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Old 02-26-2021, 07:20 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,152 times
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My wife and I are from SE Louisiana. She was born here, I'm from Western PA. She hates the nine-month-long summers with 90+ degrees. So, we're moving north. Not to PA due to the outrageous property taxes, not to MD because of the steep income taxes at all levels.


No, we've been looking all over West Virginia. Started up in Weirton, moved on to Wheeling. Not much there. Morgantown is has a much higher cost of living than we'd prefer. Then, we checked out Clarksburg, Beckley, and Huntington.


Originally, I avoided considering Elkins. Yes, it does have a YMCA and a Walmart, but it doesn't have an ALDI or a Sam's (both 50 miles away).


Funny thing, though, as I watched various YouTube videos about Elkins, I noted two things. No mention of outrageous rates of violent crime that we've been warned about, and two, the town is smack dab in the midst of the Alleghenies. We orginally sought to move to Frostburg for the biking trails, the train depot, and the mountains. Having grown up in the Alleghenies, mountains don't appeal to me, but a happy wife means a happy life.


So questions, are the videos about trains and music (even Cajun/Creole, by gum).... and general lifestyle on the west side of the mountain range..... is this all or even partially true? If so, seems as if Elkins was the place we'd intended to move all along.


What's the prevailing opinion of the residents of Randolph County? Should we move on and choose Cabell County, or is Elkins the Little Bit of Heaven we hear WV is?


Thanks
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Ohio via WV
629 posts, read 723,100 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacIlleathain001 View Post
My wife and I are from SE Louisiana. She was born here, I'm from Western PA. She hates the nine-month-long summers with 90+ degrees. So, we're moving north. Not to PA due to the outrageous property taxes, not to MD because of the steep income taxes at all levels.


No, we've been looking all over West Virginia. Started up in Weirton, moved on to Wheeling. Not much there. Morgantown is has a much higher cost of living than we'd prefer. Then, we checked out Clarksburg, Beckley, and Huntington.


Originally, I avoided considering Elkins. Yes, it does have a YMCA and a Walmart, but it doesn't have an ALDI or a Sam's (both 50 miles away).


Funny thing, though, as I watched various YouTube videos about Elkins, I noted two things. No mention of outrageous rates of violent crime that we've been warned about, and two, the town is smack dab in the midst of the Alleghenies. We orginally sought to move to Frostburg for the biking trails, the train depot, and the mountains. Having grown up in the Alleghenies, mountains don't appeal to me, but a happy wife means a happy life.


So questions, are the videos about trains and music (even Cajun/Creole, by gum).... and general lifestyle on the west side of the mountain range..... is this all or even partially true? If so, seems as if Elkins was the place we'd intended to move all along.


What's the prevailing opinion of the residents of Randolph County? Should we move on and choose Cabell County, or is Elkins the Little Bit of Heaven we hear WV is?


Thanks
Hey there. Glad to see you're considering WV. I was born and raised on Huntington and have spent a ton of time in the mountains as well so I may have some perspective.

It all depends what you're looking for. If you're looking for better access for things like groceries, healthcare, stores, etc. then pick Huntington. If you're looking for more rural living, better outdoor activities, etc. then pick Elkins. Yes, Elkins has a decent Appalachian music "scene" and a good train activities. It's also close to Thomas, Durbin, and Cass which also have good trains and music. It also has great hunting, fishing, hiking, and skiing. However, it is rural, extremely snowy, and extremely cold for long portions of the year. If you're not looking for those things, Elkins isn't ideal. Just be aware of the drawbacks with living in a rural area particularly as an aging person (no offense, we all get old, but you have to consider things like healthcare and snow removal). Ultimately Huntington is 2.5 hours from Elkins and the mountains, you could always make trips up there. Also, not sure what violent crime with Elkins that you're referring to. Never heard of that and don't see any statistics to support that.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
6,314 posts, read 10,138,969 times
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What made you discount Frostburg, if you don't mind me asking? Just the taxes? I can vouch that there is an Aldi's nearby, there are multiple good hike/bike trails, but the scenic RR isn't running right now, and will need a serious injection of cash to do so again.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:11 AM
 
Location: elkins wv
456 posts, read 537,691 times
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I live in Elkins so if you have any questions I can answer them. Elkins like most towns has seen increased crime but it is still a nice town and worth a look. I grew up here then came back after years in many cities. I would take Elkins over any of them, especially for retirement. It depends if you are ok with just having a Walmart, Kroger, and big lots. I don't find it that inconvenient to drive to Clarksburg and Morgantown for more options. I generally go every two weeks to Clarksburg and once a month to Morgantown and that meets my needs. Elkins is close to a lot of outdoor activities and state parks. For a smaller city, we have a good selection of restaurants. Snow hasn't been a big issue for a few years. If you do go just a few miles east though closer to the mountains the weather can change quickly. There is a hospital that is ok with more and more influence from two Morgantown hospitals. If looking at other towns in the area I would look at Buckhannon which is 30 minutes from Elkins and only a half-hour from Clarksburg. Bridgeport is where you want to look in Harrison county. It's a great growing town but it is more expensive than Clarksburg. Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:02 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
What made you discount Frostburg, if you don't mind me asking? Just the taxes? I can vouch that there is an Aldi's nearby, there are multiple good hike/bike trails, but the scenic RR isn't running right now, and will need a serious injection of cash to do so again.



The taxes in MD aren't excessive if we could deduct 31k from our 401k income. Right now, filing MFJ, we would pay zero in federal and state, but when one of us dies, the survivor will be hit by stringent state and county taxes. Plus, we'd have to pay more for our Medicare plan in MD.


Sorry to hear about the train between Cumberland and Frostburg.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:06 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,152 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by D T WV MOUNTAINS View Post
I live in Elkins so if you have any questions I can answer them. Elkins like most towns has seen increased crime but it is still a nice town and worth a look. I grew up here then came back after years in many cities. I would take Elkins over any of them, especially for retirement. It depends if you are ok with just having a Walmart, Kroger, and big lots. I don't find it that inconvenient to drive to Clarksburg and Morgantown for more options. I generally go every two weeks to Clarksburg and once a month to Morgantown and that meets my needs. Elkins is close to a lot of outdoor activities and state parks. For a smaller city, we have a good selection of restaurants. Snow hasn't been a big issue for a few years. If you do go just a few miles east though closer to the mountains the weather can change quickly. There is a hospital that is ok with more and more influence from two Morgantown hospitals. If looking at other towns in the area I would look at Buckhannon which is 30 minutes from Elkins and only a half-hour from Clarksburg. Bridgeport is where you want to look in Harrison county. It's a great growing town but it is more expensive than Clarksburg. Let me know if you have any questions.



We are house hunting in Cabell County, but if the crime isn't on the scale of Detroit, Randolph is definitely where my wife would live assuming we could find a house there.



Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
6,314 posts, read 10,138,969 times
Reputation: 5151
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacIlleathain001 View Post
The taxes in MD aren't excessive if we could deduct 31k from our 401k income. Right now, filing MFJ, we would pay zero in federal and state, but when one of us dies, the survivor will be hit by stringent state and county taxes. Plus, we'd have to pay more for our Medicare plan in MD.


Sorry to hear about the train between Cumberland and Frostburg.
Thanks. We hear a lot in the Maryland forum that the taxing of 401ks makes it less attractive to retirees and I guess this is a example of that.

As for the scenic RR, it boggles the mind how they can't figure it out with all the FREE money they are constantly getting. For the cost and time of rehabbing their new engine, they could have gotten the Baldwin its needed maintenance, the tracks replaced, and the passenger cars rehabbed.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:23 PM
 
79,851 posts, read 41,666,892 times
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I love Elkins. I get to the National Forest as often as I can. I have all my family here (Wood County) or I would love to move to the Elkins area.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:02 PM
 
Location: North Alabama
1,441 posts, read 2,469,517 times
Reputation: 1912
I’ve only been to Elkins a couple of times but I really liked it. There is a real downtown, a respected college, and access to recreational areas in abundance. It is one of two locations in the U.S. to which I would relocate tomorrow if I were free to do so.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:22 PM
 
89 posts, read 42,400 times
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I've been looking at different locations in WV for retirement over the last few years so I'll add my two cents.

The eastern panhandle (around Berkeley Springs) is scenic with a surprising amount to do. But, having said that, it's close to the DC metro area so many of the retirees are from the DC metro area. It's also sort of a resort town with daytrippers from the DC area.

Huntington is more like Ohio. Morgantown is fairly cosmopolitan for WV, growing, and relatively expensive (by WV standards). Elkins is surrounded by mountains and is close to many outdoor activities and has a college.

If I could make some generalizations about retiring to WV:

Pros

Scenic, green, and hilly/mountainous
Great people
Authentic rural America
Low cost of living

Cons

Many economically depressed areas without much of a future
Many areas are shabby and have obviously seen better days
Quality medical care not always available (true of MANY rural areas other than WV)
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