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Old 01-02-2022, 10:00 AM
 
21 posts, read 34,689 times
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When are you moving? ASAP. Our goal is to be moved/settled by Christmas 2022.
Where are you coming from? Dallas, TX
Why are you moving? We want to get out of the suburbs and onto more land, to lean further into homesteading/farmsteading.
Where will you be working? Remotely. I work for a major telecom and our entire organization is 100% remote as a result of the pandemic.
Have you been here yet? Not in-person. We’ve been researching the area (incl East TN, West NC) and are planning a trip in early Spring to visit the area in-person.

Will you buy or rent? Buy
If buying, are you looking for a house or a condo? House, including new construction and/or fixer-uppers
How much can you spend? 450K is the top of our budget but not a goal to spend that much
If renting, are you looking for an apartment, a townhouse or loft? How much can you spend? N/A
Do you prefer hi-rise or walk up? N/A

Are you married or single? Married, 12 years now.
Do you have children? Yes, 2. Both under 10yo.
Do you prefer public or private schools? We Unschool.
Do you have pets? Yes, a dog
Do you want or need a yard? Absolutely. The more land the better, and of course with the proper array of natural features/resources.
Are you keeping a car? Yes
Do you prefer bustling activity or calm and quiet? A bit of both. We enjoy bustling activity within our own interests, but are not fans of urban/suburban livings.

What do you want to be closest to? Quality medical services, markets and farms, other farmstead/homesteaders, other Unschool/homeschoolers, natural resources, etc.

———
My family (wife, son, daughter, dog) have been working towards a move out of the Dallas suburbs. The only reason we are here is for my work, which has been fully-remote since June of 2020. We have a very small yard but have been practicing gardening and studying up on animal husbandry, food storage, etc. Essentially learning what we can, where we are at right now.

Initially, we were looking exclusively at the Western North Carolina area but the home prices have skyrocketed this past year and we are quickly being priced out of the areas we were interested in. Not to say we are writing that state off entirely, but we have been leaning more towards the valley region of VA as well as South/SW VA. Digging into city-data forums and other platforms, we are really coming to like VA both in terms of affordability and natural resources.

Hoping to get some help narrowing down counties/areas of the state that are conducive to our lifestyle. One of being more connected to our food source, growing as much of it as we can, and hopefully using some of those labors to supplement our income and eventually allow me to leave my current company.

Natural features of the property being of utmost importance as we intend to employ many permaculture principles including rotational grazing (cow, pig, sheep, foul, etc). We are open to new construction (stick-built or modular) or fixer-uppers, or of course move-in ready homes. We definitely want room for silvopasture, responsible Agro-forestry, pasture-raised animals, hunting, privacy, etc. We would also love to have enough space to eventually put a second home/cabin and/or RV/campsites for family that visits as well as side-income (AirBNB, etc).

We told the kids our goal was not to spend another Christmas in Texas. They are all-in on getting some animals and expanding our garden.

All in all, we are ready to get serious about the move but also patient for the right thing to come along. Appreciate any recommendations for regions to focus on or avoid, a good mortgage broker and realtor who are comfy/familiar with homesteading needs/wants as well as various loan types,
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Old 01-02-2022, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
4,596 posts, read 6,350,757 times
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When I search for places... I google "homes" or "property" for sale in XYZ.

You are no doubt used to good broadband in the Dallas area...and perhaps it is required for your telecommute telecom job...just know high speed broadband is scarcer than hens teeth in rural VA.
There is a push of late to stretch broadband into the rural areas, but it will be awhile before it is ready to go live. I would narrow my search to areas where high speed internet is currently available, or soon to be available. Chambers of Commerce for cities/towns should know what is available in their area.
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:40 PM
 
21 posts, read 34,689 times
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Thanks for the reply. I do use Realtor, Trulia, Zillow and Landwatch extensively with filtered searches in the areas mentioned. It helps a lot with gaining a distant acquaintance with the ‘market’. I’ve found that regardless of platform you can only get so specific.

We do have Fiber at our home here in Dallas, and I do need reliable internet for work. Using mobile broadband would fit the bill in a pinch but is not a long-term solution. Starlink is expected to expand more into the VA area mid-2022. That would allow us to be more open-ended in our selections. I’m watching the news on that service as we lean into the search for property.
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Old 01-02-2022, 06:30 PM
 
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Fiber is being installed in remote places as we speak. We are getting it on the Blue Ridge Mtns right now, and also it is already in place to some property in WY which is 80 miles from the nearest settlement of 10,000 people. So you have to check each location and the ISP's in each and ask for their near term plans; it is changing every month. Starlink may or may not be viable in the middle latitudes by the end of 2022; they can only launch satellites so fast, build ground facilities, etc.


The richer farmland is up in the Shenandoah Valley, starting about a dozen miles north of Lexington. But that is a serious ag region and land will be more expensive there than down in SW Va. It sounds like you will need to acreage for you ag plans, so IMHO it is better to focus to SW Va and north east TN with your budget limits. You're gonna have to search in a lot of out-of the way corners to find good land that is not too pricey. Places like Bland come to mind, or in Wythe County near the New River bottom lands, down between Damascus and Saltville, or near Sparta of Jefferson City. There are some suitable place along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Galax to Floyd, and Union WV and other parts of the Greenbrier River Valley out to be on your list. The good thing is that land is better in SW Va and eastern TN than most places in western NC.
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Old 01-02-2022, 07:32 PM
 
2,076 posts, read 3,428,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyndeSyte View Post
Thanks for the reply. I do use Realtor, Trulia, Zillow and Landwatch extensively with filtered searches in the areas mentioned. It helps a lot with gaining a distant acquaintance with the ‘market’. I’ve found that regardless of platform you can only get so specific.

We do have Fiber at our home here in Dallas, and I do need reliable internet for work. Using mobile broadband would fit the bill in a pinch but is not a long-term solution. Starlink is expected to expand more into the VA area mid-2022. That would allow us to be more open-ended in our selections. I’m watching the news on that service as we lean into the search for property.
I am curious how Starlink will work compared to the current satellite options. We’ve had both Directway and Viasat and I would refer to them as fair weather Internet. Reception was often lost during storms.
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Old 01-03-2022, 09:35 AM
 
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As for weather related blockages, it ought to be much better; the older systems use high orbit, geostationary satellites (like the satellite TV services) so a heavy cloud or rainfall in the right spot in the sky blocks the path as you have seen. With Starlink satellites in their low earth orbits, the satellites are zipping across the sky very quickly. Due to this and the large number of satellites, your ground terminal will be able to see multiple satellites in the sky at any one time. So if one or two are blocked, some others should still have a path... just like your GPS. It may not be 100%... it is a wireless link after all.... but it ought to be greatly improved.


The speeds are significantly higher. The main improvement is much lower latency; the Starlink satellites are in low earth orbit and are literally much closer to the earth, thus shortening the latency. Speeds will drop as the system gets loaded more an more, just like the cellular data systems. (Starlink speeds are already gradually dropping, and they only have a bit over 200,000 subscribers right now.) The wireless data 'pipe' is only so big, and satellites have 2 pipes to restrict speeds, one to the ground and one from the ground. They can only put up satellites so fast, and build ground feed stations so fast. So the ultimate speeds are TBD.
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Old 01-03-2022, 09:52 AM
 
21 posts, read 34,689 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nm9stheham View Post
Fiber is being installed in remote places as we speak. We are getting it on the Blue Ridge Mtns right now, and also it is already in place to some property in WY which is 80 miles from the nearest settlement of 10,000 people. So you have to check each location and the ISP's in each and ask for their near term plans; it is changing every month. Starlink may or may not be viable in the middle latitudes by the end of 2022; they can only launch satellites so fast, build ground facilities, etc.


The richer farmland is up in the Shenandoah Valley, starting about a dozen miles north of Lexington. But that is a serious ag region and land will be more expensive there than down in SW Va. It sounds like you will need to acreage for you ag plans, so IMHO it is better to focus to SW Va and north east TN with your budget limits. You're gonna have to search in a lot of out-of the way corners to find good land that is not too pricey. Places like Bland come to mind, or in Wythe County near the New River bottom lands, down between Damascus and Saltville, or near Sparta of Jefferson City. There are some suitable place along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Galax to Floyd, and Union WV and other parts of the Greenbrier River Valley out to be on your list. The good thing is that land is better in SW Va and eastern TN than most places in western NC.
Thank you for the excellent info. This tracks with what we've been seeing for properties matching keywords in the area. The valley/ridge area between the Appalachian plateua and the Blue Ridge Mountains seems to be the sweet spot. Also good to hear about the land quality vs that of WNC.

NE TN is very pretty but not sure about the socioeconomics and whatnot. I have family near Johnson City who have recommended a few areas near them.
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Old 01-03-2022, 09:54 AM
 
21 posts, read 34,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choff5 View Post
I am curious how Starlink will work compared to the current satellite options. We’ve had both Directway and Viasat and I would refer to them as fair weather Internet. Reception was often lost during storms.
I also am curious. From reviews and the forums I've been following it seems the low-earth orbit satellites tend to perform better in inclement weather but they can sometimes have outages. I think this also improves as the sheer number of low-orbit satellites continues to climb.

Agree about Viasat/Hughes, I don't think we could get by with either of those.
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Old 01-03-2022, 08:16 PM
 
1,539 posts, read 1,471,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyndeSyte View Post
Thank you for the excellent info. This tracks with what we've been seeing for properties matching keywords in the area. The valley/ridge area between the Appalachian plateua and the Blue Ridge Mountains seems to be the sweet spot. Also good to hear about the land quality vs that of WNC.

NE TN is very pretty but not sure about the socioeconomics and whatnot. I have family near Johnson City who have recommended a few areas near them.
Just not as much red clay up in SW VA and up on the higher areas versus a lot of western NC, at least if you are getting out of the mountains in WNC. Some of the soils in the SW Va area can be fairly shale rich, and this is not as good soil. It is pretty easy to spot, but you have to be on the ground to really see what you have in a particular site. Steeper is generally poorer, and tends to get used only for cattle grazing. Getting at least some flatter land would seem to fit what you want.

I'm originally from Carter County TN, just east of Johnson City. I don't see a ton of difference between there and SW VA. But the elevations are a bit higher and the land a bit different in SW Va, within the Great Valley region for some distance on either side of US11/I-81. And the land gradually changes as you go SW of the Johnson City area.

The small farmstead theme of your original post is what made me think of SW Va and also the Greenbrier Valley region. For SW VA, I would start up at Draper and explore down as far as Abingdon, and not be hesitant to go off the beaten path of the I-81 corridor. Places like Bland and down towards Damascus, and areas over near Galax, Hillsville, Max Meadows, and as far up as Floyd have some nice spots. Union and north of Lewisburg is where I would focus in the Greenbrier Valley.
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:33 AM
 
21 posts, read 34,689 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by nm9stheham View Post
Just not as much red clay up in SW VA and up on the higher areas versus a lot of western NC, at least if you are getting out of the mountains in WNC. Some of the soils in the SW Va area can be fairly shale rich, and this is not as good soil. It is pretty easy to spot, but you have to be on the ground to really see what you have in a particular site. Steeper is generally poorer, and tends to get used only for cattle grazing. Getting at least some flatter land would seem to fit what you want.

I'm originally from Carter County TN, just east of Johnson City. I don't see a ton of difference between there and SW VA. But the elevations are a bit higher and the land a bit different in SW Va, within the Great Valley region for some distance on either side of US11/I-81. And the land gradually changes as you go SW of the Johnson City area.

The small farmstead theme of your original post is what made me think of SW Va and also the Greenbrier Valley region. For SW VA, I would start up at Draper and explore down as far as Abingdon, and not be hesitant to go off the beaten path of the I-81 corridor. Places like Bland and down towards Damascus, and areas over near Galax, Hillsville, Max Meadows, and as far up as Floyd have some nice spots. Union and north of Lewisburg is where I would focus in the Greenbrier Valley.
Interesting point about shale-rich soil. These little details are what makes establishing a realtor relationship tricky. It drives home the necessity of a realtor familiar with farmstead/homestead needs.

Draper, Abingdon, Bland, Damascus, Galax, Hillsville, Max Meadows and Floyd I’ve made sure are part of our filtered searches.

Isn’t Greenbrier Valley, Union/Lewisburg in WV?

Appreciate all the guidance and local insight. Makes the task seem less daunting when doing 90% of it remotely from Texas atm.
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