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Old 07-22-2019, 04:57 PM
 
778 posts, read 525,917 times
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Originally Posted by vantexan View Post
She's ex-Army and needs to be near a VA. From what I've described to her she thinks living between Huntington and Charleston will work well. I like the Beckley area like Oak Hill, and also Elkins, and even Davis. But I prefer smaller places. That was her concern, living between the two biggest cities might expose us to some risk, but she likes the amenities. If it's not an issue then I guess we'll start there.
Well you being living in retirement or will one or both of you still be employed? That will be the determining factor I think.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Caden Grace View Post
Well you being living in retirement or will one or both of you still be employed? That will be the determining factor I think.
We're both 57 now. We'll be retired when we move there. This started with me driving through a number of times now and liking it so much I started researching online. We were considering living overseas in retirement but we'd prefer to stay in the States.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vantexan View Post
We're both 57 now. We'll be retired when we move there. This started with me driving through a number of times now and liking it so much I started researching online. We were considering living overseas in retirement but we'd prefer to stay in the States.

West Virginia is a wonderful place to retire.

While it is a lighthearted look at West Virginia and it is a Hollywood comedy you can get a rather decent preview of West Virginia in the film Big Business, starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlinson. All of the scenes in that movie that are not set in New York City are in West Virginia, from the opening to the end.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJXw19MmoOk

Obviously the scenery is not a caricature, but the portrayal of the "West Virginians" are, but only slightly. Even though this movie opens in the 1950's and goes modern in the 1980's, It would not be unrecognizable in 2019. Change a few cars, a few pieces of clothes of you have West Virginia of today. The way the 'locals' talk, act, think and expect things to be is pretty close to a lot of West Virginians today.

West Virginia also has its highly education individuals but most of the people who are going to be your neighbors here could be an extra in this movie.

The scenes in this movie come from selected parts of the state but mostly come from an area just east of Charleston to Summersville, West Virginia. All of the scenes are from the fall in West Virginia and looks to be in what we call Indian Summer, when we get full fall color and still have temps in the high 70's and low 80's. Nights of course cool off quickly once the sun sets into high 40's and low 50's.

Another reason you might consider that region is that it is along Route 19, which is 4 lanes, interstate quality highway. It crosses the iconic New River Gorge Bridge, you occasionally see in commercials.



You will be equidistant from three important cities in southern West Virginia, Charleston, the capitol and largest, which has the state's only real airport:



Clarksburg is at the northern end of Route 19 and is a VA center:



Beckley sits at the southern end of Route 19:



Beckley also has a rather large VA Center:



Summersville is the town I would recommend or some where near that location, it is home to the state's largst lake for recreation and sits on Route 19.This location is important because it puts roughly halfway between two VA centers, one in Clarksburg and one in Beckley. Charleston is less than an hour's drive to the west.





Even if you choose elsewhere most of these images would be valid any where in the state and every county - we have 55 - has small storybook towns in them.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:57 PM
 
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I drove up to Fayetteville a few weeks ago and crossed the bridge. Beautiful area. I agree with you about the areas you recommend but wife is a big city girl. She wants a cabin in the woods that's not far from shopping. She hears that Beckley has about 17,000 population and doesn't care that it's got a lot going for it. When she heard that Huntington, Charleston, and the areas around and in between have about 600,000 population she was comfortable with that. If I have decent internet and a Walmart I can live anywhere. But prefer scenery.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vantexan View Post
I drove up to Fayetteville a few weeks ago and crossed the bridge. Beautiful area. I agree with you about the areas you recommend but wife is a big city girl. She wants a cabin in the woods that's not far from shopping. She hears that Beckley has about 17,000 population and doesn't care that it's got a lot going for it. When she heard that Huntington, Charleston, and the areas around and in between have about 600,000 population she was comfortable with that. If I have decent internet and a Walmart I can live anywhere. But prefer scenery.
The internet here is 400 meg standard if you have Suddenlink, otherwise known as Altice - a German company with dubious customer service. There is also Frontier and I think their best speed is 12 meg and it costs about the same as Suddenlink. Go figure 400 vs 12. Frontier has a state contract, Suddenlink doesn't.

Kanawha County (Charleston) has around 200,000, Putnam County has around 57,000 - it is a small county between Charleston and Hutington and then there is Cabel County (Huntington) has around 95,000. So that in those three counties there is just about 350,000. But the metro of these counties does extend into others and might bring it to 500,000.

Huntington has a board here and they can provide more information than I can. But the two big concerns for you would be that the state's VA Hospital is there and it is a college town with Marshall University.

Putnam county is nothing more than a bedroom community and the interstate-64 corridor in both directions is a nightmare of traffic, just about any time of day. When there is a wreck prepare to sit for a long time.

Charleston will feel a lot larger than Huntington because Kanawha County is more than just Charleston. Kanawha County is about 1,000 square miles and it has one large river valley running east to west with many towns along the course. It is 30 miles between Montgomery in the east end of the county and Nitro in the west and it is all urbanized the entire length. The city is only about 2 miles wide though and driving 5 minutes north or south can have you in deep woods.

Charleston is in addition to being the capitol, the state's banking, commercial, transportation, and legal center. It used to be the undisputed king of retail and a case can be argued that it still is, but it has seen better days.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:38 PM
 
725 posts, read 834,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantexan View Post
I drove up to Fayetteville a few weeks ago and crossed the bridge. Beautiful area. I agree with you about the areas you recommend but wife is a big city girl. She wants a cabin in the woods that's not far from shopping. She hears that Beckley has about 17,000 population and doesn't care that it's got a lot going for it. When she heard that Huntington, Charleston, and the areas around and in between have about 600,000 population she was comfortable with that. If I have decent internet and a Walmart I can live anywhere. But prefer scenery.
WV has wonky annexation laws, so a lot of the cities are smaller than they should be. The surrounding county has 80,000 and the Beckley MSA is ~125,000. There isn't much in Charleston/Huntington that you can't do in Beckley. Additionally, Beckley puts you significantly closer to the outdoor recreation opportunities in the New River Gorge.

Just as an FYI Beckley's Metro area is Raleigh and Fayette Counties and the "urban area" extends from Beckley and its surrounds up US19 to Fayetteville.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:53 AM
 
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You and your wife sound similar to me and my husband. We are seriously considering Berkeley Springs for retirement. We've been going there for the past 15 years and love it there. It's an artsy town with enough to do and is close enough to Martinsburg, Hagerstown, MD and Winchester, VA for shopping, restaurants and change of scenery. Lots of transplants though, we've noticed that traffic has become so much heavier in the past few years. The biggest question is whether or not it's too far from big cities and rural for us.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,257 posts, read 8,456,448 times
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Originally Posted by CozyCorner View Post
You and your wife sound similar to me and my husband. We are seriously considering Berkeley Springs for retirement. We've been going there for the past 15 years and love it there. It's an artsy town with enough to do and is close enough to Martinsburg, Hagerstown, MD and Winchester, VA for shopping, restaurants and change of scenery. Lots of transplants though, we've noticed that traffic has become so much heavier in the past few years. The biggest question is whether or not it's too far from big cities and rural for us.
Yup, my advice if access to bigger cities is an issue is to look north closer to the D.C. region. Maryland has small cities in the mountains, or close to them, and nowhere in the mountains of Maryland are you more than 3 hours to the city limits of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or Washington D.C. (in some cases all three) You can get to edge cities and suburbs of these cities in 2 hours or less.

But I think I have already shared this with the OP.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:42 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,769 posts, read 32,853,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantexan View Post
She's ex-Army and needs to be near a VA. From what I've described to her she thinks living between Huntington and Charleston will work well. I like the Beckley area like Oak Hill, and also Elkins, and even Davis. But I prefer smaller places. That was her concern, living between the two biggest cities might expose us to some risk, but she likes the amenities. If it's not an issue then I guess we'll start there.
Martinsburg has a VA. Close to DC. Affordable housing.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:38 AM
 
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Thanks for the information everyone. I think the "Metro Valley" between Charleston and Huntington is a good compromise for us although I think I'd prefer Beckley area towards Oak Hill. I agree Westsideboy that Cumberland is a great town but among other things I like West Virginia's property tax rates. Looking at Morgantown's restaurant options I think we could be very happy in that area but it's a bit pricey. I drove down I-77 yesterday after driving I-70 across Colorado and Utah then up to northern Utah last week. As beautiful as that was I still think I prefer the small mountains and lush vegetation of West Virginia. A truly beautiful state!
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