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Old 10-27-2014, 10:40 AM
17 posts, read 19,416 times
Reputation: 19


Greetings everyone,

Fair warning: I posted an almost similar post on the Nebraska forums, and others as I am seeking a place to live in multiple states. These states include WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO, and NE.

I was told in the NE forums that Iowa has a strong community college system, and although it was not called a scenic state, based on what I've been told, I really think that I should include Iowa on my list of possible states to move to. Therefore, I have posted this on these forums as well. I look forward to reading all of your replies.

I am posting on these forums because I want to get a general idea of where it is that I should start seeking employment, given what I would like to accomplish. I am a 25 year old male currently working as an adjunct in California. I work in several community colleges and at the local university as well teaching a few classes here and there. I have an M.A. degree in Speech Communication, and have about 4 years of teaching experience to my name. Although I do make a fairly decent living from it, (i.e., roughly $42,000) I can never really achieve my goals if I stay in this area. Further, I will be graduating with my Ed.D degree in the next 18 months and would like to start looking for a permanent full time job at a good community college. If I stayed here I would probably see my salary increase by around $8,000 as soon as I graduated with my Ed.D. However, even $50,000 a year is not enough to raise a family and buy a good plot of land in CA without going into massive debt.

With this said, I am looking for the following characteristics in an area where I would like to move to.

1. Community colleges to work in (Given that my Ed.D and most of my teaching and committee experience has been focused around the CC system). I would also prefer an area that has hospitals, public health services, etc. My partner works in the healthcare industry (B.S. Public Health) and needs to be able to find employment at local hospitals, clinics, etc.

2. Area with a fairly good selection of quality land where I could grow the local foods. I don't much care what I grow, as long as I can grow reliably at least 4-6 months a year. I plan to use the food for my own personal consumption + storage more than anything. I also plan to have a bit of livestock such as a few goats, chickens, and or ducks. Not a traditional "farm" but just enough for my family to get by.

3. I am looking to buy about 2-10 acres and would like to be able to purchase this in an area that has access to electricity, water, and fairly close access to sewage would be preferable. I am perfectly okay with having to provide my own propane for heating and firewood as well. I would be willing to pay about $6000 per acre for an average location, and $8000 per acre for a good location. My budget limit for land is roughly $25,000.

4. An area where I and my family could feel safe (i.e., fairly low crime rate). I currently live in one of the most crime ridden cities in California. Needless to say I am not happy here. I would like to be able to step outside my house and not have to worry about being robbed, stabbed, shot, etc.

5. A state with a lot of natural beauty and plenty of rain / water in some form. I do not mind the cold! I also do not mind low population areas so long as I can secure a good job. In fact, I actually prefer rural and low population areas. I know, it is kind of ironic considering my academic background.

I am not necessarily committed to move to just Iowa, If I can find what I am looking for in Montana, Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, or Nebraska I would be very happy there as well. I would like to stay in or around the Mountain west and move no further east than Nebraska.

I would appreciate any insights, personal experience, or stories you all may have that could help me out. Quite frankly, I am in the preliminary stages of looking for a place to settle down, so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you !!!
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:47 PM
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,742,298 times
Reputation: 1434
Since you are considering Nebraska, I would say scenic-wise, Iowa would be a step-up there. Also comparied to all your choices, Iowa would have the most fertile soil to grow your crops.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:04 PM
17 posts, read 19,416 times
Reputation: 19
Originally Posted by capitalcityguy View Post
Since you are considering Nebraska, I would say scenic-wise, Iowa would be a step-up there. Also comparied to all your choices, Iowa would have the most fertile soil to grow your crops.
Yeah, I notice that the more I look into it the more Iowa seems to come up as a solid choice. Not bad in terms of crime rate, not bad in terms of land costs, parcels available from 5-10 acres in various locations, plenty of community colleges / private colleges to work for, and a solid selection of hospitals and health centered organizations. From what I have been reading winters can be brutal in Iowa, but not quite as bad as Wyoming.

Although Iowa was originally my last choice, it has quickly gained momentum with me and is now sitting in the top three alongside Eastern WA and Idaho.
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Old 10-29-2014, 02:09 PM
178 posts, read 282,373 times
Reputation: 105
Well, you better apply to anything you can find. Full-time higher education teaching jobs are not always easy to snag. I would expect that you would make a lot more to start than what you were already describing in your posts, but at least here in IA your $ goes father. An individual can certainly live modestly on $40K-$50K here. As for raising a family, you'll probably still want a working spouse...
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