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Old 04-06-2019, 06:29 PM
2 posts, read 858 times
Reputation: 15


Hi, there!

This is my first post in this forum so please forgive me if I make any missteps.

I am about to accept a job in Sunderland, VT (on the verge of dream job, very excited!) and will be relocating from outside of Philly in NJ. I went to college in Southern NH and have spent some very fun times in various areas of VT - fishing, hiking, camping, etc. I work in the outdoor industry and love all things outdoors, although admittedly I'm obviously pretty used to a more urban/suburban feel for life being from NJ. I'm in my early 30s - and boyfriend will be joining me on this adventure. We don't have kids.

It is sort of hard to get an idea of the apartment rental market in the areas I've been looking at online (zillow, craigslist, etc.) and a few people I've spoken with said word-of-mouth, local papers and making connections is the best way to find good housing options.

Anyway, Bennington seems to be right in the sweet spot for me in regards to mileage to work, access to bigger box stores, still in an area with easy access to outdoor recreation spots.

I've been trying to get a feel for Bennington - I've heard positives, but also some negatives - and wondering if maybe anyone has some input from their experience living there?

Or suggestions from other areas that are sort of in the 15/20 mile radius from Sunderland? I'm keeping my eyes open in Manchester and Arlington - although from the little bit of rental postings I can see it seems like there are less options available.

Also, want to get a gut check on finding a 2 bedroom place for between $1000-$1100/month all in? Convos I had with a few folks in the area seemed to think that wouldn't be an issue, but I'm getting nervous as time to move gets closer.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Yac; 12-01-2020 at 02:33 AM..
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:58 PM
441 posts, read 418,835 times
Reputation: 1009
Bennington is kind of a crummy town. It would be very low on my list of places I would want to live. That is not to say there are not some nice areas, check out the historic area around the monument and there is the town of North Bennington. However, Bennington proper, the area around mainstreet is pretty bleak. It used to be depressed, but since the bypass has gone in, I think it is actually worse. Not much there. Box stores? Yes if you need that you will come to Bennington for those. If I had a job in Sunderland I would live in that area. Essentially you can live anywhere from Manchester to Bennington along RT 7. It is beautiful countryside, rural. Arlington is a nice little town, Nothing in Shaftsbury but a nice area. Personally I think you will find yourself spending more time in Manchester than Bennington so I would look for someplace closer to manchester then bennington. As far as "easy access to outdoor recreation spots." well that is anywhere in VT as that is all there really is..outdoor recreation. I wish I could help you on housing but not something I am familiar with other than to say I hear it is expensive where ever you go in VT. Summers coming though, buy yourself a cheap rv or trailer and spend the summer in a campground while you scope things out and search for a place to live.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:26 AM
3,111 posts, read 1,328,547 times
Reputation: 4529
I love Bennington. Manchester is close too and it's beautiful on the surface but it's mostly attuned to affluent folks from NY & NJ. The Northshire Bookstore is a treasure but everything else is just outlet and tourist heaven for the NY/NJ crowd. My wife likes going down there to do outlet shopping but Bennington has more appeal to me.

Bennington is arguably the most historic town in VT. The downtown is holding its own as best you can expect most downtowns to do these days. My son lives down that way and when we visit I like eating at the Madison Brewing Company, or for a quick lunch maybe Ramuntos. There are other places I'd like to try too.

To me Bennington is real. It's a feeling I don't get in Manchester. Were we to sell our present property, though I could easily afford Manchester, I would look to buy a condo in Bennington and another in NC to be near the kids and split our time between the two.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:14 PM
Location: The Woods
17,584 posts, read 23,626,653 times
Reputation: 10189
If you can just live in Sunderland, I'd do that. The state hasn't done a great job in winter in recent years so the shorter your winter drive the better. I'd rather do the drive to Bennington for shopping once a week or less often than do it everyday. Plus you'll get a lot more peace and quiet outside of Bennington. That area is full of national forest lands to explore. For instance most of the unorganized town of Glastenbury is national forest.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:07 AM
2 posts, read 858 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you very much for all the feedback - I really appreciate it! Definitely helps me move closer towards coming up with a plan.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:48 AM
Location: Southern VT
45 posts, read 41,031 times
Reputation: 224
Are you moving solo or with family? Do you want to live in a village or out in the woods?

The only real towns with anything going on in the area are Bennington and Manchester. Bennington is a working class town with plenty of issues, but also plenty of variety and things to do. It's the main town in the area and has the hospital, colleges, shopping, and most of the services you'd need. The nicer areas of town are North Bennington, Old Bennington, and some of the neighborhoods on the south and west sides of town. You might want to avoid living in some of the lower income areas downtown, but it's by no means a dangerous place, just a little run down in places. There's a good variety of restaurants, bars, and things to do in and around town. You can get to Troy NY in 40 min, Albany in 60, and Williamstown MA in 15.

Manchester is real nice town 15 min north of Sunderland. It's long been a tourist town, and a very large influx of out of staters come in on the weekends. Manch definitely has a different vibe, as it's pretty affluent and has a lot of shopping outlets, restaurants, and hotels/inns. If you have kids you might want to look in Manchester, as there are great schools in the area.

Both places have excellent access to the outdoors.
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