Looking at area's in a 1 hour drive of Hagerstown, MD

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by lunagardens, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    My husband may get a promotion/transfer opportunity to Hagerstown Maryland. I do not wish to live in Maryland and wish to live just over the border in Pennsylvania if he were to get the job in Hagerstown, MD. I am looking for more information & suggestions on areas to live in, from those who are of the "homesteading" friendly. I wish to find an area not isolated but open spaces with a small town feel and comfort to it. Where else can I find such information? Is there a site to visit? We are looking to have a "hobby" size farmstead (with livestock such as dairy goats, poultry, maybe a horse and room enough for a large garden, fruit trees & hay/straw crops along with the small amount of animals). Our children are young- only 1 in school at this time so it is a must to have good schools around. Cost of real estate of course cannot be high either.
    Sound like a wish list? Yep it is! Is there such a place in close proximity of Hagerstown? My husband would be willing to drive no more then 45 minutes to work.
    I greatly appreciate any suggestions on areas to look at. I have no clue where to start or even what areas to stay away from. We do not know anyone out that way to help guide us.
    Thanks for any & all help.
    ~Tammie
     
  2. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    We live about 15 minutes from Hagerstown, but in Maryland. This whole area is quite nice. The biggest issue is that land is really expensive. For a small hobby farm, you could be looking at AT LEAST $500,000, probably more here. Pennsylania can be cheaper. The further north you go, the cheaper it gets. I can't help you much with school, since we homeschool. I will tell you that homeschooling is harder in Pennsylvania. Many more restrictions and hoops to jump through then Maryland. But for public school, I can't help you much there.

    Waynesboro, Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, all in the Pa, are close to Hagerstown. They all have nice things to offer. We're pretty close to Waynesboro and it's a pretty nice combination of rural, quiet, but with conveniences like a new Lowes and (BARF) Super Walmart.

    There is a lot of farming in this area, so there are lots of farm services around. There is a big Mennonite population that own a lot of the farms and farm services (feed store, tractor dealers, etc.) in the area.

    The area is becoming a commuter area of DC, so prices have been going up for several years. However, the market has really cooled off, so it's hard to tell what prices are going to do now.

    There are a TON of amentities in Hagerstown. I mean, it's ridiculous how much is here, compared to the size of the town. So anywhere within 30-45 minutes will be nice for you, I think.

    PM me if you'd like. :)
     

  3. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the locations you suggested. Looking online at statistics do not seem to help much. I will check out realtor.com in those locations to get an idea on realestate. Thanks again. ( & thank you to all who have PM'd me. The ideas/suggestions are very helpful!
    ~Tammie
     
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Go driving up there and look for yourself. I'm in the area, and have kin in Greencastle.

    Any town is a town, with town views and rules. The bigger the town, the bigger the rule book. Chambersburg is the next up and coming burg. It's growning fast and furious. Live near it and you will be living in it shortly.

    Waynsboro is the next in size. I wouldn't recommend trying to drive through it for a commute to work. My god does that central square not work when it comes to traffic.

    Beyond that, sticks is sticks. About the only caution I'd give you is that the rice racers abound and treat the back side of the mountain as their own race course. They regularly die, and take others with them when they come airborne into you at night with their lights off. Lots of meth production in the area as well.

    Is PA better than MD? Hard to say, as a lot of that depends on what matters to you. Tax wise, they're about the same. Land values, PA is cheaper. Bizzare beaurocrasy, I'd give it to PA.

    Don't neglect going south or west an hour. West Virginia and such are darn nice also. Many times the commute is better from those areas.
     
  5. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    You are going to have a problem cost wise getting enough land to have animals on. Southern PA around Hagerstown is a surburb of Washington now days. You might try W Virgina its about the same commute. The wife is from Hanover and her mother and sister still lives there. Taxes are rough building codes are bad, land is really high and has been for several years. No end in sight. Don't remember if you said where you were coming from but it better be a good raise in pay or you will come out short. Best of luck
     
  6. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i am in waynesboro and i used to commute to hagerstown. it is an easy drive. you really don't have to go through the borough as there are ample roads south of town.

    the biggest problem is the real estate prices. just a mile from the new walmart there are homes on half an acre starting at $450,000. there is very little acrage to be had. if any does make it on the market, developers gobble it up super fast. waynesboro is surrounded by washington township and the zoning is getting difficult for everything farmish or homesteady. if you want to build a shopping mall, convenience store or self-storage units you will have no issues at all.

    quite honestly, i would look at real estate near hancock maryland. it is a half hour commute, but you may have better luck. i would recommend mcconnelsburg area, but the whitetail ski resort has driven real estate prices very high as well.

    you may want to look at a topo map and try to stay in the "valley" as much as you can. winter weather can be freaky. it may be real nice and wet in the valley, but icy on the ridges as you commute.

    all in all, you may find a place you like here, but you will pay dearly for it.
     
  7. lorian

    lorian Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    We live in the shippensburg area, 45 min. from hagerstown.
    I'm pretty well versed in prices as we have been studying the market around here for the last year.
    we have a great small town, Shippensburg and smaller towns surrounding it.
    Shippensburg was voted 3 times "best 25 small towns in America", crime rate is low, lots of Amish and Mennonite.
    As an example: we are selling our place probably this spring, approx. 5 acres, fenced pasture, older (very large 3000 sq. ft.) home, outbuildings, will probably go for about $250,000. We have loved it here, not too many regulations, taxes are pretty low, about 1700.00. The areas nice but people don't sell to often so it may take a while to find what your looking for.

    We are planning to go "over the mountain" to get more land next spring.
    Good luck, I believe you'll like the area, great people in my opinion....
     
  8. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    Grant Co WV/ Washington Co MD
    Try Berkley Springs, WV. Just south on 81. A very nice "artsy craftsy" small town with the Springs. Lots of land around for homesteading. Though land here is going up in price it's not up to Jefferson Co WV which is where I am. I also recommend going west in Maryland, towards Hancock, Clear Springs and Allegheny Co Md. More land available there too.
     
  9. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    I concur with Berkeley Springs area WV - Morgan County. Hancock is still Wash CO MD and has land use restrictions out the whazoo. You go too much further west on 70 and you are out over an hour from Hagersbush. (I grew up quite a bit of my years there in fact my old house is up for rent there).

    We are in Berkeley County WV and land prices are really high right now - you'll pay about 12k per acre. Compared to Lorian's Shippensburg residence - you'd pay more for the house but a heck of a lot less in taxes. Zoning starts this year too.

    PA is nice, but taxes are funky and the schools there are questionable. However, if you are a homeschooler, they offer you a pc, online curriculum and such for free.

    What company does your husband work with? The company might be able to get you in touch with relo services in the area. My husband works with one of Wash Co's biggest employers and they were a huge help when he relo'd down here from the Island.

    Let me know when you land in the area! We'd be happy to welcome you!

    And Rofl on the circle squares! don't you love that repeating pattern all the way through Gettysburg? Did the same guy plan all those out? There's even one in the Pa town that is home to the Crayola factory. URGH.

    Andrea
    www.arare-breed.net
     
  10. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    oH! check out homesdatabase.com

    it's local.

    :)

    Andrea
     
  11. lunagardens

    lunagardens Well-Known Member

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    I apologize for not getting back here. My modem gave out so I had to wait for the u.p.s guy to bring my new one.
    I just want to live where I can feel free. All these restrictions and prices for real estate make me feel sick to the stomach just thinking of it. I had read about Maryland' s no raw milk law which made me think PA would be better. I guess I never really thought about West Virginia. The terminal is still in the planning but he would have a good chance of getting the job there if he applies for it. I would prefer my husband try for Tennessee but promotions in his company usually go to the people in the location of the opening. He does not want to leave his company for job security sake so the only way We can get out of this area is if he gets a promotion somewhere else. He is in trucking logistics as operations management.
    Well, thank you for all the suggestions. I now have a bit more to go on as I look at the surrounding areas. I will not drive out there untill I can narrow down the places.
    Have a great week!
    ~Tammie
     
  12. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you looked in the area around Breezewood, AKA The Traveler's Oasis. I 70 I 76 .And U S 30.
     
  13. Grizz

    Grizz Well-Known Member

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    south central pa And northeast Fl
    got just the place in pa near Hancock Md but in Pa i im d u peace!