Indiana questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by LagoVistaFarm, May 15, 2006.

  1. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    We have been having nothing but hassles where we live. A farm near Terre Haute is available that is close to what our dream land would be. We were wondering what others thought about the area.

    What are the restrictions in Indiana?
     
  2. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I have lived in Indiana all my life, and love it here, except for our current Governor and the summer humidity.
    I think you will find Indiana a great place to live. It is also an affordable place to live.
    Clovis
     

  3. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Clovis,

    The humidity may be our biggest problem, but we may have to get over it. If we have around 150 acres are we usually exempt from zoning types? Why is it affordable?

    Stan
     
  4. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I think that you will find every county in this great state a little different. As you probably know, and as a general rule, the bustling and growing areas tend to be more stringent about zoning.
    As for affordability, my guess is it is all relative to where you are have lived before you move. There are some pretty remote areas, with little growth, in Indiana. Of course, there aren't alot of high paying jobs in those areas either. On the other hand, I think you would have a very hard time buying the same type of land in the Indy metro area. The growth and sprawl is phenomenal. I just heard that one acre in a super high growth area brought $500k, and the business that bought it thought they got a steal! I think you will find the same things going on everywhere.
    If you are seriously thinking about buying this homestead, I would strongly recommend coming here for at least a week just to check out the area. I would get a hotel room close to the farm, and just spend some time checking it out....the people, zoning, businesses, etc.
    clove
     
  5. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    We have had our share of retarded governors. The last one sold our power rates down the river. In the summer afternoon power rates top out around .50 kwh with all the surcharges.

    I would safely guess that we are in a region that is in the top 95% in cost of rural living, so we are just trying to figure out the feasability. We have a off farm business that can operate anywhere to support ourselves in transition. We are not looking for jobs.

    Yes, we plan on spending time prior to final purchase. We need to fall in love with the land and community.
     
  6. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Now that I noticed that you are in California, my guess is that a farm near Terre Haute might look like a bargain. It probably is a bargain to what I have heard CA property values.
    I suggest you call and visit the zoning and planning offices in the counties you are looking at.
    I will say that Indiana tends to be pretty conservative and still part of the Bible belt. As a whole, I think you will find rural Hoosiers to be great people....steeped in values, hard working, family oriented, etc.
    A good open attitude and honest actions will help you fit in here well, but that is true anywhere.
    Clove
     
  7. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Bargain is relative. It may be for us. We have a bubbling 19 yo boy who wants to farm. Its so rare I feel compelled to assist. We have this sneaking suspicion that we may be a tad more liberal than the area. We hold family, work and moral values in high regard.

    As an example, we met a couple recently who wants to start a small farm nearby. They are very far to the left and their neighbor is really far to the right. Their idea was to run him out of town. We really don’t agree with him often, but you sure as hell aren’t going to run him out of town. What has this county turned into if we can’t have civil disagreements. I can’t agree with myself some of the time.
     
  8. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

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    After growing up in Ohio, I lived most of the 80's in SoCal, before returning to the midwest, eventually landing in Indy. Two years ago we left the city and are now in a log cabin in the woods about an hour south of Indy.

    Overall, Indiana is certainly more conservative and less diverse than California, but that doesn't mean there's not plenty of liberal voices as well. There's also a certain kind of common sense that I like. For example, my neighbor across the street decided he'd like to run for a county office. At first, he wanted to run as an independent, but decided he'd have a better chance if he was affliated with one of the parties. He went to the local Republican office and they told him they already had a candidate for that office, so he went across the street and signed up to run as a Democrat. I told him he's got my vote either way, because I think he'd do a good job.

    As for restrictions, that varies, depending on the county and/or community. In general, if you're in a rural community, there will be significantly less restrictions than you're used to from California.
     
  9. MomOf4

    MomOf4 Well-Known Member

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    As far as cost of living, it all depends on where you are in Indiana...we live in Carmel, just north of Indy. It's one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Everyone thinks that if you're from Carmel, you're rich and snobby (labeled a "Carmelite").

    My father just sold 23+ acres here over a year ago for $76K an acre (now developed into housing), but purchased 530 acres south of Spencer for $2500/acre, and 110 acres north of Lafayette for $3600/acre. We would love to move down south to the farm there, but our roots are too deep here, as it's been in the family for 150+ years. Down there, it's a slower lifestyle, more what we want for our family. We still have 3 acres plus my father's 4 acres here, and surrounded by a privacy fence and houses - we're hatin' it!

    Here at home, zoning is VERY strict, and we constantly have to contend with city officials wanting to run roads through our property, and try to keep us from having animals. Down there, there's not even a septic tank for the house on the property, and we got water hooked up with no problems (even though it's so far in the middle of nowhere, there's city water since the well water is bad - they had to run a pipe a 1/2 mile from the nearest house to hook it up).

    Clovis has some great advice for you. I think you will find, in general, Hoosier Hospitality is alive and well - with few exceptions.

    PS- don't forget to check out the "Indiana Homesteaders Potluck" post!
     
  10. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    We like hard working people with common sense. We don't want to be anywhere near a city. Land prices are relative a vineyard about 30 miles South of us went for $370K/acre (85 acres) a few years ago Our cost of living is very high here.

    I just don't know how much regulation we can endure and still keep a farm alive. We even have to have design review now including our livestock gaurd dog house. Spending 20-30 hours a week dealing with regulations is too much.
     
  11. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Zoning review for a dog house??? Seriously????

    I doubt you will find much of that kind of reg. in Indiana, unless you live in a fancy gated community.

    What I have found in my limited experience is that septic systems typically are stringently regulated in Indiana. If they are installed correctly, no problem. If you run a septic yourself, without the permits, you could be in a world of trouble. In Johnson County, where we live, as long as you have the correct permits, usually everything is fine. There are some exceptions though, as you will find anywhere. In our county, you have to have 25 acres to build a home without zoning appeal.

    The point I am making is to check with the county you are moving to. I bet you will be stunned by how easy it is to build what ever your heart desires.

    Where exactly are you hoping to buy???
    Clove
     
  12. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    I kid you not about the dog house. Someday we may be able to laugh about it. Septic rules are a bit strict here too. They are only allowing engineered systems that run around $28k for a two bedroom house plus the monthly monitor fee.

    We are looking at an existing 150 acre farm in Parke country.
     
  13. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find septic systems much cheaper in Indiana than $28K. If you are planning on building, I would also call some septic contractors in that area, just to find out.
    Parke county is a wonderful place. Each year they have the covered bridge festival, which is a HUGE event.
    Again, I think you will love Indiana, and its people, especially if you have an open mind. I have seen too many narrow minded out of state folks hate the area. One woman from NY state moved here a few years ago. She moved to our small town to start a business. She just loved the quaint small town feel, and the low rent and housing costs. She bought the most expensive house in town, and made sure everyone knew it. Her new restaraunt...a way to bring NYC pasta cuisine to Indiana....what a joke. I can make better spaghetti at home. I am not sure I ever heard a positive comment out of that woman's mouth....all she ever did was female dog about how small town and backwards we were. The biggest reason her business failed is that no Hoosier native wants to hear her female dog about how ignorant Indiana folks are, while trying to choke down awful spaghetti at $12 a plate, and having her upset because you didn't order a $85 bottle of wine.
    Now the folks from Chicago that are super friendly and sell good food at their new restaraunt, they can't count the money fast enough.
    clove
     
  14. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I live within 25 miles of Parke County, but in IL.

    Parke county is nice. It is somewhat touristy due to the Covered Bridge Festival. Rockville is a nice small town, though many of the other small towns are kind of dead and dying. There is an Amish Community also. Where exactly is the farm? Hopefully not right on the Wabash!

    I don't know what zoning, if any, they have. Many counties out here have NO zoning whatsoever. None. You can do anything you want unless it violates state or federal law and even then, no one is likely to notice or care.

    I have only farmed in IL, though I am only a few miles from the IN state line. I am not sure about their state laws, but both of these states are big ag states and have the laws in place to reflect that. The only things you would really need to watch in regards to farming is any EPA rules about livestock. Usually those won't affect you unless you are running a lot of animals.

    I moved out here in '97 from SoCal. It really is a different way of life that most Californians don't even know exists. It can be a culture shock, but I will never go back.

    I don't know how you found your property, but you might want to contact a local broker who specializes in farm sales. Most farms that sell are never on a MLS or even advertised. My old farm is for sale and it is not advertised, nor listed with anyone but the broker. This is a common practice amongst brokers and seems to work. When farm shopping, a residential realtor is probably not your best bet. Find a broker that specializes in ag sales.

    Jena
     
  15. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Its not near the Wabash. I left SoCal in '95 to this small town. We prefer the country. We were refered to the property by a friend of a friend who knows what type of operation we want. It is Amish owned so we'd want to bring in power and change a few things.

    We are just trying to figure out our adjustments. The humidity doesn't thrill us, but our costs here are starting to look foolish.

    How is healthcare? How are property taxes figured?
     
  16. terri46355

    terri46355 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to move to Indiana, try to stay as far away from an urban area as possible.

    I've lived in Northwest Indiana all my life. This part of Indiana has become a suburb of Chicago. Because of the influx of people our taxes have doubled to pay for the schools and upgrades to the area.

    You can buy anything you want here and there are lots of hospitals, lawyers, and jobs. People drive fast, run stop signs, yap on their cell phones, and don't have the common courtesy you used to see. Most farms are being sold off to make more subdivisions and strip malls. The mosquitoes are unbearable in the summer, too.

    Lake County, Indiana is one of the most polluted areas of the United States. It has changed so much in the last 30 years that we have decided to leave everyone and everything familiar and start out in another state. We wanted to stay in Indiana, but the real estate is pretty high priced throughout the state.

    We can't wait to sell our house and leave the rat race.

    Good luck in with your move to Indiana.
     
  17. Wannabee

    Wannabee Foggy Dew Farms

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    I am in Grant county. Besides being very few quality jobs, it is a very nice place to raise a family. As far as restrictions go, if you are in the county, there aren't a whole lot. You can build a 10x10 building without a permit. No permits for fences. We have chickens, dogs, cats, and goats, and I don't have any really close neighbors, so life is good. Farmland is about $3000 an acre right now, and you won't get a 5 acre plot for any less than $25,000, but very nice place as far as I am concerned. Born in Delaware county (Muncie), raised in Benton county, now live in Grant. Besides the standard comment "it is boring in Indiana", I find that it is a great place to live and raise a family.

    You know the old phrase - "the grass is always greener", but Indiana is pretty nice. People are exceptionally friendly here compared to other parts of the country as well.

    Terre Haute? The only things I know about it is:

    1. Often referred to as "Terrible Haute"
    2. It smells bad there
    3. ISU is located there

    Good luck regardless of your decision!
     
  18. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great info everybody! Please keep it up.

    Our situation is somewhat out of the ordinary. We don’t need jobs because we have a couple of small businesses that we can do at home from almost anywhere in the US. Some support out-buildings will help and they will be much easier on ag land. The sprawl around here is out of control. Our county only has 9 stop lights, but now we have construction trucks blasting around on their cell phones scrambling to make enough money to support living here. The bureaucrats are overwhelmed and instead of helping out, they just keep putting road blocks to any development, including a family farm. The large developers have the ability to hire any consultant necessary. The lumber yards and contractors have control over most of the elected officials. We’re seriously worried we won’t want to be here in 10 years.

    We want to farm with a 19yo that is pretty talented. We like the idea of having a much larger parcel for our investment. The soils are supposed to be very good. The operation needs some help in areas that we have talent. The online salary calculators have us affording to lose 55% of our income to stay the same.

    When I moved to the country from Los Angeles it was astounding how much less we spent. The cost of living is much lower in IN than in CA, so we’ll be spending even less.

    For the same land investment we currently have, we’d have 16 times what we have now. Our utility costs would go down 80%. Only a couple of things would go up: Our UPS bill and the cost of wine. Even $12 pasta would be cheaper.

    It’s not all about money. We want to get away from at least some of the lunacy. We figure this area is likely to remain hot for a while. The dot com era has cooled but now the bio-genetic firms are going gangbusters. My family has agreed to shoot me if I ever start wearing a bluetooth cell headpiece.
     
  19. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    One nice thing about Indiana living: small town settings, but major cities nearby. Indianapolis isn't NYC or LA, but it is no hick town, either. Major hospitals dot the Indy metro area, if you are worried about health care. Shopping is good in the suburbs and downtown, with major malls and strip malls.
    If you are desperate for big city culture, Chicago is easy to do in a long day. About 3 1/2 to 4 hours from Indy...day trips are long but fun.
    A few things you won't find in Indiana: mass transit, ocean front property, mountains, among other things.
    BTW, is 150 acres big enough for your son to farm, and support himself?
    Clove
     
  20. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I call the bluetooth headset cells "dork phones". LOL