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New Hampshire is known for its laid-back atmosphere and gorgeous landscapes. Many people consider New Hampshire an amazing getaway location, but whether or not it’s a good place to live depends on what you’re looking for in a home state.

map of New hampshire

Key Takeaways

  • New Hampshire has beautiful mountains to explore and offers plenty of beach opportunities.
  • New Hampshire residents can enjoy four different seasons but will have to put up with humid summers and snowy winters.
  • Warm summer weather brings out annoying bugs.
  • The cost of living in New Hampshire is moderate.
  • There is no state sales or income tax, but property taxes are high.
  • New Hampshire is home to many beautiful small towns, but it can take some time to fit into the community.
  • The crime rate in New Hampshire is low, and the schools are highly rated.
  • There is little public transportation available.
  • The median age in New Hampshire is over 40.
  • Although New England is mostly liberal, New Hampshire is surprisingly conservative.
  • New Hampshire is not very diverse.
  • Locally grown foods make up a large part of New Hampshire’s cuisine.

Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire

New Hampshire landscapes and scenery

New Hampshire is technically an ocean-side state, but it only has about 16 miles of coastline. Despite this, you can still travel to one of the state’s beaches or enjoy the beach in a neighboring New England State.

New Hampshire also has abundant swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities away from the ocean. The state is home to hundreds of lakes, including the largest, Lake Winnipesaukee.

The lake is even popular during the winter when people can ice fish.

Aside from time spent on or near the water, New Hampshire also offers gorgeous forested areas and is home to the White Mountains.

These mountains offer incredible hiking opportunities, and the state also provides many options for camping, mountain biking, or simply taking in the region’s spectacular views.

Breton Woods, New Hampshire mountains snow tops
Breton Woods, New Hampshire

Weather in New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s weather can be a pro or a con, depending on how you look at it. You’ll be able to experience four dramatic, different seasons.

During the fall, the colors of the autumn foliage are some of the best in the country. Summers are also delightful, with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s.

However, humid weather can sometimes make the summer heat feel oppressive and sticky.

During the winter, temperatures are often well below freezing. New Hampshire also gets about 70 inches of snow each year.

While this is good news for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling enthusiasts, shoveling snow throughout the winter can be tedious.

Check out: Pros and cons of living in Vermont

New Hampshire has mosquitos and other bugs

While summer is generally considered the best season in New Hampshire, the warm weather also leads to annoying bugs. Mosquitos are the most common summer insect.

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Many people invest in a screen house, screened-in porch, or plenty of bug repellent to drive the insects away, particularly during the evening hours.

It’s also a good idea to avoid walking through any tall grass so as not to pick up ticks.

senior couple applying bug repellent

New Hampshire’s cost of living

New Hampshire has a moderate cost of living when compared to the other states in the country. After taxes, a single person with no children will need to spend about $31,400 per year to live comfortably.

Housing in New Hampshire is also quite expensive. The median home price is $440,000 and looks to be rising.

If you choose to rent, you’ll also find that your monthly rent prices are somewhat higher than in the rest of the country.

This is partially due to the state’s high property taxes, which are often passed on to renters.

High property taxes in New Hampshire

As mentioned above, New Hampshire has very high property taxes. You’ll pay 1.77% of the value of your property each year. While this may not seem high, it can add up quickly on expensive properties.

For example, on a property worth $440,000, you’ll pay $7,788.

However, New Hampshire has low or no taxes on everything else. There is no state sales tax and no state income tax. The only exception is income from investments, which has a 5% tax rate.

W-9 form with property tax written on steel cubes

Charming Small Towns

New Hampshire’s many small towns are as beautiful and charming as the state’s scenery. Many people enjoy the security and comfort of living in a small town and being able to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

If you’re looking for more city excitement or a thriving nightlife, however, you may miss it in New Hampshire. Even the biggest cities in New Hampshire are relatively small.

Boston, which offers everything you might want from a city, isn’t far, though, and you can drive into the heart of Boston in only a couple of hours or less.

It’s also easy to drive to any neighboring states, including Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine, to explore their cities or scenic towns.

Small towns also mean that, although there is a strong sense of community, it may take some time for newcomers to feel like part of that community.

People from New England are often a bit reserved, and New Hampshire is no exception to this.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Crime rate is low in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is an incredibly safe state. It has some of the lowest violent and property crime rates in the country, and those rates continue to decrease.

New Hampshire has an excellent school system

New Hampshire is known for its excellent schools. It consistently ranks within the top five states in the country for elementary, middle, and high school education.

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It also has some excellent options for higher education, including the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College. Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school, is also located in New Hampshire.

Transportation is limited

Public transportation is very limited within New Hampshire and much of New England. If you want to get around the state without a hassle, your best option is owning and driving a car.

man driving a car

Median age

New Hampshire has a high median age of 44. For people of middle age or older, this can make fitting into the community easier, and they may have more common ground with their neighbors.

Younger people, however, might find it a little harder to make friends.

Politics in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a liberal state, so if you lean that way politically, it can feel like a great option.

However, New Hampshire is, in some ways, quite conservative, and is considered one of the more conservative New England states. Many people in the state own guns and support gun rights.

There is also a movement to put stricter rules and regulations into place around things like reproductive rights, which many liberal-minded people disagree with.

If you’re politically conservative but want to live in New England, New Hampshire might be your best bet.

However, if you’re politically liberal, don’t be surprised if not all of the members of your community share your views.

New Hampshire state house, Concord
New Hampshire state house, Concord

New Hampshire lacks diversity

Like much of New England, New Hampshire lacks diversity. The majority of the population is white, even in larger cities. This can make it challenging for people of color to feel like they fit in.

It also means that you will only rarely find diverse restaurants or shopping options.

Local Foods

Unlike other neighboring states, New Hampshire isn’t known for any particular foods. This can sometimes make New Hampshire’s food scene seem a bit dull.

However, the state is very popular with fruit and vegetable farmers, and fresh produce is always available. You can enjoy this produce in a number of ways.

Restaurants often use locally-sourced ingredients, which helps to boost flavor while keeping costs down. You can also stop at a farmstand to purchase freshly picked produce.

Many places also allow you to pick your own fruits and vegetables. This is especially popular with berries. You can pick as little or as much as you like, which makes for a fun outing.

At the end, you’ll also have delicious fresh fruit to take home. Usually, you pay by weight for whatever you pick.

farm in new hampshire

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