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Old 10-01-2013, 06:49 PM
44 posts, read 128,155 times
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I'm thinking of moving to the Southwest, from Ohio, for the sunshine, warmth, and dry air.

Lubbock caught my interest because of the flat land (I prefer it) and the university (for the cultural activities and for the library system, which I need for work). Also, Texas has no state income tax and it's conservative (which I lean towards).

I have my own business which I can transport (I run it mostly online), so I'm not worried about finding employment.

I don't have children to raise, so I don't need to worry about schools etc.

-- I am concerned about the water supply. I have read about the aquifers in the plains getting lower. I don't want to move somewhere and then have the well run dry. How is the water supply in the Lubbock area?

-- I am also interested in getting a place out in the country: maybe about 20 minutes outside of town, someplace where I can see the stars at night, and then going into town once a week or so for socializing. I prefer country life. Is there an area near Lubbock where there is a bit of roll to the land? (From the pictures I've seen online, the vicinity of Colbyton looks nice.)

-- How is broadband internet access, in Lubbock and out in the country? I need the internet for my business.

-- And, is Lubbock area friendly to newcomers?

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:32 AM
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Although I once owned a home in SW Lubbock (1980s), I don't live in the City now. My rural home is now several miles NE of Lubbock but I still do most of my shopping at Lubbock. If you want more detailed information about the City of Lubbock, there are several C-D members who can offer more current details than I.

My family also enjoys the flat High Plains, although my wife originally grew up here. We are about 40 minutes to Lubbock. My family is conservative but possibly more so than most since both my wife and I are retirement age.

By Colbyton, do you mean Crosbyton east of Lubbock in Crosby County? Crosbyton is the County Seat of Crosby County and the town would be about the same distance from Lubbock as we are except that is is directly east of Lubbock. Crosbyton also exists very near where the Texas High Plains breaks over to the Rolling Plains so you may be seeing pics of the edge of the caprock that covers the High Plains. It is indeed a beautiful area and not yet too populated. Except for the "breaks" and few canyons that reach back into the High Plains, the Texas High Plains does not have much rolling topography in general. There are, however, many areas on top of the Plains where the land will significantly "sag" below the horizon. These low areas may involve just a few or many acres. I've always called these "buffalo wallows" as many actually are.

Regarding High Plains water supply, I've never had any problems with my well in the five years since I moved out here but that is not to say there won't be any problems in the future. My well was drilled in 2006. Farming, and the City of Lubbock, uses most of the groundwater in the area but irrigated farms are now under new restrictions for water use on each acre. I'm hoping these restrictions will slow the draw down on the Ogallala aquifer but only time will tell. I would recommend you contact official sources for information on water supplies. Be aware that some information on the area's water supplies may contain political slants with agendas but, if you have a political awareness, you know how that works.

The area around Lubbock is on the southern end of the Texas High Plains which is on the southern end of the North American Great Plains. The area around Lubbock is routinely referred to as the South Plains. You will also see the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico referred to as Llano Estacado. I won't bore you with the history of that name as no one seems to agree where the name came from. The High Plains is covered by a thick hardened, erosion-resistant calcium carbonate "caprock" layer called caliche. In some areas this caliche breaks through the top soil and will form soft white rocks. Most areas though have a thick layer of topsoil over the caliche cap and, if you can fight the rabbits and other veggy-eating varmints, a garden is possible in all rural areas of the South Plains.

Regarding internet access, I cannot say for all rural areas but we are about as rural as you can find on the South Plains and we have at least two resources for high speed ISPs, e.g., Reach Broadband and also through our electricity coop, Lighthouse Electric. I believe our landline telephone company also offers high speed access but the last time I checked, we were about a half mile outside their service area. Of course there are always Hughes and Wildblue Satellite companies but I would not recommend these as they are both expensive and come with limited access. I've had Wildblue at home twice.

As to rural properties that are available around the area, I used to track the local real estate activities but I've not been watching these lately. I have seen what I considered some ridiculously good deals since we moved out here. I did not go into the house but the most recent deal was a huge 1960s custom brick home on a few acres (custom wooden shades, stone, etc.) just down the road from us on the highway in the low $80s. I think the house had three bathrooms and four bedrooms but it seemed to be one where the elderly couple was needing to move to town due to their age or the kids were selling their deceased mom's rural home. I think the house probably was worth closer to $120,000/$130,000 ($375,000 anywhere near Albuquerque where I own a another home). The house didn't last long on the market.

I shouldn't say online what I gave for my "bank-owned" farm house with 2 barns and 20 acres five years ago but let's just say it was likely less than any new vehicle you have looked at on a car lot in the past few years.

As to the friendliness of the area, although I am a native Texan by birth, I have lived in several areas in the country. Lubbock is as friendly as any of them but beware that I thought Washington D.C. was a friendly city.

At any rate, if you decide to come out, a warm welcome from my family to yours.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:36 PM
Location: Texas
698 posts, read 1,204,186 times
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Well, I can't add much to High Plains up there. As usual, he covers a lot of it in good detail.

Heading east towards Crosbyton you will see some breaks in the flat, but understand that is a ways "out" of town, meaning a trip into Lubbock will be more than a quick run. As far as towns go, I got familiar with Crosbyton in the early 90's for my job, and found it to be a really nice town. I don't know how it is now, but it is remote enough to have a chance to keep it's charm. White River lake was WAY down the last time I visited there maybe 8 years ago, but fI would imagine there is still some fishing to be had there.

The area is more ranching than farming there I think, and there used to be some fine upstanding folks around that area. If decide to make the move, understand that you will be an outsider in a small town, and it will take a while for folks to accept you, especially if you fail to take part in all the activities. Which, btw, would be an excellent way to get to know people and just plain have fun. The social aspect of Friday night football is one of the best ways to meet folks and make friends.

As for water, Lubbock itself is in pretty good shape. I don't know about Crosbyton though, as I have no idea where their water comes from.

Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:02 PM
44 posts, read 128,155 times
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Such warm and useful responses ! Thank you, High Plains; and thank you Losttechnician !

Yes, I did mean Crosbyton; my apologies for the typo. Lostechnician, I come from a small town so I can relate to your good comments about going to local community activities.

High Plains, I have been looking online at available rural properties in the vicinity of Lubbock, and I too am amazed at the low prices for some of them.

The transition area between the High Plains and the Rolling Plains seems ideal for me: just the right mix of flat land and a little bit of elevation here and there to make things interesting. The "buffalo wallows" must be what I observed in the photos: long, usually broad, but shallow valleys that fall below the level of the plains.

Thank you, High Plains, for the description of cap rock / caliche. I had seem some tufts of white rock poking out from the soil in some online photographs, and I saw one small hill of the stuff in a photo from Crosby or Garza counties which seems to be a landmark.

I have one more question, and I thank you all in advance:

Because Texas borders on Mexico, is knowledge of Spanish useful or even necessary to live in Lubbock and the vicinity?
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:59 PM
12,741 posts, read 17,721,444 times
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You'll hear it spoken in the grocery stores and around town and many of your eventual friends may likely speak Spanish. The language is useful to know but certainly not necessary. My wife does not know any Spanish. I use to speak more of it than I do now when I worked down in New Orleans many years ago dealing with airline passengers arriving from Mexico and Central and South America but I've just about lost it all now. I know muchas palabras pero muy mala gramatica.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:01 AM
Location: Northern Wisconsin
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If you're concerned about ground water, I would suggest you look south and east of Lubbock, as these areas have a better water supply than north and especially west of Lubbock. Rural land and property are pretty cheap, so you should be able to find something you like existing. Just keep in mind that the rural areas are shrinking in population, so reselling someday might become a real problem. If you have seen eastern Ohio, you can get a pretty good picture of how flat the land is. There isn't much roll to the land at all, until you get off the caprock, and then that land immediately becomes semi-desert landscape.

We're from Wis. and have lived in NC, Ind. Ill. and Dallas, and I don't know of any folks that are more friendly than in Lubbock.

You will not need your Spanish to get along here at all.
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