Valley/Willow Families - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-08-2009, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi guys, so hubby and I have been looking around for property in the valley/ willow area. We currently live in Kenai and LOVE IT out here but for many reasons prefer the valley.

So tell me what it's like for you LIVING OUT THERE. I am a slope wife with a 2/2 rotation schedule - not bad but it tends to get very lonely at times. I have a 23 month old & am currently preg with #2 due in May. We are hoping if we find something that works to be moving this summer.

I see Willow is 22 miles out of Wasilla, how is it living out there. I read its 60% mostly recreational summer housing so its basically empty. Are there other families out there with little children? We plan on homeschooling/unschooling (still debating which will work for us)

Have any good real estate agents you could recommend? Websites? Know of any good property deals? We want land with a descent dwelling for kids to live in and for me to not go crazy during the winter months alone. We would like to spend max $100k trying to not go over unless the deal is good enough.

Other things:

We currently use Natropaths/Homeopathy's any good references besides Anchorage as we use Adam Grove. Wasn't sure if there were any in the valley. Kid Activities?!?!? Kenai is a very family friendly town with lots of groups/activities you can have access too when feeling cooped up. Please tell me this is the same for the valley as my son is finally old enough to enjoy playing with others.

What sort of things are there to do in the summer time? We are looking forward to the U-Pick gardens for sure, but what else is there? Lakes? Hiking?

Thankfully we do Azure and what not and I am apart of Wolf Lake Wellness even though I'm too far to partake in your activities!

Thanks for taking the time to read my questions ~ we're getting excited but it's the whole moving into uncharted territory and as always a little apprehensive. Any comments are welcome! Thanks again ~N:
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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I don't know a whole lot about Willow, though I'm sure Paula will jump on in the next few days and give you some insight to that. I do know that for us, driving 22 miles or whatever to go somewhere isn't a big deal. but everyone's different, of course. I've driven out to Willow a couple of times and I didn't think the drive was bad at all. I do know, however, that here in Wasilla, if you are looking for a house and land together, you are not likely to find anything around 100k that's worth looking into. You might get lucky, though, as it is a buyer's market right now. As for realtors, I don't know. Kevin Crozier was the guy who helped us buy our house and he was wonderful for that. But we were trying to work with him to get our house sold and he was terrible. I don't know if he's just not good at selling, or if he's just not as reliable now as he was 3 years ago. We are meeting with someone else on Monday, though.

As for stuff to do with kids, there are several options. The Wasilla library has story time at least twice a week (one morning and one afternoon), there are a few parks, lots of lakes and places to hike, the new sports center, a public pool, and Bouncing Bears (indoor playground -- not been but heard good things about it). We homeschool through Twindly Bridge and love them. Other good groups are out here as well. If your kiddos need anything through the public schools, such as speech therapy, they are nice to work with. We've had our son in speech for the last couple of years and he was a preschooler when we started and while they wanted him to go 4 afternoons a week to preschool, I told them I just wanted him to get speech and we worked something out no problem. He's done summer school for speech, too, and again, no problems.

Umm, let's see. There are several good churches that have various programs -- play groups, MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers), ladies Bible studies (with child care provided right there). I've gotten together with a few ladies that I met on DiaperSwappers. I believe there is a Cafe Mom group in the area as well. We have a wonderful little toy store here in town next to Carr's that has wooden toys and all sorts of imagination play stuff. Our teacher store also has some wonderful stuff, even for little ones -- wooden puzzles and toys and whatnot.

I think i am starting to ramble, but hopefully I've helped some.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:12 AM
 
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We are in Palmer and love it.

Plenty of hiking all around us. From The Butte to Hatcher Pass and many many other trails. There are also lakes to swim in in the summer.

Amy Chadwick is a ND in Palmer. Dr Ty Vincent is in Wasilla. He is an MD, but very open minded and progressive.

Palmer has a few great restuarants. Turkey Red is and organic restaurant. The Red Beet specializes in local foods.

In December Palmer has a great winter celebration.

A good realtor is Misty Walsh with Remax Wasilla.

You will love it here!:

PM me if you want any more info.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik_907 View Post
Hi guys, so hubby and I have been looking around for property in the valley/ willow area. We currently live in Kenai and LOVE IT out here but for many reasons prefer the valley.

So tell me what it's like for you LIVING OUT THERE. I am a slope wife with a 2/2 rotation schedule - not bad but it tends to get very lonely at times. I have a 23 month old & am currently preg with #2 due in May. We are hoping if we find something that works to be moving this summer.

I see Willow is 22 miles out of Wasilla, how is it living out there. I read its 60% mostly recreational summer housing so its basically empty. Are there other families out there with little children? We plan on homeschooling/unschooling (still debating which will work for us)

Have any good real estate agents you could recommend? Websites? Know of any good property deals? We want land with a descent dwelling for kids to live in and for me to not go crazy during the winter months alone. We would like to spend max $100k trying to not go over unless the deal is good enough.

Other things:

We currently use Natropaths/Homeopathy's any good references besides Anchorage as we use Adam Grove. Wasn't sure if there were any in the valley. Kid Activities?!?!? Kenai is a very family friendly town with lots of groups/activities you can have access too when feeling cooped up. Please tell me this is the same for the valley as my son is finally old enough to enjoy playing with others.

What sort of things are there to do in the summer time? We are looking forward to the U-Pick gardens for sure, but what else is there? Lakes? Hiking?

Thankfully we do Azure and what not and I am apart of Wolf Lake Wellness even though I'm too far to partake in your activities!

Thanks for taking the time to read my questions ~ we're getting excited but it's the whole moving into uncharted territory and as always a little apprehensive. Any comments are welcome! Thanks again ~N:
Hmmm. Lots to discuss.
First off, pockets of Willow are summer rec only. Regardless, it is a wonderful place to live.
Buying a house and property. You will not find anything in the range you are looking for, unless you can pay cash and do not mind livining in a rundown shack.
That being said, here is what we did.
We are fairly low income, but since we had never bought a home we qualified for all the first time home buyers stuff.
Rural development, CDC and HOPS are things you should look into.
We bought a house for $150,000, recieved a $30,000 grant for downpayment.
80% of our loan is on a 1% interest, and the rest is set at 5%.
Our monthly is less than $700.
We could not have bought a house any other way.
FYI- the home must pass a full bank inspection. Completely finished and in good repair top to bottom. And must a have a good well and real septic

Check with Trapline Realty here in Willow, and let them know what you are looking for. But first, find out what helps you may qualify for.
Since you will have two kiddos shortly, you might qualify for more help than us.
Wasilla is only 20 minutes away. With all the new stores, and of course Azure locally (and we run a Raw Milk Co-op) Willow is a great place to settle.
Summer rec is Awsome! Trails, world class fishing, etc.
Dh and I run a little fishing tackle store during the summer in Willow as well.
Winter time is wonderful as well. Dog mushers all over the place (keep that in mind when looking at places ) )

Wasilla and Palmer both have excellent Natropaths, as well as other drs. who are a bit more crunchy, ie., delayed or no vax friendly.

We are heading out bunny hunting in a bit, so I can answer more ?s tonight if you like
Paula

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Way more help than I ever expected ladies.. Thank you so much! I have allot of information to absorb. We are expecting to start up on a fixer/upper. Mostly we are interested in the land and having a place to live in, pay off (asap), then start building the home we would like to live in.

We found a couple properties in Willow/Talkeetna - living in Kenai we really can't tell if the property homes are in good order so we're hoping to get as much done as we want now and then hopefully after the birth in May we will drive out there and hopefully get to check it all out ~ that is if it's all still available. Really hard to do when you live 4 hours away - we will get this done though. We love the Peninsula but the valley has allot more to offer our way of living.

We are also thinking of settling with a couple Bison/Buffalo and begin a farm as Buffalo along with local fish & game is all we eat besides fruit, veg, nut, seeds, grains, etc. So this is another reason we are looking into the property verses the home. For our own way of living and if it becomes popular enough maybe branching out to the community on shares of the meat, etc. Currently though baby steps.

I don't think we qualify as low-income anymore because husband got a few raises last year bumping us up (but crossing my fingers, I'll still look into what we benefit for!) We currently own the trailer we live on (not movable what so ever) but pay space rent for the property it is located on so thankfully we're use to run down shack/ small place type atmosphere!

Thanks for the info re: natropaths, recreation, activities, and the like. With husband being gone 2 weeks out of the month it gets really lonely and tot time (at the local rec center here), LLL (located in an awesome play room) along with swimming and other activities and family groups we hang out with - I don't know how else I would have survived! But thankfully with the addition to our family it is growing so my son will have an accomplice within a year : btw, is there a local LLL group in the valley? Anyone attend? I was unsuccessful with my first son after a few months had to supplement as I wasn't producing nearly enough for him. Hoping for a better outcome this time around but need the support. I went to LLL in Anchorage the first time around and felt very awkward as I was the only one there who was feeding my child formula hoping for support but just really felt awkward - if anyone knows please drop me a line! Thanks.

Must get going to check out all the stuff you've thankfully mentioned. Once again thanks ladies - any and all info is welcomed. We look forward to finding a place soon.

Paula - do you ship your milk at all or is it just local? A friend of mine has been looking for some but non available on the peninsula. I also was someone who asked you about your sprouted grain recipe! Thank you for emailing me back with your blog link - it looks like it turned out amazing! I don't have a grinder but once I get one I hope to start churning and learning.

:
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:25 AM
 
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The milk is local. I am one of over a dozen co-ops for this farm. I cannot say who or where online, but PM me if you need more info.
However, it would not be possible to get milk down to the Kenia.
If you do find that you are unable to bf, Traditional Foods Raw Milk Formula is highly recommended.

Do you have the listings for the properties you mentioned?
If they are near by, I do not mind taking a peak at them, to give you an idea if its swampy or not.
If you end up in the valley, I hold "free" Traditional foods classes on a frequent basis.
Paula

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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