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Old 11-03-2006, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
10 posts, read 54,459 times
Reputation: 17

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We are a lesbian couple in our mid 40s that would like to live in a rural area in New England. Currently considering western MA, possible Adams. We've looked at images of North Adams and Adams and found Adams to be a somewhat prettier location. We enjoy the outdoors, snowshoeing, exploring, hiking, things like that. We noticed the real estate costs are not too high there, but we would like to live out of the city (or town) limits just enough to be able to have outside animals.

My partner is secure in her employment opportunities (health care) so that's not too much an issue unless they don't have openings when we move, but we'll cross that bridge later. She is in a high demand job so not too worried about that.

Any suggestions or tips?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:21 PM
 
439 posts, read 640,957 times
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As a Gay man- I would strongly look at Northampton over North Adams or Adams. Northampton has a very large Lesbian community. The town has 29,000, people, a great downtown and Main street with great restaurants, coffee houses, cafes and a very liberal atmosphere. It is close to Amherst as well. In addition the local hospitals and other health care facilities are impressive.

Massachusetts also will institute 'universal health care' effective January 2007.

The Vermont border is a mere 35 miles away. If you prefer country living or a smaller town near Northampton, check into Williamstown (very small charming town) outside of Northampton- lots of hills and farms locally. Also nearby look into Hadley, Easthampton and Granby.
The only drawback is that real estate will be higher in these areas then in Adams.

You might also consider Greenfield- on the Connecticut river as well- the last town before the Vermont border- real nice town and rural landscapes nearby- and cheaper real estate then Northampton.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
10 posts, read 54,459 times
Reputation: 17
Default Thanks for the tips!

Thanks for the tips! We will look into those areas. As my partner is from Florida and I from the West coast, we do not know the New England area at all. I love the four seasons and she is now a fan as well. Just had enough of the Northwest and need a change. I love antiques and old homes, so we'll see!

Enjoy your weekend - Cheryl
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:26 AM
 
439 posts, read 640,957 times
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ruralgirlz/ Cheryl

good luck! Nearly one half of Northampton's population is Lesbian and Gay - It is known as 'Lesbianville USA' The town has a wonderful downtown, strolling down its sidewalks is the quintessential New England experience. I am located near Hartford Connecticut-so I know the area well. Another great town in southern Vermont-Brattleboro is less then an hour from Northampton. See these URL's

http://www.explorenorthampton.com/

http://www.noho.com/ And

http://www.northamptonguide.com/

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...1/ai_n11852142

and from the NY Times http://travel2.nytimes.com/2004/10/29/travel/escapes/29HOUR.html?ex=1162789200&en=84e8818ea829d20f&ei=5 070 (broken link)

Peter

Last edited by Dragondog; 11-04-2006 at 04:48 AM..
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 26,208,632 times
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I'll second CelticLion's advice and think more of Northampton or towns close-by, like Williamsburg, Hadley, Florence, Haydenville, etc. or even down to Easthampton (a growing community).

I lived on both sides of Northampton, Williamsburg (north 9) and Shutesbury, above Amherst. Both places I recall with much fondness.

Many of the small towns and villages in this area are just beautiful, and for the most part accessible to each other. So, living in one, and driving into the county seat, Northampton, is usual simple and common. Shopping in some of the small towns, like Williamsburg, is a pleasure, but for the most part folks go to Northampton for bigger market shops.

And as CelticLion says, Northampton, proper, has a large LGBT community that is totally integrated and accepted in ways you don't always find in other small towns.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:03 AM
 
7 posts, read 42,072 times
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ruralgirlz why would you choose Adams? Is it for Mt. Geylock?

I lived in the Berkshires for 9 years and Adams and North Adams (especially) was known for being economically depressed and have a low average income (think boys don't cry or the Deliverance to a lesser degree). Most of the folks that live there were born and raised there and an alternate lifestyle couple might not be accepted to well.

As has been mentioned North Hampton would be MUCH more to your liking. I would suggest taking a car ride along Rt 9 from Dalton (just north of Pittsfield) to North Hampton. It is downright beautiful and there are may small quaint villages to be found.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
10 posts, read 54,459 times
Reputation: 17
Actually, we would like to live in an area where we could afford at least an acre of land... we would like to have a couple llamas, etc. Also, when I checked out the area around Adams, yes, the mountain area was a big draw. We really do prefer the rural life.

We honestly have not looked at property outside of Northampton city limits yet, so that is something we need to do. We'll have to look at the listings from here though, as we can't leave until we finish school other than her clinicals in Florida.

We have about one year to figure out where we will move to. I know that seems like a lot of time, but it's important to us to be sure. We like the four seasons and not too high of property costs and if possible, domestic partner benefits for the hospital my wife (married in Canada) will eventually work in. Lots of criteria, so that's whey we're looking so early.

We live in Spokane now (which we really do not like but are finishing up school here) and we do like NE WA area a lot but then there's no domestic partner benefits at the two hospitals with some possibilities but the land is much more affordable. For instance, we could get an average 2000 sq. ft. home with 1-5 acres of dense forest and possibly a creek nearby or on the property for around $140,000 range. Then again, not much in at all in the way of social life there though! We went to school in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle for a year before coming to Spokane to finish up and what a culture shock to come here after being accepted so much in that community. Hard to get used to the non-accepting culture after being there. So much to think about!

I just want to say this board is great! It's very informative to read other posts from people that have lived in an area for a long time or have had some experience with the area. And as I am from the NW and she from Florida, we are both not familiar with the NE part of our country so this forum really helps a lot! Thanks.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:45 AM
 
7 posts, read 42,072 times
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Please excuse me miss spelling Greylock as Geylock. Purely a typo.

If price is a major consideration you might want to consider areas south of Adams by the Mass Pike. Otis, Blanford, Washington, Becket etc. are pretty reasonably priced for the Berkshires and have what you seem to be looking for.

Adams is not so bad but I would stay away from North Adams. A lot of dumpy bars, bar fights on weekends, drugs, spousal abuse etc. Really just a bunch of slack jawed hicks. At the very least spend some time there before buying and check out the Berkshire Eagle online for local news stories.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/

good luck!
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,203 posts, read 26,208,632 times
Reputation: 3937
Great that you are both planning ahead. East Coast vs West Coast are very different I've learned from experience. Best to make a long visit and see and experience first-hand!

Now, llama really tweaked a cord for me: I have old friends who lived just outside and south of Cummington (on rte 9) between the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley. I met them because they had an old weathered barn right on the road with, yes, llamas and I sought them out.

Up in this area several folks started breeding llama for herding 15-20 years ago. It was wonderful to watch them grow and develop. They are just tame souls.

I don't know how much land is going for up this way, but a reputable real estate broker might be of immeasureable help.
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Old 11-07-2006, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
10 posts, read 54,459 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks to all for the great advice!
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