If you are considering waterfront property in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, Roche Realty Group is a leader in this market. http://www.rocherealty.com
Your question regarding bedrooms relates to the way that the State of New Hampshire sizes septic systems based on the number of bedrooms. Thus, a waterfront property with a state-approved two bedroom septic system should be advertised as a two bedroom property or there should be a prominent note in the public remarks indicating that the septic system is a different size than the number of bedrooms shown. We all know of plenty of properties around the lakes that are 8-14 room "two- or three- bedroom" homes.
If a property is served by public sewer, then the number of bedrooms can be anything that the listing agency wants to present that makes sense. On the Big Lake (Lake Winnipesaukee) public sewer is found only in certain areas on the SE and western shores.
In 2008 NH revised the rules under its Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act to better control the development of waterfront properties. At that point the value of undeveloped or under-developed properties (e.g., camp or cottage and no state-approved septic system) declined somewhat relative to fully developed properties because there were more limitations and hassles.
One area that requires particular caution is the question of the use of the property: seasonal vs. year-round. Obviously, a seasonal property has a much lighter septic loading than year round use. However, even though a cottage was used "year-round" when the setpic system is upgraded, the state may not approve a year-round septic system but rather declare that the system for the property is seasonal. Clearly, that can have a huge impact on the value of the property. Sellers may have information and belief that they are selling a year-round proeprty, but if they have not upgraded their septic system, the buyer faces the risk that the state may not agree. On smaller waterfront sites, that probably means a difference of $100,000 or more in value.
Here is another interesting fact. I have been following the market for Big Lake waterfronts closely for the past seven years and more broadly for about 30 years. The data show that 40% of waterfront properties offered for sale NEVER sell as you follow them year after year. What does that tell you? There are plenty of properties listed for sale, but only some of them are priced realistically with regard to value. You can waste a lot of time during your visits to New Hampshire trying to sort that out. Having a buyers' agent who knows the market and find the nuggets of value will save you a lot of time and ensure that your waterfront property investment is sound.
We believe that wisely purchased waterfront property will retain its value and return all of what you paid including taxes, upkeep and prudent imporvements so when it is time to sell, you can take your money and your fond memories with you and have a smile on your face. There are opportunities to do even better.
Hope that is helpful. Let me know if you would like a copy of my article "Factors Affecting the Value of Waterfront Property" which is written as an aid to buyers and sellers of waterfront property here in the Lakes Region.
Chuck Braxtdon, REALTOR GRI
This property was sold this past June. There are several other properties with similar features, including docks, available on the lake.
If I may be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Better Homes & Gardens - The Masiello Group