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Old 01-22-2010, 03:59 AM
 
Location: Nottingham, UK
6 posts, read 9,593 times
Reputation: 11

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My husband and I (I'm American, he's British) are looking to move from the UK to Vermont with our two year old twin sons sometime in the next year or so. Because of the insane housing market in the UK and the exchange rate, we will be fortunate enough to be able to buy a house outright in Vermont once we have sold our property here. We will be looking in the $150-300k range, which would leave us significant savings. We'd like to live in a smallish town in southern Vermont with a reasonable commute to an area with good work prospects. It's the job market that has us the most worried. The bulk of our savings is an inheritance that we would like to keep intact for our sons. I haven't lived in the States in several years and am not sure as to what the cost of living is like in Vermont. What level of income would we need to avoid dipping into our savings? Any suggestions as to areas with good schools and a reasonable commute? Thanks.

Last edited by cascader; 01-22-2010 at 04:35 AM..
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,956 times
Reputation: 925
The job prospects are tough unless you are looking for a service industry job. Brattleboro would be the one town that would have the most opportunity in southern Vermont. The money you will make on your home there should buy a home outright, but the amount of savings you will end up with depends on the home you buy. Home prices will easily be in the range you stated. It depends on the home or town you want to live in. Homes are as cheap as 150,000, but can be in excess of 300,000. Remember there are a large number of people from the NYC area that have built or settled in the southern Vermont region. Home prices are not always as reasonable as some of the more rural towns furthur north.
The cost of living is on the more expensive side in Vermont. You can't just look at what homes cost and figure it is affordable. The reason the cost of living is high is primarily due to incomes. Taxes and costs of everyday goods is on average or higher in Vermont compared to New England.
What you will need for an income depends on your lifestyle. Without a mortgage you will need less, but as suggestion, I would recommend having a motgage for tax reasons.
A recommendation many of us make on this forum is don't make the move without a job. If you do you may have to live off your savings until a job is found. I'm sure more will respond to your post, but there are some who have lived in Vermont for several years and have not found a job outside of service work. I'm don't know from living in the UK if you know what service work is, but it is unskilled labor usually making minimum wage. Depending on what your line of work is, southern Vermont may have little opportunity. If you can post your line of work some may be able to help you with that.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Nottingham, UK
6 posts, read 9,593 times
Reputation: 11
Cheers, 68vette. Before moving to England I worked in magazine publishing in NYC. I wasn't planning on going back into publishing (I doubt it would even be possible in this economy) but I have plenty of office and computer skills and would be perfectly happy in an admin role. But so would a lot of people these days. My husband worked in construction and landscaping for years. Fortunately we don't have to make the move unemployed; first we're going to North Carolina to stay with my parents until we know where we're going to work/buy. So it'll be a hell of a lot easier looking for work from there than from England.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:40 AM
 
894 posts, read 1,283,737 times
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Rent in VT for a year or two first. Get a taste of COL(it is surprising) and a taste of job opportunities and wages(dismal).
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,521,135 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustmove View Post
Rent in VT for a year or two first. Get a taste of COL(it is surprising) and a taste of job opportunities and wages(dismal).
I agree with this. Decent jobs are scarce throughout the U.S. right now and good job opportunities in Vermont were never plentiful.

Vermont has been my favorite place to live. I see my husband and me living out our lives in Vermont. But part of what makes it so wonderful (nature, small-town living, low crime, minimal traffic, etc.) also means there are fewer opportunities for economic advancement.

Living in Southern Vermont could give you access to more job opportunities, but there's no guarantee of finding anything anywhere. Highly skilled people in big cities are out of work. If you work in a highly specialized field or have some of those rare skills that are in demand right now, maybe your prospects are better than most.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:34 AM
 
12 posts, read 15,972 times
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Hi, Cascaders Husband here, the difficulty I think we'd find with renting is 2yr old boisterous twins and an ever so lovely but very bouncy weimaraner.

My main job was mining, but since that industry was destroyed in the UK, i've worked as a park ranger, construction and landscaping.

I'm literally willing to try anything!

Oh btw, my wife is 36 and i'm 42, don't know if that makes any difference on the job front.

As for living costs here, gasolene is $7 a gallon!

I'm looking forward to moving as I want a good place to raise kids and get active in the community.

I am going to miss Pubs though
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:02 AM
 
894 posts, read 1,283,737 times
Reputation: 259
Rent.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:14 AM
 
12 posts, read 15,972 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you for the answers so far folks, it proves at least one thing, Vermonters are honest!
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,521,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beavis98 View Post
Hi, Cascaders Husband here, the difficulty I think we'd find with renting is 2yr old boisterous twins and an ever so lovely but very bouncy weimaraner.
Rentals are in short supply in Vermont in general, but it's not as hard to find pet-friendly and kid-friendly rentals as I've heard it can be in other places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beavis98 View Post
My main job was mining, but since that industry was destroyed in the UK, i've worked as a park ranger, construction and landscaping.

I'm literally willing to try anything!


That's great, but there still need to be actual jobs available that you're able to find in time to meet your financial needs. Nothing you mentioned (and nothing I can think of) is any guarantee that will happen.

When I first left S. Florida for NH, I found a job and then moved. When I moved to VT in 1996, my husband and I started a small business and lived off savings and part-time work until it supported us. And there were no guarantees that it ever would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beavis98 View Post
Oh btw, my wife is 36 and i'm 42, don't know if that makes any difference on the job front.


Gosh, I hope not! Age discrimination is illegal, if that's what you're thinking of, though I guess it can be difficult to prove.


Quote:
Originally Posted by beavis98 View Post
As for living costs here, gasolene is $7 a gallon!

For now, gasoline is much cheaper here than in the UK. However, fewer and fewer jobs include health insurance coverage and those costs are outrageous here (we pay hundreds of dollars a month, and that's after qualifying for a Vermont program).

Other costs to consider:
  • Car(s) and maintenance
  • Car insurance
  • Home heating (sometimes included in rentals, but certainly not always)
  • Homeowner or renter property insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by beavis98 View Post
I'm looking forward to moving as I want a good place to raise kids and get active in the community.
My children are feline, so our considerations in that area probably differ, but Vermont has been fantastic for me as far as getting active in the community.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beavis98 View Post
I am going to miss Pubs though

I'm afraid we do lack the kinds of pubs you appreciate. Some towns do have great down-home watering holes. But my friend who's a professional storyteller, who learned her trade in the UK, says there's nothing like it. She lives near Portland, Maine, where there are more pub-like hangouts.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:37 AM
 
12 posts, read 15,972 times
Reputation: 11
Hmm, so maybe opening a pub could be a good idea
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