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Old 04-07-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: on a dirt road in Waitsfield,Vermont
2,186 posts, read 6,080,150 times
Reputation: 1140

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vter View Post
I agree with Sheryl - it all comes down to one thing. Personal preferences.We have a beautiful piece of property and I find the taxes to be reasonable.
Also, as Sheryl said, only a miniscule amount of people are posting here. Of all my circle of friends, family & co-workers, they are all happy here.
So, Nancy....only you and your hubby can decide if it's worth it or not to go for the move. I wish you the best of luck!
Bingo! What Vermont offers isn't going to work for everybody.....no place does. If it did it would be one crowded place.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:10 AM
 
35 posts, read 111,373 times
Reputation: 17
One thing I've not seen mentioned in this post - I noticed when I moved her 13 years ago that many people here, perhaps because of the uncertainties or lack of employment, start their own small businesses. Often multiple ones. Our winter "plow guy" also does grading and concrete work in the summer. My husband's grown son works a day job but he and his wife design custom made furniture and other items to sell on the web and at flea markets. I imagine ultimately they will move from the day jobs to their businesses. I see people with gas stations, auction businesses, food-sales businesses, crafts, many freelance writers. I have been able to have a small business using my computer from home to design websites (8 years ago) and do medical writing and editing (now) and have more work than I can manage at better wages than I made (with no boss - yeah!).

However with 5 college degrees between my husband and I, and good mid level wages, I am amazed at how quickly our money goes here. It seems we just scrape by.

I read a study that showed that people working for lower (minimum) wages would have to work somewhere between 80 and 120 hours per week (impossible, right) to pay for a simple 2 bedroom apartment in either VT or NH. Ridiculous.

I also bought my home 10 years ago and don't know how any young couple could buy at today's prices. The real estate has gone up to ridiculous levels, in many areas even a decent small starter home is 300K+. Our area near Dartmouth is very high.

Still, we like the safety and natural beauty of the area, the safety for our kids, and the mountains in our backyard. For many years I lived in Mass. and regularly drove hours (2-4 each way) every weekend to hike in the area we now live in.

Everyone has to decide what is best for them or their family, but to survive here and feel really secure, I highly recommend considering the idea of a small business, or two or three. The people who really settle in and survive here seem to often do this, whether they are really laborer class or middle or upper class. I have never seen so many small entrepreneurs as I have in this area. Back in Massachusetts everyone just got in their car and drove to their company. In the morning, I return from school drop off and walk 10 feet from the kitchen to my "office". Nice commute!
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:27 AM
 
477 posts, read 864,816 times
Reputation: 605
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
might be easier to understand my view, if I related the story of a friend who bought a $6,000 house (yes that figure is right) on the Winooski River in the 1970s. He and his wife didn't have much of an income, and one of his joys was his (used) Mercedes. It was glorious riding down the river road in the middle of the night in that Mercedes, going to his home in the country with a massive stereo system, and chinchillas in the back room, and wonderful strong coffee and great discussions about life. The scenery, the ambiance, the life, all were wonderful.

He got sick. It was all gone within less than a year. He and his wife got divorced. I've driven by since then and beat my way through the weeds to visit the cellar hole and rubble.

It was beautiful while it lasted.
That could happen to anyone, in any State if they don't have good health insurance. Am I wrong?

I think it all comes down to your monthly expenses, your savings and what you want from life. My husband and I put a down payment on a home in upstate NY. It was selling for $275,000 (taxes $1100. yearly) fully furnished with a brand new 6 stall barn. The home was perfect for us and the price was right. We sold our home in VT and started moving into the NY home. The owner decided at the last minute he didn't want to sell the house. So we had to find a home quickly because we were retiring. We ended up buying this house. It is beautiful but the nicer it looks, the more taxes you will pay. We paid about $430,000 (taxes over $8,000. yearly) and we had to build a barn. I will be reaccessed for the second time in four years. My husband and I get our taxes reduced because we farm. Right now the market is bad so forget about selling. For what we paid for this home, it was worth every penny and when my husband and I look at other homes it just doesn't compare to this one so for now we are staying put. What I am getting at is if you move here, buy a small home with a few acres to play on and keep the money in your pocket because you are going to need it.
In a few years I can see the rich vacation homes up for sale and a lot less people living here. This State is like a beautiful woman (or man for that matter)......in the beginning, nice to look at....but you can't live on good looks.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,349 posts, read 8,929,612 times
Reputation: 2072
Re: buying a small home. Thats exactly what we did. We don't need a big house. We built a small house on five acres and pay about $3500 in taxes. We live a simple life and save our extra $$.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:16 PM
 
15 posts, read 34,958 times
Reputation: 13
I truly appreciate all your comments--and I know there is no magic formula that you can plug numbers into and voila--thumbs up or thumbs down for relocating to Vermont.

We have very simple lives too--we try not to accumulate, don't get into fashion, don't have any costly habits. If I could live a simple life for all of my days, I would be a happy person!

And yes, even more vital than money is health insurance but you need a job with benefits to get that. That is one of my concerns...

I know it is partially a matter of researching, weighing all the options and then (for a small aprt) taking a deep breath and jumping in. Nothing in life is secure.

I guess what weighs me down is the fact that Vermont has a relatively small population that is declining somewhat. Supply and demand... if you don't have enough demand then you don't need that much supply... translated lack of job growth.

By the way, everyone has mentioned the spiralling property taxes... what other taxes are rising? Taxes on wages? Sales taxes? Are those considered out of control?

Well, we might just have to take multiple trips and talk to some of "you" (Vermonters, native and otherwise), but thanks for the feedback. This forum is great because of the support you all give!
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,594,125 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancny View Post
And yes, even more vital than money is health insurance but you need a job with benefits to get that. That is one of my concerns...
We (the self-employed) pay $144 a month for both of us for MVP health insurance coverage. Okay, so we have a $25,000 deductible each, but we understand the risks and it's great motivation to maintain our healthy lifestyles. On principle, we believe in buying catastrophic coverage and paying out-of-pocket for affordable regular care anyway.

I'd rather give the $$$ to my providers than to an insurance company. I realize that people living with chronic conditions and/or expensive prescriptions can't necessarily do that.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Burlington VT
1,405 posts, read 4,424,718 times
Reputation: 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherylcatmom View Post
This is what I mean by the subjective experience. For me, born and raised in South Florida, the weather there was "nothing but depressing." I wilt and feel ill in heat & humidity. Vermont winters get a little long, but I'd take long Vermont winters over SFla summers anytime. I can always put on more clothes so I'm comfortable being outside. But in heat/humidity, I found myself trapped indoors most of the year. How do you acclimate to something you were born feeling yucky about?

I believe that Vermont does face challenges as described here. Look around the country -- every state does. Every nation in the world does. At least we still have viable agriculture to eat delicious food, which good luck getting in most states.

So it's not that things aren't tough here -- it's which challenges are you most able & willing to face? I'll take Vermont's.
The more of your posts I read, the gladder I am we're neighbors (albeit very distant ones)!
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Burlington VT
1,405 posts, read 4,424,718 times
Reputation: 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRVphotog View Post
Like today for instance....beautiful day....soft and sweet spring skiing....great day for cross country skiing, snowshoeing...just getting out there. The sap is flowing....pure Vermont...go outside and get some.

http://forums.skimrv.com/albums/album23/BushAllyns.jpg (broken link)
Fabulous photo!

I skied Sunday. Breathtaking. Green grass in the park outside my house, soft snow and blue skies at the ski areas. I skied all day in a ball cap and a windbreaker. If I hadn't had goggles on, I'd have needed sunglasses. 50f and barbeque at the base, 30f and grins all around at the summit. 5 ski areas and 2 countries in view from the top.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,594,125 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaz longue View Post
The more of your posts I read, the gladder I am we're neighbors (albeit very distant ones)!
Wow, thank you! I appreciate this message to smile about. :-)
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:23 PM
 
6,764 posts, read 20,044,392 times
Reputation: 4700
I'll tell you another very good thing about Vermont...

You can embrace 'natural' foods or 'vegetarianism' or whatever is a bit fringe in some other areas and NO ONE CARES.

You actually can very easily find vegetarian, vegan or alternative items here that you would be hard pressed to locate, even in NY.

My husband and son are no longer 'weird' because they don't eat meat. I can get them lots of things either in the supermarket or COOP and not feel like we're the oddballs.

I like a place where you can fly your freak flag (sorry hippies) and no one thinks you are strange.
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