Pinkham's Guide To Buying

Buying Real Estate in New Hampshire & Maine

Even for those who have bought or sold property many times, the purchase process from state to state can vary considerably. If you are considering buying real estate in New Hampshire for the first time and are curious about what to expect, read on for a detailed description on the New Hampshire buying process, as well as answers to some common questions. 


1 | Determine Your Budget

Understanding your purchasing power is crucial. This prevents you from shopping out of your price range.  Feel free to consult a few different lenders. If you don't already have a lender, Pinkham has several local lender recommendations that offer great service to our clients. You will be working closely with your lender throughout the process, so make sure the person you choose is someone who you won't mind calling you multiple times a day should a problem arise. Also, you may get different preapproval amounts, different rates, and different loan programs from different lenders, so it's worth it to review all your options. Ask your lender to prepare a pre-approval letter. A pre-approval letter is the first step in the mortgage process; it states approval from your lender that you are eligible for the purchase, including what you can afford with your current rate. If you can submit a preapproval with an offer, your offer may carry more weight with a seller than an offer without it. If your offer is accepted, you will then complete your official mortgage application.


2 | Define Your Search Criteria

Determine in advance what property attributes are the most important to you. Mt. Washington Valley offers a diverse range of properties. Consider your lifestyle, preferences, and must-have features to narrow down your search. What geographic area do you want to be in? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you need a bedroom on the main level? Are there home styles (i.e. chalet, ranch, contemporary) that you can't stand or absolutely love? Do you need privacy? Views? Waterfront? The more you know about what you want, the easier it will be to find the right property. Hone in on what you like by looking at homes on real estate websites. Real estate sites advertise all the homes that are on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so you will see all available homes on every agency's website. When you find a site that is easy to use, stick with it. Click here to browse and search for current active listings in the White Mountains.


3 | Contact A Local Expert Realtor

Real Estate Agents can act as seller agents and/or buyer agents. You can research local agents by reading their bios on various real estate agency websites. Our Real Estate Agents right here at Pinkham have an abundance of local expertise and real estate experience to find you the perfect home throughout the entire White Mountains region. When you've found an Agent that seems like a good match for you, contact them and set up your first meeting, whether it's in person or virtually. Your first conversation will include discussion on what your goals are, what you're looking for, and how the Realtor can be of service. This does not commit you to working with them exclusively. Until you sign a buyer agency agreement, you are under no obligation to work with someone if you are not comfortable. If after your first meeting, you decide they aren't a great fit for you, you are free to try someone else. The right agent will listen to you and work to find properties that meet your search criteria. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.


4 | Make An Offer

Some homes are priced to sell, and others have more room to negotiate. Your agent can show you recently sold comparable properties if you are unsure of what is a reasonable offer. Pinkham Realtors have a variety of ways to approach writing an offer depending on the scenario and creative techniques to make it more appealing to a seller. When you write up your offer, be ready to include an earnest money deposit as a show of good faith that you are a serious buyer. (If your offer is accepted this money will be held in an escrow account and applied toward the purchase. If not, you will get it back.) Your buyer's agent will present the offer to the seller's agent. The seller will either accept your offer or make a counter offer. When you come to an agreement on the price and terms of the purchase and both parties have signed, you are under contract.


5 | The Purchase Process

This includes a number of contingencies that will need to be satisfied before you can sign on the dotted line on closing day and take the keys to your new home. Satisfying all of the contingencies and getting financing can take around 45 days. First, you want to have the home inspected, whether you are financing or not. Your agent will provide you with the names of local licensed home inspectors. The inspector will spend a couple of hours with you looking over the home from top to bottom. If defects are found, depending on the severity, you may ask the seller for concessions or renegotiate the sales price. Another important thing to do as soon as you're under contract is to find out if there are any restrictions to ownership. Examples are covenants and easements, a homeowner's association, park rules, or a lack of availability of property insurance. Your agent will help you uncover any restrictions on the property and provide you with association documents and contact information for the people who can help answer your questions. Typically you will have 10 days from the day the purchase and sales agreement is fully executed to complete your due diligence research and determine whether you are comfortable moving forward. 


6 | Have an Appraisal

This is not a step that you need to participate in directly. However, if the appraised value of the home turns out to be lower than the purchase price, you will probably not be able to borrow more for the purchase than the appraised amount. In this case, you may either negotiate with the seller to lower the price or you may pay the difference out of pocket. When the appraisal is settled, it is time to wait. Your lender will have assembled a file on your purchase and that file will be sent through a process called underwriting, where the lender will review your finances in detail as well as the details of the home you are buying. Your lender may ask for additional financial documents and proof to complete your file. If everything looks good, your lender will issue you approval for financing. 


7 | Title Work

During the last phase of the home purchase process, you will work with a title company (or an individual real estate attorney). The title company can answer any closing questions you may have including how local taxes, water, and sewer bills work and whether or not you need title insurance. When the loan has been funded the title company draws up a HUD settlement statement that details debits and credits to the buyer and seller. The title company will go through the statement with you a day or two before the closing to make sure that it is correct. If so, then the only thing left to do is pack your bags and get yourself to the closing! After an hour or so of signing, your new home will be yours. 

Common Questions About Your Buyer Brokers

The quick answer is - is doesn't cost the buyer. If you purchase any property listed by any real estate office in Mt. Washington Valley, the buyer pays nothing extra to have us represent you, our commission comes out of the transaction. And we will take your side in any negotiations, which listing brokers cannot do.


When sellers list a property they engage a broker to represent them, someone who will achieve for them the highest price and terms that meet their needs. It just makes sense for buyers to have a broker on their side as well. Often time buyers think that going directly to the listing agent is the best option, and this is not necessarily true. Don't forget - the listing agent works for the seller first and foremost, not the buyer. Home (or land or condo) buying isn't necessarily an adverse proceeding, but having an experienced guide whom you trust to look out for your interests and help you analyze your choices makes this experience easier, maybe even fun. 

A good buyer broker isn't just looking for a quick sale. He or she is looking to understand your needs, your finances, your tolerance for negotiation, and what you need to make a good decision based on your goals. Your broker must be knowledgeable of the local market, understanding, trustworthy, listen well, explain things clearly, and follow up on all the details. Often times a good buyers agent reminds you of what you need to hear and not what you want to hear, to keep moving in a positive forward motion to your goal. A buyer broker has many problem solving skills to overcome any challenges along the way.

International Buyers: To Our European Customers

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome…¡Y por supuesto bienvenidos!

Welcome to Mount Washington Valley.
You've chosen an amazing place and an optimal time to begin your search.

With its proximity to Europe, Mount Washington Valley is easy to get to and has much to offer. We are New England's most popular four-season resort area, with Nordic and alpine skiing for all abilities in the winner as well as pristine lakes, rivers, and mountains for summer recreation. Family activities abound. Having the White Mountain National Forest as our border ensures the availability of the area's natural beauty for years to come. Homes here are as varied as the seasons. No matter what your taste is, there are many homes, condos, or even commercial options for you. At Pinkham Real Estate we have experience working with international buyers, and we will use our extensive knowledge of the area to help you find a property that you love.

The strength of the Euro against the dollar offers a great reason to invest in real estate in the U.S. Furthermore, purchasing real estate here is generally a simpler process than it is in Europe. In some cases, it has been possible to obtain financing for up to 75% of the purchase price of one's U.S. property, and some of our clients have taken equity from their properties for a down payment. If the closing date on your purchase occurs while you are not in the area, we can gladly attend to the details of the closing for you. For your convenience, we can refer you to a lender with expertise in this area. Have a look and be surprised at how much home your money can buy!

Work With Us

Your key to real estate success lies with The Pinkham team! Our skilled and diverse group of professionals, licensed in both NH and Maine, work in perfect harmony. With a strong emphasis on communication, collaboration, and continuous learning, we strive to surpass expectations. Partner with us today and unlock the true potential of your property endeavors.