U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Hampshire
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old
 
58 posts, read 34,567 times
Reputation: 81

Advertisements

What are your opinions on buying a place in Claremont vs somewhere in the Upper Valley.

We're kicking around the idea of a modular home (already built) as opposed to being ripped off by renting. It's become harder and harder to find a place that will let us have our dog. There's also the noise issues and not being able to upgrade or do anything in apartments.

My income won't allow for much so a nice house in the overpriced towns of Hanover, Lebanon, and the alike are out.

Maybe there might be something in Enfield but I don't like the isolation of that area. I prefer Claremont only because the shopping is okay (there's a Market Basket).

Why is Claremont considered so scummy?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old
 
3,127 posts, read 2,629,593 times
Reputation: 2944
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernSkysGuy View Post

Why is Claremont considered so scummy?
I don't know if "scummy" is the right word. Claremont's property tax rate is near the top in NH. It's downtown is loaded with consignment shops and empty storefronts and it has lost most of the industry that it once had. For sale houses sit on the market for years. That's why that house you're interested in is so inexpensive.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
KCZ
 
1,549 posts, read 763,870 times
Reputation: 4337
Claremont is a run-down old town. Many of the largest employers left years ago. Businesses open, then close a few years later, for example the Lowe's on Washington St. The long-standing Ford Dealer across the street just closed as well. Wal-Mart is the most stable store there. Schools are terrible. Crime is higher than much of the Upper Valley, and drug use is a big factor. (Note that overall NH crime is low compared to many other places in the country.) There aren't many good restaurants or much to do for entertainment. I'd be worried about resale of that house if you're planning to move again in the foreseeable future.

Where are you living now, and where do you drive for work? Do you have kids you're going to send to public schools?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
 
58 posts, read 34,567 times
Reputation: 81
Yeah, I work near Hanover I'm priced out of the market here. Even on the VT side, I simply don't have the means to buy here. We were planning to move but I never got either of the two jobs I interviewed for in another state.

We don't have any kids in school. My wife hasn't worked in a long time because she lost her job in the Recession and we had to bounce around a bit when I got laid off. She's older now and it's not easy to find something in her field. She's done some waitress work but as she's older she can't really do that sort of job long term. Eventually she's hoping to re-train for something (she has a degree).

I hear what you're saying about Claremont. I worry if we get a manufactured home we won't be able to sell it either.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
KCZ
 
1,549 posts, read 763,870 times
Reputation: 4337
Dartmouth College and DHMC have driven up the demand for homes in the Upper Valley and priced them out of reach for many people who don't work for those two employers. The towns within 30 minutes of Han/Leb are all becoming DC-DHMC bedroom communities. I think you have to keep looking around the periphery up and down the I-91 corridor for both rentals and sales. Windsor is another run-down town without much to offer, but I think it's increasing sucked into the DC-DHMC vortex as a bedroom community, and home values are more likely to hold there, although you'd have to pay income tax. I'd avoid going farther west as Rte 4 is an aggravating commute, and stay out of the Enfield-Canaan-Grafton area for the same reason and because the school system is driving taxes up significantly there.

DM me with your requirements and price range, and if I hear of anything that seems suitable, I'll let you know.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
 
75 posts, read 92,543 times
Reputation: 89
Claremont is NOT scummy. It is a beautiful New England town that has been mismanaged by a bunch of tax-and-spenders who, hopefully, are seeing limited days. The people here are much friendlier than those in the upper valley and there is an amazing sense of community here. A state-of-the-art recreation building that is 2nd to none (nothing as nice in Lebanon,) a ski/tubing hill that is outstanding, the only Amtrack station in NH, several beautiful parks, great restaurants and shopping (Super Walmart, better Dollar Tree, Pizza Hut and other pizza places, Common Man, Revolution Cantina, Taverne Square, Time Out Restaurant, Pub, and Club and other nice and fast food restaurants that you won't find in Lebanon.) Several theatre and other arts groups, including an active Opera House. An AMAZING hospital and Community College (can't say enough good things about both.) You are closer to Lake Sunapee and Keene here. The schools have vastly improved and the city is CLEAN with a wonderful police and fire department (including state police,) maintanance crews, parks & service, and road plows. Housing is very affordable here.

What has hurt the reputation of this city is the loss of living wage jobs, more welfare, and drugs (which is a problem all over New England, including Lebanon.) But there are very beautiful safe areas all around. The schools have also been a problem, but they are being restored. The biggest problem, by far, is the local government and school board, but they are slowly being replaced. This town knows that it cannot continue on the current path, with the highest tax rate in the state.

I recommend you visit here before making any decision. You might be very surprised.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
 
58 posts, read 34,567 times
Reputation: 81
Kristin,
I'm not from the area originally and agree with you about how over rated Lebanon can be.
It has some bad looking parts and sketchy people wandering about. Crime is also quite high in parts of Lebanon but you know they keep it hush hush. Rents have gone up A LOT thanks to Hanover being extremely pricey. Students live in Lebanon and take advantage of the free bus.

We often go to Claremont (MB rules!). I haven't seen enough of Claremont to judge. 120 has some wonderful houses and properties. By the college is very nice and I will think about it.

Does anyone know if modular home parks allow dogs?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
 
636 posts, read 954,475 times
Reputation: 738
Correction: Claremont is not the only Amtrak station in NH. The Downeaster route has stops in Dover, Durham, and Exeter, and goes direct to Boston. It is, however, the only stop on the Vermonter route and the only stop serving the western part of the state, as far as I know.

As someone who has only visited, I don't have much to add to the discussion of Claremont, other than to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it was the first time I went there, and they have some notable destinations which KristinNH mentioned. WCVB Chronicle did a nice show on it. To me it is the kind of place that jumps out as a hidden gem, or a diamond in the rough, someplace which has seen better days but which could really be something if the right people got involved.

However, the 2016 tax rate is $42.62/$1000 of assessed value which is, frankly, completely insane. I say that as someone who has owned two houses in towns which routinely have rates in the low $30s, which most people find insane. But to be over $40 suggests so may underlying problems. Of course it keeps the real estate prices down, but you're still going to have a very hefty tax bill for the value. I see, for example, a cute house for sale for $179,000, and a tax bill of over $8100.

There is something I have barely been paying attention to, and I don't know if it has been resolved, but it has to do with a planned reduction in state "stabilization grants" to local school systems. The plan was to reduce the grant by 4% a year for the next 25 years. It would hit property-poor towns like Claremont especially hard. If the plan remains in effect I would expect to only see the tax rate go UP. Someone can chime in if this issue has been resolved.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
KCZ
 
1,549 posts, read 763,870 times
Reputation: 4337
No, there was a new study this week that showed Claremont, among others, will lose stabilization grant money. Thirty years after Claremont sued the state, and not much has changed.
NH Center for Public Policy - Education Finance in New Hampshire: Headed to a Rural Crisis?
http://www.revenue.nh.gov/mun-prop/m...inal-rates.pdf
Quick reply to this message
 
Old
 
75 posts, read 92,543 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernSkysGuy View Post
Kristin,
I'm not from the area originally and agree with you about how over rated Lebanon can be.
It has some bad looking parts and sketchy people wandering about. Crime is also quite high in parts of Lebanon but you know they keep it hush hush. Rents have gone up A LOT thanks to Hanover being extremely pricey. Students live in Lebanon and take advantage of the free bus.

We often go to Claremont (MB rules!). I haven't seen enough of Claremont to judge. 120 has some wonderful houses and properties. By the college is very nice and I will think about it.

Does anyone know if modular home parks allow dogs?
Hi NSG, I can tell you that I lived in Lebanon for 18 years before moving to Claremont 11 years ago and, in spite of the problems here, I would never go back there. Just hate that city and avoid it whenever possible. Housing IS ridiculous and it is an elitist city with a lot of transient residents. It never impressed me as anything nearly as great as they make it out to be and I have little good to say about it except that we had a very nice house there and made a nice profit when we moved.

I do not know of any modular home parks, so couldn't answer that. With housing being so cheap here, you may be better off buying, but rent is cheaper here, too -- but, yes, you could have problems if you have a dog. We live on the south side of town, toward Charlestown and just love this area. Good luck on your search!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbell76 View Post
Correction: Claremont is not the only Amtrak station in NH. The Downeaster route has stops in Dover, Durham, and Exeter, and goes direct to Boston. It is, however, the only stop on the Vermonter route and the only stop serving the western part of the state, as far as I know.

As someone who has only visited, I don't have much to add to the discussion of Claremont, other than to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it was the first time I went there, and they have some notable destinations which KristinNH mentioned. WCVB Chronicle did a nice show on it. To me it is the kind of place that jumps out as a hidden gem, or a diamond in the rough, someplace which has seen better days but which could really be something if the right people got involved.

However, the 2016 tax rate is $42.62/$1000 of assessed value which is, frankly, completely insane. I say that as someone who has owned two houses in towns which routinely have rates in the low $30s, which most people find insane. But to be over $40 suggests so may underlying problems. Of course it keeps the real estate prices down, but you're still going to have a very hefty tax bill for the value. I see, for example, a cute house for sale for $179,000, and a tax bill of over $8100.

There is something I have barely been paying attention to, and I don't know if it has been resolved, but it has to do with a planned reduction in state "stabilization grants" to local school systems. The plan was to reduce the grant by 4% a year for the next 25 years. It would hit property-poor towns like Claremont especially hard. If the plan remains in effect I would expect to only see the tax rate go UP. Someone can chime in if this issue has been resolved.
Oops, sorry -- I meant on the WEST side of the state. I agree that it is beautiful here. The mountain views still get my attention, esp. Mt. Ascutney. But, yes, the tax rate is ridiculous and there is a growing backlash against the officials (city and school) responsible.) A lot of pressure to get it under control or this city will decline. This city has SO much potential and is already full of amenities that should not be ignored (esp. here in the middle of nowhere.) Most houses are well under 179K. You can get something quite impressive more about the $150K -- or lower! -- mark. I'm not sure what is happening with the schools as we don't use them, but I surely hope they get some relief -- or that the city lays off on it's mandates for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCZ View Post
No, there was a new study this week that showed Claremont, among others, will lose stabilization grant money. Thirty years after Claremont sued the state, and not much has changed.
NH Center for Public Policy - Education Finance in New Hampshire: Headed to a Rural Crisis?
http://www.revenue.nh.gov/mun-prop/m...inal-rates.pdf
Claremont needs to clean house and cut the budget -- but the state that is cutting those funds is also REQUIRING this struggling city to meet mandates (mostly with the schools) that it can't afford. I really hope some leaders stand up and fight back.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > New Hampshire
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top