Small towns

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doodle
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Small towns

Post by doodle » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:28 am

Contemplating a big life change in the next few years. Thinking about buying a decent sized piece of land (at least a few acres) in a small town somewhere with a population of around 500-10000. Currently live in a metropolitan area of around 2 million people. On the one hand having so much bustle about is exciting; however, I fail to avail myself of most social events and instead prefer quieter pastimes and long for the solace of nature....something I must currently drive a few hours to find...Im thinking the reverse would work out better for me....in other words drive a few hours into city when I crave that atmosphere. Im just curious if anyone here has made a transition from city to smallish town and how that worked out for them. Im wondering if there are any potential upsides and downsides I should really think about. Also, whether anyone has visited a small town somewhere that stood out to them as a great place to live. Im looking for something with 4 seasons but not a brutal winter....more North Carolina / Tennessee type climate although really anywhere in the country is possible as long as its affordable. Access to mountains and water a big plus as well.
PP67
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Re: Small towns

Post by PP67 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:55 am

My daughter lives in Knoxville. It's a pretty quaint little college town (Univ of TN and ORNL) on a beautiful river with good seasons. Cost of living is very inexpensive and there is no state income tax. Don't know about the rural/acreage situation but I suspect it is very reasonable. You are less than 200 miles from several large cities (Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta). Kind of tough to get direct flights to a lot of places but it has a very mellow airport.
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sophie
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Re: Small towns

Post by sophie » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:42 pm

Totally get where you're coming from Doodle. You can definitely find quiet places with much less than a few hours' drive between culture heaven and nature.

Portland Oregon, Ashville North Carolina, Phoenix Arizona, Albuquerque New Mexico, Sarasota Florida. I assume deep blue states are out. If you're willing to compromise on the winters, there are even nicer options: Anchorage or Juneau Alaska, anywhere in New Hampshire, Portland Maine. Those are on my personal list, since I like cold & snow and can't stand hot weather.
bedraggled
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Re: Small towns

Post by bedraggled » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:49 pm

Sophie,

Don't like heat? From April 15 to October 15, stay out of lower Florida.

In general, we left glorious Manhattan 54 weeks ago and we both miss it. But our expenses have plummeted. We miss not having the subway and busses but the transportation expenses are down, too. The new auto mechanic said I'd need less repair/replacement without the winter road crap destroying the undercarriage. No tolls if we stay close to home.

The food quality is not as good. Weird being in an agricultural state.

Now, it's pretty slow here- good and bad. I believe we may be getting used to retirement living, so the next year may be different.

Rural? I am dabbling in beekeeping to alleviate the boredom. (Might not be the best pick for me). I drive once a week to a rural part of Florida. Learn from a guy who is Florida State certified he is excellent. One of the homeowners wants to involve any and all he can find to enlist in his spat with a distant neighbor. Seems these "neighbors" are a bit eccentric. Among the many qualities among the locals, the neighbor with whom this guy is fussing keeps goats. These goats tore off another neighbor's full porch. The goat guy denies responsibility. The porchless neighbor spends a lot of time at target practice to minimize the wild boar problem. At high water season, my teacher, carries a pistol in case he is approached by an alligator.

Maybe we should have moved to college town.

There is always the chance of moving back to Manhattan in 10 years.

My wording above may be awkward but I'm a bit rushed.

Of course, this is but 1 contribution and I am a New Yorker.
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Small towns

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:05 pm

I'd be happy to move to a small town. Sophie and I are alike in being cold-weather aficianados, but I know a few places that aren't tundra-cold and are pretty close to your other parameters (population, proximity to water/mountains/nature, seemed like a nice town, not too expensive). What do you consider affordable?

Thomas/Davis, WV (600 ea)
Milford, PA (1,000).
Lewisburg, WV (3,800)
New Martinsville, WV (5,300).
Pigeon Forge, TN (5,800).
Gettysburg, PA (7,700).
Grove City, PA (8,000).
Warren, PA (9,700).
Marietta, OH. (13,000).
Fort Royal, VA (14,400)
Culpeper, VA (16,000).
Cumberland, MD (20,000).
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technovelist
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Re: Small towns

Post by technovelist » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:56 am

I live about 10 miles north of Sulphur Springs, Texas, which is a town of about 15k people.

We are about 90 minutes from Dallas, and we go in generally once a week. Sometimes we go only as far as Rockwall, which is where the nearest Costco is, but usually we go all the way to Dallas because of shopping and visiting friends.

We like it here but are still trying to figure out whether we can stay here "forever". There have been two things that made this impractical:

1. No good choices for internet. This one has been fixed by the latest satellite plan upgrade, where we get 150 GB of "priority" data per month for $150/month plus taxes and fees, and no hard cap. The speed is usually quite good, 8 mbps or better, other than during congested times like Saturday evening, but even then it is 2 or 3 mbps, which is still good enough for our purposes.

2. Having to drive everywhere. So far this hasn't been a problem but it could be at some point because neither of us is a spring chicken. However, I'm expecting self-driving cars before too long, and that will solve that problem too.

As for expenses, there are no state income taxes and our real estate taxes, often a problem in Texas, aren't too bad. We pay about $2,000 a year for a property valued at about $150,000.

Yes, it is hot in the summer (although I don't think it ever got to 100 this summer, which is really unusual). The rest of the year is pretty nice, though.
whatchamacallit
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Re: Small towns

Post by whatchamacallit » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:20 pm

I recently made a similar move to get cheaper housing and little better weather but also a tad bit less amenities.

Any specific outdoor activities you are looking for?
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Re: Small towns

Post by Jack Jones » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:35 am

We're in the process of doing just this. Buying our first home in New Hampshire: ~5 acres, in the woods, across a covered bridge. Moving from Philadelphia area where I've lived most of my life.

Who knows if it's a good idea, but we'll find out. This was something we've talked about for a few years. If this has been a persistent itch of yours, I'd say go for it.

"Got to make it somehow, on the dreams you still believe..."
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Small towns

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:26 pm

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MWKXJ
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Re: Small towns

Post by MWKXJ » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:52 pm

doodle wrote:Contemplating a big life change in the next few years. Thinking about buying a decent sized piece of land (at least a few acres) in a small town somewhere with a population of around 500-10000. Currently live in a metropolitan area of around 2 million people. On the one hand having so much bustle about is exciting; however, I fail to avail myself of most social events and instead prefer quieter pastimes and long for the solace of nature....something I must currently drive a few hours to find...Im thinking the reverse would work out better for me....in other words drive a few hours into city when I crave that atmosphere. Im just curious if anyone here has made a transition from city to smallish town and how that worked out for them. Im wondering if there are any potential upsides and downsides I should really think about. Also, whether anyone has visited a small town somewhere that stood out to them as a great place to live. Im looking for something with 4 seasons but not a brutal winter....more North Carolina / Tennessee type climate although really anywhere in the country is possible as long as its affordable. Access to mountains and water a big plus as well.
Peeples Valley, AZ or Skull Valley, AZ. Close to Prescott ("Press-kit") for shopping. Rural. Agrarian. Slow paced.

Also, many Mormon communities in Utah. St. George, Logan, and the numerous idyllic communities dotting the North-South Highway 89 corridor.

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sophie
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Re: Small towns

Post by sophie » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:31 am

MWKXJ, those photos are beautiful. The last one just dropped my blood pressure by 10 points. (or so I imagine) Maybe it can reduce some tension around here!
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Small towns

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:39 am

My idea of "affordable" must be way off/really Midwestern. Looks pretty though.
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