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Large NH Waterfront Properties & Their Potential

NH Lakefront PropertyWith spring here and a record early ice out, we seem to be seeing a number of big parcels and big homes hitting the market, some for the very first time. The value of any property is not limited to "what it is," but rather what it can be. -And how much will it cost, to get it tomeet its potential? There are so many factors that go into evaluating property these days, that it's a mistake to simply look at other large parcels. The most common mistake real estate agents make is comparing large parcels with large frontage to each other. While that makes logical sense, it doesn't always work. While the amount of frontage does have an impact, there are many more factors that go into figuring out just how many lots you can have. Here are some of the categories that apply:
  • Amount of acreage required per lot * (See H.I.S.S. study info below)
  • Amount of road frontage needed for main road and additional building lots
  • What is the actual zoning, and is it the same in all parts of the land?
  • Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act and how it affects building at the water
  • Docks, breakwaters, boathouses and other shoreland plans
  • Fire protection requirements, which affect ALL new development
  • Insurance issues that come from fire protections issues
  • Effect on neighboring properties both during and after construction
  • and many more...
* H.I.S.S. Study (High Intensity Soils Study) is how we determine how much land you need to create one build-able acre of land. I will write a blog poston the H.I.S.S. and how it works in the near future. If you have a large parcel of land with water frontage, first of all you're a lucky person and likely have lots of friends who want to come visit. However, if it's a time in your life where you want/need to sell the parcel and move on, be sure to put much care and thought into choosing the people you work with, as you determine the value of your property. All too often property owners list with their friends, not realizing the impact of what the unrealized potential of a property could be. Unless you know what the potential of a piece of property is, or what it can be, then there is no way you can understand what it's worth. If you owe a friend a favor, hire those that understand land planning and land development. If you do that, you'll likely earn enough extra money in the potentialof the land that you can take your real estate agent friend on the trip of a lifetime.

Understanding Waterfront Property Valuation

Selling a piece of property in the Lakes Region is complicated enough today, but when you add in waterfront, the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act, the NH Dept. of Environmental Services, town zoning, State requirements, local conservation commissions and nosy neighbors...there's a lot to deal with. Most real estate agencies will refer you to land planning companies as a first step because they don't understand this work, and they don'tlike the risk associated with getting involved. We at Prudential Spencer-Hughes are not afraid of these issues, having dealt with them for over a quarter of a century, and we can bring that experience to you. At some point we might have you speak with land planning companies as well, but we can give you a basic overview and act as your advocate. The hardest part is that zoning ordinances seem rather easy to understand relative to what you can and can't do; however, within each little "can do" there are lots of "must dos" that have to happen for that "can do" to work. If you don't understand those issues, you won't get out of your own driveway. While it's clearly not rocket science, it's not what it appears to be and unfortunately too many people assume all large parcels are the same. Just because two properties on Lake Winnipesaukee have 100-acres and 800' of frontage, doesn't mean they are worth the same amount of money. Do yourself a favor and look deeper when searching out the right agency for you to list your property. A good real estate agent makes you money, doesn't cost you money. Make sure you challenge any Lakes Region Realtor you talk to, to answer the question, "What is the potential of my property, and why?" Just make sure it's backed up by good, sound engineering and land planning work. It's easy to say "Oh sure you could subdivide this into "x" amount of homes on the water and "y" in the back, my friend did that......" It's quite another to convince a ready, willing and able buyer, banks, their appraisers and, most of all, the town and State of NH. That's where the rubber meets the road, as they say. Good luck, and if we can help let me know! Bob Hughes

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