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Buying a Home

January
17

Furnishing a First Home - Buy a Home - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyBuying your first home is such an exciting milestone. But once you're standing in your own empty living room, you realize there's another big step you have to tackle: furnishing that home. When furnishing your Carroll County home, it's important to prioritize the right rooms and items. Take things slowly and embrace your own style. Our real estate agents have a few more specific tips that should prove helpful along the way.

  1. Make a List of Necessities
    Furnishing your home will seem less overwhelming if you're able to nail down exactly what you need. Start by making a list of absolute essentials.

    If you're starting with nothing, this list should likely include a dining table and chairs, a sofa, an entertainment center, a bed, and a dresser. Other furnishings, like a decorative ottoman or a dining room buffet, can wait until after you've purchased the necessities.

  2. Reuse and Recycle When Possible
    You can often lower your furnishing costs considerably by reusing and re-purposing things you already own. For example, perhaps you can use the old coffee table from your first apartment as a shelf for shoes in your entryway. Or perhaps your old dresser could work as a makeshift TV stand once you put a new coat of paint on it.

    Reach out to close friends and family members to see if they have any used furniture you can re-purpose. These items don't have to be your permanent furniture, but they can fill in the gaps until you're able to buy something nicer.

  3. Measure First
    Before you start shopping for furniture for any space, take measurements. Bring these measurements with you to the furniture store, and check them against the dimensions of any furniture you're thinking of buying.

    If your home has narrow halls or doorways, measure those, too. This will save you the headache of having furniture delivered only to discover it won't fit into your home.

  4. Curate Your Style
    Now that you're in a home that's truly your own, you will probably want to decorate it in a way that reflects your own interests and sense of taste. Spend a little time browsing Instagram and magazines. Make note of rooms and furnishings that you love and would like to have in your own home.

    Ideally, you'll discover that the style you love has a certain name. For example, you may realize everything you're tagging is Shabby Chic or Coastal. This knowledge will help you shop for furniture that suits your style. For instance, if you see a sofa described as Shabby Chic, you'll be prompted to take a second look.

  5. Find a Good Consignment Shop
    You don't have to buy all new furniture. In fact, most people prefer to mix a few new pieces with a few secondhand pieces. Consignment stores are great places to find used furniture in good condition. If you can find one that exclusively sells furniture, that's even better.

    Once you find a good consignment store, talk to the owner about the furniture you're still looking for. Often, they'll be happy to keep their eyes open and let you know when something suitable comes in. This approach can help you snag that perfect dresser before someone else gets their hands on it!

Remember, furnishing a home should be fun. Prioritize your purchases, reuse furniture when possible, and take the time to curate your style. Should you still be looking at Jackson homes for sale or North Conway homes for sale feel free to contact us. We'll help you find a gorgeous space that you can enjoy furnishing and decorating to suit your tastes. 

December
8

Holiday Move - Buy a Home - Badger Peabody & SmithMoving is stressful in its own right, but when you add holidays to the mix, your anxiety can skyrocket. Unfortunately, sometimes you have no choice. While we may not be able to resolve all of your moving issues, our real estate agents have a few tips to make the process a little easier.

  • Create an Organized Plan
    The key to minimizing stress is to eliminate surprises. Research and plan carefully to prepare yourself for all contingencies, but remember to be flexible. In an undertaking as complex as a move, some things probably won't go as planned. Don't let that derail your efforts. Determine when you can book movers, trucks, and storage facilities, if necessary. Make reservations as far in advance as possible. Ask about discounts as well as deposits. Prepare for inclement weather by making sure appropriate clothing is readily accessible. Check off tasks as you go so you don't overlook crucial actions.

  • Plan the Move for Mid-Week.
    The busiest shopping day of the year falls on the weekend before Christmas. That means that traffic conditions are extreme. If you are planning to hire movers to assist you, you may face holiday overtime rates. With Christmas falling on the weekend, you can count on the entire week before being exceptionally busy. If possible, plan your move at least one week earlier.

  • Consider a Move Between Holidays
    Moving after Christmas but before New Year's Day will minimize the hectic time in traffic, allow you to celebrate before you tackle the move itself, and save time and money. If you can schedule a move immediately after Christmas, you'll have several days to move into your new home and have it ready to enjoy the coming year. 

  • Pack Decorations and Gifts Last
    While the rest of the house dissolves into stacks of boxes and bare walls, you can have a safe haven that still feels like home and allows you to enjoy a holiday atmosphere. If you're arriving at your new home before Christmas, clearly label the related boxes so they can be quickly identified and ready to access. Consider minimal decor to shorten set-up time, but include any items that are particularly meaningful to your family. If you are closing on one of our gorgeous Franconia and Holderness homes for sale, you may want to take the time to set out your decorations before you make the rest of the move. That way, when you are exhausted from the move, you can relax and enjoy your beautiful new space, complete with the tree!

  • Create Two Budgets
    Monitoring your financial expenditures is important, but so is your time management. Saving a few dollars is not worth midnight madness when you have stretched yourself too thin. As you budget your cash, be reasonable with how much time you allow yourself to manage the move and enjoy your life. Plan to take time out when appropriate, and you don't take on other projects. It may be the year someone else serves you dinner instead of you taking on all the hosting responsibilities. Your time is valuable. Budget it as judiciously as you would your money. 

If you're relocating and haven't yet found the perfect house, contact us. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find it and will probably have plenty of other tips to make the move as smooth as possible. 

November
7

Starter Home Tips - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyThe thought of buying your first home is exciting. However, before picking out curtains and decorations, you must consider whether it's the right investment for your future. Our real estate agents suggest you consider the five following considerations before your heart settles on any first home.

  1. Cost of Ownership
    Is the home affordable? This is the first and most important question any homebuyer should ask about Berlin homes for saleCalculating the cost of ownership goes beyond the mortgage, taxes, and down payment. You must factor in all the costs of owning the home, including the cost of renovating the home, homeowners insurance, utility bills, HOA fees, and maintenance. Generally, you never want to spend more than 30% on monthly housing expenses. The lower your ratio, the more comfortable you will be, and the easier it will be for you to maintain the property. 

  2. The Condition of the Property
    Many homes are in exceptional condition, but some may need some improvements. Always have a home inspected by an insured home inspector. It is imperative to confirm that the foundation, roof, plumbing, and electrical systems are in good condition and don't require extensive repairs or replacement.   

  3. The Neighborhood
    Before you settle on a neighborhood, consider how close you'll be to the places you visit on a regular basis. Is it close enough to work, school, and stores? Decide how far you're willing to drive to reach these destinations. You'll also want to research long-term property values in the neighborhood you're considering. A home is typically the biggest purchase you'll make, and you want to ensure you make the right choice financially.

  4. Longevity and Lifestyle
    Is the home a property you will grow into and out of, or is it somewhere you can see yourself spending the next 30 years? Many homes are built in neighborhoods where neighbors become like family. Similarly, many homes can be remodeled and renovated to fit your needs as they evolve. Considering these aspects can help you determine whether a property is the right fit for your long-term plans.

  5. How Big is the Home
    Always factor in the size of the home and your expected needs over the next five to 10 years. Smaller homes are less costly and easier to maintain, they are a great way to save money each month and be used to purchase a larger home when the time comes. 

We'd love to help you find the ideal first home for your needs. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the homes currently on the market and the real estate trends we see emerging in the region.

August
24

Potential Home Inspector Questions - Badger Peabody & Smith RealtyOur real estate agents know it's easy to get excited about North Conway homes for sale. As a prospective buyer, however, you should always be careful to take the right steps to protect your interests. One of the most important of these is to hire a home inspector before you go forward on a transaction.

What Is a Home Inspection and Why Do You Need One?

A home inspection job is simple: Document the property's condition from top to bottom and make you aware of any potential issues. A home inspection report is exhaustive, often holding dozens of pages, covering every element of every room (and often, the exterior spaces).

The main issues a home inspector looks for are those that can lead to a large repair bill in the future. If a home inspector finds problems, this can lead to negotiating leverage for potential buyers.

Most conventional home lenders require you to have a home inspection before they come through with funding. Even if you are planning to pay in cash, however, a home inspection is essential. It helps prevent surprises that can complicate homeownership in the future.

Ask the Right Questions to Choose Your Home Inspector

Choosing a reputable home inspector who will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision is vital. As the buyer, you usually pay 100% for the home inspection and often have a time limit. Even if time is tight, compare your options before you decide.

Here are some key questions to ask:

  • "What Do You Check?"
    The major building systems—roof, sewer or septic, and electrical—are the pieces most likely to cause big problems. But detail work is often left to separate experts. Home inspectors confine their work to visual inspection, so their "wiring check" may be limited to flipping light switches in each room.
  • "What Do You Charge?"
    Home inspection costs generally run between $200 and $800. Fees are variable based on the size of the home and the required timeline. Home inspectors are paid on the day of the inspection, so you need to know in advance and make appropriate arrangements.
  • "How Long Have You Been in Business?"
    These days, a reputable business will have reviews on third-party websites like Yelp and Google Reviews. Fake reviews can be posted, but reviews (positive or negative) cannot be removed by the business once written. Check the inspector's statements about their experience against these sources.
  • "Can I Come Along?"
    A home inspector can't cut a hole into the wall or do any other restructuring work that might be unsafe, so there's no reason for a skilled inspector not to have the buyer along. Of course, you might not be crawling into the attic, but you can ask questions and get feedback as the inspection unfolds.
  • "How Long Will It Take?"
    While good inspectors don't mind the buyer, the seller is another story. Most inspections occur during regular working hours, typically when the seller is not home. Schedules are estimates only, but they will give you a sense of what to expect, especially if you want to be present.
  • "Can I See a Sample Report?"
    All observations uncovered during a home inspection should be documented in the form of a report. The standards for these vary widely, although there are industry associations that advocate best practices. In general, the more photographic evidence comes with a report, the more useful it is for you.

Contact us to find out more about White Mountains real estate today.

August
9

Closing Day Expectations - Buy a Home - Badger Peabody & SmithWhen closing day is right around the corner, it's natural to wonder what to expect. While each closing is a little different than the last, some things are universal to each one. Our real estate agents will help guide you through the process and ensure you're prepared when the "big day" arrives. 

After months of pouring through listings for Berlin homes for sale, you finally found the right home. What next? While you may assume it's as simple as handing over a check and taking the keys, a few more steps are involved in closing before you can take possession of your new home (or conclude the sale of your home.)

What Happens on Closing Day

Once a date and location are agreed upon, sellers and buyers have work to do beforehand. In most cases, the location will be the attorney's office, agent's office, or escrow agent's office. Before closing, sellers must complete any agreed-upon repairs and construction works. Or, in lieu of this, provide confirmation via a contract that the work to be done is scheduled at an agreed-upon date and standard (i.e., scope, materials, contractor selection, etc.)

Sellers will also need to make the home available for a home inspection, and just 24 hours before closing, make the home available for the buyer and their agent to conduct a final walk-through.

Buyers and sellers should bring government-issued photo IDs with them. Passports and driver's licenses are sufficient. Both buyers and sellers have to sign a bevy of documents and forms. Crucially, the buyer will make an earnest money deposit into the escrow account and confirm they have the homeowners insurance and other documents required for the underwriting. 

When everything goes to plan, the seller will transfer the deed to the buyer, and the buyer will transfer funds from their financial institution to the seller. Both parties will confirm that the title is free and clear of liens or encumbrances. And your agent, the escrow agent, attorney, and lender will answer any questions either party may have about the sale. 

Once the money is transferred, the home is officially sold, the buyers can move in, and sellers can move on. From start to finish, the closing process can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, depending on the sale and any conditions attached to it. 

Preparing for Closing

Before closing, sellers should remove their possessions from the property and clean the home so it's tidy when the new owners arrive. It doesn't have to be spotless, but it is a nice gesture. 

Sellers will also want to put in a change of address form with the post office and notify creditors, banks, and family/friends of the new address. Sellers should also set aside all the warranties and manuals for appliances, fixtures, HVAC systems, etc. Most homeowners do this by leaving these in a clearly marked bag in the kitchen. 

Sellers should also "shut down" the home. This means turning off water valves, adjusting thermostats so the house isn't too hot/cold, and ensuring that all doors, windows, etc., are tight and locked. 

We know you have many questions about the closing process, and we're happy to help guide you through the steps and stages. We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the many ways our real estate team can help you find the home of your dreams. 

January
24

There's a good reason for the old adage that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether spending a lazy weekend morning with family or entertaining a houseful of guests, all good things come from the kitchen. The best kitchens feature standout design, state-of-the-art appliances, and creative ways to prep, store, and serve. These three White Mountains homes nail all these elements and more with kitchens to fall in love with. Only the amazing views will make you want to leave! The kitchen in 4769 Main Street in Bethlehem, NH with its two oven and center island

4769 Main Street, Bethlehem, NH

Beautiful finishes and intelligent design make the kitchen the highlight of this Adirondack-style log home in the Ledgewood community of Bethlehem, NH. Granite counters and a butcher-block island are framed by cherry and maple cabinets set off by Brazilian cherry hardwood floors. Top-notch appliances include double ovens and a sleek cooktop taking center stage in the island. With a floor plan that offers spectacular views of Mount Washington and Franconia Notch, this 4-bedroom, 3-bath home embraces the open-living concept yet comes with many unique spaces for privacy. The kitchen in 67 North Star Drive in Sugar Hill, NH looks out over living room and dining area

67 North Star Drive, Sugar Hill, NH

This 3-bedroom, 3-bath home in Sugar Hill, NH is set on over 4 acres of land with a majestic view of Franconia Notch. The kitchen is open to the dining area and living room so the cook never loses sight of the mountain vistas. A U-shaped layout creates an efficient work triangle with plenty of room for meal prep. The calm color of this kitchen contrasts with apple-green walls of the living area beyond. Smart task lighting makes every surface a great choice, but you won't want to turn your back on the fabulous view. The kitchen at 4 Notch Way in Thornton, NH has a custom tiled backsplash and glowing wood cabinetry

4 Notch Way, Thornton, NH

This one-of-a-kind, 4-bedroom, 6-bath Adirondack-style home in Thornton, NH has a chef's kitchen with cherry floors, glowing cabinetry, and a custom tiled backsplash, plus double ovens and beautiful granite counters. A center island faces the dining area and living room, which are lined with windows that bathe the open-concept first floor with plenty of natural light. If cooking and entertaining top your list of real estate priorities, find your own dream kitchen in New Hampshire or Vermont by contacting us today.
May
24

[caption id="attachment_3612" align="alignright" width="300"]31-39 memory lane 31-39 Memory Lane in Whitefield, NH[/caption] Please come join me on Saturday May 28th 10am-1pm for an open house at 31-39 Memory Lane in Whitefield. These 5 cabins are being offered in different ways. You could get all 5 cabins. 1 one bedroom year round cabin on the water's edge that has two docks and a great little place to launch your boats. 3 two bedroom seasonal cabins with their own private docks. All of these are just a few feet from the water's edge. And a 3 bedroom larger cabin with a wonderful open concept that also has its own dock but sits back from the water's edge. The whole 2.59 acres with 5 cabins on Forest Lake in NH for $489,000 [caption id="attachment_3613" align="alignright" width="300"]31-39 memory lane The 4 seasonal cabins[/caption] Or, you could purchase the 4 seasonal cabins on 1.66 acres on Forest Lake, NH for $299,000 Or, if you are looking for a year round cabin on Forest Lake, on .93 acres, this one is available for $239,000 Although these cabins once upon a lifetime ago were used as a business, they have not been rented out for profit in many, many years. There is no rental history at this time. There certainly is good potential for income with proper marketing and management. 31-3-memory-laneThis might just be the perfect way to have your lakeside summer vacation paid for by someone else! We are hoping for some lovely weather to enjoy the peacefulness of the lake and the forecast so far looks good! We hope to see you there, this Saturday from 10-1 pm!   
March
29

peabody & smith early spring buyer's guideIn 25,000 mailboxes last week arrived the Peabody & Smith Buyer's Guide! This was our early spring edition that we send via direct mail to residents all over Northern, Central and the Lakes Region of New Hampshire! This 16-page guide features some of the properties we have available, a current market watch from Broker/Owner Andy Smith, and much more! To see the Peabody & Smith Realty Early Spring Buyer's Guide, click here! In addition, we distribute another 5,000 of these at area restaurants, lodges and more! And do you have a business that may be interested in running an ad in our guide? If so, give me a call! (Chrissy Smith, Peabody & Smith, 603-444-0951) We have opportunities we can discuss with you!
August
19

**Update: We are sorry, this fine home has been purchased by a new owner, but we have others!

A Chat With Our Home Seller in Whitefield, NH

Whitefield NH home for saleWe are pleased to bring to you a chat with one of our current homeowners in Whitefield. Our homeowners at 31 Shirlaw Drive in Whitefield have owned their home for 11.5 years and are the original owners, and they now offer this one level living home to you. To get a sense of what is like to live in Whitefield, NH, we asked a few questions: P&S: At this time, you feel the time is right to leave the beautiful Whitefield community. What led you to this decision? Bobbie: We are returning to full time RVing! It's something we did before we planted roots in Whitefield and we are getting to hit the road again. P&S: What did you enjoy about living in Whitefield? What services could you find in Whitefield? Bobbie: We are close to the heart of Whitefield with easy access to many stores and resources: from medical, dental, a grocery store, hardware store, churches, the post office and local reycyle center – we were close to all those things and they were all in the town of Whitefield. In addition, we are 2 miles from the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, where we enjoyed dining, horse drawn carriage rides, pool membership and their Annual 4th of July fireworks display. Also, The Weathervane Theatre is also within 2 miles, and you can enjoy dinner at the Inn at Whitefield and then attend a play during summer months. We have weekly concerts in the summer on the Green in town and we enjoy wildlife from moose and deer to bear and rabbits right in the backyard. Whitefield NH home for saleIn terms of medical needs, we really loved the access to Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in Whitefield and the medical center that also includes the dental practice – Mt. View Dental. For us, having those services nearby is great. In addition, for specialists and such we would use the services at Littleton Regional Healthcare - which is just nearby – in fact I volunteer there! In terms of town resources, the Public Library is all redone and it's really fantastic – they have Wifi, computers, good book and of course volunteer opportunities. P&S: Why is it great to live in the Great North Woods and White Mountain area? What did you enjoy most about the area? Sellers:  The White Mountains are wonderful for hiking and climbing and going to places like Diana's Baths – you are just one hour from North Conway! You are also just minutes to Franconia Notch & Crawford Notch. What's not to like! P&S:  Where do you shop and dine in Whitefield and the surrounding area? Why do you enjoy those places? Sellers: There is a great Chinese restaurant (just one mile from the house and I must say, they make the most magnificent crab rangoons)! And for reasonable priced and good home cooking we love Grandma's Kitchen. There is also a great pizza place on the green, and a bagel shop is there also with homemade bagels. P&S: What did you look forward to the most when you got home?  Bobbie: Our home is just so comfortable, it feels cozy, comfortable and warm. P&S: What cultural events and other types of events can you recommend to people coming into the community? Whitefield NH home for saleBobbie:  We love listening and attending the concerts for the The North Country Chamber Players at the Sugar Hill Meetinghouse and we follow them around as they play in other venues. They do such a great job - classical, world class musicians and to have them here is such a great opportunity! In Colebrook, NH we have attended a number of different concerts, including The Ashelin's – a great group that sound Celtic, folk and more. P&S:  What events and places brought you the most pleasure? Bobbie: Well I must mention Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel! They are in Jefferson NH and they do dog sled rides – year round and they are just great people! You can take your family and rent 2-3 sleds and go for rides – it's neat for the whole group! In addition, there are horse rides at the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa. We have so many unique things to do here! And sheets! The Garnet Hill Outlet Store in Franconia, where you can buy sheets and bedding from the national store – right here in your backyard! And in terms of restaurants in Littleton, there is a great place on the Ammonoosuc River – Schillings Beer Company. In terms of other places we enjoyed – we can't forget about all the Farmer's Markets! During the season, you can find a market in Lancaster, Whitefield and Littleton! Lots of fresh veggies and produce all around! P&S:  What tips would you give to new people coming into the community? Bobbie: Get involved and volunteer for things. There are volunteer opportunities at the Library, Second Chance Animal Rescue or Littleton Regional Healthcare - it's a great way to meet people and get to know the community. P&S: What were the favorite features of your home? What did you enjoy the most? Whitefield NH home for saleBobbie: Well, we loved that our home is well insulated and fuel efficient – that was great in the winter! In addition, the radiant floor heat and pellet stove always made it warm and cozy. It's just a really comfortable home, and it's easy to entertain in. I love the cathedral ceiling with the two skylights because they provide so much light on the spacious interior. It's funny, because our home is built on a slab, people would sometimes ask, "what do you do with all your stuff & belongings?" I always let them know, because there are so many closets and an oversized 3 car garage, there is plenty of space. Radiant floor heat with a pellet stove real cozy. The one floor living is so convenient, and we have so many services nearby, it's just perfect for anyone!

Contact Peabody & Smith Realty to learn more about this beautiful Whitefield NH home for sale!

January
23

**Update: We are sorry, this fine home has been purchased by a new owner, but we have others!

A Chat With Our Home Seller in Bethlehem, NH

It's always fun to chat with our sellers, and in this post, we are pleased to chat with one of our current home sellers in Bethlehem NH. Our homeowners at 187 Lehan Road in Bethlehem NH  have owned their custom built home for many years, and now offer this 18 ½ acre private retreat for your consideration. 187 Lehan Road - $692,000 Bethlehem, NH 03574 To get a sense of what is like to live in Bethlehem NH  we asked a few questions: P&S: At this time, you feel the time is right to leave the Bethlehem NH community. What led you to this decision? Sellers: It is an age-related decision. We both need to be in the South for health reasons. We LOVE the North Country and it hurts to leave the area. P&S: Why is it great to live in Bethlehem NH? What did you enjoy about the town itself? Sellers: Bethlehem is an artistic town. It has poetry  , music, the Colonial Theater , an active Main Street , and dedicated citizens available to volunteer to boards and committees in town. P&S:  Where do you shop and dine in Bethlehem and why do you enjoy those places? Sellers:  Shopping is (at our end of town) at the Littleton Food Co-Op,  just 1 ½ miles away, and at other places in Littleton. We enjoy dining at the Adair , at the Cold Mountain Café , and at the Wayside Inn. P&S: What do you like the most about your home at 187 Lehan Road in Bethlehem NH? Sellers: The total peace, privacy and security at being on 18 ½ acres with a dramatic view of the White Mountains; being able to entertain guests and family in the house and the separate Guest Cottage ("Tree House"), yet being just 5 minutes from the store or Interstate 93. white mountain view from bethlehem P&S: What cultural events and other types of events can you recommend to people coming into the community? Sellers:  The White Mountain School  is just about 1000 yards away, and there is always a cultural event there! There are other great cultural events at the Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury VT  just ½ an hour away, as well as the Silver Center for the Arts in Plymouth, NH. P&S:  What events in the area brought you the most pleasure? Sellers:  Probably the North Country Chamber Players Auction.  It's one not to be missed! P&S:  What tips would you give to new people coming into the community? Sellers:  Stop in at the Bethlehem Town Hall  and leave your name(s) and willingness to serve on boards or committees.  When we did this, we were appointed to several. It's a great way to meet folks. P&S: What are the favorite features of your home? What do you enjoy the most? Sellers: Well, a noted Maine architect (known for schools and cottages) designed our home, and we love it! An engineer husband and artist wife added the rest.  We will sorely miss this place but are ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives. We are ready and invite potential home buyers in, to see about making our special place theirs.

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