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Old 07-25-2006, 08:58 PM
55 posts, read 261,764 times
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My husband and I are considering a relocation (from TN) to NE in the next couple years and are doing quite a bit of research on various areas, one of which is Portsmouth. I'd love any information on what it's like to live in the area. I know NE in general is very expensive, and the coast is probably even more so. What I'm most interested in is the quality of life...our main hopes for a new home are: a small/medium size town, near/on water (preferably the ocean), with a walkable town center...good education system, nice community, creative atmosphere, SAFE. Does Portsmouth fit those for the most part? Though not in NH our other considerations are: Newburyport, MA; Andover, MA; Cape Ann, MA; York/Ogunquit, ME...all close by - if anyone knows anything about any of those, that''d be great.

My one other question is weather - I know it's COLD in the winter. I'd love to know what it's like to live in it...does being on the coast help with the severity? Can winter sports make it more fun? What are the coldest/hardest months? During the winter is it mostly gray/gloomy, or are there a lot of sunny, cold days? Any information would be helpful.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:13 PM
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That's a lot of questions to answer, but I'll try to answer some.
First off, please re-think your decision to come to Mass. Unless you have a skill in high tech or some other reason related to a job, I would avoid Mass. I have been living here (Cape Cod) for over twenty-five years and I am now making plans to move to NH. The politics (VERY liberal), the cost of goods, the poor air quality, the traffic, the rudeness, the taxes, and a host of other reasons are the catalysts for the move. Unless you have a reason, just look a bit closer. That's just me talkin'.
I was originally from upstate NY and really miss the mountains. NH fits my lifestyle in many ways. Lot's of snow (love it!), beautiful summers, lots of space, nice people, reasonable housing costs, conservative thinking (Live Free or Die!!) and a few others. NH does have higher property taxes, in some cases, than Mass. But, there is no sales tax, no income tax, and no excise tax (that is a Mass tax for owning a car, based on book value), so everything is relative to what you are spending now. The one big hit you will have to take is the cost of housing compaired to Tenn. What you can get there just multipy it by around three and that will be close to what it is on the East Coast of Mass.
As for the weather near the water, it does help some regarding storms. But if a nor'easter comes around, the coast usually gets wacked! So, it's a bit relative. The air near the water is a bit warmer, so it will rain more than snow. We do have many clear cold days, but who's counting? January and February are definately the harshest. Skiing and hockey (skating) are the two big sports up here. If you have young kids, it's definately hockey. If you like football, you better become a Pats fan! The Titans can't hold a candle to our Patriots! Also be prepaired for RUST!! Your car will hate you!
Usually along the coast are artists, galleries, antique shops and the like. There is a very deep and rich culture in New England. Lots of old history. We have friends in Newburyport and it's a nice town. The North Shore has some similarities to Cape Cod. The Cape is just larger.

Hope some of this helps. Don't get me wrong about Mass. I've had some great times here, but it's time for a change.
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:44 PM
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Default relocation

Thank you bryfry, for your post. There are moments when I think I'm crazy to consider moving at all, and others when I know it's the right thing - where is just the question...and we won't really know until we visit, spend time, live somewhere for a while. I do know that the areas we're considering are expensive. We both work from home and as long as there's the internet, we can be there (no commute necessary). We won't make a move until we can do it financially...and from what I can see to live on the coast we need to expect to spend 500-600k min. The taxes are a big deal, and NH sure has that beat. We have only been in TN for 6 years - came from FL, where the housing market has exploded...so we're aware of pricing. We may be unrealistic in our hopes - and I realize that too...we have vacationed in BAr Harbor about 8 times and LOVE the coastline...I prefer the rocky cliffs to the sandy beach believe it or not. I am concerned about winters, but figure - we can always try it for a couple years and then move again if it doesn't fit for us. I'm just so tired of urban sprawl...grew up in a small coastal town and miss that. But too much skin cancer issue says no more tropical weather for me! Maybe snow would be better : )

Again, thanks for your post. We're planning a trip this fall to check it all out. IT will be interesting to see how it feels.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:09 AM
Location: New Hampshire
65 posts, read 277,103 times
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Portsmouth is great. If you love seafood anyplace along the coast is fine. The biggest drawback is housing. Its gone way up and you can expect to pay $275+ not on the coast. It is only a medium size town of about 35,000 so traffic is tolerable. It does slow down during summer with alot of tourist.

I always hear of the high property taxes here and it may of been true in some places but not as bad as some may think. Stay away from Mass. My town of Rochester tax rate just went up to around $19 per thousand which for me is $2700yr.

My closest friends live in central Mass where I grew up pay more then that and they all live in small hick towns outside of Worcester. No income or sales taxes something no other state can say except Alaska I think.

The problem I have is winters are too long and the humidy is starting to bother me as I just found out I have mold allergies and was sick for 5 months this year.

We are considering moving to El Paso Texas and are visiting there in DEc. I hate to leave the no taxes stuff but my health is more important. If you can take the winters I think anyplace in NH will be nice.
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:35 AM
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Thank all three of you for your posts. It's helped me a lot.

4Acadia: My husband and I are also looking for the sames th ings you are in New england. So you asked all of the questions I had.

bryfry: Thank you for your candid response. This fellow native New Yorker can appreciate that.

Felina: Myhusband has allergies too and we need to find out for sure, But I think humidity is provoking it. That makes me a little sad though because I don't want him to be miserable in NH. I guess we'll just have to visit and see.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:17 AM
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Default I just love Portsmouth!!

I grew up in the Rye/Portsmouth area, and it is such a great place to be! I've been travelling/moving all around the country for the past 5 years, and I've found nothing quite like coastal New England. I'd have to say that Portsmouth is one of the only places I'd really love to move back to!

The downtown area of Portsmouth is adorable, but still quite large for a smallish town. A large part of the downtown area is on the water, so there are lots of great dock-style restaurant, piers, marinas, parks on the water, etc. Not to mention that the town is full of art galleries, quaint gift shops, coffee shops and such! Additionally, you can cross a small bridge in downtown Portsmough and be in Maine, which is so neat!

One of the other huge advantages of Southern NH is the proximity to Boston, which obviously has a big city feel, but is so historical. Boston is so close (about 1 hr drive depending on traffic) that you can easily drive down for the day to see a Red Sox game or go shopping or anything else you feel like! I went to college in Boston, and it was always so great to be in such an excellent educational hub so close to home! I'm not sure if you have children, but it would be a great way to keep them close to home for school!

I would definately recommend that you consider moving to Southern NE. It's unlike many places in that there's mountains (skiing, hiking, rock climbing, etc) only 2 hours away, yet has beautiful beaches and rocky coastline within walking distance. It's amazing!!

Good luck with your relocation hunting!
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:10 PM
55 posts, read 261,764 times
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Thank you to everyone, so much, for your posts!! Kljackso, bryfry and felina... your info is very helpful. Portsmouth is one of two towns we're focusing on at this point (the other is Newburyport, MA). It sounds wonderful. We've planned a trip for the end of September and are looking forward to getting a feel for the area. Yes, we have a child - he's 20 months, so it's a few years until school is a concern, but it's a huge consideration for us when choosing where to live. I will assume you were happy with the Portsmouth school system? And yes, having Boston close by is a big plus. We live in the land of urban sprawl and we love the idea of being in a smaller walkable town, but at the same time close to so many different places. For our trip...we're meeting with a realtor to see just a few homes to get a feel for the market - do you have any suggestions for neighborhoods? Ones that are in walking distance (or at least a short drive) to town?

Sevdie - I would love to hear what you're finding on your search and what you decide upon. Feel free to send me a private message or just keep posting, if you want to trade notes! Good luck to you!

Thanks again to everyone!!
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:05 AM
409 posts, read 1,562,578 times
Reputation: 100
I am in the processof searching now and I will certainly let you know about it.
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