Homesteading in New Hampshire : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We are in need of information about the New Hampshire area approx 45 min. from Peabody, Mass. Please share desirable areas to live, impressions, weather, zoning laws, acceptance of homesteading practices and any available info on small farms with homes and barn. We presently raise dairy goats & chickens, keep horses, garden extensively and throughly enjoy nature. Any info will be appreciated. Thank you, TB.

-- Tara Bukowsky (, January 27, 2001


I have a little information. I sure wish i had not deleted all the farm info for sale I had though. I was considering employment in NH a few weeks ago but declined the offer basically. I did do some research into farming, there are basically no zoning laws in most of NH. i was in the Dover area and was surprised to see farms in town. i was told its not "live free or die" on the license plates for nothing. They had a turkey, horse and goat farm all within the town. And you can sell raw milk in NH as long as its for personal use. The one farm had a small sign with goat milk etc for sale right in town. This was a real shock after experiencing all the issues with VA. Its very expensive in NH in the area you are thinking of. try calling Dave Thomas at century 21 in Dover, he had some really nice farms for sale as did Coldwell Broker as well. Hope this helps and good luck.

-- Bernice (, January 27, 2001.

Is there a reason it has to be NH ? Upstate NY has much the same climate .It is much cheaper here .We have never pulled a permit or had any problem with the animals .There is work if you are skilled labor.

-- Patty {NY State} (, January 27, 2001.

I am a New Hampshire native now living in Virginia. The area that you are considering is expensive to live because it is within commuting distance to Taxachusetts. There is very little zoning requirements. Most of it has to do with minimal lot size to build, i.e. must have three acres minimum when subdividing land except in special areas where they want subdivisions. It is a beautiful state. There is some employment opportunities but not a lot of big companies which would pay higher salaries. People are generally helpful although if you are from a southern state you may find them standoffish at first. I was surprised when I moved to Virginia to have strangers in stores talk to me and wave to me when I passed in the car. It's just a little different culture but they don't mean anything by it. Don't take it personally. They will quickly warm up to you.

-- Colleen (, January 31, 2001.

Tara, where are you living now? At first I was thinking you must be in Peabody, MA, but when I realized you were asking for info on the weather and such, I realized you must presently be in another part of the country. The weather in Mass. and NH is basically the same. A particular snow storm may dump more on one state than the other, but over the course of a winter I think it evens out. Spring comes a little earlier in Mass., of course, as it's a little farther south.

Land is expensive anywhere in NH that is within easy reach of Massachusetts, and that includes as far north as the White Mountains. North of the mountains it's a little more reasonable, but not much. As far as zoning laws, the town we are in is very restrictive. Some parts more than others -- within a certain area around the village proper any houses built have to look "historical", so it's only capes, colonials, and salt-boxes allowed there. There are a few mobile homes in a couple of areas, but most areas you can't even use a modular home, let alone a mobile. But somebody in the village had sheep in his yard a few years ago. It isn't so much regulation of what animals you can keep as making sure that your place looks as expensive as your neighbors place. Living without electricity is a no-no -- anywhere in this area, at least. A friend of ours who was building on land a quarter of a mile or so from power lines got away with solar panels -- they don't care too much how you get your power, but you have to have it. Property taxes are among the highest in the nation, and the whole tax structure is a mess right now, due to some very bad politicing on the part of a judge. NH is a pretty state, with lots of wildlife, but in order to park anywhere along one of the scenic highways in the White Mountains you have to buy a $5 parking permit. This isn't even to use a campground, just to park by the road for a few minutes! There are lots of people in NH homesteading, but you will have to be prepared to pay a high price for the type of property you are looking for, as it is just what nearly everybody else is looking for, too! And even if you had cash to pay it off, property taxes on a decent house on acreage will start at $2,000 a year and go up -- way up. This is one reason why, when we build a goat-barn or hen-house, they will have to be non-taxable, "temporary" structures such as a hoop house or a milk room and milking parlor built on a trailer. Markets are good, though, if you hope to sell anything you raise. There are several Farmer's Markets in the state, and of course Boston is quite a large market, and not too far from much of NH. I wouldn't drive down there, myself, unless someone's life depended on it, and even then I would try all possible alternatives before venturing into that traffic. Well, I doubt that I've answered your questions, and have probably discouraged you, but the day of inexpensive small farms is over in most of New England.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, February 01, 2001.

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