Porcupine Real Estate

Posted by Mark Warden on 3/9/2018


Manchester, NH, March 6, 2018 - New Hampshire real estate broker Mark Warden of Porcupine Real Estate recently completed the state's first-ever real estate transaction entirely in Bitcoin. Warden, an early adopter of the cryptocurrency, was one of the first political candidates in the country to accept bitcoin donations during a state legislative run back in 2012. Since then, he had been looking to incorporate cryptocurrencies into his real estate business. "Bitcoin is gaining popularity in New Hampshire, and we need to embrace the innovation. The Granite State is experiencing a real-life experiment in how an economy can adapt to this fast-changing environment. The state boasts dozens of businesses that accept payment in crypto, and the legislature passed a bill in 2017 to specifically exempt persons using virtual currency from being licensed," stated Warden. 

Porcupine Real Estate promoted several listings for sale for Bitcoin, and the home buyer learned about the property through a post on Reddit. The purchaser, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a website developer involved in trading cryptocurrencies and has been involved in Bitcoin (BTC) for only a few years, but did well as an early investor/speculator in Ripple (XRP). 

The house is in Manchester and sold for approximately 25 BTC. Parties to the transaction paid their closing costs (transfer tax and title insurance expenses) in USD. In the future, as this space matures, more title companies will be willing to tolerate the volatility and accept funds for all aspects of the closing procedure in crypto. Warden was able to utilize a local settlement company, Sweeney Title Services, who set up a Bitcoin wallet to accept the earnest money deposit. Owner J.L. Sweeney explains how it came about, "Mark came to us wanting to do this Bitcoin closing. I've been interested in Bitcoin for a while now, and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out in a real estate transaction. It was easy to set up the wallet and receive and send deposit funds. The closing went very smoothly.” 

Warden sees the use of cryptocurrency in real estate transactions as a trend that is here to stay. "We have seen a number of 'bitcoinnaires' who are converting crypto holdings into income-producing assets including real estate. A low-maintenance rental property is an ideal candidate for such a rebalancing of assets for holders of large amounts of bitcoin who want to take some winnings off the table and provide long-term passive income." Porcupine Real Estate has identified numerous properties in NH whose sellers will accept crypto as payment. As Warden explains, "Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are here to stay. We are trying to stay ahead of the curve with real property applications."

About Porcupine Real Estate:

Porcupine Real Estate assists with buying and selling homes and property in New Hampshire. Founded by Mark Warden, Porcupine Real Estate is comprised of professionals committed to helping clients find the right town and the right property. The firm has been a sponsor at NH Liberty Forum and Free State Blockchain Digital Assets Conference, and continues to be a leader in working with cryptocurrency experts and users to in real estate applications.

Tags: Bitcoin   cryptocurrency  
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Posted by Mark Warden on 2/26/2018


Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the mortgage terminology can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.

Below are some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan:

  • ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate and fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.

  • Amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.

  • Equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.

  • Assumption and assumability is the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.

  • Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.

  • Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.  

Tags: Mortgage   terminology  
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Posted by Mark Warden on 2/20/2018

Finding a Winter Rental in New Hampshire

Guest post by Molly Smith 

My husband Rob and I decided many years ago that we needed to get out of California. We wanted a better place to raise our kids, a place that showcased some sort of fiscal responsibility and common sense, and a place where we might find some like-minded folks to be productive members of a community together. Rob remembered a project he had heard about on a radio talk show many years before where freedom lovers, if enough of them got together, could maybe make a great place even better. Enter the Free State Project.

It only took one visit two years ago for us to completely fall in love with New Hampshire. The environment is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the sense of community within the members of the FSP that we met was enough to tell us that this would be the perfect place to call home. We drove around Nashua and Manchester a bit with our one year old in the car, trying to get a feel for the different regions. We found a lot of amenities and things to do and enjoyed both towns that we visited.

Being from California, however, we were used to having a coast near so it was natural that we decided rather quickly that the Seacoast would be the place for us. We loved the charming but tech forward town of Portsmouth and the beach town feel of Hampton. Those were the only two towns we really got to explore on the Seacoast during our 3 day trip, so we had to determine how we would find the right place to live and ensure this was the right region for us.

Before we decided exactly what we wanted, we went through all the options. We knew we eventually wanted to buy a home in New Hampshire, but how would that work? We thought renting first would be a good option, but finding a rental property with less than a year lease agreement was proving to be unlikely and we ideally did not want to be locked in for that long. We spent hours combing through houses online and emailing Mark and Amy at Porcupine Real Estate with a ton of questions about several properties. They responded to every single one with as much information as they could put together, and let us decide if we wanted to proceed in any way.

We went through all the motions, should we fly out and look at some houses, what if a house went under contract before we even came out to visit? Should we put an offer on a house site unseen? Mark assured us that we could, but that it was unusual as even though he could walk through it, we could not get a true idea of how we felt about it without stepping foot in it ourselves.

While searching for options, we noticed that in the Seacoast region, especially in Hampton Beach, there are several options for winter rentals. Beach houses that rent for astronomically high costs by the week during summer, had drastically reduced monthly rates available in the winter. We decided this would be perfect for us. We would have time to further explore New Hampshire and get a better feel for the Seacoast region without being locked in for an entire year. Also, the majority of these rentals are furnished so we shipped out a few essentials, but left the majority of our possessions in a storage unit in California. So now, when we move in to our home that Mark helped us submit an offer on, we can have our items shipped directly to the new house which, as another perk, prevented us from having to move everything twice.

There can be a sense of urgency with buying a house or the sense of wanting to get a better feel for that area before such a permanent move and I think a winter rental can help with either scenario. It gives you a chance to live in New Hampshire, become involved with the FSP community but also not to feel rushed in to making any decisions about your living situation. I would highly recommend it as an option and Porcupine Real Estate is a great resource in getting the process started!

Tags: Moving to NH   Moving   Rentals  
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Posted by Mark Warden on 1/3/2018

 Maximizing space in a smaller bedroom and making that room look and feel larger isn’t impossible. These tips wont break the bank or drain months of your time.Here are a few tips to make your small bedroom feel larger:

Paint: Use paint colors to your advantage. Light, cool colors and light, cool toned colors are the best for making your room look larger. Use vertical stripes to make your room feel tall. Paint your ceiling a dark color to enhance its larger, taller feel.

Furniture: Some pieces of furniture can make your room feel small. Avoid bulky bed frames and instead choose smaller, more delicate looking frames that will take up less space in your room. For added perception of extra square footage, leave a few inches of space between your furniture and the wall. It will create the illusion of spaciousness as it makes the room look more open.

Wall-Mounted Nightstand: Instead of having bedside tables on each side of the bed, use floating shelves or wall mounted nightstands. It will make the room feel and look more open since more floor space will be seen.

Multipurpose Furniture: Storage beds work wonders by creating additional storage without adding any additional furniture. There are storage beds with under the bed storage and headboard storage.

Mirrors: Mirrors create the illusion of more space. This could be just by having a larger wall-mounted mirror in the room or adding floor to ceiling mirrors, which will dramatically increase the perception of a larger space.

Wall-Mounted Lighting: Having wall-mounted lighting aids in avoiding the issue of clutter on tables and shelves. It will draw the eye up instead of down at cluttered areas.

With just a few simple updates and some new furniture you can create the illusion of a larger bedroom. If you are looking to make some smaller updates then start with the cosmetic tips and move onto the larger ones when the time comes. Implementing just one tip will get you on your way to a bedroom with a grander feel.

Tags: bedroom   small space  
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Posted by Mark Warden on 10/19/2017

 Curb appeal may very well be one of the most important aspects of a home to spruce up when selling. Why is that? Quite simply, it's all about first impressions. Whether it be an open house or an individual showing, the outside of a house is the first thing a homebuyer physically sees. And it’s their first impression of your home.

First impressions set the pace of a showing. If the landscaping is lacking or nonexistent and the homebuyer is not excited to be viewing your home then it could leave them with a less than favorable impression, all before they step foot inside. If the house is exuding appeal the homebuyer will be excited and eager to see more.

This is not to say that the homebuyer will purchase solely because of the curb appeal. The rest of the home should reflect what made that potential homeowner as excited as when they first pulled up and laid eyes on the house and accompanying land.

Here are a few tips to maximize curb appeal:
Paint: A fresh paint job lays the foundation of curb appeal. Painting or siding an entire home can be expensive, but painting the front door, porch and stairs can be fairly inexpensive and take only a day or two. Try adding a pop of color to the front door to really make your home stand out from the rest.
Mulch: Is there anything better than freshly laid mulch? The smell alone can set the tone at a showing, but it’s the color that brings it home. Try choosing dark colored mulch with a light colored home to really make it stand out.
Flowers & Bushes: Who doesn’t like flowers? It’s best to choose low maintenance flowers and bushes just in case the next homeowner isn’t looking for extensive yard work. The added color from the flowers and bushes only enhances the amazing curb appeal you will have when you’re done.
Lawn & Yard: Maintaining a healthy lawn and clean yard is essential. Burnt or patches of missing grass make the yard look unkempt and not cared for. To ensure bright, green grass invest in a spring clean up of the yard (many landscaping companies offer this service), which includes raking, fertilizing, mowing, etc. Seeding may also be necessary in areas of missing grass. Continue to water and mow throughout the spring, summer and fall for maximum beauty. 

Curb appeal is not only important when selling a home but also maintaining the value of a home. A house is an investment so make sure to take care of it. Creating and maintaining curb appeal is just one way of caring for your home. Now get to it and good luck!