We just returned from our second house-hunting trip to Vermont. We really thought we'd found the right home this time - we even made a formal offer to the seller. Unfortunately, the deal is off because the owner wants full price and the house is just not worth that much in this housing market.
There's a bright side to this. Even though we spent a good part of our time looking over the home, the lot, talking with town officials about lot lines and easements and figuring out if we could add a garage to the home at some future date only to have the deal fall through, we discovered how much we like West Rutland so we're now putting more focus on that community to find our retirement home.
West Rutland's located just outside the city of Rutland (county seat) but close enough to get downtown to services, shopping and medical offices within a few minutes. West Rutland's a town that's embraced the arts, particularly sculpture, as a way to rejuvenate the community and energize the small downtown area. At one time West Rutland was home to a marble production center and several world-famous marble quarries. These days the quarries are closed and most marble business operations have almost disappeared. But marble is everywhere in this small town, and it's a big part of the town's history.
We visited with the Town Manager and the Town Clerk, then drove a bit further down Marble Street to The Carving Studio where Doug had a chance to meet with artists and the executive director. We took a walk around the grounds and studio areas and had an opportunity to view massive marble sculptures in process ... it was truly impressive and exciting.
We'll be back up north soon, looking more intently at West Rutland homes or vacant land for our Vermont home. Send me email if you know of a newer home (built after 1980) for sale with at least an acre of land within a half mile of West Rutland center.