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Old 03-04-2008, 06:57 PM
 
19 posts, read 58,174 times
Reputation: 17
Default Why is VT considered expensive?

I don't understand why so many posts say VT is an expensive state to live in.

I am considering moving up there if I get a teaching job, which I checked the average salary with my MA and extra credits is somewhere around mid 40's to 50's. I make only 60K in NYC and my husband only makes 55K, while that sounds like a lot, we can't buy a house here on that because the homes in our safe little part of the boro are over 700K for anything at all decent, and we are talking about a 30 by 50 cape with maybe a driveway. It's so disgusting to me. We have two kids and there is nowhere for them to play.

I've had to take them to upstate NY to enjoy the country life and we all just love it. But upstate NY is getting really expensive and the towns are much more spread out and the job opportunities there are even less.

I like VT because you can get a house for around 250K with some property and still be close to a "village" or grocery store. And we all love art (not MOMA and MET) and nature and don't want our kids to go to Ivy League. We just want a decent school, with decent families, that end up at normal colleges. I like Bennington and Malboro College. We want them to be able to ride their bikes to school or at least around the block. I like that so many areas of VT have public "swim holes". Even in upstate NY, people are very territorial about their land and you have to be a clearly designated "public area."

So I thought it would be great to live where we always vacation, that way we can stop pining for school breaks and our lives would be more harmonious.

Plus we can probably pay a good size down payment on a 250K house if we sell our co-op and just be normal working, mortgage paying workers. So why is it so expensive to live there. If housing 1/4 to 1/3 cheaper, and salaray is comparable as far as teachers and professionals (because I will aslo have an IT degree in a couple of years), and we eventually make about 80K, why is it so expensive to live there?
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Cedar City, UT
212 posts, read 894,016 times
Reputation: 110
Taxes for sure and utilities depending on where you end up.
Cost of Living 4th Quarter 2007
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Old 03-04-2008, 10:13 PM
 
22 posts, read 28,663 times
Reputation: 41
It also somewhat depends where you live in Vermont. If you want to live in Chittenden County, or any of the vacation towns like Stowe, Warren, Manchester, Dorset, etc., your housing dollar is not going to go nearly as far as you think (although depending on how much equity in your NYC co-op, you're probably fine moving literally anywhere else in the country other than perhaps San Francisco, Boston, Wash. DC, Greenwich, CT, etc.).

If you live elsewhere in the state besides Chittenden County and the towns mentioned above, it will probably seem like decent value next to NYC. Depending on what your husband does (is he teacher also?), it may, however, be difficult for him to replicate his salary outside of NYC area.

One area of upstate NY to consider is Plattsburgh - across lake from Burlington area and affordable and plenty of swimming holes. Not NYC 2nd home territory, such as Catskills or farther south.

If you are just looking to be able to afford a decent house with yard and still make roughly the same, the Southeast also has a ton of opportunities for teaching. I have relatives in Charlotte, NC area, which is affordable area, and there are teaching shortages in many areas.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:38 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 3,196,976 times
Reputation: 369
The OP makes some assumptions that jobs in their field will exist to possibly step into and that housing that meets their desires and needs for a desired 250k is also in the equation. Of course both are possible, but Vermont is full of college educated underemployed folks and housing pickings can be slim, at least in terms of choice and location. Taxes and energy costs combined with fairly low wages make life a challenge. Many find out that they will have to adjust their lifestyles from what they may have been used to in other states which in itself is not a bad thing, but can surprise some folks. Now that the dust has settled from town meetings it has become apparent that for the most part we have continued to dig ourselves deeper into a fiscal hole by approving in many cases some substantial budget increases. It is amazing how easily voters here will approve budgets that exceed inflation and cost of living increases by double or triple. I guess in general there is faith someone will have deep enough pockets to keep paying the tab. Maybe next year when taxes, energy, food, insurance, etc keeps increasing and wages fail to keep up we will have a clearer focus to put the brakes on spending.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Colchester, Vt
1,781 posts, read 2,509,381 times
Reputation: 829
Taxes and utility costs have been mentioned, but there are many other costs that many other states never face. For example the city of Rutland will no longer plow or salt at night or on weekends unless it's a danger to the public because this winter has cost the city a great deal of money. Many people think that the snow is so wonderful, but they don't realize the amount of money it costs to keep the roads clear.

My inlaws are retired school teachers and they retired after 35+ years making about that much money. It depends on where you live in the state. The salary range varies throughout the state. In Chittenden County the salaries will be higher and the jobs more sought after. The next problem is finding that job.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:54 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 13,454,105 times
Reputation: 4462
Good luck getting a teaching job. Hope you are VT certified or can be.
That's step #1.
I'm NYS permanently certified but I don't have the $$ to take tests and so forth to 'maybe' get a job. If I got one, I would do all that, obviously.

I'm not sure how well they pay here. I haven't pursued the teaching route because of 'roadblocks' right now.

Secondly, I am from Long Island and things here are expensive or just as costly as there, apart from houses and taxes. Food costs are the same and you don't get a lot of stores to choose from (depending where you live in VT).

Our electric bill is nutty..it jumped a lot this winter but that is because where we rent has a run down electric boiler/heater. Hopefully we can get the new landlord to address this as he eventually wants to move into this house, so he says.

Pay for 'many jobs' starts at $10 an hour (that's in a manufacturing environment). Okay for a supplemental job but not for the 'breadwinner.'

The weather is bad this winter, so you need to remember you have to have snowtires, extra items for the winter (sand, salt, kitty litter). We've supplied this all winter (the melting items), though the former landlord had someone plow, he never showed up before 10 am and my son's bus comes at 7:30...So the driveway is always a mess.

Finally, finding a job has been tough for me these last 2 months I have been seriously looking and I have 2 degrees. Maybe part of it is being a stay at home mom for so long and having a very scattered amount of experience.

The winter has been long and rough for our family. My husband says if we have another like this next year he wants out of here (to where, I don't know but not NY).

I don't regret moving here (except because I am depressed about the jobs) but 'cheaper'--oh, no...it's not, really.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
1,278 posts, read 1,838,141 times
Reputation: 529
NYC is probably one of the few places in the country that definitely has a higher cost of living than VT, but not by much. We also live in NYC and are planning a move to VT next year, but the main reason I am able to do this is that I can work from home, so I will be bringing my salary with me. Good paying jobs are hard to find in VT, and depending on where you live, the taxes and utilities are much higher than NYC.

We currently pay $4500 a year property taxes on our home in Queens...this obviously includes snow removal and trash...keep in mind that depending on where you live, you will have to pay for those things in VT. Also, winter is much longer in VT, so your heating will cost you more (especially if you are in a larger older home). Electric can be very expensive also.

I would have to say that every home we've looked at has property taxes higher than what we pay...Vermont is definitely not a place you are moving to if you want to save tons of money or make tons of money - but if you want to make certain sacrifices for a different quality of life, then it's something to consider.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Austin
4,063 posts, read 4,979,024 times
Reputation: 2018
If you are from the most expensive city in the country, anywhere else looks inexpensive. Not everyone is from NYC, and Vermont is very expensive compared to a lot of places. The salaries and opportunities do not match up to the cost of living.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:54 AM
 
2,896 posts, read 3,255,014 times
Reputation: 6077
Well, I'll give you two words for why Vermont is so expensive:

Property Taxes.

They're outrageous. I currently live in Southern California, which is also extremely expensive. My property taxes on my house are $6,000 a year. A house worth exactly the same amount in Vermont would cost me $13,200 a year.

I would love to retire to Vermont, but I will not be able to afford to ridiculously high property taxes.

Last month Forbes magazine listed the most highly taxed states and Vermont was #1 at 14% of a person's income. Alaska was at the bottom, they only tax 4% of a person's income. That's a vast difference.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 3,196,976 times
Reputation: 369
At the risk of beating a dead horse, it just astounds me that yet again the majority of towns here approved the budgets they have. Who will pay for all of the additions, a great number being not in the category of essential and necessary services, but rather feel good nice to have ammenities? We all will have to. Living within ones means just does not seem to carry much weight. I guess it's just easy to vote yea when you feel that everyone will have to pay. My Ford 150 does not have power windows, so with the euphoria of spending I think I'll go out this coming weekend and buy a new '08 with the bells and whistles. Oh, wait. I can't because I can't my employer to agree to give me a 10+ % raise this year.
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