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Old 11-25-2009, 03:37 AM
 
98 posts, read 319,423 times
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We have been seriously considering our escape from Texas for at least 8-9 years now (coincidence? LOL) and have narrowed down the state of choice to Vermont. We literally graphed and mapped out every state's pros and cons with our criteria on where we want to spend the rest of our lives. We know for CERTAIN it's not Texas. We've been here way too long... although Austin wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so HOT and expensive.

We are a very progressive, vegan, childfree, 30-something artist couple with several geriatric pets looking to FLEE Texas and move to Vermont. We own a small business doing canvas stretching for artists/designers/museums and have an online art supply store (will be looking to open a storefront in the very near future.)

We are in the process of getting our Houston home ready to sell and are planning on moving our business up to Vermont. We are hoping to relocate between April and June 2010 if all works out well. Could be a bit later depending on how sale of our home goes.

How hard is it to find a pet-friendly farm house rental?
We have 3 extremely old dogs and one 2 year old dog, as well as 2 extremely old cats and 2 not so old cats. All are spayed/neutered, housetrained, great family members and we would never consider leaving them behind. Unsure how much time the old dogs have left...

We aren't sure if we want to buy a duplex (live in half) or if we want to rent a house. Property taxes are so high there. We are NOT well off by any means so are not looking for a pricey area.... rent around $600-800 or house prices around $100k is an area we'd be interested in. Off grid or solar/wind powered would be ideal...

Preferences: a walkable town or village would be great, at least within driving distance to a naural foods shop, veterinarian, farmers market or coop... access to vegan food (from a store/shop, not necessarily a resto) a must, not too terribly close to an art supply store so as we do not step on anyone's toes...unless one of us ends up getting a job at a local art supply store until our canvas client base builds in VT. The online art supply store shouldn't interfere with local business since it's nationwide. Our canvas business involves the use of a table saw (to make canvas stretcher bars) so a bit of distance from other houses would be ideal so as not to disturb anyone.

Any tips on locations to look in would be terrific. Anyone have any idea what part or town or village we should be looking into?
Thanks!
By the way, we know it's cold up there. I used to live in the Pyrenees mountains in France, with NO heat (just a fireplace) and I loved it. Houston is too sweltering and I am so sick of paying $700 electric bills every month. I would take cold over brutal heat any day.

Any tips or suggestions would be so appreciated! Thanks!
~~GR~~
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,064,158 times
Reputation: 925
You may need to change your criteria a little. I rent a farmhouse out in a small rural town and the price is double what you are looking to spend. There are apartments that may fall into your price range, but it depends on how bis or small of a place you are looking for. Your pets will make it a little harder for you to find a place to rent. As a landlord I have been burned more than once with peoples pets. Many landlords feel the same. Most who take pets will charge a pet deposit and some also charge extra per month for each animal. In all honesty, with the number of pets you are bringing with you it will be very hard to find a rental. As far as what you would like to spend on a home may be more realistic, but I haven't seen a home priced that low in over ten years. As I said the home I rent is in a small rural town where the average home price is about 200,000. Remember that the more rural you go the more land may come with the home. This will raise the price of the property. The only issue I see is it most likely will not be in a village or close to one and Vermont doesn't have many duplexes compared to other states. Especially in rural areas. I would bet the NEK would fit the needs you are looking for. Winter weather is very hard on homes in Vermont. If you see a home priced very cheap in an area where homes are usually priced a bit higher, be careful. My father always told us as kids, you get what you pay for.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:36 AM
 
Location: over here
231 posts, read 783,634 times
Reputation: 149
Vermont is not for you considering what you want to pay for, rents are upwards of 800+ even in the small rural towns. A 100K home/duplex will be a fixer upper, so you had better have a disposable income or stock in Home Depot/Lowes. Some small towns have natural food stores and there some larger ones in the bigger towns..Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland. But, again for the costs of homes/rent these areas are proabably going to be out of the price range. And you say your taxes are high? I paid 1700 per year for a 2 bedroom 1 bath condo. A Vermont home of average size (3 beds, 1.5 baths) on average will cost you approx. 5000K per year a little less in some towns a bit more in others...
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,528,081 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by groens View Post
How hard is it to find a pet-friendly farm house rental?
We have 3 extremely old dogs and one 2 year old dog, as well as 2 extremely old cats and 2 not so old cats.
Like you, I am devoted to our 4 feline children and veg living. I'm also much more comfortable in cold than in heat. I'd give up a lot to live in an area that lacks Texas-style heat (I'm from SFla) and guarantees me plenty of cold weather year after year.

I can't say how hard it will be to find a pet-friendly Vermont farmhouse rental. Rentals in general are very limited here. Pet-friendly rentals are limited everywhere.

That said, I've met lots of people renting unusual pet-friendly properties in Vermont. For example, I know a woman who rented a farm near town. She was able to have cats, dog, and horses there. The property has two houses on it. She and her smaller furry children lived in the large, lovely caretaker's house. The palatial owners' house stood empty for their occasional returns to the US.

It's a matter of finding these unusual situations. Along with searching the usual places (VT newspapers online classifieds, CraigsList, etc.), it's probably be worth contacting people and organizations and doing lots of networking. You could reach out to organizations that share your interests and might help connect you with people with unusual properties to rent. More on that below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by groens View Post
Any tips on locations to look in would be terrific. Anyone have any idea what part or town or village we should be looking into?

Several VT towns offer all that you seek if you live nearby. I don't think you'll find anywhere to live in the $100,000 range. But if you're willing to live outside of town where prices are lower you could check:
  • Bennington/Manchester (the rural & small-town areas between them)
  • Brattleboro
  • Middlebury
  • Montpelier & Barre
  • Rutland/Brandon
My husband and I live in Rutland but I'd probably be happy in any of the towns I just listed. Montpelier is my favorite for many subjective reasons.

Burlington metro area is the most densely-populated with the most opportunity, but it's also the most expensive. Prices in surrounding towns are way up due to proximity to Burlington.

Smaller towns that offer some of what you seek but perhaps not enough include:
Hardwick, Ludlow, Morrisville, Newport, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury/Lyndon, & White River Junction

While these towns lack any veg-only restaurants, I find Vermont and New England overall to be very veg-friendly and accommodating. I get everything I need for a varied and delicious vegan life at local natural food markets, farmers markets, and restaurants. (In contrast, at a coffee cafe in a Colorado resort town near Durango, I was amazed that the 20-something who waited on us had never even heard the word "vegan" before and found the concept utterly foreign.)

For networking, you might check out directories of Vermont organizations with foci relating to your work and interests. They might help answer your business and relocation questions and serve as networking avenues for unusual rental situations:

Vermont arts & crafts associations

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (http://vbsr.org/index.php/pages/member_directory/ - broken link) (into which Local First Vermont & its members have merged)
Vermont Co-ops & natural food markets
Vermont Vegetarian Society (inclusive, as there's no VT vegan society yet)
Vermont Gay Guide

Maybe networking with people and organizations statewide will help you discover opportunities that point to more specific towns and areas. The land area Vermont covers is a tiny fraction of the area Texas covers so you can start your VT search statewide and converge from there.

I really hope this works out for you!

Last edited by Sherylcatmom; 11-25-2009 at 06:57 AM..
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,528,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrnMtnFire View Post
A Vermont home of average size (3 beds, 1.5 baths) on average will cost you approx. 5000K per year a little less in some towns a bit more in others...
This is pretty on-target with our experience and research for Vermont living. I think the OP was observing that Vermont property taxes are high, not commenting on Texas's property taxes.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,329 posts, read 8,780,741 times
Reputation: 1996
As everyone mentioned, you are going to have to re-adjust your expectations for housing. Something for $100K will be VERY hard to find for what you are looking for.
I would suggest looking in the Northeast Kingdom. Specifically the St. Johnsbury/Lyndon area or the Newport area. This part of Vermont has the lowest housing costs-BUT, the area is also the most economically depressed and the most rural part of the state.
Also, since you run a business online, keep in mind that high speed internet is not available everwhere, especially in the more rural areas. You'll have to have dial up or satellite.
Other than that, the state has what you are looking for. Good luck!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:59 AM
 
894 posts, read 1,286,595 times
Reputation: 259
You will love VT. Couple of things to be aware of VT is reputed to have the tightest rental market in the country, expensive and scarce rentals. Although RE is softening a bit in VT, might not reflect in rentals. Everything costs more, groceries and such are a lot more in VT than TX. Might not matter, but it all adds up. Lastly you might be surprised at the standard of living many houses are beat down by the weather, lots of old cars being driven, etc. My standard warning-- be sure the internet service level you require for your business are in place and functioning do not believe any 'fiber is coming tomorrow' stories. Enjoy.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:52 AM
 
1,340 posts, read 2,491,451 times
Reputation: 760
Quote:
Originally Posted by groens View Post
We have been seriously considering our escape from Texas for at least 8-9 years now (coincidence? LOL) and have narrowed down the state of choice to Vermont. We literally graphed and mapped out every state's pros and cons with our criteria on where we want to spend the rest of our lives. We know for CERTAIN it's not Texas. We've been here way too long... although Austin wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so HOT and expensive.

We are a very progressive, vegan, childfree, 30-something artist couple with several geriatric pets looking to FLEE Texas and move to Vermont. We own a small business doing canvas stretching for artists/designers/museums and have an online art supply store (will be looking to open a storefront in the very near future.)

We are in the process of getting our Houston home ready to sell and are planning on moving our business up to Vermont. We are hoping to relocate between April and June 2010 if all works out well. Could be a bit later depending on how sale of our home goes.

How hard is it to find a pet-friendly farm house rental?
We have 3 extremely old dogs and one 2 year old dog, as well as 2 extremely old cats and 2 not so old cats. All are spayed/neutered, housetrained, great family members and we would never consider leaving them behind. Unsure how much time the old dogs have left...

We aren't sure if we want to buy a duplex (live in half) or if we want to rent a house. Property taxes are so high there. We are NOT well off by any means so are not looking for a pricey area.... rent around $600-800 or house prices around $100k is an area we'd be interested in. Off grid or solar/wind powered would be ideal...

Preferences: a walkable town or village would be great, at least within driving distance to a naural foods shop, veterinarian, farmers market or coop... access to vegan food (from a store/shop, not necessarily a resto) a must, not too terribly close to an art supply store so as we do not step on anyone's toes...unless one of us ends up getting a job at a local art supply store until our canvas client base builds in VT. The online art supply store shouldn't interfere with local business since it's nationwide. Our canvas business involves the use of a table saw (to make canvas stretcher bars) so a bit of distance from other houses would be ideal so as not to disturb anyone.

Any tips on locations to look in would be terrific. Anyone have any idea what part or town or village we should be looking into?
Thanks!
By the way, we know it's cold up there. I used to live in the Pyrenees mountains in France, with NO heat (just a fireplace) and I loved it. Houston is too sweltering and I am so sick of paying $700 electric bills every month. I would take cold over brutal heat any day.

Any tips or suggestions would be so appreciated! Thanks!
~~GR~~

Vermont would never meet your criteria at twice the prices you mention.
Look at a map of upstate NY,draw a line from Syracuse to Albany,exclude Saratoga,which like VT is a yuppified , nouveau riche playground- and many places will. Esp. St.Lawrence and Washington counties.

Also the Finger Lakes region and the line of counties bordering PA, called the southern tier.
Also rural NY is prettier and much more like the VT of 50 years ago than VT is.
I know,I was there!
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: On the west side of the Tetons
1,355 posts, read 2,086,017 times
Reputation: 2616
Sherylcatmom,
Your thoughtful, helpful posts are always such a nice contrast to some others on this forum.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,528,081 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdna View Post
Sherylcatmom,
Your thoughtful, helpful posts are always such a nice contrast to some others on this forum.

Thank you! Your kind words contributed to my joy today.
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