U.K. Buyers Choosing New Hampshire U.S.A. for Holiday Homes and Businesses

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For many people in the U.K. interested in purchasing a holiday home or business in the U.S., Florida may be the obvious choice—but more and more buyers are choosing other locales, including New Hampshire’s White Mountains. According to Pete Pietz, a Realtor® with Badger Realty in North Conway, New Hampshire, “We’ve seen a huge jump in purchases by buyers from the U.K. We’ve sold condominiums, homes, investment properties—even a traditional New England bed & breakfast—to international buyers in the past year.”

For many people in the U.K. interested in purchasing a holiday home or business in the U.S., Florida may be the obvious choice—but more and more buyers are choosing other locales, including New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

According to Pete Pietz, a Realtor® with Badger Realty in North Conway, New Hampshire, “We’ve seen a huge jump in purchases by buyers from the U.K. We’ve sold condominiums, homes, investment properties—even a traditional New England bed & breakfast—to international buyers in the past year.”

A Somerset, England couple and their two children found the White Mountains a natural choice for their holiday home. “The United States to many British people is Disney World and Florida and an 11-hour flight. However, we discovered New England is only 6 1/2 hours from Heathrow and has so much more to offer. In winter there is masses of skiing with the advantage that the instructors speak English to the kids, and in summer the place changes into an outdoor pursuits centre (with the theme parks if that’s what the little ones want!)”

Pietz credits the Internet with radically changing the way real estate is purchased. “For instance, clients just go to our website, http://www.badgerrealty.com, to view all current listings. They can let me know which properties interest them, and we can narrow down the search via email. Often people fly in to view properties, and within a few days put a property under agreement. Our staff at Badger Realty and I can handle all the closing details for them, so the next time they visit the property, it’s as owners.”

Nick and Barbara Sawbridge of Surrey, England, who have purchased two condominiums through Pietz, found the process easy. “If more people knew how easy it is remortgage in the U.K. and move the money to the U.S., they’d buy here, too.”

Buying a U.S. Business

While the majority of U.K. buyers purchase holiday homes, others choose to purchase businesses, especially country inns or bed & breakfasts. Badger Realty has been responsible for over half the commercial real estate sales in the last year in the North Conway area of the White Mountains. David Cianciolo, who, with his partner, Ed O’Halloran, has been responsible for the majority of those sales, finds that hospitality businesses are a natural fit for many U.K. buyers. “Many people tell us they wish they could live here. With a bed & breakfast—the fastest growing segment of the lodging industry in the U.S.—they can. It’s a way to combine the independence of owning your own business, the ability to meet people from all over the world, and the enjoyment of the lifestyle this area offers.”

The Carter Notch Inn in Jackson was purchased in fall 2004 through Badger Realty by U.K. natives Sally Carter and Richard Green. Before moving to the U.S., she was a marketing manager while he was a distribution manager; these careers, both of which include a focus on customer service, helped prepare the pair for their new lives as innkeepers.

Badger Realty

Since 1965, Badger Realty has been a leader in residential and commercial real estate in the Mt. Washington Valley, including North Conway, Jackson, Bartlett, Glen, Conway, and neighboring communities in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and western Maine.

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Brenda Leavitt