Most Affordable Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2020


We used data and science to determine which places in New Hampshire go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cheapest places to live in New Hampshire.

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 2020.

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 25 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.

The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2020

1. SuncookSuncook, NH

Population: 5,111
Median Household Income: $64,151

Located between Manchester and Concord, Suncook ranks as the second least expensive place in New Hampshire. Suncook owes its high position on this list to its incredibly affordable rent. You can get rent a spot in Suncook for just $833/month, less than half the average rent in New Hampshire. And with a median income of $64,151, Suncook enjoys the second best rent to income ratio in the state. If you’re looking to reward yourself for your smart financial planning, head on down to Oddball Brewing Co. for a Suncook Lager.

2. SomersworthSomersworth, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 11,883
Median Household Income: $64,786

Coming in as the third 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 $179,800. The median income in Somersworth is $64,786, giving the city the fourth 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.

3. RochesterRochester, NH

Population: 30,661
Median Household Income: $58,427

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 $167,400, the fifth lowest price in New Hampshire. Additionally, Rochester’s residents pay the fifth 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.

4. FranklinFranklin, NH

Population: 8,586
Median Household Income: $50,750

Franklin ranks as the fifth 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 $164,600. If you’re not ready to settle down here just yet, renting in Franklin costs about $840/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.

5. BerlinBerlin, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 10,382
Median Household Income: $38,315

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 (by a wide margin) 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.

6. ClaremontClaremont, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 13,016
Median Household Income: $48,099

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 $131,000 is the second lowest in New Hampshire and residents spend the third 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.

7. LaconiaLaconia, NH

Source: Public domain

Population: 16,342
Median Household Income: $57,046

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 eighth cheapest homes in New Hampshire, with a median price of $187,000. Folks buying a home in Laconia enjoy the 12th best home price to income ratio, while those renting get the 11th best deal in New Hampshire.

8. South HooksettSouth Hooksett, NH

Population: 5,811
Median Household Income: $87,717

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 $257,800, South Hooksett has the priciest homes on this list. Because, thanks to a median income of $87,717, South Hooksett residents spend the seventh lowest proportion on their income on homes statewide. The deal is even better for renters, who get the third best rent to income ratio in New Hampshire.

9. PinardvillePinardville, NH

Population: 5,390
Median Household Income: $70,250

Finishing of our list of most affordable places to live in New Hampshire is Pinardville, another Manchester suburb. Homes in Pindarville go for about $203,300, the tenth cheapest in New Hampshire. Pinardville residents also get the sixth best home price to income ratio in the state, thanks to a median income of $70,250. On the downside, Pinardville does have the priciest rent on this list, with a median cost of $1,205/month. Overall, Pinardville is great for people who want access to all Manchester has to offer, without paying Manchester prices.

10. KeeneKeene, NH

Population: 23,165
Median Household Income: $56,307

Keene is a city in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 23,409 at the 2010 census. It is the seat of Cheshire County.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Granite State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In New Hampshire
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. 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 2014-2018 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 25 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 Suncook. 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 2020.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in New Hampshire according to the data:

  1. Durham
  2. Newmarket
  3. Portsmouth

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.