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Old 05-18-2017, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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We owned property in Norwich Ct for 20 years. I was stationed at Groton a few times during my Active Duty career. After I retired we settled in Maine.

We have a large new house on Solar Power on 150 acres of woodlot, with 1/4 mile of river frontage. I tap maples, I have honey bees, we have a large garden and we raise pigs. We are vendors in Farmer's Markets.

Our land is two parcels, they came to $70,000 and another $50,000 to build the house [it is a 2400 sq ft house]. The Cost-Of-Living is very low here. My pension is not anywhere near high enough to become taxed. Even with a little farm income we slide well below the lowest tax bracket to pay income taxes. Our property taxes are around $850/year.

If you enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing, trapping, kayaking, snow sledding this is a great place to be.
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
If you google 'tax burden by state' and click on just about any of the results (some are more reliable/legit sites than others) TN is usually somewhere in the bottom five, NC is generally middle of the pack between 25 and 30, CT in the top ten. TN has no real income tax (other than a tax on dividends) but a pretty high sales tax, although the governor just passed a bill that will decrease tax on food while raising it a bit on gas. Property tax varies but generally outside of city limits they are usually quite low, compared to some other places they are ridiculously low. My 1100 ft, 85k house inside city limits runs a little over $900 a yr in property taxes, if it was located outside city limits it would only be around $500 a yr.
I see the TN sales tax can vary. CT was 8% for awhile, until they instituted the temporary (haha) income tax in the early 1990s. The sales tax dropped then, some things were made non-taxable, but that's all changed drastically in recent years. We don't buy a lot, even food, so a higher sales tax is not that big a deal. It's the income and retirement funds I'm more worried about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fadeddaisy26 View Post
It snows, but have you thought about southern MI? We have a lot of small lakes in the southern counties and VERY affordable property/land. It's rural, largest cities in the county run less than 15,000 residents. A 12hr drive away from FL, 3 hours between DET and CHI [when you feel the need to venture into the city]. 2 hour drive to Cedar Point and 1-3 hours away from most Sandy Beaches on the shore of the Great Lakes. This is a basic overview but something to look into!
So I picked a random town on the southern border (I can't remember which right now but it was more eastern) and compared it to where I live - it was colder with more snow. Can't do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquietpath View Post
Lots of inexpensive land in the NE part of Mississippi, and it's pretty country. I rented a a 3 BR home with a barn and workshop outbuilding on 5 acres that my landlord wanted to sell to me for 50,000.

OP, you haven't mentioned if you'd need to find work. Too often rural areas with low cost of living means a real shortage of jobs - which is why I didn't end up staying in MS.
That would be great if we could find a rent to buy like that - only problem is what if the owner changes their mind? Was the rent cost reasonable?

Jobs are kind of another topic, I really need to find places to explore first. But the bulk of my income is freelance bookkeeping and I'm hoping to take some of my clients with me remotely. I also do a lot of pet/housesitting up here and to relocate that would be a whole new network of people so I wouldn't expect that to get off the ground for awhile, if I even choose to do so. My hope is to buy something outright so we won't have mortgage pressure on us, just day to day living expenses.

Where did you go when you left MS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Say It Like it Is View Post
We live in Missouri and love this beautiful state! Missouri has decent weather, beautiful scenery, and is the only state in the union where the rocky mountains end and the appellations (sp?) begin. It also has the lowest taxes and cost of living in the union!
We are also in our 50's, live in a 1800 sq ft home and are very active. Living on an acre of land gives us plenty of room to spread out, raise our livestock, and horseback ride along the rivers edge in the evening. We are selling our home and moving to family land a few miles south of us to take care of our elderly parents.
If Missouri interests you, i have a home for you to go to!
Ahh I didn't realize that about the mountains! Friends keep telling me to go west of the Rockies for low humidity. Now if you had more than an acre I'd be interested - at this time I think we're looking for more than that. I think after being in such a congested area for all our lives we just want some space between us and neighbors!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
When I bought our house in SW TN, taxes on our 4 acres outside of city limits (called - in the county) were just slightly over $260 per year. They have gone down - the house aged even though we put on an addition (turned carport into a living room), added a 1200 sq ft deck and a pool, and added 2 storage buildings (8x10 and 8x12), added an on-ground storm shelter, and replaced the roof with a metal roof. Of course, we pay for garbage pick-up, around $10/mo. (current estimated value is around $80K). Our county offers seniors low-cost AirFlyte for around $25/yr.


MS does have a state income tax, unlike TN. Sales tax (yes, on food - it's a southern state thing) is slightly lower than TN but not enough to make the trip over the border to save unless it's for big ticket items. I go to Corinth, MS once a week but not to save on tax, it's to get the only REAL pizza outside of NJ/NYC.

MS is in the same boat as TN when it comes to jobs - pretty dismal. But for retirement, it's not bad. Yes, there's a lack of upscale dining and entertainment - at least compared to NYC and the area. We had that and don't miss it.

When we lived in NYC, I put about 8K miles a year on my car - that includes some long trips - Myrtle Beach, WI, Boston. We bought a new vehicle 1.5 years ago and already we have 25K miles! Nothing is nearby, you can't walk anywhere, and there's no public transportation. So that is the one area that the south costs more - but car insurance is nothing.
My mileage is split up between 2-3 vehicles and I don't keep great track of it, but housesitting can burn up so many miles! A couple of summers ago I put 700 miles on the truck in a week going in circles a few times a day - we're talking 10 miles in one direction from work and 7 in the other.

Sales tax on food doesn't bother me that much - if CT taxed food we'd pay about $30 more per month for both of us. Our income tax is way more than that for just one of us.

I find it interesting that your house value has gone down. Does that mean it would be sold for less than you paid for it? Around here the assessments continually go up, or the percentage they use goes up. I paid 140K for my place just before the big crash in 1990 and would be lucky to get 160K for it now. But in that same time taxes have gone from 2000 to almost 4500/yr. Of course services have decreased as well. I think they went down once - and it was more due to a phase-in of taxes rather than an actual decrease.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sombrueil View Post
Anywhere east of the Mississippi, the souther you go, the milder the winters and the hotter more humid the summers. It's a very simple climate pattern, compared to the other half of the US, where precipitation and elevation figure much larger than latitude. You just have to decide which you hate more . . .

Stay out of the big city spheres of influence, and east of the Mississippi it's almost all comparatively reasonable-cost land and small towns.

A factor you've left out is culture. The culture of Arkansas might be startling to a New Englander, for example. I might suggest spending some time in the places you are considering and getting to know the culture a bit.
Culture - yikes. I have never had an issue in any place I've visited and I never go to the trendy popular places, I'm always off the beaten path. I say I can fit in anywhere but I saw something posted on FB over the weekend that really shocked me. It was an ad for Zillow or Trulia and one guy - young guy too - said it would have more of an impact if they didn't promote mixed breeding (I didn't look at the video but gather from the comments it was a black and white couple with children). A few people chimed in with WTF comments, and others rushed to his defense about the destruction of the white race. All of the ones talking about mixed breeding and white supremacism were from AL MS and MO, all men, both young and old. I know not every location in those states are like this, I know people who live in some of those states and they are very much not like this, but it was certainly an eye-opener. We have groups like that up here, but they tend to be a little less out in the open than this was.

We are not a mixed couple, he is Italian and I am half Italian with a couple of other things tossed in there, both white but we will definitely have an CT accent and be labeled as Yankees - or those damn northerners. One thing we will not be doing though is the infamous "where we lived we used to..... " UGH I hate that and wish people who did that would just stay put as they ruin new places when they try to make them like what they left!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchessCottonPuff View Post
I have lived on farms and in very big cities like I do now as I do ALOT of work with horses and I am 54 close to your age . I will soon sadly- VERY SADLY - be priced out of Seattle and I am probably headed to Sonora Ca but if not , I would certainly give NW Ark, Mo , Tenn a shot . Ark and Mo still have some very reasonable priced places. I know what you mean about WV it IS very pretty there .
I have a friend who lives about 7 hours north of Sonora in a very small town. It sounds wonderful but man he had some serious snow late this year! And devastating fires a few years ago. But it's nice to hear that all of CA does not fit the stereotypical "expensive and congested" mindset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg10556 View Post
The time I spent in Waco, I enjoyed and never had problems. Maybe it's because I'm from a rural country area, I'm not sure.
Interesting comments about Waco from each of you! I expect I'll find more of this once I start narrowing down areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Actually eastern Washington State has most of your desiderata. Notwithstanding last winter, which was cold and snowy, usually winter here is not too bad, definitely live and let live, dry climate, gun friendly.
Just not sure I want to go that far away from family. How's the growing season there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by riblue View Post
Yes, Ct and New England can be humid but it is pretty much just July and August. South of Virginia it is very hot and humid, besides the mountains and the coast, for many many months. I think eastern TN , western NC and Nw Arkansas would be likely places to explore further.
I am sure the good people of Texas are very nice but the right centered politics and mindset would be a consideration. Most of Texas is very hot too, not conducive to an outdoor life style.
It's the winter that kills me in the northeast really. Summer is way too short in my book. I'm wearing a sweatshirt with closed windows again today!!! And I am definitely looking in the mountainous areas.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kygman View Post
You should check out Kentucky. Your retirement isn't taxed, and taxes aren't bad. I'm in the western part of the state (about 30 miles from the Mississippi River and 25 miles from the Ohio) For your mountain biking, there is the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/ There are over 500 miles of hiking and biking trails in this 170,000 acre area The LBL is land between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Kentucky Lake is the largest artificial lake by acreage (160,000+ acres) east of the Mississippi River.
Some of the things you're wondering about...

<snip>

Love this detail - thank you! A friend is working in KY not far south of Cincinnati and I'm keeping a close eye on the weather there through her eyes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
We owned property in Norwich Ct for 20 years. I was stationed at Groton a few times during my Active Duty career. After I retired we settled in Maine.

We have a large new house on Solar Power on 150 acres of woodlot, with 1/4 mile of river frontage. I tap maples, I have honey bees, we have a large garden and we raise pigs. We are vendors in Farmer's Markets.

Our land is two parcels, they came to $70,000 and another $50,000 to build the house [it is a 2400 sq ft house]. The Cost-Of-Living is very low here. My pension is not anywhere near high enough to become taxed. Even with a little farm income we slide well below the lowest tax bracket to pay income taxes. Our property taxes are around $850/year.

If you enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing, trapping, kayaking, snow sledding this is a great place to be.
So take out the snow and I'd be there tomorrow. Love your posts and never knew you came from CT! I had the opportunity to buy two parcels in ME abut 15 years ago, from the same person. One in town and one on the outskirts. I think it was 35K for both. Except they were 10 hours north of us and I couldn't convince my then-husband it was a good idea. Wish I'd done it on my own, but I still wouldn't want to spend winters up there. BRRRRRRRR

I just drool over your land descriptions though.

Thanks so much everyone for all the details!
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:20 PM
 
761 posts, read 411,420 times
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Please keep in mind..

There is something in your blood that will always call you to go to the ocean.
Living in CT has likely made it not much more than an hours drive give or take... to LIS. Be careful not to cut off that lifeline. It will be painful knowing you have an 8 or 10 hour drive when the homing instinct kicks in.

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Old 05-23-2017, 09:46 AM
 
4,115 posts, read 2,430,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tidaldream View Post
Please keep in mind..

There is something in your blood that will always call you to go to the ocean.
Living in CT has likely made it not much more than an hours drive give or take... to LIS. Be careful not to cut off that lifeline. It will be painful knowing you have an 8 or 10 hour drive when the homing instinct kicks in.
I know where you're coming from. I used to go to the beach at least once a week, the closest one is 40 minutes. But then the fee went from $3 to $15, gas prices were up and I stopped going. And frankly, LIS is kind of murky compared to the actual ocean. I had a job that put me in RI once a year for a few years and enjoyed that, plus a couple of trips to VA. That will have to suffice.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:21 AM
 
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And my just-before-sleep thoughts last night...... right now I am miserable here for quite a few months weather-wise. In a normal weather year, I hate December, January and February. Since 2009 we've had quite a few snows in October and quite a few back loaded winters that really get going in February, leaving us snow on the ground in April still.

If moving further south gives me a tolerable winter and more pleasant spring and fall - what's a couple of hotter/humid months? It should still be a win. And knowing how well I can tolerate heat while being outside, I don't think it would send me inside for days on end..... says the gal wearing a sweatshirt for the 3rd time this week in mid-May.
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Bakersfield, Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg10556 View Post
I find this rather interesting. Because in Seattle, it's nothing but liberal elites, and if you don't agree with them, you're automatically a racist & bigot. Talk about divide, Seattle has a divide of its own, and follows in the footsteps of everything San Francisco does ( I live in SF, hate everything about it).

The time I spent in Waco, I enjoyed and never had problems. Maybe it's because I'm from a rural country area, I'm not sure.
I am from a rural ranch in Rock Creek on the Brazos .
Your assessment of my city ( Seattle) is rather small minded actually , and no we do NOT follow in SF footsteps whatsoever . California is taking over our city . They like it better here than there . My sister lives in SF also .
There is a place for everyone . Maybe Waco is for you , it is not for me. You won't have any problems with Liberal elites - just republican elites . Who don't like people from Cal.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Since you asked, the growing season here in Eastern WA is about from early to mid April, to late October, particularly if you use sprinklers for frost protection at the beginning and end of season. I grow tomatoes and peppers, some eggplant, squash, etc. Hops are a big crop here, as is mint.

You do have to irrigate anything you want to grow outside of cactus and sagebrush though.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:29 PM
 
Location: I is where I is
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchessCottonPuff View Post
I am from a rural ranch in Rock Creek on the Brazos .
Your assessment of my city ( Seattle) is rather small minded actually , and no we do NOT follow in SF footsteps whatsoever . California is taking over our city . They like it better here than there . My sister lives in SF also .
There is a place for everyone . Maybe Waco is for you , it is not for me. You won't have any problems with Liberal elites - just republican elites . Who don't like people from Cal.
Good thing I'm not California then... Living there (and hating it) is different from "being from there". I am from Southern Indiana. Rural & Country and conservative
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:08 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WouldLoveTo View Post
I see the TN sales tax can vary. CT was 8% for awhile, until they instituted the temporary (haha) income tax in the early 1990s. The sales tax dropped then, some things were made non-taxable, but that's all changed drastically in recent years. We don't buy a lot, even food, so a higher sales tax is not that big a deal. It's the income and retirement funds I'm more worried about.

The reason for varying sales tax - counties and even cities within counties are allowed to tack on their own sales tax. You'll find it highest in the big cities - Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis - and in the resort areas - such as the mountains.


My mileage is split up between 2-3 vehicles and I don't keep great track of it, but housesitting can burn up so many miles! A couple of summers ago I put 700 miles on the truck in a week going in circles a few times a day - we're talking 10 miles in one direction from work and 7 in the other.

The nearest market to us is 20 minutes away - mostly by 65 mph highway - so we're talking between 15 and 20 miles; doctors and medical are 45 miles (one way), although there are some nurse practitioners locally - near the markets - yeah, doctors are only in the cities, not in the outlying areas.

I find it interesting that your house value has gone down. Does that mean it would be sold for less than you paid for it? Around here the assessments continually go up, or the percentage they use goes up. I paid 140K for my place just before the big crash in 1990 and would be lucky to get 160K for it now. But in that same time taxes have gone from 2000 to almost 4500/yr. Of course services have decreased as well. I think they went down once - and it was more due to a phase-in of taxes rather than an actual decrease.

Our house value went up. We didn't own in NYC, so we were first time home owners - bought a small house about the size we thought we could live with considering we needed to downsize and cut out a lot of time and energy expense on cleaning and costs of upkeep. Our house has nearly doubled in value - as it was under $50K. The big houses around here only go for maybe $200K unless you're looking for 4-5 bedrooms in one of the bigger cities. Our in the country, you'll find really nice houses for $100K with all amenities - and land - privacy. Little did we know - and didn't expect - to increase our family size by adding 3 cats and 2 dogs - big ones.




Culture - yikes. I have never had an issue in any place I've visited and I never go to the trendy popular places, I'm always off the beaten path. I say I can fit in anywhere but I saw something posted on FB over the weekend that really shocked me. It was an ad for Zillow or Trulia and one guy - young guy too - said it would have more of an impact if they didn't promote mixed breeding (I didn't look at the video but gather from the comments it was a black and white couple with children). A few people chimed in with WTF comments, and others rushed to his defense about the destruction of the white race. All of the ones talking about mixed breeding and white supremacism were from AL MS and MO, all men, both young and old. I know not every location in those states are like this, I know people who live in some of those states and they are very much not like this, but it was certainly an eye-opener. We have groups like that up here, but they tend to be a little less out in the open than this was.

I haven't seen any overt racism here although I know it exists. We have friends in mixed marriages and they don't have any specific issues. When we go to auctions, for whatever reasons, there are few people of color but the few who go and our friends don't get treated any different than any other non-regulars.

We are not a mixed couple, he is Italian and I am half Italian with a couple of other things tossed in there, both white but we will definitely have an CT accent and be labeled as Yankees - or those damn northerners. One thing we will not be doing though is the infamous "where we lived we used to..... " UGH I hate that and wish people who did that would just stay put as they ruin new places when they try to make them like what they left!

There's an odd pizza place but mostly they are chains - and so you won't find good pizza unless you travel. There are only a few italian restaurants, mostly chinese, bland mexican, once in a while a tex-mex. For some reason, southerners love buffet food - and it's mostly bland (imo) but there's always a bottle of hot sauce available - it is used here in place of salt! However, if you like BBQ - they are like the food carts in Manhattan - every where - some are good, some great, and the so-so ones don't last. Most of the pulled pork is really good and you can even try some fried "okry". Not something I care for and I've tried it several times.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WouldLoveTo View Post
I have lived in CT all my life, as has most of my family. For just as long I have dreamed of owning a farm, or at least property with land, which is something I believe I will never be able to afford in CT. I have always hated winter but I do love the outdoors so I really struggle with continuing to be active when it's snowy, and the past 5-7 winters have just held on forever it seems.

Up until a few years ago, I didn't even realize that some states do and do not tax retirement income so I have another reason for wanting to leave. Capital gains tax is another thing I need to think of.

I am now 52 and still very active. Pretty much all I want to do with my free time is work on my house and mountain bike. I have many friends in their 60s and 70s still riding (and racing!) so I expect to be doing this for quite some time.

I saw a thread back in March and this would be similar in that it's an upsize, not downsize. I am currently in a 1440 sq ft house and don't really care about the size of any house where I move, except I do want land (space from people) and outbuildings. Both of us are interested in cars and would love the space to work on what we have or at the very least, keep them under cover.

I would prefer to stay east as the majority of our families are in the northeast. New England, pretty as it is, is not an option (too cold too expensive). I may consider something further west but am really more comfortable east.

I love old (1700s) houses but know the further south and west I get, the newer they tend to be (though I have seen some fantastic 1800s cabins with land)

I am a little lost on climate nuances the further south I get, although we used to camp a lot as kids.

At this time I think we need to start visiting states and seeing what we may or may not like.

Possible states that I've considered or have been told about:
TN - sounds pretty ideal
KY - too much winter in some areas? No idea about taxes
NW GA - couple of people have mentioned this for rural and mountain biking
NW AK - supposed to be phenomenal for biking but I fear it's too "up and coming" and I don't want to find myself back in CT like conditions in 20 years.
WV - I have visited a number of times since 2007 and love it for all reasons except for snow. I had to cancel a weekend trip there in 2008 due to a 9" snowfall in October.
AL (?) - Someone posted somewhere recently that they left TN for AL because AL was not as wet as TN. That surprised me.
SC (?) - seems to be a current hot place for CT people to leave to - worth looking at? I know many are ending up in HOA subdivisions which is the exact opposite of what I want.
OK panhandle - someone said here recently that it is dry with mild winters and away from tornado alley??

I would say coastal regions are out due to higher COL.

I also read from another acquaintance who left NY for Indiana that she was loving the warmer weather. That also surprised me. I have friends who moved to NM and love it. Probably further away than I want to go but I'm open to suggestions.

Ideals:
Land of course - at least 10 acres but I've also seen 20-100 acre properties that have interested me a lot. I have a friend with 60 and am familiar with the size of the property and it's not overwhelming to me. I actually found the 60 acres to be smaller than I expected.

Rural/small town. I realize we're not going to be driving around the corner to the grocery store. Yes, it will be an adjustment but I'm confident we can handle it. We don't go out much. We'd probably prefer a nice mom & pop restaurant to a major chain. I abhor shopping in general and malls give me panic attacks.

Neither of us are religious. It doesn't bother us what anyone else does but we do not spend Sunday or any other day in church with others and it would be nice not to be shunned in town for it.

Gun friendly would be great - essentially we'd like a live and let live culture.

We'd like to be able to do simple repairs (fix a fence or a roof on a building) without someone turning us into the authorities.

Basements? We're used to them but I think south of the Mason Dixon line they are few and far between? Not a deal breaker.

Collecting rainwater and silly things like that. I can't believe this has to be mentioned but I know some states are putting their feet down. Mostly confined to out west right now?

Animals? Right now we just have indoor animals but I'd like the option for more. Chickens, goats, sheep? This is why I want definitive farming areas. We've talked about doing animal rescue. Nothing solid but it's in the back of my mind.

Emissions? Car inspections? Would prefer less restrictions. And seeing as cars get eaten away by salt here, please a place that either shuts down when it snows or uses something a bit more friendly to vehicles.

For me, CT is too cold and snowy in the winter. Summers are humid but I like that over cold. I don't use much AC despite that.

My SO can deal with warmth but he doesn't like the humidity as much. This is where I get more stuck with climate nuances. If it were just me I'd plunk my butt in a southern state and be done with it.

Funding and work is a whole other topic - right now I'd like to try and narrow down some areas to research.

I did buy "Finding and buying your place in the country" but have not gotten too far in it yet, I'm sure there are many more things I'm missing.

Sorry this is so long! Any ideas would be fantastic. Thank you! (I will probably be messaging a few of you whose posts I've admired all these years I've been reading here!)
I'm from Louisiana...as much as I love the south,if I had MONEY and had the same desires as you,I would pick Idaho.Idaho is very rural but is not to bitter in winter,beautiful,peaceful, and has small town feel everywhere but Boise and even surrounding areas produce wine. Idaho has three different terrain types, and for a northeastern we, wouldn't be expensive. Atleast there,they don't have blistering summers like we do sown here. I came back home to build my life,but when things REALLY takeoff, that's where I will look. I think Twin Falls has the atmosphere you seek and a little something extra
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