Moving to New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a quiet state, perfect for raising a family and escaping the consumerist focus of bigger cities. When moving to New Hampshire, you’ll find each area lends its own personality to your family’s lifestyle.
When moving to New Hampshire, it’s a good idea to avoid planning a move during winter months. Once the winter snow begins to fall, the ice and slush make driving and moving conditions both dangerous and uncomfortable.
Trying to move your property over ice and snow is a recipe for damaged goods and possible injuries. If you are moving to a more remote location within the state, you should become familiar with the roads leading to your new home.
You’ll want to let your movers or anyone assisting you know about any hard-to-find roads or hard-to-navigate expanses.
New Hampshire still has many dirt roads that can be tricky as some don’t have street signs. If your property is on one of these roads, try creating markers to help your movers find their way with minimal delays.
Here are some helpful resources for moving to NH:
Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.
Cities and Metro Areas
The whole of New England is the playground for New Hampshire residents. But for those locations specifically inside state lines, NH is broken up into seven diverse regions:
- Great North Woods: At the top of the state, this sparsely populated region is perfect for maintaining your privacy and enjoying outdoor activities.
- White Mountains: Part of the Appalachian Mountain chain, this region is sparsely populated but filled with many family-oriented attractions.
- Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee: This area features Hanover, a college town where Dartmouth College is located, Mount Sunapee, a popular skiing location, and many small towns with beautiful commons for art festivals and farmer’s markets.
- Lakes Region: There are three major lakes in this region, which is known for its many outdoor activities, including the annual Bike Week.
- Monadnock Region: Home of Keene State College, this area, like many others in the state, has farms, seasonal festivals and Mount Monadnock.
- Merrimack Valley: This region is the location of both the busy city of Manchester and the state capital, Concord. Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and the Mall of New Hampshire can both be found in Merrimack Valley.
- Seacoast Region: This area boasts the International Airport and only ocean access in this generally land-locked state.
Cost of Living
Cost of living in New Hampshire is higher than the US average. The median home price during the first half of 2011 was $205,000, and that amount can vary widely depending on the region in which you live. The most expensive area to buy property is toward the west in the White Mountain and Lakes regions.
The average rent statewide is about $871 with amounts by county varying widely. The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority reported in 2011 that the average rent in the Great North Woods Region was about $665, whereas the average rent in the Seashore Region was $1,200.
Between the high mountain elevations and the length of the state, various regions and towns within each region may be prone to very disparate climates. Northern areas of the state might see summer highs in the mid-sixties while southern locations can see averages in the seventies. Temperatures in southern areas at low elevations may be in the sixties to eighties from May through September, while areas further north may only see warm weather from June to August—and even less at high elevations.
Winter weather in New Hampshire leads to harsh conditions and excessive wear and tear on homes and automobiles. When moving to New Hampshire, it’s a good idea to learn about the right ways to maintain your property and the right insurance products to protect yourself from financial damages.
Rainstorms in New Hampshire can be all-day affairs punctuated by low, gentle rumbles of thunder. Occasionally, fast, heavy downpours can make driving dangerous. Flooding is a concern in some areas both after rainstorms and during the spring thaw.
National assessment tests have shown that New Hampshire students are some of the best educated in the country. New Hampshire has a collection of both private and public schools, though choices may be limited in some areas. In fact, some areas—such as Croydon in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region—still have single-room school houses in operation.
There are a handful of charter schools around the state that focus on freedom, independence and accountability. Magnet schools can be found in some communities; these institutions focus on the innate interests and talents found in the students.
Home schooling is a growing movement in New Hampshire, but parents must be careful to comply with state laws, such as testing requirements, when choosing this option for their children.
Every town and county has its own ordinances regarding permits, so after moving to New Hampshire, look at your city’s website or visit city hall for details. Before hunting or fishing in the state, be sure to apply for the appropriate licenses and learn about the applicable dates that hunting various fish and game is permitted.
There are several Department of Motor Vehicle office locations around the state; a complete list can be found here.
In order to become a registered voter after moving to New Hampshire, you can apply at your city clerk’s office, with your local Supervisors of the Checklist, or, for certain individuals, at the polls. More information can be found here.
In some communities of New Hampshire, you can arrange for garbage pick-up with local companies. In others, the removal is arranged by the city. Some locations have recycling programs, while others may not. Check with your local government office to get the details for your area.