U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Self-Sufficiency and Preparedness
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-16-2012, 09:12 AM
 
1,100 posts, read 1,149,922 times
Reputation: 2103
Perhaps SE Kansas, central Missouri north and south, Arkansas, western Iowa, eastern Nebraska, some less densely populated places along the Ohio river valley may be other locations to look at. New Mexico, while wonderful, was crossed off our particular list due to water issues.

Ultimately what RyanR posted is pretty darned important. We spent several years visiting areas of the country in a travel trailer, spending time, talking to locals and narrowing down the list. Cost of living, bang for our housing buck, livable climate (4 fairly balanced seasons), fertile soils, plentiful water resources, a community where we would likely fit in, where our values meshed with the locals, were criteria for area selection.

We chewed up the Pac-NW but ultimately ended up in the fly over states to allow our dollars to fully meet our goals of having land for orchards and animals, outbuildings and a house that met my particular criteria. We chose to be in a rural locale near a medium sized college town where we are like the locals and a long hour from a larger city for everything needed to set us up and advanced medical care (God forbid) if needed. We looked at a place very like your description but had concerns (that ultimately ruled the area out) that if we didn't fit in with the locals of that 9K town, we would be without community. If community doesn't matter to you, then that is one thing that you don't need to factor in, but I think community (or the lack thereof) is an under-estimated source of potential happiness or misery with one's town/home location.

Good luck with your search. I'd suggest highly to travel to the locales that finally interest you. Figure out the up and downsides. Visit during all seasons. Take your time. Because of the real estate downturn in recent years, undoing a mistake especially with rural property may be costly at the very least or near to impossible in the immediate term.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-16-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Tejas
1,816 posts, read 1,707,987 times
Reputation: 1618
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
A couple other things that may help narrow down a region or State for you.

Taxes - Property and income.

Cost of living - $100K income is a lot of "bang for your buck" in some States, but in others, it's "enough to get by".

Region/environment - If you're from one part of the country (let's say the NE as an example) and you move to another region (let's say SW), you're going to be "out of your element" for what could be quite awhile. Language, culture... as well as climate, altitude, animals... will all be unfamiliar to you. Are you mentally and physically prepared for that? It could be little things like always watch where you're walking and check your boots in the morning before putting them on so you're aware of snakes, scorpions and such.

Jobs - If by chance, you lose either your work-from-home status or have to get a new job, is the location such that you have what you would need within a reasonable commute?

Medical - No idea how old you are, but is decent health care available within an hour or 2?
Ryan: thanks! I have all of those in the back of my mind...
OD
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2012, 02:00 PM
 
1,677 posts, read 777,929 times
Reputation: 1005
Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
I am aware of unitedcountry[dot]com and other land search websites. But, they are the final point in the search, after I have zeroed in on a few potential areas that match my requirements.

More precisely, which counties/areas of the above mentioned states are you thinking of?

Thanks!
OD

I did the same thing you are about to do several years ago, could go anywhere, except that I am self-employed but now equipped for self-sufficiency should that cease to exist. I had already either visited or lived in all the regions under consideration for my requirements which were very similar to yours. Your task will be more difficult if you are not familiar with many other areas. I recommend you rely more on the data than on hearsay and biased opinions. In the areas I hadn't lived, I researched historic climate and weather data.

I see many in forums like this recommending areas in tornado alley. Many areas in tornado alley are budget-friendly (which is why they are often recommended) but was never an option for me because I knew exactly what to expect - you may be OK with it. Besides tornadoes, those areas also tend to experience other severe storms, ice, wind, snow, and extreme seasonal temperature ranges which you stated you want to avoid. Your job requires internet so I'm sure you are factoring in how potentially frequent outages due to year-round storms may impact your job.

I already gave you potential areas that match your requirements. You could use that site and others like it to zero in on what matches your budget, and to determine if you want to pursue any of those areas further (keeping in mind that some properties won't be listed there or anywhere online). The states I mentioned have areas that match everything else including very equestrian friendly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2012, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,676 posts, read 27,674,785 times
Reputation: 8703
If you stick to realtors and realtor websites you will be limiting what properties you are exposed to.

I did it and I got very frustrated by the properties that I was being shown.

When I shifted to FSBO properties, not only did the selection of properties open up but so did the prices.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2012, 03:13 PM
 
1,677 posts, read 777,929 times
Reputation: 1005
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
If you stick to realtors and realtor websites you will be limiting what properties you are exposed to.

I did it and I got very frustrated by the properties that I was being shown.

When I shifted to FSBO properties, not only did the selection of properties open up but so did the prices.
That's a no-brainer.

The OP's climate requirements alone are somewhat limiting. But he can use those sites to help him get a better idea what those areas that do match are like, and to decide whether or not to pursue them further.

He may find he has to, or wants to, compromise on one or more of his wish list items. Seems logical to look into places that match them first.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2012, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 5,565,504 times
Reputation: 9193
One thing that no one has really touched on is - ordinances. Not just for your horse, but for construction, future development, infrastructure, etc.

One very aggressive small group locally wanted to bring in LMI housing to raise that population dynamic to provide an LMI base to qualify for more grants. They were vehemently opposed by the rest of the population as well as the local government - who know that an LMI-friendly population inherently brings with it more demands on not only local government services and infrastructure, but alters the dynamic of the non-LMI residents. The (extremely minimal) police protection would have to be reinforced, as well as the water, sewer, road, recreational and medical components of the area to cater to those who are primarily LMI/government-dependent. (No, I'm not being prejudiced against poor people - there are actually algebraic algorithms to calculate these things; tax money collection potential vs usage of infrastructure components.) If the math doesn't work, then taxes on those who are not LMI go up.

On the other hand, if your local government has to replace/repair local water/sewage components, or other older and failing infrastructure to be in compliance with state and federal codes, your low taxes on your new property will likely go up... whether or not you actually can use the increased infrastructure.

It is a good idea to not only look at properties you like and think would work for you, but also to look at local governments and see what their mindset is. Eastern Nebraska right now is currently trying to encourage a manufacturing as well as a residential boom, and by doing so is enforcing and creating more ordinances to make their areas "business friendly". Oftentimes these ordinances will prevent you from growing that orchard or planting that garden, as governments look to attract high-end development (and the resulting high-end tax monies). Watch out for places where property components are being "grandfathered in" - that usually means that while Joe the Arabian breeder can still keep his farm or ranch, new people (you) won't have the same luxury.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2012, 05:57 PM
 
1,021 posts, read 1,012,202 times
Reputation: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
You don't understand. The problem lies in which area to look into (counties in a particular state, for example) and having domain knowledge (someone who has lived in western NC can tell me a whole lot more than an add on Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed). Once I know where to look, realtor.com, Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed etc. - any of these sites will do, as well as a few trips to the area.

OD
Fair enough, I generaly look at the site when the powerball is over 200 million and I have a few tickets. Just looking at the ranches that are 5,000 acres+

Last edited by Yac; 04-11-2012 at 06:57 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2012, 10:53 PM
Status: "Question everything..." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
6,674 posts, read 5,401,888 times
Reputation: 6293
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
One thing that no one has really touched on is - ordinances. Not just for your horse, but for construction, future development, infrastructure, etc.

One very aggressive small group locally wanted to bring in LMI housing to raise that population dynamic to provide an LMI base to qualify for more grants. They were vehemently opposed by the rest of the population as well as the local government - who know that an LMI-friendly population inherently brings with it more demands on not only local government services and infrastructure, but alters the dynamic of the non-LMI residents. The (extremely minimal) police protection would have to be reinforced, as well as the water, sewer, road, recreational and medical components of the area to cater to those who are primarily LMI/government-dependent. (No, I'm not being prejudiced against poor people - there are actually algebraic algorithms to calculate these things; tax money collection potential vs usage of infrastructure components.) If the math doesn't work, then taxes on those who are not LMI go up.

On the other hand, if your local government has to replace/repair local water/sewage components, or other older and failing infrastructure to be in compliance with state and federal codes, your low taxes on your new property will likely go up... whether or not you actually can use the increased infrastructure.

It is a good idea to not only look at properties you like and think would work for you, but also to look at local governments and see what their mindset is. Eastern Nebraska right now is currently trying to encourage a manufacturing as well as a residential boom, and by doing so is enforcing and creating more ordinances to make their areas "business friendly". Oftentimes these ordinances will prevent you from growing that orchard or planting that garden, as governments look to attract high-end development (and the resulting high-end tax monies). Watch out for places where property components are being "grandfathered in" - that usually means that while Joe the Arabian breeder can still keep his farm or ranch, new people (you) won't have the same luxury.
Great points. It would serve anyone well with these sorts of plans to make sure they can do what they intend to do on their land. It would really ruin your day if you suddenly found that you couldn't build the type of home you want to build or raise the sorts of animals you had in mind, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2012, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 5,565,504 times
Reputation: 9193
Well, we did it this way...
I was on Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed for three years, looking at places we could afford that fit our basic criteria. We looked in ID, MT, UT, MO, MN, WY, CO, ND, SD, and finally NE - NE was actually an afterthought; an, 'oh, hey, what's this?' Then we weeded out what didn't quite fit. Then we went on City-Data and got the demographics. Then we read online newspapers; even the classified ads gave us an inkling of how people thought and what they were looking for. Then we came on the forum and asked about the places we were looking at - political and social attitudes, governmental mindset. There were some responses to questions that were pretty horrific - but bear in mind that these were peoples' opinions who had lived there/moved away from there; we listened to everyone but determined if they were factual or just someone's gut reaction. Several folks PM'ed me to give more detailed replies and I actually appreciated that they took the time to do so; it gave me an idea not only of their mindset but how their attitudes would or would not have been accepted there.

We narrowed it down to six properties, and my daughter and I took two weeks to look at them. When we decided on this place, it was all of our previous knowledge plus the people we met (we sat in the local watering holes and eavesdropped on the locals, including local politicians, talk for hours) that helped us decide.

I could tell you how amazing and wonderful Nebraska is, how few (and unenforced) the ordinances are rurally, How great the weather is, how great the people are, how well we've fit in. You of course might absolutely hate it, because you are looking for different things. I.e., you want lots of public property to ride your horse on - out here there is no public property except the occasional in-town park or football/baseball field or trap-shooting range; I have 60 acres of my own hills and brush to ride over. One piece of property similar to this one was in the running - but after going to it and actually having boots-on-the-ground, I could see where it had a serious problem with flooding in most (about 60-70%) of the "pasture" for about 4 months of the year, by looking at the plants and water lines on the soil and trees. (They later sold it to someone who moved from California who didn't want to grow anything, just wanted to hunt.) Our opinions of the best places to live don't really mean squat, because "best" is different for everyone.

Last edited by Yac; 04-11-2012 at 06:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-17-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Tejas
1,816 posts, read 1,707,987 times
Reputation: 1618
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
Well, we did it this way...
I was onModerator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed for three years, looking at places we could afford that fit our basic criteria. We looked in ID, MT, UT, MO, MN, WY, CO, ND, SD, and finally NE - NE was actually an afterthought; an, 'oh, hey, what's this?' Then we weeded out what didn't quite fit. Then we went on City-Data and got the demographics. Then we read online newspapers; even the classified ads gave us an inkling of how people thought and what they were looking for. Then we came on the forum and asked about the places we were looking at - political and social attitudes, governmental mindset. There were some responses to questions that were pretty horrific - but bear in mind that these were peoples' opinions who had lived there/moved away from there; we listened to everyone but determined if they were factual or just someone's gut reaction. Several folks PM'ed me to give more detailed replies and I actually appreciated that they took the time to do so; it gave me an idea not only of their mindset but how their attitudes would or would not have been accepted there.

We narrowed it down to six properties, and my daughter and I took two weeks to look at them. When we decided on this place, it was all of our previous knowledge plus the people we met (we sat in the local watering holes and eavesdropped on the locals, including local politicians, talk for hours) that helped us decide.

I could tell you how amazing and wonderful Nebraska is, how few (and unenforced) the ordinances are rurally, How great the weather is, how great the people are, how well we've fit in. You of course might absolutely hate it, because you are looking for different things. I.e., you want lots of public property to ride your horse on - out here there is no public property except the occasional in-town park or football/baseball field or trap-shooting range; I have 60 acres of my own hills and brush to ride over. One piece of property similar to this one was in the running - but after going to it and actually having boots-on-the-ground, I could see where it had a serious problem with flooding in most (about 60-70%) of the "pasture" for about 4 months of the year, by looking at the plants and water lines on the soil and trees. (They later sold it to someone who moved from California who didn't want to grow anything, just wanted to hunt.) Our opinions of the best places to live don't really mean squat, because "best" is different for everyone.
Much appreciated.

I have been looking for the last 5 years for the "right place" all the while trying to land the "right job" from home which would allow me to do what I want.

So far my search has turned up two states: New Mexico and Texas (town of Alpine, to be precise). Alpine has a mild year-round climate and gets about 18inches of rain a year. That amount of rain allows is to be somewhat green but not enough to grow hay, for example. Since there are only my wife and me, growing a garden for two people is not that complicated. The good things about it are that Big Bend is near with lots of mountains and about 1.2 million acres of national park to ride and hike. Other good news is that it only has 5,000 people, nearest city/town would be El Paso within 2-3 hours.

New Mexico has always been dear to me, have visited it a few times and loved the place. it is huge in size but only 2 million people! Millions of acres of BLM and national forest lands that I think not many people use or know.

I know water can be a problem in the south-west. But, a lot of people end up there, drill a well (or buy a property with one) that produces 35-40 gpm and it works for them just fine. I am aware of all the mineral rights and water rights issues (and know that I need to be aware of them before I buy). The nice thing about west TX or NM is that they are very rural so code enforcement and ordinances are virtually non-existent (not that I will not check).

Downsides: as someone said - what happens if I lose the job? Not many in the area. My solution to this is to have about a year worth of savings to cover all expenses. In the meantime I should have no problems finding another job from home. Living in a "cheap" place will also allow me to save a lot out of my salary (money I would be wasting in an urban environment).

A lot of folks have mentioned states in the East or North-East or North or midwest.

I guess my original question should have been: where do I find what I want out West? I have lived in the East and Midwest and North-East and one thing I hated was the people-pressure-> they were everywhere like flies on s*it. Even Tennessee which was proposed - if you look it up, size wise it is the 36th state in the Union but population-wise it is 17th. Yeah, there are a lot of small towns in between big towns and cities but that's the point - there are a LOT of small towns. They have the Big Fork area which you can ride your horses in but this area is only about 125,000 acres in size and gets about 700,000 visitors a year (not including all the people that have moved there for the riding). To me riding in Nature means quiet and peace, not a bunch of crazy ladies on horses screaming and chattering and galloping down the trail. A lot of these places are proud when they have a 8,000 acre public area. I find that offensive

That's why the great West is probably going to be the choice. Colorado is out due to cost, WY and MT I love (esp. WY around Wind River Valley) but live is harsh there 9 months of the year. ID is nice but same story. PNW - too much rain, it is depressing. CA is nice but can't afford it. Much of Texas is private land (to be precise 96%!) but they have Big Bend which together with the Big Bend National Park and the State Ranch Park make up 1.2 million acres that you can ride on anywhere. What many people don't know is that there are beautiful mountains there too, near the Rio Grande.

Also leaves NM and AZ. UT is too cold for me. NM and AZ also have open-carry gun laws which is nice. Texas (surprisingly to me) doesn't. I have to admit it was a nice feeling when we were with our horses out in WY camping and riding in the wilderness to carry my rifle on my horse and my 45 Vaquero on my hip. That is freedom (for me), made me feel like I was back in 1850s when life was simple.

Thanks for listening!
OD

Last edited by Yac; 04-11-2012 at 06:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Self-Sufficiency and Preparedness
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top