On Nantucket, saltbox houses huddle on dunes in cloaks of signature gray shingles. In Long Island's Southampton, brick and marble edifices hide behind green hedges, while the same island's small town of East Marion features farmhouses that hug the highway. Maine has its share of farmhouses, too, with simple and austere lines.
Throughout New England, Federal-style homes mingle with grand Victorian summer cottages. Designs for new construction often call on such traditions, mimicking elements of old sea captain's houses built in the Federal style or playing with Victorian farmhouse details.
The average condo price in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, area sold in the last half of 2003 was $236,000, while some waterfront condos ran more than $1 million. In the nearby beach town of Rye, New Hampshire, condos on or near the water range from $600,000 to $1 million. Single-family homes near the water in Rye can run $1 or $2 million. Ditto or even much higher for a house in charming Bellport, New York, out on Long Island. In the actual Hamptons, millions are the norm. Rhode Island's Block Island is also pretty pricey: Average single-family home price? $1.4 million. Maine offers the best property values for your money. There's still some undeveloped land, and property taxes are relatively low. On Little Cranberry Island, Maine, a house away from the ocean, but near enough, goes for $225,000, and a five-bedroom, historic home at the island's center goes for $385,000.
Your Next-door Neighbors:
The region draws people from all over the globe, including professionals, creative types, and fishermen. Smaller towns maintain a core of natives who might size up newcomers, but New Englanders prove warm, friendly, and open, even if they are practical and no-nonsense. Out on Long Island and on Martha's Vineyard, you'll rub elbows with celebrities, but if you become a resident, you'll soon stop staring. From artists and chefs who flock to islands and coastal hamlets to retirees living out their dreams, this region welcomes one and all.
How You'd Spend Your Free Time:
You might walk down to the water to catch a glimpse of the Hudson in New York, or roam a broad beach all by yourself in Rhode Island. Big cities bring big bands such as the Boston Pops or the bright lights of Broadway, but clamming in Rhode Island or New Hampshire asks a smaller ticket price. Highway 6 on the north part of Cape Cod offers endless antiquing, and some make a pastime of attending the yard sales out on Long Island. In Maine, trek over to a lobster dock to grab tonight's dinner. And in Newport, Rhode Island, you might attend a holiday ball at one of the historic mansions in town. In Connecticut, residents join local sailing clubs where members bring their own meat to grill while they cheer kids' sailing races.