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Old 04-29-2014, 02:48 PM
 
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We are a couple in our mid-30s and currently residing in the NYC area with our baby. Both of us can work remote/freelance and want to take advantage of this opportunity to live someplace more affordable, with better schools for when this little one gets older, and with a better quality of life. We'd like to purchase a 2bedroom+ home for under 200k. We love the outdoors and skiing and have family in VT so we keep on returning to the idea of ski towns in the state. A home in a walkable town/village would be ideal to ease ourselves into the transition from the city. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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I'm not sure you could find something in that price range in a ski town except maybe a small condo? Real Estate in ski towns is $$$$.
That said I might suggest Bristol. About 45 minutes from Burlington. 30ish minutes to Mad River Glen and Sugarbush ski areas. Got a cute downtown with a couple really good restaurants. Has some nice community activities like Pocock Rocks and the 4th of July celebration.
Real Estate prices are less than greater Burlington. I think something under 200K would be a fixer-upper.
Waterbury might be another option though I'm not familiar with real estate there. Its in a good location between Stowe and the Mad River Valley. Easy interstate access to Monpelier or the Burlington area. Good restaurants etc.
I would suggest coming up for a visit and driving around different areas to get a good feel for towns. Ski towns have a pretty transient population and lots of second homes so if you are looking for a more "year round" (so to speak) you should look away from the ski towns.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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PS
Hopefully Joe Moving will see this and chime in. He pulled up stakes from somewhere near the City and moved to the Mad River Valley (Waitsfield/Warren) and I think he really likes it from his posts!
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
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Hey hey hey! I'm also from NYC...moved up here full time about two years ago. We had a small condo in Stowe and we lived there for a year and while it was nice in some respects, we moved to Waterbury to be in more of a 'real' town. As Vter said, lots of tourists and second home owners in ski towns and it's just a different vibe. And yes, significantly more expensive in ski towns - the taxes are higher, and real estate is also a lot more money.

I was going to suggest the MRV and also Waterbury - Waterbury is pretty walkable, but all of these towns are fairly small and are a big change from NYC.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:13 PM
 
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I have a few suggestions you may not have considered.

Since you're wanting to raise children near a ski resort, I highly recommend you research the various ski resorts children's programs. You'll want to be near a good one if you plan to enroll your child in one. Make sure you can afford it or plan to work at the resort if it offers employee discounts for children's programs. Not all of them do so check into the discounts first.

Seriously consider moving to a nearby town instead of living in the resort town itself. My son works at a ski resort in Vermont and has many friends who were raised there. They say it's a lonely place to be raised. They had to go to school in the nearby town in the valley, and their school friends can never play after school because the parents in the valley consider the ski resort/town to be too far away, even though it's only a 20 minute drive. They also didn't like that their friends were always leaving for them to never see again. Ski towns tend to have families that stay for one season or own a second home for multiple seasons before selling to buy a second home elsewhere. The ones who stay year wound are the minority. As a result, there are many friends they only see on weekends and for only 4 months out of the year. And many friends who move away forever and never come back, oftentimes without even a goodbye. If you live in a nearby town where the school is located, your can minimize these two problems.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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Oh right TKLN...how did I forget you! Doh. Thanks for chiming in on Waterbury. I think its got a great location. Schools have a good reputation.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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Hey yes--we moved from outside NYC. Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston, Moretown, Waterbury are all good choices I think.

we have been looking for a home for a while and it is tricky. real estate is expensive and a lot of homes are in rough shape--lots of 70s homes that need attention. we are sort of debating between warren and fayston... warren is less spread out, with a general store/deli/school/library/post office/hotel/restaurant in town within a few hundred yards of one another, and most homes are within ~10 minutes drive of this. fayston is more spread out (and more dirt roads!) but part of it is closer to skiing. the school is smaller/smaller class sizes/student:teacher ratio (also was ranked #1 in the state last year for what it's worth). waitsfield is closer to waterbury/montpelier/I89 and has a bigger town area with "lots" of stores. i don't know the other towns as well but they do all go to the same high school (I think...) which is Harwood, and that school is closer to Moretown and Waterbury. the schools are pre-school-6th here (not K-5 which is what NJ is) so you are in your elementary school really 2 more years than you would in NJ, so you'll be spending a lot of your time going there.

a lot will come down to location--if you want to actually be able to walk out your door to shopping, that will limit the housing choice by a lot. unfortunately we are very car centered here... i don't think there is too much you can do about it but try to live closest to what you will do (or want to do?) the most.

200k will be a tough find in warren/waitsfield/fayston...if you are willing to do some work and/or live farther out, you can find something. 200k is a decent price for a condo around here though.

i think coming up and renting for a while is always a good idea--we have learned a lot about what we like and don't like since being here (a little over 3 years now). you can buy a cheap 2 bedroom condo for 90k and up near Sugarbush but they are a little quirky. if that is an option for you, who knows maybe you would save money over renting over the course of a couple of years. but then again there is the difficulty of selling before buying.

have you skied, sugarbush and/or Mad River Glen? we love both and usually get season passes to MRG and then "quad packs" to Sugarbush ($50 tickets good any time, you just have to buy them in advance of the season) for when people visit. Kids passes are free under 7 at Sugarbush and mostly free under 12 at MRG. I can't get enough skiing and we are even still skiing..... Sugarbush should be open again this weekend I think.

good luck!
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
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The rent idea is a great place to start. You will get a better idea of where you will want to be and something that has been in the news the past few days, the education system is about to go through a major overhaul. The Vermont house just put this on the agenda on Tue. The number of local school districts in Vermont would be reduced from more than 270 to around 50. If this passes this could impact where you would want to send your child to school and live. The schools that will be most impacted are the small town schools with small class sizes.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:51 AM
 
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Wow, this is so helpful. Thank you! We are definitely open to small spaces and project homes, but a sense of community is important to us since being family-focused is a huge goal for this move. And I would love to work for a resort but obviously that's not a guarantee. We haven't spent much time in Waterbury or MRV but those seem like great areas to explore on our next trip up (hopefully next weekend!). I'll also be learning more about the school systems, but that's a great tip to keep up on potential district changes.

As for renting, clearly I don't expect the same volume of available properties as there are in urban areas, but what I have seen on craigslist seems pretty slim and not the best value given the home prices. Is that primarily just how the market is? Or am I looking in the wrong places and are real estate agents or another source the best way to find an apartment?

I know this will be a big change but we are ready for it and both of us grew up in rural/suburban areas. I'm curious what those of you former city dwellers miss the most after making this transition? We do love being able to go for nice walks out our front door, but hopefully some nice hikes/snowshoes/cross-country ski options close by will help make up for it!
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
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Ski areas tend to have a lot of real estate agencies that have properties for rent, but they tend to be more money than your average rental. You can definitely see a lot of those online and they sometimes will include homes in neighboring towns. Just search for ski rentals and the town (so let's say, Stowe ski rentals might have some Waterbury ones, Sugarbush will have MRV, etc). The local paper is also a good source but in general, the rental market in VT is tight.

I miss....nothing. Well, my friends. But asides from that...nothing. Okay, the convenience of getting 'fill in the blank' food at 8pm without driving 40 minutes to Burlington I sometimes miss. But even that is rare - there is plenty of great food around and the farmers markets (especially the one in Waitsfield) generally have international food options. Coming from NYC I think that was the only thing I was concerned about.

I do not miss the noise, the congestion, the traffic, the pressure, the stress, the people. I have to go down to NY a few times a year for work; I dread it with every bone in my body. In fairness, though I was born and raised in NYC and even went to college there, I always knew I didn't belong. So leaving for me was a fairly easy choice. It just took a lot longer than I thought it would.
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