West Virginia

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by leedaisy, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. leedaisy

    leedaisy Member

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    Hello everyone, we are planning a move to West Virginia and I am looking for any and all information. We are taking our first exploratory trip next week. We have been looking in the Spencer area which is in the middle of the state give or take. We are looking to purchase the farm and enough acreage to be self sufficient. Ive looked on the internet for information but other then tourist information I cant find anything really relevant. Are the people friendly? Is it as beautiful as everyone says? Is the job situation as severe as people make it out to be? Have the monster congolomerate farms moved in yet? What type of farms are there? Dairy, hay, produce? Any and all information would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you very much!
    Lee Daisy.
     
  2. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Lee Daisy

    We bought property in the Spencer area. We have not moved there yet.

    We have found people to be very friendly. We have found that the people who dug our footers and formed and poured our concrete were more than reasonable in there fees. We payed the man who bull-dozed our road, and 2 acre clearing 50 dollars an hour, but he was the best, and he worked that machine to death!

    We think it is beautiful. That, of course you will have to judge for yourself.

    There are few high paying jobs, but there are quite a few fast food, and other businesses, and of course the SSSUPER Walmart. A neighbor of ours says they always need welders at his work.


    You will also be able to eat many things wild, and intentionally grown things from your land. Potatoes sell cheap locally. You might even find some ginseng root in the shade of the mighty oak trees.

    I have not seen much dairy, but there are vineyards and orchards, and there is hay everywhere.
     

  3. leedaisy

    leedaisy Member

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    Rick,
    Thank you very much for your reply. Spencer too? The world is small. Did you find it at all odd how many properties were for sell in Spencer? Best of luck to you and hope to see you around some time :)
    Lee Daisy
     
  4. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    Check the Dept of Agriculture market bulletin for farm listings. Below is a link. You'll have to click on the farm category.

    http://www.wvagriculture.org/market_bulletin/market_bulletin.html

    In West Virginia you need to be careful about buying a house that's near a creek (flooding issues) even if it's so small you don't think it could be a problem. Flash floods in the mountains can be devastating. Check for right of ways on the property also.

    Drinking water can be a problem if you're on a well. It's not unusual to find wells with water that contains manganese, sulphur or iron. Clear iron won't be noticeable unless you let the water set long enough for it to settle out. If you put bleach in a sample it will settle fast. If you have iron, you'll have problems doing laundry.

    Check the quality of the phone service if you're planning on using the internet. It's not rare to find an area with no television reception (no cable either), power that goes out frequently and bad water.

    West Virginia doesn't have the terrain that encourages corporate farming with the exception of the Eastern panhandle.
     
  5. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    It *is* a small world!

    We moved to WV during the last two months; we're near Glenville. maps.yahoo.com says we're about 48 miles from Spencer.

    Check out this other thread: Anyone living in WV?

    So far we LOVE it :goodjob:
     
  6. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    I am about 30 or so miles outside of Spencer. Friendly people and A LOT of hay lol. There never have been (nor will be) any monster farms. Too hilly lol. As long as you don't mind the smell of hay, cattle, goats, or horses you'll like it. :) Other than small family gardens and grass I think that is just about the only thing that grows in Roane County lol (joking). Not much in the way of work. There are some good paying jobs around but mostly in trades and one would probably be better off looking into commuting to Charleston. Low cost of living and decent taxes. Yes, as someone else said even a small stream can take you out around here. Flooding can be a problem in places you wouldn't think. Since Spencer is a decent size town you shouldn't have any problem getting electricity or water (unless you are moving way back up in a hollow). The cable I don't know about because everyone I know out there has Direct TV. The places I have been out there the phone service and internet was ok. It is a beautiful place to live, especially if you like mountains and trees (we do have a commodity) lol. Hunting is great out there.

    Hey when you all get settled in check out the livestock auction on Friday sometime, I'll treat you to a burger. :)
     
  7. Merrique

    Merrique Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in southern WV (around Summersville,WV) and currently live near Huntington, WV. I can tell you that WV is my most favorite place in the world. The autumn is stunning, the winters can have a lot of snow and cold(great ski/sled weather), spring (with ramp eatin') comes early and the summers are usually mild. A West Virginian will talk your ears off and help you in any way, they are the friendliest people I know.
    There are a wide variety of farms in WV, you can pretty much raise whatever you like. Be sure though, your place is on the high ground. If you like hunting, it abounds with deer, rabbit, squirrel, groundhog, bear and alot more. There are alot of wild foods available, including dandelions, ramson, wild nuts and berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), wild grapes, apples, persimmon and the super delicious paw-paws (think banana custard), wintergreen berries, service (sarvis) trees, and some of the best fishing (bass, trout, catfish,etc.) the list goes on and on. You will be introduced to the elusive state fish, the brook trout, she tastes so sweet your mouth will water. But they live in the smaller creeks and you have to sneak up on them.
    You can find good jobs in WV, depending on your skills. Or feel free to create your own, we are a bunch of independent, do-it-yourself'ers anyhow.

    Check these sites out, they have created their own businesses:

    www.kirkwood-wine.com

    www.custardstand.com (These folks are from my hometown!)

    Hope you enjoy WV, Spencer is a nice area.
     
  8. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't find it odd. I figure lots of people are trying to capitalize on the value of there land. Some properties are difficult to sell, so they would stay on the market.

    Small world?? I'll tell you about a small world...........we were at my brother's wedding in Brooklyn NY, over the weekend. We were walking from the rehearsal at the church, to the restaurant, when I didn't hear Ann's voice behind me anymore.

    The gentleman I was talking to and I told the front half of the group we would meet them there, and retreated to union street, where he figured the back half had turned to continue the walk. Anyway, during the course of chatting with Abraham, I found out that his wife Christine's best friend had settled in the Spencer area. We are planning to meet down there in the next year or two for a reunion of sorts.

    Now that is a small world!




     
  9. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    :) Waving to you from Pendleton Co when on my farm where we raise beef cattle as do most of the neighbors.Some also raise chickens for Pilgrims Pride. At home up in Jefferson Co, there is dairy and beef. But W. Virginia is wild and wonderful and the people are mostly great. My family lives in Shepherdstown also. (parents and some siblings). Jobs are not great though. In the Eastern Panhandle, everyone leaves to work in either MD, NO Va or Dc. In fact the last out for the morning as to turn off the lights.
     
  10. Firethorn

    Firethorn Well-Known Member

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    NOW, talk about small world! I have been searching for days for info on W.V. and finaly vame here to post my concerns. I find someone beat me to it.
    I have one other question. How are people with those that are American Indian. A friend says there is a prejudice issue.
    My husband is an excelant welder so work should not be an issue.
    I am glad we will be in the company of you great people though. I can not believe we may have finally found home!
    You should see my smile! :cool: no-- :D :sing: Thats better
     
  11. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    I hope I don't get flamed for this but the prejudice thing is pretty much restricted to the backwoods hicks in Boone & Logan County and they have some kind of wacked out deal with African Americans (I think they have toxic water or something there that affects their brains or some such thing). Indians are accepted by everyone here though. There is a pretty good bit of Native American heritage here and a great deal of the population comes from Cherokee tribes (some Blackfoot and some Creek).
     
  12. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a friend who lives in West (We Ain't Nowhere Near the Beach) Virginia, and she loves it. She and her DH worked fast-food jobs when they were in undergrad, and now that they're in grad school, they have closer to "real" jobs, but things are still tight.

    Even so, they love it and I doubt they'll ever leave Morgantown.

    Pony!
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Regarding some needed info on WV
    I have located a timber property that I am interested in purchasing. There is an inhabited home on the property that is accessible by a very long dirt road that is supposed to be a county road but no one other than the residents do any maintenance to it. The mineral rights belong to someone else and there is an existing producing gas well on the property. The current owner gets no benefit from either. What I do not understand is what would happen if the owner of the mineral rights decided to sell or exercise his rights for the mining rights for coal mining? Is it common for the property owner to not participate in any manner with the gas produced from the well? Thanks
     
  14. Prinls

    Prinls Active Member

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    The livestock auction is the best. I went last month and hope to go again soon. Beautiful
    country but the roads are a little intimidating to visitors like me.
     
  15. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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  16. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Firethorn and Agmantoo

    I can't give a clear, personal answer about prejudice, but have been told that the people of Roane county (as RedneckWoman states) are acceppting of other cultures.

    I know there are many people enjoying free gas. We have a gas line (no well) running across the back end of our place, but we were told we could get cheap, not free gas. Also, that "county" road may be a state road. That's the case at our place. The creek is allowed to share the road for 1500 feet!

    Rick
     
  17. Merrique

    Merrique Well-Known Member

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    I can honestly say that I have never ran into prejudice against the American Indian where I grew up at in southern WV (webster,pocahontas, nicholas, braxton counties). I happen to have some Indian blood (Cherokee), as does my husband (Crow). I never remembered it ever being an issue. Of course, there is prejudice everywhere, but I mostly have just seen people form opinions on someone actions and behaviors, rarely on what they look like. BTW, Huntington has a wonderful native American organization that hosts frequent pow-wows and teaches classes in Indian crafts, music and history.
     
  18. Firethorn

    Firethorn Well-Known Member

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    Im still smil'in. :D :sing: And danc'in. You can not beleave how good it feels to finally be leaving TX. Well, the city, anyway. One other concern. What snakes and spiders are to be watched for there? A funny question, I know but I have my reasons.
    Thank You Guys
     
  19. leedaisy

    leedaisy Member

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    Im right there with you Firethorn. Thanks to everyone for the great response. I havent even been to West Virginia yet but I feel like I have friends there already. Our excitment level has increased with each response. We even moved our trip date up a day so we could get started all the sooner. :sing: We leave on Tuesday for our first trip and hopefully we'll have some good news when we get back. Luck to all!
     
  20. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Snakes to worry about - copperheads.

    We've gotten lots of spider bites but just from tiny "invisible" house spiders. Lots of garden spiders here too, out in the yard, but that's a good thing. We've never been bitten by the big ones.

    On the topic of creepy-crawly things, there are LOTS of ticks during the summer, so check yourself daily.

    Regarding the purchase of timber property where there is a well and someone else owns the mineral rights, here is what we have found out.

    The mineral rights for a piece of property are leased to an oil company. The oil company has the responsibility of maintaining access to the well, keeping the weeds down, ensuring it is running, etc. They are supposed to send a check periodically to whoever owns the mineral rights, but frequently they have to be severely encouraged to send the check. The leases do not expire but go on forever or until the well quits producing. Whatever oil company is leasing the rights has the right to come in and drill more wells. There may be clauses about how close to a dwelling, etc., so you'd have to check the lease for a particular piece of property to know what you're getting into.

    The person who owns the property is not necessarily the same as the person who owns the mineral rights. Thus, they wouldn't be at all involved in the well or reap any monetary rewards. They could also be negatively impacted if the oil company decided to drill in a place the land owner didn't like. However, almost ALL of the leases include a clause that includes X amount of cubic of feet per gas to one dwelling on the property. That means the land owner usually gets free gas (the volume is a lot, like 200,000 cu ft but this varies from lease to lease so again, check the one that affects the property you're considering purchasing). If you happen to use more, you pay just like any other gas customer but frankly I don't think you'd use more.

    So, a land owner that does not own mineral rights does have some risk... there might be more drilling on the property. However, they also get some benefit, because they can heat and cook and have hot water for free. You just have to decide what you're personally comfortable with.