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Old 05-08-2007, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 5,439,696 times
Reputation: 860

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Husband and I had been mulling around the Carolinas, thinking that we'd wind up there as a more rural, comfortable setting. I'm not the shiny-new suburban type and have always felt like a caged animal...
BUT because his long-time employer has a small division staffing in Madison county, Alabama, we decided to visit the Huntsville area, just as a maybe.

WOW.

I have to tell you, I have not before encountered a community with such a collection of friendly residents. Everywhere we went; smiles, how-do's, general warmth. Not just some places...everywhere.
I really appreciated the way everyone interacted with each other despite social differences - I didn't get that sometimes overwhelming sense of US/THEM that I notice here and have experienced elsewhere.
Georgia always leave me warm and fuzzy, but man, y'all really are a kind lot over there and I sincerely thank you for it.

So my inquiry would be, if anyone can give a heads-up, where we might look to for old farmhouses and historic homes with land...not necessarily a neighborhood or district but general areas that have not been completely rebuilt as McMansionland.

Livestock makes a fine neighbor.

As nothing is definite, I'm just doing some research on the web and searching MLS to see what's out there. I've found several listings, but all scattered across several counties, not a whole lot in any one area. We'll go the Realtor/buyers agent route if and when - this is just preliminary stuff to match schools, etc.
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:29 PM
 
21,340 posts, read 63,734,882 times
Reputation: 41744
Heh, if you think Huntsville is friendly... you haven't seen the real rural Alabama (Nothing against H'svl at all, but I LOVE rural AL)

DW and I lived in B'ham for a long time and had to move to FL back in the 1980s to follow a job. Last year, I realized that we needed to move back so that she could be closer to the grandkids, that by my being self-employed there was nothing holding us back. We spent a number of trips scoping out the entire central to north Alabama (and southern Tennessee and northwest Georgia) real estate scene. About the second trip, I realized that I couldn't wait to get back to sweet home Alabama. The manners, the friendliness, the joy of just driving down a road with a big grin on my face waving to drivers instead of cursing some ill-mannered twit on a crowded Florida highway. All of that just made me realize how much I missed the state and the people.

As for old farmhouses, we bought one. We wanted the land and it was part of the deal. It has no bathroom, and an outhouse out back. It is wired for electricity, but I don't think I'll ever energize those circuits, given what I see of the wiring. It has termites and a resident groundhog living under it. We'll make good use of it, but not for permanent housing.

A lot of folks think they want land, but don't understand what goes along with it. We have ticks on our land. This is common. Not a stopper for us, but something you might want to consider. A neighbor has a rooster that crows from dawn to near dusk. Again, not a stopper, but something to think about. Livestock can mean an increase in the number of hornflies. Rural housing generally was built with no building inspection. Poultry farms are nearby, and eighteen wheelers full of feed are common on the road.

If you can step out of the fantasy of living rurally enough to understand the trade-offs, then you might be a candidate to be a neighbor - IF you can find someone willing to sell to someone outside of the community, because the die-hards do know what a great life it can be.

Do your research. Ask questions of the locals. Make at least a couple visits, and look at both the city-data and neighboroo websites to get a grounding. If you still want to make the plunge, then PM me for a little more info and guidance.
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:56 PM
 
485 posts, read 1,404,963 times
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I know exactly what you are talking about. I moved to Huntsville 9 years ago after living in Houston for 30 years. I have lived in various other places in the south (Atlanta, Louisiana, etc), but have never lived anywhere where the people were more friendly. I have had numerous experiences where people went out of their way to help and showed just plain friendliness - smiling and striking up conversation in line etc. Hope you decide to move here -- I know I don't intend to leave!
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
5,979 posts, read 17,265,058 times
Reputation: 4677
You might want to look over here in Morgan County. The Lacey's Spring area is just across the river from South Huntsville. Quite a number of old homes with land...the drawback might be the distance to drive to Brewer High School. I think there is busing.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:40 AM
 
346 posts, read 1,706,364 times
Reputation: 182
You will love living in Alabama!

This may make your initial research a bit easier.

Moderator cut: link to competitor's website
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:46 AM
 
Location: North Alabama
1,359 posts, read 2,347,759 times
Reputation: 1763
33458, give us idea of the general area your husband will need to commute to each day and maybe we can help you focus your search somewhat; e.g., Lacey's Spring/East Morgan is great for south Huntsville and the Arsenal, but East Limestone/North Madison County may be better for Madison City/Downtown/Research Park.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 5,439,696 times
Reputation: 860
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Heh, if you think Huntsville is friendly... you haven't seen the real rural Alabama (Nothing against H'svl at all, but I LOVE rural AL)

DW and I lived in B'ham for a long time and had to move to FL back in the 1980s to follow a job. Last year, I realized that we needed to move back so that she could be closer to the grandkids, that by my being self-employed there was nothing holding us back. We spent a number of trips scoping out the entire central to north Alabama (and southern Tennessee and northwest Georgia) real estate scene. About the second trip, I realized that I couldn't wait to get back to sweet home Alabama. The manners, the friendliness, the joy of just driving down a road with a big grin on my face waving to drivers instead of cursing some ill-mannered twit on a crowded Florida highway. All of that just made me realize how much I missed the state and the people.

As for old farmhouses, we bought one. We wanted the land and it was part of the deal. It has no bathroom, and an outhouse out back. It is wired for electricity, but I don't think I'll ever energize those circuits, given what I see of the wiring. It has termites and a resident groundhog living under it. We'll make good use of it, but not for permanent housing.

A lot of folks think they want land, but don't understand what goes along with it. We have ticks on our land. This is common. Not a stopper for us, but something you might want to consider. A neighbor has a rooster that crows from dawn to near dusk. Again, not a stopper, but something to think about. Livestock can mean an increase in the number of hornflies. Rural housing generally was built with no building inspection. Poultry farms are nearby, and eighteen wheelers full of feed are common on the road.

If you can step out of the fantasy of living rurally enough to understand the trade-offs, then you might be a candidate to be a neighbor - IF you can find someone willing to sell to someone outside of the community, because the die-hards do know what a great life it can be.

Do your research. Ask questions of the locals. Make at least a couple visits, and look at both the city-data and neighboroo websites to get a grounding. If you still want to make the plunge, then PM me for a little more info and guidance.

Howdy!

I know about ticks already - I lived in this little spec on the map called Bolingbroke, GA back in the 80's, and we were on two wooded acres full of all kinds of critters. My SO's father had a goat as a lawn mower and his wife used to burn the underbrush for insect control. Every time I went for a walk in the boonies (dry dam) I'd have to spend 20 minutes going over myself and the dog...
(Also, side note - I was born in the NY countryside - out there with the farms and cows, so do have a recollection of hands-on maintenance.)

I do appreciate the mention, though, because one can easily over-look that kind of stuff. Good to be reminded of the less-than-romantic realities. Feel free to add as you see fit!

The farmhouse ideal...It'll already have to be functional to get husband to agree to it - only one of us is the 'nail dirty' type, and I have a young one to mind as well.
I'm in want of a genuine old lady, with the ghosts and all, but husband leans more toward the newly-built-to-look-200-years-old.
I keep wondering if Donald Gardner is in my future...

I don't think we want to be 40 miles from anyone, that being a huge jump in to the abyss, but not so close that we feel like a suburb in the making...must find the happy medium.

Example:
There is a farmhouse in SC that I have kept in my favorites...1911, original wood, fireplaces, updated utilities...not quite as much land as we'd hoped for...(and yep, she has an outhouse on the property).
She's outside the city limits in a rural area, but apparently not rural enough. Off a county road intersection, really out in the middle of no-where...we went up again a month ago and saw that they'd built a DOLLAR GENERAL STORE right across the street.
Out in the country.
Nothing else around but a few old houses with horses, barns, open lots...and this DOLLAR GENERAL STORE.

I almost cried right there.

There goes the neighborhood.

Horn flies - I'll have to look in to that, may be a real downside...but being an avid gardener, will have to see if there are any natural deterrents I can plant around the property.

Roosters...I'm weighing the 24/7 of BOOMBOOMBOOM and teenagers cursing loudly, selling drugs on my sidewalk against the constant crowing...kinda like natural disasters, every state has something.

Ok, to address the other responses (and thank you for all the responses!)...

I think the new division is located directly in Huntsville as in city...
Aerospace.
(I'm not allowed to discuss husband's work online by name for obvious reasons.)
I don't know if it is in Research Park or not, but one would think it should be. I'll have to ask husband later. He's been in there, I haven't.

I know he doesn't want more than a half an hour commute in any direction, so that is a limiting factor.

I'm leaning toward Montessori school, although I've seen now that Huntsville has some impressive scores all around in comparison to the other states I was looking at (and the one I currently live in).
Mo is only three and home with me right now, preschool will start next year...

Oh, and to the 2 realtors who PM'd me - I'll mull over that a bit later when my head is clearer.

I'll be back again later...am sick with some sort of cold and need more coffee and aspirin.

Thanks again, everyone!
Trish
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:59 PM
 
21,340 posts, read 63,734,882 times
Reputation: 41744
Dollar General has a HUGE distribution center off I-10 near Marianna FL. Marianna used to be a little hole-in-the-wall town, and it always amazes me how much the country gets turned to city.

Hornflies can be controlled somewhat by the farmers. There is a mineral supplement that has an agent that prevents the larva from reaching adulthood in the manure. Cost is a factor.

Roosters I can get used to. The ones I've seen don't pack guns.

Oh yeah. ATVs. Be prepared for them. Life was so much quieter before they were invented.

Ticks can be somewhat controlled by controlling the field mice or getting insecticide on them. Some folks say that lime helps as well. I suppose those measures might reduce the copperhead population as well.
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
232 posts, read 945,972 times
Reputation: 91
Any updates on work location yet? It'd help with that 30 minute radius of suggested locations for you. First reaction would be, if the JetPlex or Research Park and you want rural within 30 minutes, to look at the Athens/Tanner area. Maybe even outside Decatur. Research Boulevard to Hwy 53 N will have you out towards Ardmore in a few minutes, too. All viable possibilities.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 5,439,696 times
Reputation: 860
Let's talk some more about Huntsville area schools, if anyone here happens to have children or better knowledge...


I found this site, which made me feel pretty good about moving my daughter there...
Moderator cut: real estate company website

Then I come across this site, which is less favorable:
(Sorry for the long link)

http://measuringup.highereducation.org/compare/s_r_c23.cfm?state=Alabama%2CFlorida%2CSouth+Caroli na&yearscomp=2006&gradepreparation=on&mprbox=on&rp rbox=on&sprbox=on&wprbox=on&mplirbox=on&ceerbox=on &aperrbox=on&PTWMRbox=on (broken link)

As a new, first-time parent, how do I get the straight dope on all this?
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