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Old 04-26-2012, 12:29 PM
7 posts, read 8,460 times
Reputation: 11


Hi all,

We are preparing to move to the seacoast NH/ southern ME area. I could really use some advice on choosing a town! My husband is working in Stratham, NH. He works 3 days in the office and 2 days from home. So, we are willing to live within an hour or an hour and a half radius of Stratham. I am home with our three children whom I homeschool. I'd like to find a small town with a community-vibe, more rural, but with its own stuff going on. (I also work part-time as a homebirth midwife but I can do that anywhere.)

We used to live just outside Belfast, ME which I miss terribly. It is just such a wonderful small community- vibrant and connected. There are a lot of "small town" activities there; like contra-dancing, a community dance studio, community theater, small YMCA, a wonderful little co-op with a busy- yet homey- cafe, local bookstore, local toy store, The Green Store, etc, all in a quintissential tiny New England town of about 6,000 people. I'd love to find a place just like that closer to Portsmouth.

What I DON'T want: I don't want to live in suburbia. I'm not focused on the schools since we homeschool. I don't want a big mortgage. I don't want lots of traffic.

What I DO want: A strong, down-home,, rural community vibe with some other homeschooley, back-to-the-landy types. Affordability is a huge priority. I know that means different things to different people. For us, it means you can get a small house on a couple acres for $100k-$150k or a MH on a few acres for $50k-$80k. I don't mind a small house (in fact, I prefer it) but I do want a small acreage for gardens, orchard, chickens, romping-in-the-woods for the kids, and privacy. It needs to be close enough to Portsmouth for hubby to commute 3 days per week but far enough away to get some distance from the higher housing prices, denser populations, suburban set up, and all that comes with that. And we do need access to high speed internet so hubby can work from home- a bit of a dichotomy, I know. I care about having a good grocery store and, ideally, a great health food co-op, but I could care less about other "typical" shopping opportunities. I far prefer to shop in small, local, downtown shops owned by my neighbors to shopping at big box stores.

Thank you, thank you, in advance for sharing your place-wisdom with me. I'd especially appreciate hearing from people who've actually lived in the towns they recommend. Thank you!

(cross-posting in Maine forum)
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:39 PM
Location: "FV" (most can't pronounce it)
1,224 posts, read 3,215,170 times
Reputation: 1329
Check out Epping - for some reason that came to mind when reading your post
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:34 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 49,582,235 times
Reputation: 24548
Check out Stratham for that matter.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:07 AM
7 posts, read 8,460 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the recommendations! We'll check out Epping. Stratham, I think, is more expensive than we can afford- and maybe more suburban than we are looking for? Any other ideas for communities that are more rural and affordable- but still have a little downtown and/or basic shopping (grocery, pharmacy, etc)?
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:55 PM
9,326 posts, read 18,990,689 times
Reputation: 4398
South Berwick, ME?
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:18 PM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,542 posts, read 11,754,376 times
Reputation: 4117
Given your criteria (rural, schools not a consideration, reasonably priced) I agree that Epping might be a very good fit. Exeter/Stratham are both higher priced, and with higher valuation which = a higher tax bill. You are more likely to find a MH on its own land, and be able to have access to woods, fields, etc. Other considerations: Newmarket (has its own little downtown) Barrington (could be further than desired for work travel, but has rural areas, lower in price than many of the highly desires school systems like SAU 16, Oyster River, etc) Raymond? Nottingham?

More if I think of it while I am on the run
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