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Old 03-25-2015, 12:55 PM
6 posts, read 4,938 times
Reputation: 10


I know there are a ton of threads of this, and everyone is different, but I am about to make a big life changing move into the NE region where we will more than likely be permanent.

I am from upstate NY and ended up moving to Oklahoma - after getting married and having a kid, we have decided that it is time to move from this hellhole and go somewhere we fit into better. We live in the SW region of OK, known as the armpit of the south, and it is AWFUL. Our crime rate for only 90k people is close to (per capita) much larger and known bad cities. We want to raise a kid, but not here - we have already had a few attempted break-ins, someone tried to steal our dogs, and a few crack dens just got busted.

Now, a bit about us: We are fairly libertarian but we pull from each side. Our family considers us a tad socialist in some ways, since we believe in public works and assistance, having had to use them before when we were in hard times. We like our guns but understand the need for some control. We are HUGE naturalists - we love being outside (which we can't do in OK because you will bake to death) and love gardening, running a small farm, etc... As for hobbies, it is taking care of the homestead - the feeling of doing things ourselves and being self-sufficient is rewarding and exciting. We both grew up on farms, so the lifestyle fits right in with us. Lastly, for our kid, we understand that taxes pay into things we may or may not use - NE has a good reputation of investing in their schools and providing a lot more options for curriculum that what OK does. Overall, any school that isn't in OK will probably do better, and we are willing to pay for it because we already pay the same property tax rates as we would in Upstate NY, which is sad...

Now, I have already done a lot of research because we get one shot at a state - we have saved up enough to move comfortably this year, but that's it for now. From what I read, VT is more socialist, whereas NH is more middle of the road. Both are very green, but I heard it termed that NH is more like Arkansas with snow - I am looking for green and hills, winding roads, etc... Think backwoods upstate NY, like out in Pulaski, Orwell, and Redfield. NH is more business friendly, hence more jobs, but is much more sprawling. NH also is tax free.

Our ideal situation is this: Move to a house (preferred older, we love 1800's homes, lived in them and love the look and feel) with some acreage, 10 or so, and run a small farm with the usual fowl and small livestock. We also want to continue beekeeping. I want an IT job within 30-45 minutes of where I live, so it has to be within range of a known town/city. We also want to be able to go out to regional events when they pop up, think Apple Butter Festival in Missouri or the Vermont Maple Festival - those are fun to us. Farmers markets and local food is a huge deal to us. I grew up trading produce with our Amish neighbors and trading berries for milk and corn with our dairy friend - we want similar environments.

With all of this, it seems the Burlington, VT area fits the bill close enough, especially since I have been through there once after taking a ferry over from the ADK mountains. Otherwise, I am blind to the rest of VT and NH. We want to stay out of the sprawl, especially places like Nashua NH, but I understand that jobs can be hard at times. I am lucky to by working IT and having a lot of recruiters hitting me up in those two states, but I know the implications of working IT...

Your thoughts on this situation are appreciated - anywhere is better than where we are, but I am tired of moving and am finally getting into jobs that pay where I can afford a house and still save, do hobbies, etc... so I want to settle down soon, especially for our kid's sake when she starts school. We are just tired of the heat, the politics that don't match us, the pay for my line of work, and the friggin towns in this region are huge crime hubs. Oh, and taxes that are the highest in the region but not benefiting anything... If I am going to get taxed like NE, I want my teachers to not be paid less than our secretaries and the buildings to be something other than small pole barns for each class, which yes, is a thing. Our middle school has quite a few classes in these dumpy looking barns. I was taxed less in Upstate NY and the schools were amazing - yet they complain about their taxes and don't realize it gets worse...
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:28 PM
809 posts, read 677,551 times
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I regularly helped my relatives with the wheat harvest in that section of Oklahoma, and I was dismayed at the eviscerated civic life.

If you're not the sort who believes in pitching in to help make things better for all, I'd recommend living in New Hampshire. Over half the adults now in Vermont moved here during the Sixties and Seventies to get back to the land, establish a good community and give everybody's kids a good shot at life.

A sizable minority of the rest that are here expect life to be just hunky-dory for them and get extremely grumpy when they find out it doesn't fit their preconceptions. At least the people who try to make a community work accept that they have to live with disappointment when their efforts fail--and they're willing to try a different approach to the problem.

So, when you look at a place in Vermont to settle, find out who the activists are and what they are active about. See if those are activities you would like to be involved with. It'll give you a very good sense of whether it'll be a good fit in the long run.

As for living in a rural area, consider how often you'd want to go into town. If your daughter gets into a lot of school activities, for example, you might face some really hellish trips five months of the year!
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:08 PM
6 posts, read 4,938 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for some of the input - our family is definitely somewhat to ourselves, but still like to interact and help out where we can for causes we support. Again, I grew up around other farmers who would help out each other where need be - it was just what you did. The farms in NE Oklahoma are that way as well - my wife's neighbors would help run the cattle, give each other bales of hay if they couldn't get to theirs, etc...

As for going into town - I do not worry too much. Living in/around Oswego NY during lake effect snow taught me a lot, like how AWD and 4WD are your friends, how to drive correctly, etc... It's amusing to see drivers in OK deal with 6 inches of snow - schools get closed, roads are considered dangerous, and the stores get raided. Where I lived, it wasn't unusual to see your door snowed in 4 feet up, hopping out the second story, shoveling out a walkway, and making sure you got on the bus because the roads got plowed.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:33 PM
Location: San Francisco, CA & Sharon, VT
168 posts, read 187,475 times
Reputation: 391
Default Mad River / Champlain Valley

My 2 cents - look at the Champlain Valley b/w Fair Haven and Shoreham - close enough to Burlington (and college amenities of Middlebury), but cheaper.... and presumably close to your relatives in NYS. Or the Mad River Valley - Waitsfield, Warren, etc. Still relatively easy access to Burlington (and Montpelier), beautiful, great small farm / local community culture. If we didn't already own land in the Upper Valley, I'd be focusing on the Mad River area myself.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:58 AM
Location: Vermont
3,329 posts, read 8,783,330 times
Reputation: 1996
If you are looking for an agrarian landscape with rolling hills, open fields, long views etc then you've described Vermont. NH is much more wooded....especially southern NH where the jobs are. Southern central and eastern NH are becoming absorbed into the Boston metro.
What type of IT job are you looking for? Network administration? Software development? In Vermont, your best bet is going to be in the Burlington area.
For more affordable properties with larger plots of land commutable to the Burlington area you should look into southern Franklin County or northern Addison County. Franklin and Addison counties are big farming counties.
Local foods and farmers markets are a way of life here for many and are easily available. Plenty of festivals all over Vermont year round.
What it boils down to is where you can find work. Have you poked around employers in the Burlington area at all to see what type of work is available in your line of IT?
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:54 AM
56 posts, read 57,553 times
Reputation: 173
I agree with the post above.
You have to have a job lined up and prospects to make money to live here if that job goes away or you get laid off.
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