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Old 06-03-2013, 06:56 PM
 
41 posts, read 82,482 times
Reputation: 54

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I know there are a number of threads comparing NC to VA, one comparing PA to VA, and several comparing Roanoke to Asheville. However, most of these threads have focused on more eastern cities in both NC and VA, which I am not interested in. I am specifically interested in Western NC, Western VA (is Roanoke still considered "Western"? but not east of Roanoke) and Pike and Wayne counties in PA.

I work from home and my husband is retired. We are primarily interested in our kids and the outdoors.

I've done much research and have narrowed down to a few potential matches: Roanoke area (within 1 hr), Asheville area (definitely not in Asheville, but within an hour); and Pike or Wayne Counties, northeast PA. I have eliminated Ithaca and Syracuse area mostly due to high cost of rent (we will rent a house 1-2 years before we buy @ $100-140K range). Also have eliminated Pittsburg, PA, Cleveland & Cincinnati, Fayettesville (ATL), and Tri-cities.

My husband is a Long Island (NY) Indian, lots of tattoos and long hair (but is a 100% sober stay at home dad), leans libertarian politically, loves to hunt and be outdoors, and is a meat and gun enthusiast who gets along well with most people. He's lived in Brooklyn, Long Island, Orlando, and now Kentucky (my family is in the Cincinnati, OH & Maysville, KY area and we've been here now a year). He has a lot in common with the "redneck" element (minus certain views on race and religion) and gets on well with them. Ideally he would like to be able to have some chickens in the backyard.

I grew up in Northern Cali and have lived in LA, Orange County, Manhattan (Harlem), Suffolk County, Long Island, and now Maysville, KY. I am mixed and look white; despite having lived in a range of socio-economic circumstances I am well educated and come from an upper-middle class background. I lean liberal on most social issues, though I'm more conservative fiscally. Although, I'm no fan of either major party and not trying to change anyone else's views. I grew up going to church but I'm not into the fundamentalist Christian thing (particularly not the judge-mentality that seems to accompany it) and if I were to go with my kids (hubby would not) it would probably be a non-denominational or similarly "accepting" family and community oriented type. Or I would just not go and teach my kids about religion at home.

Here's whats most important to us: forested land, mountains or hills, land (1 acre at minimum), low cost of living, privacy, outdoor recreation/parks, hispeed internet access, good to excellent public schools, and amenities of at least one "city" (can be smaller city) within 30-45 minutes, within 45 minutes of quality emergency medical care (specifically cardiology).

These would be pluses: Diversity of some degree (meaning international community more so than just the black/white binary), healthy community (less smoking, less obesity), acceptance of difference, a Native community of some sort within 4-5 hours, within an hour of at least one university, activities, museums, and destinations for kids within driving distance, range of "ethnic" dining options and good food in general within an hour (not into the fast food), and schools that are strong in the arts, math, science, technology, and extracurricular offerings as much as it is in sports. Or as much of any of those as we can get.

So, people who know, please weigh in with any relevant experiences, .02 cents, and thoughts on the pros and cons for us as we make our decision!

Thank you kindly
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:22 PM
 
91,974 posts, read 122,078,964 times
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High cost of rent in Syracuse? I believe that Asheville has a higher overall COL than here as well.

Reading your post, the only issue I would see is perhaps the gun issue, but not so much getting it, but the magazine aspect.

As for area communities that would fit, LaFayette would fit, as its schools are around 25-30% Native American. Rural portions of the Onondaga Central school district would work and its schools are around 10% Black and 4-5% Native American. School districts like East Syracuse-Minoa and North Syracuse are around 2% Native American, with a little bit of other students of color. There are rural parts of the ES-M district like Kirkville that could work and rural parts of the town of Cicero in the North Syracuse district that could work as well. If you go further out in the Syracuse metro, districts like Stockbridge Valley and Oneida may work. Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Schools just inside of the Utica-Rome area may work and is where Turning Stone Casino, which is owned by the Oneidas, is located.

Also, the Buffalo area has a strong Native presence in school districts like Akron, Niagara Wheatfield, Lake Shore and Silver Creek. Salamanca, Massena and Fort Covington(Salmon River Schools) have strong Native presences as well.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:10 AM
 
41 posts, read 82,482 times
Reputation: 54
Hi ckhthankgod, thank you for weighing in. Yes, I'm aware of those school districts in Syracuse area and believe I would have no trouble buying a home in my price range there. However, it seems like the rental market is mostly apartments/townhomes versus houses, and of houses, more in the city and less in the rural areas and not in any of the better school districts. I don't care much about the square footage and for renting I would go under an acre, but I would need a 3 bedroom and I don't want to pay more than $1200, and preferably closer to $900-1000. I just didn't see that on the market in Syracuse area, but maybe I'm missing something? Also, more superfund sites (worse air/water quality issues), fewer sunny days, worse gun laws, higher taxes....however, it's the rental market that seemed insurmountable and ruled it out. I don't know about Buffalo...I think Syracuse or between Syracuse/Ithaca would be more our speed.

Also, regarding Asheville: Asheville proper is not a consideration. Rather places like Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Canton, Fletcher, Black Mountain, Old Fort, and Burnsville (Yancey, Henderson, Haywood county school districts).

Same of Roanoke, it would be less in the city and more on the outskirts within an hour of Roanoke and otherwise limited by good school district boundaries.

In Pike and Wayne counties (NEPA), it would be Delaware Valley SD, Wallenpaupack SD, Wayne Highlands SD.

It seems like (?) there are a good number of NYers (particularly including "half-backs" from FL) who look at VA and NC so I'm thinking we can't be the only people comparing these areas to NEPA, and even western NY?
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:45 PM
 
91,974 posts, read 122,078,964 times
Reputation: 18136
Water quality issues is new to me. I believed that air quality has improved and I'm not aware of superfund sites besides maybe one.

As for rentals....... Constantia Real Estate - 1019 State Route 49, Constantia, NY, 13028

Cazenovia Real Estate - 6166 Ridge Rd, Cazenovia, NY, 13035

Salina Real Estate - , Salina, NY, 13088

RealtyUSA - Property - Property-List

Here are options from the Buffalo area: RealtyUSA - Property - Property-List

Porter Real Estate - 426 Wingate Pl, Porter, NY, 14174

Royalton Real Estate - 41 State St, Royalton, NY, 14105

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 06-04-2013 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:07 PM
 
91,974 posts, read 122,078,964 times
Reputation: 18136
Water quality issues is new to me. I believed that air quality has improved and I'm not aware of superfund sites besides maybe one.

As for rentals....... Constantia Real Estate - 1019 State Route 49, Constantia, NY, 13028

Manlius Real Estate - 411 Clinton St # 2, Manlius, NY, 13066

RealtyUSA - Property - Property-List
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:02 PM
 
41 posts, read 82,482 times
Reputation: 54
[quote=ckhthankgod;29869212]Water quality issues is new to me. I believed that air quality has improved and I'm not aware of superfund sites besides maybe one.

Thanks for the links, I will check them out. I'm got the poor environmental health rating for the Syracuse area from a comparison on Sperling's best place website.

Not sure if I can do this but will try to paste an excerpt here:

Health Syracuse, NY United States
Air Quality (100=best) 65.3 82.8
Water Quality (100=best) 66 55
Superfund Sites (100=best) 20 71
Physicians per 100k 424.6 261.3


Of course, whatever that's worth.....certainly not the final authority, and should be investigated further by anyone curious and concerned enough. It did stand out by far as the worst versus the other cities I was looking at.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:06 PM
 
91,974 posts, read 122,078,964 times
Reputation: 18136
I did notice that the water quality and physicians per 100k were above the national average. For instance, a good portion of the area gets its water from a Finger Lake, unfiltered.

As for the superfund sites, there are only 2 in the metro area and one is being cleaned as we speak. Here's a list for the state: List of Superfund sites in New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Syracuse Area Remediation Progress - Home

I'm not sure about the air quality and if I come across the reasoning for the ranking, I'll let you know, but I did find this: Report: Air quality improving in Central New York | syracuse.com

AIRNow - Syracuse, NY Air Quality

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 06-06-2013 at 06:43 PM..
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:26 PM
 
6,333 posts, read 11,488,468 times
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CWY, I have stopped in Roanoake for a dinner break - GREAT east Indian restaurant - and am very impressed how it is developing. It's a very lively downtown.

Reading your Bios I see you living in Asheville and the Hubby living near Roanoake. Not much help is it? In WNC you will be near the reservations in Cherokee and Robbinsvile, but property will be much cheaper near Roanoake.

I'm not very knowledgeable about PA so no comparisons there.

Have you considered E TN? There are some highly rated schools in the Johnson City area.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:26 PM
 
41 posts, read 82,482 times
Reputation: 54
I appreciate the additional info. on air/water quality in NY. I knew it deserved further research but was not something I'd yet done.

@ creeksitter, I'm not sure what the deal is with our bios which, if completed at all, are surely outdated....hubby and I living together currently in Maysville, KY (about 75 minutes out of both Cincinnati and Lexington). We've been here a year (my family from the area) and before that were in Eastern Long Island, NY.

Thank you for the on-point suggestion of Johnson City, TN. I'd actually been looking very closely / borderline decided on Johnson City/Bristol/Kingsport area and am aware of the good schools there. However, I began to realize that the houses with at least an acre in my price range (while in the good districts) were actually assigned to not very good schools within those districts, and while I'm sure its possible to find an exception to that rule, since that was not the case for any of the many houses I was looking at online, I consider it pretty unlikely.....so I moved on to exploring other areas.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:55 PM
 
6,333 posts, read 11,488,468 times
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I guess the land with good schools would be priced as development acres. I had hoped with JC being smaller that wouldn't necessarily be the case. Greeneville has a top rated school as well.

I had originally thought Knoxville might meet your cultural requirements, but here again, the top schools are in high cost areas. YOu could look into the Carter school district in east Knox county and see if it is acceptable. Land is quite a bit cheaper there. There is a STEM high school downtown they could try for when the time comes.
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