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Old 07-18-2007, 06:53 AM
32 posts, read 110,241 times
Reputation: 17


Hi! I've spent days reading this forum, and I'm thrilled at how helpful people are! I've been researching a move to Roanoke, Va, but Kentucky is on my list of states to learn more about before we move. I hope the following information is helpful. Some is rather personal, but I want to be sure to include all pertinent information so hopefully someone can help me.

I'm currently living in Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, with my husband and 2 boys aged 8 and 12. I was laid off in April 2005. The job market up here is so fierce I've been unable to find any work except minimum wage. We were forced to file bankruptcy, so our credit is shot. My husband has worked for the same company for 17 years, but it has already been heavily implied that my husband will be receiving his pink slip soon. My husband begins CDL truck driving school on July 30th. He chose the profession because it will give us the freedom to move just about anywhere in the country and still retain his job. We simply can not afford to stay here. In essence, we're being forced to start over.

We're currently living in a tiny row home in the middle of a row home development with a postage stamp sized front yard 10 minutes away from a filthy city. Traffic is horrid and it literally takes 20 minutes to drive 2 miles. My gas has been siphoned out of my van more than once. I can't sit outside on my porch because of the noise and smell of dog feces from my next door neighbors. The list goes on and on. I'm claustrophobic, I can't breath, and I want OUT!

We love the outdoors, mountains, woods, lakes, fishing, hiking, etc, and would love to live within an easy commuting distance to mountains. We're looking to rent a clean 2-3 bedroom SFH, with grass all the way around it. I'm not picky. We have 2 small dogs (pugs) and 2 cats, and we need a landlord that will allow us to keep them! Due to our bankruptcy, we're willing to pay 6 months rent up front if need be. We're good quiet respectful people. I'd like my kids to have friends nearby. We won't be able to afford more than $800.00 a month in rent. As my husband will be gone for a week at a time, I'm looking for a decently populated area that has a low crime rate. I don't mind driving to a grocery store, department store, or restaurants. I DO mind being in an area so rural we could be alone for days before seeing another person. We're just looking for a nice semi-suburban neighborhood to rebuild our lives and let my children have the childhood they deserve. Any specific area's or towns and where I could find available rental property listings would be appreciated!

I'm in a position to wait until the boys are acclimated to the area before finding a job, but I will need one eventually. I'd prefer not to have to drive an hour to get there, lol. With my husband gone so much, I will need a job with hours during daycare availability. I've been an Inventory Control Manager for a warehouse, customer service, waitress, etc... I've got excellent references, motivated, willing to learn anything, and I'm not afraid of hard work.

My boys are entering 3rd and 6th grade. My youngest has ADHD. I'll need to know my kids are in a decent school, and are willing to work with parents. Also, my oldest son may not need daycare, but my youngest child most assuredly will. I was paying $195 a week for before / after school 2 years ago. I'm hoping it's less down there!

Due to my mother's southern upbringing, it takes me about three minutes to pick up a southern drawl. I joke around all the time and tell her I'm a misplaced Ozark baby, LOL. Every time my husband and I visit the south, we feel such peace and wonder at how beautiful it is, and how different it is from the North. We've been wanting to move south for years, and there's never been a better time that screams DO IT NOW! We're ready to embrace the southern way of life. I'm desperate for my children to spend the rest of their childhood in an area that embraces the true values I hold dear, and not the ghetto mentality that is so predominant where we live now.
Any and all suggestions and comments are appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:46 AM
Location: North Alabama
767 posts, read 1,845,845 times
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The Louisville and Lexington areas (because of proximity to the Interstates and to the larger job market) and the Richmond and Berea areas (because of the perhaps more small town type communities) are my first reaction to your description of needs, but there are any number of communities in Kentucky that will meet those needs. Your rent goal seems attainable to me. Kentucky is a beautiful state, with slightly less heat and humidity than many of the other southern states.

Read some of Kichenwich's posts regarding the Richmond and Berea areas and see how they sound. Good luck.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:19 PM
Location: Far Western KY
1,833 posts, read 5,868,446 times
Reputation: 848
In the western end of the state near Paducah there are truck driving schools and ads for CDL drivers all the time, check American Job Bank for selected areas around KY, often time where you live is not an issue as long as you can get the load. There are major interstates here as well in the west and a few hubs I believe for north south cargo. Rail yards as well.
The western end of the state is far cheaper to live in than the Lou/Lex area, and your child having ADHD is not an issue, it's easier to find kids with it than without these days. A decent house can be rented here for around $600 or so. Utilities are fairly cheap as are other day to day cost.

Good luck.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:32 AM
32 posts, read 110,241 times
Reputation: 17
I know Kentucky is a beautiful state with so much to offer! Without having 6 months to tour a state, finding a place on our own that will suit us is difficult. Having people like you taking the time to help us out is truly appreciated! We'll be sure to do some online planning, and swing on down and check out the areas you've suggested. Thanks so much!
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:03 AM
Location: Waco, Ky
190 posts, read 746,987 times
Reputation: 70
So sorry to hear about your situation! However, this may be just the chance to improve your life-you know, making the lemonade from lemons saying.

I have to say that Richmond would fit your bill pretty well. I know on the outskirts of town it is still possible to find a pretty nice house for 5-600 a month. My brother in law just moved from a really nice house, 3 br., 2 ba, Lr, Dr, Kit with dishwasher, on about 3 acres for $550 a month. You just have to look around some.

The Richmond area schools are wonderful for special needs kids. I know, since I sub teach, and have a son that was special needs. He graduated this year. Most of the schools around here employ para-educators to give kids the 1 on 1 that they need. Your kids will get a great education, smaller classes, and lots of parental involvement that larger cities lack. If I can help, p.m. me and I can give more info.

About the bankruptcy, it should not affect renting a place. Most around here ask for the equivalent of 1 month rent as deposit. Richmond has KU electric, which has some of the cheapest rates. Berea would also be a good choice, as it is small town, but has certain ammenities that most communities lack, such as college utilities (cheap), cheaper housing, wonderful schools, and right on I-75 for travel/work.

Hope all this helps! ~joanna~
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:26 PM
Location: Vancouver, WA
323 posts, read 988,966 times
Reputation: 179
You may also want to check out Mt. Sterling.. It has some amenities, sits on I-64 for easy drive to Lexington (about 25 minutes or so), is small, tight-knit community with cheaper cost of living than central Ky and should be a great match for what you describe for your family. We here in Eastern KY have grassy yards... usually good neighbors... Rowan County (Morehead, KY) has some of the states highest rated schools... TONS of trees, foothills to the Appalachian Mountains, easy commute to Lexington, very low crime rate.. although keeping it real "we do have a drug problem like the rest of the U.S." here in Kentucky), but VERY low violent crimes. No gangs, no ghetto's, no rat-race... people are generally helpful, friendly and welcoming to people who are open, honest, hardworking and try and fit in to the community, very near plenty of lakes, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and within easy driving distance to larger cities such as Lexington, Cincinnati, or Huntington.

I can GUARANTEE you, we have a much cheaper cost of living as a whole, than Virginia!!!! You get all the same perks here, but we just don't have an ocean beach, and the much cheaper cost of living more than makes up for it in my humble opinion! Just remember.. the East Coast has hurricanes occasionally... there.. we don't want no stinkin beaches!! hehe Good luck in your search... Kentucky might be YOUR paradise! We welcome you!
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:22 PM
32 posts, read 110,241 times
Reputation: 17
You know, I have to say I'm so glad I found this forum! I can't believe there are so many people who are willing to take time out of their own lives to help total strangers!

Thank you all for your responses. You're giving me exactly the information I needed to make an informed decision on WHERE to look to get as close to meeting our dreams and goals as we can. There is no such thing as Utopia, but out of all the states I've been looking into, only Kentucky seems to have exactly what we're looking for. I think I'm in love already...

I do worry about being snubbed by native residents in a tight knit community, as we're coming from the North and all. But I can say with certainty that we will NOT be a Northern family who invades the South and tries to change it into what we left behind. We know what we're leaving and we couldn't be happier!

Thanks again for all your posts! My road trip is supposed to swing through 7 southern states in 3 weeks. After reading your posts and the information I've found online, I'm thinking we may wind up stopping in Kentucky and visiting a few realtors! LOL
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:53 PM
Location: Vancouver, WA
323 posts, read 988,966 times
Reputation: 179
Originally Posted by Sarahmorgan View Post
I do worry about being snubbed by native residents in a tight knit community, as we're coming from the North and all. But I can say with certainty that we will NOT be a Northern family who invades the South and tries to change it into what we left behind. We know what we're leaving and we couldn't be happier!
I can tell you from experience (I was born and raised in California before moving here at 21 y.o.) that the people of Kentucky as a whole will NOT snub you. This board is just an inkling of the type of generous, nice people you will find here in this state. You MAY be teased about YOUR accent for the first couple months.. but before you know it, you'll be saying "yall" and possibly even "over yonder" etc. hahaha

The tight-knit communities will treat you as you treat them. If you are open, kind, law-abiding, fun people, that's what you'll get in return, and KY people in general will welcome you with open arms! I'll just bet you'll be pleasantly surprised at the kindness and genuine helpfulness people will exhibit here. Good luck in your search for your utopia-like haven. Hope you find it here!
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:56 PM
32 posts, read 110,241 times
Reputation: 17
It looks as though we'll be traveling down to visit in 2 - 3 weeks. I've shown the kids the websites for the towns you've all mentioned, and they're as excited as I am!

I'd like to get a feel for what type of homes are available in my price range and what the neighborhoods are like as well. I've tried finding rental information online, and I'm striking out. I've tried a bunch of websites, craigslist and such, but they only focus on 'major' metro areas. Do most people list their rental homes only with a realtor? If so, I'm not sure if I'll need to contact more than one, as these areas don't seem to be that close together. Any information or recommendations of who might be able to help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:34 AM
Location: Lexington Ky
891 posts, read 2,756,382 times
Reputation: 514
Check out www.kentucky.com. This is the online addition of the Lexington Herald Leader. I think most rental homes are for rent by owner.
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