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Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey

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Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey


Please, Please don't take this as a put down or as a nasty post. I am just passing on my impressions. That's all.

I'm the same person who posted a few days ago that I was going to the Bennington, Manchester, Brattleboro area to take a look around and see if it was a place I would move/retire to.


We made it to Bennington and was not prepared for what we saw.

The downtown was sort of quaint I suppose, but mostly just a glorified intersection. There appeared to be nothing close to the type of housing I expected. We stopped at a realtor and I asked if there were neightborhoods of houses in the $350,000 range or so.

I was told no, and that there is virtually no new housing. We drove around Bennington and I didn't see a single area that I would describe as some place I would want to live, although I did see some probably very pricey houses near the college for sale.

I would describe what I saw as something like the deep south but without the humidity.

We decided Vermont was not for us as 60 years of living in New Jersey has evidently left it's mark on our expectations.

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1. Re: Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey

Slowmo man,

It's a good thing you came up to check things out! One can have an idea or vision of a place but once you come face to face with it - it can be completely the opposite. Sorry it wasn't for you. The nice thing about the USA is how there are so many different places ranging from NYC, to Key West to a small town in Vermont - that there should be a place perfect for everyone.

I drove accross country to Phoenix, AZ after college and stayed with my brother for about a month. I quickly realized that I had no desire to live in a smogg filled valley surrounded by mountains of dirt. I quickly escaped for the east coast. However, my brother still laughs at me and said he sees Phoenix as a sunny, warm, and very inviting city and he will most likely live out his days there. Talk about your drastically different views:)

Good luck on your search for the perfect place to retire. I've always envisioned living in the Keys of Florida (Key West if I can afford it) in my retired years - hope the hurricanes leave them in place for my time to retire.


Chester, Vermont
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for Chester, Ludlow, Vermont
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2. Re: Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey

I don't think anyone up here would take offence. I figure its all a matter of expectation and what one person considers necessary for "quality of life" another may not. If you haven't been here before its a little "culture shock" to begin with. If you are used to cell reception , shopping malls, new build homes, cinema complex and big box stores on every corner then Vermont will seem very alien. But I think you have to look further than the perceived 'backward" facade. How wonderful to retire to a place where everyone knows you and looks out for you. Where you still don't have to lock doors, where people make eyecontact and smile at strangers without fear of rebuff or agression. Where kids are polite and neighbours are downright "neighborly"! Shopping is for necessity - not a leisure activity and no one judges you based on your clothes your car your house or income - just if you are a nice person. The hospitals and medical facilities are of high quality and insurance costs less expensive than other states. I'm not a Vermont native but "I get it" and I would hate to see this place change and become just a 'suburb" of New York or Boston - I love Vermont just the way things are. Maybe if you spent more time and got to know the place from a 'vermonters" point of view you may get the big picture and be able to see past the lack of superficial stuff.

Southern VT
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3. Re: Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey

Slowmo: If you had mentioned you were looking for a new housing development in the $350K range, we would have been glad to steer you elsewhere, but probably outside of VT. Have you looked in upstate NY, perhaps in the communities around Albany? You might find what you are looking for there, though I don't know about prices.

Folks who move here for a lifestyle change often choose either to downsize into a condo (yes, they exist and more are being built), or buy a country property they could not find/afford back home. Some buy an inexpensive piece of land and build their dream home.

Interestingly, the Bennington newspaper published a large real estate section today. Prices are definitely going up, but in the $250-400 range you can get some one-of-a-kind properties w/ acreage, views, landscaping, and privacy. As a previous poster said, the sense of community is something not easy to see in a quick visit. Most of the folks I know are flatlanders (like me) who choose to live in southern VT and have connections they could not hope to build in a larger community.

I travel extensively around the northeast and cringe when I see the strip malls, MacMansions, and agricultural devastation taking place. While we are not purists here (1st Wal-mart in VT was in Bennington), we are into planning and preserving agricultural lands.

Best of luck in your search for a retirement home.

Southern Vermont
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4. Re: Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey

Please do not judge Vermont as a whole by Bennington.

I think you might enjoy Dorset, Manchester, Arlington for sure.

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5. Re: Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey

As I previously stated, I visit Manchester 2 to 3 times a year. Manchester is so very different than Bennington. It's really a nice, quaint town. I suggest a trip to Manchester. It's a great place for a weekend trip.

6. Re: Good Grief! I'm back in Jersey

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