10 Town Starter Home Throwdown: Windsor Wins!

What if you surveyed today's starter home market in 10 Upper Valley towns, ranked them according to a highly scientific scale, and picked a winner? It would be Windsor!

Welcome to Going Up's first 10-town starter home throwdown. It's gonna be epic.

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I say that because I already know the results, and they were really close. Unless your town name is "Norwich" or "Hanover."

But just two points back of Windsor we had a four-way tie for second: Canaan, Grantham, Hartford and Haverhill. And just one more point back each: Bethel, Sharon and Claremont.

Let's look at some houses. I'll explain the madness behind my method later.

1) Windsor - 34 points

1097 County Road (all images from New England Real Estate Network website)

Price: $289,000

4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3 garage bays, 2,500 square feet, 2 acres

Listing snippet: Extensively renovated cape farmhouse with attached garage and barn with heated workshop sited on 2 acres of mostly open, gently sloping lawn.

Read all about it.

2, tied) Canaan - 36 points

542 Canaan Street

Price: $269,000

4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 0 garage bays, 2,408 square feet, .5 acres

Listing snippet: 1845 New Englander located on Historic Canaan Street. Walk to the public beach or enjoy a summer evening at the Meeting House for Readings.

Read all about it.

2, tied) Grantham - 36 points

25 Allens Drive

Price: $269,000

3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 garage bays, 2,212 square feet, .9 acres

Listing snippet: 20 minutes to DHMC charming, low maintenance Eastman home with a great location less than a mile to exit 13 for easy commute.

Read all about it.

2, tied) Hartland - 36 points

465 Route 12

Price: $269,000

4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 garage bays, 3,000 square feet, 1.6 acres

Listing snippet: Fantastic, tranquil 4-bedroom ranch with a beautiful view and many spectacular updates!  This home is located on 1.6 acres of land with a pond and above ground swimming pool.

Read all about it.

2, tied) Haverhill - 36 points

2861 Dartmouth College Highway

Price: $279,000

4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3 garage bays, 3,105 square feet, 1.6 acres

Listing snippet: Spacious New Englander with 3000 square feet of living space, two baths, one long front porch, two glassed in porches, splendid foyer with lovely winding staircase to the second floor and a third floor stair case to a large attic area.

Read all about it.

6) Bethel - 37 points

35 Mills Drive

Price: $265,000

3 bedrooms, 4 baths, 1 garage bay, 3,078 square feet, 0.5 acres

Listing snippet: Fantastic two story gambrel in Bethel. This unique home offers several high end features not expected in a home in this area.

Read all about it.

7) Sharon - 38 points

4674 Route 14

Price: $265,000

3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 0 garage bays, 3,068 square feet, 2 acres

Listing snippet: Classic brick colonial in convenient and private hilltop location in Sharon.

Read all about it.

8) Claremont - 39 points

96 Ledgewood Road

Price: $254,000

3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 garage bays, 3,500 square feet, .39 acres

Listing snippet: Beautiful 3 bedroom home in a sought after neighborhood, on a quiet hilltop cul-de-sac.

Read all about it.

9) Norwich - 48 points

1645 Beaver Meadow Road

Price: $232,900

2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 0 garage bays, 1,623 square feet, 2.4 acres

Listing snippet: Five miles from downtown Norwich and in the Dresden School district, this 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom cape is adorable!

Read all about it.

10) Hanover - 50 points

70-71 Goose Pond Road

Price: $275,000

3 bedrooms, 1 bath, 2 garage bays, 1,584 square feet, 4 acres

Listing snippet: Property is on both sides of Goose Pond Rd., & includes the open field behind the house & part of open fields, including the farm shed, on north side of the road.

Read all about it.


Let me explain my methodology. Because like any scientist, I am all about transparency.

I picked a starter home price range: $220,000 to $290,000.

I picked the single-family home in each town that came closest to the Optimal Starter Home Throwdown Price Point (or OSHTPP; trademark pending) of $270,000.

I ranked the town for total listings in the price range, because choice is good. I ranked each home based on price per square foot, because life is about value, not price.

I also ranked for number of bedrooms, baths and garage bays, lot size, days on market and drive time to your theoretical job at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. All about value.

My source: the New England Real Estate Network website. Except for days on market, which came from realtor.com, and drive time, which came from Google maps.

I crunched the data in a spreadsheet, ranking each category from 1 (first) to 10 (last). Lowest total score came out on top.


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