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Selling and Buying Waterfront Part II – The Second Home

In the last installment I brought up some important ways that waterfront properties here in the Lakes Region of NH are different from other properties in the real estate market. Essentially three characteristics define this type of real estate – 1.  Almost  all waterfront properties are second homes. 2. There are many different types of bodies of water in our market area and many different types of structures on them. 3. There are different types of ownership and access to the water along with accordingly different types of structures, for instance condominium units. I’ll tackle the first characteristic today – the Second Home Market. What makes second homes unique? How does the market look at this subsegment? I’ll also tell you what to look for when buying a second home/waterfront property.

Second homes are special. Primary homes are basically function first, but second homes are for fun! Once word gets out that you now have a vacation home on the water here in the Lakes Region, you are most likely going to have company. Relatives, children, and even acquaintances will be lined up to get invited and may even drop in uninvited to “help you enjoy”. So you really need to factor into the equation that you will be entertaining. How many to expect? What amenities will be required to provide necessary services? How many bedrooms? Baths? What kind of kitchen will be needed? Kids? Also you need to know when you want to use the property. Will you use the property in the winter for skiing or snowmobiling or need to be able to close it down without a big fuss?

Also, with waterfront properties, the characteristics of the lot are bound to be a big factor in any decision. Sandy beach or deepwater dock for boating? Views – sunset or sunrise? Exposure – protected or windswept? How far is the commute? Each site will have characteristics that are different and it’s important to know what suits your needs and wants.

Before you start to search, do yourself and your real estate agent a favor. Take the time to write down a list of what you want your ideal vacation home to provide. You probably won’t get everything you want, but include everything and then you can prioritize. If you have young children or grandchildren, it’s important to have in mind that they are going to need space where they can be kids. A formal home may be impressive, but a horde of sandy footed cherubs will lay waste very quickly to unsympathetic decor. If you are boaters, a protected moorage will save on wind and wave damage. Want sunsets? Better face west.

There are currently many excellent waterfronts available on all the lakes and ponds in our area. All are unique and all will have positives and negatives. Now is the best time to start your search for your dream waterfront home. If you start now, you will have time to be comfortably into your new home in time to enjoy the whole season. Start your search online at www.s21794.p694.sites.pressdns.com and call or email me at kcedarstrom@roche.g.corvida.com with any questions.

The real estate market to our south is really heating up. It’s only a matter of time before it catches up to us. There are still great deals and there is still a good selection of inventory available. Rates are starting to creep up but are still very attractive. If you are thinking of giving you and your family the gift of a second home, now is a great time.

Kim Cedarstrom is a licensed residential and commercial Realtor(R) and consultant and president of Great Northern Real Estate and Business Advisors, an affiliate of Roche Realty Group offering a lakefront/residential real estate practice as well as commercial property and business sales services. Kim can be reached at kcedarstrom@roche.g.corvida.com or directly at 603-520-6609

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