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Trying to Determine a Value for that Perfect Squam or Winnipesaukee Property? Have Patience...

Misty Day Near Windermere in Moultonborough

Misty Day on Winnipesaukee in Moultonborough

Buyers Look to Assessments to Guide Them on Property Values

As people search for Winnipsaukee or Squam Lake real estate, they often ask about the town assessements for the Winnipesaukee or Squam listings that pique their interest.  In purchasing a commodity that has a many intangible qualities as Winnipesaukee or Squam Lake waterfront real estate, potential buyers look for whatever they can find to help guide them to what they perceive as a reasonable offering price for a waterfront  property. Certainly, buyers know very quickly whether or not a waterfront property seems to be a fit for them, but how to quantify the value of the fit is a dilemma.

Fewer Sales Render Regression Analysis Nearly Useless

View from Dock at a Squam Lake Home. This is One of Only 3 Squam Lake Homes Offered at $1,500,000 or More in Holderness, NH as of July 21, 2012.

In towns where, year to year, there are fewer sales in particular price ranges, the task to find a reasonable offering price for a similar home becomes more difficult for buyers.  For Squam Lake properties in Holderness, for example, the assessments seem very low compared to the listing prices of Squam properties of $1,500,000 or more offered in the Northern New England Real Estate Network.   When there are few similar sales in a period of 2 or more years, the town assessments are often low compared to the listing prices that one will see on the market.

What sense is a buyer to make of this?    The Sellers have decided on the listing price of their properties and they are not willing to sell their properties anywhere near the town assessments.  The cost to build per square foot does not seem to fit in any town assessment calculations.  Properties that would cost $400.00 per square foot to build sometimes have the same building value on the assessment as homes that would cost $200.00 per square foot to build.

The Cache of Squam Lake Property?  Squam Lake Land for Sale is Almost Impossible to Find.

As far as land values on Squam Lake, how can they possibly be quantified?  There are only 2 Squam Lake land parcels offered in the Northern New England Real Estate Network Multiple Listing System ( MLS).  Only 1 of them has open views and both are offered at $1,300,000 or more.

Scarcity of  Winnipesaukee Land or "Tear-Downs" in Meredith is One Factor in Determining Values of Newer Winnipesaukee Construction Homes in Meredith

Meredith NH is another Lakes Region town which has seen few sales in the higher price ranges in the past 3 years. Only 5 Winnipesaukee homes have sold for more than $2,400,000 since January 1, 2009. There are currently 11 Winnipesaukee residential real estate listings in the Northern New England Real Estate Network offered at $2,400,000 or more in the town of Meredith NH.  Meanwhile the cost to replace these homes has not gone down at all.  Building costs have risen.  "Tear-downs" or raw land on Winnipesaukee are extremely difficult to find, particularly in the town of Meredith.  Sellers of Winnipesaukee Meredith homes realize the singular characteristics of their waterfront land and are content to wait for the buyer who will recognize them.

Moultonborough, NH is a town which often sees the most waterfront sales in a given year, partly because Moultonborough has far more Winnipesaukee waterfront parcels than any other town.  There have been 7 Moultonborough residential Winnipesaukee real estate sales closing at more than $2,400,000 since 01/01/2009.   There have been 10 Moultonborough residential Winnipesaukee real estate sales closing at more than $2,000,000 since 01/01/2009.  Meredith, NH had 7 homes closing  at $2,000,000 or more in this same time period.  For Meredith Winnipesaukee residential real estate listings closing between $1,100,000 and $2,000,000 during this same time period, the number dwindles to only 4 homes.  In Moultonborough during this time period, January, 1, 2009 to July 21, 2012, the number of sales from $1,100,000 to $2,000,000 was 28.  This is an extraordinary difference.

Though the Inventory Increases, Bidding Wars are Also Part of the Landscape

Though the inventory in some price ranges continues to increase, bidding wars are more and more common. I've recently represented 2 buyers who were involved in bidding wars for Meredith Winnipesaukee homes priced between $800,000 and $1,300,000.  When Meredith real estate in this price range has many of the features buyers want....it moves quickly! 2  Meredith Winnipesaukee residential real estate listings listed at between $1,200,000 and $1,300,000 are now under contract to buyers.  Bidding wars on Winnipesaukee real estate in other towns have been occurring throughout the summer.

Even in the Price Ranges Where Sales have Been Increasing, Assessments are Not a Formula to Determine Value.

In Moultonborough, though there have been many sales closing between $1,100,000 and $2,000,000 this year, buyers for these properties often still struggle with what reasonable offering prices are on Winnipesaukee real estate listings.  Looking at town assessments does not give buyers any sort of formula to use when trying to determine a reasonable offering price.  50 Rocky Winds, Moultonborough is assessed for $1,986,300 and closed for $1,825,000 this Spring.  7 Blackey Cove, Moultonborough is assessed for $1,343,100 and closed for $1,140,000. Garnet Point, Moultonborough is assessed for $1,233,800 and closed for $1,335,000. 297 Long Point Point is assessed at $1,203,700 and closed for $1,300,000. 39 Gregson Lane, Moultonborough  closed for $1,450,000 and is assessed for $982,800.

Following a comparison of the selling prices of recent sold Winnipesaukee homes to town assessments for these properties is a bumpy road to travel at best.  Tax card infromation is often inaccurate.  The fact that the town of Moultonborough may or may not put any additional value on waterfront of more than 150 ft. on any particular property is another reason Moultonborough assessments are difficult to reconcile with value.  Unique Winnipesaukee properties in Moultonborough, and on all of Winnipesaukee and Squam, are the hardest to quantify in dollars.  When there are few, if any, "comparable' sales, buyers are moved by the intangibles to try to determine values. Though the task is difficult, nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy. As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote,"Have  patience with everything unresolved in your heart."