Where to move?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by eb, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. eb

    eb Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    Hi folks...we live in Massachusetts, western mass, where it is still fairly rural. Have a nice place all paid for, almost 200 acres, house is not fancy but is solid...all in all a pretty darn nice place to be.....but.

    But, to be honest, I hate Massachusetts, I hate being here, don't love the winters all that much, my soil is a combination or clay and rocks, and usually wet...and I don't have enough barns...and most of all I don't love the $8000 per year in property taxes I need to pay to live in a place I already own....I also worry that where I am is not going to stay rural much longer. Its growing pretty fast around here.

    Anyway, I am thinking about relocating and am looking for suggestions on where. I'd like to find someplace with most of the following characteristics:

    1. Decent soil for crops and pastures.
    2. Moderate temps. I don't mind (and actually prefer) some winter, I just don't need 6 months of snow per year if you know what I mean...
    3. LOW TAXES. This is key for me.
    4. Decent schools. They don't need to be top-notch, but at least good. (I guess LOW TAXES and Excellent schools would be asking too much).
    5. Cheaper property. I don't want to buy a house/farm for the same as what I sell my place. I'd like to have some cash leftover. Someplace where I can get a decent house, barns/sheds, 30-200 acres for $200-$300. I don't mind fixing something up.
    6. Must be rural, and more likely to stay that way.
    7. East coast states; not sure I am ready to move across the country completely...

    Have considered Vermont, but taxes are pretty high up there and the winters are about the same; but it is more rural and I like that.

    Also have a friend trying to talk us into Virginia. What areas would be good? How are the schools? Will people from Virginia hate people from Massachusetts?

    Also considered upstate New York, which is pretty rural and pretty, but I just can't stand the thought of having New York license plates (probably the same way vermonters feel about Mass plates!).

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  2. This coming year take a drive down I95 and catch I-70 through MD to get on I-68 into WV to I-79 and follow it down to US 119. Eventually you can head east to VA and pick up I-81 to head back North through VA.

    There are areas in West Virginia that will always be rural. Property taxes are much lower than MA and you should be able to buy several hundred acres with a good house and out buildings, probably free gas as well, and still have a significant amount of the money left over from the sale of your MA property. Check out the job situation as well. That's a limiting factor in WV.

  3. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2003
    Upstate SC
    I grew up in Upstate New York. Beautiful country but taxes are high (probably as high as Massachusetts). And winters can be rough.

    I live in South Carolina. The schools here have a bad reputation but I've been quite happy with them. (Personally, I think it's because the people here are not as well educated and don't emphasize schoolwork as much. My two boys are in the top 10 percent on a nationwide basis but I've made it very clear that schoolwork is their number one priority.)

    Winters are mild - we might get one or two snowfalls/year. The land tends to be clay but things grow well. Land is significantly cheaper (although going up all the time) and taxes are low. I have a five-bedroom house in a small town on a normal-sized lot and my taxes are $600/year. (That includes fire/police/garbage pickup.)

    I like western North Carolina also (but I like mountains).

    Good luck...
  4. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Central Virginia
    Well having lived in VA for about 15 years I guess I am sold. But you have to be careful even in Virginia. Our soil here in Central is that horrible red clay stuff!! Yucko. But in many other palces it is wonderful rich dark soil, you just have to watch.
    Schools?? Same depends on the area. We are pretty rural and the elementary schools are pretty good but the high schools leave a lot to be desired.
    We have 15 acres, with a pretty A-frame house with 1000 feet of water front and pay 800 a year taxes.
    I would say there are many places in Va that would fit your needs!!!
    Alice in Virginia
  5. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

    May 26, 2003
    New York
    I just moved to Vermont from Massachusetts...and I hate Massachusetts too. Taxes here are very high, at least in this area...and there is really no kind of work other than tourism and service jobs.

    I wanted to move to New York, but that didn't work out. :(

    Maine has fairly low taxes for New England, but from what I hear, if you aren't born there, you aren't from Maine..Ever. Lol

    Whenever I have visited Virginia I have found the people there to be so nice. It's actually one of my favorite places to be, and I wish I could live there someday.

    Good luck on your search, and hope you get out of Massachusetts soon..heh.
  6. Sharon in NY

    Sharon in NY Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    I'm from MA too - don't hate it, just what it has become. We moved to central NY, and the taxes are *comparatively* low - much lower than we were paying in MA, but high by, say, Alabama standards. You learn to live with the license plates - NY does not mean NYC - it is a totally seperate planet.

    The climate is similar, however, to Western MA. Otherwise, I'd say it meets your requirements. You might try PA, particularly Southern PA for a more moderate climate. VA could be good - although both places have *extremely* hot, humid summers, even compared to MA. I lived in VA for a while, and frankly, I had a hard time dragging myself out to the garden during the daytimes. It all depends on how you feel about heat vs. cold - I'd rather have more winter and less humid, hot summers.

    You could try the Pacific Northwest - selling 200 acres in Western MA is going to make you, umm, extremely comfortable, so you could probably afford Washington or Oregon pretty well. Temps would be *much* more moderate. There's a lot of buildup there, though.

    If it were me, unless you are a total snow hater, I'd consider somewhere near the Great Lakes - the downside is *tons* of snow each winter, but the upside is moderated temperatures summer and winter, and a nice, long, mellow growing season. Prices are such that you can afford quite a lot, with money put away for the taxes.

  7. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    I'm in SW PA, the soil here is grand, the weather is wonderful, there is water wherever you dig. taxes are relitively low.
    only one problem.. the taxes are rising and so is the population and housing development. Unless you buy a large working farm, your going to get squeezed. from my looking around, WV is the place to go. virginia seems to me to be increasingly $$$ to live in, if your near a city. but again tive driven thru virgina for DAYS it seemed without hitting a lage town.
    I favor WV for the low taxes, the undevelopable land that naturally resists progressive yuppies, and the pleasant conditions overall.
    Im just starting to seriously look myself... gotta escape the progerss monster.
  8. HA! Maine is a great place to live and raise a family. However, winter is long and oil and wood are expensive right now. Taxes in Maine are high compared to wages and job availability. The schools are good. The change of seasons are wonderful. My hubby is from Virginia (Blue Ridge) but he doesnt miss the snakes. Where he grew up is now a giant housing development for Roanoke area. His friends love to come to Maine to hunt and fish. But they make big bucks compared to our wages.
    Everyplace has its trade offs. Figure out what you can and cant live with. For my husband....he wants to pee in his front yard and be sure no one can see him do it! To each his own.... Goodluck!
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    You owe it to yourself to check out the Shinanoah Valley of Virginia. It has the features you described and if I were to move from the overpriced land I am sitting on it would be my first and last choice. I have already done the reseach and visited the area.
  10. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2002
    South West MI
    A little farther west is Michigan. My 50 acres of farmland 100 miles north of Detroit the taxes are 650$ and no building permits required for outbuildings. Plenty of work if needed.

  11. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002

    Just from reading the other threads.
    Mass. is one of the up east States that has led the nation as progressive. High taxes, diversity, socially consicious, tolerant, the Kennedys, influential in controlling Federal Policy, lots of ordinaces, lots of management of the citizens, environmentally ehtical - the model secular state.

    What happened?
  12. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    IMHO, you need to start gathering information(like you are doing by posting here)about various states. There is a lot of it out there for the reading. I wouldn't limit yourself to the Eastern states...you are talking your life here....check out all of them that may appeal to you and study accordenly. Send off for everything you can get your hands on and buy lot's of books. LIke "Retirement Places Rated"..makes no difference that you are not going to retire right now..lots of good info in those kind of books. Set your perimeters and don't waste your time or money on state's you know you don't want to go to..Hate the desert? Keep away from those states that you know are mostly that. Check climate extremes etc. I knew I would be unhappy more than an hour or so away from the Ocean..so we limited our search to areas within the Northwest to those places within this area.
    I think if you do your homework you will make good choices. Besides, it's fun learning all the stuff you can about a state. Things like taxes, automobile registration etc. make a big difference in costs. Have fun...LQ
  13. We just bought property in the New River Valley of VA. We will be moving there in late winter. My son has lived in that area for 7 yrs and loves it. Up in the mountains the summers are noticeably cooler than they are in NJ but the winters are pretty similar.We were told they only had one spell over 85 this year, of course that was when we were house hunting.The soil has a decent amount of clay but things seem to grow pretty well even unattended. We harvested cabbages that had been left on vacant land all summer. Schools are supposed to be pretty good and we are close to several decent universities, like Virginia Tech and Radford. The area is served by good highways. We have 12 1/2 acres, with 2 mobile homes (one pretty new) and a decent liveable house our taxes are less than $600. In NJ we are paying $5,000 in 12 acres with an old house. So far we have found the locals very friendly and helpful, far more so than in other areas than we considered.

    Good luck finding somewhere new,

  14. Brian        N.E Ohio

    Brian N.E Ohio Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    N.E. Ohio
  15. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    j.r. guerra in s. tx. Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Hasn't snowed here since '67 and except for a little sleet - I've only seen it once or twice down here. Pretty low taxes, especially in the country. Unimproved brush land (no utilities, no sewer, no nothin' - including building regulations) will run about $500 an acre waaay out there. Anything within 20 miles of city will likely be about $2000 - $4000 an acre. Great growing season.

    But oh, is summer ever hot down here. Really uncomfortable. If you can stand the heat, the Rio Grande Valley is for you. We have a very large seasonal retiree community down here during the winter.

    And East Coast condition - well, we are the east coast of the Gulf of Mexico, not the Atlantic :haha: :cool:
  16. eb

    eb Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    What happended? Nothing happended, thats why I want out :eek: !
  17. eb

    eb Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    Looks like Virginia got several votes at least; vermont would also be high on my list, but taxes are at least as high as Mass, and if I am going to convince my wife to leave, than its gonna have to be to someplace warmer....

    Anyone recommend any specific towns/zipcodes in VA. I can do a search on in realtor.com just to get a feel for what is available? Looking for cheaper places, but also specific places where the schools are at least good.

    In the checking I have done so far, the property taxes are unbeleievable (cheap) compare to Mass, and I can get a similar Blue Cross policy in VA for about 1/2 what it costs in mass...figure that one out.

    I'd bet car and house insurance are also going to be cheaper.

    Just between health insurance and property taxes I could save about 12k per year (of course if it then means I need to pay for a private school, not much of a savings!).

    Thanks everyone so far...keep 'em coming.
  18. almostthere

    almostthere Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2003
  19. lexi green

    lexi green Member

    May 29, 2002
    hi, I don't know if you considered North-east KY.There is a 112 acre farm that has come up for sale here. There is a stream running across the front.The number is 606- 674 -4892 The people here are really welcoming even to strangers. our taxes are fairly low, for a 240 acre farm about 600 dollars. schools are ok as far as I know[no children that are small] but you can check that out. If I can be of any help let me know. Lexi
  20. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    May 11, 2002
    You should also consider TN. No state income tax, but it does have a sales tax on just about everything - including groceries. School system quality varies from place to place. TN is known for having good to decent roads. Temperate climate in most of the state. Jobs vary place to place. Locally you almost never see any wanted ads; however, if you ask around they can be found. Problem is the good-ole-boys locally don't have a particularly strong work ethnic and it is difficult to keep labor. I know of a place which tears apart used trailers for recycling. They paid $100 a day, cash, and can't keep help. On my farm property taxes are about $2.00 per acre per year. Land has gone up in recent years. Most farms are now parcelled out by auction. I recommend getting a United Farm catalog and taking a look at listings roughly south of Ohio and east of the MI River. They can give you a pretty good idea of property opportunities and prices.

    TN is sometimes referred to as three states in one. Eastern third is more oriented towards the Appalachian States. Central third is more oriented towards the Mid-west. Eastern third is more oriented towards the South. Lots of folks retiring to mini-farms in the Crossville to Cookville area.

    Ken Scharabok
    Waverly, TN