Navigating Housing Costs in Salem, NH: Budgeting Tips for Renters and Homebuyers

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Salem, New Hampshire is a popular place for both renters and homebuyers. In fact, the city was named one of the best places to retire by US News & World Report in 2019!

When it comes to housing costs, there are two sides of the story.

Housing costs are an important factor in any budget. Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, it’s important to know how much your home will cost and how much money you need for housing each month. When it comes to housing costs, there are two sides of the story: renting vs. buying.

The cost of housing varies depending on where you live and whether or not you own or rent your home. In Salem, NH–where we live–the average price per square foot was $177 in 2018 (according to Zillow). This means that if we wanted an apartment that was 1,000 square feet (about 85 square meters), we’d pay about $175 per month in rent.* But what do these numbers mean?

Renters should make sure that their rent is affordable.

If you’re a renter, it’s important to make sure that your rent doesn’t exceed 30% of your income. If it does, there are steps you can take to reduce costs or find more affordable housing options.

You might consider moving to a cheaper location or looking for roommates. If that’s not possible, then speak with the landlord about lowering the rent by talking about other ways they can help with expenses such as repairs or utilities (if they are included). The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority offers rental assistance through their Section 8 program and/or Low Income Housing Tax Credit program; however these programs are competitive so apply early!

It’s important for renters to set their budgets carefully, and for homebuyers to have a plan for long-term affordability.

As a renter, it’s important to set your budget carefully and consider the long-term costs of renting versus homeownership. Homeownership can be expensive–but it can also be a good investment over time, especially if you plan on living in your home for many years.

If you’re thinking about buying a house soon or down the road, keep these considerations in mind:

  • Make sure that what you pay for housing (including utilities) fits within your monthly income after taxes are paid and other bills are paid. This means that if rent is $1,200 per month but utilities add another $100 per month after taxes and insurance premiums have been subtracted from income earned at work–that leaves only $1,000 left over each month! That would leave little room for anything else besides food and clothing expenses (and maybe some savings).

If you’re thinking about buying or renting a home, keep these tips in mind before making a decision

If you’re thinking about buying or renting a home, keep these tips in mind before making a decision:

  • Renting is a good option for people who don’t want to be tied down. If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure if this is the right time for you to commit to buying a home, renting could make sense. In addition, if your job requires frequent relocation or travel, renting may be more appealing than purchasing property (especially since many landlords allow pets).
  • Renting can help save money for down payment on future purchase. Some renters are able to use their monthly rent payments as savings for their future home purchase–and some even grow this fund into enough cash that they don’t need any financing at all! This strategy works best when rents stay relatively stable over time (though increases do happen).


The housing market in Salem is complicated, and it’s important that you understand the costs involved before making any decisions. If you’re looking for a rental or thinking about buying a home, these tips can help guide you through this process.

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