One of the first settled towns in America, Exeter, New Hampshire just exudes history.   Founded in 1638 (just 18 years after the Mayflower), Exeter sits on the river of the same name where the Native American’s fished the falls.  The Reverend John Wheelwright  purchased the land and 175 exiles from the Massachusetts Bay Colony moved to this lovely spot.  The falls provided fish and soon a grist mill was built soon followed by a saw mill.  Then came the cotton mill, a shipbuilding business, leather goods and finally the Boston and Main Railroad came to town.  Exeter is also home to the Phillips Exeter Academy, a private prep school with a long list of graduates.   A dam was built on the river to support the manufacturing economy which has now fallen by the way and the city recently voted to have the dam removed and the river restored to its original state. 

Exeter,  New Hampshire has many historical buildings and a bandstand has stood at the corner of Water and Front streets since 1895 and still holds summer concerts.   One of the most notable features of Exeter is the Swasey Parkway which runs along the Squascott River.   The tree-lined feature has benches and is now home to a new Pavillion where you can find seasonal concerts and summer activities.    The American Independence Museum is a great way to spend a rainy day.  It is a well documented trip to the Revolutionary War and was a highlight of a recent trip.  

But what would it be like to live in Exeter?   Here’s what we found.

Population:   Almost 15,000 people live in Exeter  – about one hour’s drive north of Boston – and 15.2% of those are over age 65.  We noted that 46.8% of the adults over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher – almost double the national average. 

Housing:  There are many historical homes in this area but we found this new home on Zillow built in a similar style for $329,000 with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths and $1,534 square feet.

Crime:   Exeter’s crime rate sits at 1.51 per 1,000, while the state is 2.15 and the national average is 3.8! 

Taxes:   The state ranks the 7th lowest in the US of overall taxes with no income tax, no tax on retirement income, social security is not taxed and there is no sales tax.  No inheritance tax and no estate tax.  Really!   Where they get you is the property tax – they have to get it somewhere – and it is the 3rd highest in the nation!

We really liked our stay in Exeter.    Zoom in and out on the map below to see the town and surrounding area!
Photo By tmaull via