Porcupine Real Estate

Posted by Mark Warden on 10/29/2018

Guest post by†Viviana Figueroa

White Mountain region:

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Posted by Mark Warden on 10/22/2018

What is Radon? Should I test for it?

Guest post by Dustin Dodge of Working Dog Home Inspections

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States and is a known problem in New Hampshire. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and it gets into the air you breathe. Whether or not a home has radon is dependent on the geology beneath the structure.†

Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air in your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Since a basement is a pocket in the ground, radon can build up & cause unhealthy levels of gas. There is no way of knowing if a home has high levels of radon without testing.

What does radon do?

Radon decays quickly, giving off tiny radioactive particles. When inhaled, these radioactive particles can damage the cells that line the lung. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, the only cancer proven to be associated with inhaling radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.

How is it measured?

Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter, or pCi/L. Levels of 4 pCi/L or higher are considered hazardous. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and in many cases can be reduced, although it is difficult to reduce levels below 2 pCi/L. Radon mitigation systems are common and a great way to bring the gas to a more acceptable level.

If you have questions on radon testing, contact Dustin at Working Dog Home Inspections.†

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Posted by Mark Warden on 10/9/2018

After living in Maryland for a number of years, Ramzi and Jen were looking for a change. With three kids and jobs that allow them to work remotely, they had the flexibility to find the perfect place to live. Initially, they considered the Carolinas for mild weather and proximity to family. Then Ramzi discovered the Free State Project and everything changed. It didn't take long for Ramzi to convince Jen New Hampshire was the place to be: "I told her about the tax benefits, the four distinct seasons, and that the child well-being rankings were really high. Plus, there is NO traffic."†

Ramzi and Jen initially considered several towns. But when their Realtor, Mark Warden (broker/owner of Porcupine Real Estate) suggested Auburn, the couple fell in love with its proximity to Manchester, small-town charm, low taxes, and convenience to the Seacoast, mountains and beaches.†

Now that they're settled in, they've had time to discover even more of New Hampshire. According to Ramzi, "I really love the natural beauty. On clear nights, the sky is amazing. We have been hiking with the kids and just love it. The freedom tradition is palpable and people's 'live and let live' attitude is really a thing here; I notice it everywhere."†

If you are thinking of moving to New Hampshire, take the plunge! Jen agrees, "For those questioning whether NH will be a good fit, just do it. Your only regret will be that you didnít do it sooner."†

Welcome home, Ramzi & Jen!

Categories: Auburn NH  

Posted by Mark Warden on 9/20/2018

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who donít want the responsibilities of home ownership, it can also serve as a long-term lifestyle for those uninterested in buying a home. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is difficult. Youíll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of home buying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates.†While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to just over 4%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first home are more concerned with whether itís †financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals.†Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, itís a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about your timeline.†Are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the expenses.†

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, youíll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that your landlord was required to do when you rented.†Some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has itís associated upkeep expenses.†However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.

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Posted by Mark Warden on 9/17/2018

Home insurance can be one of the more significant expenses when youíre a homeowner. You may feel that youíll be stuck in the same monthly premium month after month, but thereís plenty of ways that you can save on your home insurance by making a few cuts here and there.

Get A Higher Deductible

Just like any kind of insurance, the higher your deductible is, the lower your premiums. The main problem with this is that when you need to make a smaller claim, the insurance may not cover any of the cost. Compare the risk of paying for expenses out of pocket to the benefits of a lower insurance premium.

Get An Alarm System

Having an alarm system can help you to save money on your home insurance. The types of alarm systems that are directly connected to police departments or a central monitoring place will save you more money. Youíll need proof of this in order to get a discount.

Other alarm systems like CO2 detectors and smoke alarms are generally required by law in a home, but check with your insurance company. You could save a little extra for your efforts to protect your family and home.

Use One Insurance Company For Everything

Most insurance companies offer more than one type of insurance. This means that they love customers who bundle their policies. Bundling your home, auto and life insurance with one company can help to save you some cash.

Own Your Home

Yes, paying your mortgage off completely sounds like a feat. Once the mortgage is paid off, however, youíll have lower insurance premiums. This is for the simple reason that insurance companies feel that once you own the home, youíll be more mindful of taking care of it.

Think Before You Build

Building an addition on a home or putting in a swimming pool may sound like a great idea at first, but youíll need to think of how these construction projects will affect your premiums. A swimming pool raises your liability risk. Wood structures are considered highly flammable and cost more to insure. Many things that you put in your home can drive up the cost of your policy.

Review Your Policy Often

You always have the right to do some comparison shopping once you get an insurance quote from one company. The place you work for may even offer some sort of group rate for insurance. Associations that you belong to may also be able to help save you some money. Do a little ground work and you may be able to save big just by comparing policies and levels of coverage. † † † † † † † † †

Assess Your Valuables

The whole point of insurance is for you to be able to replace your valuables if damaged or stolen. If items in your home have changed, you may want to reassess the contents of your home and just how much coverage you need. If you have less to replace, youíll save on your insurance premiums because the value of your policy will go down.