Choosing a place to live. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-13-2014, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Being the kind of people who want a few acres and are interested in homesteading, but dependent on the income of a professional career is presenting some unique challenges. In order for DH to work we need to be in reasonable commuting distances of (at least) mid-sized cities (probably 200-500k in population- so Orlando, Portland, those types of places would be okay, but it would be a struggle to go smaller. ) We lived in Ann Arbor, MI and I loved it, but DH won't go back (for various reasons) but also loved it there. We live in CA in the Bay Area now and we don't like it at all. Away from the city, it's beautiful, but it's just too crowded and too expensive.

Other than that, wanting to be in a place where people are friendly, and a place we won't be complete outcasts as secular liberals, are the things we are looking for. I have to start looking somewhere. Any advice on places to consider? Or places that we should not bother considering?

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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#2 of 10 Old 03-13-2014, 02:55 PM
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Well, I'm in Portland, Oregon and I love it here. We have an urban growth boundary that means there are lots of farms and small acreage properties close to town, rather than the sprawling suburbs you get in California. I think the overall culture here tends toward secular liberal, so you'd fit right in.

DH and I hope to buy land and start our own homestead, but while we're transitioning to life in the country he will still be working in town. So we plan to find a place that's not too far to commute, and still big enough to feed our family. There are lots of options.
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#3 of 10 Old 03-16-2014, 04:26 PM
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I don't know about a lot of cities across the US but Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA come to mind. Both are good sized cities with semi-rural areas not far outside of them. My cousin lived in Elgin, TX at one point and was 15 min outside of Austin but still surrounded by horse farms in her location. It was truly amazing there and I know Austin is a very liberal friendly alternative thinking town. Whole Foods is headquartered there and there are dozens of great natural family living resources. The liberal thing probably won't go over so great with the Texans since it's a conservative state but Austin is nice and wouldn't care there.

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#4 of 10 Old 03-18-2014, 12:16 PM
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My knowledge is mostly the Midwest.  We are homesteaders here.   Fayetteville, Arkansas is a great town with many corporate jobs and reasonable land in the area.  Lawrence, KS would be my top pick.  It is a very progressive college town with plenty of things to do.  There are some jobs there, but many jobs in nearby Kansas City or Topeka.  Charlotte, North Carolina is very beautiful also.

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#5 of 10 Old 05-09-2014, 01:08 PM
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Vacaville, ca and the nearby areas have quite a bit of open land (though not particularly cheap) with great growing weather and close proximity to both sf and sac.
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#6 of 10 Old 05-10-2014, 08:36 PM
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Madison, WI! We live about 2 hours away from there, but there are many places to go just outside the city. Awesome city- great farmers market, coops, good food, love it.  Milwaukee is also close by, but not as liberal as Madison.

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#7 of 10 Old 06-08-2014, 02:54 PM
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Definitely look into the Pacific Northwest. There are rural places near Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Portland. I'm currently in Tacoma and am looking to do sort of the same thing. I would love to move down to Olympia but hubby's job is here for now. Tacoma is more blue collar than Olympia/Portland/Seattle but I like it still. I do feel way more granola than most people here but that's okay. The one thing about this area is the school district is terrible, and while we don't have kids yet, we're trying, so that will be something for us to consider also.

The main consideration I would tell people looking to come to this area is that people either love the weather or hate it. Lots of rain in the winter/spring months, but not too cold and no snow! Summers are gorgeous and don't get too hot. Some people can't handle the cloudiness and rain, but it doesn't really bother me. I'll take that over snow and 100plus degree weather anyday.
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#8 of 10 Old 06-10-2014, 10:53 AM
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Anyone here know about Nova Scotia? We're thinking of relocating to Canada for our dream homestead. Looks gorgeous, but we're in the beginning of planning. Lots to consider.

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#9 of 10 Old 06-18-2014, 10:49 PM
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We chose an area near the ocean and southern. The ocean keeps the temps temperate all year, so we have a year long growing season. We don't have to prepare for the winter, we can even get tomatoes in the winter. And the water keeps the temps from getting too hot for more sensitive plants, like peas and lettuce. And we can grow our own citrus. We have multiple lemon varieties, multiple orange varieties, grapefruit, avocado, limes, kumquat, and on and on. The challenge is more deciduous fruits, like apples and so on. they do like a cold winter. But we do OK. I really want some date palms, but I think we are going to wait a bit.
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#10 of 10 Old 06-19-2014, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jennsies View Post
Some people can't handle the cloudiness and rain, but it doesn't really bother me. I'll take that over snow and 100plus degree weather anyday.
LOL that's funny. We live in the deep south where it's hot, humid and mostly miserable in the summer. We're southern born and raised though so I guess it doesn't really bother us much but I know people that aren't from here can't hack it usually. DH actually spent a few months in Seattle for work and was miserable!! Of all the states and climates we've been to that was the one that he just couldn't take. The rains and clouds just depressed him. He said he was never so happy to see the sunshine when he got back here LOL. I guess it really does just depend on what you're use to. My cousin is up there now and seems to be loving that area of the country!

I think just about any area could be good for a homestead but it just depends on the individual's outlook and goals. I have to admit the area I live in isn't my favorite place to live but it does work great for a homestead particularly the property we bought here (if we can ever get it set up!). It is awfully hot here but that gives us an almost year round growing season in the ground with some things being able to be in the ground year round. Plus we get just enough of a winter to manage to keep certain species of colder weather fruits like apples while still being able to grow tropical varieties here with little extra protection. The large amounts of wildlife and water help immensely plus we have a creek and spring on our property.

*One big thing to remember when looking for homestead property though is housing. Whether you buy property with a house or build is a key factor especially if you're building and want natural building options. Building codes and regulations about septic and water can be a pain and stop you from getting your dream in some places. Developing raw land can be extremely expensive too depending on the area and the regulations.
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