Living in New Hampshire: the Home Owner's Dilemmas
Thinking about where to live once you #MakeYourMove?? Here are a couple of considerations that are specific to New England and New Hampshire.
When to Buy vs When to Rent
Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. In New Hampshire, it is expected to pay first months rent, plus a security deposit equal to no more than one months rent. In owner occupied homes, it is legal to express tenant preferences based on age, gender, and other typically- protected classes. Learn more here about tenant law here. And, for those who don’t want the responsibilities of home ownership, it can also serve as a long-term lifestyle.
If you do hope to one day purchase a home, there are several reasons it can be one of the best financial decisions in the long-run. Timing your home purchase can be difficult; you'll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.
Mortgage rates through history
One of the features of home buying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates. While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use. Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s.
What are your long-term and short-term plans?
Many people who are considering buying their first home are more concerned with whether it’s financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals. Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, it’s a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about your timeline. Are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you may need to stay in a home to make it worth the expenses.
Are you prepared for the extra workload?
Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, you’ll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that your landlord was required to do when you rented. Some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has its associated upkeep expenses.
Let's just say you decided to purchase a house. Congratulations! You may quickly develop a list of renovations or upgrades that you wish to make in order to turn your house into a home. We listed a couple of common dilemmas that new homeowners often come across once they purchase a home. Here are a couple of comparisons, along with their advantages and disadvantages to help you resolve this predicament.
Pellet Stoves vs Wood Stoves
In New Hampshire, oil and gas are the most common home heating systems. On top of that, many homeowners desire to add a pellet stove or wood stove into their home to provide another source of heat. Below you'll find the pros & cons of each.
Pellet stoves are often cheaper than wood stoves, but this could become break even when considering fuel; pellet stoves run on pellets, while wood stoves run on chopped wood. It is sometimes easier to acquire chopped wood, especially if you cut it yourself from felled trees. Pellets can be a bit harder to find and are not as self-sufficient.
A downside to pellet stoves is that they are reliant on electricity, while wood stoves are not. If you lose power and don’t have a generator, then your pellet stove would stop functioning. Wood stoves, on the other hand, are a bit more dangerous since you actually have to tend to the wood & add more in. With a pellet stove, the pellets feed in automatically and require no tending.
Which is best for you? It depends on your specific needs. Visiting a local store and speaking with the sales staff can help you determine what best fit for your home.
Driveways - Gravel vs Asphalt
Two of the most common driveway types in New Hampshire are gravel & asphalt. What's the difference?
- Lifespan - Asphalt will last long over twelve years, while gravel will last about ten years if maintained well.
- Maintenance - Asphalt requires maintenance, and it is recommended that a seal coating be applied every two years to ensure that cracks get covered up. Gravel, on the other hand, will have to be replenished yearly in some areas where potholes and ruts may have formed.
- Weather - Asphalt fares better in winter than gravel does; snow removal disturbs the rocks on gravel driveways, and the only sure way to remove snow without disturbing the rocks is to use salt or sand. Asphalt, on the other hand, can withstand a wide variety of temperatures. Gravel tends to move around more during rain and snow, while asphalt does not.
- Aesthetic - If you want to make sure your driveway matches your landscaping, gravel might be the way to go for you. There is a wide variety of color and style options for gravel, while there is a limited selection of colors for asphalt.
While you may not be able to select the type of driveway material your home has, preparing yourself by learning the pros & cons and maintenance required is a good idea.
Want to learn more about buying a home, or have questions about the process? Email Porcupine Real Estate.
Whether you are planning on renting or buying, here are some great resources for you when you are ready to move to the largest liberty community in the world! Check it out here