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Old 09-10-2012, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,283 posts, read 3,143,805 times
Reputation: 7091

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Sadly though, it has become very difficult to just find a quiet, clean small town that shows "pride of ownership". Don't get me wrong, I wish there were many more.

We chose a rural area outside of a college town that is charming and clean. Admittedly our personal aesthetics are probably neater than our neighbors (Germanic heritage: I can't help myself.) but our rural area itself is nice, clean and safe on the whole.

Our neighbors have ATVs but they use them to exercise their horses, to round up the goats, haul small farming implements or to come fetch the previously mentioned wayward lab out for a potty break. ATVs used in farm work or the occasional wandering dog doesn't bother us. The random loud truck going down our road versus the near constant hum (and often enough roar) of city traffic interspersed with sirens throughout the day and night? I think I'll take the former. I find beer cans along the road but I also find trash of that sort and worse here in town. It's a fact of life that I pick up and deal with everywhere I've lived. I can't imagine though that I'll have an inebriate sleeping it off in my back or front yard of our rural property having lived in one of the best and now mid level areas of this city.

Scarily we hear more gunfire in total separate incidents in the city but it's random, 3 to 4 shots and mostly at night so we know something is likely "going down". Our country neighbors target practice and it's relegated to sessions and of course there is some gunfire during hunting season but not as much as I expected. These rural people with guns I don't worry about putting a shot through our home randomly. Seems that it all depends on one's point of view.

Not everyone out in the "boonies" are yahoos, probably not even a majority even in more "blighted" areas of the country. I have not found it so in the area my mother and brother lives which does not appeal to me, the area where we bought or in some of the areas that we liked but did not buy in for one reason or another. I trust my gut implicitly though and stayed away from areas that seemed down on it's luck or had the signs of neglect.

They are out there, those hidden gems of bucolic heaven but those folks don't advertise as they like it the way it is.

This has been our experience with country and city.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
256 posts, read 206,160 times
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Just some random thoughts of mine on this issue: (mind you these are random, lol)

There is no noise in the country that could both me near as much as noise from the city. But then I'm dyed in the wool country.

Lived in the northeast, deep south, and now Virginia and people are people. Some will give you the shirt off their backs, some don't pay you attention and just live their life, others go out of their way to harass anyone they'd deemed different than them.

I know how much it sucks to see beautiful land turned into vinyl monster homes. It would be one thing if these homes were pretty and custom built, like the guy down the road who just custom built a gorgeous log and stone, 5,000square foot house. I've got nothing against big homes. Just big ugly homes. But I can't mad at the folks who are just looking for a place for thier family. The people moving in these homes just want to work and live, that's all. If I'm going to be mad, it's at the person who sold the land in the first place. People tend to take their anger out on the wrong people.

Why do people move to the country and then complain? Well, I can tell you. It's okay to look down on rich folk like Romney. It's okay to bash people who have more money than you. But it's become very politically incorrect to talk bad about country folk and people who are lower-middle class. So as a result, over the past 20 years, people have this grandiose notion that poeple in the country are just good, down to earth folk who want to mind their own business. They're sweet and friendly and will welcome you into their neighborhood with a pie and a smile. They are nature lovers, grow their own vegetables and have chickens running around. They picture the country being sunny afternoons sitting on the front porch sipping lemonade, and evenings listening to crickets under the stars.
Depending on where you are this may be true. This is very true for my area. I love my neighbors. They are awesome. Sure I hear some gunfire and atvs.......sometimes. I hear dogs barking.....sometimes. It's no big deal. I let my neighbors use my back property for hunting because I trust them.

However....I know the other side of things. I know what it's like to live where you hear atvs, guns and dogs barking all day every day. I lived in what was basically the ghetto in the country. Crime was high. Nobody gave a damn about nature or gardens. Nobody grew anything. The land was there to use and abuse. People didn't hunt for food. They shot anything that came on their property for fun. My neighbor was riding her horse once down a trail on public lands and a bullet whizzed past her. She came up on the hunters and they said they thought her horse was a deer. Really? Isn't the first rule of hunting to have your target in sight? Anyone who could mistake a horse for a deer couldn't have had anything in their sight. These are the people who you hope just shoot themeselves and not anyone else.

Anyway, this is the United States and as long as you are here legally, you are free to move to wherever you please. I can't stand people who think this is "my" land and you are coming here on "my" property. No. You don't own your town, or your state. Someone from the northeast is free to move south and vise versa. Someone from California is free to move out west. People don't have to stay in the place they were born. It's a free country.

But people do need to educate themselves on where they are moving to. Don't assume that you are moving into some Mayberry town where everyone is just a salt of the earth, friendly,hard working people. Small towns can breed small minds and you can find yourself living among people who hate you simply because you went to college. On the flip side, people moving to the country have no business trying to change things that result in higher tax dollars. If your kids need the latest technology in school, then stay in the suburbs or send them to private school. If your precious angels need sidewalks, stay in the city or the burbs. Unless you are willing to foot the bill. Do your homework. Know where you are moving to.

And for God's sake, don't listen to a freakin' realtor who tells you some place is nice to live. They only see dollar signs when they look at you.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:16 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,926,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLonelyGoatherd View Post
Just some random thoughts of mine on this issue: (mind you these are random, lol)

There is no noise in the country that could both me near as much as noise from the city. But then I'm dyed in the wool country.

Lived in the northeast, deep south, and now Virginia and people are people. Some will give you the shirt off their backs, some don't pay you attention and just live their life, others go out of their way to harass anyone they'd deemed different than them.

I know how much it sucks to see beautiful land turned into vinyl monster homes. It would be one thing if these homes were pretty and custom built, like the guy down the road who just custom built a gorgeous log and stone, 5,000square foot house. I've got nothing against big homes. Just big ugly homes. But I can't mad at the folks who are just looking for a place for thier family. The people moving in these homes just want to work and live, that's all. If I'm going to be mad, it's at the person who sold the land in the first place. People tend to take their anger out on the wrong people.

Why do people move to the country and then complain? Well, I can tell you. It's okay to look down on rich folk like Romney. It's okay to bash people who have more money than you. But it's become very politically incorrect to talk bad about country folk and people who are lower-middle class. So as a result, over the past 20 years, people have this grandiose notion that poeple in the country are just good, down to earth folk who want to mind their own business. They're sweet and friendly and will welcome you into their neighborhood with a pie and a smile. They are nature lovers, grow their own vegetables and have chickens running around. They picture the country being sunny afternoons sitting on the front porch sipping lemonade, and evenings listening to crickets under the stars.
Depending on where you are this may be true. This is very true for my area. I love my neighbors. They are awesome. Sure I hear some gunfire and atvs.......sometimes. I hear dogs barking.....sometimes. It's no big deal. I let my neighbors use my back property for hunting because I trust them.

However....I know the other side of things. I know what it's like to live where you hear atvs, guns and dogs barking all day every day. I lived in what was basically the ghetto in the country. Crime was high. Nobody gave a damn about nature or gardens. Nobody grew anything. The land was there to use and abuse. People didn't hunt for food. They shot anything that came on their property for fun. My neighbor was riding her horse once down a trail on public lands and a bullet whizzed past her. She came up on the hunters and they said they thought her horse was a deer. Really? Isn't the first rule of hunting to have your target in sight? Anyone who could mistake a horse for a deer couldn't have had anything in their sight. These are the people who you hope just shoot themeselves and not anyone else.

Anyway, this is the United States and as long as you are here legally, you are free to move to wherever you please. I can't stand people who think this is "my" land and you are coming here on "my" property. No. You don't own your town, or your state. Someone from the northeast is free to move south and vise versa. Someone from California is free to move out west. People don't have to stay in the place they were born. It's a free country.

But people do need to educate themselves on where they are moving to. Don't assume that you are moving into some Mayberry town where everyone is just a salt of the earth, friendly,hard working people. Small towns can breed small minds and you can find yourself living among people who hate you simply because you went to college. On the flip side, people moving to the country have no business trying to change things that result in higher tax dollars. If your kids need the latest technology in school, then stay in the suburbs or send them to private school. If your precious angels need sidewalks, stay in the city or the burbs. Unless you are willing to foot the bill. Do your homework. Know where you are moving to.

And for God's sake, don't listen to a freakin' realtor who tells you some place is nice to live. They only see dollar signs when they look at you.
Pretty nicely put.

Now - where do you live so I can move there?

OD
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:19 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,926,633 times
Reputation: 3083
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK-Cathy View Post
Sadly though, it has become very difficult to just find a quiet, clean small town that shows "pride of ownership". Don't get me wrong, I wish there were many more.

We chose a rural area outside of a college town that is charming and clean. Admittedly our personal aesthetics are probably neater than our neighbors (Germanic heritage: I can't help myself.) but our rural area itself is nice, clean and safe on the whole.

Our neighbors have ATVs but they use them to exercise their horses, to round up the goats, haul small farming implements or to come fetch the previously mentioned wayward lab out for a potty break. ATVs used in farm work or the occasional wandering dog doesn't bother us. The random loud truck going down our road versus the near constant hum (and often enough roar) of city traffic interspersed with sirens throughout the day and night? I think I'll take the former. I find beer cans along the road but I also find trash of that sort and worse here in town. It's a fact of life that I pick up and deal with everywhere I've lived. I can't imagine though that I'll have an inebriate sleeping it off in my back or front yard of our rural property having lived in one of the best and now mid level areas of this city.

Scarily we hear more gunfire in total separate incidents in the city but it's random, 3 to 4 shots and mostly at night so we know something is likely "going down". Our country neighbors target practice and it's relegated to sessions and of course there is some gunfire during hunting season but not as much as I expected. These rural people with guns I don't worry about putting a shot through our home randomly. Seems that it all depends on one's point of view.

Not everyone out in the "boonies" are yahoos, probably not even a majority even in more "blighted" areas of the country. I have not found it so in the area my mother and brother lives which does not appeal to me, the area where we bought or in some of the areas that we liked but did not buy in for one reason or another. I trust my gut implicitly though and stayed away from areas that seemed down on it's luck or had the signs of neglect.

They are out there, those hidden gems of bucolic heaven but those folks don't advertise as they like it the way it is.

This has been our experience with country and city.
I got nothing against people using ATVs to get a job done. I have everything against people drinking and riding their ATVs on public roads (in most states it is illegal anyways), running through public lands where they do not belong and I certainly do not understand why the states allow them on national forest lands or state forest lands (well I do, it has to do with money).

As for gunshots hitting your house, my next door neighbor has a 75 acre parcel and has garnered at least 5 bullets in her roof or wall, one zoomed by her while sitting on the porch.

Being near a college town sure helps, at least with opening the minds of the people living around the town. Not always but frequently and not for everyone.

OD
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,789 posts, read 11,274,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
Yep. That's the fallacy a lot of people have when wanting to go rural, they imagine a quiet place where the locals respect nature and everyone is happy, hiking and loving life and enjoying the clean air and the stillness.

Reality is a lot of drunk, uneducated slobs raping nature, animals and their neighbors with their ATVs and guns (I am not against guns and I own my own but they have a purpose and it is not shooting into the air or into the traffic signs or deer or squirrels for fun).

I have long said that anyone who wants a true rural village atmosphere should move to Europe. Any small village or town will do. That's the countryside most people imagine, wealthy farmers, great looking fields (the villagers there actually still farm!), quiet and polite people etc.

There are isolated pockets of semi-rural areas in the States you can find with somewhat similar attitudes but very rare. We stayed with a friend in New Braunfels, TX in an old German neighborhood and it was like being in Germany (but New Braunfels is by no means rural or small, population 50,000+!). It was quiet, properties were immaculate, gardens full of veggies, fields full of hay and wheat, you could see pride of ownership. These were all old German families though.

The trash that now lives in most rural places in United States is a far cry from the pioneers who came and tamed the land, respected it and cultivated it. Most people I know want to buy a piece of land somewhere rural so they can go there on the weekend and rape it all day with their ATV. Disgusting. When they finally move there they are the locals who are pissed at the city folks who come to the same are and enact laws and ordinances to ban noise and shooting.

OD
You picked the wrong rural area. I have never had those problems you describe where I live and it isn't because we have a plethora of restrictive ordnances. We have an educated and prosperous population, both native and transplant. There are no shooting ordnances here and no law against having an ATV on a public road. But people are courteous. That's the key. You'll scarcely ever see a dog in the back of a pickup here either.

When I lived in rural Colorado it was miserable. We had liberal transplants on one side and a bunch who were trying to prove how redneck they were on the other side. Your problems made me think of those days.

Take a trip up here. DM me when you do; we'll have lunch and take a tour. You can be anything you want politically as long as you don't support gun control. While I've argued with you many times I believe you'd be a positive addition to any community. I just think you picked the wrong one.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,283 posts, read 3,143,805 times
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I get it. I didn't move to an area where yards were filled with junk, rusting cars, campers and ATVs were the norm for the purposes of avoiding the constant irritation of having eyesores next door and the usual attitudes that go with that. We have a lot of that up here. Great looking places next to hoarder-villes. Even in cities that can only be controlled to a degree with covenanted neighborhoods and city codes that are enforced. A great deal of time the covenants and codes are not enforced properly, inequitably or enforced with a high degree of ignoring the spirit of the law in pursuit of the letter while letting great travesties slide because of resistance on the part of a property owner.

We avoided obvious conflicts by moving into an area where things looked most like we wanted them to look. We saw lots of "pride" in northern areas but were would replace our winter for another long harsh one. While a bullet through the house can't be ruled out entirely, it's a matter of odds. Our odds are much higher here in town.

I really get your complaints and I wholly understand what Goatherd posted and concur for the most part. I would not buy in or near "Downersville" or "Junktown" no matter how cheap the land, IMO, that's just asking for the kind of trouble that you and he/she described.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:05 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,926,633 times
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Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
You picked the wrong rural area. I have never had those problems you describe where I live and it isn't because we have a plethora of restrictive ordnances. We have an educated and prosperous population, both native and transplant. There are no shooting ordnances here and no law against having an ATV on a public road. But people are courteous. That's the key. You'll scarcely ever see a dog in the back of a pickup here either.

When I lived in rural Colorado it was miserable. We had liberal transplants on one side and a bunch who were trying to prove how redneck they were on the other side. Your problems made me think of those days.

Take a trip up here. DM me when you do; we'll have lunch and take a tour. You can be anything you want politically as long as you don't support gun control. While I've argued with you many times I believe you'd be a positive addition to any community. I just think you picked the wrong one.
Happy, thanks, I may take you up on the offer since wife and I loved Dubois (for example) and spent ten days camping and riding in the Wind River valley area with our horses. We were both impressed with how clean Wyoming looked. My impression was that it had mostly to do with low population + well-to-do population. We also spent some time in Sheridan and thought it to be clean and nice. Saw Jackson Hole for two days and while nice, it was too busy. Never been to Cody. At the end I may have to settle for winter in order to avoid the trash.

By the way, you are right about the "trying to be as redneck as possible" vs raging "liberal".

As for guns, one lovely thing about our trip to WY was that I could finally ride with my .45 on me and my rifle in the scabbard without feeling like a criminal. That's one of the reasons I kept looking in NM and AZ - the open carry laws.

OD
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:25 PM
 
56 posts, read 124,520 times
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The small town I am currently buying a house in (still under construction, but almost finished, woo-hoo!) is a little bit different, in that they aren't all anti "high falutin' city folks". The small town (pop 6000, so not super tiny btw), was actually very upper class for a long time, with gigantic 3500+ sq ft houses on large, beautiful acreage with lakes, river, creeks, etc. The price point to purchase was prohibitive for anyone who wasn't upper class.

Then a few developers came in and bought land, built houses, yada yada. These houses were less gigantic but still large enough for a family (2000 sq ft), and on smaller lots instead of massive acreage. The price point was still high, but allowed the middle class to be able to purchase in the small town (you're still out of luck if you are low income or even lower middle class though).

The people who already lived there have been very vocal about lamenting these new developments, and this "socioeconomic diversity" and honestly, I laughed at that. I mean, the town was upper class white families, and now the town is upper and middle class white families. Socioeconomic diversity?! Really?!

So, us newcomers are treated like trailer trash who are ruining the town, because we are not as rich. I find it amusing because it's a bit... backward of what I had expected of a rural town. I was afraid of being the 'snobby rich city folk" and instead, I'm considered quite the opposite! LOL!

But, I realize that if shun the locals or just assume they hate me, I am guaranteeing that eventually they will. I am making it a point to befriend other newcomers like myself, and also people whose families have been there for generations (and hearing their stories about this place, back when their grandfather was a milk farmer etc... it's kind of cool to hear the history through the real people, instead of from a book).

So even though I havent' even moved in to the town yet, I chat with the locals, attend local events, and go out of my way to patronize the local businesses there, even though it is actually more expensive than buying in my city, but at least it helps me and the locals to get to know each other, buying their products, supporting the town and putting my money where my mouth is.

I have found that they actually like me in spite of me being "merely" middle class and an "outsider", and not owning that much land (my lot is tiny, but due to the health issues in my family, we can not tend to large plots of land, but still want to run away from the city, especially due to the pollution which exacerbates my family's problems).

I definitely do not want to bring any part of the city with me. I grew up in urban neighborhoods and HATED IT. It is not how I want my own children to live, with all the pollution, crime, under-performing schools, concrete everything, lack of nature...
And yes, this meant I had to cough up $10K to connect to sewer (I'm just glad it was an option in the first place, because honestly, I had already done my research about septic and decided I could live with it, before buying a place, just in case).
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Burlington, Colorado
347 posts, read 729,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylee View Post
The small town I am currently buying a house in (still under construction, but almost finished, woo-hoo!) is a little bit different, in that they aren't all anti "high falutin' city folks". The small town (pop 6000, so not super tiny btw), was actually very upper class for a long time, with gigantic 3500+ sq ft houses on large, beautiful acreage with lakes, river, creeks, etc. The price point to purchase was prohibitive for anyone who wasn't upper class.

Then a few developers came in and bought land, built houses, yada yada. These houses were less gigantic but still large enough for a family (2000 sq ft), and on smaller lots instead of massive acreage. The price point was still high, but allowed the middle class to be able to purchase in the small town (you're still out of luck if you are low income or even lower middle class though).

The people who already lived there have been very vocal about lamenting these new developments, and this "socioeconomic diversity" and honestly, I laughed at that. I mean, the town was upper class white families, and now the town is upper and middle class white families. Socioeconomic diversity?! Really?!

So, us newcomers are treated like trailer trash who are ruining the town, because we are not as rich. I find it amusing because it's a bit... backward of what I had expected of a rural town. I was afraid of being the 'snobby rich city folk" and instead, I'm considered quite the opposite! LOL!
Sounds to me more like an ritzy exurb, as most small towns run the gamut of financial/social classes, they just tend to be less pronounced than in bigger areas where the janitor and the doctor are less likely to run in the same circles.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:01 AM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,926,633 times
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Originally Posted by ohazco View Post
Sounds to me more like an ritzy exurb, as most small towns run the gamut of financial/social classes, they just tend to be less pronounced than in bigger areas where the janitor and the doctor are less likely to run in the same circles.
Janitor? I thought everyone in a real rural area is either a farmer or a rancher?
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