Unusual predicamentgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Happy holidays everyone!
My husband and I are in a (good) weird position... He is a self-employed general contractor, ready to pull up stakes; we made a terrific investment in our current home and can cash out with a huge profit. The problem (and please, I hope this doesn't sound whiny) is that we are fortunate enough to have the means to move anywhere, but we cannot find a place that seems right. One requirement is a mild winter (OK, THAT sounds whiny!) But most importantly: we just want to get our kids out of this awful South Florida environment. We do not want them turning into fat, lazy, American children. We have considered leaving the country to show them how the rest of the world really lives, but must take government stability and the kids' safety into consideration (Belize.) Considered Far North Queensland, Australia, but afraid too much isolation (from family) would be bad for the kids. Seems as if you have to give up culture (i.e. museums) to find a decent spot. It would be easier if he were just being transferred somewhere -- we always find interesting spots when we travel, just never the 'perfect fit'. Is there such a thing? He wraps up his contracts in January and would like to take the summer to relocate. We have been looking for the past 10 years, I am beyond frustrated...any ideas? Thank you.
-- Lynne David (email@example.com), December 27, 2000
Hubby spent some time in Belize, helpping to finish a mission school, as has our pastor. The slides they bring back are NOT a pretty sight. I hear that there are some wonderful coastal resorts, but the "real" country is hard-core third world. Their "national highway" makes our gravel road look high tech; they tore up the rental van going to a church service. The hospitals look like something out of 4077 MASH, and the streets have running sewers down the sides; the smell is indescribable. And I have heard the Australia has a more socialized gov't than we do!!!But I can't say as I blame you about Florida. I hear that the Ozarks have "somewhat" moderate winters....warmer, anyway, than Indiana!
-- Leann Banta (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2000.
Lynne- If you are seriously thinking outside the US, Costa Rica is close, has a peaceful, democratic government (abolished their army in 1948), and supposedly good healthcare. For more information, try the following: www.discoverypress.com
-- jack (email@example.com), December 27, 2000.
Lynne,Congrats on being debt free. You are in a very enviable position. It sounds like you've been looking closely for a while and yet nothing has 'clicked' for you. How mild of a winter are you hoping to find? Southern Indiana is mild compared to Chicago or Minneapolis but sub arctic compared to Southern Fla. We are in south central Indiana and are having our first real winter in 10 years. I believe you and yours must find where you are NEEDED and then learn to bloom there. If you want to be near your extended family, decide how near is near enough. Dear John wanted to move west after he graduated while I wanted to stay in our hometown near Chicago. We compromised with southern(warmer)Indiana and it is only 3+ hours to make a quick drive home if emergency comes up or I just need a sister fix. This forum may be the best way to get first hand reports of various areas from people who are like/minded re: goals and lifestyles. If God wants you to do some things for Him in downtown NY City then that will be the best and safest place for you. Ask Him, He doesn't keep it a secret when you ask willing to really listen!And respond!Also something to keep in mind... moving doesn't mean you have to stay there forever! You can move again if God shows you differently! In His Name Q.
-- Queen (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2000.
i'll add some food for thought. i'm assuming that if you can move anywhere that you can probably move to two places. fall, winter and spring in western north carolina mountain country and summers at the north coastal corner of massachusetts. good people in both places - great work ethic exposure during the summer.
i didn't take your post as whiny so please don't take this as lecturing. a lot of keeping your kids from becoming fat, lazy american children is up to you.
-- dave (email@example.com), December 27, 2000.
Hey try the Florida panhandle, Moved here from Key Largo two years love it cheap land,good people,low cost of living. 20 miles south of Chipley,30 miles north of Pannama City. Good luck,Daryl
-- Daryll (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2000.
I'd vote for either the Florida Panhandle (North of I-10) or maybe Alabama. Stay in South Al if you prefer your winters milder. Right now we (in N Al) are having the first _real_ (okay you folks in the Plains or New England, be nice...) winter in some years. Although we do have true four seasons here (which is something I really like).
j (who spent his first 41 years in Florida...)
-- j (email@example.com), December 27, 2000.
O.K. can I whine? What do you call cold? Here we've seen temps this week at -30 with the wind chills. But I don't think that is a handicap. Our summers are an average 76 to 85. Some Augast's are in the 90's. Good luck on your search for the perfect home.
-- michelle (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2000.
Hi Lynne, Friends of mine decided to do what you want. they sold everything but what they could fit into a Wennobago. Packed up the kids (who were homeschooled anyway) and headed south. They were heading to Florida but took their time and were open to settling anywhere along the way. They did settle in Forida, by the way.
-- Dee (email@example.com), December 27, 2000.
How about a Winnebago on water? If you can homeschool, learn to sail, buy a sailboat and spend a year or two traveling the world.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 2000.
I'll get lynched if the locals catch me at this, but have you thought about Northwestern Washington? Land can be pricey, depending on how close to Seattle you want to get, but the winters are mild, zone 8 where I live. There are loads of cultural activities in Seattle and other nearby towns, and Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., Canada are a couple of hours away with all their wonderful sights and activities. There is good farmland, and lots of rural space. For those who don't care much for gray skies (lots of those here), there is a rainshadow, locally known as the "banana belt," where the rainfall is around 20 inches per year, instead of the 40 to 100+ inches elsewhere, and there is a lot more sunshine. That's where I just bought land. Email me if you want more information.
-- Laura Jensen (email@example.com), December 28, 2000.
Culture in Southern Florida??? Details please!!
Now if you want a safe place for your kids, culture, cheap land (especially since the $$$$ is strong!!), how about ITALY???
If you are interested than I can send you details of some houses I know for sale.
It does get a little cold here in winter but not too bad- Our heat source is a wood stove which we have lit from about 6am til 7pm from January until March. November, December, and April we lit it about half the day to take the chill off and have hot water.
I don't know much about the legal side of americans buying and living here but I have seen some websites (use the search engine GOOGLE and type in real estate in Italy)
-- kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 2000.
There are some great places in Australia, and the climate is generally mild or hot. We have snowfields bigger than Switzerland, but it's in a well-defined mountainous region. Another good alternative could be New Zealand. Both have good economies (particularly if you bring in US dollars), stable government, fair and consistent public education (not perfect, but OK, and home- schooling is possible, or better still just home-coaching and help- the-kids-with-their-homework). Currencies have weakened against the US dollar - no good reason for it, as I said, the economies are strong - but that means export and tourism industries are doing well. US dollar is worth a lot - great places for you to holiday anyway.
HOWEVER, permanently moving away from your native country is a big step, and unless there really was nothing left for you at home (like refugees) probably one you'd be better off on balance not taking.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), December 28, 2000.
There aint no free lunch. Southern Oregon has mild winter, 40s most of the time. Land is spendy but beautiful, not as costly as California, Colorado, Idaho etc. Good schools, no sales tax, reasonable auto registration & insurance. Friendly, helpful people. Lots of building in the suburban areas. There is a strong organic community & agricultural base. I could tell you about Belize but it has already been described, I like to call it a dirty little paradise. Good luck in your search, I only wish I had moved to Oregon 25 years ago.
-- Hendo (OR) (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 28, 2000.
From what I understand you can buy an island in Thailand for about 600k. Or if you have a little more to spend Fiji is selling off islands for a couple million. Thailand has a fair climate....wish I had your predicament. And if you do buy an island in Thailand, I volunteer my armed protection for free!!!lol
-- Doreen (email@example.com), December 28, 2000.
Thanks everybody for all your interesting responses! After I told my husband of my posting...he told me to call the realtor up in a small town (>400 pop.)in north central FL where we once owned a great little spot, and make an offer on a property we had been interested in. Seems he was a little embarassed that I would ask complete strangers for some direction. Although, knowing what "Our Philosophy" is, I was confident I would get some great advice. Not like friends and family who say, "why would you ever want to leave here?! Everybody in the world wants to be here!" Exactly.
Anyway, looks like a little peer pressure can sometimes be a good thing!
-- lynnedavid (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 29, 2000.
Lynn..I am in North Central Florida in the Ocala National Forest and this is heaven as far as we are concerned. We lived in Western Washington, hubby raised there. We traveled for 3 years looking for "the place". We went to Costa Rica....great, but don't want to live there. Then we found the Ocala area. There are tremendous places all around Ocala. We especially like the Forest because there can be no large developements going in like there is west and south of Ocala. We have 4 acres and no one is going to build on top of us. Property is dirt cheap compared to southern Florida. For $175k expect an inground pool with screen room over it.
Climate is great. Cooler than southern Fl both winter and summer. I am out in the sticks, but its 12 miles to WalMart and 15 to hospital big enough for open heart and UofF is 40 miles. Big as in BIG swamp between here and town. Keeps the city folk away. Be nice to find that you are a neighbor. Please keep me posted. Email is real. Judith
-- Judith (JHaral2197@aol.com), December 30, 2000.
Far north Queensland sounds OK but make sure you can stand the wet season. There is a very nice plateau (Atherton Tablelands) area near the northern city of Cairns. I am sure that land is not as cheap as it once was but US dollar is strong against the Aussie. Crocs, snakes and spiders might be a worry to come people.
Plenty of scope in New Zealand, especially the South Island. Auckland has areas with all the problems of any major city, (including fat, lazy, sullen, kids as products of the fast food industry). The US dollar will buy even more in NZ than it would in Australia. If you are serious about NZ please feel free to email me direct.
I would suggest keeping well clear of Fiji.
Sail boat is a great idea although don't expect to sell a US built yacht at a profit on arrival in NZ, there will have been too many before you!
There are a number of families in NZ who travel the country in 'House trucks', these are not factory built Winnebagos (sp?) type vehicles but rather medium to heavy size trucks with home-built accommodation on the back. Some are basic, others very elaborate. This might be a good thing to do for a year or so.
-- John Hill (email@example.com), January 01, 2001.
I think California is a beautiful place. I live in Northern California, lots of open spaces, oceans and mountains and in-between. Still a lot of culture, if you desire, solitude. The winters are generally mild, if you do not live in the Sierras. The summers are hot in the Valley but there are rivers and lakes. I think I live in the best place in the world, but so does everyone else. But if you have never seen Northern California I would highly reccommend a vist. There are still alot of "Country" left in California. I mean land and people.
-- Esther Zablotsky (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001.