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Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Posted by postum (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 14, 07 at 15:20

Hi - this board seems to be languishing a bit so I thought I'd throw some questions out here.
What kind of area is your small house located in? Do you like it? What are the pros/cons?

I live in a small town just outside a city (San Francisco.) It has kind of a hippy feel to it still. There are a wide range of house sizes and styles, from tiny 2 room cottages to 5000sf mansions. I like being able to walk to everything. I like the mix of old and new - just a lot of diversity. The lots are small - at 75x100, our is among the largest in town.

One thing I see in new developments is that all the power/phone lines are underground. I wish we had that here! They are slowly doing this around our area but it'll be probably 20 years before our lines are buried :-(


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We live in the dense urban/suburban Pinellas county in West Central FL. It is mostly dense suburbs- 6 houses to an acre is pretty typical. Other than a few parks, there is virtually NO country around here. Most major intersections have a Walgreen's on one corner, and CVS on another. My 5 mile commute to work features 11 traffic lights! We recently bought acreage in rural upstate SC, where we build our small dream house (maybe 1200 sq. ft.) in a country setting. We can't wait!


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I live in the suburbs half way between San Diego and LA. Our house is older but was one of the first subdivisions with underground utilities which is nice. The area has changed alot in the past 15 years both good and bad. This is a beach community so there's a mix of custom and subdivisions with prices that really vary. Our last house was a custom house, built with the living areas upstairs going down a hill, overlooking the ocean and the only yards were decks. A very different lifestyle. This house is a track house built in 1960. Still in the hills but single story with some yard. The beach is close, lots of parks and a national forest a few miles inland.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We live in a smallish town (pop. 8000ish) that is getting to be a bedroom community for Boston, about 50 miles away, but still "country" enough for cows and farm supply stores. This town is very old (settled in 1638) and has great pride in its history, as do most of the surrounding towns, and I enjoy that sense of continuity with past generations. I love that there are 300 year old houses that people still live in (I know that's nothing compared to Europe where people still live in 1300 year old structures, but in a country that was settled by Europeans only about 400 years ago...). We are lucky enough to have almost a full acre, although it's a very strangely shaped lot so it might as well be smaller, with many trees. I do very much like living in this size town - small enough to be personal but not so small that everyone's into your business - but it's convenient to have the larger towns nearby for shopping, restaurants, medical care, etc. I have lived in large cities, Chicago and Boston, and the close suburbs of Boston, and I just can't handle the noise, the pollution, the sheer mental and emotional pressure of having so many people crammed together. My idea of absolute misery is living in a big-city high-rise, no matter how luxurious the flat might be.

The town we're househunting in is much larger, around 30,000 people. The houses that are affordable for us are crowded together on tiny lots (not like McMansion crowding with enormous houses on small lots, but little houses on little lots), there is much more traffic and general busy-ness. It will be a very big change to not have as much privacy and peace.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Live in a large town, but older area near the mountains. Full of huge old trees and wonderful histories. There is a mix of small homes and McMansions (buying up the old/small to build big). The area is sought after, but still has about 75% more cottages than big and love the old gardens which flourish throughout spring/summer. I moved here from a newer subdivision and there is a very different feeling in regards to neighbors. Many living here most of their lives and all is taken care of so well, large/small lots...mine is unusually large, but not a full acre. There are many with 2 or 3 acres. People walk/talk on a daily basis, gardening a big thing, everyone seems to have a dog too. Had not planned on an older house, far more work than new, but the neighborhood balances such.

I feel like I am out of the city, but still close enough for all wanted to get involved with.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Our home is in the older section of a largish town. The house was built in the 50's and we still like it!!!
We have two acres of land in the middle of town!! :0 We are not really close enough to walk to our jobs, but the commute is less than 10 minutes. Grocery store and $$ stores are 12 - 15 blocks. Because our section of town is older, it is a very mixed neighborhood. In spite of the occasional rabblerouser we all get along well and watch out for each others property.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I live in New England in what is considered a beach town. I moved here because of the proximity to the ocean...3.5 miles to the town beach; only a few miles more to several other ocean beaches. When I bought my very modest home 7 yrs ago, I thought I over paid a bit. Then all hell broke loose w/house prices and it turns out I got in just in time. I couldn't afford anything in this community now, even though prices have leveled off somewhat. I could sell what I have and buy a significantly bigger home further inland. But I could never give up the long walks on the beach an the smell of salt air I get to enjoy now.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We live in the suburbs....... we been here now for 3 yrs. and we love it here. The homes in the neighborhood we live in are new (0-13 yrs) and we are still close to all the major shopping. And what caught my eye and made me move here were the schools. They have great schools and not over crowded.

We came from urban life and it was fast paced...everyone is always in a rush and it was getting congested. Now we live in an area where each town cares about the people that live here and there are always something to do in ths community.

I don't regret making this move.

maria


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I live in one of those congested, inner-ring suburbs on the northern edge of Chicago. It's one of the more progressive, slightly less money-obsessed northern burbs, but people still drive (and vie for parking spots) as though it were the city.

This is one of the older burbs, so there are lots of beautiful mature trees, and it's right on Lake Michigan. Also, there are many wood-frame houses (as opposed to the more common brick and stone houses).

I'm from California, so I like being near a large body of water, and living in a town with more wood-frame homes.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We live in a suburb area, everything is growing up all around us and we hope imminent domain does not happen to us. We have 1/4 acre, and we wish we lived in the country. Years ago there used to be a pasture with cows across the street from our cottage. Our cottage was built around 1950. Town homes are the rage and going up everywhere. Also, nice old Fla style homes are being torn down for McMansions and I think it's a horrible waste of homes. McMansions are ugly for the most part, crammed into property with only a few feet between them and the next McMan. We have said we wish we could beam our property to the country somehwere so that we'd still have our compound and cottage. Our area used to be quiet, but it's not anymore and now our section is a policing corridor. We have privacy fencing all around, except for the driveway, and the gate, with a hedgerow in front of the fencing along the street side. There is a 5 lane street out front, used to be two, and cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc. zoom past at 45 and above, speed limit is 45. We just try to go with the flow and make our little compound our haven and are thankful each day for having it. We bought it in 1973 and our area has gone through many, many changes since then. DH and I have lived in this state since late 50's early 60's.

FlowerLady


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We live in an major urban area. The neighborhood is primarily working class residential. Our home is a three story row home with a small rear yard and a tiny front stoop.
We moved into the house last summer and the previous owners left an above ground pool that takes up nearly the entire yard. We have two dogs so I would love to get rid of the pool to give them more room to play.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

This used to be the country, a county far enough west from Phila that was filled with open farmland, winding back roads, lovely old Main Line estate homes and farmhouses. Now it's very much being developed, losing huge chunks of farmland a year to suburban McMansion neighborhoods. In 1996 when I moved here, the street on which our house is situated was a rather quiet, very old back road. Now, except for the middle of the afternoon and weekends, the traffic is quite heavy, as commuters have discovered the "back way" to work. Around the corner on a large parcel of open land, an office building is going to be built, which will generate more traffic. My husband and I formed a neighborhood organization last year, and as a result, residents of our area were able to prevent the construction of a huge, towering townhouse development on this site. We will be losing a large area of open space, but the office building will be the farthest away possible from existing homes and less intrusive. And the small woodland creek and floodplain area are safe at this point. The increase in traffice and development has required an adjustment on our part over the past 11 years, however, we love our home and plan to stay here for quite a while. In spite of my complaints, it really is still a nice area in which to live.

Tina


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Moved from Madison WI 40 miles north to a 4000 pop farming town. HOWEVER - we're on a golf course that IF the course goes belly up will become green space.

Below is a blog of the building effort.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rod and DJ's House Building Adventure


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I live in the suburbs about 1 hour from NYC in North New Jersey. I am only 1 mile from one major highway and then about 6 miles from several other major highways to be able to get anywhere in NJ easily. I live near a few country srip malls and I live 1/2 mile from my small town bank and 1 mile from my small town post office. I live 3 mile ones way from my favorite supermarket and 3 mile going the other way from another supermarket. I am about 8 miles using back roads from a major mall. My townhouse complex is off a country like road and there is a lot of woods and even farms in my highly desired town that has the best of both worlds: Country-like in some ways but near everything and has train stations and bus stations close by. My town is quiet and pretty and I love the location of my townhouse. My townhouse community is also so pretty with the units different colonial colors with different features on the outsides and insides to keep them unique looking.

I would not like living in the middle of a noisy city since I did when I was younger and moved in with my grandmother after her husband died and my mom passed away when I was 16.

I also tried living in the middle of the country in a rented house out of college and did not like being so far from everything. I really like where I live I just hate the cost o living where i live.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We used to be "the country", too. About 1 1/2 hours from mid-town Manhattan. Now we're a bedroom community for Westchester and NYC. Our place was a summer home for my family up until the late 60's, when we moved up here full-time. That was before I-84 was blasted through and built, and before IBM came to town. We used to have to stop and wait for the local farmer's sheep to cross the road before proceeding. Not any more...sigh. Now the local thoroughfare resembles Long Island, with mall after mall after mall after mall, and fast-food after fast-food after fast-food. You get the idea. Since I've been living here year-round for over 25 years I consider myself a "native", and therefore apt to criticize the hordes of city-folk who are entrenching themselves in our daily lives. The folks who still go to restaurants and shop where they came from, not locally. So for them the area is good enough to live but not good enough to encourage trade and support in. Grumble ;o) And the traffic, noise, crowding of our schools, and increase in taxes is getting to be a tad much. But we love it. It's still a slice of heaven to us. Then again, if we don't want to see the neighbors, we just drive up our driveway into the depths of our 7 acres and say "bye-bye". And our road still only has 4 houses on it, because between the four families we own all the land that abuts the road. That in itself is a blessing.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Mrs. Marv, All that land sounds wonderful to have the privacy. I do wish I had more land. Thanks for sharing.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I live in a neighborhood of Baltimore which used to be populated by blue-collar mill workers. Now, it's a mixture of 'hipsters', retired folks, a lot of tradespeople, and younger white-collar couples (like me and my fianc). I love my street and especially my block--we're in an attached rowhouse so I have to like my neighbors! My street is one-way and quiet, but I can walk to the shopping/dining area of my neighborhood really easily, and I'm only 5 miles from my job downtown. I love it here and I hope we can stay for a good long while. We might need to find another house if we have kids, but there is a good range of sizes in the neighborhood. My only complaint, and there is really only one, is the parking situation. Most days I can't park in my block. I'm considering building a parking pad which would take away about 1/2 my backyard, but it's probably a good investment for both my sanity and resale value!


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

My home is just barely suburban. It is only a mile from the Baltimore, MD city line, on the SW side of the city. Unlike akimbo's neighborhood, it's still pretty much blue-collar. There is a nice mix of types of houses, though - mostly early 20th century bungalows and foursquares; and later ranchers; with an occasional 19th century farmhouse left over from before the land was subdivided. There are also some old rowhouses near the train tracks that could have been stores or inns or what have you.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Mrs Marv - are you in Ducthess, Putnam or Orange county?

I live in a suburb, 15 miles from NYC in Westchester County. My house sits in .16 of an acre which is the norm in my neighborhood. In my neighborhood, if your house is over 2500 square feet, its worth over $1 million (which is why my house is so tiny!) Lots of strip malls, fast food places, restaurants etc. Most of the homes are older built in the 30's to 50's and not much new construction unless you move up the line. Capes, Colonials, ranches - a nice mix of homes all older on small property.

The proximity to NYC is helful for me since that is where I work but sometimes I long for a little country. My dream is to retire somewhere in rural New Englad, preferable close to water. Sigh!


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

>>>What kind of area is your small house located in? Do you like it? What are the pros/cons? <<<

We are located in Nova Scotia, Canada in a very rural area. We are building our new home on a large acreage. Our current home is on a few acres and we wanted more privacy.

We love the country life and having our own space. I hate the drive in to work each day and not being able to go out to supper without planning it.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

jyyanks ~ we're in southern Dutchess County, about 1.5 miles from the Putnam County line.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

MrsMarv - I love Duchess County. I had a friend who lived in Rhinebeck who I visited often. It's beautiful up there.

ajpl - I am dying to go to Nova Scotia. I am planning to go there with my family next summer for vacation. From everything I've heard and read, it sounds like Paradise. If I can't afford New England maybe I'll retire to Nova Scotia!


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

jyyanks! Nova Scotia is bealutiful and the cost of living can be quite reaosnable depending on where you want to be. Of course I'm biased!

We do get a lot of vacationers here in the summer but it's still very quiet in the non-metro areas which is most of the province. What are you planning to see when you visit?


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

ajpl - I wasn't sure where to go. I have been researching amd someone had recommended Salty Rose cottages in Lunenburg county.

I'm looking for a place that is near a beach/ocean but yet has a little town where we can walk around with shops, restuaurants etc. We are a family of 4 with 2 kids ages 8 and 2.

Can you recommend a place? Preferably we'd love to rent a home by the water where we can relax and just spend time with the family in a beautiful peaceful setting.
Since I am not familiar with Nova Scotia, I am just relying on the internet to get my information. Any help/recommendations you cna provide would be great! Thanks!


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Well, Lunenburg is realyl beautiful and there are definitely shops to explore etc. It's one of the more touristy places to go. You are also about an hour from the city so you can take a day or two to explore the city museums or shops. Downtown Halifax is starting to get a Montreal-ish flavour with hip shops and stuff.

BTW, Lunenburg is considered the south Shore. The Eastern shore is my home. It's has less to see in terms of tourist stuff but more as far as beaches and hiking. You can probably stay there cheaper too and still be an hour away from the city but just in a different direction. The Northumberland Strait is on the North SHore and I don't recommend it. I grew up in that area and the beaches are brown sand and just not the pristine grey sand and stone beaches elsewhere. The water is much warner there though.

Here's the city: http://www.halifax.ca/visitors.asp

And a link about Nova Scotia: http://novascotia.com/en/home/default.aspx

Ask me about any of the things you read about am I'm happy to at least give my opinion. Email if you like at donnie.l at ns dot sympatico dot ca


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I am urban. I live in the heart of a big So. Cal city. I am about 5 minutes from Downtown, 4 miles from the beach and 1 mile from the bay. It is a great city, but there is nothing small town about it, except that I grew up in the area and I still run into people I have known my entire life at the grocery store, or see their mom and dad walking at the bay. That is nice. Now that myy kids are school age, I have noticed that they are going to school with the children of people I went to school with. That is cool too, but I don't want them telling my kids stories about me when I was younger. Where I live, the older neighborhoods have big lots, but small houses, the newer ones have small lots but big houses. Go figure. Love my house and location though.


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jyyanks- cost of living- RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town,

Jyyanks, Also in my neighborhood since I am 1 hour from NYC, any houses aroudn 2500 square feet not attached to another house may also be around one million dollars. I know the real estate taxes are very high around here. Your area may be even more expensive since you live even closer to NYC. Townhouses with three bedrooms, no basements and with no land are selling for at least half a million dollars.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Lynn2006- I know. I often wonder what people who are just starting out do in this expensive housing market. We were lucky as we bought at the start of the boom but if we were looking now there is no way we could live here.

Ajpl - thank you for the information. We're not planning on going soon b/c this year our money is going to the renovation. However, I will take you up on your offer when we get closer to planning as we are definitely going to go and would love your thoughts and opinions since you are lucky enough to live there. Thank you.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I live in a tiny (pop about 1000) incorporated city in the suburbs of Atlanta. When in was incorporated in the 1930s, it was in the middle of nowhere. Now there are bigger subdivisions around us. Since these were originally vacation homes on 20 x 100' lots, most of the houses have been under 1200' sf. Lately we've been discovered and 'huge' new 2000 sf houses are being built in between the little cottages (a few of which are more like shacks, and then there are a number of tiny brick 'ramblers' which do anything but ramble). I'm a city girl but I love having a garden bigger than I could afford actually in the real city (which is Atlanta). I'm in a 1300 sf house on an 80 x 100 lot. The minimum size for a buildable lot is now 60 x 100.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I'm very rural,live at the end of a forest road on 30 acres in the middle of the Ozark National Forest. We have all the utilities available in towns and cheaper rates. Most of our land is in hardwoods,though have spots for flowers and did have a big veggie garden untill my DH passed. We have a lot of peace and quiet and a beautiful view of the night skys in our garden. Our neighbors are deer,bear,turkey,coyotes,squirrel,rabbit,birds of every description,The coons and armadillas have all seemed to have moved to town.

I am 30 miles from town and stores. and 70 miles from a large town. I go to town every week or two weeks. I stay stocked up on emergency supplys. We get snowed or iced in every winter.
I love it here and would'nt want to live anywhere else.
oakleif


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We're in a suburban bedroom community outside Memphis and also 30 minutes or less from the country, so we get the best of both worlds here. We were one of the first subdivisions in our area to have underground power lines (1970s).


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We are rural with about 300 people in our village. We have a post office, a small engine repair guy, a part time hair dresser and that's about it. The church is gone, but the graveyard is still there. There is a town about thirty miles away in either direction but neither one is very large. However, this is an island so if it isn't at either town, then it has to be ordered in from the mainland. It is quicker to make bread than to go to town and buy it since we don't have any highways, just one two lane road with lots of road repair projects on it all the time.

Our house is old and small and adorable. Well, maybe "rustic" is a more appropriate term. It was built as cane worker housing using recycled materials (not because of ecological reasons but because of difficulty of getting new lumber) by non-carpenter folks almost 100 years ago.

The pros are the house is easy to fix up, the cons are it needs it a lot. Although the house is really small, the yard is nice and large so we have loads of plants which is good. Then they need to be taken care of, so that might be a "con".

The basic dislike we have with our house is that it was built on a hillside and everything is terraced. Getting the garden cart up to the back of the back yard is very difficult. But it is built on a hillside overlooking the ocean, so the view is nice. It's all good. We don't need much, except maybe a miniture donkey to eat the grass at the back of the back yard.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I guess I am small town- population something like 3800. But I am 20 minutes from the "city" with a pop of 28,000 and part of a "major metropolitan area" of 300,000.
My small town has everything I need, though- a 24 hour grocery, a 24 hour Wal-Mart, and a Lowe's- who could ask for anything more?
I am in a 1950's development but the lots are very large. I have nearly two acres and the bulk of it is woods behind our house beyond the lawn portion. The area was very high end when it was first built and the homes are still beautifully kept in the whole neighborhood. Mine is one of the smallest (1170 upstairs, 755 basement plus a good sized garage), but my lot is one of the largest. Perfect IMO.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We're so country that you can't see another house from anywhere on our property. At night, if you stand in just the right corner, you can see a yard light from 1/2 mile away, but that's it. Actually, all our neighbors are at least 1/2 mile away. We see maybe 10 cars a day pass by in a day. (Both directions.)

Yes, it's quiet.
No, it's not lonely.
Yes, we love it.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We are COUNTRY all the way! We live in a small town in Vermont that has a school with 54 students. Second grade has only TWO kids!

We're on two acres in the woods on a dead end dirt road. (55% of all roads in Vermont are not paved) We have moose, deer, bears, and other wildlife all around. Last night we saw a bobcat in the yard.

We heat our 1250 sq Ft modular with a woodstove and use the oil heat for backup only. Last winter it cost under $550 to heat our home.

If you care to see what our area is like, below is a link to the "west end" of our town.

Here is a link that might be useful: COUNTRY!!


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

That's beautiful! I could pass on the bobcat, though.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Yeah, considering I grew up in Northwestern NJ. (Morris County.) Thousands and thousands of people! They don't PRINT enough money for me to live there again after being here!


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

the poconos used to be the country, now its suburbia to NYC. LOL
I guess where I live would be considered country. The house Im in right now, the houses are close together though and I can hear rte 80 as I type this.
I'm glad the house were building is much roomier on the sides. NO houses right on top of us.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I've lived in suburban Orange County, California all my life. I'm only 23 and everything has changed since I was a kid. I remember when Huntington Beach still had swamp land full of trees and big oil rigs on it. Now it's full of million dollar town houses ON the swamp land and a few oil rigs that just sit there. Rarely do you ever see one that's actually moving.

I just bought my grandma's house that's in one of the still unincorporated cities that most people who have grown up in the area didn't even know existed.
Traffic is awful. During random hours of the day it can take me about 10 to 15 minutes to get to work but around regular commute hours it could take 20 to 45 minutes. You learn quick not to use the freeway unless necessary.

There are many nature preserves and playgrounds. And I love the fact that I get the ocean breeze even on hot days and I don't have to actually be at the beach.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

Live about 10 miles outside West of New Orleans and moving 30 more miles west of New Orleans. The new house is in a suburb that has all the latest ameneties at arms length, but still has that little town feel and hospitality.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I live about 12 miles from the nearest small town, on 50 acres of woods, on a bayou. However, I am about 45 minutes from Houston and the same from Galveston.

We have all kinds of wildlife and no near neighbors. I live on a dead end road that turns off of another dead end road.
Very quite, peaceful and remote...considering how close we are to civilization in every direction.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We're country, I guess. Or really more "bedroom community" than country. I drive past farms and extremely dense garden home developments to get to our house. We're 20 miles outside the largest city in the state (where we work), but in an unincorporated area between a small-but-growing town and a small college town. We're on a mostly-wooded three acre lot, with the house right in the middle of it. You can't see any of the neighbors, the house can't be seen from the street, and we adore the windy driveway. All this and only 3 miles from the interstate.

It's dark out here! But very peaceful.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

We live in a suburb of a metropolitan city, but are moving to a suburb of a more country city. However, I'd love to be out in the middle of no where, but that's not possible. So this is as close to "country" as I can get. Building and decorating my house to hopefully reflect my inner yearnings for country, but with an updated style.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I think I'm urban. I live about 50 yds from the Pittsburgh City border in the first "street car" suburb in the area. The town was incorporated in 1910, and my house was built in 1907. Its always been a blue collar neighborhood.

When I moved in, there was a free standing toilet at the bottom of the basement steps. The allowed the man of the family to come in the side door and into the basement to clean up from the steel mill and not track the soot into the house. Most of the houses here are designed that way.


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RE: Are you urban, suburban, small town, country?

I now live in a small town (pop 8400) in a rural area on the Olympic Peninsula. Until last year I lived my whole life in California beach towns. It was such a leap to leave CA and it's weather, natural beauty and healthy economy. Now I wish I would have done it ten years ago. I LOVE the friendliness and connection to people in my little town. The lack of traffic and crowding make everyday life so much easier and less stressful.

I have to drive almost an hour to get to big stores. That has been an advantage because it has changed my thinking about what I need and the urge to have things right away. I actually spend way less time shopping now.

So, in sum, for anyone considering a move to the country, I say: go for it!


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