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Old 07-19-2012, 06:40 AM
 
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Hi, I'm new to this forum and was hoping on getting in on some of the great advice that's given here.

My family, 2 young boys, myself and my husband need to relocate. My husband will be working in Cambridge.

We've looked some in MA but it is very expensive and we're unable to sell our house in our market for what we think we need to live there. So, we are looking in NH.

What we need or like is an hour or less commute for my husband, preferably on the train. Good schools for the kids where there are lots of extra curricular options. One son swims, acts, plays baseball, speaks Spanish and is very social.... The other (only 4) will be doing lots too, I imagine. I need/would like some land .5-2 acres for large gardens, maybe chickens and a house that doesn't break the bank for us ~475k We would all like some sort of community feeling with activities we can all enjoy like a farmer's market, fairs, caroling, parades, etc. However, we're not into McMansion sub divisions with association fees.

Any town in SE NH fit the bill? Is Portsmouth over an hour commute to Boston?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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Try Londonderry. We have excellent schools and there are plenty of houses in that price range. The commute to Cambridge can be done by Boston Express bus line that has stops at Exits 4 & 5 and drops directly at Boston south station. Then take the Metro RED Line to Cambridge. This should take about an hour to get in and about an hour and a quarter to get back. The nearest train connection is in Lawrence, Mass and would take longer.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Your budget will allow you to have your choice in most southern NH towns, and also in some Merrimack Valley towns in MA. Before suggesting a community, I'd like to share a couple of things...

Looking to NH, you should realize that most towns won't have natural gas-your heat choices will be oil, propane or electric (avoid electric!) with wood (either pellet-stove or burning cord wood) being an excellent backup/supplement. The vast majority of homes will be serviced by private well and septic system, not a municipal water supply and sewer service.

Subdivisions of McMansions can be found, but they are in the minority. Homeowners Associations are generally found in newer subdivisions, along with 'protective' covenants, fees and rules about what you can and can't do inside and outside of your home.

The Farmer's Market movement is rapidly growing, and this is a good thing! Here's a PDF to introduce you to some in NH: http://agriculture.nh.gov/publicatio...ersmarkets.pdf (I have this printed and keep it with me at all times!)

Because you mention chickens, you should know that each town has it's own requirements for the keeping of poultry. Londonderry requires 2 acres, minimum because poultry is lumped in with livestock (pigs, cattle, etc). Many other nearby towns are MUCH more lenient.

Portsmouth is likely to be longer than an hour to Boston, and there is no train. However, Dover, Durham and Exeter have train stations (but not a commuter rail like MBTA). If you end up near the seacoast, the nearest MBTA station would probably be Newburyport, MA. If you are in southern NH, the easiest would probably be Haverhill, MA.

Some towns to consider might include Hampstead, Auburn & Chester (Pinkerton Academy for HS is a big plus). Plaistow or Atkinson (close to MA border, good schools). Bedford & Windham have amenities that your family would probably appreciate (parks, active rec. departments, town pool/beach, etc.) Amherst & Hollis are charming, somewhat more rural. You're in the ballpark for home prices in all of these towns.

For the most services, you might even consider one of our 'cities'. With just over 100,000 people in each, the cities of Manchester and Nashua have suburban areas that could work for your needs and offer the services (trash p/u, water & sewer service, etc). Of course not knowing where you're coming from, what you're accustomed to, it's difficult to make an assessment
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:02 PM
 
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Thank you both! Any suggestions for sites that would give me a "feel" of what the town was like? We plan on going up sometime soon but I want to check it out on the web first.

Durham attracts me because it is a college town and I love that kind of feel. We used to live in Ft. Collins, CO and I loved it! however, my husband is concerned it is too far (we also have relo requirements for distance we have to fulfill)

Thanks again!
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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PS What about Exeter or Stratham?
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,057 posts, read 7,814,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFabulousM View Post
Durham attracts me because it is a college town and I love that kind of feel. We used to live in Ft. Collins, CO and I loved it! however, my husband is concerned it is too far (we also have relo requirements for distance we have to fulfill)

Thanks again!
I have friends who lived in Fort Collins before relocating to New Hampshire, and they loved it there too. But they've grown to love NH nearly as much (but I don't think anything compares to the wide open spaces of the Rocky Mountains). I would bet that their perspective would be helpful for you. From what I've heard about Fort Collins, Durham would seem like a tiny & sleepy little town. I'll ask her to pop on here to city data to give you some perspective on towns that might have some of the feel you're looking for
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:01 PM
 
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Thanks!
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