Excellent Exchange Rate Driving Sales of U.S. Holiday Homes to U.K. Buyers

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The excellent exchange rate, along with the increased property values in the U.K., has many people in the U.K. considering the purchase of 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. lately. We’ve sold condominiums, homes, rental properties and businesses to international buyers.”

The excellent pound-to-dollar exchange rate, along with the increased property values in the U.K., has many people in the U.K. considering the purchase of a holiday home or business in the U.S. Florida may be the more obvious choice—but increasingly 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 who specializes in assisting international buyers, “We’ve seen a huge jump in purchases by buyers from the U.K. lately. We’ve sold condominiums, homes, rental properties and businesses to international buyers. Whereas Florida is an 11-hour flight from Heathrow, New England is only 6 1/2 hours—and the North Conway area is ideal for vacations in every season. ”

The North Conway area—sometimes referred to as the Mt. Washington Valley—is set in New Hampshire’s White Mountains on the border with western Maine. This popular holiday destination is known worldwide for its spectacular scenic beauty. Thanks to the presence of the 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest, which is part of, or adjacent to, every town in the region, those characteristics which draw so many people to the region—unspoiled vistas, charming villages and small towns and a broad array of outdoor recreation—have been retained.

The area is an excellent choice for overseas buyers interested in a holiday home in a four-season area that offers skiing in winter, family theme parks in summer and fall, some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the U.S., tax-free shopping at over 200 stores and outlets, and both sophisticated and affordable dining choices year round. There is a strong market for rental properties, particularly in winter.

In spring, summer and fall, golf, fishing, hiking and walking, mountain biking, rock climbing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking are favorite pastimes. In winter, there are 7 nordic ski areas, 7 alpine ski and snowboard areas—many of which offer tubing, as well—ice climbing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and sleigh rides. In any season, scenic drives can be enjoyed and offer the opportunity to see native wildlife such as moose, bear, bald eagles and deer.

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 and check out the information we have for international buyers. 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. As one buyer told me, if more people knew how easy it is to remortgage in the U.K. and move the money to the U.S., they’d buy here, too.”

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 and Conway, New Hampshire, and in western Maine. Search for properties online at http://www.badgerrealty.com.

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Brenda Leavitt