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Old 11-21-2017, 02:12 PM   #41
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I hadn't seen a friend of mine out walking in a while, but we chanced to meet each other this week. He had had a major heart attack in the past month or so. But it happened during the daytime and his wife called 911. The EMT/Firestation was around the corner from his home and the hospital was only 7 minutes away by ambulance. The EMTs arrived quickly, stabilized him, and had the cardiology team waiting in the OR for him. He bypassed going to the emergency room and went right into treatment. They unblocked his artery quickly with no damage to heart tissue.

We did discuss living 20 minutes from anything. It would take 20 minutes for the EMTs to arrive and 20 minutes to get to hospital. He would have been dead.

As it was, his daily routine was interrupted for only a few days.
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Old 11-21-2017, 02:34 PM   #42
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I hadn't seen a friend of mine out walking in a while, but we chanced to meet each other this week. He had had a major heart attack in the past month or so. But it happened during the daytime and his wife called 911. The EMT/Firestation was around the corner from his home and the hospital was only 7 minutes away by ambulance. The EMTs arrived quickly, stabilized him, and had the cardiology team waiting in the OR for him. He bypassed going to the emergency room and went right into treatment. They unblocked his artery quickly with no damage to heart tissue.

We did discuss living 20 minutes from anything. It would take 20 minutes for the EMTs to arrive and 20 minutes to get to hospital. He would have been dead.

As it was, his daily routine was interrupted for only a few days.
Yikes - that's sobering, as exact same thing happened to DW - just at 4 AM instead of mid day.

Had her to the hospital in < 10 minutes of leaving the house and straight into the ER. It was snowing pretty hard that morning and the normally 5 minute drive to the hospital definitely took longer, even though I was taking every chance that was safe to take..

I shudder to think what would have happened if we were 20 minutes out in the country.
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Old 11-21-2017, 02:44 PM   #43
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As for teenage boys next door, they grow up and leave. While our street has old (>80) and young (<2) on it, the immediate neighbors are all empty nesters like us. Sometimes us oldsters will play a game of basketball though.
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Old 11-21-2017, 02:59 PM   #44
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My parents were lifelong urban/suburban people. They wore tailored clothes, enjoyed gourmet foods and the opera. The most rural activity they ever pursued was growing tomatoes in the back garden.

In 1992 they retired and moved from a quarter-acre amid the traffic and expense of the nation's capital to the mountains of Almost Heaven. You had to ford a stream to get to their house. Their driveway was a mile long into the woods, where they regularly observed bears in their front yard. Yes, bears.

They had to build a house and have some work done to get utilities and access to it, but the project was manageable.

Sure, it took 20 minutes to get to the tiny country store, another 10 to get to a small grocery store, and an hour and a half to an actual supermarket that carried genuine Roquefort cheese.

But they adapted and for a little more than 15 years insisted it was the perfect location for them. When age caught up with them eventually, they sold the mountain house and moved again, this time into the closest town. Nothing lasts forever. I have no doubt that in hindsight they would do exactly what they did all over again. They loved it.

Good luck!
I love this! They sound very adventurous.
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:02 PM   #45
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As for teenage boys next door, they grow up and leave. While our street has old (>80) and young (<2) on it, the immediate neighbors are all empty nesters like us. Sometimes us oldsters will play a game of basketball though.
Yeah..it's not the noise as much as it is our current lot. It's just not private enough being on a corner with both neighbors largely 'behind' us. They're buried behind big evergreens that we planted but they're 15+ years old, 40+ ft tall and are dying due to lack of sunlight. We lose those - we look at two big houses basically infringing on ANY sense of privacy we might otherwise have. PLUS, we have a walkout - so it's like living in a fishbowl since we are so high on our main floor. There is just NO. PRIVACY. AT. ALL. And I'm very much a "need my space" type of person.

Current house is great. Current lot sucks. We were in first so never anticipated we'd be so boxed in..
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:12 PM   #46
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Yeah..it's not the noise as much as it is our current lot. It's just not private enough being on a corner with both neighbors largely 'behind' us. They're buried behind big evergreens that we planted but they're 15+ years old, 40+ ft tall and are dying due to lack of sunlight. We lose those - we look at two big houses basically infringing on ANY sense of privacy we might otherwise have. PLUS, we have a walkout - so it's like living in a fishbowl since we are so high on our main floor. There is just NO. PRIVACY. AT. ALL. And I'm very much a "need my space" type of person.

Current house is great. Current lot sucks. We were in first so never anticipated we'd be so boxed in..
It seems as though the "issue" at your current dream home has shifted from noisy kids playing basketball to privacy.

Is a privacy fence/screening a possibility? Either at ground level (near the dying trees) or screening of some type wherever you are feeling 'visible' high on your main floor? Also, I met with some landscapers years ago who had great ideas on how to plant "islands" of taller vegetation in certain places in my yard to effectively block neighbors while giving the yard visual interest, as well. Is that a possibility?

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Old 11-21-2017, 03:17 PM   #47
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Hi, everyone..wondering if any of you live in the country far from the comforts and amenities of suburbia or city living.

After years (10+) of looking for a property to build our 'dream' retirement home, we found two adjacent lots that total just over 12 acres and 1,000+ ft of combined road frontage on a paved, dead-end and very private cul-de-sac in the country. (So, I can put our house just about in the middle of that and have no neighbors for 5-700+ feet either side..very nice).

There are only 9 "lots" and architectural controls on what can and can't be built. They're reasonable (eg: ranch of at least 2,400 sq ft, story and a half of 2,600 sq ft) to ensure that anything that does go in will be fairly nice.

Seems perfect on many levels, but it's 20 minutes from ANYTHING. And I do mean "anything". There is NOTHING nearby in terms of grocery, medical, parks, recreation, etc. There IS a rails-to-trails bike and walking path behind us, but that's pretty much it. Nearest grocery is 10+ min which is no big deal but it's a small mom and pop, not a Kroger. No restaurants. No doctors. Pretty much nothing except farmland and woods.

I always wanted to live in a more rural setting without the pesky irritations of sub life. (We have neighbors literally 20 feet from us today, and when the teenage boys are playing basketball and screaming their heads off feet from your house it can be a real PITA - I can hear them INSIDE my house with the windows closed up. Not fun). On the other hand, we live in our "dream" house already. The house is awesome and has everything we ever wanted..plus is close to all sorts of amenities (fitness & social facility for over 50 people, doctors, parks, restaurants, etc) but the lot is not good as it's 20 ft or so from each neighbor.

While we don't mind driving to get places, you really start thinking about..CAN I drive that far - especially at night - when I'm 70+? 80+? What happens if I live longer? Plus, this is in SE Michigan and we have weather. Winters can really suck in terms of road conditions, and I imagine the country does not get plowed or taken care of like the 'burbs do.

We have offers on both lots and only a couple of weeks to either close or bail.

Since we've looked for literally 10+ years, I have the "we're unlikely to ever find anything like this again" feeling going. Plus, my search area is somewhat limited as wife does not want to move super far away from family (like, to another state or even "up north"). So, to get privacy..I realize we need to move out a ways. The good news is these properties are literally ONE East-West road north of what had previously been the north range of my search area. So it's not like it's super far beyond where I've always been looking. But now that I've driven it a bunch of times I realize my search range may have been too far out to begin with..

Would appreciate any and all experiences from those of you who already do live in the boonies or were ever thinking of doing something similar..the other obvious downside is that the building process would probably be super painful and expensive (getting quotes of ~$200/sq ft - yikes) - but we also realize the odds of ever finding something that is what we would want in an existing house is near zero, also.
Health and safety over privacy, particularly as we age.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:08 PM   #48
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I can relate to both your current "fishbowl" situation and your concerns about being "20 minutes from ANYTHING". A bit over a year ago, DW and I moved from a major east coast urban area where we lived for 15 years in a fishbowl. We had a great condo that had a wonderful view of the water, however also very close quarters to our neighbors. At one point, for a year and a half, there was a couple three townhouses down that would fight at all hours of the day and night. And I'm talking call-the-police (which both we and our neighbors did on many occasions) screaming and yelling . And when they weren't fighting, they were having ridiculously noisy outdoor parties until 2 or 3 in the morning. They were fined numerous times by the condo association, but it continued. DW and I actually started looking for other places to live after about a year, of this but couldn't find anything that we liked. What a nightmare! They finally moved out after a year and a half. Also had another neighbor who seemed very nice. Their living room sliders directly faced our condo, less than 50 yards away. If our view of the water was at zero degrees, their slider door was at 25 degrees left. For some reason, they always left the slider curtains wide open, even at night. So if we were hanging on our deck at the end of a long w*rkday, we could see directly into their unit; especially at night. It always bothered us, but we never said anything because we felt it was their prerogative to open or close their curtains (we weren't the only unit with this view and we chuckled about it with our neighbors). Well, one night we were sitting out and there was their teenage son "getting busy" with a girl on the couch with lights blazing and curtains wide open. And I mean VERY busy. Needless to say, DW was - understandably - very upset and we decided we'd pay a visit to the parents a few days later. I'll just say that in spite of our attempt to be polite and deferential, the conversation did not go well. You might imagine the atmosphere was always at bit uncomfortable after that! We moved out two years later when we executed our FIRE plan.

BEFORE the fishbowl, we lived in a somewhat rural setting similar to the one you are considering. Twenty minutes to nearly anything; virtually no neighbors to be seen or heard. Although we were in our 40's (i.e. young) at the time, it definitely became a grind to get out for errands, visit friends, etc. And, my DW would also get uptight when I was away on business because she's not a fan of being by herself and this house was isolating for her. I would be more concerned now if we still lived there, as we are getting older and like others have said, it would be even more of a challenge to take care of the property and get around.

We now live in a more suburban setting; only an acre of land. Not in a neighborhood, but with neighbors on both sides on a relatively "major" road for this area. The house provides enough privacy, but is not isolating. Grocery store, coffee shop, neighborhood bar/restaurant and gas station within 5 minutes, and enough restaurants, shopping and golf courses within a 20 minute radius to keep us entertained.

Ultimately, the sentence from the OP that really caught me eye was:

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Biggest question is "what will we do in retirement"?
IMO, this question remains whether you are 5 or 50 minutes from anything. I wouldn't make the decision on where to live based on this; you'll face this challenge regardless. Actually, this may be the bigger issue for you to tackle. Best of luck with your decision!
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:09 PM   #49
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I wouldn't, because I love living in what I call the ub-burbs: close to an urban infrastructure, but not technically in it. But you clearly would, so really, isn't that all that matters? If this is your dream, right now in this moment, then you should grab it, and not worry to much about the forever aspects of it all in that you can always move again should there be need. Just as you are contemplating moving now.

I hankered to live near the ocean for decades, but kept pausing for many of the same reasons you've expressed. However, the dream just wouldn't die, so we finally took the plunge this year. After months of stress first selling, then buying, then renovating, plus adjusting to all new everything, I wake up every morning thankful down to my toes that we made our dream move. I think not doing so would have been a regret that never went away.

You only get to go around once, you know?
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:15 PM   #50
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Current house is great. Current lot sucks. We were in first so never anticipated we'd be so boxed in..
I paid $40k over the average house price in my subdivision for a wide-angle lakefront view - worth every penny. I've got all the privacy I need, and I'm pretty dang private. Whenever I need something done to the house (and in the future, to me), I'm glad that I'm suburban rather than rural.

If you go the rural route, imagine what might happen to the surrounding land while you're there. A hog farm, strip mine, shooting range, shopping center, etc might compromise your idyllic lifestyle.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:19 PM   #51
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This thread has reminded me of how great my neighborhood used to be 15 years ago. It is now overdeveloped and has way too many McMansions and SUV's. Too much traffic too. But 15 years ago, there was almost no traffic, and plenty of stores to shop in, theaters, restaurants, etc. What ruined it all is that too many people moved here. I used to think about moving away, but lately I just try to avoid the traffic if possible. Sort of ironically, the area north of me that I would have moved to, to escape congestion, is now so overdeveloped with McMansions that it's traffic is even worse than mine. I guess I lucked out by staying where I am !
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:26 PM   #52
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It seems as though the "issue" at your current dream home has shifted from noisy kids playing basketball to privacy.

Is a privacy fence/screening a possibility? Either at ground level (near the dying trees) or screening of some type wherever you are feeling 'visible' high on your main floor? Also, I met with some landscapers years ago who had great ideas on how to plant "islands" of taller vegetation in certain places in my yard to effectively block neighbors while giving the yard visual interest, as well. Is that a possibility?

omni
Hasn't really shifted..we have multiple reasons for wanting to move:

- Very noisy kids (years ago) - less now as the older boy is now in College and the one remaining is more into baseball so less noise but balls constantly going into those tall/dying trees and probably not doing them a whole lot of good with broken branches and the like..but at the time it was absolutely intolerable..and we don't know who might be in the house a year or more from now. Today is doable..tomorrow?

- Houses "on top of" us. As in..20 feet away, both sides. And the houses here are big. 6,000+ sq ft next to us (we're slightly north of half of that) and takes up most of the visible area of the right half of my back yard.

- Zero privacy. We don't ever sit out on our deck. Pretty much may as well just invite the neighbors to join us - they're looking right at us anyway. (Sure would be nice to be able to sit outside for a while and read a book, relax, etc. We don't do that. At night, we have to draw all of our blinds so the neighbors can't see in).

- Live in a fishbowl. (Very little free room to plant additional screening - we spent roughly $100K in landscaping already to 'fix' the privacy issue. Those plants & trees are super tall..there is almost no room left to plant).

- Peace & serenity. I learned long ago I am not a "sub" person. I grew up spending a lot of time in the woods and nature. My RE plan has ALWAYS been to be on a big parcel (at least 5, preferably 20 or more acres) of land. Preferably with a small cabin and a stream, though DW does not love cabins and is much more of a 'nice home' type of girl..

- RE plan - I never envisioned living in a 'sub' in retirement. My vision of RE was always lots of nature, few people, peace and quiet and contentment.

Hope that helps clarify the motivations..we've spent 10 years looking and finally found something very nice. It's really hard to think about passing on it at this point but the "20 minutes from anything" especially as we age is the big and perhaps only hesitation - especially with a DW that had a near fatal heart attack a few years back and for that reason distance to medical facilities is definitely a very strong consideration..
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:31 PM   #53
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I paid $40k over the average house price in my subdivision for a wide-angle lakefront view - worth every penny. I've got all the privacy I need, and I'm pretty dang private. Whenever I need something done to the house (and in the future, to me), I'm glad that I'm suburban rather than rural.

If you go the rural route, imagine what might happen to the surrounding land while you're there. A hog farm, strip mine, shooting range, shopping center, etc might compromise your idyllic lifestyle.
True.. But that's why it's awesome having a 1,000 x 950 (or so) combined lot. There is literally nothing that can EVER infringe on our privacy.

Plus, the "sub" is a dead-end cul-de-sac with a grand total of 9 lots.

There is no Walmart, pig farm, shooting range or UFO launch pad that can come in anywhere near any of us.

Now, that's not to say the tiny planes can't decide to joy-ride all day long (which they seem to like doing) or the local rednecks can't decide to play with their guns all day long, or snowmobiles and ATVs cant joy-ride down the trail..but at least we are safe from the hugely unexpected.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:36 PM   #54
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I paid $40k over the average house price in my subdivision for a wide-angle lakefront view - worth every penny. I've got all the privacy I need, and I'm pretty dang private. Whenever I need something done to the house (and in the future, to me), I'm glad that I'm suburban rather than rural.

If you go the rural route, imagine what might happen to the surrounding land while you're there. A hog farm, strip mine, shooting range, shopping center, etc might compromise your idyllic lifestyle.
I'm envious. We paid $60K extra to back to the "nature preserve". Backyard was great until the huge houses to either side came in.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:29 PM   #55
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Other than the case of a medical emergency, 20 minutes is really nothing. I live in a city and it's still 10 - 12 minutes to the closest grocery store. If I didn't like where I lived, moving 10 minutes further away would be a no brainer if I found the perfect house/lot. You're retired...it's not like it will be a daily commute 10 times a week.

Like many, I combine a few errands and can get everything done on a mini trip every 3 to 5 days.

As others have mentioned, the real issues to living outside of the city are dealing with wildlife, more yard work, long driveways that need to be cleared, septic tanks, wells, etc.
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:09 PM   #56
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About 6 years ago, we demolished and rebuilt our rural lakeside home and made it our retirement home. We are a little over a mile from paved highway off of a public dirt road.

There is a small general store about 7 minutes away and a small grocery store about 12 minutes away.... real grocery stores are about 25 minutes.

The biggest things are that we now routinely call or text when we are "in town" to see how we are doing on milk and bread (a gallon of milk at the small general store was $5.25!) and it is much harder to keep our cars clean.

Other than that... we love it.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:10 PM   #57
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I’ve always lived out of town. In my career in sales, I always worked out of my house with a company car, so commute didn’t matter. 30 years of homeownership with domestic wells and septic systems.
Owned several chain saws and a couple of tractors. Yes, lots of work but it is nice to live out of town. Love privacy and opportunity to raise kids with horses, chickens and calves.
We are both 57. Expect to live in a rural setting until 80 years old or so.
Disclaimer: we do own a condo in downtown Portland
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:39 PM   #58
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Anyone know how to check flight paths for nearby airports? We've been on the property several times now including tonight and keep hearing and seeing small planes (props) flying around - not necessarily right overhead but nearby enough to be annoying.

Did a "airports nearby" google search and there are a few tiny ones. Nothing major. But the little planes are pretty irritating since they fly a lot lower than jets. Surprising how sound carries in the country..plane can be way off in the distance and it sounds right on top of us..THAT would get annoying very quickly..move to the country for 'peace and quiet' and have planes flying around frequently.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:43 PM   #59
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Have your tried flightradar24.com? Not sure if it will show those private plane flights?
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:34 PM   #60
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Anyone know how to check flight paths for nearby airports? We've been on the property several times now including tonight and keep hearing and seeing small planes (props) flying around - not necessarily right overhead but nearby enough to be annoying.

Did a "airports nearby" google search and there are a few tiny ones. Nothing major. But the little planes are pretty irritating since they fly a lot lower than jets. Surprising how sound carries in the country..plane can be way off in the distance and it sounds right on top of us..THAT would get annoying very quickly..move to the country for 'peace and quiet' and have planes flying around frequently.
Look at the directions the runways run, and figure for some distance planes will fly along the directions of the runways (depending on wind directions). For longer range flights you can look at sectional air charts at
skyvector.com you can get airport details including runway orientation etc from the airport link, and the charts can provide a wider area view.
Of course vfr (visual flight rules) planes often follow interstates and rivers and the like as well. (Much easier to navigate that way if it is clear )

Note you can find the airports icao name from the sectional charts or even the splash screen on skyvector. The airports info tells you the number of annual takeoffs and landings (called operations) that occur and also how many planes are based there.
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