Looking for input on where to go..

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by homebirtha, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I know this has been asked many times here, but here are our specifics. We live in Maryland now and have been looking for a small farm or some land to build on. We have had an absolute miserable time, losing several great properties by getting outbid, outmaneuvered, etc. Now it looks like we're going to lose the current place we have a contract on. So, we're back to thinking about getting out of this area. Where should we go???

    Somewhere within 6 or 8 hours of Maryland would be good since family is here. Somewhere land is affordable, but that also has a decent job base (dh is in computers). A good homeschool environment is important. I prefer cooler weather, so nowhere too much further south than, say, Virginia. And here's the kicker (I'm outing myself here): Some place that leans more to the left than the right. Now, I'm not saying it has to be hippy commune or anything, but somewhere where people won't look at you like you have horns when you say you don't go to church and won't slash your tires because you have a John Kerry bumper sticker on your car. Places near the top of the list currently are Burlington, Vt., Charlottesville, Va. Is there anyplace in New York that would be good?
     
  2. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

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    I can't offer you advice on where to go, but as you go rural my experience has been that you'll find it more conservative and more religous.

    I drove around for a year with a "Canada Kicks Ass" bumper sticker on my car after Canada (I'm canadian) beat both the US mens and women hockey team, and no one slashed my tires.

    I don't anymore since that car died, and then someone last week decided to rearrange my mailbox for me. Maybe I should get another bumper sticker?
     

  3. madmarchie

    madmarchie Active Member

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    LOL In Austin where I am MOST cars have anti bush stickers. One of my favorites is "Anybody but Bush 2004".
     
  4. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Burlington is excellent as my brother lives there and loves it. He lives in the city and owns rural property about 2 hours away. The cost of living there is high though.

    Why not outside of Pittsburgh? There are still a few deals to be had there. And I am fond of north central WV near the University. More diversity of opinion and easy access to lots of city type benefits (travelling Broadway shows, author readings, university organic farm field days, people from all over the world, ethnic grocers, etc.)
     
  5. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    The area surrounding Charlottesville is very nice. Property in Albemarle County is high but Nelson County isn't bad. You also might want to look into the area around Winchester VA. Again, property in Frederick County is a bit high but if you move a bit south it's not too bad. Both areas are diverse w/ a mix of people with all sorts of different beliefs. As long as you are a good neighbor and don't try to come in and "citify" (sp) the area, folks will usually just live and let live. Good luck with your hunt for the perfect place! :)

    One warning about VA though, the state has voted republican for as long as I can remember...........we don't mind democrats, mind you. And the state has had many governors who were democrats but for some reason, it's usually a republican that gets our vote for President.
     
  6. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    Also a bit south of Charlottesville is Amherst County. They are fine here. A bit artsy,a bit of a college town and I have found them more liberal than we are!! :haha: The tax base is great, the lowest in the area. You can drive to Charlottesville, or Lynchburg for the "big city life." Ok so not that big city!! It is about 3 1/2 hours to DC, and a relatviely easy drive right up 29.
    It is in the mountains so the tempature is a bit cooler, but if you are looking for tons of snow it is probably to far south for you.
    Alice in Virginia
     
  7. I haven't been around here for awhile as we moved from Idaho to central NY and have had problems finding a place to live. We absolutely LOVE central NY and, from what we've experienced, there is employment to be found (I managed to get 3 offers just from one company). HOwever, right now both the rental market and the real estate market are absolutely horrendous! Unfortunately, we didn't find out till we got here that most landlords 'round here will not accept a pet and we have a family dog we will not part with.

    Also, real estate prices here have gone through the roof. We just cannot believe the prices people are asking for anything that has more than 2 acres attached to it. This is in large part due to the great (and recent) exodus from NYC and NJ following 9/11. We are really kicking ourselves for not buying a central NY farm 6-8 years ago when they were practically giving them away! There is also currently a "low inventory" real estate climate here as well. Way more ppl wanting to buy and not enough ppl wanting to sell.

    We are currently thinking about going further west in NY such as Cortland, Steuben, and Alleghany counties. Good luck in your search!
     
  8. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

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    Have you looked in WV? Now I know you Marylanders are look down on us over here :haha: for being rednecks and all, but dh and I got a great deal on our home in Morgan Co (eastern panhandle) about 2 years ago. DH says we are "holding down the front lines" because we can see the Potomac river and the only neighbor we can see is in Washington Co MD. Property values are on the way up too fast here for us to find someplace larger anytime soon, but further west in the state land can be found cheap. I'm not sure about jobs further west, but I am about 35 minutes from Hagerstown (MD) 50 mins from Frederick (MD) and maybe 40 mins from Winchester (VA). Not too long for a commute. The closest town to me is Berkeley Springs, and they were voted as one of the top 10 vacation spots in the country for the arts.

    According to the local papers stats during the primary elections, voters here were evenly split btwn Dems & Repubs, and about 15% were "other". One small horse farmer up the road spry painted "anyone but Bush" on his old Ford p/u, and his house is still standing, I beep at him whenever I drive by now, lol. The "locals" here left us alone for about the first year but are now warming up, teaching us lots of things and will stop by if they see us out.

    Did I mention I love it here?


    Carla
     
  9. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    There is an interesting website which is just getting started for people looking at Vermont: http://www.dreamvermont.com Unlike the state site, which is RAH RAH RAH, this one is a little more down to earth... but doesn't have the "business and employment" links in place yet. Still... good articles.

    Burlington has a good job base, but IBM laid off 700 tech workers over the past couple of years. Other companies are hiring, but be aware you're walking into a competitive market. Land in the Burlington/Middlebury corridor is very expensive... but, again, jobs, jobs, jobs.

    As you move away from Burlington, things really open up. Lamoille County (resort of Stowe, or Smuggler's Notch) is the vacation mecca of Vermont. Property is pricey, but holds value (in fact is skyrocketing).

    As you continue east you get into the Northeast Kingdom. Your remarks about "more liberal" really resonate with me, because my husband and I are looking to move from our property (in Lamoille County) to a larger farm within the next 5 years. We spent last weekend looking at property around Corinth. 8 gallons of gas later :rolleyes: I realized I hadn't seen a single grocery store. But I did see a variety of bumper stickers... in both camps. Which I think makes rural Vermont somewhat unique. You have passionate camps on both sides, but they can live together in the same town without screaming at each other (too loudly). But jobs? Much as I aspire to being the most respected breeder of Icelandic Sheep in the country, it isn't a living (ok, it is, but it doesn't come with health insurance) I have to say... there isn't a job market as such down there. You either arrive with your own job (like a mail order business) or you plan on commuting. A very long distance. Over rough country roads.

    But the land prices were much more "reasonable" IF you looked at large properties. In other words, the 220 acre property was less expensive than the 100 acre property, in real dollars, and by $100,000! Factor in the big tractor you'll need and they come out about equal though ;)

    I have heard from several people that upstate NY, near Amish country, land is priced more reasonably than it is in VT. And you have to think that Amish country would have a fair amount of support for home schooling. But again, the larger the farm, the better the odds are that the price will be more "reasonable."
     
  10. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Indiana
    Hi Homebirtha & Y'All,

    Last year, in May, we got our little place, 13 acres, w/ a 1 acre pond,
    with a nice 70's house, built into a hill, for under $115,000. We are 6 mi.
    from a small town. It's GREAT!
    But, we had to replace a large, wrap-around deck on second floor,
    for $8,000.
    $2,000, for a large rider/mower,
    $2500 for a DR brush mower.
    $4,000 to replace 3 sliding-glass doors, & entry, leaking air, majorly.
    Countless hours, mowing, & chain-sawing brush,cutting up down trees, & hauling, away trash.

    Yeah, we could have gone slower but........
    You have to "Grab IT when IT'S There!"

    We STILL got a BARGAIN. It's not much for farming. It's fertile but we
    can't find 36'x36', that's flat enough to put up a barn w/o major grading.
    I retired in Nov, and I've had all summer to work, Work, WORK.
    O'course, Indiana is the Land of Taxes; State Income Tax, State Sales
    Tax, State Property Tax, State Excise Tax, on your vehicle.
    But, we have Permit on demand, for CCW. Good place to be.

    You just have to get on the internet, find the area you want,
    and look, look, look. Make the drive to check out "Several places".
    Don't get in a rush, do your homework.
    Good Luck in finding your Dream. We did.
     
  11. savingup

    savingup Active Member

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    Location:
    Indiana
    Depending on where you are in IN, we'd love to lend a hand with your barn raising to get some experience. That is if you want some help. We're just south of Indianapolis.
     
  12. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Savingup & Y'All,

    Thanks but, It'll be spring before we get around to the barn,
    most probably. I'm still cleaning up to fence the whole place.
    I'm just doing things as I get to 'em, now.
    When You are Retired, time is NOT an issue.
    I mostly only go out & run the DR-Brushmower, or chainsaw,
    for 4 or 5 hours a day. I can take a day off when I want to.
    I'm the Boss, here. Hunnh.
    I only have to answer to DLW & she thinks I spends too MUCH time working, anyway.
    But, Thanks again.
     
  13. I have some suggestions

    1- Berkeley Springs, WV area which Carla touched on, I suspect the that Morgan County leans a lot farther left then most counties in WV.

    2- Mid Hudson Valley NY, real Pete Seeger country, I know it is getting pricier up there. I love the New Paltz area.

    3- I know a couple of families that have moved to the are between Lancaster and York in PA. They were attracted by the Waldorf School in the area. There are Waldorf Schools all over the country and they are a pretty good indication that there is a pretty open minded population in the area.
     
  14. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    That makes eight, yes 8, properties that we have written contracts on and not gotten. :waa:

    So, back to the drawing board. Thanks for the suggestion on different areas. I'll keep you posted.
     
  15. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in Washington County. :)
    If DH could find a job out that way, I'd go in a heartbeat. Glad to hear you love it there.
     
  16. Sure, you could move to central Indiana, where you'll never get your tires slashed for having a pro-Kerry bumper sticker.

    Occasionally however you might see a bumper sticker with his face crossed out and the words "Just say no to socialism".
     
  17. uyk7

    uyk7 Well-Known Member

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  18. SRSLADE

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

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    I did'nt see how much money you plan to spend. This would be helpfull when we all offer our opinion as to where you might live.