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Old 01-28-2017, 10:59 PM
 
32 posts, read 24,731 times
Reputation: 23

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Good evening,

I will be making a career change soon, which allows me to live anywhere in the U.S. and work from home with occasional travel. My family lives in Las Vegas, NV and with two young daughters, we have decided that sin city is not the ideal place to raise them. Our desire is to relocate to the northeastern U.S. and specifically we are looking at: Upstate New York (e.g., Saratoga Springs, Albany, Plattsburgh), Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts (Berkshires).

I have read a ton of blogs, websites, and this forum but haven't quite found the information I am looking for. As background on my family, we are transracial (my wife and I are white, we adopted two girls at birth who are black - they are now 7 and 11 years old). One nice thing about Vegas is - no one cares or even thinks twice about our family. We lived in a smaller town in another state before Vegas and we had problems with both whites and blacks who did not approve of our family and we certainly do not want to deal with that again.

A few other points for consideration: Our kids attend an accredited school online, so we aren't concerned about school districts and I will need to be within an hour or two of a decent sized airport (e.g., Burlington or Albany airport would be just fine as an example). We are also a very active family and we would like easy access to trails, hiking, biking, etc.

Ideally, we would like to find some private property (10+ acres) that either has a home on it or we can build, that is secluded but also within an hour or less drive of a metropolitan area that has things to do, stores, restaurants, etc. as well as to the airport. My wife would like to do some organic farming/homesteading on the property too. Our budget for housing is around $600K.

I have read some posts on city-data as well as news outlets that seem to indicate there have been some racism issues in Vermont, including some neo-nazi and KKK activity. I also know that one story can be blown out of proportion so I am trying to gauge how significant any problem(s) may be. Additionally, some posts seem to indicate a problem with law enforcement corruption or targeting individuals based on race. Again, I know this can be anywhere or not even accurate...but I saw it in enough different posts that it caused me to pause.

In addition to the above, our desires/requirements in our new area are:
  • Racial acceptance/tolerance
  • Good healthcare in the area (no specific needs but nice to know a competent ER is fairly close)
  • Dependable high-speed Internet (absolute requirement for my job)
  • Property conducive to homesteading/farming
  • Church in the area (we currently attend a Calvary Chapel) so looking for non-denominational that is either a Calvary Chapel or similar that provides expository teaching

Thank you in advance for your time and any information you can provide.
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:42 AM
 
369 posts, read 295,357 times
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Your posts seems too broad. Your asking about all of New England and then throw in upstate NY. Big area. There is nothing in Vegas that compares to anything in your new area. The things you want are probably available in any state.

In terms of racism in VT. I am not sure what the kkk nazi thing is you saw. I have lived in VT for about 40 years and kkk and nazi groups are not something I have ever seen. Vermont doesn't have any black people so not sure what they would be protesting..Vermont overall is probably the most liberal progressive state of the ones you have mentioned. So there is a large group of people accepting of many lifestyles and racial cultural makeups. On the flip side of the coin it is also an extremely rural state, truthfully depending on where you settle your girls may never see another black person. There are not a lot of black people in VT. It is about the whitest state you can imagine. I believe we had two black people in my town. There are few enough so if you live in a small town everyone will remember if there is a black person that lives there. Your girls will stand out. I will point out that much of the rest of New England and upstate NY is very similar in terms of racial makeup. What you find in terms of acceptance I am not sure, not being black, I do not have real insight on the issue. I will say New England, even rural NE is not the deep south. You still have some backwards people, racists views, but where do you go in this country and not have to deal with some of that? I would also caution against listening to a rather questionable person that seems to post lengthy rants on the VT forum about such things.

In terms of church, I know around my house there is a calvary chapel and in brattleboro there is an agape church which might be similar. Overall VT is a very secular place. Churches are often small, closed or ill attended. Personally I am not a believer in any type of religion and I think you are going to find a lot of people in VT with that same feeling. I live in the south on the georgia state line during the winter where there is a church literally on every corner and instead of people saying "have a nice day" it is often "have a blessed day" yeah, your not going to get that in VT. I think NE in general might be a lonely place for an Evangelical type of person. You may want to move "what church will I go to" to the top of the list if it is very important then look for the place you will live based on that location.

High speed internet is available in much of VT but not everywhere. You need to watch that.

VT has overall lousy farm land. If your homesteading with a garden that is a different issue. Any soil can be improved. Do not buy north facing property.

Healthcare is in the eye of the beholder. The major towns in VT will all have an ER to handle broken limbs and at the very least stabilize you for a helicopter ride if things are real bad.
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:14 AM
 
32 posts, read 24,731 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarpeg View Post
Your posts seems too broad. Your asking about all of New England and then throw in upstate NY. Big area. There is nothing in Vegas that compares to anything in your new area. The things you want are probably available in any state.

In terms of racism in VT. I am not sure what the kkk nazi thing is you saw. I have lived in VT for about 40 years and kkk and nazi groups are not something I have ever seen. Vermont doesn't have any black people so not sure what they would be protesting..Vermont overall is probably the most liberal progressive state of the ones you have mentioned. So there is a large group of people accepting of many lifestyles and racial cultural makeups. On the flip side of the coin it is also an extremely rural state, truthfully depending on where you settle your girls may never see another black person. There are not a lot of black people in VT. It is about the whitest state you can imagine. I believe we had two black people in my town. There are few enough so if you live in a small town everyone will remember if there is a black person that lives there. Your girls will stand out. I will point out that much of the rest of New England and upstate NY is very similar in terms of racial makeup. What you find in terms of acceptance I am not sure, not being black, I do not have real insight on the issue. I will say New England, even rural NE is not the deep south. You still have some backwards people, racists views, but where do you go in this country and not have to deal with some of that? I would also caution against listening to a rather questionable person that seems to post lengthy rants on the VT forum about such things.

In terms of church, I know around my house there is a calvary chapel and in brattleboro there is an agape church which might be similar. Overall VT is a very secular place. Churches are often small, closed or ill attended. Personally I am not a believer in any type of religion and I think you are going to find a lot of people in VT with that same feeling. I live in the south on the georgia state line during the winter where there is a church literally on every corner and instead of people saying "have a nice day" it is often "have a blessed day" yeah, your not going to get that in VT. I think NE in general might be a lonely place for an Evangelical type of person. You may want to move "what church will I go to" to the top of the list if it is very important then look for the place you will live based on that location.

High speed internet is available in much of VT but not everywhere. You need to watch that.

VT has overall lousy farm land. If your homesteading with a garden that is a different issue. Any soil can be improved. Do not buy north facing property.

Healthcare is in the eye of the beholder. The major towns in VT will all have an ER to handle broken limbs and at the very least stabilize you for a helicopter ride if things are real bad.
Squarpeg, thank you very much for taking the time to write this; it is the perfect feedback.
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Old 01-29-2017, 01:56 PM
 
2,781 posts, read 998,477 times
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I would second what squarepeg said for the most part.

Vermont is more secular than it is religious, though you do see some of the evangelical type churches here and there. Northern New England as a whole is not particularly diverse racially. There are few blacks anywhere. In Vermont the Burlington area is going to be the most diverse part of the State and is where your daughters would see other black children. The problem is that to have 10 acres you are going to have to go to a smaller town where there likely will be little if any racial diversity. Check carefully on the quality of the internet if you are out in the countryside. What you are used to in Las Vegas is not going to be an automatic everywhere you look, so watch that one carefully.

What Northern New England (VT, NH, & ME) does offer is a live and let live kind of culture and kind of a laid back way of doing things. To my way of thinking the quality of life is very high.

Something to think about that might help narrow things down for you is to look at college towns being the student body and staff is likely more diverse than typical towns, and chances are better that the internet infrastructure is going to up to par too.

In most of New England if you put a shovel into the ground you will hit a stone. This is why we have stone walls everywhere. The stones don't interfere with growing hay, fruit trees, or pasturing animals. It might be a bit of work getting a veggie garden spot established but once you do the maintenance isn't too bad either. I have a 1/3 acre veggie garden and it doesn't take me long each spring to pick up stones that have surfaced over the winter. Occasionally there might be a larger one surfacing somewhere on the lawn or in a field I mow that I need to dig up, but there is always a spot on the stone wall along the road to put it. The top soil layer may be thin on hillsides and wooded areas, but bottom lands are pretty decent. My garden yields prolifically without any fertilizer at all. In the fall I dump the leaves from my yard onto the garden, rototill it in, then during the winter dump the ash from my wood stove onto the garden, and in the spring rototill it again. That's all it gets.

On healthcare, depending upon where you live in VT, you would likely choose the Univ. of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington or Dartmouth Hitchcock just across the border in Lebanon NH for major things you don't want a local hospital for. Both are world class operations, but there local hospitals too not far from anywhere.

Good luck in your search, and welcome to Vermont if this is where you choose.
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Old 01-29-2017, 07:51 PM
 
32 posts, read 24,731 times
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Biker53: Very articulate post, thank you so much for the details and information - it really helps. I think your suggestion of college towns is a great one and appreciate the feedback about the land and healthcare.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:19 AM
 
809 posts, read 672,591 times
Reputation: 1332
296359, when you settle here, you'll definitely want to look into supporting the establishment of Primary Universal Care in Vermont. It's a low-cost form of health coverage which will ensure that everybody is able to be seen by their doctor, even if they lose their job.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Johnson city, ny
90 posts, read 34,728 times
Reputation: 287
I came to this actually looking for our family as well and can add from another area you spoke of. I am a native WNYer and keep it in my heart. It's the first place I would call home and would love to go back but for our family member having quite a different diversity from yours. He wouldn't be bothered but there are better places for us in other ways although it has still been up there for discussion.

I grew up in Niagara Falls but also lived in the outer areas all through WNY. Ethnically, WNY is not diverse and is primarily white in the smaller towns surrounding Niagara Falls-it's agreed for this point. However, there are other places that have a large mix of cultures. My first love, of being everywhere and for this very reason, was Niagara Falls. Buffalo is another really great place and although Cuomo is having some difficulties, he's really brought some life back into both great places with the funding he pushed for, the properties sold over the past couple decades surrounding the falls and many areas being wasted in Buffalo totally new and booming. Both cities have some crime and Niagara Falls seems to be risen this past year. I am saddened it is portrayed as a gang wasteland. The downtown area surrounding the Falls itself has a good area that I would be careful of as far as living to (and only over night) but there is an area surrounding it on both sides-LaSalle and Deveaux. You have complete access for good work from both these areas, you will be very safe, your family can integrate easily and your children will have both cultures around them. They are close enough to Falls parks, district events and shopping as well as being able to access any jobs in Cheektowaga, Hamburg, Lockport, Buffalo and any other area. I've lived all over the US and outside of it and don't take for granted the availability of work in any surrounding areas for most occupations and real accessibility to openings. My first advice, of course, is to go see the beautiful areas for at least a mini vacation. My family camps there for next to nothing when we come in and, at worst, your family gets to see one of the things I am most proud of from my life-Niagara Falls.

Everywhere I've looked, no matter the state with even our family's challenge, I've found that any larger towns with universities are more integrated culturally and anyone blends in to different levels and depending on the part of town. I want to say that growing up in the north, there is no racism and I was brought up that way but I think there's always this little implicit separation. Living in the south however, it is more intrusive in your life then the north by far, even in the worst small towns there are racially up north. Vermont sounds about the same as the outer small towns as where I lived around; there were always a couple of black families in the towns and they were part of the community without problems. The Niagara Falls area was one I know for certain have been home to so many different cultures and even many mixed racial couples that would have had problems living in other areas for the time 30 years ago but lived happily with many friends there.

I'm learning you aren't going to find an ideal but you can find places to have friends, have culture and feel happy with any kind of person around you. You just have to go by which parts are the most important to your family together. Best of luck. If you ever have any questions about my old neck of the woods, please feel free to ask.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:16 PM
 
2,781 posts, read 998,477 times
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296539, I realize that I wasn't clear on one critical point. Though there is little in the way of racial diversity in most of Vermont, you would find that people are accepting of your kids. Folks are pretty socially liberal here and race is just going to be an issue. Your issue is whether you'd be OK with there being limited racial diversity, not whether the folks living here are racist. The difference between liberals and conservatives here tend to more be fiscal policy and regulation, not social issues, and this is coming from a conservative who lives in one of the more conservative parts of the State.

Good luck to you in your search.
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