Free State Project Forum

New Hampshire -- The "Live Free or Die" State => Moving & Housing => Topic started by: Jerry B on December 30, 2014, 09:55:16 am

Title: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on December 30, 2014, 09:55:16 am
Hi everyone. I have been living in the Boston area for many years and have been wanting to relocate to New Hampshire for over two years now. I'm most interested in Grafton County, mainly the southern part such as Grafton, but also the Keene area and points between, in that western/southern part of NH. I like the idea of "no zoning," which is the way life should be in a "free society."

I don't have much of an income, so I really don't know exactly what I'd be able to afford. At the same time, I'd prefer not to share a room with someone (unless I happen to meet a female at some point, that's a different situation, and a different discussion), and would prefer to have my own room. I'll obviously have to rent because owning right now isn't particularly realistic. I'd rather live in a single-family type of home rather than an apartment building, especially after all the things I've had to deal with in the past few years in this building I'm currently living in. Perhaps there's someone or some people who would take a "boarder," although that sort of situation would be something I've never done before. I've been working from my home computer which I want to keep doing. I could do other things as a means of contributing to rent (if the price of rent is too high monetarily), such as housekeeping and laundry, etc. I do have some experience with little kids, mainly during the 1980s, from being a teacher's aide in a nursery school class and a third grade class. And I am very pro-home schooling, by the way. However, I'd probably not want to be around kids who are zonked out on Prozak or Zoloft, as I have heard many of them are nowadays.

I am 51, not married, and I'm quiet and don't particularly like being around loud people. I don't smoke or drink or do drugs, and I don't particularly like being around people who do drugs or drink (or smoke). I have no criminal record, and certainly have never done anything that could possibly give me one, as I have been a peaceful, non-aggressor non-invader/non-intruder my whole life. As I've mentioned in previous posts here, I'm a libertarian and a voluntaryist, and I'm somewhat old-fashioned. I am also not favorable to government bureaucrats or police. I happen to be someone with a little bit of anxiety and don't like being around people who have a threatening presence, such as police (or people with pit bulls). But children are usually good to be around (unless they are zonked out on Prozak or Zoloft, or are video-game zombies, etc, etc.).
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: JasonPSorens on December 30, 2014, 03:20:07 pm
If you're interested in Grafton, you may want to look into Hoyt Farm, owned by Bob Hull, or IM "ptb" here on the forum. I also always mention http://www.porcmanor.com in response to these sorts of requests.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: freedomroad on December 31, 2014, 04:59:26 pm
I recommend getting a ticket to Liberty Forum 2015 and talking to folks at the event. There will be people from Grafton, Keene, the Upper Valley and other parts of NH at the event. The event is partly designed to help you meet people in various areas, talk to those people, learn about the areas and so on. I cannot recommend it enough!
http://nhlibertyforum.com/
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on January 04, 2015, 01:26:31 pm
Thanks. I appreciate the info. Actually, while I might prefer to live in Grafton at some point, I wanted to maybe emphasize a little more that I've been looking at Keene more recently. From what I've learned over the years, Grafton and Keene are somewhat similar in terms of the freedom philosophy (as opposed to Manchester or other parts). One additional matter is that it's nice to have a few stores that are somewhat walking distance.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on January 07, 2015, 08:58:11 am
I also wanted to elaborate on some differences (from my perspective) between multi-unit apartment buildings and detached, single-unit residential buildings. One of my main issues is the possibility of power outages which obviously affects home heating. If one is in an apartment building and there is an extended power outage during extreme cold weather, there is a good chance that the building does not have back-up generator. At least that's been my experience. At some point in such circumstances you might have to go to some public area, which I way want to avoid. But if you are in a detached, single-unit residence such as a single-family (or even a two-family) home, in New Hampshire anyway there is a good chance that there would be wood stoves to heat the home. (And in some cases, back-up generators.) There are other reasons to want to avoid living in multi-unit apartment buildings. I've been living in them for over 30 years now. However, if there were some kind of opportunity for me to finally be able to move to NH but it included being in an apartment building there I would probably do that.

And also, while I do prefer to relocate to the western/southern part of NH, maybe I shouldn't be too specific regarding Grafton or Keene. But being away from the coastal areas is important, in my view, and not being too close to Massachusetts border is also a plus. I certainly wouldn't mind being near Vermont, Bernie Sanders notwithstanding. Vermont and NH have some very positive similarities.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 08, 2015, 09:17:21 am
Keene is a Democratic stronghold, which means that it is a black hole for statism in many respects, but on some social issues some of the Keene reps have been very receptive to working with libertarians. Still, overall, it's one of the tougher places for us to work. Manchester is far better, actually, being politically middle-of-the-road.

Keene Free Staters have in some ways made their jobs tougher by their own actions. (Don't mean to paint with an excessively broad brush; there are many good and wise Free Staters there, but they've been tarred by association with those who have been un-neighborly.)
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton, Keene, Hillsborough, etc.
Post by: Jerry B on February 03, 2015, 01:52:32 pm
More recently I've been looking at Hillsborough, as well as surrounding towns Deering and Antrim. The page that was given on a different post, http://www.liberty603.com/, that gives some brief info for each city and town (tax rates, rents, population, % Ron Paul votes in 2012, and general "Liberty Score") has been very informative and helpful. I think Jason posted the link to that page. I found that useful, and I am biased toward the higher % of Ron Paul votes. Obviously, the "Liberty Score" has some influence, too, such as Keene at 24 vs. Grafton at 47. I am not sure just how the score is calculated, but it seems reliable. With Keene at 24, I can see how it is a "Democratic stronghold," as Jason Sorens wrote. (Or was that "Democratic stranglehold"?) Hillsborough has a score of 56 and a Ron Paul vote of 31%. I also used Google street view to take a virtual ride through Hillsborough, and it looks nice. My issues with Grafton and some other more rural towns is that they may be just too rural for me. It's also a bit too far to the north. I was actually looking at much of the information on this over two years ago, then not so much until these past two or three months. When/if some really big economic collapse and civil unrest occurs, I don't want to be stuck in this Boston area at such a time. As far as responses to crises, the writing was on the wall at post-Marathon bombing with the Watertown, MA police siege.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Russell Kanning on February 03, 2015, 04:39:53 pm
Some of the better places to move (like no zoning and such) are on the watershed from the little town of Grafton down to just north of Keene. :)

If you care anything about the ability to build, or use buildings, as you want .... Keene would possibly be last on your list. :(
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: JasonPSorens on February 04, 2015, 03:41:56 pm
Hillsborough is a nice little town and is the regional hub for retail, so I don't think you'd find it excessively rural. It's also more politically sympatico than, say, Henniker.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on July 07, 2017, 09:43:30 am
Well, I'm still between Keene and Hillsborough mainly. Manchester seems nice but I think it's a little too densely populated, and a little too close to the coast.

Right now, one of my issues is not having a car. Are there plenty of places for shopping in Keene within somewhat walking distance? Looking at the Google maps, it sure looks like it. So that's my issue that's steering me away from Hillsborough, at least at first. (In other words, I could move to Keene, and then after a while if I can afford a car I can possibly move to Hillsborough.)

However, it sounds like some people are down on Keene because of, what, intrusive regulations?

I have seen some articles about the police chief in Keene, Brian Costa, who apparently had died at age 46, with some suggesting it was a suicide. But the officials aren't releasing any info about the cause of death, like they're hiding something? Hmmm. And also, apparently Keene police received (and are using, I assume) a Bearcat i.e. tank from the feds, like for free. Didn't Concord finally reject the Bearcat after huge public outcry? Does this mean that Keene is becoming more police-statish than Concord?
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: JasonPSorens on July 07, 2017, 11:14:10 am
Keene is extremely walkable. It also has high property taxes, and liberty candidates almost never even come close to winning there - except for the freshman Dem legislator who has recently converted to the Libertarian Party. We'll see how his reelection goes!

Hillsborough is less walkable, but the main drag is - your residential options will be more limited there than in Keene, though.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: MaxPot on July 08, 2017, 01:56:39 pm
However, it sounds like some people are down on Keene because of, what, intrusive regulations?

I have seen some articles about the police chief in Keene, Brian Costa, who apparently had died at age 46, with some suggesting it was a suicide. But the officials aren't releasing any info about the cause of death, like they're hiding something? Hmmm. And also, apparently Keene police received (and are using, I assume) a Bearcat i.e. tank from the feds, like for free. Didn't Concord finally reject the Bearcat after huge public outcry? Does this mean that Keene is becoming more police-statish than Concord?

Some of the Keene activists have called Keene a "statist stronghold".  The police are a constant presence there, but it's a beautiful and very walkable town.  There are lots of independent shops and businesses within the city, and also the big box franchises a little further out. 

As far as Keene stigma, I'll just be as honest about what I've seen in my short time here.  Without going into detail, it appears to me that Keene activists are more motivated to ruffle statist feathers, whereas most other Free Staters are trying to assimilate and not disturb the (relative) peace.  The statists, I assume, use Keene as an example to tell the potentially sympathetic natives how terrible the FSP is.  As a result, many FSP participants and organizers have distanced themselves from the activists in Keene.  It was described to me this way by one Keeniac:

The scene in The Lion King where Mufasa says, "Everything the light touches is the Free State." Simba says, "What's that dark shadowy place?"  "That's Keene. You must never go there, Simba."

I try not to care about the divide, but whenever the conversations get deep enough, somebody has something to say about it. 
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on July 11, 2017, 07:49:17 am
Thanks Jason and MaxPot for your replies. I really appreciate it.

MaxPot noted that "The police are a constant presence" in Keene. However, I saw on the "150+ reasons to move" to Keene at the FreeKeene.com website, "Keene cops are not as nasty as bigger cities like Manchester." If that's true, then that makes me feel a lot safer.

After the post-Marathon bombing police siege of Watertown, Ma., and after all the articles I've read by the late William N. Grigg, Radley Balko et al., and after all the videos I've seen of police acting hysterically and being berserkers, I do have somewhat of a fear of police. And I'm in my mid-50s and have no criminal record and shouldn't have any reason to fear police!

Also on "150+ reasons to move" to Keene: "Keene bureaucrats tend to not be as unfriendly as bureaucrats in other cities." That's also good.
There's a lot of info on there for activists. I am not an activist. I just want to live in an area where other people are like-minded, I mind my own business and like peace and quiet.

I don't want to be overly critical of the people (in general) in the Boston area, but they love government regulation, they love high taxes, especially all those limousine liberals in Brookline in their multi-million-dollar homes, and they are true Hillary-Bernie people. I know that Keene is a Democrat stronghold, but I'm sure there aren't as many people who call 911 if they see a child playing in the front yard while Mommy is inside, as there are in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Right? (I don't have children, but I'm using that as an example of the mentality of the "sheeple" vs. those who believe in freedom and have a bit more common sense.)
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Russell Kanning on July 13, 2017, 05:05:41 pm
the cops are better in Keene than Manchester.
Take it from one who has been arrested by both. :)
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on July 17, 2017, 08:22:50 am
I'm a 50-something fuddy-duddy, and I like a quiet peaceful area, so as far as location I am going to stay away from the Keene State College area, the high school, and the police station which seems to be to the far right on the map/satellite images. And I also think I'll stay away from the major shopping center areas. I hope this isn't in bad taste, or insulting, but are there particular neighborhoods or streets that I probably should stay away from? For example, I have read that the drug problem (opiates, etc.) is also in Keene. Are there specific streets where that is a problem? I hope I haven't offended anyone.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on July 19, 2017, 07:34:41 am
I wrote:

I'm a 50-something fuddy-duddy, and I like a quiet peaceful area, so as far as location I am going to stay away from the Keene State College area, the high school, and the police station which seems to be to the far right on the map/satellite images. And I also think I'll stay away from the major shopping center areas. I hope this isn't in bad taste, or insulting, but are there particular neighborhoods or streets that I probably should stay away from? For example, I have read that the drug problem (opiates, etc.) is also in Keene. Are there specific streets where that is a problem? I hope I haven't offended anyone.

What I meant as far as "where I should stay away from," was in terms of a prospective home/house/apartment where I would want to live (like I wouldn't want to live in or near a known "bad neighborhood," etc.). I just wanted to clarify that because I'm still not that familiar with Keene.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on August 01, 2017, 08:00:28 am
Well, while it didn't entirely answer my question, I did manage to find out about the "Free Streets Project" and I found that to be particularly helpful information.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Russell Kanning on January 17, 2018, 09:05:36 pm
most of Keene is very quiet .... the North and West edges of town are very quiet. Those were our preferred bike routes
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Jerry B on February 21, 2018, 12:08:03 pm
Thanks for your reply Russell. I've spent a lot of time looking at info on Keene, including taking "virtual trips" through various areas via Google street view. The neighborhoods to the west and north do look favorable. I have looked at the "Free Streets Project" area that I mentioned, and it does look like a nice neighborhood but it's a little too close to the center of the city, I think. And I don't think I will be living near the Keene State College, though. (I've been in the Boston area for years, enough with the "snowflakes." Sorry for my offending remarks.  ::)) I would more likely be living in a house than an apartment. Although I would probably get an apartment at first because it is unlikely that I'd find the "right" house right away.

If I am able to buy a house, I am not even sure it will be in Keene, maybe in Swanzey. One of my minor issues is that all the homes in Keene seem to be on the public water supply. On the Internet, I don't think I've seen any homes for sale with a private well and septic. Are private wells not allowed in Keene? Even the more expensive homes in the more "secluded" areas do not seem to have their own private wells. (I've been in the Boston area for many years. In 2010 a water main burst and it was part of the main water supply, and they had to hook up a temporary access to "pond water" as the source of water. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Boston_water_emergency] During times like that, I become a "snowflake." It was very distressing. Am I "spoiled"? I guess so.)

Another thing is that many homes in Keene, including the larger ones (like 1800 sq. ft. and up), only have one bathroom. There should be a full (or at least 3/4) bath in the upstairs and at least a 1/2 bath in the downstairs.

I do like the fact that there are so many places for shopping, especially all the grocery stores. I don't like to order stuff online.
Title: Re: Interested in relocating to NH Grafton (or Keene etc.)
Post by: Russell Kanning on April 08, 2018, 12:54:01 pm
if you are outside Keene, then you can get your own well water and other systems .... and things are cheaper