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Old 09-10-2007, 11:49 AM   #41
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We have some here in central MS. At the local reservoir. I used to let my dog go swimming in it but was advised not to. Never seen any but read an article in the local paper that there are 200-300 in it.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:03 PM   #42
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Just to be clear, when you say that the water drops 10 feet in winter, you mean that you gain 10 feet of shoreline, not actually lose 10 feet of depth, right? Also, again comfortable water temperature is about what you are accustomed to, and I'm guessing that the water temps that we are accustomed to here would probably make your Sept.-Apr. water temp seem like home.

To be honest though, if I were a full timer there, the $600K for a decent waterfront place would seem like a bargain, but as a second home/winter getaway, yikes! I'll spend some more time looking at maps and checking weather and demographic stats for the area. Lakefront is nice, but even a nice place nearby with good public access to a clean lake would suffice. Any small communities nearby? (I'm thinking 10 min. drive) Also, is there a significant tourist or seasonal employment draw such that I'd have a hope of renting it out during the summer months?
No, I mean actually lose 10 feet in depth and the shoreline gain depends on the steepness of your lot. I have a stationary pier and a floating dock -- the pier goes dry but the floater does stay in the water so I can leave my boat in all year. On the north end of the lake, there is a nice small town (Alexander City) and about 10 miles south of the lake is Tallassee, which is my mailing address. Very reasonable housing prices in both towns. Not sure about being able to rent out in the summer unless it is waterfront.
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:13 PM   #43
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No, I mean actually lose 10 feet in depth and the shoreline gain depends on the steepness of your lot. I have a stationary pier and a floating dock -- the pier goes dry but the floater does stay in the water so I can leave my boat in all year. On the north end of the lake, there is a nice small town (Alexander City) and about 10 miles south of the lake is Tallassee, which is my mailing address. Very reasonable housing prices in both towns. Not sure about being able to rent out in the summer unless it is waterfront.
Ok, it's becoming obvious that I need to learn about southern lakes first, and then worry about the real estate. Sheesh!, first alligators and now water can drop 10'. What causes it? Is this a common phenomenon in many lakes down there? If it drops 10' on a lake that big, how can it possibly re-fill without somebody needing to build an ark? I'm sure that it varies, but how deep are the lakes in general? Is it impossible to launch a boat at times due to the water level? Anything else that might surprise me that you can think of?
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:42 PM   #44
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Anything else that might surprise me that you can think of?

Sharks ,fire ants ,no seeums and my favorite love bugs .OOps I forgot roaches so big they are the family pet !
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:51 PM   #45
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My in-laws live in the northwest corner of North Carolina, near Cherokee . It is in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains so you have nice rolling hills. It does get below freezing sometimes at night, but if there is ever snow it is melted by noon.

Lakes don't freeze, but you would have to be pretty hearty to jet ski as the high temps in mid winter never get much above 60F. Actually there aren't many lakes in that part of NC. You have to go a bit west to TN or south to GA for some reservoirs which can be pretty low during the winter months.

You can definitely golf 12 month/year and housing isn't too ridiculous, unless you are looking at lakefront property
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:11 PM   #46
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Ok, it's becoming obvious that I need to learn about southern lakes first, and then worry about the real estate. Sheesh!, first alligators and now water can drop 10'. What causes it? Is this a common phenomenon in many lakes down there? If it drops 10' on a lake that big, how can it possibly re-fill without somebody needing to build an ark? I'm sure that it varies, but how deep are the lakes in general? Is it impossible to launch a boat at times due to the water level? Anything else that might surprise me that you can think of?
Many southern lakes were built for power generation and flood control and almost all of them have lower winter levels for flood control purposes. Many TVA lakes (grew up on one in east TN) drop 20 to 30 feet in the winter. The lake I live on is an Alabama Power reservoir and begins dropping in September, reaching winter levels in December, and begins to rise in February, hitting full pool in April/May. Like you said earlier, it is all in what you are accustomed to --- ten feet seems like hardly anything after living on lakes that drop 25 feet or more. This is a deep lake (over 150 ft deep near the dam). Due to a severe drought this year, the lake is already down over ten feet and may go down 13-14 ft which is very unusual and happens maybe every 25 years or so. Public ramps are accessible all year long.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:21 PM   #47
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Sharks ,fire ants ,no seeums and my favorite love bugs .OOps I forgot roaches so big they are the family pet !
No kidding on the no-see-ums. Far worse than the alligators, sharks and roaches.

Moemg, I always enjoy reading your posts, but I am curious about something. You always have a space before, rather than after, a comma or a period. Any reason? Sorry, I just had to ask.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:51 PM   #48
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No kidding on the no-see-ums. Far worse than the alligators, sharks and roaches.

Moemg, I always enjoy reading your posts, but I am curious about something. You always have a space before, rather than after, a comma or a period. Any reason? Sorry, I just had to ask.

The reason is I get confused ( blame it on Lipitor even if I do not take it ) where to put comas so I just adlib .Probably from 34 years of writing nurses notes.
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:33 PM   #49
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We get no-see-ums here too, but nothing that I'd call a real nuisance. Those critters are easily kept away with mosquito repellant. As far as the rest of my "learn about the Southern U.S." project goes, I get the feeling that I'm sort of like the city cousin going out to the farm and being way out of my element so I hope that you can all put yourself in my snowboots and imagine that it's really easy to become concerned with things like alligators, bizarre lake level fluctuations, huge angry insects, and snakes, things that perhaps a local would just take in stride. I also feel like all of the internet research in the world isn't going to matter much when it would appear that I can't relate on any level to many of the hazards and drawbacks of the south.

Maybe I need a different angle. Are there any of you who have spent time in both the N&S and can tell me what the things are that you found to be the most different? Everything from how people behave to insurance prices, frequency and types of natural disasters, what things to look for during a home inspection that I might not have to worry about here(no A/C jokes please), shopping, property taxes, quality of roads, anything at all. Thanks
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:51 PM   #50
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Maybe I need a different angle. Are there any of you who have spent time in both the N&S and can tell me what the things are that you found to be the most different? Everything from how people behave to insurance prices, frequency and types of natural disasters, what things to look for during a home inspection that I might not have to worry about here(no A/C jokes please), shopping, property taxes, quality of roads, anything at all. Thanks
This is like asking are there any differences between Alberta and Quebec. Of course there are, and they cannot be explained on a bulletin board.

I was born and graduated high school in the South, and lived almost all the rest of my life in the North. Lots of differences, but even after a lifetime I am not sure which I like best.

People are outwardly much more friendly in the South. Not too many waitresses in Seattle or Vancouver gonna call me sugar, but it can happen fo' sure south of the M-D, even in big cities.

Ha
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:28 PM   #51
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Pick an area you are interested in and subscribe to the newspaper. It will tell you everything you need to know. I was living in New Jersey where the news was a count of the recent murders and then I 'd open up the Venice Gondolier and the people were upset about the lack of christmas decorations on garbage cans.(true story)
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:58 PM   #52
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This is like asking are there any differences between Alberta and Quebec. Of course there are, and they cannot be explained on a bulletin board.

I was born and graduated high school in the South, and lived almost all the rest of my life in the North. Lots of differences, but even after a lifetime I am not sure which I like best.

People are outwardly much more friendly in the South. Not too many waitresses in Seattle or Vancouver gonna call me sugar, but it can happen fo' sure south of the M-D, even in big cities.

Ha
I wasn't looking for opinions on what area of the continent is anyones favorite place, or why, just some insight into both the glaring differences as well as the more subtle ones (like you pointed out about the kindness in the South) that a northerner might not find in a simple google search. I have some preconceived notions about Quebec, but since I haven't visited in many years, I would be unqualified to comment on differences, but I had an employee from Quebec who would constantly point out the differences. Some quite comical.

I'm only asking for info from folks who have spent enough time in both the north and south who have seen the differences first hand and perhaps even purchased real estate in both to comment on the differences that might surprise me, pleasantly or otherwise. I'm not sure why you'd say that this bulletin board is a sub-par place for explanations of the differences, but according to your post count, you are far more familiar with these forums than I, and if the content of my query isn't the type of thing that would normally be discussed here or if I didn't make it clear as to what I was asking the first time around, then please accept my apologies.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:59 PM   #53
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I grew up on the snowy Alpine slopes of Europe but have been living in Alabama for more than 10 years. It's like two different worlds. Many people still question my choice but to me the south east has become my home. The weather is nice almost year round, the people are friendly, welcoming and a bit more relaxed than elsewhere. Sure I had to get used to the flying roaches, the deadly snakes and spiders, and other critters (We had none of that crazyness where I came from). But really once you know what to look out for, you'll be just fine. I guess after reading all those things about gators, you may have the feeling we are living in the jungle down here. It couldn't be further from the truth.
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:01 PM   #54
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I grew up on the snowy Alpine slopes of Europe but have been living in Alabama for more than 10 years. It's like two different worlds. Many people still question my choice but to me the south east has become my home. The weather is nice almost year round, the people are friendly, welcoming and a bit more relaxed than elsewhere. Sure I had to get used to the flying roaches, the deadly snakes and spiders, and other critters (We had none of that crazyness where I came from). But really once you know what to look out for, you'll be just fine. I guess after reading all those things about gators, you may have the feeling we are living in the jungle down here. It couldn't be further from the truth.
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Ya hit the nail on the head with the jungle comment. I should have put a laid back atmosphere on my list too. thanks
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:17 PM   #55
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Grizz,
I am a lifelong southerner, so I can't comment on personal experiences in the north. But I can tell you this: you need to stay somewhere a month to get a feel for the place and know if you'll like it or not. Many folks move permanently to the Charleston area and cannot adapt to the heat and humidity in the summers. Others, like my friend Amy from Maine, thrive here. I think it has more to do with flexibility of mind than finding the "perfect spot". I also think it takes a very special sort of person to be able to adapt to a "foreign place", no matter where it is. Good luck in your search for a winter home, I can certainly appreciate your wanting to find a place in the sun!
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Old 09-10-2007, 08:36 PM   #56
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Sheesh!, first alligators and now water can drop 10'. What causes it? Is this a common phenomenon in many lakes down there? If it drops 10' on a lake that big, how can it possibly re-fill without somebody needing to build an ark?
Our local reservoir is down 8-10 feet. The cause? Major drought as others have stated. Most winters and early spring, we get a lot of rain. This past year, very very little. So hopefully this winter we will get our normal rains and it will easily fill up. Doesn't take 8' of rain to bring it back up. A lot of it comes from run offs of the surrounding area.
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Old 09-10-2007, 09:47 PM   #57
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Lived in the north all of my life until 2 years ago. Moved south to Birmingham for a while and now live in a small town in Mississippi.

The alligator thing freaked me out, too. No swimming in lakes here for me, ever! Also got bit by my first red ants here. OUCH! DON'T sit down on the bare ground...

Things that are different and may/may not bother you:
  • People will invite you to their church quite often when they first meet you.
  • There are often musical performances on the local news stations which frequently include religious songs.
  • People indeed are much more friendly and welcoming overall
  • The summer heat with the humidity is downright nearly unbearable at times. I found myself living in air conditioning this summer and unable to truly enjoy the outdoors.
  • The winters are pleasant and you do have a much longer time to enjoy the outdoors overall, due to nice weather (especially in the spring and fall)
Regarding home inspections - you have to be more aware of termites and make sure the property has a termite bond.

Regarding racial tension, I didn't experience anything like that in Birmingham. Initially here in MS, didn't have any exposure to that. However, now that I have been here a little while, I've seen a few disturbing things. My co-workers have started sharing some things with me (apparently, thinking I'm on "their side") that I felt were inappropriate and made me feel uncomfortable. So there are still problems, you just might not see them on the surface.
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:39 AM   #58
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"Places Rated" books and articles can certainly be found, but I recommend you keep doing research in unconventional places, too. (And this forum certainly qualifies...)

For example, from the "10 coolest small towns" article found in the curent issue of Budget Travel magazine (a LBYM magazine I recommend to all):
Tuscumbia Alabama (NW corner of the state)

Parkville Missouri (outside Kansas City)
Budget Travel - 10 Coolest Small Towns, N.Y.

I can't say that I have heard of them...but you might read through the descriptions all 10 for more ideas on topics you might add to your list of "qualities I'm looking for in the place I will live".

Switching subjects...one thing about the South that may surprise you when observed firsthand is the "Bible Belt" phenomenon.

In many small and not-so-small southern towns, there's a strong plurality of folks - even a majority - that are members of one of the more evangelical Protestant denominations. You'll likely find out that at least some well-meaning, friendly southerners can be quite forward in asking about religious beliefs and church-going habits. This is particularly true if you introduce yourself as newly arrived in town and looking to make friends and settle in.

I once hired a temporary secretary who had recently moved to Texas. Soon after lunch on the first day of the assignment, she came to me with a puzzled expression. I learned she had been introduced to one of the other secretaries in the office, then given a pop quiz. Even though the temp was familiar with the subject, she was not immediately prepared to be tested and was therfore unsure how she did on the quiz. Judging solely from this sample of one, it's apparent to me that Episcopalians from New Hampshire do not frequently hear "Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?" used as a conversation-starter.

(No value judgments intended by mentioning this. As requested, I'm pointing out something about the South not found in the guidebooks.)
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:24 AM   #59
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"Places Rated" books and articles can certainly be found, but I recommend you keep doing research in unconventional places, too. (And this forum certainly qualifies------------- Judging solely from this sample of one, it's apparent to me that Episcopalians from New Hampshire do not frequently hear "Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?" used as a conversation-starter.

(No value judgments intended by mentioning this. As requested, I'm pointing out something about the South not found in the guidebooks.)
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heh heh heh - when I lived in New Orleans - it was assumed you were 'Cat-lick' unless you lived outside 'da city'.

heh heh heh
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:12 AM   #60
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