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Old 04-21-2009, 03:56 PM
 
119 posts, read 391,541 times
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Hi everyone. We are from a semi-rural part of central NY, and are looking to relocate to VA; way too much snow, cold and ice up here for us to take anymore. We do have some very close friends who moved to Salem a few years ago, and they love it. We visited recently, and loved the area. The dogwoods and Flowering Judas trees are gorgeous. It is so much cleaner, prettier, friendlier and all around better than our nearest city, Utica NY, is. When we got back home we really noticed how grungy things are up here; litter all over the roads, broken down cars in peoples yards, etc. We didn't see that in Salem, or the surrounding areas we visited.

Although it is a beautiful city, we are country people at heart. Right now we have 5 dogs (I'm involved in rescue), chickens, and cats. The kids (ages 9, 11, & 13), would love to have a horse. So, we are looking for an area that would be within a reasonable communte (up to 30 minutes for my husband, hopefully less for me) to employment, yet still country. I desperately want a mountain view, but do not want to be perched on top of a tall peak!

Proximity to a small town is fine too, if we can find jobs there. I currently am a school bus driver, but in my life Before Kids I was a social worker. I worked for our county as a caseworker, mainly doing foster care and adoptions. My husband is in retail management. The kids would go to public school. They are currently involved with music (our daughter plays trombone), soccer, and 4-H.

I would really appreciate any suggestions anyone might have.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:17 PM
 
567 posts, read 2,003,989 times
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Hello!

I'd have to say my husband and I are country people at heart too. We're both from rural Northeastern Connecticut and we settled in Botetourt County. We are just over the Roanoke County line, and our mailing address is Roanoke, but it's a little more rural than other places. We think we've found the perfect location because we are convenient to everything - the airport and Valley View Mall are only about 12 minutes away!

A little further North, you'll get more rural in Botetourt County and you should check out Fincastle. We really liked the town, but it was a little too far of a commute for my husband to work.

North of Salem, you can check out Catawba. I really love the rural feel up there! South of Roanoke, check out Franklin County, especially Boones Mill.

Also, Southwest of Roanoke, check out Bent Mountain and Floyd.

They are all picturesque areas and all within a reasonable commute to Roanoke. Well, Floyd is probably pushing it a little too far away. For retail management, you want to be a reasonable commute to Roanoke.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Virginia
57 posts, read 146,522 times
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Glenvar isn't a bad commute, and there are definitely parts of it where you could have horses or other livestock with no problem. The vet I pet sit for actually lives in Roanoke county, but its a part where she and her husband have 5 horses, 10 goats, chickens, 4 dogs, cats, birds, and Turtles! So definitely check around the county as well. Botouret,(sorry, I cna never spell that right!), is also very pretty, and would be a reasonable commute. The house prices have risen sharply there however, but with the recession, they might be back down. Lots o housing developments were going in before.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:33 PM
j1n
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,240 posts, read 4,312,734 times
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Salem is nice. There's lots of differing opinions on Salem here on this forum, so do some searching back through these posts. Salem allows 3 dogs and 3 cats and chickens...but no livestock including horses, ponies, etc unless you are able to find a corner of Salem that is zoned for agricultural purposes.
I would suggest looking at places like Catawba, Blue Ridge, Roanoke county, the northern parts of Franklin County, etc. I think that you will find that you will want to be within a reasonable proximity of Roanoke City. Good news is that there's lots of what you are looking for well within 30 minutes of Downtown Roanoke.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:00 PM
 
119 posts, read 391,541 times
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Thank you everyone for the information. I will start checking out these locations on this site, and start looking at housing and job sites. I'll also call my friend who lives in Salem and see what she can tell me about them. Lots of research to do.
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
2,031 posts, read 6,388,850 times
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I agree with all of the comments about rural, semi-rural areas around Roanoke. Salem is not a rural area, maybe toward Glenvar and eastern Montgomery County. My favorite picks are Bedford(20 minute commute to either Roanoke or Lynchburg), southern Botetourt County around Buchanan & Fincastle. I would never pick Franklin County simply because of the terrible condition of US220 South.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:29 PM
j1n
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
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Blue Ridge is pretty nice...and literally right outside Roanoke too.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,800,138 times
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I think U.S. 220 South is in pretty good shape. I drive it regularly, there are no potholes and much of it has new road surface? Maybe it's in bad shape south of Rocky Mount?

Nancy and I have been driving all over the Roanoke area looking at places to board horses, etc. And I mean all over. I've got a much better opinion of U.S. 220 South after that. From northern Rocky Mount there are literally only about 4 lights on the 18 mile stretch to Roanoke. And very little is curvy, at least by Roanoke Valley standards. And it's all 4 lane. Heck from the Boones Mill streetlight it is only 14 minutes to Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke.

Bent Mountain (Route 221) is fine until just after Martins Creek Road and then it goes to hell, it turns into a carsick inducing glorified paved horse cart road. Once you get to the top of the mountain it straightens out, but I'd hate like hell to drive that road every day. But before Martins Creek there are still some country places that feel like country, you just have to really dig. Trust me, there are some fancy estates over there, and they make the pinnacle homes of Hunting Hills look low-rent. That tends to drive land prices up. Those folks tend to grab adjoining land the minute it's available. And from Bent Mountain, to downtown Roanoke, can be a bear because you're in stop 'n go virtually the whole way there.

Route 460 going out of Roanoke is literally stop 'n go for about 10 miles. I have friends who live in Blue Ridge, they are not liking the 460 commute. On the plus side, you've got local conveniences in Blue Ridge so you don't have to drive 15 minutes to the store. on the down side, if you work in central Roanoke the commute is just nasty.

Route 24 out into Stewartsville is do-able. Hardy is also a nice area, but it's less convenient to Roanoke because you have to work your way through Vinton first.

Route 116 is pretty, but once you get into the Windy Gap area halfway to SML, it's really twisty 2-lane paved horse cart road. The fog is beautiful over there but at times you're really down to 50' visibility. Something to consider if you commute to Roanoke daily.

We have friends in Troutville in Botetourt County, a few miles from I-81. That area is beautiful, quite rural, and thanks to I-81 and I-581 you're well within 25 minutes of downtown Roanoke. Not the grand vistas available in the Bent Mountain or northern Franklin County area, but very nice nonetheless.

Route 311 up into Catawba is very pastoral. I bet that mountain climb is fun (not!) in the Winter but it's fairly close-in to Salem and NW Roanoke. We made it from Hunting Hills (south side of Roanoke) to a farm there on Blacksburg Road in about 30 minutes. This area has probably the most affordable land going right now.

As far as mountain views go, try Catawba before the mountain climb. Pretty, and affordable, and 311 will get you to 81 in a hurry. Then look into Franklin County. Take the road condition opinion with a grain of salt. You're in upstate New York. I'm from Vermont. We're just happy there are no frost heave cracks every six feet down here No frost heave cracks at all, actually. Bent Mountain area will be pricey and the mountain climb is a bear, but you might find something. Blue Ridge is a possibility, but any commute into Roanoke will be stressful.

Hope this helps,

Sean
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:56 PM
 
119 posts, read 391,541 times
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Sean;
Wow! You gave me really helpful information. It's one thing to look on the map, or get estimated drive time online, but neither of these tell you what the road is really like. I live on a road that is full of frost heaves, cracks, and has chunks missing, so the 3 miles from our house to the main road takes about 10 minutes. My hub & I were very impressed with how well-maintained the roads were when we visited.

I personally would want a shorter commute to work, but then there are usually some type of social service agency in every community; I really would prefer not to have to work in a city, and have to fight traffic. Not fond of being on a twisty, turny mountain road on a foggy night either. You have given me a lot of good ideas for communities to look into, and places to focus our job searches on. I am thinking somewhere a bit closer to the mountains (but still in foothills), to lessen the humidity. Hopefully we can come back down for a few more days this summer, and narrow it down some more.
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
1,341 posts, read 5,800,138 times
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Check into Piedmont Community Services. I think they have several locations in Henry and Franklin County. Piedmont Community Services They appear to have several positions open.

Franklin County Dept of Social Services has an eligibility related position open.

Then there is Employment Opportunities | The Council of Community Services (http://www.councilofcommunityservices.org/employment.html - broken link)

The Catawba or Craig County area are good places to find a home place in if you want to mitigate heat/humidity. It's almost a whole USDA climate zone colder over there.

Sean
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