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About that Move to New Hampshire


Yeah, about that move to New Hampshire to join other Free State Project members – it didn’t work out. I conducted a search from afar using Craigslist, several realtors, the MLS, word of mouth and other websites. I didn’t find much that might work for us.

My Requirements

  • for rent, no way I am sinking money into such a state-controlled asset as a house, or taking out a mortgage
  • accepts a big dog (golden retriever)
  • a house
  • within 30 mins of Keene, Manchester, Nashua or Concord
  • three or more bedrooms
  • have a nice kitchen

I went up to New Hampshire for three days after my extensive search turned up the same houses over and over again via different sources. I saw a few, but none worked for us.

Second Choice: Philadelphia

Meanwhile, my wife was back in Philadelphia staying with family and managing our toddler and big dog (we relocated from outside the country). It would have been unfair of me to leave her in charge of the kids and in somebody else’s house for an extended period of time. So we fell back to Philadelphia. We found a place in Montgomery County, PA and are finally settling in.

May Try Again

I may try to move to New Hampshire again in 12 or 24 months but this experience has caused my passion for the Free State Project to flag a little, for the following reasons.

  • Several of the realtors I spoke with questioned me very closely about why I was moving to New Hampshire. I think they were fishing to see if I was associated with the Free State Project. Are FSPers really that unwanted?
  • If it was so hard for me to find a place, how are 20,000 going to fit?
  • I got less of a helping hand than I was led to believe was standard operating procedure for FSPers.
  • It was suggested that my failure to move was due to my lack of commitment.


Of course I still wish the Free State Project the best of luck. I’m not closing the door to participating, just regrouping and evaluating my options.

Photo credit: enfi. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

18 replies on “About that Move to New Hampshire”

I’m glad that you are seriously pursuing the Free State project. I’m also glad that you take your responsibility to your family very seriously.

I think the Free State project is a great one, but I know that I can’t participate. I have a family and a small business that is tied to my location.

Given your requirements list, you could take the dog off the list. I’m sure you love the dog, but it is so much easier to live without dogs (both in finding places to rent and in financial savings). I had dogs when I was young and liked them, but won’t be having them for my children unless we live in the country (maybe not even then).

You will get help with the physical moving but finding your way here is yours.

Realtors are just making conversation. You could have said “for my job” or “to be near relatives” or whatever else you wanted to say.

We just elected about 17 of us to the legislature so, we are here and working.
You may hear only of the wackjobs that live in Keene.. that is NOT the center of FSP activity, I can assure you. It’s a radical offshoot of people who like to waste time.

Matthew, thanks for commenting but we love the dog and would never part with him. He is not only gentle with my son but he’s also a good guard dog. When I got him, I took on a serious responsibility and I wouldn’t give that up just because it was inconvenient. Frankly, I despise people who get dogs and then dispose of them when they encounter an inconvenience. The dog has already earned his life’s keep.

NH, I know the difference between conversation and interrogation. What I am referring to is the latter.

I *did* say “whatever else I wanted to say”, however I did not make up lies. I gave reasons like the low tax rate and the abundant nature, which are indeed among the reasons why I want to move.

Calling the folks in Keene wackjobs is not going to sell me on the FSP. I want to join them. If you want to make a reasoned case against their methods, I’d love to hear it but ad hominem is pointless and self-discrediting.

Thank you for commenting.

I didn’t get any help from the organization when I was moving, but that was back in 2004, so not much help was even available for establishing my household. I moved to a town where there was absolutely nobody involved with anything, so it was like living on Mars. But I did establish some good contacts with people like Gardner Goldsmith. I had to move away, but like you, I will be attempting to gain a foothold in NH sometime in the not too distant future.

I’m sorry it didn’t work out.

Hey George,

Sorry to hear it didn’t work out this time around! Hope you can get settled in PA and give NH another shot in the future. When the time comes, drop me a line and I’ll see what else I can do to help.


P.S. When Realtors grill you on why you’re moving, they’re just trying to figure how movitaved you are to move. What they’d love to hear is that you have to be in NH next week for a job or something like that – when they get the sense that someone doesn’t HAVE to move, they start to wonder if their time is being wasted. They don’t care about your political persuasion, just their commission :-)

Sorry to hear it didn’t work out. I met you at Murphy’s and you seemed very nice. I too encountered some “interrogation” by folks who asked why I wanted to move to NH. Most of it is just small talk. Some just can’t understand why someone would want to move to NH. It could be because they have lived there all their life and want to leave themselves, or because most people move south t0 warmer weather. I doubt they were screening to see if you were a Free Stater, but it could be possible.
Your complaint about not getting a helping hand is surprising. Without specifics I can’t address that. I would have been more than happy to let you stay at my place until you found the right place, but it didn’t meet any of your requirements so I didn’t offer.
Don’t give up yet. Hopefully we’ll meet again.

George I am disappointed that people told you that is was lack of committment is the reason you are not here. I mean did they know you moved from ANOTHER country …man.. typical short sited comments on their behalf. (I would be happy to speak with them if you want me to)
If you do come back up let me know (i know we exchanged email but I was out of town and couldn’t be as helpful as I wanted to) and I can make sure you talk to 2 realtors and have them work with you.
Both are FSP friendly.

Prep, thanks for commenting and I enjoyed chatting with you at the Taproom.

Dreepa, I think the person that said that was not aware or had forgotten about me moving from outside the US. He subsequently apologized but it made a big (negative) impression on me.

re/ the nice kitchen, that’s my wife’s requirement. ;D Thanks for commenting.

I have to agree with Matthew. Dogs are great, but I would not let a family pet stop me from moving. Lots of renters do not want pets on their property, for good reasons. Lots of pet owners are not very responsible with their pets. You may be, but that is a chance a lot of renters are unwilling to take. Dump the dog and move I say.

What is required to become a NH state resident? If I secure a rental address, can I complete applications online to get the process rolling?


I think you have to go into the town office and swear an affidavit. Good luck!

EDIT: Dreepa says “it all depends on what he wants as a resident different rules for different things.”

Check out the forums at

You can either find the answer there or post your question and someone will help you with more detailed and relevant information.

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