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Old 09-12-2013, 06:47 AM
 
32 posts, read 31,885 times
Reputation: 20

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Hi all,
I've browsed the threads here that read about a depressed economy and high cost of living, bad taxes, etc... and I need an honest opinion. We moved to the Charlotte NC metro area from California 6 mos ago looking for a change. We thought we'd be happy here but, to be honest, it sucks. We were here for several weeks visiting and had a good feel for the area, but things have changed so much in the short time we've been here that it's quickly becoming unbearable. So I was looking at VT as a good place to move. But now I'm concerned that I may be making another mistake. I work part time at a retail store I'd be able to transfer with, and my husband is a disabled veteran. We have a daughter in elementary school. The schools here are SO MUCH better than CA schools were. So basically, after my huge random schpiel, I'm wondering is cost of living going to be comparable? We currently rent a 3b, 2ba 1600sq ft house for $1k a mo that has no yard, mosquitos, and is humid. Our electrical has averaged at about $185-200 (which is a lot better than CA's 400+), water is around 75, natural gas is 80, and trash is paid by the city. Our groceries average about $450 a mo, if we do a monthly trip and stock the freezer versus making big elaborate meals every night. Taxes here on homes are the highest in the state, which is why we ended up being unable to buy, much to our surprise. Housing costs have skyrocketed in the 6 mos we've been here. What a 4/2 2000sq ft on an acre cost in February ($175k) is now selling in 10 days of being listed, in excessing of $250k! Property taxes on that house are $4k. If VT doesn't sound like a good fit for us, do you have a recommendation? I would love to stay further north than NC, to avoid some of the heat/humidty/mosquitos/flat land.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:52 AM
 
32 posts, read 31,885 times
Reputation: 20
Oh! I also forgot to mention, that we would really enjoy being able to buy local organic produce and meat again, and locally crafted items like soap, etc. Didn't realize we wouldn't find a single health food store that isn't a national chain in NC... I guess the bible belt doesn't take kindly to alternative thinkers.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:00 AM
 
221 posts, read 264,928 times
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what I've found is that people's perceptions are very individual based on their own experiences and what they are used to. We moved here 2 months ago and I was reading horror stories as well on here for months before we made our move but decided to still do it and I'm happy with it. Rental costs here ARE very high so there's no way you can rent a 3 br for 1k a month, however we don't find other costs to be bad(compared to alot of people on the forum). My wife is originally from Milwaukee where prices are lower but she still doesn't find the difference to be huge, but that could be because before we moved here she spent the last 4 years in Israel with me where I'm originally from and prices in Israel are higher than vermont and wages are lower, so like I said it's a matter of perception and proportions....when we go grocery shopping here after 4 years in Israel we find most prices to be a joke, seriously...but again, I don't know what they are in NC so you might find them to be high. Another thing I've noticed is that you don't get the same feeling from people you talk to in person here than you do in this forum. nearly everyone we talk to tells us how they are either a native and love it here, or moved here from mass or other places and love it here, and that we made the right choice and that we would love it here. very different from the negativity you find on here. Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:12 AM
 
32 posts, read 31,885 times
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thank you Oriz. A gallon of milk right now is almost $4 depending on if you get store brand or the good stuff. Organic milk (my preference) runs $5.99 a gallon. Chickens are $1.39 lb for the whole chickens, on sale. boneless, skinless start at 1.79/lb. Surprisingly, veggies are expensive, even in the grocery store for the regular waxed, sprayed, icky stuff. The things "in season" are still 2.50-3 a lb. Earlier in the year, you could go to the growers and get fresh strawberries, you pick, and they were $5 a lb. In the grocery store, they were shipped from CA to NC and were in pretty bad shape, you could tell they had been in a cooler for a while, and they were $3.97 a lb. in peak season! just amazes me. Plus we have taxes on food here, which I am still getting used to since CA doesn't have that. I just don't want to jump from the pan into the fire and make another bad move.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,079 posts, read 3,708,782 times
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Do you have any idea what your income will be?
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,743,656 times
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It really depends on where in VT. You mention you are going to be transferred to a retail store, that sounds like it would limit where you would be able to move.

Quote:
Our electrical has averaged at about $185-200 (which is a lot better than CA's 400+), water is around 75, natural gas is 80, and trash is paid by the city.
Electrical rates are pretty high, about .18 per KW/h (including fees).
Water is generally free (well). Not sure about city water.
Propane starts around $2/gallon (about 1 therm or 100k BTUs).

Quote:
What a 4/2 2000sq ft on an acre cost in February ($175k) is now selling in 10 days of being listed, in excessing of $250k! Property taxes on that house are $4k.
I'm giving my perspective from where I live. I would say that $250k will buy you a smaller, probably older house on 3-4 acres in OK condition. 4K taxes would be the starting point on a house like that. The price of homes varies quite a bit, this is in a resort area, but probably not close to the retail store you are talking about working at and by far not the most expensive area in VT.

Local organic food is readily available but it is not cheap.
$2.5/lb for Organic tomatoes from the farm
Probably $2/lb for potatoes from the farm
Organic, free range eggs, $5/dozen from the farm
organic milk, $6 from the farm,probably same from grocery store

Last edited by joe moving; 09-12-2013 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: northeastern MD
108 posts, read 122,284 times
Reputation: 70
I feel that each person has a different outlook and different reaction to places. Sure, you can read all day long how crappy a certain place is, but you might like it!! I always say "You don't know until you go!" I'm currently living in Maryland, and my g/f and I are looking to move to Vermont. She found a marketing job near Dover/Wilmington so I have been trying to get on with those police departments (currently a police officer here). My budget will be around 39 - 40k/yr, which is 20k less than I make here, but I want to do this so it's not that big of a deal.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,328 posts, read 8,764,751 times
Reputation: 1991
As Oriz said, it all depends on YOU whether or not you'll like it here. I do agree that the negativity you see here in this forum is not the norm. I know no one itching to leave 'cause they hate it here. In fact, I know quite people trying to move here (people that I grew up with who moved out of state for college/careers) - just hard due to the small number of good paying jobs. I myself left Vermont after college (MA and NC) and came back because this is "home" to me.
Anywho...costs. I'm going to the grocery store later so I'll try to pay a little more attention to prices. I do know hormone free milk is anywhere from $2.99-$4 depending on where you buy it. I buy locally raised meat - hamburg is anywhere from $5-8/lb. I'll check store bought meat prices today for you. I buy fruit and vegis locally in season. In fact I can walk to a local farm to get it saving me gas costs .
oh and property taxes..we just got our bill yesterday. $6500. Gulp. 5 acres, cape with attached garage.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,743,656 times
Reputation: 2629
jchughes, you may also look at the VT state troopers, whom I believe are hiring. Starting pay is around 50k I think.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,685 times
Reputation: 606
Vermont isn't necessarily more expensive for day to day items from what I have found there are puts and takes with any comparison, however the challenge for many comes when the income isn't high or readily available as in other places. Same costs lower income feels a lot more expensive/

As for retail work, if you are used to being able to hop from big box to big box then you will be very limited to handful of areas in VT with a big box retailer. Outside of thsoe areas, rare will be the store with a roster of more than 10 employees.

That being said you can probably easily find work in a resort area like Stowe, but then your housing etc. costs will be at NJ/NY type prices as many are owned by outta staters and their money travels well......

As for taxes, VT is rough. As for property taxes, I'm going out on a limb and saying that with your husband's condition and your retail job you will more than qualify for the tax reduction thingy VT allows.......that being said, I don't enjoy paying for other people's taxes via my own. We have a 1200 sq foot log cabin on about 4 acres and I pay $4K for taxes in VT.
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