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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright here it is. The story you didnt ask for but you are going to get.

Raised in Virginia. Old man had hobby ranch in the country, horses and grass.

Did my own thing, ended up building race cars and such out here in Phoenix Arizona. Been here a couple decades, wife and teenage boy.

As the world turns, things are changing here in Phoenix. Absolute population explosion and all the greatness that comes with it. The wife's job is telecommute, always has been but the current "fear" has locked in for the foreseeable future. My business all sales are handled online. My business is totally portable, assuming you feel like moving an entire machine shop. I could live on the surface of the moon, so long as UPS delivered.

We tried to buy an old 100 acre derelict dairy ranch here in the valley about 5 years back. It was essentially the last acreage close-ish to town that we could afford. We lost to an underbid with faster closing terms. Since them weve been totally and completely priced out the market. The growth here is INSANE.

The intention was to turn the 30 acre of pasture back into hay fields and just get back to a lifestyle i felt was more rewarding. The race car business is exciting shiney and cool. But it leaves me personally feeling a little empty. Ive always loved caring for the animals and felt the farm life was for me. I dont really need to make a profit, but id like to not go broke doing it.

Which brings us to now. The mid life crisis. Growth here is insane and completely unsustainable. I can sell my house today for easily 3x what its worth. Which may sound huge, but trust me, its not. However it does put me in the position to walk away from my debt and have a couple hundred grande to do something with.

So there is the question. Throw a dart at the map. Go anywhere you want. Budget 200-400k. We want to build a life for ourselves that is our own. Not run a commercial enterprise...though if it turned into one im cool with it :) We have an RV to travel and live in. My biggest hurdle is my machine shop. Wherever we go i will need a building at least 40x40 with a concrete floor and 10' doors for my equipment.

Ive seen several rural properties that i could afford on 50-100 acres mostly in the south east up to Tn and Ky. Though these have been at the absolute top end of my budget.

So if you could live anywhere, wanted the best quality of life for your family and at least the chance to make it in farming. Where would you go? How would you do it? Buy raw land and develop? Find a forgotten farm somewhere and rehab it? Ive been priced out of my dreams so many times before. I just want to own my own little chunk of America before that opportunity is lost too. Also, im from Arizona. I dont want to freeze my ass off doing it. I seen some awesome stuff in Ky but the cold scares and and their politics worry me. Theyve got many of the same issues we do here in Arizona.
 

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There is not a sure fire paradise left in this country anymore. The best places left are cold inhospitable climates with long winters. Humidity would kill you in Tennessee. You better look around in your region a little closer. Maybe Arkansas but then you have all those tornados.

Regards, Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Being from Virginia {the family has lived there as well for a couple years while my father was ill} humidity isnt so terrible. Might be a deal breaker for certain crops that i have no idea about. Arkansas is on the list, but as you mentioned tornados, which i feel can strike anywhere really.

Ky, Va, Nc, Ga just right off the bat have a host of political issues that we are trying to avoid. As the father of a teenager. The marxist bullshit in schools is off the charts. I wont live anywhere that has drank that kool aid. Ky is the state i know the least about. Been to Bowling Green exactly one time to work a show at the corvette museum. pre sinkhole. but got some people over there and the chatter is troubling.

I was under the impression TN is about as far north as i can go and avoid the winter freeze to some extent. Winters were mild in Va. Only the occasional snow day.

The wife really loves W. Va. shes from the mountains here in Az so the climate isnt so different. Just better looking dirt. The poverty line is worrysome because with it comes the cheap escape of drugs. Drugs are a heart wrenching problem here in the valley, and probably everywhere else. Hard to find somewhere that has dodged that bullet.

Our biggest motivator in all this is what many would call food security. I just cant understand working your life away for a dollar that depreciates faster than you can spend it, to buy crap that you could have just made yourself in the first place. This is my shop philosophy that permeates my entire being. Why buy what you can build? I dont mind working my fingers to the bone 18, 20 hours a day. I just hate the idea of doing it for someone other than myself, my wife and my child.
 

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Building a place from bare land is expensive, and getting more expensive every day as materials cost and regulations rise. It is also a slow process that takes a lot of your energy. Rehabbing an older place is an option but once again the costs of improvements right now are going higher every day. Finding large areas of land for reasonable amounts of money is getting more and more difficult. There are a whole lot of people out there looking to buy the same thing as you want and only so much to go around. Best of luck on your search!
 

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Not bragging but south alabama is nice hardly ever freezes, stuff is reasonably priced, and actually there is a lot of race car business around if you mean straight line cars only a couple of circle tracks around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Regulations! there is something i always want to know but forget to look up. Any ideas on which states are most and least restrictive? One nice thing about Arizona is its pretty Cowboy out here. You kinda do as you please and no one really bothers you. If i could afford a few acres here id never leave. But Cali's implosion has killed that dream.... I'll never inherit the family acreage either. The much younger 2nd wife saw to that.

Where to find a farm someone doesnt need or want? That is the question.....
 

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Regulations HA HA Miss Ivey might not get reelected but she sure has helped insure the working class way of life. She sent the federal money back saying help wanted signs being took down was better than unemployment checks. Also we never had many rules about how or where to farm. Business regulations aren't much different at least in county may vary from city to city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Not bragging but south alabama is nice hardly ever freezes, stuff is reasonably priced, and actually there is a lot of race car business around if you mean straight line cars only a couple of circle tracks around.
The wife has family in alabama {birmingham?} area. she favors the area. the humidity down there concerns me. i would like to have animals. most likely cows. and grow enough to feed or graze them. i really dont know what grows in the alabama area. i dont know anything about it really. Been there once for a funeral. Everyone seemed real nice, trees were green. That was good enough for me.

Do you have any opinion or tips on finding land? I feel like my best hope is to find a farmer somewhere getting out of the game that doesnt want to see their farm cut up by land developers. No clue how to find such a thing. Though my wife did put a wanted ad on craigslist and got some very creative proposals...lol
 

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I can imagine. She might want to try Facebook marketplace. I am 8 miles from the Florida line and about 50 from Georgia there are a few good farm realtors around check out united country fulford realty if you see anything down this way let me know if I can help check it out.
 

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Southwest Missouri is well suited for cattle operations and hay production. Lots of alfalfa here. We have a clear four seasons, but the summers do get humid. Tornados from time to time. Very little snow. It's a red state and tolerable taxes.
I've always felt I've always I live as far north and as far south as I want to be.
 

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It's gets as humid as can be here in WV without raining. You just walk outside on a lot of days during the summer and your soaked
 

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SD,very conservative state.Not near the regulations as some other places.No state income tax.
SD is booming never slowed down with Covid as it didn’t shut down like some liberal states.

One drawback is winter but that tends to keep riff raff out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's gets as humid as can be here in WV without raining. You just walk outside on a lot of days during the summer and your soaked
We used to race in Summit Point, could have been the time of year but it was always nice there. I figure anywhere is going to be terribly humid compared to arizona. But as long as its not 120 degrees with no cloud cover for 6 months out the year. That might just be what i gotta do. The heat here doesnt really bother me, but working without shade i just cant do it anymore.

are there climates where bailing just isnt possible due to the humidity?

im totally clueless in all this. ive got alot to learn, but i really want to learn. Kind of feel like i wasted a good chunk of my life on a selfish enterprise. I figure hay is a good place to start, i can develop an acre at a time as i learn. if a screw up bad i dont have dead fruit laying all over the place {the orchard experience, didnt go so well}. Not scared to fail, kind of terrified of not at least trying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SD,very conservative state.Not near the regulations as some other places.No state income tax.
SD is booming never slowed down with Covid as it didn’t shut down like some liberal states.

One drawback is winter but that tends to keep riff raff out.
How do you guys get your water? Everything here in Az has to be pumped. Rain pretty much doesnt happen half the year. Always figured your dirt would be full of rocks like ours is down here. Which is pretty much a giant pain in the ass if you want to do anything here.
 

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Take a look at Oklahoma. Or maybe Kansas. Both not so cold. Eastern part of both states gets enough moisture to avoid the concept of desert.
Are you by chance on Practical Machinist? Your handle seems familiar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Take a look at Oklahoma. Or maybe Kansas. Both not so cold. Eastern part of both states gets enough moisture to avoid the concept of desert.
Are you by chance on Practical Machinist? Your handle seems familiar.
Oklahoma appeals to me on a little different level. Seems to be a bit of a dirt bike mecca. The kid and i are big into dirt bikes as a hobby. wherever we end up will definitely end up having a track or two on the land ;)

And yes again to Practical Machinist. Not sure i use the same nickname on there though. But that site literally changed my life. Went from a welder in the corner of a shop to owning my own little CNC machine shop. All self taught. I figure if i can that with Practical Machinist maybe i can spring board offa here and earn myself a straw hat ;)
 
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