Leave a Message

Thank you for your message. We will be in touch with you shortly.

A Buyer’s Guide to Portsmouth, NH


Five things to remember when searching for homes in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth, N.H., is one of the most idyllic towns in the country. It’s hard not to love a city with waterfront views, mild summers, and New England’s famous vibrant falls. Located at the mouth of the Piscataqua River in New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region, the unique city of Portsmouth has a population of just over 20,000 residents, making it the main town in Rockingham County.

If you agree real estate is all about location, Portsmouth gets an A+. The city is just 45 minutes south of Portland, Maine, 45 minutes north of Boston, and a quick one-hour drive to lakes and mountains.

With a modest population, Portsmouth packs a big punch. Residents and visitors appreciate the town’s culture and history as one of the oldest cities in the U.S. The city has eight National Historic Landmarks! Visit attractions like the Jackson House, Governor John Langdon House, Warner House, Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center, USS Albacore Museum, and Black Heritage Trail.

The nightlife is also rich, with several highly-rated restaurants, breweries, and live music venues. If shopping is your thing, there are several unique boutiques downtown. And, of course, the waterfront provides plenty of activities, including boat charters, fishing, whale watching, and beautiful beaches. The city’s wide brick streets make it notoriously walkable.

The town is a unique medley of history and contemporary amenities. No wonder Portsmouth has been ranked as one of the best cities in the U.S. Now that we’ve established why Portsmouth homes are worthy of consideration, read on for five things to remember when searching for a home.

1. Portsmouth schools are among the best in the state

For buyers with families, Portsmouth is a great option. The city boasts plenty of charm and culture and is also known for having the best schools in New Hampshire. The Portsmouth School District contains the following schools:

  • Little Harbour School, grades K–5
  • Dondero School, grades K–5
  • New Franklin School, grades K–5
  • Portsmouth Middle School, grades 6–8
  • Portsmouth High School, grades 9–12
The high school offers advanced placement classes and boasts a 96% graduation rate, well above the state average. In total, the district has over 2,500 students.

Similarly, the New Hampshire school system ranks very high nationwide. In K–12 education, the Granite State holds the fourth spot, an impressive feat for a small state.

2. Portsmouth’s neighborhoods offer something for everyone

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Buyers looking for luxury and waterfront views need look no further than Portsmouth’s historic South End, located between Court Street and New Castle Avenue. Buyers can expect low inventory and high prices in this area, but the breathtaking properties and views will not disappoint. Most homes in the area are two-story single-family homes.

In addition to the beautiful real estate and a short walk from downtown, South End has plenty to do, like visiting various historic houses or Peirce Island. Prescott Park is yet another reason to love South End. This 10-acre public waterfront park features lush gardens and ample open space. Every summer, the park hosts the Prescott Park Arts Festival, offering locals and visitors the chance to experience music, theater, and art.

For those seeking a neighborhood that mixes old and new, the downtown Market Square neighborhood offers classic architecture with beautiful views. Buyers will find brick townhomes, classic colonials, Cape-style homes, and the occasional contemporary condo.

Other noteworthy areas in Portsmouth include the Little Harbor, West End, Woodbury-Maplewood, North Waterfront, Elwyn Park, and North End.

3. Houses sell quickly

Homes in Portsmouth have long been hot commodities. Even as homeownership rates grew nationwide, Portsmouth had a notoriously low inventory — a fact remains more accurate now than ever.

As a result, buyers should not wait if they find an intriguing listing. Case in point: in September 2022, listings in Rockingham County stayed on the market for an average of 24 days. Homes sell very quickly, so buyers should not sit on their hands (contact Crystal + Carr Team now, so you’ll be ready when that listing comes up).

4. Buyers comprise a competitive market

In addition to moving quickly, buyers should be ready to put their best offer forward. While many other markets in the country are seeing prices cool amid rising mortgage rates, the same cannot be said for homes in Portsmouth. The area’s low inventory has mitigated the effects of rising rates.

In other words, Portsmouth real estate is subject to the law of supply and demand. Because the supply of homes is so low in Portsmouth and the demand is relatively high, prices will continue to be high and potentially rise.

Portsmouth is the most expensive area in New Hampshire and one of the most costly in the state. As of September 2022, the median sales price in Rockingham County had reached $549,900, an increase of about 7% compared to the same time last year. Many of the most attractive neighborhoods in the city, including those in the coveted South End area, see sales above $1 million.

With listings moving quickly, buyers should not wait for price reductions. Instead, they should be ready to put their best foot forward with a competitive offer. Crystal + Carr Team stand ready to help you put together your best offer.

Work with an experienced agent

If charm, history, location, good schools, luxury, and ocean views sound appealing to you, Portsmouth is a great fit! New Hampshire’s Seacoast Region is unlike any other place in the country. Situated about halfway between Boston, Mass., and Portland, Maine, your Portsmouth home will be at the center of all of New England.

Do you want to own property in an exclusive area like Portsmouth? Get the best possible service from the Crystal + Carr Team. Portsmouth is one of several luxury neighborhoods where the team has ties. Check out their testimonials online and contact Crystal and Carr today!

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Work With Us

We pride ourselves in providing personalized solutions that bring our clients closer to their dream properties and enhance their long-term wealth.

Contact Today