Buying a N.H. Vacation Home 101

adirondack chairs on deck by lakeA recent survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS, showed that most buyers purchase a second home for their personal vacations or as a family retreat, not as income property they plan to rent out. Is this the year you plan to join the ranks and begin having the ultimate summer family vacations in your own New Hampshire vacation home?

If it is, the time to start planning is now. Interest rates remain at a historic low, and though prices have made a comeback across the state, they are still affordable and within reach. Home values are rising though, so buying now is wise and the odds are great that the home you buy this year will be worth more a few years down the road.

If you are a typical Granite Stater, as well as residents of neighboring states, owning a second homes in one of New Hampshire’s many recreational areas is a big item on your must-do list. The state offers recreational fun for everybody; skiing, boating, fishing and swimming, and it is even better to participate from your own dock, or a short walk, or even with a 5 minute drive from your new home.

With spring only a few weeks away, it is the perfect time to examine your budget, look into any needed financing, and determine where your family would ideally like to gather each year to enjoy many vacations together. There are so many memories to be made!

Here is a quick list to think about and get you started:

Financing- if needed: Getting pre-qualified for a loan and/or determine how much cash you plan to invest in this purchase is the first step. Look at your budget and determine what you have from savings that you can put into this endeavor. Then, if more capital is needed, speak to your lender about options for financing. Remember, aside from what it costs to purchase, you’ll need to be able to manage maintenance costs and any association fees for the property.

Location, location, location: Hopefully you have stayed in various areas around the state during previous family vacations, so you have an idea where your family would get the most enjoyment from a second home. Think about what the general interests are: water sports, boating, fishing, skiing, or a love of the ocean. This should be your guide to where in the state you should begin to look at homes. Follow your passion (or your family’s passion) to ensure your second home offers recreational activities that everyone enjoys.

Consider the future: Don’t just think about what your 6 year old child likes to do now for fun on vacation, but the activities he may enjoy as a teen. Chances are you will own this property for many years to come. Take into account the age of your children today as well as what might be there for them to enjoy in the coming years as they grow older.

Explore the community: This will be your home away from home so get to know the community that surrounds the vacation property you are considering. How close is the nearest store, pharmacy, or movie theater? Is there trash pick-up? Is your road plowed by the town or are the residents responsible? Make sure all these little details fit your needs.

The time to buy a second home has arrived for many people who have dreamed of it for years but were waiting for the right time and market conditions. Educate yourself and prepare for the shopping process so you know exactly what you are looking for and how much you can afford to pay. Buying in early spring can also save you money if you get a head start on those summer buyers. Less competition may even get you a lower sales price.

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