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Old 06-20-2008, 02:19 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,477 times
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Hello!

First I would like to thank anyone who has taken the time to read this posting. My husband and I are in the process of making a life changing choice and we are hoping to get additional information to help us in this process. We are both from MA, I have been here my whole life, my husband spent his college years in Castleton and loved it. My husband has been in line for a job in the Derby area. This morning they called with the offer, which we were told decision would not be made for a 2-3 monthes. We have until Monday to decide. I have thoughly read posts regarding cost of living differances and am aware many of the points pros and cons.

We are a family of 4. My children are 3 & 5. My older one will start kindergarden in the fall. We would like to be the max an hour away from Derby Line. Schools and community are very much apart of our lives. A major choice is what town would be best. I have been looking at schools for a number of weeks and found some towns that test score wise for elementry look good on paper. I cannot seem to find much information on line about preschools (not daycare). I am concerned for here the best preschools are on a lottery system and the children have been placed since Feb. How does it work in the Derby area? But wanted to get some opions on what towns are strong for education along with community. By community I mean programs for children- sports, playgroups, town events, children's activities, dance classes? maybe.

Also I am wondering where the shopping hubs are in the area? I completely understand it is nothing like the area I am from and that many of the store I requent now are more towards Burlington, but am wondering where most do there main frame shopping. A question which is difficult to answer due to a variety of areas but hoping for ideas. I love the family owned business- I even run one, but like the option of some of the chains when avaible.

I love the Vermont atmostphere, and we feel we would all love it. With little time to think, we are trying to sort out everything FAST. A trip we had planned for mid July is being pushed up to this Sunday, so we can see the area maybe meet with some real estate agents etc.

There is much information out there about the Burlington area, but I am hoping to get some great thoughts out there that could benefit me. Again I thank you for reading this long story of our current life situation and appreciate all advice you have to give.

All my best, Monet1902
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Old 06-20-2008, 02:43 PM
 
122 posts, read 415,349 times
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My family passes through the Derby, Derby Line, Newport area when traveling up to our family camp in the NEK. As far as I can tell, not having ever lived in that area, the primary shopping is in Newport, just a few miles south of Derby, and also in St. Jonsbury, a little further away on I-91.

As for family activities and the other qualities you're looking for, Derby will be a tighter-knit community than Newport, definitely smaller. There's a nice farmer's market in Newport, a big pond (more like a lake) and a little downtown. I'm sure you're in for quite a culture shock, however. I wish you luck in your visit on Sunday. Just don't make a hasty decision based on a job.
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,331 posts, read 8,790,004 times
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I would advise living in the immediate area. You do not want an hour commute in the winter time! Newport/Derby will be your main shopping area. There is a nice mall about 1/2 hour north in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Can't help with schools, but do know that Coventry does not belong to a union district so you'd have school choice at the high school level. Lots of kids choose to go to Stanstead College (high school) in Quebec.
You will be in for culture shock. The area is small!
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Old 06-20-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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Default Thanks....

Yes we are prepared for culture shock. We spend summers on Lake Winnipesaukee, in Moultonboro NH that area is much quieter than what we live daily in- but we love it and would move there in a heartbeat. There are many of the same tones I have felt in VT and would love that calmer pace of life, I think N Kingdom is even quieter than our summer home.

Our biggest worry is housing and schools. Finding a strong school system. I did not know of the option of going to high school in Canada, that is very interesting I will have to look further into that.

How bad our the roads in the winter, we are quite acustom to driving in snow. I am sure 91 is kept clear, but how about some of the other routes, such as 105? We had thought of towns such as Charleston, Guildhall Strafford, Glover, or Brownington. My husband does not mind traveling up to an hour, but I am worried about that being too far. How essential is 4 wheel drive in the area? Any thoughts on those towns or other suggestions?

Again thank you for taking the time to read this and respond!!!

Monet1902
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,331 posts, read 8,790,004 times
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Another option would be St. Johnsbury, about 45 minutes south. Your kids would go to St. Johnsbury Academy at the high school level which is a fantastic school. St. Johnsbury
Moultonboro and Lake Winny are nothing like the Kingdom. The Winny area is very tourist oriented with many second homes. The Kingdom is quiet-many find it isolating. Just a bunch of very small towns.
Roads are kept well in the winter, but I seriously would not want to do an hour commute each day, especially in the winter. 4x4 is not necessary, but helpful. A front wheel drive vehicle with snow tires does great in the snow.
I'd cross Guildhall off the list as it's pretty far. Strafford? Thats way down by Thetford/Royalton/White River Junction area. Way to far.
To answer one other question, most people go to Littleton NH (Walmart, Lowe's, HD, etc) or Burlington (malls, WM, HD, etc) for a major shopping expedition. You can do your everyday type shopping (groceries, hardware store, drug store, etc) in Newport/Derby. A Wal Mart is supposidly going to be built there in the next few years.
Do you keep your eyes wide open when you come to visit.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,068,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vter View Post
Another option would be St. Johnsbury, about 45 minutes south. Your kids would go to St. Johnsbury Academy at the high school level which is a fantastic school. St. Johnsbury
Moultonboro and Lake Winny are nothing like the Kingdom. The Winny area is very tourist oriented with many second homes. The Kingdom is quiet-many find it isolating. Just a bunch of very small towns.
Roads are kept well in the winter, but I seriously would not want to do an hour commute each day, especially in the winter. 4x4 is not necessary, but helpful. A front wheel drive vehicle with snow tires does great in the snow.
I'd cross Guildhall off the list as it's pretty far. Strafford? Thats way down by Thetford/Royalton/White River Junction area. Way to far.
To answer one other question, most people go to Littleton NH (Walmart, Lowe's, HD, etc) or Burlington (malls, WM, HD, etc) for a major shopping expedition. You can do your everyday type shopping (groceries, hardware store, drug store, etc) in Newport/Derby. A Wal Mart is supposidly going to be built there in the next few years.
Do you keep your eyes wide open when you come to visit.
Good advice. I would also say not to live up to an hour away. Winter in the NEK is much more harsh than in Mass. or Castleton for that matter. Keep and open eye and an open mind. Also take a trip to St J or Littleton to see if you could live with that commute for a shopping trip. I think Burlington would be a major trip. Good luck.
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
1,943 posts, read 3,239,395 times
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Many, many years ago when we first considered moving to VT full time, I looked into the Newport area...we knew to expect pretty small towns, but holy cow it is quiet up there...absolutely beautiful - breathtaking, lack of words to describe the scenery, but I knew it would not work for us. But the proximity to all things Canadian is awesome...I didn't realize you could send the kids to school in Quebec - that is really neat!!!

And yeah, Moultonboro and the Lakes area are much, much busier, even in the non-touristy seasons....
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Old 06-20-2008, 07:53 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,422,894 times
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All the points made are true. Winters in the NEK can be much colder and the region is remote. The lakes region in NH is no comparison. Unless money and time are no object I would strongly suggest to keep your commute distance as short as possible. I know two people, one from Newport and the other from Lowell that commute for work to the Burlington area and what a few years ago seemed tolerable become old with time and ever so brutal now with the cost of gas.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Burlington Vermont
37 posts, read 80,911 times
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Default burlington - derby commute

Hi Monet1902,

The commute from Burlington to the Derby in the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) of VT is long, over 2 hours. And its a long 2 hours as much of it is on state roads b/b the interstate doesn't offer a good route b/n the two. If you're coming up tomorrow, I'd suggest driving the route to see if its something you really want to do everyday, and yes consider winter time. There should be plenty of open houses on Sunday for you to see properties while you're in Chittenden County.

Hope this helps.

Pike
MOD CUT - NO RE advertising

Last edited by vter; 06-21-2008 at 05:09 PM.. Reason: mod cut-can't advertise real estate co.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:29 AM
 
4 posts, read 8,477 times
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Default Again thank you!

My husband and I did make the trip yesterday... we were overwhelmed with the beauty of the area. We can see ourselves up there- everyone seemed so friendly and evereyone we spoke to with questions took some time to talk with us. We are serouisly considering Vermont. The school/community questions still are there - we saw Newport, Derby Troy, and many others along 105. We wished we had time to look at Morgan, Brownington, & Charleston. We have another 24 hours to decide and this is probbley one of the tuffest decisions of our lives. I have taken everyones advice and am using it to formulate the plan. Does anyone know about the Derby rec center what is there? How about the library are there and programs for children other than story hour? Is there a MOMs Club in the town/county? Are there any known fun activities for kids near by on the US or Canada side- not nescessarliy tourist attractions but just neat places to go or things to do with children?

Thanks again for your time!!!
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