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How to read a Topo Map

If you are looking for property around North Conway, you know we don't have much for flat land!
Here is a quick & helpful video on how to read a topography map - 

 

Escalation Clauses - How They Work

Understanding Escalation Clauses in Real Estate: A Guide for Buyers and Sellers

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned seller, understanding how an escalation clause works can give you an edge in today's competitive market. So, let's break it down in a way that's easy to understand.

What is an Escalation Clause?

Imagine you've found your dream home, but so have several other buyers. In a market where bidding wars are common, an escalation clause is your secret weapon. It's essentially a provision you add to your offer that says, "I will outbid other offers up to a certain limit." Think of it as setting your bid to auto-pilot, ensuring you stay in the lead without constantly revisiting your offer.

How Does it Work?

Here's the nuts and bolts of it: When you submit an offer on a house, you include an escalation clause that specifies three key things:

  1. The Base Offer: This is your starting bid, showing the seller you're serious about the purchase.
  2. The Escalation Amount: This is how much more you're willing to pay over the highest bona fide offer the seller receives. For example, you might be willing to pay $1,000 above the highest offer.
  3. The Cap: The maximum amount you're willing to pay for the house. This is your ceiling, ensuring you don't get swept up and overcommit financially.

Example in Action

Let's say you're eyeing a house listed at $300,000. You offer $305,000 but include an escalation clause that will beat any higher offer by $2,000, up to a maximum of $325,000. If another buyer comes in at $310,000, your offer automatically jumps to $312,000, keeping you in the lead without lifting a finger.

Why Use an Escalation Clause?

For Buyers: It's a powerful tool in a hot market. It shows sellers you're serious and flexible, potentially putting you at the front of the line in a bidding war. Plus, it saves you from the back-and-forth of negotiating, making your buying experience smoother.

For Sellers: It can drive up the selling price of your home by encouraging competitive bidding. Knowing buyers are willing to automatically increase their offers can lead to a higher sale price.

Things to Consider

While escalation clauses can be beneficial, they're not without their caveats:

  • Transparency: Not all sellers are keen on them, as they can complicate negotiations. Some may prefer straightforward, higher initial offers.
  • Market Dynamics: In a cooler market, an escalation clause might not be necessary and could even be off-putting to sellers.
  • Financial Limits: It's crucial to set a cap that aligns with your budget and pre-approval amount. Getting caught in the heat of a bidding war can lead to financial strain if you're not careful.
  • Show Your Upper Limit: If you are a buyer, you are essentially telling the seller how much you will pay for the property.  Some sellers will just counter at your upper limit regardless of what offers they receive.

An escalation clause can be a game-changer in your real estate strategy, whether you're on the buying or selling side. However, it's essential to approach it with a clear understanding and strategy, keeping your financial boundaries in check.

Conway tax abatement - Deadline is 3/1

Attention Conway Residents: Important Property Tax Abatement Deadline Approaching!

Mark your calendars for an important financial deadline that's rapidly approaching: March 1, 2024, is the last day to file for a property tax abatement in Conway.

HERE IS A LINK TO THE FORM YOU MUST COMPLETE

For those who might be new to the term, a property tax abatement can provide significant relief if you believe your property has been overvalued by the town, leading to higher taxes than warranted. Whether it's due to recent market changes, property improvements, or discrepancies in assessment, now is the time to act to ensure you're not paying more than necessary.

Why is this important? Filing for an abatement can not only reduce your tax liability for the current year but also set a precedent for future assessments, potentially saving you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Remember, the deadline to file is March 1, 2024. Don't miss this opportunity to potentially reduce your property tax bill. If you're unsure about whether you qualify for an abatement or just want to discuss your options, feel free to reach out to us at North Conway Realty. 

Dave
North Conway Realty

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Not sure where your septic tank is? Winter trick to find it

This was inspired by a facebook post from Turner Septic Services, who we always recommend.  

Uncovering the Hidden Warmth: Finding Your Septic Tank in Winter

If you've ever found yourself wandering your snowy backyard, shovel in hand, wondering where on earth your septic tank is hiding, you're not alone. But here's a fun fact: finding your septic tank in the winter might be easier than you think, thanks to the heat it gives off.

The Warmth Beneath: How It Works

Your septic tank is more than just a container; it's a mini ecosystem. As the bacteria in the tank get to work breaking down waste, they generate heat. During the colder months, this heat can become your secret weapon in locating your septic tank. While the ground freezes and snow covers your yard, the area above your septic tank might just be a little less frosty, or the snow might melt more quickly. This is because the heat generated by your septic system warms the soil above it, creating a subtle but detectable difference in temperature.

Spotting the Signs

So, how do you use this to your advantage? First, take a walk around your yard on a cold day. Pay attention to areas where the snow seems to melt faster or where the ground feels slightly warmer. These signs can indicate that your septic tank is not far below. It's a bit like nature's own treasure hunt, except the treasure is... well, your septic tank.

Another tell-tale sign is the grass. Sometimes, the grass above the septic tank remains greener or grows faster, even in cold weather, thanks to the warmth and extra nutrients seeping through. It's subtle, but when you know what to look for, it can be quite apparent.

Why It Matters

You might wonder, "Why do I need to find my septic tank in winter, anyway?" Great question! Whether you're planning some winter gardening, considering an addition to your home, or need to check on your septic system's health, knowing where your tank is located can save you time and trouble. Plus, it's just cool to understand how your home works a bit better.

A Few Words of Caution

Before you start your backyard expedition, a word of caution. While finding the warmer spots can be helpful, it's not an exact science. If you need to perform maintenance or inspections, it's always best to consult with a professional who can accurately locate and access your septic tank without damaging your system or yard.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it. Your septic tank isn't just a hidden feature of your home—it's a warm beacon in the cold, guiding you through the winter. Next time you're gazing out at a snowy yard, remember this little trick. It might just make your winter chores a bit easier, or at least give you a fun party fact to share!

Stay warm and curious :) 

Ridgeline Community - Clearing by Kennett High School

Many have asked about the recent land clearance adjacent to Walmart and Kennett High School in North Conway. Below some information about the upcoming developments.

The Ridgeline Community, as announced in the press release by the Conway Daily Sun, will feature a 75-acre campus comprising a 106-unit assisted living facility that offers various progressive levels of care. Additionally, Continuum will offer 31 cottages that span 1,600 square feet each, tailored for individuals aged 55 and older, along with 42 units for workforce housing and 146 non-age-restricted condos to be sold at market value. The campus will also include a medical office building, children's day-care facility, and a bank.

For more details on the Ridgeline Community, please click on the provided link

Click here for info on the Ridgeline Community

 

The Valley Originals - North Conway Dining

A Local's Guide to The Valley Originals: North Conway's Hidden Gems

If you're on the hunt for a great meal then you've got to hear about The Valley Originals. This isn't your ordinary group of restaurants; it's a bunch of local spots in North Conway and the surrounding areas that really capture the spirit of our community. Let's dive into what makes The Valley Originals a must-visit for anyone looking to grab a bite in our neck of the woods.

What's the Deal with The Valley Originals?

So, The Valley Originals is this cool collective of independently owned restaurants right here in our valley. These places are all about keeping things local – from the food on your plate to the folks who serve it. They've got this commitment to quality and service that really sets them apart, not to mention each spot has its own unique vibe that reflects the character of our area.

Why We Love 'Em

One word: variety. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty breakfast, a laid-back lunch, or a fancy dinner, there's a Valley Originals spot that's got you covered. And because each restaurant sources locally as much as possible, you're getting a true taste of what our region has to offer with every bite. 

More Than Just Good Eats

Here's the feel-good part  – these restaurants are about more than just feeding people. They're deeply rooted in the community, giving back through donations to local causes and supporting local projects. Eating at a Valley Originals restaurant means you're helping to make a difference right here in our backyard. It's a win-win: amazing food and a way to support our community.

Let's Dig In

These spots never disappoint!

So, next time you're trying to decide where to eat, remember The Valley Originals. Supporting local businesses is more important than ever. Let's keep our community vibrant, one meal at a time.

 

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The NH Meals & Rooms Tax

Navigating New Hampshire's 8.5% Meals and Rooms Tax for Short-Term Rental Owners

If you're a short-term rental owner in New Hampshire, understanding the 8.5% Meals and Rooms Tax is crucial to ensure you're on the right side of the law and to make your hosting journey as smooth as possible. This tax, often referred to as the 'Rentals Tax,' applies to a range of accommodations, including hotels, motels, and, yes, short-term rentals like those you might list on Airbnb or Vrbo. Let's dive into the specifics of who needs to pay it and how it all works.

Who Needs to Pay It?

If you're renting out a property for short durations (less than 185 days at a time) in New Hampshire, you're likely on the hook for the Meals and Rooms Tax. This includes owners of vacation homes, condos, and any other type of residential property offered for short-term stays. Whether you're a full-time landlord or just renting out your place for a few weeks a year while you're away, you're required to collect this tax from your guests and remit it to the state.

How It Works

The tax rate is set at 8.5% of the rental amount you charge your guests. Here's the breakdown of how you should go about handling this tax:

  1. Registration: Before you start renting out your property, you need to register with the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA). This process will grant you a tax identification number, which you'll use when collecting and remitting taxes.

  2. Collecting the Tax: You must add the 8.5% tax to your guests' bills. It's a good practice to be transparent with your guests about this additional charge, so they know exactly what they're paying for.

  3. Filing and Payment: The Meals and Rooms Tax needs to be filed and paid monthly. You'll file a return with the DRA, detailing your rental income and the tax collected, and then remit the appropriate tax amount.

  4. Record Keeping: It's crucial to keep detailed records of your rental activity, including dates, amounts charged, tax collected, and tax payments made. These records should be kept for at least three years, as the DRA may request them if your account is audited.

Exemptions and Special Cases

There are a few scenarios where the Meals and Rooms Tax may not apply, such as long-term rentals (more than 185 days to the same occupant) or certain types of nonprofit or educational organizations. However, these exceptions are fairly specific, so it's wise to consult with a tax professional if you think you might qualify for an exemption.

Airbnb & VRBO

Airbnb & VRBO will collect the Meals and Rooms Tax on your behalf.  If you are ever audited by the state, you might need to show proof that you are renting on those platforms.  They do not have an individual license for each property, so all Airbnb taxes are collected and paid under once license.

Getting Caught Will Cost You

I have seen owners attempt to avoid the tax and get caught.  It is a costly mistake, so don't fool around with it.  Here is the webpage where you can get started and file your payments.

Send any questions that you have!

The NH Purchase & Sale Agreement

Here is a very quick review of the New Hampshire Purchase & Sale agreement.  Every state is a little different, so it's helpful to be familiar with this document prior to making your first offer.

 

Options for North Conway Sellers

Embracing Seller Choice: North Conway Realty's Innovative Approach to Home Selling

At North Conway Realty, we believe that selling a home should be as unique as the property itself. With over 20 years of experience guiding homeowners through their real estate journeys, we're excited to consider two distinctive selling options that cater to diverse needs and preferences. Our goal? To empower sellers with more choices, ensuring that the path they choose aligns perfectly with their goals, lifestyle, and financial considerations.

Traditional Listing: A Comprehensive Service

Our Traditional Listing service is designed for sellers who seek a hands-off, expertly managed sale process. With a 5% commission rate, this full-service option includes everything from professional photography and drone shots to extensive online advertising and weekly update calls. Sellers benefit from:

  • Full-Service Expertise: Leverage our two decades of experience for a seamless sale.
  • Professional Marketing: High-quality photos and drone imagery showcase your home's best features.
  • Broad Exposure: Listings on major platforms, including NorthConwayRealty.com, Zillow, and more, ensure your home reaches a wide audience.
  • Convenience: From pre-listing inspections to pre-closing cleaning, we handle the details.

Pros: Stress-free experience, expert handling of all sale aspects, and maximum exposure.
Cons: Higher cost due to the comprehensive service package.

Flat Fee Service: Tailored Flexibility

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach or seek to maximize their savings, our Flat Fee Service offers an attractive alternative. At a base price of $5,000 plus a 2.5% buyer agency fee, this option provides essential services like MLS listing, digital lockbox, and weekly updates, with the flexibility to add services a la carte.

  • Cost Efficiency: Lower upfront costs with the option to choose additional services as needed.
  • Customizable Services: Select from a la carte options, including professional photography, open houses, and more, to tailor the service to your needs.
  • Control: Maintain more involvement in the selling process, choosing where to invest in marketing and support.

Pros: Lower initial costs, customizable service options, and greater control over the sale process. Cons: Additional effort required from the seller to manage a la carte services, potential variability in costs based on selected options.

Empowering Sellers with Choice

At North Conway Realty, we understand that every seller's situation is unique. Whether you're drawn to the all-inclusive nature of our Traditional Listing or the customizable, cost-effective approach of our Flat Fee Service, we believe in providing options that honor your individual needs.

Why Offer Choices?

  • Flexibility: Sellers can choose a path that aligns with their financial goals, level of desired involvement, and specific needs.
  • Transparency: Clear options ensure sellers understand exactly what services they're receiving and at what cost.
  • Empowerment: By offering choices, we empower homeowners to take control of their selling experience.

As we consider rolling out these options, we're eager to hear from you. Your feedback is invaluable as we strive to offer services that truly meet the needs of sellers. At North Conway Realty, we're more than just a brokerage; we're your partners in making home-selling a fulfilling journey.

North Conway's Ski Options

If you're a ski enthusiast looking to hit the slopes around North Conway, you're in for a treat! This area is a skier's paradise, offering a range of mountains to explore. Whether you're into heart-pounding black diamonds or serene, scenic runs, there's something for everyone. Let's dive into the pros and cons of the ski mountains around North Conway to help you pick your next adventure.

1. Cranmore Mountain Resort

  • Pros:
    • Just a stone's throw from North Conway, making it super convenient.
    • Offers a mix of terrain suitable for all skill levels.
    • Boasts a great ski school for beginners and kids.
    • Vibrant après-ski scene right at the base.
  • Cons:
    • Can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.
    • Limited challenging terrain for advanced skiers.

2. Attitash Mountain Resort

  • Pros:
    • Features a wide variety of trails, including some challenging ones for thrill-seekers.
    • Two peaks to explore: Attitash and Bear Peak.
    • Good snowmaking and grooming.
    • Summer attractions offer year-round fun.
  • Cons:
    • The layout can be confusing for first-timers.
    • Lift lines can get long during peak times.

3. Wildcat Mountain

  • Pros:
    • Known for its breathtaking views of Mount Washington.
    • Offers some of the most challenging terrain in the area.
    • Less crowded than other resorts, providing a more laid-back skiing experience.
    • Great for powder days, thanks to its higher elevation.
  • Cons:
    • Fewer amenities and après-ski options.
    • Can be quite cold and windy due to its location.

4. Black Mountain

  • Pros:
    • Offers a classic New England skiing experience with its narrow, winding trails.
    • Less crowded, making it great for a relaxed day on the slopes.
    • Affordable ticket prices.
    • Excellent ski school with a personal touch.
  • Cons:
    • Smaller in size, so it might not keep the adrenaline junkies entertained all day.
    • Limited advanced terrain.

5. King Pine at Purity Spring Resort

  • Pros:
    • Family-friendly with a strong focus on beginner to intermediate skiing.
    • Compact layout makes it easy to keep track of family members.
    • Offers night skiing and a range of non-skiing activities.
    • Known for its friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Cons:
    • Limited challenge for advanced skiers.
    • Smaller size means fewer trails to explore.

Each mountain around North Conway offers its unique charms and challenges. Whether you're planning a family outing or seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure, you're sure to find a perfect match. Remember, the best ski day is the one that leaves you with a big smile and stories to share. So, grab your gear, and have fun on the slopes!

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Condo vs PUD - What is the difference?

When exploring the real estate market around North Conway and beyond, it's essential to grasp the nuances between traditional condominiums and Planned Unit Developments (PUDs), especially since the distinction can significantly affect ownership responsibilities and lifestyle. Here is a look into the key differences, with a particular focus on who owns what.

Condominiums: Understanding Shared Ownership

Condominiums, or condos as we often call them, are unique in their approach to ownership and shared spaces. Here's the lowdown:

  • Ownership Dynamics: In a condo setup, while you own the interior of your unit outright, the association holds ownership over much of the building's exterior and common areas. This includes the land the building sits on, the building facade, hallways, amenities, and any recreational facilities.
  • Responsibility and Fees: Because the condo association owns these areas, it takes on the responsibility for their upkeep. As a condo owner, you contribute to this through monthly HOA fees, which cover maintenance, landscaping, and sometimes utilities for these shared spaces.
  • Lifestyle Considerations: Opting for a condo means embracing a community-centric lifestyle with less personal responsibility for maintenance. It's ideal for those who value convenience, accessibility to amenities, and a hands-off approach to exterior upkeep.

Planned Unit Developments (PUDs): A Closer Look at Individual Responsibility

While PUDs might resemble condos in appearance, especially in regions around North Conway, the ownership structure introduces a significant twist, particularly regarding the exterior of the buildings.

  • Ownership and Responsibility: In a PUD, you don't just own the interior of your unit; you're also responsible for the exterior and the land it sits on. This means that exterior maintenance, from painting to roofing, falls squarely on your shoulders. It's a setup that offers more control but comes with added responsibilities.
  • HOA Fees and Coverage: Although PUDs also have HOA fees, these often cover the maintenance of communal facilities and common areas rather than the exterior of individual homes. The scope and scale of these amenities can vary widely but typically include pools, playgrounds, and community land.
  • Lifestyle Flexibility: Choosing a PUD can be appealing if you're looking for a blend of community living with the independence of a single-family home. You'll have more say in your property's exterior appearance and maintenance, offering a balance between autonomy and community benefits.

Navigating Your Real Estate Choices

In the North Conway area, where PUDs often mirror condos in appearance, understanding these distinctions is crucial. Here's a recap to guide your decision:

  • Condos are a great match if you prefer a community-oriented lifestyle with minimal personal responsibility for maintenance. It's about owning your space inside and sharing everything else.
  • PUDs appeal to those who like the idea of community amenities but want more control and responsibility over their property, including the building's exterior.

I hope that helps distinguish between the two formats.  As always, please reach out to North Conway Realty with any questions.

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