Buying a Second Home in New Hampshire? Here's What You Need to Know

Verani Realty

What to consider when buying your second home in the Granite State.

buying a second home in new hampshireAh, the good life. Your feet are up, sunglasses are on, and ice cubes are clinking in the glass you’re holding in your hand. When you look up, what do you see? Waves lazily lapping the lakefront or oceanfront shore? Double-diamond slopes snaking down the mountain? The reasons to buy a second home in New Hampshire are as plentiful as the breathtaking front-porch views. In fact, New Hampshire has the third-highest concentration of seasonal homes in the country (only trailing behind neighboring states Maine and Vermont), representing 10.4 percent of all housing units in New Hampshire. Here are a few considerations to ponder before you submit your offer. 

Income property, vacation home, or something in-between?

There are many reasons for buying a second home in New Hampshire, but regardless of whether you’re looking to diversify your financial portfolio or invest in some R&R, do your homework. Many see that New Hampshire’s property tax rate hovers around two percent, but don’t consider how that is offset by the lack of a state income and sales tax. There’s a reason why out-of-staters always stop at one of the state-run NH Liquor and Wine Outlets before they head home after a fantastic ski weekend, power hike up one of NH’s 40 4,000-foot mountains, or a relaxing day at the beach.

How do you define relaxation?

If DIY is your MO, go ahead and make an offer on a second home that needs a little renovation. Some people love the idea of personalizing a new property to suit their style anyway, so if the needs of that perfect fixer-upper are in your wheelhouse, go for it. Remember to check local building guidelines for your type of property; homes in waterfront areas and environmentally-protected zones may come with special rules outlining what you can and cannot do without requesting a special exception.

Fortunately, in New Hampshire, the ocean, mountains, and lakes are all within an hour or so driving distance (or less) from one another, so the trade-offs of one over the others is only a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Hire a real estate agent local to the community where you want to move

When it comes to restaurant recommendations and renovation resources, always trust the locals. The townies and your soon-to-be neighbors have been there and done that, so why not tap the expertise of a local real estate agent? They’ll know the difference between the two nearly-identical multi-family buildings you’re considering, and which one is next to the good pizza place, rather than the one that keeps showing up on health department inspection reports month after month. They can even help with the regional lingo, so you know the difference between a cabin, chalet, cottage, and a camp.

Care to share?

Many second homers in New Hampshire take a hybrid approach, occupying their second home in New Hampshire during the summertime and then renting it to seasonal ski families during the winter (or vice versa). This offsets the tax burden of an additional property while providing additional income. But, be sure the effort is worth the time: mortgage requirements and products vary between primary and second homes, so the responsibilities of being a landlord could quickly overshadow why you’re buying a home in New Hampshire in the first place.

Don’t worry about a thing

The real estate professionals and relocation experts at Verani Realty have experience helping locals and newcomers alike buy their home in New Hampshire, and look forward to helping you, too. We’ll manage everything from mortgage applications to move-in day, so you’re sitting on the front porch of your dreams with ice cubes clinking in no time.

If you’re in the market for a second home, start browsing New Hampshire real estate online today.

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