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Old 09-14-2021, 06:21 PM
28 posts, read 32,288 times
Reputation: 41


We live in Scottsdale. An interesting opportunity has popped up for my husband in Portsmouth (near the airport) and we are considering it.

So help me get to know the area...

What are the good spots to raise a family?
  • I would love an area near water or marina, we are big boaters.
  • Tons of kids playing outside, families
  • Good Schools
  • Walk to restaurants a plus, but not top priority
What are the dream streets?

How many months of the year can you golf, my kids love golf.
Is there any advantage to living in Maine?

Rye looks nice, any others? New Castle? North Hampton?
Downton Portsmouth looks lovely, are there families in the downtown area?

Its important to me that my kids have lots of kids around.

Budget - 1.5-3M

Thank you! I really do appreciate it.

< Note: We are looking at several cities, not trolling>

Last edited by colete00; 09-14-2021 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:05 PM
Location: Newburyport, MA
8,617 posts, read 5,538,236 times
Reputation: 10646
With that budget you have a lot of flexibility. Exeter has very good schools and is a nice town. The Oyster River school system is very good - that's Durham, Madbury and Lee. Durham also has the UNH main campus, Madbury and Lee are quieter. I would actually prefer one of these towns just inland.

It's a great area for boating - protected water is in the Great Bay, Little Bay and the fiver rivers feeding in. There is a lot of structure on the coast there and you have the Isles of Shoals not far off shore. The Piscataqua River is very swift, so need some caution there.

The nicest towns on the coast IMO are Portsmouth, New Castle and Rye. It can be crowded there, especially in summer as those towns draw a lot of visitors.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:40 PM
2,647 posts, read 2,276,124 times
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Have you ever lived on the east coast? If not, I strongly recommend visiting when it's hot / humid. People who have only lived in the western part of the US are often surprised by the (very unpleasant) feeling of mugginess. New Hampshire won't be muggy for as many months per year as Florida, but it is definitely muggy in the summer. You'll feel it.

Maine and New Hampshire have the highest average resident age among states (45 for Maine, 43 for New Hampshire). Obviously there are families / young people in every state, but they're definitely older states. Boston is quite young, though.

This may or may not be important to you, but the Seabrook Nuclear Power plant is just south of Portsmouth (in Seabrook). Also, there's a superfund cleanup site in Greenland (just west of Portsmouth).

If you live in Maine you'll pay Maine income tax, so probably not what you want to do. New Hampshire has no income tax.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:33 AM
Location: Newburyport, MA
8,617 posts, read 5,538,236 times
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Back with some neighborhood suggestions:
  • In Durham: the neighborhood near Mill Pond, between Mill Pond Road, Oyster River Road and Garden Lane, is real nice, and that's where a lot of UNH faculty live. You can walk to Main Street from there too. There are some beautiful country properties off Durham Point Road that are on the Oyster River and Little Bay, but that's low density off a country road that some cars drive fast on - no streets full of kids there.
  • In Portsmouth: I really like the neighborhood roughly between Middle Street, South Street and Miller Ave. It's close to the harbor and downtown, but it's a little quieter and most of the people you'll see on your street live there, as opposed to be out-of-towners hitting Portsmouth. Another nice neighborhood just outside the visitor throngs is near Strawberry Banke Museum, between Gates Street, Pleasant Street and Mechanic Street, and just across Mill Pond, the little section between Macy Street, South Street and Newcastle Ave. You can walk to the downtown shops/cafe's from these neighborhoods.
  • In Rye: I love Jenness Beach, and the small neighborhood near Jenness Beach, roughly between Cable Road and Ocean Boulevard is a nice area, that you can walk to Jenness Beach from there. Rye has some beautiful country roads with high end homes, but less of a neighborhood feel.
  • In Exeter: the neighborhood between Front Street and Court Street, Elliot Street and Pine Street is real nice, as is the neighborhood between Park Street and Main Street, Water Street and Cass Street and you can walk to Main Street from both.

If you'd consider northern Massachusetts - not far from these towns is my town, Newburyport, MA, which is broadly like Portsmouth and certainly also quite nice.

Last edited by OutdoorLover; 09-16-2021 at 06:36 AM..
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Old 12-09-2021, 01:21 PM
Location: Startham, NH
29 posts, read 24,097 times
Reputation: 38
Default Rye is the play

Portsmouth, Rye, New Castle or North Hampton would be your choices. All with ocean frontage. For my money Rye, NH is the best place to live in the country when you consider low taxes (14 mil rate with no income, sales or capital gains taxes), proximity to Boston (1 hour drive), ocean (on or near the beach) lakes (<1 hour) and mountains (1.5 hours) while abutting Portsmouth (bars, entertainment, museums and restaurants). Only minus is spring weather (cool and rainy) can last into May.
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Old 12-09-2021, 02:30 PM
Location: Seacoast NH
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I'm going to second Rye on this one. I raised my son in Rye and it was a great place for him to grow up. You didn't mention how old your kids are but Rye (and many other towns) does not have a high school. They go to Portsmouth for that with school buses picking them up at the normal Rye bus stops. New Castle goes to Portsmouth for High School and Rye Jr. High for 7th and 8th grade.

I would recommend the Brackett Road area - it's in 3 sections and any of them are good. Walking distance to Pirate's Cove beach and Petey's restaurant, although the walk can be a bit tricky in the summer time with all the cars parked for the beach. Also, Long John Road is nice as is Wallis Road but more traffic on Wallis.

Rye recreational fields have little league and not much for sports at the elementary or Jr. High schools. Good school system but the enrollment has dropped since prices started skyrocketing for real estate. Most young families can't afford to move to town anymore.

As for golf, most years you can play around May to October, but not every day because of weather. Could get rained out in May and rained or snowed out in October. The course in Rye (and New Castle's too) are members only but I don't believe their is a waiting list for either. Their is a public course in North Hampton (only 9 holes) and I believe the one in Greenland is public too.

If the kids want to work, they can get jobs at the Rye or New Castle golf courses as caddies after they go through the training course they offer. My son did that starting at age 12 and through high school. The real age for starting there is 13 though. The pro just happened to know my son from the time he was 2 so an exception was made.

I'm going to vote against Exeter. It use to be a good school system but I'm not so sure anymore. They seem to have gotten "woker" every year. If that's your thing, that's fine but it was a much better school system when I went there years ago. Exeter, like Portsmouth, is an area high school. Not everyone in their class will live in the same town as them. I believe Exeter covers 7 towns and Portsmouth 6 towns.

Good high school sports at any of the seacoast high schools. Many of them offer golf as a sport, along with the standards - track, baseball, football, soccer, lacross, basketball etc.

And there really isn't anything to gain by living in Maine. If you want to look, Kittery and Eliot would be the closest to Portsmouth.
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Old 12-09-2021, 02:47 PM
4,474 posts, read 2,937,007 times
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The OP has apparently decided to move to NC, based on her posts in that forum.
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