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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, I’ve been lurking for a couple of years - just reading and watching. But now I’m thinkin’ that current events (both in my personal Small Picture and in the general Big Picture) indicate the Time has come. More on my main question in a second, first let me unload this for your information and my own mulling. Skip to the bottom if you want - I’m feeling long winded and have planned and thought on this many years.

Here’s our situation:
Currently my wife and I live in an old farmhouse on an acre in Cent Ca. We garden about ¼ of the acre, trees and vines on about a ¼, chickens, rabbits, pond, and kids (human kind) on the rest. I have always thought we would move to a small place in a much more affordable and sustainable area since I was little. We've collected tools and skills, in fact my wife Susan has always worked at home; kids, husband, sewing, cooking, baking, she’s more prepared and ready than me.

Small Picture
We have 3 children all grown with families; one son, his wife and 2 little ones stationed for at least 4 more years at least in Oklahoma City, oldest daughter, her daughter and husband stationed (more or less permanently) near Killen, TX. My wife and I miss them greatly. Finally, our youngest daughter and her 2 babies are now living with us and she is ready for a change - for obvious reasons.

I’m a graphic designer, last year my partner (in a VERY small advertising agency) decided he wanted less responsibility, so we fired our employees and dissolved our business. The employees we let go all seem to be doing well after starting their own businesses. That’s a relief - I felt very guilty dropping that big (you know what) on them.
I decided I would work at home to see how things went and give us time to revise our future plans. Unfortunately, without the the extra revenue generated by those employees, I’m afraid I won’t be able to make ends meet in the long run, especially my huge mortgage - we were planning to pay it off as fast as possible. Of course now that I only have a 1.5 month old business (not a 10 year old one) I doubt my ability to refinance - even if we decided to stay here - which I think we won't.

In addition to having collected LOTS of tools and various skills, our resources include approx. $80k - $100k in home equity, $20k as operating capitol for my business, $30k savings (not including small 401k’s), and the ability to reliably generate $2k-$3k per month from just about anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection. Of course “out-of-sight and out-of-mind” may erode the income from existing clients - hopefully they can be replaced with new clients closer to our new area. That is, until one or more of the Big Picture events below eliminate that income.


Big Picture
I’m not trying to start an argument here on these points – it’s just MY assessment of possible conditions over the next 5 – 10 years – hopefully never and I certainly hope not sooner.

Oil Peak! Maybe already happened but surely in the next few years.

Real Estate Bubble + Trillion-dollar Federal Budget plus Current Account deficit + Dollar Collapse = Massive defaults by individuals, businesses and govt’s (Maybe never or maybe tomorrow)

Flavor of the week environmental, warfare, biological or terrorist threat (IMHO, a distant third to the above)

Now the question! In light of our assets (hard and otherwise), the desire to be close to our family and the idea of eventually becoming as self-reliant as possible, could I have your opinion as to a suitable region within say 3 - 4 hours drive from both Oklahoma City and Killen TX? A wish list might include; distance and prevailing wind isolation from both urban centers and mil targets, a 10-acre woodlot (or suitable area to develop one), maybe 10 ac of pasture, 10 to 20 of arable land (eventually) and possibly a pond. Any type of habitable home and outbuildings would be fine (in a previous life I was a carpenter and then a general contractor), of course Susan wants an early Victorian (she of course is flexable! Existing power and wells/septic would also make her extremely happy.

Thanks in advance for the responses and sorry for the novel!

Mike
 

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I can't help you find a place close to your kids, sounds like you can do that by looking at a map and searching the net. It sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that it is the right move to make. From a strictly objective outsider view, I don't see how you can not. Moving from California to almost anywhere will see a huge drop in the cost of living. You should be able to find a place with acerage and a house and pay cash for it with your equity unless you go crazy and get in over your head, but then that of course would defeat the purpose of leaving California. With the computer age, it sounds like you might be able to work anywhere with a little imagination. I had been a suburbanite for my first 44 years of my life. I had always wanted a place in the woods, and we finally did it 6 years ago, I will never go back. Make up your mind, set the wheels in motion and do it now. It takes a while to get set up in your new place especially if you have to do a lot of work on it to make it a "home". Good luck and keep us abreast of your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the encouragement Dixielee.

The wheels are grinding.

Just looking for a local perspective I guess.

How's things in your area, or are you keeping that to yourself?

Pops
 

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Pops Black said:
Hi folks, I’ve been lurking for a couple of years - just reading and watching. But now I’m thinkin’ that current events (both in my personal Small Picture and in the general Big Picture) indicate the Time has come.

Small Picture
We have 3 children all grown with families; one son, his wife and 2 little ones stationed for at least 4 more years at least in Oklahoma City, oldest daughter, her daughter and husband stationed (more or less permanently) near Killen, TX. My wife and I miss them greatly. Finally, our youngest daughter and her 2 babies are now living with us and she is ready for a change - for obvious reasons.

In addition to having collected LOTS of tools and various skills, our resources include approx. $80k - $100k in home equity, $20k as oI’m a graphic designerperating capitol for my business, $30k savings (not including small 401k’s), and the ability to reliably generate $2k-$3k per month from just about anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection.

Now the question! In light of our assets (hard and otherwise), the desire to be close to our family and the idea of eventually becoming as self-reliant as possible, could I have your opinion as to a suitable region within say 3 - 4 hours drive from both Oklahoma City and Killen TX?
Mike
Mike, do it! You've got what you need to do it and now's the time if ever you're going to. Don't stay where you're at and have taxes, debt, etc. eat up your assets.
Check out www.UnitedCountry.com for an idea of what's available. Also find a real estate agent who's got multiple listings and see what they can come up with from their "partners" in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. I live in the Metromess (Dallas/Ft. Worth area) which is slightly more towards the OK City side than Killeen, but there's some nice land on either side of the Metromess that you're bound to find and fall in love with. Go with small towns like Granbury, TX, or Bright Star, AR. Stay away from the suburbs. Land prices skyrocket within 1-1.5 hours of the Metromess. Be aware that the straight shot highway between the two towns in OK and TX can be a boogerbear to drive during rush hours and not so much fun even when not in the rush hours.
Check out other postings here under the requests for suggestions of where to homestead for ideas too. There's a lot of folks who have started their hunt and can offer advice or make you think of Q.s that you might have forgotten.
Good luck! Judi :yeeha:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Judi for the tips, my searches didn't amount to much for that area.

I didn't know about United! Was it the old United Farm? Susan is going there now.

And I'm not into suburbs, so rest assured.

Pops

P.S. I only flew into, then drove out and back to, what you all are calling the "metromess" once. I don't even want to be downwind of that place.
 

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I hear that! lol I think United Country puts out something like United Farm. They have several mags, including finding centuries old Victorian houses. Good Luck! Judi
 

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Check out Palestine, TX and Athens, TX and Fredricksburg, TX. You should be able to find just what you are looking for.

You also should be able to find clients in the Dallas, TX and Austin, TX, maybe even San Antonio and Houston.

Good luck to you. We cashed in and we are not sorry.
 
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Ft. Worth/Dallas is about central of the two areas. But if it was me I would be looking for something right around the river that divides the two states which is more toward Oklahoma City. Of coarse I'm a fisherman so water attracts me.
 

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I live about halfway between Okla. City and Kileen - in rural N. Texas near the Oklahoma border. Property taxes are higher in Texas but Oklahoma has a state income tax. This is one thing to consider. Land/houses in Oklahoma are cheaper than in Texas. There is a a Yahoo group called NewOkiePioneers which you might want to join. They might be able to give you some good ideas on where to buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all!

The suggestions and encouragement are a great help, much more than we get from our friends here. They ask: “Why would you leave CA?”

We are checking out each area suggested – in fact Susan, Miss (our daughter) and Kim (our OK daughter-in-law) are burning up the Internet looking!

Thanks Mudwoman, and r.h. I’m with you on the fishing!

Modine, I’m thinking that I will wind up with more property than income and so I’m leaning north. I am going to register on that group, thanks!

It just dawned on me; my great grandfather was (probably) a “Sooner” in the Run for the Cherokee Strip, so I guess this move would make me a “Later.” LOL!

Thanks okiemom, going there now.

Pops
 

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I've been in OK all my life, and think you would enjoy it here. I bet you could pay cash (or close to it) for a decent place here just on the equity from your home, especially if you are looking rural. If you are looking in the OKC area, Shawnee might be a good bet. If you are looking between OKC and Dallas metro, I'd shoot for Pauls Valley or Ardmore area. Both right close to I-35 and more small town than city.

If you're looking in Oklahoma for beauty, though, I agree that you can't beat Eastern Oklahoma around Lake Tenkiller, and even better SE Oklahoma around Broken Bow and Poteau. Heaven on Earth, but hot in the summer!
 

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OKC and Killeen are pretty much on a straight north-south line.

The Ardmore area is about 75 miles south of OKC. It's in the beautiful Arbucle Mountains. Nearby is Turner Falls, my favorite place in Oklahoma, Lake Murray and the huge Lake Texoma.

Killeen is about 230 miles south of Ardmore.

I used to go to Turner Falls three or four times a year when I was growing up in Oklahoma but haven't been there in about 20 years.

It was still beautiful then and probably still is.

Ardmore is large enough that you should be able to get a toll-free Internet connection.

That United Country Real Estate website mentioned above would definitely be a good place to start browsing around.

If you look around a lot you'll find land in some parts of Oklahoma for less than $500 an acre. You'll find good land with pasture, woods and ravines in Eastern Oklahoma for $1,000 an acre.

Aside from the state income tax, Oklahoma is a better place to live than Texas -- always has been, always will be.

Texans would probably disagree with that but they'd simply be wrong -- again.
 

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Your first and best choice should be Texas, It's a whole other country with the best asset being the independent, friendly people. Thats why OU always works desperatly hard to recruit a majority of Texans as starters on football teams. Oklahoma is a poor second, but better than Ca. Good luck wherever you land. Glen
 

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quietstar said:
Your first and best choice should be Texas,
Your last and worst choice would be Texas.

It's a whole other country
You got that right. So is the Arctic. But who'd want to live there?

with the best asset being the independent, friendly people.
Where are they? The only ones I ever found there were arrogant braggarts and liars. In fact, the only thing really wrong with Texas are Texans.

Thats why OU always works desperatly hard to recruit a majority of Texans as starters on football teams.
Only in Texas is quality of life predicated on football games.

Oklahoma is a poor second
Oklahoma is second to nothing. It's above Texas -- geographically and in everything else.

but better than Ca.
Hell is better than Kalifornia.

Good luck wherever you land.
Right. And you'll need it if you land in Texas, whose state symbols are now the gurney and needle.
 

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Now, boys, play nice - some of us don't pick where we live by our football teams! Now, basketball, that's another story!

If you're anywhere between Dallas and Oklahoma City on I-35, the scenery is pretty much all the same anyway - except Texas has tattoo parlors and porn shops, and Oklahoma doesn't!
 

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Christine in OK said:
Texas has tattoo parlors and porn shops, and Oklahoma doesn't!
BWAhahahahahhahaha!!!!
MUWAhahahahahhahaha!!!!

Oklahoma's other nickname is The Natural State.

Oklahoman's are proud of their natural selves and have no need either to decorate their bodies like peacocks nor disguise them like criminals (which is pretty dumb of criminals when you really think about it).

I haven't crossed the Red River heading south since I was a teenager running bonded into dry Oklahoma from a wet Texas county.

And if I were heading for Mexico I'd either fly over Texas or drive the long way around through New Mexico.

BWAhahahahahhahaha!!!!
MUWAhahahahahhahaha!!!!
 

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Christine in OK said:
If you're anywhere between Dallas and Oklahoma on I-35, the scenery is pretty much all the same anyway - except Texas has tattoo parlors and porn shops, and Oklahoma doesn't!
Texas it is then! :haha:
 

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Case, I have to aggree with you. Oklahoma has state income tax, but Texas has excessive property tax.I've lived here for 37yrs & I could care less about Texas.SE OK is the the most beautifull place that I've ever lived. I'll be retiring to there in a few years. I own my place, & the property taxes are not likely to be restrictive in my lifetime. When I move there in a few yrs, there will be internet options.
 

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Pops, I sure hope it doesn't seem like we've tried to hijack your thread. I really think we just want you to know what a wonderful part of the country you're looking at. Either state would suit your needs, I'm sure; we're all just "real" proud of where we're from, and we'd love the chance to claim you as one of "ours". Wherever you choose, let us know and I'm sure anyone within the vicinity here will welcome you in any way possible.

Now, Case, I'm pretty sure it's Arkansas that's "The Natural State". I know I've seen it on their propaganda Uhr, um, travel brochures. Seriously, though, Northwest Arkansas is really about the most beautiful place I've seen, but a bit too far from OKC/Dallas for what I think you are looking for, Pops.
 
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