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Old 03-25-2008, 04:50 PM
 
16 posts, read 54,609 times
Reputation: 18

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Hello,

I have enjoyed reading all the posts about this great state. My hubby and I are looking at relocating and Missouri keeps coming back to us. My dad was raised in Willow Springs and I still have cousins around that area, but I don't think they know me. My hubby has an Aunt in Birch Tree.

We are in WA state and with 20 acres going for $250,000 we need to find someplace cheaper to live. We have 10 acres currently, but no pasture for our horses and we have to drive 50 miles to be involved in horse activities. My kids are in 4-H and would rather ride horses and 4-wheelers than hang out at the mall.

We are very involved in church activities and community youth sports and 4-H. We enjoy team penning and ranch sorting. We would love to be able to have some cows and a BIG garden with a growing season that is longer than 65 days.

We love the rural life and the peace and quiet, but also love being involved in a small community. I have to have trees, but want pasture land as well to supplement the horses. Hay is absolutely outrageous here.

My hubby is a school teacher and teaches at a VERY small school here, but he has to commute 45 minutes.

If anyone has any ideas of places to check out, that would be a welcoming place, I would be grateful! I have fond memories of Missouri/Arkansas as a child visiting relatives.

Thank you!

Kris
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:09 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,307,395 times
Reputation: 783
I'd recommend the Howell County area (I was also raised in Willow Springs, and left ~5 years ago for college). For $250k you should be able to get a nice home outside of town with some acreage, a barn, and fenced pastures. Howell County 4-H is quite active (I was also a member when I was in middle school). I know Willow Sprints has a saddle club, a lot of people in the area are into horses, and I'm sure there are other horse activities as well. Teaching jobs are in short supply just about everywhere, so between the 3 large school districts in Howell county (West Plains, Willow Springs, and Mountain View) finding a job won't be a problem. West Plains is a decent-sized small town, around 12,000 people, and has a decent sized hospital, a few good restaurants, and other places to eat. Be prepared to drive to Springfield if you want to shop for anything Wal-Mart doesn't offer, however.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:02 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,231,751 times
Reputation: 1004
The Carthage-Joplin area would also suit you. There are several properties for sale, just outside the city limits which are already set up for horses. Carthage hosts the Jasper County Youth Fair every year at Municipal Park. There are several active 4-H clubs as well as a very active FFA program. There are 3 indoor arenas within a 15 min. drive of Carthage as well as 2 outdoor arenas. Carthage has a saddle club. Team penning, rodeos,showdeos and other horse activities are very popular. Carthage is a smaller town (13000) within easy driving distance of Joplin, Springfield, Tulsa and KC. Lots of people go south to Arkansas or east to Emminence MO for trail riding. We do have a large Hispanic population due to the Butterball Turkey and Leggett and Platt businesses. We rarely have problems such as gangs, and fights. Most are hard-working people hoping to better the lives of their families. Check us out!

Carthage -- Welcome to our City Website
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,682 posts, read 11,403,080 times
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Welcome to the forum, and potentially/hopefully to Missouri. Besides the very good recommendations made above, would suggest looking at the following varied areas:

1. Union-Hermann-Vichy-Rolla
2. Steelville-Rolla/Waynesville-Mtn Grove-Van Buren
3. Potosi-Ironton-Frederickton-Ste Gen

All are rural/country/secluded, with good-great schools, options of pasture to rolling to wooded acreage, many opportunities for horses, 4-H, and related activities. Main reason I put these here, as a starting point, is these are kinda rough subareas to kinda get ya started, plus these are some of my favourite and also well-known parts of this great state.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:46 PM
 
16 posts, read 54,609 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks to all the responders! I appreciate the ideas and it gives me a place to start researching. Of the ones you have suggested are these areas open to newcomers or I guess just friendly to outsiders? The only reason I ask is I have seen some posts of towns that were unfriendly and "clickish".

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 17,704,420 times
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That sounds a lot like here. I live in a town of less than 400 and I know kids who 4-wheel and go mudding, and hunting is big around here. The school (k-12) has maybe 800-900. The High School is kind of a mess, though, to be honest. Not dangerous, but not good either. But finding pasture land shouldn't hard. Actually, I live across the street from a pasture of horses, but I haven't seen them in a while. There are also a number of churches around here. I go to the Assembly of God Church, and there are a few Baptist churches, and a Methodist church. No Catholic churches in this town, though. 2 restaurants, a couple gas stations, a couple hair salons. Usually when we need groceries we zip down to Poplar Bluff, since it's only about 20 minutes.

Unfortunately small towns can be clickish, but I don't think my town is too much. Unfortunately, the area is not very diverse, so there are a lot of close-minded people. Very few minorities.

Fortunately (from what I've seen) my town was not seriously effected by the flooding, but Ellington and Piedmont were, as well as the Ghetto part of Poplar Bluff.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:20 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,307,395 times
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The smaller towns can be very clickish. My parents moved to the area in the mid 80's and the majority of their friends are still to this day people who moved in from outside the area. Not that you can't make other friends but the communities are generally very tight-knit. My parents are still very happy there and never plan to leave. I of course left for "bigger and better things" although I do miss the area, or at least some aspects of it...when you are 23 it doesn't have that much to offer you.

If you are active in 4-H or any kind of church you'll do OK. I always had plenty of friends all through K-12 growing up there. People are very friendly...I always have to remember when I go home to start waving at people when driving around...on smaller roads, everyone waves at each other as they pass!

I'd just avoid some of the really small towns, as they are generally more clickish. West Plains is nice because its a little larger and more modern (compared to any of the surronding towns for a long ways), but it is still kinda off the beaten path in, being in South Central Missouri, and is very friendly.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 17,704,420 times
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My town is kind of clickish, but if you can attach to a church it'll be easier to meet people. I've found that people are generally kind. But it's not very diverse (like 98% white here), and you have to drive basically at least 20 minutes to anywhere).
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Mid Missouri
47 posts, read 221,555 times
Reputation: 36
I agree that at times the smaller towns can be a bit clickish. Sometimes it depends on how you "fit" in. Becoming involved in the community through the schools and your church, can help create the bind. Locally here in mid-missouri; you could get a 2,400 sq foot home on 20 acres for 250,000. If you are looking for diversity, try to get closer to a "smaller college" town rather than KC or St. Louis. Warrensburg, Columbia, Kirksville, Fulton, Cape, etc.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:44 AM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,231,751 times
Reputation: 1004
Carthage has a lot of families which have been in the area for generations, which means lots of people are related by marriage. There is a core group of politically active and socially active (Country Club)families, mostly upper-middle class that might be hard to break into. However, "outsiders" should have no problem fitting in if you get involved in school, 4-H or sports. We are building a brand new High School, to open in 2009, just finished a new Hospital, put a new addition on the Library, are working on an off-leash dog park and are getting several new restaurants in town. Joplin is 20 min. away with malls, movie theatres, and most everything else you need. The land between Joplin and Carthage is mostly rolling hills with farmland. Diamond, slightly to the south, is a much smaller town but also within an easy drive of Joplin and Carthage. Lots of rural land there.
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