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There's a reason New Hampshire is one of the best places for retirees, this New England state has some of the most affordable places to call home.
With New Hampshire's life expectancy on the rise, HomeSnacks thought we would create the ultimate guide for all retirees and anyone else wishing to live in New Hampshire on a budget. So, we set out to determine the top ten most affordable places to live in the Granite State for 2021.
How did we determine the most affordable place in New Hampshire? We took a look at the US Census and the cost of living data for the Beehive State. We were especially interested in home and rental prices. We also looked at safety, education, and amenities in the 26 cities with more than 5,000 residents.
We determined that New Hampshire has affordable retirement communities in Suncook, hip millennial cities like Manchester, and family oriented places like Portsmouth. More importantly, we determined that when you choose one of New Hampshire's most affordable places to call home, you free up money on your cost of living; thus, leaving more money for the fun things to do and see in New Hampshire. Like, a Saturday tee time at Mystic Meadows in Laconia or a family staycation at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye.
So, want to know where you can get the most bang for your buck in New Hampshire? Keep reading.
It's simple economics, folks. When you choose to live in one of New Hampshire's cheapest places, you're choosing to live where you won't have general sales tax or personal income tax. You're choosing to live where your New Hampshire dollar will go the furthest.
So, what's the most affordable place to live in New Hampshire for 2021? The most affordable place in New Hampshire is Somersworth.
To see how your favorite place compared, take a look at the list below or head to the bottom.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about New Hampshire and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2021
Coming in as the cheapest place to live in New Hampshire is Somersworth, a small city a half hour north of Portsmouth. We gave Somersworth an 8/10 on our overall SnackAbility score, with an emphasis on solid schools, a strong market for jobs and housing, and being one of the most diverse cities in New Hampshire. Oh, and affordability of course. Somersworth has the sixth least expensive homes statewide, with a median price tag of $184,700. The median income in Somersworth is $66,663, giving the city the third best home price to income ratio in New Hampshire. Not to mention that if you go fishing at Willand Pond, you can cut down on your food and entertainment budget at the same time.
We'll kick off our tour of the most affordable places to live in New Hampshire with Newport, a small town an hour outside of Concord. Homes in Newport go for a median price of $138,600, the third cheapest in the state. Even more importantly, Newport residents spend the second smallest percentage of their on homes statewide. Newport is also in the top ten for income to rent ratio, with a median rent of $882. As for keeping yourself occupied on a budget, Mt. Sunapee State Park is just a short drive away and has all the hiking, boating, fishing, and alpine skiing you could want.
Franklin ranks as the third least expensive place to call home in the Granite State thanks to strong affordabiliy numbers across the board. Franklin's got some of the cheapest homes for sale you'll find in New Hampshire, with a median price tag of $164,800. If you're not ready to settle down here just yet, renting in Franklin costs about $847/month. Renting or buying, Franklin has excellent housing to income ratios. Not to mention that it's one of the best cities for singles in New Hampshire thanks to great date spots like Tarbin Gardens. Looking for love has never been so affordable!
Franklin is about a half hour north of Concord.
We're going to take a very short drive west from Somersworth to arrive at our fourth most affordable city in New Hampshire, Rochester. If you decide to move to Rochester, you'll have no trouble getting friends to visit thanks to all the concerts and shows put on at the Rochester Opera House. Homes in Rochester go for about $172,300, the fifth lowest price in New Hampshire. Additionally, Rochester's residents pay the fourth smallest portion of their income on homes statewide. That's all the good news; the bad news is that Rochester was also named the most dangerous city and overall worst place to live in New Hampshire.
You don't need to book a flight to Germany to get a sweet deal in Berlin. It might help to know some French though, because, as a city near Quebec, around 65% of Berlin's population speaks a variant of New England French. Berlin's the type of place you'll want to settle down in for the long haul, because it's where you'll find the cheapest homes and, more importantly, the best home price to income ratio in the state. Add to that the fact that Berlin is one of the best places for families in New Hampshire, and you've got a recipe for a successful long-term stay. On the downside, Berlin is the least economical place to rent on this list. But we promise that once you see the stunning views from Jericho Mountain, your financial anxieties will be far from your mind.
We turn now to South Hooksett, an affluent suburb of Manchester. As one of the richest places in New Hampshire, South Hooksett's affordability statistics are a little different than most places listed here. For example, don't get hung up on the fact that, at a cost of $269,200, South Hooksett has the priciest homes on this list. Because, thanks to a median income of $96,440, South Hooksett residents spend the fifth lowest proportion on their income on homes statewide. The deal is even better for renters, who get the best rent to income ratio in New Hampshire.
Located across the Merrimack river from Nashua, Hudson is a town of 7,486 with a penchant for affordability.
Hudson already featured on our list of the best cities for families in New Hampshire - an incredibly low crime rate, great local schools, and plenty of family-friendly amenities all played a role in it landing on that list.
The playground, fishing pond, and walking trails at Benson Park are all top quality, so don't think a cheap place skimps on quality. Plus you can be at Nashua's Mine Falls Park in no time if you want even more outdoor options.
In addition to all those great things, the cost of living in Hudson is relatively low. Part of that's down to residents earning a median household income of $77,628, making everything feel that much cheaper.
The median home price in Hudson is $237,000, but if you just want to try it out, rent typically goes for around $1,177. Both income and property values went up by about 5% over the last year, so keep your eye on Hudson for an up-and-coming town.
Claremont's story is very similar to that of Berlin; super affordable homes, with less impressive prices on rent. Claremont's median home price of $133,500 is the second lowest in New Hampshire and residents spend the sixth smallest proportion of their income on homes statewide. Plus there are tons of parks around for every type of activity -- skateboarding, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice-skating. You name it, Claremont's got a park for it.
Next up on our list of super inexpensive spots in New Hampshire is Laconia. Don't let the city's affordability fool you into thinking Laconia's boring though; whether you're just kicking it at Weirs Beach or zipping from tree to tree at Monkey Trunks Park, there's something for every speed here. Laconia has the ninth cheapest homes in New Hampshire, with a median price of $193,300. Folks buying a home in Laconia enjoy the 13th best home price to income ratio, while those renting get the 14th best deal in New Hampshire.
Next up our tour of New Hampshire's most affordable places is Milford, a town of 8,892 located about 10 miles northwest of Nashua. Milford is one of the wealthiest places in New Hampshire, and a median household income of $73,772 makes housing here easy to pay for.
The median home price in Milford is $233,800, which is the 14th lowest in New Hampshire. Rent here is a bit steeper than elsewhere on this list, but it's around the statewide average at $1,198.
As a bonus, the overall crime rate in Milford is 75% below the national average, so don't worry about trading security for affordability here. There are no strings attached when we tell you that Milford offers a high quality of life for a low cost of living.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Granite State For 2021
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in New Hampshire to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 26 places in New Hampshire that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in New Hampshire according to the data is Somersworth. You can download the data here.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. New Hampshire Cheapskate
If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in New Hampshire, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in New Hampshire for 2021.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in New Hampshire according to the data:
For more New Hampshire reading, check out:
- Best Places To Buy A House In New Hampshire
- Safest Places In New Hampshire
- Worst Places To Live In New Hampshire
The Most Affordable Places To Live In New Hampshire