Buying a Lake Home? How many should I plan on touring in a day?

Buying a Lake Home? How many should I plan on touring in a day?

Viewing lake homes is more involved than viewing homes around town. Typically everyone wants to see as many homes as possible during their visit, but 4-5 homes are actually ideal for a day of touring homes. Remember your not only viewing the home, the lot lines but add a dock, shoreline and lake bottom structure along with travel time from lake to lake.

In NH, we have over 250 lakes in the greater lakes region!  If your focus is on one of the many smaller lakes my advice is to get in your car and take a Sunday drive to view all the lakes that have homes you are interested in to determine if you like the area. You may find that some lakes are immediately discounted due to amenities in the area.  The larger lakes tend to have all the attractions, shopping and hospitals close by.   At this early stage, it is about the lifestyle, not the home.

Example if you want to use your home as a ski home what is an acceptable drive to a major ski area?  Ossipee and Great East lake are wonderful lakes but major ski areas are about 1 hour away. Winnisquam, Newfound, Squam and Sunapee you can be slope side in 15 minutes. Washington NH is a remote paradise, woods, hiking, snowmobiling but the closest major grocery store is 35 minutes. Set your criteria  to discuss with your agent what you are looking for because the web pictures shows you a wonderful home but you may be in shock when you view the home in person.

So in a normal setting, seeing 4 or 5 homes in a day is ideal. I personally feel that viewing more homes in a single day becomes overwhelming and homes start to blend together. You may take pictures and notes, but after 5 homes and 5 hours on the road, everything looks the same. Staying fresh and alert is important so we catch all the details of a home. If you flew into view homes to purchase we can set a day that works for your schedule.   

1. Pre-qualification and price range to search in.

2. Home attributes and lake size?

3. Drive-by areas to get a feel for the lake and area.

4. Use the internet as a resource and discuss the homes with your agent to ensure they meet your expectations.

Once you are sure a lake home is right for you contact your bank and get a pre-qualification letter so you can move quickly on a home of your choice. Determine your price range and what amenities are you looking for then begin your search online.

3 Bedroom Cottage on a Quiet Lake

3 Bedroom Cottage on a Quiet Lake

For additional information on New Hampshire lake homes call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley specializing in NH Lakes Realty  #nhlakesrealty


Tips for shopping for a Lakefront Home in the Winter.

What to expect when you are looking for that dream home in the dead of winter.

Dress for the weather, leave trendy clothes and shoes at home and wear boots. It’s winter and  snow is on the ground so plan on temperatures in the teens you can always take a layer off. Most of the homes you are going to look at are not primary residences so if the homes are heated the interior temperatures may be set around 45 degree’s.  Dress warm!

Viewing the interior of the home should go smoothly. The exterior of the home depending on the snow depth could be a bit dicey.  The shoreline is another story unless you brought your ice skates along. If you would like to examine the shoreline closely your agent should have some pictures of the beach area and in the past we have brought an ice auger to the second showings to view the lake bottom to verify if it is sandy or depths.

In New Hampshire January, February and March lakes are iced over. In the later part of March, the shorelines begin to melt first giving you the opportunity to view in full what’s on the bottom.

Prior to setting out to view homes set up a wish list. Outline the top features you require?

View – Open water, mountains, quiet cove?

Sun Exposure, morning sun or sunsets?

Deep water docking?

Sandy Beach?

The size of the lake?

Water Quality?

Fishing, trout or bass?

Quiet lake kayaks, canoes or no boating restrictions? 

Snow Skiing?

Distance to shopping, attractions and hospitals?

The lot is more important than the home.  You can change the home but not the lot. We spoke with one buyer looking to purchase a new lake property.  Over and over again they fell in love with a home but remembered their past experience of watching those across the bay basking in the afternoon sun while they sat in the shade. 

Contact your banker to establish a price range you are comfortable with. If your dream home features need 3000 square feet and granite counters but your budget does not match that dream a lake access home might be the perfect alternative. When ready call us so we can help you locate the perfect lake and home for your family.   We are knowledgeable in all the quality lakes in the region along with lakefront regulations. 

Important note! New lakefront listings begin to get into the inventory the end of March as many homes are completely shut down for the winter. 

Call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550, e-mail at or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or  to begin your search

nh lake homes for sale

Lakefront Home Inventory Increases the end of March

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley both specializing in NH Lakes Realty  #nhlakesrealty


What is the Deal with Flood Insurance?

What is the Deal with Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance concerns are arising with many buyers in the NH Lakes Region.Your mortgage company may require flood insurance with your lakefront purchase if it is determined you are in a flood zone.

According to our NH Office of Energy and Planning everyone lives in a flood zone, whether you live in a low-, moderate- or high-risk flood area. You do not need to live near water to be flooded. Floods are caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, as well as broken water mains. You can protect your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the NFIP. Flood insurance is necessary because homeowners insurance does not cover flood losses. Anyone who applies for a federally-funded mortgage/loan or refinancing on an existing home in flood-prone areas will be required to carry flood insurance for the life of the mortgage/loan.

loon lake real estateIn considering your purchase of a property you should consult with one or more carriers of flood insurance for a better understanding of flood insurance coverage and cost. You should also have a conversation with your realtor on whether you should consider pursuing an elevation certificate that could possibly move you to a lower risk policy or out of the flood zone entirely. 

For buyers who seek more information about the NFIP or flood insurance coverage or rates, please review the following links:

My colleague at Lakefront Living Realty can produce a flood certificate for any property you have an interest in. To determine if the lakefront property you are looking to buy may require flood insurance please contact me

If you do not have a mortgage on your property flood insurance is suggested but not mandatory.

2015-05-05 21.43.21If you are interested in a lake home in NH call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley both specializing in NH Lakes Realty  #nhlakesrealty


Building Continues This Winter at Squam River Landing

Building Continues This Winter at Squam River Landing

Lots 11 and 21 have new owners and they have some exciting plans for new energy efficient homes with access to Squam Lake. If you are not familiar with this exciting community visit us or call for information.  Homesites are available overlooking Squam. The community is designed to preserve the beauty of the area while minimally impacting the land. Some lots are wooded providing privacy and they abut 900 acres of conservation land. Others are built on the ridgeline offering outstanding lake and / or mountain views. Building is underway, come reserve your lot today.

Custom Squam Lake View Home under Construction

Custom Squam Lake View Home under Construction

The community is a fully recreational winter / summer fantasyland with snowmobile and snowshoeing / hiking trails throughout the acreage. The homes have access to Squam Lake through the affiliate owned Riveredge Marina. The marina offers day docking, boat slips, boathouses, and a valet rack service with dry berths.  You can spend the morning fishing for Landlock Salmon and the afternoon water skiing or at the beach. In the winter Cannon, Loon or Waterville are just 30 minutes away. Don’t forget my favorite attraction, Squam Lakes Science Center.   

Surrounding the community you will find Hiking trails – Golf Courses  – Tennis – Shopping – Restaurants by boat or car –  Holderness School and Plymouth State University – Hospital –  Boston is less than 2 hours – These features round out the perfect setting for a vacation or retirement home.

Ridgeline Mountain View Home

Squam Ridgeline Mountain View Home Available

For additional information on Squam River Landing call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at  or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley specializing in NH Lakes Realty  #nhlakesrealty


Which web platform will give your property the best visibility to buyers?

Which web platform will give your property the best visibility to potential buyers? 

It is no surprise that the internet is the number one tool for the home buying process. Ninety-six percent of buyers used the internet during the search process. While eighty-seven percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. 

The majority of buyers (70 percent) primarily accessed the internet from their smart phones, 15 percent accessed it from their tablets, eight percent from a laptop and seven percent from a desktop. In addition to accessing the internet (90 percent), buyers used their mobile devices to look for comparable home prices (78 percent), search for homes (47 percent), communicate (45 percent), and research neighborhoods and amenities (44 percent).

The use of social media as a form of communication is expected to grow in the future, with 91 percent of buyers indicating they are receptive to receiving information about the home buying process directly from their agent via social media. 

If you are looking for maximum local and global exposure for your property whether it is a luxury home on Squam or a ski property with lake access Sotheby’s is the go to website!  Along with the internet our local office has an expansive print advertising programs along with effective individual websites and a progressive social media platform.  

SimilarWeb Sept14-Sept15(3)For information on purchasing a New Hampshire lake home call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at  or visit our websites to view lake homes in NH at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley your lakefront experts.   #nhlakesrealty

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Your Wife is Hot!

Your Wife is Hot!

Purchase of a lakefront home for your family, that would to cool things down.

What does a Lake Home offer your family?

Think about the many benefits of a second home, from a simply get away from a hectic pace we all face or as an addition to your stock and retirement portfolio. Now picture your family enjoying a summer sunset with a glass of wine on your deck overlooking the lake with mountains in the background. A morning of fishing with the kids on the dock or the excitement of tubing or water skiing.

The summer ends but your vacation home adventure continues into the fall with spectacular foliage colors and then onto the ski season along with evening snowmobile ride after a fresh snowfall with a full moon. Leave your computer and cell phone at home and enjoy some family time by the fireplace playing some board games or cards.

Why not retire in low tax NH or move into the lakes region while you are working.

A lake home is the perfect way to cool things down, whether your taking a cool dip in the lake or building a snowman on the lake.

Hermit Lake Cottage in Sanbornton.  Call for Details

Hermit Lake Cottage in Sanbornton. Call for Details

For information on purchasing a New Hampshire lake home call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at  or visit our websites to view lake homes in NH at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley your lakefront experts.   #nhlakesrealty

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Loon Lake Cottage Available in Plymouth NH

Loon Lake Cottage Available in Plymouth NH.  Are you familar with this fully recreational lake?

Loon Lake is a 100 acre fully recreational quiet lake. Waterskiing to wake boarding plus winter snowmobile & X-country trails right off the lake. This lovely 2 bedroom cottage with family sleeping loft is on a level lot with perfect sunsets and mountain views. Many options are available with the new storage shed. Loon Lake is a hidden gem, in 5 minutes you are in downtown Plymouth with all the shops and restaurants and in 30 minutes your at Loon or Waterville. Great bass fishing and almost 1/2 of the shoreline is in conservation never to be developed. Furnishings, canoe, kayak, paddleboat are available.

loon lake real estate

Sunsets – Mountain Views – Sandy Beach – New Shed in the background

For information on this home or other lake homes in NH call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at  or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

Loon Lake is Quiet 100 acre lake remote but close to town and skiing

Loon Lake is Quiet 100 acre lake remote but close to town and skiing.   $250,000 


Fed Rate Goes Up. Mortgage Rates Go Down

Fed Rate Goes Up. Mortgage Rates Go Down

Mortgage rates moved just slightly lower today, despite the long-awaited Fed rate hike.  Once again, that’s LOWER mortgage rates and a HIGHER Fed rate.  Here’s how that works:

The rate that moved higher today is the Federal Reserve’s Target Rate.  This is the rate banks charge other banks to borrow money overnight.  It’s called the Fed’s Target Rate, because the Fed doesn’t actually directly enforce the rate.  It merely “targets” the rate (or the range of rates, in this case) that it believes is in line with its policy goals.  The Fed can then employ several tools to influence the overnight rate and bring it in line with the target range.

If you’re not already well-versed in the reasons that banks borrow from other banks overnight, don’t worry about that.  All you need to know is that the Fed’s target rate is vastly important to the global financial system, and it has far-reaching effects on all manner of interest rates.

In other words, a Fed rate hike is a big deal, but bigger to some than others.  Mortgage rates are less directly connected to the Fed’s Target Rate, as could be easily seen in today’s modest move lower.  The Fed hiked its rate by a quarter of a point–an amount that would be unimaginably severe in the mortgage world.  Such a move has only happened a few times in history on a single day.

The caveat is that mortgage rate movement is given plenty of time to roam free, day in and day out.  Meanwhile, the Fed rate only moves when the Fed announces it, which is almost always at one of their meetings.  Those only happen 8 times a year.  In other words, mortgage rates have had time to do whatever they needed to do to get ready for today’s Fed rate hike.  The bottom line is that mortgage rates do, in fact, care about the Fed rate to some extent.  They’re simply not joined at the hip.

In terms of specifics, today’s mortgage rate movement was very small.  Most lenders continue to quote 4.0-4.125% on top tier conventional 30yr fixed scenarios.

Loan Originator Perspective

“In an entirely predictable move, the Fed raised their overnight rate today by .25%.  Despite the Fed’s potential to dramatically impact rates, markets merely yawned as both the Statement and subsequent press conference from Chairwoman Yellen were dovish for bonds.  If you’ve floated through the Statement, you dodged a bullet, now the question is when to pull the trigger.  I still don’t see any motivation for marked MBS improvement, will look to lock new loans within 30 days of closing.” –Ted Rood, Senior Originator

“As expected, the Fed moved rates higher today.  And it appears the market priced in the move already.   I feel most lenders were quite conservative with their sheets this morning in anticipation of whatever happens with the announcement.  If you floated this far, I would continue to float and look at your pricing in the morning.  As always, only float if you can afford to be wrong.” –Victor Burek, Churchill Mortgage

“As expected the FED bumped up fed funds by a quarter point, which the market had priced in. The language was somewhat perceived as an indicator of the future still needing to provide stronger data before any dramatic changes to FED policy. Overall a win for rate watchers. Still in the range, floating appears to be safe.  Loans with more than 15 days to close are floating in my pipeline.” –Constantine Floropoulos, Quontic Bank

Today’s Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED – 4.0-4.125%
  • FHA/VA – 3.75%
  • 15 YEAR FIXED – 3.25-3.375%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.75 – 3.25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 2015 has been largely about global interest rates rising unevenly from a long-term low brought about by the onset of quantitative easing in Europe.  European rates are most directly affected, but rates in the US have often taken cues for similar movement.
  • As the European rate rally fizzled out, the Fed began telegraphing its intent to hike rates.  While the Fed rate doesn’t directly affect mortgages, the two are still loosely connected over time.  They become more disconnected when the economy begins to contract.  This helps longer term rates like mortgages move lower even while the Fed rate his steady or rising.
  • The Fed finally hiked on December 16th, but there was no immediate reaction in mortgage rates.  Some think that an economic contraction might not be too far away.  Others are concerned about a lack of inflation (which is good for longer term rates like mortgages).  Bottom line: the Fed rate hike has not been the death knell for low mortgage rates that many feared it would be, although the near term range is uncertain and rates could be more volatile than normal as we wait for a new trend to emerge.
  • As always, please keep in mind that the rates discussed generally refer to what we’ve termed ‘best-execution’ (that is, the most frequently quoted, conforming, conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier borrowers, based not only on the outright price, but also ‘bang-for-the-buck.’  Generally speaking, our best-execution rate tends to connote no origination or discount points–though this can vary–and tends to predict Freddie Mac’s weekly survey with high accuracy.  It’s safe to assume that our best-ex rate is the more timely and accurate of the two due to Freddie’s once-a-week polling method).

Information from Mortgage Rate Watch:

lake winnipesaukee real estate

Vintage Cottages to Luxury Estates

For information New Hampshire lake homes call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at  or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

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Will you be Winterizing Your Vacation Home? Helpful Check List!

Will you be Winterizing Your Vacation Home?  Check List?

First to do is to create a check list. Go room to room looking for items that may freeze during the winter months or areas that you will need to keep heated.  The exterior will need attention some attention to. 

Lets start with the exterior.

Turn off the water to the exterior fittings.

Walk the exterior of the home and seal any areas where pests may enter looking for a cozy warm environment.

Clean off any roof debris and make sure the gutters are clean and drain properly.

Pleasure craft such as boats, ATVs, bicycles, canoes, kayaks and cars should be locked in a garage or storage shed. All exterior furniture should be put under cover. Especially glass topped tables. The glass will break under the weight of snow.

Security lights should be functioning with an interior light left on. A security system maybe the best insurance for confidence that you home will be protected.

If you are closing down the home for the winter completely drain all water lines. If you plan on using the home in the winter months turn off the water supply and open all cabinets that have exposed water pipes so in case of a power outage those areas will keep at room temperature. Opening the cabinets on exterior walls lets interior heat into the cabinets to prolong pipes from freezing.

Turn down your thermostat. Set your thermostat to a level adequate to keep the inside temperature above freezing. As an additional safety precaution have a temperature alarm installed that will notify you if the temperature drops below 45 degrees. It is recommended that you keep the home heated during the winter months for structural soundness to your home even if you drain the water from the pipes.

Unplug appliances and turn off your water heater.

If you are shutting down the home clean out the refrigerator and unplug. Don’t keep anything that is likely to go bad during the time you are away.

If you must keep frozen food, here is one method for determining if your freezer has warmed during the winter: freeze a container of water solid, then place a coin on the surface of the ice; if the coin has sunk into the ice when you return, then the freezer warmed, letting the ice melt and then refreeze.

Wash the refrigerator and freezer thoroughly. Prop open their doors, the better to forestall mold and mildew (which like to grow in the dark) and their odors, which may transfer to the refrigerator’s plastic parts.

Remove all items in the kitchen that may freeze and store dry goods in plastic containers to keep pests from enjoying a free meal if they find there way in.

Clean and vacuum the home to keep opportunities for pests to a minimum.

Heating systems should be serviced and inspected and if you have a forced hot water system you may consider putting antifreeze in the lines with a plumbers recommendations.

One last recommendation is have a neighbor or service company stop by and check on your home.

The winter is a great time to be in the NH Lakes Region.  Skiing – Snowmobiling – Ice Fishing – Tons of Winter Attractions – Winter Carnivals to Pond Hockey

Ossipee Lake Real Estate for sale in Freedom NH

Snow is Right Around the Corner 

For  information on buying or selling  lake homes call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at  or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty


What are the Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations

What are the Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations

5 Pros and 6 Cons of Homeowners Associations

In the Lakes Region there are a variety of associations. From gated communities like, Grouse Point, Southdown, Long Bay, Meredith Bay to the Bald Peak Colonial Club.  There are also many beach associations for home owners in this area, they may also have boat docks that are a big draw.  Another example is Squam River Landing a sustainable community in located in the Squam River Shed featuring upscale view homes with amenities that include beach access to a  sandy beach to docks and hiking trails.

Across the U.S., homeowners’ associations are on the ascent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 59 percent of newly constructed homes in 2014 were part of a homeowners’ association. That’s up from 46 percent in 2009.

So, what’s the draw of homeowners’ associations? By the same token, what are the drawbacks?

Pro No. 1: Your neighborhood will look good.

Generally, an HOA establishes rules to ensure the neighborhood looks sharp, says Brad Pauly, owner and broker at Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, Texas. These include strict guidelines about keeping lawns manicured, restrictions on parking boats and other large vehicles on the street, and limitations on exterior paint colors.

“This type of oversight eliminates issues with one or two properties weighing down all property values due to an unpleasant exterior,” says John Lyons, a broker with Baird & Warner in Chicago.

Pro No. 2: You’ll enjoy access to amenities.

An HOA usually offers community amenities such as a pool, a fitness center, parks, children’s play areas and security gates, Pauly says.

Pro No. 3: Your maintenance costs will be shared.

HOA dues are earmarked for maintenance of shared spaces, according to Lyons. This includes community lawn care (but not for your own yard), community snow removal (but not for your own property) and upkeep of common areas like the pool or the fitness center.

Pro No. 4: You’ve got a built-in mediator.

Involved in a tiff with your neighbor over that big oak tree that’s losing limbs? You can settle some confrontations with your neighbors by taking your grievances to the HOA’s board or management company, Lyons says.

Pro No. 5: You can get to know your neighbors.

Gina Estrada, who lives in a gated HOA community in Clovis, Calif., says that if you’re elected to serve on the HOA board or are otherwise active in the association, you’ll become better acquainted with your neighbors. Heck, you might even make some new friends. “I believe we should know our surroundings, including the people in them,” Estrada says.

Con No. 1: You’ll fork over HOA dues.

When buying a home in a community with an HOA, you’ve got to add HOA dues to your budget. The dues vary, but typically run in the hundreds of dollars per month.

Con No. 2: Your hands will be (somewhat) tied.

If someone buys a home in an HOA community and wants to make changes to the property, such as the addition of an enclosed patio, it normally must be approved by the HOA’s board. “It’s possible that an HOA could prevent certain updates on a home,” Pauly says.

Con No. 3: You might be hampered by an HOA’s financial woes.

If an HOA is facing financial problems or is ensnared in a lawsuit, it could harm your ability to obtain a loan for a home and could hurt sale prices of homes in the community, Pauly says.

Con No. 4: You’ll lose some of your freedom.

When you live in a community governed by a HOA, you’ll have to follow its rules, even if you think they’re ridiculous, Lyons says.

“You do, however, have the option of petitioning the homeowners’ association to change any rule you don’t agree with. But if you lose, you will have to live with it,” Lyons says.

Con No. 5: You might be the victim of a “rogue” board member.

Estrada says her HOA elected a “rogue” homeowner to the board who decided to flaunt the rules and do whatever he wanted. For instance, Estrada says, the rogue board member thought the community needed speed bumps to slow down speeding drivers, so he had them installed. That move caused a neighborhood uproar. The process to take out the speed bumps and remove the rogue homeowner from the board cost several thousand dollars, including legal fees, she says.

Con No. 6: Storage of Your Expensive Toy. 

Carl from the lakes region runs into storage as a big issue. Boats, trailer, motorcycles, atv’s, snowmobiles can not be stored on your property and storage facilities were not planned into the community. These fun items will cost the home owner an additional expense to store unless the home has a garage to store items out of sight.

Problems also arise when homeowners stop attending HOA meetings, Estrada says, and it’s left to a small group of people to make decisions.

By John Egan, Credit Steven Sawyer Post

View Home Priced At $1.2 Million Squam River Landing

View Home Priced At $1.2 Million Squam River Landing

For  information on lake homes and HOA communites in NH call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at  or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at or

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

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