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Old 02-24-2008, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Concrete Jungle
240 posts, read 1,079,760 times
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Default Question about services in small ND towns

Hello:

Please forgive my ignorance, but although I would like to buy an older home in a smaller town outside a larger city, and I am currently saving to do that, I need to know more about how things are done there before I relocate.

For example, do you have regular trash collections in small towns, and if not, what do you do with the trash you discard? Is it burned in the backyard?

If you live in a town where the postal service does not deliver the mail, and it is left at the post office, does UPS or other types of delivery services deliver to your home?

If your small town does not have a grocery store, can you use an online grocery service to have food delivered? If so, which ones do you use?

If your small town does not have an auto mechanic, does AAA or other types of road side assistance come out to tow the car to a garage to another town?

Thanks for any responses.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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This is going to vary a lot town by town so you may want to narrow it down a bit. I currently live in Bismarck but have lived in many small towns and have friends and relatives that still live in small towns so I can say that in all of the small towns I have been to burning garbage in your backyard is a no-no, that is more of a thing you do if you live way out in the boonies most places if they don't have pick up garbage you will probably have to haul it to a dump, but most have a weekly garbage service. Most towns of any size have at least one small grocery store that will have the basics, and I am sure most of those people will tell you get a large freezer so you can stock up on stuff when you go to a bigger town. In a small town going to the post office to pick up your mail is really not as much hassle as it may sound and often times ends up being something to look forward too, there may be some small towns especially more medium sized towns that have house to house delivery, again check with the towns you are interested in. UPS and Fed-Ex deliver to every small town that I have ever heard of, not to mention houses out in the middle of nowhere. Many small towns may not have an official repair garage but there is usually someone who does some mechanic work on the side to do some basic repairs for you as far as AAA or insurance for towing to a proper garage check with them to be certain.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Concrete Jungle
240 posts, read 1,079,760 times
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Thanks Bismarkpokerclub.

One of the houses I am considering for purchase is located about 45 minutes outside of Grand Forks, with a population of less than 200. The town does not have a grocery store or auto mechanic listed that I have found. However, I notice that a lot of the folks who live in the small towns seem to be older and many are retired, so I was hoping that all of those elderly seniors weren't jacking up their own cars and performing all the auto maintenance.

I asked about trash burning because I lived in rural Pennsylvania (the sticks), where there was no scheduled trash pickup back in the 1970's and that is how the locals dealt with trash. Also, I asked because if I am going to have to haul trash, I will need a truck, so it is good to know that now.

I was planning on making a once-a-month trip into Grand Forks to stock up on all supplies. Is this realistic in the winter when temperatures dip below zero?
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:57 PM
 
107 posts, read 314,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Joan View Post
Thanks Bismarkpokerclub.
I was planning on making a once-a-month trip into Grand Forks to stock up on all supplies. Is this realistic in the winter when temperatures dip below zero?
I don't quite understand why you think you wouldn't be able to go stock up just cause the weather is cold. If there is very bad weather like a blizzard or very dangerous windchills you may want to delay it a day or two but if you have a decent vehicle and a cell phone and put in a winter survival kit you really don't have anything to worry about traveling on an average winter day. I would try calling someone in the town you are looking at, you might be surprised at how helpful some people will be. You can ask them for info or to point you to someone who can better answer your specific questions.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:00 PM
 
Location: northwest Minnesota
3,653 posts, read 5,208,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Joan View Post
Thanks Bismarkpokerclub.

One of the houses I am considering for purchase is located about 45 minutes outside of Grand Forks, with a population of less than 200. The town does not have a grocery store or auto mechanic listed that I have found. However, I notice that a lot of the folks who live in the small towns seem to be older and many are retired, so I was hoping that all of those elderly seniors weren't jacking up their own cars and performing all the auto maintenance.

I asked about trash burning because I lived in rural Pennsylvania (the sticks), where there was no scheduled trash pickup back in the 1970's and that is how the locals dealt with trash. Also, I asked because if I am going to have to haul trash, I will need a truck, so it is good to know that now.

I was planning on making a once-a-month trip into Grand Forks to stock up on all supplies. Is this realistic in the winter when temperatures dip below zero?
Hey Christine....

So you decided to move to our area....great! I am curious to what town. But many towns around have grocery stores for the locals so you wouldnt have to run into Grand Forks for just ordinary food items. Larimore...Grafton...Northwood...Mayville...Lakota ...Michigan...have small town grocery stores for the basics. Many people do come to the Sam's Club in Grand Forks and stock up and bring a long a cooler to put food in for their trip back.

I would ask the local area about trash burning....my wife's parents live in a very rural area outside of Minot and they burn their trash. But they are in the boonies...no neighbors. So unsure about small towns such as yours. Previous poster likely correct...may have to haul.

As for travel in sub-zero days...I would not worry at all....travel is just fine....it is those few days with wind and blowing snow you have to worry about being out in the country. But cold itself isnt a problem. You must have a cell phone though and your typical winter kit etc just for emergencies.

I do know Fed-Ex has a hub here at the Grand Forks airport and they and UPS deliver anywhere.

If you have any specific questions about the GF area let me know and will answer them the best I can.

Dan
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Concrete Jungle
240 posts, read 1,079,760 times
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Hello and thanks, Dan.

Yes, I will be joining you in the Grand Forks area; but, unfortunately, the particular house that I was considering, is no longer available. However, there will be other houses to consider. All of these thoughtful responses will be put to good use shortly.

Thanks again. This message board is wonderful.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:14 AM
 
284 posts, read 1,160,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Joan View Post
If you live in a town where the postal service does not deliver the mail, and it is left at the post office, does UPS or other types of delivery services deliver to your home?
Doesn't the postal service deliver anywhere, even the most remote Alaskan villages (to which nothing in ND even compares)? Typically, no matter where you live if you get a mailbox the postal delivery person will get mail to you. If it's a house where someone has already lived they will probably already be on the mail route. UPS, FedEx, DHL all deliver to any valid address, although I've found that overnight service is not as dependable. But if you're talking about a ground package, it will find you anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Joan View Post
If your small town does not have a grocery store, can you use an online grocery service to have food delivered? If so, which ones do you use?
There's nothing like FreshDirect or SimonDelivers in rural areas. Too hard to make money. You could order specialty non-perishables online, but probably best to stock up when you get to a bigger town. 45 minutes is considered close in this part of the country. You will find people driving from your town to GF daily if they need something. There may also be a mid-sized town closer to you where you can buy many of your groceries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine Joan View Post
If your small town does not have an auto mechanic, does AAA or other types of road side assistance come out to tow the car to a garage to another town?
Well, anything you'd normally use AAA for would be covered as usual. I'd be surprised if there isn't a mechanic around. Even if you don't see an auto shop there might be one out in the country on someone's farm. Just ask around and someone will tell you where to take your car.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:22 AM
 
107 posts, read 314,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbeet View Post
Doesn't the postal service deliver anywhere, even the most remote Alaskan villages (to which nothing in ND even compares)? Typically, no matter where you live if you get a mailbox the postal delivery person will get mail to you. If it's a house where someone has already lived they will probably already be on the mail route. UPS, FedEx, DHL all deliver to any valid address, although I've found that overnight service is not as dependable. But if you're talking about a ground package, it will find you anywhere.



There's nothing like FreshDirect or SimonDelivers in rural areas. Too hard to make money. You could order specialty non-perishables online, but probably best to stock up when you get to a bigger town. 45 minutes is considered close in this part of the country. You will find people driving from your town to GF daily if they need something. There may also be a mid-sized town closer to you where you can buy many of your groceries.



Well, anything you'd normally use AAA for would be covered as usual. I'd be surprised if there isn't a mechanic around. Even if you don't see an auto shop there might be one out in the country on someone's farm. Just ask around and someone will tell you where to take your car.
Actually there are a lot of small towns that the postmaster does NOT deliver door to door, and no the postman does not deliver directly to every house and or igloo in the U.S., I have friends in the badlands that when we go to there we stop at the post office to ask them if they have any mail so we can take it to them as it is about a 30 mile drive and several miles of it are pretty rough road so they don't "check" the mail every day. Also I would not guarantee AAA or your insurance will cover a tow or certain other things if you break down, thats why you should check with AAA or your insurance, I haven't had AAA in years as my insurance has towing and a lot of other things in it but I know it is not uncommon for them to only cover a certain # of miles for a tow 25, 50 etc. then the rest is on you sometimes things like tire repair are not covered if it happens off - road and they may consider a gravel road off - road so watch that too.
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:24 AM
 
38 posts, read 141,673 times
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Hi,

Here's another consideration for postal delivery. We bought a house (here in Mississippi) in a small rural town. There is local mail delivery in town, but our house did not have a mail box out front. Some of the houses on our street had mail boxes and some didn't. The previous owners of the house said the had a PO box for their mail. I asked at the local post office and was told that they did have delivery on my street, but that I'd have to put up a mailbox and let them know so they could start scheduling delivery to my street address. So they same thing my apply to you when you move to a small town in ND. Check with the local post office. You could probably do that while you were still considering a place to buy, then you'd know if they would deliver to your door or not before buying the house. Since the one house you were considering didn't work out, will you continue to look in the Grand Forks area or other parts of ND now?

Kind Regards,

Dave N.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:07 AM
 
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Small towns usually don't have regular in-town delivery (mailman walking door-to-door). There is often a Rural Route that runs through town, so it's fairly common for people to put up mailboxes along that route rather than go to the Post Office. It seems to me that there are some stipulations for this, like you have to be a certain distance from the Post Office or something. I'd check with the local Postmaster to see what your options are.
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