Help with short-term relocation to AZ/KS or within MO

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by reluctantpatriot, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    My Dear One is a theological graduate student working on her final year in seminary and she has one more Clinical Pastoral Education residency to complete starting around September 2007. For brevity I will skip explaining why the following places are potential one year term relocations, they simply are. I request input on finding temporary homesteader type accomodations and suggestions for possible more rural/low population density areas near the following urban centers (which she needs to find the CPE programs):

    1) St. Louis, MO
    2) Kansas City, MO/KS
    3) Witchita, KS
    4) Yuma, AZ

    While within Missouri or into Kansas relocations are closer to where we both live right now, Arizona would be a major move for the both of us in distance from where friends and family are. What I am wanting to know is what smaller towns or rural areas are good for low cost living and possible one year stint homesteading set ups? What do I need to know about those areas that might be important for someone not knowledgable about those metro areas and the surrounding countryside?

    While I can visit web sites until my eyes bug out of my head, that research cannot replace the on-site experiences of those who live in those areas on a daily basis for years.

    What I do know for certain is that the CPE posting will be roughly a 12 month stint in that area, though for perhaps a couple of years (perhaps up to five years) afterwards the search for a permanent or semi-permanent church posting for her may require us to be at the least near the same metro area until someplace more permanent can be found for the long term in an area that suits both of us.

    While I know my stuff for where I am living now, I admit that I do not know everything there is to know about those other areas. Weather, cost of living, resources such as stores, job opportunities and such are vital information that would be helpful for me to know about from those who live there or near there.

    So, thusly I await input from the wise members of the site...

    P.S. Please focus the discussion on those four specific metro areas alone and their surrounding countryside, say out to a one hour commute at most to the metro areas.
     
  2. Billie in MO

    Billie in MO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I can help with the KC, MO/KS area. I grew up just north of KC in Platte County. My family is still there and I had to move back there for a couple of years from 2002-2004 to help out.

    The weather can be crazy. A saying we have is: "If you don't like the weather, stick around and in 5 minutes it will change!" Tornados are a sure bet. Been thru more than I can count. Can be hot and humid in the summer. Winter can be whatever. Lot of storms approach and split up right outside town, snow to the north, rain to the south and KC nothing or vice versa or it will get hit square on. Roll of the dice on what you get.

    Knowing that we would be coming back to CO we elected to buy a 5th wheel and park it at a place called Basswood RV Park. It is out in the country and less than a mile from my dad. The only down side was it is in the final approach path for KCI airport. A little loud sometimes.

    My Bill commuted every day to downtown KC and the traffic could be a bear. He tried to time it so he would miss rush hour. (Lived in worse places(L.A., D.C., London) They are doing alot of construction on the roads, as I think MO's are some of the worst. So that causes alot of tie ups. And the roads can be confusing. Got myself turned around, a few times and I grew up there, so I kinda stuck to the backroads that were there before all the interstates were built.

    We looked at houses all over and they were just too expensive for us. Used to be lots of farmland but now it is all turning into mega sudivisions. If you are wanting countryside, it will be at least an hour or more. Northern Platte County where I was is still fairly open, but rapiding growing. I have a cousin over in Clay County, on acreage, Holt area. Kearney, Liberty, Excelsior Springs are all rapidly growing, as well. Some of the smaller places like Polo, Lawson, Lathrop, Trimble, Grayson are still nice but much further out.

    My daughter is in Camden Point on 250 acres. From there north to St. Joe is acreage, but expensive.

    On the KS side, north of KC it is still fairly open. Bonner Springs, Tongonoxie, Basehor, Lansing (state pen). Have a friend in Lawrence on acreage. Fairly nice there, but probably a bit too far.

    Don't know what type of work you are looking at, for you, but like any big city it pretty much has everything. Don't have any specific money numbers for you, tho, as I don't know your price range.

    Hope that helps, a little.
     

  3. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    To give a bit more clarity, it's not so much buying a place to live within the next five years, rather finding a rentable place that will allow reasonable temporary homesteading practices for a 12 month term in or near one of the four metro areas I mentioned. Beyond that we may be able to move back to the KS/MO area after the second CPE residency (if she gets the Yuma, AZ post) if she finds a chruch that accepts her process theology orientation.

    For the first year I know we will be renting someplace, but beyond that there is uncertainty because after the second CPE residency is completed is when she can seek out a minster(ess)ial or chaplain position as a regular job.

    What I want to know, bringing clarity to the question, is what are potential smaller communities to investigate further in the periphery of those four metro areas?

    I currently live in west-central Missouri around the Lake of the Ozarks area so I know our state weather is changable. What I don't know is the feel of outlying communities and the realities of those metro areas in relation to commuting.

    I currently work from home as a reporter for a pair of sister weekly newspapers from the same office. However, I don't have to be a reporter in our new location. I do have a multitude of other skillsets to draw from. What I do know is, I want to know local demographics, housing and topographical/environmental aspects of those general areas.

    So far I have one response and it is helpful. I look forward to more input. :dance: :baby04:
     
  4. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    But everyone in KC thinks an hour drive is worth it to live outside the city!
    As another poster mentioned, Northern Platte County is still pretty rural (Southern end of the county is one of the fastest growing areas in the KC metro area).....Towns you might look at on the Missouri side that are driving distance and small/rural with fairly cheap rentals......Easton/Agency/Faucett/Gower/Stewartsville/Polo/Winston.......

    Cameron is about an hour north.....straight up I-35.....it is a "bigger" town, but several smaller areas around it that would have cheap rent and you would be outside the city.

    If you have questions about particular towns in Missouri, feel free to ask....will share what I know.....might also look at United Country Realtors website for the area......even if not buying, it would give you a good idea of the market prices for home and what rent might be based upon the home prices/market.

    We are located about 2 hours north of KC.....right up I-29 and 71 highway. Land and home prices are more expensive in this area than they are north on I-35......
     
  5. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Although I live in Illinois, I like the Arcadia Valley area of Missouri, it's about an hours drive south of St. Louis. Stay out of Illinois as our Gov. just got reelected and he's a schmuck! (just like the last one) Arcadia is quiet and peaceful. I am courious though, of which religion you speak of, (rather omit) I don't see it as being a matter to avoid. It might help others help you if they knew?? either way, I like Arcadia.... I wish you luck in finding what you need.
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I live just west of Kansas city, KS, and properties to rent with land are pretty scarce. Houses are easy to find, but not ones with land.

    Perhaps you could score a caretaker position? With garden space included?
     
  7. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Having lived in BOTH KCK/MO and St Louis, the cost of living...rental, groceries, utilities...are MUCH less in KC. Little more relaxed there also. I think wages are a touch lower in STL, and maybe the have's/have not's have a wider disparity here. Attitudes here generally suck.

    DD lived in Excelsior...rents are cheap, but it's a poor town. Nice enough though. Butler (south of KCMO) is decent. Nevada (MO!) is nice, right off the freeway, housing friendly, pretty rural, but a bit on the far side unless she's in south KCMO.

    StL area...Dittmer is cheaper, hole in the road, Fenton is decent but I hear expensive...most anything an hour to hour and a half out of STL is going to cost, and then there's the traffic issues. I have friends who swear by Arnold which is largely urban...for close to rural, you'd need to look Festus/Crystal City and south. I live in the city and when I worked 15 miles from home it usually took right at 45 minutes to get to work, no matter WHICH way I tried driving.

    I'd say for the KCK/MO areas, find where she will be FIRST then look for housing or whatever...will be much easier, commute-wise, and essentially overall.

    BTW...you might want to look at the tax situations, too. STL has a city tax if you work, or are paid from some plece in the city...if you live here, too.

    Mon...did I say we'd move back to KCK in a New York minute?
     
  8. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    My girlfriend is studying at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, suburb of the St Louis metro area. She is currently doing her first Clinial Pastoral Education program residency in Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Peters, Missouri. She is UCC (United Church of Christ) affiliation with a process theology focus and that tends to make the church possibilities a bit harder to find. So that she can have the full certification needed for possible chaplain positions to give her flexibility to find more than just ministerial positions, she needs to complete a second year long CPE program residency.

    While the first one was a bit rough to find, her seminary was able to give her assistance. She graduates from her seminary program in May 2007 and finishes her first CPE program at about the same time. She lives on campus currently in a seminary apartment building.

    After she graduates, she will have references and some assistance to find another CPE program, but she is mostly on her own in getting into the second CPE. She is a female minister(ess) and that is one major strike against her in both CPE and church pastor positions as most churches still have patriarchy issues about female clergy and what programs are open to UCC/female clergy have very limited slots available because they are few. The programs also will give her just a few months notice before she needs to relocate to prepare to attend the program in the fall of 2007 if she is accepted (not a matter of not being qualified...it's a matter of first come, first accepted with a mix of if they already have someone of her UCC/process theology flavor already selected).

    While we are trying to be close to her family/relatives or mine, the slots of programs receptive to her UCC affiliation and her gender make Yuma, Witchita, Kansas City and St. Louis the best shots to go after for her. Once she knows where she is going, I will be going with her to relocate.

    With four diverse areas to try to figure out in less than a year, I am trying to get some preliminary sites picked out for lodging/temporary homesteading/simple living so that I can figure out where I can find work, resources and have some tranquility that is still close enough for her to do a daily commute to the CPE site.

    This is not a thread on the merits of one religion or another so I respectfully ask that it doesn't devolve into one. I'm wanting to get ideas of where I need to focus research for relocation preplanning.
     
  9. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Personally, I would stay as far away from the urban centers of St. Louis and Kansas City as possible. St. Louis is rated as the third most dangerous city in the country and Kansas City isn't much better. Even though you are talking about rural commnities, the city influences bleed over into the country.

    Of course, they both have wonderful River Casinos but I don't suppose you would be terribly interested in that LOL.

    Witchita has traditional "midwestern" values whereas Yuma, I think would be more foreign to your sensibilities. Witchita, on the other hand is one of the hottest, dryest, most miserable places I have ever had the misfortune to drive through in August.

    All things being equal, I'd choose Yuma.

    donsgal
     
  10. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    We may not have a choice depending upon to which CPE program she gains admitance to. For that matter, my rural community at the Lake of the Ozarks is getting a bit too urbanized and we have no major cities close by, the closest being an hour away and even then it is small compared with the KC and STL metros.

    As for a difference between midwestern values versus "foreign" values in Yuma, what are you refering to exactly? How are they that different, aside from climate?
     
  11. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I cannot speak of Yuma specifically. However, I have spent a great deal of time in Arizona, the California desert (which Yuma is almost), and Colorado. I find that the philosophy of the west is much different than the midwest. Some of that is good and some is bad. For instance, even though you will be embroiled in the church community, people are, for the most part, I believe not as religious out west. At least not as openly religious. You will not see scripture along the side of the road, for instance. People do not talk about their faith and religion as much there.

    People out west seem to have more of a "live and let live" philosophy, I believe. Therefore, if people would be doing something "objectionable" (let's use having an adult book store as an example), people are more prone to ignore it unless it is affecting them directly.

    There is also the issue of the Native American culture. The culture is so very different than anything you will find in the Midwest. I dont' know what the NA population is in Yuma, but if it is consistent with the rest of Arizona, there are plenty of American Indians around. There are terrible problems with alcoholism and people who live on the reservation have an extraordinarily different lifestyle than non-NA. It isn't just about poverty (which is rampant on reservations), but it is about their mindset. Unless you have experienced it first hand, you cannot understand it. It is NOT A BAD THING. Just different and non Indians have a really hard time understanding and accepting their way of life. They are always trying to 'HELP" the American Indians and they always seem to go about it the totally wrong way, often making things worse. There is an enormous amount of "closet prejudice" towards Native Americans by the white population. Don't think for a moment there isn't. Actually out west, there is more prejudice against them than you will find against blacks in the South.

    Like I said, some things are good and some are bad, but be ready for a big change if you choose this option.

    Donsgal
     
  12. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    I grew up around Wichita and loved it. I've been gone for many years so don't know what it's like now. There are lots of small towns near the city, or at least there were back years ago, the city might have grown up and around them by now. That area had 4 distinct seasons, again, don't know how much that has changed in the 20 years I've been away.

    I'd move back there if I had the chance. Of course I have ulterior motives. I'd love to look up lots of my old friends from school (if they're still around). And I'd like to go see the places I lived when I was young. For me it would be a nostalgic thing so you might want to wait for a more objective and up to date opinion.
     
  13. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My SIL is ordained Presby minister (from the seminary in Louisville). I know she found many places to apply for churches online, so that may be a help if you can find those sites...I deleted all of them when she found her permanent church/s...sorry :-(

    One thing I have noticed is that there are a great number of female-headed churches in STL, some of them quite large. Having lived in the southwest, I'd say that your dear one may have a somewhat more difficult time finding the position she wants if it's likely that mostly men would apply...that "sweet little thing" syndrome is kinda active down there.

    Mon
     
  14. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    Her dream job is to be a college/university campus chaplain/councelor but she needs to have the diversity of the CPE programs to give her the credentials and experience to diversify her training. She is already ordained. For the next say 18 to 24 months, until she graduates from Eden in May 2007 and finishes the second CPE residency, wherever she gets in, she's not going to be able to have the wide gamut of training to give her more employment options to reach her goal over time.

    If she can find a chaplain or ministeress position after the second CPE, then that's fine for the mid-term. Ideally, she would like to be in Eastern Kansas/Western Missouri as we both have family, relatives and friends with those areas. However, we may not have the luxury of that option for up to five years or so (her estimation) until she finds a position that will accept her.

    I believe in her abilities and talents. I simply want to do the leg work for her so she has one less thing to worry about in the way of lodging and such. She wants me to be happy to so I'm trying to do my research as far in advance as possible so I know how I want to go about preparing for the four possible CPE program locations.

    In the end, she could find several different kinds of theological based positions once she completes the second CPE program. The only thing I know for certain is that within 24 months she and I will need to relocate so she can do the CPE program. In the 24 to 60 month timeframe it is kind of up in the air.

    I want to receive "on the ground" info about the areas ahead of time so I can find housing to rent and land to be on for the short term so I have a space for sanity and tranquility for the both of us.
     
  15. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I don't want this post to sound critical because I admire your wife's ability to work so hard to achieve her goal.... But.... It really amazes and astounds me that she is forced to jump through so many hoops. Forgive me for saying this but *this* kind of thing is exactly what is wrong with organized religion. There is too much "protocol" and beaurocratic structure and red tape and B.S. involved.

    The best preachers I have known are preachers who woke up one day and decided that they had been called by their Lord to preach and so that is what they did. They garnered respect from their community not by the degrees or education they touted but because they were good, honest decent men (and women) who were doing the one thing that they felt they needed to do.

    I'm sorry but all this educational, CPE, internship, *whatever* is taking away from what being a preacher and a religion is all about and making it something that is most decidedly is NOT. Some type of upscale, high-end profession. I'll bet her teachers drive a lot of BMWs don't they?

    I am not a religious person but if I were I would be immensly suspicious and turned off by the type of thing and go looking for some craggy old country preacher who never finished high school and raises cows and pigs to make ends meet because there just "ain't no money in preachin".

    Just one person's opinion, mind you.

    donsgal
     
  16. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    My girlfriend would agree with you on some of your thoughts. Her process theology and feminist theology viewpoints has even earned her the nickname of heretic at her seminary, but she wears the name proudly.

    As for the CPE she needs, it teaches her how to deal with end of life situations, counceling and comforting family members, dealing with traumatic situations and helping to relate and meet the spiritual needs of all faiths when working as a chaplain position, like in the hospital where she is doing her first residency. Her ministerial training allows her to interact with all faiths without fighting over who is right or wrong. Her seminary gets branded as a "liberal" institution because it welcomes all faiths within its walls rather than railing that one sectarian belief is the only right way.

    Honestly, what she has taught me so far of her religious underpinnings, she has a more inclusive, non-political world view than many of the kindly country preachers. She believes in social justice over who loves who and what they do in their bedrooms. She believes that we are not the masters of the planet, rather a cog in the greater workings of our natural world. Granted, this is part of why she is branded a heretic, because she refuses to accept the patriarchy of traditional religion and the sexism and other discrimination that most faiths have.

    And thus why she is not so hung up on any one kind of position, rather gaining training to expand her options.

    It's not my intention to cause discord with my response. I'm just trying to explain why she has a rougher row to plow than most theological students and why she has a harder time finding positions that welcome her UCC beliefs.
     
  17. debra in ks

    debra in ks Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I live in the small town of Bonner Springs KS just 20 minutes west of downtown Kansas City on Interstate 70. I also work in Tonganoxie KS which is another 20 west of Bonner Springs on HWY 24-40. Both are nice communities with that small town feel. I think you would have better luck finding acres around Tonganoxie and I highly recomend it as a very friendly place. It didn't take long before I knew the folks at the "Tongie" post office, library, grocery store etc. by name. The mayor is a very friendly grandpa who picks his grandkids up at school each day and likes nothing better than a good visit. I don't think he ever met a stranger :). The police dept. in Tonganoxie is wonderful, a helpful caring bunch of folks. A 16 year old there plowed into my car a couple of years ago and her insurance company was trying to screw me over by saying I was speeding. The "Tongie" chief of police personally went out and measured the skid marks to prove that I wasn't even going as fast as the posted speed limit. NICE GUY!

    The road crews do a pretty good job of keeping 24-40 and I-70 into Kansas City passable in the winter although on a bad day it can take much longer than 40 minutes to get to KC. Tongie tends to get a bit more snow and/or ice than I do just a few miles away.

    You might want to check out the newspaper, the Tonganoxie Mirror. You might consider putting an ad in it stating what you are looking for or just looking at the ads and reading the news to get a feel for the place. There are a lot of older folks around Tongie who are leaving their country homes to move into town or other places to be near their grown kids in their last years. I should think finding a few acres in the country would not be difficult. My boss lives and works on 10 wooded acres about 3 miles outside of town. He bought his place in '99 for $117,000. The house is 3BR, finished basement w/laundry, garage, 2BTH, electric heat, 2 woodstoves, has a creek, good well (although they use city water),and a forest of walnut trees. Places like this are still pretty common, but will be getting scarcer each year.

    Feel free to private message me with any questions, because I don't hit the forum regularly and would probably miss them. Hope you'll consider our neck of the woods and good luck to you all!
     
  18. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    It sounds to me like she will bring a lot to whatever positions she eventually holds. I hope that her presence and her heretic beliefs help bring much-needed changes and reform and acceptance. She is a good example. I'm certain that she will achieve great things.

    More power to her.

    donsgal
     
  19. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    reluctantpatriot,

    Thank you for your informative reply! Frankly, I don't quite understand much of the terminology used for seminary stuff! I do recall at one time my SIL talking about working in hospitals/schools and what different types of ministry she'd like, but she decided she'd rather have just a nice, small church (rather than a large one).

    Actually, SIL ended up with three small churchs in a small Kansas community and is quite happy there, for several years now.

    I think you'd both enjoy KCK/MO much more than the STL area. You won't have to go as far to find a rural area that you like, prices are better...roads are better!

    Mon
     
  20. 3SistersFarm

    3SistersFarm Well-Known Member

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    I can share what I know about St. Louis. I lived in the city all my life (recently moved to IL). It amazes me the "county" folks think they are going to get shot as soon as they cross the city border. I do agree as someone pointed out there is a large city tax for any type of work within the city limits.
    I owned properties across from Mo Bo Garden, to me it was the sweetest calmest area in the city. Southwest Garden Area, they have their own security patrol plus the MO Bo Garden patrols the area. I can hook you up with the very strong Southwest Garden Area neighborhood organization, a volunteer helps find you a reasonable apartment in that area.They have lots of old 4 family flats and some two family. I would rather live in a flat than a stinky ole apartment building anytime.
    I must admit I did move to Webster Groves for a few years, actually very close to the Eden seminary. Webster is where the rich old hippys live now. Webster is also very expensive to live with their large Victorian homes with lots of mature trees.
    Manchester is the first city outside the city limits. Manchester is up and coming, patchy if you ask me. Also bordering the city limits is Shrewsbury, it's OK, nothing great but nothing bad.
    I suggest you keep looking around that area of Highway 44 for easy access to Eden.
    I can also tell where not to look too and for goodness sake don't call anyone a hoosier there, that's the biggest insult you can call some one there. Those are fighten words. I think it's so funny that it's only an insult there.
    pm if you want more info, I love talking about living there and would be happy to help you.