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Old 08-26-2014, 11:52 AM
Location: East Coast
866 posts, read 2,307,430 times
Reputation: 542


My husband and I are considering moving to Vermont or possibly to New Hampshire within a few years, as we expect that our jobs will become 100% telework. We would be able to live anywhere, so jobs and salary are not an issue. We would like to build a house somewhere somewhat close to the Stowe/Waterbury area. It would be nice to have some space and land, but still be close to some amenities.

I have a strong preference for Vermont, but he prefers New Hampshire. Can anyone help us weigh the pros and cons of each state (I will also post in the New Hampshire forum)? I like the feel of Vermont: the natural beauty, the small community spirit, the locally grown/raised food, etc. And I would like having Burlington close by for shopping and dinner out. But reading through the Vermont forum concerns me a bit. Are taxes and COL that high compared to New Hampshire? We would be coming from the Boston suburbs, so we are used to expensive. What about native Vermonters being unfriendly to outsiders? We tend to keep to ourselves, and I imagine there must be a decent transplant population in the Stowe area.

He likes the area north of Franconia and Littleton, NH for the views of the White Mountains (towns like Dalton, Whitefield, etc.). My concern about living there is that we might feel really isolated and be limited in our options for shopping, dining, groceries, and a good tavern or two.

Also, we are two guys, and I've read some negative things about the conservative parts of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Would living in either of these two areas (towns around Stowe, VT or Littleton, NH) be a concern for a gay couple, or are they different from the NEK? Are there other areas we should consider? How are towns like Morristown or Elmore? Is rural New Hampshire just as conservative as the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, or does the libertarian attitude for which NH is famous prevail?

Thanks in advance for any input or advice.

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Old 08-26-2014, 12:01 PM
221 posts, read 266,300 times
Reputation: 375
That's very, very subjective. You will find that most people on this forum will probably answer NH, for several reasons, the main one is jobs. However, my wife and I doing our own research, were trying to decide between Maine, NH and Vermont, especially the last two about a year and a half ago. We ended up choosing Vermont and have not regretted it. So, do your own research, nothing anyone will tell you is the ultimate answer cause at the end of the day we each look for different things and what might be important for others may not be for you and vice versa. Only you can decide what place is best for you based on what you're looking for.
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Old 08-26-2014, 01:20 PM
Location: Vermont
3,329 posts, read 8,785,497 times
Reputation: 2001
Oriz makes great points above. Do lots and lots of visiting and research to see which place feels right to you!
That said, here are my 2 cents. Born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom, now live outside Burlington. I much prefer Vermont over NH for many of the same reasons you do - the vibe, the politics, the scenery etc. We have fantastic fresh local food here-I couldn't tell you the last time I shopped in a conventional chain supermarket. Produce and meat is bought directly from farmers, at a farmers market or at one of our great locally owned markets. When I need other things like cereal, ketchup, snacks etc I shop at the new Trader Joe's in South Burlington.
There are many fantastic restaurants in the Waterbury area as well as Burlington/Chittenden County.
As far as fitting in...as long as you are friendly and good neighbors then you'll be fine. Sure there are jerks everywhere but they are certainly in the minority here. There are LOTS of transplants in the Stowe-Waterbury area and they live/get along just fine there.
I much prefer the Burlington-Waterbury-Stowe are to the Littleton area. I grew up near Littleton (but in VT) and I find the area very isolating. There are restaurants, but not many. If you like to travel and need an airport its quite a drive down to Manchester or over to Burlington. Lots of awesome outdoor activities in both places.
Keep in mind when moving to a rural area that if you need reliable high speed internet be sure to check on that before you commit to a property. There are still areas on Vermont where high speed internet is spotty.
COL is about the same. There may be no income tax in NH but property tax is VERY high and you'll pay much higher "fees" for things like car registrations. Vermont has income taxes and also has high property taxes but there is a property tax rebate plan in place right now so many folks don't pay the full property tax. Car registrations are $70 a year. There is a user who posts here...Sporin...who has lived in both states and would be the best person to give a COL comparison-from what I've understood from his/her posts there is no real difference.
Hope this helps and hope you can do lots of visiting.
Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:43 PM
1,644 posts, read 2,109,924 times
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Cross post from your question in the NH forum... I live in the "Upper Valley" and really like it here. There's a large variation from town to town as far as what kind of domicile and vibe you are looking for. I also feel like it offers the best parts of Vermont AND New Hampshire.

Collectively, the towns in this are have a little bit of everything including the College and the Medical Center. White River has become a pretty hip music and arts scene, West Lebanon has the big box shopping, and there are tons of great restaurants (big and small) scattered all around the area. There are cheap towns (Windsor, White River, Cornish) and expensive towns (Hanover, Lyme, Norwich) and everything in between, all within a 20 minute drive from the center which is pretty much Lebanon & Hanover NH.

Sitting on the crossroads of 89 and 91 means easy access to Burlington to the north or Manchester and Boston to the south. You can live 20 minutes from the "center" yet be totally in the "country" down a dirt road with nothing but cows and woods on either side.

This area is also extremely "gay-friendly" though I hate that term. If Church is your thing, there are a number of open and welcoming denominations including multiple flavors of Christianity as well as a couple of thriving UU churches.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:27 AM
2 posts, read 2,562 times
Reputation: 10
Hello all,
I realize this is an older post, but I figure deciding on whether to live in Vermont or New Hampshire may continue to be of interest to people.

My wife & I moved to the upper valley last year and have been renting. We work at DHMC; one of us is a medical doctor there. The income tax in Vermont can be intimidating depending on your income and which bracket you find yourselves in. Let's say you plan on filing jointly and as a household make $250,000/ year (based off of one doctor & one layperson), that would place you in the second highest tax bracket for Vermont (8.80%). For the 2015 tax year that couple filing jointly would pay $14,771.00 in state taxes (on top of $65,285.50 to the Fed).

Now, I know that is a good-size income, but that is probably fairly typical, possibly a little low for the households with doctors in them in the Upper Valley.

Sure, New Hampshire has higher property taxes, but there are plenty of homes in the Upper Valley on the NH side that have property taxes below $14,000.

I am sure this discussion has many more variables that others can assist with, like the rate at which property taxes are going up in NH versus income taxes in Vermont, the addition of the view tax in NH, so on and so forth.

For my wife & I, we still are not sure which state we will end up in!
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:18 AM
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,783,011 times
Reputation: 2630
Keep in mind, VT tax (from my experience...) is based on federal taxable income minus some exclusions- so it may not be as much as you think unless 250k is your federal taxable income.

You also get 10% tax credit on state tax for 529 contributions to VHEIP up to $10,000 contribution or $1k tax credit. That is, a $10k contribution = $1k tax credit (I think).
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:13 PM
13,915 posts, read 7,411,228 times
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Let's do the math.

State income tax in Vermont:
  • 3.55 percent on the first $60,550 of taxable income.
  • 6.8 percent on taxable income between $60,551 and $146,400.
  • 7.8 percent on taxable income between $146,401 and $223,050.
  • 8.8 percent on taxable income between $223,051 and $398,350.
  • 8.95 percent on taxable income of $398,351 and above.
State sales tax in Vermont: 6%

In New Hampshire, the resort towns have very low property taxes. In Vermont, that is inverted and the Act 68 state school tax has made the resort towns "Gold Towns". Stowe's homestead tax rate is $18.80. Woodstock, VT is $22.39. Lincoln, NH (Loon) is $13.80. Moultonboro, NH is $8.86. Here is a link to the town-by-town NH property tax rates: http://www.revenue.nh.gov/mun-prop/m...2014-local.pdf

Let's say you're married with a couple of kids and telecommute from a $500K home. You make $200K. You live in a nice resort town with a good school system. Even being able to write off all the Vermont taxes on your Federal taxes, Vermont is going to cost you $15K compared to living in a New Hampshire resort town and you probably start bumping into the dreaded alternative minimum tax.

If you make a lot less money and pick a high property tax town in New Hampshire, the numbers invert and you're financially better off in Vermont where they means test the state school tax and most of your income is taxed at a low tax bracket.

There is no universal correct answer since it all depends on the town you pick, your income level, and how much value you happen to place on living in a particular place. The more you make, the more financial disincentive you have against picking Vermont. I'm sure there are a lot of people who pick Stowe or Woodstock anyways and just pay the extra taxes but there are plenty of places in New Hampshire with similar quality of life where an affluent telecommuter can keep a heck of a lot more of their income.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:58 PM
809 posts, read 678,128 times
Reputation: 1333
If Vermont is lucky, it will structure its tax system so that the wealthiest residents are held in awe by their non-resident lessers. The question, "You can afford to live in Vermont???" will be delivered in the same tone as, "You can afford to live in Monaco???" There's something to be said for being one of the few who can afford to live somewhere special.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:56 PM
221 posts, read 266,300 times
Reputation: 375
Man, you REALLY don't want that to happen.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:31 PM
809 posts, read 678,128 times
Reputation: 1333
It sounds like you've seen that situation!
What was it like?
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