Author Topic: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.  (Read 5982 times)

timbo_93631

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Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« on: February 16, 2017, 12:33:04 AM »
Hey guys, the wife and I are looking to move to Georgia at the end of this school year.  With all our kiddos we need a little farm, and a bigger house.  My wife has gotten her reciprocal teaching license, and has applied for some jobs  for the next school year.  I'm flying into Atlanta early morning March 2, hiring a rental car, and traveling to the counties where she has applied to get the lay of the land. 

Any of you guys in GA?
Any advice, about GA?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 12:35:15 AM by timbo_93631 »
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selfdestroyer

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 12:40:30 AM »
WOW man, I'm happy and sad at the same time. I hope the best for you and your family. I'll miss having a builder 20 minutes from me for sure!

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 06:11:31 AM »
Tim: my in laws live in Newnan. Suburban Georgia seems a little hellish to me. Unless you have some motivation to move there other than the location itself, I wouldn't move there.

Is there a burb you're looking at? I could probably handle being well north of the city, if I didn't have to commute.

And anyways, you should move someplace with 4 real seasons, no tornados, and the best paid teachers in the country (14063).
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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 07:58:42 AM »
My sister moved to Marietta from the Boston area in 1999 for her husband's job.  I figured for sure that they would come back to New England at some point.  Last year they moved from Marietta into their retirement home at Big Canoe up in Jasper, GA.  They love it down there.

timbo_93631

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 08:07:44 AM »
Thanks for the fair warning, and Cody, I'll miss being close by too...

Georgia is not my first choice, but has some opportunities for my family that we just can't find here near Fresno because land is terribly expensive, crop yield is way down, water issues persist, and the air is dreadful.  I'd personally really prefer to go totally off grid and live in the desert, collecting rainwater and building our own little oasis, but my wife and kids are far less antisocial than I am, so it'll have to be someplace more populous. 

We serve at our church and in our community a lot, and my wife teaches at perhaps the roughest high school in Fresno.  She has a real knack for helping kids that are on the path to the grave or jail go a different direction.  Sometimes by only a few degrees of deflection towards a better life, other times really wonderful results have come where kids from very bad situations have gone on to college and become very successful. We'd like her to find a job where we move where she could continue to work with kids that are in bad situations.

The whole dialogue of relocating to GA began because my sister is moving out there, to suburban Atlanta.  She is an elementary school teacher, my brother in law works for Costco and has the opportunity to transfer to a store there.  They already are used to Kingsburg, the town I grew up in, which some would describe as the suburban hell of Fresno, though I'd say Clovis fits the moniker better.  Regardless, Cobb county is where it looks like they'll end up and I think she feels like that area is pretty comparable to what they already know.  My nephew starts college at Toccoa Falls this fall semester and my neice got married and moved to Charleston SC, so it is a bit of a familial migration.

My wife and I want to find a place to put down roots not too far from my sister, within an hour and a half drive if possible.  We have six little ones, my oldest is almost 8, and we'd like to be raising them on a farm.  My wife was raised on a farm out here, I have worked in ag more than anything else, and know all sides of farming from the field to the market from commercial operations down to permaculture based organics sold only at roadside stands and farmer's markets.  We'd like to find a place that's about twenty to thirty acres, mostly cleared, but a bit of woods and creek for the kids would be ideal.  We'd like to get to a place where we are producing the majority of our own food pretty quickly, and then expand into a small organic commercial operation over time.  We'd like it if our kids had the opportunity to stay together when they grow up instead of all scattering, so near a smaller town with with bigger cities not too far away would be great.

It looks like all of that is possible for us in Georgia.  Specifically, Piedmont Plateau region, east of Atlanta, as far southeast as Sparta, as far northeast as Hartwell as close to Atlanta as maybe McDonough.  There are some jobs further north of Atlanta in the hills, also some southwest and due west, but I fear I'd be constantly fighting the woods there in order to farm, and the market would be more limited to just Atlanta instead of being able to sell at farmer's markets in Macon, Athens, and Augusta as well. 

So, I am headed out to check out the towns where my wife has applied for a teaching position. I'll be keeping a notebook, taking pictures, and talking to locals to get a feel for things so when we have to choose which job is right we will be somewhat informed about what it is like there.  That is the gist of this part of it, I'll be out the 2nd, 3rd, and leaving the afternoon of the 4th.  If any of you are familiar with the area we are looking at I'd appreciate any info on points of interest, anything to be wary of, etc.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 08:09:34 AM by timbo_93631 »
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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 08:12:12 AM »
Unless you have 7 figures to put down a little farm is going to put you way out in the sticks. You have kids, so if education is important to you, you'd better pay attention to the schools with a laser focus. Crime, declining property values, and shit schools go hand-in-hand... but of course that's true everywhere.

When I moved down here it was because there were plentiful jobs in my sector and housing was affordable in desirable school districts, my wife could go jogging alone without me freaking out, and I'm  no more than 45 minutes away from several major job hubs and an hour from the airport. It's not as affordable as it once was though.

timbo_93631

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 09:19:15 AM »
Out in the sticks is what we are looking for.  We will come away from our house here at a good profit.  We bought it at the absolute bottom of the market after the big crash, spring of 2009, and put down a sizeable equity stake from the get go.  Our place is about 25% above what we paid for it based on comps, and the neighborhood is selling well.  All told we will have a little over six figures to put down if we go straight to a little farm, and depending on the size and niceness of the house we'd go down to as small as 5 acres, so long as the land was good for what we are looking to do.

The other thought we've had is to buy a rental outright on the cheap (sub 40k) and move into it, improve it while we stay there in the interim, and then wait for the right farm to come along, maybe pulling equity out of the rental if need be.  Rents in the areas we are looking at are pretty good, so we will have to see, and it is part of why I am coming out there.  The appeal of that arrangement is that we could sell the rental more easily than a farm if we just couldn't settle down there, or keep it and have it producing income no matter where we might settle down, and in the event that the job we take disappears before my wife is tenured, or the school has some detriment that is not possible to overcome we wouldn't be as tied down either. 

I appreciate the advice you guys are giving, and the PM's I've gotten.  This is a huge deal for us, and we would be walking away from a very comfortable life here in Fresno.  So thanks to all that have input on the matter.  You guys continue to be the best people on der interweb.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 10:11:39 AM by timbo_93631 »
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BrianS

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 11:40:34 AM »
Blessings in your endeavor here.  I hope all goes well for you and your family.

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 10:57:07 AM »
I live north of the city in Cherokee County and it can get as suburban or middle of nowhere as you want (almost). The road my neighborhood is off goes: big high school, couple of subdivisions, a 55 and up community, horse farm. haha The further north in the county you go the more "in the sticks" you can get. Grew up in Marietta, and still love the area, but Cherokee County is cheaper and still has good schools (my wife is also a teacher). Woodstock (where we live) is growing and has a pretty good suburban vibe, but you don't have to go too far North to be in the GA mountains. Anyway, if you find yourself in Woodstock while you're here, holler!
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timbo_93631

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 03:58:57 PM »
I live north of the city in Cherokee County and it can get as suburban or middle of nowhere as you want (almost). The road my neighborhood is off goes: big high school, couple of subdivisions, a 55 and up community, horse farm. haha The further north in the county you go the more "in the sticks" you can get. Grew up in Marietta, and still love the area, but Cherokee County is cheaper and still has good schools (my wife is also a teacher). Woodstock (where we live) is growing and has a pretty good suburban vibe, but you don't have to go too far North to be in the GA mountains. Anyway, if you find yourself in Woodstock while you're here, holler!
I'm staying at a Fairfield Inn in Duluth, but I don't know if I will have time to head out that way, maybe on the third day...  My sister has applied for a job in Cobb county, as well as Cherokee, so I will be out there at some point.  The first day I am out I'll be heading down through Henry, Butts, Jasper, Jones, and Bleckley counties stopping along the way where we have applied, and looping back up through Laurens, Washington, Walton and Putnam.  Second day I'll head out and look at Hartwell area, there are two small farms out there I need to see in person.  One is pretty close to the Guide Stones, so I gotta go see if the area is as freaky as the internet swears it is.  I'll  head back through Sparta and Eatonton, see what they are like at night and then back to Atlanta.  Third day  will probably revisit wherever I need to that isn't too far away, but I'll have to have the rental car back by about 3pm to catch the shuttle to the airport where I'll have fun getting probed by TSA before flying out at 6:45...  I think my rental is a Yaris.  It's gonna see some miles!


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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2017, 06:40:21 PM »
Woodstock (where we live)

Hello neighbor. I'm a dozen miles down Main St/Canton Rd from you.

storyboardist

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2017, 09:21:32 PM »
Woodstock (where we live)

Hello neighbor. I'm a dozen miles down Main St/Canton Rd from you.

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 07:48:54 PM »
I'm down south in the Albany / Leesburg area.   Nothing to see here, move along.    ;D

timbo_93631

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2017, 08:21:24 PM »
Well it looks like Eatonton, GA vicinity is going to be home.  My wife interviewed through a video call on Friday and we accepted the job offer today, school board approved it tonight and we'll sign the contract in about 3 weeks.  It changes the dynamic of my trip on Wednesday, now I'll be looking around that area specifically, at a few houses and farms, going to meet the principal at the High School too.  If any of you have been through there and know of a point of interest let me know.
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BrianS

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Re: Exploratory journey to GA, we are looking to move.
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2017, 08:35:31 PM »
Wow Tim that's really great.  Glad everything is falling in place so quickly.