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More Homes Stuck in the Middle

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Posted 06-24-2010 at 11:57 AM by Roy Sanborn

The telephone is ringing, well, at least a little bit. It seems that buyers are out riding around and calling in on the yard signs which is great, but sometimes frustrating. One afternoon this week our duty agent had two inquiries on properties by cell phone and lost calls due to poor cell phone connections. Sometimes calls will get dropped two or three times in order to get just the basic info exchanged. We may not be in the boonies, but many listings are! Hopefully, they’ll call back when they get into cell range, but they’ll probably forget where they were. Can you hear me now?!

It’s always great to get that call from someone out on a boat asking: “ How much is that little, white, waterfront cottage?” Agent: “Where are you?”, Caller :“On the lake”, Agent: “Which one”, Caller: “Winnipesaukee”, Agent: “Where”, Caller: “On the Lake”, Agent: “Where on the lake? Which street?”, Caller: “ I don’t know, I’m not on the street, I’m on the lake”, Agent: “Are you in Meredith Bay?”, Caller: “Yes”, Agent: “Do you see a boat house?”, Caller: “Yes”, Agent: “That property is on the market for $1.2 million.” Caller: “For THAT?!” Click. We all get one or two of those calls every year.

I checked again this week to see what I could find for interesting properties currently on the market that are “Stuck In The Middle”. That’s the dreaded area between the under $200,000 “used-to-fly-off-the-shelves” price point and the million dollar “we-don’t-care-we-got-lots-of-money-and-buy-what-we-want” price point. More specifically, I looked into the $250,000-$450,000 price range to see what was up and found just over 400 homes in this price range vying for a prospective buyer. Here’s the scoop on a few that are priced well below assessed tax value and could be good deals.

At 89 Wood Ridge Road in Center Harbor, near the Waukewan Golf Club, you’ll find a contemporary cape with 3,3496 square feet of living space, 3-4 bedrooms, and 3.5 baths. This home has an open concept layout with a post and beam feel, a large brick fireplace, hardwood and tile floors, a master suite, and large deck for entertaining. This home sits on 1.75 acres of land with lake and mountain views. The property has been on the market for nine months and was originally listed at $595,000. It is now offered at $389,000 which is 68% of the current tax assessment of $568,600. This is a home that really doesn’t deserve to be Stuck In The Middle. Great deal…

Another nice contemporary cape with great views that seems to be mired down and not getting any traction with buyers is located at 528 Cherry Valley Road in Gilford. This 3,642 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home has vaulted ceilings, two fireplaces, a first floor master, lots of character, and fantastic views of Winnipesaukee. It has been on the market for about two years and was originally priced at $489,000. A recent $46,000 price reduction has now put it at $349,000 which is 82% of its current tax assessment of $428,500. Someone is going to get a great buy and a great value with this home!

If you want a colonial with mountain views, check out the home at 88 Phoenician Way in Laconia. This 3,051 square foot home constructed in 2006, has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a master suite, cathedral ceilings, eat in kitchen, large deck, and two car garage. This home was originally offered at $369,000 and has been on the market for about 3.4 years. It has been reduced to $289,900 as a short sale and they are looking for an offer. The property is now priced at 70% of its current assessment of $411,900!

So why haven’t these homes sold? Is there something wrong with them? Do they need a lot of work? Well, you’ll have to go and see them to find out for yourself for sure. It is most likely that they haven’t sold because of a combination of too few, too many, and too high. That is: too few buyers, too many homes on the market, and an initial asking price that was too high. And so, they are just Stuck In The Middle.

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