Keene, NH Real Estate News

By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Granite Granite Gorge! What a place. I finally got a chance to visit last week while the children were at camp and childcare and my husband and I had a few hours to ourselves. We went cross country skiing at our local, Granite Gorge and what a fun family place right here near Keene, NH! Below are some photos of Otter Brook Dam, which was at the end of our cross country ski trail. The trail took us 1.5 hours from start to finish, with a picnic lunch at Otter Brook right there in the snow! It was a beautiful day and the trail was well groomed with tracks for our skiis...I had no idea they could do this, by the way, I've never done this before! Otter Brook Dam That's me heading back toward the mountain. My legs gave out! The trail was quite simple, I'm just out of shape! Costs were $10 fo...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Better Homes and Gardens has a nice feature that offers staging and remodeling ideas, including a tool to help you arrange a room and provides color selection tips that could be put to use when visiting a home for staging. I'm finding this site increasingly helpful when working with sellers who are preparing their home for market. It's a nice, hands on and user friendly site full of color and tips and also includes stats on housing trends which can target any market in the country. More and more we are using the internet to find answers to just about anything.  To better relate to consumers in various age group, I feel it's important we provide them access to information in a way that is appealing to them.  Enjoy! www.stephaniejacques.com    
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
My answer is, "NEVER!" I never dread going to work and THAT'S worth something! I've been excited about my career as a Realtor for the 7 1/2 years I've been in it. It's true, and I just realized this recently. I really can't believe it because, thinking back, I can remember days when going to work was a drag for whatever reasons. I get up in the morning with spirit and energy to get through my "to do" list and somehow, I always get through it. I wish this of anyone, though life's not perfect and I realize sometimes life throws curve balls at us. I have to say, though, that my career in real estate even helps me get through those challenges.  I can't say it's always easy, but I think anyone with young children and a career will agree that it's a juggling act, I'm just very skilled at jugg...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I recently took my daughter to a birthday party here at Gone Bananas. She loves this place and we are thankful someone has openned up a kids' place in our area. Because we don't have malls with carousels and indoor playgyms, Gone Bananas is the place to go. For just $5.50 kids can play on the climb structure that's 2 stories tall. A great place to go for moms who stay at home with their little ones during the week. I've taken my one year old here and, though he can't reach all of the stages on the climber, I can go in with him while my four year old plays with her friends. I've seen this place absolutely packed on the weekends. There are arcades and ticket redeemable prizes for the kids. While the arcades are not my main attraction, I don't blame my four year old for wanting to play the...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
New Hampshire Association of Realtors have joined the blogosphere and are looking for a name for their new blog! (To NHAR members only.) When I last checked there weren't too many blog members posting, but in time I'm sure that will increase. When I first joined Activerain late summer of 08, there was only 97K-98K members. During the holidays it seemed to have jumped up to approximately 103K members. I'm always interested, though, in the number of bloggers who actually continue to participate over the course of the long haul.  I'm a journal keeper, always have been, so blogging comes easy. Maybe that's one characteristic that makes a person more likely to actively engage in blogging for the long haul. I don't think my husband would enjoy it quite like I do:) So I'm predicting some prett...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
The National Association of Realtors has posted a chart on their website about the First time Buyer Tax Credit ( American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ). The opinion I have on it is very positive. I feel the first time buyers are the ones who begin the domino home buying affect. They haven't yet entered the homeownership world, and don't have a history with mortgage lenders that has negatively affected the economy. They aren't currently dealing with foreclosures or short sale issues, as they do not yet own a home. They also are being screened and sliced by lenders to ensure they are strong enough buyers and in a financial position to safely purchase a home. This, I believe, is going to help shape the next generation of buyers. We will still have plenty to deal with from our cur...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Recently we've all heard information in the news about the first time buyer tax credit.  Below is a chart I've found produced on the National Association of Realtors' website to help educate first time buyers about this credit. For further information, any buyer should consult an accountant. I've received several calls in the past 2 weeks from first time buyers interested in the knowing the outcomes of this long awaited decision. I hope this is helpful to you.  -Stephanie Jacques, Associate Broker, Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group www.stephaniejacques.com _____________________________________________________________________________ FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT The bill provides for a $8,000 tax credit that would be available to first-time home buyers for the purchase of a ...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Offers...that is, Multiple Offers. I haven't seen such large numbers of multiple offers in months. With my handful of first time buyers holding their own ont competition against investors for those lower priced homes of foreclosures and short sales, we are up to 7 offers on one property. Is that a sign of spring? Could this be a sign that the right combination of price, season, and rates are coinciding with buyer's readiness to make a move? Short sales and Wells Fargo Speaking of short sales, I'm working with Wells Fargo currently and I have to give huge KUDOS to Wells Fargo for their absolute communication and speediness with the process of this short sale!  This is the first time I've had this level of communication on a short sale. The negotiator I have is great. I hope all of you ha...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I recently took on a rental tour a wonderful couple from another state.  They were relocating due into a local managerial position. They had a young child and the couple was probably in their upper 30's, close to my age.  The couple and I spoke about websites, social networking and blogging.  She engaged in online networking to connect with other stay at home moms in the area who brought their children to a play-gym activity center for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. As I listened, I realized that the business owner clearly had it right.  A major user of social media and blogging are stay at home moms.  Here she attended the playgroups regularly with her son and connected to the moms and stayed atuned with the business' weekly special events through participating in their online com...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Do you feel like you're outgrowing your home? Do you feel choked by your own wall to wall furnishings but feel the need to keep all of that "stuff"? If so, it's probably time to consider saying goodbye to most of that "stuff", at least temporarily.  The trouble you will have when trying to sell your home is in your home's presentation.  No, not necessarily that it's cluttered, but that is also a factor, what I'm talking about here is this: Your Target Buyer Will Not Be Someone Like Yourself... So now it's time to think like your buyer! If your home is small, maybe 1-2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, stage your home for a single buyer or a young couple, as this is likely the market for your property.  Here's what you'll need to do: 1. Shrink that dining room table! They won't feel like the room...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
I've gone onto Activerain.com to see how real estate companies are using social media strategies in combination with their websites. I'm also putting together a workshop locally around the question: "Is Social Media Marketing Right for Your Organization?" I've run into several people locally, business owners, who are beginning to ask this question, but don't know enough about it, nor do they have the tech skills or time to figure it out. It does take some time, but once you get the ball rolling, it's easy and takes very little time.  Other organizations are hiring this duty out as a new form of marketing for their business. As I look at it, Social Media Marketing is one extra tool under your belt, one sure way to reach people who are intentionally looking for whatever it is you are offe...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
..."Blogs are provided as a curtosy to our visitors to help them make informed decisions..." This segment of a phrase shows up on the log in page of Activerain, how far we have come. From expecting consumers to meet with us after calling into to "floortime" to get a property address, to offering the individual agent profiles on a company website, to the availability to get to know a person online through reading their blogs and scrolling through their website...we have really become consumer centric. I think this is great.  How often do we still get telemarketers calling us blankly hoping to do business with us?  Cold calling is a thing of the past, allowing the consumer to choose us because they want to choose us- when they need our service- we have really come around and it's largely ...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
This offer is limited exclusively to homeowners in the following towns in NH: Keene, Sullivan, Surry, Gilsum, Marlborough, Rindge, Jaffrey, Walpole, Westmoreland, Swanzey, Richmond, Fitzwilliam, Winchester, Hinsdale, Chesterfield, Spofford, Charlestown, Antrim, Stoddard, Harrisville, and Nelson. If you're thinking of selling your home and having trouble establishing a price, I'd like to lend you a video that I've found very useful.  It sums up the following issues in a very clear, understandable way, better than anything I've seen before: 1. Determining market value 2. How to set your asking price 3. The role of the real estate agent 4. Value of improvements 5. Avoiding common pricing mistakes The presentation of this 20 minute video includes graphics, charts and illustrations and is li...
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By Kim Brown, Keene, NH - New England at its Best!
(Keller Williams Realty)
The internet offers a veritable feast of sites devoted to decluttering--just Google "decluttering tips" and you will be provided with pages of links (some are included below) that will offer you tried and true methods for attacking this most important task! I'm not going to reinvent the wheel, so I'll leave you to choose the site that offers the best style for you. The main point is to get on track, stay on track, and remember that this is all for a good cause--The Successful and Timely Sale of Your Home!You may notice after perusing a few of these sites that they all have a few things in common: if you don't LOVE it, NEED it, USE it or FEED it: get RID of it play your favorite music as you work to keep energy levels high use a timer so you don't get discouraged or burn out and don't fo...
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By Kim Brown, Keene, NH - New England at its Best!
(Keller Williams Realty)
When your house is on the market, it needs to be ready at a moment's notice. While most agents do their best to provide you with ample notice of a showing, sometimes there is a buyer who is in town for a very limited time and wants to see your house...now! You never know which buyer will be THE buyer, so you have to have a plan for those short-notice showings.It's hard to live in a house and have it consistently show-ready at the same time. The mail still arrives everyday, the kids and spouse still act as though they live there (imagine!), Fluffy still leaves her catnip toys all over the place (we'll address other evidence of Fluffy & Friends in another entry), the flotsam and jetsam that is everyday life is ever-present. So what's a seller to do?One trick is to place attractive covere...
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By Kim Brown, Keene, NH - New England at its Best!
(Keller Williams Realty)
  Pack your bags--you're outta here! At least, that's the goal, right? Well, one solution to making your closets appear delightfully spacious is to reduce their contents. Perhaps you store your luggage in those closets (or in the attic or under your bed) empty and unused until your next trip. Why not make use of them? If they are going to take up valuable real estate in your home, they should pitch in and be useful all the time. Put your out-of-season clothing in them! Hide your extra 17 pairs of black shoes in them! Store those souvenir beach towels in them! Stash your baseball card collection in them! Whatever is making those closets look crowded can go in them! Even other luggage--like those Russian nesting dolls that you open to reveal another smaller doll, then another, and another...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Jessica of Double Bubble Cleaning Service, Keene, NH has left an impression on me...The simple thing she did last night gave me a feeling she was trustworthy, reliable, meticulous, detail oriented, and that she cares for her clients and her work. This morning I went down to our company kitchen for my morning coffee, half decaf, half regular and a dab of creamer. As I read over some of the pamphlets people had left on the table when I came across a paper towel holding a nickel and some writing from "Jessica, Double Buble Cleaning Service". Apparently she had found the nickel under the vending machine while cleaning last night and was looking for it's owner. My first thought was, how would anyone know it was theres? I then read into it some more and thought, she cleaned underneath the ven...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Wow, this is interesting. I just realized there is a culture clash in my office? But I understand why, and there are 2 definite perspectives, neither is right nor wrong. Both are supported by personal values and beliefs that I may or not agree with. Both are ok. A listing of mine expired recently and an agent who is new to our office relisted it. This agent is not new to the business, but she recently joined our office. Both of us worked together years ago at another office, both of us came from the same culture. We seem to have a mutual understanding as a result of this, but I noticed the shock from some as I received comments that they were surprised the seller would relist with another agent, in-house. Back in the days when I started my career, my ideas around this were shaped by the...
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
D I V E R S I F Y Yes, we hear this term so many times in relation to financial investments. So why no apply that to yourself. If you don't diversify in your business, you have a higher chance of going down when your nitche market becomes challenged. I'm thankful that I recognized this two years ago, seeing a changed market coming on, as I started my studies at Antioch University in Keene, NH.  I knew I loved real estate, but I also knew that this was a time for me to invest in myself. This turned into a journey of learning, growing and rising above. Above what? I am creating for myself a new nitche. This was not what I had intended, but my drive behind it is intense because it's fun, it's something that can't be ignored, and it's a tool that will benefit anyone who knows how to use it....
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By Stephanie Jacques, Stephanie Jacques Kleine
(Better Homes and Gardens The Masiello Group)
Compare and See Your New Mortgage Amount If you're like me, you're looking at rates now and trying to compare your current mortgage with what it could be if you: A. Refinance with a new rate B.Purchase a new home and move up C.Purchase an investment property A simple tool to is available on www.StephanieJacques.com to help compare your principle and interest payments. Remember, you'll have to add to that monthly payment the following figures: 1. Your Homeowner's insurance premium (divide by 12 to arrive at a monthly figure). 2. Your property taxes ( also divide by 12 for a monthly figure, but only if you escrow in your taxes and do not pay them seperately.   For me, if I refinance 1% less than my current rate, the difference is $79/month, assuming I never change the current principle ba...
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