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Old 01-14-2019, 08:18 AM
 
42 posts, read 294,777 times
Reputation: 41

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Hi! We are going to be moving to Alabama in 6 years and are trying to go ahead and buy some land so we can have it paid off before we build. We're looking for a small town (10,000ish or less) within easy driving distance to Madison/Huntsville that has a good middle school/high school. (We will have an 8th grader when we move to the area.) Not looking for anywhere that has a "mega school" with thousands of kids and not looking for neighborhood living. We want to buy a lot of land in a more rural setting. We are totally unfamiliar with Alabama and are choosing it blindly because my professional license is reciprocal there, and also my sister and her family are moving to Georgia and we want to be somewhat close to them. Thanks for any help you can give!
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:09 PM
 
9 posts, read 2,575 times
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When you say "within easy driving distance to Madison/Huntsville," how long of a distance are you looking to drive?

Issue is, most high schools in the county/Madison city/Huntsville city are not exactly considered "small".

New Market/Hazel Green areas have some very spacious rural pockets, but both high schools have nearly 1500 students.

The Gurley area is another good option with a much smaller student population
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
2,594 posts, read 1,152,237 times
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Arab fits all your criteria except being within easy driving distance to Madison. Athens is closer to both Madison and Huntsville, but is also considerably larger than Arab.

West Jackson County is also a possibility with a couple of smaller high schools in the vicinity, but it's a bit of a hike to Madison, but many people live there and commute to the Arsenal daily.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
2,481 posts, read 2,190,677 times
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Was going to also say Arab. But It's south of Huntsville and a bit longer drive to Madison but it sounds more like what you're looking for. But expect about a 30 minute drive to get into Huntsville proper. Great place to raise kids tho. And plenty of rural land for a better price than you'll get in the Madison area.

Most anything on the north end, closer to Madison, is going to put you into the larger schools again I believe.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:57 AM
 
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Also check into Moulton/West Lawrence county. Closer to 565
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,106 posts, read 52,236,281 times
Reputation: 28306
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
Hi! We are going to be moving to Alabama in 6 years and are trying to go ahead and buy some land so we can have it paid off before we build. We're looking for a small town (10,000ish or less) within easy driving distance to Madison/Huntsville that has a good middle school/high school. (We will have an 8th grader when we move to the area.) Not looking for anywhere that has a "mega school" with thousands of kids and not looking for neighborhood living. We want to buy a lot of land in a more rural setting. We are totally unfamiliar with Alabama and are choosing it blindly because my professional license is reciprocal there, and also my sister and her family are moving to Georgia and we want to be somewhat close to them. Thanks for any help you can give!
Honestly, you are chasing after a dream that has all but disappeared. The state and federal requirements for public schools have grown, the cost of building upkeep has grown, the cost of education has grown. Small local schools are dying except in a few isolated pockets, and those are wincing under the tax burden that keeps them open for now.

In the past five years, two sweet small community elementary schools within ten miles of me have closed, with the (rural) kids being bussed to larger regional schools. High schools consolidated years ago. The trend is inexorable, and made more so by security and liability concerns. ANY community within "easy driving distance" of a major city WILL get sucked in at some point.

The age old formula for insuring that a school is good is to look for one near a prominent college or university where the professors send their kids. Live in the boonies, and schools won't be as well funded, nor will they attract top teachers.

Outside of schools, a couple other quick thoughts-

Humans have some ingrained distance restrictions. Once the travel time for visiting relatives gets longer than an hour or two, the frequency of visits drops precipitously. Once it approaches four hours on the road, day trips get avoided, making the time issues of two or three day trips often impractical.

Reciprocity of licensing is not as simple as it seems. My wife got caught in a reciprocity issue between Florida and Alabama. Do your homework and get your Alabama license a year or two in advance if possible, just in case there are snags.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Jack-town, Sip by way of AL and FL
789 posts, read 460,614 times
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Hartselle.

/thread
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Old Yesterday, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
357 posts, read 251,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
We want to buy a lot of land in a more rural setting.

Just wondering how much land you are looking for. Acreage is not so easy to find nor is it cheap in Madison County.
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Old Yesterday, 07:31 PM
 
23 posts, read 12,343 times
Reputation: 52
Grant area has DAR. Not sure about the quality of school though. Guntersville is suppose to have decent schools I think and itís about 45min from HSV. Hartsell is about 35min and another place to maybe look.
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Old Yesterday, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Madison, Alabama
2,594 posts, read 1,152,237 times
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Cullman possibly. It's not all that close though ... about 50 miles, or halfway to Birmingham.
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