Buying A Lakefront Home - You Need To Know

What is a DES Site Assessment ( Septic Analysis )

In New Hampshire, the seller of developed waterfront property that is serviced by a septic system must engage a licensed assessor to perform a waterfront site assessment. This document, although contracted for and paid for by the seller, is also a tool for the Buyer as it contains valuable information the buyer can use when analyzing a potential property.

The assessor will consult with the seller, state and town records, and perform a site visit. The Documents objective is to describe what the current system consists of (If known), and determine if there are any signs of current failure. In addition, the assessor will perform calculations based on lot size, slope, soil type and the location of on-site and abutters wells to offer an opinion about what type of septic systems the lot could accommodate in the event of failure.

It is always ideal when a site currently has a state approved septic system, or can easily accommodate a state approved septic system. If the site has some limitations, than the property may not meet the state requirements for expansion of number of bedrooms, or conversion from seasonal to full-time use. 

If you are looking for a lake home in NH and would like some help call Lady of the Lake 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  Contact us today!
 

Buying A Lake Home in New Hampshire, What to Look For!

Newfound Lake lake home for sale with mooringBuying a lake home in New Hampshire??   Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam or Hermit Lake what does each have to offer?

With over 200 lakes to choose from you need a partner to help guide you along in the process.  Your agent should have some general  knowledge regarding  the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act (SWQPA), wells, septics, setbacks, water quality, types of fish in the lake or pond, boating restrictions, also knowledge about the proximity to golf, ski areas, hiking and snowmobile trails.

Your budget may determine what size lake and the location of the lake. If you have selected a lake and your budget puts you on that lake great,  if you are like the many of the clients I encounter  where  your budget does not allow you to get a home on the lake of your choice and you do not want a water access home with a shared beach what's next.

Find an agent that  is diversified covering a large area they can suggest lakes you may have never heard of? Waukewan 900 acres - Merrymeeting Lake 1200 acres - Stinson Lake 300 acres - Lake Sunapee 4000 acres - Pleasant Lake, Deerfield or New London - Ossipee 3000 acres - Big Dan Hole Pond  408 acres - Highland Lake 700 acres Washington or Highland Lake 230 acres Andover - Great East Lake 1700 acres, Halfmoon Lake 250 acres, Crystal Lake in Enfield or Gilmanton both around 400 acres,  and not to forget Lake Winnipesaukee.  The above lakes allow motor boating, if you are looking for a quiet lake for canoeing or kayaking that have no motor boating or limited horse power lakes  we can direct you to those lakes also.

Put together a wish-list with your agent and be flexible. Some ideas below to think about.

  • Number of bedroom and bathrooms?
  • Commute time, travel from home to the lake?
  • Sandy beach?  Yes of course.
  • Southwest exposure for the perfect sunset!
  • Private location or a community for your children?
  • Seasonal lake cottage or a year round lake home ?
  • Fishing ? What kind, trout, salmon or a warm water fishery.
  • Snow skiing - how far do you want to be from a major resort?
  • Do you want to boat, yes but motorboats or kayaks and canoes only?
  • Shopping, where is the closest grocery store?
  • How about the hospital?
  • What about cultural activities, museums, concerts and general fun stuff?
  • What about the lake size, 100 acres or Lake Winnipesaukee with 42,000 acres?
  • Price you want to spend on the home?

Price may determine what lake works for you, your first step is to visit your bank and determine what you can afford, get a relationship going with the bank so if you need to you can move quickly.

Paula is your Lady of The Lake,  now working with Lady of the Lake Realty We work with buyers and sellers.  We specialize in lake properties covering Lake Ossipee to Lake Sunapee and everything in-between. We will direct you quality lakes and have the answers to your questions regarding your dream home.  Call us at 1-888-737-5550 or visit our website at www.nhlakesrealty.com where you will find listings to the lakes we recommend.

What Questions Should I be Asking when Purchasing a Lakefront Home?

 

 

newfound lake real estate

Sunset at Newfound Lake

 

Your getting ready to buy a lake home ?  What should you be looking for? What Questions should I be asking to protect my future investment.  Who is going to help me?   Don't let this wonderful experience of shopping for a lake home turn into a disaster.   You may think that you can navigate this purchase on your own but in reality the listings agent works for the seller and he is looking out for their best interests! To complicate the purchase in New Hampshire we also have The Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act, who is going to guide you through this maze. You need your own representation otherwise your dream home maybe turn into a show of horrors.  My first recommendation is buy the lake and the location on the lake first. You can always change the home but would will never be able to change the shoreline. Some basic questions should be asked and get some of the answers in writing.

1. What size lake are you looking for?   Do you really need a 4000 acres lake or is 150 acres plenty?

2. Ask if the lake allows motor boats or are there boating restrictions only allowing kayaks and canoes or limited HP motors.

3. Is the lake bottom sandy? What is the shoreline material? Mud?

4. What is the exposure for sunrises and sunsets?

5. Ask if the home is seasonal or year round?   Do you want to use the home in the winter?

6. Is the home in a flood zone?  Flood insurance is expensive!

7. Tell me about the well and septic?  Is the septic a state approved system? Any failures?

8. What is the clarity of the water and are there any weeds?  What is the rating on the lake, Mesotrophic - Uutrophic - Oligotrophic

9. Who maintains the road, is the road plowed in the winter?

10. Are there any services on the lake?  Gas - Restaurants - Marinas

11. What about easements or covenants in the deed?

12. How deep is the lake overall and how deep is in front of the home you are interested in.

13. Can I add a deck or add onto the home?

14. Can I put in a dock or make changes to the existing dock?

If you are looking for a lake property in the New Hampshire area call us so we can add you to one of our many satisfied customers. We have over 600 lakefront homes in inventory from $250,000 to $12 million for a luxury home on Winnipesaukee.

For additional information on lake homes call Lady of the Lake 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.

Contact us today!

 

8 Buying Tips when Purchasing a Lake Property

You know in real estate they say "all agents are not created equal" and this could not be truer when it comes to dealing with lakefront  properties.

 

We Deal with Cottages to Luxury Estates

 

Work with a Realtor who has knowledge of the lakes

An astounding number of buyers sign up with Realtors that just don't have the experience or expertise needed to gauge all that goes into the purchase of waterfront property. The best step you can do is to hire someone with prior, proven and effective experience in dealing with such homes. Hire an agent familiar with shoreline rules, state building setbacks, dock rules, water quality and clarity. There are 250 lakes in the NH Lakes Region and to be honest I can only recommend about 75 of them.

Look at More than the Structure

The home may look wonderful and seems to fit your family's needs. Question what parts of the home can you change or add on to or is the current footprint all you have to work with. What about the water quality and the is the bottom sandy or mucky for swimming,  Are you happy with the view? You may not be able to cut trees to make any improvements along the shoreline.

 

Does the location Match Your Lifestyle

Keep your lifestyle in mind when seeking lakefront properties. Ask yourself what your primary use of the property will be. Do you plan on spending most of your days out on the water fishing or boating?  What about using the home during the winter months, how close are the ski areas or access to snowmobile trails . What types of recreation or amusements are around the area for days not spent on the lake or those rainy days.. Prior to Visiting a Home, Call your Local Banker

Unlike conventional properties a lake home may not match what your local bank will even make a loan on.  If the bank is selling the loan in the secondary market most will not give you a loan on a seasonal or island property. You may need to find a bank that will hold the note in house. Do your homework up front. If you find that perfect home you may need to act quickly and if your banking is not lined up you may lose the home. My best advice is use a local small bank. Just trust me on this one. Insurance

Check to see if the home is in a flood zone. This past November FEMA recreated all the flood maps putting almost every home on every lake in the flood zone. Don't trust the old owner, his policy pre-dates the FEMA changes.  Flood insurance is expensive. If you are in the flood zone you may be able to work with a local surveying company to get an elevation certificate to avoid the insurance. Don't laugh when you view the FEMA maps, pretty sure they were done hundreds of miles away with a crayon.  Other areas of insurance you may have to deal with are private roads, you will need a road agreement, if the road is private and fire hydrants will be brought up. Pump the water out of the lake!

When doing your inspection check everything.

Inspections are critical for properties located on or near the water. Not only that, it is important to work with an inspector that has proven experience in dealing with similar properties. The reason for this is that the nature of these properties is completely different than standard homes. In addition to checking the structure check the home for radon air and water, plus the complete battery of water tests including arsenic.

Talk to the neighbors.

Ask the neighbor where the property line is, half the time no stakes can be found on waterfront properties. What about any problems you may have heard about with the home or the neighbor on the other side, do talk to all the neighbors. I have seen many buyers run for the hills after talking to the neighbor.

Lastly are you ready for a second home?

Many buyers neglect to realize the level of responsibility involved in owning a waterfront property.  Heating the home, general maintenance, outdoor landscaping , plowing the driveway, dock maintenance, buying and maintaining a boat and the added, taxes, insurance costs associated with owning a second home.  Think it through.

When you are ready to move forward call us, we have over 20 years of valuable lake experience.

For additional information on purchasing a lake home in NH call Lady of the Lake Realty  at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at info@nhlakesrealty.com or visit our website to view recommended lakes and homes in New Hampshire at www.nhlakesrealty.com or www.lakeorskirealestate.com.

Tips on Buying a Lakefront Home

Below are a few of mine please share your thoughts!

 

Tips on Buying a Lake Home

Sandy Beach, Great Dock and open water view

 

The majority of you will be investing in your lake property as a second home so this information is geared towards you.

A vacation home is a dream come true for anyone. Depending on your income you may own several vacation homes but the key home to own is a lakefront home in an area that you can enjoy four seasons of activity.  Living in New Hampshire I am might be a bit bias towards my home state, I must admit that NH has everything you will be looking for, quality lakes, mountains, low crime, no sales or income tax.  Ideally I will describe what to look for when making your purchase.

  1. Buy the lake, what I mean here is you can always change the home.  Focus on the water body and its attributes as a priority.
  2. Buy the location on the lake, the lot should face in a westerly or southwesterly direction for ideal sunsets and all day sun.
  3. The lot should be level and dry with enough frontage to give you privacy.
  4. Kids want a sandy beach to play and enjoy the water.  Minimum sandy bottom swimming.
  5. View, you want an open water view of the lake, you don't want a short view in a cove.  If the kids are out enjoying water sports everyone on the beach should be able to view them from the shoreline.
  6. Clean water, visit your governments water quality site.  The lake does not have to be 40,000 acres to be clean, some of the glacial lakes in NH are less than 200 acres offering Class A water.
  7. After the summer season?  If you choose the right lake and we have hundreds in NH  your commute to a major ski area could be less than 30 minutes from your lake home purchase. Your snowmobile can be driven from your garage to Canada.  Hiking trails are abundant.
  8. Lake homes were built for seasonal or year round enjoyment. Look for a  home that gives you the ability to expand or renovate to your families needs.  A garage is a real plus for storing your boat, snowmobile and other necessary toys.
  9. Visit the lake and surrounding areas prior to even viewing a home. Look for restaurants, shopping  plus entertainment for those rainy days or evenings not spent out on the deck.
  10. Set your budget and start your search.  Call us we would love to help you out.

The size of the lake is another topic but briefly on a 150 acre lake you can water-ski, tube, swim, fish and lay in the sun.  On a 40,000 acre lake you can do the same, just boat a bit father from home. For additional information on lake homes call Lady of the Lake 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.

Contact Paula Hinckley or Carl Sack today.

Tips on Buying A New Hampshire 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.

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 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.  

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

Lake Home buying Advice - Choose the right Lake and Agent !

First step is your wish list and then we start sending you lake homes that match what you are looking for. The next step is getting you into the homes so you can view them. 

 

merrymeeting lake home for sale

2 Acres - 4 Bedrooms - 2 baths - level lot - $435,000 on Merrymeeting

 

Action Speaks Louder than words!!!!

We found over 25 lakefront homes and condo's for buyers in 2015 priced from $190,000 to $1,925,000.  A home is out there for you and we can find it.

Our Goal is to find that dream lake home.  Here are a few of the lakes that our customers will be building memories that will last a lifetime. 

Winnipesaukee - Newfound - Merrymeeting - Sunrise - Loon Pond - Wentworth - Silver Lake - Sunapee - Squam - Highland - Sawyer - Pawtuckaway - Pleasant

In addition to lake homes we were successful in finding lake access homes for buyers, some with docks. 

 

winnipesaukee compound with a boat house

$3.9 Million with 6 acres on Winnipesaukee

 

For additional information on lake homes call 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

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 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 specializing in NH Lakes Realty  #nhlakesrealty

Buying A Lakefront Home can lead to some uncertainty!

You have a magical checklist.  Sunsets, Sandy Beach, Three Bedrooms, Two bathrooms, Level Lot, Large Lake, Newer Construction, Private Lot, Move in Condition and the list goes on. Plus you want the home located close to skiing and attractions. 

Unless you know exactly the lake you want to be on get in the car and drive around.  Seeing five homes in the Wakefield or Washington NH area and then deciding you don't want a remote location is a waste of time.  ( Buy the lake and setting not the home )

Get in your car and spend a day driving around looking at lakes and amenities in the area. 

Send your list of prospective homes to your agent and ask their opinion. Photography can make a shack look like your dream home. That beautiful looking home may have a busy street between the home and waterfront. Ask for Help.

Ask your agent to send a list of homes they would recommend from your checklist. Your agent will send you homes that most closely match the criteria you are looking for. 

Talk with your banker and establish a price range you are comfortable with and get a pre-qualification letter so when you find that dream home you can move quickly. 

Remember you can always change the home and your dream lake home could be on a lake that you have never heard of.

Other influencing important factors to set prior to beginning your search, commute time, property taxes vary town to town, flood zone, size of the lake, water quality and fishing.

 

Winnipesaukee Home, no beach but great views!

Winnipesaukee Home, no beach but great views!

 

For additional information on buying or selling lake homes call 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. Look for our new website coming out in December.

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty