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Old 12-20-2012, 11:21 AM
 
41 posts, read 65,088 times
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I've read many many threads so please don't think I'm simply being lazy by starting a new thread.

I'm looking at Johnson City/Kingsport, or *possibly* Chattanooga, Knoxville, Greenville SC-area (traveler's rest/Greer/Easley, etc.) which as many have noted are all I think solid and somewhat similar choices. Specifically, looking probably at more rural areas on the outskirts of those places, or just the oddball house in the cuts within city limits that happens to be throwback zoned on a larger lot....our budget is low ($900-$1300/mo for a 3bd+ house rental and/or $100-$140Kish to buy, AND we want good schools on a lot at least 1 acre). Hard to find, I know, but I think possible (?)

Here's a little about my family and what we are looking for:
I've lived in No. & So. California, Harlem, NY, Eastern Long Island, NY, and have family in Sweetwater, TN, Maysville, KY, and all over Ohio. The hubby is from Eastern Long Island and has also lived in Orlando & Tampa. This year we moved from NY to Maysville, KY which is 5 minutes from Ohio and in the "greater Cincinnati" metro area, being about 1 hr 15 minutes outside of Cincy and also a little over an hour from Lexington, KY.

We don't like Maysville for the following primary reasons: 1) two huge factories/power plants actively working 24/7 very nearby which make for poor air quality, 2) Realistically 75-90 minute drive each way to childrens activities; and 3) no sidewalks, not a good yard to play in, and the one park nearby to walk in just has a path around a pond in a circle and people can and do drive on it. There is a McDonalds here with good play area but every time we go I have to give my kid fast food. But there are many things we love about this general area (and speaking more about the Ohio side surrounding Cincy) including: people are very family oriented, lots of great public school systems, housing and cost of living is VERY low, and the physical landscape is pretty, and lots of people are into hunting which my husband lives for.

Hubby is retired and I work from home doing online marketing and my job is portable, provided I have high-speed internet access; however I do care about the quality of the local economy within a 1 hr. radius as you never know when you will need to seek out other options. I love to take my kids out to do things: hike, play at the park, go to children's museums, etc. I don't mind driving, but ideally I would have some good options within 30-45 minutes rather than 75-90. I have a 3 y/o and an infant. Good public schools are critical for me. Land is very important to my husband, the more rural the better for him; but at minimum something not cookie-cutter suburban and no sense of privacy in the backyard with neighbors right there looking in. An acre of usable land is our realistic scenario minimum (i.e. not all sloping down a cliff) and forest-feel or more open farm-feel is alright either way. We'd love to do some small-scale farming with some chickens, goats, garden, etc. I would like to be within about 45 minutes of shopping options (whole foods, trader joes a plus but I can live on Kroger and Walmart if necessary). 45-60 minute proximity to some diverse food options are a plus (I'm really tired of only fast-food options around....). My husband has heart problems so ideally we should be within about 30 minutes of a medical center and an hour from a good cardiology center.

We are also a Native American family and my husband really stands out in a crowd but he has a great personality and is able to get along with anyone. I actually think he fits in here in Maysville better than I do and my family is from here! He's basically a big brown redneck; he likes his guns and he loves to hunt. That being said, our preference would be to not be the only non-white family somewhere and/or be somewhere where people were terribly non-accepting of outsiders or people who are different. Not that we care as much for ourselves but out of concern for our children's experience. We also aren't a church-going family, although we are Christian and also spiritual, and I feel like we have a lot in common with many church-going people in terms of our values, but we'd probably never go to church services more than sporadically at best. I know that may be a factor for some of these areas we are looking at. Politically, I think we are both middle of the road on most things, me leaning way in from the liberal side and him from the conservative side, and we tend to think the Dems and Republicans alike are mostly full of crap. But neither of us would let politics interfere with friendships anyway, unless someone was a jerk about it, in which case we wouldn't want to be friends because they were a jerk, not because of their politics!

Any insight or suggestion based on our needs are very much appreciated! thanks in advance.
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