Archive for January, 2011

Manchester Real Estate Investor Association February Meeting


What am I Buying?  Secrets of an Engineer and Home Inspector.

Don’t make big $$$ mistakes by overlooking problem items!

Find out what you have UPFRONT!

Come find out the most common mistakes investors and homebuyer make from the home inspector that  REALTORS use on their OWN homes when buying.  John  will tell you what to look for and more importantly what your buyers will look for.

Speaker:  John Turner, Criterium-Turner  Engineers, Goffstown NH

John Turner is a Multi-Discipline (Architectural and Electrical) Licensed Professional Engineer in New Hampshire, Massachussetts and Montana, specializing in building technology and construction. He is also a Board Certified Building Inspection Engineer. Further, John is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional. This achievement allows John to certify a building’s performance and compliance with the LEED standards, an international benchmark for design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

As president of Criterium-Turner Engineers (CTE), he has diverse experience in all facets of construction. His specialities include residential and commercial inspection, design, energy-efficiency, renovation consulting, condominiums/association properties and forensic engineering.

Refreshments & Networking Begin @ 6:00

Meeting starts promptly @ 6:30

Cost:  FREE

Join us on Facebook  at http://www.facebook.com/ManchesterREIA

Call our office at (603) 644-1000

Read Full Post »

 I came across the below paragraph in a publication of “Live Valuation”.  Talks about Freddie Mac’s outlook for the real estate market and mortgage rates.

“According to Freddie Mac, housing will see a “modest improvement” with a big risk of rising interest rates.  The average mortgage rate is projected to be at 5.20%.  Although quantitative easing has not kept rates from rising, it has been said that it did put a damper on the ascending rates.  Mortgage refinancings will slow as a result of higher rates and the projected 5.20% mortgage rate for 30-year fixed rates in 2011 is a full percentage point above the 2010 lows.  This will be the third lowest average since the annual began being recorded.”

Read Full Post »

I write today in my blog as a result of three phone calls I received over the last 4 days.  Each of the three calls were from friends who received notices that there home has gone into foreclosure.  Each of these people are good, honest, decent people who for different reasons are experiencing a hard time.   Each case is different, but I gave each of them advise and recommendations based on their individual situation.  To be honest, all three would have had more options had they contact me (or someone) much sooner.  I tell you this because I know that there are MANY of you reading this post who are having a tough time and need help.  Financial problems is like disease in many ways and like diseases have a much better “survival” rate if detected and treated early.   Alternatives include; loan modifications, forbearance, short sale, deed in Lieu of foreclosure or selling your home.   Solving real estate problems can be a complicated issue which requires you depend on your real estate and financial “power team”.   This team needs to include; a trusted financial advisor, an attorney experienced in workouts/bankruptcy, a real estate consultant and a close friend.    I am not an attorney or a financial guy, but I welcome all of you to seek me to be on their power team as a friend or real estate consultant.  If you are ONE payment behind PLEASE reach out to someone you trust and get the information you need to create a smart game plan for you.

Read Full Post »

I just did an appraisal inspection in 2 feet of snow. The owners advised me that they have “extensive landscaping”. Do I really know what is under there. My advice to homeowners is if you have nice exterior features (Landscaping, Patios, etc) you might want to take “summer photos” to have in case you ever need them to sell your home or obtain an appraisal. For the record, these homeowners did have some pictures which they offered me and I will be includiing in my report. Jack Lavoie 603-644-1000

Read Full Post »

After spending 3 hours researching I now can post via twitter which means my Blog gets to my fan page too! When I get some rest I can actually write/tweet something of value! lol

Read Full Post »

I wrote this post on Tax Abatements last year, but I wanted to let you know again.. Give me a shout at 603-644-1000 if you need some guidance.

Manchester NH and most of the other towns and cities in New Hampshire have sent out there final tax bills which means the clock starts for tax abatement season. If you are a homeowner and are paying property taxes, you may be eligible for a tax abatement. Your property taxes are based on your property assessment that your town or city assigns you. Most assessor’s do a great job, but there job is very difficult. They must design a computer/statistical model that will accurately appraise thousands of parcels at the same time. Even the best of models will not fit every property, which is why in every town, nearly a 1/3 (33.3%) of the properties are over assessed and a 1/3 are under assessed. It’s the 33% of the over assessed who can get a tax break on my plan (there I go again…lol).

Click for Tax Abatement Assistance

Many people look at their assessment and say to themselves “Oh, I could never sell my house for what it’s assessed for!” …lol That doesn’t mean your house is over assessed. Sounds confusing, but I will explain why.

In every town, it is the assessor’s goal to have assessments equal the true market value of the property. Every five years or so, the town does a complete revaluation of their town to do this. Each year thereafter, the assessment stays the same, but the market value could go up or down which means the assessments are higher or lower than market value. Here is the key…… As long as every property in the town is either over assessed or under assessed the same, then it is fair. You are only entitled to get a tax abatement if you are MORE over assessed than average person in the town. Here is an example.

If the “Assessment ratio” for the town is 120%, which means the average property is assessed at 120% of the actual market value, you will not be able to fight your taxes if your house is assessed at $120,000 and is only worth $100,000. The reason being is that your house is in line with the 120% assessment ratio ($120K is 120% of $100K). If your house is only worth $80,000, you may have an excellent case to get your $120,000 assessment reduced down to $96,000, since $96,000 is 120% of $80,000. If you can prove your home is worth $80,000, your assessor may reduce your assessment in this example to $96,000.

“Margin of Error” Most communities will only reduce your assessment if your “equalized assessment” is more than 10% higher than market value. This is because there is a reasonable “margin for area” due to complexity of assessing an entire community.

The State of New Hampshire Department of Revenue provides the official “Assessment Ratio” for each town in the State on an annual basis. That is one half of the equation. The other half is figuring out what your property is worth in terms of market value.

In abating your taxes, if will be necessary to provide “proof” of your market value estimate, as of April 1st of the tax year being appealed. This can done by hiring a Certified Appraiser like myself to provide a professional opinion of value. The appraisal with be attached to an official abatement form and will need to be filed in a timely fashion.

If you would like to contact me and find out if you are a candidate for a tax abatement, feel free to contact me @ jacklavoie@comcast.net. I do residential and commercial tax abatement appraisals throughout the state of New Hampshire should you need my assistance.

Tax bills will be mailed out soon. When you receive your tax bill, get the process going and you may be one of the 33% who can get an abatement!!

Read Full Post »