Tips On Buying A Lake Home In NH

What you should know when buying a waterfront property!

What you should know when buying a waterfront property!

Helpful Tips to achieve your dreams - memories - investment.

  1. Buying a waterfront home, it might be your primary home purchase, second home, or future retirement home. You are buying more than a lake home it is a lifestyle. 
  2. Hire a Waterfront Expert! If you have a toothache you go to a dentist not to a chiropractor. Interview agents, why settle for an inexperienced agent. Ask your agent for past client testimonial lake sales and what lakes they have sold properties on. 
  3. Get your financing lined up. Get a bank pre-approval letter, home equity loan or cash as an option. In this competitive market the seller wants to see your proof you can pay.  Some sellers will not even show their home unless the buyer has a bank letter in hand. 
  4. What is your goal in purchasing a waterfront home? Memories! It may be a four-season home that has close proximity to ski areas and snowmobiling or a seasonal cottage for summer usage. Motorboating or a kayaking non-motoring lake. List your must-have options and start comparing homes and lakes. 
  5. Buy the lake and location! You can change the home!  You can’t change the - sunsets - sandy beach - mountain views - deep water dock - fishing - non-motoring lake - privacy - proximity to attractions - shopping - restaurants. Take a day and drive-by lakes of interest. Why spend a day looking at homes when you have ruled out the area after the first showing. 
  6. Talk to us about the lake that fits your lifestyle. Winnipesaukee and Squam are wonderful lakes but if you have young boaters they can easily get lost with all the islands and inlets. On a smaller lake, your whole family can view them enjoying all watersports from shore and not get lost. 
  7. Research the lake, ask your agent if the lake has milfoil, average depth, lake size, general water quality rating, and if the lake has occurrences of cyanobacteria blooms.  Again buy the lake! 
  8. Talk to the neighbors! 
  9. Lady of the Lake Realty is familiar with shoreline rules. The in-depth rules cover tree cutting, home expansion, dock rules, swim platform rules and boating restrictions. We have or can get the answers for you. 
  10. Look at the Fema maps to determine if you will need flood insurance. If in the flood zone an elevation certificate may help with insurance costs. 
  11. Lake experts like Lady of the Lake Realty can offer you expert opinions on lakes. Example Belleau Lake water quality was just reduced to Eutrophic ( Worst Water Quality ) Information you need to know for future resale.  

For additional information on lake homes call Lady of the Lake Realty LLC at 1-888-737-5550 or e-mail at NH waterfront homes and cottages for sale - Waukewan home  or visit our website to view lake homes in New Hampshire at

Contact Carl Sack or Paula Hinckley   #nhlakesrealty

Scroll to the bottom of the page for individual lake searches. 







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 or visit our website to view recommended lakes and homes in New Hampshire at or

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 where you will find listings to the lakes we recommend.