Hanover, N.H. (PRWEB) February 19, 2009
With all the news about the economic downturn and a real estate "Buyers' Market," it is still not easy for those relocating to the Hanover, New Hampshire area to find the "home of their dreams" near Dartmouth College or Lebanon's Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Housing choices remain limited, according to Hal Sheeler, NH and VT REALTOR with Century 21 Energy Shield Realty in Hanover, New Hampshire (http://www.HalSheeler.com).
According to Sheeler, the average price for MLS homes sold in Hanover, NH in 2008 actually went UP from the previous year. Finding the home with the right number of bedrooms, desired ambiance, character, and location isn't a "slam-dunk" in the Upper Connecticut River Valley area. Many people who are employed in Lebanon or Hanover live 30 - 45 minutes away from the Upper Valley economic hub.
On February 17 there were only four residential MLS listings for sale in Hanover, NH below $300,000. There were 32 Hanover MLS residential listings. Of those 32, ten were priced above $1,000,000. There just aren't many places for sale where you can walk to the Dartmouth campus and downtown, according to Sheeler. There are a few condominiums within walking distance.
Lebanon has somewhat lower average home prices but the choices are still quite limited. Buyers can find some pleasant homes in the $250,000 - $350,000 range and there are some "fixer-uppers" on the market. Many professionals relocating to the area, however, do not have the time to deal with renovating older homes.
Across the Connecticut River in Norwich, Vermont there were 35 MLS residential listings on February 17, with 13 of them priced above $800,000. There were quite a few reasonably priced homes and condominiums for sale in Hartford and Hartland, Vermont.
For those seeking elegant estate homes, they are "out there," but it takes time and patience to find them, according to Sheeler. There are just so many Connecticut River frontage homes or vintage Federal brick farmhouses with acreage and magnificent views. One might think that there are many plots of land available with several acres and views to Killington. According to Hal Sheeler, that is not the case.
Hal Sheeler points out that Upper Valley community areas are not immune to recessionary conditions and that people in the Upper Valley are beginning to "feel the pinch." Because of decreases in its endowment funds, Dartmouth College recently announced some lay-offs and cutting back of hours. Other companies have taken cost-cutting measures.
With so many people coming and going to the Upper Valley, the situation remains positive. Hal Sheeler points to an editorial in the "Valley News" on 27 January, 2009 entitled "ECONOMIC OUTLOOK - COUNTERING GLOOM AND DOOM" that noted "...there were indications that the housing market in the Upper Valley is much better off than the rest of the country and even New England." The editorial referred to a Remax Upper Valley Partners survey showing that while there was a decline in the number of Upper Valley homes sold in 2008, there was a 1 % gain in the average sales price in the 21 Upper Valley communities. Sheeler attributes part of the real estate slowdown to relocatees having trouble selling their homes in other parts of the country.
A fairly recent FORBES article named the Lebanon micropolitan area the "least vulnerable" to recession of any place its size in the country.
As resident physicians learn of their match to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center next month, they will be looking for Upper Valley area homes. And as the snow melts, retirees and those seeking second homes will also be looking, as will relocating employees of many Upper Valley companies. Because national headlines do not reflect the reality of housing conditions in the Dartmouth/Hanover/Lebanon/Upper Valley area, Hal Sheeler, Century 21 Energy Shield REALTOR (http://www.HalSheeler.com) recommends that buyers begin their research early and enlist the help of a BUYER AGENT who can provide information on Upper Valley communities and keep buyers abreast of new listings as they appear on the market.