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What is Sustainable Home Construction?

Defining sustainable construction –  Ask Us About the Squam River Landing Community! 

“Sustainability” is one of the world’s most talked about but least understood words. Its meaning is often clouded by differing interpretations and by a tendency for the subject to be treated superficially. For most companies, countries and individuals who do take the subject seriously the concept of sustainability embraces the preservation of the environment as well as critical development-related issues such as the efficient use of resources, continual social progress, stable economic growth, and the eradication of poverty.Model Home Available

In the world of construction, buildings have the capacity to make a major contribution to a more sustainable future for our planet. The OECD, for instance, estimates that buildings in developed countries account for more than forty percent of energy consumption over their lifetime (incorporating raw material production, construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning). Add to this the fact that for the first time in human history over half of the world’s population now lives in urban environments and it’s clear that sustainable buildings have become vital cornerstones for securing long-term environmental, economic and social viability.

The pace of change means we don’t have the luxury of time. With urban populations worldwide swelling by around one million people every week, there’s an urgent need to come up with clever ideas that optimize the sustainable performance of the buildings that we live and work in.

Building a sustainable future

squam lake homes

Snow is on the Ground and yet Construction Continues!

Sustainable construction aims to meet present day needs for housing, working environments and infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs in times to come. It incorporates elements of economic efficiency, environmental performance and social responsibility – and contributes to the greatest extent when architectural quality, technical innovation and transferability are included.

Sustainable construction involves issues such as the design and management of buildings; materials performance; construction technology and processes; energy and resource efficiency in building,  operation and maintenance; robust products and technologies; long-term monitoring; adherence to ethical standards; socially-viable environments; stakeholder participation; occupational health and safety and working conditions; innovative financing models; improvement to existing contextual conditions; interdependencies of landscape, infrastructure, urban fabric and architecture; flexibility in building use, function and change; and the dissemination of knowledge in related academic, technical and social contexts.

“Target issues” for sustainable construction.

Based on this concept and to make sustainable construction easier to understand, evaluate and apply, the Holcim Foundation and its partner universities have identified a set of five “target issues” for sustainable construction, which serve as the basis for the adjudication process of the Holcim Awards and as a framework for other activities of the Holcim Foundation.

Innovation and transferability – Progress

3 levels of luxury living

3 levels of luxury living

Projects must demonstrate innovative approaches to sustainable development, pushing the envelope of practice and exploring new disciplinary frontiers. Breakthroughs and trend-setting discoveries must be transferable to a range of other applications.

  • Innovative concepts regarding design, integration of materials and methods, structure, enclosure and mechanical systems.
  • Outstanding contributions to construction technologies and building processes, operation and maintenance.
  • Advancements in the disciplines of architecture, urban and landscape design, civil, urban and environmental engineering, and other fields involved in the production of the built environment.
  • Long-term monitoring methods to evaluate whether expectations and goals have been met.
  • Dissemination of knowledge, including project documentation, communication, education and training.

Ethical standards and social inclusion – People

Projects must adhere to the highest ethical standards and promote social inclusion at all stages of construction, from planning and building to use and servicing; to ensure an enduring positive impact on communities. Proposals must demonstrate how they enhance the collective realm.

  • Adherence to ethical standards in all phases of the project.
  • Contributions to the formation of socially-viable environments, strengthening of shared values and empowerment of communities.
  • Participation of stakeholders, including users, clients, neighborhood affiliations, local authorities and non-governmental organizations.
  • Quality of working conditions in the construction industry and including on site; with specific attention given to fair compensation, adequate benefits, safety and gender equality.
  • Political transparency, unbiased processes and commitment to principled interaction, just practices, all in the effort to prevent corruption at every level.

 

Resource and environmental performance – Planet

squam lake real estate

Squam Lake & Mountain Views at this community

Projects must exhibit a sensible use and management of natural resources throughout their entire life cycle. Long term environmental concerns, especially pertaining to stocks and flows of material and energy, should be an integral part of the design philosophy.

  • Minimizing a project’s ecological footprint and maximizing its positive impact on the environment; reduction of harm and increase of beneficial effects.
  • Environmentally-conscious land use strategies and policies that preserve the natural landscape, while taking water and land reclamation into account.
  • Emphasis placed on the use of renewable energy in construction, use and upkeep of the built fabric to reduce CO2 emissions and avoid toxicity.
  • Innovative deployment of material resources in construction with an emphasis on cradle to cradle cycles, mining existing building stocks and reduction of waste.
  • Resilient products, robust construction details, smart interaction of building systems and environmentally sound technologies.

 

Economic viability and compatibility – Prosperity

Projects must prove to be economically feasible with regard to channeling and managing financial flows, promoting an economy of means and be compatible with demands across the construction’s lifespan.

  • Integration of the project into larger economic frameworks of local, regional, and global monetary flows that show a positive impact of the economy on society and the environment.
  • Funding sources and profits earned must be legitimate and transparent.
  • Projects must be affordable and operating costs over a structure’s lifetime determined in reference to returns on investment.
  • Flexibility to adapt to future changes of user needs, ownership, laws, regulations, and economic fluctuations.
  • Innovative economic models are sought that take external costs into consideration.

Contextual and aesthetic impact – Place 

Projects must convey a high standard of architectural quality as a prevalent form of cultural expression. With space, form and aesthetic impact of utmost significance, the material manifestation of the design must make a positive and lasting contribution to the physical, human and cultural environment.

  • Improvement of existing contextual conditions responding to the natural and built environment.
  • Interdependencies of landscape, infrastructure, urban fabric and architecture.
  • Working with the given building stock through sensitive restoration, re-use or re-modeling of the built environment.
  • Inventive programming strategies in terms of use, multiplicity of functions, short-term flexibility and long-term adaptability.
  • Architectural quality and aesthetic impact, specifically concerning space, spatial sequences, movement, tactility of materials, light and ambiance.

Article taken from  Holcim Foundation

Last Updated: July 11, 2014

For information on sustainable homes and Squam River Landing call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com or visit our website to view sustainable homes in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com.   #nhlakesrealty 

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3 Key Tax Deductions Renewed for Homeowners

If you are anticipating a rough year when it comes to filing taxes, don’t turn those forms into new year’s confetti just yet. Several key provisions for homeowners have been retroactively renewed for 2014—and they might provide you with some much-needed tax relief.

If you did any of these three things in 2014, you still have reason to celebrate (OK, maybe not really celebrate, but celebrate as much as anyone can while doing taxes).

Short sale

In the third quarter of 2014, 8.1 million homes in the United States were seriously underwater, according to the real estate research firm RealtyTrac. If you were a homeowner who decided to short-sell your home last year, it’s not all bad news: Congress once again extended the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.

The act made it so qualifying homeowners did not have to pay tax on debt forgiven by a lender. Without the act’s tax shield, that forgiven debt—up to $2 million—is seen as taxable income by the government. For homeowners owing hundreds of thousands of dollars on a loan, that could be a crippling amount of money owed to the IRS.

The act is retroactive, so when Congress finally renewed it in late December, it covered short sales in 2014. Short-selling a home in 2015 is a gamble—if Congress doesn’t renew the act, you’ll have to pay taxes on forgiven debt.

Private mortgage insurance

For people who couldn’t provide a 20% down payment, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a familiar expense. But if you bought your house in 2007 or afterward, you were given a break if you earned less than a certain amount of money each year. Luckily, that provision is still around. The bill was set to expire in 2014, but two weeks before the end of the year, Congress extended the provision into 2015.

So if you bought a home (including vacation homes, but not rental properties) in 2014, or any other year since 2007, you can still deduct PMI from your taxes.

However, the PMI deduction begins phasing out when the adjusted gross income (AGI) of the head of household, married filing jointly, or single earner passes $100,000. For married filing separately, the phaseout begins at $50,000 AGI.

The deduction is phased out by 10% for every $1,000 earned over the threshold. If you pass $109,000 AGI (or $54,500 for married homeowners filing separately), the deduction phases out completely.

Energy upgrades

If you waited until 2014 to make energy-efficient upgrades, you may be in luck. You can claim up to $500, cumulatively, in tax credits for energy-efficient upgrades involving the following:

  • Exterior windows
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Insulation
  • Exterior doors
  • Biomass stoves

This tax break is cumulative for previous years. If you claimed $400 worth of equipment in 2013, you still have only $100 to work with.

The extension of these tax provisions will help some homebuyers for 2014, but there’s no guarantee that Congress will renew them for the 2015 tax year.

by Craig Donofrio, Taken from Realtor.com   #nhlakesrealty 

If you need some help finding a NH lake home call  Paula 603-566-6608  or Carl  603-566-2386. 

For additional information on lake homes call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com or visit our website to view lake homes in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com or www.lakeorskirealestate.com.

 

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Lake Winnipesaukee View Home for Sale in Gilford NH

Gilford NH Home with Winnipesaukee Views $399,900

Gilford NH Home with Winnipesaukee Views $399,900

Enjoy spellbinding panoramic views of Winnipesaukee or Gunstock from nearly every room of this charming Gilford contemporary home situated on a rare .79 acre level lot. This home features an elegantly updated kitchen, comfortable living room with field stone wood burning fireplace, a large dining/sitting area with a gas stove, two bedrooms on the main level, and guest bedroom plus a huge master on the second floor. And while the master has phenomenal views, the vistas from the cozy observatory area, the charming three season porch, and the large deck vie for your attention. There’s an unfinished full basement for storage and a two car garage under for you vehicles. Enjoy skiing at Gunstock just up the street or swim at the area’s private beach. Whether you are looking for a primary or vacation home, this is a perfect residence and location from which to enjoy all that the Lakes Region of NH has to offer. Come and enjoy the good life from this fantastic retreat… Listed by Roy Sanborn and Ashley Davis.

boat dock for sale

Round out this lovely home with the purchase of a dock for your boat. $49,000

For information on NH lake homes call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com or visit our website to view lake homes in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com or www.lakeorskirealestate.com.     #nhlakesrealty 

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Could your perception of millionaires be wrong? Take the Test.

The number of U.S. millionaires is at an all-time high. Research results indicate that there are 12 million U.S. households with a net worth of a million dollars or more. (Remember net worth is calculated by all assets minus all liabilities equals net worth.) In fact, the U.S. has twice as many millionaires as the next top 10 countries combined.

Real estate professionals who have taken our luxury home marketing training know that many common perceptions about these millionaires are often clouded by myths. Who are these very successful Americans and what do we know about them? Just for fun, test your millionaire savvy with this quick trivia quiz.

Are the following statements True or False?

Most millionaires live in a home valued at less than $500,000 and drive a car which is at least two years old.
The largest share of millionaires earn between $100,000 and $249,900 annually.
There are as many millionaires created by inheritance as there are self-made.
Most millionaires own luxury goods from brands like Rolex, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.
When it comes to shopping, the top two destinations for high net worth shoppers are the internet and discount department stores.
6. Which of these words best describe the average millionaire’s spending habits?

Saver
Big Spender
Scroll down for the answers!

 

 

ANSWERS: Let’s see if you are millionaire savvy or have fallen prey to millionaire myths.

True. The majority of millionaires do live in homes valued at less than $500,000 and the cars in their garages are at least two years old.
True. Millionaires earn less than you might guess. The majority earn between $100,000 and just under $250,000.
False. The vast majority of millionaires in the U.S. (and in the world) are self-made and their money comes from business ownership and employment-related income.
False. Far from being conspicuous consumers, typical millionaires don’t purchase high-end brands such as Prada, Gucci, Rolex, and Louis Vuitton and may not even recognize these brands. Yes, really!
True. The favored destinations for high net worth shoppers are the Internet and discount department stores. In fact, 68% of affluent households with an average of $250,000 in annual income shop at discount stores according to research done in 2014 by Unity Marketing.
Saver. The typical millionaire is generally frugal, saving 15% to 20% of his or her annual income each year.
If these government statistics and research findings documented by Unity Research and the American Affluence Research Center surprise you, find out more about the wealthy and how to reach those who are interested in luxury homes by joining us at one of our upcoming Institute for Luxury Home Marketing training classes, or register for our online class.

boat dock for sale

Do they need a Boat?

For information on buying or selling a lake home call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com  or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com or www.lakeorskirealestate.com.

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

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Moultonborough NH! Lake Winnipesaukee Waterfront Home for Sale

3 Bedrooms 2 baths in Hemlock Love on Melanson Point. $729,900

3 Bedrooms 2 baths Melanson Point. $729,900

Lake Winnipesaukee lakefront home located in low tax Moultonborough New Hampshire.  The .79 acre lot has 120 feet of shoreline and a perched sandy beach area.  Located in a large protected cove minutes to Moultonborough Bay.  All day sun with sunsets. This lovely cape features 3 bedrooms 2 baths and an attached 2 car oversized garage. This is a perfect year round home or make it your second home escape to your private & peaceful lake get away! Located in private Hemlock Cove on Melanson Point.. yet have full lake access.Take your boat to the many area amenities the Lakes Region has to offer!   Listed by Jane Mooney of Maxfield Real Estate!

Sandy Beach and 40 foot dock

Sandy Beach and 40 foot dock

For information on lake homes call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com or visit our website to view lake homes in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com or www.lakeorskirealestate.com.

If you are looking for a lake home call  Paula or Carl we have plenty of experience with the 250 lakes in the lakes region.  #nhlakesrealty

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Save Energy Costs, Increase Efficiencies through an Energy Audit.


In the early 80’s I owned a brick home and read about energy audits that our local utility did. The audit was free and they had tons of advice for me to save money on my heating and electric bills. 

Fast forward to 2014.  Yes they still have the service and it is called NHSaves.  I filled out the questionnaire and scheduled an audit for the cost of $100.  They come to your home and hook up a giant fan to your door that depressurizes the building envelope pulling any air through any problems areas allowing you to feel exactly where your house is losing energy. To shorten the story they came back with a long list of recommendations that totaled $4000.00. Then the sales pitch started, the contractors said and we will do all of this work for $1000.00.  I have to tell you it was the best $1000 I have spent in a long time.  My homes energy efficiency has increase, better lighting and drafts are gone.   ( What was done –  LED Lights – Attic & Garage Insulation – Sill Insulation – Tons of Caulking – Drywall Work with New Door  )Stage Road

Below is some additional information. Spend the $100 and find out energy improvements that you can take advantage of through this program.  

Save money and energy with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR!  Energy Star Logo

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a comprehensive, whole house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home, while reducing your energy costs and helping the environment.  Installing energy efficient upgrades can save you up to 20% or more on your annual energy cost

What to expect from your home energy audit?

A comprehensive assessment of your home’s energy efficiency
Recommendations for cost effective, energy efficiency improvements to your home
A cost estimate for making improvements
Assistance with installing the recommended improvements
Financing options may be available from your utility

Based on the assessment, you may be eligible for a 50% incentive, up to $4,000, to help you pay for any of the qualified measures including lighting upgrades, water conservation measures, air sealing, and insulation.

*There is a $100 fee for the in-home energy audit, which includes diagnostic testing for air and duct leakage. If you decide to move forward with any of the audit recommendations, this fee will be deducted from the cost of the project.

NHSaves is a collaboration of New Hampshire’s electric and natural gas utilities working with the NH Public Utilities Commission and other interested parties to provide NH customers with information, incentives, and support designed to save energy, reduce costs, and protect our environment statewide.   

For information our perspective of the program or on buying or selling a lake home call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com  or visit our websites to view lake homes in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com or www.lakeorskirealestate.com.

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

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Ossipee Lakefront Property, Mountain Views on 2 Acres

THE BEST LOT OFFERED ON OSSIPEE LAKE!!

Great Location on 3000 acre Ossipee - $679,000

Great Location on 3000 acre Ossipee – $679,000

1. Level 2 acre lot

2. Huge Walk in sandy beach

3. Open water and mountain views

4. 3 bedrooms – 3 baths

5. 2 car garage

6. Located on 3000 acre Ossipee

7. Excellent Rental History

This property has 2 acres of yard, 153 feet of sugar sandy beachfront, gorgeous view of Mount Chocorua and awesome sunsets. This Ranch home is in good shape with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, newer 3 bedroom septic, central a/c, nice large deck. Mostly open, well landscaped lawns, and some wooded areas make this a very special property. Use as is now while you plan your dream home rebuild . Solid rental history.  Golf – Skiing – Shopping – Restaurants – Hiking – All Just a short Ride.  Boston is less than 2 hours.   Listed by Costantino Real Estate LLC. Gerard Costantino. 

Lake and Mountain View - 153 feet of  Sandy Beach

Lake and Mountain View – 153 feet of Sandy Beach

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

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

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NH Lakefront Property for Sale on Pine River Pond

3700 square feet with 3 bedrooms - 4 baths

3700 square feet with 3 bedrooms – 4 baths

Pine River Pond is 570 acres and located in Low Tax Wakefield NH Magnificent & Private waterfront property plus A+ quality built home, located on the eastern shore of Pine River Pond. Three floors of living,with master suite from side to side facing the lake plus a morning balcony off the master, open kitchen with all new upgraded appliances and cabinets, plus hardwood floors and new carpet, floor to ceiling fireplace in the glassed living room, all new bead-board ceilings, screened porch + side to side walkout deck, looking west and over the level front lawn with sandy walk-in beach, raised beach patio and new dock. Truly a wonderful year-round home or private getaway. Surrounded by perennial gardens, semi-circular drive, 2 car garage with walk up storage, outside shower, patio,etc,etc. Plus back lot with storage shed & storage for boat trailer or possible garage or barn. 40 minutes to Portsmouth and the coast. Listed by Jane Mooney of Maxfield Real Estate.

pine river pond real estate

Located on 1 acre – Sandy beach – sunset – $799,000

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

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

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Squam River Landing, Home Building Continues Despite Weather

Contact us and become part of this exciting new Sustainable Living Community which balances environmental, economic and social considerations in it’s development. Homesites overlooking and part of the Squam Watershed will preserve the beauty of the area while minimally impacting the land. Some lots are wooded and provide privacy and abut hundreds of acres of conservation land, others offer outstanding lake and/or mountain views. The community will be a fully recreational winter/summer fantasyland with snowmobile and snowshoeing trails throughout the acreage and access to Squam Lake through the affiliate owned Riveredge Marina. The marina offers day docking, boatslips, boathouses and a valet service with dry berths to accommodate all needs. The Community Center and roof top deck are available for use as well as the town beach on Little Squam. The lot abuts 100’s of acres of conservation land.

Several Homes are under Construction and a model is open to view!

squam lake homes

Snow is on the Ground and yet Construction Continues!

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

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty #squamlake

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Tips on Buying A Lake Home!

Tips On Buying A Lake Home

1. It’s All About The Water!

When looking for the perfect lake home remember the most important asset is the lake not the house. You can change the house but not the lake or setting.  It may seem obvious, but many people forget that there are many different  considerations you need to make with water lots.

Winnipesaukee Real Estate, Moultonborough

Cottage and Bunkhouse on the Kona Shoreline – Winnipesaukee

2. Choose a lake that fit’s your Lifestyle!

If you are truly interested in a quiet lake for kayaking you can select a lake that fits this criteria. Some lakes allow jet skis while others have a horse power limit. There is a lake in NH that will fit your families needs. Other aspects to think of? ( Travel time, fishing, golf, ski resorts, shopping, entertainment, theater or concert venues ) 

3. The home has to have a view of the lake!

In the city your home needs curb appeal, on the water you need dock appeal. Look for a property with open water views from as many rooms as possible with expansive windows and a deck area that can handle a crowd.

New Construction  in the Squam Watershed

New Construction in the Squam Watershed

3. Topography Is Important!

Are you looking for a large lake to explore by boat, or simply enjoy the beautiful water and mountain views? You can have excellent views on a 500 acre and if you have grandchildren it is easier to keep track of them on a smaller lake, they tend to be in sight all the time.  Ideally the lot should be level, sandy beach, private, western exposure, and deep water docking. Make sure the water deep enough to swim in?

4. Bring The Outside Inside!

Well-designed lake homes have large expansive windows and sliders leading out to decks for that weekend party or grilling the family meal.  The kitchen work area should have views to the lake and is open to the living room or great room.  Technically the bedrooms are secondary. You are at the lake to enjoy the outdoors. Even in the winter the wood stove or fireplace should be positioned to view the lake.   

5. Four Seasons of Activities!

New Hampshire is lucky enough to experience all four seasons. Each is magical in its own way; summers are warm and perfect for swimming, boating, autumn sees cooling temperatures, wonderful foliage, winter brings skiing, skating, snowmobiling and spring is full of life and perfect for fishing or hiking.

6. Location!

Talk to neighbors. Get insider information from neighbors by asking if they enjoy living on the lake, if they have any knowledge about the property you’re thinking about purchasing, or if there are any waterfront-related problems,

7. Rules!

Find out what you can do with the property? If you want to make any changes to your waterfront property NH has guidelines covering the shoreline, what you can do and can’t do. Always check prior to making any changes within 250 feet of the lake. Check to see if there are any association or community rules you need to be familiar with. 

8. Maintenance!

We all need to pay attention to routine maintenance of our home, the grounds are a different story.  My favorite lake lots are a combination of sand, pine needles and a patch of grass. Yard maintenance should be 20 minutes or less in my opinion.  An aluminum crank-up dock is a bonus. 

9. Financing

Call your banker and get a pre-qualification letter. Takes a few minutes on online or with a phone call.

10. Who Should I Call?

Choose your realtor like you would choose any other professional. If you need glasses you visit an eye doctor not an internist.  Paula and I are specialist in our field. We know the lakes and can answer your questions regarding water quality in the greater NH Lakes Region. Call us with your criteria and bank pre-qualification letter and we will find that dream home for you.

For additional information on lake homes call Four Seasons | Sotheby’s International Realty at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com  or visit our websites to view lake homes, condo’s, docks in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com or www.lakeorskirealestate.com.  Ask us about Squam River Landing, a new green community on Squam Lake. 

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

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