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  1. #1
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    NH/VT Please Help?

    I got a call from my boss today asking me if I would be interested in running our distribution center in West Lebanon, NH.

    While the thought is intriguing and I would get a raise, I am concerned about the cost of living up there. I live in Texas now and it is fairly low.

    I did a COL comparison and it showed I would have to get a 33% raise to have the same standard of living if I move to West Lebanon, but only a 10% raise I were to live in Montpelier(with a 50 minute one way commute).

    Can anyone give up there help give me some direction?
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  2. #2
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I clicked on this because it has 'VT' in the thread title so I can only
    speak for VT. The cost of living is very high ! The food is very expensive
    and Long winters that require heat........ It is good that you
    would have a job because if you came here looking for one you would
    be in trouble. There are a few tech jobs but mostly low paying agro
    and service related jobs everywhere but Burlington. The Montpellier/Barre
    area is one of the more populated areas and the government seat. I
    did a 50 minute commute before for a whil and VT miles are different
    than other miles because you might never have to go through any
    stop-and-go traffic areas so they go by pretty quickly, but gas is $$$$$
    On the plus side, and the reason we came here is that the scenery
    and quality of life are fabulous ! Still zillions of acres of that havent
    been strip malled, people/drivers are very friendly and laid back. From
    a biking standpoint, the roads and postcard perfect scenery are equal
    to any of the best in the country. I think you would have to make a
    decision how much salary is worth compared to quality of life.
    In any event, best wishes on any decision you make !
    Last edited by -=(8)=-; 09-09-06 at 07:16 AM.
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  3. #3
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Unless you like cold weather for 7 months of the year, I'd stay in Texas
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  4. #4
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    It's looking more and more likely that I will take the job. My boss is sending us up in a couple of weeks so we can visit the area and see if we like it (how cool).

    Anyway, any advice as far as housing? If we buy a home up there, we would would to keep it below $150k. I know that limits us to mostly mobile homes or townhouses/condos.

    Since I do not plan to be up there for the long term, I am considering renting.

    I percieve the advantage to being in an apartment or condo is that in the cold months it is easier to heat ($ wise) because you are surrounded by other units and the collective radiant heat helps your unit stay warm easier than if you are in a standing alone dwelling.

    Is that accurate?

    Additionally, is it an advantage to have an AWD vehicle rather than FWD with all the snow up there?
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  5. #5
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    DO NOT BUY......... yet !!!!
    The market is bucking the system here and property $$$ are still rising
    but VT is always behind the civilized world and US in EVERYTHING. It would
    be best to see what the market does when the slowdown hits here like
    it has in the South. In otherwards, definately rent !!! Areas vary greatly too,
    You can see something five miles away that will appeal to you after a 'bad'
    area. You will not need a four wheeler unless you are really going into the
    dirtroad, backwoods, inbreed-deliverance type areas. I have a little econo-box
    that has all-seasons and my wife has a Scion Box with 4 snow tires and we got
    around with absolutely no problems. They jump on the snow right away and know
    how to deal with it. But, the salt and slush mess will really muck up you vehicle
    Use as much of the time you can when you come and look at many of the surrounding areas to see where you might like to live. You can PM me if you want, Im sort of new here but you are forced to learn about stuff quickly here
    Our house is in a very desirable area and will be up for sale in the spring but the ride would be waaaay to far for your commute.
    The looooong winter can get to you at about month 5 or so but the beauty, laidback atmosphere and bicycling will more than make up for it.
    If you are an outdoors person, there are a zillion activities to choose to partake of at anytime of year !
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  6. #6
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Snow tires will be fine on your cars. If you've never driven in snow before, practice in a parking lot or something.

    BTW, I think fall arrived already, as I was freezing the other day on a ride in shorts and a jersey, and this morning I'm surprised I didn't see frost on the ground.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lecterman
    It's looking more and more likely that I will take the job. My boss is sending us up in a couple of weeks so we can visit the area and see if we like it (how cool).

    Anyway, any advice as far as housing? If we buy a home up there, we would would to keep it below $150k. I know that limits us to mostly mobile homes or townhouses/condos.

    Since I do not plan to be up there for the long term, I am considering renting.

    I percieve the advantage to being in an apartment or condo is that in the cold months it is easier to heat ($ wise) because you are surrounded by other units and the collective radiant heat helps your unit stay warm easier than if you are in a standing alone dwelling.

    Is that accurate?

    Additionally, is it an advantage to have an AWD vehicle rather than FWD with all the snow up there?
    Agree with the above post about property values. Still rising here in VT.
    We (fiancee and I) just bought a 2 br 1 bath with attached garage (bike storage unit!) town house in the New North End of Burlington.
    $190k. I feel like it should have gone for $160k... but the comps all showed in the $180 - $200 range.
    Appraised at $190. Still pretty reasonable for some of the stuff we looked at!

    Not long term? The place may grow on you... and you may find that you want to stay!

    Heat can be tricky. When I was renting in SVT heat was included. I actually had to turn off the radiators and keep a few windows cracked on my floor as the heat from below kept me a bit too toasty!

    You still thinking about Montpelier? Wonderful town. Not sure how the property and rental prices are going though. Friend just finished his house in Plainfield (about 10 miles out of MP) on 10 acres for $150k. (got the land at a sweet price, and the building was done mainly by him!)

    What about White River Junction? or a small town off 89 a little closer to work? There are some really beautiful spots in Woodstock $$$ , Randolph, Bethel (haven't been through there in awhile), and Royalton.

  8. #8
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    You can find housing for 150 in lebanon, but it may not be your dream home.
    The median house value in 2000 in lebanon was 121.000 but house value has increase every year in NH, you dont get a whole lot of a house for your money up here.
    A lot of people look at differents options for heating in the winter, from December thru February is where it gets costly, I have a pellet stove and that has kept my house pretty toasty and has saved me money.
    Buying or renting is totally up to your beliefs, I myself dont see the point in throwing money out the window in rent.
    I had a front wheel drive car that I sold, it wasnt any good in snow.
    ohh.. It is cold, but last year was a pretty mild winter, not bad at all, maybe youll be this lucky for this year.
    This could be a culture shock to you, Lebanon has a population of about 13, 000...but Manchester is about 70 miles is you ever want to see civilisation again NH is very beautiful and the people very friendly.
    Im from where it is breath taking and Im surrounded with yuppie big shot people, but if you tune them out, my surroundings are to die for! I would NEVER move even for all the heat in the world.

  9. #9
    Junior Member eBent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lecterman
    I got a call from my boss today asking me if I would be interested in running our distribution center in West Lebanon, NH.

    While the thought is intriguing and I would get a raise, I am concerned about the cost of living up there. I live in Texas now and it is fairly low.

    I did a COL comparison and it showed I would have to get a 33% raise to have the same standard of living if I move to West Lebanon, but only a 10% raise I were to live in Montpelier(with a 50 minute one way commute).

    Can anyone give up there help give me some direction?
    The New Hampshire advantage is cost of living, no sales tax and no state income tax. Plus a low cost and fairly efficient state government.

    Plus, you wiill be living next to the Down Hill Century, 90 mile down hill loop.

    Enjoy the Ride ... Roland
    I try to be cynical, but can't keep up.

  10. #10
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eBent
    The New Hampshire advantage is cost of living, no sales tax and no state income tax. Plus a low cost and fairly efficient state government.

    Plus, you wiill be living next to the Down Hill Century, 90 mile down hill loop.

    Enjoy the Ride ... Roland
    How can a loop be down hill? Dante's Inferno is the only one that comes to mind...

  11. #11
    Belt drive! vtjim's Avatar
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    A Subaru with studded snow tires = Mountain goat. Subaru is the official car of Vermont, so you have to buy one if you live here. It's the law.

  12. #12
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtjim
    A Subaru with studded snow tires = Mountain goat. Subaru is the official car of Vermont, so you have to buy one if you live here. It's the law.
    +1

    With a rack for bikes, kayaks, and skis.

  13. #13
    Old Crank
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    Greetings from the Vermont side of the Upper Valley. Plus Side: Great road bike riding, esp. if you like hills, low traffic, scenic stuff; Wallmart/strip malls is not common, but trying to rear its ugly head; nice people, somewhat reservered; good schools for the kids; low crime; jobs, esp. in health care(DHMC);peace and quiet. Neg. Stuff: have to drive to get places, not compact like urban areas; winters (good/bad-no biking, but good snowshoeing);AWD better, 2 WD worse(Got Suburu/Matrix AWD); cost of living higher: overpriced realestate, esp. around Hanover/Norwich, have to drive out to get affordable stuff, learn to like wood heat, winter means higher maintence like snowplowing driveway, wear/tear on house. It all comes down to what you want in whatever stage of life you are in. Having kids is a stage different then without kids, retired is different then working. Outllooks change, needs change. Vermont politics are much more progressive then NH. NH is a one party Stalinist State (from the right that is...) NH spouts off about no income tax, etc. Check out their property taxes...Regressive Taxes of Die!


    MotoMan
    Proud resident of the Socialist Republic of Vermont

  14. #14
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MotoMan
    NH is a one party Stalinist State (from the right that is...) NH spouts off about no income tax, etc. Check out their property taxes...Regressive Taxes of Die! ...Proud resident of the Socialist Republic of Vermont
    Gee, and I thought socialism was one of the forms of government practiced under Stalin.

    Lecterman, what Motoman is trying to tell you is that in NH you pick your own tax by where you live. Every town has a different property tax rate. By choosing a modest home in a low property tax rate town, you can effectively pay less taxes. Your salary never comes into play. By renting, you in theory pay no taxes (but of course it is built into the rent). NH does have more economic development than VT (i.e. big box retail), but from Lebanon, one has to travel around 50 miles to find any in Concord or Keene. If you prefer Texas politics over--- let's say--- New York politics, then NH is the state you will choose. If it is the other way around, then go for VT. Good luck with your decision.

    And Motorman, there is no need to lob insults across the Connecticut River. Enjoy VT. You don't even have to visit NH, unless of course you are looking for cheap airfare out of Manchester.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

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  15. #15
    Happy old man al-wagner's Avatar
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    I agree with -=£em in Pa=- 100% I live in Burlington and hate it.
    My daughter and her family live in McKinney Texas and the cost and quality of living is better in the great state of Texas.
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  16. #16
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    If it's not too late to chime in:

    I lived in the Upper Valley for a year, and I would _love_ to move back after my stint here in Europe. You have to like snow, but if you do, it's a wonderful place.

    As for housing, everything is way expensive in Hanover/Norwich, but you can still find deals nearby (an older house in Wilder, White River Junction). I have heard, but I'm not sure, that if you live in VT and work in NH, VT still gets you for income tax, but property taxes are less, so ask someone knowledgible.

    You don't have to go too far out to get 'decent' housing. Bethel, Windsor, Fairway, Plainfield, Grantham are all within a typical commute. (I got lucky and lived and worked in Wilder, so I could ski to work in the winter and MTB in the summer on the snowmobile trails -- how cool is that?).

    Finally, http://www.mclaughry.com/home.asp has real estate searchable BY MAP, which is indespensible if you're new to the area.

    Happy sugaring!

  17. #17
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awagner109
    I live in Burlington and hate it.

    Wha?
    Yeah, things can be expensive and real estate in town or nearby is pricey... but where are you going to find a northern city with a ped mall at its heart, tons of good eats, college energy to spice it up a bit, mountains and water out your door? And if you live right you could ditch the car for most things in town... (and out of town for that matter)

    I don't like the Williston sprawl, nor the big box stores that helped fuel it all. That seems so unVermont. But on the whole alot of things are done well here. IMHO

    Texas? C'mon. How does it compare?


    If you're searching for a dollar to dollar comparison you probably are right... but for lifestyle, etc... in my book VT can't be beat.

  18. #18
    Belt drive! vtjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike
    Wha?
    Yeah, things can be expensive and real estate in town or nearby is pricey... but where are you going to find a northern city with a ped mall at its heart, tons of good eats, college energy to spice it up a bit, mountains and water out your door? And if you live right you could ditch the car for most things in town...
    +1000

    It has its problems, like any other place, but if you're a four-season kind of person, the quality of life here can't be beat. And don't forget, when you need a change, in about 90 minutes, you can be in the middle of Montreal...

  19. #19
    Bicycle built for 5 tuolumne's Avatar
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    What does Burlington Vermont have to do with Lebanon NH? That would be quite a commute. I have been looking at potential employment in Lebanon for 6 months now, and kept my eye on real estate. Location is everything. There are some areas of VT and NH where housing is extremely affordable. Our preference would be to find land and build ourselves. Unfortunately, non of these affordable areas are within a bike commute, or even a reasonable car commute to Lebanon. Good hospitol is important to us with fatal allergies in our children, and it doesn't get much better than Dartmouth. Our searching radiated around the I-89 river crossing as we wanted to be nearer a church beginning in Norwich VT and its members, so this restricted the options somewhat. I know that things did get cheaper moving towards Claremont, which is not an unreasonable drive from Lebanon, but again, the bike commute was important to me if I am going through the trouble of moving. There is some really beautiful country around there! That would also put you within striking distance of Peter White Cycles which can't be a bad thing. Get ready for lots of hills. Lots of luck to you.
    Would rather be at 119.49079W, 37.76618N

  20. #20
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuolumne
    Unfortunately, non of these affordable areas are within a bike commute, or even a reasonable car commute to Lebanon.
    Of course I have no idea what 'reasonable' and 'affordable' mean to you, so I'll spare you the "Did you look X?" comments.**

    BUT, I did want to point out that there is a bike trail (paved, I think) that runs from West. Leb, through Lebanon, and out to Enfield (and beyond) that would make the commute from Enfield a lovely bike ride in the summer. When I was there, Enfield wasn't too outrageous, but that is in comparison to Hanover and Norwich.

    **Unless, of course, you want to hear me get all nostalgic about my magical year in Vermont...

  21. #21
    The Guadfather Lecterman's Avatar
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    No news yet. The job was basically mine if no one else applied, but since someone else applied we have to go through the interview process.

    Waiting for that now, but from what my boss, said it should be no competition.

    So it's very likely that I will be moving, but I am unsure of the timeline.

    We are probably going to start out renting and buy if/when the right opportunity presents itself.
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  22. #22
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    place to get a bike

    Is there any place in or around Keene, or Manchester NH to get a fixed gear bike, or do any fixed races or anything?

  23. #23
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    Hi Lecterman,

    Im from southern New England I love to vaction in northern new england. People are great in Vermont and not to bad in New Hampshire either. I think you will be happy to live there.
    You need to add value to the area if you love the outdoors. The cycling, hiking, backpacking and kayaking are second to none and need to be considered when you are judging cost of living. It will cost more to live here but these things add value that you cant put in your pay check. only you and your family will know how much value this will add to living standard. As others have said there are a lot of people who would live nowhere alse if there where jobs availble.

    George

  24. #24
    Member Ogrethorpe's Avatar
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    No state income taxes in NH plus you get a licence plate the say "Live free or die"
    Last edited by Ogrethorpe; 01-18-10 at 10:16 AM.

  25. #25
    Member Ogrethorpe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelamp View Post
    Is there any place in or around Keene, or Manchester NH to get a fixed gear bike, or do any fixed races or anything?
    http://nevelodrome.com/

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