Rairdog
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

Good luck RBG with the trip to TN. I was a navy brat and lived in WA, HI, FL, MD/VA that I remember. Then back to IN where mom was from. Since college I travel and lived in GA twice, NC twice, VA, Upstate NY twice, IA, WV, UT, WA, MI, KS, NJ and went through them all except for extreme SW and NE. Overall, my heart belongs out west with mountains and ocean. Dad was from WA. If I had to choose east of the miss it would be southern smokies on the east side so I could get to the coast quick.

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applestar
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

I've been following with interest.
Best of luck with your search for a dream home, Rainbowgardener! :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Bobberman
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

I also want to move at age 71 to a warmer climate. I also want a place near some big water. I sort of like SC. because its close to the ocean but has access to even the florida area without too much driving! Te Savana area was ok but closer to the coast would be better. I just got back from a sport show in Columbus Ohio and it was really cold zero! pa. is too hilly and cold for me. I should have moved years ago. I did live in kY. when I went to college at Morehead State college in 1963. It was fairly warm. I lived in Vir. for a year and sold carpet there. t in !990 it was very hot there which turned me off big time. I was living in Lake Ridge about 40 miles from DC. Virginia beach area I liked better.! gardening and fishing is what I want to do all year long and Pa. is not the place.
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

Yes, not too terribly hot and humid in the summers was also one of the criteria, why we ruled out places like Florida.

Sperling's best places is a good place to start, https://www.bestplaces.net/find/default.aspx You can enter a city, town, zip code and come up with all kinds of metrics to compare them, cost of living index, lots of climate data, economy, crime rate, schools, etc etc,.

So I made up a spread sheet for this for easy comparison, looked at 18 cities/towns in AR, GA, KY, MO, NC, SC, TN, and VA that I had culled from various "best places to retire" "most affordable places to retire" etc lists, plus Cincinnati for comparison.

OH Cincinnati; pop 297K, frost free dates/days 4/19 - 10/17 (181); 44" rain, 20" snow, 176** sunny days, av Jul hi 88, av Jan low 22, comfort index 41*, cost of living index below average 83.

*comfort index is a Sperling's metric for how hot and humid it is in the summer, higher is better. Chattanooga's was the highest/ best on my list
**this is terrible, by far the worst on my list; coming from sunny SoCal, this is one reason I have never been comfortable here.

TN Chattanooga; pop 170K, frost free dates/ days 4/1- 11/4 (217); 53" rain, 5" snow, 207 sunny days, July av hi 90, Jan av low 31, comfort index 46; attractions U. TN, TN River, pretty and hilly, sited in a bend in the river like Cinti. Appalachian Mtns.; cost of living index below average 88; Quakers: Chattanooga Friends Meeting.

Although I grew up near the ocean, we deliberately stayed away from it - sea levels rising, storms getting worse, the coast is not going to be a real good place to be.

We are 68. My partner grew up in NW OH and she always used to like the snow (unlike me). But we are getting older, she has bad knees, snow shoveling is getting harder for her, and my tolerance for all this cold/snow/ice, etc seems to be getting less as I get older. I really did hang on here for awhile thinking that global warming might fix some of it. But no such luck. The eastern seaboard is regularly getting pounded with excess snow because of cold air hitting warm oceans; mid west is getting this polar vortex thing because of warming Arctic:

The blockbuster snowstorms and frigid temperatures seen in much of the northern hemisphere during the past few winters are in part the result of global warming-related Arctic sea ice loss, according to a new study published Monday. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds clear links between the precipitous decline of Arctic sea ice and severe winter weather in Europe, Asia, and parts of the U.S. during the past several years.
https://www.climatecentral.org/news/warm ... s-study-sa

so the last couple winters are likely not a fluke, but a part of the new normal for awhile.

That cinched the get out of here decision!!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Bobberman
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

Another thing to consider is bugs like in Florida there are plenty. I also like a nice shopping area with good food!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

shopping and food is everywhere! We would like a walkable neighborhood, where there are stores, entertainment, restaurants within walking/ biking distance. However we also want 1/2 to 1 acre of land with our house, which is probably contradictory. The houses with half acre lots don't tend to be located near the stores and restaurants :( .
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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digitS'
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

We need fundamental changes in how commercial enterprises are integrated into residential communities.

Your half acre or acre lots are often near shopping, RainbowGardener. Those that are near urban areas and secondary highways are also near strip malls.

These things do not need to be the neighborhood destroying things that they are! Conventionally, they are walled off from the residential communities which they border, just across an alley. Some folks got the idea this was best.

Maybe, it was quieter ... for a time. At no time is the error in that thinking more obvious as when these strip malls begin to loses businesses, as suburban development occurs ever "farther out" from the urban center. Or, when the structures are razed because no one can think of a use for the buildings or space. Cheap nearby homes to buy ... during those decades!

The businesses along these 45mph highways need to be better integrated into the human communities where they are located. Simply better planned access from the blocks behind the shops would be a big step in the right direction.

Maybe, you can take several days to drive around your prospective new locations. Look carefully at the commercial developments along the secondary highways. Then, take a side street. If there is a park nearby, not an acre of asphalt but a place with green grass and trees (& I like elementary schools and playgrounds, too :)), maybe you have found your oasis of large lots within walking distance of shops and even easy access.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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rainbowgardener
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

Good ideas, digitS.

Yes, I have spent time in Costa Rica. They don't have the same kind of zoning we do. Many people have their businesses in their homes, even small restaurants. They don't have huge stores and malls like we do, but little shops are scattered through the residential neighborhoods, sometimes even small assembly plants. So work, business, shopping, eating and residences are all integrated and everything is in walking distance. They also don't have rich people and poor people segregated--small, shabby houses may be right next to large, fancy ones. It was not at all noisy or industrial, and there was way less traffic, since there are very few big, busy streets, lots less people have cars and they use them less.

I loved it! I really wanted to move there, but I couldn't convince my partner. TN is her idea. I wanted Costa Rica and 80 degrees year around!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

PaulF
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

So now my wife is zeroing in on the Aplalatchacola, Florida area for a winter residence. Any thoughts?
Paul F

Susan W
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

RBG, From what I can tell, the main part of Chattanooga may be just your style. One thing to check there as you are looking at real estate is internet. Sounds bizarre yes. But, was reminded today on some stupid laws and political stuff on who gets what. If you are not on the city run system, which sounds awesome, or in an outlying town with comcast type, not so good, out from town, out of luck. Just another factor to file in your checklist!
Have fun!
Susan

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hendi_alex
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

We live in central S.C. and IMO the area has a lot to offer. Property is inexpensive with nice starter homes for $85K or less, but more importantly the property tax is very low, perhaps $400 per year on 1200 square foot house. South Carolina does not tax Social Security, gives a $15K per individual tax credit on retirement income, and gives a $50K per year exemption on assessed value of owner occupied home. To me this is not the most beautiful part of the state, nor does it have the most interesting trails and waterways, though it does have abundant resources of that type. Thing is, we hop into the car and in under two hours we are at the beach, or in just over 2 hours, we are in the mountains. We live very rural, but it is a 15 minute drive to most any convenience, and only a 45 minute drive to Columbia which has most any retail store available. Our area is nothing like a college town, but once again, just a short drive to the 5 points area in Columbia or the campus itself. We are under three hours from Charleston, under four hours from Atlanta, under three hours from the N.C. triad area, and less than 2 hours from Charlotte. When balancing cost, convenience, available services, and location, central South Carolina has a lot to offer!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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rainbowgardener
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

Thanks, hendi! Nice to hear someone recommending their own area. Definitely will look in to it more. On my list of possibilities were Greenville and Aiken, SC. What do you think?
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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hendi_alex
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

To me, the area is much prettier up there than it is here in the midlands. On the downside, I've planted all of my tender plants by the third week in April and my brother who lives in the Greenville area usually has another 5-6 weeks to wait. They get hit with snow more often, have about 2-3 months shorter growing season, have to live with red clay, rocks, and the accompanying red mud. Property values are higher, property taxes are higher I think, services in general are higher. Very beautiful, but comes with many trade offs. One aspect of central S.C. is in being centrally located to the many places mentioned in the previous post. From Greenville to the coast is a much more demanding trip. I would be very hesitant to move to a red clay yard. Sand is poor for gardening, but clay offers many challenges to gardening as well, plus is so much more messy!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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rainbowgardener
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

Thanks for the heads up. I'm used to pure yellow clay, but I'd just as soon not trade my yellow clay yard for a red clay one! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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hendi_alex
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

For gardening, water costs can also be an important factor. Here in rural Camden, Cassatt water is pretty reasonable with our normal winter water bill being under $30. Still would get to be $60 or more if watering the garden regularly. Putting a well down in this sandy soil is much more inexpensive than going through clay and bed rock. Our wells are usually under 100 feet deep, with a 4 inch well costing less than $2000. Under sand, the water is usually very clean and sweet, with little mineral hardness.

I don't want to mislead you though, clay areas abound all around this area. I would just choose from the sand or black soil areas though, when searching. North Carolina is mostly red clay, but the coastal plain will have many sandy areas just like here in S.C.

The best soil in S.C., IMO, can be found in Florence/Darlington, and surrounding area. Lots of rural land available, lots of black, deep, very rich soil in many places.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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ElizabethB
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

RBG - have you made a decision yet?

I had to go through lots of pages of your posts to find this one.

You KNOW I LOVE my state. South Louisiana would not suit you at all. Much too hot and humid. Central Louisiana may suit you. Natchitoches comes to mind. A medium sized, University city. LOTS of culture and history - and festivals. Far away from the gulf so hurricanes are not a big issue. Cost of living is much lower than Lafayette Parish. I 49 provides easy access to larger cities. 1 hour north to Shreveport, 2 hours south to Lafayette, 4 1/2 to 5 hours south east to NOLA.

Home construction is a mixed bag. There are lots of old Victorian style homes. Some Crafts Man style construction. Newer homes are mostly wood framed, brick construction - either on a slab or on pillars. Lots of trees, camellias and azaleas. A very quaint down town area.

Year round growing season if you plant fall crops.

Not as humid as south LA.

I saw several post about Ashville, NC. I spent a couple of days there several years ago. Loved the architecture and the ambiance of the city. Winters are too cold for my taste. :hehe: Go figure.

Have you made a decision?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Susan W
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Re: suggestions for where to move to

Natchitoches? Of course 1st requirement is pronunciation, and I won't even try! I've been there several times to Ft St Jean Baptiste as a re-enactor and sutler. Spare the pretty downtown strip with restaurants and shops, didn't see many redeeming features. The history is interesting (French, Spanish and Native). Trains are constant, full whistles going, and police love to turn on sirens at night (when one is camping is a bit much).
Have fun!
Susan



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