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Military spouse planning my someday roots

 
Posts: 59
Location: Suffolk, UK
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Hello! I’m a 35F mom-of-two, currently planning and preparing for a “someday” life on some land, somewhere. We have at least 6 years until my husband retires and the Air Force no longer moves us about, so plenty of time to sigh over land listings, learn some useful skills, and research, research, research!

Before moving to the UK in 2020 I did professional voiceover work, and I’ll probably go back into that when we move back stateside.

The husband is a technophile, so we’ll likely never be off-grid, but my long-term dreams involve using our farm and financial resources to “birth” and support a sort of makerspace/incubator for a wide set of traditional trades, art and progressive land stewarding, with community building a core aspect - when I first started lurking and read a bit about Wheaton Labs, it was a “YES! That’s sort of like part of my goal!” moment.

I look forward to many (more) hours of deeply informative thread browsing!
 
pollinator
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Location: 4b
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Jennifer Kowalski wrote:Hello! I’m a 35F mom-of-two, currently planning and preparing for a “someday” life on some land, somewhere. We have at least 6 years until my husband retires and the Air Force no longer moves us about, so plenty of time to sigh over land listings, learn some useful skills, and research, research, research!

Before moving to the UK in 2020 I did professional voiceover work, and I’ll probably go back into that when we move back stateside.

The husband is a technophile, so we’ll likely never be off-grid, but my long-term dreams involve using our farm and financial resources to “birth” and support a sort of makerspace/incubator for a wide set of traditional trades, art and progressive land stewarding, with community building a core aspect - when I first started lurking and read a bit about Wheaton Labs, it was a “YES! That’s sort of like part of my goal!” moment.

I look forward to many (more) hours of deeply informative thread browsing!



I knew a lot of people in the USAF that bought houses while they were in, used them as rentals to generate some extra income, or at least get their payments made for them, and then had a house ready to go when they retired.  I had several friends that had multiple houses, a couple had a house every place there were stationed, except for the overseas assignments.
 
Jennifer Kowalski
Posts: 59
Location: Suffolk, UK
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We do have one place back in the states being rented out :) here we are required to live on base due to his job, so no property buying, but with covid and such it’s been a blessing to have had housing handled for our first overseas move. It will be nice to have a house to fall back on when we’re done, for sure! My guess is we’ll live there and take our time searching for that “perfect parcel” to be our forever farm/forest.
 
gardener
Posts: 397
Location: Middle Georgia, Zone 8B
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Hi Jennifer!
My hubbie retired from the Army in 2010. We are not close to family, and I'm glad of that. Keeps us out of the drama. We settled into the town where hubbie's last duty station was.

1. Look up taxes. Several states have no income tax (Florida and Texas, for example) but their property taxes are high. Some states, like Alabama, don't tax pensions.

2. Look up educational stuff, since you have kids. You didn't mention their ages, but homeschooling/virtual schooling/school zones/etc. would be worthwhile. When we first moved to this area, we bought a house on the "good" side of town because the schools were better for our daughter. Then, we felt led to homeschool our sons, and now school zones are not an issue. But homeschooling laws are very relevant to our family.

3. Look up water laws. I think some states are outlawing rainwater catchment systems. I'd be leery of that.

4. If you buy raw land, really research what building requirements come with it. Some areas forbid mobile homes. Others require a septic tank in order to have electricity run to the property. All stuff worth looking into. Look into right-of-ways, easements, etc. See if there are power lines running through the property that the power company is allowed to access without your prior permission.

5. Realize that there is no perfect place. We have to seek out what we want/can afford/are able to deal with and then make it perfect for us. And even so, it's always a work in progress. So understand that when are busying planning the "future perfect," be joyful in the current day's happiness too.

Welcome!!
 
Jennifer Kowalski
Posts: 59
Location: Suffolk, UK
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Stacie Kim wrote:Hi Jennifer!
My hubbie retired from the Army in 2010. We are not close to family, and I'm glad of that. Keeps us out of the drama. We settled into the town where hubbie's last duty station was.

1. Look up taxes. Several states have no income tax (Florida and Texas, for example) but their property taxes are high. Some states, like Alabama, don't tax pensions.

2. Look up educational stuff, since you have kids. You didn't mention their ages, but homeschooling/virtual schooling/school zones/etc. would be worthwhile. When we first moved to this area, we bought a house on the "good" side of town because the schools were better for our daughter. Then, we felt led to homeschool our sons, and now school zones are not an issue. But homeschooling laws are very relevant to our family.

3. Look up water laws. I think some states are outlawing rainwater catchment systems. I'd be leery of that.

4. If you buy raw land, really research what building requirements come with it. Some areas forbid mobile homes. Others require a septic tank in order to have electricity run to the property. All stuff worth looking into. Look into right-of-ways, easements, etc. See if there are power lines running through the property that the power company is allowed to access without your prior permission.

5. Realize that there is no perfect place. We have to seek out what we want/can afford/are able to deal with and then make it perfect for us. And even so, it's always a work in progress. So understand that when are busying planning the "future perfect," be joyful in the current day's happiness too.

Welcome!!



Thank you for all the advice! Schools will definitely be a factor. Fortunately that house from a few stations ago has decent schools for us to linger in if we want until it’s less important.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to buying properties that have a lot of land but previous buildings on them, maybe even a campground or golf course or similar previous business - a lot of them seem to be selling for far less than the structural elements alone would cost to build (like commercial kitchens!) and the zoning/building permissions would be far more likely to have been previously settled to some extent.
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