Over the years, I have seen many vacationers, second home owners and tourists drive along Union Avenue, (Route 3) through Laconia’s major artery and never really see some of the great housing opportunities and neighborhoods that exist along the easterly shore of Lake Winnisquam, west of Union Avenue (Route 3).
They drive past the box stores in Tilton and approach Laconia’s downtown and travel through a myriad of franchise restaurants along Paugus Bay, however, many of them do not realize that there is a real hidden secret. There are two wonderful neighborhoods, which enjoy large private association beaches on Lake Winnisquam. Lake Winnisquam is NH’s third largest lake. It includes approximately 4,264 acres of pristine water and is roughly 1/10th of the size of Lake Winnipesaukee in surface area. It is a deep lake, with a maximum depth of 154’ and an average depth of 52’. The lake shoreline is 28 miles long, measuring 5.4 miles long and approximately 1.7 miles wide. There are 5 islands on Lake Winnisquam and five towns enjoy shore frontage.
On the southerly end of Shore Drive in Laconia, there is a wonderful residential neighborhood with homes fronting on Shore Drive and neighboring streets that belong to the Lakewood Beach Association on Lake Winnisquam. Rarely do you find a natural beach with a breathtaking setting like this one. The association beach includes roughly 1280’ of sandy shorefront on 4.65 acres and is set back nicely from the road. All of the members of this association in the neighborhood have deeded beach right to this wonderful amenity. It rivals small state parks, such as Ellacoya State Park or Wellington State Park, on a smaller scale. The huge natural sandy beach is enjoyed by all residents, where they gather for family parties, BBQ’s, ice cream socials and even a movie night at dusk – what a great family neighborhood where children can make lasting friendships and memories and the parents can interact socially with their neighbors. The annual dues are only $65 per year, which is very minimal compared to other associations in the Lakes Region and not only can you use the beach, but there are spots for your canoes or kayaks. All of the homes include city water and sewer.
Just up the road, there is another wonderful water access association. The Wildwood Shores Association is a similar residential community and includes deeded beach rights to Wildwood Shores Beach, a 345’ natural sandy beach on 1.61acres with men’s and ladies bath house, kayaks racks, a boat launch and some boat moorings. Around the corner they have tennis courts for residents. The Wildwood Village Condominium is spread out throughout the neighborhood with an attractive pond. All of these homes include City Water and Sewer. The annual dues are only $90 per year.
Throughout both communities, there is a wonderful mix of architectural designs to choose from, from capes to ranches, garrisons, colonials and splits – there is something for everyone. Also, there is a wonderful selection of custom waterfront homes along Shore Drive. At the beginning of my real estate career, in the late 1970’s, the two neighborhoods were primarily used by full time residents, however, over the years I have seen a big transition. Many second home owners have discovered the natural beauty of the area, with its gorgeous beaches and close proximity to downtown Laconia, shopping, restaurants and golf courses. Likewise, both neighborhoods are within 15 minutes to Gunstock. In summary, there is a wonderful mix of year round residents, semi-retired couples and second home owners.
When you compare the selling prices of these water access homes to other water access communities around the Lakes Region, you will find the prices are very attractive. During the last three years, the average selling price has ranged from $244,312 to $247,045 – a bargain when you consider that they have deeded private waterfront access to enjoy.
Here is a brief synopsis of the average selling prices over the last 3 years:
Eight water access home sales with an average sales price of $244,312.
Four condo sales with an average sales price of $194,850.
One waterfront home sold for $810,000.
Eleven water access home sales with an average sales price of $247,045.
One condo sold for $163,000.
One waterfront home sold for $875,000.
Six water access home sales with an average sales price of $245,532.
Three condo sales with an average sales price of $148,166.
Two waterfront home sales with an average sales price of $802,500.
Overall from what you can see above, the pricing has stayed very consistent and the families that have purchased in these wonderful neighborhoods have made a solid investment with excellent square footage, many already upgraded and a great amenity package. Many of the homes have been upgraded and added to over the years. The landscaping and overall setting creates real value going into the future. For those of you who are considering a water access property, semi-retirement home or second home, this is a great area consider. Please contact you favorite realtor for more information and product choices available at this time. It has always been one of Roche Realty Group’s best sellers! People are truly amazed when they get down there are able to see these communities for themselves!
By Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc. with offices in Meredith and Laconia. Frank can be reached at (603) 279-7046.