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Buyer Resources

Buying a home in New Hampshire, especially in New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee Region, should be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you will ever have. Unfortunately, as we know all too well, the home buying process is often filled with uncertainty and, mixed with the high emotions that naturally accompany any decision of this magnitude, can lead to a lot of stress. After two decades of experience helping everyone from first time buyers looking for an affordable Sunapee area home to retirees looking to relocate to New Hampshire, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and tips for New Hampshire homebuyers below, so you can be as prepared as possible before talking to a New Hampshire real estate agent. 

Already know what you want and need? Connect with our team to take the next step toward getting your dream home. Have other questions? Because of our unique team model, we can tap into team members’ different areas of expertise to advocate for your best interests at all times. Meet our team or give us a call to learn more.


New Hampshire Real Estate: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of buying New Hampshire real estate?

New Hampshire is consistently voted one of the top places to live in the United States. In fact, in 2021, New Hampshire was named the 4th best state in which to live, across a variety of factors. The natural environment, very low crime, and high opportunity for upward mobility in New Hampshire were all cited as top reasons why New Hampshire is a great place to live. New Hampshire is the only state in New England in the top five and major East Coast cities like Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine, and New York, New York are all easily accessible from New Hampshire. Plus, New Hampshire offers a wide variety of lifestyles, including many for which the Upper Valley and Lake Sunapee regions of New Hampshire are famous. From vibrant college towns to beautiful lakeside escapes to tranquil mountain homes, the towns tucked between New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region, such as New London, New Hampshire, truly offer the best of both worlds.

When is the best time to buy a home in New Hampshire’s Sunapee Region?

The best time to buy a Lake Sunapee home or real estate in the surrounding area is truly when it works best for your situation. The Sunapee Region offers everything from ski homes to lakefront vacation rentals for sale to single family homes and depending on what you’re looking for, you may want to consider starting your buying process at different times of the year. Because inventory has been more limited, meaning there are fewer properties available than there have been in the past, it’s probably a good idea to start looking as soon as you know what you’re looking for, as it may take some time to find what you want.

How do I get my offer accepted in a seller’s market?

Competing with all cash offers can be really challenging and it is possible to have your offer accepted when you also need financing. Savvy real estate agents know that brokering the best deal for their Sunapee area home seller means finding the offer that will stick, and not accepting an offer solely because it’s the highest price. There are other factors involved in crafting an offer, such as non-price considerations. For example, if you’re willing to place a time limit on the inspection process or waive it altogether to ensure a faster closing, that may appeal to sellers looking to move quickly. If you have a flexible move-in timeline and will allow the seller to stay in their property, or rent back from you for a few months while they finalize the details of their next move, that can also be attractive to sellers. In extremely competitive markets, such as we’re experiencing, some loans may not be approved if appraisals come in below the offer. Having money set aside to pay the difference between a contracted purchase price and appraisal is really valuable, even if your offer isn’t the highest. There’s a lot of value in the peace of mind that comes with accepting an offer that’s least likely to fall through, as there is with selling your home to somebody who you believe will love and take care of it. This is why writing the seller a personalized note and putting the most thoughtful offer together upfront (and not expecting you’ll have a second chance to make a good first impression) is so important. Making the seller feel like your offer is the best for them is key and an experienced Sunapee area real estate agent who truly cares about you will help you make that happen.

What are the New Hampshire real estate taxes?

New Hampshire has a higher property tax rate than other states, largely because of low or no taxes in other areas, such as sales tax. New Hampshire’s median home values are also relatively high, which adds to residents’ tax implications, though properties hold their value better than in other states as well, so you’re essentially paying more to gain more equity. To understand the full tax implications of moving to New Hampshire, or buying a home if you’re already a New Hampshire resident, contact our team and we’d be happy to walk you through what to expect.

Is Lake Sunapee a good place to live?

New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee Region is a beautiful, four season destination for many, and a place to call home for the lucky. Nestled between New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region, Lake Sunapee and the surrounding towns boast every kind of outdoor recreation imaginable -- swimming, boating, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, hiking, biking, and more -- to very low crime, close-knit communities, highly regarded schools, and access to major metropolitan areas, among other things. For more information on what to do in the Lake Sunapee Region, browse our Visitor’s Guide. Or, check out our town profiles and lake profiles to discover the perfect place for you to live in New Hampshire.

How does Lake Sunapee real estate compare to other Lakes Region towns?

Real estate in Sunapee, New Hampshire and the towns surrounding Lake Sunapee have several distinct advantages over other New Hampshire lake towns, and in fact, over other destination markets in New England like New Hampshire’s Seacoast, Southern Maine, and Cape Cod. Sunapee has a college town feel, with community events, services, and things to do beyond recreation alone. Newfound Lake and other Sunapee Region lakes offer different benefits, such as fewer waterfront homes, creating a more secluded feel and protecting property values. Most notably though, Lake Sunapee is a true four-season area with something for everyone regardless of the time of year. It’s also the perfect place for multiple generations and phases of life -- professionals, families, retirees, first time home buyers, and second home buyers. Smaller communities ensure you won’t feel like you live in a tourist destination, as they maintain their close knit feel during peak season and beyond, growing and shrinking less, and though affordable homes near Lake Sunapee can be more challenging to find, home prices in the Sunapee Area are still more accessible than in other areas popular with locals and known as vacation destinations.

How much are homes worth in the Lake Sunapee area?

For the most up-to-date information on how much Lake Sunapee homes are worth, check out The O’Halloran Group’s market updates or reach out to our team directly.

Do Lake Sunapee homes hold their value?

Lake Sunapee real estate has been remarkably consistent over the years, growing in value more than other areas and faring quite well during market dips. For more information on current Lake Sunapee home values and how they compare now when compared to past years, give us a call or request more information from our team today.

Is buying New Hampshire real estate a good investment?

New Hampshire real estate is a good choice for those looking for a high quality of life and also to take advantage of more favorable tax policies in some areas, such as no capital gains tax. New Hampshire’s rental regulations and tenant laws are also more favorable to landlords than those in other New England states, which can be helpful for those looking to buy investment property in New Hampshire to rent or use as an AirBnB. The cost of entry is higher in New Hampshire so it can be more challenging to find multifamily properties and duplexes; however, one option that many like is simply signing up for property alerts through a website such as ours and getting notified when new properties that meet your criteria hit the market. That way, you can start to learn more about what to expect and also see when there are deals or the occasional fixer-upper that may be worth it. As always, you can also contact The O’Halloran Group team with any specific questions and needs and we can help you determine next steps.

What programs exist to help first time buyers in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire offers several programs to help first time buyers in New Hampshire to achieve home ownership, such as Home Flex Plus, Home Preferred Plus, Purchase Rehab, Home Start Homebuyer Tax Credit, and Home Preferred Manufactured Housing ROCs (Resident Owned Communities). These programs typically make financing available at a lower cost, such as through low fixed-rate mortgages, and/or provide tax credits for new homeowners in New Hampshire. In addition, there are several National programs available to first time home buyers that can be combined with state incentives. Check out this summary provided by NerdWallet or connect with us to discuss your financing options and what you think you can afford. We pride ourselves on working with our clients to advocate for your financial security, which means not always recommending buying when renting makes more sense or helping you look for other ways to earn income from your future property. Everyone’s situation is different, so please give us a call today.

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