Michael Travis

Why live in New Hampshire | A perfect blend of Nature and more nature.


Why live in New Hampshire?


 What often brings people to New Hampshire and keeps them here? This photo of foliage in North Conway offers a hint. (Joe Raedle | Getty Images)

About 50 years ago, just after finishing graduate school in Ohio, I made the decision to decline some good job offers and move back to New Hampshire. Well, moving back might be a bit of an overstatement, as my life in New Hampshire up until age 24 consisted of summers as a kid on a lake with my family, and then summer jobs living in the Lakes Region during my college years.

When I was a kid, with two parents who worked in the public school system, it was affordable in those days to rent a cottage on a lake for most of the summer. My dad would drive us up in late June,  leave me, my sister, and mother at the cottage, and return to being the principal of summer school sessions in New Jersey. After the summer sessions ended, he would drive back up to the lake and we would all stay until Labor Day when the next school year beckoned.

I loved New Hampshire. My childhood days were absorbed with swimming, fishing, hiking, and playing outdoors. My biggest problem was getting back to the cottage late for dinner. When I returned to New Hampshire in the summers during my college years, I had a range of jobs, from working in an architect’s office to digging perc test holes for a septic system designer. The work occupied my weekdays, but hiking occupied my weekends. The White Mountains felt like my backyard.

When I returned to live here full time, it was a decision motivated not so much by opportunities as by a need to plant roots in a place that felt like home. The mountains, the forests, the farms, and the culture of small-town New England all were an irresistible lure. So I packed up my little car, the cat, and the camping gear, and drove to New England with no job, no leads, and the optimism that somehow it was all going to work.

Obviously, it did. After a couple of months of living in various campgrounds and brief stays with family friends, I landed a job and a place to live. Not too many years later, I met the love of my life and we bought some land, built a house, and raised two children who have become successful adults with families of their own. Now, all these years later, I am still here for the same reasons.

So why tell this story? I recently read a couple of studies about why people migrate to New Hampshire and why once here they choose to stay. You wouldn’t be alone if you thought that most new arrivals come because we are the “Live Free or Die” state and taxes are low. Surprise! That’s not it.

A UNH study in 2020 found that the No. 1 reason people moved here is to be with family. Of course, that should be no surprise. But the second most common reason is “the natural environment.” For those who live here and choose to stay, the same two reasons are No. 1 and No. 2. Here’s the surprise: Low taxes was not in the top three, and was cited by under 20 percent of those moving in and only around 20 percent of those already living here.  

A more recent study for Stay Work Play conducted by St. Anselm College in 2023 revealed similar answers. When asked why New Hampshire is a better place to live, 83 percent said “the environment.”  

Don’t get me wrong: In addition to the environment, there are plenty of good reasons for wanting to live in the Granite State, and lower overall taxes is certainly one of them. But we are not the lowest. Tax Foundation statistics found that when it comes to a low per capita state and local tax burden, we are 16th lowest. Yes, the lowest in New England, but not in the 10 lowest in the nation. And statistics like this are only part of the story, as demonstrated by the two current major lawsuits about the wide disparity of the property tax burden from town to town and the inequitable education funding that results.

But let’s get back to people coming and staying. Our current housing shortage is certainly a damper on the ability of people to move here and stay here, even if they cherish the access to the outdoors and our natural environment. Many proposals – from zoning changes, to requirements that towns allow multiple units on single lots, to public subsidies for affordable multi-family developments – are all in the news. No single one of these will solve the problem. 

But in any discussion about creating more housing, so more people can come and stay here, we should remember that what differentiates New Hampshire from other places for most people is our natural environment. We have done a good job of conserving it and continuing to do so is what sets us apart from all those other places with lower taxes, more or higher paying jobs, and other amenities.

It’s encouraging that recent major housing developments like the proposal to replace the Steeplegate Mall in Concord with mixed housing and commercial uses, and the project on the former Rockingham race track in Salem, will use already developed land to meet the housing need. Whenever it’s possible we should find ways to integrate more housing in our existing cities and villages rather than sprawling into the countryside and sacrificing farms, forests, and wildlife habitat. Our rural towns should not be forced to abandon their rural character in order to create more housing. A one-size mandate for zoning changes from the Legislature is sure to meet H.L. Mencken’s observation that “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.”

We can certainly find ways to expand the good work that is already being done to support affordable and market-rate housing expansion in New Hampshire. But the mix of solutions will be different in each town or city. Some will involve changing regulations, and some will involve investing our tax dollars to make construction more affordable. Our public policy should be to encourage creativity in our communities, while recognizing that we should never give up our special natural heritage.  

Paul Doscher


Paul Doscher is a retired environmental professional. During his career he worked in both the architecture and building professions, and in land conservation. He lives on his family’s farm in Weare. For more stories on NH visit https://newhampshirebulletin.com/


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    Knowing When the Time Is Right to Be Nearer to Your Senior Loved One

    Knowing When the Time Is Right to Be

    Nearer to Your Senior Loved One

    Image via Pexels. andrea-piacquadio

    Inevitably, there comes a time in life when adult children of seniors need to be closer to their
    senior parents, or even other close relatives at that. This need may become even more
    apparent when they aren't able to take care of their daily needs on their own. But how do you
    know when the time is right to make the move? And how do you go about making the move as
    easy and stress-free as possible for both of you? Read these helpful tips from realtor Michael
    on precisely how to go about this.

    Seeing the signs
    As seniors age and time progresses, the telltale signs that your loved ones require more
    assistance can slowly become more and more apparent. Some of these signs can include:
    Changes in their mental health
    APlaceForMom.com points out that obvious changes in their mental and emotional behavior
    may signal that your loved one is really struggling in some area. This is where your love and

    support are often required, which can be difficult to do if you're thousands of miles away, and
    you can't be physically present to show your support when they need it most. 

    Forgetting to take medication
    Certainly, for seniors who often forget to take chronic medication, these situations can quickly
    turn into a life-threatening condition if not treated promptly. DailyCaring notes that proper
    medication management is so critical that an issue like this might definitely necessitate the need
    to move nearer to your senior loved one sooner rather than later. 

    A disorganized home that once used to be orderly
    A disorganized living space that used to be tidy and orderly might also be another sign that your
    loved one requires help. Additionally, it may point to the need to maybe consider moving your
    loved one to a senior care facility so that they no longer have the responsibility of tending to the

    Talking it through
    Once you've decided to move closer to your loved one because you've decided that it is the
    best option for the both of you, it's time to get the process started. First things first though are
    communicating your intentions to your relative beforehand. You could start with an open and
    honest conversation with them about how you've noticed changes that don't seem to be working
    for them anymore (like the examples mentioned above). Then you could suggest how, if you
    moved closer, you could assist them with those things they've been struggling to keep on top of
    If they agree and are open to exploring the option of you moving closer to them more, it's time to
    start learning about how you can assist them with everyday living. This may include finding out
    more information about senior care facilities in the area to suit their needs better or having an in-
    house caregiver to tend to their needs when you are not around to do so.

    Moving on over
    Of course, one of the first things you'll have to think over is where you will stay. Renting is an
    option if you are not sure about the suburb, for example, and you want to explore your options
    more before settling on one specific home. However, if you've already seen the area and know
    what it is you want, then you could start preparing by getting the homeowner's application
    process started.
    Another task to handle early on is researching the housing market of your destination locale.
    Going online, you can easily find what houses are currently going for and how “hot” the market
    is (for instance, houses in Meredith are selling for around $550K). This will help you know what
    you can afford. One of the things that could save a lot of time is getting preapproved for a

    mortgage. Getting preapproved will let you know how much you can spend on a home, and it’ll
    be easier to purchase a home because you will have done the preliminary work already.
    If you need to move your business to your new location, the first step is to notify your customers
    of the change of address and update your contact information.

    Next, you will need to update your business license and permits. If you have an LLC, an online formation service that’s
    already familiar with New Hampshire LLC regulations can be a huge help in this regard. Once
    that is taken care of, you can start packing up your office or store. Make sure to label all boxes
    clearly so that you can easily find what you need when you arrive at your new location. Finally,
    hire a professional moving company to transport your belongings safely and efficiently.
    Showing up to show your support

    In summary, as is moving into senior living, moving closer to a senior loved one is sure to be a
    big adjustment, particularly on their part. In some cases, they might be hesitant at first for fear of
    losing their independence. But once they see that all you want to do is show up to show your
    support, they'll no doubt appreciate all the effort you've gone to help make their lives that bit
    Michael Travis is here to help make your real estate dreams come true. Call 603.303-2599.


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      New Hampshire and Lake Life a stress free zone

      Living the good life in New Hampshire


      To think I spent 16 years living in the heart of Manhattan followed by 5 years in the North End of Boston before coming here. What I did discover was when I moved here on a small lake in Northwood surrounded by the sounds of loons and birds and a night sky that had stars in them which I hadn't seen for most of my life at that time. New Hampshire is 86% or so trees with 1300 lakes and ponds and 10,000 miles of rivers and streams. There are 40 4,000+ foot mountain peaks I am told--though I have only ventured The Mt Washington by car or the incredible narrow gauge Cog Railway and Mt Monadnock and Mt Major by foot. My Cholesterol dropped to normal levels all by themselves. My level of stress went to nothing. Afterall NYC and Boston advertising can add all kinds of stress. I was working 80 hours a week. Or I should say I was not having a life for 80 hours a week. 

      So it is by no surprise New Hampshire was ranked among the least stressed states in the country. It was determined by WalletHub looking at stress levels by comparing them across 41 key metrics. Those metrics considered personal bankruptcy rate, average hours worked per week, and the share of adults getting adequate sleep.

      You add lake life into the mix and - oh what a difference. Everyday for me is waking up to nature really. 

      Here is a link to th story on l



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        A Real or Fake Tree for the holidays

        TO FAKE OR NOT TO FAKE (tree)


        Living in a state consisting of 86% trees I am blessed with fresh air all the time. So every year is the consideration of a live cut tree or the ever more realistic fake ones. Things have come a long way from when I lived in NYC 30 years ago, and was charged $3 for what didn’t even count as a “Charlie Brown” tree. Barely a branch you would discard on the ground.

        I have in the past dug up a tree with a burlap ball covering the dirt and using that and then plant in a pre dug hole outside. For one where will I put another tree in the yard. And it is heavy.

        During the Christmas season an average of 120 million trees are cut down across the world and 15,094,678 in the US based on U.S. Agriculture Department Data.

        Did you know that in 2018 over 50 MILLION Christmas trees were sold in the US? And almost half of those were fake.

        Fake trees have increased in popularity due to their affordable and long-lasting qualities. They look and often feel like the real thing, and with so many options, you can choose the one that fits best in the home you're selling.

        "While a real tree may fill the property with the scent of Christmas, when staging your real estate listings this year, don't buy an expensive, messy tree that will wilt in a week and leave the property covered in pine needles. Real trees are even more likely to catch on fire - yikes!" -- Frederick Johnson, founder at Trees.com  

        Other Fun Facts About Artificial Trees:

        • Did you know that the first artificial Christmas tree was made in the 1930s by a company that made toilet scrubbers and brushes?
        • Today’s artificial Christmas trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes with lifelike branches that mimic the colors and texture of real pine, fir, and spruce trees.
        • Consumers opt for a fake tree during the holidays because there’s no maintenance, it’s less likely to trigger allergies, and it can be reused over many years.

        Take a look at this article on fake trees (https://www.trees.com/artificial-christmas-trees)

        In the end this year I did break down and bought a fake tree. Looks quite good really. I know I will use it for years and feel better that a real tree is left outside to grow and providing real air.

        Weird Homes in the World

        Every Home Has Story


        I see a lot of homes in every style and every shape and size --just like the people behind their stories. 

        In my NYC advertising days with Jerry Della Femina  I created perfect for a home equity loan ad for Chemical Bank in NYC and found the perfect house--one house in the shape of a shoe. 

        It was called the Haines Shoe House built by a successful shoe salesman named Mahlon Haines (a.k.a. the ‘Shoe Wizard’. He gave one of his work boots to an architect and told him to “build me a house like this”.  And so it began. Built in 1948 or so a stucco-covered timber-frame building had stained glass windows with shoe designs in them. The top of the house from the heel reaches a height of 25 feet. The toe contains a living room, the heel contains the kitchen. Two bedrooms are in the ankle, and an ice cream shop was located in the in-step. So many stories about this house CLick here for more info on this wonderfully weird shoe home

        Here is a wonderful video of many strange homes around the world--


        So what is your story for your house--it is a story that can be cherished for generations to enjoy--even new buyers. 



        Photo Credit: By Eliott, Joseph - https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/pa3974.photos.202918p, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34384781

        Selling a historic antique home in a modern world


        Selling an antique historic home in a modern world.


        Seems buyers these days are looking for new, turnkey homes that don't need anything done and in perfect condition. They may miss the perfect antique home thinking it is just simply too old--or is it that people are afraid of the ghosts from the past? Or do people don't know how to use a hammer or a screwdriver-- or is it impossible these days to even find a person to do the work on your house who use tools?  Is a new home better built than an old one?. WIll it last as long?

        I have owned my own 1870s Victorian in East Haddam Connecticut--it was a little haunted with foot steps heard often and my cat would freaked out in the same hallway I heard footsteps all the time.  It wasn't a negative force in any way. And I do believe a home does have either a happy or sad or sometimes frightening feel to it. I have been in many. I believe it depends on its history of the past owners. You only have to look at episodes of "Ghost Hunters" or the many movies of Amityville Horrors to be nervous--however 99% of the time it is just a wonderful home with a history--and I can say with confidence better built.

        Like any home, it is only as good as the last person to live in it. 



        So take for instance the owner (Jack D.) of 567 Main Street in Farmington NH. In 1870, when this a stately home was born, the Civil War had just ended, Alexander Graham Bell used his new telephone invention to make his first call to assistant Thomas Watson. Thomas Edison had just invented the Phonograph and established his new electric company. Farmington native Henry Wilson was serving as the 18th Vice President in Washington DC. Can't find this history in front of a split level home anywhere in America.

        He purchased it for his mother as a single family home to live in 25 years ago. Ever since then has been renovating it as if it was his own home not to flip or make money. As time passed he did take this stately home and created 3 units and then back to two units. Everyone who has stayed in this home has nothing but fond memories. It has a huge open span 3 story 30x36 attached post and beam barn that dates back to at least the turn of the century with hand-written inscriptions on the wall from 1907--and it is still standing tall and straight. There is something to be said for strength and thickness "old wood". The house had cool things like a round glass vent through the window pane, glass door knobs, high ceilings square head nailed wide plank floors, hand carved newel posts, plaster walls and 8 million pound granite stone foundation. FOr a more modern touch, it also had a new Buderus boiler, double paned windows, 50-year GAF shingles, oversized gutters with rain guards, 50-year GAF shingles, blown in insulation and stainless steel appliances. 


        It became time for Jack to sell this magnificent home so he can move onto his next antique home renovation in an untouched antique federal style home in Exeter where Abraham Lincoln is pictured in front of in one of his famous speeches.. Yes he knows how to use a hammer and the people who can do the work as well. 

        You could not begin to build a home of this size and quality for what it sold for. The appraisers don't have an adjustment figure for such quality. This is a home in perfect condition for over 150 years of history, yet new homes are adjusted for only being around for 70 or so. I believe this will outlast any new home any day. 

        The new buyers are now living in history and got the best home for the money.  And antique home can be a great investment. It just needs to be taken care of like any new home will need in a very short period of time. Like they say "They don't build them like they use to"


        The healthy market during an unhealthy pandemic.

        Life on a quiet lake got crazy during an open house. 


        In New Hampshire things are nutty. I had an open house on a wonderful waterfront home in Northwood New Hampshire and over 250 people showed up. 15 offers well over asking waiving everything from inspections to covering significant appraisal gaps.

        With inventory down over 50% and prices up as high as 113% and days on market down by up to 66% and in some places People say to me it must be great for me as an agent--well it is only better for sellers.

        So here are some details on what is happening in this New Hampshire Real Estate market.

        Take a look at the full story in New Hampshire here.



        Current as of June 5, 2021.

        All data from New Hampshire REALTORS®, Inc. and Northern New England Real Estate Network.

        Report © 2021 ShowingTime.



        Did the Pandemic Create Demand for Waterfront or Second Homes in New Hampshire


        I have never seen a frenzie for waterfront buyers like I have seen in this real estate market. New Hampshire has for the last few years had low inventory. The change is that the Pandemic has created a demand. 

        What's good for a seller is so tough for the buyers. And buyers are buying properties sight unseen, paying way over asking, waiving inspections or putting huge concessions on appraisals. Not necessarily the best for the buyer really.


        We can talk about the migration trends. Are people flocking here like the birds in Spring. Or are they here to stay. Sellers think everyone from NYC are moving here. Or even Boston because they can now ZOOM up and work from a new home outside of the city. In reality the migration is real in every metropolitan area but really to the surrounding burbs. Manhattanites have moved to Brooklyn or their place in the Hamptons or Jersey City and Florida. That migration actually isn't the case so much.

        I am seeing more buyers from Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island and always from the Boston Area. 20 years ago, I moved here from Boston after living in Manhattan and CT for the same reasons people are coming here now. It was right after 911. I needed a life change then--but then my business at the time did not require me going into an office as I was a designer working from home. I also didn't need to be paying over $2,000 per month plus parking in rent. I bought my shack on a lake for $144k—way cheaper than rent-though I discovered what “seasonal” meant when I moved in on a day in January. It just is not too comfortable with single paned widows and little to no insulation. I had two pair of rose colored glasses on—however I also knew how to use a hammer. Apparently not any electrical tools as in the first week I blew out my computer TV and answering machine not following all the directions from my Home Depot Renovation Book.

        I believe the pandemic has fast forwarded a trend that was happening already. People wanting more space. Home offices. and everything delivered. Have you seen the Malls--they are empty.

        I have heard that 50% of the workers in Boston are simply not going back to an office. In the same respect I have heard that 4 Million people in this country last month have chosen simply not work at all. Not sure how that works--really for anyone or any business. I see so many signs everywhere looking for workers, with signing bonuses and way higher than minimum wage.

        The frenzie I am seeing are really those who have money looking for a place they can reconnect with nature. That is what a waterfront has always been about. Most of the buyers I see are still buying a waterfront home for a second home and increasingly for a second income with hopes of gaining the VRBO or AirBNB world. I saw a 525k average house on a small average lake go for 680k in an area that never saw these kind of prices. There were at least 60 showings every 15 minutes, everyone wearing masks, and at least 23 offers mostly cash which meant there were 22 buyers going on to the next one. It did have $39,000 in rental income already in place for the summer. Amazing.

        I caution buyers to think about what they are buying and the true value of it for renters to want to rent. Just like in Real Estate, Location Location Location. Turnkey is Key. And now you may need to contend with neighbors and towns restricting it.

        So how long will this frenzie last? For me I see the demand staying in place. Again I am mostly talking waterfront homes. You can see on WaterfrontAgent.com in the section on "New Listings This Week" or plug in www.NewWatefrontForSale.com and see properties already pending within days.

        In the end it is always worth living on the water.


        Investing in NH is a Safe and Healthy Bet


        Investing in NH is a Safe and Healthy Bet

        Having lived in New York City and Boston I have seen the dark side of living close to millions of people. I have traveled all over America, and found that New Hampshire has all the best of everything I love in life natural beauty, mountains, lakes, trees, the ocean as well as charming and historic towns. Between every town you visit you drive past lush forests, stunning views, and mountain vistas. After all, NH is covered by 86% trees with a population of just over 1.2 million people. Is it all that fresh air with 1300 lakes and beautiful country roads that calm people down. Some of the most beautiful waterfront estates in the world are here for far less than what you would spend in other New England states.

        Take for instance the estate at 337 Camelot Shores in Farmington on 3 acres with over 1260 ft of shore land on 3 acres, a main house guest cabana finished barn and lush mature gardens. And who need to leave this sanctuary when you can ZOOM in style. You are close to 3 international airports, 90 minutes to Boston.

        337 Camelot Shore Estate     

         Millions of Americans have relocated in 2020 because of COVID-19. New Hampshire was the beneficiary of families wanting to move here from the surrounding states as seen by the surge of new students in the schools. Family and the natural environment are major reasons people move to stay in New Hampshire. Many second homes became primary homes.The 2020 Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns Study found of their moves to New Hampshire there was a 61.6% rate of people moving here to stay, the top two highest rate in the country.  And why not.

        New Hampshire is ranked America's Safest state.

        For three years in a row New Hampshire was listed as the best state to live in*.

        The lowest crime rate Top State for Quality of Life by based on FBI Crime Data.

        There is no income tax or sales tax.

        Top two in Overall Child well being*

        Highest rate high school graduation in New England at 93.5% **

        Lowest rate of births among teenagers in the country. 

        New Hampshire's high level of peace may be a reflection of its superior economic conditions.

        Only 4.7% of state residents are living in poverty the lowest rate in the country.

        New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 2.6% a strong job market.

        One of the lowest rates of income inequality rate.

        New Hampshire ranks first for Crime & Corrections, 2nd for Natural Environment, 3rd for Opportunity***


        All these factors I believe make NH such a safe bet.

        Visit www.BaxterLakeEstate.com for more info.


        * Annie E. Casey Foundation ** Worldpopulationreview.com. *** US News & World Report

        List of towns in each county of New Hampshire

        Below are links to every town website for every County in New Hampshire to get very detailed info on each town.

        Feel free to contact me with any questions on properties in any town. Thank you

        The towns of Belknap County NH


        Alton l Barnstead l Belmont l Center Harbor l Gilford l Gilmanton l Laconia l Meredith l New Hampton

        Sanbornton l Tilton


        The Towns of Carroll County NH


        Albany l Bartlett l Brookfield l Chatham l Conway l Eaton l Effingham l Freedom l Hale's Location l Hart's Location

        Jackson l Madison l Moultonborough l Ossipee l Sandwich l Tamworth l Tuftonboro l Wakefield l Wolfeboro

        Towns of Cheshire County NH





        Towns of Hillsborough County NH


        Amherst  l Antrim  l Bedford  l Bennington l Brookline l Deering l Francestown l Goffstown l Greenfield l Greenville l 

        Hancock l Hillsborough l Hollis l Hudson l Litchfield l Lyndeborough l Manchester l Mason l Merrimack l Milford l 

        Mont Vernon l Nashua l New Boston l New Ipswich l Pelham l Peterborough l Sharon l Temple l Weare l Wilton l Windsor

        Towns of Rockingham County NH


        Atkinson l Auburn l Brentwood l Candia l Chester l Danville l Deerfield l Derry l East Kingston  l  Epping l Exeter 

        Fremont  l  Greenland l Hampstead l Hampton  l Hampton Falls l Nottingham  l Portsmouth  l  Kensington  l Raymond 

        Kingston l Londonderry l New Castle  l Newfields l Newington l Newmarket l Newton l North Hampton l Northwood  l Plaistow

         Rye  l Salem l Sandown l Seabrook l South Hampton l  Stratham l Windham

        Towns of Sullivan County NH


        Acworth l Charlestown l Claremont l Cornish l Croydon l Goshen l Langdon l Grantham l Lempster l Newport l Plainfield l 

        Springfield l Unity l Sunapee l Washington

        Towns of Merrimack County NH


        Allenstown l Andover l Boscawen l Bow l Bradford l Canterbury l Chichester l Concord l Danbury l Dunbarton l Epsom l Franklin l

        Henniker Hill l Hooksett l Hopkinton l Loudon l New London l Newbury l Northfield l Pembroke l Pittsfield l Salisbury l

        Sutton l Warner l Webster Wilmot

        Towns of Strafford County NH


        BarringtonDover l Durham l Farmington l Lee l Madbury l Middleton l Milton l New Durham l Rochester l Rollinsford l

        Somersworth l Strafford

        Towns of Grafton County NH


        Ashland l Bethlehem l Bristol l Canaan l Enfield l Hanover l Lebanon* l Lincoln l Lisbon l Littleton l Mountain Lakes

        North Haverhill l North Woodstock l Plymouth l Woodsville

        Towns of Coos County NH


        Berlin l Carroll l Clarksville l Colebrook l Columbia  l Dalton l Dummer l Errol l Gorham l Jefferson l Lancaster l Milan
        Northumberland l Pittsburg l Randolph l Shelburne l Stark l Stewartstown l Stratford l Whitefield

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