Lake Winnipesaukee Waterfront Buying Secrets Issue 3

Written by Posted On Monday, 23 April 2018 08:20

Lake Winnipesaukee Waterfront Buying Secrets Issue 3

In Lake Winnipesaukee Waterfront Buying Secrets Issue 1 we looked at the variations in lake water and shorefront as very key considerations when buying a Winnipesaukee  lake home. In Lake Winnipesaukee Waterfront Buying Secrets Issue 2  we looked at how some waterfront lots are superior to others. In this issue we’ll take a broad look at the four communities that border the west side of this wonderful lake. In Issue 4, we will touch on the other four towns on the North and East sides with future articles describing each town more depth and pointing out the best locations for owning a waterfront home.


Alton NH LakefrontAlton is located at the southernmost tip of Lake Winnipesaukee covering about 84 square miles and has a population of around 5,000. It is the largest town in the Lakes Region by size and offers miles and miles of waterfront property which helps keeps taxes low. The property tax rate for 2017 is $12.86 per thousand making it a very desirable waterfront town to live in from that perspective.

Alton has a quaint little village area with banks, restaurants, the Gilman Library, the Community Church, Police Station, Town Hall, a medical clinic, food markets, hardware and building supply stores, and Alton Town Hall. There is even a Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, and a big new fancy supermarket.

In Alton Bay itself you’ll feel like you stepped back in time. It has a seasonal summer resort feel with lots of small cottages overlooking the lake, the usual seafood restaurants, ice cream stands, marinas, craft shops, and the Town Beach. It is also the southernmost port of call for the Mount Washington Cruise ship.

Alton offers everything from simple, relatively affordable seasonal cottages to some of the most expensive properties on the lake and there is always something on the market to look at.

The easy access to the town from points south also makes Alton a desirable town to live in. Visitors will arrive from the seacoast area by way of Route 11 off the Spaulding Turnpike in Rochester. Homeowners with residences in the West Alton area usually arrive via exit 20 from Tilton and come down Route 11 from Gilford.


Gilford lakefrontGilford   is perhaps one of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire’s   most desirable communities to visit, vacation, or live in. There are about 7,500 residents and the town covers around 39 square miles. You have to hunt for Gilford’s village and town center but once found you’ll discover the country charm of white clapboard antique homes, a country store, a new library, ball fields, and tennis courts. Down by the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee there are several yacht clubs and marinas along with the Gilford town beach and Ellacoya State Park which are two of the nicest on the lake. Residents can launch their boats free of charge at the Gilford Town Docks.

Gilford has some great restaurants and convenient shopping with Hannafords, Shaws, Wal-Mart, TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Lowes. Pleasant Ridge Country Club offers 18-holes of golf and the Gunstock Recreation Area offers great skiing and summer fun on zip lines. One of the greatest things in Gilford is the Bank of NH Pavillion which hosts some of the biggest stars in country, rock and pop throughout the summer.

Gilford has some of the finest neighborhoods in the region, both on and off the water, including prestigious Governors Island which is considered one of the most elite addresses anywhere on the lake. It is not uncommon to see a million dollar home being torn down to build a multi-million dollar one in its place. If you are not in that tax bracket, there are much more affordable lakefront homes in Gilford to choose from.

The fact that Gilford is such a desirable place to own a home makes investing in waterfront here almost a no brainer. The ability to resell your home in Gilford is generally a given as long as you buy wisely. The tax rate is a little higher here at $17.26 per thousand for 2017 but most residents feel it is worth it for the conveniences offered. Access is easy from Exit 20 off Interstate 93.


Laconia LakefrontWhen people think of  Laconia they often think of Weirs Beach and the Motorcycle Rally that is held each June. But, there is a lot more to Laconia than that! Laconia is truly the hub of the Lakes Region with a population of around 17,000 residents and covers 26 square miles. It has frontage on Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam and Lake Opechee so there are options for waterfront buyers here.

Laconia’s downtown area is undergoing a bit of resurgence and work is underway to restore the Colonial Theater making it a center for entertainment and arts. There are plenty of great restaurants and shopping along Union Ave. The City not only hosts the Motorcycle Rally, which is the oldest in the country, but is also home to the Laconia Sled Dog Derby and the state’s annual Pumpkin Festival.

While there are single family waterfront homes on Winnipesaukee, Laconia is perhaps known more for waterfront condominium and water access condominiums and associations. The waterfront communities of South Down and Long Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee offer a variety of very desirable housing within seventeen different condo associations plus single family home options. Amenities include fabulous sandy beaches, boats slips, and dry berths. Other amenities include tennis courts, walking trails, swimming pools, and club houses. Vacationers, retirees, and year-round residents alike are choosing these communities for the great value that they offer.

The area along Paugus Bay on Winnipesaukee down through the Weirs is also known for condominiums. Some of these complexes were originally cottage colonies which were converted into condos. Other complexes were built in the 80’s during the building boom. These are relatively affordable ways for buyers to get onto the lake.

The tax rate in Laconia is a bit on the higher side at $21.03 and is somewhat of a deterrent for some buyers. Access to Laconia is very easy from Exit 20 off Interstate 93 or from points south on Route 6.


Meredith LakefrontMeredith   is truly that “quintessential” New England waterfront town and has been a favorite of Lakes Region visitors for years. Meredith has gone through a transformation recently and it is now a world class destination with great accommodations, shopping, amazing dining, and yet has retained a small home-town atmosphere. As you might guess by that, waterfront property in Meredith is highly desirable.

Meredith offers its 6,600 residents, as well as its throngs of summer visitors, a great variety of year-round activities. There is hiking, golfing, tennis, boating, sailing, water skiing, swimming, yachting, and fishing. Winter activities include cross country trails, snowmobiling, ice skating, ice sailing, winter hiking, and ice fishing. You’ll be amazed at the carnival atmosphere surrounding the annual ice fishing derby and the Pond Hockey Classic which has turned into a mega-event. You’ll see lots of boating activity over at the town docks with vacationers and residents alike jockeying for a space so they can come ashore and enjoy the shopping or have lunch or dinner.

There is an abundance of waterfront in Meredith on Winnipesaukee, Lake Winnisquam, Wicwas, and Waukewan. The area known as Meredith Neck on Winnipesaukee is very desirable and offers everything from smaller cottages to Adirondack retreats. The current property tax rate in Meredith is $15.23 putting it in the middle range of all of the communities on the lake. Meredith is easily accessible from I-93 by taking Route 104 from Exit 23.

Winnipesaukee NH


Data compiled using the NEREN MLS system

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Roy Sanborn

Hi! My name is Roy Sanborn and as a REALTOR® since 2000, I know what it takes to ensure a smooth real estate transaction; hard work, dedication and loyalty to my clients, knowledge, and effective communication. It is this philosophy that has helped me to consistently be one of the top producing agents in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. I’ve also found that helps to have a little fun along the way! My partner, Ashley Davis, and I are thrilled to be part of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty and have taken Sotheby’s already amazing marketing program and philosophy one step further with the formation of our Distinctive Homes Group!

I know the lakes, the Lakes Region, and the lifestyle you are probably looking for. I’d bet that you are probably looking for a little more laid back and easy life style, especially if you’re moving here from other parts of the country. I can help you find just what you’re looking for in one of our uniquely different towns. Just as each community here is a little different from each other, so are each of the lakes. I can give you some local insight into their unique qualities.

I live in Meredith with my wife, Maureen, and two boxers, Mandy and Dez! If you have ever had boxers you know how much of a handful they are! I love dogs…just about any breed and any size!

I enjoy boating and a day on the lake, but I have a passion for everything with wheels especially motorcycles, classic cars, and NASCAR. I collect antique gas pumps, unusual mechanical devises, and love antiques. I usually can’t wait until football season. The Cowboys are my favorite team even though we are deep in Patriots territory!  It makes for lively discussions.

I love to travel and my favorite tropical islands include Maui, Kauai, and Grand Cayman but love anywhere with a beach and turquoise water. I enjoy good restaurants like the Common Man, Canoe, Ellacoya Barn and Grille, and Lakehouse Grille at Church Landing and pubs like Patrick’s, Crazy Gringo, and the Looney Bin. Sounds crazy right?

But what I really love is to look at great homes and we have plenty of them to see in the Lakes Region! So if you like any of these kinds of things, we’ll have plenty to talk about!

If you are in the market to buy, sell, upgrade, or invest, I invite you to contact me to learn more about my approach to marketing or purchasing property in the Lakes Region. I would be pleased to meet with you and discuss your dreams and goals and assist you in reaching them.  My goal is to exceed your highest expectations. I think you will be pleasantly surprised…

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