Your Guide to Purchasing a Vacation Home
~An Interview with Josh Johnson, Realtor with Johnson Properties~
Many families make it a tradition to head to picturesque New Hampshire to enjoy their favorite vacation spot each year. Whether your family’s spot is in the exquisite white mountains or on a beautiful lake, it undoubtedly offers incredible views and many enjoyable activities. Camping can be a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. Hotels can be quite expensive and still don’t offer all the comforts of home. Have you thought about purchasing a vacation home? What are some things to consider before making a vacation home purchase? Is it the right time for you to purchase one?
Premier has compiled “Your Guide to Purchasing a Vacation Home” to help your family with this decision making process.
Why purchase a vacation home in New Hampshire? NH has many outstanding mountain ranges such as the Presidential Range which is home to Mount Washington and offers breath-taking views at 6288 ft. above sea level. Throughout New Hampshire you will find numerous majestic bodies of water including riveting waterfalls along the Kancamagus Highway, crystal clear rivers such as the Saco and Swift Rivers, and of course the magnificent Lake Winnipesaukee spanning a massive 72 sq. miles and offering 288 miles of shoreline as well as 261 islands. If the ocean is what you’re after, we have that too. NH has a little bit of something for everyone!
Josh Johnson a Realtor with Josh Johnson Properties says: “Most people move to this area because they love the outdoors. The Lakes Region area offers an endless amount of outdoor activities for every age group, as well as for those who just want to enjoy the peaceful morning sunrise or quiet nights gazing at the starry skies over the Lake and Mountains”.
Josh continues, “Vacation Homes are a very popular choice here in the Lakes Region area and draw in people from around the world because of what this place has to offer. Why? … the lack of street lights, the quaint villages, wide variety of nature, hiking, pristine spring fed lakes, fishing, kayaking and the New England charm that most people love!”
What area will you purchase your vacation home in? What types of things should you look for in a vacation home? “There are many factors that play a role in finding the right fit. Would you like a home on a large lake? A quaint lake? A remote setting? An Island? Water depths? Cottage home? Sandy beach? Boat accessibility? Home amenities? There are many types of waterfront homes in the area, so working with a local NH Realtor will help you narrow down what exactly you’re looking for and what location works best for you!”
Recreation or Investment? This is an essential question to figure out before making the purchase of a vacation home.
- Will the home primarily be for recreational purposes or investment?
- Do you want to rent it out?
- What time of year are you looking to use the home the most? Summer or winter?
If you decide not to rent it out and use the home for recreational purposes, consider how often you will visit and how long it will sit vacant. You will need to protect your home when it does sit vacant and have a plan in place in case repairs come up that need to be fixed immediately. However, picking a place you will love and enjoy should still be top priority.
If you decide you want to use it as an investment property, select a popular spot where there are plenty of attractions. Estimate your return on the property versus mortgage and maintenance costs. Regardless of what option you decide upon, plan on purchasing a home where it will accommodate the evolving interests by all who stay there.
Can you afford to purchase a second home? Crunch those numbers ahead of time and discuss your options with a qualified mortgage specialist. Some mortgage companies charge a higher percentage in interest or higher down payment for owning a second home.
Are you looking for a single family house vs condo or multi-family? If you decide on a condo make sure you check what the condo association fees (HOA) will be and if it’s approved to use as a rental property if applicable. Visiting a variety of homes will be of benefit in helping you determine exactly what you are looking for in your vacation home including location, size, price, and amenities.
How to choose the right realtor to help with your vacation home search? Find a realtor who knows the vacation areas well. Ask them how many vacation home listings they have had over the years. But it’s also imperative to trust and be comfortable with the realtor to guide you through this process.
Josh adds: “You need to work with a local Realtor who will take the time to get to know you and figure out what works for you. New Hampshire reminds me of Lake Tahoe in California/Nevada, where people from the Bay Area get away from the craziness of life. Same goes here! When you approach the Lakes Region Area, people tend to drive slower, which can be annoying, however the lifestyle surely causes you to kick your feet up and relax a little.”
Of course, remember to protect your investment by having your vacation home inspected by a qualified NH home inspector. Premier will look for signs and symptoms of potential concerns, as well as discuss proper maintenance to ensure the long term health of your new home!
Looking to purchase a vacation home? Additional questions? Josh Johnson, with Josh Johnson Properties is your vacation home realtor! He has also included some tidbits about the lakes region below.
About Josh Johnson: Josh spent 10+ years competing at professional levels of Skiing and Golf, has a passion for serving others, and is surrounded by a family of home builders. Serving home sellers and buyers in the Lakes Region Area of New Hampshire, his love for this type of living and personal experience has allowed him to guide his clients towards their own dreams of living the Lake Life. Josh was raised on a Lake in New Hampshire and his family goes back four generations living here in this great state.
Four Popular Lakes Here in The Lakes Region
Lake Winnipesaukee – Located at the foothills of the White Mountains, Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state at 72 square miles. The wooded shoreline and crystal clear water of this spring-fed lake makes it the most popular lake in New Hampshire. Everything you’re looking for is on Lake Winnipesaukee! Visit www.winnipesaukee.com for more information.
Squam Lake – Known for the 1981 filming of On Golden Pond, this lake is one of the most pristine lakes in the country and offers a wide variety of outdoor activities both in and out of the water. Squam is all about the rustic style of New England and a place that seems like it never ages. Come visit and you won’t want to leave!
Lake Winnisquam– At 4,264 acres, it is the fourth-largest lake located entirely in New Hampshire. The lake is primarily fed by the outlet from Lake Winnipesaukee. Winnisquam’s outlet is the Winnipesaukee River, which flows to the Merrimack River. The lake offers great fishing and boating and is a long lake for extended boating excursions.
Ossipee Lake– Located in the northeastern portion of the Lakes Region, this lake spans 3,092 acres. It’s a quiet lake known for fishing and nice sandy beaches. If you like to ski, snowmobile or hike in the White Mountains, this lake could be a good fit for you!