Durham : New hampshire


What It Is Like to Retire in Durham

Durham is a thriving town near the coast of New Hampshire, not far from Portsmouth, with a population just over 14,000. A college town, it is home to the University of New Hampshire, which adds to the community by offering many cultural and sporting events. Durham is in a pretty location situated beside Great Bay at the mouth of the Oyster River and features waterfront parks and hiking trails and preserves. The Town of Durham has been a partner in many successful conservation projects, and over 25% of Durham's land is under some form of permanent conservation. Photo of Postcard of Hamilton Smith Hall University of New Hampshire c. 1920, and photo of postcard of Old Mill and Dam c. 1908, courtesy of Wikipedia (both in the public domain).


Where to Retire in Durham and Home Prices

There are active adult communities here and in neighboring Portsmouth (see Active Communities link at left). The median value of a home increased to about $550,000 in early 2022, according to Zillow. Real estate taxes are high in NH and in Durham, with the median payment here being over $6,000. However there is no sales tax, and wages are not taxed (interest and dividends are taxed at 5%).


What Is Special about Durham

Living in a college town near the coast and beautiful Portsmouth are big advantages. Thompson Hall was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by the Concord architectural firm of Dow & Randlett, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town is scenic and has a lot of outdoor activities and several town events.


What Is Not Special about Durham

Winter weather; real estate and property taxes are high.


Who Will Like Retirement in Durham

People who want to live in a college town with a favorable tax situation will like it here. The University has sporting events and many culturally events to attend, and there are volunteer opportunities in Durham.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Education and retail. NH does not have a state sales tax, which is part of the reason for the success of the state's retail sales.


Climate and Physical Environment

Portsmouth is just inland of the New Hampshire coast. Average Jan. temp is in the mid 20s and average July temp in the low 70s.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are restaurants both here and in Portsmouth; The University offers cultural opportunities, as does nearby Portsmouth.  Durham Historic Association & Museum houses a growing collection of objects related to Durham, as well as archives of local and genealogical interest.



Durham has a low crime rate.


Medical Facilities

Wentworth Douglas Hospital is about 15 minutes away.



Interstate 95 is the primary access to the town; there is public bus transportation with destinations throughout neighboring towns and services the University. Portsmouth airport is 11 miles away and Boston's Logan airport is about 40 miles from Durham. Durham is also a bicycle-friendly community.


Valuable Links

Town of Durham


What people are saying about Durham

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