How to relocate to Vermont

My name is Amanda, and I moved to Vermont in 2019 from Seattle, Washington. Moving across the country can feel daunting, but I assure you, with the right Realtor, who has first-hand experience with the process, it can be a smooth transition.

I visited Vermont several times with my husband prior to our move. We stayed in Burlington, visited Brandon, and spent our honeymoon in the Cabins at Stowe. Vermont is a special place with wonderful people. The people are what brought us here, they are friendly and happy. A small town with a big heart felt like the perfect place to raise our children.

We began our home buying journey like many of you out there. We looked at our finances, cringed, and started making changes. We wanted to move in 2018, but the finances still were not lining up. I had stayed home to raise our children, but believed it takes a team effort to save for a house and pay off student loans, so I got a job. I worked second shift as a security guard for Facebook in Redmond, Washington. For six months, I only saw my husband on the weekends and I only slept 6 hours a night. We had to get to Vermont and six months is not that much of a sacrifice. We found a Realtor, and we started looking at houses on the computer. We booked a flight in May, 2 months before we were to move to Vermont. We looked at 8 houses from Waterbury to Saint Albans. We picked the Saint Albans house for 2 reasons, one, it was the largest and newest house out of the bunch, and two, we liked the look of downtown Saint Albans. We went to our Realtor’s office to discuss options and sign the paperwork. The house we chose had been on the market for 200 days, so we decided to offer less than the asking price. You have to be careful about offering below the list price, because if you offer too low, the seller will feel insulted and not want to work with you. After some negotiating with the seller through our agent, we met in the middle, and went under contract. We boarded a plane back to Seattle the next day. 

Our agent attended our home inspection a week later, as we could not. The inspection uncovered high levels of Radon in the basement. If you are not familiar with Radon, it is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the earth. Now that houses are built air-tight, the gas enters the basement and can’t get out. Prolonged exposure to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. The seller had to install a radon fan in the basement as part of our contract. A radon mitigation company drills down into the floor of your basement and installs a pipe that runs all the way to the top of your roof where the gas is released. The inspection also uncovered that the well water contained e coli. This fact almost broke the deal. The seller didn’t want to pay the $1,000 for the ulta-violet water filtration system, so our agent asked us if we would pay for it. I said of course we would pay for it, that is a small price for clean water. The other items that the seller fixed were minor, but we were grateful because he is a contractor and we are not. We signed a power of attorney (POA) with our attorney so that they could sign for us at the closing. That way we didn’t need to fly back to Vermont for the closing. The day before the closing, we were waiting for our lender to tell us the final amount we needed to bring to closing. I’m not going to sugar coat this part. We did not get the amount until 1:15 pm pacific time, and we had to wait until after work to go to the bank… do not do this! Upon arriving at the bank and waiting in line, they told us that the wire transfer could not be completed until the next morning. Seattle is 3 hours behind Vermont and we were very concerned the wire would not go through on time. Luckily, true to their word, the bank did our wire transfer first thing, and all funds were in our lawyers account prior to closing.

Back in Seattle, we were donating and gifting most of our possessions until we were down to 22 cubic feet of stuff. (Packing is never fun). My husband even sold his car so that we were only bringing one car across the country. FYI, do not buy or sell anything after you get a pre-approval or go under contract for a house, it can mess up your mortgage. (We waited until after we closed on the house to deposit the check for the car). At the end of June, we loaded the U-Pak ourselves with the help of a few friends in the course of 3 days. Then ABF Freight arrived and took the trailer away. We slept on air mattresses and the floor until it was time to leave for our epic road trip across the country to our new home!

We arrived in Vermont July 11th. We had to go to the lawyer’s office to pick up the keys and then we headed north to Saint Albans. When we pulled into the driveway of our new home, it was really exciting. Our children, 4 and 7 at the time, had never seen the house except in photos. Our trailer would not arrive until we called ABF Freight and told them we were ready for it, so the first night in our home, we spent on air mattresses on the floor of our living room. There was a summer thunderstorm, and no air conditioning. We will never forget our first night in our new home and the people who helped us to make home ownership a reality.

As a Realtor who has relocated to Vermont, I can tell you from personal experience that it can be done. If you have any questions about the process or would like to chat about life in Vermont, give me a call.


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