The Reality of Real Estate

Bats Are Cool

We all know Dracula. You know the guy that flies through the night as a bat and becomes a blood thirsty menace. Of course there is Halloween to help remind us of those flying rodents. And as we all have heard, these bats clearly fly into your hair and try to bite you in the neck right? So what is it with these winged mammals?  Well below is a bunch of bat facts and fallacies.

So I have been at home inspections and nothing seems to bring more fear to buyers minds than the idea that bats might have lurked in the attics. In reality bats don't want to really be in your attic. Depending on the breed, trees, rock crevices and caves are preferred homes. Bat houses are good too. I am a big fan of bats. Here are billions of reasons why. 

Bats Huge Appetite--almost as big as themselves! 

Their preferred meals include a huge number of agricultural and forest pests, as well as those pesky of all pesky mosquitoes. Bats can eat 50% of their own body weight each evening, and even more if they are females with pups. This is the combined weight of over 1,500 mosquitoes! In numbers humans can relate to, a recent study of the value of pest control provided by bats was at least $3.7 billion a year.

Millions of bats across North America have died due to White-Nose Syndrome, a malicious and confusing disease that attacks hibernating bats with 100% mortality rate at many sites. The brown bat population which was the most abundant species has lost 90% of its population in the east coast.  UNH has a study that shows bats are beginning to show resistance to this disease. 

Ironically, having bats indoors is actually a lot more frightening of an idea for homeowners.  

Bats in Your House

If bats do fly into your living spaces, don’t panic. They don't want to be there. Open any outside windows and doors to the room where the bat is, and leave the room, closing any interior doors behind you and turning off the lights. They will soon find their way outside.

If you have them trapped already, you can let them go outside. In the summer, let them go ASAP. In the winter, wait for the warmest part of the day to release, if possible.

We Do Need Bats, but maybe not in your house.

For those who like fresh crops, bats are a billion dollar asset. The agricultural industry relies heavily on what bats eat and the rich fertilizer they excrete. These animals that primarily feed on insects (insectivorous), are the most prolific pest control experts in the United States. They are important global pollinators and seed dispersers. Their survival is vital to healthy ecosystems.

So, before anybody reaches for a broom--and by the way a broom won't work anyway, let me debunk some myths about these “flying bloodsucking rats” to help everyone understand why a bat problem should be handled by professionals who are really wanting to help preserve their safety along with that of homeowners.

Myth #1: They are flying little Vampires

Actually Not in North America. There are 8 native species in New Hampshire, but not the vampire bat. There are bat species that feed on blood, but they reside in Latin America. There are only 3 total vampire bat species (out of over 1,300) and only 1 targets mammals. Bats in New England attics are not going for your hair, or your neck, or near humans at all, really.

Myth #2: They’re Foaming at the mouth Rabid

That’s just impossible. If bats were all infected with rabies, they wouldn’t be around to infect other animals by now. In fact, less than 1% of all bats are infected with the virus. Though one should be cautious around bats, there are telltale signs of a rabies infection. As mentioned above, bats generally steer clear of humans. If they aren’t doing so then they may be suffering from a rabies infection that renders them too sluggish to get away. So, bats are no more rabid than other mammals, but those that are like a rabid dog or racoon or fox will bite and should be avoided.

Myth #3: They’re Dirty Flying Rats.

They actually aren’t rodents. or “rats with wings”. Bats are winged mammals. Bats aren’t even in the same genetic order as rodents. The important difference here is that bats fly.  If bats were human, you would say they are actually have OCD--they meticulously clean themselves (sometimes for hours).

Myth #4: They’re Blind as a Bat—well not really

We’ve all heard the expression “Blind as a bat” Well, they can see better than humans. They master sensory stimuli through “echolocation” has lead some people to believe that they “see” things via hearing them with their disproportionately large ears. Though this certainly helps, it isn’t their only advantage. As it turns out, they can see 3 times better than humans can. This means that they aren’t likely to accidentally fly into your hair, much less a person.

Myth #5: They’re Stuck

Bats don’t nest at all, let alone in people’s hair. A particularly ridiculous myth is that bats get stuck in human heads of hair. I have already mentioned that they aren’t likely to fly near people in general, and that they are far too agile to get stuck anywhere.

Myth #6: They’re Multiplying

Bats aren’t Baby Machines. Since people tend to think they are like rats which do mass produce babied, for bats it is only one at a time. If homeowners have a bat infestation, it isn’t due to rapid reproduction. Bats only produce one single pup per litter, and only have 2-3 litters during the typical spring breeding season.  

Myth #7: They’re Unlucky

Not in China. China is swarming with bats, from caves to the art that defines their culture. The Chinese symbol for bat is the same as that of good fortune.

Conserving Bat Populations is good for everyone. Not being afraid of one is the first step. 

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All about Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  

   

   

UAVs  also known as "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles", are commonly known as a drone.  It is also referred to as an unpiloted aerial vehicle.  Drones have been used by the military for a long time and codger up scary images and uses. There is no doubt that Drones are now going to be a big part of Real Estate and Commercial uses. With drones, comes issues, from safety to privacy to regulations on who and how they can be used--from aerial photography to delivering packages, Pizzas and --well the list is endless. There are as many drones as there are uses. 

Below are stories about drones, their uses, and the regulations that will be dictating how the business of drones will fly.

 

Stories on Drones


 

What the Three Little Piggies can teach us about the real estate market.

What the Three Little Piggies can teach us about the real estate market.

We all know the story, the big bad wolf keeps creating havoc on the homes of the three little pigs.

The first little pig took the easy route made his house with straw. His brother little piggy built his out of sticks which was a little better. As I recall the big bad wolfed huffed and he puffed and blew their houses down--some versions have him having the brothers for lunch as well.

Big Bad Wolf as Buyer
OK, lets say the big bad wolf is a buyer--he looks at your home and sees cheap fixtures and chinzy cabinets and really bad workmanship or lets say the roof looks like it will leak with the next puff. . Well that will translate in this buyer to think the whole place is going to fall down--or needs to be redone-doesn't matter how much money you spent at Cheap Depot.  
So lets say you are wanting to buy a house that needs work.  Well third little piggy might apply for a 203-K rehab loan that will allocates an additional $35,000 for repairs and improvements. Here is a link to info on this type of loan.

Big Bad Wolf as Home Inspector
Most buyers will hire a home inspector--I suggest you have an inspection done in advance to get a feel for issues that may come up. Thre are many great Licensed home inspectors who can perform a pre-inspection to unearth surprise problems before the buyer's home inspector does. Check out my preferred vendor list.

Lets say the Big Bad Wolf finds you need a new roof which will cost $10,000. That means that on top of financing for the house, a buyer will have to get an additional 10,000 out of the cookie jar to pay for the repair---buyers don't want to deal with that. Some lenders may not give them a mortgage as a result too.
The first little piggy will simply deduct the cost but that is no good for some because they may not have the extra cash to do so.
The second little piggy might offer a reduction for more than the cost of repair as an incentive. The third little piggy would just fix it because something like a new roof is an important selling point. But lets say he couldn't fix it. Well he would consider to have the funds escrowed for the repair cost to be used after closing.
 
Big Bad Wolf as FHA Lender
Actually not so bad. The Federal Housing Authority offers incredible financing options for buyers -but it comes with some challenges. The house has to be in decent shape because they want to make sure the house will last more than a day. You can't have loose wires or cracks in the showers or leaks in the roof  For mobiles you have to have hurricane tie downs installed in case a wolf comes by and huffs and puffs. You certainly couldn't have a house made of straw. There are also limits depending on where the house is located.  

I suggest contacting your lender to go over the guidelines. If you need suggestions on who to talk to, give me a call.

Big Bad Wolf as Credit
It is so important to be ready to buy a property. That begins with knowing your credit and things to clean any messy debris left by previous huffs and puffs from other Big Bad Wolf.  Sometimes were are our own worst wolves.  Before falling in love with a house to buy, you need to know what you are prequalified for.  Again I can help you find a great mortgage broker to help you--just remember it serves nobody to not be honest about everything in your finances.

Big Bad Wolf as Appraiser
These days an appraisal is ordered by the bank and then no one other than the listing agetn can even talk to them. After the financial crisis of the 2008. the Big Bd Government stepped in to try and separate the percieved cusshy lender, realtor, appraior relationship which may have over inflated hoem values whihc created a lot of home buyers later with upside mortgages.  I make sure to meet with the appraisor to give realistic comps and any notes on them that may impact value. In the end overpricing a home won't help anyone.


These days it seems there are so many Big Bad Wolves getting in the way of buying a home--and a bunch of little piggies asking too much for their homes, little piggy buyers not wanting to reach very deep into their piggy banks to buy your home and a bunch of capitalist piggies reaching out to get paid in fees and whatever.

Well it isn't really that bad. Life isn't really a Fairy Tale. So let me help you through the Beauty and the Beast of Buying without having to Go Off to See the Wizard or finding the goose that layed the Golden Egg.

 

®2010, Michael Travis

 I can't remember where the illustration of the Wolf came from so if it is yours please send me your info so I can provide proper credit for it. Thank you 

 

 

Parents who invest in their Kids Education in America Can Learn Much from the Values of New Hampshire.

 

Parents who invest in their Kid's Education in America Can Learn Much from the Values of New Hampshire.



Recently a Chinese mother plunked $6.5 million for a nice condo in New York City. She said she was buying it for her child who is going to go to NYU or Columbia. Her daughter is only 2 years old.


    Nearly 60 percent of wealthiest Chinese people net worth of at least RMB 10 million --or $1.6 million USD in investable assets) are either considering immigration here  through investment or have already completed the process, according to the China Wealth Management Report, co-released by China Merchants Bank and Bain & Company. (foreigners who start a business here or otherwise heavily invest in the American economy, the US provides a path to gaining residency)  Fifty-eight percent of them list their children's education as the primary motivation. US college Prep schools are also viewed as an incentive.  Wolfeboro, New Hampshire is less than 4.5 hours away from 8 out of the 10 highest ranked college prep schools. One of those prep schools is Brewster Academy -- in the heart of Wolfeboro, Americas Oldest Summer Resort"

  

It is also home to some of the grandest waterfront estates on Lake Winnipesaukee, a 44,000 acre fresh water lake in the heart of New Hampshire. And for considerably less than the Condo purchased by the Chinese mother in New York. You can acquire the historic Sinclair Estate, an 18 room 5+ bedroom estate with a 2 bay boat house, a 4.5 car garage with office, separate exercise building complete with  a Golf practice net. lush gardens, waterfalls, beach, And, you are less than a day drive from every Ivy League School in America.


    New Hampshire ranks #1 in the nation for "Overall child well-being" by Annie E. Casey Foundation, and is  rated Most Livable State by US News & World Report.
  

 To learn more contact Michael Travis at  +1 603-303-2599. or by visiting his www.LakeEstateAgent.com

 


 

 

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. Wolfeboro is one of those towns.  Rich in History as Americas's Oldest Resort". Rich in Natural Beauty on the shores of 44,000 acres Lake Winnipesaukee surrounded by mountain vistas, lush forests. and some of the most beautiful waterfront estates in the world for far less than what would spend in the surrounding states
    New Hampshire is ranked America's Top State for Quality of Life" by CNBC  and top in Overall Child well being and the safest and most livable state by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. After all, New Hampshire is 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.
    New Hampshire's high level of peace may be a reflection of its superior economic conditions. Only 8.1% of state residents are living in poverty -- the lowest rate in the country. Even in the horrible financial times the United States experienced beginning in 2008, New Hampshire had half the unemployment rate of the country and lowest foreclosure rate. Now things are really looking bright financially here. New Hampshire also has one of the lowest rates of income inequality and the lowest rate of homicide in the country, the third-lowest rate of other violent crimes and the fifth-lowest incarceration rate. New Hampshire also has a 91.5% high school graduation rate -- the fourth-highest -- and the lowest rate of births among teenagers. All these factors have I believe make NH such a safe bet.
o New Hampshire rated most livable state, US News and World Report.
o 3rd highest number of second homes in the country
o New Hampshire is the 7th wealthiest state in the country with only 1,320,700 people with a median income of $63,280
o New Hampshire ranks #1 again in the nation for "Overall child well-being" by Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT® Data Book  
o New Hampshire is ranked by a  wide margin the Number one state in a Living Index (at 3.2) which includes being ranked #1 as the Safest and Most Livable state, number 2 in Family well being and Health
    To learn more contact Michael Travis at +1 603-569-5000 or directly +1 603-303-2599. or by visiting  
www.LakeEstateAgent.com

 

What the Pontiac Silverdome can teach us about the real estate market.


In 1975, the residents of Pontiac, Michigan spent $55.7 million to build their Silverdome dream home on 127 acres of pavement with a couple of trees and highway views. After all, they built it for the Detroit Lions and their friends to visit and play, like Madonna, the Pope, the king of Pop and Andrea the Giant.  And a Super bowl.

The proud owners had so many memories. So many family gatherings. Then a nasty divorce came when the Detroit Lions moved to - well Detroit.

Of course the family was being sucked dry $1.5 million a year to maintain this huge empty house. So they decided, time to sell.
And a buyer came in with a $20 million offer.

Well the owner had spent more than twice as much to build it so it must be worth more, right? And of course they believed there were gobs of buyers wanting to have 83,000 seats, plenty of parking and a blow up roof, right? So they turned it down.

They didn't take into account that the neighborhood, and economy began to change. Their neighbor Mr. GM had closed its 3.4 million square food house down the street along with 3000 of the kids who use to play in the Silverdome spending all of their lunch money. Seems up to 15% of the neighbors just didn't have jobs anymore.

So you got this huge house, getting older everyday that the family has abandoned it, looks kind of empty, a bit dank, not staged nicely, and is costing a over $4,100 a day to keep open.  A year later, and another $1.5 million in upkeep costs, they finally sold it for a whopping $583,000---that's right, about 1% of the original cost, and less than price of a 4 bedroom 3 bath home in the area on less than an acre.

Hmmmmm

So what does this teach us?

1) There is a saying in real estate that "the first offer is usually the best offer" --statistically this is true, whether in Pontiac, Michigan or New Hampshire.
2) In the end, the buyer determines the market value of your home.
3) An overpriced home listing will simply go stale. Chasing the market with small price reductions doesn't work. You lose most buyers after the first few weeks.
4) Homes on the market too long communicate to some buyers that there is something wrong with the property--so they move on.
5) Aggressively priced homes will sell much faster, with a better chance for multiple offers possibly achieving a higher price.
6) An empty home does not show well, period. Most buyers cannot picture their own furnishings in an empty space.
7) A messy home with too much stuff doesn't show well either. You want to show the house, not the stuff.
8) Unique properties are much more difficult to sell or to find a buyer for.
9) The buyer will only pay what they are willing to pay--not any more---even if they won the lottery.
10) What you paid for a house, what you put into it, what you owe or what you want to get from the sale does not matter to the buyer.
11) Denial of the current market conditions will not change reality.
12) You must consider the value to maintaining your sanity keeping your home versus the actual cost of maintaining it.
13) Going with an agent who tells you what you want to hear won't help sell your home if the market is telling a whole different story.

Pontiac lost over $20 million, $10million in tax revenues, and their pride.
I have yet to see an overpriced house sell,
I have seen houses that were on the market so long that they went into foreclosure.
I have seen divorce situations that left a house in shambles and go into foreclosure.
I have seen sellers go to several real estate companies with the expectation of getting the money nobody will look at their home for--and blame the real estate agent.
I have seen sellers reject good offers only to take a huge loss later.

In the end, our real estate relationship should begin with an understanding of the market, an understanding of what to expect, an understanding of your needs, and an understanding on how you and I can work together for a common goal--to sell your home--For the highest return in the shortest amount of time.

So give me a call, I'll come to you to save time.
 

 

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      A NH Waterfront Estate for the price of a Bathroom in Manhattan

       

      $88 million for a Penthouse?

      Yes, a Russian Billionaire's 22 year old daughter purchased Citigroup Chairman & CEO #SandyWeill's lavish Central Park West penthouse.  It is a modest 6,744 square foot Condo overlooking Central Park. That is an astounding $13,048 per square foot. When you walk out the front gate, you have the same experiences enjoyed by all New Yorkers, rich or poor, including traffic, dirt, noise, homeless people, tourists, and celebrities--24/7.  As they say, the Citi never Sleeps.
          I lived in Manhattan for 15 years before moving to New Hampshire. 20+ years ago parking my car cost $350/month which got scratched and dented. I was in advertising primarily working with Living Advertising Legend #JerryDellaFemina. -- a well known respected award winning creative advertising agency filled with wonderful creative loons. There is nothing like the adrenaline of the New York City. Ultimately I had to get out of the city to relax. So I came to New Hampshire--bought a lake house for the price of a closet. My tensions went down, my quality of life went up--the real loons are actually on my lake.
          By comparison, for the price of just the master bathroom at #15CentralParkWest, you could own an entire waterfront estate with three buildings and a rare 2-bay boat house on the 44,000 acre Lake #Winnipesaukee in the Lakes Region of NH. Im talking about the historic #Winneconnett at 70 Sinclair Lane in #Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Built in 1910 by the Sinclair family of the famed #Sinclair&Valentine Specialty Ink company based in New York City during a time when the #IndustrialAge was making life very busy.
          Even then, like now, this estate was the quintessential place to #GetAwayFromItAll while having all the amenities of keeping up with your business no matter where in the world it is. You can land your private jet to Laconia just over 30 minutes away.
          You will find some of the most valuable and beautiful waterfront homes in New Hampshire on the 180 miles of pristine shoreline. Compared to properties in surrounding states of Maine, Massachusettes, and Vermont, the value is clear.

      At a price tag of under $4.5 million, may seem like a lot. But is it really. With over 3.6 private acres and over 175 feet of exceptional frontage  on Lake Winnipesaukee, a rare over-the-water 2-bay boat house.  Add a fully furnished 18-room 7,500+ square foot, 6 bedroom, 5 bath estate with 4.5 car garage and Office with artist studio, and separate exercise building complete with an indoor golf practice net. #Winneconnett on Lake Winnipesaukee is an  estate with the perfect blend of executive home, family home, lake home, surrounded by the best Mother Nature can provide.

       

      For a detailed brochure of this property Click Here

       

      To view the great estates of New Hampshire please call Michael Travis -- Your Waterfront Agent -- at 603-303-2599

      or visit his site at www.WaterfrontAgent.com

       

       

      The Price to Pay for the Highest Quality of Life is Far Less in NH

      The Price to Pay for the Highest Quality of Life is  Far Less in NH

      Having lived in #NewYorkCity, Connecticut and Boston I had a different opinion of New Hampshire before ever stepping foot in the State. People I knew called it #NewHampster or #CowHampshire. After all the population was a fraction of what is in those states and seemed to be in the boonies and just so far north. It didn't take long before realizing it was nothing less than beautiful with over 1300 lakes, Lake Winnipesaukee, a pristine 44,000 acre lake in the Lakes Region made famous by the film #OnGoldenPond staring #KatherynHepburn with Jane and Henry Fonda written by local talent #ErnestThompson. The "Big Lake" is surrounded by the majestic White Mountains. You see, I was paying $2000 a month for an apartment in Boston with no High speed internet access,
      Then I discovered the real wealth of New Hampshire in Wolfeboro. Rich in History as Americas's Oldest Resort" and Rich in Natural Beauty and some of the most beautiful waterfront estates for about 25-50%  of what would be fetched in the Hamptons in NY or the Massachusetts and Connecticut seacoast--and without the traffic.
      o New Hampshire rated most livable state by US News and World Report.
      o CNBC ranked New Hampshire as America's Top State for "Quality of Life."--
      o 3rd highest number of second homes in the country
      o New Hampshire is the 7th wealthiest state in the country with only 1,320,700 people with a median income of $63,280
      o New Hampshire ranks #1 again in the nation for "Overall child well-being" by #AnnieECasey Foundation's #KidsCount ® Data Book  
      o New Hampshire is ranked by a  wide margin the Number one state in a Living Index (at 3.2) which includes being ranked

      o Number 1 as the Safest and Most Livable state,

      * Number 2 in Family well being and Health


          To learn more contact Michael Travis at +1 603-303-2599. or by visiting  
      www.WaterfrontAgent.com