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Thread: Waterville Valley Real Estate

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    Waterville Valley Real Estate

    *Organizers please feel free to delete if not appropriate thread here*

    I'm beginning to look at condos/town-homes in the Waterville Valley or Lincoln (preferably Waterville Valley) area for a weekend/vacation home. I'm hoping some of you would have advice or experience on preferred complexes. The number of complexes is overwhelming and I'd like to narrow it down to 1-3 and then look for units for sale there. I welcome any advice on property management, upkeep, views, anything.... thanks!

    It took me 4 years to settle on a town, I'm hoping to not take that long to actually buy something.

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    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    I lived in East Thornton for over 15 years and love it! I have easy access to the highway, there are good restaurants thanks to the ski area, I like being at the gateway to the White Mountains for hiking adventures and Plymouth is nearby for grocery shopping. I have my own home but you might want to check out Waterville Estates in Campton. The prices are usually low but watch for the condo fees because I here there unusually high. There are also some nice condo developments on Rte. 175 north of the junction of Rte. 49.
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    I think a generic recommendation is before you invest rent a place for season or two. Second generic recommendation is keep an eye on taxes and tax rates, they can vary widely by town in NH.

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I think a generic recommendation is before you invest rent a place for season or two. Second generic recommendation is keep an eye on taxes and tax rates, they can vary widely by town in NH.
    Agreed. And, if you have not considered this already, it may also help to familiarize yourself with the local zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations before you buy anything. As a planning board member of a small NH town, we regularly see property owners who years after purchase, decide they want to expand or even change the use of a vacation property. For a number of them, it's the first time they've considered any town restrictions. Just a thought.

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    Another consideration to be very careful of is if you get involved with property that is part of an association. I am the President of a road association in Maine. Our association exists to maintain our road and to enforce the restrictive covenants that the developer placed on the properties when the subdivision was created. In an area where there is minimal zoning, covenants often exist to help make a development more desirable. There are many rules that further reinforce BC's suggestion of being familiar with local zoning laws Our association takes a giant leap past typical zoning type issues with a ban on short term rentals This ban has caused problems with prospective buyers who expect to use the short term rental market to defray some of the costs of owning a second home.
    If you are interested in property that is part of an association I suggest that you directly contact the officers of the association to see for your self what the issues might be. We recently had a property transfer where the prohibition on short term rentals was willfully hidden from the purchaser.Buyer beware!!
    Last edited by Lost Dad; 04-05-2017 at 05:13 PM. Reason: grammar

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    The other observation is despite a written disclosure to the contrary, a good real estate agent is going to convince you that they are looking out for you the buyer. Unless they are a buyers broker they are required to look out for the sellers interest not yours. They could get sued if they don't act on the sellers behalf. Things like taxes, restrictive zoning, associations, condo regulations and other potential liabilities may not be offered unless you ask. If they do supply something and you ask them their opinion they have to be careful. A good agent skirts the line all the time.

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The other observation is despite a written disclosure to the contrary, a good real estate agent is going to convince you that they are looking out for you the buyer. Unless they are a buyers broker they are required to look out for the sellers interest not yours.
    A buyer's agent / broker may still collude with the seller / seller's agent. It's happened to me.

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    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Good questions to ask might be to ask about water infrastructure of the condo. We own a mobile home in a cooperatively owned mobile home park in Plymouth similar to a condo. We aren't able to come up as often as we would like and aren't able to attend association meetings. The park has always had infrastructure problems of all kinds. Recently water has been a big one. The park recently installed a filtration system and additional 10000 gallon storage tank up our little mountain top. Shortly after that our main well failed in early fall 2015. Our hardworking volunteer water committee and Exec Board worked overtime to arrange siting, drilling, and installation of new well pump just in time for end of 2015. They are now working with an engineer and various NGO agencies to develop set of options to buy land and either drill new well or import water from Town of Ashland water company who sits on massive aquifer across the river. Our backup well was not up to meeting demand. Trucking water in 20000 gallon tanker trucks every few weeks did not help our operating budget. Since then I always wonder if many condo complexes face similar problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingRock View Post
    I lived in East Thornton for over 15 years and love it! I have easy access to the highway, there are good restaurants thanks to the ski area, I like being at the gateway to the White Mountains for hiking adventures and Plymouth is nearby for grocery shopping. I have my own home but you might want to check out Waterville Estates in Campton. The prices are usually low but watch for the condo fees because I here there unusually high. There are also some nice condo developments on Rte. 175 north of the junction of Rte. 49.
    Thanks! That's exactly why I picked the Waterville Valley area... proximity to the mountains, good restaurants, and the highway. I gave myself a 4-hour driving window from my CT house to my future NH place and this area was the winner. I honestly hadn't thought of Campton. Other than the Dunkin Donuts and liquor store, I usually drive right through. I'm going to have to check it out next time. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    Thank you all for the advice (and horror stories) on things to consider. This isn't my first buy or sell of real estate, and I've had my share of bad realtors. However, this will be my first vacation home, possible rental, and my first that will have any kind of association to deal with, so it's all good advice. I do know I need to make sure dogs are allowed!

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Just a thought, but have you considered a small house. Condo's and the rules and fee's are not that attractive to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Just a thought, but have you considered a small house. Condo's and the rules and fee's are not that attractive to me.
    I would love to have a small cabin in the woods. But the upkeep and maintenance is not that attractive to me. I see too many friends running up to their "vacation" homes to mow the lawn, stain the deck, take care of things.... at this point in my life I don't want another place with maintenance. I want to be able to play while I'm in the mountains. I see a condo as my "starter vaca home", and hopefully some day in the future I'll have my s#it together enough to feel like I can have my cabin in the woods.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    I've been looking on and off up there for years to eventually buy something to retire to. What I found is this. Waterville Valley area is cheaper AKA more bang for the buck. But, almost everything is well and septic. Lincoln, little more expensive. But pretty much all the condos and townhouses up there is public water and sewer. Personally I prefer the latter.
    Joe

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    Has WV r/e gone up with the opening of expansio at the ski area?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    An advantage of Lincoln/Woodstock over Waterville Valley is that it is more accessible to more mountains. WV adds some time to those trips.

    Be aware of when the buildings were built and the type of heat. Many were built at a time of relatively cheap energy, used electric heat and, by today's energy code standards, very inefficient. Thus, high heating costs whether part of the common charges or owner's direct responsibility.

    Look at the rental arrangements. That can make a difference of either your economics (if you'd rent it out when not using it) or possible incompatibility with hoards of short term guests with little vested interest in the condo community.

    Depending on the amenities you seek you might not be so bad off with that "little cabin in the woods". There are usually property managers/maintainers who will look after your property, even prep it for your arrival. If the property requires minimal maintenance for things like lawns and snow plowing, the economics compared to some condos might be attractive.

    You are quite a ride from the Whites so keep in mind that the average usage of a vacation home diminishes once the drive exceeds two hours.

    Location, location, location. And get a good home and other pertinent inspections. In a condo, review the budget and common charge history and evaluate whether the reserves are building up adequately to cover major improvements.

    In my opinion it is better to pay a bit of a premium for a good property you will enjoy and offer good prospects of appreciation than to get a bargain that you'll regret.

    You may have to do a comparative analysis of different condo complexes yourself, a task made so much easier with information on the internet.

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