The title of this article is an echo of a song title, by The Clash. This essay is about how I will choose an area for further investigation before moving to the American Redoubt. This summer I will load the family into our RV for a trip through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. As we travel, we will all be looking out for the pluses and minuses of each area. I have already marked up a paper travel map of the route and we can make marks on the map to remind us later. When I make a long road trip I usually mount a HD camera on the dash to record the travels. In using the video log we can replay the trip in those areas that we like. In areas that spark our interest I will collect local papers and other information. I will pass through many National Parks and Monuments so as to make the trip more enjoyable for the family. We are looking forward to seeing Glacier, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore.
Toward the end of the article, I have compiled various links that can be referred to for more information.
I tend to lean towards making decisions based upon research of available data at hand. I will use a point system on a list of criteria items I mention in this article. Of course, there are other occasions where I jump first, but a move like this will require a little restraint on my part.
I have written before, for SurvivalBlog. You may recall reading my article posted on February 7,8,9, and 10 of 2019. The title was: New Zealand: Thoughts After Seven Years. I want to thank all of those that read and commented on the article. I also have written six books that are on Amazon, I will briefly put them up for free download at the time this article is posted.
Now for my thought process in deciding where to move. First of all, I have a home in Southern Nevada that I truly enjoy, for most of the year. The couple of months at 100+ degrees can be a little tiresome, but I have to weigh it against x-number of months of freezing temps and snow. In an ideal world, I would keep the NV property in case I want to flee the cold winters. This would not be possible if the property I find requires year-round attention.
The main reason that I am thinking of the move is to flee from the Kalifornia virus of people and social ideas that besiege most areas of the country. I know the Redoubt also has this problem in many areas. It’s getting to the point where you have to live in the cruddiest areas to get away from them.
The next level of decision-making is the availability of land and the weather conditions. For me and my family, I am looking for a small farm or ranch to buy. I realize that the land prices are so high that it is not a reasonable expectation to ever show a profit from any crops or activity from the land. Hence, I am a gentleman farmer/rancher. The purchase of any property is an investment for my children also; a place to call home for generations to come.
Taxes are the next area of concern. I have a retirement income with some additional sources of revenue to hopefully pay for my plans. The link to check out state income tax gives a clear picture of states you can cross off your list.
Vehicle registration and fees usually don’t amount to a significant strain on the budget. I mention some links although I don’t think they give a true cost for the vehicles with added fees. Still, if you have multiple vehicles it can add up. Vehicle insurance should be less expensive so this may offset other costs.
The link for property values only gives an overall idea as I don’t think it reflects heavily virus-infested areas like Boise and Bozeman. Places with rapid growth may not reflect accurately the current taxes shown on the link. Once you find an area that meets your needs then the hard part will be to find the property that fits your needs. For me, finding a local (native) real estate person will be required to find that “right” property. I will avoid realtors that have migrated into the area from the outside. I feel their motivation is to sell property, of course, but not be very interested in working too hard to find the right property for me.
If I like an overpriced area, then I will think of living a bit further away, to find affordable land prices. I feel that if I am within about a one-hour drive to a (Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, Winco, Smiths) large box store then this will work for me. Local grocery stores are for quickly needed items. I am sorry to say that in today’s world the box stores are unfair to the small stores. Yes, I should support them but the pocketbook only goes so far. Nice thoughts are just that, nice thoughts. For almost all other shopping Amazon will do. Again, it’s the cost/benefit of driving for hours or having the item dropped on your doorstep. If the world collapses then another plan will be used.
Schools, churches, local government, utility rates, Internet speeds and the feel of the surrounding area are important. Schools are less important to me as by the time I am able to move, my children will be off to a University somewhere to be un-educated/programmed. Hopefully, they will be smart enough to figure it out and become useful citizens later. This will usually happen when they get out to work and pay bills.
Local and county laws will be a factor for any potential building of a house along with other structures. I will look for an area with no or minimal building department interference. My profession is a civil engineer so I know the value of following building codes in the design and construction of many structures. There are items that I agree with that require certifications and approvals such as septic systems and water quality. Again, my experience will guide me to make a correct decision.
Building costs seem to be a regional item because of the hourly wages for the local workers. Lumber prices will also be something to be investigated. One advantage in the American Redoubt is that for the most part it has lots of lumber production. If you have a completed design of a building it should be easy to find a mill or supplier to provide a quote for almost all of the wood you need. Prices are high now but it is predicted that prices will fall in the future, depending if we get a nice recession. Sorry folks, I am looking for doom and gloom to be able to afford my idea. I think it would be great if all of the high-tech transplants are forced to sell out and move back to Kalifornia.
Items that are near the bottom of my list are things like the price of gas, diesel, and propane. Can you burn garbage (paper and trash) or is garbage pickup and recycling mandatory? I agree with recycling but I don’t need someone to look into the garbage bin to see if I have followed their edicts. Another item is how did the local government react to the Covid thing. Were there lots of little brown shirts watching you or were you able to figure it out on your own? As mentioned before, how does the local area feel, that would include the police, school boards, city/county governments. Can they be trusted? Crime and the level of illegals in the area, how about the drug problem? Is meth a problem, locally? For the homeless situation, does the local government encourage it by subsidizing the problem with tax money handouts? I feel that many times the police, courts, and social engineering system just keep recycling the problem so as to keep a lot of government workers employed. If they fix the problem they may lose their job.
Those are some of my thoughts on my decision tree. I was originally thinking of including a list of questions and getting responses from the readers. Then I could compile the data into a spreadsheet and repost the results. Then I thought; if I already lived in a nice area, would I want to give truthful answers to encourage more of the virus to show up? I don’t think so; I won’t help make my area any worse.
These are the links I looked at to get some of my information:
Taxes by state
Overall Tax Burden, By State
Income Tax, By State
State Income Tax Rates
Where You’ll Pay The Most State and Local Taxes
States Without an Income Tax
Rankings of Farmland Values
How Much is an Acre of Land Worth?
Registration and Title Fees, By State
State Car Registration Fees
States and Counties With No Building Codes
Counties With No Building Codes
Most Expensive and Cheapest States to Build a House
Cost to build
Cost To Build A House
Cost Per Square Foot to Build a House in USA and Canada
Monthly Lumber Price
As I mentioned at the top of the article, I will turn on free downloads of the stories I have written. Take them for just that, a free story. They are not perfect and will not pass muster from English majors, so if you’re not bent out of shape with a few errors I think you will have fun reading them. Just please leave a review or comment, I spent quite a few years writing them. You can find Spy Valley Run at Amazon. That should lead you to find the other five stories.
Many thanks for reading my article and I hope it helps you if you are thinking of taking the big leap.
I still have to think: “Should I stay or should I go now?”