seriously considering moving to Vermont


August 19, 2005, 12:41 AM
for those of you who don't already know, I am a high school english teacher. I'm also half Chinese. (I won't pass for 'white', in other words).

I've heard lots of stories about folks being not so neighborly out in Vermont and Maine, but then again I live in CA where all the minorities are pitted against each other and love to kill one another.

So I'm thinking seriously about moving to Vermont - for many reasons, really, but a few being:

1. CCW
2. air quality
3. house prices
4. more room
5. better for my dog
6. no more house burglary
7. EBRs are ok (even though I don't really need em, wood stocks just fine)
8. the hot women! (okay, I'm just wishing)

any suggestions? any comments? Like this other guy who is asking about which state is CCW easy, I want to move too - but there are many more things to think about in a move than just CCW.

how is the education system over there? how is the job market? housing? where should I live? what will I have the most difficulty getting used to?

any help would be greatly appreciated.

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August 19, 2005, 01:03 AM
Back when I was 21, that's 14 years ago, I lived for 8-9 months in Vermont. I loved it. If there was a bit more in the way of Orthodox Jews there I'd consider moving perminantly (one synagogue in the whole state and little kosher food and other religious infrastructure just doesn't cut it).

Anyway, to address some of your questions and concerns:

I'm also half Chinese. (I won't pass for 'white', in other words).

I've heard lots of stories about folks being not so neighborly out in Vermont and Maine

I wouldn't worry too much about that. Every area has its racists, I'm not saying Vermont is perfect in that regard, but Vermonters tend to be pretty laid back and accepting people. Most of the racists I met there were either from MA (Boston mostly), Canada, or Upstate NY.

how is the education system over there Unfortunately I have no idea how good their public school system is but they probably have more colleges per capita than just about anyplace else in the country. Lots of colleges and universities, some quite good.

how is the job market
I'm not sure how it is now, but 14 years ago it wasn't great. Most of the jobs are going to be in or near Burlington in the north (the largest city) with probably the next most significant grouping around Montpelier near the center of the state (Montpelier is the state capital).

Housing varies. In Burlington it can be relatively expensive, though it is much cheaper than out there in CA, in NYC or here in the DC area. In the more rural areas you can find some places for quite cheap.

what will I have the most difficulty getting used to

The cold! Have you ever experienced 50 below temps? I did one night while I was there. While that night was unusual, it was certainly the coldest winter I've ever experienced (I can't imagine colder- exposed skin wasn't just cold, it hurt) and all the locals kept telling me it was a very mild winter. :what:

Still, winters are beautiful. Snow on the ground all winter. Clear blue skies. Bright and amazingly clear stars and the moon seems like you can touch it. I actually loved the winter there (just stay bundled).

Other factors:
-You can be fairly isolated in some real rural areas if that is what you like. There are tons of nice small towns if that is your preference. Quite a few spas and resorts if that is what you want. And Burlington is the largest city so it has almost all the amenities you'd want in a major city but with only around 100-130K in the metro area it also has the best of a smaller town (a real community feel and low crime).

-Travel: In Burlington or Montpelier a little further south you are about 4 hours from NYC, Boston or Montreal if you ever feel like getting into a big city. While not something you'd do every day, it isn't too difficult to do just as a day trip, and any would be an easy weekend getaway. Of course, Burlington does have a major airport with service all over the country and some international destinations (though it may be possible that it is designated an International airport due only to Canadian flights).

-Recreation: Plenty of skiing if that is your thing. Boating on Lake Champlain (a very large inland lake). Fishing on Lake Champlain or one of the mountain streams. For entertainment, museums, arts, culture or bars (whatever is your "thing") Burlington has pretty much everything you'll find in a larger city.

-Gun laws aside, it really is a nice place. If you don't mind winter it is almost a paradise on Earth. About the only things it really needs are a baseball team (too small an area of course) and access to the ocean.

August 19, 2005, 01:25 AM
Lived in Vermont for 3 years and used to spend a good part of every winter there skiing.

Heres what ya need to know. Job market sucks, unless your in Burlington (which is Berkley East, but with guns) or the Montpelier Area (just as liberal, but easily the prettiest capital in the country).

On top of a sucky job market, your also gong to find the cost of living INCREDIBLY expensive, even by California standards. Even though its in the Northeast, Vermont (and for that matter, Maine) are both incredibly remote areas making it difficult to send supplies into. Most of the economy is still based around country stores and little mom and pop outfits (and artisean stores) which while quaint, are also expensive. OF course, depending on where you live, you can always travel to New Hampshire for supplies (tax free).

Fuel costs (as in heating) are a serious concern in the winter, and you will need four wheel drive as most roads remain dirt.

It has the best chinese restaurant in the country - A Single Pebble. Used to be in Barre next to the Astro Bowl, but they've since opened up in Burlington. Seriously, its incredible. One of my old buddies and co-workers started it (he was the business guy) with a Chef who cooked for the communist party leaders in China. Its incredible good food.

Outside of Burlington are, its VERY rural and very laid back. There is simply no racism that I every noticed (I am a white male, though I had a number of hispanic, black, and asian friends there and they never had trouble - nor did any of the gays I knew. Heck, a Shemale ran for Governor and was a halfway serious candidate).

Now, the one problem you will face is that the people, while warm and welcoming, are weary of outsiders. Your not quite a flatlander (your not Taxachussets or Connecticut or New York) but you could be an even odder thing - a Californian. It will take awhile for people to really open up to you - but its worth sticking it out, cause when they do you will learn the secrets of living up there and managing and they will stop charging the tourist rates for grocerties, etc.

Finally, the weather. Its brutal, dark and grey through most of the winter and the snow is not like it is out west. I love it (and prefer it to the West) but if you've never experienced a cold (like 30 below zero) New England winter, you will.

Randy in Arizona
August 19, 2005, 03:45 AM

Why don't you try something a bit closer?



parts of Washington
Southern Idaho
New Mexico (Warning: the politics can cause brain damage or maybe it is just that some of the politicians are brain damaged.) :evil:

August 19, 2005, 09:59 AM
Vermont is a really pretty State and something of a paradox. On one hand, it is very "Liberal" in the bad sense, but yet it has among the nation's most liberal gun-laws (or lack of) in the nation!

I love to visit VT, but have decided on escaping from NJ (as bad as CA?) to NH instead of VT. I think if you look at NH, you will find many of the same qualities that VT has, but the bonus of an economy that is not totally dependant on tourism - no state income or sales taxes, and a more small government, independent sort of mind-set.

NH gun-laws are not too shabby either, although not at good as VT.

Its worth a look.

As far as the people go....It depends on who you meet. Many of the nice and friendly people there are actually transplants from crappier areas of the country, and are just happy to be there. The "less friendly" ones (and they usually ARE friendly, just more guarded) are usually the folks who were born and raised there. Real stump-jumpers!

I know one innkeeper in VT who told me it took almost 10 years for his neighbors to really accept him! (He was from Mass.)

VT is a great place, but for all the things you listed, give serious consideration to NH!

August 19, 2005, 10:15 AM

I moved to NH from NY state. I recommend NH over VT:

1. Cost of living is relatively low - especialy compared to NY and CA. The housing market is getting pricey in Southern NH, but it's still a LOT cheaper than the NY Metro area (NY, CT, NJ).

2. Great gun laws - My CCW Was approved the day after I submitted it! They allow EBR's, full auto, supressed firearms, etc.. There are lots of gun ranges, shops, etc. near where I live.

3. Good job market. There are lots if jobs in Southern NH and also (if you don't mind paying MA's income tax) MA.

4. No income or sales tax.

5. Fairly ethnically diverse (southern NH). I'm of Asian descent (Chinese) and I've met and seen lots of Asian/non-white folks (even at the shooting range) in southern NH. As Chaim pointed out in his post, bigots are everywhere in the US, and I've met my fair share when I was living in NY and NJ.

6. Surprisingly, you can even get halfway decent Asian and other ethnic foods in Southern, NH. You're also only about an hour away from Boston if you need to go there (for example, to get good Dim Sum).

If you have any more questions just PM me. I really think you should consider NH over VT. VT has higher taxes, and although they allow you to CCW without a license, I think they have some restrictions on class 3 firearms or supressors or something like that.

Eskimo Jim
August 19, 2005, 01:28 PM
I'd suggest NH or someplace other than VT.

I lived in VT for two winters. That was enough for me. It snowed before Halloween and didn't go away until well after Easter. I lived in the center of the state and went to NH for groceries.

Real Estate is lower in VT than most states but bear in mind that wages are also significantly lower.

The Burlington area was the largest area and most diverse. Also, it is quite a way up there. Burlington is about an hour if that from the Canadian border!

I found that the results of the public education in VT to be significantly lacking. My coworkers were the results of the VT public education effort.

You definitely want a 4wd truck or SUV. In the winter depending on where you live and how far you are from work, you may have to cross at least one mountain to get home. Often it can be a white knuckle experience.

VT is a good state as far as firearm laws however, bear in mind that wages are low so you won't be able to afford a diverse collection.

VT is a pretty place but I wouldn't want to live there, again.

Good luck.


August 19, 2005, 01:49 PM
I know one innkeeper in VT who told me it took almost 10 years for his neighbors to really accept him! (He was from Mass.)

He's wrong. His neighbors still don't accept him, they just are resigned to his being tolerate him.

VT is a pretty place but I wouldn't want to live there, again.
Once I sock away my $20 million I would move back in a second. Till then, I simply can't afford to live in Vermont.

And yes, some of the schools leave a lot to be desired, but others are fine. It depends on where you live. THat may have changed though, since in recent years the state took over funding of the schools to make them all equal - which as we knows drags down the good ones. The bad ones didn't improve.

Essex County
August 19, 2005, 02:28 PM
I live in the northeastern corner of Vt. a mile from the Conneticut River. Tax free shopping is minutes away. The scenery is tremendous, crime is almost non-exiatant, people are friendly, but not as outgoing as say, Texans. I moved here from southern Vt. about 20 years ago because it was growing too fast for me and I spent a lot of time anyway. We don't have much in the way of diversity here but that's not because the're unwelcome. Two of my sons are Kehmer. Both were will accepted. One has a donut shop in Sacremento and the other works in southern N.H. Jobs selection in not broad and wages tend to be lower. Burlington has gotten to be a rat race and we locals refer to it as " A nice small city that is near Vermont " Essex

August 19, 2005, 03:03 PM
To what Countertop and others have said, I will add a bit:

Vermonters (or Mainers, or NHites) won't warm right up to you. It has nothing to do with your ethnicity ... it has everything to do with the fact you're an outsider. Period.

Aside from being expensive, Vermont is a paradox. They have managed to keep their historic lack of firearms registration and carry laws intact, but the state is being overrun by outsiders. It is not the same state it was when I used to visit friends there 20 or 30 years ago, and the changes have not (IMHO) been improvments.

I would look to New Hampshire -- far enough north to be out of Boston commuting range -- or Maine. NH will be less expensive than Maine due to taxes.

Frankly, unless you have your heart set on one of the northern New England states, I think you should be looking at Pennsylvania.

August 19, 2005, 03:04 PM
yeah, sorry for creeping in here but as a result of this post NH moved up on my list as places to go pending my PRK exodus.

August 20, 2005, 10:25 AM
"your also gong to find the cost of living INCREDIBLY expensive, even by California standards"

ouch. that's what i'm running from... i'm a school teacher, not a high profile houston attorney =( I thought things were CHEAPER in the "back country"! ach, i guess this is because so little grows well there. i wonder what would happen if some tech giants moved there? or just some silicon factories?

"4. No income or sales tax." (in NH)
!!!! that is nuts! how do they pay for things?! my state tax last year was $250 - and i made only 21k lol* (worked only for part of the year)

"bigots are everywhere"
very true, but in some places they take pains to let you know that. i think cali is TOO liberal for my taste (i've had gay guys cop a feel and my eyes just bugged out the first time it happened... and everyone tells me to just feel flattered, smile, and wave.. yah...). sounds like VTs okay, though... i remember a job down in SC that didn't go that way.

"My coworkers were the results of the VT public education effort."
I hope you don't work with heavy machinery... .. oO
"wages are low so you won't be able to afford a diverse collection [of guns]"
yes, that would be a problem, now won't it.

"Fuel costs (as in heating) are a serious concern in the winter,"
Having had frost bite once already... yeah, i have a healthy respect for the winter. I don't suppose I could just snuggle up with a few dogs? or nice pretty girls?
oh, wait... i forgot that the nearest nice pretty girl is 10 miles away <grin>

I think i've come to a conclusion - I sitll think vermont is awesome (although for years my state of fantasy has been Maine, but i've noticed that no one talks about maine), but I simply don't make enough to support myself there. i thought it would be cheaper, but i appear to be far wrong. NH does however seem to be a great place... and if i want to get the VT carry feel I suppose I could always walk over the border, strap myself on, and walk around for a few hours a contented dog.

ok, NH it is!

i'm going to start looking at education jobs there...

what are house prices like? i want to move in about 2 years, i will have saved up about 15k by then.

August 20, 2005, 01:57 PM
There are two Maines. There is coastal Maine, along U.S. Route 1 from the NH border up to Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. Scenic, incredibly overrun by tourists in summer (and increasingly so the other three seasons), and cost of living almost as outrageous as Massachusetts.

Then there is everywhere else. Very rural, very poor, virtually no job market, and a rather hardscrabble existence. The entire upper half of the state (roughly north of Bangor) is forest land and the only industry is forestry and paper mills. Some of the small towns in the upper part of the state are formally disbanding as towns so they can go back to being unincorporated areas (there is a different term for that in Maine, but I don't recall what it is) and not have to worry about how to pay to run the schools and maintain the roads. They'll just shift it back onto the state to worry about.

chris in va
August 20, 2005, 02:10 PM
It'll mean mean pretty much zero, but I took a trip to the NE a few years ago after living in Omaha for 6 years. NH was nice, but VT really gave me a cold chill from the people...not that friendly and most everything I saw was kinda on the 'hick' side. It really suprised me.

My advice is to move out there temporarily for 2-3 weeks and get a feel for the place first.

August 20, 2005, 07:33 PM
"4. No income or sales tax." (in NH)
!!!! that is nuts! how do they pay for things?! my state tax last year was $250 - and i made only 21k lol* (worked only for part of the year)

Ummmm - not nuts at all - most of our money (for the state) comes from cigarette tax and liquor sales at state liquor stores. We even have a huge liquor store at a rest area on an interstate highway. Some money from lottery sales and they grab some of our property taxes for sharing with poorer towns. (Don't ask about this, it changes on a weekly bases, I don't understand it.)

Our state reps serve for a yearly salary of 200 bucks - thus, lots of retired folks and lots of college students are reps. We actually have a full-time nurse in attendance when the legislature is sitting as some of the old folks, well, die.

We charge tolls on lots of the highways, that pays for roads. Them that don't drive those roads, don't pay.

Some oddball taxes like business income (if you own your own business and make over something like $60k/year), tax stamps when you sell your house, etc.

Our main attitude is: "If you let the state have your money, they'll spend it."

Also, unofficial state motto: "Mind your own business."

Downside? Wicked cold in the winter. Spring is mud season, followed by black flies (nasty critters that bite). Both weeks of summer are nice. Fall is REALLY nice.

People are 'reserved'. Whenever I'm in the real South, I'm taken aback when people I've never seen before say things like 'Good morning' to me.

If you come here, plan on taking up skiing or you'll be stuck in the house from November through March.

And lemme tell ya about freezing rain. Then again, you don't wanna know.

August 20, 2005, 07:53 PM
How about Pennsylvania? I'm in the Philly suburbs. Climate isn't too extreme, job market is good for teachers, cost of living is a bit high but reasonable.

We have just about every ethnic group represented well. If you aren't generally accepted, it's probably you, not your skin tone. Mind you, as others have said, you will find small minded, ignorant people everywhere. There will always be someone that needs to blame their failings on someone. I find here it's what you are, not what you look like that people judge you by.

Anywhere is better than where you are. I don't know what has happened to Ca. It was a nice place when I left in '80.

Buck Snort
August 21, 2005, 05:04 AM
I've got news for you Mike, it'd already gone to hell by the '80s and has only gotten worse since. I'm STUCK in Modesto until some of the grandkids graduate from HS but hope someday to escape. Gimme the freezing winters, it can't be THAT much worse than the blistering summers we have here in the central valley and as for the insane gun laws.............................GEEZE!!

August 21, 2005, 10:13 AM
My last stop in Ca. was in the Mojave desert. I think I was sheltered out there from the mainstream. We still went to the dump to shoot on Sunday afternoon and just about everyone had a "snake gun."

4v50 Gary
August 21, 2005, 10:23 AM
I've been to Vermont several times.

Be prepared for 6 months of trees without foliage. It starts getting cold in Oct. and be prepared for snow. Lots of it. You're going to have to shovel out your driveway or dig out your car every day. If you don't know how to put chains on your tires, learn. Buy cheap cars or 4 x 4 (is there such a thing?). They'll rot out on you in 3-4 years time with all the salt on the road. Better like snowshoeing or skiing. Lawns? Well, you're probably going to have one so be prepared to have one of those lawn mowers you drive around on each Saturday.

BTW, I have friends in VT. They're waiting to retire so they can move to Florida. Something about the climate.

December 23, 2008, 09:39 AM
and I was thinking of moving to Alaska from Vermont.
Born and raised here(Vermont). I have lived here most of my live except for time spend around the world in the military. Yes taxes and such are high, but have you looked at NYC? OMG. Gun laws Hmmmm, no ccw required, full auto not a problem, suppresors are a fish and game $250 fine. Yes the non woodchucks have made some problems here, but all are welcome, just don't try telling me how to stack my wood unless you are willing to help do it with me.

December 23, 2008, 10:21 AM
Hey, to me it's the real New England. Hard-nosed and no nonsense. Admittedly New Englanders tend not to be on the friendly side. That reserve is for real.
As much as I think I would enjoy moving to a warmer climate, autumn is my favorite season. It is in my bones. Consarnit.
I don't like traveling through Massachusetts. I was pulled over by a Mass. state trooper for some dumb reason. He tailed me for miles and passed me and then dropped behind me again. As soon as he slipped by behind me I knew he was going to hit the lights.
I am not Caucasian by the way.
He probably thought I was running drugs from New York city.
silverlance, I have had guys ask me to dance and EVEN make moves on me!! I don't know what it is, but I attract the man-freaks out there. I DON'T THINK IT'S FUNNY. Before I get censored, I don't care about openly gay guys. I am talking about the guys who shock the Hell out of you; whom you'd least expect.

December 23, 2008, 10:58 AM
silverlance -

I was born in MA, consider myself a New Englander even tho I have lived all over this country (NH to WA, TX to OH) and still love it up here (or more correctly, herah). I would pick NH over any other NE state. Yes, winters are rough, and it is rather rural in many places, but it is the best choice as far as I am concerned.

Oh, and along with the 4X4, get a snowmobile or a quad runner; there are hundreds of miles of trails to ride (old railroad beds that the state has rebuilt), plus it will be worth it in the rougher months. As far as bigotry goes, the worst I saw was the snowmobilers VS. the quad runners - THAT is a real feud!

December 23, 2008, 03:43 PM

A teacher? How about trying out Alaska? You can move up here tomorrow and start teaching, and you'll be making a lot more money than most places you'll live. We are as gun-friendly a state as they come, and ethnicities are a huge part of life up here. In our district we have teachers who are White, Black, Hispanic, Phillipino, Indian (both the American and Asian kind,) Eskimo, Chinese. Yes, it's cold. You just dress appropriately. It's truly an adventure up here. There are good and bad things about it but that's true anywhere, and the good is really good. PM me if you'd like more details.

Don't discount some of the closer states as well, like Utah and Arizona. Both are gun friendly states and the cost of living there is much better.

December 23, 2008, 03:51 PM
this is a thread began in 2005..tad out of date, but i wonder what the OP ever did?

Old Navy
December 23, 2008, 06:33 PM
What is it that attracts you to a state that keeps electing a socialist to congress and Leahy to the senate?

December 24, 2008, 09:38 AM
Answer to point #4........yeah, you and everybody else = not so much room afterall

Guns and more
December 24, 2008, 09:53 AM
Vermont and Maine have become two of the most liberal states. Vermont has the reputation of "home to pedophiles". I don't know how true this is, but their judges seem to go easy on them. Maine has become so liberal they will go broke giving everything to everyone who doesn't work.
Vermont certainly is beautiful, I don't know about taxes.

December 24, 2008, 10:01 AM
What is it that attracts you to a state that keeps electing a socialist to congress and Leahy to the senate?

We just figure they will cause less damage to the state if we keep them out of here for most of the year.

December 24, 2008, 10:27 AM
Did any body else notice that this thread is almost 4 years old?
Wonder if the guy ever moved to Vermont

December 24, 2008, 10:42 AM
Did any body else notice that this thread is almost 4 years old?
Wonder if the guy ever moved to Vermont

Yeah, I noticed it was old, and I don't know, haven't seen him around.;)

December 24, 2008, 10:42 AM
Vermont has the reputation of "home to pedophiles".

That's absurd media garbage that should be given no more credence than when they talk about assault weapons. There have been a couple of high profile cases where the sentence wasn't as long as Nancy Grace would have liked, but Vermont also has a treatment program with demonstrable success and puts lots of effort into making sure these things never happen in the first place.

To the OP, you can find everything you are looking for in Vermont. The only problem is that the things you are looking for are split between the two Vermonts, or to be more precise, between Chittenden County and Vermont. That works for some people, but not for everyone.

edit: heh...I guess it is a little late.

December 24, 2008, 03:51 PM
I'd suggest NH

Down side is the very high property tax. They also tax dividends and interest income. They is taxes on some consumer items.

As the entire state is now democratic, I expect new taxes to be coming my way. They have already said that the cost of many fees is going up.

December 24, 2008, 09:16 PM
i live in Vermont and the weather has honestly been crazy this year. it didn't even start getting cold until december... and the temperatures are honestly pretty comparable to those in Jersey (minus a few days when the temp. was in the single digits)... but honestly, if you dress well for the winter you'll be fine. it's way better than i expected it to be. and the gun thing doesn't hurt either.


The cold! Have you ever experienced 50 below temps?

what? 50 below??? are we talking about the same Vermont here?

December 24, 2008, 09:28 PM
i think cali is TOO liberal for my taste (i've had gay guys cop a feel and my eyes just bugged out the first time it happened...Whoa!

Sounds like you got squeezed really tight in the wrong place.

But hey, that'd make my eyes bug out too.



December 24, 2008, 11:22 PM
what? 50 below??? are we talking about the same Vermont here?

Recently transplanted flatlander, huh?

There is close to 3 feet of snow on the ground, it was -15 the other night, -22 in Greensboro. Until today it has not been above 10* in the past week, 15* in the past 2 weeks. And it is still December. Wait until it starts to get chilly in Jan. and Feb., -50 might be real rare, but -40 is fairly common. Then I do live in the Kingdom, so you are south of me. However the weather here is balmy compared to the summit of Mt. Washington.

December 24, 2008, 11:40 PM
I guess the OP already moved to VT and was taxed to death. Too bad, the state next door ( is just right for gunowners AND taxpayers.

December 25, 2008, 12:35 AM
Looks like he's still in California teaching gangsters (

December 25, 2008, 02:26 AM
Move to Alaska. End of story. The last free state in the union, such as it is. Plenty of room. Good pay. I have lived other places and wouldn't live anyplace else. Gun laws,? What gun laws? We need good teachers!! Chinese, who cares, nobody here does. Stay at my place till you get settled.

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