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Old 04-01-2014, 10:49 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,628 times
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Good morning. My family is moving to the region around Hanover, NH - Norwich, VT at the first of June. My wife will be working at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and I will either return to teaching or continue my recent work as a journalist.

We are wrestling with some basic questions about the financial implications of the move. Most basic is the question of how much property tax we can expect to pay in the region. I'm sure the rate is different in New Hampshire than it is in Vermont and that it varies even from town to town. Is there any source out there that can help nail down what those differences are?

The question of utility bills is also one about which I'm trying to get clarity. What is the average electricity and water bill in the upper valley? Is there an advantage to living on one side of the state line or the other when it comes to utility services?

Are the homes generally well insulated? I know that, at least on the Vermont side, many homes are on septic systems. Do the local governments inspect septic systems to make sure that they are functional and not leaking?

Finally, about schools. Other than the Marion Cross School in Norwich and the others in the Dresden cross-border district, I'm not very familiar yet with the traditional public schools in the valley. Which are best in terms of offering a reasonably high standard of academic challenge? Which ones are to be avoided?

Thanks for your input and ideas.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,743,656 times
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I don't know specifically to that region but assuming the home is not on city water or sewer, you wouldn't have a water bill. I don't think local gov't checks septic system after it is put in. I think it is up to the buyer of having it inspected.

One thing to note on property taxes that if your income is < $100k (goes off of box 1 on 1099 I think, if that is your main source of income) then you may qualify for a property tax break. You could probably browse taxes by looking for some houses for sale on Find Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Apartments & Houses for Rent - realtor.com® or Search for Property in NH, VT, ME, and MA | Northern New England MLS

I think that generally, they list the "full" tax amount on these sites, but sometimes they cheat and list a lower amount or perhaps the amount the current owner is paying .

whether homes are well insulated is totally dependent on the individual home.

i would recommend renting before buying.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:26 PM
 
1,643 posts, read 2,102,086 times
Reputation: 1431
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe moving View Post

i would recommend renting before buying.
I agree with this strongly. I'll quote myself from another Upper Valley thread (ignore the stuff that doesn't apply to you, but the jist is the same) ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
I've lived in the Upper Valley since 1985. I attended Lebanon High School, and moved back there after college. When it came time to buy a home, we moved to Windsor VT, just 1 exit down 91, because houses were so much cheaper. My wife works for the College in Hanover NH, I am self employed in VT, and before that worked for companies in Vermont.

You will find little practical difference between the towns on either side of the river when it comes to drugs, or general social issues. You won't "avoid" drug issues by living in a NH town that is 1 mile from the VT border. This area very much straddles the border and you'll live and work with folks who have lives on both sides. Your kids will play sports against teams in both states.

Towns like Hanover NH and Norwich VT are generally on the "upper crust" end of the scale: expensive homes, great schools (though not without their own problems) near-zero poverty rates.

Towns like White River and Windsor are still carrying largely our of date "bad raps" on the lower end of the scale as they've clawed their way back to respectability from their post-factory closing years. Every town has it's positives and negatives, it's all about finding the right place for you and your family.

Property taxes vary from town to town. VT has sales tax, but NH has other fees that make sure they get the money out of you one way or another. I haven't found an appreciable difference cost-wise from one to the other. Both have their financial positives and negatives

If you have kids or are planning on having kids, pay attention to the school systems, but most are quite good (especially by national standards.) Some of the smaller towns like Harland VT are sending schools so the kids have a choice of High Schools. That can create travel issues, but opens up some awesome choices, so make sure you know what you are getting into.

This area is made up of a bunch of small towns, with most of the jobs centrally located in and around Hanover and Lebanon NH thanks to the College and the Hospital.

We live in Windsor and we like it a lot. It used to have a pretty bad rep but it's become quite a nice place to live. The schools have improved tremendously over the last 10 years and the town itself has been on a real tear with grants and community investment. There aren't a ton of jobs, but it's an easy 20 minute commute to White River and the rest of the UV.

Honestly, I suggest renting for a year while you learn the area and I bet you'll find the right town to put down roots in. The only place I really don't suggest is Claremont because it has the highest property taxes in the state + the worst schools + some of the more serious social problems (teen pregnancy, drugs) around.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,514 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe moving View Post
I don't know specifically to that region but assuming the home is not on city water or sewer, you wouldn't have a water bill. I don't think local gov't checks septic system after it is put in. I think it is up to the buyer of having it inspected.

One thing to note on property taxes that if your income is < $100k (goes off of box 1 on 1099 I think, if that is your main source of income) then you may qualify for a property tax break. You could probably browse taxes by looking for some houses for sale on Find Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Apartments & Houses for Rent - realtor.com® or Search for Property in NH, VT, ME, and MA | Northern New England MLS

I think that generally, they list the "full" tax amount on these sites, but sometimes they cheat and list a lower amount or perhaps the amount the current owner is paying .

whether homes are well insulated is totally dependent on the individual home.

i would recommend renting before buying.
I would not count on this being a given and/or do not rely on it for making a decision if you decide Vermont or NH. One solution to the escalating property taxes is to significantly decrease the property tax prebate. The reason for this is people continue to vote yes on budgets because it will have little impact on their property taxes. The theory is if most people are impacted by town and school budgets, they will vote with more responsibility.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:55 PM
 
1,135 posts, read 1,834,741 times
Reputation: 1571
Also remember that just because NH is considered a "tax free" state, it's property taxes can be much higher than VT(read a recent article where it came in as #4 in highest property taxes and thus why I chose to leave home and come to VT) There is no "tax free" state and you should explore your own financial situation. Depending on your salary, there is a variance and even discount in VT which might offset such. In VT, you need to do your research for "you" since it's not a certain tax rate for everyone. Keeping warm will cost you about the same.
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