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to go way off topic - west virginia, a beautiful state, is , and has been for some time, being pillaged for it's abundence of natural resources. as a small, poor state, jobs and money are often welcome even though the we know what the consequences may be. it's not always black and white. we all want jobs to support our families, we all want tons of energy, cheap, and we would love to be independent of foreign oil. most of us want a better envioronment. how to acheive all of these things is complicated and expensive. and even though WV is a hot bed of coal, shale, windmills, power plants and power lines, i'd say over 85% of all that energy is sent elsewhere- PA, MD, VA, DC, NY etc.

jumping off soapbox now, slightly blushing.

 

Very good points! What is happening here reminds me a bit of the coal rush in West Virginia in the late 19th and early 20th century, which I researched it extensively as background for a novel.

 

Having started this "left turn," I'll send it back again, seconding Mark's suggestion to do extensive research of not only the property, but of the area you'd like to relocate to --research potential major infrastructure projects, the zoning protections in place and the level of community involvement in the government decision making process. Subscribe to the local paper -- what are the hot button issues? Does anyone seem to care?

 

Liz

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Alchemist, that's scary. Our present house is leaving a very large carbon footprint even though we recycle, make compost and do as much as possible. Thank you for sharing that link.

 

I/we definitely need to research the infrastructure projects. Mark, from what I've gathered, geothermal is big in Oregon. That was a plus for us. Now I need to see where NC stands with it.

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I took the carbon footprint test and I really think it's a bit to generalized to be very accurate. But I guess it's a reasonable general education tool if it gets people thinking about their carbon footprint.

 

(For example, it asks how you heat your house, but it doesn't ask where you keep the thermostat, which makes a huge difference in your electricity consumption. It doesn't ask if you use, for example, energy star appliances, just how often you buy appliances. And so on.)

 

J.

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The time of day you use most of your electricity also isn't one of the questions. FWIW, the Smart Meters they are installing now will let you know though. And you're charged a higher rate per hour during the high useage times. I hope wind/solar will help us there in the future. Our next house will have 6" exterior walls like this one too.

 

We're also going to grow as much fruit and vegetables as we can and I'm going to learn how to use a pressure canner. Hopefully, we won't need 2 freezers. And I'm wondering if we should think about having a root cellar.

 

I know all this is going to cost us a lot initially but I'm thinking ahead to when/if we only have our SS. (DH has a 401k but who can trust the stockmarket?)

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For sure the ecological footprint calculator is an extremely crude tool. (If it weren't, it'd take people forever to input their data, and people would abandon the effort; it would lose any ability to make people think twice about their way of life). Its advantage is mainly in playing "what if" scenarios: how much difference would it make if I carpooled? if I were vegetarian? if I ate locally? if I were able to reduce the number of miles I drove each week by biking to work? and so forth. The sobering part is that even with fairly draconian changes, it's still hard to pursue a "sustainable" lifestyle.

 

You can Google "ecological footprint calculator critique" if you want to learn more about the weaknesses inherent to such simple calculations.

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An interesting exercise. I put in my gas mileage (poor) and an Ford SUV dropped into the driveway, which is what I drive! Perhaps the meat consumption is figured in the acreage need to support the person, whether their own or someone else's. There is a "green" option for housing that might be helpful. I require 18 acres, mostly I think because of the amount of beef we eat, but it is pasture raised in our area, so that offsets it a bit, I think. I "have" 45 acres on which to raise things to support me and we try to do a good job at that, at least vegetable and fruits. When I can, I preserve my own vegetables and fruits, mainly because it tastes better and I know what I'm eating. It's not significantly cheaper to do this by the time you amortize the cost of the land, tiller, fencing, time spent, and the cost of preserving the food. I think I broke even on jelly.

 

Raising one's own beef is too big of an investment in time and money, so we buy locally "on the hoof" along with chicken and pork. Oddly, dairy products are probably my biggest consumers of carbon as the source of these is always the grocery store and these products travel quite a distance. Our heat is coal (local anthracite)and wood from the farm, supplemented by fuel oil -- in spite of starting to produce significant natural gas, we've got no access to it and likely won't in the near future.

 

When I was growing up, my parents and grandparents raised nearly every bit of produce, meat, milk, eggs, that we had on the table. Their only purchases were "staples". I do know people who, except for a few significant items (fuel and some food), continue to support themselves mainly on what they grow. It is possible, but nearly a full time occupation. And in the end, especially depending on where you get animal grain and hay, it may well be as big a "footprint" as buying at the grocery. That would be interesting to try to calculate as this program takes into account only the distance food travels, not the investment in growing it.

 

Edit -- a cool place in which to store root vegetables seems almost mandatory for this kind of lifestyle.

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A good website for searching property in the West is www.windemere.com. You can enter acreage and min and max price along with other criteria.

 

All due respect to my former neighbors in the SE, but your access to trials in NC is nothing compared to Oregon. We moved from upstate SC 5 years ago to SW Oregon and love it.

 

Acreage really depends on the nature of each specific piece, but I can' imagine a decent working arangement on less than 5 acres. Just like sheep, you'll never have exactly what you need for training (unless maybe your favorite uncle is Ted Turner).

 

Get in contact if you decide to pursue Oregon. A lot of strangers (at the time) helped us.

 

B

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Thanks for the info, Bill. I have a feeling it'll be too expensive for us to live out there but I'll keep looking just in case.

 

In the meantime, how does the shape of this parcel look to you guys? DH is wanting to be away from the road so we can't hear cars going by. I'm thinking (depending on the topo of the land of course) that we could build in the back and have everything else in front.

 

574.jpg

 

ETA: It's the 5.74 acres in outlined in darker blue.

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Brenda, just from the outline it looks like that parcel could really be difficult to work with. I don't know what expenses would be incurred for the long driveway and having power supplied to the back of the property. Are you going to have your own well and septic area or would it be on county/city supplied water and sewer, length of run from the road could cost more, not certain. Also, if you are going to put in a septic area what would the estimated size and mandated distances from property lines and buildings?

 

Something that we think about is that there are also some areas that have minimum distances for kennels from propery lines.

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Mark, thanks for the tip. You also reminded me the width would also be important. If we purchase acreage in that area, there's the possibility of black bears being around. The last thing I want is to furnish any bears with meals. If I hear a commotion and I'm able to make it out there in time, my dog will have to have a wide berth. But then again, I have a feeling once I fire my gun, everything will go to hell in a hand basket anyway. But the more room I can give my dog, the better.

 

Debbie, I didn't think about that. After printing off the layout and grabbing a pencil, I don't like having the house towards the end of the property anyway. The listing doesn't mention if there are any utilities but even if they are at the road, it would still be a long ways to go even if we just took everything up to the curve.

 

DH doesn't like long and narrow anyway. Crap, and it was such a good price.

 

The next in line is this one.

117.jpg

 

It's twice as much land but not twice the price. Again, depending on the topo and perc'ing, I'm wondering if we could sale off a part of it to help pay for our part. We might still be able to have more acreage than the 5.7 one and not pay as much. (Getting creative here.)

 

BTW, will electric fencing keep bears out?

 

ETA: Also, would motion sensor lights scare them away?

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Good point, Julie. On the listing it states the parcel is not in a subdivision but if there's one just across the street, it might have restrictions. I've sent the realtor an email with some questions; one of them being that.

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It's twice as much land but not twice the price. Again, depending on the topo and perc'ing, I'm wondering if we could sale off a part of it to help pay for our part. We might still be able to have more acreage than the 5.7 one and not pay as much. (Getting creative here.)

 

BTW, will electric fencing keep bears out?

 

ETA: Also, would motion sensor lights scare them away?

 

Some counties (i.e. Culpeper County, VA) have regulations that prevent reselling land within an allotted period of time.

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Some counties (i.e. Culpeper County, VA) have regulations that prevent reselling land within an allotted period of time.

Yes! You're right. I should have remembered that. Thanks!

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REgarding your question about bears, good fencing is probably your best bet, along with livestock guardians. If nearby subdivision trash cans are attracting them, that would be another reason to avoid more populated areas. Most of the time bears will leave you alone--unless they've lost their fear of humans thanks to stupid human behavior.

 

Also even if you can sell off a portion, remember you'll need multiple perk sites, and of course you might not be able to choose your neighbor, so to speak....

 

J.

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@Mark, I'll check but I don't think I have to worry about a minimum. If I don't put in the number of acres in a search, lots as small as .19 acres pop up. Like Julie said, it depends on if it percs and how many bedrooms it percs for. That's also what a realtor told me when I asked if we could live in a MH while the house was being built. (Wow, a 25 acre minimum. That's awesome.)

 

@Julie, I was wondering how the neighbors would feel about living so close to livestock. With one of our next door neighbors we have now, I figured we could put up with anything but you made me realize, why should we?? If we don't sale off any property, we can cut down the probability of 'problem' neighbors. I have a feeling Les might be right when he said we would probably regret it later on down the road too.

 

I've emailed the Brevard Police Dept (yes, I'm still looking all over) and asked them how often they get bear sightings. The 2nd location backs up to Pisgah. That's good because we won't have to worry about anyone selling off any of their property to a contractor and end up with a subdivision behind us. But, if that is a subdivision in front, I don't want to worry about any bears using our property as a pathway to a possible meal. The little research I've done in regards to fencing I found someone who uses 5 string barbed wire fencing electrified by solar. He said so far it's worked for him.

 

As much as we love the Brevard area with all the waterfalls, I'm getting a little impatient with the realtor. I emailed her Monday and haven't heard back from her yet. The Yancey Co realtor sent me a listing for a cute little place in Mitchell Co. with 6 acres that also backs up to Pisgah and has a pond. I might email her again.

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Some counties (i.e. Culpeper County, VA) have regulations that prevent reselling land within an allotted period of time.

The realtor got back with me. This surprised me.

 

In regard to selling a portion of the land, you need only to own it by the date of closing on the sale. For example, if you entered a contract to purchase the parcel and had someone to whom you wished to sell a portion, you could close on your sale to them immediately after your purchase was concluded and recorded.

 

She also sent me a topo map of the property. I really should learn how to read one of those things.

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REgarding your question about bears, good fencing is probably your best bet, along with livestock guardians.

You're right. Here is a portion of another email I received from the same realtor.

 

Yes, we have bears all over the mountains – I have never heard of one attacking livestock and they are not abundant as say raccoons and squirrels. Fences don’t do much good for bears anyway as they are superb climbers. Your dogs will be the best deterrent – I never had a bear come in my fenced yard until I lost my wonderful lab. I now have a cocker.

 

The second best deterrent for bears is to not have garbage or food where they can find it! Some people bring in all of their bird feeders at night – I don’t as I have too many and I also have flying squirrels that I adore who come at night to feed.

 

We already knew about the food/garbage but I didn't know about the bird feeders.

 

Looks like a LSG is in my future.

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  • 2 months later...

Update-DH & I have had some unexpected bills pop up, computer crashed (no fixing it, had to get another one), DH's car went into the shop again, etc. which reminded me; even if we bought a piece of land that we could afford, we still need to be able to pay for the emergencies. The thought of not getting any acreage until we retired depressed me. Unfortunately (?), when I get depressed, I usually snap out of it by getting PO'd. This time I don't know if that is a good thing or not because I've come up with Plan C.

 

Our backyard neighbor, the one whose land actually backs up to ours, has 22 acres. I'm going to ask them if they will give me permission to fence in a small portion of their property that backs up to ours. If they will, the goat shed and chicken coop will be built there. That way the livestock won't actually be boarded on our property or in the subdivsion. They will just be used to 'visit' to clear off the lot. It won't be much training but at least I'll be able to use Jake to drive or fetch the goats from one area to another. I'm also hoping I can train him to work the chickens too. Our little veggie garden is a fenced in area closer to the top of our backyard. If I can get Jake to put them in there, all I would need to do is throw some bird netting over the top of it and let them go to town at the end of the growing season.

 

DH isn't too keen on asking the neighbors about fencing in some of their property. He wants to go ahead and build the goat shed on our property. I told him even if we got away with having goats, we probably won't get away with having chickens too. But, with that said, I feel like I have a Plan D if the neighbors say no. I'll just have to do without chickens until we move.

 

Wish me/us luck. I'm going to go grab a tape measure now and do some measuring. We priced the fencing and the wood over the weekend. We just need to figure out how much we need to get an approx. cost.

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I'm never usually in this section of the boards. I don't know why. It's so interesting and you learn so much. We've also recently purchased 20 acres in northern Florida and looking to possibly add 30 more since the neighbor wants to sell. Looking to eventually move there and farm, raise animals, expand my rescue efforts. :)

 

Anyway, I was thinking..why not ask the neighbor if you can rent a portion of their property? They might be more likely to let you fence it.

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Anyway, I was thinking..why not ask the neighbor if you can rent a portion of their property? They might be more likely to let you fence it.

I am. I should have been more specific earlier. Sorry. Once I accepted the fact we aren't going to be buying any acreage and started thinking about what else I can do, I remembered asking someone how they got started. She told me she leased a couple of acres until she was able to buy hers. When I started looking around the area in my mind, I realized I could ask the backyard neighbor. It won't be much; only an approximate area of 50' deep and 195' long. (I found one property post but not the other so until DH gets out there and finds it I won't know exactly how much to list on the contract I'm going to draw up.) Here'a a copy of our subdivision and the acreage behind us (Our house is on lot #20.)

 

Properties.jpg

 

Their property isn't very deep towards the end. There's a beaver pond(s) that is more towards our property plus a small patch of woods next to the beaver pond. One next door neighbor sometimes takes his tractor over to the other next door neighbors to cut their grass so I would have to leave a space wide enough for him to drive through. It won't be as much land as I want but I think I can make do. I should be able to keep a couple of ND goats on a 1/2 acre. And maybe later on down the road I can come up with some type of fencing that will allow the goats on the other 1/2 acre and keep them out of the flowers/flowerbeds.

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Brenda,

 

Fancy meeting you here! How exciting these plans sound! I'm getting runner ducks at my house this week. They may be a good option for you? If I can a keep them here, you can certainly keep them there!

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Hey Kimberly!!

 

Lucky you! I hate living in a subdivision. Unfortunately, we aren't allowed to have any kind of livestock that can't be kept in the house. The next time you come over, I'll take you down to the "lower 40". Hopefully, we'll have some of the work started. (Obtaining and fencing some property is the 1st problem. DH & I apparently have different ideas on how to develop it but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. :D )

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