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Thread summary:

Vermont: five acres property, wider metro region, forest access, urban cultural amenities, tolerance

Old 05-13-2008, 08:03 AM
8 posts, read 15,184 times
Reputation: 10


After 15 years of living in Minneapolis-St. Paul (and before that in Washington, D.C., and on Long Island), I am relocating to be closer to family in southern Vermont. I’ve researched possible locations on this forum and then visited Portland and Bangor, ME, Burlington, VT, and Concord and Manchester, NH. But I am curious if there are places that other people like that I haven’t considered, for e.g., in upstate NY or PA (or even in Canada, an option I haven’t explored at all). Perhaps something has to give in what I am looking for, but basically my ideal scenario is the following:

- Be no more than a 5-hour drive of southern VT
- Buy a home on at least five acres for less than $250,000 (property taxes under $3,300)
- Live within a 40-minute drive of an urban area of 150-200,000 (i.e., the wider metro region) with a decent downtown, perhaps a college, and a few shops and cafés (I like the feeling of an alive downtown)
- Preferably live within a two hour drive of an even larger city
- Have easy access to forests and/or hills.

I am a single woman without children in my early forties who wants to have some urban cultural amenities while living in a moderately rural setting where I can own a few animals. I enjoy environments of tolerance and diversity and like to take the odd evening or weekend class on anything that piques my interest. I used to teach at a university, but have worked other jobs and am willing to take nearly anything to start out. Having made past decisions of where to live based on job opportunities, this time I want to see if I can find a few areas I’d like to live in first and then see if I can land a job. I’m open to any and all suggestions. Many thanks!
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:19 AM
Status: "Still alive and well" (set 2 days ago)
5,887 posts, read 9,877,461 times
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Try Oswego County or one of the surrounding counties near Syracuse, NY. It has most of what you are looking for. Property taxes will likely be higher than you'd like but aside from that it has everything on your list.
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:51 AM
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,610 posts, read 71,815,394 times
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Default Honesdale, Northeastern Pennsylvania

May I respectfully pitch Honesdale, PA to you for your consideration? According to online mapping it is about 3 hours and 45 minutes from Bennington, VT (4 hours, 30 minutes from Brattleboro, VT). The town of about 5,000 has a very large and quaint downtown area with mom-and-pop shops and has just a few chains outside of town that include Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Pizza Hut, and a few others. You're within a 40-minute drive of the city of Scranton (pop. 70,000), the hub of a metropolitan region of 550,000. Honesdale is just far enough away from the urbanized areas to resist sprawl and retain its quaint small town charm, yet it is also still close enough to make it viable for shopping, dining, nightlife, etc. in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area from its perch in the northeasternmost corner of our state. From Honesdale to New York City is a drive of about two and one-half hours.

The housing prices here for country property just outside of town will be near to the top of your range, as will the property taxes. However, new revenues from state casinos are now pouring in, and much-needed property tax relief is coming. Honesdale isn't a "college town," but it does have some neat businesses, including the Himalayan Institute, which has a yoga studio, coffee, etc. More and more people from New York City/North Jersey are moving here annually, so the area is becoming less conservative and more socially progressive with each passing year.

Here are some photos I have taken of Honesdale from one of my photo tours for your consideration. If you have any further inquiries into Honesdale, please feel free to contact me or check out the Northeastern Pennsylvania sub-forum.

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Old 05-13-2008, 10:31 PM
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Perhaps Keene, NH. Keene State College is right in town. Nice small town, with more businesses and services than some small towns, since it's the largest town in its area and so is the area's service and commercial center. Plenty of rural land in the immediate vicinity. Manchester metro is a little under your 150k minimum, but the general central NH area of Manchester, Concord, and other Merrimack Valley towns has about the population you're looking for in a nearby metro, and Boston is a couple of hours away.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:46 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
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I am going to suggest Ottawa for a target larger city to visit. It's especially nice for a cultured woman. There are fabulous museums, a whole district of outdoor markets with imported food, lots of cafe type places, impressive buildings, easy transportation, a nice selection of the arts, and year around activities indoor and outdoor. At least you must visit; most hotel rooms have kitchenettes with livingrooms.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:42 PM
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Thanks to all of you who responded. These are wonderful suggestions, and the photos really help! It looks like I have some new exciting research and driving around to do.
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