Ohio Boonies

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cosmic, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    What are the Ohio rural areas like these days in terms of getting deliveries by services like UPS, FedEx, etc? Do they go everywhere there is a valid address? If you are close to some road, do you get something that looks like a street address? How have they done the statewide thing to handle 911 being able to identify everything to a location? How far in the boonies does one have to go before there is some major hassle to being able to access the goodies of civil society? Do most trucking freight delivery services go to rural areas or do they require a depot pickup?

    What has happened in terms of giving every house an address by number or unique ID? Is the Postal rural route system about like it was say 30 years ago? How do they handle package deliveries? Do a lot of more boonie folks still have to get a P.O. Box at some small town or use General Delivery postings? Do most mail boxes have address numbers or do they still use only names?

    How far out in the boonies do you have to go before communications with the real World become a problem? What do most more rural folks seem to use for Internet service? Are most boonie areas served by cell phones or are null areas common?

    Should be moving to Ohio in around May. Probably will rent something near my sister in Columbiana to start. Really want something pretty cheap in terms of land, maybe with some older fixer-upper buildings that could serve temporary while I decide what else to do. Looking to be a bit remote but still close enough to major population centers that a few hours drive can give some decent access to shopping, the material things ones wants.

    I am reasonably familar with all of Eastern Ohio, say east of Columbus. Some areas that I know very well, I flew over using the sat photo services and was pleased to see they have little signs of development. Doing web searches seems to be a fair amount of real estate in a price range I would find very attractive.

    Talked to my sister about a bunch of this but she never really seems to answer the questions. Probably won't know until I actually try it. Present situation offers nothing I want for the future. Time to take the money and run.

    Ohio seems to be a logical starting point, if that ain't the Promised Land. I don't want anything in the eastern states, probably nothing in FL or even the south. Only real areas under consideration are Ohio, Western PA, W.VA, KY, TN, maybe MS, AR. Really planning on finding something in OH, should be enough choices. A number of counties appear to actually be losing population according to the data.
  2. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    If you in ohio, your not more than 100 miles from a big city, so UPS/fedex is avaialble. Most house will have an address, even if its 1234 country road 45. 911 is available most places if not all locations that have phone service, E911 is available over most of the state. P.O. Boxes will cause more problems now a days than they are worth. Many companies will not ship to a BOX number even if its your house number.

  3. Steve in Ohio

    Steve in Ohio Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    We are about 50 miles South East of Columbus,no problem getting UPS or Fed x out here,and we can even get pizza delivered out here.Just got a new Cell tower last year,so I don't have to take the 4-wheeler up to the road (1/2mile up to the road)to use it anymore.We still only have 5 crappy TV stations,but except for a Buckeye basketball game now and then I don't watch TV anyway.
    The ISP is still dial up modem so from 3pm to 6pm good luck getting a connection.................but for 9.95 a month I guess I can deal with it.
    As far as Real estate prices go it's getting real stupid out this way......anything within a hour of Columbus........is high dollar...........In fact the farm that borders mine on the West side is now on the market for 1.2 million which works out to 3500 per ac........................................If I get 3 more full time jobs I think I can swing it..........................
  4. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2002

    I got bad news for you. Those are all eastern states.
  5. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Well, I consider the boonies the actual Real World but here are my experiences with some of your questions.

    I don't live in Ohio but I live in a rural area and way out in the sticks where most of the roads have no signs or formal names. We don't have 911 addresses either. I get everything delivered here and ship from home sometimes with FedEx and UPS. FedEx, UPS, DHL even truck shipments will come to the house. When I first moved back here they would usually call and ask directions then they would never have a problem again. I get enough stuff from UPS and FedEx that the guys know where to put stuff or if they need a signature they will call first and make sure I'm going to be home. I'll get a call saying "Hey Quint you have a package that needs to be signed for when are you gonna be home?" or "Hey Quint it was raining so I put your package in the shed for you." Nice touch that probably doesn't happen in the city. In the winter if the lane to my house is particularly bad I told them to call the house and I'll come down to the mailbox to pick up my package. My drivers are great and I'm on a first name basis with the fedex and ups guys.

    I have had just one or two problems with on-line places not wanting to send to a rural route box even though it is my actual physical address. The Amazon order page for instance wouldn't let me ship to this addy. I contacted Amazon and they said they do indeed ship anywhere and I just had to alter my addy a little to get the computer to approve it. The other was a place operated by a guy who had apparently just been pried out of a shipping container and didn't understand the concept of a rural address, the word rural or much of the English language for that matter. I just took my business elsewhere.

    As for Internet that has been a problem until recently. Dial-up was next to impossible due to crappy phone lines and long distance charges to get to a dial-up number. satellite was the only answer. An expensive and annoying answer but an answer. Recently a wireless ISP has come to the area which works reasonably well. Better than dial-up or satellite.

    Cellphones? Marginal. I can get a signal but it is a weak one and disconnects are pretty common. Not a problem now however since I came up with this solution. I use a device called a cellsocket:

    And a directional yagi antenna pointed at the nearest tower.

    You can even integrate it into your actual hardline phone service in your house if you wish just as you would a second phone line. Works fantastic and I use it more than my landline phone. Speaking of which.

    My local phone company is terrible. It isn't the fault of the local employees, they're great guys. It is a small exchange that the big company just cares nothing for. Nothing is ever upgraded and equipment is never replaces from what I have been told. Sort of a place that is profitable for them since there can be no competition and they don't have to invest anything in and since they aren't local folks with ties to the community they have no incentive to do so.
    Drawbacks to living in the boonies? I really can't think of too many. For me the biggest was the lack of broadband access which has been pretty much solved by the new wireless service though the speeds aren't what I would like. It is running about 256-300kbps for the basic level pretty reliably. It has the capability to go higher with higher price. Up to 1 Mbps I believe. I would prefer a 3Mbps connection. This is ok though. I can live with it when the alternative is dial-up or satellite. The only thing I miss about living in the city is being able to get food delivered to the house. One thing I liked about living in a big city was being able to get just about any type of food delivered anytime. A bachelor thing. That and the symphony and opera.

    I'll gladly give all of those things up though to live in my own little chunk of ground and do my own thing. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.