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Old 10-14-2008, 03:42 PM
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
5,010 posts, read 13,129,822 times
Reputation: 2439


Sorry for another moving thread, but I have some questions about Vermont, and the New England area.

My wife and I currently live in Texas, and I hate it. Lived here all my life, can't stand the heat, how spread out it is, or how generic and new everything is.

We are considering several places to move, the Pacific Northwest and the New England / Vermont area being the main two.

I want some place with actual seasons and summers that don't hit 105-110 on a regular basis. It's October and it's still 85-90 degrees outside.

I would love to live in a smaller town, as we are not big on "the nightlife". Would just like to live somewhere where the houses look different from each other, I am not crammed in with 2 million other people, and that has scenery.

So, my questions.

1) My wife is a schoolteacher, and she would take a pay cut, but not huge. It looks like a 5th-grade teacher with some experience makes around $38K-$40K a year. Is that correct?

2) I sell cars. What is the market like up there? Is there a strong demand for cars, or is it more public transit? More new cars or used cars? Here in Dallas, people "have" to have a new car every 3 or 4 years, so it's not a bad business to be in. If anyone else up there does it, can you Direct Message me with some income expectations?

3) Housing is ridiculously cheap here. I know it is far more expensive up there, but is about 1800-2200 SF in a decent neighborhood for less than $250K-ish possible?

4) I pay about $5K a year in property taxes on a $200K home in Texas (2.5%). What is comparable up there?

5) I know there is a state income tax...about what does it equal out to on an average household income? Say, $75K a year? And is it deductible from your federal income tax?

6) Anything I ought know / be aware of?

Thanks in advance for any and all assistance.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:23 PM
894 posts, read 1,281,638 times
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Mostly old beater cars in VT. If you want to sell new best bet is Subaru's. Sounds about right for the teaching salary. You can find a house like that for that price in a good town. Mind you the schools might not be so hot, but nearly all of the small towns are fine. A house at that price will be older, less energy efficient with some old house issues. Not a terrible thing but there is a difference between not liking cookie cutter construction and living in drafty houses with crooked floors. Property taxes vary but will be about the same maybe slightly less for now, they will certainly rise faster than TX. It is far more expensive than it seems on the surface, job market is tough. 10 years of zero private sector job growth. Bit of a demographic crises-oldest state getting older all the time. Very liberal but I imagine you know that and that is a plus for you. I don't believe you can write state taxes off against federal. State taxes are odd, they are confusing(property tax is adjusted for income) and steeply progressive, you start getting hit hard I believe around 90k. Short answer is you will almost certainly have a reduced standard of living, driving older cars smaller TVs etc. If you are OK with that-- go for it.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:30 PM
Location: Vermont
3,327 posts, read 8,754,969 times
Reputation: 1986
I'll try and answer some of your questions.

1) Not sure about teacher salaries, but I'd say your guess is about right.

2) Cars - there are folks who want new cars every few years, but they would be the exception, not the norm. Most folks buy a car and drive it until it dies. Winter does a number on cars here . There was a recent (last few days) news story about how new car sales are WAY down right now, with the economy being the culprit. There are tons of used car dealers out there. The new car dealers are all situated in the larger population centers (greater Burlington,Rutland, Bennington, Barre/Montpelier etc).

3) 250K - depends on where you are. In greater Burlington, a single family starter home is about that. Small lot. You can get condos for less. You can get more for your money once you get outside of greater Burlington (with the exception of resort towns).

4) Taxes...again it depends on your town and what your assessed value is. We pay little less than that for a house assessed a little over $200k.

5) not a tax expert, so can't help there.

6) anything else? Don't forget to count out heating costs. Also, Vermont overall is very rural. The population of the whole state is just over 600K. Unless you are in one of the larger population centers, don't expect lots of "conveniences". For example the nearest grocery store for me is a 15-20 minute drive (we do have a small general store in town for staples). No pizza delivery (oh the horrors LOL). If I run out of milk at 7pm I'm taking that 15 minute drive (one way) to the supermarket. I've travelled throughout the US and Vermont is just so different from anywhere I've been (a plus for me). You really should come visit and investigate before you make the move. Come in February so you can see what winter is like.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:31 PM
Location: Tolland County- Northeastern CT
4,459 posts, read 6,344,358 times
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I am down in Connecticut- but will make a few comments- and let Vermonters do the rest!

On Climate; the PNW- west of the Cascade ranges-Seattle, Portland, Eugene has a Climate that is almost identical to the British Isles, with warm sunny dry summers & cool damp, cloudy and somewhat rainy winters, called 'Temperate Oceanic'.

Northern New England & Vermont has a 'humid continental' climate with four very distinct seasons- Summers are pleasantly warm, with some periods of elevated humidity. Autumns are very pleasant, while winters can be quite cold with large amounts of snow, but again this can vary from winter to winter.

Housing costs in Vermont will generally be less costly then the PNW- Seattle will be far more costly, but housing prices in Vermont will be higher then Texas-A home as you suggested in Burlington will be more costly, then Texas- property taxes in Vermont can be high, but will be less then Texas.

The greatest demand for auto's will be in Vermont's largest metro area -Burlington (140,000)

New England has many climates- generally southern and south eastern New England (CT, MASS, RI)
will have a considerably milder climate then Vermont- with earlier springs, longer and hotter summers, longer autumns and shorter less intense winters.

Last edited by skytrekker; 10-14-2008 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:49 PM
Location: Vermont
3,327 posts, read 8,754,969 times
Reputation: 1986
Just ran across the news story about car sales I mentioned in my earlier post:

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-Car Sales Fall
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:52 AM
7,548 posts, read 9,387,067 times
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Default A little culture shock..

...but I think that you'll enjoy VT.

The Burlington metro area would provide the most job opportunities for both of you (best school districts are in South Burlington and Essex, and car sales should be decent because of the population of the area). Mass transit is not an option in VT (but very big in Boston/New Haven, CT, etc), so the auto is very important. The "rust " factor is very important though, because of the salt sprays to improve road conditions also tend to ruin the appearance of cars.

Burlington is fairly pricey, especially for a small metro area in a remote state.But if you're trying to avoid excruciating heat, you'll be coming to the right place. Just remember to buy a shovel in the fall--you'll make good use of it.
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