Our Buyer's Guide

Congratulations on your decision to buy real estate in New Hampshire's Lakes Region. Whether you're moving locally or looking for the perfect vacation home to get away to, you have made the right choice! 

We've designed the buyers guide below to put you on track to owning a new Lakes Region home. First, follow the guided questions to uncover your wish list and identify the type of home you're searching for. Then, read on to learn time-saving tips and important information about financing, insurance, and the processes of making an offer and closing on a home.

Our goal is to make the buying process easier for you. If we can help answer any additional questions about buying a home in the Lakes Region, please contact us.

Getting Ready To Buy: Defining Your Perfect Home

Before you get started, put some thought into the criteria that are most important to you in your future home. Prioritizing now will help save time later, as you begin to research and visit properties.

  • What am I looking for in a lake home?
  • Year round versus seasonal?
  • Fully recreational water body?
  • Close to activities or more remote?
  • Private?
  • Acreage?
  • Do I have particular lake or region in mind?
  • What price range do I want to buy in?
  • Do I have specific housing needs? ie. pet friendly, child friendly etc.
  • Number of bedrooms?
  • Number of baths?
  • Square footage requirements?
  • Do I want/need a garage?
  • Particular style?

Easy Searching: A Website Tip

Once you've used the questions above to establish what you are looking for in a Lakes Region property, you can use the advanced search tool on our website to create and save a search (or multiple searches) fitting your criteria. Here's how:

  1. If you haven't already done so, create a free account by clicking here. (Already a member? Log in here.)
  2. Select your property criteria on the MLS Search page and hit "Search".
  3. From the listing search results page, click the Save Your Search button at the top right.
  4. Give your search a name when prompted and save.

When you save your searches, you'll be notified automatically by email any time matching listings are added or updated. You'll be among the first to know!

Making an Offer on a Home

Prior to making the offer ask your agent to supply you with related sales in the area to help you determine your starting offer and any contingencies to include. (You can also find recently sold properties through our website on our Sold Search page.) Standard contingencies will be general inspections including, septic, water quality, radon and deed research. This is all a part of the negotiation process.


Doing your homework about loans will save you both time and money. There are thousands of loans out there to choose from, but it is important to keep in mind several key factors that will help you along the way:

  • How much money should I put down?
  • What type of loan, Conventional, Adjustable or Home Equity?
  • Is this my second home? Talk with your accountant or financial adviser.

We advise you to use a local bank, they know the properties and what is common and acceptable in the marketplace. You don’t want to hear from your loan agent that all is good to go and have the underwriter reject the deal so you have to start the process again with a local bank who understands the market.


There are many different forms of insurance:

  • Title Insurance – protects you in the event that the title on your property has a lien, unpaid taxes, or other legalities that would make it invalid.
  • Homeowners’ Insurance – protects your home from fire, theft and other liable coverage.
  • Flood Insurance – protects your home from flood damage.

Buying a lakefront home and unsure about what type of insurance you'll need? Be sure to do your research before you search for that new luxury home. (We're happy to help!)

Closing Procedures

The closing process is always changing. It is even referred to as “settlement” or “escrow” in different parts of the country. With increased technology, most closings are completely automated and both parties do not have to be present at the same time to sign.

Closings usually take about 30 to 45 days to complete or as short as 10 days, with a cash transaction. This mainly depends on the buyer’s financing availability, successful home inspection completion, and various lender conditions (e.g., title search, title insurance, termite inspections, surveys and appraisals).

The closing process is the transfer of the title of the property from the buyer to the seller and may be done by your lawyer or a title company.

Our office will supply you a list of local vendors that will help you through this process.

Ready to Browse?

Hopefully, we've answered many of your questions and you're feeling prepared to take on the task of finding your new Lakes Region home. We suggest you start by browsing available listings, to see what's out there.

We've set up a number of pre-defined Recommended Searches based on the criteria most commonly searched for by our customers. Click here to start browsing these search categories.

Or if you'd like to enter your own search criteria, click here to use our advanced MLS search form.