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Old 07-14-2008, 08:15 AM
Location: Waterbury, VT
15 posts, read 32,968 times
Reputation: 20


Hi. I'm new to posting, but have been reading the forums for a few weeks now. My fiance has lived here for about a decade and has lived on the east coast all of his life. I am from the west coast and yes, we have been in a long distance relationship for quite awhile. As a teacher, I have been fortunate enough to visit during my winter, spring, and summer vacations, so I had a really good idea that Vermont would be where we decided to settle. I feel much more at peace here and I have to say, the people in Vermont are the nicest people I have ever met.

I do have a few questions, however, and perhaps anyone who has moved from the west coast or elsewhere may be able to relate and offer advice. I will also ask this in the general moving forum, but maybe someone from Vermont has experienced this. I need to get my car to Vermont and was planning on driving from CA to VT this summer. However, with the economy the way it is and learning that VT salaries are significantly lower than CA salaries, I need to think economically here for my move. Is it better to drive across the U.S. or just sell my car and buy a good used car here? My other question which goes along with this is...I have a Toyotal Corolla which was really good to me in CA....but would it be better for a first time winter driver to buy an all wheel or 4 wheel drive? My fiance assures me that I'll be fine in my little car, but he's from the east coast and is used to the weather conditions.

My other question is cost of living. As I notice on this forum, there are many questions/concerns about cost of living, but I'm wondering if anyone has come from an environment that was actually higher in costs and if they really do see a difference here. I already notice I pay about 1/3 in insurance, and my rent decreased about a third moving in with my fiance, but I'll also be making about half of my salary that I made in CA. I keep rationalizing that the peace and quiet alone will make up for this cut in pay.

Lastly, I took a job in Lyndonville. It seems to be a great fit for me, however, my fiance works in Burlington. Can anyone suggest a central location where we could live? The commute will be daunting in the winter, I know, and I may just rent a room closer to work during the winter. We are looking at Montpelier or north near Johnson. We'd prefer a country setting.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:13 AM
Location: Inis Fada
16,804 posts, read 29,028,345 times
Reputation: 7390
I'm only going to comment on getting a vehicle cross-country.

My friend moved from LI, NY to CA. She sold her car here and bought new in CA. She lived in a rather hilly community on LI and her little RX7 was slippy-slidy when things were icy. (Please note that small, hilly, side roads on LI aren't plowed as well as roads in VT.) She moved to a desert community in SoCal and maintains a cabin in the mountains so she purchased something there that was better suited to her new set of needs.

I've had the occasion to transport an antique motorcycle from San Diego to LI, NY about 8 years ago. Shipping for the bike cost $1,200 back then. Antique tractors from the midwest each cost a shade under $1K each about 5-6 years ago.

The cost of gas, the cost of lodging, wear and tear on the car, as well as the value of your time, cost of a good set of snow tires, should be taken into consideration when making your decision on whether or not to drive.

Also, consider what you could sell your car for in CA vs VT. I am not familiar with the economy of your current locale, but you might get more for it there to apply to a decent used one in VT.

Granted, if you fly some folks might say you've added that expense. But if you deduct the cost of the flight from what the drive would ultimately cost, you will either break even or be ahead of the game.
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:08 AM
Location: Vermont
3,328 posts, read 8,769,368 times
Reputation: 1991
Regarding living in the Johnson area and communting. Commuting to Lyndon and Burlington from this area is a LONG commute. Especially in winter. Not one I'd want to do, especially if you don't have any winter driving experience. Not to mention what gas costs now. You may want to re-consider that job in Lyndonville if you can (or have your fiance look for work in the LYndon/St. Johnsbury area).

Last edited by vter; 07-14-2008 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:17 AM
Location: Burlington Vermont
37 posts, read 80,818 times
Reputation: 13
Default long distance relationship

yes Burlington and Lyndonville are far away enough that you may still have a long distance relationship. Front wheel drive cars with good tires are generally fine for VT winters, but if you choose to live on a back road, this might not be the case. I couldn't recommend selling or keeping the car without knowing its condition and age. Older cars here will have some rust so yours may be in better condition and worth keeping. If its a real junker, sell it and get one here. If you haven't driven across the country and you have the time to make the trip at a slower pace, I'd suggest driving if only to see the country.

Finding a 1/2-way location b/n the two towns I think will be expensive and a time sucker for both of you. I'd suggest one of you moving closer to the other, or plan on living seperately and visit each other on weekends, etc.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:20 PM
Location: Waterbury, VT
15 posts, read 32,968 times
Reputation: 20
Thank you for your insights. We are thinking of looking in the Montpelier area which seems to be midway. I've suggested I stay in St. Johnsbury and see each other on weekends, but he won't hear of it. He's trying to convince me that the commute won't be any different than what he currently drives and what I drove in CA (sans winter roads). I have a 2005 Toyota Corrolla and a few weeks left of summer before the job starts, so maybe I will just drive it across country. Thanks again.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:30 PM
Location: Vermont
3,328 posts, read 8,769,368 times
Reputation: 1991
Montpelier to Lyndon wouldnt be tooo bad.....an hour or so in GOOD weather. Double that if the weather is bad. Don't count on school being closed every time it snows. Get yourself some good snow tires for your car and you'll be good to go.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:13 PM
Location: over here
231 posts, read 782,865 times
Reputation: 149
Good central location is Morrisville, VT area. I lived there for a brief time and drove to Williston for work. It's about 45 miles to Burlington and Lyndonville. As for the car...keep it. Good snow tires and you'll be able to go anywhere..(even some "backroads". I drove a Chevy Cavalier during my Morrisville days, and was passing 4 Wheel drives on the hills (they were using all season radials..). The commute in the winter will/would be "dicey" but in the summer well worth it. Plus, there are many car pool opportunities for both routes.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:10 AM
Location: Long Island
366 posts, read 910,715 times
Reputation: 130
Default Re: Communities

Are there any nice family communities in Vermont?
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:12 PM
2,143 posts, read 7,187,651 times
Reputation: 1138
Originally Posted by LIMAMA4 View Post
Are there any nice family communities in Vermont?
All of them. Even Rutland.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:15 PM
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,416,428 times
Reputation: 395
When we moved from Ak to Vt in '05 we kept our fairly new two vehicles and drove them across Canada and the USA. The only thing that bit us in the end was that Vt charged us sales tax on the blue book value of the vehicles at the time when we registered and titled them here. If you paid sales tax on them already in a prior state then you will need receipts to prove that. Luckily, the feds stepped in years ago and outlawed double charging of tax. For example, if in your prior state you paid lets say 4% tax on the purchase of a motor vehicle, then you will owe the 2% difference here. If you have no proof, then you will pay the full amount. As far as cost of living, a lot depends on your family size and preferences regarding housing and food. Incomes are lower here for comparable work so you may need to adjust your former or desired lifestyle. Regarding commuting distances. Give this aspect some very carefull thought. First of all it is now extremely expensive to drive and what initially may seem to be a pleasant drive through the countryside and worth the extra distance will after a period become a time, weather, and fiscal burden. I work with several colleagues who desperately wish that they could find decent work near home to avold the cost and grind of daily extended driving.
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