Are you considering a move to New Hampshire? Nestled in the heart of New England, New Hampshire is known for its natural beauty, vibrant communities, and unique way of life. Whether you’re attracted by the stunning landscapes, a promising job market, or the charm of its people and culture, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into what to expect when moving to the Granite State.
1. Diverse Opportunities
New Hampshire offers a diverse range of job opportunities across various industries. While it’s not as economically diverse as some larger states, it has a strong presence in sectors like healthcare, education, manufacturing, and technology. The state is also home to several large corporations, including Liberty Mutual, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Fidelity Investments, which provide job stability and career growth prospects.
2. Low Unemployment Rate
One of the most attractive aspects of New Hampshire’s job market is its consistently low unemployment rate. In recent years, it has often been one of the states with the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, providing a favorable environment for job seekers.
3. No Sales Tax, But High Property Taxes
New Hampshire is famous for having no sales tax, which can be a significant financial benefit for residents. However, the state compensates for this by having relatively high property taxes. It’s essential to consider this trade-off when evaluating your cost of living in New Hampshire.
4. Thriving Tech Industry
If you’re in the tech industry, you’ll find New Hampshire’s Seacoast region and the Manchester area to be particularly attractive. These areas are home to a growing tech scene, with startups and established companies alike contributing to the state’s reputation as a tech hub.
1. Varied Housing Options
New Hampshire offers a wide range of housing options, from historic New England-style homes to modern apartments and condos. The availability of housing varies from city to city, so your choice of location may dictate the type of housing you can find.
2. Home Prices
Home prices in New Hampshire can vary significantly depending on the location. While the state, on average, has lower housing costs than some neighboring states like Massachusetts, coastal areas and affluent communities can have higher price tags. The median home price in New Hampshire is typically above the national average.
Renting is a viable option for those not ready to commit to homeownership. Rental prices are reasonable, especially in smaller towns and cities. Larger cities like Manchester and Nashua may have slightly higher rental costs, but they often come with more amenities and job opportunities.
People and Culture
1. Friendly and Independent
New Hampshirites (as residents are known) are known for their friendliness and independence. People here value their personal space and privacy but are always ready to lend a hand when needed. It’s not uncommon for neighbors to look out for each other and build close-knit communities.
2. Outdoor Enthusiasts
New Hampshire’s residents share a deep love for the outdoors. The state’s stunning landscapes, including the White Mountains and Lakes Region, provide endless opportunities for hiking, skiing, fishing, and more. Outdoor activities are not just hobbies here; they’re a way of life.
3. Civic Engagement
New Hampshire is famous for its civic engagement, especially during presidential primaries. The state plays a crucial role in the U.S. presidential election process, with its first-in-the-nation primary status. You’ll find residents who take their civic duty seriously, attending town hall meetings, and engaging in political discussions.
Must-Sees in New Hampshire
1. The White Mountains
The White Mountains are a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Home to Mount Washington, known for its unpredictable weather, these mountains offer breathtaking scenery year-round. Whether you’re hiking, skiing, or just taking a scenic drive, the White Mountains have something to offer everyone.
2. Lake Winnipesaukee
Lake Winnipesaukee, one of the largest lakes in New England, is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and relaxation. The surrounding towns and villages offer a glimpse into New Hampshire’s lakeside culture.
Portsmouth, a historic coastal city, is known for its vibrant downtown area, beautiful waterfront, and rich maritime history. Explore quaint shops, enjoy fresh seafood, and soak in the charming atmosphere.
4. The Lakes Region
New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, encompassing Lake Winnipesaukee and other pristine lakes, is a haven for water sports, camping, and outdoor adventures. It’s an ideal destination for those seeking a lakeside lifestyle.
5. Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia Notch State Park is another gem in the state’s natural landscape. Visit the Flume Gorge, Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, and the Old Man of the Mountain Historic Site while immersing yourself in the region’s natural beauty.
Pros and Cons of Living in New Hampshire
- Natural Beauty: New Hampshire’s stunning landscapes offer year-round outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery.
- Low Crime Rates: The state consistently ranks among the safest in the country.
- No Sales Tax: The absence of a sales tax is a significant financial advantage.
- Education: New Hampshire boasts excellent schools, colleges, and universities.
- Quality of Life: The state’s low unemployment rate and high quality of life make it a desirable place to live.
- Property Taxes: While there’s no sales tax, property taxes can be high.
- Cold Winters: New Hampshire experiences cold, snowy winters, which may not be suitable for everyone.
- Limited Public Transportation: Public transportation options are limited, especially in rural areas.
- Tourist Crowds: Popular tourist destinations can get crowded during peak seasons.
- Limited Cultural Diversity: New Hampshire has a relatively homogenous population, which can lead to limited cultural diversity in some areas.
Every state has its fair share of peculiar laws, and New Hampshire is no exception. Here are some unusual laws you might find interesting:
- No Picnics in Cemeteries: It’s illegal to have a picnic in a cemetery in New Hampshire. So, if you were planning a spooky-themed picnic among the tombstones, think again.
- You Can’t Tap Your Feet: If you’re in a public place and decide to tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time with the music you’re listening to through your headphones, you could technically be breaking the law. New Hampshire’s laws on noise and disorderly conduct can be surprisingly strict.
- You Can’t Collect Seaweed at Night: In New Hampshire, it’s illegal to collect seaweed at night. Although the reason behind this law is unclear, it’s still on the books.
- No Sunday Hunting: Hunting on Sundays is prohibited in New Hampshire. So, if you’re an avid hunter, you’ll have to plan your outings accordingly.
- Don’t Tap Your Honk: Honking your horn while parked or driving for any purpose other than to warn of danger is illegal in the city of Portsmouth. So, no honking to say hello to friends!
New Hampshire, with its beautiful landscapes, strong job market, and friendly communities, is a unique and attractive place to live. Whether you’re drawn to the natural beauty of the White Mountains, the cultural charm of Portsmouth, or the career opportunities in tech or healthcare, the Granite State has something to offer everyone. Just be prepared for the quirky local laws, and you’ll find yourself right at home in this New England gem.