NH and ME Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Broker in MA, Real Estate Broker Associate in Maine (20 years experience)

Specialties:
Buyer's Agent,
Listing Agent,
Relocation,
Foreclosure

Advice

  • (14 Contributions,
  • 0 Best Answers,
  • 2 Helpful)

Contributions are sorted newest to oldest.

Does Your Agent Ask about Vacation Properties?

I am an agent in NH and Maine and my market is vacation homes (resort and second property specialist) approximately a 2.5 hour drive from downtown Boston, in The White Mtns and Lakes Region of NH and Western Maine. I see a lot of referrals come from specific companies in suburban Boston. The companies that send me the most customers have a system in place to ask their clients if they have considered owning a vacation home. This opens the dialogue that can lead to a buyer referral or listing referral. If you are an agent, are you asking for referrals for vacation homes? If you are a home owner or customer of an agent, have you ever been asked?

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WHAT ARE TAXES AROUND SEBAGO LAKE REGION?

Answer

I would also suggest basing your search on your property needs and wants, whether it is in the Sebago Lake Region, North Conway NH or any city or town and then look at the actual taxes for the property. Taxes are an expense of home ownership (and some would say an indirect expense in renting as well) but you don't feel your taxes every day of your life. The right home is the first priority. You may also find that home prices go up and down based on the tax rates. A town with a lower tax rate often has more demand for the exact reason you are asking the question and therefore the home prices tend to be higher. This isn't always exactly proportionate either. If you have 2 identical houses and the town line sits between them and House #1 has a mortgage payment (without taxes in the payment) of $1200/month and the taxes are $2400/yr ($200/month) the total payment is $1400/month. House #2 has a higher tax rate (let's say $800/yr higher) so the house has a little less appeal which equates to a lower price and therefore an $1100/month mortgage payment. Now you add in the $3200/yr in taxes ($267/month) and you have a total payment of $1367/month. In this example you would be paying $33/month ($396/yr) less for the same house and effectively the same location.As a final thought from me on this subject, you may also find that the lower tax rate may mean less public services. This may mean that you take your trash to the dump instead of getting curbside pick up, or there may be no sidewalks for your children to ride their bikes on, or the sidewalks don't get plowed in the winter or the fire dept. is all volunteer, which may result in a higher insurance premium.I think it is more important to find the right house first, then the right community and then look at the total expense instead of shopping by tax rate.

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How to sell if there are no comparables in the area?

Answer

It sounds like you may have only talked to a realtor, which is a good first step. A good realtor should suggest an actual appraisal. A real estate agent produces a market analysis or opinion of value. An actual appraisal is done by a certified appraiser at a cost of a few hundred dollars (typically). I have never heard an appraiser say that can't appraise a property. They can use replacement value/construction costs, older comps with adjustments for time and they can also use an income based approach. Again, a good real estate agent will make you aware of these things, if they are aware. While time in the business, full time vs part time, and sales volume are not absolute definitions of an "expert" in real estate, a consumer should ask about these concerns when evaluating/interviewing an agent and weighing up their agent's input.

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buy a small house for investment

Answer

Hi,I think the previous advice was good. An important factor that I have seen is that you also need to know your rental market. Or, I should say, rent property where you know the type of tenants to expect. I am in a resort area of the White Mtns of NH, which is about 2 hours from most of the Boston area. We often see people come up from the city to buy a home with a rental unit for income. They expect to fill the space with "professionals" like they would in the suburbs. What they get are rural tenants in low paying tourism jobs that, ultimately, require more hands-on supervision and maintenance. The 2 hr drive to their rental property creates a burden on them that often results in unreachable goals for their property rental expectations. I know I got a little specific to my market but this is a more general phenomena. I too have wanted to manage a rental from afar and fortunately my experience in my local market opened my eyes to the potential pitfalls.Know your market and know your tenant base and try to keep to properties within an hour of your home.

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Square Feet, is that the outside dimension or the living area?

Answer

While many people use different approaches, such as measuring the outside dimensions, the best practice is to refer to the town's tax card and cite that as the source of the data. this will show what the town is using as living area upon which to base the tax assessment.

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How long have the current owners owned this home? What have been the sale prices on this home in the

Answer

These answers often require a client relationship with a real estate agent for answers. Anyone thinking of buying a home should talk to a local agent and seriously consider "hiring" that agent to be their representative. In almost all cases the seller of a home is paying their agent to represent them and they offer a commission split to pay for the buyer's agent. Ask questions and be a smart consumer. Look into how you can get help that costs you nothing.

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Zillow is still preventing me from changing my price. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer

This is one of the many stumbling blocks a homeowner faces when trying to save pennies on the dollar in the sale of their home. Just the effort of learning new systems and then making sure that you follow all legal procedures is intimidating enough. The premise is that posting the property on zillow and craigslist will simply sell your property for you. that is not the case. When you list with a real estate agent you are hiring all the real estate agents in the local area to act as sales reps for your home. An active listing office is a conduit for buyers looking in the area and will get the greatest exposure for your property. All the offices in the area will then act as amplifiers for the sale of your property to their buyers. When you do it yourself you end up marketing to a very small group of people that tend to be people hunting for "deals", which is the exact opposite of how you should sell anything.

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