i'm a new rn in nh, having just passed my boards not too many weeks ago. dhmc's wages seem decent from what i've seen, though not as high as say parts of ca.
as far as home/property, "high" cost of livivng is such a relative term. a "nice home, and i little land" can be had from $15000 to $500,000. same home, same land, but one must consider just "where" the location is. some consider 40 minutes a reasonable commute, and others ten minutes. (bring up a map with lebanon at the center in mapquest.com.) but even with in twenty minutes consider that the same package in hanover not too many minutes from dhmc's lebanon) is at the high end...after all, you have dartmouth; and yet not too many miles in the other direction at white river junction prices are low. some communities like woodstock, "across the river into vt," have "hooty-tootie" value...and i mean it in $$$'s. at the high end you have hanover;woodstock, vt; and parts of grantham. at the low end you have windsor, vt, claremont, nh; and newport, nh. why? nh's "live free or die" mentality is such that property taxes in lower per-capita value towns will be much higher, even though school amenities may be lower. claremont, newport and windsor are relatively "poor" areas. hanover, woodstock and gratham are per-capita "richer" areas.
it is complex. one must consider too, that if you buy in vermont, you must pay vt income tax. there is an amazing medley of "flavors," to different communities. claremont is harsh (in my opinion) compared to some of the vermont areas such as hartland, where one might encounter a horse drawn buggy on a back road (driven by some "gentleman farmer," with a luscious spread. it is so complex i'd suggest renting for a year, before buying.
if you have a two family income, you'll do fine. rent, find a community you like, and build. if you have a one person family, it'll be rough.
just my opinion, others may see things differently....