Tell us about your state ... The good, the bad, and the crazy.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mama2littleman, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

    Nov 8, 2004
    I thought this might be a bit educational for all of us. I know a lot of us are looking for homesteads, and I thought it would be great to get information about the areas where people are already doing it. Might narrow down the search for a few of us, or give us a new direction to look in that we may not have considered before.

    So ... how about ponying up some info about your local area.

    Are the property taxes high? Is there a state income tax? A right to Farm law? How's the political climate? Liberal? Conservative? Independant?

    Guns laws, restrictive or liberal?

    Water? Is it like here in El Paso where when it rains the animals get petrified because it happens so rarely?

    Come on, let's dish!

  2. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

    Jul 27, 2004
    Ok.. I'll start:

    Vermont. Tiny state, many personalities. The Burlington/Chittenden county area is vastly different from Bennington county which bears little resemblance to Washington county... then there's the Northeast Kingdom and the various gold/tourism towns. What can you say unifies Vermont?

    Not a lot! Which is the real joy of the place. Our state motto is Freedom and Unity... a healthy respect for both the uniqueness of the individual and the necessity for unity within a community. Our median income compares favorably with other states, but our incomes are made by people working in tiny companies... most with only 5 or fewer employees.

    Our property taxes are pretty high, with rebates to keep them within a certain percentage of income. Our weather is awesome.. New England rarely does things like hurricanes, tornados, droughts, or firestorms. We do shake now and then, but not very much. And we do do flood every once in a while.

    We're so liberal we're conservative. Our towns are made up of colonials, victorians, and neo-classical buildings. We furnish in antiques.. antique carpets, antique dressers, antique beds, because we never throw anything away. We value education, support the arts, and heat with wood.

    In short.. this is an awesome state to be born in.

  3. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    plains of Colorado
    Mountains + Plains...very nice. Wind like dust bowl, dry. Seasons: winter & summer. Good people...nice place! I'm sure others from Colorado will add.
  4. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .................Texas might be considered the antithesis , of Vermont atleast in a size comparison . We are becoming very crowded down here due to major expansion happening in the major population centers . There are still parts of the state that very UNdeveloped , such as the area south and west of midland\odessa south down to Big Bend park . The purchasers of land tracts north of BB have discovered\will discover that that area is almost INhabitable from May thru September due to the intense heat . Water availability is also a major consideration . We still have alot of freedom to "do as we Please" when we live in the county , such as drill a water well by simply obtaining a permit , etc. We can carry a personal firearm with a permit , etc . Property taxes will vary with the level of oil production in that specific area . They will also be highest in major metro areas where Developers decide when they want to build thousands of homes in areas that DON"T have a school system to educate the INflux of new students , INSTEAD of the Towns making decisions about slow and controlled growth that allows schools and other necessary INfrastructure to be designed , funded , and built with the Taxpayers Tax rates in Mind . fordy... :)
  5. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest


    It's like different states depending upon where you are in Missouri. I lived here in my 20's and early 30's, left and came back 3 years ago and it hasn't changed a bit. The area that I'm most familiar with is North East Central, so I'll talk about that.
    Weather: Hot & humid summers, lovely Spring season..usually a prolonged Fall and a Winter which can be either a "mild" one with 2 or 3 snow storms leaving 4-6 inches or an "interesting" one with multiple storms and an occasional blizzard. In the past 3 years, Winters have been "mild". We do have severe thunderstorms and a few tornadoes here and there of the F0-F2 variety.rarely, an F3 will arise.
    Taxes: totally depends on each county. The closer you get to St. Louis, the higher the taxes. Example: Iron County 90 miles SW of St. Louis 10 acres of land + 3 Br house..$135K VERY nice house..taxes $700

    St. Francois County.(adjacent to Iron County) same house, same land..taxes $1200. Ozark County (SW MIssouri) same house, same land..taxes $200/year.
    if that..
    sales tax in my area 6.5%
    Missouri has a "Personal property tax"..that's a yearly tax on automobiles, trucks, boats, trailers, livestock..

    Initially I thought that was a terrible idea, until I realized why it's done. There are a tremendous amount of renters in this state. Renters drive cars, trucks, own boats trailers and livestock. By having a yearly personal property tax, all people share in the tax burden, not just land owners. This has allowed land property taxes to be kept low. I have a 2003 Chevy van. The personal property tax on that for 2004 was $235. For 2005, it was $178 Each year as the vehicle depreciates, the tax goes down.

    Politics are absolutely fascinating here (at least to me)'s city people vs rural all the way. City=liberal left wing..rural =conservative right wing..and YET..this part of Missouri would rather die than vote for a local Republican, but always vote Republican for State/Federal elections..that just tickles me to death.

    Except for St. Louis, just try to have gun laws in Missouri.

    Public education is no better or no worse than anywhere else I've seen.
    Rural healthcare in this area is absolutely much so it's shocking.
    The majority of people go to St. Louis to see specialists.

    This part of Missouri, IMHO, is perhaps suited for those homesteaders who need to still work in a big city, but want an affordable place out in the boonies with decent taxes and no zoning.

    oops..I almost forgot..a subject near and dear to my tax rebate for totally disabled or over age 65 folks.
    I don't have the exact formula here in front of me. but Missouri has a pretty good deal for those of us who are disabled. Much better than any of our neighboring states. Last year, I paid $455/month in rent for the last 6 months of the year. I filed for a rebate and got a check back for $325.

    If I had my own homestead, and paid less than $700/year property taxes, I'd pay the taxes, and then be able to get them all back since my only income is social security disability, and it's below a certain amount. When you're on a fixed income, those tax rebate programs mean a great deal. Pretty much every state has some sort of tax relief program, but most aren't very good.
  6. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 7, 2005
    A short way past Oddville
    Ahummmm, where shall I start. Kentucky. Hot in summer, wet in winter. No work, poor land (especially that acerage next to me----I saw it first, hands off). Bad schools, crabby neighbors, high taxes, litter. No game, poor roads, poorer people. Outa work, outa credit, outa your mind to move here. Out houses. I believe that covers it. Outa here.
  7. oldmanriver

    oldmanriver Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Willy there you go braging on our stste again First thang u know be a bunch of yanks here...
  8. Florida

    Florida Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    Miserable heat
    white sandy soil
    hundreds of lakes
    lots of privated gated golf communities
    very thin weak deer population
    still a good bit of alligators left
  9. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 7, 2005
    A short way past Oddville
    I know, I'm probably crazy to do it but I look at it as a duty in life to spare them the misery of moving to KY. It's too late for me, I'm stuck here, being born and raised. It's my lot in life to stumble through it. Snif. the rest of you folks looking for a place to roost, save yourselves. Snif. Lots of states out west or up north or even down south are nice. Hooooooonk. Snif. Think I'll go find solice in a moon pie and a RC.
  10. country_wife

    country_wife Evil Poptart

    Sep 23, 2004
    What part of KY do you call home, Willy? I was born in Harlan County.. a tiny town in the foothills of Black Mountain..
    **humming "Coal Miner's Daughter" while munching moon pies**
  11. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

    Mar 16, 2003

    You should see about getting a job with the Kentucky Department of Tourism :D
  12. BillyGoat

    BillyGoat Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Central Texas!

    Hot, hot summers. But, nice winters! Our autumns are not as colorful as up north, but they last alot longer.

    The property tax here is pathetic!!! Everyone talks about 600-1,100 on a big new house and couple acres everywhere else. Here,our in town home (not in Dallas or Houston or Austin) is 68 yrs. old on a double lot and our p. tax is 1300 a year!!! :shrug:

    Our retreat home in the country is better, 560 a year, but that house is smaller and 100 yrs. old on 6 acres. 3/4 of property tax goes to the schools, but the teachers have to buy supplies for their students, I am talking basics. :flame: The only improvements you see are sports domes and gyms.

    Hunting is good, but most of it is going to rented or owned deer leases(bad).

    A very, very large state. A large variety of areas to see. :)

    Mexican population is growing, as is in alot of states.( I am talking, under the table mexicans.)

    Alot of pecan trees here! :)

    The best Tex-Mex food you will find and the best chili and BBQ!!!!!!!!!
  13. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    Close to 50% of the population has some German heritage. Beer drinking very much a part of many activiites, although greater enforcement of OWI laws is having an effect.

    Probably some of the best public schools in the nation with the exception of those located in Milwaukee. Also has an excellent public university and technical school system.
    Property taxes vary greatly. A 3 bedroom home on 5 acres in a rural area will see taxes of $1000 - $1500. In a metropolitan area, the property taxes on a 3 bedroom home will range from $2500 - 3500.
    Excellent health care throughout the state.
    High paying manufacturing jobs in heavily industrialized Milwaukee are going, going, going. Very few jobs pay minimum wage. Although only a small percentage of jobs in the state go to Union members, Union sympathies are strong. Good paying jobs are out there, but not as plentiful as when the manufacturing base was here. Harley Davidson one of the few success stories.

    Politically split almost even, perhaps a ever so slight shift to Democrats.
    Negligible political corruption, police corruption or corruption of any sort.

    Violent crime rates among the lowest in the nation.

    In the northern part of the state, snow usually hits in mid November and stays on the ground until the first part of April. If one doesn't like snow, its not the place to be. If you live in the Northwoods, you're familiar with snowmobiles, skiing, snow-shoeing or ice fishing.

    Vacant property may be purchased in the far NW area of the state in 40 acre parcels for as little as $1500/acre. "Recreational" (hunting land) usually goes for $2000 - $4000 acre in 40 acre parcels in most of the state.

    The northern part of the state has thousands of lakes. Vilas county alone has 4000 lakes. Lake property continues to skyrocket in price. No real estate bubble whatsoever.

    Zoning laws and building inspections take place throughout the entire state. It is, however, still possible to build temporary "hunting cabins" to be used strictly as temporary quarters in many areas. Lake property has the most restrictions.

    Deer hunting is a culture. The season ALWAYS starts on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving and 650,000 hunters take to the woods. For all intents & purposes, the state basically shuts down during the 9 day hunt. 300,000 - 400,000 deer get harvested each season.

    The Green Bay Packer fans are legendary. They've sold every ticket for every game since forever. When the Packers stink up the field with a 4-12 season (like last year) it doesn't matter, the Packers fans are loyal. The waiting list for season tickets is 60,000+ people. Only about 20 season tickets become available each year. The stickiest issue in a divorce is who gets the Packer tickets.
  14. fricknfarm

    fricknfarm Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Missouri, the year starts out with ice falling from the skies to coat everything and make driving a nightmare. May or may not get some snow on top. Next come mud slurry season which is a combo of rain/snow/sleet along with thawing temps, makes driving a nightmare. You'll slide right into mud season when the gravel roads get "slicker than snot" and if you live in the country driving will be hazzardous. The mud and gravel combine to create a surface that feels similar to ice when driving. Next come tornado season which runs concurrently with violent thunderstorm/hail season. Briefly, spring occurs when the skies are blaringly blue, the birds are singing, the wild flowers blooming, it's like Eden! This lasts two weeks and is followed by hotter than hell season, which is followed by let me out of here before I cook season. This is followed by the early Autumn monsoons and another mud season which may be accompanied by tornadoes and violent storms, and certainly hazzardous road conditions, not hail tho. Along about the end of mud season (end of October) comes full Autumn, a GLORIOUS time, beautiful foliage, wonderful slightly brisk mornings mild afternoons. Soaring blue skies with Canada geese honking and tendrils of smoke rising from wood stoves and burning leaf piles. This, like spring, lasts about two weeks UNLESS there is a feak freeze of 5 degrees (seen that) or heavy rains that strip the leaves. Then the monsoons return and mud season again (with it's accompanying vehicular hazards) which slides into colder than a B***H season which turns toward the new year and ice falling from the sky season.
    Four wheel drive vehicles are a MUST at least one, if you live in the country out here. This area of the state is rural only. The nearest "big" city is KC 90 miles away. St. Joe is 78miles distant. My uncle's take on MO was, "Only the strong survive there, I saw cows out in the snow covered with ice".
    Land is still fairly cheap, altho it is starting to rise in price. Not many small parcels, 40A is considered a very small farm, minimal. Rural communities here (small towns populations less than 5,000 and the county gvts.) have started zoning outlying areas to 5-10A zoning per house. They see what's going on coser to the city and they want to preserve the rural quality of their communities. this has escalated the price of land in those areas. A 5-10A "plot" will cost more than we paid for 40A. buying in MO, look for someplace way out and buy more land, better deal and no Jones' right next door.
    People for the most part are okay. Some good ol boy stuff. Some areas worse than others. Daviess County pretty nice, Harrison County ... I wouldn't live there if you paid me and they're right next door. Check out everything where you're thinking of buying. Go to town and spend a few days sitting and talking. If the locals won't engage in conversation, best to find somewhere they will. Lots of places are friendly, that's where to buy. AVOID like the plague anywhere where the residents think you're derranged for wanting to move there. THEY'RE RIGHT, they know what your life will be like, they'll make sure they're right.
    Field mice and rattlers are free roaming. Only one snake in my basement but the mice are CONSTANT.
    If you like to hunt, fish and work on cars, this state's for you. Wildlife abounds up here, I have a herd of 15-20 deer that bed down every night, wild turkeys, foxes, rabbits and squirrels to numerous to contemplate a number for, pheasant and quail, raccoons and possums. Like to watch wildlife? We have eagles and redtail hawks, barn owls and indigo buntings, lots of barn swallows to catch mosquitoes and even a big blue heron that stops by at my pond every spring to catch bullfrogs.. Plenty of coyotes and some bobcats, badgers and even a rare wolf or two make this area their home. I don't fish but I hear the streams have catfish, lakes have fish too.
    All in all a pretty nice place, you just gotta put up with the "seasons".
    Property taxes on 40A with a newer house 2,000', three vehicles(older ones) 30goats (property tax on livestock too) a horse 4 sheep, two oubuildings, it all comes to a little less than $1,000. There is a state income tax too.
    Conservative government in this area, gun laws very liberal and as you can tell from the seasons, rainfall is pretty plentiful at times.
  15. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2006
    Effingham, Illinois 5b
    Don't forget sand burs and termites.... :nono:
  16. Dink

    Dink Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    North Carolina
    North Carolina mountains
    A great place to live.Mild winters,nice summers.
    Not to many jobs...most textile places moved to Mexico.
  17. MrPG

    MrPG Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2005
    Pennsylvania ....

    The Nut House state - referring to the Nuts in the State Capitol building!

    While property taxes have almost doubled in the last 5 years for many people, they have spent close to a Billion dollars in renovating the (admittedly very nice) State Capitol building.

    While real estate prices go up and up, the largest landowner in the state.... is the state! Some of that land should be sold off to take the pressure off, or to keep down property taxes.

    There is taxation at every level you can think of, state income taxes, state sales tax, then local taxes, even an income tax in some cities!

    No downard pressure on taxes, since the majority of new PA homeowners come from places even worse, like NJ, so they don't think it is so bad.

    As soon as the good wife can be convinced that some other state doesn't harbor the wrong kind of people as she defines it, we are outta here!
  18. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Western WA.

    It always rains here. When it's not raining, it's grey and drippy and moist. Or it's snowing and nobody knows how to drive in the snow. No state income taxes, but the property taxes and sales tax ensure that everyone stays in the poor house.

    To recap, it's always raining and cruddy weather with really high taxes. You don't want to live here. Trust me. ;)
  19. Clifford

    Clifford Love it, or leave it...

    Aug 14, 2004
    Wausau, Wisconsin
    Visconsin, ya hey der. Hoops called it correctly. Ya, da Packers are da bestest. Ya, I still remember da glory years... Vince Lombardi shoulda been King.

    Wisconsin is one of the state with the highest taxes. In population centers, property taxes will eat you alive. 40 acres with a new 4,000 sq ft home are up to about $7K /yr. The escrow for property taxes is more than most folks mortgage.

    Recreation here does rock. The northern 1/3 of the state has most of the lakes and you can hardly drive anywhere without finding one. Tourism is a major industry in the summer (resorts, etc)., and the winter (snowmobiling and ice fishing). The deer hunting season is the best. EVERYONE takes off of work and hunts for the 9 day season. Most folks have their own hunting crews that hunt together every year, as it's a tradition. We harvest more deer than most states have in their populations...

    As Hoops said, Health care is great , aspecially in my area as the Aspirus Wausau Hospital is rated 33rd in the Nation for Cardiac care. Little old small town Wisconsin has doctors that rock. I live in Marathon County, (the largest county in Wisconsin) which is roughly 1550 sq. miles (larger than the State of Rhode Island) and has a population of about 125,000.

    I've seen the area slowly change from a highly liberal voting history to be more conservative as time goes by. It's probably the high taxes making people wake up.

    Gun laws... We've had two tries to have concealed carry in the state and the Governor had vetoed it both times (time for a new governor). Didn't have enough votes for an override. Strangely enough, the state law says that you can carry a loaded gun, as long as it is in plain sight and NOT CONCEALLED.

    Beer, brats, cheese and Da Packers.

    Gasoline was $2.89/gal. for unleaded and $3.03/gal. for premium today.
  20. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Sep 16, 2005
    AR (ozarks)
    She is telling the truth I went to ft lewis last oct for army training and it rained everyday of the week I was there.