Best places to live

WacoJohn(8a)February 16, 2003

I live in an area that has gone down hill. My parents have been here since 1924 so it is hard to leave. However, we have high crime, ignorance, high numbers of 15 year old single mothers, laziness, mean, sorry, inconsiderate people. You get the picture. (We also have some fantastic people, but they seem to be fewer and further between.) Is this the case everywhere? Where are some places some of you would recommend that have low crime, decent people, without being too bloody cold. Where would you good people want to raise your children if given the choice?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

By FAR the PNW. USDA zoned 8-9b, claen air (outside the city) I have lived in the South and would never step foot back there if I had my choice and I LOVE the East coast but I like the laid back, easy going, back to nature attitude, enlightened attitude of the people in the PNW West of the Cascades. I don't know anything about the East of the Cascades, whole different world.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2003 at 7:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd swear by Northern Michigan, but it sounds like it might be a bit cold for you! (It was -5 when I got up this morning!) Can't beat the people though; friendly, hardworking, and laid-back.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2003 at 5:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Someplace where it doesnt snow maybe!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2003 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   February 19, 2003 at 12:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like living in Pennsylvania,Its a beautiful state.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2003 at 7:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My husband & are actually moving from SE Florida to SW Michigan as soon as our house sells for all the reasons that you named. It is still small town, everyone knows everyone else type of area. We found that pretty much to get what we are loking for we need to give up some of the warm weather, but it seemd to get hotter & hotter every year here. So it might not be that bad after all.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Goblu, Congratulations on having what it takes to escape. I hope I am as brave as you. Since posting I found an interesting book called "Best Places Almanac" It lists catagories commonly associated with good living conditions, such as crime, climate, education, cost of living, and so forth, and then rates 354 American and Canadian cities. It seems that there is less crime in the north. This is very important to me after three burglaries in two years, including a near fatality. (never try to stop six 14 year olds from ransacking an office next door.) They may look small but they can be just as deadly. This book is a great asset if anyone is looking for a better place to live. Looks like Boise, Idaho is really nice.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2003 at 8:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kbeitz(NE Pa.)

Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania

    Bookmark   February 22, 2003 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

Isn't Penns awfully cold?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2003 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kbeitz(NE Pa.)

Cold in the winter, but it makes up for it in the summer...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2003 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my experience every district has it's good and bad spots. We all know towns where a five minute walk takes you from an idyllic nieghborhood where kids can play outside by themselves at night to a blighted place that no one should have to live in.
To dismiss entire regions like the "southeast" as not fit to set foot in is exceptionally niaeve. The nicest large town I've ever visited is Savahna, Ga (should be warm enough for you), but no doubt there are people who have lived there and had unpleasant experiences. Conversely, I spent several weeks one summer travelling through Arkansas, and it seemed that every person I met was vigourously unfriendly if not downright hostile. But I'm sure there are plenty of places in Arkansas that are delightful to live in.

If a specific place just isn't working out, one should probably be willing to leave it - but probably won't have to move far to find a quite different situation.

Kbietz, looks like you have a nice little valley there. What is your soil?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2003 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Being a native Texan, I will always believe Texas is the best place to live. And it is so large and diverse, there is a place for anyone. Yes, all towns have their good and bad. My brother lives in a little town between Bryan-College Station and Madisonville called North Zulch. I love the area. I plan on retiring there in the (hopefully)not to distant future. I also love the Centerville/Buffalo area, just north of there. Rolling hills, huge post oak trees, generally good soils. And a plus is that, having lived here in Texas so long, you won't have to get used to a vastly different planting schedule and plant types. My brother-in-law was so used to beginning his planting in mid-May, that he nearly paniced when he found out we start in mid-March. And that we have fall and winter gardens here, too.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2003 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marie_TX(z8 N Houston)

I love living in Texas. It has what I needed as a single mom to raise kids. Great schools and low crime. I love the way people help people no matter who or what they are. Twice I had flat tires on the road, and both times bubbas in pick-up trucks surrounded me and practically fought over who was going to get to change my tire. Really, they were very nice guys. I am in the southeast Texas piney woods, and the weather is fine. -- Marie

    Bookmark   February 25, 2003 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kbeitz(NE Pa.)

99 3/4 % rocks... And a little dirt...
Only good for growing Christmas trees...
Its still the best...
Forever home...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2003 at 6:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jungle_Jim(zone 8 / WA)

Has anyone lived on Prince Edward Island? The place intrigues me. I don't think I've ever seen pictures of a more beautiful place, except maybe Vermont. Jim

    Bookmark   February 27, 2003 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I LOVE Texas, but I HATE the summers here. Especially end of July through end of September ~ ACK! But the winters are great. I wouldn't mind being a little farther north so we'd get a good snow a couple times a year and maybe be able to stay below 100 more often than not in the summer. Ninety-something I can handle with no problems, but those thirty-day-PLUS stretches of 100+ about kill me. But I find the people are great, too!

WacoJohn, I take it you live up in or around Waco? (Man, can you believe my powers of deduction? ;) The incredible growth spurt in the corridor north of Austin has pretty much filled up all that area with out of staters and some natives that moved in for the jobs at the tech companies, so I'm not really surprised to hear of your troubles even though you're a little more north than where I've heard the main growth is. But out here in Spicewood, about 50 miles west of Austin, we've been relatively untouched by it all except for skyrocketing land prices ($6,000/per acre for raw, unimproved land) and a few more neighbors (thanks to the difficulty in getting water on most places there aren't any new "cookie-cutter-packed-in-there" subdivisions yet, just those ten-acre-plot sub-divisions). Maybe you can still be in Texas for the climate, but just get farther from the "city"? I've often thought that East Texas would be a nice place to live, maybe farther Northeast. If you stayed in Texas, you wouldn't have to worry about that pesky state income tax, and would already be sort of familiar with the laws, govt., etc.

Speaking of taxes, on another forum we were talking about property taxes being paid by the elderly ~ someone posted a link to a story about an elderly California man being evicted from his PAID FOR home for non-payment of property taxes. His home was sold and he got $55,000 after the auction ~ he'd paid about $85,000 for it years ago. Nowadays $55,000 won't buy much in CA. In Texas, the state law is if you're over 65 and can't pay, you can defer payment of your prop. taxes 'til you sell or die, at which time they'd come due ~ 8% or so interest would be tacked on. That might be a handy thing to keep in mind when chosing where you'll be for the rest of your life.

Good luck in your search! :)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2003 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pamcleod(z4 NH Lakes)

I've never lived on PEI, but I've been to Nova Scotia. Stunningly beautiful. Also, the weather is milder than say, Maine, because of the proximity to the warm ocean waters (the gulf stream is nearby). The best part is, when I was there 4 years ago, property prices away from the cities were extremely low in Nova Scotia because of a recession and the exchange rate.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2003 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know about the weather being any milder. It is -20c here in NS this morning!!!! Baby its cold outside!! But I wouldn't change where I live. It may be a small house, but it's right on a lake and its beautiful here in the summer!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 7:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi John. Nineteen years ago I did exactly what you are thinking of doing. We lived in the Houston area and as our daughter was about to start Jr. High we decided to move. After several trips looking in different states we fell in love with the Ozarks and bought 66 acres here. We built our home and stated a small ranch operation selling registered quarter horses. Later still we owned two businesses that we just last year sold. I am now happily "retired" and gardening like crazy.

I'm surprised pnbrown that you encountered some unfriendly folks. My experience was just the opposite even though I really expected some of the native Arkansans to be a bit distant to new comers. The people here have always been great. We had a house raising last summer for a lady we know who after the lose of her husband a few months earlier lost her house in a fire. It was a moving experience to be able to help her out. The school my daughter attended was a small one that I can't say enough about. Property taxes are low as is the cost of living. All in all we have been very happy with our choice to come here.

Marie I grew up right smack dab in the middle of the Big Thicket. You're right about it being a wonderful place. It really was my first choice in a place to live. Unfortunately family circumstances made it a bad idea to move back there at the time. We do still own property east of Rye though and if I ever leave the Ozarks it'll be back to the piney woods for me.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2003 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Demeter(z6 NJ)

kbeitz, whereabouts in Pennsylvania? I've been casting my eyes covetously in the direction of Wellsboro ... any thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2003 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brev1(z9b FL)

I've lived in 4 states and visited 28 others. Take everything into consideration, including the fact that you're probably an avid gardener, I'd recommend Hawaii and coastal Southern CA outside the big cities. The only drawback is that the cost of living is rather high in these two places. But life does involve tradeoffs !

    Bookmark   March 6, 2003 at 11:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I've been to PEI quite a few times, and it is truly the most bucolic and visually gorqeous place I've seen. I owned some woodland there for a year and sold for a tidy loss.

The more settled parts would be great to live in I think, but I bought in the thinly populated northeast, and it is really remote - culturally a lot like northern Maine. Also don't be fooled by cheap land costs, other things are not so cheap.

Gardengal, I think our problem in AR was due to the fact we were driving around in a ratty looking van with Mass plates. A lot of folks just don't seem to cotton to seemingly gypsy families from yankeeland. I put a little confederate flag decal on the bumber and unlimbered my southern accent and that helped.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2003 at 1:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a good link with a quiz to find a best spot in which to live. You can get reports on schools, employment and other issues. Some people may find the quiz results interesting :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2003 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kbeitz(NE Pa.)

Wellsboro is only about 40 miles from me...
This picture was taken about 20 miles from Wellsboro...
See link below for more Pa. winter pictures...

    Bookmark   March 9, 2003 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

ohhhh, beautiful pictures!

I too think Pa is beautiful though I live in Maryland, near Harper's Ferry W. Va. Very nice here and the cost of living is reasonable, especially in W. Va which is a beautiful state. Pa is also more reasonably priced. I love the mountains...well, rolling hills more than mountains.

PNW, never went there but the climate should be fairly ideal, not too hot, not too cold. I would think the bugs, namely mosquites would be bad but I don't know. HATE mosquitoes!!

Just went to Dallas and was amazed at the low cost of housing, considering it's a pretty ritzy city. Too flat though and 8% sales tax? Wow!

PN, I lived in Mass too, near Boston. You couldn't visit New Hampshire or Maine without being booed and called a "Masshole" Nice state but too cold and too expensive.

Hawaii is outrageously expensive, mostly least Oahu and the traffic is intolerable. I lived there for a few years and found I missed the seasons.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2003 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

Why do you think the mosquitos would be bad? We just don't have the bugs the south does.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2003 at 1:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, the Mass-NH thing is hard to fathom. As if there were any difference between a townie in Lowell or Manchester. Actually, I go to NH often and have never had any problem.

Nation-wide though, the tacit anti-Mass sentiment is unmistakable. There seems to be even more mis-perception about us than NY or NJ.

Here in far south-eastern Ma we are very little colder than Maryland. At least zone 6.5 although it doesn't seem like it this year.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2003 at 8:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No one has mentioned crime rates as a factor. Everyone has mentioned climate and scenery. What about the other factors of a populus; people who are generally good, who raise courteous children and teach them that it is best to wait until they are at least sixteen before they start giving birth to fatherless children? Is this a thing of the past everywhere?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2003 at 9:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Weebus, why do I think the mosquitoes would be bad? Are ya goshing me? Maybe it's because they're pesky biting insects that leave a large welt, Oh and they itch too!

Waco John, there are good and bad people everywhere, don't you think? Is there a place that doesn't experience a degree of crime, rude people and teenage pregnancy? Albiet, some places more so than others.

I have strong feelings as well about the kids that are having "fatherless babies." It's a sad fact and it's so unfair to the children...another thread, don't get me going. That's a sore spot for me. However that happens in small towns and as well as large cities, I don't believe any of us are immune.

I lived in Boston for many years and it's a beautiful city that 'had' a lower crime rate than other cities of that size when I lived there though I believe the hard drug culture has taken it's toll on so many cities...and again, smaller towns are hardly any different, just on a smaller scale.

I left Boston in 1989 when housing prices were so outrageous that realtors scoffed at 150,000$ for a 2 bdrm in a respectable neighborhood. The nicer neighborhoods couldn't be touched for under 300,000$. That's when I left. See ya!!

BTW, where I live, we bought a lovely older home w/lots of character, near an acre, on the Potomac with mountain views, surrounded by lovely old homes and lots of space and 60 miles from DC. We have the smallest lot in an area zoned for 3 acre minimum and it cost us less than 125k.

I wanna be able to retire without having to worry about paying 3000$ a month for a mortgage in the event that times get rough

    Bookmark   March 23, 2003 at 11:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I have long been thinking of the mid-atlantic region for a homestead.

The Cheasapeake rim, Shenandoah, and Potomac valleys in particular.

I wonder if these areas are much cheaper than eastern Mass any more.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2003 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

I left Boston...actually Medford Ma. in '89 for Maryland. I don't know where you live in Mass but the metropolitan area + 60-70 miles beyond is outrageously priced. I'm sure you know what I mean.

It's very beautiful here and reminds me a lot of central Mass. I'm 60 miles west of DC and from where I live there's a (MARC) commuter train that goes into the city.
Gentle rolling hills here and lots of farms.

I live just across the Potomac River from Harper's Ferry W. Va and from here (where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet) I can enjoy views of W. Va and Va. I live less than 1/2 mile from the Appalachian Trail and right on the C&O Canal.
Maryland (depending on where you are) is a little more expensive than W. Va. I could travel another 30 minutes into W. Va and pay much less than this southernmost corner of Maryland. TAXES you know!!

It's very possible to own a home in the panhandle of W. Va for 100,000 or less, depending what you want but it does exist. An hour...or 2 from here and you're in the mountains of some of the most beautiful country in the east. 2 hours from DC and you can find secluded property for 100,000$.

Email me and I'll send you a great view of a little corner of the Harper's Ferry/Maryland/Virginia area, on the Potomac where I live.

I love it here, obviously...the air is clean and life is a little more laid back.

I love Massachusetts as well and I've traveled a bit around all but the western part of the state but I think this is the best of both worlds.

Mass ain't cheap, especially the Eastern part.

Oh, oh...and then there's the Pennsylvania Amish country less than 2 hours away. Just east of York PA...don't know the area well but it's really nice everywhere I've been.

Peggy ~

    Bookmark   March 27, 2003 at 12:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MikeR_(z5a CO)

Don't know about the best places to live, but I can tell you that Colorado is one of the worst. The weather is terrible, it snows like you wouldn't believe. There are way too many people, everyone is unfriendly and to top it off most of the trees and plants in the state burned up last summer so it is charred and ugly here. Oh, and the bugs are horrible, too.

Please don't move here!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2003 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

MikeR, don't worry! I'd never live so far from the ocean.


Yeah, the Boston burbs are rediculous for cost - I'm quite familiar with the south shore.

I live on the vineyard, hippie homestead haven of thirty years ago - but if one didn't buy one's acreage then one can forget about it now. Very little vacant land left for sale: a nondescript ten acres runs about 700k-1m, a larger piece with water view (hard to avoid)- 2m and up.

Not really homesteading prices.

So I'm looking for a place within 10-15 miles of the seashore, rural charm, georgeous landscape, unpolluted by farming, not to far from a town with some culture, and vacant land prices in the range of 100 acres for under $100k.

Hey, not much to ask for, right? Still, one never knows.
I'll keep looking.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2003 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
KathyinPA(z6 PA)

I live in PA and I gotta tell you to watch out for the taxes here. We have the following: federal (naturally we have federal), state, county, school, personal, and we also have the rather odd privelege to work tax (I dunno what it's really called, but they take out $10.00 a year for the privelege to work in PA...I'm not from here so I don't understand it).

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
KathyinPA(z6 PA)

Oh yeah, and property taxes too.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2003 at 7:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WacoJohn - I live in Boise. It really is an awesome place to raise a family. We just bought 2 acres w/3 bdr home for under $200,000. People are very friendly, family oriented. Just moved here after spending 10 years on the PNW coast. Down side is wages are relatively low, but quality of life is way high.

I wouldn't move if you paid me. Well maybe back to Montana if I could find work. ;)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2003 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually, it depends on what your goals are. If you want a place that doesn't have a lot of snow, low property taxes, lots of room and have a bent towards a little piece of land and want to try some gardening/homesteading skills, think Kansas. LOTS of small towns with VERY affordable homes as they are thinning out. Not a lot of pressures (good retirement areas if on low income), you can find an older, fixer-upper with more room than you could imagine or a small farmhouse with a bit of land ---- lots of older folks moving to town or retiring. Think gardens, fruit trees (only top part is zone 5 - rest a zone 6), GREAT for basic grain crops, small livestock, etc.... also not too far ANYWHERE in the state from Colorado or Kansas City for trips.....

    Bookmark   April 15, 2003 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
neech7(z8-WA, Sunset 5)

Wherever it is, for me, the humidity in summer has to be low. Nothing ruins your day like sticky sweat dripping down your shirt on a stuffy hot day.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2003 at 3:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Willow_Summerland(NW AZ)

I'd have to recommend NW Arizona. We just bought 40 acres there and are bordered on 2 sides by 640 acres of state land. We have elk, deer, antelope (area is known as Antelope Valley),eagles,hawks...You get the picture? We are about 20 miles from the Grand Canyon and the so the surrounding area is absolutely gorgeous. The best part is that land prices range from $196 to $695 per acre. You can't beat that for what you get. We are 50 miles from the nearest city and off the grid so it's really living the natural life and worth it! We are starting to do market gardening in hoophouses to earn our living. It's a long commute to the nearest city for work which is Kingman, AZ.
Good luck in your search.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2003 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jwj__(Rocky MT 5)

well, wacoJohn,
if your concerned with people issues such as the teenage birth problems I would say that any where you go you are probably going to find that problem, keep in mind though that just because there is a high teenage pregnancy rate, that does not neccessarily mean that children are not being raised with manners as well as nto to have sex before sixteen,, if I was to look strictly for an area that had a smaller percentage of this problem I would suggest a very religious community,, however that said it does not mean that crime rates and rude people would not exist there,, it is probably more covered up,,
I live in a definant four season area with low humidity so I am sure it is not what your looking for,, however I would not trade the cultural diversity for anything,, I suppose compared to other areas of the country we may have a low crime rate,
it sounds like stegerman appreciates my state,, LOL, however it is a hard place to find work ,,
anyhow I wish you well in your search for the perfect place,, however keep in mind the world is what you make it, if your only concerned about what you consider the negatives you are missing out on so many more positive virtues of many differnt areas that may be what your looking for,

    Bookmark   April 25, 2003 at 1:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jungle_Jim(zone 8 / WA)

Mike, you're funny. You sound like an upset Oregonian who just had a family from So. California move in next door. LOL Jim

    Bookmark   May 4, 2003 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tom91970(z8a East Texas)

WacoJohn...I guess Crockett, TX is out of the question. As a probation officer I see first hand the crime and other factors that you mention. I really don't know of any place that is a utopia.

It's like Charles Bukowski once said: "It's not that I don't like people, I just feel better when they aren't around" (or something like that).

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is there such a place as what I would like? Not too cold in the winter and very little if any snow. Not too hot in the summer and not high humidity and don't have to worry about the threat of tornados every year. Living expenses not too high and not too far from a fair sized city. I guess a place like this doesn't exist, does it?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2003 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   May 7, 2003 at 7:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 4:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robhuffstedtler(z7/8 NC)

We just came back to NC from MD last year. Perhaps in the western mountains it wouldn't be so humid, but in the area around Baltimore and Annapolis (and in southern Maryland), the humidity can be every bit as stifling as it is here in the triangle. My allergies were also worse there.

On the positive side, taxes are a bit lower. It has gotten to the point where NC has one of the highest tax burdens in the country.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2003 at 10:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have to say austin is pretty great. Small-town feel, big-city amenities. University town so well-educated, great people. The climate is great, not too humid, not too hot (except for august)...the soil in town is great, river-bed kind of soil.there is an incredible sense of community here too.

I do love the pnw though- in fact the entire west coast is just heaven

    Bookmark   May 22, 2003 at 11:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Miztiki(9a TX)

Waco John, I live in utopia!

Seriously. I moved here a year ago, and I hope to stay right here until I die. Our town of just under 100 people is 4 miles away. They are all old, so no rock n roll, crime, etc. There was a major flood in '98'(?), so all but the old people moved away. FEMA bought the houses and you can't build in those areas anymore due to new regulations because of the flood, so a bunch of people won't be moving into the area! There's a restaurant in town, a post office, a library in a trailer, a church, and that's about it! There are a couple of gas stations a few miles outside of town. There is a Wal-Mart sized town 20 miles away. Just about everything you need is there.

I live 4 miles outside of town, my driveway is 1/2 mile long (one mile if you go all the way to the back), I have NO neighbors that I can see from anywhere in my yard, and I am surrounded by crop fields and woods. There is alot of wildlife all around me. Oh, and my little chunk of heaven is at a higher elevation than town, so I won't get flooded. I have a wonderful sandy loam soil with a neutral pH of 6.5, and for some reason all of the really bad weather seems to go right past my house. I swear, I am blessed! I didn't get any of the terrible winter weather everyone else in the state got, and I haven't gotten the deluge of rain this spring that other NC'ers got either.

It's perfect, I love it, and like I said, I hope to live here until I die.

(Oh, there's a small town called Chatsworth in Georgia at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains that WAS utopia, but too many people found out about it and moved there.)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2003 at 3:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Miztiki(9a TX)

Well Waco John, even in 'utopia' you can't avoid the evils of the world forever. Here's a news article of what happened in my little town yesterday morning...

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Lena and Ralph Casey telephoned their daughter, Teresa, at 4 a.m. Saturday with an urgent message: A burglar was rustling through the community grocery they own next to their home.
Teresa and her husband, Ricky A. Thompson, arrived within minutes, armed. Ricky Thompson confronted the intruder inside the store, authorities said.

A gunfight broke out. The two men fired across the small aisles, moving around the store as bullets ricocheted.

Thompson, 43, a well-known mechanic and firefighter in Seven Springs, was struck in the chest and killed.

The burglar was hit at least four times. He fled the store, carrying a canvas duffel filled with batteries, a loaf of bread and other goods. Outside the store, Ralph Casey fired a few shots as the man ran from a side door and darted between parked vehicles.

Then, Teresa Thompson jumped into a Monte Carlo, plowed through a wooden fence in front of the Caseys' home and knocked the intruder down, injuring his legs.

She said in an interview later Saturday that she jumped out and, with her adult daughter, Nita, grabbed pieces of the broken fence and beat the man on the head.

"He still had the gun in his hand," Mrs. Thompson said. "He tried to shoot, and I think it went off, but it missed. Then I took the gun. I tried to shoot him with his own gun. But it was jammed up."

She asked the man why he was there, what he was doing.

"He said he was hungry," Mrs. Thompson said. "My husband's dead, and he said he was hungry."

News of the shooting spread fast Saturday and shook up this Wayne County community of 86 people along the Neuse River, about 60 miles southeast of Raleigh.

By midday, flags were at half-staff. People stopped in the middle of Main Street, to talk it over.

A crowd gathered at Ralph Casey's Grocery, the only store for miles, and there were hugs and wet eyes. A sign read: "Closed until further notice."

Attached to the store is a small mechanic's garage, where Ricky Thompson had worked, repairing and maintaining many of the town's cars. He drew a crowd most days to swap stories.

At the Thompsons' manicured brick ranch a mile up the road, where banners hang for Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Ricky's favorite NASCAR driver) and Tony Stewart (Teresa's favorite), trucks lined the ditches, and the carport was full of people.

"It's got everybody really in almost shock," Seven Springs Mayor Jewel D. Kilpatrick said. "He was a very fine young man. That's just a little country store there. He was just protecting, just protecting."

Loved like their own

Thompson was chairman of the board of the Seven Springs Volunteer Fire Department. He maintained much of the department's equipment. His son, Randy, a Goldsboro police officer, also is a volunteer firefighter.

On most Sundays in the summertime, he rode motorcycles with friends. On the first Saturday every October, he was the lead cook for the fire department's pig pickin'.

"Ricky was a good friend, a good hard worker, and he'd do anything for you," said Rick Sutton, chief of the fire department.

Ricky Thompson's in-laws said they loved him like he was their own. But for much of the afternoon Saturday, they stared off and wondered if they should have done something different.

The store had been burglarized before, they said, but never by someone with a gun. Mrs. Casey said she wished she had called 911, instead of Ricky and Teresa.

"They always said to call them," she said. "I thought I was doing what was right. But now, I don't know."

When the ambulance arrived at the grocery, the intruder was on the ground out front. He was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro and later to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville. No information on his condition was available Saturday.

Wayne County sheriff's investigators identified the suspect in Thompson's shooting as Roy George Legg, 54, of Goldsboro. He had no permanent address.

Sheriff's Capt. George L. Raecher said the man appeared to live in an older-model gray Cadillac that was found in the grocery parking lot and towed away. No criminal charges had been filed Saturday afternoon.

Mr. and Mrs. Casey said they had seen the man at the store before. Last week, the Caseys said, he filled a bag with food but said he didn't have his wallet.

Mr. Casey let him go, saying he could pay the $9 and change on a future visit.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2003 at 1:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Miztiki, I'm so sorry for the loss in your community. I fear that you may be right. Maybe its this way everywhere.

May God remember this descent man and others like him.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 10:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
imaenigma(7a MD)

I live in Pasadena Maryland and I must say Maryland is a wonderful state. To the West you have the mountains, to the east you have the beach and the eastern shore. I live in Anne Arundel county which is surrounded by water everywhere. Anne Arundel county has gotten outrageously expensive but the eastern shore of maryland is very reasonable. There are many small towns to choose from and I know that the cops are really tough! Unfortunately, I don't think you will be able to find a place in the US thats not afflicted by teenage pregnancy. It seems to have become commonplace nowadays.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2003 at 10:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robhuffstedtler(z7/8 NC)

I just moved from Odenton, MD last year. A major downside to MD is that property is *very* expensive unless you live way down in the southern part of the state or out west. The tax burden in MD is pretty high, too, but not as bad as here in NC.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2003 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bporter(7 N Mississippi)

What is Seattle like? Used to talk to someone from there and it sounded wonderful weatherwise. And the scenery sounded too good to be true. don't know about the cost of living, though................

    Bookmark   June 3, 2003 at 9:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Miztiki(9a TX)

robhuffstedtler, I moved here in NC early last year also, from Michigan. I hope to see you stop in the Carolina Gardening forum sometime. We're all getting to know eachother.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2003 at 11:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I suppose that teenage pregnancy is just a euphamism (Sp?) for an overall decay in family values. Not necessarily from a moralistic perspective, but more from a practical perspective. Young single mothers have a harder time getting educated, rarely receive the support their children deserve, and the children have no knowledge of what it is like to grow up in a complete extended family... They are poorer overall for it. Their children will likely have no memory of family structure, and the responsibility that comes with it. It seems that society is changing. Maybe every generation says this about the coming generation. It just seems that somewhere there should still be old fashion values. By the way, I do still place more importance on low crime, and few mosquitos, chiggers, and poison ivy than a low teen pregancy rate. It looks like the pacific N.W. is a great place. Also a few votes for Maryland and Pennsylvania. Keep 'em comming. I can at least dream this way!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2003 at 1:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Kannapolis NC, just outside Charlotte. It does get humid in the summers, by the winters are mild and it's a TREAT to get 2 inches of snow, as it's usually gone the next day, and we only get it once or twice a year.
I moved here from Fla. in 1980. Originally from Kentucky, so I have the 4 seasons again.
I'm in between the mountains and the ocean. I can be in WASH.DC to see the sights in 8 hours if I want.

I had more crime occur in 1980 when I first moved to Charlotte, than 20 years in S. Florida, so I moved to a smaller satellite town and it's been very good.

There is land here, and you can buy a area that is within 5 or 10 miles of the 'city', but out in the country with miles between you and your neighbors. I love driving the country roads....

Good Luck to you!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
madspinner(z7 WA skagit)

Like a lot of people, I think I live in the best place. I love all of the Pacific Northwest along the coast. I've visited a lot of it, and any part of it that isn't right on the freeway or in a large city is usually great. I like visiting Seattle, but can't imagine living there. It does have some great private gardens though. Drive through any Seattle neighborhood and you will be inspired!

I live farther north and east in Skagit Valley, just starting to get into the foothills. We are a bit colder, zone 7 instead of 8 or 9 like those closer to the water, but I can usually grow plants that are hardy to zone 8 if I am careful and willing to risk losing a few now and then.

Property values fluctuate a lot. The prices are begining to sink some but can still be fairly expensive. you have to shop around.We got 20 acres for under $200,000 but a neighbor was trying to sell his 4 acres for almost that much!

The climate is great. It is very mild. Doesn't stay cold long in the winter, and summers are never too hot. Those born here (like me) tend to start to wilt when the tempurature hits 80 degrees or so. Mostly because almost no one has air conditioning. I can't go east of the mountains in summer, I think I'd die. It's very hot there.

It does rain a lot in the winter. Not so much in actuall acumulation, as in TIME. It doesn't actually rain much, it more drizzles, or mists. Constantly. I rather like it. I curl up with hot soup, a book, a window where I can watch the outside. Also, when it is cold and rainy it sometimes feels colder than when it snows. The damp can go right through you.

In the summer it can be very dry. You either have to water a lot, or have drought tolerant plants. But so many wonderful plants will grow here with ease! A lot of things that most of the rest of the country can't grow! And yet we still have enough cold for things like tulips and daffodils.We actually have a Tulip Festival around here with tourists and everything!

We are close to the water, Puget sound is only minutes away. There are islands and whales and boats... The mountains are close also for hiking, wildlife, or skiing.

It is beautiful and temperate and perfect.

Crime isn't too bad depending on where you live. We don't have locks here, but where we lived before we were always having things stolen out of our yard.Teen pregnancy, no worse than anywhere else, though i'd like to see more people looking at those teen FATHERS. I think too many people just put the blame on mothers. Takes TWO. Unemployment is a little high at the moment, but seems to be getting better. Cost of living is about average. Sales tax is a bit steep....7.8% here and more like 9.9% in Seattle. No state income tax. And if you really like living away from people and such, there is still a lot of fairly sparsly populated land further up the foothills of the mountains. But you lose at least a climate can be more of a 6-5 if you get far up there.

Well i've rambled on long enough. I thought about moving to Maine once, but now I'll never leave!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2003 at 7:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PastorLarry(Z8 AL)


Whatever weather type you prefer; just wait a little while and you'll have it!!! Just dodge the mosquitos, fire ants, and tornadoes and you'll be fine...

Seriously, it's a great place to live; wouldn't trade it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2003 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
MidnightPurple(7 Mississippi)

I have to say that although my little southern state of Mississippi usually gets a "bad rap" in the press and such, it truly IS a great place to live and raise a family. I live in a very small community in the Northeastern part of the state and it's a place where everyone knows each other and is always there when you need them....whether it is in times of joy or sorrow or somewhere in between. I was born and raised here on the same 100 acres I live on today and wouldn't even think about moving. My husband is a transplant from south Texas and seems to have made the adjustment quite well and has grown to care about the people of the community as I have (and they have accepted him as well). I have a 10 month old daughter that I hope will come to love this area as much as I do and will one day want to raise her children here as well. I have seen a lot of growth in population since my childhood in this area and just hope that as we grow, we don't forget our values and sense of community and love for one another. Because THAT is the true legacy I hope my daughter inherits!

NOTE: Mississippi is known as the Hospitality State, so on bhalf of our fair state I'd like to invite all of you to come visit and who knows, you might decide to stay. ;)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 5:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
amf55nj(z6 NJ)

If I had unlimited resources, I would aim for one of the less populated areas in south NJ. I am in north NJ, which has many beautiful places, but too much noise, too many people, and crime is always just a few exits away on whatever highway you are closest to. Life is a trade-off.

But, when we retire, I think we are looking at Maine. My husband does not want to go anywhere where it is warm year round, and so it will be either there, or possibly NH, where he lived for several years.

My sister is in TX, and loves it! I do not know if she would even think about coming back here. I have to reserve judgment, as I have not been there yet.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2003 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been doing a lot of thinking on where I would like to live when I retire. The more I hear about other places and their problems with storms and floods and huricanes, the more I am thinking that maybe I already live in the best place. I have lived in this area for over 43 years and in my present house for over 35 years. The small city that is about 10 miles from me is suddenly growing and getting new businesses. I am surprised at this. When K-Mart closed about 2 years ago and then Wal-Mart built a new superstore down the street and closed their old store, I was afraid the buildings would stay vacant but the two large vacant store buildings have been taken over by other stores. We are getting a Belks Dept. store, Lowes is building a big store, Tractor Supply Co. took over part of teh old Wal-Mart Store, several new restaurants are opening up and new building is going on in several places. I have 17 acres of land and lots of privacy. Why would I want to move? The weather can be severe some years but most years it is not too bad. People who visit this area, the Nashville area, are always saying how much they like it and would like to live here. Maybe I'm already living in the best place to live, for me at least. Judith

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Anyplace your happy.The area I've found it very easy to be happy is the southern section of the central Ca. coastline between Buelton and San Simion. always cool at the beach ,warm just a few miles inland,clean air, no large cities and the towns are spread out and surrounded by ag. lots of open land both public and private, you can grow just about anything and yes there are still some areas with reasonable prices. in this area you can chose your weather by just short drive or were you chose to live coastal-cool, just inland-moderate,inland-warm ,foothills-mountain weather.If you like nature there is so much to do.And as a real bonus IT IS SOOO BEAUTIFULL rolling hills, oaks ,pines and this gigantic deep blue ocean down below with empty beaches and lots of wild life. The downside? I don,t have a job there....yet!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2003 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

heads Carolina...tails California...

I have lived all over the US and I must say times are a changing...find somewhere and grow roots soon! A good organic garden takes a lot of time and years to perfect.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2003 at 11:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I laughed at MikeR's post about Colorado and completely understand because I lived there for 7 years. It's beautiful. I like CO, San Diego, and I'll bet I'm the only one who's going to say it, but "Chicago". Dats my home.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2003 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
boisenoise(5/6 West)

I have seen Boise recommended on here a few times, and there are plenty of good reasons why. It perfectly meets your specifics. It's called the "banana belt" of the Rocky Mountain area because of the mild winters . . . wasn't that something you were looking for? It's a gardener's paradise. And it has a lower crime rate than any other U.S. city of this size . . . or did, the last time I saw statistics.

Teen pregnancy? Well, that's everywhere, but how's this . . . just a couple of years ago, I read a news article that a county prosecutor in Emmett (a few miles from here) was actually going into the public health clinics and fining teen mothers for breaking the fornication laws. I mean, after all, there they sat, holding the evidence. :) Yes, those laws were actually still on the books. And that was in the late 90's.

So, although teen pregnancy exists, it certainly isn't regarded as "cool" around here, and my guess would be that the rate is lower than most places.

Problem is, everyone who visits here loves it, and the city has more than doubled in size since I moved here ten years ago. So, I can't vouch for how long it will be before Boise falls prey to the very vices that people move here to escape.

I get really sick of people who move here from, say, California, saying they want to get their kids out of the gangs, drugs, etc., but the first thing they do is start whining about how Boise lacks the kinds of liberal cultural things that help to cause the problems in California in the first place. I'm picking on California, because that's where most of our transplants come from.

But I digress. For now, Boise still gets top ratings in every article that keeps track of such things. That includes employment rates and cost of living, too, in case you care. And when people come here to visit friends or relatives, they almost invariably end up moving here themselves.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2003 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
boisenoise(5/6 West)

I should mention that the Mormon influence (lots of them live here) is part of the reason Boise is as friendly and "clean" as it is.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2003 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Boisemom you are correct California is a horrible place we never see any outa state people moveing here and all of Californias problems are the result of people who were born and raised here. More and more people every day and no end in sight heck it's enough to make some of them want to move back were they came from, and for some natives to go looking for someplace that is now the way it was back when.... pauma

    Bookmark   August 1, 2003 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, think I'll bypass Boise on my next trip out west.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely north across the 49th. We've applied for immigration and should get our papers in the next year. I won't get into all the reasons but one is definitely universal health care, better schools, etc. We want to operate a small market garden and can get by.

We've lined up leads on 3 properties in southern B.C. Zone 6. We can get a modest home and 20 acres for around 90 thousand U.S. It'll be a full day's drive home to my wife's family in Montana but up there we walked around the small community and felt almost as much at home as we do here.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2003 at 4:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
boisenoise(5/6 West)

Vrtlar: Please do! We like it just the way it is! :) The great thing about the U.S. is that there's someplace for everybody . . . diversity. Now, if we could just convince the feds to leave it that way . . . .

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 1:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My new plan is to sell my home in the Chicago area, and move to Boise. With me will come a band of pregnant, unwed mothers, drug addicts, prostitutes, assorted and sundry sodomites, pedophiles, burglars, thieves, murderers, rapists, and last, but not least, self-righteous mothers with a sharp, caustic tongue and a huge chip on their shoulders. Can't wait to get to that banana belt!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
boisenoise(5/6 West)

Yikes! And it's happening already. I've seen the population of Boise more than double in the past ten years, and the side effects haven't always been good (such as, yes, higher crime rates, though that's still relatively low).

Here's an excerpt from the "Top News Story" in today's local paper (if this is "top news," you know this is a pretty "quiet" city!):

Headline: "Californians Lead Influx Into Idaho"

A few brief excerpts:

"California provided more migrants to Idaho during the late 1990s than any other state.

Like many of the other 36,000 former Californians, Scott Muglia, a project manager for telecommunications and marketing firm Wirestone in Boise, came for Idaho´s highly touted quality of life.

Affordability of housing and a return to traditional ideals for child rearing were the draws, the 37-year-old former San Diego resident said.

Muglia was on business at the local Wirestone office in Boise just as inflation was fouling up his plans to buy a home in San Diego. The value of the house he had an eye on for his wife and three boys had jumped $200,000 in less than two years.

I was driving almost 50 miles to work every day, he recalled. The Wirestone people in Boise said you could live here, seven miles away max. You can afford a house, and the people were really nice here. So it was a done deal.

Though immigrants kept California´s population rising, more people left the state during the latter half of the 1990s than moved in from other states, according to the Census Bureau. It was the first time that has ever happened."

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Boise sounds like a great place, as do all the other places mentioned here. Living around such a large and diverse population keeps me humble as a human being, and tolerant. Wherever a person chooses to live, I think it is possible to love that place and let others love theirs, with no snipes, pokes, or putdowns. I think the paradise comes from inside, and the surroundings are just icing on the cake.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 5:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
boisenoise(5/6 West)

I would have to agree. I visited North Carolina as a teenager, and told everyone within earshot for a couple of years that I wanted to move there someday! :) The people there were so nice, and the trees and hills were lovely. Now that I'm older, though, I think I'd rather stick with someplace that has nicer weather (and fewer insects).

Chicago and Denver are awfully fun to visit (terrific restaurants, nice hotels, fun shopping-- hey, I love that little revamped section of downtown Denver . . . and the museums in Chicago are top-notch!), but the traffic in both of those cities is enough to keep me from wanting to live there. (Haven't even checked the crime rates.)

My brother lives in Montana and absolutely loves it, but it's hard to find work in his area.

And NONE of those places have weather that is half as nice as ours!!! Seattle area is lovely and fun to visit (I really wouldn't mind living in, say, Port Townsend, or on Whidbey Island) but, again, a bit too much rain.

California . . . well, I'm already getting hate mail in response to my California comments, so I'd better not touch that one! :)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2003 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lynn45(z7 pul co AR)

LOL! Dicentra, I just took the quiz & the first name on the list was the town I live in!! Guess I'll just stay here!!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2003 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I get such chuckle out of this thread ,"fantastic weather" obviously a very subjective thing. How many months of the year can you comfortably walk around in shirt sleeves. I have been to Boise and the surrounding area summer and winter,nice place but no bananas. I did pick one fresh off the plant the other day though, delicious-tart sweet with pinapple guava flavors not like the mushy store bought ones. In my town we don't even have a stop light and few of the previously mentioned problems that will probably get worse in any area with more people moveing in. But here land prices are high.Higher population concentrations both bring and take away freedoms,for me the freedoms I hold dear are found in areas of less people.I imagine this is true for most people on this forum.Look around know what you want this is a big section of the continent , hopefully you find it right where you are, if not keep up the search this is after all how America came to be.pauma

    Bookmark   August 9, 2003 at 5:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Peach Fuzz, Northern Michigan. Rapid City's where my home is.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2003 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Check out southern Indiana,the weather isn't the greatest hot humid summers,droughts,tornatos,and floods.Winters can be really cold,wet,cloudy an snowy or nice.Land prices are ok and there are lots of small to mid size towns.Taxes were cheap but are going up.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2003 at 6:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


That sounds like everything I want: Humidity, tornados, floods, and cold winters... At least you have the Fighting Irish! We only have Baylor.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2003 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Judith, I did not know you had severe winters. I thought Tennessee was fairly mild. For an alternative location I would suggest parts of Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas. You'd have to do a bit of research on the Net, but if you're not retiring for a couple of years (thought you said three??) you'd have time to research. I would suggest maybe looking up maps of some East coast states; their western sides border the mountains, and might have the far-enough-south-to-avoid-a-lot-of-snow and the high-up-enough-to-avoid-a-lot-of-humidity that you are looking for. Off the top of my head I would suggest looking up Winchester, VA; Harrisonburg, VA; Lexington, VA; and Roanoke, VA; these cities are near the western part of the state; not sure of the elevation. There are counties west of these cities, but I would think at retirement age that perhaps you'd want to be somewhat close to a city large enough to have a significant medical resource. Fayetteville, NC; Brevard, NC; can't think of SC cities but the state extends pretty far to the west so I'd think there'd be a few. You'd have to move an hour or two outside the major areas to get land cheap, but the roads are generally very good on the East coast.

If you need more help, I can try to dig up a little more. Most have chamber of commerce sites that include real estate listings, etc.

It does sound as if your area is growing. Maybe you are right. But Internet searching is relatively free, and definately worth a shot since there are other reasons your area may not be the best in the world for you.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2003 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morningstar_nwfl(z8 FL)

Seven years ago our family lived in a medium-sized city. My husband was offered a job in rural Northwest Florida...closer to Alabama than the beaches. We have 2 acres of land overlooking horse pastures and an organic farm. Our kids go to a K-12 school, and the level of parental involvement there is phenomenal. "Family Values" are the rule here, not the exception. We just got our first stop light in town, and I think that traffic violations may be the extent of our crime. Everyone here knows each other and looks out for each other. We are close enough to a town with a SuperWalmart, 15 miles, to go if you need something you can't grow yourself. On the downside, it is hot and humid here for about 4 months of the year. It gets colder here than in other parts of Florida, and we have had snow here before. Jobs don't pay as well here as in other parts of the country, but then, the cost-of-living is a lot less, too. I wouldn't want to raise my children anywhere else; when my teenage daughter bemoans the lack of a Mall, I remind her of the lack of gang problems, drive-by shootings, and sirens blasting all night long like at our old home in the city. I actually have several friends here who have NEVER locked their doors.
There's a lot of outdoor activities, and w're close enough (1 hr) to a larger city that we can go to attend cultural functions, concerts, fine restaurants, etc. if we want to.
I don't think that I'd want to live anywhere else.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2003 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have always thought I'd like to move to a small town in South Carolina. No one has mentioned it. Does anyone have any info on the good and bad points of living there? I don't mind hot weather at all. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2003 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You might want to give this a try. Win a home and business in Wassila Alaska. The site looks legit

    Bookmark   September 19, 2003 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If I could, I'd go back to where I came from, Lexington Co., SC. Health concerns keep me from it, but it's such a nice place to live. Low crime, people are friendly, you can still buy land cheap.

Occasional snow, I think it snowed 3" in the 5 years I was there, and we had two major ice storms, but mostly, it's pretty temperate.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 1:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HI...I was reading through the thread and althouygh you posted it quite a while ago I am curious if you found a direction to go in? I am happiy located in Western Washington and although I have traveled all over the United States and have meet many wonderful people and have been in some of the greatest small towns in the US I am certain that there is no place other then here for me. Ocean less then 1.5 hrs away, travel east, mountains (not foothills)bursting with wildlife, travel farther east and go over the hill and there is desert area and remote wilderness, well known to homesteaders and back to earthers. I am able to grow many garden and flower items, I live outside of city limits and therefore taxes on my 2 acres and home are under $500.00 a year. I am surrounded by forest land that is preserved. My place includes a creek, forest, sigh...just my perfect slice of heaven. It was reasonable to purchase and in need of repair that I do as I can. I have no city water, sewer, nor am I surrounded by neighbors. Those people who live in a rural small community are for the most part good people and parents. Are there ever problems...yes, where there are people there are problems. But nothing like what happens in towns. Raised 5 kids and the biggest problem they could get into was drinking up in the hills and running around the woods on far to walk to town! My advice to you is to bundle up the family and go on a "drive-about". Travel far and wide off of the main highways and just allow the adventure to happen. I am sure there are reasons for staying in a certain part of the country, go there and be open minded to what you see and how you feel. Eat in the diner where the old timers go in the morning for coffee...every small town has one...ask about their town and then just listen. Good luck in your quest for your "slice of heaven" icecreamgranny Judy

    Bookmark   December 16, 2003 at 9:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


As much as I hate to admit it, the more I look around the more satisfied I am right here. If I do move though, I would go to the Portland area or the Boise area for extended visits and would strongly consider those two areas.
I still am shocked by the amount of crime here, especially as compared to other places. I have been burglarized twice since I posted this question. To be fair to Texas though, crime is not this bad everywhere in Texas. I could move 100 miles and have a low crime city, but with higher cost of living. I guess there is always a trade off. Really, my dilima is I have a professional practice that I have devoted much time to developing. Starting over now would be hard. Also, I think my views may be a little skewed because I spend all day everyday dealing with and trying to help people who have made bad choices and have screwed up their lives. Yet, if I am going to continue in my line of work with all the frustrations, I might as well be looking out an office window at a mountain instead of mesquite tree.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2003 at 12:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

Don't move to Boise! Too Cold, too conservative and too many skin heads...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 3:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well the new year has started and it is nearly a year since you posted this thread. I agree with you that startng over would be difficult after spending so many years developing your business. Your crime rate...or at least your business may have caused you to be a "target" of opportunity. It is unusual to be in an area where the same crime is committed in less then a year to the same individual. Your family is so well rooted in your area that you would find yourself wishing to go home. A solution for you might be to involve yourself and your family with different groups of people that have more positive attributes then those individuals your work requires. I assume you work in a counceling, probation, or "negative" atmosphere. I was very close to a police officer that always saw the negative, it is what he dealt with and "where he lived" mentally. You got into your field and developed your business with "ideals" and now your positive self is just overwhelmed. Find a way to re-fuel and remember that for every person that walks through your door with overwhelming issues, there are many more with the simplistic ideals of just getting themselves through life with a smile that would never have a need for your services. I hope that in 2004 you are "re-fueled" daily with the positive value that us humble humans can offer each other. Judy

    Bookmark   January 18, 2004 at 3:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As a non-American, but world traveller, I've lived in a variety of places in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and now Belgium. I've visited 72 countries, and worked in many of those. Where's the best place to live? Well, that really depends on you.

If you want low crime, high standard of living, well-policed, diverse, friendly, warm, and amusing people, then in my opinion Belgium wins hands-down. I love it here, and this is definitely the country for me. There's 4 seasons, not too cold and normally not to hot (-5°C to 30°C), handy to everywhere, amazing lingual capability with Dutch, French, German, and English all spoken, wonderful history and traditions, I could go on for ages.

However, you will find lots of people who concentrate on the negative aspects concluding they don't like it here (lots of bureaucracy, multiple languages causing lingual divides, petty politics, etc).

Only you can decide for sure what you want. Your ability to emmigrate, desire to be in a foreign environment, flexibility for learning new languages, political ideology, and more may mean you may need to only consider the US. If not, then, literally, the world is your oyster. And there is a lot of it to explore! Eventually you will find one that "fits". But also beware, two things (1) the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and (2) you can never go back - by this I mean that if you leave, you can always return to where you were, but you will have changed, so you may never fit into your community the way you do now. So you can never go back, you can only return... it's a big step to make.

BTW, to avoid being robbed, just look the least easiest compared with your neighbours... it's the classic bear in the woods joke - you just need to run faster than the person you are with!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2004 at 8:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Strudel 1820 ,you are right on. Just got back from spending some time in central Europe ,mostly the alps and by far the friendliest and most interesting folks were the people from Belgium followed by Netherlanders.What a wonderfull part of the planet.pauma

    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No one has mentioned Tennessee. We moved from Long Island to Middle Tennessee. The weather is mild most of the year but there are still four seasons. The scenery is beautiful. Today is Feb. 1st and my husband and I went for a motorcycle ride in 60 degree weather. It was sunny and great to be out. We live in a town with a state university with lots of free concerts, three large lakes within thirty minutes and lots of free state parks to visit. The economy is good and there is still land to be had at reasonable prices.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 12:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nashonii(6 Ozarks)

This is the best site to compare cities, and decide where would be perfect for you. It compares dozens of important things: from economic, to growth, schools even temp. and climate. Unfortunately I'm not able to past the link but hope this helps anyone else looking.
MSN House & Home\compare cities

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 11:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just visited Kansas City and was pleasantly suprised? Anyone from there?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2004 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are planning on moving soon from Cheyenne, Wyoming. We have lived here for 20 years but my husband is retiring from the military and for his job, there is not much for employment around here. I would love to find a town like this one of about 50,000, very low crime and friendly people. The only bad thing about this area is the weather. We get like 3 months of summer and the rest is fall-like or winter. I would love to have four distinct seasons. The wind blows constantly, probably because there are no trees! Wide open plains may appeal to some but beautiful scenery I desire. Give me more tumbleweeds please! Any advice??

    Bookmark   March 11, 2004 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cbars(z5b6a MO-Kansas City)

Waco John,

I'm from Kansas City. Lived here for about 28 years. The older I get, the colder the winters get but it is still a good place to live.


Email me if you have questions.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2004 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I started in MN, then went to college in Wisconsin, which was wonderful, more open space, nice small towns and big ones that ended at the city limits (none of these spralling developments of 2 acres like the twin cities has). Then I went to North Carolina for a job which was better yet. Climate nice, got a little hot but it didn't bother me much. I could hike in january if I wanted with out carhart coveralls. And so many more plants would grow there than in MN.. but needless to say I am back, living close to home. Not even japanese maples or peach trees could fill the void of not seeing someone in my family once a week. I now live in a small town that isn't being encroached by the cities too bad and am very happy..

but I had to find that out first otherwise I would be constantly thinking about it. I think you can always go back. The grass may be greener other places but what good is it if you can't enjoy it with the folks you love...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2004 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cherig22(MO 6a/6b)

I took the quiz on 'the best place for you to live' way further up in this post, and found out that my paradise would be an hour and a half south in Deland, FL. Gave me some things to think about. The crime rate in Jacksonville is just too high, so maybe a short move would not be too bad.....

But my dream would be southwest New Mexico.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2004 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jessay3(Ga Z 8)

I've lived in southern Georgia my entire life. Which to many people isnt long because I'm only 25. However I am a mother of three wonderful boys. Two of whom are my nephews that my husband and I raise. (All 3, under the age of 9.) We live about 45 minutes from Savannah in a small town, I should say a very small town. We have recently moved here and we love it. It's so quiet and the kids have plently of room to play without me having to worry about the traffic like I did when we lived closer to Savannah. Crime in my area is almost nonexitant, however there still seems to be a lot of bigotry around here toward people of different races. Which really bothers me. I'm so glad my mom and dad decided to move out of Savannah before I began highschool because the schools in Savannah leave a lot to be desired. Their just plan scary. And the crime rate seems to go up everyday. I wouldnt move back to Savannah if someone paid me, expecially since I have children in school. All that aside, southeast Georgia is a wonderful place to live. (A lot of people would say way too hot, and I think I would have to agree.) But if I had to choose a place to live, I think it would be Montana. I've never seen such a beautiful place. (Maybe I'll win the lottery one day.)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 9:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kendal(8 PNW)

Those that live in this area, we're suppose to discourage poeple by telling them it rains all the time, no sunshine, never can see the mountains, and there isn't hardly anything to do here (-; did I mention it rains almost everyday? Forget the past 10 days of sun, that's just a fluke, it'll never happen again.

Seriously, can't think of a better place to live, and I have lived in many places, this place is home forever for my partner and I.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Western Mass.Since 80% of the states population lives in the eastern half,the western half is still pretty wild.Plenty of wildlife and real nice scenery,especially in the fall.Could easily get you lost in the Berkshire Mountains,more than a few have,remains sometimes found by hunters.Many state forest that cover more than 12,000 acres and more.If you don't like -20-30,in winter,stay away.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can see the last post was in '04, but I just have to add our town to the list! Hot Springs, Arkansas has been the best of both worlds. We have a great climate (zone 7b), great family activites in town, and a low crime rate. We do have to put up with all of the hillbilly jokes even though Hot Springs is rather comopolitan. We've really enjoyed raising our daughter here, and we will probably stay for retirement ourselves.(Although, we are recently worried that casinos will come in and change everything, so we've been keeping an eye open for other nice places to live.)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
decolady01(7a/6b AL/TN)

Well, this is now almost 2 years since the last post, but after visiting many places, I have to say southern Tennessee is where I want to live out my days. Although reared in Louisiana and living many years in Texas and Alabama, our farm has just about the best climate for growing the things we like. All kinds of veggies, fruits and nuts, including pecans. Our farm is our "heaven on earth".


    Bookmark   June 2, 2007 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spunbondwarrior(7 wst nc)

A bit of dissension here...A rant, if you're rather sensitive about being a yankeelander in Dixieland, stop reading right now!

Geez, I hate posts like the parent one....A pet peeve of mine, Yankeelanders moving south, and bringing their brought up better and superior to all of our local children kids and their "well were we come from we..." attitude about which nobody here cares to ever hear about (so y'all can just STFU about anything you know did had whatever in yankeeland and hurry up and go the hell back), and looking down their nose at the locals and their "quaint" ways.

I have no problems with yankeelanders moving south or west as long as they keep their south west of the Mississippi and their west north of Kentucky/Virginia. Texas is a fine place for yankeelanders heading south. It's real big and there is a lot of empty space there.

There oughta be a law that says only born and bred Dixielanders can move about and live in the Old Confederacy. Or at the very least, that ONLY those who intend to live there full time can even consider the Appalachians of NC,Tn,Va, and no-one from "out of state" and new moves anywhere within 50 miles of any coastline in any state,
Oh yeah... and the feds STOP payments of any kind for damage and destruction from such lovely little inconveniences like hurricanes and disallow ANY reconstruction within 2 miles of the high tide line. Once it's gone it never comes back.

When it comes to living at the coast...You chose, you lose, you pay. Fair enough.

Then again, the Oregonians and Washintonians and Nevada folks might need a break from the ongoing influx of Californians, so maybe you should take your accent and your attitudes and your kids way out west.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 10:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
boisenoise(5/6 West)

Just checked back in because I was curious as to whether WacoJohn ever actually moved, and, if so, where he ended up! This thread garnered me more hate mail than any other notes I have ever posted . . . had to even put a few people on my email block list!!!

Good ol' Kansas City. I grew up about a hundred miles from there, and still have lots of relatives that live in the area, including my parents. The last time we tried to visit Mom & Dad at Christmas, it was seven below when we got off the plane! Brrr! Ever since, we've aimed for summertime visits, preferring to brave the bugs & humidity.

It's been three years since I posted my previous comments about Boise. What's it like now? Boise still shows up on lots of "best places to live" lists. Crime and unemployment rates are still low. But we have more people all the time; higher property taxes; poorer air quality. I guess it was bound to happen.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 12:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The quiz told me i should be in San Marcos, TX. Interesting, because I never thought of living there, but it's really got everything I love in a town. Now my husband is emailing about taking a road trip later this summer to check it out. His number 1 came up in Vermont. I love Vermont, love love love it. But we both know the winters and short growing season would not be good for me.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 2:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


After I posted this, my home and an investment property next door were burglarized nine times in fifteen months. Finally caught the repeat burglar.

I traveled to the PNW and love it but my business is established where I am so I moved about twenty five miles to a really small town. Almost no crime and no noise makes things much better. It is amazing what just a little distance can change!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 12:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I forgot to mention that we currently live in Dallas, TX. We are in a great area about a mile from a gorgeous city lake that is surrounded by art deco architecture and turn-of-the-century mansions. We got our 1600 square foot brick, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car attached garage home on a city lot for well under $100K, although it's worth much more now. There is a lot of crime here, but we have not been personally affected ever. We keep 2 big dogs out back, lock the doors, lights on out front at night, car doors locked and keep an eye on things around our street. Maybe we've just gotten lucky. Our problem with Dallas is that it's a city in transition, and areas like that are not always the friendliest places to live. There are a lot of very old original owners on our street, and they are nervous about rising property taxes and utilities and the new families that keep moving in as the old folks begin to move into assisted living or die. When you combine nervousness with way too much free time there is the potential for a not so nice little old lady to become a real pain in your butt. We have 2 on this street that have made things so uncomfortable for quite a few people over very petty things. They have done things like trying to organize block parties and only invite the white people. There is a lesbian couple on our street, and they're just horrible to them. We love the mix, but I'm afraid the tensions won't improve until the bored little old ladies are dead and gone. A little elbow room would do us well....

Also, the schools here stink. Texas public schools are the worst in the nation, they regularly ignore federal laws and the agency designated to enforce the law when complaints are filed is corrupt and useless. We have found a way around the schools, but eventually we will leave Dallas. The city is not doing anything to protect the middle class from rising property taxes as the mcmansion tear-down crowd slowly takes over this part of the city, so even after we own our home in a few more years, we will be paying a huge amount each month in taxes each month.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 10:40AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Farm/Homestead in MD vs VA
Hi, I'm new 'round here! We are going to be buying...
Deer Fencing - New 8' or Interior 4'
I have about 4.5 acres we want to enclose (tired of...
tanning fish
I have seen a few sights talking about tanning fish...
How high of a fence could a deer jump over?
Anybody know? I hear they can jump/climb pretty high! Thanks!...
Home Made Yogurt Problem
I am making yogurt in a new Cuisinart Yogurt maker...
Sponsored Products
Halo 18 in. LED White Under Cabinet Extension Kit HU2018EX2P830P
$69.97 | Home Depot
Rebecca Leather Swivel Chair
Grandin Road
Refrax Stainless Steel One-Light Clear Spectra Crystal Pendant Light, 5W x 5H x
$372.00 | Bellacor
Traditional Thermostatic 2 Outlet Shower System, 8 Rose & Handshower
Hudson Reed
Simple Living 5-piece Alton Metal Golden Brown Dining Set
Large Heart Jewelry Box
Classic Hostess
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™