Buying a Home? Follow These Tips & Tricks

Moving into new home young happy couple celebrating toast Champagne

Spring has officially arrived and launches the beginning of our spring selling season for real estate in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Buying a home can seem like a daunting process. It could possibly be the most expensive and emotionally charged purchase of your life. I’ve put together some ideas and suggestions to help you navigate through the process with the ultimate goal of making an informed real estate decision.

  1. Work with a reputable real estate Broker: a good experienced Realtor® will help you make sound decisions and guide you through the home buying process. Ask people you trust for referrals to a real estate professional they trust.
  2. Determine how much of a house you can afford: a close look at your budget and spending habits. Gather your financial records, check your credit score, and meet with a lender to obtain a prequalification letter spelling out how much you’re eligible to borrow. Perform this step first. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to start looking to get qualified for financing.
Map of USA: How Real Estate Trends affect the Lakes Region
With our “Lifestyle Finder”, you can quickly research home values and recent sales activity, local businesses, schools, employment statistics, and area demographics. 

3. Check out neighborhoods and get to know the local market: in the Lakes Region, there’s a large selection of property types. There are primary residential neighborhoods, water access communities, waterfront properties, condominium developments, and second-home communities. So many towns and cities to consider. Research your most important necessities. Schools, commute time, recreation amenities, shopping, and price range are all factors to consider. Each town has its own vibe and appeal, so you have to prioritize your wants and needs.

4. Get online and explore what’s for sale: start researching product availability and price range. Use your favorite real estate website. It might be Realtor.com or Zillow.com. At rocherealty.com, we provide a wealth of information on the Lakes Region, from blogs to detailed information on new subdivisions, second-home communities, condominium communities, and more. It’s easy to set up alerts on these real estate websites, which are based on your criteria and can help automate some of the work.

5. Visit open houses: open houses can help you get a sense of the housing stock in the area. What’s available and at what price point? Another way to preview homes online is through 3D Matterport tours and video walkthroughs which Roche Realty Group does for every listing.

6. Be realistic about purchasing a home: try not to get blindsided by minor imperfections. Yes, it’s important to be particular about the home and neighborhood you want. Distinguishing between what’s fixable and not is a key part of house-hunting. With the proper vision, a good contractor, or a DIY approach, you can add a lot of future value. So, try to look past the blemishes and create value by looking for a home whose full potential has yet to be realized.

7. Pay special attention to the neighborhood: everyone knows the phrase “location, location, location.” Look around at the quality of neighboring properties. Are there any new development plans nearby? How busy is the traffic and noise levels? What are the zoning laws or association rules, regulations & restrictions? Have home values in the neighborhood been declining or rising? Is there a lot of undeveloped land around? Is the water quality of the lake in front of the house desirable? What are the nearby amenities?

Home inspection report
No home is perfect. Small repairs are not worth bringing up or negotiating if you really love the home. 

8. Offering too much: if there’s a lot of competition and you find a place you like, it’s all too easy to get sucked into a bidding war. Look at what the house will appraise for and make sure the purchase price for the house you buy is reasonable for both the house and the location. Study comparable sales and get your Realtor’s® opinion.

9. Always get a home inspection: I’ve seen too many instances in the past couple of years where buyers have waived their home inspection contingency to make their offer more favorable. You need to know what kind of shape the house is in. You don’t want to get stuck with a money pit or with the headache of performing a lot of unexpected expensive repairs or latent defects.

10. Be willing to negotiate: understand that making an offer on a home is the start of a psychological game. The competitive market in the Lakes Region for the past several years has made it difficult to negotiate, especially with multiple offers. Today’s higher interest rate environment will help calm the exuberance; however, the lack of available inventory and buyer demand has kept the candle glowing thus far. Try to be flexible in a competitive market. Being the first to make a solid offer can provide an edge.

11. Know the seller’s motivation: it’s always helpful to look at the deal through the seller’s eyes. Money is always a motivating factor. Time is also a motivating factor. I would also say the emotional tie the seller has to the property is another factor. Why is the seller selling? Are they having a hard time letting go or are they looking to have the deal go through quickly and painlessly as possible? Maybe they would like a special family to appreciate everything they have enjoyed over the years.

12. Here’s a few things to look for when buying a home:

    • Foundation problems — the most important part of the home is what it sits on.
    • Is there water in the basement or foundation?
    • Any signs of water damage or are there musty odors?
    • Look for evidence of mold in basements, attics, and around drains and water pipes.
    • Ventilation problems without adequate interior ventilation moisture can become a breeding ground for mold.
    • Does the electric panel need an upgrade?
    • Are any door frames tilted?
    • Is there soft wood around the sills, framing, members, or window sill? A moisture meter is a handy tool.
    • Leaks around the toilet are a common problem that can result in more serious issues down the road.
    • What’s under the carpet — hardwood or plywood?
    • Are the roof shingles curling, missing, or covered in moss?
    • Is the temperature the same in every room with the heating on?
    • Poor tiling in baths or kitchens could indicate a DIY job.
    • Check the windows and make sure they slide easily. Also, with wood casement windows, they tend to swell up and not close properly over time.
    • Is there rust on the HV/AC, furnace, or water heater? Also, are there signs of rust in the toilets or bathtubs could be a sign of iron in the water.
    • Ask for all the documentation on the septic system and artesian or dug well. These are costly items and attentive research, in the beginning, can save a lot of time.
    • Review the seller’s 5-page property disclosure form with your Realtor®. It’s a critical part of the home buying process and question anything you don’t understand.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of buying a new home and some houses may come with hidden surprises; however, a little vigilance before you buy can prevent you from falling into a costly quagmire. Hopefully, the above tips will ensure you’re empowered with the tools and information to find a home that’s safe, sound, and ready to move in!

This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Sales data was compiled by a NEREN search on and is subject to change. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.

Are you looking to start the home-buying process? Contact one of our experienced Realtors® below!

Memorial Day

Beyond the BBQ: A Symphony of Remembrance and Summer Joy in the NH Lakes Region

Memorial Day serves as the official kick-off to summer in the Lakes Region. Towns ready ...
Read More →
Welcome to New Hampshire's Lakes Region

Welcome to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the United ...
Read More →
The Granite State: Top Spot for Relocation in 2024

The Granite State: Top Spot for Relocation in 2024

New Hampshire just garnered major recognition as the best state to relocate to in 2024 ...
Read More →
Real Estate Sales Insights: Lakes Region Market Update

Real Estate Sales Insights: Lakes Region Market Update

It’s hard to believe we’ve already churned through 4 months of 2024. I researched the ...
Read More →
Market Trends – Spring 2024

Market Trends – Spring 2024

As a Realtor®, I’m always paying attention to the real estate market. I’m often asked ...
Read More →
Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

The Historic Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

Gilmanton—According to Frank Roche of Roche Realty Group in Meredith, the historic Temperance Tavern in ...
Read More →
Needs and Wants When Buying a Home Balanced

Balancing Needs and Wants When Buying a Home

In the current housing market, where choices are often limited, and demand frequently outstrips supply, ...
Read More →
Only two homes for sale at South Down Shores and Long Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee pictured above

Spotlight on Homes: New Hampshire Market Analysis

At present time, there are 1,007 single-family homes for sale in New Hampshire. The median ...
Read More →
New Hampshire Ranks High in Recent Studies

New Hampshire Ranks High in Recent Studies

Every day in our industry, we see how rising home prices have made it more ...
Read More →
South Down Shores Barn Complex Transformation

South Down Shores Barn Complex Transformation

In 1981, the transformation of Laconia’s scenic South Down Farm began, converting the former 126-acre ...
Read More →
Massachusetts and New Hampshire - a Tale of Two States

Massachusetts and New Hampshire – a Tale of Two States

Most of my articles talk about housing, trends, home values, and the desirable lifestyle we ...
Read More →
Spring flowers at the Belknap Mill in Laconia, New Hampshire

Spring Trends in Lakes Region Properties

It’s been one of those winters, or should I say lack of winters, that we ...
Read More →
Sales Snapshot: The Current Highest Prices Property For Sale in The Lakes Region Is on Governor's Island for $12,998,000

Sales Snapshot: New Hampshire’s Affordability Challenge

As we spring into March and approach our busy spring selling season, I thought I’d ...
Read More →
Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, NH

Gunstock: Gem of the Lakes Region

Nestled among the stoic peaks of the Belknap Mountain range in the heart of New ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Group Announces Top Producers for 2023

Roche Realty Group Announces Top Producers for 2023

Meredith — Frank Roche, president of Roche Realty Group, announced the top five producers for the ...
Read More →
AI and the Future of Real Estate

AI and the Future of Real Estate

Imagine, if you will, looking at a mysterious picture box filled with a whole world ...
Read More →
Prices rise Broadview Condominiums originally sold to the developer for $500,000

Prices Rise Ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

We’ve got a great match coming up for this year’s Super Bowl…The 49ers vs. the ...
Read More →
Smart Moves in Condominium Ownership Samoset

Smart Moves in Condominium Ownership

Here in the Lakes Region, a good part of our residential housing inventory is in ...
Read More →
Land Sales Unveiled: New Hampshire's 2023 Market

Land Sales Unveiled: New Hampshire’s 2023 Market

New Hampshire The Granite State… true to its motto, “Live Free or Die”, which encapsulates ...
Read More →
Exploring Cash Sales Dynamics in Lakes Region Real Estate

Exploring Cash Sales Dynamics in Lakes Region Real Estate

I was at a sales meeting at Roche Realty Group the other day, and we ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Meredith

Roche Realty Group Reports Over $150 Million in Sales

               Meredith- Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc., ...
Read More →
Lincoln, New Hampshire Riverwalk Resort

Lincoln, New Hampshire: From Mill Town to Ski Destination

Tucked in the heart of New Hampshire, sprawling across 131 square miles of varied terrain, ...
Read More →
Lakes Region Towns Stand Out For Their Spirit of Giving

Celebrating the Spirit of “Giving” in the Lakes Region

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of New Hampshire, the Lakes Region stands out not only ...
Read More →
AI's Impact on the future of real estate

Real Estate’s Future: The Impact of AI

The other day, I was talking with my son Chris about the changes in the ...
Read More →
NH Lake Sales Activity - picture of lake with mountains and homes

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales 2022 vs. 2023

We’re getting near the end of the year, and I thought I would pull up ...
Read More →
Winter Snowmobile

Real Estate in a Winter Wonderland

As I drove around the other day with my kids, I was looking at some ...
Read More →
Toys for Tots Drive

Roche Realty Host Annual Toys for Tots Drive

As the holiday season approaches, Roche Realty Group is excited to announce the kickoff of ...
Read More →
Small Business Saturday New Hampshire

Small Business Saturday Living Gratefully in New Hampshire

We have so many things to be thankful for here in New Hampshire: plenty of ...
Read More →
Annie Brown Joins Roche Realty Group

Annie Brown Joins Roche Realty Group

Meredith — Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc., with offices in Meredith and ...
Read More →
Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, NH

Gunstock Upgrades for Winter as Real Estate Shows Resilient Growth

As the leaves of New Hampshire’s forests transition from the vibrant hues of fall to ...
Read More →
Preserving New Hampshire's Lakes

Preserving New Hampshire’s Lakes: A Community Effort

With over 250 lakes and ponds throughout New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, there are unlimited outdoor ...
Read More →
Home Inspections — The Uninspected Abode: A Spine-chilling Tale of Regret and Terror!

The Uninspected Home: A Spine-chilling Tale of Regret and Terror!

One night, not many years ago, in a quaint, somber town nestled amidst the haunting ...
Read More →
Interest Rates

Interest Rates Impacted by Treasury Yields

It looks like the national picture for housing stats has not improved in recent months; ...
Read More →
Local Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions

Local Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions

Our communities are facing a shortage of both residential and commercial properties, a scenario that’s ...
Read More →
Fall Splendor In New Hampshire

Fall Splendor in New Hampshire

New Hampshire in the fall is akin to stepping into a live canvas painting — ...
Read More →
Samoset Condominiums on Lake Winnipesaukee

Condominium Sales Surge in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region!

As we start entering October’s bright fall colors, I thought I’d take a look at ...
Read More →
Empowering your offer

Empower Your Offer in a Sizzling Real Estate Market!

As a seasoned real estate professional, I often consider the market conditions to keep myself, ...
Read More →
Reviews of New Hampshire's Lakes Region

Reviews of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

We’ve had a great summer in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, and we’re approaching the brilliant ...
Read More →
Waterfont Sales Activity Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Waterfront Sales Activity in the Lakes Region

As we head into September, I have compiled data and insight into what is happening ...
Read More →
Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend in The Lakes Region

Labor Day Weekend has arrived, and the weather forecast for the Lakes Region looks fantastic, ...
Read More →
Interest Rates

The Mortgage Interest Rate Dilemma

This past week, we saw an increase in mortgage rates following a rise in bond ...
Read More →
Best State To Live In — New Hampshire at #3

New Hampshire 3rd Best State To Live In!

WalletHub just released its rankings of the best state to live in for 2023. It’s ...
Read More →
City/Town Comparison can make the research process easier

City/Town Comparison For Your Move

Some studies place moving to a new location as one of the top ten most ...
Read More →
New Hampshire Real Estate Lacks Inventory

New Hampshire Real Estate Inventory Crisis

A Multifaceted Analysis of Rising Interest Rates and Beyond New Hampshire is currently facing a ...
Read More →
Peaks of New England

Exploring the Peaks of New England

In my younger years in school, I always loved geography. Living in New Hampshire, there ...
Read More →
Climate Exodus: Insurance Companies Seeking Refuge from High-Risk Sates

Climate Exodus: Insurers’ Fleeing High-Risk States

Flooding, Forest Fires, Heat Waves, Tornados, oh my! The recent stretch of weather has certainly ...
Read More →
Real Estate News Headlines - Lakes Region NH

Real Estate Tidbits to Consider

Here are a few real estate tidbits I’ve pulled to keep you up to speed ...
Read More →
Roche Realty Group Sells out Lakeside at Paugus Bay

Roche Realty Group — 6 Months in Review

Closed sales for the first 6 months of 2023 have been impressive at Roche Realty ...
Read More →
Newfound Lake

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales Activity 6 Month Comparison

Below you will find data and insight into what is happening in sales activity on ...
Read More →
Buying Land

Buying Land in New Hampshire — Comprehensive Guide

New Hampshire, also known as the Granite State, offers a diverse landscape that includes picturesque ...
Read More →

Leave a Comment