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Old 02-20-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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My husband is being transfered to Burlington, VT and we have never lived outside of Tucson, AZ or San Francisco, CA. We are both excited and worried about this move. I have been researching schools as we will have children in the 4th, 2nd, and Kinder grades next Fall. Schools are very important to us. We are looking for a home under $400 and want a family neighborhood. My husband prefers more space than a typical development offers. In AZ you get less than .3 acres in most subdivisions if you are lucky. I want to stay within 15-20 min of Burlington. My husband sees more bang for your buck in areas farther from Burlington like Franklin Co. Having never lived in severe weather before I am concerned about his winter comute if we were to live a distance from Burlington. What do you recommend? Shelburne? Essex Junction? Williston? Jericho? Colchester? So. Burlington? Richmond? Charlotte? Farnklin Co? Or any othe suggestions? We are also weighing local property taxes so any input on that area would be appreciated as well.

Thank you!
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Old 02-20-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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If schools are important you likely won't be happy outside of Burlington.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,328 posts, read 8,765,535 times
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Mustmove...do you have personal experience with schools in the Burlington area? I don't think so.
To the OP-South Burlington and Essex have the best reputation for schools. Shelburne/Charlotte/Williston/Hinesburg as well. I have friend with kids in these districts and they are all pleased.
If you want a typical suburban development then South Burlington, Essex, Williston and Colchester is where you should look. Once you get further afield it gets more rural. Shelburne has big lot zoning, but does have some typical suburban type developments...just on bigger lots.
If you are worried about winter weather commutes I'd stick to Chittenden County.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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Thank you! I was awake last night because from my research Burlington was not rated the best for schools. The recommendation threw me a little. What about Westford? We see some nice sized lots for a great price. What is the commute like in the Winter?
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Vermont
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Burlington schools-have not heard bad things, nor have heard good things. I don't hear too much about them to be honest. We do have some friends with almost school age children who are moving out of Burlington to South Burlington though because of the SB schools reputation.
Westford is nice. Rural. Have you ever lived in the "country" before? Has it's own elementary school and high school kids go to Essex. Pretty village with town green. There is a small general store and a post office. They also have a farmers market in the summer/fall. You'll have to drive to Essex to do the majority of your errands like pharmacy/grocery store shopping. Probably 10-15 minutes depending on where in Westford you end up (if you end up there!).
Commute is not too bad. A former co-worker of mine commuted to South Burlington. Took him about a 1/2 hour in good weather. More in bad weather.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
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Originally Posted by vter View Post
We do have some friends with almost school age children who are moving out of Burlington to South Burlington though because of the SB schools reputation. A former co-worker of mine commuted to South Burlington. Took him about a 1/2 hour in good weather. More in bad weather.
We have friends who raised their three children in South Burlington. The youngest is now in high school there. They love the school system and found it worthwhile to commute from SB to Burlington.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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Any of those towns mentioned would be good, they all have their own character that you would really have to feel out in person. When you do come here, though, please buy real snow tires (not all seasons) and drive slowly even if you have four wheel drive.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Manchester Center, VT
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Originally Posted by tucsonazmom View Post
Having never lived in severe weather before I am concerned
We don't have many hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes or droughts.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:01 AM
 
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And a severe lack of scorpions.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
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The Burlington school system is OK. It is far from a great system. South Burlington is a very good school system as well as many of the outlying towns like Essex, Williston, Colchester and further out like Hindsburg and Richmond. Finding a home in your price range should not be an issue even in Chittenden county. The only issue you may have is property taxes. In Chittenden county, property taxes are very high and continue to increase at a rapid rate. On our home we are paying close to 6000 per year. Our average tax increase has been between 300-400 per year the last 5-6 years depending on the budget that passes.
Westford is a nice town, but it is rural. A co-worker of mine lives about 5 minutes from Essex. Your commute time to Burlington depends on what time of day you commute and what part of Westford you live. During rush hour it takes my friend about 45 minutes. There are very few ways of getting from Westford or Essex to Burlington and those roads are congested in the AM and the PM. There are only two main interstate roadways in the state and 89 does not come close to Westford. Mileage wise Williston, Richmond and parts of Hindsburg are further away, but because of the interstate it is a much quicker commute.
You probably don't want to live as far as St Albans or areas that far north. Commute times are much longer in bad weather (over an hour on some days), and on some days the interstate is closed due to road conditions. The year also plays a role in driving as well. This year is a dream for winter driving. The temps have been mild (20's-40's) and very little snow all year. Depressing in a way-grey and brown with little snow on the ground.
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