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Old 08-25-2014, 03:37 PM
Location: Rural Wisconsin
16,574 posts, read 6,240,855 times
Reputation: 32669


Originally Posted by Nonesuch View Post
You might want to rethink that, this requirement really limits your options. So long as you get a good contractor, there's nothing wrong with well and septic when it is done right and maintained. OTOH, if you're going to make town water/sewer a hard requirement, you might as well add natural gas to your list.

What upsets people around here isn't seeing a decrepit old non-landmark house torn down and replaced, it's when flatlanders buy a nice wooded property, and the first thing they do is clearcut everything.

As far as buying land with a plan to build later, this conflicts with your need for town water and sewer. Also need to keep in mind, when you see unbuilt land for sale, your first question should be, if this is such a great building site for a home, why isn't there a house already on it?

I entirely understand the interest in building new from the ground up, with modern materials and modern insulation. I'd love to be able to take the time to design a house using ICF, geothermal HVAC, etc.

Looking at houses built from about 1980-1992, I found quite a few interesting homes with the open floor plan, large kitchen, and fireplace that you desire. Just need to run a broad MLS search to find the hidden gems with poorly-coded listings.

That's a tall order in New Hampshire.
The problem we have with well and septic is that we HAD those in Bridgton, Maine (we lived there from 2003-07), and even though the water was community managed, we STILL had problems and ditto with our septic (leach field problems). In researching this, the problems we encountered were not unusual.

Regarding the land, we have come across five different land-only possibilities so far that already have town water and sewer to the land (although all of these are less than an acre, which is to be expected, I would think). There are also three land-with-"fixer-upper" properties we are considering, and they all have town water and sewer, too. And as far as clear-cutting, NO WAY would we want to do that! If we wanted to live in a flat landscape, we would move to some place like Nebraska! And, yes, your point about "good lots" not sitting vacant for very long without a reason, that is a very good point! Thanks!

Also, regarding the 1980-92 open concept houses -- YES, once again, you are absolutely correct, but we are now living in a 1988 house, and as I said before, we have spent about $100K in repairs and remodeling. (However, we knew going in that we would be spending money to get it how we wanted, but we got such a good deal on it that with the appreciation that has taken place in our area since we bought it, if we were to sell it today, we would almost break even! However, I doubt very much we could count on that happening in mostly-rural New Hampshire!)

I guess that with all the well-deserved negative comments about out-of-staters coming to New Hampshire and trying to change it, I am just wary of moving some place where people will reject us just because we're from "away" (Colorado), even though we will do everything we can to fit in!
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:22 PM
Location: Sandwich
340 posts, read 331,056 times
Reputation: 1018
Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
Hi, Lou! Thanks for your input, and good luck on your building and retirement! (Would love for you to check back with your building experiences -- and if your contractor is any good, maybe you can save us a search in about three or four years!)
If you do find something in the area (northern lakes region) feel free to contact me regarding our contractor experiences. FWIW, I wouldn't let a past bad experience with a well and septic limit your building possibilities. We have had no issues with either in our current house in CT and have been here over 22 years. If design and maintained properly the systems will outlast us.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:34 PM
Location: North of Boston
3,509 posts, read 6,706,388 times
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Originally Posted by whocares811 View Post
Sorry, I forgot to mention before that we definitely want town water and sewer! As you know, small towns that have these are a rarity!!

That will be a huge limiting factor as most towns in NH do not have municipal sewer service.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:43 PM
73 posts, read 111,325 times
Reputation: 207
TW: I'm not calling you old, but your plan is to be old - at some point in the very distant future - in this place you intend to buy in NH. Bear in mind that there may come a day when you are no longer able to drive. If this happens, you'll want to make sure your community has reasonably-priced/free? services for the elderly. Keene, for example, has a bus that will take my 90 year old grandmother to the grocery store when that day comes. Towns and cities with a centralized population and a healthy variety of shopping options (for necessities, at least) would be more likely to have such services. Also, access to healthcare is important. I'd rule out Londonderry. It's a great place to live if you have children (good schools) or if you work in southern NH; otherwise, you'll have to drive out of town (often in heavy traffic) for most shopping; the shopping in town isn't centralized, the walkable downtown areas surrounding Londonderry are Manchester and Nashua - which are great cities, but they lack the small town feel you could get elsewhere - and you'll pay much less for the quality of life elsewhere. Laconia has some nice areas and some not-so-nice areas; its downtown has seen better days. It has a close-knit, mutually supportive retired community, though. My other Grandmother lives in Gilford, and she's like a celebrity with the over-70 crowd (and the over-70 crowd makes up a LOT of Laconia). Gilford is pretty convenient to Laconia, but still not as convenient as I'd like it to be. I fear the day when my grandmother in Gilford can no longer drive. I'm also kind of worried about her travel time (20 minutes) to the Laconia hospital. It's always better when there's a hospital right in town. Meredith has more of a walkable downtown than Gilford, and there are some shopping options. I'd look into the amenities for elderly people, however. Also, good luck finding an affordable teardown in Meredith that isn't totally isolated. Meredith is one of New England's nicest resort towns, and real estate (at least near the lake/downtown) is priced accordingly. There might be a decent tear-down off a dirt road off a dirt road off a dirt road, but you don't want to be navigating all those dirt roads in an ice storm when you're 90. Oddly enough, for whatever reason, you might have better luck finding a tear-down in Wolfeboro. Wolfeboro is an extremely nice lakefront resort town like Meredith, but - for reasons I don't understand - there are always affordable homes close to the center of everything.

Littleton is really nice. It has a beautiful downtown, a healthy mix of boutique and chain shopping, Bretton Woods is a mere 15 minutes away, and Bethlehem's Colonial Theater is only 5 minutes away. You're surrounded by pretty lakes, mountains and farmland (especially if you trek down Route 135 in/around Monroe). The hospital is good, from what I hear, if far-flung (about 5 minutes) from downtown. Of all the places you listed, Littleton would probably be my top pick.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:05 PM
Location: Rural Wisconsin
16,574 posts, read 6,240,855 times
Reputation: 32669
Thanks so much, Oldmanlookatmylife!!

You have confirmed much of my research! Right now, Littleton, Meredith, and Laconia (in that order) are our top choices because of the very reasons you stated. We are only 58 and 61 now and in very good health now (knock wood), but we need to be practical for our "old" old age, so we are looking for homes that have at least one bedroom and one full bath on the main floor. Londonderry does strike me as being very "upscale family", while Littleton just seems downright charming without being cutesy.

Thanks again for your input!
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