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My family is considering a move to northern New England - the area around Hanover, New Hampshire, to be exact. There are all the usual issues to think about - housing prices and schools prominent among them - but it would be really helpful if we had a better understanding of the merits of living on one side of the Connecticut River or the other.

I'm writing to ask for some advice and thoughts . . .

New Hampshire, of course, is renowned far and wide as the "Live Free or Die" state. There's no income tax, no sales taxes, and high property taxes. Vermont, on the other hand, is bucolic, but seems to have a somewhat less dynamic economy. One of us has a job pretty much guaranteed, but the other of us will have to find something to do that will provide a reasonable income. Opening a business is a possibility. Will it work in this area?

We're the parents of two kids, ages 10 and 8, so schools matter. We want a school that will encourage and support high academic achievement, even when that means the child needs to be taught at a level higher than her actual grade level. We also want the school to expose students to outdoor learning, if possible, and to have a strong science and math curriculum without neglecting music, art, and literature. Is that realistic? What are some good choices? Are there any important questions to ask of school administrators?

The commute could be a challenge in bad winter weather, I suppose, given that we'd be working in the Lebanon-Hanover area. Where are areas that would provide a harder drive and where, if you wanted to have a few acres, could you find a place that would also allow a tolerable drive to town on a workday?

We're also interested in getting a better idea of what pitfalls to look for and avoid when house-hunting in this region.

Any insights you have about the local economy and culture, must-do activities and events, and other considerations one might want to keep in mind about this specific area of northern New England would be helpful.

Oh, yeah . . . We know about northern New England winters. One of us has lived in the region before.

Originally posted to CastleMan63 on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 06:15 PM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains.

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