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Relocation: Single Mom wants to relocate from the desert of the South West. Advice needed.

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Hi all.

I am writing with the intend to find out more about the states I would wish to relocate to. Living here in Arizona, Phoenix with a 4 year old kid, I am highly unsatisfied with the Environment, the desert city living and the summer heat is draining my health aswell. Apart from that I don't think it is a good place over there for my daughter.
I am a pharmacy technician and I am looking for better places to provide a better, healthier and more natural future for my kid with 4 seasons, winter, forested landscapes and water.
Me and my boyfriend would want to live as self sufficient as possible on a hobby farm off the country, but closer to the city since we both want to keep and stay at our jobs, mainly for my 4 year old daughter.

I am interested in Pennsylvania because Ive close friends near Warren in PA und a part of my family still lives in East Cleveland, OH, which would be close. I could transfer with my Job to Pittsburgh, Philly and Warrendale. I would like to get to know more about these areas, anyone here living on a homestead or small hobby farm? Schools and Education are very important to me since I want to provide my daughter a stable and and good future.
Are the costs of living high, the taxes unaffordable? What about the Job situation there?

Apart from that Ive a few other options.... that would be the Knoxville Area in Tennessee, again Ive friends there that would and could help me with my relocation.
But I don't know much about that area... Ive heard that taxes are low, but there is a high crime rate, but property is cheap and affordable?

Another option would be the state of Maine, the Northeast area.

It is confusing and stressing to find out more about all these options and I need to be very careful with what I do. This is why I am asking for some advice and help.

Thank you.

Posts: 48
Location: twin tiers of WNY zone 5A
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Hi Jacky. If I were you, I would concentrate my search to the areas you can transfer to. Having reliable income as well as insurance is most important IMHO. Try doing a homefinder search for those areas, to get a feel for prices of property. It'll also give you links for info on the school for each property you look at. Try google searches or gis maps of the area to get a feel for topagraphy and population density. Also zoning areas. Would suck to buy a place only to find out its residentual and you can't own so much as a chicken. Expand your searches to a distance you are comfortable driving. Do a map quest to get a somewhat accurate drive time. Ex. MY home in the village is 22 miles to work and takes me 25 mins in good weather to get to work. Our land is only 15 mles and still takes me 25 mins. Finally check craigslist or other sites that list private mortgages for land or for sale by owners. Not always the safest or the cheapest rt, but it can be a way to get started, if your funds are limited, at least to start. I've been told taxes are way cheaper in PA, than what I pay here in NY. Then again I've been told almost ANYWHERE is cheaper than NY. Not sure how to check crime rate. After you've narrowed your options down, you could come back and ask opinions of people closer to the area(s) you are concidering. Craigslist as well as PA job search site could help you locate other employment options. Good luck.
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