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Old 10-19-2011, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,257 posts, read 11,863,633 times
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So, what do you guys think about Highland County? I was looking into Craig County, also sparsely populated, but I did a search on "least populated county in Virginia" and found Highland. I would love to live where peace and quiet abounds. Have any of you been to Highland? All comments will be appreciated.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
1,792 posts, read 3,373,809 times
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Do a search. There are threads discussing Highland County.
I lived there for six years. It is beautiful. If you like cooler weather and a bit more winter, it's a great place. It is isolated. It is a mountain community, not a southern community. There is a significant difference. I met wonderful people there. I also met horrible, mean, petty minded people there too. In a small community, gossip can fly almost as fast as e-mail.

Real estate is very expensive due to outsiders buying second homes and retiring there. If you have $500,000 plus, you won't have a problem finding a nice place. If you are looking under $150,000, good luck.

Renting is difficult because there are so few rentals available. Many that were available when I lived there were not very nice.

There are few contractors. If you get someone from outside of the community you will have to factor in a bonus for them. It's five mountains to cross over to make it to Monterey from Staunton.

Good luck.

Last edited by TN Lily; 10-20-2011 at 07:14 AM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
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If you intend to buy land in Highland County, pay attention to your water source. Some homes in Highland County get their water from a spring located on someone else's land. I don't consider that a good situation. You don't want your water coming from a spring being used by a herd of sheep or cattle. I have seen deeds which restricted the size of the pipe used to access the water. This can be a problem too.

In Bluegrass, there were homes that shared a common well. During times of drought, these folks had no water.

Be mindful of creeks and streams, including "dry ones." When it pours down rain, these can be powerful raging torrents of water.

Also pay attention to fences and fence law. This too can be an issue in Highland County.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,257 posts, read 11,863,633 times
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Thanks, TN Lily. Well, I certainly can't afford $500,000, so I guess I'll keep looking.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
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You can find lower priced properties. Just make sure you are able to obtain a good home inspection. Many properties are literally right on the road. It's fairly common to have a house so close to the road that even I could throw stones from the front door and hit cars as they go by. I cannot throw very well or very far!

Go onto a Realtor's website and look around.

If you like Highland, you would probably like Bath County too. Clarkson & Wallace is a firm that covers both counties. I hope it's okay to list this firm's name. I have no connection with the firm. I just went on their website and they have properties under $100K. Their website is fairly decent. There is always realtor.com.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Thornrose
892 posts, read 1,971,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canine*Castle View Post
So, what do you guys think about Highland County? I was looking into Craig County, also sparsely populated, but I did a search on "least populated county in Virginia" and found Highland. I would love to live where peace and quiet abounds. Have any of you been to Highland? All comments will be appreciated.
Highland is the definition of isolated. It is totally beautiful though. In addition to the info TN Lilly brought out, you might want to consider the weather. When I lived in Staunton, one day I was bored and decided that I hadn't been to Highland in ages and decided to go. it was mid to upper 40s in Staunton and rainy. When I got to the Augusta/Highland border at the top of the mountain there were patches of snow, but still above freezing. I made it to Monterey and decided to go further. The farther west I went the colder and snowier it got. By the time I got to the W VA border there was 6 inches of snow on the ground and in the 20's. It is literally like another world over there. If you need anything other than the absolute bare necessities, you will have to go to Elkins or Staunton. Basically all you have in Monterey is a Dollar General type store, a bank, a school or two some mom and pop stores and one or two gas stations. And on that note, when i was there last, gas was like 15 to 20 cents higher than in Staunton.

Do not let this deter you though. Most people who move there are looking for exactly that. Don't ask me about what the locals are like, since I didn't get out of my car except to walk around in the snow a bit. But I wouldn't be surprised if they are a bit clannish. It would just be natural given how sparsely populated the county is. But every year they have the maple festival which brings in a bunch of out of towners, so they are use to seeing passers by.

The area is really beautiful and you can tell that some of the ground has never been broken, except for natural erosion. I would definitely research it and visit if at all possible. It's like driving into another era over there. I'm not trying to bash it, but just trying to tell it like it is.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,257 posts, read 11,863,633 times
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Thanks, ShadowBat, for the information. I can stay away from clans, but I know what you mean about them. Another era, unbroken ground, beauty ... it sounds good. Time will tell.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Thornrose
892 posts, read 1,971,727 times
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Highland is pretty cool just for what it is. It's nickname is 'Virginia's Switzerland. And I just read recently that there is an extinct volcano there! So I thought that was cool!
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
1,792 posts, read 3,373,809 times
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I liked the phrase a "bit clanish." Is there an intended pun there?

The winter weather can be brutal. My first winter there, our outdoor thermometer read -40 and the wind was howling. There was snow on the ground before Halloween that year. The kids went to school 4 days in January.

And as ShadowBat indicated the weather can change from the eastern side to the western side. There are many times when there is no snow in McDowell, but many many inches before you cross into W.Va.

The highway dept. there does an excellent job of clearing snow in the winter.

My experience was the work done by the local civic groups was actually done by folks who come into the county. Locals may belong, but they often are not as active in doing the actual work - i.e., the fund-raising civic projects. I did my time. I don't ever want to cook another funnel cake!

I finally went back over the summer and loved being back in the environment and saw good people. But it has taken me many years to willingly go back. I truly saw and experienced some very mean-spirited people there. Mind you, there are many good people too. But often it seems to me that the ugliness of a few people can overshadow the goodness of a dozen or more folks.

Do you have children? The school system is another consideration.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,257 posts, read 11,863,633 times
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My children are grown, 38 and 35 so that's not a problem. They want to stay in Texas, but what do they know. My husband at the time and my parents decided to leaving CA in 1978 and move to TX to be near my sister and her family. That's one of the stupidest things I ever did, but I can't go back. ( I visited southwestern VA several years ago and loved it. I need to go up to VA some summer and stay for about a month and really scope out the area. I really liked Floyd County when I was there and never went to Highland but when I found out recently it was so unpopulated, I liked that. I plan to retire in two or three years if I can. I'm single, so the fund department is not as grand as it may be if I were married. I'm not sure how I'd do with lots of snow, but if I can survive six months of heat and many more too hot days in between, I think I can survive anything.
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