The Lakes Region of New Hampshire is known for its stunning landscapes, serene atmosphere, and breathtaking waterfront properties. Owning a lakefront property in this area can be a dream come true for many, but choosing the perfect property can be a daunting task. Here are some valuable tips and insights to help you make the best decision when purchasing a lakefront property in the Lakes Region.
1. Determine Your Purpose & Priorities
Before starting your search, it's essential to determine the primary purpose of your lakefront property. Are you looking for a vacation home, a permanent residence, or an investment property? Your answer to this question will significantly impact the type of property you should consider and the features that will be most important to you.
Once you have a clear understanding of your purpose, you can set your priorities. What are your must-haves, the nice-to-haves, and the deal-breakers? Make a list of your top priorities, including factors like size, location, privacy, waterfront access, and amenities.
2. Research the Lakes
The Lakes Region is home to several beautiful lakes, each with its unique characteristics and charm. Some of the most popular lakes in the area include Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, and Lake Wentworth. Take the time to research each lake's size, depth, water quality, and recreational opportunities to find the one that best matches your preferences and needs.
3. Understand the Shoreline Regulations
When purchasing a lakefront property, it's crucial to understand the local shoreline regulations. These rules govern what you can and cannot do on your property, such as constructing docks, building additions, or removing vegetation. Familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure your dream property won't turn into a nightmare due to unforeseen restrictions.
4. Find a Local Real Estate Expert
Working with a local real estate expert, like the agents at Maxfield Real Estate, can significantly improve your chances of finding the perfect lakefront property. Local agents have extensive knowledge of the Lakes Region and can guide you through the process, from researching available properties to negotiating the best price. They can also help you navigate zoning regulations, environmental issues, and other factors unique to lakefront properties.
5. Inspect the Property Thoroughly
When you find a potential lakefront property, you’ll want to conduct a thorough inspection. This includes not only the house itself but also the land and shoreline. Look for any signs of erosion, flooding, or other water related issues that could impact your enjoyment of the property. Also check for the presence of invasive aquatic species, which can harm the lake's ecosystem and diminish its recreational value.
6. Consider the Costs of Ownership
Owning a lakefront property comes with additional costs beyond the purchase price. These may include higher property taxes, insurance premiums, and maintenance expenses. Be sure to factor in these costs when determining your budget and assessing the overall affordability of a particular property.
7. Think About Year Round Access & Use
If you plan to use your lakefront property year round, consider factors such as access and winterization. Some properties may be located on seasonal roads that are not maintained during the winter months, making them difficult to access. Some homes may not be adequately insulated or equipped for cold weather, requiring upgrades to make them suitable for year round use.
8. Assess the Rental Potential
If you're considering purchasing a lakefront property as an investment, evaluate its rental potential. Look for properties in desirable locations with easy access to recreational activities and amenities. Also, consider the demand for vacation rentals in the area and the rental rates you can expect to receive.
9. Take Your Time
Finding the perfect lakefront property in the Lakes Region may take some time, so be patient and don't rush the process. Be prepared to visit multiple properties and keep an open mind as you explore your options. Remember, this is a significant investment, and it's essential to make the right decision for you.
10. Envision Your Lakefront Lifestyle
When evaluating potential lakefront properties, try to envision yourself living there. Can you see yourself spending lazy summer days on the dock or enjoying a peaceful morning paddle? If a particular property evokes these feelings and aligns with your priorities, you may have found your perfect lakeside retreat.