By Ann Schissler – Getting to the mountains from our home on Cape Cod has been quite challenging over the last 20 years. We absolutely love the sport and have been creative in our approach to getting our ski days in. We’ve taken our share of ski vacations and spent endless hours on the road traveling to “local” areas for day trips, but a recent jaunt was the one that finally “broke the skiers leg” so to speak. After spending an absolutely glorious day of sunshine and packed powder on the slopes of Loon Mountain we found ourselves sitting in the Tip O’Neill tunnel in downtown Boston for over an hour. That did it. The frustration we felt really sapped the fun out of what had been a wonderful day. Something had to change. Having to drive through Boston to ski had become a nightmare.
As we continued driving home I had an epiphany. Maybe it was time to buy a condo in the mountains? But where? You all know the real estate golden rule, location, location, location. I began to think about where we really love to ski and came to the conclusion that the White Mountains in New Hampshire was the top spot. We used to live a short drive from the Continental Divide in Colorado. This part of New Hampshire reminds us so much of those days we call the White Mountains the “Rockies of the East”. After all, it is home to Mount Washington and the Presidential Range, the tallest peaks east of the Mississippi.
Now the challenge became narrowing down the options to find the ideal spot for us to settle. We like to ski a variety of places each season. It soon became clear the area around Lincoln, NH would suit our needs. It’s not too far a drive from home (3-31/2 hours, all highway), and central to many of our favorites. It’s home to Loon, minutes away from Cannon, close to Waterville Valley and Bretton Woods. In an hour or so you can also get to Attitash, Wildcat, Cranmore, Black Mountain, Mount Sunapee, Ragged Mountain, Gunstock, & King Pine. It’s also only a couple of hours from many Vermont resorts. Seems like the ideal spot. Now to find the perfect condo.
Finding a pet friendly condo was number one. We are the owners of two very large American Black & Tan Coonhounds. Their care was another challenge and expense we faced every time we went skiing. Even if it was a day trip, the dogs went to a doggie daycare facility and had to be picked up by family or friends. If it was an overnight trip they were boarded. As you can imagine, all of these costs really added up and the planning and logistics of lining up people to do the job of pet sitter also began to take its toll.
We weren’t interested in locating in town or in a large hotel style complex. We wanted manageable monthly fees and the ability to rent the property during the summer months and vacation weeks in the winter when we knew we would not be using it. So, I started my internet search and came up with several possibilities, contacted the listing agent and set up appointments.
I’ve discovered that some things are just meant to be. This was one of those things. We looked at the first condo and knew it was the one we wanted. It’s located in N. Lincoln, just outside of town, and is one of only 24 units in a complex made up of three buildings. The condo was being offered for sale by the original owner who had been there for over thirty years. It was a corner, ground floor unit consisting of two bedrooms and two baths, large living room with a great glass fronted wood stove and sliders to a big deck overlooking Hansen Brook. It has a good sized dining room with sunny windows, woodsy views, and a cute and workable kitchen. It even has hook ups for a stackable washer and dryer and was right in our price range. Within a few weeks we had a signed Purchase & Sale agreement and closed the deal on my husband’s birthday!
Happy Birthday, honey and here’s to many more happily celebrated in our New Hampshire mountain home. Lucky us! Oh, and if you’re looking for the perfect place to rent in the Lincoln, NH area, give me a call.
Some tips for condo hunters:
- Be sure to choose a location you know you like and can live with for years.
- Carefully consider how much space you need.
- Determine a price range that suits your budget.
- Find a buyer’s agent who knows the local market.
- Always make any sale contingent on passing a home inspection.
- Carefully read any Association Guidelines & By-laws before buying.
- Ask the Association how capital improvements are paid for.
- Be sure the Association is sufficiently funded.
- Confirm you can rent the property if that’s of interest to you.
- Know your monthly expenses. Calculate condo association fees, taxes, heat, water, electric, insurance, cable/wifi, and mortgage payments if applicable.