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The Ultimate Guide for Moving to New Hampshire

New Hampshire is the quintessential New England state: beautiful landscapes, charming attractions, and a high quality of life. If you’re planning a move to the Granite State in 2019, Clever can connect you with a local real estate agent who knows their way around the state’s steady housing market.
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“Live Free or Die,” says the state motto of New Hampshire. It is the only state in the U.S. where adults are not required to wear seat belts.

This fierce sense of independence is nothing new for the Granite State, so named for its abundance of granite formations and quarries. It was not only one of the original 13 American colonies, but the very first state to break free from British rule.

Also called the White Mountain State, New Hampshire has some of the most beautiful scenery of all kinds in the country. It claims the most rugged mountains in New England (the namesake White Mountain range), major rivers and lakes like Piscataqua and Winnipesaukee, respectively, and the largest percentage of timberland by area in America.

If you’re ready to live free in the Granite State, here’s the ultimate 2019 guide for moving to New Hampshire.

Top 5 Reasons to Move to New Hampshire

5. New Hampshire is a political powerhouse. State law ensures the New Hampshire primary is the first in the nation every presidential election cycle. That makes the state a major proving ground for every candidate. The media attention given to the New Hampshire primary gives state voters enormous sway over a candidate’s ultimate viability nationwide.

4. New Hampshire is energy efficient. The Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant provides almost a third of New Hampshire’s electricity — not only because Seabrook is the biggest nuclear reactor in New England, but because New Hampshire has some of the lowest energy consumption per capita in the country.

3. New Hampshire is good to its workers. The state has low taxes, low unemployment, and one of the highest median household incomes in the country.

2. New Hampshire is perfect for winter sports. Thanks to some truly incredible mountains and parks, New Hampshire is a top destination for outdoor activities like skiing, snowmobiling, and mountaineering. The famous Mount Monadnock, for example, is one of the most-climbed mountains in the world.

1. New Hampshire is a state of firsts. In 1776, the Granite State was the very first British colony in North America to establish an independent government and state constitution. Since then, it’s been the first state to open a free public library (1822), the first to see a women’s strike (1828), the first to develop a home video game (1966), and the first to voluntarily embrace same-sex unions (2007).

Quality of Life

To reside in New Hampshire is to experience the cozy ideal of New England living. The state is the 5th smallest and 10th least populous in the U.S., home to just 1.3 million New Hampshirites.

The state is famous for each of its distinct seasons. Spring brings blooming beauty and sap houses replete with maple syrup, summer means idyllic cottages and county fairs like Hopkinton, fall foliage is so stunning that tourists travel miles just to see it, and winter’s snowfalls set the stage for world-class skiing, dog sledding, and sleigh rides.

Because of these draws and the high quality of life that comes with them, New Hampshire can be an expensive state to settle down in. It boasts the nation’s lowest poverty rate, 7.7%.

Economic Outlook

New Hampshire has had to diversify its economy from the manufacturing industries that defined it historically. Though not a major hub for corporations, industries like tourism and agriculture account for the state’s economic output. In 2014, New Hampshire’s total state product was estimated at $66 billion.

Public service organizations like universities and hospitals make up the largest single employers in the state. The second-largest employer in New Hampshire is Dartmouth College.

To offset the state’s higher-than-average cost of living, median household income in New Hampshire is currently $71,305 — among the highest in the country. In addition, statewide unemployment has been decreasing for years, and right now sits at a lean 2.4%.

Another nice perk for Granite Staters: New Hampshire has no general sales tax and no state income tax, except on interest and dividends.

Housing Market Forecast for 2019

In 2019, New Hampshire has a sellers’ housing market — and a “very hot” one at that, per the real estate website Zillow.

Zillow notes a 6.6% rise in median home values over the past year, putting the statewide number at $275,000. This is expected to hold steady throughout 2019.

60% of New Hampshire’s housing market is single-family homes. If you’re looking to rent, the median price you can expect is $1,700.

Among the best places to live in New Hampshire are the seaport city of Portsmouth, the state’s largest city Manchester, and the state capital, Concord.

If you’re looking for somewhere more affordable, the picturesque city of Berlin has housing costs 40% below the national average — though some of its other costs of living, transportation especially, are a little higher.

Next Steps

If you’re ready for the next steps on your move to the Granite State, you should start by getting in touch with an experienced New Hampshirite real estate agent. A local agent will know the NH housing market better than anyone else and can walk you through the whole home buying process from start to finish. That means finding you the right city, neighborhood, house, and price for your financial situation and personal goals — and handling all the hard work of closing so you don’t have to.

And since New Hampshire is one of 40 states that allow Home Buyer Rebates, your Clever Partner Agent can even get you up to 1% back of the purchase price of your home. This rebate can be put toward your mortgage, closing costs, down payment, or even in some cases taken straight as cash.

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MJ Alba
MJ Alba

MJ Alba is a writer specializing in real estate, personal finance, and technology. His work has been featured on industry blogs and some of the biggest sites on the web. MJ currently writes for Clever Real Estate, a free online platform that connects home buyers and sellers with top real estate agents.

See all MJ's Posts
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