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we want to move but where, please?  RSS feed

 
                                
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Hi fellow permaculture friends!

My husband and I live in Sherman Oaks and we are ready to put the house up for our dream life! We want clean air, clean water and land (with internet access) but where? We'd like to live among other permies and we're not opposed to setting up overseas. Where would you move to? All advice is very appreciated. Thank you!
 
Posts: 113
Location: Hatfield, PA
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I'm in a similar situation in the heart of NYC and am very curious what is posted in this thread.

Things I'm actively considering:
Private Property Rights (very important, precludes many foreign countries, imho)
Tax rates (preferably no income tax and low property tax, one more link)
Population Density (rural, or low)
Business-friendly laws
Gun laws (It's my hobby)
Farm sales laws (I'd like to be able to sell meat & produce easily)
Proximity to major metropolitan areas (would like it to be within 50 miles of a major town/city or three for a market for my produce and to find a job in the interim)

It's hard to find a place that meets all of the above, especially since I would like to stay in the North East if possible. PA is the best bet so far as everything else up here sucks in terms of taxes alone. It's all about balance, though.
 
                                
Posts: 55
Location: Savannah, GA
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In a few years I'm heading for north Florida, between Jacksonville and Gainesville. No state income tax. A very favorable homestead liability protection (the only debt they can take your property for is a mortgage on THAT property). The area is rural and conservative with a lot of hunting and favorable gun laws. It's fairly business friendly to small businesses. Land and housing prices are currently depressed so it's a good time to buy. Grow vegetables nearly year round.

Drawbacks: the land tends to be sandy and rather poor but responds well to added organic matter and you can find land that hasn't been farmed recently. Cell phone and internet are spotty. Water is currently in OK supply but that may change in the future, but there is enough rainfall to live off that if necessary. If you think the sea level will rise 400 ft, all of Florida will be underwater, although this area will probably be about the last to go under. It is hot & humid in the summer, but there is always a breeze blowing and the ground never freezes. Personally, I'd rather deal with heat than cold.

I don't know about the farm sale laws.

For those of you in Sherman Oaks - I grew up in Long Beach, CA and moved "back east" about 30 years ago. You would have some adjustment with the humidity, but not as much adjustment as moving to a snowy climate. In many ways the Florida climate is like So Cal, although in other ways it is not. I feel more at home there than any place else I've lived.
 
pollinator
Posts: 10109
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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My husband is from Jacksonville and I love the terrain of North Florida; the beautiful jungle look of the mixed forests of oak, pine - and palm trees
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i totally love north central michigan ..wouldn't go anywhere else...and there are lots of forclose properties going for cheap
 
                                
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Thank you guys Very much!! Looking into all of this!
 
                                
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hi guys! hope all is well! just wanted to give an update <3 i took a PDC in november and it was one of the best experiences of my life. i highly recommend it to everyone <3 also, we've gone through all of our options and it looks as though moving to Australia is the front runner. <3 i'm an Aussie, tho' I haven't lived there since age 11... there are many things to love about Oz... we've made a list of Permaculture communities we've heard or read about and plan to go on a 2 week trip to feel out the place.. we're looking for a Permie community to settle into (NSW or QLD). attached is a photo we call our Permaculture Haven Reconnaissance Trip List. First Draft. Driving South to North. am I missing any special spots or are there towns on this list we should cross off...? thanks! ♥ -v
 
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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The North West USA would meet many of your standards I think...
 
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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The Light wrote:
Private Property Rights (very important, precludes many foreign countries, imho)



Not Costa Rica, property rights are very strong here. One challenge though, buying real estate in another country is different, and you should take your time to learn how the locals do it, instead of paying someone who deals with foreigners. Sometimes those who "help" foreigners, help themselves, if you know what I mean.
 
gardener
Posts: 583
Location: Equatorial tropics
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North Florida has its charms. My advice, though, is to stay near the coast on either side where the climate is moderated. The closer you can be to zone 10, the better plants you can grow. Here in the middle of Marion County we're stuck with 100+ degree weather, stretches of low rainfall, then occasional below 20F freezes in winter. Just a bit lower in the state or closer to the coast and I'd have significantly better growing conditions. Here it's tough to grow sub-tropical plants or temperate plants. Best-growing tree seems to be the loquat... and collards always thrive. But the fun stuff, like mangoes, papaya, pineapple, avocados, etc., do better by the coast or further South.

 
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I will tell you a little about the area I live in a little later in this reply but first and formost I am on a mission to find someone who may be interested in a trade.

I live on a 5,000 acre ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota and I am looking for an individual or family that might like to live on my ranch in exchange for doing a little cooking and a few other things for me.

What I have to offer is rent free living in a new home on a 5,000 acre ranch. The home will have all the appliances furnished and sits at the edge of a large garden area and apple orchard with a creek and pond nearby. You will have use of out buildings and a large root cellar and will be able to pasture 2 horses on the ranch along with having other small livestock. There is also lots of firewood and excellent hunting and recreational opportunities. The ranch is only a couple of miles south of Wind Cave National Park so if you want to see how beautiful it is click on their web site.

What I expect in return is 5 organic meals a week, (usually for 1 but quite often for two and a couple times a year for a large family group), 2 freshly baked loafs of bread a week, (in a bread machine that I will furnish), my home cleaned once a week or at least every other week and if you are willing to do my grocery shopping (paid for by me) I will furnish you an older pickup to use within 15 miles of the ranch, all expenses paid.

Now this tread was started by someone wanting to know where to homestead so I will point out the advantages and disadvantages of this area.

Advantages – no state income taxes, the ranch is in a banana belt where the average high temp in the coldest month of the year is 38 degrees and you can grow peach and pear trees here. You are defiantly in the American outback and the 50 mile drive to the nearest town of 60,000 people is mostly open and beautiful. The town of Hot Springs (pop around 5,000) is 14 miles away and has a hospital and most all necessities but no Wal-Mart. You have super well water, clean air, spectacular evening skies, all the firewood you will need to heat your home and to sell if you are so inclined, an abundance of wild turkey and mule deer, and you will only be 9 miles from a great fishing and swimming lake.

Disadvantages- you are only 1 mile off the highway and most of the time can hear it, you are in a zone 4 for gardening, the hail storms can wipe your garden out in a heartbeat, it can be hot and dry (but we have irrigation water), there hawks, eagles, owls, fox, skunks, weasels, mountain lions, and more to kill your chickens or even small live stock, the property taxes in SD are high if you wind up owning your own place and the wages are very low in this area.

Those are general advantages and disadvantages of the overall Black Hills and a few mentioned are specific to this area but there is one major consideration to the trade I am offering that must be considered. YOU MUST HAVE AN OUTSIDE INCOME because this is not a paid position and jobs around here are few and far between and even if you find one it will usually only pay $8 to $10 per hour. There is however high speed internet on the ranch if you are presently making a steady income via the internet.

So there you have it. I hope this gives you some insight into living in the Black Hills and if you have any interest in the trade I am proposing perhaps you will take the time to send me an email and we can talk about it further. My email address is
me@gwtc.net

PS I had an earlier post under “we need more farmers” somewhere on this web site which tells a little about the previous family I had here that you may find interesting.


 
                                
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Thank you very, very much, everyone!
 
Fred Morgan
steward
Posts: 979
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
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"the ranch is in a banana belt where the average high temp in the coldest month of the year is 38 degrees and you can grow peach and pear trees here."


Those words must not mean what I think they mean... Our coldest month is 70 F, and we definitely are a banana belt.
 
Posts: 18
Location: New York State about 25 miles south of Syracuse.
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It's hard to find a place that meets all of the above, especially since I would like to stay in the North East if possible. PA is the best bet so far as everything else up here sucks in terms of taxes alone. It's all about balance, though.
I think you are there already except for the tax issues Central Ny fits the bill. Look in the Ithaca area and you will have a good market for your produce.
 
Posts: 1
Location: Horse Cave, KY
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You might want to check out Kentucky. South Central is where I am at and the land prices are good and the ground is pretty good. Check out www.landandfarm.com and check Hart County, Metcalfe County, LaRue County, and maybe Grayson County. Other counties around us are higher population areas and have higher priced land. You might check www.hartcountyrealty.com , www.hishmeh.com or www.realtor.com (you need to go to advanced and mark land if you are not just looking for a residence) check out Munfordville, Hardyville, Canmer, Cub Run, Eastview, Center, Greensburg, New Haven, and do a 20 mile outside area advanced search. Check out the prices. That is how I got here. Came from California.
 
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CBostic I am in Jacksonville, FL and want to leave, LOL. With the economy going south we want to be very far from big cities. If that weren't the case I'd never leave. Love it otherwise. Everything you said about growing food here is true. The humidity, everyone gets used to eventually. Soon you won't be able to tolerate the relatively cold (but short) winters
 
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I don't know if you've ever been but the Big Island of Hawaii has some incredibly cheap land in the area known as Puna, this area has a rain forest amount of rain every year, extremely fertile soils from the volcanoes, and has lots of agriculturally zoned lots that you could do almost any permaculture practices on.

The main animals I've seen raised in Puna so far are:
-chickens
-Muscovy ducks
-goats
-cows
-sheep
If you can afford land closer to the coast you can grow cool stuff like Mangos and Lychees but if you buy land farther from the coast in between the coast and the two large mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the elevation increases dramatically and the temperature drops as well which is definitely appreciated by your larger types of animals, some people have llamas and al paca but most just goats, sheep, and cattle.

The area of Puna is full of natural farming practitioners who follow Cho Han Kyus teachings, as well as other more conventional organic farmers, and your terrifying university funded GMO sprayed papaya farms! Yikes. Anyways I digress. If you've never considered it look into the Big Island Hawaii in the Puna district, lands cheap and the people are "punatics" : )
Hope you find the right place to buy land, Yummykissy

Cheers,
Chi
 
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I'd like to post for all here that I have 5 acres (what I think are truly beautiful northwest acres) outside of Sandpoint Idaho, on the sunnyside peninsula bordering Lake Pond de Reille. My Mom left it to me and I always had dreams of living and making a natural life there, but I'm a central coast Cali woman and the climate a bit much for me. I'd love to see younger, sturdier stock do something wonderful with it. I finally listed it with a realtor this spring at $59,900. It's half trees, half meadow with a east facing exposure I think. My vision was a small homestead, with some animals and herbs, gardens, etc. It's fantastically beautiful country there, huge lake, rivers, hunting, fishing, skiing god's country if you go for that kind of thing. The land is undeveloped, good road, has a power box at roadside, no well, a few neighbors. Northern Idaho has a permie base and is part of greater northwest energy/commitment in this area. Let me know if you're interested. Peace, and Permification to our mother earth and all your endeavors. Annie
 
Posts: 27
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I recently found a great book called Strategic Relocation that addresses a number of important where to live issues. I'd conducted a lot of research on my own the hard way, and wish I'd had this book a couple of years ago.
 
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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You need to think about what kind of climate appeals to you. Some are happy in the desert - some miss green too much. Some like mountains, some like the open plains.

Think about seasons. Do you want to grow stuff that needs tropical conditions like lemons and avocados? Do you want to have animals that you'd have to feed hay to? How much of the year would you want to hay them and what are the prices (because the cost of a bale of hay ranges from $2/square bale to over $30 depending on where you live!). Some people love the "rest" that a cool winter brings, others have to haul water because the waterers are frozen and feed hay and winter becomes MORE work.

If you want goats, then dry/arid climates are better because in humid climates they often die of weird things like goat polio and barberpole worms. Pigs and turkeys do well in wooded areas and don't mind hills.

It may be good to make a list of what you want on your dream farm then look at the best locations for it. Some keep a cow in their garage, but I don't think it's good for cow or garage. What I mean is, lots of people try to force their dreams on the wrong place, instead of matching dreams to location.

Personally, upstate New York is my ideal but way too expensive. I love love love central Kentucky, tho internet and cell phone access can be problematic in the rural areas.

One more thing about picking locations is to check out the people there. Some areas are known to have very unfriendly, untrusting people while in others the people are shockingly friendly and outgoing. So before you make a hard and fast decision, go there, meet lots of folks and see if you feel you'd fit in.
 
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
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Wherever you go, look up the local laws regarding raising your own food. You don't want to be caught by surprise.

Dan
 
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