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Meet Doreen Strew, Realtor with CG Shepherd Realty, LLC

Doreen Strew Realtor PhotoCG Shepherd Realty, LLC welcomes REALTOR® Doreen Strew to their team. Doreen is passionate about real estate and ready to help you find your dream home!

Living the American Dream

Doreen was born and raised in Germany (Eastern Germany). She was an exchange student here in New Hampshire and graduated from high school in Newport, NH in 1994. She returned to Germany to attend dental school, but her dream was to live here in the USA. So she decided to immigrate and received her permanent resident card in 2004.

She earned her Bachelor of Science and graduated summa cum laude in 2006, then worked in dentistry until December 2011, when her son Parker was born. In May 2011, Doreen also became a licensed REALTOR® in NH and VT and was an agent with a local real estate agency; however, she decided to deactivate her license to raise her son.

A Passion for Real Estate

She recently reactivated her real estate license to pick up and dust off this dream of hers to help many other people find the home of their dreams.

"In Germany, we build or buy a house and stay there. Period," Doreen explains. So the idea of selling a house and buying a different one to better fit your needs was initially foreign to her, but she was drawn to the opportunities of the American real estate industry.

"I love houses and the possibility to find a dream home...I love the prospect of helping people do just that."

Doreen also loves to help her clients embrace life as it comes, with all the different situations that may be thrown their way.

Doreen takes pride in being detail-oriented and efficient. You can see from her life's story that she believes determination and focus can help you accomplish your goals and reach your dreams.

"People can expect a passion for what I do and professionalism from me."

Exploring the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region

In her spare time, Doreen likes to explore the area of the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region with her family. They like to go to local farms and lakes, take part in the summer town events, and take bike rides up in the hills of Vermont and New Hampshire. Hanging out on the porch and playing games is one of their favorite family pastimes, though.

If you're considering buying or selling a home in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region, Doreen can help you achieve your real estate goals. Contact Doreen Strew today!

Find Vacation Homes for Sale in Eastman, NH


Eastman NH Vacation Homes

You’ll find beautiful vacation homes for sale in Eastman, NH, a  four-season residential and recreational community near Hanover, New Hampshire and just a short drive from the Boston area.

Eastman, NH does have full-time residents, but it is also a year-round vacation community ideal for seasonal retreats and weekend getaways for those who enjoy outdoor recreation and are looking for a change of pace.

For decades, vacationers have returned to Eastman year after year to make memories that will last a lifetime. Now second and third generations are growing up with the same tradition and consider Eastman to be their second home, a getaway from the congestion of the city, and a respite from the busyness of life.

Unmatched Setting and Amenities in Eastman, NH

This friendly New Hampshire vacation community provides the perfect retreat and is unmatched for its setting and amenities.

Eastman’s 3,700 acres of environmentally protected woodlands and waterways surrounds a 2-mile lake and an 18-hole championship golf course. Eastman Lake offers six private, sandy beaches along with boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and swimming during the warmer months of the year. The Eastman Recreation Department also offers programs for children of all ages during the summer and other school vacations.

Eastman, NH also makes a great ski vacation spot during the winter. When New England winter hits, you can take advantage of the abundance of snow with over 36 kilometers of groomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in Eastman or alpine ski at the nearby Mount Sunapee.

In any weather, the community South Cove Activity Center provides an indoor lap pool, fitness center, sauna, and game room for your enjoyment.

Convenient Vacation Location

Besides having many desirable amenities and activities, Eastman is centrally located with easy access to the Upper Valley and Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region as well as I-89.  Brookline, Cambridge, Newton, Wellesley, and Boston are only a short 1.5 to 2-hour drive from this brilliant New Hampshire community.

Search Vacation Homes for Sale in Eastman, NH

You’ll find a number of vacation homes for sale in Eastman, NH, as well as condominiums, that will provide you with access to all the wonderful amenities of this recreational community throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for a waterfront condo with beautiful lake views or a golf course home overlooking the fairway, Eastman has the vacation home for you.

Contact us at CG Shepherd Realty, LLC for more information about the community and to find Eastman, NH vacation homes and condos currently for sale so you can start making your own memories in Eastman.

New Hampshire Real Estate Market Data: Q1 2015


Whether you currently have your New Hampshire home listed for sale or you would like to stay updated on the activity of the local real estate market as a potential buyer or seller, it is important to look at past real estate market data to understand and anticipate future trends. The New Hampshire Association of REALTORS® (NHAR) has recently released the March 2015, year-to-date and 2015 Q1 data for the New Hampshire real estate market.

NH Closed Residential Sales in Q1 2015
All of New Hampshire

The entire state of New Hampshire saw a positive change across the board in residential home closed sales, median sales price, sales volume, and pending sales in the first quarter of 2015.

Compared to the first quarter of 2014, there was a 2.2% increase in closed residential sales, a 1.6% increase in median sales price, a 2.5% increase in sales volume, and a 1.7% increase in pending sales. Also, the average days on market for residential homes in the first quarter of 2015 decreased 1.8%, which is good news for home sellers as homes spent fewer days on the market.

Additionally, New Hampshire condominium sales saw improvements in the first quarter of 2015 with a 5.8% increase to 604 units closed and an 8.6% increase to 696 units pending sales compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Since “location, location, location” in real estate is a critical driving element in sales, let’s take a closer look at county data for Sullivan County and Grafton County.

Sullivan County Single Family Residential Sales

While the single family residential home sales for the state increased, home sales in Sullivan County decreased in the first quarter of 2015 compared to last year by 10% to 63 closed sales. Pending sales decreased 2.5% to 78. The average number of days on market also moved in the wrong direction, up 27.6% to 157 days.

Although Sullivan County experienced fewer residential home closings in Q1 2015, the homes sold were at higher prices evidenced by the jump in total residential sales volume from $10 million in Q1 2014  to $12 million in Q1 2015.

Grafton County Single Family Residential Sales

After two months of decreased residential home sales in January and February 2015, Grafton County completed the first quarter up in sales, thanks to a 20% sales increase in March 2015.

Overall, Grafton County experienced a 5% increase in residential home sales with 148 closings this quarter compared to 141 closings in Q1 2014. Pending home sales also increased 8.6% to 164 pending sales.

Grafton County also experienced a small 1.5% increase in median sales price in Q1 2015. However, total sales volume in Grafton County was down 8.5%. So although there were more home closings in Q1 2015, the sales prices of those homes combined (the total sales volume) were less than those in Q1 2014.

NH County Condo Closings

Sullivan County saw large jumps in the first quarter of 2015 in the number of condo sales with closed sales up 166.7% to 8 and pending sales up 125% to 9.

The condo market in Grafton County in Q1 2015 remained comparable to Q1 2014.  Closed condo sales this quarter were exactly the same as last year (56 closings), and pending sales went down 8.2% to 56.

National Real Estate Market Trends

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) announced existing home sales, which include single family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, on the national level jumped in March 2015.

According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun in this NAR article, "The combination of low interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market is improving buyer confidence and finally releasing some of the sizable pent-up demand that accumulated in recent years." However, Yun notes the need for increased inventory to match a significant increase in demand that has been observed nationally. “‘More listings and new home construction are still needed to tame price growth and provide more opportunity for first-time buyers to enter the market.’”

If you’re on the fence about buying or selling your New Hampshire home, hopefully these New Hampshire real estate market insights are helpful. If you’re located in the Upper Valley or Dartmouth - Lake Sunapee Region, our qualified Realtors at CG Shepherd Realty, LLC are happy to speak with you about the real estate market in your local community. Contact us at CG Shepherd Realty, LLC.

(Data for this article was found in the following NHAR Real Estate Market Data Reports: March 2015 and Year-to-Date NHAR Market Data and Q1 2015 NHAR Market Data)

View past 2014 and 2013 New Hampshire Real Estate Market Data.

New Hampshire Home Foreclosures Drop 42% in February 2015

 

According to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA), New Hampshire hit record lows for the number of home foreclosures this decade with only 133 foreclosure deeds filed in February 2015.

NH Home Foreclosure Drop title image

Short-term and Long-term Improvement in NH Home Foreclosures

Not only was this (133) the lowest number of foreclosures the state has seen this decade, but also it was 42% less than those filed just last year in February 2014. That means in one year, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of people who have lost or are at risk for losing their homes to foreclosure.

Additionally, the number of foreclosure auction notices in February dropped even more from February of last year, down 60%, to only 100. It is rare for this number to be lower than the number of filed foreclosures (133) because it is a gauge of the number of people who could lose their homes in the coming months.

Compared to five years ago, so far in January and February of this year foreclosure filings are a whopping 60% lower than they were two months into 2010.

Factors Influencing Fewer NH Home Foreclosures

So, why are we seeing these drastic improvements in the number of New Hampshire home foreclosures both long-term and more recently in just the last year? There are multiple contributing factors. “The NHHFA attributes the improved numbers to an improved economy, and the fact that some banks are allowing short sales rather than taking borrowers’ homes.” (NH Business Review)

Along with the improving economy and banks allowing more short sales, new initiatives have cropped up specifically to assist NH homeowners at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. This recent article celebrates the success of the HomeHelpNH counseling program that helped 750 households avoid foreclosure over the last two years.

Whatever the factors, these improved numbers are a good sign looking toward the spring that we’ll continue to see fewer home foreclosures in New Hampshire in 2015.

Winter Propane Safety Reminders for Your Home

With the substantial amount of snow accumulation we've experienced across the Upper Valley and Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee regions, it is important to keep in mind some snow hazards specific to your home propane heating system.

According to Irving Energy, "two of the biggest risks for your propane heating system related to snowfall and drifting snow are propane or oil leaks as a result of damaged fittings and carbon monoxide poisoning due to blocked vents."

Hopefully, the most severe winter weather here in New England is through, but we all know the snow hangs around for a long time and can cause damage even after the storm has passed.

So, here are some steps you can take to help ensure your safety before and after heavy snowfalls and icy conditions:

Before a Snowstorm:

  • Mark the location of your storage tank, vent, and/or fill pipe so that it can be easily located.
  • Ensure you know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane or oil supply and any indoor appliances in the event that a problem occurs. Especially if you recently moved into a new residence, put this on your New Homeowner To-Do List...we know you have one.
  • Be sure to clear the snow from your house number so that emergency services will be able to find your home in the case of an emergency. Your house number should be easily visible on the road for emergency responders.

After Each Snowfall or Icy Conditions:

  • Carefully clear heavy snow and ice from regulators, regulator vents, piping, tubing and valves. Failure to do so can cause damage that could result in an oil or gas leak. Appliance vents, chimneys and flues must also be kept clear of snow and ice so appliances can vent properly. Again, be very careful when doing so to avoid damage to system components. Finally, carefully clear snow and ice off the top of tanks, gauges, fittings, and lines. Using a broom to do so will help avoid damaging the tank or system components.
  • Watch for heavy icicles or large amounts of snow falling from the roof or eaves that can be very damaging to a tank and system components. Safely remove these hazards from above and around your tank, fill pipes, regulator, piping, tubing and valves, being careful not to damage your system.
  • Inspect your equipment frequently. If you notice your tank has shifted position, gas or oil lines are bent, broken or damaged, or you see something else unusual about your system or appliance, turn off the main gas or oil supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. Then call your propane supplier.

Throughout the Winter Season:

  • Test your Carbon Monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly, and change the batteries, if needed.
  • Be on the lookout for any signs of gas or oil leaks in and around your home. Although gas leaks can occur any time of year, severe winter weather conditions can make your system equipment and appliances more prone to leaks. So even if you are taking the proper precautions stated above, you should still be cognizant of the smell or indication of a leak. 

If you smell propane or suspect a propane leak in your home, follow these safety procedures (provided by Irving Energy):

  1. No Flames or Sparks
    - Immediately put out all smoking materials and pre-existing open flames
    - Do not turn on any lights or appliances
    - Do not use telephones or cell phones
  2. Leave the Area Immediately
    - Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking
  3. Shut Off the Gas
    - Turn off the main gas supply valve on your tank, if it is safe to do so
    - Close the valve by turning it clockwise (to the right)
  4. Report the Leak
    - Once safely away from the area, call 911 or your local fire department
    - Then call your propane supplier
  5. Do Not Return to the Building or Area
    - Wait until the fire department or qualified service technician determines the area is safe
  6. Get Your System Checked
    - Your propane supplier should inspect your entire propane system to ensure it is leak free before using any heating source or appliance


Propane is an efficient and versatile fuel that is safe when properly used. By being mindful of the hazards and taking these precautions, you can ensure your safety when using propane heating in your home.

Some of the above information was adapted from Irving Energy's Winter Safety article.

For more information on propane safety, visit the Propane Education & Research Council website, or Irving Energy's Propane Safety Guide.