We Celebrate Our Badger Peabody & Smith Agents and Staff!
In February, we had our annual dinner/gala at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort in Bretton Woods. It was a great central location for everyone in our offices – a central point for folks in Berlin, North Conway, Plymouth and more! We had a great time and it was such a fun evening to celebrate successes of the year including a rebranding of Badger Peabody & Smith Realty and a celebration of our agents and staff for all their hard work in 2021. For some, the night out was the first one in a long time and we worked to have a safe event for all our attendees.
At the end of the award ceremony, we awarded the "Peabody & Smith Realty Residential Sales Associate of 2021" to Beth Horan. Beth has been with the firm for over 20 years and works in the Franconia office and services clients and customers in the North Country.
We also recognized the top agents for each office, and with that, we recognized the following agents:
And the overall, top Residential Agent of 2021: Beth Horan
Other awards included:
Mt. Monroe Level awarded to: Doug Caulfield, Jerry Love, Jeff Gagnon, Rachel Brown, Karla Badger, Peter Pietz, Jerry Hamanne, Anne Foss, Roland Turgeon, Jackie Goodhart, Paty Ciotto, Linda Matheson, Eileen Difeo, Daren Levitt, Jason Cape, Patty O'Brien, Tara Peirce, Steve Gorman.
3 Pound Sledge Award: Awarded to Norman Head. Norman was recognized for having the willingness to help his fellow agents and always having a helpful attitude throughout the year.
Congratulations to our team! And most of all, thank you to our clients and customers – it has been our pleasure to work with all of you and we look forward to assisting you in the future!
If you have had the chance to walk through the small town of Franconia, NH, you may have noticed that the town is decorated with all types of art. From a bike made out of chains, to large wire Oak leaves and a big red fish here on our lawn at the office, you cannot help but smile and keep your eyes peeled for more!
Last summer was the first year for the Franconia Art Walk. This self-guided walk through the town of Franconia features wonderful different mediums of art. The mission of this non-profit group, formed in March of 2019, is to "promote tourism and encourage economic development in the Town of Franconia and surrounding communities by providing an outdoor art related venue consistent with our vision".
Stay tuned for a photo tour with me of the different pieces of art that are perfectly displayed through the town. In the meantime, if you are in Franconia, NH grab a map at one of our nearby stores, or view it online and get walking!
With our new life, comes new topics – one topic that has been coming up a lot lately when we are in a state of distraction is books! Here at Peabody & Smith Realty we have been conversing (over Zoom, Teams, telephone) about what we have been reading. It seems as though many of us sometimes need a little distraction at the end of the day as sometimes we take a break from the television and have found some time to rekindle the wonderful hobby of reading. For me, reading is such a great way to pass extra time and escape from the real world.
We have had a wide range of books and genres discussed in the past month. From "Last of the Mohicans" to trending "self-help" books. What are you reading? Have you found yourself talking about books more often with friends, than before Covid-19? I know I have! It has been a pleasure to escape in a book, to want to read just one more page.
So many people are recognizing, the simple things in life are really, really important and do not necessarily need to cost lots of money.
Check out your local libraries lending program right now. Many are offering curbside pickup. Or go to your local bookstore and get a curbside pick-up with the new best seller or a classic that you have been wanting to reread. Here in Littleton, many of us have been frequent curbside customers at the Little Village Toy and Bookstore www.littlevillagetoys.com and in Meredith at www.innisfreebookshop.com.
Here is a list of what our staff and agents recommend:
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
Educated by Tara Westover
The Revenant by Michael Punke
Arundel by Kenneth Lewis Roberts
Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Still Life by Rachel Hollis
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Why We Can't Sleep by Ada Calhoun
Getting Things Done by David Allen
On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah
Let us know what you've been reading, we love a good recommendation!
During this time, we have remained committed to helping home buyers and sellers. We continue to list properties, show property and help sellers and buyers get to the closing process. We achieve these goals with an eye always on the health and safety of our clients and team members. We are still actively showing property, and below are some details on our showing protocols.
We continue to monitor the situation, day by day, hour by hour, to ensure our policies are effectively ensuring the well-being of you, our agents and our staff. We hope you are staying safe & healthy.
I'm reminded of the good fortune in many sci-fi movies where someone gets their hands on an almanac from the future. Of course they could use this information for good and perhaps alter the course of things in a positive way. Inevitably though, they (much like I would!) use this information for "gambling" (it's not really gambling at that point, is it?) and end up with insane fortune. It would be amazing if we had a crystal ball for the future of real estate. If we could predict the coming trends we could remodel our homes to entice buyers or we could sell at the top of the market and buy at the bottom. Much to the envy of Nostradamus.
But back here in the real world, we're left to rely on the insights of experts. The National Association of REALTORSⓇ just had their Broker summit in Texas. I'd like to share a few of the trends they see coming down the road. Perhaps you can grab onto one or more of these and carve out your own fortunes for the coming few years.
One of the biggest changes in the last 40 years is the "face" of the buyer. Repeat buyers are at a median age of 55 and that was at 36 back in 1981. For first time buyers the trend is similar, jumping from 29 to 32. But the biggest adjustment is the "family" that is going to walk in the door to purchase a home. Back in the 80s 75% of first time buyers were married couples. Today that number is just above 50%. Single female buyers are a whopping 18% as well and unmarried couples are just below that at 16%. This basically means that you are not necessarily selling your home to a family with 2.5 kids and a dog. I believe those days are well behind us.
That trend continues beyond the non-traditional family and is showing in other areas as well. It would seem that folks are starting to "smarten up" and stop having kids. (That last statement is entirely mine and does not reflect the opinion of this paper!) In the 60's women had an average of 4.7 children. That number has dropped to 2.4 worldwide. Only 34% of today's home buyers have children. We are, however, planning for caring for our aging parents. Last year 1 in 6 Gen X buyers purchased a home that will accommodate their parents as well as their children. The multi-generational living situation is going to see a significant increase in the coming years.
With that in mind, there is also a trend in staying in a home for longer. In the 90's and early 2000s the time spent in a home was an average of 6 years. It is currently up closer to 9 years. Today's buyers are not necessarily looking for a quick "flip", but are interested in a long-term home. "I think the stability of home ownership is nudging people to stay put longer and truly take advantage of the long-term investment of owning property," notes Badger Peabody & Smith Realty (formerly Badger Realty) agent, Norman Head.
On a positive note for agents and brokerages the utilization of agents is higher now than it was in previous generations. FSBO (for sale by owner) deals were only 7% of all transactions in 2018. This is down from nearly 20% in the 80s and early 90s. The benefit of having someone walk you through the buying or selling process is showing to be attractive enough to make the phone ring. Of course online shopping or browsing will always be a strong trend, but it is nice to know that people still value that human contact and education that is only available with a living, breathing agent.
As the legendary singer/songwriter Kermit the Frog often sang, "It's not that easy bein' green". While sustainability and energy-efficient features are great, they are not that much of a priority for buyers as they were just a decade ago. It appears the additional cost for those features is not enticing enough to lure the buyers in. However, once the buyers are in the home, one of the more popular types of remodeling is the retro-fitting of these energy-saving features.
In the end, the goal is still homeownership. 90% of people see homeownership on par with baseball and apple-pie. And 80% are on track to own in the future. As sellers it is important to be aware of what is drawing people's attention and as owners it is helpful to realize that you are sitting on a desirable property. Now if only I could find someone who can tell me how the Pats are going to do this year!
Perhaps it was the Patriots having a simply horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad day, but it felt good to sink into the couch on Sunday and Pretend TB12 was someone else. (Maybe Eli!?) If you've been reading along over the last 8 years you likely know that I'm someone who lives for the outdoors. That said, there's nothing I love more after a day on the slopes or in the woods than a hot shower and plopping down on the couch for some racing, football or UFC. I'm easy to please. Today we're going to talk a bit about a shift in the housing arena and where we're choosing to plop!
We've talked about the disappearance (or obsolescence) of the formal dining room. Kitchen bars and more casual dining settings are taking over for their convenience and wide ranging utility. Now it seems we're doubling down on the living room. One of the reasons for this is truly based on the fading dining room. For many busy families (like ours growing up) there's simply no practical time for the family to sit down and dine together. The shift is moving towards a more comfortable space where, after all of the day's craziness has subsided, the family can re-connect.
For a short time I lived with 2 other friends in a shared home. One of my favorite features of that place was the fact that there were 2 living rooms. The home was a split-level ranch so upstairs, off the kitchen and dining room, was a room with a couch, a couple chairs and a stereo. At least once a week the three of us would end up in that room, scotch in hand, and just relax with some music and chat about our lives. Two of us were business owners. The other guy was getting ready to move to San Francisco for a new job. There was never a shortage of topics to talk about. The absence of a television was simply sublime.
Downstairs in that house was a large screen TV and a big wrap-around couch. Next to the couch were 2 comfy chairs and an exercise bike. This was the place where we would watch movies, catch up on our favorite Netflix shows, play guitar or just hang out. It was cooler in the summertime, darker for watching movies and generally a welcome respite from the world. Little did we know we were enjoying the fruits of a growing trend.
Today many homes are being built with this sort of dual-lounging areas lifestyle in mind. Lots of homes, including where we currently live, have a "sitting room" or more formal living room and a "lounging room" for the more serious relaxing (and watching of stuff). The sitting room is really designed for guests and being able to enjoy conversation with friends and family. There is no television and the seating is specifically designed for making eye contact with your friends and engaging in conversation. The "lazy lounge" is meant for shutting off the world and simply being a bump on a log. I think we can all appreciate that!
One very interesting trend being seen in the new construction realm is the shrinking of bedroom sizes. It seems that folks designing and building their own homes are realizing if they minimize the utility of the bedroom (and focus on the "sleep" part) they can expand the home in other areas and make room for a lounge-type area for the whole family to enjoy. Kids (and adults!) don't need to be holed up in their rooms staring at their screens by themselves all night. These people are realizing that even if they are just watching Seinfeld reruns, at least the family is together.
"The size of these lazy rooms is insignificant when it comes to their value and utility," notes Badger Peabody & Smith Realty (formerly Badger Realty) owner, Andy Smith. "Converting a small bedroom with plenty of comfy seating can be just as relaxing and comforting as a large living room," he added.
This is also a space where you can be a bit more creative with the décor. If you have kids, feel free to encourage their input on the design, color, decorations, etc. for this room. You want everyone to feel welcome here and getting everyone's input is a great idea. If it is just you and your partner, this room can also be a sidestep from the overall home's theme. Remember that this is a room just for you. Since it is your escape from the world, don't consider the world's opinion of how you've set it up.
I love the idea of a second living room and I simply adore the idea of a living area with no TV. If this is something you think you would enjoy, take a look around the house and see where you could incorporate your very own lazy living lounge. Maybe it's time to kick that college graduate out so you can create your oasis. Happy lounging!
North Conway, NH – July 1, 2018 – Brenda Leavitt, former General Manager, Debbie Anderson and Jessica DiPietro all with Badger Realty, participated in the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Mid-Year Broker Forum in Boston June 13. The event was part of a series of one-day meetings being held across the country for brokers affiliated with the global real estate network.
Discussions centered on the new technologies and service offerings LeadingRE is making available to its member brokerages to help them retain their position as market leaders and continuously enhance their value proposition for agents and consumers. The agenda also covered other timely topics relating to the current real estate market, including growth strategies and marketing initiatives.
"The Forums gave us the opportunity to come together with top brokers to discuss innovative ways we are helping our agents conduct business and deliver the best service to customers," said LeadingRE President/CEO Paul Boomsma. "Because we represent so many leaders in so many markets, these meetings are always very powerful, allowing the best brokers in the business to learn from one another and share the ideas that have helped them succeed."
"In the 11 years that we have been attending the Mid-Year Broker Forums, we have always been impressed by the ability of Leading RE to bring a wide variety of Agencies together for this conference. It is a wonderful way to network with members of the largest global real estate community in the world. We feel that these informative sessions highlighting the latest trends in technology and marketing give us insight that is invaluable to our Agents. For over 50 years, Badger Realty has enjoyed a reputation for outstanding customer service and consistently we have ranked number 1 in Mount Washington Valley, last year averaging the sale of at least one home each day during entire year. We have found that both our Agents, as well as our customers, have benefitted from our 11 year partnership with Leading RE, and we are thrilled to continue to offer such a valuable service to them.
Badger Realty is the Mount Washington Valley and western Maine's representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 565 firms and 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, Badger Realty provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.
For more information about Badger Realty please visit www.Badgerrealty.com.
Pictured: Deborah Anderson, Jessica Dipietro, Paul Boomsma , Brenda Leavitt, Pam Chute (Vice President Business Solutions)