OK panhandle area?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cyngbaeld, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I was wondering how the counties are around the Laverne area re building codes, septic systems etc. Also what the water tends to be like and how far down do you usually need to drill a well to get good water?
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    :eek:

    Gack! But the weather there really is possibly the worst weather in the entire world!

    Although I admire your bravery to even think of moving to that area.

    Unfortunately, I know nothing about the codes. But I do know people look kind of dusty there. :p :p :p
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    :haha: :haha: :haha: I've been living on the backside of the desert for years. You want to tell me why the panhandle is so bad????
     
  4. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    GACK!!! The desert? :eek:

    I could never do it. The OKC area is as close to a desert as I ever want to see again!

    :no:

    I'm a great fan of humidity and hills. :D

    But it gets worse in the panhandle than anywhere else because not only is it hot ---- it's colder there than anywhere in the entire universe!

    Not to mention, the proximity to AMARILLO! :eek:
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I looked at weather averages and it sure looks better than where I was in western co! (Sometimes known as 'the Armpit of the Universe'). The average Jan low was 33.7* in Laverne, in Skull Creek, CO it was like -15*. Frequntly we saw -40*. Last year my dd was stuck in a snowbank on the way to school and it took hours to get a plow in and dig the Jeep out that she was in. (I paid someone to drive her to the bus). Two weeks later they were stuck in the mud.

    Humidity? I thought 50% WAS too humid! I'm used to 0 to 14%.

    Summer highs don't look much different.

    22 inches of rain a yr? Some places I've been had 3 to 14 at best! The pix of the panhandle had GRASS growing! Sure beats sagebrush and greasewood.

    Actually I drove thru the panhandle when I moved here, and thought it looked pretty nice! Comparatively speaking, of course. Frankly, I'm extremely claustrophobic and it is all I can do to live here in town waiting for my house to sell. I'm a fan of wide open spaces. And I'm rather tired of mountains. They are pretty to look at, but sooo hard to have to cross to get anywhere, especially in winter.

    BTW, you should have been along in the Uhaul when the brakes started smoking coming down from Eisenhower tunnel! :eek: I was never so happy to see flat land in my life as when we got out of Denver! Guess I'm getting too old for that kind of adventure!


    PS know of any place else I can get good cheap land to build on?
     
  6. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Well, there IS a really nice little town in the Panhandle right before you cross over into New Mexico. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of it --- but it just seemed like the most pleasant little place with the nicest people. :)

    As for Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas --- :eek: They're just much too far out of my range of comprehension. I simply could not imagine. :eek:

    There's cheap land back here. And people are really wonderful. And nobody is the least bit interested in causing everybody else a bunch of grief (except the politicians who are particularly crooked back here :D ).

    It's beautiful --- and there's no codes!

    :D

    But don't tell anyone!!
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Well, I'm still looking and gathering info on different areas. I hope to find something cheap so I won't have a mortgage. And I would simply love to have a strawbale house! A well would be nice. Don't really need grid power, been on solar and can do it again. Don't need to be close to work or school anymore. Don't like to be crowded. And don't like bldg inspectors jacking up the price of things. Don't need a septic system or want one. Don't want people looking at my chickens and asking 'you aren't going to EAT them are you?" As if it were the worse crime in the world to eat something you raised. Am I asking too much?
     
  8. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I remember driving through there long time ago. Didnt look very prosperous so probably good prospect for homestead without getting hassled by authoritarian types with bunch of rules.

    When our local weather shows regional map, its kinda on the edge and temps are extreme there compared to most places at this latitude. Kinda like Dodge City, KS seems to be kinda extreme also. It always seems to be the ice box/hotbox of this region although panhandle of OK is very close.
     
  9. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    There are still a lot of very nice places where land is reasonable and codes non-existent. I like it here simply because this is where I've always liked it.

    :confused: :D

    IOW, I've lived a lot of places but this area is the only one which ever stuck in my memory and where I ever really considered settling down. I'm glad I got here before the unwashed masses --- and codes! --- did.

    And it was cheap enough that I paid cash. No mortgage, no payments. :) In about another year, in fact, I will have passed the point where, had I chosen to rent somewhere or take a mortgage payment of $500/mo. (unheard of these days), I would have paid the same amount I paid for this place.

    :confused: If that makes sense. It's getting to be bedtime.

    In any case, there's still lots of places. Take your time and get to where you really want to be.
     
  10. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I live about an hour from Laverne and CG is right, the weather is nasty!!
    Hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. It's not as bad as Western Colorado though.
    There are no jobs, you would need to drive to Woodward which is about 30 minutes away.
    There are pretty places around here though. The night sky is beautiful! :D Farther out west past Beaver, you get into flat land, mainly farm land with no trees.
    I'm claustrophobic too! I love the wide open spaces. :D
    I can send you some names of real estate agents if you're interested in checking out prices.
     
  11. Guest Too

    Guest Too Active Member

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    but I do know the Dept of Environmental Quality(DEQ) controls septic system installation in OK now. They require licensed installers and perc tests. If you get one in and can claim it was there when you moved in you're okay. They are on the net somewhere maybe that would give you some info. I will tell you this, I don't think they "let" anything perc anymore. Around my house, every septic system that's gone through them has required a lagoon. I realize there are soil differences, but they don't change that much within a mile or 2 around here. I know of 10 or so that work just fine without lagoons and yet any new ones are required to have them. /shrug
     
  12. diamondefarm

    diamondefarm Well-Known Member

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    My wife is from Buffalo, which is one of the 2 towns in Harper county (Laverne is the other). They are not technically in the panhandle, but are pretty close to the gateway. I will echo what others have said. If it is 100 degrees in OKC, it is 110 in Guymon. If we get 3" of snow near OKC, they got 12" in Guymon. I know I am painting with a broad brush, but 9 times out of 10 they get the worst weather in the state.
    Also, better be prepared to drive a long way to get to anything, or expect to pay alot more locally. Also, employment may be hard to find unless you want to work at Hitch feedlots or Hanor /Seaboard hog farms. Not sure what they pay, but I am betting it isn't a huge sum.

    On the plus side, land prices are a bit lower than in central OK. Course, Animal Units per acre are a lot lower too.

    My advice, unless you are dead set on that area, inherited a lot of land, or have a great job waiting on you, look somewhere else.

    But, YMMV

    Good luck
     
  13. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    cowgirlone, thanks, yes I would appreciate names and phone numbers of real estate agents, web sites too, if they are available. I've looked and looked on google, but there is so much extraneous material to sift thru that it is hard to find what I need.


    I don't need a job, so that is not an issue and I don't *plan* on any animals except poultry, tho down the road I might decide to get one or two steers to fatten. And I am accustomed to driving long distances once a month (or less often) for shopping, so that isn't a biggy.

    The septic tank issue is something I need to know more on. What is a 'lagoon'? Do you need one in addition to a septic tank/leech field? I thought I had understood it to be something used instead of a septic.
     
  14. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I just found the DEQ site, is a 'lagoon' the same as a 'constructed wetland'? If so, that looks doable to me. Makes lots more sense than a leechfield.
     
  15. diamondefarm

    diamondefarm Well-Known Member

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    DEQ will come out and do a percolation test at your proposed septic site. If you pass, you can install a normal septic ($1500) tank and leach field. If your soil doesn't drain enough, you have 2 options.

    1. An aerobic system. These have 3 tanks linked to sprinklers that spray the effluent out during the night. (Think lawn sprinklers). This is the system I have in OK, and it cost me $6500. OUCH

    2. A lagoon. This is a system whereby your septic will be linked to a large open lagoon. Surface area depends upon household demand, but you are looking at about .5 to 1 acre in size, 3 feet deep. This will run around $3000. It will need to be downhill from your house, so make sure this won't be at the front of the property you are looking at (if you care). If you have small children or livestock you will probably want to fence this area off from them. This and the smell were the main reasons we went with the aerobic system.

    Here's a link to ours:

    http://www.hootsystems.com/

    Good luck. The DEQ can be, shall we say, interesting to deal with in OK.

    P.S. - If you buy a place with an existing septic, you may be able to be grandfathered in on the DEQ regs. This would be worth buying an old run down house just to dozer and have the septic. My mother lives 1/8 mile from me and has a normal septic in the same soil that I had fits with the deq over just 20 years later. Gotta love it!
     
  16. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet Active Member

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    Tho don't live in that area, have been through it several times and don't live all that far. Comments on weather are accurate. Two other things not mentioned that you might want to consider: 1) confinement hog operations and the accompanying slaughter houses (if you think a cattle feed lot or confinement dairy stinks) 2) se hable espanol? the area has a large population of RECENT hispanic immigrants and all of the social and legal problems that brings. They are there to work in the hog and cattle feeding and slaughtering operations. These may not be issues in some areas of OK panhandle but do your homework. And remember that some locals think feedlots smell like money so the real estate agent may not be real forthcoming with that info.
    Bluebonnet
     
  17. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

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    We are from Follett, about 15 miles from Laverne.

    In my eyes, its beautiful country, rolling high plains. It may have been dusty in 1933, but that was then, this is now. The truth is, its windy. Windiest place in the country, just about. Wintertime gets icestorms as often as snow. It is harsh weather, but a great place to live. Unless you're a teacher, or a nurse, jobs are hard to come by. There's a hospital in Shattuck, Ok., and of course, Woodward.

    If I could support myself, we'd be living there in a heartbeat!
     
  18. Vic

    Vic Well-Known Member

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    I love that part of the country. We lived in and around Englewood Ks. for several years. Englewood is about 30 miles from Laverne. The problems of the area have been mentioned so I won't go into that, but we loved living there.

    I am currently reading a book called "Panhandle Cowboy" by John R Erickson. It is about the four years during the 1970s that he managed a ranch north east of Beaver Ok. Along with his stories of cattle ranching he also hits on the positive and negitive aspects of living in the panhandle. He also talks a lot about the people in the panhandle. I think the people in that part of the country are some of the best around.

    We have also lived in Canadian Texas which is in the panhandle of Texas. My wife was raised about 45 miles SW of Dodge City, so we are familiar with the area from Amarillo to Dodge City. If it wern't for income problems we probably either would live somewhere in that area or Idaho. We love both.

    I hope you find what you are looking for. But my 2 cents worth is that it is a great place to live and I Love It there.

    Vic
     
  19. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Thanks for all the input everyone. I will be running up there sometime, hopefully soon, and have a look see. Let you all know what happens. :)