Sanborn — Summer selling season tips

By Roy Sanborn

 

Another Memorial Day is in the books. We honor and thank all of those that have served our country in such heroic fashion! Memorial Day is also the Indy 500, the Coca Cola 500, hockey and basketball. It is cookouts with friends and family. It's the start of hot dog season, when, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a whopping 7 billion hot dogs are eaten. Imagine that! It is also considered the start of the summer season and really the start of the summer home-buying season.

Memorial Day also seems to be the start of the serious gardening season for many people. All you have to do is visit Pedal Pushers, Apple Tree Nursery, Cackleberries, Agway, or Lowes to see how busy they are with homeowners filling their trunks, trucks, and trailers with everything from mulch to begonias and pansies to roses. I know, I was there. Homeowners want their properties to look great for the summer. And, home buyers are attracted to homes that look nice. Curb appeal gets buyers in the door. I don't know how many of the people I saw at the garden center were actually selling their home, but I am sure there might have been a few. If you are thinking about selling your property this time of year, here are some tips to dress your house for success and get someone to notice you.

Housekeeping...on the outside is the number one task. Just like on the inside, declutter the landscape of your home by weeding, pulling out the dead plants, and trimming back the overgrown bushes. Home buyers like to actually see the front of the house. Hedges and bushes that have overtaken the front of your home not only hide your house, they also can cause harm to the exterior of the home. Trees with branches overhanging your roof should be trimmed back. If the outside of your property looks like a dying rain forest, why would anyone believe the inside is as nice as you say it is? Make sure you edge your gardens to create a clean definition between your lawn and the garden. If you are a Redneck, you should also remove any of the more unusual items like old snow machines, truck tires, and discarded front fenders from that '56 Ford you once owned. You may not be able to take the garden out of the Redneck, but you certainly can take the Redneck out of the garden.

You don't have to go crazy, but pick up some nice colorful new plants that will make your gardens pop a little. If you don't know anything about plants or which one to buy to put where the staff at the garden center will help you out and tell you the best choices. Not everyone has a green thumb, but putting some new colorful plants in the ground might give you some extra green in your wallet. And, that is the goal.

Freshen your flower beds with new mulch which will help make your plants stand out. Mulching inhibits weeds from growing, which are not only unsightly but also rob moisture from your plants, and it also keeps the ground from drying out. A few cutesy garden ornaments can add whimsy and appeal to the garden but don't overdo it. I would stay away from the Travelocity style garden gnome... that might give a prospective buyer the idea that you've already booked your around-the-world tour and are eager to move. You don't want to give a buyer any unnecessary edge.

If you have a nice deck or patio, this is another area to spruce up and make into a great entertaining space that buyers will love. Go out and get some potted plants, new or freshly painted patio furniture with colorful cushions, and maybe even a new grill to replace that old 55-gallon drum cooker that you have had for the past ten years. These are all things that will make your home look great, and the best part is you take it all with you when you sell the place.

So, that's it. Get busy and make your yard look great. My best advice now is to do all of this on a cool day. Memorial weekend was way too hot and days like those should be reserved for grilling and enjoying the Lakes Region.

As of June 1, there were 999 residential single family homes on the market in the twelve towns covered by this report. The average asking price was $577,633 but the more meaningful median price stood at $275,000. The total inventory is up from the 921 homes on the market as of May 1, but down from the 1,158 homes on the market last June 1. The current inventory level represents a 10.7 month supply of homes on the market.

P​lease feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 6/1/16. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 379

Pat Buchanan - Will there always be an England?

In his op-ed in The Washington Post, Chris Grayling, leader of the House of Commons, made the case for British withdrawal from the European Union — in terms Americans can understand.

Would you accept, Grayling asks, an American Union of North and South America, its parliament sitting in Panama, with power to impose laws on the United States, and a high court whose decisions overruled those of the U.S. Supreme Court?

Would you accept an American Union that granted all the peoples of Central and South America and Mexico the right to move to, work in, and live in any U.S. state or city, and receive all the taxpayer-provided benefits that U.S. citizens receive?

This is what we are subjected to under the EU, said Grayling.

And as you Americans would never cede your sovereignty or independence to such an overlord regime, why should we?

Downing Street's reply: Prime Minister David Cameron says leaving the EU could cost Britain a lot of money and a loss of influence in Brussels.

The heart versus the wallet. Freedom versus security.

While Barack Obama, Cameron and Angela Merkel are pulling for Britain to vote to remain in the EU, across Europe, transnationalism is in retreat, and tribalism is rising.

As Britain's Independence Party and half the Tory Party seek to secede from the EU, the Scottish National Party is preparing a new referendum to bring about Scotland's secession.

The strongest party in France is the National Front of Marine Le Pen. In Austria's presidential election, Norbert Hofer of Jorg Haider's Freedom Party came within an eyelash of becoming the first European nationalist head of state since World War II.

The Euroskeptic Law and Justice Party is in power in Warsaw, as is the Fidesz Party of Viktor Orban in Budapest, and the Swiss People's Party in Bern. The right-wing Sweden Democrats and Danish People's Party are growing stronger.

In 2015, Merkel, Time's Person of the Year, admitted a million Middle East refugees. This year, Merkel flipped and paid a huge bribe to Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan to keep Syrian refugees from crossing the Aegean to the Greek islands and thence into Europe.

In Germany, too, nationalism is resurgent as opposition grows to any new bailouts of the La Dolce Vita nations of Club Med. The populist AfD party has made major strides in German state elections.

While the rightist parties in power and reaching for power are anti-EU, anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant, the secessionist movements roiling Scotland, Spain, Belgium and Italy seek rather the breakup of the old nations of Europe along ethnonational lines.

By enlisting in these parties of the right, what are the peoples of Europe recoiling from and rebelling against? Answer: The beau ideal of progressives — societies and nations that are multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual.

Across Europe, the tribalists are rejecting, in a word, diversity.

And what are they seeking?

God-and-country, blood-and-soil people, they want to live with their own kinfolk, their own kind. They do not believe in economics uber alles. And if democracy will not deliver the kind of country and society they wish to live in, then democracy must be trumped by direct action, by secession.

This is the spirit behind Brexit.

The is the spirit that drove the Irish patriots of 1919, who rose against British rule, though they were departing the greatest empire on earth in its moment of supreme glory after the Great War, to begin life among the smallest and poorest countries in all of Europe.

What is happening in Europe today was predictable and predicted. At the turn of the century, in "The Death of the West," I wrote, "Europe has begun to die. The prognosis is grim. Between 2000 and 2050, world population will grow by more than three billion to over nine billion people, but this 50 percent increase in population will come entirely in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as one hundred million people of European stock vanish from the earth."

Europeans are vanishing, as the peoples of the Maghreb and Middle East, South Asia and the sub-Sahara come to fill the empty spaces left by aging and dying Europeans whose nations once ruled them.

Absent the restoration of border controls across Europe, and warships on permanent station in the Med, can the inexorable invasion be stopped? Or is "The Camp of the Saints" the future of Europe?

An open question. But if the West is to survive as the unique civilization it has been, its nations must reassume control of their destinies and control of their borders.

Britain ought not to go gentle into that good night the EU has prepared for her. And a great leap to freedom can be taken June 23.

Trooping to the polls, the cousins might recall the words of Vera Lynn, 76 years ago, as the Battle of Britain was engaged:

"There'll always be an England,

"And England shall be free,

"If England means as much to you

"As England means to me."

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 368

Froma Harrop - In politics, you don't get to build your ideal car

Bernie Sanders is clearly winding down his campaign for the Democratic nomination. In speeches and interviews over the weekend, he started turning his lance away from Hillary Clinton and toward Donald Trump.

Though most of his supporters say they will make the transition to Clinton, a sizable minority — 28 percent, according to a recent poll — insist they will not. Some vow to cast ballots for Trump. The dedicated liberals among them (as opposed to those just along for a populist ride) are being called "dead-enders."

I feel some of their pain, for I was once considered a dead-ender. The year was 2008. Barack Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination after a grueling contest. Some Obama bros had subjected Clinton and her female supporters to vile sexist attacks. And it wasn't just the knuckle draggers. The late Christopher Hitchens called her an "aging and resentful female."

The caucus and primary results, meanwhile, were a lot closer then than those between Clinton and Sanders.

It all seemed so unfair. Hillary the workhorse had labored at putting together a coherent health reform plan. The glamorous Obama floated by. Political expedience prompted him to oppose an individual mandate — unpopular because it forced everyone to obtain coverage but absolutely essential for universal health care.

I was sore. At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, I spent much time interviewing women still fuming over Clinton's treatment and unable to support Obama. "Dead-enders," these Clinton die-hards were called.

A poll in April 2008 had 35 percent of Clinton voters saying they would vote for Republican John McCain if Obama were to be the Democratic nominee. I, too, briefly toyed with the idea. After all, McCain at that time had retained a reputation for moderation. (He would have made a more plausible president than Trump ever will.)

McCain's choice of the abominable Sarah Palin as his running mate quickly cured the so-called dead-enders of that notion.

And boy, were we wrong about Obama. Obama pulled America from the brink of another Great Depression. He championed the Dodd-Frank finance reforms and oversaw the passage of the Affordable Care Act (individual mandate included). He did it with virtually no Republican support and not a whiff of personal scandal. Obama will go down as one of the greatest presidents of our lifetime.

Has Sanders been treated unfairly as the Bernie camp asserts? There may be a valid grievance here and there, such as the scheduling of the debates in a way that benefited Clinton.

But no, the system wasn't rigged against Sanders. It was in place before his candidacy. And Sanders gained extraordinary access to the infrastructure of a party he never joined.

As the apparent (if unannounced) truce between Clinton and Sanders sinks in, some of his dead-enders will cool down. Sanders surely knows that his movement will have far more influence docked in the Democratic Party than sailing off into third-party oblivion.

One last but important point: Participating in a party primary or caucus in no way obligates one to vote for that party's eventual nominee. Anyone who genuinely wants a vulgar and unstable authoritarian to lead the nation has every right to vote for Trump.

But those who don't want Trump — but rather wish to punish Clinton for prevailing over their hero — have things to think about. The country, for starters.

In politics, there's no building your ideal car. We end up choosing the preferable of two models. Doing something else with one's vote also affects the outcome.

Frustration can hurt, but it helps to not over-identify with a candidate. To the dead-enders of 2016, peace.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 319

Kelly-Drake Town Conservation Area, a New Hampton treasure

By Gordon DuBois

 

Almost forty years ago the Town of New Hampton purchased a large parcel of land referred to as the Kelly-Drake Town Conservation Area. In 2004, a stewardship plan was written by conservationist George Frame, in which he wrote, "The land is a museum of artifacts, from old saw blades, cemetery, orchard, stone piles, (cellar holes and stone walls are) are symbols of past life of our predecessors. (They) should be revered and protected where found." The New Hampton Historical Society and the New Hampton Conservation Commission have embarked on a joint project to ensure that this town-owned land serves as a community resource by not only preserving the historical nature of the property, but also developing its recreational and educational potential. The town owned property of 230 acres, which also includes a 23-acre island on Pemigewasset Lake, is located two miles east of Route 93 Exit 23 along the western shore of Pemigewasset Lake.

This area is one of the first areas settled in the Town of New Hampton. In 1775, Samuel Kelly (1733-1813) brought his wife and two young sons from Exeter to New Hampton and built a log cabin at the base of what is now referred to as "The Pinnacle". Over time, he acquired large tracts of land in and around New Hampton. When he moved his family to the summit of  The Pinnacle, he gave his sons William and Nathan land at the base of the hill, a part of which is now the Kelly-Drake Town Conservation Area. Around 1820, this land was sold to Nathanial Drake, who had settled in New Hampton in the late 1700s. Drake then gave the property to his son Nathanial Drake Jr. The Drake family farmed the land for 130 years until the house, barn and outbuildings were destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve in 1952. Luther and Minnie Drake were the last to farm the land before the dreadful fire. In 1966, the land was purchased by J. Willcox Brown from the estate of Luther Drake. In 1978 New Hampton bought the property through funds made available by the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
This year, the New Hampton Conservation Commission began work to improve the property with three goals: recreational and educational use, wildlife management and scenic beauty. Forest management and production of wood products are important secondary goals. A significant tree harvest took place to thin tree stands and create more open space. The overgrown Drake farm apple orchard was thinned and apple trees will be pruned. This year, the cellar holes will be cleared, piles of refuse removed, and a system of walking trails will be designed and cut. It should also be noted that the island (Kelly Island) sitting in Pemigewasset Lake is also part of the Kelly-Drake property and may also be developed for recreational use. A second tree harvest is planned for next winter to thin a large stand of pine.
The New Hampton Historical Society and Conservation Commission look forward in working together to make this town-owned land a historical, cultural and recreational resource. Plans for the coming year include: surveying and marking boundaries, building and maintaining trails, increasing the recreational and educational activities by working with community groups to enhance hiking, hunting, picnicking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and nature and heritage education. The property can be accessed off Route 104 by turning onto Sinclair Hill Road and taking the first left onto Kelly Pond Road. At the end of the road is a gate and parking area. The public is invited to visit the property, park at the gate and walk the farm road, following the beautifully-preserved stone walls, past the farm cellar holes, the reclaimed apple orchard, meadows and woods full of wildlife, winding up at the shoreline of Pemigewasset Lake.

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 298

Lakes Region Profiles — A former summer camp transforms into Waldron Bay

by Frank Roche

President, Roche Realty Group


Like so many boys' and girls' camps in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, Camp Waldron operated successfully for many years, offering the campers great memories that have lasted a lifetime. This week let's take a look at what this former camp has morphed into today. Waldron Bay, on Lake Winnisquam in Meredith, is sort of a hidden secret, compared to many of the other lake access communities that have stronger road visibility.
Waldron Bay is one of the lowest density communities in the Lakes Region. There is a total of 334 acres of which the original developers set aside a total of 179 acres in conservation and common land area. It has a vast amount of shoreline including approximately 3,760 of shorefront on Lake Winnisquam, which is New Hampshire's third largest lake and is a water body that encompasses 4,264 acres of pristine water. Can you imagine the subdivision plan created only 65 single family home sites, ranging from one to ten acres in size, which were master planned to create a private, tranquil setting in the finest of Lakes Region traditions? Almost every lot boarders the 170 acres of Waldron Bay's preserved, private woodlands, that shelter the community from the noise and crowding of the outside world.
The community is located in the scenic resort town of Meredith and is very accessible from Interstate 93, off of exit 23 in New Hampton. The entrance is located roughly 5 miles from the highway, just after you pass Lake Wicwas.
At Waldron Bay you will find a delightful mix of water access homes and lots, as well as individual waterfront homes. The community has one of the best natural sandy beaches in the Lakes Region, for all residents to enjoy. This private beach includes a wonderful community beach pavilion building, overlooking the shoreline. The inside of the building features vaulted wood ceilings, fir flooring and a massive floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. It offers a terrific place to lounge by the lake and have family get-togethers. Beach restrooms are located in the same building. There are a total of 21 individual boat slips along the shoreline. A tennis court and kayak racks are also included. The community features paved roads with underground utilities. Many of the homes feature panoramic views overlooking the lake towards Gunstock Ski Area. It is clear that the original developers were more interested in creating a gorgeous functional community than simply trying to maximize the total land area for profits. With its vast conserved lands, this community will remain extremely private for all future generations to enjoy.
During the past two years, there have been two waterfront home sales. The first one at $950,000 and the second at $1,160,000. Keep in mind, both these sales are toward the high end of values for Lake Winnisquam. Both of these were spectacular homes ranging from 3,400 to 4,800 square feet. There was one lake view home directly behind the common beach area that sold for $800,649. There have also been a considerable amount of lot sales that have happened in the same time period. In fact, there were five land sales in the most recent year. Prices ranged from $54,000 to $220,000 for a lot with direct lake views and tremendous privacy. It looks like there are only four lots left available for sale within the association, out of the original 65. Active lot listings range from $89,000 to $199,000. These lots range in size from four to six acres and of course have access to all of the wonderful amenities at Waldron Bay. There are currently seven single family homes for sale within the community. Prices range from $409,900 to $725,000 for properties off of the water and two for sale for $950,000 and $999,000 directly on the water.
If you are out there looking for a very solid water access community on a large lake, with tremendous privacy, I strongly suggest you take a look at Waldron Bay, where you can enjoy all of the four seasons in the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Take a look on google.com and type in "homes for sale at Waldron Bay" and you will find that Rocherealtygroup.com shows up first and will direct you to the Waldron Bay community page, where you can find currently listed properties for sale.
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia and can be reached at 603-279-7046.

  • Category: Columns
  • Hits: 426