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Five things that New Hampshire buyers should do in today’s real estate market—if they’re smart. While the New Hampshire Lakes Region Real Estate Market has not been hit as hard as other parts of the country and Lakes Region waterfront sales are still strong, things are still pretty tough out there. I’d recommend the following:

1. Get a good New Hampshire REALTOR®.

Just as Sellers shop for REALTORS® to sell their properties, to represent them, and protect their interests during the course of the transaction, Buyers should also take some time before their home search begins and carefully select an agent with whom to work. It is, after all, the largest purchase you are likely to make (at least until you make enough to get that new Lear Jet you’ve always wanted). Having someone on your side, guiding you through the unknown territory here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire (if you are from out of town), through the buying process (if you’re a new buyer), but also guiding you to the better homes and deals out there in the market place is extremely important to your success in finding the right home. It is our business and livelihood to know the real estate business, the territory, and we have a pretty good handle on all of the Lakes Region real estate that is available. We are here to represent you and protect you throughout the home buying process.

All agents are not created equal. We all have different personalities, abilities, knowledge, and expertise. We all have different levels of dedication to our profession and livelihood.

Look for a Lakes Region real estate agent who demonstrates an ability to listen to you, has demonstrated success, and has some experience under his belt. Look for someone who knows the market, is a dedicated full time professional, and who meshes with your personality.

Selecting the right Lakes Region REALTOR© will lead you to your dream property on a much quicker and more direct path.

2. Deal with local Lakes Region lenders.

If you are contemplating the purchase of a new Lakes Region home you probably need to borrow money like most folks. And whether this is your first or last home, my biggest advice to you is to find a lender with whom to work that has a local office in this region. Dealing with someone here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire that both you and your agent can easily reach, meet with, and interact with in person as the financing process progresses is invaluable in today’s market. Local lenders are usually much more responsive to you and your agent’s needs than someone half a world away that you never see. While you can and should shop for mortgages, you’ll find rates just as competitive here as anywhere. With all the upheaval in the mortgage markets today we are finding harder and harder to get deals through to completion for a variety of reasons. You need people on your side who will cooperate with you instead of people throwing up obstacles. Local lenders also utilize local appraisers that have a better knowledge of our area and home values. They also use local closing companies who also go out of their way to provide superior services.

3. Get a loan pre-approval before you start shopping.

If you are a 1st time home buyer, your first step is to meet with a lender—and that’s right, read #2 above: make it a lender with an office here in the Lakes Region. For you, it is extremely important to have someone close by to work with. The lender will determine what you can borrow based on your credit history, scores, income, and debt. A pre-approval letter will be asked for by your REALTOR® and it will be required when you want to make an offer on your dream home here in the Lakes Region. Even if you are a seasoned home buyer buying a multi-million dollar Lake Winnipesaukee waterfront home, you won’t get very far with an offer unless you have a pre-approval from a lender. If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy without financing, a seller is still going to want to see some proof of ability to purchase.

4. Stay away from variable rate loans.

If you have read the newspapers, listened to the radio, or watched TV at all in the past six months you should know this. Variable rate loans are OK for lots of buyers, but if you need to use one just so that you can get a lower rate to squeak by for the next to years, don’t do it. Most lenders today won’t put you in that position now. We are lucky here in the Lakes Region in that first time buyers have several different affordable options for loans including FHA, New Hampshire Housing programs, and Rural Housing programs. Speak with a local Lakes Region lender about your options.

5. Educate yourself.

This is more important now then ever. You should educate yourself on the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, the area, neighborhood, and community you are buying in, about the home buying process itself, the types of mortgages available, and the many advantages to home ownership as well as the risks, costs, and challenges. Your home is your biggest long term investment. It’s the American Dream that you are buying into and it is a big step. And that’s what my service and this website is all about; to help you all along the way.