Blog :: 04-2009

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.

A State of the Art High School and Windham NH Homes Sales

Windham High School is a state of the art facility in New Hampshire that is set to open to students in the fall of 2009. What impact will this brand new facility have on the Windham home sales?

In a National Association of REALTORS study of home buyers neighborhood quality ranked as the highest priority at 68% but the reputation of the school district ranked very high being important to 23% of home-buyers. Of course not all home buyers have children or they may be older with grown children so if the same question was asked of home buyers with school aged children the percentage of people feeling the quality of the school district was important would rise much higher. Windham, New Hampshire has a strong appeal to buyers with school aged children so the new Windham high school will be an important drawing card.

The feeling of people moving to Windham was summed up by a recent letter to the editor of the Windham News written by John D. InDelicato, PhD.  He wrote in part the following, "Like so many other families, one of our primary motivating factors in moving to Windham over seven (7) years ago was the quality and potential of the Windham School system...The overall excellence of the school system, and the extraordinary dedication of both teachers and parents, was the deciding factor, despite a commute to Harvard University, regarding our move to this beautiful town." He states in another place, "The town of Windham and its voters, recognizing the many educational challenges to come, voted with their children's best interest in mind and funded a school worthy of recognition, incorporating the best resources and educational practices that any school in the state has to offer."

When Windham High School opens this fall, it will be a state of the art facility offering educational opportunities that will equip Windham students to compete in the 21st century. Among the many intiatives is in the area of technology where every student will be given a lap-top which will connect them to the class room and to their teachers in a variety of ways.

Yes, taxes have increased somewhat to fund the new high school but when you look at the cost of private school alternatives where tuition can run between $10,000 and $25,000 without room and board, a first class education provided by the community is a real bargain for Windham parents. In difficult economic times this is doubly important.

I know that as a parent of school aged children, there is nothing more important to me then providing the best education possible for them. Yes, the new, state of the art, Windham High School will be selling houses in Windham for many years to come.

Click here to find out more about Windham NH Schools or search for a home in Windham NH.