Massachusetts to Manchester, making the jump?

5 Replies

Hello everyone,

I am currently renting in Massachusetts, but my husband and I are looking towards the Manchester area for a multi-family. I know there are pros and cons to anywhere, but one constant gripe I hear is how much more the property taxes are up there. We are also wondering if our first time home buying certificate carries over to first time home buying programs in NH. Do we need to apply for a mortgage in a NH based bank? Anything related to moving to New Hampshire is welcomed, we are completely new to this path!

I have lived in NH and MA. My parents moved to NH. Their decision about property taxes was that they'd gladly pay property taxes and save on housing costs, utilities, insurance, health care, sales tax, etc. If you wanted to, you could get really detailed and guesstimate that cost difference for you. There are cost of living calculators out there which will detail it a bit for you as well.

I'm on MA for convenience into Boston mostly.

@Eric S. do you have any recommendations for the cost of living calculators or will googling one be accurate enough to use? Thank you for this advice!

No advice really. I just google myself and saw this place first that had 2-3 linked. http://stayworkplay.org/stay/cost-living-calculato...

One factor is if you're changing where you work as well. The calculator said my salary # would drop about 30% though I'm sure there are many variables affecting that.

Hi Shannon,

Being an investor in southern NH, I can tell you that Manchester has some difficult sections, especially for unseasoned investors. I would advise you to check out the following link, which tracks police reports in the Manchester area. 

https://www.crimemapping.com/map/agency/223

By the way, the first time home buying certificate would carry over to NH, as long as it is, in fact, your first time buying a home. You do not need to apply for a mortgage with a NH based bank if buying in NH. Any national bank would do. In regards to obtaining the best rates and terms; however consider applying to a local community bank, as properties out of the bank's market area would generally be riskier.  Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy to help!

Hi @Shannon H. - glad to hear you're looking into Manchester!  While cost of living is a bit of a subjective topic, I can say with certainty that NH has no sales tax and no state income tax, so if you move in-state and work in-state, you would immediately see state-based tax savings compared to Massachusetts.  Property taxes tend to be higher on a dollar for dollar basis, however its hard to compare somewhere like Manchester to a place like Boston.  Both are the largest city in their respective states, but Boston's taxes are astronomically higher because the average property value is higher.  Similarly, many towns in MA function this way as well.  I can tell you that for a 2-4 unit multifamily... I typically see taxes run between $3000 and $6000 depending on size, location, number of units, and age of building.

First time home buyer programs are usually specific to a particular lender.  If you are a first time home buyer, its not difficult to qualify as a first time home buyer with any other lender, but if you already have a bank selected, I don't think you need to go through the process again if you're happy with the rate.  

Let me know if you have any other questions!  

Matt Lefebvre, Real Estate Agent in NH (#070207)
603-554-2309

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