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Hello! Family of 4 looking to move out of city life

 
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Hello Permies! My husband and I are in our early 30's, very stable jobs and finances, and have two daughters under the age 4. We have been living in Atlanta, GA for going on 7 years and have done very well here by all accounts. My husband who grew up in a way smaller town than me has always wanted to eventually move out on some land, his father was a carpenter and he grew up in the trade until eventually going to gradschool and switching to Historic Preservation. I am a city girl through and through and have a very cushy career in Software, but especially after Covid-19, I have finally fully bought into the idea of moving out of the city and leaving the rat-race before it gets even worse with the "new normal" they are pushing on us.  

My main question is for those of you that were in a similar position, but eventually made the move out - How did you decide WHERE to move?

We are open to leaving Georgia, but would prefer to stay closer to places that would make it easy to visit family which would mean the East Coast or Midwest.


Appreciate any advice you have based on how y'all decided! Thanks!

 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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I made my decision to move back to TX from the Pacific Northwest for three reasons that I think everyone should factor into a decision.  The first was the ability to grow fresh food for most of the year.  The second was a support network.  Finally, available affordable land.

Texas has a year round growing season across most of the state.  I can grow winter crops even in the coldest part of the year.  

I had family and friends still here; although I had been away for almost two decades.  People are important.  Survival without loved ones, is hardly survival at all.  Who is important in your life and where are they?

Finally, the West Coast has priced itself out of many peoples ability to purchase or finance (without a 'city' job.)  Much of the East Coast is the same.  

There are other factors, such as Medical facilities, job market, quality of life activities, etc...  I feel most of these are second tier factors that help hone in on an area rather than drive a search.
 
master pollinator
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Location: southern Illinois.
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NW Georgia is an attractive area.  

In my first attempt, I went by price, water, access to larger communities, and privacy.  

In my second location I gave attention to privacy, employment, climate, neighbors, house, soil, hospitals, transportation, and all of the above.
 
master pollinator
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Location: Vermont, USA
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I lived in nearby Massachusetts in a small city, and moved to rural Vermont.  I think the most important factors are (1) proximity to family/loved ones/support network, (2) cost of living (weighed alongside your ambitions toward frugality, intent to grow your own food, and such), (3) climate, soil, privacy, and some less tangibles like the political climate.

My state has a high cost of living, a brutal climate, rocky but otherwise pretty good soil, and great communities.  But, I have always loved Vermont.  We vacationed here when I was a child, and I brought mine to vacation here in more recent years.  It feels like home.
 
Cristi Moscoso
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Jack Edmondson wrote:I made my decision to move back to TX from the Pacific Northwest for three reasons that I think everyone should factor into a decision.  The first was the ability to grow fresh food for most of the year.  The second was a support network.  Finally, available affordable land.

Texas has a year round growing season across most of the state.  I can grow winter crops even in the coldest part of the year.  

I had family and friends still here; although I had been away for almost two decades.  People are important.  Survival without loved ones, is hardly survival at all.  Who is important in your life and where are they?

Finally, the West Coast has priced itself out of many peoples ability to purchase or finance (without a 'city' job.)  Much of the East Coast is the same.  

There are other factors, such as Medical facilities, job market, quality of life activities, etc...  I feel most of these are second tier factors that help hone in on an area rather than drive a search.



I'm curious. How close are you to your family? Like down the street? Or a couple of hours?
 
Cristi Moscoso
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John F Dean wrote:NW Georgia is an attractive area.  

In my first attempt, I went by price, water, access to larger communities, and privacy.  

In my second location I gave attention to privacy, employment, climate, neighbors, house, soil, hospitals, transportation, and all of the above.



You mention house - we're looking for land with an existing house on site. Is that what you mean? Also, how did you go about looking and purchasing the land? Did you use a realtor or websites?
 
Cristi Moscoso
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Anne Pratt wrote:I lived in nearby Massachusetts in a small city, and moved to rural Vermont.  I think the most important factors are (1) proximity to family/loved ones/support network, (2) cost of living (weighed alongside your ambitions toward frugality, intent to grow your own food, and such), (3) climate, soil, privacy, and some less tangibles like the political climate.

My state has a high cost of living, a brutal climate, rocky but otherwise pretty good soil, and great communities.  But, I have always loved Vermont.  We vacationed here when I was a child, and I brought mine to vacation here in more recent years.  It feels like home.



It sounds like you have children. Did you move with them? What did you do for schooling? We don't really want to homeschool, though we would be open to a homeschool co-op situation if we needed to. Wondering about this as well and wondering if you have any advice. Thanks!
 
Anne Pratt
master pollinator
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Location: Vermont, USA
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Sorry, my daughter is 31 and has a 2-year-old of her own!

There are some outstanding schools around here.  The school population is quite small, so class sizes are small and the teachers are very engaged.  I don't know how it is in other school districts; probably like everywhere, some are better than others.

Currently, due to the pandemic, various districts are handling things differently.  But in normal times, there is a school where your children will attend.

I am farther from my daughter and family than I would like to be - it's over 3.5 hours.  But it's certainly close enough for a weekend trip, and they come up here to see Grandma's chickens and nearby farms, as well as hiking and museums and other wonderful attractions.  I just love it here.
 
Jack Edmondson
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Cristi Moscoso wrote:
I'm curious. How close are you to your family? Like down the street? Or a couple of hours?



Most of them are within a two hour drive radius.  
 
John F Dean
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Hi Christi,

Realtors are their own trip. Their goal is to sell you a house. Of course, that means any house ...not necessarily remotely the one you want.

I went to multiple realtors.  I told each one exactly what I wanted.  I made it clear that the first house they took me to that didn't match my description would result in me dropping them.  Always go look at houses in your own car ... that way you are not trapped by the realtor. If the realtor insists their car be used ....walk immediately.  Hard core.  

Anyway,  I walked a number of times. But I did get the phone call from the realtor that said,   " I have your house "   ....and she did. She showed us only one house, and it was exactly what we wanted.

There is one very subjective term that you need to clearly clarify....remodel.  it means different things to different people.  You need to state exactly what condition you want the house to be in.
 
master steward
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Our previous move was to be close to our daughter.  I like the location because it was rural, near a small town that had a bank and a dollar store and not too far from a bigger town with grocery stores.

My dear hubby hated everything about it.  I hated the bigger city though I still loved where we lived.

I got tired of listening to how much dear hubby hated it.  I use realtor.com and started looking at a very little town I was familiar with plus it was somewhere our daughter spent a lot of time. At first, I only found one property for sale so I started looking at the properties in the next county. That is how I found where we now live.

Both my dear hubby and I love it here.  We have wildlife to watch and wildflower in the spring.

Everything has worked out well as our daughter sold her house and moved into our other house.  It is like having a housesitter.

Georgia is nice, our son lived there for several years before moving back to Texas.
 
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