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Old 02-03-2011, 05:18 PM
 
60 posts, read 141,512 times
Reputation: 37

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Hello everyone, my name is Dave. I'm brand new to the Forum.

The wife and I are beginning to look at moving to a new different place in the US.

We currently live in northwest Houston. We have been looking at places West of Austin, Ozark area, Colorado and lastly maybe Oregon. We are trying to weigh the Pro's and Con's of the different places.

Dream:
10+ Acres
Live "Off the Grid" if at all possible or at mostly.
Our own water source
Eventually have Horses, Cattle, chickens.
Be able to grown our own Garden.
Enjoy all (4) seasons (I know we won't find that in Texas)

Now to be honest I don't know ANYTHING about buying/building a home or buying land or all the countless details and restrictions and regulations that come with it. That is why I say its a "Dream" because I'm not sure it is even possible to find such a place.

I have been reading a lot on http://greenwoodproject.com

Looks like a decent place to start educating myself.

We haven't been able to crunch the numbers on a budget yet simply because I'm not sure how much it costs for what we are looking for. I'm sure it will cost $200,000+?

Obviously securing employment would be step #1 before even starting to look at moving. We have to decide where we want to go first.


***We are possibly thinking of taking a trip to Colorado in late February to see if we would even like it.

Please recommend places to go and why.


Thanks!

-dave
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:52 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,834,746 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink Do explore

In all seriousness I would recommend you add New Mexico to your list of possible new homes. If you feel it resembles Texas more than you might like, fair enough, although areas, particularly northern New Mexico, are identical to the mountains of Colorado just north.

Even if this state not your preference, you might be well advised to visit Taos and the Earthship communities near it. A lot to be learned in practical ways to live 'off the grid,' and discovered there. Then, if actually deciding to reside there, one will find local building codes more suitable, in such things as grey water for instance. Also, a fair degree of space and elbow room, and certainly in some areas a reasonable cost of real estate.

As for Colorado, part of the equation will be what you can afford in real estate. In that regard portions of southern Colorado may be your best bet, such as within or near the San Luis Valley, unless you favor the flat eastern plains. Unfortunately the Catch-22 in such a scenario is that access to the best job markets come with the highest real estate costs, and vice versa. If at all possible, your dream of living naturally on 10 acres or more will be more easily realized if you can manage to work from home.

Oregon is something else altogether, particularly if you choose a spread on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, where all is far wetter and more lush. It is a climate distinctly removed from that of either Texas, New Mexico or Colorado.

While planning all the many practical aspects of such a new life, it may not be amiss to do some exploration in conjunction. A little time on the ground may help to better inform what are only vague notions now, and within which areas you might actually wish to live.
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
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Pipe dream.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: N. Colorado
345 posts, read 757,994 times
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Since you mention the Ozarks, MO is probably your better bet. They have 4 seasons, more then we do, they for sure have cheaper real estate and more water. Oregon is more expensive then here.

I tried to go solar here and it was not allowed since none of my neighbors had it, the bank would not allow me to go that route when we were building.

Water here if it is a well, has to be full use or you would have to have cisterns and haul in water for your garden and animal use. My well is full use, cost around 10k or so to put it in but that was almost 9 years ago. Water taps are another story and can cost you if building anywhere from 40k up to 120k.

The land alone can cost you 200k, unless you plan living far out on the Eastern Plains or far to the South, personally to me there is a reason it is so cheap there. I would have to be paid a good sum of money to live out there for a year No offense to people who live out there it is just not for me.

We have Winter and Summer, there is a bit of Spring and Fall in there but the weather can be nice and warm one day and dump snow on you the next.

Now I know lots of people who live in Missouri, they farm and have less rules about it then we do. For example I cannot sell milk off my farm, I have to sell people "dairy shares" then give them milk. Utterly stupid if you ask me, they are still getting milk! MO does not have that which is nice. Also they have to buy less hay then we do as they have a longer growing season then here. I have to start buying hay beginning of Sept all the way till the end of April. It can really hurt like now when the temps have been in the negatives and they have eaten half of a 3x3 bale this week

Growing a garden here is time comsuming and water comsuming. I have 6 acres and I tried it one year, I missed one day of watering and it all died! Burned in the sun with no shot of getting it back. I do have a full use well and just used a hose, now if I had to haul it in I would not have even tried. Plus those rotten magpies keep trying to get my poor sprouting vegetables. Never planted again after that except for a few Aspen trees whch did not fair well one hot Summer and flowers which the goats ate

If you drive up here you should take the time to drive to MO as well. More humid but much easier and better for what you are trying to do. Quite green there and trees, but they do have more humidity then we do.


Oh and I forgot to add that even if you do "own" your land here it is most likely someone else owns the water and mineral rights on your property. So they can take any water if there is any from the canal/res and you cannot. For those who own your mineral rights, if oil is found there and they want to drill an oil well on your place you have no say about whether they can or cannot. Plus you are not making any money off of it. The person who owns your mineral rights and the oil company are. They may pay you a one time annoyance fee which would not exceed $2,500 but they do not have to give you a dime.

Last edited by gmm_24; 02-03-2011 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: added mineral/water info
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:12 PM
 
20,304 posts, read 37,784,136 times
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Dave, welcome to the forum. The things you seek are doable here, but it will be difficult and expensive to do. Livestock and gardening require a fair deal of water. We are a low rainfall state and water is fought over in court out here. The dry land and it's scrubby growth severely limit the amount of critters the land will support (carrying capacity) which most state Ag Extension services can tell you all about. You'll have a shorter growing season here than other places.

IMO, the best and most economical place for all those things you want is the Ozarks, and maybe parts of Oregon.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:50 PM
 
60 posts, read 141,512 times
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Thanks for the quick replies everyone. CAVA1990, I had a feeling it may be a pipe dream, or at least from the comments its a risky expensive pipe dream. I'm probably asking too much but that is why I called it a "Dream" list.

We are open to any and all suggestions including the mention of New Mexico. That is the reason I got on this forum is because everyone has there own made up perceptions in their minds of a location, influenced by TV and/or movies

That is why I wanted to get the truth from people on the ground.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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For the mix of things you want for the price you want, i'd say it's near impossible and Colorado is a harsh environment to do things like gardening et al.

I'd look at where I live now in Pennsylvania. Plenty of 10 acre plots, plenty of water and if you avoid the NW corner and SE corner, it's a perfectly rounded 4 seasons.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:01 AM
 
Location: N. Colorado
345 posts, read 757,994 times
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Wouldn't New Mexico have some of the issues we have here being arid and fairly dry? Last time I visited it looked a lot like here, brown and scrubby.

I still say MO would be yor best bet for growing and living. Lower cost of living, more house and land for your money.

I did a 20 mile search around one town and there were lots of properties available for under 225K on 10 or more acres. So I am sure there are quite a few to chose from in the entire state.

If I could do it all over, I would not build I would buy an already exsisting farm. The outbuildings, fencing and etc get costly and the builder drove me nuts.

Here are a few:

I would love 35 acres

Box 467 Route 2 Willow Springs MO - Listing of a Home for Sale - Real Estate - MLS #102789 - Realtor.com®


Mountain Grove, Mo 65711 home with no address listed - Homes for Sale - MLS #107171 - Realtor.com®

Real estate at 14741 W Hwy 32 Lebanon MO - Property Details - MLS #20466 - Realtor.com®
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:33 AM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
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I think for a lot of people they have this image of Colorado being a wet state. It is above 8000 ft. But few people live above 8000 ft due to elevation and the harsh weather as well as lack of decent land that isn't government owned is minimal.

Due to the lack of water, with all the water rights issues, that also limits gardens and livestock, not to mention trying to raise those live things in the climate.

Taking a trip is definitely worth it.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:03 AM
 
20,304 posts, read 37,784,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
For the mix of things you want for the price you want, i'd say it's near impossible and Colorado is a harsh environment to do things like gardening et al.

I'd look at where I live now in Pennsylvania. Plenty of 10 acre plots, plenty of water and if you avoid the NW corner and SE corner, it's a perfectly rounded 4 seasons.
We darned near retired to PA, since they don't tax most pensions, but they do have other taxes that can seem high. It's a huge state with some incredible beauty and good for farming, ranching, etc. Not to mention just a few hour drive to some of the best cities in the world.
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