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Old 11-15-2018, 04:46 PM
 
19 posts, read 28,274 times
Reputation: 41

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Hello friends!
My husband and I (early 30s) have lived on the front range in Colorado for 10 years. I’ve had a little seed planted in my mind for a few years now about relocating to be closer to family, away from traffic and urban sprawl, closer to nature and have more affordability. It has gotten to unbelievably expensive and crowded here in recent years. If you want to go anywhere else in the state you have to sit on the parking lot of I-70 for hours, no matter the season. On the upside, our home value has doubled in 5 years.

My brother lives in Newburyport, Mass and our parents are in Cleveland and NYC so New England may make sense for us. My brother has spent a lot of time with his kids in the White Mountains and thinks NH would be a good fit for us. I was also looking at Maine and Vermont, but it’s very overwhelming to research every little mountain town in NE. We would ideally like to have the following:

-rock climbing (a non-negotiable for my husband)
-skiing
-less congestion and sprawl
-house under $400k
-good schools (we are trying to start a family)
-job opportunities (we both work in education currently but my husband may make a career change)
-liberal leanings

I think the biggest shock for us would be a difference in culture. And the lack of sunshine. But it is getting very hot out here, and having huge dumps of powder to ski would not be a bad thing. I know it may not be realistic to find a town that meets all the criteria, but I have gotten past the “grass is greener” phase at this point. I love the idea of having mountains and ocean nearby.

Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:36 PM
KCZ
 
1,602 posts, read 818,324 times
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The first four things on your list are compatible with northern NH. You can also find OK but not outstanding schools there. Because the northern half of the state has small towns and no cities, job opportunities are fewer. I would start my search with the job piece of your puzzle. For liberal though, you want southern NH or Vermont. Northern NH is pretty conservative. Also, there's not deep powder skiing like there is out west. Realize that when more people move here, they bring the beginnings of the congestion, sprawl, traffic, and real estate price increases that they're trying to escape.
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
493 posts, read 321,341 times
Reputation: 660
I agree with KCZ: Start with finding work first, and then a place to live within a commutable distance. (That distance varies with everyone.)

I've lived in CO three separate times, totaling a few decades. I like NH much more; in fact, I chose NH of all 50 states.


Quote:
away from traffic and urban sprawl, closer to nature and have more affordability. It has gotten to unbelievably expensive and crowded here in recent years. If you want to go anywhere else in the state you have to sit on the parking lot of I-70 for hours, no matter the season. On the upside, our home value has doubled in 5 years.
People in NH complain about similar changes taking place in NH over the decades. However, it is NOTHING like what has happened in CO and other areas out west. What people in NH consider "urban sprawl" and "expensive" is not in the same ballpark as CO; heck, it's not even the same sport. Traffic too; I always put "traffic" in quotes when discussing NH.

Quote:
My brother has spent a lot of time with his kids in the White Mountains and thinks NH would be a good fit for us. I was also looking at Maine and Vermont, but it’s very overwhelming to research every little mountain town in NE.
In my opinion NH is far superior to every other state in the north east. Just pull out a calculator and see how income taxes and sales taxes affect you. Even including property taxes, NH has the 6th lowest overall tax burden in the U.S. And, like you said, NH has the White Mountains and an ocean and endless amounts of lakes, rivers and ponds.

Quote:
-rock climbing (a non-negotiable for my husband)
Yes, we have it here.

Quote:
-skiing
Growing up out west, I heard horror stories about how icy it was back east. However, I can tell you that they are overblown. Is it as white and fluffy as out west? No, but it's still pretty decent and much, much better than nothing.

Quote:
-less congestion and sprawl
All of NH fits this bill. (Even though natives and long-timers may disagree with me.) The only thing resembling this is some areas along the NH/MA border.


Quote:
-house under $400k
Depending on what you want, this is more than plenty for most of NH.


Quote:
-good schools (we are trying to start a family)
People in NH act like different schools in NH are a choice between Mayberry and inner-city Detroit. However, NH is one of the safest states in the U.S. and has the highest quality of life. In my opinion most of the schools are fine. If you are going to make education an idol, though, be ready to pay very high property taxes to live in the most coveted towns. Also, in the most coveted towns 400k does not go near as far.


Quote:
-job opportunities (we both work in education currently but my husband may make a career change)
My suggestion is to find a job first, then look for places to live.


Quote:
-liberal leanings
NH is not like the rest of the country. The state is truly purple. The most recent election, NH elected Democrats to the house and senate, and a Republican to remain governor. In NH most things are local, and the topic of the day is budgets and money, not all the hot-button issue nonsense that proliferates national media. I do not see the people of NH at each other's throats over politics.

Quote:
And the lack of sunshine.
On average NH has 198 sunny days per year, compared to CO's 245. What you get for giving up a little sunshine is a luscious green landscape, clean, clear water everywhere to swim and play in, and almost no forest fires.




I chose NH of all 50 states. I love it here.
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:57 PM
 
1,046 posts, read 874,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satori View Post
relocating to be closer to family
A practical consideration, from my personal observations, is if you aren't within 15 - 20 minutes, 30 minutes tops, of your family, most likely you won't see them much more often than you do now. If that's your highest priority I would try to stay within 15 minutes of one of them.

On the other hand, if your highest priority is a more rural life in a left-leaning area, I would suggest a town in Vermont near a ski resort. It won't be very close to your relatives, but if they ski they're likely to at least visit you a couple of times per year. Then you can see them without travelling at all It would check off just about all the other boxes you mentioned.

Good luck, whatever you decide
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:23 AM
KCZ
 
1,602 posts, read 818,324 times
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I think the political climate of VT is pretty close to CO. NH is more to the other end of the pendulum, particularly its northern half.
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:19 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
493 posts, read 321,341 times
Reputation: 660
I disagree about NH being on the other end of the pendulum. In my opinion NH more closely resembles political libertarians, not repubs or dems. I mean, just last year a Republican house, senate and governor signed into law the transgender bill. What other state that is all Republican is going to do that? In NH a large number of Republicans in the house are basically libertarian, so the party in no way resembles Republican parties in most other states. In NH, if you want to win for governor and you are a Democrat, you at least have to lie and pretend to be against an income tax and gun control.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
771 posts, read 332,384 times
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Based on the rock climbing, I think you'd either want to be in the vicinity of (< 1 hour) NH's White Mountains National Forest, or Maine's Acadia National Park, both beautiful areas. Acadia would also put you along Maine's coast, which is gorgeous. You'll probably get many suggestions here for NH, so I'll suggest checking out Blue Hill and Ellsworth in Maine.
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
771 posts, read 332,384 times
Reputation: 894
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCZ View Post
I think the political climate of VT is pretty close to CO. NH is more to the other end of the pendulum, particularly its northern half.
I did notice the "If Your Thinking of Moving to NH" thread, which sounds like a warning to liberals not to move to the Granite State, or if they do, to stay quiet... that doesn't sound particularly liberal-leaning...
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:59 AM
 
11,963 posts, read 6,185,291 times
Reputation: 21976
Quote:
Originally Posted by satori View Post
-rock climbing (a non-negotiable for my husband)
-skiing
-less congestion and sprawl
-house under $400k
-good schools (we are trying to start a family)
-job opportunities (we both work in education currently but my husband may make a career change)
-liberal leanings

I think the biggest shock for us would be a difference in culture. And the lack of sunshine. But it is getting very hot out here, and having huge dumps of powder to ski would not be a bad thing. I know it may not be realistic to find a town that meets all the criteria, but I have gotten past the “grass is greener” phase at this point. I love the idea of having mountains and ocean nearby.

Thanks!

Your biggest shock is going to be white ribbon of death man made snow and ice bumps. Ever skied Loveland in October? That's New England midwinter conditions most of the time. Limited number of acres you share with 10,000 of your closest friends.


With your mix, take a glance at Burlington, VT.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:13 AM
 
12 posts, read 10,184 times
Reputation: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by satori View Post
Hello friends!


-rock climbing (a non-negotiable for my husband)
-skiing
-less congestion and sprawl
-house under $400k
-good schools (we are trying to start a family)
-job opportunities (we both work in education currently but my husband may make a career change)
-liberal leanings

I think the biggest shock for us would be a difference in culture. And the lack of sunshine. But it is getting very hot out here, and having huge dumps of powder to ski would not be a bad thing. I know it may not be realistic to find a town that meets all the criteria, but I have gotten past the “grass is greener” phase at this point. I love the idea of having mountains and ocean nearby.

Thanks!
Have you researched the Upper Valley/Lake Sunapee area? Some ideas:

- Hanover/Lyme/Orford on the Connecticut River:
  • Meets your rock climbing and skiing. You're 1.5 hours from good climbing in either Quechee VT or Franconia Notch in the Whites. You're also less than two hours from great skiing at Jay Peak, Burke, Stowe, Killington, Bretton Woods and several others.
    Less congestion: Not in Hanover with an Ivy League university in the center of town and a street full of boutiques. But definitely less congestion in the surrounding towns. Although convenient, I wouldn't recommend Lebanon, it's a giant box store. Lyme is a very nice town and the Dartmouth Ski Bowl is in the town. Orford is very quaint and rural.
    House under $400K: Hard to do in Hanover (closer to $1M), but you can find it especially if you're willing to do some work DIY. Lyme and Orford, definitely.
    Good Schools: Hanover has the top rated school district in the state (they switch places with Bedford and Hollis interminably) and their high school is one of the top three public high schools. https://www.niche.com/k12/search/bes...new-hampshire/. Lyme and Orford have good primary school systems and for secondary schools, if you live in Lyme the town sends your kid to Hanover High school (SAU 70) which has arrangements with Dartmouth and your kid can lave high school with multiple college credits.
    Job opportunities: The Hanover-Lebanon area has the largest employer in the state, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, internationally renowned. Larger employers also feature Dartmouth University and Hypertherm, a global leader in precision metallurgy.
    Liberal Leanings: You can't go wrong in the Hanover/Upper Valley area. On the private industry side, for example, both Hypertherm and nearby King Arthur Flour in Norwich VT, across the river from Dartmouth, are 100% employee owned. Both companies have committed policies on corporate social responsibility. Voting wise, the Upper Valley is one of the reasons why New Hampshire is a purple state.

Lake Sunapee-Kearsarge area
  • -rock climbing (a non-negotiable for my husband) Similar for the Hanover area.
    -skiing: Similar to Hanover with less snow. However, you are within 15 minutes of Mount Sunapee, which invariably rates as the No. 1 or No. 2 for grooming and snow making in the East. And you're less than 3 hours from the major snow dump mountains. On top of that, you have lakes everywhere including Sunapee with all kinds of water activities. The Sunapee/Kearsarge/Ragged hiking trail is 75 miles of amazing hiking
    -less congestion and sprawl: New London/Newbury/Sunapee get some - I say some - traffic on account of the summer season vacationeers. And some ski traffic for Mt Sunapee and Ragged Mountain. However, all three towns have magnificent quality of life and plenty of acreage. Crime rates are some of the lowest in the state.
    -house under $400k: In New London, it's getting harder to do but still doable.
    -good schools (we are trying to start a family): Kearsarge Regional School District is very good. A larger school district, it has great resources.
    -job opportunities (we both work in education currently but my husband may make a career change): The area has a high level of education and income and a great quality of life. Although it has a large retiree population, there is a rapidly increase percentage of younger population with families. Economically, the area's employment is in financial services, health, retail and education. There are two liberal arts colleges in the area.
    -liberal leanings: The three towns surrounding Mt Sunapee are definitely "purple" with a leaning towards liberal vote, perhaps due to their high level of education and income. There are also the diminishing number of old-style civil Republicans who feel out of place in their party nowadays. In this latest election, for example, 3/5 of New London voted Democratic. The presence of two liberal arts colleges may also add to the mix.
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