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#1 of 36 Old 05-28-2012, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are ready to buy land on which we will build a sustainable house of some kind.

My husband is a musician and we need to be in an area that appreciates original acoustic music.

We want to be in or near mountains and forests.

We want to be within a couple of hours of a big city (health food stores, ballet lessons, etc) and close to a small town that we love, where everybody knows everybody. We want availability of local food, raw milk, etc.

We want a not too long or harsh winter, and somewhere where food grows easily. We are coming from Florida and don't want the hot, hot summers.

We like to be among artistic people. We like homeschoolers. We have 3 kids ages 7, 2,and 1.

Do you have any ideas for us, general region, or specific town? We are considering North Carolina, Northern California, Flagstaff AZ...but there are so many places we haven't been and don't even know we should be considering!

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#2 of 36 Old 05-28-2012, 11:17 PM
 
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Sounds like Asheville NC!
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#3 of 36 Old 05-29-2012, 04:52 PM
 
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Beacon, NY would be perfect, except for the winters!

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#4 of 36 Old 05-29-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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without a doubt ...Floyd, Virginia...love it there


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#5 of 36 Old 05-31-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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State College PA and the surrounding area has a lot of what you are looking for.  I would move there in a heartbeat.  The Penns Valley area especially - a strong arts and local food scene and a big conservation movement.  It seems like every other farm has a "Raw Milk" sign nailed to the side of the barn.  Coburn is a small town worth checking out.

 

Winters can be snowy but not brutal.


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#6 of 36 Old 06-02-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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I'm gonna throw out Tennesse. Knoxville has a lot of good stores. Berea, Ky would be great too. If you want raw milk and live in the Southeastern Ky region, you can get it in Lexington KY.


 

 

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#7 of 36 Old 06-02-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are now considering the Portland area of Oregon (maybe near McMinnville) and the Boulder CO area. It's so hard to know how all the rain in OR would effect us. We've never been to either state. Looks like Boulder is more breathtakingly scenic, but I get the impression that Oregon is more full of people who are naturally into preservation and conservation. I know it won't have the 4 seasons we were looking for exactly, but I love everything I read about it! I get the idea that Boulder will be more conventional crunchy people, with all the big box stores, etc, and that doesn't appeal to me as much. I think we will need to visit both to see. I also want to see how close the mountains are around Portland.

Flloyd and Ashville sound perfect but we realized that there aren't Scientology churches close enough to either place and we want to be near our church.

We drove through Tennessee and the geography just wasn't our item. And we'd like somewhere cooler, too. PA and NY are probably too much winter for us...

Thanks for all the ideas. I would welcome any further thoughts. I am also wondering if I am too worried about winter. But if I decide we can live somewhere with more winter, that opens up too many possibilities and then how will I ever choose? Anyone want to talk to me about how you stay active with kids during snowy (or rainy) winters? How do you deal with a shorter growing season?

Thanks!

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#8 of 36 Old 06-02-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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A lot of the places you're thinking about are pretty expensive.  Too bad you don't want long, cold winters; otherwise, upstate NY or Vermont could be good choices. If you want mountains and forests, but not cold winters or hot summers, it sounds like the Pacific Northwest might be your best bet, but land's not cheap in the Portland or Seattle areas (and I'm sure it's worse in northern California.)  The rain may not be a big deal to you.  I quickly got used to it when I lived in western Washington.  For one thing, there's very little rain during the summer.  July, August,and September are absolutely beautiful and not at all rainy.  It is definitely rainy in the winter, but it doesn't tend to rain very hard.  It's just on and off drizzle, so it doesn't necessarily keep you from going outside.

 

I live in a place with a long, snowy winter now, and it's fine, though it might not be so much fun if we didn't like winter sports.  We love skiing and ice skating, and the kids love playing in the snow.  We have a nice sledding hill in our yard.  We love having different seasons where we can do different things - there's something to look forward to in every season.  It would be nice to have a longer growing season, but it's not too bad here.  You just need to start some things inside and pick varieties that don't take too long to mature.  (And accept that you just can't have some things, like a peach tree.)

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#9 of 36 Old 06-02-2012, 03:09 PM
 
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I agree....sounds like Asheville, although COL is high, IMO. PLaces like Black mountain, Hendersonville, and Brevard are all within 30 minutes, have their own health food stores and co-ops, have good hsing communities and schools, and have significantly lower COL in general. We live in Hendersonville now, but are in the process of moving to Brevard. There is a music center there, as well as a nice college with a music school. Lots and lot of opportunites for gigs at local places.


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#10 of 36 Old 06-02-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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Be aware that both the Portland, OR area and the Boulder, CO area are spendy. It's hard to live sustainably here due to land prices--everything else is pretty fantastic provided you really enjoy rain.


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#11 of 36 Old 06-02-2012, 08:18 PM
 
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You might really like some northern California towns. Some places that come to mind are towns along Hwy. 299 between Eureka and Redding. Grass Valley area off Hwy. 80, anywhere along Hwy 49 foothills you can still find affordable land.  If you get inland a bit its not so foggy all summer and lots of mountains and forests. Summers can be warm,but dry heat. Only thing is no big city's close by... but the small tows up there have what you are looking for. Also lots of places still affordable if you look. 

Lots in Oregon too, I would go check places out.. so many options there! 

Even northern Washington state comes to mind... again inland a bit and the weather is way nicer. 


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#12 of 36 Old 06-03-2012, 06:56 AM
 
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Boulder, CO is one of the most expensive places in CO to live. There are many smaller towns in the area that will fit your needs that are cheaper, but CO in general is not a cheap place to live. I would try one of the cost of living calculaters on the Internet to check out some of the towns you like vs what you are used to.
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#13 of 36 Old 06-04-2012, 04:17 AM
 
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Check out Idlewild in Southern California! We visited it twice. It is a really nice place, pretty friendly but quirky and has a nice arts community.
 


unschooling mom, family travel enthusiast and holistic living advocate

 

 

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#14 of 36 Old 06-04-2012, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adasmommy View Post

PA and NY are probably too much winter for us...

Thanks for all the ideas. I would welcome any further thoughts. I am also wondering if I am too worried about winter. But if I decide we can live somewhere with more winter, that opens up too many possibilities and then how will I ever choose? Anyone want to talk to me about how you stay active with kids during snowy (or rainy) winters? How do you deal with a shorter growing season?
Thanks!

 

PA has 3 months of "winter" were it might snow - December, January and February.  Not that it won't snow in November or March but based on my 30 years of living here, snow is sort of limited to those three months and even then, the frequency and amounts vary greatly.  This last winter was almost snow free, a great disappointment to us!  We like to ski (downhill), snow shoe, and sledding and just generally play outside.  Our favorite family weekend activity is to build a campfire and cook out while playing in the snow.

 

I don't garden but people in my family do.  They use cold frames and many people have small greenhouses (or hoop houses) for starting plants.


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#15 of 36 Old 06-04-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adasmommy View Post

PA and NY are probably too much winter for us...

Thanks for all the ideas. I would welcome any further thoughts. I am also wondering if I am too worried about winter. But if I decide we can live somewhere with more winter, that opens up too many possibilities and then how will I ever choose? Anyone want to talk to me about how you stay active with kids during snowy (or rainy) winters? How do you deal with a shorter growing season?
Thanks!

 

PA has 3 months of "winter" were it might snow - December, January and February.  Not that it won't snow in November or March but based on my 30 years of living here, snow is sort of limited to those three months and even then, the frequency and amounts vary greatly.  This last winter was almost snow free, a great disappointment to us!  We like to ski (downhill), snow shoe, and sledding and just generally play outside.  Our favorite family weekend activity is to build a campfire and cook out while playing in the snow.

 

 

 

we live in PA and looking to move out within the next two years (2 reasons!)---all I can say is FRACKING & water! 

 

do your homework!


 

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#16 of 36 Old 06-06-2012, 08:08 AM
 
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hello,

I am just a lurker but,

I recently lived in Warren County PA.  Mountains! tons of national forrest! Alleghany River and reservior- I knew a few living off the grid quite well.  The cost of living is so low.  Plenty of fishing and hunting.  Lots of dairies and organic farms- including meat- around. I went right to the dairy barn to get my milk.  Close to Erie PA, Buffalo NY, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.  So much to do.  The lakes freeze over and people ice fish.  Sledding, cross country skiing, winter walks in the woods, a great YMCA, I know it had a few top 10 designations- cleanest rivers- or pristine living area- etc- Canning is quite active in the area with people growing big summer gardens and canning fruit, veggies, meat and fish for the winter.  I also knew someone who sun dried and dehydrated a lot of things. 

 

good luck

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#17 of 36 Old 06-06-2012, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the ideas.  We were just in Black Mountain NC, and loved it, but it's missing just one of our criteria so we're crossing it off the list.  We LOVE Northern California, and were in Grass Valley recently but my husband's parents refuse to relocate to California for economic reasons (I think they're making too much of it) and we are hopeful that they will eventually join us...so we are trying to forget about N Calif.

 

You guys are totally talking me into Winter.  We do want snow, but I was thinking of Winter as long and dreary, and I'm beginning to realize that most of the US is going to have winters that are not as awful as I thought...so that opens up a lot more possibilities!  I'm going to check out PA, NY, VT and NH.

 

Affordable land will be important to us. 

 

Thank you again, and I'll welcome any further thoughts :)


Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#18 of 36 Old 06-06-2012, 04:42 PM
 
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PA is not really homeschool friendly.  PA is a red state. (and they seem to use every last bit of that red crayon up there).  If you are going to homeschool please check out the states homeschool laws before moving.

This is one of the best resources I've found

 

http://www.hslda.org/laws/    click on the state you want and the homeschool laws will be there.


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#19 of 36 Old 06-06-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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What didn't you find in Black Mountain, if I may ask? :)


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#20 of 36 Old 06-06-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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I'll put a word in for New Hampshire! great state that often gets over looked I think :) If you look into it keep to the northern part- best area by far and is the best for mountains and hills, the central region is OK too but the north is the most untouched and "woodsy". not sure about land prices but I think you might find it a more affordable state overall compared to other parts of the country.

Only drawback is no major city close by, but I don't think of that as a drawback b/c I like being as far away from that madness as possible!

Good luck where ever you end up :)

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#21 of 36 Old 06-13-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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Check out the SF Bay Area! 

 

Half Moon Bay is on the coast about 40 minutes south of San Francisco, 50 minutes north of Santa Cruz. The town itself has plenty to offer as far as activities for children (classes, library, etc). Lots of hiking in the mountains but also along the beach, mild weather all year long, and a great health food store and homeschool community. It's also just about 20 minutes from the SF peninsula which consists of towns such as San Mateo and Palo Alto If you're looking for more rural living you could look into land south of HMB between HMB and Pescadero. All the land around here is pricey compared to other rural area in the country though. 

 

Another N. California town I've recently visited and loved is Fairfax. It's about 40 minutes north of San Francisco in Marin County and is really awesome. It has a great natural food store, restaurants, and is located very close to the bigger town of San Rafael. Very cute town!  

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#22 of 36 Old 06-22-2012, 10:23 PM
 
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If you're considering the mountains, you should take a look at Sun Valley, ID and the surrounding area. I was raised (and partially homeschooled) there by back to the landers- great restaurants, food stores, lots of gorgeous hiking, and the best children's ballet company I've ever seen. You don't have a big big city, but Sun Valley operates as its own piece of California, and if you're up for some online shopping it's all you need.
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#23 of 36 Old 06-26-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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Aspen, CO! Every summer they have the International music festival & camp for college age students. Its mountainous and beautiful. I think the website is aspenmusicfestival.com. you get to listen to talented students play throughout the area. And you can see the Maroon Bells. Loved it there!

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#24 of 36 Old 06-26-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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Also, how could I forget... Sedona AZ. Maybe Santa Fe, NM. DH says maybe Bend, OR. What about Canada? smile.gif

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#25 of 36 Old 06-27-2012, 01:15 AM
 
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I'm surprised no one mentioned it, you described Bellingham, WA to a tee.


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#26 of 36 Old 07-19-2012, 07:07 PM
 
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I agree with PP Bellingham WA or outskirts of Bellingham, Whatcom county in general.  I live 30 minutes outside Bellingham in Everson WA, I grew up here and couldn't imagine living any where else, Whenever we travel out of state nothing seems to measure up, it's so green and beautiful here, right by the water, foothills of Mt Baker, it's quite green and crunchy here, it's also a college town so a good area for music, and Health food stores, Raw milk is sold at our local food coop stores or several other stores for that matter, it's homeschool friendly, lots of things for kids to do, plenty of parks and activities.  We love it here :)

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#27 of 36 Old 07-19-2012, 07:17 PM
 
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Eureka Springs Arkansas!!!!!
 


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#28 of 36 Old 07-20-2012, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the ideas! It's kind of awesome to hear that there are so many wonderful places to choose from! We are checking out Asheville NC right now, and if we decide to look elsewhere, I will have this wonderful thread as my go-to list smile.gif

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#29 of 36 Old 07-24-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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I would really look into Fayetteville, Arkansas.  I know it sounds CRAZY.  But I am from New England and my husband is from Washington and we lived in and LOVED NC.  But now we find ourselves in AR (we are in the military) and we are SHOCKED!!!!  We could not believe the culture here and the mountains.  Plus all the amazing rivers and the cost of living in so cheap.  Fayetteville is right next to the Ozark Mountains which are VERY similar to the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We call Fayetteville mini Portland.  Though it is not that mini with a population close to 500,000.  

 

Anyway I think it is worth a look.


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#30 of 36 Old 07-27-2012, 07:00 AM
 
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Here is another voice for Asheville, UNLESS access to raw milk is crucial. You can get local milk here in NC, but not raw. I live in Charlotte, and we have easier access to it as we are only 20 minutes from SC, Asheville is further away from the state line.

 

I grew up in PA, and honestly would not recommend living there (although raw milk is legal in PA as well). The one exception would be the New Hope area. Access to raw milk, not too far from mountains, a lot of farm land and farms (we bought from Hendrick's farm in Telford, PA when we lived in NJ), close to Philadelphia, not too far from NYC. I don't know about music, but there is a great community theater in New Hope. Not the easiest state to homeschool in, but I know people who do it.
 


 

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