Missouri Ozarks-the Good, Bad & Ugly...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by flaswampratt, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. flaswampratt

    flaswampratt Well-Known Member

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    The family and I are contemplating on making a move, and among other areas, we're looking at the Missouri Ozarks so we would like to know the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of it all.

    TIA>...........
     
  2. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    Location:
    illinois but i have a homestead building in missou
    My place is in Laclede County in Southern Missouri. Until I bought my land there I had never seen this bit of the country and I bought the land sight unseen over the internet from Neil Shelton at www.ozarkland.com . Photographs were all I had to go by. We paid our first visit in March and despite the wet gray weather we were delighted. The Ozarks were a lot like New England where I was raised and a vast change from the flat land of Illinois where I have lived for the last 30 years. Its wonderful countryside though I could do with better soil than the rocks and sand I have now. I can garden but its a lot more work than gardening in Illinois' deep black dirt. The cost of living is certainly cheaper, particularly groceries and utilities. Most of the people I have met have been friendly and helpful toward strangers and many of them went out of the way to welcome us and answer are questions. They showed us where to find the bargains, where to go to find things we needed and a lot of things we didnt. The summers are hot but no worse than most places. You learn to rest in the heat of the day and get up early and work in the cool. A wide cool veranda is a necessity. Ive not spent a whole winter there yet but from what I have seen they are tropical heavens compared to New England, up state New York and the frozen prairies of the Mid West. I think my only complaint and its a small one is that they dont seem to believe in Thrift Shops. Im my town in Illinois there are a half dozen and I make the rounds most saturday mornings. I cant even find a Salvation Army near my place in Missouri.
    If you like beautiful scenery, good neighbors, relatively inexpensive land and little inteference from the local authorities, the Ozarks will suit you to a T.
     

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Location:
    Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
    Good:
    1. Spring and Fall weather
    2. Scenery and wildlife
    3. Nice people
    4. Low property prices
    5. Low property taxes

    Bad:
    1. Winter
    2. Over zealous, religious, judgemental people
    3. Roads that make you car sick
    4. State income tax

    Ugly:
    1. Icy roads in winter
     
  4. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I am not sure how far you are from Thayer, but they have more than one thrift shop there.
     
  5. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    I disagree with Rose, it's not the Winter it's the freaken Summer! HUMID, HOT! You do NOT want to be fat in it (I'm not btw, but have been). :haha: I am in the Arkansas Ozarks btw, not Mo. Oh, the ticks, we got every kind of ticks, seed ticks being the worse! But other than that it's pretty nice. Fall is a great time of year here. :) Woods, Mountains, and Springs ahhhhh.....
     
  6. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Well you have all you need to live off the land.Once you get past the rocks you can have a pretty good Garden.

    Weather to tell the truth Cold last just long enough to be sick of it,Heat just last long enough to be sick of it.

    Well yes people do get a bit Religious but what do you exspect being in the Bible Belt and the Ozarks being the Buckle. :D

    Some places finding a Job might be a problem.

    One problem we have in this area is brush fires in the Spring.Some years they are very bad.

    All kinds of Snakes and Bugs.I seen where my Dog killed a Snake,it was laying on the Snow.Yesterday I went to the brush,had two ticks on me. :eek:

    Been all over the U.S. but always liked Missouri Ozarks the best.

    big rockpile
     
  7. gefozarks

    gefozarks Well-Known Member

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    May 28, 2002
    Good:
    low taxes
    relatively inexpensive land (if you buy then move don't plan on getting a local job and pay for your land and improvements can be done but will be tight and take forever)
    Not many building restrictions

    Bad
    Mainly low paying jobs without benefits

    Ugly
    Lotts of insects

    Over all I like it here and am very glad I moved here just like Mark I bought my land unseen but at that time it was mail order not online as we didn't have online yet.
     
  8. From one Fla. swamp rat to the other.I love living in the state of Misery,joke.Floridians are very spoiled as far as taxes go.If you are like me I was in shock.We are use to fed. taxes,property taxes but here you have state taxes and my big hate 'personal property taxes'.You pay for trucks,cars,trailers,cows,tractors ect. each year! But it is equal to one or to months of my old electric bill.Mo. has vehicle inspection but it is not state ran like Fl. use to have.so it is ok.You and I know the Florida we grew up in is gone so come up to Mo.They won't tell you that you can't dig a ditch or your septic tank has to beon top of the ground.OOOh!!! One beautiful thing,NO FIRE ANTS!!!!! We are in Dent Co. I would not go back!!! wag01misn.com
     
  9. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    Location:
    SW Ark
    My mom lives up there. When I go to visit the wind blowing drives me crazy. It blows almost constantly.
    They have to have raised garden beds because the ground is too rocky.
    It snows during spring break! I live in S. Central TX where it never snows.
    They tax everything you own, every year.
    Nice people, just don't look for them to be very open-minded.

    Mom is looking for a place in TX.
     
  10. It is me again! don't worry about bugs and snakes,childs play compared to Fl. swamps,I just got use to showering alone without a couple of tree frogs to sing with in the shower but that is ok the lady bugs make up for it.By the way where are you we might of been neighbors?
     
  11. RANDEL

    RANDEL Well-Known Member

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    been in central ozark area for just four months now. crazy about it. coming from the west, the taxes here aren't that bad. there is an 8 % sales tax in my area, but thats only slightly higher than i was used to. the jobs are not so good but most cost-of-living-items r lower too. land is cheap, houses maybe not so cheap. the wind is NOTHING compared to the southwest. people leave u alone (at least so far) the land is rich....i could go on and on. from my perspective, i have NO REGRETS about moving here.
     
  12. flaswampratt

    flaswampratt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. We're going to consider all our options, but I beleive as soon as the oldest finishes highschool in the next couple of years, we're outta here.

    To answer Guest's question, we're in S.W. Fla. The area is growing so fast that as a subcontractor in the building industry, I often have to ask directions or where such and such developement is. It is growing that fast.

    Sick doesn't even come close. The woods are being bulldozed and burned and the Glades are either ruined or off limits to hunting, camping and fishing anymore.

    The people from "Up-North" (no offense) are making this place like "Up-North".

    It's just time for us to move on. Soon there will be a law to re-zone or out-law me, so it's time.

    Maybe I'll start a thread on Tennessee or Colorado next since I got such a good response here.

    Thanks..........
     
  13. RANDEL

    RANDEL Well-Known Member

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    <<--The people from "Up-North" (no offense) are making this place like "Up-North".-->>

    i first moved to new mexico from california (where i had NO hope of every owning a home) in 1982. i left there last fall cuz of the californians and new yorkers. they just try to make a place like the one they left and in the case of central new mexico they succeeded.

    i have run across a few californians here in the ozarks but the existing culture is pretty well entrenched and i'm hoping it keeps 'em at bay.
     
  14. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Missouri
    Having moved to the Ozarks from MI(the tax state) 15 years ago I say go for it. Taxes are low--we pay $250 a year on our 120 acres and remodeled farm house. Over a thousand in MI for 20 acres and a trailer. Personal property taxes aren't high if you live a simple life...do have to pay on livestock...ie,cattle,horses,sheep. But we can now get our car tags for two years at a time so less standing in line time. Yeah,the chiggers and ticks and humid summers are a pain but every state has some annoyance like this...don't miss skeeters a bit! Jobs can be a problem...low paying,no health benefits and usually a long drive to get there and back. We are in Texas co. which is very rural so nearest nursing job are 40 min. trip for me and winter can make driving deadly. Mountains and ice don't mix. We have been iced in over three weeks at a time so have to plan ahead for food/livestock feed/etc. Many a day my hubby has had to drive me the 4 miles out in Old Blue,the farm truck to where I can park my car on the hwy. My DH is on the road board and the graders are parked at our farm so we get plowed out first though!! Of course, that is after 2 hrs. of wrestling the chains on the big guys! One other thing, there is time and then Ozark time....you can find it a problem to get things done 'cause workers just don't show up. When we remodeled all our help was from the dreaded California...they came when they said and did the work...but both guys having a hard time making a living, one working for the city part-time and the other moved to bigger town. If you want something done best to learn how to do it yourself. DEE
     
  15. Case

    Case Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    flaswampratt...

    Everything you say about Florida is true but falls far short of the totally disasterous condition the state's in now.

    I lived in Southwest Florida 37 years and watched it all, as yankees and other newcomers systematically destroyed the Sunshine State and any hope for future quality of life there.

    Couldn't stand it any longer so I moved back to Oklahoma, where the only pest-threat is from Californian lunatics, only very slightly noticeable so far.

    And if we hear anyone with a yankee accent we simply shoot it and kick it down a ravine.

    If Florida Crackers had undertaken that program 20 years ago, Florida wouldn't be in the shape it's in now.

    But they were too busy getting rich peddling swamps to yankee suckers.
     
  16. flaswampratt

    flaswampratt Well-Known Member

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    No skeeters? What do you poor folks do for fun? Down here, we screen in our porches with barbed wire.......

    Explain what a Chigger is, please. Doesn't sound good. Is there a cure for this malidy?

    They tax Livestock? How about chickens:) What if the cow is a pet?

    How about the hunting and shooting. Is any of this allowed in the state/national forests there, or are firearms and such frowned upon?

    What about the fishing in all that fresh water and springs?

    Drug and crime problems?

    Lack of government interference...er..exthortion....uh...I mean zoning laws sounds good.

    Thanks again..........
     
  17. bluereef

    bluereef Active Member

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    Oct 13, 2003
    Location:
    FL, TN
    Living in Miami, and having visited the backwoods of Tenn, I can say that chiggers are much worse and more annoying than mosquitos.

    I mistakenly went hiking in Oct. through moderately tall (6-18 in) grasses on a trail in the Tenn woods without spraying my clothes. I was wearing long pants with socks and high top sneakers. Within 3 days, my ankles were on fire with an outrageous itch. I had hundreds of tiny pin-head sized bites around my ankles where chiggers had bitten me. They look like fire-ant bites, how they are so tiny and hard, and sometime get a little pustule.

    With chigger bites, you HAVE to scratch, the itch is so bad. And even worse--once you scratch, the itch becomes 5 times worse than if you hadn't. It's like a big snow ball effect. Plus, all the scratching can lead to scabs and infection. I bought AFTERBITE lotion and kept wiping it all over my ankles and feet, but it provided about 30 seconds of relief.

    Unlike ticks, you can't see chiggers, so don't assume you're safe if you don't see anything on you or your clothes. I didn't realize they were still in my clothes, so I kept wearing my jeans, and kept getting more bites. I finally read an article about how you have to wash them in 120F water to kill them (I like lukewarm/cool showers). So I immediately washed my clothes AND bed sheets where I had undoubtedly carried them. Then I took the hottest shower ever.

    It's Feb now and I still have some scars on my ankles from all the bites.

    Here is a link from Missouri State that describes them, with tips on elimination and bite prevention.

    http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/conmag/2000/05/5.htm

    In short, don't take the chiggers too casually just because you're used to FL snakes, black widows, mosquitos, noseeums, flying roaches, etc.
     
  18. Case

    Case Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I grew up with chiggers (red bugs) in Oklahoma and lived with mosquitoes and noseeums in Florida 37 years but I never met a more vicious creature than the seed ticks I found in Eastern Oklahoma.

    I was scratching their bites for months after the ticks were long gone.
     
  19. I found this subject so entertaining that I have to post also.

    I have lived in southern MO. [Ripley Co.] almost all my days. I live near a small town that sits on the banks of the Current River. Lovely river. It is clear unless there has been a big rain and then it often gets dingy or floods. Great to fish in and boating and tubing is wonderful.

    It is now against the law to kill snakes in MO. Another stupid law.

    Ticks and chiggers are bad during the spring and summer, but with all the new sprays that are out they can be controlled. Mosquitoes have been populating more the past few years.

    The land has come up in value. It is now selling for $800.00 to $1500.00 an acre , near where I live. The lots along the Current River are more expensive. People have discovered the river and are coming and buying the land for their retirement years.

    There are many places for sale in this area as people are getting such high prices that they are selling. Taxes aren't bad. Schools are good. The land I own is not rocky in most of it, but we do have 40 acres that is. It's almost like you can see where the ice age or whatever it was that changed the land went through.

    I have lived in southern Ill. 30 miles from Harrisburg [Karbers Ridge] for a short time. The land compares about the same.

    There are jobs available but most are min wage. You have to search for the better jobs but they are here. Factory jobs are anywhere from $7.00 to $12.00 an hr. But for the higher paying ones you have to travel about 30miles. Pretty good hwys. Getting more 4 lanes built nearby each year.

    What I have heard of Fl. you couldn't give me a place there unless it would be alright for me to turn around and sell it.

    Hope this helps with a decision.
     
  20. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Yelp!! They Tax your Poultry,Goats ,Cows,Horses,and Pigs.

    Lots of Goverment Land to hunt on.Lots of Fresh Water Lakes and Rivers for Fishing.

    417 is the Leading Aera Code for Meth in the Nation.

    There isn't any Zoning in most of the area,none at all around here.

    big rockpile