Home Buying in Portsmouth>Question Details

cromano, Home Buyer in Kittery Point, ME

Looking for advice on buying a home in the Portsmouth area (north of Portsmouth, but with a short commute).

Asked by cromano, Kittery Point, ME Thu Mar 21, 2013

My husband and my jobs have both been relocated to Portsmouth. We have been doing a 1.5 hour commute to Boston for 5 years and are sick of it. Though we are not 100% positive our jobs will still be around in 5-10 years (lots of upheaval in the financial industries job market), we want to buy. Couple questions:

1. Is this a bad idea??? Should we just rent? We have a small daughter and would love to put down permanent roots in this area and currently have jobs which are very agreeable to working from home, which we frequently do. Is the job market in the area strong?
2. I have my eye on Exeter. I like the small town feel but it still seems like a lot of good restaurants and things to do in the area, reasonable commute if we have to go to Boston for the day which we sometimes still do. Are there other towns I should look at that have similar qualities? Are property taxes less in nearby towns? How about the schools, etc? Any advice is appreciated and sorry for the long post!

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Answers

13
Good morning!

Glad to help - and appreciate the "thumbs up"! ;-)

As I said, I do look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with your new home search.

Have a great weekend!

Laura Scaccia
Better Homes & Gardens - The Masiello Group
Exeter, NH
laurascaccia@masiello.com
603.957.0609
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 22, 2013
:)
Flag Fri Mar 22, 2013
Hi,

My husband also commutes to Boston everyday and we live in Portsmouth so I can completely sympathize/relate with your commute. A lot of this would depend on your budget but Portsmouth is a fantastic place to live and work, Exeter is very hip and fun with a great school system.Some other area's to consider would be North Hampton, Rye, Hampton all have lower taxes with great schools, & Newmarket, Newfields, & Stratham are very sought after as well. Durham is nice with great schools but with the college there it definitely has higher taxes. Dover is further away from Boston but has an active downtown and you tend to get more house for your money. If you want to talk I would be more than happy to answer any questions and help in any way I can. The decision to buy or rent can be a difficult one with a lot of different variables, I would be more than happy to do some brainstorming with you to see which is the better fit.

Warmly
Lili Patch~ Realtor
BH&G Masiello Group Portsmouth
603-520-6698
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 21, 2013
Good morning,!

With interest rates this low, it will never be a better time to buy. Tax rates do vary from town to town and other towns that may give you similar feel would be Dover and Newmarket. Dover also has the train to Boston in addition to the C & J.

I would be happy to discuss further with you.

Best regards

Pat Rose
Coldwell Banker Portsmouth
(603) 334-1922
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 21, 2013
Hi,

Overall, the Seacoast area has proven to be a good investment. Through the past few years, the Seacoast has had a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the state, NH is consistenly rated one of the best places to live and the area does have so much to offer!

The real estate market has been steady and we are now seeing prices rise a bit. Even during the worst, this area didn't get hit as hard as most.

For property taxes, each town has it's own rate. Here's the link to the state governments list:

http://www.revenue.nh.gov/munc_prop/property-tax-rates-relat…

For an overview, Seacoast area towns range from $14.13 in Greenland to $25.92 in Exeter per $1000 of assessed value - so there is quite a range and property tax is an important factor to consider.
Some of the area:
Brentwood $23.24 East Kingston $23.56 Exeter $25.92 Kensington $20.08
Hampton $17.77 Hampton Falls $19.98 Newfields $23.02 North Hampton $16.05
Portsmouth $17.55 Rye $11.22 Stratham $19.31 Greenland $14.13

For schools, try this site: http://www.greatschools.org/new-hampshire/. Best advice is to talk to parents you may know in the area.

As for properties, I would love to help you more! Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I'll look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
Laura Scaccia
Better Homes & Gardens - The Masiell Group
Exeter, NH
603.957.0609
laurascaccia@masiello.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 21, 2013
Dear Cromano,

One more quick point - knowing the property taxes in each town is helpful, however, sales price is usually higher in the towns with lower property taxes. A town like Kingston or Brentwood might be good for you....and, they are south of Portsmouth. I commute to Mass. almost daily and know that there are towns off Rte. 95 that you should investigate.

Best of luck to you and feel free to contact me when you have your house under agreement since then you are ready to buy and you will get a better overall "deal" this way!......603-294-5717. Thanks again, Diane Silva
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 11, 2013
The Seacoast area of NH is thriving. Portsmouth residential population about 27000, however day time population soars to about 60000 because of the great job market. Portsmouth continues to be named in the top places to live in the country. Property taxes run our state and local governments. No income or sales tax make NH highly desirable. Our school districts are outstanding. Seacoast NH is a wonderful choice for you. If you would like more in depth advice please feel free to contact me privately, Lynda Cadieux Ferland COLDWELL Banker Residential Brokerage Portsmouth, NH 603-334-1900
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 11, 2013
Ps I've changed companies to serve better serve my clients. COLDWELL Banker is able to offer buyers Over 100 years of service and dedication.
Flag Mon Nov 11, 2013
North Hampton and very good schools house for sale Atlantic ave Minutes from north beach Also rental income from carriage house Portsmouth is minutes away close to route 1
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 10, 2013
HI! It sounds like you are wasting many hours per day on those days you are commuting to Boston. And, you want to enjoy your young daughter while she is still young!

I can help you through all of this......there is no easy answer. Our Prudential Verani office is one of several on the Seacoast....Portsmouth, Hampton and Exeter.. .so, we really know the areas you are inquiring about! And, Exeter has the highest property taxes of all....although it is truly a lovely town.

You can, indeed, get a larger home in a town such as Dover...or Greenland....depending on what you want. Perhaps you should consider a condo first? I am listing one in Stratham today with young folks similar to yourself who own it......please feel free to contact me at 603-294-5717 to talk about your needs. I know I can help you!

Take care,
Diane Silva
603-294-5717
Prudential Verani Realty, Portsmouth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 24, 2013
HI! It sounds like you are wasting many hours per day on those days you are commuting to Boston. And, you want to enjoy your young daughter while she is still young!

I can help you through all of this......there is no easy answer. Our Prudential Verani office is one of several on the Seacoast....Portsmouth, Hampton and Exeter.. .so, we really know the areas you are inquiring about! And, Exeter has the highest property taxes of all....although it is truly a lovely town.

You can, indeed, get a larger home in a town such as Dover...or Greenland....depending on what you want. Perhaps you should consider a condo first? I am listing one in Stratham today with young folks similar to yourself who own it......please feel free to contact me at 603-294-5717 to talk about your needs. I know I can help you!

Take care,
Diane Silva
603-294-5717
Prudential Verani Realty, Portsmouth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 24, 2013
HI! It sounds like you are wasting many hours per day on those days you are commuting to Boston. And, you want to enjoy your young daughter while she is still young!

I can help you through all of this......there is no easy answer. Our Prudential Verani office is one of several on the Seacoast....Portsmouth, Hampton and Exeter.. .so, we really know the areas you are inquiring about! And, Exeter has the highest property taxes of all....although it is truly a lovely town.

You can, indeed, get a larger home in a town such as Dover...or Greenland....depending on what you want. Perhaps you should consider a condo first? I am listing one in Stratham today with young folks similar to yourself who own it......please feel free to contact me at 603-294-5717 to talk about your needs. I know I can help you!

Take care,
Diane Silva
603-294-5717
Prudential Verani Realty, Portsmouth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 24, 2013
I would be happy to help you figure out your next step. here's my contact info ...
Lynda.cadieux.ferland@gmail.com 603-234-1163 I am licensed in NH and live and work in the Portsmouth area. You have many questions that will produce other questions, so it may be best to sit down with an agent to walk through your options. Many of the questions you ask; the answers will be specific to you and your housing needs and long term goals. in your best interest you would want to keep some info on a confidential basis between you and your agent.
You may want to test drive before you buy. At this point you may want to try speaking with a couple agents before you commit to one. Find the right fit for you in terms of communication and personality. We all do the same procedures, however not everyone works well together. You will have to determine which agent best suits your personalities.
In the mean time there are some steps to take before considering making a purchase. 1st would be to speak with a lender (not necessarily the one you use for a purchase) to determine what amount you would qualify for. Feel free to contact me no pressure,
your trusted friend in the real estate business
Lynda Cadieux Ferland Realtor Bean Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 21, 2013
It takes him 1hr and 15 minutes to get to Boston, if he drives fast and takes chances he has done it in under an hour- I would not reccommend that however.

As far as to add or not to add a contingency, that also would fall into how the market is in your area right now. Inventory is pretty low all around so depending on your location it might not discourage anyone from buying. Ultimately you want to make sure your not putting yourself in a bad situation or having to find a place at the last minute. Most of the time you can work something out with the buyers if you need to, so talk to your listing agent and see what she reccomends based on how quickly houses are selling and demand/inventory.

Again feel free to call and pick my brain anytime
603-520-6698

Here to help
~Lili Patch
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 21, 2013
Wow - thanks everyone! I meant to write in my original post "south of Portsmouth".

Lili, we love Portsmouth (the downtown area, if that is what it is called; unfortunately we work in a business park off of 95 and not downtown!). We'd love to live there but it is probably out of our price range for what we are looking for. Also, if we move to the "great white north" as my husband likes to refer to NH, he wants to stretch out a little. Curious, how long does it take your husband to commute to Boston? So far we've looked a little at most of those towns. Stratham seems a litlle out of our range as well but both Newmarket and Exeter have really caught my eye.

Pat - thanks for the tip on the train from Dover. I really like that it seems to some stuff to do there and as Lili mentioned you get more bang for your buck.

Laura - thanks for all the links and figures! It helps alot. You are all so helpful and are making our decision to move to NH an easier one.

We still have yet to put our house on the market as we are doing some repairs/painting, small cosmetic changes. Does anyone have any recommendation as to whether or not we should put a contigency in any offers on our ability to find a new house? Honestly, we just want to sell and are afraid of putting contingencies in any offer as we don't want to scare anyone off. We live in a unique house (center chimney antique colonial built in 1770 that has had a lot of major upgrades such as roof, furnace, etc but still needs "TLC" in the form of updated kitchens and baths) which will require a unique owner. So, as I said, I don't want to scare any potential buyers off!

Again, sorry for the long response and I very much appreciate your detailed responses!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 21, 2013
I would try to avoid that contingency. Buyers do not like it because it basically has no parameters. Contingent on Seller finding suitable housing means you can delay indefinitely. Why not instead focus on getting a 60 or 90 day to close clause? That should give you time to find another house but alos lets the Buyer plan their own move. Great question and something to discuss with your agent when you list your home.
Best regards,
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty
529 US Route 1, Suite 101
York, ME 03909
Office: 207-363-4300 X107 Cell: 207-752-3489
EMail: Margaret@MargaretMitchellRE.com
Flag Thu Mar 21, 2013
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