My husband always says that “Vermont is the greatest exporter of young people” and now we’re living it. Even though we make a decent income, we’re finding we can’t afford to live here anymore. My family has been priced out of Vermont.
“No results”. That’s what I would get when I plugged our rental criteria into the search feature for a rental in Vermont. Who knew having 2 cats and 2 kids would be such a deal-breaker for a couple! Our criteria are not all that outlandish. We were looking for a 3 bedroom rental that allows cats and doesn’t cost more than $1500 a month in rent. Except in Vermont, it basically doesn’t exist – at least not in the areas we want to live in, where our friends and family are. The housing and rental markets in Addison and Chittenden counties have hit an all-time high. Homes are being purchased for well over the asking price and apartments are being rented sight unseen as soon as they hit the market. It’s no wonder my family has been priced out of Vermont.
With this in mind, my family is in the process of moving, for the 2nd time in two years. We’ve been living in a rental home and the owners would like to sell the property. This is familiar – it happened to us last year right when the world went into lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We will be starting over again in a whole new place.
This move wasn’t on our timeline, but it’s happening anyway, and we’re trying to make the best of it. When I kept getting “no results,” I started to feel discouraged and scared, and ultimately decided to look for housing out of state. It kind of breaks my heart to even write that. I feel like Vermont is pushing us out. We have been priced out of Vermont. We can no longer afford to live here in a way that works for our family.
When we had to move a year ago, our plan was to travel and visit places to try and decide where we would eventually settle. After COVID happened, we didn’t get to do that. So we planned to stay in Vermont another year and continue saving and searching for where we want to settle with our family.
Where do you start when you’re deciding where to move? We started by looking at places where we have family members living there. Being priced out of Vermont made us become diligent about researching the cost of living wherever we looked. We’ve got family all over so we were considering many different locations, but the cost of living and the sunshine drew us to South Carolina. It didn’t hurt that my mom lives there!
We have more flexibility than some people because we’re homeschoolers and work from home, but we’ve also made connections in Vermont and built a community. My youngest daughter is kindergarten-aged and wants to go to public school. We’re trying to make a decision that gives her access to public school and also gives us what we need as a family in terms of space and cost of rent. We had to make a decision – stay and keep trying to find rental homes in Vermont, or make a change and look out of state.
Let me tell you – the weight of the unknown was killing us. The daily searching and lack of quality rentals in Vermont was a major bummer. My husband and I are planners and action takers and we decided to take action. I hope I’m not making it sound easy because it wasn’t. There were tears, disagreements, and sleepless nights.
Once we made a choice though, we could move forward. Or should I say run forward! Things started happening pretty quickly after that and now we’re about 15 days out from a multi-state move. I never dreamed I’d be priced out of Vermont. I always thought I’d buy a home and live here forever. I am mourning the loss of the life I thought I would have and feeling hopeful and curious about the life ahead of me.
Stay tuned to hear more about our move!