New Hampshire or Maine: Help us decide where to move

Discussion in 'New England' started by El Duderino, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. El Duderino

    El Duderino Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    Hello fellow bushcrafters! My wife and I are going to be relocating in the next 2-3 years and we think we've narrowed down our choices to ME or NH. We began our research this past May by spending a week driving around the two states. Our next step is to spend a few weeks there to really get a feel for it. We want this to be our last move so we're being diligent so we can make the correct decision.

    I'm hoping to hear from people who live there or have lived there. What do you like or dislike? Have you lived anywhere else to compare it to? If you're not from there, what do you wish you knew before moving there? Any information is helpful and THANK YOU in advance.

    A little about us. I grew up in PA and have lived in FL for the past 10 years. Hate the heat, terrain, amount of people, and traffic down here. My wife is from Western NY and she hates it here as well. We both like to hike, camp and be outside. We'd really like to live as far out in the woods as we can go. The good thing is we both work from home so we can live anywhere as long as we have high speed internet and she's no more than 1.5 hours from an airport.

    Once again I truly appreciate any information you can provide.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    mainewoods likes this.
  2. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    1,155
    Location:
    Central Mass
    With either state work is going to be the problem, parts of both states are great for the outdoor activities. So far the thing that has kept me from moving is lack of work. If you can figure a way to bring income in from elsewhere you would be golden.
     
    El Duderino likes this.
  3. Joel B.

    Joel B. Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    no income tax in NH, but property taxes can be high. Maine is like Mass and has a bunch of little taxes, sales tax, snack tax, etc.
    I've lived in NH my whole life and i haven't been anywhere else id rather live.


    Sent from my RCT6303W87DK using Tapatalk
     
  4. jimmyt

    jimmyt Living large! Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,570
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Location:
    south east NH
    I am a life long NH resident. I will be buried here, preferably in my back yard. We have no income or sales tax but as stated above property taxes can be high. We have a four season climate that allows all sorts of outdoor pursuits from dog sledding to deep sea fishing. We generally have a live and let live attitude to our neighbors. We have no knife laws and are a shall issue state. If you are into politics we have one of the largest legislative bodies in the world and the legislators only earn around $500 a year so they are almost volunteers. Depending on where you settle in the state you can be well within your 1 1/2 hour of an airport as well as mountains, ocean and culture centers.
     
    miwok, Moe M., Jean and 3 others like this.
  5. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    7,495
    Location:
    CT
    I would move to New Hampshire in the morning if my current situation didn't have control over me. You both have seen cold and snow so when it does that just put another log on the fire. Good luck
     
    El Duderino likes this.
  6. KenM

    KenM Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Portsmouth, NH
    Lived in both states. Now Live in NH. Either one is fine. Depends on where you can get a job and find the home you can afford and feel comfortable living in. NH I find I feel is small enough that I can impact the area I live in so I am here.
     
  7. WILL

    WILL Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    7,724
    Location:
    Florida
    My wife and I are in exactly the same situation. We hate Florida and are looking to move in about 3 years when I retire. We recently visited Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Upper NY state.

    Maine was beautiful, but the taxes there were ridiculous. There's an annual vehicle registration fee that's pretty expensive (Excise Tax, Property Tax, MRS), annual vehicle inspections that cause more problems, a 5.5% state sales tax and an average property tax rate higher than most states in America (2016’s Property Taxes by State). They also have strange alcohol sales laws, where you have to buy it at a state run store that's expensive and may not be convenient.

    Alot of the communities there actually have legislation in place that blocks companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds from building. As a result, it's like time warping back into the 70s. That can be good and bad, keeping that area quaint, but retarding developmental progress and job opportunities. On the plus side, good homesteads were easily found and affordable, it has good gun laws, plenty of outdoors activity opportunities, and it's beautiful country with a low population density and crime rate.

    NY was the worst option for us. Gun laws and regulations were unreasonable as a result of the entire state being run by NYC. We were up there at the same time those two murderers escaped prison. We were talking to residents who were just as worried about what their government would do to them if they shot one of the murderers in self defense as they were about the murderers being loose in their area. Friggin forget that man, there's no way I'll live like that. Property taxes were in the top 25% of the country as a result of having to fund all the welfare slugs in the urbanized south. Sales tax rate was high....stopping right there, they were already booted out of consideration for us.

    Vermont was super pretty, but their property taxes were even higher than NYs and they have a 6% state sales tax too. They also require an annual vehicle registration and inspection, although it's much cheaper than Maine. Right now they have good gun laws, but the government there is very liberal, so you never know at what point they are going to flip over to full socialism. They already made a state run for socialized medicine and Bernie Sanders is there elected senator. Need I say more. We just don't feel comfortable hitching our wagon to that horse..

    New Hampshire actually had the highest property tax rates of the group, but has no income or sales tax. It was the most appealing to us. It has a vehicle registration fee similar to Maine, based on higher fees for newer cars (it can cost you over $400 a year to register a newer car). There's annual inspections of your car, which make owning an older car difficult. That's not good. Southern New Hampshire is getting popular and expensive to live in due to it being within commuting distance to Boston. If you're a working age fella, next to NY, New Hampshire probably has the most opportunity for employment of the group. I loved New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die" state motto and freedom minded state ways, but with the Boston crown starting to take over southern New-Hampshire, you have to wonder how much longer that little island of conservative values can hold out in the sea of blue it's surrounded by.

    In the end, my wife and I decided against all those states as a location to retire to. We're still in the decision mode, but low cost of living, state taxes and regulations are very important to us. That pretty much ruled out all four of those states. We still need to look closer into states like Idaho, Utah, Oregon the Ozarks and even West VA and Tennessee. Right now, out west is very appealing to me because the wide open spaces and low population density offer a lot of personal freedom. Prices and taxes can be low there too. I'll be retired, so employment opportunities don't really matter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    Lumpskie and El Duderino like this.
  8. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    7,944
    Likes Received:
    24,856
    Location:
    Maine
    I'm biased towards Maine, I've lived here for 68 years and could have lived anywhere because of my profession. With the exception of the Southern 1/4 quarter of the state (greater Portland area) which is just a N. shore extension of Boston the rest of the state is relatively cheap living even with all the diddle shit taxes. There's work for those that want to work although it may not be your choice and if you are not of the keeping up with the Jones mentality then you can make out fine seeing as though 3/4 of the state doesn't have any Jonses to keep up with anyway. Land/housing other than coastal is inexpensive and plenty of it. If you haven't seen the real Maine part of the state and only the Southern part your better off to stay where your at go to Vt. or N.H which has the crowds and big RE taxes if you like living in MacMansions or own a lot of woodland. With the exception of the 3 most Southern counties the median income level is $34,859.00 for the rest of the state and plenty of retired folks are living on a lot less and enjoying all the outdoor benefits the state has to offer.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    urazmusbdragn2, x39 and El Duderino like this.
  9. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Fully vaccinated Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    7,933
    Location:
    Western NY
    Not to derail the thread, but I never realized annual vehicle inspections were seen as anything more than a minor inconvenience, but you seem to feel pretty strongly about them. Having lived in NY my whole life I've never not had to have a vehicle inspected since I started driving. I concede I don't know anything else, but it never struck me as overly burdensome or a bad thing. Are you against the cost (fairly minimal) or the principle of having to have it done?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    WILL and Ragman like this.
  10. Togus

    Togus Echo of the Loon Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,950
    Likes Received:
    6,548
    Location:
    Maine

    Maine DOT and town municipalities use tons of calcium chloride and road salt from about November through March-April depending on weather. This stuff keeps the roads safe, but quite literally dissolves the vehicle. It's not unusual to replace brake lines, fuel lines, exhaust systems every 3-4 years. It's all super rough on other components as well. It's not uncommon for a 2 y/o car or truck to have rust on the rocker panels, fender wells, and door bottoms. State inspections are tough for Maine residents because it's almost impossible to pass. Getting a current "sticker" has cost me $1,400 or more in the past. Cannot have any rust holes in body panels or bumpers. Even if lines aren't leaking, but appear rusty it will fail to pass inspection.

    Also, we pay a huge tax every year we register vehicles. This tax is based on MSRP of the vehicle. So, if I buy a new truck for $28,000, but the MSRP lists for $40,000, I'll have to pay excise tax for $12,000 worth of truck I never payed for. Not unusual to spend $500-1,400 a year just to register the vehicle. Over many years this tax is reduced because the vehicle value drops, but it stays ridiculously high.
     
    WILL and HeadyBrew like this.
  11. outbackwack

    outbackwack Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2016
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    Boston & Phoenix
    I lived in a couple places in NH when I first moved to New England back in '88 and loved it. I was just ready to buy a nice house on 5 acres and then I met my future wife, who lived in MA. I wound up moving to MA for her (which turned out very well), but I lost so much money in taxes. If I could, I would have moved back to NH in a heartbeat. Beautiful state. If you rent a house or apartment you will nearly be living tax free. I'm only 15 minutes from the border so drive up to do all my shopping tax free. The downside is property taxes and the shear number of tourists that plague the highways for skiing, summer lakes regions and fall leaf peeping. Western NH is where I'd homestead if I could. It's less populated, has top rated Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and has tons of mountains, rivers, lakes and streams in its backyard and is close to other states for traveling. Maine is gorgeous but said earlier, has a slew of taxes on nearly everything making it one of the highest states in the country for taxation. Plus, it takes forever to get anywhere from Maine except Canada. Bonus is 3478 miles of coastline if you prefer the ocean over freshwater. Or lobstah. I'm definitely a freshwater guy and live on a lake. Good luck with wherever to settle down! Me? I'm retiring to Phoenix this year and will miss the forests and water, but not the cold & snow.
     
    El Duderino likes this.
  12. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    5,749
    Location:
    Northern New England
    If you are working poor they are inconvenient. Wisconsin only requires an inspection every 2 years -- and is only concerned with emissions.

    Vehicle inspections are a shakedown. You go to a tire shop, they will try to fail your tires. You go to a brake shop, they will try to fail your brakes. One guy spent 90 minutes surfing the net looking for likely problems for my make/model before finding a way to get paid. Its cheaper to shop your inspection around to a place that isn't greedy.

    NH is ok. There are NO knife laws any more. Municipalities might have some restrictions. Also, there are a lot of Masshole busybodies in Southern NH. If you want relaxed and rural, north of Concord is good.

    Yankees in New England can be a bit cold and aloof. After a few years of friendly waves at the mailbox, your neighbor might decide it is ok to say "hi"... or so the joke goes, but it is not too far from the truth.

    There aren't a lot of wide open spaces. The roads seem to serve Pentagon Interstate objectives more than serving the population. Try taking an East-West "highway"... great for slowing down an invading column of tanks and great for bottle-necking commuters.

    Rural areas in NH with reasonable property taxes tend to be far from most jobs. If you bring your job with you, you will fare better.
     
    WILL and HeadyBrew like this.
  13. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Fully vaccinated Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    7,933
    Location:
    Western NY
    Damn. That registration tax in ridiculous!

    We have to register our automobiles every 2 years in NY, annually for motorcycles, but it's a flat rate (think it was $75 for auto, about $25 for my motorcycle last time I renewed mine).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    WILL likes this.
  14. Dubhelix

    Dubhelix Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    6,453
    Location:
    Shenandoah, Earth.
    this is a useful, interactive study of various indexes of personal and financial freedom, listed by state:

    How free is your state?
     
    WILL likes this.
  15. JIMBETHYNAME

    JIMBETHYNAME Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie NY
    NY is DEAD LAST!!!
    FIGURES
     
    WILL likes this.
  16. Max Capacity

    Max Capacity Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    183
    We live in CT and are starting to look at where to retire. We plan to do some traveling once we do, mostly driving, hopefully with a travel trailer. If you live in NH or Maine or VT, you're 8 hrs and more to just get out of PA and MD. Maybe because I've been in New England all my life but I would like to move somewhere more central.
     
  17. WILL

    WILL Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    7,724
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank you. That's what I was trying to explain earlier, but you did it so much better. Annual registration fees on newer vehicles is high, and it's hard to get older vehicles to pass the annual inspections. It's a tax trap.
     
    Togus likes this.
  18. El Duderino

    El Duderino Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    I have to laugh at this because there are people in my development in Florida (I've lived in the same house for 7 yrs) that don't wave or say hi. I've come to the realization there are jackwagons wherever you live.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
    WILL likes this.
  19. southron

    southron Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2015
    Messages:
    1,682
    Likes Received:
    5,563
    Location:
    N.E Alabama
    Live free or die NH

    JMHO

    Might want to look at the "free state project"

    I pretty much stay out of the N. E. part of the country and the far west part. Just to many people I wouldn't see eye to eye with.

    Plus it gets cold up there.

    Jim
     
  20. El Duderino

    El Duderino Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    My wife and I just booked our 2nd exploratory trip to NH/ME for the end of June. We'll be staying in Plymouth, NH for a few days and then be traveling through ME (Oxford County). If anyone has suggestions on small towns or specific areas for us to check out, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
    jimmyt likes this.
  21. jimmyt

    jimmyt Living large! Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,570
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Location:
    south east NH
    I would recommend Squam Lakes Science Center which is a little south of Plymouth. They have a nice set up showing live animals and indigenous plants. Further north on Rte 93 is Franconia notch state park where you can find all kinds of natural formations and hiking options. The Kancamangus Highway starts in Lincoln and will take you The town of Conway which abuts Oxford Co. Maine. It is a nice scenic drive. The Conway area is also nice with hiking, camping and touristy things to do. That is just a few things off the top of my head for the area you will be in. Enjoy your trip!
     
    El Duderino likes this.
  22. El Duderino

    El Duderino Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    Thanks for the info! We drove the Kanc (East to West) last year. What a great ride. We also drove through Conway, but I don't remember much about the town so I've added it to the list again this year. We'll also be checking out Paris, Norway, and Oxford.
     
    jimmyt likes this.
  23. shockrocket

    shockrocket Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2014
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    9
    I grew up in north central CT, moved to Boston when I was 18 for college and stayed in MA until 36, and now live in southern NH. I love NH, and wish I moved here sooner. I live in one of the towns with high property taxes, but that is by choice. I have to boys, 5 and 8, and the town we live in has one of the best school systems in the state. I love the proximity to the mountains for skiing, hiking, fishing, and camping. In NH you'll be central to more outdoorsy stuff in both ME and VT. All three states NH, VT, and ME have constitutional carry, so no permit needed if you want to conceal. There's also Manchester Airport which is pretty convenient if you don't move too far north. They have NH liquor stores, where they have huge selections of spirits at reasonable prices. The property tax is the only burdensome tax, but there are towns that have lower tax rates. It's definitely cheaper to live in NH than ME, but not sure about VT. If I move again, it will be to another town in NH with lower taxes after my boys graduate. I wouldn't want to live in any other state, and after 3 yrs I still frequently turn to my wife while driving and say "I love it here".
     
    jimmyt and El Duderino like this.
  24. miwok

    miwok Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    521
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Curious how your trip was and if you made a decision? My wife & I have been back & forth on this for quite awhile. One thing certain is that we'll either be near Jackson NH or Fryeburg ME. Both offer good access to North Conway which has a reasonable amount of nightlife, restaurants and so on when we don't want to rough it.
     
    El Duderino likes this.
  25. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Messages:
    6,321
    Likes Received:
    9,540
    When I was in the service I new a guy from NH. Only person I ever met in my life who could compete with a Texan for state pride.
     
    jimmyt and El Duderino like this.
  26. El Duderino

    El Duderino Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Live Free or Die
    Our trip in June was great. During that trip we decided that we'd like to be in the Plymouth, NH area. After spending several days there and exploring about a 20 mile radius, our decision was made. Just a cool, little town that works for us. Super close to the White Mtns, easy interstate access, great people, and a nice downtown area. We'll be listing our house in April and if all goes well we'll be in NH late spring/early summer. We're going to rent first and then decide if we want to buy/renovate an old home or build a new one.

    The area you're looking is very good as well. On our 2016 trip we explored the Fryeburg/Bridgton area and really liked Bridgton. Feel free to stay in touch. I'll be curious to see how you guys make out.
     
    jimmyt and miwok like this.
  27. miwok

    miwok Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    521
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    It's a ways off for us but you've given me enough to get back up their and scout around some more.
     
    jimmyt likes this.

Share This Page