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Old 08-07-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,909,041 times
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I agree as well.

I lived the rural dream in NH for a few years, alone in the middle of nowhere. Loved it! But I wouldn't have done it indefinitely and was glad that I was renting.

For long-term living, I'm a "townie." I like to encounter my neighbors regularly. Also, my husband and I prefer to walk wherever we go all year long. I'm glad never to have to worry about how I'm going to get out of my driveway or off my street. If the plow hasn't been there, I can walk.

When I need to be alone in the fields and woods, I can go there whenever I want without having to maintain them myself.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,475 posts, read 3,977,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkln View Post
If I was alone, I would definitely choose in town. And there have been plenty of times where I've seen smaller homes or condos in town where I thought we could live now, the two of us, because of the benefits - being able to walk to town, not having to worry about maintenance or snow plowing or any of that stuff.
Agree. If was alone on my property I'd be lonely, especially in winter. And I'm not even a social guy. We have a few single women in our area and they are all a certain "type". Hard to explain but a little odd, although this is certainly not always the case. A lot of them seem to enjoy their own company for whatever reason. Luckily, they are all very handy around their house and property. You have to be, because if you call for professional help every time there's a problem on your property you'll be broke fast.

Another consideration for me is bugs. This will vary greatly by property, but you are almost certain to have more bugs, especially if you live near any kind of water or trees. In town, the bugs have a lot of people per acre to choose from. In the country, you're the only dinner around.

I'm happy where I am and there are always pro's and cons, but when I'm in a nice village, I often think that it would be nice to walk to town and socialize in a neighborhood bar (not to mention not driving after having a few beers). It would be nice to be able to shovel a driveway in twenty minutes and not pay thirty dollars. It would be nice to be near a bike path and not bumpy dirt roads that connect to busier streets.

Oh and as far as exercise goes, more time in the car has resulted in a few extra pounds for me.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:47 AM
 
Location: The Woods
18,094 posts, read 25,035,017 times
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I'd go for the rural place but I am a bit biased, it may or may not work for you. 2 or 3 miles isn't really too far to walk, to me, depending on what the road is like. Since you have no septic to worry about at that rural property the biggest thing would be the well. If the well is good, no problem. But if you buy that property, first have the well checked out. Water quality, depth, condition of the pump, etc. Most bears in VT will flee at the sight of a person (or even before it sees you, they can usually smell you before seeing you). A 12 gauge shotgun with some slugs would take care of any aggressive bears.

You could rent out the rural property as is if you decided to live in town most of the time.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:38 AM
 
159 posts, read 384,843 times
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Common people, she said 2 or 3 miles from town, she's not talking about the Australian outback here. If it's something you've always dreamed of here's your opportunity, if you don't do it now when will you? There's no more maintenance on an old house three miles from town then there is on an old house in town, and she said it is hooked to public sewer. You don't need to mow all you acreage, you can chose just to do around the house. Whether you live in town or out you still need to have someone plow your driveway. As for it being dark you can have a motion detecting light installed for security. I say grab the ring while you have the chance.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:19 PM
 
6,764 posts, read 21,275,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quickdraw View Post
I should also add that Vermont has a lot of weird laws about what you can do with your land and what you can't. It's not always as easy as deciding you want to split your land and sell it. You may want to sell it to someone who wants to build a home only to have the town tell you it doesn't want another house there.
I have to agree there. In my last job, I worked with many cases of neighbors (and the town eventually) disputing whether so and so had the right to divide his or her land...it lead to many a disagreement as well as legal and money hassles between parties.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 6,269,437 times
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Well, here's an update. A friend suggested that if I buy trailers and rent them out as housing on the rural property, then I can have income coming in. I'm going to speak to the zoning authorities in town this week and ask if that is allowed.

On the other hand, a local person told me yesterday it would cost about $40 for each plowing visit in the winter. Not for each snow storm, mind you, but for each visit. That's a lot of money to spend, when I could shovel an in-town property myself, for free.

I have been strongly urged to buy property with rental potential. The town property has two units, one two-storey unit and one, slightly smaller, one-storey unit. I could live in the bigger one and rent the smaller one. If I wanted a little more rental income and/or felt the need to live on one floor, I could live in the smaller unit and rent out the bigger one. Also, I could rent out both units and live elsewhere. In fact, both units are now rented, to good tenants, I'm told, so I could buy the property and stay where I am as long as I want to.

The town property is in a fairly nice neighborhood, but there is no pretty view. It's just a street, with a cemetery gate next to the house. Right now, I have a pretty view from my kitchen window, and from the yard I can see Mount Wantastiquet. I love looking out the kitchen window. In contrast, the town property's kitchen window looks out on the neighbor's house and car. The small unit's kitchen looks out on cemetery headstones.

I must say that the rural property seems impractical. It is fairly isolated, involves a lot of work and expense to maintain, and, unless and until I build rental units or buy trailers, provides no rental income. And the expense of getting the property ready for rentals will take several years to recoup. And then I'd worry about dangerous wildlife (bears, fisher cats, even mountain lions now), the isolation, the scary driveway and the potential for home invasions.

Crime is rising in my town, and there has been public concern about it. People have now been warned to lock their cars, as there have been lots of thefts from unlocked cars. But, so far, there have been no thefts from unlocked cars and no trunk break-ins. But who knows what time will bring? My town comes together as a community when there are issues to deal with, but things seem to be deteriorating all over the world now. When I was a child in Brooklyn, we kept the doors unlocked. That eventually changed, and eventually, people had to install burglar alarms.

The concern about crime stays with you. Even here, in Vermont, I always lock my car and double lock my house.

Sadly, I am realizing that I am a townie. I don't have the skills to manage a rural property (although I suppose I can develop them if I want or need to). I don't have the time, energy or interest to manage a rural property. On the weekend, I want to relax, go online, read, go out, work out, etc. Maybe do some gardening. But not spend my time doing big-time rural maintenance chores. For one thing, I hate mowing. And although, right now, I have the physical strength to do what I would need to (I hope), who knows how long that will last?

Actually, the owner of the rural property was an old man, but I think he had to cut down on his activities as he got older and weaker.

I want my home and property to be a refuge, not another job or source of stress. And I don't want to deal with expenses I could avoid, like plowing expenses and pond maintenance. The property has two ponds. I'd probably have to pay extra liability insurance because olf the ponds.

Quality of life is important, but freedom from unnecessary financial stress is part of that quality.

My ideal is a low maintenance house and yard.

I really liked the house, though, even though it was a ranch. I liked the layout and I felt very comfortable in the house. But, truthfully, what do I need 4.8 acres for?

One concern, though, is on my mind about the in-town house. I'm wondering if soil is good for a vegetable garden. The property is adjacent to a cemetery, with embalmed bodies buried just about 30 yards away. I don't want my home-grown, organic vegetables to be contaminated with leeched embalming fluid! Is that something to be concerned about?

As you can see, I'm still ambivalent about the rural property, even though I know that the in-town house is probably better for me. Fortunately, though, I enjoy where I currently live, so I'm not in a hurry to move. I'd like to buy before the recession ends and the prices go up, but here in Vermont, I'm told, prices have been pretty stable, without the bubble that many other localities had.

Let's see how time in Vermont transforms my urban, New York soul.

At any rate, thanks, all of you, for sharing your experience and wisdom.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,442 posts, read 6,269,437 times
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Default Woops

I just reread my previous post and found an error.

In my previous post, I wrote:

"Crime is rising in my town, and there has been public concern about it. People have now been warned to lock their cars, as there have been lots of thefts from unlocked cars. But, so far, there have been no thefts from unlocked cars and no trunk break-ins But who knows what time will bring? My town comes together as a community when there are issues to deal with, but things seem to be deteriorating all over the world now. When I was a child in Brooklyn, we kept the doors unlocked. That eventually changed, and eventually, people had to install burglar alarms."


What I meant to say was that there had been no thefts from locked cars.

Sorry about that.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:23 AM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,680,834 times
Reputation: 401
Both sides of in town or rural living have positives and negatives. It's up to the individual to really be honest with themselves on their desires and also abilities to deal with aspects of their choice. I bought a little over ten acres over 2 miles up a hilly dirt road. My intent was never to subdivide or have the means to create a renters situation, and in any case the zoning where I am at would not permit it anyway. I like the solitude and privacy of my own property as I can always travel to to socialize versus the other way around in getting away from people to get out into the woods. Wildlife issues other than the loud screech owl or persistent woodpecker tapping on my gutters have not occurred. I have seen bear, moose, porcupine, deer, coyote, skunk, raccoon, fox, etc on my land and quite frankly they make better neighbors than people often do. The amount of work to maintain my property in both time, cost, and physical effort is a factor and at time not so pleasant, but at this point still worth it. I know downsizing and perhaps being closer into a suburban setting is my future because once I am finally retired from the requirement of a regular job I plan to get out and travel more.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:08 AM
 
Location: The Woods
18,094 posts, read 25,035,017 times
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One thing to consider is that while the rural property will have costs in maintaining, the rental business can be much, much worse. You can get tenants who really trash the place, putting you in the hole for thousands of dollars. Or a loud person and then it takes a while to evict them because of the laws (and they get mad and trash things before leaving). An irresponsible person burning candles could burn your home down (happened a few years back to a house I lived next door to at the time, one person liked candles, but wasn't very responsible with them, put them too close to things that could catch fire and left them burning all the time, several people homeless because of that one renter, even though next door I was using kerosene and gasoline lamps everyday for lighting and never burned the place down because I'm careful with them...). Also consider liability insurance should anyone get hurt on your property and sues you the landlord. Just something to consider, a lot of landlords use property managers for a reason (but that costs money too). The rental property could be a bigger hassle than maintaining the rural property ever could be.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:26 AM
 
892 posts, read 2,769,623 times
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Yeah, I wanted to echo the above sentiments, and also add, even if your zoning permitted it, would you really want people living in trailers on your property? My mom and her husband lived on 10 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Northen CA, and she had people living in rented trailers on the acreage that abutted their property. They were... ummm, how should I put this nicely? Oh, I can't, so I won't!
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