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Old 07-04-2010, 04:07 PM
 
94 posts, read 351,602 times
Reputation: 65

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I'll cut right to the chase. I am tired of dry hot summers and I am really tired of flattened land with no winters. I live outside Austin,TX which is about as far form normal as I have ever attempted. We live on 12 acres and run a small family farm for ourselves. We are quiet and keep to ourselves most of the time. We really just want to be left alone to enjoy ourselves. We homeschool our 2 girls, so a homeschool friendly state is needed which Idaho certainly is. I don't care to hear about how it isn't good etc.... I don't really care to hear that. I perfect example about how we just want to be left alone. We are not religious fanatics or LDS or survivalists but we can certainly relate to each on a small level.

My dream is a place where I can see the mountains, live on about 10 acres (1/2 clear, 1/2 forrest). Grow some food, raise some food,commute to a medium to large city and just dissolve away into the country. We'd love to be off grid, not because its green, but because I hate service bills. 100.00 for this service I must have, 200.00 for this one etc.. I won't be 100% off grid as I am a high end computer guy by trade. That being said, if I can get cell coverage, I can usually work fine. (Yeah, I know, but it has always paid the bills to get to the goal). We will be building our own house, again. We have done it before and love it. It won't be large but it will be simple. Wood heat probably. We'd like a small creek on the property and probably a small pond/tank, whichever you call it up in Idaho. I grew up in TN and have a clue about winters. I love them. I always wanted more. My wife and kids have never seen anything but a dusting of snow once. I know Idaho winters are no joke. We are prepared for the major difference in strength and length. The rewards are what we are after. Mild summers, nice falls, emerging spring and a hearty winter. Something to look forward to ever few months rather than it was cool today, tomorrow will be hot.

We don't bring our views to the table unless they affect us. For instance, if someone wants us to have streetlights in the country, I'd speak up without a doubt. I don't mind your dog barking. I realize next door could be a rendering plant. I realize that pigs smell etc. I am not concerned about living in a beautiful subdivision where everyone mows their grass and plants marigolds everywhere. I want my place to look nice but I don't care about yours. We do love to shop at Walmart or discount places for groceries.

I do want to hunt my own property, when legal. One last thing, I do believe my #$%^ stinks. I am not sure what else I am leaving out. We think we'd be a good fit for Northern Idaho but we want to see if we have left a few things out of our thoughts. I am not interested in hearing about how California ruined Idaho, I am not a Californian nor do I want to live in a city limit where I have to be governed by "the type". I want just honest people saying honest things to help with my decision. Quite honestly, if you tell me that Idaho would be absolutely horrible for me and I should go away, I'll probably take that as a "It's perfect for me".

Please ask me any questions I may have left out and let me know if I understand NID well.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Post Falls
382 posts, read 1,032,877 times
Reputation: 469
Sounds like you got the right attitude. Welcome to North Idaho.
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Lakeside
5,266 posts, read 8,741,654 times
Reputation: 5692
What do you mean by wanting to live off-grid but not completely off-grid?
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:01 PM
 
94 posts, read 351,602 times
Reputation: 65
We want to be off grid as much as possible but we need cell phone service for emergencies and such and then some form of medium speed Internet access like cell phone Internet because of the work I do. I won't sacrafice security. I dong plan on being hooked up to the grid for electrical etc. But I have no problem being on the grid for banking etc.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
3,109 posts, read 10,837,332 times
Reputation: 2628
Sounds like you'd fit right in to Bonner or Boundary counties...
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:01 AM
 
7,378 posts, read 12,664,614 times
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The cell coverage is what you need to focus on--when property hunting in 2008 I saw at least 4 properties in Bonner/ Boundary Ct that matched your wish list: 10-ish acres, seasonal creek, awesome mountain views, and off grid. One around Naples, another north of Bonners, one or two in Clark Fork, and one on the Pack River, that I remember. Obviously they are not likely to be available anymore (though they might be), but this is just to give you an impression. BUT cell coverage is an issue. The closer you get to Montana on highways 2 and 200, the worse it gets. We have two cell "bars" and intermittent signals on our property in Clark Fork (really odd, we can send and receive e-mails whenever some satellite passes overhead,can't explain it any other way, but we have to drive up the road to a certain spot to get three bars and make calls). I have heard they're putting in a new tower to improve coverage, though. If I remember correctly, cell signals are much better on the Sandpoint-Bonners corridor, up 95. And I seem to remember that Moyie Springs (sp?), which is another great area, has some cell coverage before it conks out at the MT border. Over in Troy, MT I think there's only one cell signal spot by one market, and everybody drives there and stands around talking on their cells! Pretty funny.

All in all, you can find what you're looking for in NID, just go there yourself and test your cell signal! Also do a forum search on cell coverage in ID/NID--we had a good discussion about providers, Verizon being one of the top options.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:46 AM
 
8,495 posts, read 8,780,831 times
Reputation: 5701
"...commute to a medium to large city..."

How big the city you want or need and how far you are willing to commute will narrow things down a lot.

If Sandpoint is big enough then the area from Colburn to Naples that Clark Forest Fantast mentions would be good hunting ground.

If you want to be closer to CDA, you could possibly check into Careywood or maybe Lakeview on the SE edge of Lake Pend Orielle.

Or further out and further south you could look right around St Maries.

If being reasonably close to Moscow Idaho was good enough, then you might look at from Avon - Helmer out to Elk River.

Checking the Verizon map most of land around these spots appear to have cell coverage.

Last edited by NW Crow; 07-05-2010 at 03:01 AM..
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:51 AM
 
94 posts, read 351,602 times
Reputation: 65
I probably should have not said large city. Spokane is as large as I need. I really don't mind commuting. My current commute is 45 miles each way now and was previously 65 miles. A little time to myself on the road each day is just fine. I only need to find companies that have 100+ employees and I'll be fine. CDA, Sandpoint, Spokane, will all do. Sandpoint being the least likely for employment.

I am honestly not too concerned about getting a job as just making sure companies are there. I have a large IT skill set and can function at many different levels and be happy. I am more about the quality of life than anything.

I am guessing I need to change from ATT to Verizon.. Oh well, maybe its time for a change again on that.

I understand what you guys are talking about with cell coverage. We had Verizon for a long time and then the 1 piece of property we settled on didn't have coverage. We had to drive down the road a mile to make calls. We switched to ATT and we have poor but usable coverage. At least the phone rings when it needs to although sometimes you have to hold the phone just right....
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:07 AM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
3,109 posts, read 10,837,332 times
Reputation: 2628
Where we are in West Dufort Valley AT&T coverage is great and Verizon is not. So I think it varies...
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Lakeside
5,266 posts, read 8,741,654 times
Reputation: 5692
You can do it..I know because we did the same thing. We came here 8 years ago. My husband is a EE by training, worked in the high end computing/high tech industry for many years but after a few years here commuting into Sandpoint, then Spokane, morphed careers and now we own a fencing company of all things.
We built our off-grid cabin and lived with solar/wind power for 7 years, then decided to grid-tie a year and a half ago. Best of both worlds when you have livestock. We've always had a phone line since we don't get cell reception here. I wouldn't want to be without a phone..particularly with kids.
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