Searching for a Lake Winnipesaukee Home? Here Are Some Tips for Buying A Property in the Area.

In the state of New Hampshire, very few luxury real estate markets can compare to the diverse and exciting market of the greater Lake Winnipesaukee region. Whether buyers are looking to start a family in this quaint New Hampshire area, or if they are looking for a second home away from the city, there are endless opportunities within this lakeside region. This area is expansive, and along the shores of these more than 250 lakes in the region, are countless small towns and communities, each with their own unique features, benefits and amenities. Lake Winnipesaukee itself is more than 44,000 acres, and is dotted with 253 islands and dozens of communities along its shore.

With Boston, New York City and Connecticut close by, this New Hampshire area has not only become a popular destination for nature-lovers to settle down in, but a place for those seeking a break from city living to buy a second home in.  Year-round activities that include water sports and boating; hiking and biking; and skiing and snowmobiling, just to name a few, have enticed many to call Lake Winnipesaukee their second home. With so many options throughout the greater Lake Winnipesaukee region, buyers may find that shopping for a home in this area is more complex than buying a property in other communities. Here are some tips for any buyer considering a home in this region, whether you are new to the Lake Winnipesauke region, or are an established member of the community looking for a new property to call home.

Focus on the Details

They key to buying the right home in Lake Winnipesaukee, is all in the details. This market is one of the most diverse in all of New England, so knowing the details behind the type of home that you want is very important. Here are a few details you need to iron out first before you begin your search.

  • If you want to be near a fully recreational lake.
  • Do you need a dock?
  • If you want a year-round home or a seasonal one.
  • How many acres do you need?
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Whether you need a garage or special storage
  • Price range
  • Does the home need to be kid-friendly, or near certain schools?

These are all important details and can help you decide what type of home you want in this area, and help you filter through the available options. There is a major difference between a summer lake home and a year round home for your family. Unlike other markets, some of the homes in this region are designed specifically for individuals who need a seasonal home such a winter retreat or a summer lake house. These homes may not offer some of the same amenities that buyers typically look for in their year-round home, so if you are looking for a permanent residence in Lake Winnipesaukee, make sure you are clear about what features you need to meet your needs.

Find a Location That Fits Your Needs

One of the many great things about the Winnipesaukee lake region is that this area is so big and has so much to offer. If you don’t already know the exact town you want to be in, the best thing you can do when starting a search in this area is to narrow down your options, by focusing on a few key characteristics of what you are looking for to help you determine a location.

Ask yourself some of these important questions:

  • Do you want to be right on the lake?
  • Do you prefer the peace and quiet of some of the smaller lakes?
  • Do you want to be right “in town” and within walking distance to coffee shops and restaurants or do you prefer something more rural?
  • Would you rather be close to the mountains for hiking and skiing rather than the lakes?

These are all important questions that can narrow down your search options and the areas that will best suit your needs. If you come into the buying process simply wanting “something” in the area, you will only have to sort through dozens of properties in all different areas of the lake region and with all different features. The more specific you can be in the early stages, the easier the entire buying process will be.

Know What Buying a Lake Property Really Means

The vast market in Lake Winnipesaukee isn’t the only thing that sets this region apart for home buyers. Before purchasing a property in this region, it is important to know some of the differences that set lake front properties apart from other homes. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before closing the deal on a lake property.

  • Look at more than just the structure of the home. Look at what you can change, such as the bathrooms, paint color or landscaping and things that you cannot change such as water quality and clarity, location and dock access.
  • Remember there are different shoreline rules and dock rules on different lakes throughout the region. You may even be prevented from making certain landscaping changes, such as cutting down trees on certain lakefront homes.
  • Get your lending options figured out first, as lake homes may not always match what your lending company will make on a loan.
  • Check to see if the home is in a flood zone, and remember that FEMA laws have changed on flood zones in most lake regions. If the home is in a flood zone, you need to be financially prepared to pay extra flood insurance, which can be costly.
  • Work with inspectors that specifically work on lakefront properties, to look for additional structural issues that may impact a waterfront home.
  • Be clear on the property lines. Many times, with lake and waterfront properties, it can be difficult to see where property lines begin and ends. You need to know just what land you are buying, especially when location is such an important feature in a property.

There are so many details to go over before buying a lake home, not only in Lake Winnipesaukee, but in any lakefront region. The good news is, if you have a seasoned Lake Winnipesaukee realtor by your side and keep these tips in mind, you can have the assistant you need to navigate the waters of the area’s real estate market.