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Author Topic: Looking for some advice and experience from current NH residents  (Read 407 times)

liamseanhagerty

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Hello all,

My fiance and I have been following the Free State project for a couple years, and only now did we realize the website had a forum section. Feel free to make your preferred disapproving gestures :) At any rate we're both registered Libertarians who've escaped the communist madhouse of California that we were born in and are at the moment holed up in Arkansas. We've recently had the good fortune of both of us acquiring jobs that are work from home, so our living location is no longer tied to our work provided we have a stable internet connection. With that in mind, we've been doing research on making the move and while the Free State Project's moving guide and the links provided within it have been immensely helpful (and very well put together/high quality, my compliments!), I'll admit we're getting a little lost in the deluge of information available and were wondering if we could get some help sorting some stuff out below.

A lot of what we're attempting to sort through is standard housing-related stuff and feel free to just point us to a realtor if it's more appropriate. I'll bullet point the list below so it's easier to read and isn't a wall of text. For the record, we're fully expecting a "pick a few of these features or a few of these, but not all" situation.

  • My fiance is looking to attend Plymouth State University for their Meteorology program, so we're looking to purchase a house within commute distance (ideally no longer than 1 hour drive). If another New Hampshire college has a similar program and we missed it in our research she'd be open to them as well, but Plymouth was the only one we found.
  • My fiance's father will also be moving with us as he's getting up there in years, and he would prefer to be close to a Veteran's Administration center/clinic (within 30 miles or so).
  • Fairly close (within 10 miles) proximity of some bulk grocery stores (like Sam's Club or Costco) would be nice, but not a necessity.
  • We're all fairly spoiled Californians and have no experience living with things like well water, septic systems, and heating/cooling systems that aren't central heat and air (with a wall thermostat) as I've been reading is more the norm in the northern part of the state where Plymouth is; so an area where home utilities are more "modern" would be preferrable. We understand it would likely be expensive as the moving guide forewarned, but we're used to high utility bills between California's bureaucracy driving the price up artificially and Arkansas' awful weather making utilites expensive due to needing constant repair from flooding and tornadoes.
  • As mentioned earlier, our jobs require an internet connection. It doesn't need to be hyper fast, but a download rate of at least 24mbps would be comfortable. Some first-hand experience reviews with the local ISPs would be appreciated as well.
  • We use a startup mobile phone service called FreedomPop that piggybacks off of Sprint's network for our cell phones. From what I can tell Sprint is more established in the southern end of the state, but if the service is good in other areas I'm interested in hearing about it.
  • As for the actual house itself, since there will be the three of us and a good possibility of a couple kids in the future, we're looking for a house around 2000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and is built wide rather than tall. 1 story, a 2+ car garage, and a basement shelter for extreme weather would be nice, but are not necessities. A garage would be especially preferred as my car is partially electric (a plug-in hybrid) and I wouldn't mind charging it in the garage overnight.
  • Since we were raised in the Silicon Valley area, we both have a great interest in integrated home technologies, and are wondering if it might be a better idea to buy and add-in the tech to an existing "run of the mill" house, purchase a fixer-upper, or just build a house from scratch with the integrated tech in mind. I'd be happy to share the extent of our ideas with anyone interested if it would be helpful in addressing this point.
  • We would prefer to avoid organizations such as a Home Owner's Associations if at all possible.
  • We've been using a website called Neighborhood Scout (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com)to research average crime statistics and the relative safety of New Hampshire cities. We're open to hearing about first-hand experiences regarding crime and safety to see if the website's methodologies match how residents tend to perceive their area of residence on the subject. Here are some example reports for Manchester (https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nh/manchester/crime) and Nashua (https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nh/nashua/crime) for reference.

I apologize for the long post, even with the formatting to make it look nicer; and thank you in advance to anyone who read it all. We look forward to making the move in about a year or so when we have some money saved up; and to any replies to this posting in the meantime!

Sincerely,
Liam Hagerty
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JasonPSorens

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Re: Looking for some advice and experience from current NH residents
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 07:30:29 am »

Welcome, Liam! It sounds as if you've been doing your homework.

The first thing I'd recommend is to visit before making the move. You'll get a feel for the different parts of the state and where you might want to live.

That said, my guess is that Plymouth would tick off most of your boxes. They have big box stores, reasonably fast Internet, and I expect municipal water & sewer. I don't believe Plymouth has natural gas connections, though, so you'd be on oil for heat. Like most of NH, it's extremely safe. Politically, it's dominated by the college and isn't too friendly, so property taxes are high and so are zoning regulations. If you go to any of the neighboring towns (like, say, Rumney), you get away from those problems, but then you're likely on well & septic.

In case you haven't come across it in the deluge of information, here is a link to a spreadsheet with data on NH towns. :) https://www.dropbox.com/s/933sduyc5mljmgt/nhtowns15.xls?dl=0
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Levi

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Re: Looking for some advice and experience from current NH residents
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 07:25:18 pm »

Liam,

I live close to Plymouth.  Please PM me your email or go to my website and contact me by whichever method you prefer.  I can help answer these questions.  www.levidunn.com

Levi

liamseanhagerty

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Re: Looking for some advice and experience from current NH residents
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 10:46:28 pm »

@Levi: I just sent you a PM. I look forward to speaking with you further.

@JasonPSorens: That's a pretty big spreadsheet filled with a lot of useful info, many thanks! I'll admit I'm surprised to hear Plymouth itself as a recommendation. I had guessed with the criteria I posted that we'd be limited to the bigger cities in the southern part of the state and Plymouth seemed on the smaller end of the population and square mileage spectrum. We definitely would like to take a mini-vacation to the state to scout it out as you recommended, with any luck lining it up with Porcfest so we can meet some people too!

Thank you to everyone who's replied thus far. We look forward to more recommendations if you feel inclined to have your voice heard!
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