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Old 07-17-2007, 11:20 AM
 
36 posts, read 97,893 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi everyone!
Have been lurking on the city-data forums for a while now, and have finally narrowed down an area and am seriously making progress. I am interested in hearing from actual residents who will give the REAL story on these places (not some chamber of commerce propaganda) because I have just spent several years in a place that seemed like a decent enough place and went downhill very rapidly. I just want to find the right place where we won't ever have to worry about moving again. Very interested in BENNINGTON/MANCHESTER/DORSET area...have already fully researched others (yes including Burlington and other northern Vt towns) and they are just not what we are personally interested in, so info on this specific area would be GREATLY appreciated.
We are presently in NE Ohio, my husband and I both moved here for work a few years back. I went back to school and got a degree in English Lit (no I don't want to teach, just a degree to better get a job that requires a BA, not at all sure what), and he now has a job that can be done from anywhere. I am originally from the Adirondack region of NY, so I am very familiar with the weather (love it), so that isn't an issue. Ohio (this part anyway) seems to be headed down the path of Flint and Detroit, MI. It seems like everywhere you look there are a zillion mini McMansions falling down already and being foreclosed upon. Apparently at some point everyone, regardless of income, got themselves qualified for these mega mortgages, and now crime and disrepair are the common themes of a formerly quiet, nice area. Weirdos have cropped up EVERYWHERE and I'm just not used to having to be afraid where I live. We've got this GREAT house, in a notso terrible, but noticably changing neighborhood, so want to Flee Ohio while we can.
I want a nice, peaceful area, pretty much free of crime, but not outrageously expensive (the VERY max being $300,ooo, preferably in the $150-200K range). You can live in a gorgeous historical home here for 80 to 100k which shocks everyone, but it is just not worth dealing with the area. I fully understand it will be more elsewhere, but want to stay in the range indicated.
Soooooo.... here's my wishlist for this area, and maybe someone can give me some input on whether it is possible or I am dreaming. We will be visiting within a couple of months (first time I have been to Bennington in 12 or so years):
- We are very laid back, friendly people who have become increasingly intolerant to the pervasive rudeness that has infested most places these days. Here, especially, where people are miserable, they take it out on everyone around them, and it grows. I want to be where people are nice to each other, do not road rage, and actually stop with the FRONT of their car behind the stop signs (not with the sign 3 feet behind the rear bumper). I want to drive somewhere and not have to be on the constant verge of a heart attack wondering exactly when it will be that I will be killed on the road by a drunk, meth addicted, or cell phone talking moron. I have a cell phone that I refuse to use while driving or in public view. I am hoping there is a place where most people feel the same.
- I do not want the typical "housing development/allotment/cookiecutter house scene." We are child free by choice, so schools are of no interest to us whatsoever, unless the area has particularly AWFUL schools that would affect future sale. Obviously, though, we want to avoid another visibly economically depressed area and all that follows that. We don't dislike kids, just not interested in having them...would love to be around people that, if they do have kids, are interesting individuals in their own right (as opposed to the particularly rabid "Mommy Culture" types ONLY interested in living through and revolving around their kids, having lost who THEY actually/individually were before kids). Again, we fully realize this is one type and have friends with kids that are not like that, but some people only want to talk about kids and nothing else. In other words, neighborhoods dominated by 90mph ("me first") mini vans that have 6 kids in, and soccer ball stickers on them are likely to be avoided, lol. I don't want to hear about breastfeeding endlessly (or at all for that matter) or any warped views they might have in their heads and feel the unsolicited need to express about the child free choice, and they don't care about my pets, so not a recipe for happiness there...
- We have two dogs that like to play in the yard...they are not nuisances, but will at times bark at people walking by...another reason we don't want to be crammed up against other houses or have backyards that back up against others' backyards.
- PET LOVERS TAKE NOTICE: we need access to exceptional vet care. With 2 dogs and a few strictly indoor cats we have become well aware of disparities in vet care from place to place. We need to be near a vet place that is exceptional. Meaning, not just that so and so vet is "really nice" "been around a long time," etc...but an ACTUALLY great place that keeps updated on the latest treatments and TRULY CARES about animals (I don't mean places that feign "upscale" and charge a lot...I mean REALLY good vets with a staff that is equally competent). We've seen too many places that actually even have a great vet...only to have rude gatekeepers as staff, or staff who will only take messages then pass on critical info WRONG. With a diabetic cat, and one who recovered miraculously from heart failure (due to an incompetent vet's prescription) this is REALLY important to us. Cornell is a few hours away for major major stuff, but we need closeby decent emergency/regular care. Too many vets treat cats as if they are small dogs and have no idea about issues that affect them. I need the exceptions to that "rule."
- Here in OH (and many places across the country) I am bothered by the whole "bling-bling society" of ostentatious facade and want nothing to do with those types (living way above their means, concerned with tacky material things they think makes them cool to the real wealthy and others that cringe at them). I want to be around literate people who love animals (Ohio is AWFUL for poor cats and dogs and there are strays everywhere) and aren't obsessed with outdoing the Joneses.
-I don't want to be somewhere that devalues women. Here, women are and readily accept being somehow less than men. Yes, archaic and backwards, but surprisingly redneck and everpresent. Don't want to head to another place where people are taken aback by a woman who will speak up as readily as a man
-With our pets, we require a min of 1500 sq home (more a serious plus), and want a place that is 2 stories (not ranches, bungalows and the like). We are not exactly handy, so a true fixer-upper is not in the cards for us, but we do like older style homes. Our current home is an old tudor that has needed some things but nothing that was a crazy nightmare to deal with. I notice there are a lot of "septic" and "well" listings, and am not up on problems to look for in that respect, so any input would be great.
I KNOW THIS IS A LONG DRAWN OUT, babbling rant, and if you have read this far, thank you. You have to understand I am on the SS NE Ohio Titanic and about to lose it if we don't get out of here fast, so that is why the rant.
Thanks in advance for any realistic, REAL WORLD input from people actually living in these places.

Last edited by FleeingOhioASAP; 07-17-2007 at 11:48 AM..
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:58 AM
 
Location: West Jordan, UT
973 posts, read 1,859,872 times
Reputation: 589
Just curious where are you from in OH? I'm from Akron (live in a burb of SLC, UT now) & have never been treated as less than a man. I would never allow it. They do have a stray animal problem, but I think ALOT of places do. As for the 'bling-bling', yep, we had alot living above their means, but, again, I see that alot almost anywhere. I'm not too familiar w/ the New England area, but had always thought if it as 'rich'. But, as I said, I'm not that familiar w/ it. Good luck on your move.

Last edited by BuckeyezRule; 07-17-2007 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,459 posts, read 6,388,570 times
Reputation: 1237
I am down in Connecticut

Am familiar with Bennington, not the other two towns. Bennington has a New York feel to it more then New England persona. I have heard pro and con about the town here- the same holds true for Manchester. Dorset I know little of.

I know North eastern Ohio is sort of a depressed area- it is however very cheap for housing.

As for Vermont- the state is by in large very laid back and not competitive.
The state is very rural- with but one metro area of over 125,000 people (Burlington).

From what I have gathered here, the most favored towns are Middlebury, Burlington and Brattleboro. I am very familiar with Burlington and Brattleboro.

I have been in Bennington but once- and its hard to make an objective critique of it.

Housing in Vermont will be higher then Ohio by far. A home as you specified outside of Brattleboro can be found for around 225-250K.

Good luck in finding what you need in Vermont.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:05 PM
 
36 posts, read 97,893 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by FleeingOhioASAP View Post
Very interested in BENNINGTON/MANCHESTER/DORSET area...have already fully researched others (yes including Burlington and other northern Vt towns) and they are just not what we are personally interested in, so info on this specific area would be GREATLY appreciated.
I wanted to add about Burlington, that I was actually very interested in it for a while, but the houses we would like (as indicated in the long posts) don't seem affordable in nice areas, and it seems to have some seriously rapid growth---I like the quiet, uncrowded places with driving access to bigger places if I need to for some reason
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,331 posts, read 8,788,365 times
Reputation: 2011
I doubt you can get what you want in your price range in Manchester or Dorset. Very expensive. Lots of wealthy retirees and/or second home owners in and around Manchester/Dorset. Lots of outlet stores in Manchester and traffic on weekends and during foliage season can be icky, but as a local, you can get around it if you know where to go.
Bennington would be more do-able in your price range. My sister lives there, but is moving to Shaftsbury (next town north) to a new house they are building. Bennington is a blueish collar town, about 15,000 residents.
Bennington has your basic shopping needs - couple grocery stores, a Home Depot and a Wal Mart, plus your small more specialty stores on Main Street. Most people go over to Albany NY to do their major shopping.
I assume your husband needs the internet to work from home? Keep in mind that not all areas of Vermont have high-speed internet access yet (mostly in rural areas).
I agree with skytrekker that Bennington has a more "new york" feel vs. New England.
I can't answer your other questions unfortunately, but I do know that there are a couple of southern VTers who frequent the board. Hopefully they can help answer in more specifics.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:17 PM
 
36 posts, read 97,893 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by skytrekker View Post
I am down in Connecticut

Am familiar with Bennington, not the other two towns. Bennington has a New York feel to it more then New England persona. I have heard pro and con about the town here- the same holds true for Manchester. Dorset I know little of.

I know North eastern Ohio is sort of a depressed area- it is however very cheap for housing.
I am really surpised to see so many say that ("New York feel." I hope our visit there won't be a big disappointment, because 12 or so years ago I drove through Bennington it really WAS the epitome of quaint New England town. How awful if that has changed....

As for NE Ohio...no house...and I mean NONE is worth living here...I don't care if you find a 40,000 square foot gorgeous CASTLE for $20k Seriously, in the end, you would be miserable in this place. There are, however, a lot of people who have only lived in NE Ohio and nowhere else... that think it's the cat's pajamas and that the way people act is just normal life. I previously had a job heavy on travel for many years, and can safely say that the only worse place would be Flint/Detroit, MI. I have no intention to debate it with those who think otherwise, I've actually lived it and don't want to RElive it more than I need to, lol.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,331 posts, read 8,788,365 times
Reputation: 2011
Lets put it this way -
Bennington's "local" tv news is out of Albany NY. It's major newspaper (aside from the Bennington Banner) is the Albany Times Union. Compared with the rest of Vermont, it just "feels" different.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:24 PM
 
36 posts, read 97,893 times
Reputation: 11
Red face MAYBE Burlington area too????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by vter View Post
I assume your husband needs the internet to work from home? Keep in mind that not all areas of Vermont have high-speed internet access yet (mostly in rural areas).

No...he doesn't work from home, but for his job we can live anywhere...the internet thing, though...that's my life, lol. Does that mean these towns mentioned don't have cable? ::::gasp::::

I wish I could change the title of the whole main thread to "Okay, maybe Burlington area too," just in case my wishes COULD be achieved there, too, but I didn't get that impression, though it is hard to do without knowing ALL the towns, from Realtor.com. We will likely LOOK up there too on our trip, but boy, I was really hoping Bennington would be the answer to my quandary.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,331 posts, read 8,788,365 times
Reputation: 2011
Some towns do not have cable. You can get a dish for TV. My co-worker has satellite internet as nothing else (aside from dial-up) is available where he lives.
Vermont is a very rural state. Unless you are in or near a town center, you'll most likely have a well for water and an on-site septic system.
If you are in Bennington, you'll have cable, sewer, water, etc. If you are out in Woodford, most likely not.
You really need to visit. In the Burlington area, try Underhill, CAmbridge, Fairfax, Hinesburg, Ferrisburgh. These towns are just far enough outside of Burlington to have a rural feel.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:37 PM
 
36 posts, read 97,893 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by vter View Post
Some towns do not have cable. You can get a dish for TV. My co-worker has satellite internet as nothing else (aside from dial-up) is available where he lives.
Vermont is a very rural state. Unless you are in or near a town center, you'll most likely have a well for water and an on-site septic system.
If you are in Bennington, you'll have cable, sewer, water, etc. If you are out in Woodford, most likely not.
You really need to visit. In the Burlington area, try Underhill, CAmbridge, Fairfax, Hinesburg, Ferrisburgh. These towns are just far enough outside of Burlington to have a rural feel.
Thanks! I'll put those on the "to visit while there" list! That's why this forum is so good...ACTUAL residents! I hate those various "top places to live" list which always have the worst places on the planet listed, and completely wrong info.
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