The Reality of Real Estate

New Hampshire Record Sales in 2020


This just came out from the NHAR on Sales of homes in New Hampshire for 2020. It was the highest growth ever with days on market significantly lower and Prices higher and still a good time to sell. Waterfront Homes always fare better as well. 

Please call so I can show you what I can do for you. 


January 8, 2021

2020 a record year in NH housing market

The year 2020 was an historic one in terms of New Hampshire home sales, as single family residential unit sales, median price and sales volume hit all-time highs while inventory and supply hit their lowest marks in at least 16 years.

The median price for single family residential properties in the state was $335,000, a 12 percent jump from the previous high-water mark of $300,000, which came just the year before, in 2019. It was the ninth consecutive year of year-over-year median price increases in New Hampshire and the largest single-year jump since NHAR began tracking median price in 1998.

Here are a few additional noteworthy data points from the year-end report:

  • Inventory continued to dwindle in 2020. Months supply, meaning the number of months it would take to sell off current inventory at the average rate of sales for the last 12 months, dropped to 0.9 months in December, a 59 percent drop since December 2019, while last year’s average was 1.8 months (a 43 percent decrease). Those are the lowest numbers in that category since NHAR started tracking it in 2005.
  • The 18,449 single family unit sales was a 4.6 percent increase from 2019 and marked the first time the state has sold more than 18,000 homes in at least 23 years.
  • Every month in 2020 saw a single family residential inventory decline from the same month in 2019, and the 12-month average of 2,761 was 42 percent below last year and the lowest in at least 15 years. The 1,383 homes on the market at the end of December was the fewest in any month since at least 2005, and by comparison is roughly an eighth of the inventory that was on the market at the end of December 2010.
  • The total dollar volume of single family residential sales eclipsed the $7 billion mark for the first time, at $7.2 billion, more than $1 billion above the the previous high.

For the complete December and year-end 2020 report, click here.
For statewide and county level data from 1998 to 2020,
click here.
For fourth-quarter 2020 data, click here.

Best Flood Insurance Companies so that your wallet does not go under water

Best Flood Insurance Companies

by ConsumerAffairs

Research Team

A bad storm could flood your world in debt and loss. Your wallet does not need to go under water protecting your home.

As a first step I suggest looking at the FEMA site to see if your home might be in a flood zone. Visit

In New Hampshire Insurance companies are brokers and the rates for insurance is federally mandated. However there are many aspects that impact rates. I encourage you to discuss these options with a company that knows.  I have engaged one insurance company to talk with with any questions on whether you need flood insurance or not. 

Jody Plante
PO Box 5
Merrimack, NH
Phone: 603-424-9428
Fax: 603-424-9423


Seems Floods are happening more frequently. Hurricanes seem bigger and more devastating. In New Hampshire we had the "Mothers Day Floods" in 2006 when 12-16 inches of rain in 2 days. Some rivers completely changed directions. Many people assume they aren’t at risk if they are not living in a designated flood plain, Surprisingly 20 and 25 percent of all flood victims live outside of a high-risk area.  

Nearly all flood insurance policies are underwritten by the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) and serviced by independent insurance companies like the one I mentioned above, Rates and coverage are the same no matter which company you select. When choosing a flood insurance company, you should learn about the company as a whole to make the best choice.

Here is a link to several companies to compare.

Mother Nature can act like "a Mother" sometimes. Respect her. 


Docks may need permits

Docks and Shoreline Structures

I am often asked if you can put in a dock or enlarge an existing one in any lake property. There are several aspects to consider. All natural bodies of water are held in trust for public use by the State of New Hampshire. Under RSA 482-A, NH Wetlands Law, constructing new structures such as docks, boat lifts, jet ski lifts, retaining walls, breakwaters and perched beaches in or on any bank, flat, marsh or swamp in and adjacent to and waters of the state requires a permit. This permit serves as permission for an entity to build and maintain a structure within an area held in public trust.

Changing dock size may create issues with abutters

Dock owners may replace a grandfathered dock without complying with statutory setback and other current statutory limitations as long as they do not change the size or configuration of the dock, which would trigger current permitting requirements. Problems arise when the replacement dock is larger or closer, from the abutter’s perspective, which can raise issues of encroachment, trespass and private nuisance, among others. 

To determine is a permit is required to do any work on a dock take this survey


Michael Travis Your Waterfront Agent

Selling you home is more than just listing it on MLS.

With over 1,300 lakes surrounded by a state that is 86% trees, people come here to enjoy the best that Mother Nature offers. A big part of my job is to help buyer realize and live their dreams. Your lake home is part of that dream. 

I have lived on or near water my entire life. My family even owned a private island, 9 miles by boat and 28 miles by car to the nearest town called Little Current — and that was an overstatement. I understand and appreciate the emotions and fond memories attached to such special places.

Prior to a real estate career which began in 2004, I spent 35 years in advertising as an art director, writer, photographer, and designer in NYC and Boston. I have worked with three US Presidents, a five-star General, countless celebrities, corporate moguls, top fashionistas, and well over 450 different accounts in every category. This included marketing multi-million dollar homes for a Boston-based real estate company that has since become a Sotheby's affiliate. I’ve expanded my skills to include drone aerial imaging, videos, electronic and printed brochures, social media and so much more. 

I have two sites of my own--one is dedicated to waterfront homes and the other is a more general. 



As a real estate agent, I have consistently been a multi-million dollar performer. I have marketed, helped sell, and sold properties on more different bodies of water than any agent in the state of New Hampshire. I am a member of the Luxury Home Portfolio, Institute of Luxury Home Marketing, Haute Residence International, Proxio Pro International, and Bean Group’s esteemed Platinum Collection. 

I believe real estate is about marketing. I believe my unique background and talents, combined with the Bean Group dominance in the marketplace, will prove to successfully promote your home like no other. Whether you are a buyer or seller, I bring real-life experience to your real estate experience. Below is a link to a feature story in Top Agent Magazine that says it all.

Featured in "Top Agent Magazine"--Read the Story by Clicking Here!

I am also a premier agent for, Trulia and Zillow so the exposure for your property will be maximized. And of course the Bean Group is the finest real estate company in the state I believe in maximizing exposure of your home to the world. 

I wanted to mention that I am also heavily invested in social media. In fact I started a closed Facebook Group called "Lakes Region Realtors" for agents to talk to each other about listings, safety issues and other info. I am also involved with several other real estate groups to help market your home.   

I look forward to partnering with you to help market and sell your property.

Thank you



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. 


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




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


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.


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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