For many of us, owning lakefront property is a dream. Who wouldn't want to wake up to the sounds of loons on the water, watch the sunrise through a big bay window, and sip a cup of coffee on their own private dock?
Despite being thought of as a fantasy by many, lakefront living is a lot more accessible than you might think. Our real estate agents have helped countless families find their dream homes on the banks of New Hampshire's beautiful lakes, and we're here to share some tips on how to find your perfect lake house.
What to Look for in a Waterfront Property
Waterfront properties are as varied as the bodies of water they overlook. You might prefer a cozy cabin, a spacious family home, or a modern condo. The first step to finding the right home for you is determining your needs.
- Amenities - Like any home, a waterfront property can be as rustic or as modern as you want it to be. Make a list of your must-have amenities, and keep in mind that while some lake houses might be right in the center of a populated area, many are in remote rural locales where internet and cell service might be spotty.
- Lake Activities - A lakefront home is an investment that allows you to pursue some of your favorite pastimes. If you're into fishing, kayaking, swimming, or water sports, look for a lake and property that are well-suited to your interests.
- Drive Time - Be sure to factor in how much time you'll have to spend in the car going to and from your new home. Whether you're commuting to work or simply making trips to the store, some lake houses are more far-flung than others. You might also need to consider distances to the nearest hospital and other services.
- Year-Round Habitability - Do you plan to live in your lakefront property year-round or use it more as a seasonal retreat or vacation home. Some seasonal lake houses, especially in northern New England, are referred to as "camps" because they're ideal for the warmer months but lack the insulation and amenities to be lived in during winter.
- Property Features - Look beyond the house itself. How close is the structure to the water, and is the landscape flat enough to build on if you so choose? What kind of lake access do you have? Is there a beach? Do you have sufficient privacy from your neighbors?
Lake Living in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is blessed with some of New England's most beautiful lakes. Some are wild and undeveloped, but most feature homes along at least part of their shorelines. These New Hampshire lakes include:
- Lake Winnipesaukee - New Hampshire's largest body of water, Lake Winnipesaukee spans 71 square miles at the foot of the White Mountains. The lake is dotted with islands, and its 240-mile shoreline is a meandering series of coves, points, and inlets. Although some of Lake Winnipesaukee is undeveloped, many lakefront homes are available in several towns and villages along the lakeshore, including Meredith, Wolfeboro, and Glendale. Even some of the lake's islands have houses on them!
- Ossipee Lake - A popular vacation lake, Ossipee Lake's shoreline includes numerous camps, cottages, and resorts. It also features several housing developments with year-round residences, and the nearby communities of Freedom and Ossipee offer classic New England charm. The lake itself spans 3,257 acres and is great for fishing and boating. Anglers frequently catch bass, pickerel, and trout.
- Squam Lake - Although Squam Lake is just a short drive from Lake Winnipesaukee, it feels like a world apart. It has the ambiance of a wilderness retreat and is one of New Hampshire's best destinations for kayaking and canoeing. There's great fishing in Squam Lake too. Hundreds of private residences are located around the lake, but most are hidden from view by trees, giving paddlers the impression that the shoreline is virtually untouched. Nearby communities include Sandwich and Holderness.
- Newfound Lake - A glacial lake spanning 4,106 acres, Newfound Lake is known for its deep, crystal-clear waters that are among some of the cleanest in New Hampshire. It also has a reputation as one of the most beautiful lakes in the state, with homes available in nearby Bristol, Bridgewater, and Hebron. The lake's water is fed by 8 natural springs, and parts of the shoreline are protected within Wellington State Park and Grey Rocks Conservation Area.
- Lake Sunapee - 4,155-acre lake Sunapee is a picturesque lake in Western New Hampshire and a great place for swimming, boating, and sightseeing. Homes are located along most of the shoreline in the towns of Sunapee and Newbury, but the lakeshore is also densely wooded, helping it maintain its wild character. This is also an excellent lake for residents who like to be close to civilization; the cities of Claremont and Lebanon are both just a short drive away.
Contact us today to learn more about finding the perfect waterfront property in New Hampshire. Our real estate agents are here to help.