Blog :: 2015

Portsmouth Voted #9 Happiest Seaside Towns in the Country

Portsmouth came in at number 9 this year for Coastal Livings annual "America's Happiest Seaside Towns". Portsmouth has a population of just over 21,000 people and is a major tourist city for the Seacoast. Located at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, people from all over New England and beyond come to visit this Port Town and it's plethora of restaurants, bars, and shops packed into a charming downtown.

Portsmouth is known for its friendly and laid back residents and is also very rich in history. This town offers daily harbor and river cruises, a multitude of theaters and art galleries, an incredible scenic park right on the river, an annual film festival and much, much more. Come get a feel for this iconic town and see what Portsmouth has to offer to people of all ages.

How NOT to Negotiate a Home Purchase!

When you are looking at buying a home there are don'ts you should be aware of. Many times the handling of the negotiation can mean the difference in huge amounts of money. This is why it is vital to have an experienced agent on your side. Here are just a few common pitfalls to avoid.

Not doing your homework

Doing your homework is important in such a large purchase. Ask your agent for a list of comparable homes recent sale prices. Look to see how long comparable listings have been on the market and what the average sale to list price ratio is. This will give you the information you need when making an offer and negotiating a final sale price.

Not understanding the seller

Try to look at the deal from the opposite side of the table. A sale is typically emotional for a seller. When making an offer try not to insult the seller, offering a fair and realistic offer to purchase will typically get you further in the negotiations. If you know the seller's motivations for selling you may also be able to offer terms that might be more attractive like a quick close or inspection.

Showing your cards

While you want to know as much about the seller as possible divulge as little about yourself in the negotiation as possible. Any knowledge the seller has about your motivation can be used as leverage in the negotiation.

Getting your heart set

Buying a home can often be an emotional process. Identify several properties you'd be happy with as well. Be careful not to get your heart in the way of your head as it can sometimes hinder the deal.

Trying to win

In a sale there needs to be two ingredients: a seller who wants to sell and a buyer who wants to buy. Try not to getting caught up in the game. Ultimately it is about buying a home and not winning a negotiation.

Low Home Inventory on the Seacoast!

Low Home Inventory! Do you know what that means? 

That means your home might be worth more than you think. That means your home could sell quickly.

Here on the Seacoast we have QUALIFIED buyers actively looking for their new home. We just do not have enough homes to show them.

According to the Seacoast Board of REALTORS® April Press Release, "Real estate sales activity in the 13 Sample Seacoast Towns registered modest monthly gains in March as record low inventory levels limited the spring market to a sluggish start." 

Last week, we called neighbors and previous clients with homes that met our buyer's desires to see if they would consider selling their home.  

In our office, we have personally seen recent bidding wars, multiple offer situations, and homes going under agreement within 24 hours of listing.

Based on NNEREN MLS reports, for the months of March and April (to date) Great Island Realty's closings in the same 13 Seacoast towns, have a 99% of list to sell price with an average of 16 days on the market!

So while you may be waiting for the warmer weather to get your spring clean on and yard work done, buyers are out looking for homes. So call Great Island Realty today to have one of our amazing agents come tell you what your home is worth. 


Happy Earth Day 2015!

There is a lot going on around the Seacoast to celebrate Mother Earth today and throughout this month! Shopping at the local farmer's market, participating in a beach clean up and attending Solarfest at UNH all help contribute, do you know that there is a lot you can do at home to become more green?

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, in New Hampshire Heating and cooling costs, energy efficient appliances and energy efficient lighting are all considered "very important" factors when purchasing a new home. Especially when building a new home.

There are simple steps to start with to make your home more "green":

  1. Switching to energy efficient light bulbs. While LED bulbs might be more expensive up front cost, their long life and energy efficiency will save you money in the long run
  2. Change to programable thermostats. The new Wi-Fi thermostats quickly learn your heating schedule and reduce the amount of time your heat is running
  3. Install water saving shower heads
  4. Upgrading appliances, doors and windows to ENERGY STAR® rated items

Be sure to check out for rebate and discount information as provided by your utility companies. There may be ways to save money on the items to help turn your home into a more desirable home with energy efficient features and lowered utility costs!

At Great Island Realty we will be focusing on being more green as well: Using less paper, more recycling and unplugging our computers at night!

Enjoy this beautiful Earth Day! 

Check out our Pinterest Board: Going Green for more tips and tricks! 




Town Spotlight: Rye, NH

Town Spotlight: Rye, New Hampshire

Rye was the first New Hampshire settlement by a group of Fisherman at Odiorne Point. Rye was formally known as Sandy Point which indicates what is is best known for, a stunning coastline. 

Located directly on the Atlantic Ocean, Rye boasts the longest coastline in New Hampshire and Odiorne Point is now a state park that is the largest undeveloped land on the 18 miles of New Hampshire coastline. Rye is also home to four of the nine islands known as the Isles of Shoals and several beautiful beaches, including Wallis Sands and Jenness. 

Almost all of the commerce in Rye stems from local  businesses. 

Real Estate in Rye, NH

Rye's real estate has a wide variety of homes for sale. On the beach cabins to ocean front mansions, inland  starter homes to new construction lots. The current residential listings range from $174,900 to $3,950,000 further outlining the wide range available. 

Home buyers flock to this town because of the beautiful scenery, historical presence and great commuter location being approximately an hour from Boston and minutes from Portsmouth.

Click here to search for homes for sale in Rye, NH

Number of Homes on the Market TODAY -51

Average LIST Price in the Last 60 Days - $800,756

Average SOLD Price in the Last 60 Days - $3,950,000

Number of Homes Sold in the Last 60 Days - 9


Restaurant Week Portsmouth & the Seacoast!

Restaurant Week Portsmouth & the Seacoast

One of our favorite Seacoast events is the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce's Restaurant Week! It's a sure sign that spring has arrived in New Hampshire and is a great reason to try out someplace new!

If you are new to the area, a visitor or a local you are sure to see some amazing menu items and take advantage of the pre fixe pricing ($16.95 for lunch and $2295 for dinner.)

The 2015 Spring event lasts from this Thursday April 9th to  Saturday April 18th.

If you are from out of town, this is a great way to see what the Seacoast has to offer!

We are certainly looking forward to a few extra nights out on the town!

Call Great Island Realty today if you want to coincide a property tour while making your dinner reservations! 603.433.3350


Follow Great Island Realty on Facebook and Twitter for up to date details and pictures of where your favorite real estate agents are dining! #RWPortsmouthNH #GIRoutandabout

For more details please visit:



Spring Cleaning & Staging: Now is the time!

Spring Cleaning & Staging: Now is the time!

Here on the Seacoast, it is finally starting to feel like Spring! And since it is time for you to do your spring cleaning, you might as well consider an important factor when selling your home: Staging It.

However, no matter how clean your home is, or is not, staging is beyond just cleaning. The goal is to give prospective buyers the vision to picture themselves living there.

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Staging: 

"Thirty-two percent of buyers' agents believe staged homes increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one percent to five percent."

A qualified real estate agent can advise you on how to 

1. De-personalize - a neutral setting to help a buyer envision where they would hang their family photos. This includes possibly changing your neon green daughter's room to a more popular shade.

2. De-clutter - a house can be clean and still have clutter. Use your spring cleaning and impending move to take this time to purge! Donate, have a yard sale, start packing or throw it away! 

3. Furniture Arrangement - Your real estate agent can help you by either using your existing furniture to help define a space, or perhaps they have you rent/borrow/buy a new piece to help display how an oddly shaped space might function better.

Check out Great Island Realty's Pinterest Board "Tips and Tricks" for more home staging and curb appeal advice! 

Curb Appeal Inspiration & Execution: Seacoast Home & Garden Show

Curb Appeal Inspiration & Execution

How often have you driven by a home before asking your real estate agent to see the home? How many times have you changed your mind based on just what you can see from the outside?

Although the outside temperatures do not indicate it, spring is here and so is the spring real estate market!

This weekend starting at 10am Saturday & Sunday the 28th/29th, the 21st Annual Seacoast Home & Garden show is taking place in Durham, NH at the Whittemore Center Arena at UNH. 

With a low cost ticket of only $8 per adult and over 200 vendors this event full of activities, seminars, services & products should have plenty of inspiration for anyone selling their home. It will also allow the non-DIY'er to find someone else to execute!


A 2013 survey from the National Association of Realtors® showed that 71% of homebuyers place curb appeal on their list of important factors.

Your real estate agent can also provide great feedback, advice, and help you analyze which improvements get the most return value.  With their sound advice you can make sure your home is one that buyers want to see more of! 

Next week on the Great Island Realty blog: Spring Cleaning & Staging: Now is the time!

For more information on the Seacoast Home& Garden Show, please click here.




  1. Harrison Deep on

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    Luck of the Irish, or Luck of a Great Real Estate Agent?

    In the Seacoast area of New Hampshire and Southern Maine there are a lot of Irish decendents out celebrating their heritage today, but do you have to have the luck of the Irish to have a successful real estate transaction?

    Here at Great Island Realty we are big believers in making your own luck! That is why all our agents are continuously honing their skills and knowledge of the real estate market trends for the Seacoast and beyond!

     When it comes to selling your home, a great realtor can make all the  difference! By  listening to your real estate agent's advice on pricing,  staging, marketing techniques and  offer negotiations you just might find  that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

     If you are buying a new home an exceptional realtor can provide you  with realistic  comparables, negotiating tactics and knowledge of the  area to find you the best home  for your four leaf clover collection!

     So when it comes to real estate it's true that a talented and educated realtor can make    all the difference! With, or without a lucky little  leprechaun to assist!

      Happy St. Paddy's Day! After all a little extra luck can't hurt!

    Top Ten Restaurants in Portsmouth for Date Night

    Portsmouth is a pretty darned romantic place. From the beautiful lamppost-lined streets to the stately North Church, just a stroll through downtown screams romance. That got us thinking about the best restaurants in Portsmouth to go for a date night. There are so many, but we chose our top ten below!

    1. Mombo - Located in historic Strawbery Banke adjacent to Prescott Park, this warm, inviting space has exposed wood beams and water views. The cuisine is New American with an international twist, and it's delicious!
    2. Demeter's Steakhouse - A contemporary American steakhouse located in Route 1, Demeter's has an excellent wine selection, incredible steak and seafood and live music.
    3. The Library Restaurant - Located in Portsmouth's mainstay, the Rockingham House, the rich wood and historic book selection feels so warm and comfortable! Traditional New England fare is served by some of the friendliest servers and bartenders in town!
    4. Rudi's Market Square - We love the flagship restaurant, but when Rudi's expanded into the Market Square space (the spaces are connected by a function room) we REALLY fell in love! Stunning exposed brick, incredible cuisine and an wonderful wine list create a perfect combination here.
    5. Ristorante Massimo - Two levels of brick, wood tones and leather seating are home to world-class Italian cuisine in possibly the coziest restaurant in Portsmouth!
    6. The Black Trumpet - A gorgeous spot in the alley on Ceres Street, this waterfront dining is incredible! We love the bar space upstairs for a cocktail and small and medium dishes to share.
    7. The Wellington Room - This charming space has incredible views of the Piscataqua from a second floor Bow Street location. The food is out-of-this-world and we love the valet parking option across the street!
    8. Cava - Specializing in small plates, Cava is a destination spot with an open kitchen, delicious tapas and a wine list that makes our mouth water just thinking about.
    9. Brazo - This eclectic Spanish restaurant has bold colors, funky latin music, creative cocktails and delicious Spanish cuisine. It's the perfect blend of fun and romance.
    10. Cafe Mediterraneo - One of our all-time favorite restaurants in Portsmouth. Delicious Italian cuisine in an authentic atmosphere. You MUST get the lobster ravioli!