David Grant

Updated searches by condo association and neighborhood

I've done quite a bit of work to put together the most convenient way to search for you... and I hope you like it!
Any site will let you search by town or price, but North Conway Realty has the most extensive list of map-based custom searches to make your house hunting easier.

  • Do you want a house in Birch Hill?  We have a search for that (click here)
  • Maybe a condo at The Seasons?  We have a search for that (click here)
  • Properties around Attitash?  We have a search for that (click here)

Here is a link to these custom searches so you can find exactly the property that fits your needs.

Conway Voters Approve Inspections... Will The Courts?

Hey Conway Landlords, Brace Yourselves for the Inspection Storm!

Conway's rental landscape is about to get rocky. The town has rolled out a mandatory rental license program. Yes, despite the green light from voters on Article 24, not everyone's on board with the whole "big brother" vibe.

The aim? To keep renters out of harm's way. Noble, sure, but many are asking at what cost—and whose expense? This new program is diving into life safety checks, rooted in the New Hampshire Life Safety Code, which is stirring up quite the pot.

Here's what's on the town's inspection hit list:

  • Smoke and CO detectors that actually work (and are not tucked in kitchen drawers).
  • Fire escape plans. 
  • Fire suppression gear.
  • Wiring that doesn't double as a potential fireworks show.
  • Overall safety that ensures tenants aren't signing a lease with danger.

Now, don't get me wrong—I'm all for keeping people safe. But there's chatter that this inspection spree might just be the tip of the iceberg. Some landlords are riled up, murmuring about privacy, the hassle, and the 'what-ifs' of finding issues.

Privacy? Yeah, the town says they'll respect it. But you tell me, how cozy does it feel knowing inspectors will be peeking into every nook and cranny of your property?

And what happens if they find something? They say they'll play nice, working with you to fix things up "reasonably." But that's a word that can bend in the wind, and some landlords are bracing for a mess.

The program is administered by Nicholas DeVito, the Zoning Officer. You'll need to call him up at (603) 447-3811 to get on the inspection schedule.

Now, here’s the kicker: this could all end up in a legal tangle. There's talk of disputes and challenges that could drag this out in the courts over the next couple of years. It’s not just about safety anymore—it's about legal rights, property ownership, and where the line gets drawn.

Full Details can be found here

What is a Kickout Clause & How Does it Work?

If you've been navigating the real estate market, you might have come across terms that sound a little strange. Today, I'm going to give you the basics on one: the Hubbard or kickout clause. Whether you're a seller or buyer, understanding this clause can be a game-changer in how you view and handle property transactions.

What is a Hubbard Clause?

Imagine you're selling a house, and a buyer comes along who loves it but has a catch: they need to sell their current home first. Enter the Hubbard clause. This provision allows the buyer to enter into a contract with you while giving them a specified amount of time to sell their existing property. It's like saying, "I'll buy your house if I manage to sell mine within this timeframe."

How Does it Work for Sellers?

For sellers, this clause might sound a bit risky at first glance. You're essentially agreeing to take your property off the market temporarily, banking on the buyer's ability to sell their home. The silver lining? The kickout clause. This part of the agreement gives you the right to "kick out" the buyer if you receive another offer that you're willing to accept. The original buyer typically has a set number of hours (often 48 to 72) to remove the Hubbard clause by proving they can proceed without selling their property or to back out of the deal, freeing you to accept the new offer.

Advantages and Considerations

For Sellers:

  • Advantage: You can continue showing your property and accepting offers, which puts less pressure on you to wait indefinitely for the buyer to sell their home.
  • Consideration: There's a risk that the initial deal might fall through if the buyer can't sell their property in time. However, this risk is mitigated by the kickout clause, allowing you to pivot to another offer if needed.

For Buyers:

  • Advantage: It provides a safety net, allowing you to commit to a new property without having sold your current one. This can be particularly useful in a buyer's market, where selling your home might take a bit longer.
  • Consideration: The pressure is on to sell your current home within the stipulated timeframe, or you risk losing the new property to another buyer. It's crucial to realistically assess the marketability of your property before entering into such an agreement.

The Bottom Line

The Hubbard or kickout clause is a fascinating example of the flexibility in real estate transactions. It's designed to balance the interests of buyers and sellers in situations where transactions are contingent upon another sale. Like any contract provision, it's essential to understand the terms fully and consider how they align with your circumstances and goals.

If you're navigating these waters, whether in Fryeburg, Maine, North Conway, New Hampshire, or anywhere else, remember that knowledge is power. Understanding clauses like these can empower you to make informed decisions, ensuring your real estate journey is as smooth as possible.

So, whether you're looking to buy a new family home or sell one to the next eager homeowner, keep the Hubbard clause in your arsenal of real estate knowledge. It just might make the difference in your next property transaction.

Plans to Develop The Front Lawn at The Red Jacket

A story in the Conway Daily Sun on April 3, 2024 discussed how the potential development of the Red Jacket Property in North Conway.

Here is a quick summary of what is happening:

  • Ashok Patel, the new owner of the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, plans to build housing units on its property, which includes 25 apartments and 89 townhouses.
  • The redevelopment project is scheduled for review at the Conway Planning Board meeting on April 11.
  • The proposal includes remodeling and reconstructing parts of the resort and adding residential structures at 2251 White Mountain Highway, North Conway.
  • The town's commercial building moratorium extension does not impact this housing development proposal, focusing on a conceptual review rather than a formal site plan review.
  • The conceptual plans show housing units located on the resort's front lawn and the former tennis courts area.
  • Despite a moratorium on building large commercial structures, this project is exempt because it plans to rebuild on the pre-fire footprint of the south wing, which was destroyed in a fire on April 30, 2022.
  • Concerns were raised by selectmen's representative Steve Porter about overdevelopment and the use of the resort's green space.
  • The resort will be renamed Birchmont Resort and Spa, aiming to enhance the local ecosystem and contribute positively to the valley.
  • The south wing of the resort did not have a complete automatic sprinkler system at the time of the fire, reflecting on regulations for such systems in non-high-rise hotels.

Here is a link to the full story

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Carroll County Property Owners Now Have Access to Property Watch

Dear Carroll County Residents,

We are pleased to announce an important initiative from the Carroll County Registry of Deeds, spearheaded by Register Scott, aimed at bolstering the security of your most significant asset: your home. The introduction of the complimentary Property Watch service is a part of our ongoing commitment to exceptional customer service and proactive fraud prevention within our community.

The Importance of Property Watch:

Property and mortgage fraud are becoming a significant concern as per FBI reports. This form of fraud typically involves the unauthorized recording of fraudulent documents, falsely asserting ownership or creating fictitious obligations against a property owner’s name.

The launch of the Property Watch service is a strategic response to this growing threat, offering a robust mechanism to alert property owners of any potentially fraudulent activity associated with their property.

How Property Watch Works:

The Carroll County Registry of Deeds is the custodian of public records related to real estate within the county, encompassing deeds, mortgages, and records of foreclosure, among others. The Property Watch service functions as an early warning system, automatically notifying registered users via email if a document recorded at the Registry of Deeds matches their name. This notification includes a link to the recorded document, allowing property owners to review and assess its legitimacy promptly.

Enrollment Process:

Signing up for the Property Watch service is streamlined and user-friendly. Interested individuals are encouraged to enter their email address on the provided platform, followed by their name as it appears on their property records. The service permits the addition of up to five names per email address, accommodating multiple property owners or different family members. Upon submission, users will receive a confirmation email, marking the completion of the enrollment process.

https://www.carrollcountynhdeeds.gov/AlertWebSite/

Adjusting Notifications:

For those already enrolled in the Property Watch service wishing to modify their notifications—be it adding new names or altering existing ones—re-accessing the platform with your registered email will display your current notifications. From here, modifications can be made effortlessly to ensure that the service continues to meet your changing needs.

In conclusion, the Property Watch service is a testament to Carroll County's dedication to safeguarding its residents' properties from fraudulent activities. Register Scott’s initiative is a forward-thinking approach to enhancing the security and peace of mind for property owners throughout the county.

We encourage all property owners in Carroll County to take advantage of this free service, reinforcing the protection of your most valuable assets against potential fraud.

Unlocking the Potential of 1031-Tax Deferred Exchanges: A Guide for Savvy Investors in North Conway

What is a 1031-Tax Deferred Exchange?

Named after Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, a 1031 exchange allows investors to postpone paying capital gains taxes on an investment property when it is sold, as long as another "like-kind" property is purchased with the profit gained from the sale of the first property. This isn't a tax elimination strategy, but rather a deferral mechanism that can be used to grow your investment portfolio more significantly over time.

How Does It Work?

The process might sound complex, but it breaks down into a few key steps:

  1. Sell Your Investment Property: The journey begins when you sell a property. Instead of taking the sale proceeds into your own hands (which would trigger capital gains taxes), the money is held by a qualified intermediary (QI).

  2. Identify a Replacement Property: After the sale, you have 45 days to identify up to three potential "like-kind" replacement properties. "Like-kind" is broadly defined, so most real estate will qualify, whether it's a commercial building, a rental property, or land, as long as it's in the United States and used for business or investment purposes.

  3. Complete the Purchase: You then have up to 180 days from the sale of your original property to close on one of the identified properties. The QI uses the proceeds from the initial sale to purchase the new property, ensuring you never touch the money and thus defer the taxes.

Benefits of a 1031 Exchange

  • Tax Deferral: The most immediate benefit is the deferral of capital gains taxes, allowing you to use the entirety of your sale proceeds to invest in another property.
  • Portfolio Growth: By deferring taxes, you can invest more capital into another property, potentially leading to a more valuable investment portfolio.
  • Flexibility: You can swap one investment type for another. For example, you could sell a piece of land and purchase a rental property, giving you the flexibility to adjust your investment strategy as the market changes.

Considerations

  • Timing is Critical: The strict timelines (45 days to identify and 180 days to close) are non-negotiable. Missing these deadlines can disqualify the exchange and lead to immediate tax obligations.
  • Rules and Regulations: There are specific rules regarding the types of properties that qualify and how the exchange must be structured. It's vital to consult with a real estate professional and a tax advisor to ensure compliance.
  • Qualified Intermediary: A QI is a necessary part of the process, holding the sale proceeds and purchasing the new property on your behalf. Choosing a reputable and experienced QI is crucial.

A 1031-tax deferred exchange can be an incredible tool for investors looking to grow their portfolios while deferring taxes. However, navigating the complexities of these transactions requires expertise and careful planning. At North Conway Realty, we're committed to providing the insights and support our clients need to explore innovative investment strategies like these. Whether you're a seasoned investor or new to the real estate game, we're here to help you unlock your investment potential.

Q1 2024 North Conway Real Estate Recap

As we wrap up the first quarter of 2024, here is a comprehensive recap of our local real estate market's performance.   

Single Family Homes: 

Bartlett – The High Roller

Bartlett has always had its charm, and this quarter, it didn’t disappoint. With 13 sales ranging from $360,000 all the way up to a jaw-dropping $2,350,000. The median sold price stood at $495,000, with homes spending a median of 50 days on the market. A notable trend here is the prevalence of cash sales, making up over half the transactions!

Conway – The Heartbeat of Our Market

Conway, including the precincts of North Conway and Center Conway, has been bustling, with 21 homes finding new owners. Prices varied widely, from $202,000 to $860,000, highlighting the area’s appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers. The median sold price was a solid $470,000, with properties moving swiftly at a median of 40 days on market. Cash buyers were active here, too, accounting for a third of the sales.

Madison – The Speedy Seller

Madison might have had fewer sales, with 7 homes changing hands, but what it lacked in quantity, it made up for in speed and price. Sale prices ranged from $335,000 to $1,175,000, pushing the median sold price to an impressive $598,400. Homes barely lingered, with a median days on market of just 7 - talk about hot property! Cash sales made up more than half the transactions.

Tamworth – The Hidden Gem

Tamworth proved its worth this quarter with 13 sales. Prices spanned from $179,000 to $800,000, offering options for a variety of budgets. The median sold price came in at $370,000, with properties enjoying a brisk median of 21 days on market. Cash sales accounted for nearly half of the sales.

Condos: 

Bartlett Condos – The Affordable Getaway

With 17 condos sold, ranging from $199,000 to $899,000, Bartlett has shown that there is something for every buyer's budget. The median sold price was $378,000, and condos spent an average of 17 days on market. Cash sales dominated, making up more than half the transactions.

Conway Condos – The New Construction Magnet

Conway saw 27 condos sold, 7 of which were new constructions at Cranmore, spotlighting the area’s growing appeal. Prices were all over the map, from $95,000 to $1,250,000, with a median sold price of $415,000. The condos flew off the market, spending a median of just 5 days before being snapped up. Cash sales were particularly strong, accounting for over half the sales.

 

Land:

In addition to the bustling residential and condo market this quarter, land sales have also painted an interesting picture of our local real estate landscape. We saw 18 land parcels traded, showcasing the appeal of building. Conway and Tamworth led the way with 6 sales, while Freedom saw 3 sales, Madison had 2, and Jackson contributed 1 to the total. Prices for these land sales ranged from a modest $25,000 up to a substantial $552,000, with the median selling price landing at $81,375. Properties spent a median of 62 days on the market, indicating a healthy demand. A standout statistic for these land sales is the fact that 100% were cash purchases!

Observations...

While the bustling markets in Bartlett, Conway, Madison, and Tamworth have kept us busy, it's worth noting that Jackson and Freedom have been quieter, with only 3 and 2 sales respectively. This just goes to show the varied pace and scale of real estate activity across our beautiful region.

As we step into the next quarter, the trends we’ve seen offer both sellers and buyers insights into the dynamics at play in our local market. For sellers, the strong demand, especially for properties offering unique value, suggests that now might be a great time to consider listing. Buyers, on the other hand, will find value across a broad range of options, from the luxurious to the surprisingly affordable, whether in the market for a family home or a convenient condo.

I hope this recap provides you with a clearer picture of our local real estate landscape as we move forward into 2024. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or simply stay informed, North Conway Realty is here to guide you every step of the way.

Stay tuned for more updates, and as always, feel free to reach out with any of your real estate needs or questions. Here’s to a successful and prosperous year ahead for all of us!

The Perfect List Price Is On The Bridge

In the world of real estate, pricing isn't just about sticking a number on your property and calling it a day. It's an art, a science, and most importantly, a strategy. Today, I want to talk about something I call "pricing on the bridge," and why avoiding it could be the best move you make in selling your property.

Let's consider a property that could be price between $299,900 - $305,000. It's easy to think that these specific numbers might make a property seem more appealing or give you a slight edge. But here's the kicker – it's not always about the exact number; it's about the strategy behind the range.

Let me break it down for you. When buyers start their search, they often set filters on search platforms based on price ranges. These ranges are typically rounded to the nearest thousand or hundred thousand. So, when you price a property at $299,900, you're targeting those who set their maximum at $300,000. But what about those who start their search at $300,000? Your property won't even pop up in their search results, and just like that, you've missed out on a whole segment of potential buyers.

On the flip side, pricing at $300,000 flat serves as a bridge. It places your property in the search results of both groups – those who cap their search at $300,000 and those who start from there. This simple strategy can significantly increase the visibility of your listing, bringing more eyeballs and, ultimately, more potential buyers to your doorstep.

Now, you might wonder, "But Dave, wouldn't a price like $299,900 make the property seem like a bargain and attract more buyers?" It's a valid question, but here's the thing – the psychological impact of saving that $100 isn't as significant as you'd think, especially in the grand scheme of buying a home. What truly matters is getting your property seen by as many potential buyers as possible. That's where the real magic happens.

Visibility is key. You want your property to be seen by the widest audience possible, and sometimes, that means choosing strategy over cents.

So, next time you're listing a property, remember the power of "pricing on the bridge." It might just be the smartest move you make, ensuring your property catches the eye of every potential buyer out there. Because in the end, more eyeballs mean more opportunities to sell – and at North Conway Realty, that's what we're all about.

New Hampshire Welcomes the Great North American Solar Eclipse

New Hampshire is gearing up for a celestial event that promises to be a sight to behold—the Great North American Solar Eclipse. With the Great North Woods set to witness the eclipse in its totality, excitement is mounting. This rare phenomenon will see the area from Lancaster to the Canadian border plunged into darkness, offering a unique spectacle for both residents and visitors alike. The rest of New Hampshire will also enjoy a near-total experience, with the eclipse reaching about 95 percent totality.

The duration of totality in the Great North Woods will be approximately 3 minutes and 30 seconds. However, depending on your location within this region, the timing may slightly vary. This event places New Hampshire at the heart of the action, leading to expectations of heavy traffic as enthusiasts flock to witness this natural marvel.

State and local officials are advising visitors to stick to state highways for both their arrival and departure to avoid congestion on local roads not designed for high traffic volumes. This influx of visitors is not limited to Coos County; it's anticipated that roads throughout New Hampshire will feel the impact. Motorists are encouraged to heed traffic control instructions and be prepared for slower travel, especially when heading south after the eclipse.

For real-time traffic updates, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) recommends following their social media channels and checking newengland511.org.

New Hampshire holds the distinction of being one of only 13 states to experience the eclipse's totality, a phenomenon not expected to recur until 2079. This event is anticipated to be even more remarkable than the one in 2017, with a wider path of totality allowing more people to experience the full effect.

An estimated 31.6 million people find themselves in the path of totality this year, a significant increase from 2017. This wider audience, coupled with a range of planned local events, from viewing parties at ski resorts and mountains to celebrations at breweries and inns, promises a vibrant and communal atmosphere.

From educational talks with astronomers to festive gatherings with themed refreshments, New Hampshire is set to make the most of this awe-inspiring natural event. As the state prepares to welcome visitors and locals alike for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the excitement is palpable.

Remember, a total solar eclipse is more than just a dark sky; it's a moment of wonder that showcases the beauty and complexity of our cosmos. Whether you're viewing from the majestic heights of Mount Washington or enjoying themed festivities across the state, April 8, 2024, promises to be a day to remember in New Hampshire.

April 8 Events:

  • Cranmore Mountain Resort: Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, noon to 3 p.m., activities at the Meister Hut. Viewing tickets available at cranmore.com.
  • Purity Spring Resort: Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, 2-4:30 p.m., at King Pine base lodge. Includes souvenirs and discounts. Call (603) 367-8896.
  • Mt. Washington Auto Road: Eclipse viewing at 4,000 feet, 1:30-4 p.m. Book at mt-washington.com or (603) 466-3988.
  • Jackson Ski Touring & Tin Mountain Conservation Center: Eclipse party, 2-4 p.m. Register at jacksonxc.org.
  • Wildcat Mountain: Eclipse party with skiing, riding, and BBQ, 3-5 p.m. Details at skiwildcat.com.
  • Conway Scenic Railroad: Eclipse Train with dome car views. Book at conwayscenic.com.
  • Tuckerman Brewing Co.: Eclipse party with music by DJ Kris10, starts at noon. Visit tuckermanbrewing.com.
  • Castle in the Clouds: Eclipse Watch Party, 2-4:30 p.m. Free eclipse glasses and solar telescopes available. More info at castleintheclouds.org.
  • Believe in Books Literacy Foundation: "Solar Eclipse In the Wood" event, 1-4 p.m., free and open to the public. Visit believeinbooks.org.
  • Inn at Thorn Hill: Eclipse Outdoor Viewing Party, 2-4:30 p.m. Includes food and drinks. $25 at the door or complimentary for guests.
  • Christmas Farm Inn: Eclipse View Party, 2-4:30 p.m. Features themed BBQ and desserts. Tickets $20 or complimentary for guests.
  • Omni Mount Washington Resort: SolarBration Viewing Party at Rosebrook Lodge, Bretton Woods. Includes themed entertainment.
  • Starlight Lodge: Solar Eclipse 2024 viewing party package with appetizers and refreshments. Limited space available.
  • The Wentworth: Eclipse viewing reception, noon-4 p.m. Includes discussions, telescope views, and themed refreshments. $75 per person. Call (603) 383-9700.

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Title Pirates in North Conway - How to protect yourself

Beware of Title Pirates: A Cautionary Tale for Home Sellers

In the sophisticated arena of real estate transactions, which involve significant financial investments and intricate legal considerations, an often-overlooked peril looms: title pirates. These individuals or entities surreptitiously navigate through public records and the digital expanse, seeking opportunities to illicitly claim ownership of properties. Such fraudulent activities pose a substantial risk to unwary homeowners and potential sellers, threatening the security of what is frequently their most valuable asset. Recently, a client poised to purchase through North Conway Realty narrowly escaped falling prey to such a scam, thanks to the vigilant and expert intervention of our partners at Alpine Title. This incident underscores the vital importance of remaining alert to the potential dangers posed by title fraud in today's real estate market.

How Do Title Pirates Operate?

Title pirates exploit loopholes in property laws and the public nature of real estate transactions. They might forge documents to claim ownership of properties, particularly those that appear vacant, underutilized, or owned by absentee owners, such as vacation homes or vacant lots. Once they've established a fraudulent claim, these pirates can then sell the property, borrow against it, or even evict the rightful owners.

Protecting Yourself from Title Pirates

  1. Regularly Check Your Property Records: Visit your local county clerk's or recorder's office online to ensure your property records accurately reflect your ownership.

  2. Consider Title Insurance: While title insurance is a standard part of purchasing a home, it also offers ongoing protection against future claims of ownership or encumbrances that were not found during the initial title search.

  3. Google Your Address: In today's digital age, a simple yet effective way to monitor your property is to Google your address periodically. This includes any vacation homes or vacant lots you own. If your property appears in listings or discussions where it shouldn't, it could be a sign of trouble.

  4. Secure Your Mail: Ensure your mail is secure and consider a PO Box for important financial and property documents to prevent identity theft, which can be a precursor to title fraud.

  5. Legal Advice: If you suspect fraudulent activity regarding your property, consult with a real estate attorney immediately to understand your options.

 

Flat Fee Buyer Agency Available in North Conway

 

Unlocking Real Estate Value: The Flat Fee Buyer Agent Advantage

Today, we're diving into the benefits of partnering with a flat fee buyer agent. At North Conway Realty, we've adopted a unique model to ensure our interests align perfectly with yours—finding you the perfect home at the best possible price.

Flat Fee Buyer Agent: A Game-Changer

In the traditional real estate model, agents are compensated through a commission based on the purchase price of the property. This practice might leave some buyers pondering if their agent's motivations align with their own. That's precisely why North Conway Realty offers a new solution: a flat fee buyer agent service. For a transparent flat fee of $7,500, which includes everything from the point of contract to closing—including inspections, meeting with repair people for estimates, and other full-service activities—I am wholly dedicated to negotiating the best price for you. This ensures that securing your interests is always my number one priority.

 

Your Savings, Our Priority

Let's put this into perspective with some real numbers, comparing our flat fee to the traditional 2.5% buyer agency fee:

  • Buying a $400,000 Home:

    • Traditional Fee: $10,000
    • North Conway Realty Flat Fee: $7,500
    • Your Potential Savings: $2,500
  • Purchasing a $500,000 Property:

    • Traditional Fee: $12,500
    • North Conway Realty Flat Fee: $7,500
    • Your Potential Savings: $5,000
  • Securing a $600,000 Dream Home:

    • Traditional Fee: $15,000
    • North Conway Realty Flat Fee: $7,500
    • Your Potential Savings: $7,500

Why Choose a Flat Fee Agent?

Beyond the clear financial savings, working with a flat fee buyer agent means having an advocate whose primary goal is to find the perfect home for you at the best price. This model fosters a transparent and trust-based relationship where your happiness and satisfaction are paramount. Our dedication to ensuring the lowest possible price and the best terms for you are the sole focus.

At North Conway Realty, we believe in making the home-buying process as transparent and beneficial for you as possible. Choosing our flat fee buyer agent service is not just about saving money—it's about partnering with someone genuinely invested in your success and satisfaction.

Adding to the essence of our unique approach at North Conway Realty, I want to share why I've chosen to offer this flat fee service. It's important to clarify that my decision isn't based on undervaluing the work of my competing agents; rather, it stems from a strategic business model that emphasizes cost-efficiency. Operating without the traditional overheads of a real estate office—such as a physical office space, administrative staff, and broker splits—I can pass these considerable savings directly to you, the buyer. This lean approach allows me to focus on delivering unparalleled service and value while maintaining a profitable business. It's a win-win situation: you benefit from significant savings and dedicated support, and I get to conduct my business in a way that aligns with my values of efficiency, transparency, and client satisfaction.

Understanding Septic System Assessment Requirements for Waterfront Property Sales in New Hampshire

If you're in the market to sell your developed waterfront property in the scenic state of New Hampshire, there's a critical environmental safeguard you need to be aware of before you can proceed with a sale. This involves conducting a Site Assessment Study for properties equipped with septic disposal systems, a requirement aimed at protecting the state's precious water resources. Here’s what you need to know, broken down into easily digestible nuggets of information.

What Triggers the Need for a Site Assessment Study?

Your property falls into the category needing this assessment if it qualifies as "developed waterfront property." This means any land that has a livable structure on it (be it for seasonal use or year-round occupancy) and is located within 200 feet of protected waterbodies under the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act. The act covers a wide range of waterbodies, including large lakes, significant streams, rivers, and tidal areas.  Here is a list of those waterbodies.

The Purpose Behind the Assessment

The goal is to ensure that septic systems on these properties meet current environmental standards, protecting water quality and public health. Given the close proximity to waterbodies, these systems need extra scrutiny to prevent contamination and preserve the natural beauty and safety of New Hampshire's waterways.

How to Comply with the Requirement

As a seller, you're responsible for arranging and covering the cost of this assessment, which must be performed by a permitted subsurface sewer or waste disposal system designer. The study provides a thorough evaluation of your septic system's condition and its compliance with current standards set by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES).

What Happens to the Study Results?

Contrary to what you might think, the completed Site Assessment Study isn't submitted to NHDES. Instead, it's transferred from you, the seller, to the buyer, becoming a part of the purchase and sales agreement. This process ensures transparency and gives the buyer full awareness of the property's environmental stewardship status.

Is a New Assessment Always Required for Subsequent Sales?

Not necessarily. If a property is being sold again and no changes have been made that would affect the original Site Assessment Study, you and the assessor can certify that no changes have occurred. This exemption helps streamline the process for sellers who maintain their properties in compliance with environmental standards.

A Shift in Timing

It's worth noting that the requirement for this assessment has evolved. While initially required before listing a waterfront property for sale, since 1993, the law mandates that the assessment be completed prior to executing a purchase and sale agreement, ensuring any issues are addressed before the sale progresses too far.

Need More Info?

If you're navigating this process and need further guidance, the NHDES Subsurface Systems Bureau is your go-to resource. They can provide detailed information, answer questions, and offer the support you need to ensure your property sale complies with New Hampshire's environmental protection standards.

Selling a developed waterfront property comes with its unique set of responsibilities, especially when it comes to environmental stewardship. By understanding and complying with the Site Assessment Study requirement, you're not just facilitating a smoother sale process; you're also playing a crucial role in preserving New Hampshire's natural treasures for future generations.

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