Keene, NH Real Estate News

By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I've been on the search for a new riding mower. I've learned a lot in the process of shopping for one. Along the way I've heard time and time again from local service repair shops that they just don't make the mowers like the used to. The quality has been pushed aside in effort to produce a mower that's affordable and under $2000. Even worse are the comments given about mowers sold at department stores. So I took that information and began looking around at mowers, really looking. I found that the quality of our old Cub Cadet riding mower greatly surpassed those of a lot of the newer models, though it needs some tuning up. If we were to replace our mower anything soon, we'd be spending over $3000, maybe even up to $4000 to find one of equal quality. This must NOT happen in our industry!...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Because I work with mostly first time buyer and sellers within the Cheshire County region, I want to post the top 10 answers to their top 10 questions: Q1. How do I know which agent is best for me? A1. You should seek out a reputable real estate agent who is available during the times you are available, and who can communicate with you the way you most need to communicate. I have a buyer who enjoys converseing over Facebook or Texting me. Wherever my buyer's at, I'm there for them.  This makes for easier and quicker communication between agent and client. Q2. What challenges to first time buyers face vs. conventional buyers who put more money down? A2. First time buyers are often limited when making an offer. If financing the home with FHA, RD or another government backed program, they ...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Interactive websites would look like Stonewall Farm, I've decided. The other day I brought my children to Stonewall Farm.  Stonewall Farm is set on a beautiful open country road on outskirts of Keene, NH.  Their mission is to connect people to the land and do so through their organic garden (CSA) and their working farm where numerous educational programs and events take place. It was a bright sunny day as I drove outside of city limits and arrived at Stonewall Farm. There were wide open fields and a windy dirt road that crosses over a babbling brook.  It curves around sheep paddock on the left and follows a large lush green field with a single strand electric fence on the right. About 700 yards down this windy road I arrive at an opening, the main parking lot. This is where all the cros...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
After almost one year of blogging about local community and supporting small business, it's about time I spend some time promoting my own husband, Kris Kleine and his band,Category 4.  Playing locally at the EF Lane Hotel in Keene, NH as well as at some home parties and The Woodmore Campground in Rindge, NH, their band was given the "best band around" by someone who is frequently in the presence of local bands. After trying out for American Idol and learning all about how their system works, Kris decided forming his own band and playing locally was "good enough to start" for a family guy! Their band is available to play at graduation parties, rehearsal dinner parties, large cookouts, town celebrations and weddings. They play a good mix of originals and cover 5 decades of cover songs. K...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I recently changed my Twitter name to something more relavant, now that I'm getting the hang of it. As KeeneNHRealtor (follow me if you'd like) I am now followed by MortgageMan. His most recent post was titled "Do First Time Buyers Need Realtors?"  and, because I work mostly with first time buyers and sellers, it peaked my interest. At first I thought this was going to be every reason in the book why they should not hire an agent, though I could not come up with any reasons myself. As a first time buyer, it seems most crucial to have a hired expert working for you, counseling you through the process. And so I read on... He wrote a very good blog and it is evident he can attest to the value of working on a team, a team that includes the first time home buyer, the Realtor, and himself as ...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I just realized the connection between buying/selling a house and playing a game of field hockey. I think anyone who's played in sports games before can understand this, but it's not until you're actually buying (or selling) a home in this complicated market that you truly appreciate their interconnectedness. As your agent, I am your coach.  Like a field hockey coach I must keep an eye on the goal, to help you as my client succeed with your move so that you can move on with your lives. In this game are real people, real lives. These people have hopes and aspirations. These people play hard to score so they can move forward with their lives. These people trust me as their coach and, as a result, these people often find themselves taking risks that must be taken in order to achieve a fina...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Sometimes you have to take a different perspective Like the view of a swing from a one year old's eye. Sometimes you have to take a moment to focus on the fine detail, and look at something closer than you've ever looked at it before To be grateful for all the beauty life has to offer that goes unnoticed to all but those who pay attention. Sometimes you have to change your position to see the other side And you wonder why you'd never looked at it quite that way before. Sometimes you have to ask for the support of others To help you achieve your goals and dreams. I'm not afraid to try new things or use a different lens When asked to share my experience at Antioch University, I didn't think I could But through using a different lens above I've found the way I should. This blog is meant to...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
It was wonderful, and I had the entire blog article well thought out including title title, links, images ...and it flowed. But something happened. On my way into work today I made some stops. First stop, daycare. Second stop, preschool. Then something distracted me and I found myself deeply into a parenting magazine left for me in my daughter's cubby. Very quickly, everything I had held in my mind was lifted away. In a way it felt good. I had a feeling, for a moment, of  not having any responsibilities. Nothing nagging at me, weighing on me. Nothing I had to do...but then as I began searching in my mind for that wonderful blog idea, I couldn't retrieve it. As I sit here this morning, I'm having a tip of the tongue experience. Something will have to trigger it back. Next time I'll make ...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I just went to a pediatric appointment with my son at Cheshire Medical in Keene, NH. Our pediatrician was curious about my degree at Antioch. Her inquiry led to an offering to join a committee involving parents and staff. One of their goals is to figure out what social media is all about and how to implement it to connect with their patients.  I begin to see how it can be used in their organization as I spoke with her and I handed her my contact information. Point is, major businesses and organizations are "getting it" or trying to "figure it out" by now. If not, they will soon. In a Google world where being first to claim a certain niche market using certain keywords will keep you on top (if you're first at it and persistent), why not try and figure it out with the rest of them?   By t...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Something great has happened since I've started my blog, people who read it already know me- or so it seems when we first meet. Sometimes it actually takes me a little by surprised how open they are from the start. Whatever happened to developing rapport for trust? Much of it has already occured when they took some time to read what I've written online. People are looking for ways to connect. By providing a little insight to the world about my interests, hobbies, and about interesting news or knowledge about my industry I give readers a reason to connect. I was recently asked what the return was on the time I invest using social media. I have to say this is hard to measure. How do I measure success? For me, success is when someone chooses my service because they found me online. But it ...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
You can hike Mount Monadnock anytime, the second most hiked mountain in the world. The annual Pumpkinfest draws 10s of thousands of people every year. There are so many things to do for young families! Skiing is 10 minutes away! Are you a horse person? We have new england's best tack and feed shop! Keene State College and Antioch University are both in the same town! Voted one of the ten great places to raise a family! Small city, large town feel with a village like attitude! Affordable housing for the first time buyer. Four Seasons!
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Connecting through Social Media Because of the high level of interest I received for my Social Media Marketing workshops through Hannah Grimes Center this season, I'm offering  classes on social media marketing through the KSC continuing education department in the late summer and again next fall.    There will be two separate classes.  Below are topics I will address.   Social Media and Business: •Ø  Brand yourself on the web through the use of social networks and blogging •Ø  Learn the culture of the Web 2.0 world •Ø  Research and connect with your niche market •Ø  Help you overcome the fears of the Web 2.0 technology! •Ø  Examine social media tools being used by professional and large corporations •Ø  Learn the importance of links and how to strategically create links •Ø  Develop a ...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Last year brought another one of my great ideas that just had to be implemented, though this one came from the far left field!  My understanding husband agreed only after I'd already ordered my four chickens from The Cheshire Horse tack and feed shop in Swanzey, NH.  He's used to this by now and not as overwhelmed by my spontaneous endeavors as he once was.  Good thing for me because we didn't even have a place to house these chicks until two months after they'd arrived.  The chicks lived in our living room so we could play with and hold them, in our horses' water trough with a screen and heat light on top.  They were little and fragile and it was too cold to put them outside.  My daughter decided to name them all, too bad because it's much harder to eat a chicken when it's been named b...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
By the time some of you read this, is may have changed because this information is very timely so please do research for the most current information. As of April 6, 2009, there will be some changes to FHA loan guidelines.  Sandy Jones, mortgage consultant of Wells Fargo was in our office BHG The Masiello Group yesturday (3/31/09) speaking about these changes. Buyers with credit scores between 580-600 obtaining an FHA loan will need a minimum of 600 score after 4/6/09 if they have not already applied for financing and gone under contract on a house by then. This is huge, if you have an offer coming in after this date from a buyer with a credit score between 580-600, beware and ask for a current preapproval on that buyer. They may no longer qualify. There are several other changes taking...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
There couldn't be a better time for an event like RE BarCamp to take place.  It's quickly gained popularity is no surprise to me, given the Obama culture of transparency, sharing ideas and collaboration.  At a time when several Realtors are "getting it" and using social media, so many others are unclear about what the Web 2.0 world is all about. I think attending RE BarCamp will be an eye opener for anyone, at any level in their understanding about how technology and real estate are coming together through social media.  The idea of working together as independent agents is important at a time when valuable industry related intellectual knowledge will be lost if the next generation retires.  True times have changed but there is much value to the knolwedge held by seasoned agents, and wh...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I've been asked by people in the community about how to begin writing a blog. I'll post some basics, though practice is really essential and you'll see why.  You can start one on Activerain, Wordpress, Blogger, among others. Do a google search and see where you'd like to get started. You can also start by responding to blogs that you read. Creating your own blog is not for everyone. Developing a voice This takes a bit of time. Read other blogs about interesting topics whether it be about knitting or about Legos, about Real Estate or about Mortgages. Everyone's first blogs are written just for that purpose, to get that first blog out. There is some anxiety about what to write, how to write it, what will people think, who will read it, etc. Once you get a few out, check your statistics an...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Today at 11am will be a one hour segment on the future of newspapers.  If you're on a computer, you can listen to this on your Windows Media Player for free. The Diane Rehm Show. This should be interesting for any of us keeping track of the media changes. Stephanie Jacques
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Can you get a "deal" now on buying a home in this buyers market? Interesting question, and I've been asked this several times during the past year so I figured I would post a blog about my answer. On story, when my husband and I bought our first home, it was a foreclosure and it was nearing the end of a buyers market. Prices were definitely in our favor. We fixed up our home over the years, sweat equity as we know it best, and were lucky enough to outgrow it the summer of 05, right before the buyers market began to show some results. At that time, when we closed, we were able to answer the question, "is it a deal?" Because of the timing of our sale, the condition of our property at the time of the sale, and our motives for selling (we were not desperate, just exercised great timing on b...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I posted this blog about using Realtysoft for my website a couple of months ago. Several people emailed me directly with questions and comments, both of which I was happy to respond to. I have since registered my site with Google Analytics to track the stats from viewers coming to my site. If you have a site of your own and have not yet done this, you are missing out on valuable information.  I am now able to learn about where people are arriving from when coming on my site, as well as what length of time they spent on the site. Google Analytics simply defines what you need to know to do a simple assessment on your views. From this, I've developed some further questions. I plan to add a polling widget next on my site, asking a question of those viewing the site. Isn't there something we...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Attention Keene and local area towns, it's time for us to have our own Food Coop! I recently received this email (parts have been copied below) on a Keene City Council meeting scheduled for March 19th 7-8:30pm to listen to Bonnie Hudspeth (chair of coop committee) present details about getting a food coop in Keene, NH!  Please participate if you share an interest : "Please, ASK YOUR FRIENDS, and tell anyone interested in a Food Co-op in Keene to come.  The more people, the better.  The entire presentation will only be 20 minutes tops, so even if you can only come for 20 minutes, it would be greatly appreciated! After we present to them, we plan to move forward to the FOP Committee to request a $5,000 match to the $5,000 we have from DRED for our feasibility study.  Thanks for your suppo...
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