Windsong – A Fabulous Hillside Retreat
Offered at $1,295,000
4272 Square Feet
Built in 2006
When Richard and Nancy Coskren decided to build a custom home they knew exactly what they wanted. They also knew they wanted their home to have a spectacular view, complete privacy, and solitude. They found a 56 acre parcel of land in West Alton that had exactly that!
Working to place the right home on this unique parcel of land resulted in a spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, Teliesan-designed home that would take full advantage of the amazing panorama that this site offered. Their vista encompasses all of Lake Winnipesaukee from Wolfeboro to Meredith with the White Mountains spread across the distance.
The end result was Windsong, a 4,272 square foot, four bedroom, four and a half bath residence of uncompromising quality. This absolute gem was completed in 2006 and features unique architectural details and custom touches throughout that are the hallmark of a Frank Lloyd Wright design. Walls of windows and a wraparound deck let you take in the views from every angle. The heart of this home is the custom kitchen and spectacular great room with beautiful hardwood floors and stone accents, but that is truly only the beginning. There’s a first-floor master suite with its own private deck, a first-floor guest bedroom, and office. On the lower level is a large family room with gas fireplace, two more guest bedrooms, and another office all affording views of the lake and mountains.
From every room in this residence you can watch the ever-changing lake below, wildlife in the fields, or the eagles soaring at eye level. There are no bad seats in the house, so to speak…
While the Coskrens love this home and property, they are ready to start another chapter in their lives. So, we are trying to find some new owners that will enjoy living here as much as they have. Maybe you have always wanted to be on the water because you love boating? Windsong is just minutes to several marinas and only fifteen minutes to the Alton Town Beach. It is like being on a permanent vacation. You can have the best of both worlds!
So, come tour this amazing property located in the heart of the Lakes Region. Here you’ll find peace, tranquility and relaxation in unmatched luxury and beauty. You may not want to leave.
A Special Home Gets Special Attention
We deal with a lot of really special homes at Four Seasons Sotheby’s. It is kind of what we do. The unique, the one of a kind, and the extraordinary are what we specialize in. it was kind of nice when one of our properties caught the attention of a production company down in Tennessee. They had seen the home on-line and wanted to come up and do a segment on it for the HGTV show called “You Live in What?”
They were calling about the amazing property that I refer to as the “Old Corner Store” in the historic Gilmanton Corners. It was restored into a residence by Douglas Towle back in 2002 and is now owned by long time Gilmanton residents John Funk and Deb Chase. This 1800’s colonial structure was once used as a dry goods store complete with a soda fountain that sold ice cream and also housed the post office. The store was owned and operated by L.W. and M.H. Schultz. They also sold gasoline from the vintage 1920’s style gas pumps and just outside the door was a long bench which was dubbed the “Gossip Bench” by the locals. I am sure there were plenty of stories told by the patrons sitting there. It appears that on the north end of the structure there was a livery stable that quite possible saw a few Model T’s from time to time and was also used to store all sorts of farm supplies.
Doug restored the property preserving the original features including hand-hewn plank wainscoting, wide pine and brick floors, exposed beams, Indian and Shaker shutters, original door hardware, and old wavy glass while incorporating all the modern amenities like a designer kitchen, high end plumbing fixtures, central air, and whole house surround system. It is truly an extraordinarily charming and comfortable home.
Anyway, just last week, a five man production crew from Beyond Media, LLC headed by a gentleman named Dustin Rader showed up to shoot the segment and interview John and Deb on camera. They really wanted to get a little sense of the history and what it is like to live in a house that once had been used as the center of commerce in the community back before traveling in a gas propelled vehicle was commonplace.
The filming process took a good six hours and these guys obviously knew exactly what they were doing. I was particularly amazed by the way they used lighting to create the desired on-camera affect. To the untrained eye, I could tell little difference as they moved three or four diffused lights to and from and back and forth. Maybe I had to be looking through the camera, but they lost me. Obviously, getting the right angle and backdrop was very important but it was John and Deb that were the stars of the show. They have an intimate knowledge of the history, reconstruction, and rebirth of the structure and they shared that in their interviews in a charming way. They both love this house and setting and hate dearly to part with it but life changes for us all.
The production crew came armed with all kinds of lights, meters, tripods, mono-pods, cameras, and even a drone which they used to get some great aerial footage. I think that may have startled a few people passing by. It was really fun to watch the entire process and as always learn a few things along the way. They said they will work many, many hours to somehow edit all this footage down into a much smaller segment for the show. Their work has only just begun. They informed us that the show will air sometime in March and promised to give us a heads up so we wouldn’t miss it. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you know anyone that wants to live in the Old Corner Store (and Post Office!) we can arrange that!
The Winni Waterfront Report – September 2017
The Winni Waterfront Report…There were nineteen waterfront homes sold on Lake Winnipesaukee in September, 2017. The average sales price came in at $974,712 and the median price point was $847,500. That total is down a bit from last September when there were twenty one sales at an average price of $847,500 but that is still pretty good!
The entry level sale, as usual, was an island property. This property was at 38 Little Bear Island in Tuftonboro and it was the first time it had been on the market for over 50 years! This 648 square foot cottage was built in 1962 and has one bedroom plus a sleeping loft. It is just the way a vintage island retreat should look. You’ve got a natural bead board interior, exposed rafters and wood ceilings, and a great deck to lounge on and enjoy the sunset views. There’s a state approved three bedroom septic if you’d like to expand the house a little and the 1 acre lot gives you lots of space to do so. The property has great privacy and has 280’ of frontage, a u-shaped crib dock plus a smaller dock out in the point. This property was listed at$395,000 and went under agreement in just three days for $345,000! Someone really liked it!
The median price point sale was at 131 Eagle Shore Road in Moultonborough. This 1975 vintage contemporary style home has 1,944 square foot of living space, four bedrooms, three baths and a guest cottage for when the in-laws show up unexpectedly. The main house has an eat-in kitchen, field stone fireplace, and dining and living rooms that lead out to a large deck. There is a detached two car garage to house all your toys. The .71 acre lot has a large lawn area leading down to 150’ of sandy frontage, a beach, and a 40 foot dock. This property was listed at $918,900, was reduced to $894,900, and went under agreement at $847,500 after 95 days on the market.
The highest sale of the month was at 61 Norway Pines in Moultonborough. While this property has a rustic 1970 vintage camp, this sale was really about the land and frontage. The camp has 1,370 square feet of living space with three bedrooms, open studded walls, field stone fireplace, pine paneling and large widows to take in the amazing long range views. But the draw is that it sits on a spectacular 12.3 acre lot with 961 feet of south facing frontage providing both a long open sandy beach area and wooded seclusion. I expect someone will be building their dream home on this beautiful parcel. The property was listed at $2.4 million and took just over a year to find a buyer at $2 million even!
There was one sale on Lake Winnisquam at 628 Shore Drive in Laconia and it was another nice one. This 1978 vintage ranch has three bedrooms, three and a half baths, and just a little over 4,000 square feet of living space. The home has a chef’s kitchen with maple cabinets, center Island, granite counter tops, double oven, induction cook top plus great water views. The home was completely remodeled down to the studs in 2015 with new insulation on the exterior walls and soundproofing in the interior ones. Features include Brazilian cherry flooring, two gas fireplaces, a fully finished basement, three season porch, new exterior siding, and newly paved driveway. The 1.2 acre lot has a back lawn that is perfectly level down to the 154’ of sandy frontage where you’ll find a brand new dock. This property was so nice that it took only six days to find a buyer at $945,000 which was just below the $949,900 asking price. Wish I could have lived there!
Data Compiled using the NEREN MLS system
A Septic System Solution
If you are buying a house, you definitely should have a home inspection performed by a licensed professional to see if there are any hidden or unexpected issues with the property. And, if the property is not on a public sewer system you should also have the septic system inspected as well to make sure it is operating correctly and not in a state of failure. Replacing a septic system can cost many, many thousands of dollars so if there is an issue you want to know it before you buy the property. That way you will be able to negotiate with the seller to remedy the situation instead of calling a septic guy some weekend during a Pats game when the toilets won’t flush and the basement smells like the sewer. (Although, some have said the Pats smelled like sewer last week anyway so it could be hard to differentiate!) Most buyers want to have the septic issue fixed prior to closing but sometimes, depending on the circumstances or issue, a reduction in the purchase price or a seller credit might be in order.
Without getting into a detailed description of how a septic system actually works as there is a lot of science behind it (no pun intended), let me try and make it really simple. When you flush a toilet or turn on a faucet whatever goes down the drain goes out a pipe from the house into a really big concrete tank. The idea of putting the stuff into a big tank is that it allows the solids to fall to the bottom of the tank where they remain and an anaerobic bacterial process takes place breaking down the solids. This creates that wonderful odor you will encounter when you attend your first septic inspection. The septic pumping guys refer to this as the “smell of money.”
The liquids at the top of the tank pass by a baffle and into an outlet pipe that carries the liquid out to a thing called a leach field. While leeches were used as an early medicinal treatment, today’s leach field does not contain leeches, so don’t be confused. A leach field (with an “a”) allows the effluent (a fancy name for liquid) to be dispersed into the ground through a series of perforated pipes or tubes placed into a bed of stand or stone. Usually, to keep the system working correctly, the only thing you should do with a septic system is pump the tank to remove the solids every few years. That seems pretty simple. No moving parts, right?
But things can go wrong. Simple things like the pipe from the house to the tank having a dip in it rather than being straight can cause problems. A tank with a missing or corroded baffle is an easy fix but could cause bigger problems if not attended to. The liquid level in a tank should always be level with the bottom of the outlet pipe…if it is too low then the tank is probably leaking. If the liquid level is above the outlet pipe…well, you really have a problem with the leach field. Some systems have a filter in the tank that need to be cleaned every year or so or they clog. You can bet your behind that most homeowners wouldn’t know that or even do it if they did know!
By far the biggest thing that fails is the leach field. There are many kinds of leach fields today. Most older leach fields consisted of a series of perforated PVC pipe set in a bed of sand and crushed stone. Newer designs came along using larger pipes covered with fabric that were placed in a bed of sand only. These new designs reduced the size of the leach field considerably. There are even what they call “clean water systems” that can reduce the size of a leach field to a minuscule area by aerating the tank with a pump. These systems have to be maintained on a strict schedule in order to be permitted. All of these newer systems have to be installed properly using the correct sand specified by the manufacturer or they can be subject to premature failure…even after just a few years. So, even if the house you are buying is just a few years old, you need to get an inspection to be sure everything is working properly.
It seems like my partner, Ashley Davis, and I have had a run on septic system failures on deals we have had this summer. It has gotten to the point where all we can say is “Not again!!” There has to be a better, simpler way to deal with the old Number Two issue. My mind flashed back to the charming, but neglected outhouse I saw this summer! Why not? Everyone is getting back to basics. People must love to go to the bathroom outdoors. Why, look at all the hikers on any given weekend in Franconia Notch and up on Mt. Major. I know they aren’t all holding it until they get back. Some of ‘em get lost for days, you know! Let’s start using outside privy’s again. Yes, they are allowed! From the State of NH: “According to RSA 147:8, privies are permitted as long as they have the approval of the local health officials as to the location and construction of the facilities. Privies (outhouses not conveying sewage by water), if properly located, designed and constructed are a safe way to dispose of toilet wastes.” Imagine that!
Let’s do them right, with lighted field stone walkways (solar of course), electrified, fancy tile floors, nice windows, insulated, and heated. Make them an integral part of the landscaping. A place you want to visit! You gotta have an exhaust fan though… maybe solar powered, too! Put them on skids so you can drag them back a few feet and dig another hole when you need to. Cover the former hole with another piece of field stone. Then you are good to go. Literally. Put an outside shower out there and you can turn your bathroom in the house into another walk in closet for your wife. You’ll never worry about a failed septic again. Of course, you may get divorced…but take a gamble.
There were 825 homes on the market as of October 1 in the twelve Lakes Region towns covered by this report. The average asking price was $648,166 and the median price point was $319,000. Based on recent experience, I guarantee you there are more than a few failed septic systems included in this batch of homes. So get an inspection…or get a privy!
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
South Down and Long Bay Sales Report – August
Down in Birchwood at 10 Songbird Lane a 2,896 square foot, five bedroom, four bath, free standing unit sold for $430,000 after 136 days on the market. It was originally listed at $459,900 and was reduced to $449,900. This home is currently assessed for $282,000. It has a nice open concept layout with a living room with a fireplace and hardwood floors that flow into the dining area and a tiled kitchen with lots of cabinetry and granite. There are walls of windows to bring in the sunshine and a slider that goes out to a brick patio for relaxing. Pretty nice nest.
The freestanding condo at 30 Heron Trace was billed as one of the nicest units in South Down and after looking at the pictures I would tend to agree. Much of this 1,843 square foot three bedroom. two and a half bath waterfront unit has been redone with high quality materials starting with a stunning kitchen with its stainless-steel appliances, marble counter tops, back splash, and floor. The bright living room features vaulted ceilings, walls of windows and access to the large wrap around deck with stunning lake views. The master suite has hardwood floors and walk in closet and the master bath has a walk-in glass and marble shower with matching marble floors. The upper levels all have new hardwood and carpeting. This home was originally listed at $539,000, was reduced to $490,000 and went under agreement in 105 days for $490,000. It is assessed at $339,500.
Just down the street at 14 Heron Trace is a 1,791 square foot, three bedroom, two and a half bath unit that also found a new owner. This open concept tri-level unit also has an open floor pan with cathedral beamed ceilings and gas fireplace in the living room opening to a kitchen with breakfast bar, granite countertops and stainless appliances. There is an expansive deck and a ground level patio from which to enjoy the water views. This home was listed at $569,000 and sold for $550,000 after just seven days in the market. It is assessed for $342,200.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
A Lifetime of Homes
There were 143 single family homes sold in August in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $323,976 and the median price point stood at $222,500. And, you know, I would bet just about every home that sold had a home inspection done as part of the purchasing process.
you are a real estate agent and have been in the business at least ten years or so then you most likely know Bill and Faith Tobin of Waterloom Home Inspections in Sanbornton. If you have bought or sold a home in the Lakes Region (or beyond) in the last fifty years there’s a pretty good possibility that Bill and Faith might have been in that home to do a home inspection. Bill estimated that he has inspected well over 10,000 homes in his career. That’s a bunch! Faith called to tell me that they were hanging up the clipboard and retiring so I went out to talk with them this past week about their long careers as home inspectors. You know there’s gotta be a story or two or three there for as long as they have been doing this!
Bill grew up down the Concord, Mass area. At the ripe old age of fifteen his father, who was an auctioneer, would buy houses to sell and send young Bill in to inspect them and see what they needed to have fixed. Since there were a lot of older homes in the Concord, Littleton, and Acton area Bill gained a lot of on the job training and specific knowledge about old and historic structures which is something he has been know for throughout his career. Bill’s first formal inspection occurred when he was in the Air Force and went out to inspect a “test-home” before they blew it up. He was trained as an air traffic controller and worked in the tower in Boston and then moved up to the FAA center in Nashua before giving that up for the much less stressful profession of home inspecting.
He started out inspecting homes in and around Concord, Mass and helped write the building codes in Massachusetts. (He also, more recently, as a NH State legislator helped with establishing rules for licensing inspectors.) He moved to the Lakes Region in 1961. Back then, he recalls, there might have been only one other inspector in the entire Lakes Region. Modern real estate practice was kind of in its infancy and Bill and Faith were pioneers in it. Waterloom was born and it has always been definitely a team approach. Bill gives much of the credit to Faith as she did all the scheduling, reports, and the hard work of keeping Bill on track (that’s my own observation.) They were the consummate team that gave home buyers an honest, unbiased assessment of the property without being alarmists. They understood, for example, that if an old home’s floor or ceiling was crooked…well that’s just the way it was after 200 years. It doesn’t mean the house is falling down. He has also given lots of free advice to would-be homeowners on how to fix something or he might just take care of it himself right then and there if it was a quick fix. Bill said his loyalty was always to the integrity of home he was inspecting and that while owners may change the structure remains the same.
Stories? You bet! One of their favorites was about a home they were inspecting that had a dug well in the basement. When Bill pulled off the cover to look in he saw a pair boots bobbing up and down with an obvious body below water! That will tend to startle you just a bit. With the shocked buyers looking on (and following the home inspector’s strict guidelines for removing a body from a well) he discovers that a mannequin in full fireman’s gear had been stuffed in the well! No CPR had to be administered… to the mannequin or to Bill…
How about dreaded dark attics? Bill was reaching up through an attic scuttle in one house to pull the chain on the light that he could barely make out in the darkness and as he did a large boa constrictor fell and wrapped around his arm! Luckily, it was dead…and Bill was not. (A testament to Bill’s hardiness.) Apparently, the owner’s pet boa had escaped its cage, slithered to the attic and somehow electrocuted itself on the light. After another attic inspection Bill climbed down from crawling around covered with a collection of “sticky” mice traps all over his sweater with a throng of both dead and live mice flailing about.
Attics can also be dangerous. Bill once was climbing into an attic space and put his hand down on the floor right into a very large, powerful muskrat trap resulting in a broken hand. Who knew he should get hazardous duty pay? When he went to check a circuit breaker box recently he was thrown across the room from the shock. Turns out the box was not grounded…except by Bill when he touched it! Not good for a guy that has a pacemaker! At another home (a nice one) Bill was walking across the living room and fell into basement through a hole in the floor covered by an oriental rug!
Bill says he can also “sense” things about old homes…whether there is a good presence or bad presence in the structure. He can just feel it when something is “wrong” with a house and there have been a few. After 10,000 homes, I believe him. At one residence they went to in Brookline, NH he got to the front door and could not go inside to do the inspection. Bill wasn’t even going to open the door! He said the agent thought he must had lost his mind but he told him he was not going in. It turns out there were two murders committed in the home and there was an overwhelmingly bad feeling coming from in the home. Conversely, over in Franklin, they inspected a home with a presence that was extremely comfortable and pleasant. I guess that one passed inspection…
Bill and Faith never had to advertise in all their years of business and they were always busy. I guess that speaks to how well they did their job. Old fashioned personal service and word of mouth works wonders. And even though Bill is retiring as a home inspector he will continue to fill in as the building inspector as needed for the City of Laconia and Towns of Belmont, Gilmanton, and Gilford as he has done so for many years. He also intends to do some consulting along the way. So, we will still see Bill and Faith around…which is just the way we like it!
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system.
Winni Waterfront Sales Report – August 2017
What’s up with Winni waterfront? There were 23 waterfront sales on Lake Winnipesaukee in August, 2017 at an average price of $925,317 and a median price point of $607,500. That brings the total so far this year to 94 sales at an average of $1.132 million which is slightly off the 108 sales posted last year for the same period at an average of $1.028 million.
The entry level sale was a five room, three bedroom, one bath, 1030 square foot cottage at 421 Bear Island in Meredith. This was one of the original guest cottages of the Bear Island Hotel and dates back to 1900 so it has some history and charm with pine paneling and lots of windows to bring in the views. The cottage sits right on the water on a 1.13 acre lot with 100 feet of frontage. There’s a large 12’ x 30’ deck, with storage space and a workshop underneath. The property was listed at $299,900 and sold for $246,000 after just 53 days on the market.
The median priced sale was also an island property, this time at 36 Dow Island in low tax Moultonborough. This 1983 vintage, 1,894 square foot, three bedroom, two and a half bath home has a remodeled custom kitchen and dining area and a great living room with pine paneling, beamed ceiling, wood stove, and sliders that lead out to a 14’ x 36’ foot deck with westerly views. There is a second floor master suite with its own water view balcony and two guest rooms on the main level. Outside you’ll find a 416 square foot bunkhouse/game-room and workshop. The house sits on a 1.74 acre lot with 176’ of frontage with two beaches, a single and a u-shaped dock with boat lift. How great is that? This get-a-way was listed at $625,000 and sold for $607,500 after 111 days on the market.
The highest sale of the month was in the Oldest Summer Resort in America at 320 Sewall Road but it was one of Wolfeboro’s newest homes built just last year. This 5,500 square foot, four bedroom, five and a half bath custom home assuredly has all the bells and whistles. There were no pictures on-line to help but the listing did say it had a stunning kitchen, wood floors, two stone fireplaces, and the requisite wall of windows to bring in the southerly views. The house does have a first floor master, formal dining, library, and presumably a recreation room in the walk out basement. The house sits on a .7 acre lot with 220 feet of frontage and a dock. The property was listed at $4.35 million and sold for an even $4 million after 454 days on the market.
There was one lone sale on Winnisquam in August at 126 Shore Drive in Laconia. But, it was a nice one! This is a 1962 vintage, 1,857 square foot, four bedroom, three bath ranch that has been exceptionally maintained. It has a beautifully updated kitchen with granite, center island, and high end appliances, a living room with hardwood floors and fireplace that overlooks the lake, a first floor master suite as well as a guest room with two more guest rooms in the lower level walkout. There’s also a recreation room and sun room with beamed ceilings and red pine floors. But the big deal is the .36 acre lot with a professionally landscaped yard leading down to 100’ of sandy shore-front, a dock, and those amazing Shore Drive sunsets. Simply beautiful. This property was listed at $824,000 and sold for $849,000 in just eight days. I guess someone else thought it was simply beautiful, too!
Compiled using the NEREN MLS system
Middle of the Road Market
Wow! Labor Day has come and gone! So are the throngs of tourists and vacationers. At least for a while! Now it’s time to focus on the time honored tradition of getting the old homestead ready for winter. The leaves haven’t fallen yet so you don’t have to rake but you can check your weather stripping and seal up any gaps, clean your gutters, winterize your irrigation system, get the chimney and furnace serviced if you haven’t already, and get your supply of wood pellets or cord wood in under cover. Do this all on Saturday so Sunday is left open for watching football. That’s another tradition.
What’s For sale
As of the first of the month there were 862 single family homes on the market in the twelve towns covered by this report. The average asking price stood at $644,071 and the median price point was $317,000. The current inventory level represents a 7.8 month supply of homes on the market.
The Lakes Region real estate market offers an incredibly wide variety of homes and price points for buyers to look at. There truly is something for everyone here from starter homes up to mega mansions. Right now, for example, the least expensive offering in the MLS for a single family home is priced at $39,000. The problem here is that it does need quite a bit of work and is being sold “as is” due to a recent fire so financing is likely out of the question. It is located at 70 Winnisquam Ave in Laconia and has 900 square feet of space including three bedrooms and one bathroom plus a two car garage on a .13 acre lot. Are you up for a challenge?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the well known Bahre estates in Alton are both down from $25 million each to a mere $9.9 million and a Governors Island estate is still holding firm at an even $10 million after 2,533 days on the market. Imagine that…
Middle of the Road Homes
But more people seem interested in the middle road of our market like the custom built colonial at 643 Middle Route in Gilmanton offered for $319,000. No pun intended. This home was built in 2004 on a 3.16 acre lot and has 2,816 square feet of living space, three bedrooms, three baths, and has a great open floor plan with hardwood and tile floors, an eat-in kitchen with maple cabinetry, center island, stainless steel appliances, vaulted ceiling and gas fireplace in the living room, formal dining room, and a master suite.
Just down the street at 809 Middle Route there is a new contemporary home being constructed with 2,400 square feet of space, three bedrooms including a first floor master and two and a half baths on a 5 acre country lot. There’s an unfinished walkout lower level for additional future living space and an attached two car garage. I am not sure how far along in construction they are, but you can probably still pick out some finishing touches and paint colors.
Another good median price point home is at 356 Roxbury Road in Sanbornton. This open concept contemporary home was built in 2004 and has 2,736 square feet of living space all on one level. It has a large eat in kitchen, a living room with cathedral ceilings and lots of windows to bring in the light, a 24’ x 24’ master suite, a three car garage, and a huge walk out basement that’s perfect for a work shop, game room, or hobby space! The house sits on a very private 5.38 acre lot with its own pond. At only $314,900 this looks like a pretty good deal…
There are about 70 homes in the $300,000 to $350,000 price range available now to look at and make your own. So get out there, contact your real estate agent, and take a look. And by all means, if you have something nice to sell…now is the time! Inventory is low and everyone is looking for that special home. Do you have it?
Data was compiled using the NEEN MLS system
South Down and Long Bay Sales Report
July was kind of a slow month in South Down and Long Bay as far as closings were concerned! There was only one sale in each community!
In South Down at 373 Davidson Drive a 1987 vintage “mini-mansion” with 3,196 square feet of living space including six bedrooms and five full baths sold for $490,000 after just 27 days on the market. It was listed at $419,000 but had a dock and storage building available so that likely accounts for the higher sales price. The home features an updated kitchen and master bath plus hard wood and berber flooring, cathedral ceilings in the great room, wood burning fireplace and a freshly painted interior. The house is currently assessed at $410,400.
The lone sale in Long Bay was at 15 Ponds View Lane. This bright and sunny open concept contemporary was built in 2003 and over looks the pond from a very private setting. It has 2,389 square feet of living space, three bedrooms (including the master suite) and two and a half baths. The home has lots of windows, beautiful hardwood floors, a.c., and a great balcony overlooking the pond. The home was listed at $469,000, was reduced to $444,000 and sold for $435,000 after 66 days in the market. It is currently assessed at $267,300.
You can always find the newest South Down and Long Bay listings by visiting DistinctiveHomesNH.com anytime or by clicking this link: http://lakesregionhome.com/popular-searches/newest-south-down-and-long-bay-listings/
The Unassisted Showing
This week we had a special emergency meeting of Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603. The solar eclipse was such a big event that we even changed the evening meeting time to mid-day so we could be part of the whole deal. Those in attendance were Dewie Cheatum, Dirk Davenport, Annie Howe, Little Stevie Prestone, myself and a couple of newcomers; Johnnie “Leadbelly” Goode and Nancy Nievate. Now you might think that “Leadbelly” got his name from his particular physique, being of short in stature but tall of mind, but not so. He actually got the nickname form being a blues aficionado…and maybe you have to know the Blues to have heard of Leadbelly. But you can look him up…
Leadbelly has been a real estate agent all his life dating back well before the internet when the MLS books were actually printed on papyrus paper. Nancy said she is retired and was looking to possibly get into real estate and knew we talked about it some at our meetings so she figured she’d sit in and see what she could learn.
Figuring he’d go all out for his first meeting, Leadbelly decides to bring the special glasses we’ll need during the eclipse. So, proud as a peacock he reached in his bag and pulls out a half dozen monogrammed eight ounce bar glasses to use when we toast the eclipse! Dirk says, “You can’t look at the eclipse through those glasses you’ll go blind!” Leadbelly says, “There are two things you don’t look directly at. One is the sun and the other is the thirty year loan amortization schedule you get at the closing when you buy a house. That will surely blind you!”
We start talking about the week’s events and what we had been doing. I had been on some showings with a buyer the past weekend and said I was a bit annoyed about going to unassisted showings on properties where there was no information provided on the property other than an MLS sheet. Nancy Nievate, who had been pretty quiet thus far asks “What is an unassisted showing, anyway?”
“Well,” I said “There are two ways that a listing agent can handle a property he has for sale. One is the ‘assisted showing’ where you meet the listing agent at the home, he gives you a nice package of info about the property, shows you around, explains the property to you and your buyers, and answers any questions you might have. An ‘unassisted showing’ is when a real estate agent takes a listing and puts a lock box on the door of the property and you make an appointment to go see it by yourself. This happens a lot down toward Concord and points south, but we see it in the Lakes Region as well more and more. Sometimes, if there is a scheduling conflict on an assisted showing and you buyer still needs to see it a certain time, a listing agent will allow you see it without them being present with the seller’s permission. I thinks that’s great because you do wan the property to be shown…it’s the ‘unassisted’ approach as a normal business practice I don’t like.”
Nancy says, “Really, some agents don’t want to be there to show the property for their seller? Isn’t that their job, to sell the house?” Little Stevie pipes in, “You’d think so wouldn’t you? They are supposed to be representing their client!” I said, “Neither of the listing agents for showings I did had prepared property information packages either at the property or on line. One was supposed to send me a package and never did. It is pretty hard to talk to a buyer about a house when you don’t know anything about it… I guess the listing agent figures you’ll call if you have any questions. We don’t allow unassisted showing on the properties we have listed unless there is an unavoidable scheduling conflict. We always are there to represent our clients. That’s what they are paying us for!”
Nancy asks, “Wouldn’t you think every homeowner would want someone they know and trust to be in the house while other strangers were in there. I’d want someone to watch over my stuff!” Dirk says, “I can see it in bank owned properties, that’s always been the case with them. You know what else? Going into a house that doesn’t have all the lights on and curtains and blinds open is a real turn off to most buyers. It’s like you fumble around and hunt for light switches before you can even see the house! Not a great way to start a showing!”
I added, “And you know, at our office, we have really nice bound listing packages with pictures and info that make the house look good. It’s just kind of irksome that some agents don’t have the info on line. Then they usually want immediate feedback from you about how the showing went. I can help but think, if you were at the showing you’d already somewhat know what the buyer thought… and maybe you could have helped sell the house for your client!”
“Why do sellers let their agents do this to them?” Nancy asks. Leadbelly says, “Most homeowners don’t ask the right questions because they don’t know their options. That’s why we have the Lakes Region Professional Porch Sitters Chapter 603 to help get the word out! I think maybe we should just start sending our buyers to these houses without us, after all they said it was unassisted, didn’t they! Let them go alone! Maybe that would get their attention!”
There were 131 single family homes sold in July in the twelve Lakes Region towns covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $306,636 and the median price point was $219,400.
Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system