Sandwich, New Hampshire

Population: 1,326
House styles: Classic New England Capes and colonials from the early 19th century are the most popular
Expect to pay: About $225,000 to $250,000 for a fixer-upper; $300,000 or higher for a house in good condition

Located 50 miles north of Concord, the state capital, this Granite State gem of a town boasts preservation and historic boards that have worked hard to protect its architectural integrity and have kept a close eye on renovations, such as the conversion of houses in the downtown core from multifamily use to their original single-family origins. This year, Sandwich is celebrating its 250th anniversary, but many festivities enliven its social calendar each year, including a 60-mile sled-dog race in February, Old Home Week in August, and the annual Sandwich Fair in October. Outdoorsy types can enjoy summer boating and fishing on Squam Lake (the backdrop for the movie On Golden Pond), as well as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing in the White Mountains, which are within an hour's drive. Buyers looking for a classic New England setting and an abundance of year-round activities may just find their paradise here.

Among the best for: The Northeast, Waterfront, Small Towns, Parks and Recreation
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