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Old 09-06-2014, 06:58 PM   #1
RidgeRunner31
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Default Island Living Questions

Hello everyone ... I have been reading these forums for a few months and finally decided to join. I noticed people are very helpful and post a lot of good information.

My wife and I have rented a home (mainland) on Winnipesaukee every summer since 2006. We like it so much that we are toying with the idea of purchasing our own place.

I feel the only realistic waterfront/water access properties we can afford would be an island property or a home in an association with a shared beach and deeded boat slip. Iím leaning towards an island property, because we are adventurous, own a boat and it seems like the best bang for the buck for a vacation home. Iím aware that island living presents challenges such as trash removal, lugging stuff, and itís seasonal, but I do like the allure of getting away from it all.

One of my wifeís biggest concerns with island property is the distance to the mainland, because when friends and family come to visit we will have to ferry them back and forth. I was wondering which islands have the easiest access to the mainland? What islands have parking on the mainland? I guess in a nutshell, which islands make things logistically the easiest? Iím guessing Bear Island (a stones throw to Shep Brownís) and Rattlesnake Island (association lot) would be high on the list.

I would be grateful to hear any experiences about island living. Does anyone have any regrets about purchasing an island property or was it one of the best decisions you made?

Also, what are some common expenses that come along with owning an island property that people typically donít think of?

Finally, I know itís a big island, but I noticed there are quite a few homes for sale on Rattlesnake. I was wondering if are any Rattlesnake owners that could help me out if I have any questions about the island. I figure itís easy to get the info from owners before talking to an agent.

Any other helpful information would definitely be much appreciated.

Thank you!

Mike
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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First of all, RR31, welcome to the forum. No doubt you will get many helpful responses.

We, as with all of the other island residents that we know, have absolutely no regrets for owning island property. Now each island, and often each side of an island, is unique. So it may take a bit of exploring to see what is best for you. And of course each of us will quick to tell why our island is so perfect, I will be no exception to that.

Welch has power and phone, as many do today. As Gilford island residents we have use of the Glendale town docks, launching, parking and trash dumpsters. No small consideration. However the tax rate is higher than islands in Alton such as Rattlesnake. The trip to Glendale and back is a straight shot but a mile of open water to FL 26. To do that in any weather takes a reasonably capable boat.

As an island resident it helps a lot to be handy with tools and be able to remedy most common maintenance issues. In general you have to think of anything that could go wrong and, well, at some time it probably will. Island Support Service can help with most anything beyond your skill base or with logistics such as getting the new sofa to the island. While island property is less expensive than mainland waterfront, it is generally more expensive to have any work done or improvements made.

One problem with Welch, rare to see a camp for sale. Best of luck.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle...1lJ/story.html
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
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Ensure you have a good working generator so you don't need to borrow one from your mainland friend who might need theirs as well.

Happy hunting.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:55 PM   #5
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Rent before you buy. Island living is not for everyone. High labor costs both personally and financially. Lots of self dependency is needed.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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I always wondered if the Island residents are year round? and if so how do u handle the Ice and the in between stages before the lake is fully frozen
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:24 PM   #7
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I always wondered if the Island residents are year round? and if so how do u handle the Ice and the in between stages before the lake is fully frozen
I don't think year round is possible unless you have an air boat. And even then, it would be tough for the average person. But anything is possible if there is a will, there is a way. I just don't have the will.

We look at island properties all the time. Plan is to live on the island in the summer and rent our place. The commute and not being able to live there year round is a deterrent for us.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:32 PM   #8
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We have a place on Rattlesnake, and I would be happy to answer any questions you have. I don't know much about the other islands, but Rattlesnake had a lot going for it in my opinion.

The association owned boat ramp and two parking lots (one with a secure section for boat storage) is hard to beat. The interior of the island is association property and has walking trails and access to the highest spot on the lake with amazing views. The trails are only open to residents and guests. The minimal association fee is well worth the money, and Alton property taxes are also lower than most other towns.

I agree with the other posters about island living. You have to be self sufficient and handy or it may not be a fit.

The other factor to consider is seasonality. Realistically, an island property is only useful for six months of the year so the cost per usable month is really about the same as mainland property.

I wouldn't swap though :-)
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:40 AM   #9
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We're on Rattlesnake now, but have rented on Welch and Barndoor over many years.

A few thoughts:

1) You should be handy and be able to fix things fairly easily. Yes, neighbors chip in and help, but really you should have some idea of what you're doing.

2) You should be in reasonably good physical condition. Carrying everything from food to building materials back and forth is a way of life.

3) You need respect the weather and the lake conditions. These are matters of safety. You will end up dodging weather and lake conditions with respect to trips to the mainland, etc.

4) You need to be more independent than on the mainland.

Oops! Speaking of that, we JUST lost power - REALLY!!! (the computer and other equipment is on a U.P.S.). I am going to post this now and come back and edit later. I don't know how much time I have before the U.P.S. runs out!
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:47 AM   #10
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Default A wealth of info on this topic

This topic has come up several times since we started living on Cow Island 13 years ago. Some links to related threads below.

The concept of extra "lugging" always puzzles me as the only added effort is the transfer of groceries from your car to your boat. Most boat access places allow you to park pretty close to your boat (20' away at Harilla Landing). You will need to secure access to mainland either by owning or renting a dock or rack somewhere (i.e. for Cow Island: Harilla Landing Yacht Club; Pier 19; Melvin Village Marina; Pick Point; Quayside Yacht Club) Trash removal is not a problem if your mainland facility has dumpsters (most do). As far as services, there are several handyman services available throughout the Lake that will be happy to help you out with whatever you need done. And the minor added cost of having the service done on an island is likely far less than the added cost of taxes on the mainland.

Most of the islands have power and phone. These days it's almost a must to have Internet access to keep in touch and get news and most important, weather. We use DSL but some use wireless broadband. Check availability where you plan to buy.

I wouldn't trade island living for anything. The camaraderie of fellow islanders is great. Plenty of help from you neighbors and frequent get-togethers to share the good times.

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ad.php?t=17325

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17321

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ad.php?t=17212

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...ead.php?t=3359

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:31 AM   #11
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Seems to me affordability is the LAST reason you should consider when deciding to buy on an island. Personally, I wouldn't even consider it. Too much of a PITA but I can understand the allure. Totally agree that you should def RENT to get a feel for it-and not for a week. Maybe rent for a month to understand what it is really like.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:02 AM   #12
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Default help me understand

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Seems to me affordability is the LAST reason you should consider when deciding to buy on an island. Personally, I wouldn't even consider it. Too much of a PITA but I can understand the allure. Totally agree that you should def RENT to get a feel for it-and not for a week. Maybe rent for a month to understand what it is really like.
I still don't see what constitutes a "PITA" regarding island living. I have experienced little to no inconvenience (unless you are looking for a year-round residence) and the tradeoffs are well worth it.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:16 AM   #13
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Seems to me affordability is the LAST reason you should consider when deciding to buy on an island. Personally, I wouldn't even consider it. Too much of a PITA but I can understand the allure. Totally agree that you should def RENT to get a feel for it-and not for a week. Maybe rent for a month to understand what it is really like.
The problem with renting is most folks who rent for a week or two in the summer will have not get a true feel of the issues involved with owning on an island. The real impact of owning an island property is felt over the length of season when various conditions/problems are encountered. For example the weather at the time of spring opening or fall shutdown is different from the July/August vacation season. If you could ever do a full season rental that would be a be helpful for you to get more of a feel for the experience.

You mentioned lots of property for sale on Rattlesnake above and in another post someone spoke of how islands differ from side to side in many cases. In the case of Rattlesnake the east facing property is much different from the west facing property. West is calm and protected, properties on this side are close to the launch and there is obviously westerly orientation (think sun in the afternoon when you will be swimming or sitting on the deck). Alternatively the east side properties are exposed to the broads so there the lake can be especially rough, the views are spectacular and you have easterly orientation (think sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon). I also believe most of the east side lots are steep.

The difference between island property responses reflects the variability of conditions with island property. For example Orion above talks about how easy it is and Island Radio speaks of the difficulties. Likely, Orion's property on Cow Island is on a flat lot with easy access. Island Radio on the other hand is situated on the broadside (easterly) of Rattlesnake and he likely has rough water to contend with and a steep lot so getting there is more difficult. In any event, you get the idea. Take your time and really think things through. Best of luck!
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:19 AM   #14
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Default Pretty simple philosophy to me...

My wife says that there is no way she would want to have a place on an island that does not have a bridge to the mainland. She does not want to have to pack stuff up, load it on the boat, head on out to the island, unload the boat, and carry the stuff into the place and put it away.

Me, I would not have a problem with that.

Her PITA is her opinion, and I respect that. Fortunately we live a half mile of the lake and have our boat at West Alton Marina...Almost like having lakeshore property. What we can't do is just walk down to the shore and take a quick dip on a hot day. (or bathe in the lake, but that is a whole different thread )

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Old 09-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #15
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There are islander types and non-island types...

If you're going to live on an island, you probably want to be comfortable with basic handyman type tasks (of course there are plenty of examples of stuff built on islands from people who should never have owned a hammer). It will cost you 2x to get most service performed for you.

If the power/phone/internet goes out, don't expect it to come back in an hour.

Depending on the island location, you really have to live with the weather. If you're on exposed water. There will be times when you're stuck. Getting "off" is usually easier than getting "on" since you'll probably be docking someplace protected. Getting "out to the island" on a really windy day might be impossible.

Getting off and on in the dark can be an adventure too if you're island approach has lots of rocks.

For me the biggest attraction is the privacy. I'll go a whole mid-week without seeing another person May/June/Sept/Oct. I think privacy is very dependent on location though. If you're on the sw side of Rattlesnake you're going to see a lot of boat traffic. If you're on the sw side of Sleeper, you're going to see even more boat traffic + the west alton sandbar craziness.

If you're the type (or the rest of your family is), that needs to get out and do things constantly you're probably not going to be happy on an island.

You might get internet via DSL if you're on the right spot of the right island, but don't expect enough bandwidth for your kids to be constantly be playing online games and watching video. Cell internet works pretty well on many islands these days, but the charges will add up fast.

Try before you buy is probably a great strategy... At least get your real estate agent to take you out there on a nice summer weekend to see how busy things are.

Most places you'll dock your boat on the mainland will have parking and dumpsters. You're likely to be limited in parking though, at least on busy times. It can be a pain shuttling your guests back for forth. Unless you're real close to your mainland the gas costs will add up too.

All in all, I wouldn't trade it for anything..........
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:19 AM   #16
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When you consider island living you also need to consider your accessibility as you get older. We bought up here 30 years ago. At the time our real estate agent showed us many properties on islands that we would have to be a mountain goat to get down to the water. Fortunately some of those stairways raised a red flag in our minds. We thought ahead, fortunately, to the days when our knees, hips and hearts would not allow us to get to the water.....
We looked elsewhere on the lake, and found a flat lot. Are you planning on growing old on your island?
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:02 PM   #17
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Default Good points

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We're on Rattlesnake now, but have rented on Welch and Barndoor over many years.

A few thoughts:

1) You should be handy and be able to fix things fairly easily. Yes, neighbors chip in and help, but really you should have some idea of what you're doing.

2) You should be in reasonably good physical condition. Carrying everything from food to building materials back and forth is a way of life.

3) You need respect the weather and the lake conditions. These are matters of safety. You will end up dodging weather and lake conditions with respect to trips to the mainland, etc.

4) You need to be more independent than on the mainland.

Oops! Speaking of that, we JUST lost power - REALLY!!! (the computer and other equipment is on a U.P.S.). I am going to post this now and come back and edit later. I don't know how much time I have before the U.P.S. runs out!
Those are all good points. We live in a rural area, so we have become handy over time. Plus we have family members that are handy as well. Fortunately we are in good shape and exercise often, so carrying goods should not be an issue. I agree about respecting the weather/ lake conditions. I donít think I would be brave enough to own something that faces the broads!
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rsmlp View Post
Seems to me affordability is the LAST reason you should consider when deciding to buy on an island. Personally, I wouldn't even consider it. Too much of a PITA but I can understand the allure. Totally agree that you should def RENT to get a feel for it-and not for a week. Maybe rent for a month to understand what it is really like.
Point taken, but to have a home (say 1,300sqft 3bed , 1 bath) on the mainland with owned waterfront is significantly more expensive than an island home. Since we are just looking for a summer vacation home I'm just trying to find out what gets us the best bang for the buck. There is a lot to consider and we are just weighing our options.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:24 PM   #19
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When you consider island living you also need to consider your accessibility as you get older. We bought up here 30 years ago. At the time our real estate agent showed us many properties on islands that we would have to be a mountain goat to get down to the water. Fortunately some of those stairways raised a red flag in our minds. We thought ahead, fortunately, to the days when our knees, hips and hearts would not allow us to get to the water.....
We looked elsewhere on the lake, and found a flat lot. Are you planning on growing old on your island?
We are in our late thirties, but we do have older family members that would visit.

I did notice some homes had lots and lots of stairs to get up and down to the water.

I'm hoping what we find will be for the long term, but a lot can change in 10, 20, 30 years.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:27 PM   #20
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Thank you all for taking the time to provide some great feedback! It is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:04 PM   #21
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Don't be afraid of the Broads... It's beautiful.

You have to have a breakwater, but most places facing open water have them by now. Even on the rough days, you can usually find a time to get in/out if you go early or late. Once in awhile a really strong front will go through in early/late season and it takes a couple days for things to settle down. You just watch the wind forecast and adapt. Even the Alton facing side of Rattlesnake has a bunch of pretty exposed places north of the peninsula.

My reservations about the Broads side of Rattlesnake is that the lots are almost all steep and many places have poor foundation piers. The combination of steep slopes, clay soils, lots of rocks and a place that never gets much sun to dry out, makes it hard to the the foundation piers right. We passed on 2 places for that reason (and one is still for sale 3+ years later).

A place on the Broads on the East side of the lake is perfect for me. Nice wild weather, but sun most of the day and not so much boat traffic.

Of course there are only a handful of islands with those specs. And I don't think there are any properties for sale on them.

One other thing to maybe consider is emergency access. Wolfeboro and Alton both have 911 boats that have done a good job the times I've heard of them being needed. I don't know about the more northern towns.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:48 PM   #22
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Those are all good points. We live in a rural area, so we have become handy over time. Plus we have family members that are handy as well. Fortunately we are in good shape and exercise often, so carrying goods should not be an issue. I agree about respecting the weather/ lake conditions. I donít think I would be brave enough to own something that faces the broads!
It sounds as if you have "the right stuff" to be an Islander

All of the islands have their unique charm and characteristics. I liked Rattlesnake for a couple of reasons, one of which was the hiking. You can get real exercise doing what can be a fairly challenging hike (if you walk the island end to end and back - that's quite a lot of up-and-down action, and it's around 5 miles of total distance when you factor in everything).

We are not on the broads side, but the broads side does afford some fantastic views. The non-broads side is much more protected from the weather, and because of that you don't see a lot of breakwaters over here.

Of course a lot depends on how much money you've allocated to make this a reality. There's a "handyman special" type of property over on our side which in my view is pretty attractive. It's a good sized house with a reasonable dock and (I think) an approved septic. It's been unusued for a few years (from what I understand from someone who looked at it) and I think the asking is in the higher $200s... Might be listed by Island R.E. but I can't swear to that. It's easy to find - the house faces to the SSW, and the dock is (or was) cranked up.

Just thoughts...

PM me if you want to come over and chat, hike the island or meet other islanders.

Regards,

Steve
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:14 PM   #23
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We are in our late thirties, but we do have older family members that would visit.

I did notice some homes had lots and lots of stairs to get up and down to the water.

I'm hoping what we find will be for the long term, but a lot can change in 10, 20, 30 years.
We were in our 30s/40s when we bought also. The past 30 years have flown by. Life is much more complicated on the island. We LOVE it, but it honestly can be twice the work. Grocery shopping can be interesting, boat to car to store to boat to dock and into the cottage. Now imagine if your cottage is up 50 stairs or so. I find after 30 years we invite much smaller groups, and delegate our guests to bring as much of the heavy stuff as possible!
If we had bought some of the other listings we were shown back then, we would have to put up a for sale sign now. Be smart, think ahead, choose wisely.
We love the solitude, the close knit neighbors which developed into close friendships, the lack of car traffic. Our child grew up wearing a life vest and running free on the island. Our dogs have always loved it here. We wouldn't trade it for anything on the mainland.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:38 PM   #24
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I always loved parker island.... It my if I won mega millions dream...lol
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:25 PM   #25
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We were in our 30s/40s when we bought also. The past 30 years have flown by. Life is much more complicated on the island. We LOVE it, but it honestly can be twice the work. Grocery shopping can be interesting, boat to car to store to boat to dock and into the cottage. Now imagine if your cottage is up 50 stairs or so. I find after 30 years we invite much smaller groups, and delegate our guests to bring as much of the heavy stuff as possible!
If we had bought some of the other listings we were shown back then, we would have to put up a for sale sign now. Be smart, think ahead, choose wisely.
We love the solitude, the close knit neighbors which developed into close friendships, the lack of car traffic. Our child grew up wearing a life vest and running free on the island. Our dogs have always loved it here. We wouldn't trade it for anything on the mainland.
You definitely made the VERY BEST choice!!! It's wonderful that you have enjoyed it so much and still love it there! It IS a great spot!!
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:53 PM   #26
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Default Great info

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Originally Posted by jazzman View Post
Don't be afraid of the Broads... It's beautiful.

You have to have a breakwater, but most places facing open water have them by now. Even on the rough days, you can usually find a time to get in/out if you go early or late. Once in awhile a really strong front will go through in early/late season and it takes a couple days for things to settle down. You just watch the wind forecast and adapt. Even the Alton facing side of Rattlesnake has a bunch of pretty exposed places north of the peninsula.

My reservations about the Broads side of Rattlesnake is that the lots are almost all steep and many places have poor foundation piers. The combination of steep slopes, clay soils, lots of rocks and a place that never gets much sun to dry out, makes it hard to the the foundation piers right. We passed on 2 places for that reason (and one is still for sale 3+ years later).

A place on the Broads on the East side of the lake is perfect for me. Nice wild weather, but sun most of the day and not so much boat traffic.

Of course there are only a handful of islands with those specs. And I don't think there are any properties for sale on them.

One other thing to maybe consider is emergency access. Wolfeboro and Alton both have 911 boats that have done a good job the times I've heard of them being needed. I don't know about the more northern towns.
Ok, I will keep an open mind about being on the Broads! The views are beautiful. Thanks for the info about some of the issues you encountered when looking at homes on the Broads side of Rattlesnake. I did not think of that with foundation piers. Also, I will add emergency access to my list as something to consider as well! Thanks again.
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:39 PM   #27
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RidgeRunner31, I was just browsing through the forum and noticed that you are fairly new to posting on the forum and glad you have joined us. Have fun and enjoy the Winni Forum while making many new friends.

Thanks for joining in on the forum threads and hope to see a lot more of you here.

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Old 09-07-2014, 06:53 PM   #28
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It sounds as if you have "the right stuff" to be an Islander

All of the islands have their unique charm and characteristics. I liked Rattlesnake for a couple of reasons, one of which was the hiking. You can get real exercise doing what can be a fairly challenging hike (if you walk the island end to end and back - that's quite a lot of up-and-down action, and it's around 5 miles of total distance when you factor in everything).

We are not on the broads side, but the broads side does afford some fantastic views. The non-broads side is much more protected from the weather, and because of that you don't see a lot of breakwaters over here.

Of course a lot depends on how much money you've allocated to make this a reality. There's a "handyman special" type of property over on our side which in my view is pretty attractive. It's a good sized house with a reasonable dock and (I think) an approved septic. It's been unusued for a few years (from what I understand from someone who looked at it) and I think the asking is in the higher $200s... Might be listed by Island R.E. but I can't swear to that. It's easy to find - the house faces to the SSW, and the dock is (or was) cranked up.

Just thoughts...

PM me if you want to come over and chat, hike the island or meet other islanders.
Regards,

Steve
Thanks Steve. I'm grateful for the advice/help. The hiking aspect is definitely appealing. That is a nice plus about Rattlesnake. I think I saw that handyman special with the cranked up dock on Realtor.com. I will PM you with some questions I have about Rattlesnake. Thanks again. Mike
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:02 PM   #29
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We were in our 30s/40s when we bought also. The past 30 years have flown by. Life is much more complicated on the island. We LOVE it, but it honestly can be twice the work. Grocery shopping can be interesting, boat to car to store to boat to dock and into the cottage. Now imagine if your cottage is up 50 stairs or so. I find after 30 years we invite much smaller groups, and delegate our guests to bring as much of the heavy stuff as possible!
If we had bought some of the other listings we were shown back then, we would have to put up a for sale sign now. Be smart, think ahead, choose wisely.
We love the solitude, the close knit neighbors which developed into close friendships, the lack of car traffic. Our child grew up wearing a life vest and running free on the island. Our dogs have always loved it here. We wouldn't trade it for anything on the mainland.
Thanks for the good advice. We will be sure to be smart, take our time, and think ahead (which is an excellent point). Your last paragraph described what my wife and I hope to get out of this. Hopefully we will be as lucky as you.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #30
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RidgeRunner31, I was just browsing through the forum and noticed that you are fairly new to posting on the forum and glad you have joined us. Have fun and enjoy the Winni Forum while making many new friends.

Thanks for joining in on the forum threads and hope to see a lot more of you here.

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:01 AM   #31
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Default Love being on an island

My wife and I bought on Sleepers Island in 2010.
Absolutely no regrets!

What we love about it:
  • You need to be self reliant
  • Your neighbors are self reliant also, but everyone helps each other (It's how life should be)
  • It's quiet. No roads or driveways
  • You definitely feel as though you have "escaped"
  • Everything is a little harder and that is a big part of the charm.
  • Watching the official "Ice OUt Thread" and the various web cams with great anticipation on this Forum in the spring

What we don't love about it:
  • Nothing
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:52 AM   #32
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Default It's a great life

Buy now and you'll be happy with your camp. However, in only a few years, it won't be yours anymore. It will be the family camp. This will be the place for family reunions after you've all made three job changes around the country, down-sized for retirement, and so forth. At some point, you may decide that island living doesn't fit your lifestyle anymore and the kids can't yet afford to take over, so you sell. And for the rest of eternity, the younger ones will say "wish you hadn't sold, we could have found a way". This may not be a short term purchase. Look at the tax assessors listings on-line and you'll see that many of these properties are in some sort of trust. That's part of the reason there isn't a lot of turnover. They're now into the 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation.

There may be some appeal to hiking on Rattlesnake, Bear, etc., but on the smaller islands (the Forties and the Varneys for example) there may be more water sports as they protect each other and you can easily walk or row to the protected side on a windy day. Great views but few canoes on the east side of Rattlesnake is my guess.

Docking: Room for your boat, the kids boat and a guest boat? Can you pull the Whaler, canoe, kayaks jetski, sunfish up on shore easily for winter storage? After awhile on an island, boats tend to accumulate. We've had more, but right now, we're down to our boat, the little boat, three kayaks and a canoe. And my daughter just got a stand up paddle board. We paid $75 for the canoe, and all three kayaks were raffle or promotional wins. But once you have the opportunity, you start slowing down when you see a boat for sale in a yard, or start looking at Craig's list for water toys.

So, land, exposure, docking, proximity to services. You can always modify the buildings.

Be prepared for a lifestyle change. You're not just buying some real estate.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:02 PM   #33
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My In-Laws have a place on Little Bear Island and the wife and I stayed over a few times this summer. This was also my first summer with a Boat and here are my thoughts.
  • We have a slip at West Alton Marina. Luckily the weekends we came out were nice, but going across the boards on some windy days would have been treacherous. My in-laws have a slip much closer to the island, and it's a more sheltered trip over.
  • I greatly underestimated the amount of time it takes to go Door to Door at first, you'll just need to find out what works for how you pack your gear. The time it takes from parking at the Marina to sitting on the sun deck with a beer in hand, is at least an hour.
  • Pay attention to the docks at any property you're considering. If you see whips or what seems to be an excessive amount of gear to protect the boats, it's likely that there is either a lot of wave action, or a lot of boat traffic causing boat damage. It's a good idea to check out the traffic of an area on a busy Saturday to see what you can be in for.
  • Many island properties were built without septic approval, either because it wasn't needed or it's been done without the proper process. It's becoming more and more difficult to sell without a full septic system, so any properties that already have the work done will help ensure that you don't have as many hassles in the future.

I've very much enjoyed my time at the island this year, and am hoping to spend a lot more of next summer out on the lake. If my in-laws didn't have the accommodations that they have at their camp, I'd be working very hard on how to make our own island property a reality.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:51 PM   #34
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We've been on Bear for over 40 years.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:56 PM   #35
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We spent 10 years on Mark Island and loved it. There certainly were challenges over the years and a lot of money spent but it was worth it. It is clearly the best way for the money to enjoy life on the lake. Usually the comparable mainland property would be 3-4 times as much plus higher taxes.

It is more expensive when it comes to maintenance and repairs, plus you need boats and slips to get back and forth unless you plan on towing each time. I know people that do, but that's not for me.

As others have stated, you have to be handy. Also a bit brave. Some days on the lake, unless you plan on being a fair-weather islander only, can be very hairy. Storms can roll in quickly. Fog banks are thick. Wind and waves can be brutal. I was on the lake until mid-December last year, although I was usually a bit more extreme than your average islander.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:41 PM   #36
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Buy now and you'll be happy with your camp. However, in only a few years, it won't be yours anymore. It will be the family camp. This will be the place for family reunions after you've all made three job changes around the country, down-sized for retirement, and so forth. At some point, you may decide that island living doesn't fit your lifestyle anymore and the kids can't yet afford to take over, so you sell. And for the rest of eternity, the younger ones will say "wish you hadn't sold, we could have found a way". This may not be a short term purchase. Look at the tax assessors listings on-line and you'll see that many of these properties are in some sort of trust. That's part of the reason there isn't a lot of turnover. They're now into the 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation.

There may be some appeal to hiking on Rattlesnake, Bear, etc., but on the smaller islands (the Forties and the Varneys for example) there may be more water sports as they protect each other and you can easily walk or row to the protected side on a windy day. Great views but few canoes on the east side of Rattlesnake is my guess.

Docking: Room for your boat, the kids boat and a guest boat? Can you pull the Whaler, canoe, kayaks jetski, sunfish up on shore easily for winter storage? After awhile on an island, boats tend to accumulate. We've had more, but right now, we're down to our boat, the little boat, three kayaks and a canoe. And my daughter just got a stand up paddle board. We paid $75 for the canoe, and all three kayaks were raffle or promotional wins. But once you have the opportunity, you start slowing down when you see a boat for sale in a yard, or start looking at Craig's list for water toys.

So, land, exposure, docking, proximity to services. You can always modify the buildings.

Be prepared for a lifestyle change. You're not just buying some real estate.
Great post...that is my goal. If I do purchase something, I want it to turn into a family camp and hopefully it will stay in the family for generations. Also, docking will be key. Hopefully I can grow my toy collection. Thank you for sharing your experience.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:44 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by B-Laps View Post
My In-Laws have a place on Little Bear Island and the wife and I stayed over a few times this summer. This was also my first summer with a Boat and here are my thoughts.
  • We have a slip at West Alton Marina. Luckily the weekends we came out were nice, but going across the boards on some windy days would have been treacherous. My in-laws have a slip much closer to the island, and it's a more sheltered trip over.
  • I greatly underestimated the amount of time it takes to go Door to Door at first, you'll just need to find out what works for how you pack your gear. The time it takes from parking at the Marina to sitting on the sun deck with a beer in hand, is at least an hour.
  • Pay attention to the docks at any property you're considering. If you see whips or what seems to be an excessive amount of gear to protect the boats, it's likely that there is either a lot of wave action, or a lot of boat traffic causing boat damage. It's a good idea to check out the traffic of an area on a busy Saturday to see what you can be in for.
  • Many island properties were built without septic approval, either because it wasn't needed or it's been done without the proper process. It's becoming more and more difficult to sell without a full septic system, so any properties that already have the work done will help ensure that you don't have as many hassles in the future.

I've very much enjoyed my time at the island this year, and am hoping to spend a lot more of next summer out on the lake. If my in-laws didn't have the accommodations that they have at their camp, I'd be working very hard on how to make our own island property a reality.
Those are some great points to keep in mind!! I will add those 3 items to my list. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I did not even think of the septic issue.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:41 PM   #38
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Default There is a whole other side of the lake!

Seems that most of the responses have focused on the islands on the western side of the lake. Remember that there are some beautiful islands and properties on the eastern side. The pace is a little slower but you also have further to go if you want to drive somewhere.

I'd suggest you find a Realtor who specializes in island property. Several of them actually live on islands and can take you out in their bot to show you several different properties on several different islands. Each one has its own character. 20 yrs ago John Bridges, god rest his soul, spent a Saturday with my wife and I and helped us find the perfect place for us. The first year there I spent literally 3 hrs watching my 5 & 9 year old run down the dock and jump in, climb out and do it all over again. I turned to my wife and said, "this makes it all worth it!"

One thing I didn't see anyone mention is docking on the mainland side. As someone did mention, a couple of the islands have their own dock space. I'm guessing more don't. You either need to rent or buy. We rented for a couple of years and then decided to buy to have some permanence and know where the boat was going to be and what our water commute is year in and year out. So take into account how you are going to handle the mainland side. Rental slips come and go. They are sold, turned into condo's, etc. so if you choose renting you may end up moving every few years.

Buying worked for us but it is expensive now. I thought that square of water was expensive when I bought it but slip prices have increased 300% + since then.

Lastly, I've had a lot of friends (+ relatives) who couldn't believe that i could live "on an island." "What do you do when it rains?", "Aren't you afraid of the animals?" "Isn't it boring?", "I could never do that!" Guess what, to this day, everyone who has visited couldn't believe how much they enjoyed their time with us and, sometimes unfortunately, they want to come back.

If you make the decision to buy on an island do one thing - ENJOY!!!
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:35 AM   #39
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Seems that most of the responses have focused on the islands on the western side of the lake. Remember that there are some beautiful islands and properties on the eastern side. The pace is a little slower but you also have further to go if you want to drive somewhere.

I'd suggest you find a Realtor who specializes in island property. Several of them actually live on islands and can take you out in their bot to show you several different properties on several different islands. Each one has its own character. 20 yrs ago John Bridges, god rest his soul, spent a Saturday with my wife and I and helped us find the perfect place for us. The first year there I spent literally 3 hrs watching my 5 & 9 year old run down the dock and jump in, climb out and do it all over again. I turned to my wife and said, "this makes it all worth it!"

One thing I didn't see anyone mention is docking on the mainland side. As someone did mention, a couple of the islands have their own dock space. I'm guessing more don't. You either need to rent or buy. We rented for a couple of years and then decided to buy to have some permanence and know where the boat was going to be and what our water commute is year in and year out. So take into account how you are going to handle the mainland side. Rental slips come and go. They are sold, turned into condo's, etc. so if you choose renting you may end up moving every few years.

Buying worked for us but it is expensive now. I thought that square of water was expensive when I bought it but slip prices have increased 300% + since then.

Lastly, I've had a lot of friends (+ relatives) who couldn't believe that i could live "on an island." "What do you do when it rains?", "Aren't you afraid of the animals?" "Isn't it boring?", "I could never do that!" Guess what, to this day, everyone who has visited couldn't believe how much they enjoyed their time with us and, sometimes unfortunately, they want to come back.

If you make the decision to buy on an island do one thing - ENJOY!!!
Thank you for feedback!! I will keep all those things in mind!

When I tell friends and relatives that I'm toying with the idea of island property they think I'm a little crazy for the same reasons you listed above. I'm sure if I had a place, I would have a tough time trying to get them to leave.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:55 PM   #40
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Thank you for feedback!! I will keep all those things in mind!

When I tell friends and relatives that I'm toying with the idea of island property they think I'm a little crazy for the same reasons you listed above. I'm sure if I had a place, I would have a tough time trying to get them to leave.
LOL you got that right! However the best thing to do is keep it a secret and not invite them out after you buy something, if anything make sure to tell them how miserable it is. That way they won't be tempted to visit and overstay their welcome!

When all is said and done, to sit by a nice campfire, it's dead quiet other than the distant wail of a loon and the sound of the water lapping on the shore, the stars are out and you have a nice ice cold adult beverage in hand, my GOD how does it get any better? Winter or summer there is just no better place to be. Best investment I ever made and no you cannot put a price tag on it either.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:17 PM   #41
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My wife was dead set against islands, especially building on one. Once the painful part was over she fell in love.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:25 PM   #42
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Default Love It!

There's just something about the serenity of island living that cannot be duplicated on the mainland.

We love it and couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

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Old 09-11-2014, 01:28 PM   #43
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My wife was dead set against islands, especially building on one. Once the painful part was over she fell in love.
I just had to bribe mine with a place that had a flush toilet.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:49 PM   #44
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Yea, all the places with "alternative" septic systems quickly got nixed by my wife... No sense of adventure...

I had her talked into no electricity, but that place didn't work out.

In the end, electricity and a flush toilet are awfully nice.
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:09 PM   #45
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LOL you got that right! However the best thing to do is keep it a secret and not invite them out after you buy something, if anything make sure to tell them how miserable it is. That way they won't be tempted to visit and overstay their welcome!

When all is said and done, to sit by a nice campfire, it's dead quiet other than the distant wail of a loon and the sound of the water lapping on the shore, the stars are out and you have a nice ice cold adult beverage in hand, my GOD how does it get any better? Winter or summer there is just no better place to be. Best investment I ever made and no you cannot put a price tag on it either.
LOL that is a great idea!

I don't think it gets any better than what you described. I'm trying to sell that to my wife now..lol
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:22 PM   #46
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Yea, all the places with "alternative" septic systems quickly got nixed by my wife... No sense of adventure...

I had her talked into no electricity, but that place didn't work out.

In the end, electricity and a flush toilet are awfully nice.
LOL..yeah I have a zero percent chance in talking my wife into a home with no electricity or a home with "alternative" septic.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:29 PM   #47
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Default Well stated Maxum.

"When all is said and done, to sit by a nice campfire, it's dead quiet other than the distant wail of a loon and the sound of the water lapping on the shore, the stars are out and you have a nice ice cold adult beverage in hand, my GOD how does it get any better? Winter or summer there is just no better place to be. Best investment I ever made and no you cannot put a price tag on it either."
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:35 PM   #48
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We had a condo in Paugus bay for over ten years. Three baths , garage,pool, living the life. This spring we bought a place on the south side of Rattlesnake. I think I must have been hit by a bus, because I have been living in heaven ever since!
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:36 PM   #49
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My wife was dead
Sorry to hear that
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
set against islands, especially building on one.
Oh, well that's better than her being dead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
Once the painful part was over
Huh?I thought she was OK?
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she fell in love.
Whew...that was a close one. I should probably read these through before reacting and responding.
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #50
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Default Island Living

I grew up spending summers on Dockham Shore, but moved to Welch Island 35 years ago. We ADORE island living! There is nothing like having the lake a few feet away from your front door, and miles of lovely walking trails out back. Once our kids could swim, they had the run of the island, acquiring a love of nature and sense of adventure. It's like turning the clock back 50 years, with WiFi!

Yes, you have to lug everything back and forth, but especially as we age, we appreciate the workout. Yes, we have to be aware of the weather, but watching the storms blow in and out is endlessly entertaining, and now with radar on the internet, it's easy to do. Yes, it costs more to have work done, but that helps us to live more simply and be self-sustaining.

The peace and quiet, privacy, safety, and sense of community that we experience on island can't be bought on the mainland for anything remotely close to the price we paid. I used to regret a little bit not having a year-round vacation home, but over the years, I have come to appreciate the island even more, precisely because it's NOT available all the time. We love the annual rituals that start watching for ice-out in early spring, and ending with close-up in October. In the winter, our grown kids snow-shoe out to the island and "camp" in the cottage.

Island living is not for everybody. It is not just real estate; it's a way of life.

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Old 02-19-2015, 11:36 PM   #51
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Default Electricity vs. none

Any easy spot to see which islands have electricity and which don't?
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:41 AM   #52
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Default Island Expenses

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Originally Posted by RidgeRunner31 View Post
Hello everyone ... I have been reading these forums for a few months and finally decided to join. I noticed people are very helpful and post a lot of good information.

My wife and I have rented a home (mainland) on Winnipesaukee every summer since 2006. We like it so much that we are toying with the idea of purchasing our own place.

I feel the only realistic waterfront/water access properties we can afford would be an island property or a home in an association with a shared beach and deeded boat slip. Iím leaning towards an island property, because we are adventurous, own a boat and it seems like the best bang for the buck for a vacation home. Iím aware that island living presents challenges such as trash removal, lugging stuff, and itís seasonal, but I do like the allure of getting away from it all.

Be aware that taxes are high and will get even higher over time. Also, slip fees, boat storage and maintenance costs are getting higher each year at the local marinas. A decade ago our slip rental cost $1250; now it's $2600!!

One of my wifeís biggest concerns with island property is the distance to the mainland, because when friends and family come to visit we will have to ferry them back and forth. I was wondering which islands have the easiest access to the mainland? What islands have parking on the mainland? I guess in a nutshell, which islands make things logistically the easiest? Iím guessing Bear Island (a stones throw to Shep Brownís) and Rattlesnake Island (association lot) would be high on the list.

I would be grateful to hear any experiences about island living. Does anyone have any regrets about purchasing an island property or was it one of the best decisions you made?

Also, what are some common expenses that come along with owning an island property that people typically donít think of?

Finally, I know itís a big island, but I noticed there are quite a few homes for sale on Rattlesnake. I was wondering if are any Rattlesnake owners that could help me out if I have any questions about the island. I figure itís easy to get the info from owners before talking to an agent.

Any other helpful information would definitely be much appreciated.

Thank you!

Mike
Be aware that island taxes are very high and will get even higher over time. Also, slip fees, boat storage and maintenance costs are getting higher each year at the local marinas. A decade ago our slip rental cost $1250; now it's $2600!!
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:07 PM   #53
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't such a thing as "Island Taxes". If you live on an Island in Gilford, or on the mainland in Gilford, your tax rate is the same, correct? I understand the added cost of maintenance men, septic pumping, etc, is higher if you live on an island, but there are no additional taxes I'm aware of?
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:36 PM   #54
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Any easy spot to see which islands have electricity and which don't?
One of the biggest ones that doesn't is Diamond.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:42 PM   #55
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Default Correct

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't such a thing as "Island Taxes". If you live on an Island in Gilford, or on the mainland in Gilford, your tax rate is the same, correct? I understand the added cost of maintenance men, septic pumping, etc, is higher if you live on an island, but there are no additional taxes I'm aware of?
Correct, the tax rate is the same in Gilford whether island property or mainland. The only difference is island property is considered seasonal yet you pay taxes year round.

Dan
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:44 PM   #56
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Default Winni Forum

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Any easy spot to see which islands have electricity and which don't?
Probably the easiest way is to simply ask about a specific island on this forum.

Dan
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:48 PM   #57
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I know Diamond and Camp Islands have no power. Any others of significance(size/popularity) people can think of?
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:25 PM   #58
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Default Island Taxes?

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Correct, the tax rate is the same in Gilford whether island property or mainland. The only difference is island property is considered seasonal yet you pay taxes year round.

Dan
Thanks, Dan! And let's not forget that if you are an out-of stater, you cannot vote on local issues--like reducing taxes.
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:28 PM   #59
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Default Seems like Island Tax

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't such a thing as "Island Taxes". If you live on an Island in Gilford, or on the mainland in Gilford, your tax rate is the same, correct? I understand the added cost of maintenance men, septic pumping, etc, is higher if you live on an island, but there are no additional taxes I'm aware of?
Right you are. But just start paying that tax for only a summer vacation and it will seem like an island tax, for sure!
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:09 PM   #60
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I see your point. Tax bill divided by 6 months is tough! So it can seem like twice as much.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:22 PM   #61
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I think the universal theory goes like: if someone owns property, regardless of where they live, they owe taxes on it. Its like if I take a month vacation in Europe, can I just tell the town I won't pay taxes for that month? Noooo..

As far as voting, if I bought a place in Boston, because I liked looking at the snow, could I vote to lower taxes in Boston? Noooooo..

Not looking to start controversy, its just the way it is all over the US and is what someone must accept when buying anywhere in a town they don't live in.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:28 PM   #62
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Leoskeys, I was just browsing through the forum and noticed that you are fairly new to posting on the forum and glad you have joined us. Have fun and enjoy the Winni Forum while making many new friends.

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Old 02-21-2015, 06:28 AM   #63
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Default Island Taxes & Voting

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I think the universal theory goes like: if someone owns property, regardless of where they live, they owe taxes on it. Its like if I take a month vacation in Europe, can I just tell the town I won't pay taxes for that month? Noooo..

As far as voting, if I bought a place in Boston, because I liked looking at the snow, could I vote to lower taxes in Boston? Noooooo..

Not looking to start controversy, its just the way it is all over the US and is what someone must accept when buying anywhere in a town they don't live in.
As far as painful taxes go, that's no balm.
Wasn't there a war somewhere about taxation without representation?
I'm old and forgetful:
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:24 AM   #64
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As far as painful taxes go, that's no balm.
Wasn't there a war somewhere about taxation without representation?
I'm old and forgetful:
I was simply pointing out how this is SOP in the US and not a unique problem in the Lakes Region (to bring this discussion back home). Perhaps a constitutional amendment can be made that gives everyone one vote for each piece of land they own. This would bring on a host of other problems..... including zoning boards being overloaded with people subdividing
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:27 AM   #65
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It all works out in the end.... Island properties are expensive to get to, expensive to maintain and accessible only for 6 months, so property costs about 1/3 of what the same house would cost on the mainland shore. You pay taxes on the value of the property, so they're much cheaper too.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:55 AM   #66
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Default Taxes

We are on an "unimproved" island, no electricity. The property value is easily 5 times that of the buildings on the assessment. But they measure your shoreline and figure that into the taxes, as well as a "view tax". Plus it is different from town to town.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:47 PM   #67
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Default Island Taxes, etc.

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I was simply pointing out how this is SOP in the US and not a unique problem in the Lakes Region (to bring this discussion back home). Perhaps a constitutional amendment can be made that gives everyone one vote for each piece of land they own. This would bring on a host of other problems..... including zoning boards being overloaded with people subdividing
When I took freshman English long ago, that was known as oversimplifying, was it not?
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:18 PM   #68
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What great threads, and as always an amazing forum. I looked out at Diamond and Rattlesnake from the family property in West Alton, and as a kid it felt like reaching out to the stars. We always watched the lights on Diamond the slight generator ebb, and pulse. Of course we had the versatility of good old Route 11, and The Wise Owl, living on the mainland. Two summers at Camp Idlewild made a believer out of me though, I loved that rustic element of island living even though it was during the late 60's. Now that I no longer have the "chores" of opening / closing the family cottage in West Alton, and checking on it in the winter months the lure to get away from Boston, and back to paradise seems to be my only retirement goal! Someday....maybe.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:20 PM   #69
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When I took freshman English long ago, that was known as oversimplifying, was it not?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:47 AM   #70
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Wink Island Living for Occam?

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From your link--

Baker then notices that principles, including Occam's razor, are often expressed in a way that is not clear regarding which facet of "simplicityĒ ó parsimony or elegance ó is being referred to, and that in a hypothetical formulation the facets of simplicity may work in different directions: a simpler description may refer to a more complex hypothesis, and a more complex description may refer to a simpler hypothesis.[b]
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:45 PM   #71
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Default The "view tax" story again

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We are on an "unimproved" island, no electricity. The property value is easily 5 times that of the buildings on the assessment. But they measure your shoreline and figure that into the taxes, as well as a "view tax". Plus it is different from town to town.
There is no such thing as a "view tax" or a "waterfront tax". The tax rate is exactly the same no matter where you are. It is simply based on the assessed value of the property multiplied by the tax rate. It is really not that complicated. If your property is worth more because you have a great view or it is on the water then it is valued higher by the assessor. But there is no different tax rate that depends on the location or the view.

Another post referred to the seasonal use of island property and the fact that they are taxed year round. That is true but the island property may have a lower assessed value because of that island location and that will be reflected in the real estate taxes.

If you have a condo boat slip, such as at Mountain View Yacht Club, you pay the same tax rate but cannot use any town services like the library or the town beach, even though you are a Gilford taxpayer.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:05 AM   #72
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There is no such thing as a "view tax" or a "waterfront tax". The tax rate is exactly the same no matter where you are. It is simply based on the assessed value of the property multiplied by the tax rate. It is really not that complicated. If your property is worth more because you have a great view or it is on the water then it is valued higher by the assessor. But there is no different tax rate that depends on the location or the view.

Another post referred to the seasonal use of island property and the fact that they are taxed year round. That is true but the island property may have a lower assessed value because of that island location and that will be reflected in the real estate taxes.

If you have a condo boat slip, such as at Mountain View Yacht Club, you pay the same tax rate but cannot use any town services like the library or the town beach, even though you are a Gilford taxpayer.
It is a simple concept but so many have a difficult time understanding it. Thanks for trying once again to clarify this issue.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:24 AM   #73
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Default Island & View Taxes?

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It is a simple concept but so many have a difficult time understanding it. Thanks for trying once again to clarify this issue.
Told the wife Tilton BB and WiFi said there are no island or view taxes.
"Oh, Goodie!" she exclaimed. Now we can afford a new refrigerator."
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:44 AM   #74
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Our assessments do actually show if you are paying extra for a view or for waterfront or for a sandy beach or more water frontage etc. I think when people got upset about this was when they first started SHOWING it people actually SAW that they were being taxed extra for these things, even though they were always being charged for them because it made their property more valuable as TTB said. And TTB is right, the assessment is the same per thousand for everybody in their town. It's just how many thousands do they think your property is worth that makes up your tax bill.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:46 AM   #75
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Always wondered how island residents can pay their taxes without choking.
Being seasonal,they are not using the schools.......have no city sewer,water,streetlights,access to police and fire services.
Why not get together and try to press for legislation for a special tax rate for residents without any services?
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:07 AM   #76
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Default The Importance of Being Earnest

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It is a simple concept but so many have a difficult time understanding it. Thanks for trying once again to clarify this issue.
As Oscar Wilde penned, "The truth is rarely pure and never simple."
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:35 AM   #77
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I live in an area where most houses have an acre. Until a couple of years ago we all had the same assessment for the land portion . Starting a couple of years ago my land assessment went up higher than any neighbors since with my acre I have a little more waterfront. In this case I really doubt my value is higher from a sales point of view but they think it is and when I asked they said more waterfront higher value
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:39 PM   #78
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Always wondered how island residents can pay their taxes without choking.
Being seasonal,they are not using the schools.......have no city sewer,water,streetlights,access to police and fire services.
Why not get together and try to press for legislation for a special tax rate for residents without any services?
Moultonborough has one of the best school systems in the state. I pay plenty of taxes to M'borough and have never used the school system. Your plan would open the can of worms that everyone has some reason they should be an exception.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:08 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by SAMIAM View Post
Always wondered how island residents can pay their taxes without choking.
Being seasonal,they are not using the schools.......have no city sewer,water,streetlights,access to police and fire services.
Why not get together and try to press for legislation for a special tax rate for residents without any services?
As TiltonBB said island appraisals are lower than waterfront mainland so while our tax rate is the same we do pay less because of the lower appraisal. I do wish it was lower however but who doesn't!

Dan
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:17 PM   #80
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Default Maybe but.........

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Our assessments do actually show if you are paying extra for a view or for waterfront or for a sandy beach or more water frontage etc. I think when people got upset about this was when they first started SHOWING it people actually SAW that they were being taxed extra for these things, even though they were always being charged for them because it made their property more valuable as TTB said. And TTB is right, the assessment is the same per thousand for everybody in their town. It's just how many thousands do they think your property is worth that makes up your tax bill.
Many things are itemized on your assessment such as the value placed on the land, buildings, garage, out buildings (such as a tool shed) docks, waterfront, breakwater, seawall, and yes, even the view. The total value of all of these things is multiplied by the tax rate in your community and that is how your tax bill is computed.

I think in the past people have thought there is a "View Tax" like it is a separate tax that you pay. If you are going to break it down like that then guess the same person would say that there is a dock tax, a tool shed tax, a garage tax, a driveway tax, Etc.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:19 PM   #81
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Default King George

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Moultonborough has one of the best school systems in the state. I pay plenty of taxes to M'borough and have never used the school system. Your plan would open the can of worms that everyone has some reason they should be an exception.
I am sure the British thought the same thing when we protested the stamp act a while back!

The exception proves the rule.
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:27 PM   #82
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Default Reductio

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Many things are itemized on your assessment such as the value placed on the land, buildings, garage, out buildings (such as a tool shed) docks, waterfront, breakwater, seawall, and yes, even the view. The total value of all of these things is multiplied by the tax rate in your community and that is how your tax bill is computed.

I think in the past people have thought there is a "View Tax" like it is a separate tax that you pay. If you are going to break it down like that then guess the same person would say that there is a dock tax, a tool shed tax, a garage tax, a driveway tax, Etc.
Back to English 101 and logical fallacies, isn't that reductio ad absurdum?
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:01 PM   #83
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Default Call it whatever you like

Less than 75' from my property is a lot with a house on it. The town has assessed the LAND at $100,000. The lake is not easily seen from this lot. My lot, less that 75' away has a "view" of the lake, somewhat obstructed, but a view nonetheless. My little lot, land only, about the same size as the aformentioned lot is assessed by the Town of Meredith for $200,000.
View tax? You tell me.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:24 PM   #84
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Less than 75' from my property is a lot with a house on it. The town has assessed the LAND at $100,000. The lake is not easily seen from this lot. My lot, less that 75' away has a "view" of the lake, somewhat obstructed, but a view nonetheless. My little lot, land only, about the same size as the aformentioned lot is assessed by the Town of Meredith for $200,000.
View tax? You tell me.
100K seems a bit steep, are the rest of the land improvements between the two lots in question in kind or do you have newer or better improvements? How about the characteristics of the lots, there are so many factors that can go into determining value even two lots side by side can vary widely in value even if they are the same size and mere feet apart. End of the day if you think you're getting the raw end of the deal the town does have to justify their numbers to you just as you do to them if you think they are in error. Doesn't hurt to ask them how they came to the valuation and on what comparable properties they are basing it on.
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Old 02-23-2015, 04:55 PM   #85
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Default Abatement

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Less than 75' from my property is a lot with a house on it. The town has assessed the LAND at $100,000. The lake is not easily seen from this lot. My lot, less that 75' away has a "view" of the lake, somewhat obstructed, but a view nonetheless. My little lot, land only, about the same size as the aformentioned lot is assessed by the Town of Meredith for $200,000.
View tax? You tell me.
I had a similar problem regarding my land in Gilford. I went to town hall and looked at the lot plans for other house lots on my street that were similar in size to check the value that the town had placed on them. It was roughly the same as mine. However, my land was much steeper and although there was 100 feet on the water on my land there is only 50 feet at the street. The other lots had 100 feet on the water and 100 feet at the street.

I was able to come up with 4 comps to illustrate my point. I applied for an abatement and pointed out that with a required 25 foot sideline setback, a large portion of my land was virtually unbuildable. I also pointed out that the other lots were closer to level than mine. They agreed and my assessed land value was dropped by about $100,000.

If you take the time to do the homework and present a reasonable argument (without arguing) the system works.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:30 PM   #86
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Default me too

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Two summers at Camp Idlewild made a believer out of me though, I loved that rustic element of island living even though it was during the late 60's
DM - we may have crossed paths, I was at Camp Idlewild in '67 and '68 and loved 'island life' there too... so much so that I started looking for property in the early '90s (including a lot on Cow where the old amphitheater was), and ended up buying on Pine in 1998...

Couldn't be happier with the island decision, and waking up last Saturday morning and looking out across the frozen expanse... spectacular!!!

Don't let go of the dream... they really can come true!! -PIG
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:15 PM   #87
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DM - we may have crossed paths, I was at Camp Idlewild in '67 and '68 and loved 'island life' there too... so much so that I started looking for property in the early '90s (including a lot on Cow where the old amphitheater was), and ended up buying on Pine in 1998...

Couldn't be happier with the island decision, and waking up last Saturday morning and looking out across the frozen expanse... spectacular!!!

Don't let go of the dream... they really can come true!! -PIG
Pine Island Fuy,
Sounds like you use the home in the winter some? Do you hike out, snowmobile, drive?
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:29 PM   #88
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The value of a property to me (in my very limited sensibility, as claimed by certain posters) is the value that it sold for. So, if you bought a property for $100K, that is the value you should be taxed on the first year, then every year after the cost of living is added on. There are/were states that did that. Which they are, I leave to your own personal googling ability, so as not to start more nit picking controversies. Assessors just guess and base it on some arbitrary/argued formulas that aren't fair.

My neighbors house is on the market for an obscene value. If it sells, my taxes will go up, why? I don't even live on an island !
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:43 AM   #89
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The value of a property to me (in my very limited sensibility, as claimed by certain posters) is the value that it sold for. So, if you bought a property for $100K, that is the value you should be taxed on the first year, then every year after the cost of living is added on. There are/were states that did that. Which they are, I leave to your own personal googling ability, so as not to start more nit picking controversies. Assessors just guess and base it on some arbitrary/argued formulas that aren't fair.

My neighbors house is on the market for an obscene value. If it sells, my taxes will go up, why? I don't even live on an island !
Wifi: If it sells that is the "market Value" and it is the best and only fair way to determine property taxes. Be thankful you have a nice property that has appreciated over time. I'm pretty sure that if your neighbor's house sells and you subsequently decide to move you will cite his property sale when setting your "obscene" asking price.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:09 AM   #90
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In the end your assessment is supposed to be tied to the real market value of your property. A house on the water or with a view of the water will usually have a higher market value.... A house with a breakwater will have more value than a house without one.

I bought my house in Alton after it sat on the market for 2 years for under the appraised value. I called the tax office and they adjusted the tax value to something close to what I paid.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:13 PM   #91
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Back to "Island Living"'. For a home on an island without electricity, is a propane generator and/or solar panels the best bet? A few lights are one thing,but got to assume a fridge is going to require some solid power. Probably other things that suck power i'm not thinking of. For instance, how would you get wi-fi for to track weather, etc?
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:13 AM   #92
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Most people use propane powered fridges...

You can also look at a generator that charges a set of batteries that in turn produce 120v ac power through an inverter. You can also connect some solar panels to the system as well if you have a good south exposure. This way you only have to run a generator a few hours a day. When I was looking at a place on Diamond a couple years back, the cost was going to be around 10k.

I must say I'm glad I ended up on an island with power. There are enough complications with island living without having to constantly nurse a power system.

I also worried about the noise factor of living on an island with a lot of generators.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:41 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Leoskeys View Post
Back to "Island Living"'. For a home on an island without electricity, is a propane generator and/or solar panels the best bet? A few lights are one thing,but got to assume a fridge is going to require some solid power. Probably other things that suck power i'm not thinking of. For instance, how would you get wi-fi for to track weather, etc?
For internet access, there's always wireless broadband such as Verizon, which has pretty good coverage on the lake. For power, I would opt for BOTH generator and solar as you could probably run off solar for 90% of the time but would have the generator for backup if extended bad weather precluded solar charging or if you had a high demand that exceeded your solar capacity for a short period.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:10 PM   #94
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Talking Island Living!

Mike, when it's time to actually go out and look at island properties, I highly recommend that you give Nancy DePorter of Keller Williams Lakes and Mountains Realty a call. 603-498-3573 Nancy is absolutely wonderful and is a knowledgable islander and is a well seasoned boater. Tell her that RG sent ya! We listed our place with her last season and will relist with her as soon as the camp is ready at ice-out.
(There have been some major life events in our family over the past year plus, which made us reevaluatie our life's goals and dreams - it's time for us to do some traveling. I do know that letting go isn't going to be easy... You can take the gal off the island, but you could never take the island out of this Gal. Lake Winnipesaukee will always be in my heart and soul. Sniff!)

Having a place on The Broads has been nothing short of amazing!!! Clean water, wide open spaces and in our case, a super private and deep dock spot. We loved every second of our time spent at here and know that the next family will make life long treasured memories too.

Just to add a little bit more information, not all properties Broads side need a breakwater. We purchased our place that has a u-shaped dock back in 2003. We immediately put in oversized (for our 21' boat) whips and have never, ever had an issue of any kind... In any weather. In our case, there is a jog in the island just where our lot starts, which does act as a deflector of sorts for the waves. I certainly would not leave our boat out there in a hurricane, but otherwise, there is no weather that I would not feel comfortable out there in. Last year we only used the whips once. The rest of the time a super large bumper at the bow on the shore side and a snubber at the stern was absolutely adequate.

Best of luck to you and your family, RidgeRunner31! I hope that you find your piece of Lake Winnipesaukee heaven! If you ever would like to talk island living, please feel free to PM me for my number. R-Guy and I have gained a lot of lake/island knowledge over these past thirteen years and would love to share what we've learned with you.

Sincerely,

Celia
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:50 PM   #95
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Oh RG, so sorry to hear you are leaving us!
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:18 PM   #96
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Smile R-Guy & I

Thanks, Tis! We are leaving the island, but as of yet, we are not leaving the lake. So many lake options yet to consider, possibly with the new to us travel trailer.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:24 PM   #97
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Oh ok. I can imagine it is hard enough to sell the cottage but to leave the lake too??? Glad you will still be visiting.
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:08 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal View Post
Thanks, Tis! We are leaving the island, but as of yet, we are not leaving the lake. So many lake options yet to consider, possibly with the new to us travel trailer.
Wow, the island will never quite be the same! All the best to you in whatever you do in the future. Feel free to come back and visit at our place on the other side any time!
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:32 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal View Post
Mike, when it's time to actually go out and look at island properties, I highly recommend that you give Nancy DePorter of Keller Williams Lakes and Mountains Realty a call. 603-498-3573 Nancy is absolutely wonderful and is a knowledgable islander and is a well seasoned boater. Tell her that RG sent ya! We listed our place with her last season and will relist with her as soon as the camp is ready at ice-out.
Nancy is awesome and I second that recommendation. When we my wife and I bought our place she was there every step of the way and there is nobody else quite like her. In fact her husband just got his license and the two of them are now working together. Between the two of them you will not find more knowledgeable and dedicated folks to work with. They are the best no question about it. Don't be fooled by others that supposedly specialize in island property, you may find yourself disappointed.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:05 AM   #100
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RG

Sad to hear you are leaving the island. Good luck in the future and let know where you end up.
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