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Looking in NH for A place to Retire Need feedback on some locations

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by UNSUB, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. UNSUB

    UNSUB NES Member

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    Hello Friends I am trying to retire and enjoy life a little before I croak. I am looking in NH and while I have visited many places over the years, living there is different, and some areas I have 0 experience with. Any pros and cons will help. I am hoping to rehab something so if building or rehabbing is an issue in some towns that would be good to know also. Thanks in advance.

    Places under consideration: Tamworth, Ossipee, Dummer, Sandwich, Franconia, Carrol, Ferncroft , Madison, Conway, Albany, Redstone, Jefferson, Whitefield, Lancaster Dalton Bethlehem.
     
  2. grizquad

    grizquad NES Member

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    Well, the further north you go, the lower the property taxes are. Anything near lakes, and resorts will probably have higher taxes. Other than that, enjoy retirement!
     
  3. DaveL.

    DaveL.

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    I'm no where near retiring but will take a stab. For reference, I live outside of Boston but own property in Landaff and Lisbon, both bedroom communities of Littleton.

    In my opinion, the greater Littleton area is about as good as you can get without the ridiculous prices of the lakes region. First off it's right off 93 so it's very accessible, bit over 2hrs from Boston if you do it right. You have Walmart, Shaw's, Walgreen's, HD, Lowe's, Tractor Supply, a number of local gun shops and an NH State liquor store to cover the essentials without a considerable trek. There's a good number of restaurants, breweries and shops to visit. There is healthcare via Littleton Regional Hospital and they are opening a brand new minute clinic in the coming months. You are right by the Franconia Notch for hiking and skiing at Cannon plus Loon and Bretton Woods aren't far and are great off weekends. And there is boating/swimming/fishing/ice fishing at some of the small local lakes and rivers.

    The benefit of some of the small towns around Littleton is you get all of these amenities but can go to a town like Landaff (pop. 3-400) and Lyman (pop. 5-600), have acreage and privacy to go with it.

    Just my .02, I'm there on the weekends and who knows if i'll still love it in 30+ years when I'm looking to retire. I will say my father-in-law at 74 spends about as much time at our house as he can between May and October when hes back from Florida.
     
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  4. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    Avoid Conway. They have zoning nazis who love screwing things up. Bethlehem is a beautiful little town, but very lefty.

    Lancaster, Whitefield, and Jefferson are all good choices. Dalton has no zoning (sort of -- they did vote for a temporary zoning article in an attempt to stop Casella Waste Management from building a landfill there). Whitefield and Groveton (Northumberland) will have the best choices of fixer-uppers.
     
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  5. rcoolbaugh

    rcoolbaugh

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    My daughter and Son in law just bought a house in S. Carolina .... 20 min from Myrtle Beach, 3 BR / 2 bath / garage .... $180K with annual taxes estimated at $600. And NO SNOW!
     
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  6. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell NES Member

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    Been there once or twice, you're basically in the shadow of the White Mountain National Forest. Very quiet. If you're retiring, you don't have to worry about the fact that you're far away from the economic hubs like Concord and Conway.

    Kinda weird vibe from Ossipee. Might just be me.

    Love Sandwich, very nice town, rolling farms, lake access, lower taxes. Very expensive property.

    I would avoid because of tourists.

    I'm not sure how much available land you'll find because you're near Mt. Washington, etc. Very familiar with the area. Good luck finding developable land in Albany.

    I've probably been to Madison over a hundred times but I can't recall anything particular about it. Just sorta blends in.

    Conway isn't actually that bad of an idea for a retiree if you want to be near things, like say a hospital or stores or a highway. How independently can you live and take care of yourself? If you need help getting milk and bread, you might want to stay closer to bigger towns so you or your family can get you help. Don't underestimate what its like driving on backroads in the middle of winter during an emergency.

    I'm not a fan of this area. Sort of the trashy tourist area in comparison to Conway. You're also next to VT so you'll get them coming over the border and VT drivers are the worst I've seen besides NYC'ers. VT'ers drive slower than the Grim Reaper's hearse. Edit: Whitefield is, actually, very nice. Gun store + gunsmith. Whitefield is cool but the other two, I'd pass on for living in.

    I know precisely two things about Dalton:

    1) Its home to a very nice 1000-yard range, Ridgeline. I am unsure if Ridgeline took over the "Dalton Gang" gun club's property or if the Dalton Gang is still an active gun club.
    2) North country legend has it that a NH statie went to Dalton once to either scout out a property or execute an arrest warrant, can't remember which. Anyways, what he saw in the woods on the property made him run for his life and abandon his cruiser. Cruiser's still out there in the woods, so I'm told.

    Here's some other suggestions:

    *Stark: I absolutely love Stark. If I could live anywhere, it'd be Stark. 900 +/- people, covered bridge in the tiny center of town, surrounded by mountains on both sides. Low taxes. Its unfortunately two hours from Concord, where if I lived in NH, I'd be spending a lot of time professionally.
    *Plymouth: Plymouth is a college town and, like Conway, would be good for someone who needs or wants to be around services like hospitals, highways, supermarkets, etc.
    *Campton, Rumney, Thornton, Holderness, Ashland, Wentworth, and Warren: this is the cheaper side of the Whites near Plymouth and Moosilaukee. Not as expensive as say Woodstock or Lincoln or Conway. Access to Plymouth. Underrated area, IMO. One of the guys on here (the guy with the Mass welcome sign with the hammer and sickle on it) owns land up there in I believe Rumney.
    *Groton, Dorchester, Hebron, Canaan, and Orange: "you cahn't get they-ah from hee-yah" territory. Put it this way: there's no state highways in Groton.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  7. M1911

    M1911 Moderator NES Member

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    yeah, but bugs and heat and humidity and snakes and hurricanes and a high crime rate.
     
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  8. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

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  9. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

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    Well, given what I saw when up there a few days ago, they're in trouble re: tourism. I've never seen it so quiet, especially during Peeper season.
     
  10. Mother Deuce

    Mother Deuce NES Member

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    Do they charge extra for the sasquatch?
     
  11. 67ray

    67ray NES Member

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    Have a look at Lincoln and Woodstock. They are big towns and you can find property away from the tourist/ski spots yet enjoy the Pemi and mountain views, but have quick and easy access to downtown area when you want it.
     
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  12. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell NES Member

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    If the guy's looking to refurbish a property, that area won't be friendly. Those two towns have been "heavily" developed since the 70s, 80s. Lincoln and Woodstock are nice places if you want to rent a condo or have a nice, modern home with all the amenities that'd someone would have in suburban Mass (well, except for town water and trash disposal). I wouldn't suggest them for a retiree who wants to fix up a joint.
     
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  13. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152 NES Member

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    The hospital in Conway is a joke. My MIL refers to it as Heavens Gate. Everyone in our development (Hales Location) will go to Portland for major events.
     
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  14. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell NES Member

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    Never needed to use it so I wouldn't know. However, getting to Portland is easier from Conway than it is from Dalton. Though no 'squatches
     
  15. NHCraigT

    NHCraigT NES Member

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    Very Important: Review property taxes for the towns that you are looking at houses in. They can be all over the place (including sky high $$$ even one town away).
     
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  16. SpaceCritter

    SpaceCritter NES Member

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    In Littleton it's:
    Littleton Regional Healthcare: Where Good Health Begins - Littleton, New Hampshire

    When I crashed at the Great Glen race in 2015, it was:
    Berlin, NH Community Hospital : Androscoggin Valley Hospital
    The little I remember of it, I remember asking asking the ambulance guys, "Where are you taking me?"

    They said, "Berlin."

    My last thoughts for awhile* were, "Berlin? BERLIN??!?"

    Turns out Androscoggin Valley Hospital is a pretty decent facility, at least for a mountain biker with a broken neck. [smile]

    * My next recollection was several hours later.
     
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  17. UNSUB

    UNSUB NES Member

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    I am in agreement with you on this one. The Carolinas are nice to visit but it seems like too many people are going there and want to see as few people as possible if possible.
     
  18. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell NES Member

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    If you truly desire to be away from people, you should check out the Moosilaukee side of Grafton County and Coos County. Belknap County has too many tourists and is more populated. Drive up 93 to Exit 26, go down Tenney Mountain Highway towards Vermont, and explore. Warren I think would be perfect because its an inexpensive town in terms of real estate, puts you in a valley between Moosilaukee and the western chunk of the Whites, and is close enough to civilization in an emergency (straight shot down to Plymouth) but far enough for plenty of privacy.

    Stark, or maybe even Milan, Dummer, Erroll, Clarksville, or Pittsburg if you're willing to live up there, would truly put you out of the way of people.
     
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  19. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    Lincoln/Woodstock? No way. "Big towns"? Their combined population is less than 3,000 residents, but you can expect 30,000 tourists on a busy weekend. There is one small grocery store in Lincoln, and one convenience store in Woodstock. Plymouth is 30 minutes away for shopping, or Littleton is even closer.

    Those of us in western Coös think it's Conway that is the "trashy tourist area". ;)

    Stark has no store at all, and Groveton barely does. Littleton is a really nice town to visit, but their taxes has skyrocketed.
     
  20. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell NES Member

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    The other thing to keep in mind about the tourist towns (Woodstock, Lincoln, Conway, Jefferson, Littleton) is that the "off season" for tourism only really exists during mud season (April to Memorial Day) and late October to mid-November, after leaf-peeping season ends and before the ski season begins. So for about three months, residents can actually have some peace and quiet. Other than that, you're dealing with tourists constantly.

    Plymouth is different because its a college town rather than a tourist destination. So its basically a drunken revelry (if you live near the college or off-campus housing) during the academic year and is as quiet as a tomb during the summer, except for during Bike Week. If you live outside walking distance of PSU, you're fine.

    That's what I like about Stark - there's literally nothing up there except for a trail to Mt. Cabot and a B&B. You would have to do all your business in either Northumberland, Lancaster, Littleton, or Berlin/Gorham.

    Oh, on the topic of trails: if you're trying to stay away from people, make sure you don't buy property on or near a hiking trail. A fair amount of the towns @UNSUB mentioned are in or next to the Whites. Hikers aren't usually as annoying as the typical tourist but in some areas I can see why locals wouldn't be excited about living near a major hiking area, like say the big parking lot for the Presidentials near Lowe's gas station off of US2 in Randolph.
     
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  21. W.E.C

    W.E.C NES Member

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    There is one small grocery store in Lincoln,....


    36783A44-2A98-4EA4-B82E-255F7D0388AD.jpeg The price chopper that is.
     
  22. omega42

    omega42 NES Member

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    Littleton area is great, though Casella is doing their best to f*&k that up for the next couple of centuries through their existing Bethlehem dump and proposed Dalton dump. An earlier post mentioned Ridgeline - they bought the Dalton Gang range. There's an ownership link to the O'Neill driving school. Dalton has zoning through March 2021 unless it is extended. Bethlehem leans left for state and federal, but locally they are afflicted by Casella meddling in their politics. Dalton is headed down the same bumpy road.
     
  23. rudiewhitebwoy

    rudiewhitebwoy NES Life Member NES Member

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    My wife and I spent over a decade looking at property in Northern Coos County. Clarksville, Columbia, Colebrook, Stewartstown, Stratford, North Umberland, Stark, Groveton & Lancaster. Saw a lot of possibilities but a few years back my Dad found a place in Carroll. We love it, about 600 residents. Carroll's not a destination per se, there are many little Motels in town that people stay at so they're close to their destination at a reasonable price. Brettonwoods, Cannon, Santa's Village etc. My suggestion to you is find a place with at least 11 acres, that way you can put 10 acres in Current Use, you'll save a bundle on taxes.
     
  24. UNSUB

    UNSUB NES Member

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    So here is my dumb question about the end of your post what do you mean by putting 10 acres in current use?
     
  25. NH_Realtor

    NH_Realtor NES Life Member NES Member

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    Any parcel 10 acre's or more can be placed in current use status and is taxed at a significantly lower rate than other zonings (residential, commercial, etc). I've seen 30 acre parcels in current use with like $150/ year tax bills. So if you have 11 acres you can have 1 acre zoned residential and the other 10 in current use. There's taxes involved in changing status if necessary but 100% worth it in the long run.

    ETA if you want low tax don't rule out Moultonborough. There's traffic at times during the summer but some of the lowest taxes in the state. And if you look in the right locations it's pretty damn remote.
     
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  26. 67ray

    67ray NES Member

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    This statement is misleading and untrue. If one is looking to build or rehab then one just needs to steer clear of subdivisions with HOAs. Lincoln and Woodstock are HUGE and there are ample large properties/tracts where you can build just about anything you want. And get views of the river. They are very supportive of development and the revenue it brings into the town.
     
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  27. rudiewhitebwoy

    rudiewhitebwoy NES Life Member NES Member

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    Example; My Tax Bill in Carroll on 176 Acres of undeveloped land is $1,400.00 a year. I think my Dad's Tax Bill on the adjoining 5 Acres with a house is double that. I know that my Tax Bill in the Flatland for a 1945 Cape on a 1/3rd of an Acre is about $6,000.00. My Grandfather always called us Taxachusetts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 9:49 AM
  28. C. Stockwell

    C. Stockwell NES Member

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    Even if the towns want that precious, precious tax revenue, still doesn't get around the fact that they're swamped with tourists for nine to ten months of the year. Which seems to be something OP wants to avoid.
     
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  29. Vermonster

    Vermonster NES Member

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    Speaking of trails. Be sure you understand where the major OHRV (ATV) trails are, whether the town you are looking at allows ATV use on certain roads, etc. Same thing for snowmachine trails in winter.
    This could be a plus or minus depending on your perspective.

    If you are looking for peace and quiet, having a major Ride The Wilds route go past your front door might not be what you are looking for. A quiet dirt road on a weekday in June could be very different in August.
     
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  30. Blackmore

    Blackmore NES Member

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    The key to lowish taxes in NH is to find a town with lots of multi-million dollar lakefront vacation homes that don't put kids in the schools. It's a balancing act. Off-lake property in those towns will cost more upfront, but you'll save on taxes each year. You can buy a similar property for much shorter money in a high tax town but over time the tax difference eats up the savings.

    I'm in one of the towns surrounding Lake Sunapee and have been in my house for 25 years. A similar property to mine in an off lake town would be taxed 2 - 2.5 times as much as I currently pay. Can't say it's remote around here, but DHMC being close has saved my ass a couple of times. Concord Hospital is good, too.
     
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