Guide To Buying A Second Home In New Hampshire
Are you looking for a rural retreat, an escape from hectic city life, a good investment property, a place to retire, or even all of the above? Look no further than New Hampshire, home to mountains for hiking and skiing, lakes and a stretch of ocean coastline, and small towns for shopping, dining, and arts. Also, no sales tax! In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about buying a second home in New Hampshire.
Consider the purpose(s) of your second home.
When it comes to buying a second home, there are a variety of ways to use another property. For example, a retiree may want to maintain two properties to split the year in different climates and/or with different family members. A family may be looking for a vacation retreat. Second homes can also be used for both personal and income-earning purposes. During weeks or weekends you’re not there, your second home can be rented out as a short-term vacation rental.
Think through the following questions to get clear on your reasons for buying a second home:
Where is the best place to buy a vacation home?
- As an investment: If you plan to rent out your second property some or all of the time, you’ll want to choose a location that will be attractive to tourists. Search short-term rental sites to see where your competition is located. It may not make sense to join an already-saturated market, but you don’t want to be completely off the grid either.
- As a personal escape: In this case, you may choose a location based on fond memories, the house size you need to accommodate your (extended) family, and the leisure activities you want to enjoy at your vacation home.
- As a retiree: Older homeowners will want to look for a location with nearby retail and healthcare services. You may also want a newer home, one-floor living, or other attributes that would make it easier to maintain and reside in the dwelling.
What can you do with vacation homes in New Hampshire?
The Granite State offers leisure activities to suit a range of tastes.
- Beaches: From the Lakes Region in east-central New Hampshire to our 19 miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline, there is plenty of waterfront to enjoy here.
- Mountains: The White Mountains region is known as a skier’s dream, offering both downhill and cross-country skiing. In warmer months, you can enjoy hiking, natural wonders, and scenic tours. Hiking enthusiasts can scale Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast.
- Cities: Manchester is the most populous city in New Hampshire, offering a vibrant urban center as well as proximity to the Atlantic Coast, White Mountains, and Lake Region. From entertainment to shopping, dining, and nature, Manchester has something for everyone.
- Leaf peeping: As with our New England neighbors Vermont and Maine, New Hampshire boasts beautiful fall scenery and vivid leaf colors that attract tourists from far and wide.
Do you have any history with your desired location?
Many people decide to buy a second home in a place they already enjoy vacationing. However, if you’re new to the area, it’s a good idea to rent a place first so you can be sure you’ll want to spend a lot of time there.
Could you retire there?
If you already know where you want to retire, buying a second home earlier in life gives you time to enjoy and adjust to the location, as well as pay off your mortgage, either on your own or with some help from short-term rentals.
Is it a good investment?
Whether or not you plan to rent out your second home, it’s worth looking at the long-term investment.
Best places to buy a vacation home in New Hampshire
In 2021, New Hampshire’s second-home market is “red hot” with buyers from Boston, New York, and other metro areas looking for a rural retreat where they can work remotely. If you’re among the homebuyers wondering where to buy a second home near NYC, the Granite State is roughly five hours away. And from Boston, the drive to Lincoln, NH is just under two hours. With all that New Hampshire has to offer vacationers and part-time residents, it’s the perfect place to escape hectic city life and get away from it all. And thanks to advances in Internet connectivity, it’s easy to work from home most anywhere in the state.
Let’s take a closer look at three destinations in Northern New Hampshire:
Situated in the White Mountains, the town of Lincoln is a great destination for ski enthusiasts, nature lovers, and summer hikers. Local attractions include the Flume Gorge, Whales Tale Water Park, North Country Center for the Arts, and more. Lincoln’s median home value is approximately .
Located in the North Woods, the town of Littleton offers the pleasures of small-town life with a Main Street full of shops and restaurants and proximity to hiking, water sports, and golf. The median home value is approximately $225,000.
Located near the Vermont border in Coos County, the village of Groveton is close to local attractions such as Mount Cabot, Mount Waumbek, and Weeks State Park. Enjoy the peace and quiet of small-town living. For snowmobile enthusiasts, Groveton offers trails to explore. Trail conditions and details are provided by the local Groveton Trailblazers club. Groveton’s median home value is under $70,000, making it an affordable option for a second home.
What you need to know about the costs of buying a second home
Of course, home price isn’t the only cost associated with owning a second home. Here are other common expenses to keep in mind as you budget for a second home:
- Property taxes: Check real estate tax rates here.
- Homeowner’s insurance: The cost varies depending on factors like whether you also plan to rent out your second home. You may also need flood or hazard insurance depending on location.
- Maintenance and Repairs: Are you looking at condos or detached homes? Existing or new construction? Is it in move-in condition or in need or upgrades?
- Furnishing: You’ll need a second set of many items, including furniture, bedding, and kitchenware. Do you have some extras you can use or will you need to buy everything?
- Landscaping: If you’re not planning to live there year-round, you may need help maintaining the grounds. Of course, a Home Owners’ Association will do this for you but you’ll have a corresponding monthly fee.
- Cleaning: If you do make your house available as a short-term rental, you’ll need a professional cleaning service in between tenants.
- Utilities: Electricity, heat, water, and Internet/cable.
- Property Management: If you use a professional company to help you manage your second home and rental business, you can expect them to keep a percentage of the collected rent. Other fees may apply—interview several property management companies before choosing one.
Second-Home Financing Options
There are additional factors of buying a vacation home that can differ from buying a primary residence, such as maintenance, security, and rentals. It can be helpful to look for a real estate agent with specific experience in second home purchases. And for financing, a local lender like Union Bank can help you navigate the process from afar, while considering your loan application in the context of our local expertise in the New Hampshire real estate market.
Contact the Union Bank Mortgage Lending Team!
Are you looking for second-home mortgage loans in northern New Hampshire? Our lenders have decades of experience with local real estate markets. Sit down with us to review your finances and discuss your options for second-home financing. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about vacation or investment home mortgages.