Porcupine Real Estate


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.





Posted by Mark Warden on 8/7/2018

A home inspection can make or break a property sale. If all goes well during a home inspection, a buyer and seller can proceed with a transaction. Conversely, if a home inspector discovers major problems with a house, a property sale may be in jeopardy.

As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure a home inspection delivers valuable insights. With in-depth home insights at your disposal, you can determine whether to continue with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.

To ensure a successful home inspection, let's take a look at three common home inspection mistakes, and how a homebuyer can avoid these problems.

1. A homebuyer hires an inexperienced home inspector.

When it comes to hiring a home inspector, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With an experienced home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of a successful home inspection.

Your real estate agent can recommend inspectors that have been helpful to other buyers.†

2. A homebuyer does not attend a home inspection.

A homebuyer is not required to attend a home inspection. However, attendance usually is a good idea, regardless of your homebuying expertise.

Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you likely will complete in your lifetime. If you want to ensure a home is a viable long-term investment, it certainly pays to walk around a property with a home inspector and conduct an in-depth evaluation.

In many instances, attending a home inspection may enable a homebuyer to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report as well.†For example, a home inspector who identifies issues with a property may be able to give a homebuyer an estimate about how much it will cost to complete property repairs and the urgency of these repairs.†

3. A homebuyer ignores a home inspection report.

After a home inspector completes a property evaluation, this professional will provide the homebuyer with a home inspection report. Your real estate agent should also receive a copy of the report so they can make suggestions and advise on the immediate repairs and how to formulate an inspection response.





Posted by Mark Warden on 5/1/2018

There's one thing all successful real estate agents, advertising executives, and marketing professionals know about human behavior: Many people make buying decisions for emotional reasons, and then justify those decisions with facts. In other words, they might say they bought a particular house because of all the updates and stainless steel appliances, but the real reason was that they could imagine themselves living there, being happy, entertaining friends and family, raising their children, and even growing old together there.

For some home buyers, the deciding factor is that it reminds them of fond childhood memories or perhaps the house they grew up in. Whenever a home for sale stirs up good feelings, happy† memories, or positive thoughts in the mind of prospective buyers, it increases the chances they'll make an offer on the house.

Home Staging Tips

If your house is now on the market or you're considering putting it up for sale, there are a lot of steps you can take to make it more attractive to buyers. Obvious improvements like doing a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning of the house can make a big difference, but there are literally dozens of other things you can do to attract more offers and get the highest possible price for your property. Sometimes it's something as simple as a creating a pleasing scent, like cinnamon, lavender, hot coffee, of freshly baked bread, cookies, or muffins, that can create a comforting and enticing ambiance for potential buyers.

Avoiding Home Staging Pitfalls

Attractively decorating your home can be one aspect of making a good impression on potential buyers, but it's necessary to cast the widest possible net, so to speak, when making decorating choices. In other words, you would want the appearance, style, and color choices in your home to appeal to a wide variety of different tastes, rather than just a select few. That's why it's beneficial to get an objective opinion from an experienced real estate agent, a professional decorator, or a home staging consultant.†

Some things that homeowners often tend to overlook just before prospective buyers arrive to tour their house include the following:

  • Furniture that's arranged in a haphazard, disjointed, or cluttered way
  • 'Welcome' mats that are dirty, faded, and anything but welcoming
  • Overflowing or grungy-looking trash baskets
  • Overgrown shrubbery
  • Smudged or cobweb-laden windows
  • Kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the house that are disorganized and visibly unclean
Keeping your home in immaculate condition at all times is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of putting it up for sale. However, when you consider the cost of keeping a house on the market for longer than necessary and eventually having to lower the price, the extra effort is well worth it!






Posted by Mark Warden on 4/12/2018

Your credit score is a 3 digit number that can have a huge impact on many things that you hope to accomplish in your life. One of the biggest reasons that you need a good credit score is for buying a home. As many people rely on credit cards to fund their expenses, they consequently end up in debt. This doesnít have a favorable impact on credit scores. Yet, itís so important to maintain good credit.


Why The Score Is Important


A credit score is one of the most crucial factors in determining if you can qualify for a mortgage. It is an overall gauge for lenders to understand how financially responsible you are. The higher your credit score, the less risk you carry in the eyes of lenders.


What Affects A Credit Score?


Your credit score is calculated based on information that is found on your credit report. There are five different things that affect your credit score, each with a slightly different impact:


  • Payment history
  • Debt-to-credit utilization
  • Length of credit history
  • Credit mix
  • New credit


Whatís A Good Score?


Absolutely flawless credit is 850. Donít worry if youíre not in that category. Only about 1/2 of one percent of consumers actually have a score this high. Once your score reaches 740 and above, youíre able to qualify for the best in mortgage rates. Even if your score is in the low 700ís, you still should be able to qualify for a good interest rate. For a conventional loan, many lenders look for a credit score of 620 and above. Being in the high 600s will help you to avoid the need for additional paperwork. Youíll also get a decent interest rate with this score.


What If You Donít Have Credit History?


Ideally, you would have opened some type of a credit card by the time you reached the age of 20. This would help to establish credit. If you donít have any type of credit history, there are still a few ways that you can qualify for a mortgage. In these cases, lenders will often use alternative sources in order to determine the reliability of a party theyíre lending to. For example, your car payment history doesnít show up on your credit report, but a good track record helps lenders to see that youíre dependable and a responsible credit user.


What About Bad Credit?


From missed payments to errors on your credit report, there could always be some problems with a credit score. The good news is that bad credit can be fixed. There are even loan programs designed to help people with less than perfect credit scores. Generally FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans and VA loans allow for low down payments and have lenient credit score requirement.


Fixing Your Credit Score Is Fixing Your Habits


In order to repair your credit score, youíre going to need to fix the bad financial habits that got you into the situation in the first place. This means making on-time payments, spending less, and avoiding opening up any new accounts. Pay down your existing debt and try to make a fresh start form there. Also, be sure that you obtain a free copy of your credit report each year to keep on top of any errors that might be present on the report.





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.Ē†


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.




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