may be condition issues that will prevent you from being able to obtain the loan.

RULE #5: BE PREPARED FOR THE INSPECTION ISSUES. In our experience with bank owned sales the inspection process can present challenges. For example, if the house has been winterized with the water turned off you may be required to pay for having the water turned on for your inspection. Every bank owned property is different and in some cases the seller will pay to de-winterize and in others they require the buyer to cover the expense. We have seen this expense run around $350 for buyers. It is important that you incur this expense because freeze ups (broken pipes) are often an issue with bank owned homes.   

RULE # 6: BE PREPARED FOR THE LAST MINUTE CLOSING GLITCH. In our experience there are often last minute closing glitches. There may be title issues or an asset manager who needs to sign off on some paperwork has not done so.

SO WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO BUY A BANK OWNED PROEPRTY?

We're back to where we began...bank owned homes are often tremendous buys and may even be offered below "market value." They may offer you as a buyer an opportunity to own a house in a neighborhood or community that you never could have afforded. So if bank owned properties are of interest to you, go for it, with a real estate professional to guide you along the way.

Saerch for bank owned homes in southern New Hampshire now by clicking on the bar shown below.