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Featured Lifestyle: The Woodlands, Portsmouth

The Woodlands, Portsmouth

For more than 40 years, The Woodlands, Portsmouth has offered homeowners a comfortable lifestyle in a city neighborhood with a suburban feel. Here, you'll find homes with an average living space of 3,000 square feet, nestled on 0.5- to 1.0-acre lots with mature trees that provide just the right amount of privacy. Residents love their unique neighborhood recreation center (more on that later) and the convenience of walking children to nearby Dondero School, one of the city's three public elementary schools. And the Urban Forestry Center is a quick bicycle ride away...where visitors can explore 182 acres of fields, salt marshes, and wooded land via self-guided trails for dog walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Homeowner Amy Spencer shared,

We absolutely love The Woodlands. There are plenty of families with children the same age as our kids, which makes it a fun place to live. One of my favorite things about the neighborhood is that our back yard abuts conservation land. It feels private, even though our neighbors are close by.

The Woodlands, Portsmouth is located close to many great restaurants including The Atlantic Grill and The Beach Plum, fitness centers The Port, Orange Theory and Pure Barre, as well as great family entertainment including Water Country.  All the wonderful attractions of downtown Portsmouth, rated one of the best small towns in the world, are only three miles away. Several beaches including Wallis Sands, Jenness Beach and Great Island Common are also just a short drive from here. Visit our Portsmouth Community Guide for more details!


The vision for The Woodlands, Portsmouth was the brainchild of several prominent community members, including the late Clotilde Strauss, Peter Loughlin and the late Joe Sawtelle. Straus was a longstanding member of the Portsmouth Conservation Commission and Portsmouth Garden Club, served as city arborist for 26 years and once hailed as a guiding light for the environmentalists of Portsmouth. Loughlin, a local attorney specializing in municipal law, is chair of the Portsmouth Trees and Greenery Committee. And Sawtelle was one of the Seacoasts areas most iconic local businessmen, developers and philanthropists, credited with helping to kick start much of the Portsmouth Renaissance.

Sawtelle engaged Peter Weeks (former Portsmouth mayor), Richard Gamester (former Portsmouth Fire Commissioner) and Greg Whalen (seasoned real estate developer and advisor) who became principals of Berry Brook Joint Ventures. They began the first phase of the project in 1978 and concluded the third and final phase in the early 1990s. The development included a total of 185 acres, with 124 single-family home sites and 90 acres of conservation land.

The Woodlands, Portsmouth NH

Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Sales Associate Barb Shea notes,

As part of the marketing team that helped introduce The Woodlands to the public, it was a very exciting project to be involved with. People were eager to pick out their lot and build their dream home, whether it was going to be their large family home, or empty-nester ranch. I even bought into the dream myself! We bought three lots in phase two, abutting the recreation center, subdivided them into 2 lots and kept a lot and a half! Local contractor Joe Tucker built our south-facing, rambling cape and my daughter enjoyed the great neighborhood while attending Dondero, Portsmouth Middle and Portsmouth High schools.


Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty Sales Associate John Rice has lived in The Woodlands, Portsmouth for over 30 years, describing the lifestyle as

A wonderful community filled with cultural diversity, young families and older professionals. I also really enjoy the dog walking social scene.

Recreation Center...includes a heated swimming pool, plus a smaller pool for tots, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court, a tot lot and picnic areas. Many events are hosted here, including bike parades, community barbeques and movie nights under the stars.

Parking...while notoriously challenging in downtown Portsmouth, parking here is easy. Streets are wide and homes have driveways leading to garages.

Wildlife...given its peaceful, forested environment, The Woodlands, Portsmouth is a place where residents enjoy diverse wild visitors including fox, turkeys, deer and many migrating birds such as white-throated sparrows and woodpeckers.

Walkability...a key asset of this neighborhood! Streets have generous sidewalks, landscaped traffic islands and charming signage to remind neighbors to drive cautiously. of the treasured winter activities in the neighborhood, along with hockey. Many residents create private backyard rinks and enjoy daily games.

Private Ice Rink at The Woodlands, PortsmouthBackyard Hockey, by Amy Spencer

Shea commented,

After owning three homes in downtown Portsmouth, my daughter ended up buying her own home in The Woodlands and now my two grandchildren are enjoying riding their bikes to the pool at the recreation center and enjoying the community. The Woodlands has changed with the years, but continues to be a wonderful location with a great neighborhood feel!


For over 20 years, Rice (has) published The Woodlands Property Report. He notes that

In the 1980s and 1990s, the neighborhood was more populated by young professionals with transient careers that required more frequent relocation. Consequently, home values were less stable. However, in the past few decades, owners are staying in the community longer and home values have steadily increased. The median sales price hovered in the $400,000 range for a long time, but now values are consistently in the $500,000s and $600,000s. As downtown has become more popular (with higher prices to match), buyers perceive The Woodlands, Portsmouth as a great value.

From January 2019 through December 2021, there were only 10 sales in The Woodlands, Portsmouth with an average price of $648,650 and average marketing time of 1.5 months.

Curious to know what's currently For Sale throughout Portsmouth NH? Click here. For more information about living in The Woodlands, Portsmouth or anywhere in the greater Seacoast area, please Contact a member of our real estate sales team. At Tate & Foss Sotheby's International Realty, we pride ourselves on having in-depth knowledge of our market area. We'd like to share that insight with you.

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