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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Haverhill, MA

Written by Brittany Slagle

The town of Haverhill, Massachusetts lies around 37 miles north of Boston and is bordered by several other towns and cities. Haverhill earned the nickname “Queen Slipper City” due to its history as a major shoe manufacturing hub. 

Haverhill has a long history, dating back to 1640 when it was first settled by colonists from the nearby Newbury settlement. As one of the most historic cities in Massachusetts, Haverhill has been visited over time by multiple U.S. presidents such as George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. The area’s rich history and serene, quiet atmosphere make Haverhill an appealing community to live in and explore.

Here are eight things to know before moving to Haverhill, MA.

1. The cost of living is 31% higher than the national average

The cost of living in Haverhill is 31% higher than the national average. While specific expenses like healthcare, transportation, and real estate tend to be more affordable in Haverhill, utilities, groceries, and housing cost more.

The homeownership rate is 58% with various housing choices for newcomers. Home prices average $477,369, which although is higher than the national average, presents a more affordable option than other parts of Massachusetts (with the average home in Massachusetts costing $586,204). 

2. Work in sectors like healthcare, technology, or education

The typical salary in Haverhill is around $63,000 annually, slightly less than the national median income. Massachusetts has a flat income tax of 5% that applies to Haverhill residents too. The unemployment rate in Haverhill stands at 2.7%, lower than the national average.

Jobs can be found across diverse industries like healthcare, technology, education, and more. Major employers offering career opportunities include Whittier Health Network, Regan Ford, Pentucket Medical, HubSpot, MathWorks, and others. With its variety of jobs in growing fields and median income on par with national levels, Haverhill provides solid employment prospects and earning potential.

3. Explore Haverhill’s food scene at restaurants like The Grill Next Door, Benedetti’s Deli or LaRosa’s

Haverhill has many excellent dining options. The Grill Next Door is a top choice for its relaxed vibe and American fare like wings, soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers, plus a big craft beer selection. Benedetti’s Deli is another favorite for its cozy ambiance and menu featuring salads, seafood, chips, and their signature submarine sandwiches known as “Rockets.” 

LaRosa’s is also renowned for its classic Italian cuisine, wood-fired pizzas, and welcoming atmosphere. With eateries like The Grill Next Door, Benedetti’s Deli, and LaRosa’s, Haverhill offers delicious dining for every taste.

4. It snows and rains a lot

Like nearby Boston, Haverhill has a humid continental climate marked by hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters. 

Summer temperatures range from the 60s to mid-80s. Winters see drastic drops to temperatures between the teens and mid-30s. On average, Haverhill gets 48 inches of rainfall and 56 inches of snow annually. 

People relocating to the area can expect classic New England seasonal weather, with warm sunny summers and freezing, snowy winters. 

5. Merrimack College is 9 miles away

Around 15,247 children under 18 live in Haverhill, making up roughly 24% of the population. Haverhill is an excellent place for families, with a robust school system part of the Haverhill School District.

Top-ranked schools include Pentucket Lake Elementary, Tilton Elementary, Consentino Middle, Nettle Middle, Whittier Regional Vocational, and Haverhill High. 

Although there are no colleges in Haverhill itself, Merrimack College is conveniently located just 9 miles south in North Andover.

6. Check out Haverhill’s main parks

Haverhill’s main parks offer ample amenities for recreation, sports, and summer fun. Winnikenni Park is Haverhill’s largest at over 700 acres with trails around Kenoza Lake. It has playgrounds, tennis courts, and a historic 1800s stone castle used for events. The park’s crown jewel is a charming stone castle from the late 1800s, now a beloved venue for community events like concerts, plays, workshops, and festivals.

Riverside Park sits along the Merrimack River and has a dog park, play structures, and sports fields, and hosts July 4th fireworks. Swasey Field has a splash pad, playgrounds, basketball courts, and baseball fields for recreation and cooling off in summer.

7. Boston is 36 miles away

Haverhill’s strategic location, 36 miles from Boston and just 4 miles from the New Hampshire border, offers the best of both worlds: a peaceful suburban lifestyle with easy access to Boston’s amenities and tax-free shopping in NH. 

With several major highways passing through town, navigating the area is convenient and efficient.

8. A slightly higher violent crime rate

Haverhill has a somewhat higher violent crime rate compared to national averages. The violent crime rate is 26.4 per 1,000 residents, 3.7 points above the U.S. rate of 22.7. For property crime, Haverhill’s rate is 30.3 per 1,000, lower than the national figure of 35.4. 

However, compared to other cities, the rates in Haverhill don’t stand out as extreme. While violent crime levels are moderately elevated, Haverhill remains reasonably safe.

In Summary

With its rich history dating back to the 1600s, charming small-town feel, and proximity to major cities like Boston, Haverhill offers an appealing blend of Americana New England character and modern suburban convenience. 

Despite higher costs of living compared to national averages, Haverhill remains more affordable than much of the rest of Massachusetts while still providing access to the state’s top amenities and job opportunities. While violent crime levels are somewhat elevated, they are not extreme. For individuals or families looking to experience classic Northeast culture and recreation alongside the perks of city life just a short drive away, Haverhill is just perfect.

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