Blog :: 05-2014

Homeowner's Associations- Friend or Foe?

content_HOA_Sign Understanding A NH Seacoast HOA Homeowners associations (also called HOAs) can help protect property values, provide great amenities that you couldnt afford on your own, get you involved with your community, and keep your neighbors from parking cars on their front lawns. Whether you love, hate, or dont know much about homeowners associations, if youre thinking about purchasing a home that is affiliated with one, its important to do your research. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask these important questions: 1. Does this home belong to a NH Seacoast HOA? This question isnt as simple as youd thinkHOAs arent just for condominiums. Dont assume that just because youre looking at a townhome, single-family home, or vacation property that youre in the clear. In fact, according to the Community Association Institute (CAI), four out of five houses built since the late 1990s have an HOA 2. Can I see some documentation? Ask to see the communitys Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions, commonly known as CC&Rs. These documents are the associations governing rules, and explain protocol and regulations that officers, homeowners, and tenants are expected to follow. In most cases, CC&Rs are legally enforceable. In addition to reviewing the CC&Rs, ask to see recent meeting minutes and up-to-date financial statements. These documents will let you know if there are any upcoming assessments in the works and help you determine the overall financial health of the organization. 3. How are the HOAs finances managed? How much can I expect to spend? A well-organized HOA should make very clear the financial responsibilities of its members. Are dues billed monthly, quarterly, or yearly? How much are they? Are there late fees? If a homeowner violates a regulation, are there monetary penalties? Are there limits to the dollar amount and frequency of one-time assessments? 4. What do my NH Seacoast HOA dues cover? Inclusions vary dramatically and it is safe to assume that the lower your dues, the fewer services, amenities, and utilities are included. In a traditional condominium association, dues may likely include water, cable, ground maintenance, trash, sewer, recreational amenities, parking, security, and more. HOAs in neighborhoods with single-family homes may cover sidewalks, landscaping, and common areas. Ask to see a comprehensive list of what is included. 5. How do you like the HOA? Hit the pavement and ask neighbors about the association. How is the leadership elected? Have you had any negative interactions? How common are expensive assessments? 6. Can I follow all of the rules? Before you commit to living in a NH Seacoast HOA -affiliated building or neighborhood, take an honest look at the rules and make sure that you are comfortable following every single one. Make sure that your lifestyle fits with the HOAs parameters. For example, if youre buying vacation property, make sure that the HOA doesnt have rules limiting or forbidding owners from renting their property. Homeowners associations can be a good influence on your condo or neighborhood, but only if everyone follows the rules. Understanding the rules and responsibilities before committing to a purchase is crucial to happiness in your new HOA-affiliated home.

Positioning Dover NH Properties to Sell

content_home-for-sale-sign Pricing is directly related to the time frame for selling a home and whether it will sell at all. Pricing is particularly critical in a slow market or when there are an abundance of listings on the market. Below is some advice on positioning Dover NH properties to sell.

Take Into Account the Dover NH Market

Each real estate market is different. When you hear facts on the news, those typically refer to national figures. Your particular city may be very different. A local real estate professional can provide a comparative market analysis on your property. This evaluates recent Dover NH sales of similar property and provides an anticipated price range in which your home may sell. This amount may vary based on the time of year and recent sales, so avoid referring to outdated information.

Remain Realistic

When viewing the Dover NH market analysis figures, remember that it is a range. Where your property falls in that range depends on other comparable properties and your target time frame. As a home owner, it is common to feel a sense of attachment to your home and to the work that you have put in. Unfortunately, not all home buyers will assign the same value to different features and amenities. Anticipate that you may not get back the full amount spent on upgrades. Furthermore, home values may be impacted by Dover NH foreclosed homes in the area, which are commonly sold at dramatic discounts and are still considered comparable properties. Market value is defined as the price that a potential buyer is willing to pay for a property at a given time. It may not necessarily be close to your expectations or resemble the original purchase price of the house.

Positioning Dover NH Properties To Sell

Positioning a property too high will lead to valuable time being lost. If the Dover NH market condition drops further during that time, the home will ultimately sell for even less than it would have if positioned accurately to begin with. Additionally, buyers tend to have a negative perception of houses with extended market times. This perception is difficult to overcome even if a home reduces in price at a later time. Pricing too high causes more harm than good.

Some Final Advice for Dover NH Sellers

If the current market value of your Dover NH home is dramatically different than your requirements, it may be better to monitor the market and wait for values to increase rather than overpricing and letting it grow stale for months or even years. If you must sell and must do so within a specific time frame, selecting a price appropriate for the real estate market and competitive with other properties will be crucial to achieving your goals. Time is money and the loss of valuable time can be more costly than you may expect.
About the author: This advice on Positioning Dover NH Properties To Sell was created by Dick Cook. Dick is a realtor with over thirty years experience working for customers in the Granite State. Specializing in Senior Real Estate Services, Dick covers the NH Seacoast & Lakes Regions, servicing the following communities and many others:
You can also find Dick online at, offering a wealth of information and resources for the NH Senior Community.

Reverse Mortgage For Purchase Can Be A Tremendous Tool For Seniors

Local Mortgage Expert Shares a Heartwarming Personal Story Concerning Reverse Mortgage for Purchase content_Linda_Rousseau This past week I met with Linda Rousseau, a Reverse Mortgage Expert from Merrimack Mortgage Company, Inc., in order to learn more about the HECM for Purchase program to assist my clients. HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) for Purchase allows seniors, age 62 or older, to purchase a new principal residence and obtain a reverse mortgage within a single transaction. The program was also designed to enable senior homeowners to relocate to other geographical areas to be closer to family members or downsize to homes that meet their physical needs, i.e., handrails, single level properties, ramps, wider doorways, etc. During our meeting Linda related a great story to me that I have to share with you. This was her story. I received a call from a gentleman inquiring about a Reverse Mortgage for additional income. During the conversation, I started to ask him questions about the subject property, to be sure it would meet FHA guidelines before I drove out to meet with the customer face-to-face. I asked, What type of home is it? He responded, Its a coop! I asked, Did you say cape? No, I said coop. Like a chicken coop. Its a real dump, he replied. As I continued to ask more questions, it was clear that this property was not going to pass the scrutiny of an FHA appraisal. The man sounded pretty desperate and his home was on my way to the office so I agreed to stop byGoodwill for a neighbor I had never met. As I was pulling into his driveway, it was clear that this house should have been torn down! He was waiting at the door dressed in shorts on a very cold winter day. He was a robust, elderly man, with sores all over his legs and a big cheerful smile. I later found out he was diabetic. He led me into the house, where there were piles of debris and barely a path to walk through. After clearing several piles, we found two chairs and sat down to a two and a half hour visit. It was quickly apparent that this man needed help. I feared his health and safety were in jeopardy in this environment. I had been there at least an hour before I realized that there was a dog lying among the rubble that looked as sickly as his owner. With some patience and perseverance, I was able to find out that he had 50 acres with road frontage on two roads. The house had no value, but maybe the land could get him to a favorable end goal. I asked him if he would like to buy a new home, and maybe have some extra cash set aside to help pay his taxes and insurance, but still be in the same town. He looked at me with a puzzled expression and asked, How the heck can you do that? I started to give him a basic understanding of how he could buy a new home with the proceeds from the sale of the land and still have money left over. He liked the idea. I asked his permission to have a few Realtors do a market analysis to see what he might be able to net if he sold the land. The following week, I had all the data from the Realtor he chose. The following month, he had an offer on the land that would net him $150,000. The Realtor found him a home for $200,000. I would be able to provide him $135,000 from the Reverse Mortgage on the new home. Together that allowed him access to $285,000. He paid the $200,000 to purchase the home, and had $85,000 left in a line of credit. The Realtor had two sales. The customer had a new, clean, safe home with money left to cover his expenses for a very long time. End goal met! You just need to care enough to think outside the box. This is for educational purposes only. Linda Rousseau, NMLS # 408771 I really enjoyed this story as for me it summed up what working in Senior Real Estate Services is all about. I am pleased to have made a connection with Linda and look forward to working with her. Linda Rousseau has been a Reverse Mortgage Originator since 2004 and is a continuing education instructor on Reverse Mortgages for NH and Maine real estate licensees. You can reach Linda
About the author: This Reverse Mortgage article was created by Dick Cook, a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Dick is a realtor with over thirty years experience working for customers in the Granite State. Specializing in Senior Real Estate Services, Dick covers the NH Seacoast & Lakes Regions, servicing the following communities and many others:
Dick can be found online at, offering a wealth of information and resources on downsizing, rightsizing and relocating for the NH Senior Community.

Children's Museum Supports the NH Senior Community

Playing Host to the Alzheimers Cafe, Dover NHs Childrens Museum is the First on the East Coast to Support the NH Senior Community in Such a Way
This coming Thursday, January 19th 2012, the Childrens Museum of New Hampshire in Dover will be host to the fourth Alzheimers Cafe event. A regular supporter and host of programs benefiting the local community, the Childrens Museum is a pioneer on the East Coast in this kind of event. Designed to be an informal way for people living with Alzheimers, as well as their families and caregivers, to relax and socialize in a non-clinical setting, programs of its kind exist in other States and countries but are unique to our area. Alzheimers Cafe takes place on the third Thursday of each month in what is a regular program to support the greater Dover NH Senior community. According to the Alzheimers Association there are an estimated 5.4 million people living with the disease. Through 2010, the number of individuals in New Hampshire that have Alzheimers had increased 16% since the year 2000, and that figure is projected to increase 21% by the year 2020. Needless to say, Alzheimers is a very serious issue for the Granite State. While Alzheimers is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, it is the only cause in the top ten that cannot at present be prevented, cured or slowed. This reality is what makes support systems like the Alzheimers Cafe so important to local communities, particularly in respect to the families and caregivers of those with the disease. As we see in this chart produced by the Alzheimers Association, the degree of stress reported by the caregivers of Alzheimers and dementia patients is extremely high. content_Alzheimer_s_Chart There are over 15 million unpaid caregivers of Alzheimers and dementia patients in the US, many of whom suffer both physically and emotionally as a result of the care that they provide. Having an outlet like the Alzheimers Cafe, by which they can connect with other people that share the same struggles every day, is of tremendous value to these caregivers and the families of individuals with this disease. Supporting one another in the face of a challenge such as Alzheimers is of paramount importance. As a member of the local community I am proud that the Childrens Museum has pioneered this kind of event. Working in the NH Senior Living industry, I can personally attest to the need for these kinds of supportive programs, and I will do everything I can to spread the word about its availability. If you would like further information about the Alzheimers Cafe, please visit the Childrens Museum of NHs programs page.
About the author: This NH Senior Living update was created by Dick Cook. Dick is a realtor with over thirty years experience working for customers in the Granite State. Specializing in Senior Real Estate Services, Dick covers the NH Seacoast & Lakes Regions, servicing the following communities and many others:
Dick can also be found online at, offering a wealth of information and resources for the NH Senior Community.

Dover Mounted Police

While spending time around our City of Dover and our Office Coldwell Banker Peggy Carter Team, you may notice the presence of Mounted Police. They have been seen clopping around downtown since 1998. Chances are if your a young kid interested in horses, you probably already know their names. Three beautiful horses make up the mounted police horse force at present. TJ, Black Jack, & Monty which is which?

TJ has two white socks on his hind legs, and what looks like a white diamond on his forehead (star).

Black Jack is all black except for his face which has a white strip running from his forehead to his nose.

Monty is the easiest to identify as he is the only white horse in the Dover Mounted Police.

All three are Percheron/Thoroughbreds a special large breed favored by Mounted Police. Our Dover horses are big boys with weights from 1500lbs to 1700lbs.

The Dover Mounted Patrol receives no tax funding and is in need of support for volunteers and sponsorship.

Should you also see a goat around town... Well he's not part of Mounted Patrol

Photo ID question - Which horse is the photo above?

Donations can be sent to:

Dover Police Charities 46 Locust Street Dover NH 03820

Dick Cook Joins Coldwell Banker Peggy Carter Team


Dick Cook Joins Coldwell Banker Peggy Carter Team

Dick Cook a native of New Hampshire has a true love for NH and was born & raised here. He ia a welcome addition to our Team of Realtors in Dover NH. Dick has been licensed since 1978 and brings with him a wide array of experience. Be sure to check out his Bio under our Agent Section.

Tis the Season

content_IMG_0092 Beware of Christmas Decorating Squirrels

While most homeowners see squirrels busy at stashing nuts for the winter this time of year. Be on the lookout for squirrels with wire & bulbs in paw's Light Swipers were calling them! ~ a new pastime for these critters is to decorate the inside of your chimney flu's with your exterior holiday ornamentations. The Peggy Carter Team Dover NH recommendations are simple ~ give them a surge protector strip & some flashing lights, or call your local chimney sweep and install a wire mesh cap at the top to keep em out! In the photo above a three foot section of pipe was removed stuffed with lights like a sausage - Simply Amazing Critters!