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Old 11-06-2006, 07:32 PM
 
Location: TN
71 posts, read 282,369 times
Reputation: 27
Default Help us find our new hometown!

First a little background...my hubby and I are in our mid-twenties and born/raised in Florida. We are from what used to be a small town with an Indian name no one could pronounce We've watched as outsiders moved in and destroyed the charm/character/economy of what was once a quiet southern fishing community. So we can't go back. We're in TN right now, north of Nashville. DH is in the military and stationed here for shore duty. It seems TN is going the same route as Florida. When he gets out of the military, we are desperate to find a forever home in a small community.

We have two small children, and low crime/cost of living/ sense of community are very important to us. We also want land, at least five acres. I want to homestead, but DH has bigger dreams. His family owns a successful dairy farm outside of Frazee, MN and his lifelong dream has been to own a farm. I try to tell him that they've been working for generations to make a living like that, and it's not like you can just jump right in...he knows this, but it's his dream and he figures we're young so why not go for it instead of saying it's impossible and regretting it later.

So my question is, are there any small communities within a few hours of Frazee with reasonably priced land (under 2K/acre for a smaller tract), a sense of community, and a safe place to raise our babies? A place that won't be overrun in the next 10-20 years? I will need a job, but I don't necessarily want to commute to a big city. I would rather be underemployed and happy than bogged down with a long commute (been there done that. In Jax, Fl where we were stationed one time it took me and hour and a half to commute 20 miles in the mornings, and two hours to travel the same distance home in the evenings). I will have a business degree, but don't anticipate that that will open many doors in smaller communities. DH has 10 years in the military, but he does search and rescue/flies in helos so that doesn't really translate to a job in the civilian world. But he's disciplined, intelligent, and works his bottom off.

Sorry I told ya my life story, but I am hoping that it will help you help me land in the right place!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-08-2006, 05:28 AM
 
20,798 posts, read 31,589,531 times
Reputation: 9868
I really doubt that northern MN will be overrun any time soon. You are pretty safe moving anywhere around there. Another area to look into would be SW MN, Marshall in particular. I doubt that are is going to be overrun in the next even 50 years. Marshall is a town with the best of both worlds, small enough to have that small town feel, nice community, good school, clean/safe town yet they have several large, very stable employers so the job market is good. The land around Marshall is very productive. There are several dairy farms in that area with many of the farmer aging. I know of one family who's children won't be getting into farming and they will probably retire in the next 5-10 years. There will be opportunities like that that come along.
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:23 AM
 
Location: northwest Minnesota
3,659 posts, read 5,252,353 times
Reputation: 2293
Hi

I live/work up in Grand Forks ND/East Grand Forks MN but travel a lot through the DTL/Fergus Falls area for weather talks. Frazee is in the heart of Minnesota Lakes country...with Detroit Lakes (DTL) a popular summer resort place with many many lakes in the area. A lot of people in the Fargo-Moorhead area have lake cabins/homes in the DTL area and prices for land around lakes as shot up a lot in recent years and some lakes have gotten pretty crowded.

That said, DTL is probably a bit too touristy for you...but most people who come are not permanent residents. DTL itself has about 10,000 or so.... Lakes country extends from the DTL area south to just east of Fergus Falls then to near Alexandria. Very nice area and very scenic. Fergus Falls is a very nice town with good services and easy access to Fargo or to the Twin Cities and I would recommend it as a place to live or live nearby.

From your post, your husband is looking to buy land, to buy an already established farm, or he wants to work with his family? Wasnt sure exactly.
Fergus would be a good place to live if he just wants to commute to Frazee for family farm operations with his family while he looks around and sees what he wants to do.

Otherwise...for available farm land probably need to look closer to the Red River Valley (ND/MN border area) where land is flatter and soil is very rich. Soil is very productive in the valley with lots of grain, sugar beets, potatoes, and corn grown. I found this example of land for sale for the purpose of farming and its cost from adjacent North Dakota (Traill county - just north of Fargo) to give an idea of prices for just land. http://www.landandfarm.com/lf/s/63/82582.asp

Areas between Fargo and DTL along Highway 10 are growing into bedroom communities slowly but surely....not explosive growth but subdivisions are going up in places like Hawley and Barnesville. For best farming areas...I would say look for locations west of Fergus Falls toward Breckenrige MN then north along HIghway 32 or 9 toward Ada area... good land for crops and probably average 1.25K/acre.

I hope this helps some....but never been in farming myself so specifics are hard. Most realtor companies in the area have a farm division which can help you out.

Dan
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:06 PM
 
5 posts, read 6,735 times
Reputation: 10
Default Moving to Marshall, MN

My family is thinking of moving to Marshall, MN. It will be a cultural shock from Oklahoma. Need some input on the winters. I know it's freezing, but I need more info than that. What should we be prepared for...clothes, car necessities that we wouldn't think of. I noticed the property taxes are really high. Do homes resell well in the area? What should we not buy in a house?
Also, heard the schools are pretty decent. Have 7th, 5th and 1st graders. Have one in the band, other plays violin and the other is a swimmer. I need to maintain those same activities for the kids. Didn't see an orchestra in the schools.
Also I didn't see any pet stores. We've got strange pets and they need certain feed. We love the outdoors and the kids will go insane if they have to be cooped up all winter long.
I need straight answers, no beating about the bush. We don't have to make this move...job is great for my husband though.
thanks so much for all the constructive input.
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:40 AM
 
20,798 posts, read 31,589,531 times
Reputation: 9868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum13 View Post
My family is thinking of moving to Marshall, MN. It will be a cultural shock from Oklahoma. Need some input on the winters. I know it's freezing, but I need more info than that. What should we be prepared for...clothes, car necessities that we wouldn't think of. I noticed the property taxes are really high. Do homes resell well in the area? What should we not buy in a house?
Also, heard the schools are pretty decent. Have 7th, 5th and 1st graders. Have one in the band, other plays violin and the other is a swimmer. I need to maintain those same activities for the kids. Didn't see an orchestra in the schools.
Also I didn't see any pet stores. We've got strange pets and they need certain feed. We love the outdoors and the kids will go insane if they have to be cooped up all winter long.
I need straight answers, no beating about the bush. We don't have to make this move...job is great for my husband though.
thanks so much for all the constructive input.
Marshall is a phenomenal town!! We lived there for many years and would move back in a heartbeat--transferred because of DH's job.

Winter clothing--the key is layers. In the winter I generally wear a turtleneck and a sweater and pants. For the kids they will need snowpants and boots along with a hat and warm mittens. You will want a warm coat and warm gloves. Most kids wear Columbia brand jackets. You can buy them at the sporting goods store in town.

They have a HUGE band program and an ok orchestra. There is a community orchestra at the University as well. Is your swimmer a boy or a girl? They have a very good swim club in town but the high school currently only has a girls swim team. There are enough young boys in the swim club that it is possible they could add a boys swim team again down the road though.

Property taxes for Minnesota are actually pretty reasonable in Marshall. Houses are selling there about as well as they are selling everywhere. Generally Marshall has a pretty hot housing market and in certain price ranges it still is. As for what to buy, there are a lot of upper end houses on the market right now, the ones that sell the best are the ones under $250,000, which will buy you a pretty nice house.

There are some neighborhoods you will want to avoid, not that they are unsafe but there are some areas prone to flooding, etc. and some where houses sell better then others.

I will send you a direct message with some contact information for people and more specific information.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
745 posts, read 1,392,070 times
Reputation: 405
As for looking at houses....
Make sure it is well insulated. A lot of the older homes don't have adequate insulation and your heat bills will be terrible in the winter. Either buy a home that is less than 20-30 years old, or make sure that it has been updated to include more weatherproofing and insulation. Also, try to avoid oil or electric heating as it tends to be more expensive.
Don't let the snow and cold scare you. As long as you are prepared for winter, you'll be just fine. Like golfgal said, dress in layers and you'll be more comfortable than if you put on ultra-thick clothing. Don't be afraid to get out and enjoy the winter weather. Cross-country skiing is fun and great exercise if you care to try it!
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
4,931 posts, read 8,502,470 times
Reputation: 1634
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernStar View Post
First a little background...my hubby and I are in our mid-twenties and born/raised in Florida. We are from what used to be a small town with an Indian name no one could pronounce We've watched as outsiders moved in and destroyed the charm/character/economy of what was once a quiet southern fishing community. So we can't go back.
Here is my question, how would you coming into a small town in Minnesota be any different than the "outsiders" moving into your hometown?
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
71 posts, read 188,481 times
Reputation: 28
What do you mean by strange animals?
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland, IL USA, Earth
42 posts, read 98,554 times
Reputation: 24
First, you might get better results with a new thread instead of piggy-backing on this one. But to expound on one part of your question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum13 View Post
My family is thinking of moving to Marshall, MN. It will be a cultural shock from Oklahoma. Need some input on the winters. I know it's freezing, but I need more info than that. ... We love the outdoors and the kids will go insane if they have to be cooped up all winter long.
I'm telling you the truth when I say the first time I had cabin fever was when I moved to Texas (from northern MN). In MN I grew up on a farm, and in the winter we'd snowshoe or snowmobile or go skiing (we have 3 kinds of skiing: downhill (what you call snow-skiing), cross-country, and water skiing (trivia: this was invented by Minnesotans/Wisconsites for the "off-season" of summer, same as roller-blading was invented so hockey players could train during summer). And of course, in the summer there's the usual outdoors things, and the weather is great (mostly 70's with blue sky, not grey) if you can handle the mosquitoes.

But in Texas I was suddenly forced to go from an air-conditioned house to an air-conditioned car driving to my air-conditioned workplace. In the winter it was brown and ugly outside, with no snow to do anything on. The only time there was good weather about 3 weeks in spring and 2 weeks in the fall.

Sorry, don't mean to be too negative about Texas vs. MN (I know the Texans weren't real friendly to Oklahomans anyway, not sure if it went the other way as well), but MN is a great state for outdoor lovers. Highest boat ownership per capita in the U.S. IIRC.

Word of warning - don't call us yankees. To anyone in the midwest, "yankees" are found in stories about the American Revolution. Modern day Yankees are a baseball team. It's not coke, it's pop (or soda, depending on proximity to the Twin Cities). Don't expect what we call barbecue to taste like your barbecue.

I prefer driving in the snow in MN than in the south. In the south (or in the upper midwest during the first couple storms) it's generally wet and slippery stuff. In the cold of winter, the snow is much drier and much safer to drive on.

Our days are much shorter in the winter and longer in the summer than what you're used to, which is great for growing things in the garden, and the soil is pretty good throughout the state. Some areas can be sandy or rocky.

Boots are probably the most important thing for winter, along with waterproof mittens (gloves are okay for warm days), but mittens are fairly cheap and you can always get another pair. For boots, I like Sorels, and there's different approaches on this, but I always tuck my pant legs over the boots, so the snow doesn't get into them. On really cold days (single digits or lower), I add long johns under the pants, and tuck them into my socks so they don't pull up. You don't want to get exposed ankles or snow in your boots, that's the key. Otherwise, don't freak out about the cold and don't be overprotective. A lot of stories about people catching cold from this or that (or even dying suddenly from exposure) are old-wives tales. Just use common sense. Uncontrollable shivering and difficulty talking are signs of hypothermia. If you can stop shivering or your lips are just stiff, you're still okay. But if you're dressed appropriately, even that won't happen.

HTH
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:04 AM
 
5 posts, read 6,735 times
Reputation: 10
Default OK to Marshall MN move

Well I finally made a trip to Marshall. Quaint little community, but the house prices are too high for what's out there. People really want premium for their homes. The style of homes are strange, basements were nice though.
Ckd out the schls...no complaints public/private.
My daughter is a swimmer and I need her to be challenged in competition and be able to have a good swim coach. Any suggestions????
My son has an African fat-tail leopard gecko who eats live crickets. Couldn't find anyone in town who supplies these. Was told the vet Dr. Black bred these, but haven't confirmed it yet....anyone know for sure???
I did like the wide open spaces. My son will enjoy not being fenced in. he's a wild spirit who loves the outdoors. All three ski and love it.
Thinking of going to Land's End to purchase winter wear, any suggestions?
thanks so much. All info is taken seriously.
God bless
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