Why Vermont?

Why Vermont?

Reed Tuckson, a board member of United Health Foundation, says that, “A big problem in America is that we don’t see things as a community.” Yearly, the United Health Foundation, along with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, rank states based on individual habits of residents, community and environment, public and health policy, and accessible care. Vermont consistently ranks amongst the top healthiest communities in the nation.

So, what are people looking for who plan to move to Vermont? Whether it is for business or pleasure, I suspect any attraction to a new place of residence or business likely takes root in the part of our minds that dreams big and is thus, at least momentarily, unhindered by fear or an awareness of the down side.

Of course, expectations can lead to wonderful outcomes; they also lead to compromises. You would think that people who seek out information about a dream destination will focus on such things as long-term Real Estate value, the proximity of schools and other amenities and perhaps even crime rate. However, it appears that general concerns have shifted to more subtle needs, and Vermont fits to a “T”.

Posts found on several online forums generally list the following as most sought assets or qualities for the destination of choice:

–         Sense of community

–         Dynamic and family-friendly town center

–         Community that is open to strangers and diversity

–         Good schools, libraries, playgrounds, walking trails

–         Eco-oriented mentality

–         Technically-welcoming infrastructure

There exist many misconceptions, or myths, about Vermont. One Vermont visitor, who later sought information about moving here, stated that, “You can buy a very decent house for the price of a shack here.” Another one questioned the ability to make any living at all in this state. His doubts might be put to rest by Robert Du Grenier, who moved his Manhattan design company, glass-painting factory and gift shop to Townshend, Vermont in 1999.

According to a Business News article about Du Grenier, “Skyrocketing real estate costs have pushed manufacturers out of expensive cities like Manhattan for decades… Lower overhead in rural areas may be a strong push — but a gentler lifestyle is a strong pull.”

The internet often provides entrepreneurs with the flexibility to choose a home base that is in line with personal lifestyle values first, while still satisfying business needs. In fact, Du Grenier’s initial fear of losing clients soon proved ill-conceived: “The first two years after his move, his design business revenues were up 20% from his last two years in New York.”

Amy Golod, who writes for the U.S. World & News Report, placed “Moving to Vermont” at #1 of her list entitled “50 Ways to Improve Your Life”. As we look at this community today, and other communities throughout this state, it is easy to see that Vermont is not merely a quaint little place where one might find a decent house to retire to for the price of a shack. Vermont is a place to nestle residential and commercial dreams of all shapes and sizes.



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Business Week – Meg Lundstrom

UC Berkeley Parents Network

US World & News Report – Amy Golod

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