Amy Arnett wrote:Long story, short: We tried to do similar and gave up before buying land.
I grew up in the Champlain Islands and my parents still live there. I wanted to have my first birthing experience in my home state, so after seven years abroad, I returned home; with my husband (Japanese citizen). Since having my first kid in Vermont was set in stone, we thought we would try to make our life there.
Ultimately, many factors drove us back to the warm embrace of Japan, but I will try to stick to those that will apply to you.
Financing and not wanting debt were the biggest contributing factors to our giving up.
Credit scores are bull shit and all the banks(that we talked to) cared about. So I had been out of the US for seven years, so no credit activity for seven years. My perfect credit score all the years before that meant nothing. We were told, even with my "rich" parents cosigning, that we had to build our credit score for at least a year before we could be considered for a loan. So get your free, yearly credit report and start building your score if you are looking for a loan.
A credit union I wouldn't recommend: NEFCU
They are kind of posh...I'll leave it at that.
A credit union I would recommend: VESCU
They were the most willing to work with us, gave us advice about raising our credit score and what they needed to approve us. They give nontraditional loans.
Anything we found on the market that fit our, looking back, unrealistic expectations, was way out of our price range. Anything in our price range was too far in the boonies or needed major repairs. Since we were more interested in land (we wanted at least ten acres) than house, I used Landwatch as my primary searching tool. Smaller lots are listed on there also. You can fiddle with the search options and only return results with buildings. There were many lots when we were looking that had septic already and no building.
Yeah, it only takes one person to start a fuss, and if it's illegal, you're done.
North Hero, where my parents are, is ridiculously strict. I've heard of town official following trucks with sheds on them to make sure the owner has a permit for their shed and payed the fees.
Alburgh, the town next door, however is a free for all, do what you want, nobody cares.
Front Porch Forum is pretty popular in Vermont as a town email newsletter type thing. You can sign up with the address of the property you are looking to buy and read the back logs to find what people complain about.
If you searched north hero's you would find such gems as "who is the person inconsiderate enough to mow their lawn so that the grass blows onto the road and not clean it up?!" and "How dare a nonprofit supporting the arts buy a barn and restore it into an art gallery and event space next to us! It will be too loud and too much more traffic!"
Anyway, I was able to have a very positive birthing experience (highly recommend UVM and the midwife team there), and now we are living happily in Japan again. Vermont just wasn't for us. Hope you find what you are looking for!
Happy to answer other questions you might have!
Travis Johnson wrote:
A lot of people cannot "see" the final product, so they pass it by, or they lack the skills to rebuild a home, but it is too bad because "new and shiny" costs a lot of money.
We were pleasantly surprised because before moving into this 90 year old Tiny House that had been vacant for 11 years, we estimated that it would cost us $16,000 to move into, that being just making it functioning, but in the end we moved into it for $1700. (There is no missing zero there, one thousand, and seven hundred dollars). That included fully insulating, and totally rewiring the home. I do admit that the inside is still very, very rough though. For us, we wanted a place that was warm, dry, and functioning, and we would improve upon the aesthetics as we went.