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Suggestions for places in TX or NM?

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JimNKC:
Hi folks, just found the podcast this past week and been hooked listening all day at work (when not dealing with customers...) ;-)

Our situation briefly, is this... At 47, the winters aren't as easy to work outside in here in Kansas City area, even though the last few haven't been too bad. I had knee surgery a couple years ago, and installing satellite dishes for Directv, now AT&T, is mostly a young man's job. (I'm in the top 5 or 6 of 100+ techs at our site in age.) So, the wife brought up that some friends were moving to Albuquerque next month, and she thought it might be a good idea for us too, after fixing up the house for selling and paying off some debts.

Timeframe is probably a year to 18 months, at a guess... but, I figure I'd start exploring now. I'd appreciate advice on places to check out, and I've been thinking Northern Texas or maybe Northeastern New Mexico. It's South of us now, so I'd think the weather would be better on average, which is a big thing for me. (The charts I've seen suggest that too.) I've heard high desert is a good type of climate for what we may want, but other important things would be low crime rates, good schools maybe (been discussing home-schooling or private Christian schools for our Preschooler twins after they finish Kindergarten), not TOO far from major stores such as Sam's Club/Costco, Lowe's, grocery stores, etc. and somewhere folks are friendly and you can have some land  for a decent price. I like the idea of being able to go out back and plink some cans, grow at least some crops/have some animals, etc.

Things we really want to avoid are being close to the border, high taxes and restrictive gun laws. We speak Spanish at home, but don't want to be on the frontline. Missouri has been home for 20 years now, for me, but I am not welded to my job... if I can continue doing what I do down there, great... if not, I am willing to find other work.

Any suggestions on places to look or avoid? The places that have sounded most interesting to me so far are Pampa and Amarillo area in TX. Any good areas near Albuquerque, or further East? What kind of benefits of NM vs. TX? Ah yes, by "not TOO far" I probably mean 30 minutes or so drive time.

Thanks in advance for any help!

TerlinguaTX:
I would choose TX over NM. NM is very liberal and doesn't have the economic opportunities that Texas can provide.

JimNKC:
Thanks, I've come to the same conclusion about not looking in NM... still prefer Texas generally but also been checking out Oklahoma. Time frame getting pushed back though by my wife. She's not fully on board, but slowly she's changing some of her views.

For now, it looks like we will be stuck around the Kansas City area for several more years, so we'll make the best of it and dump debt as fast as we can, work on the house, and investigate exactly what we can/can't do permaculture-wise in our 1/3 acre suburban lot. She's actually pretty supportive of my starting to grow microgreens in the basement and is willing to start helping with that. She also didn't bat an eyelash when I told her tonight that if we are stuck here for several years I will be tinkering around with some aquaponics/hydropincs and even asked me to look into KC laws on greenhouses, chicken coops, etc!

Step by step... ;-)

My younguns are all excited about being farmers (and wait excitedly every day for Papi to get home to go water our 2'x5' micro garden with some corn, sunflowers and beans in it... LOL

machinisttx:
No state income tax in TX. OK has income tax...and taxes pretty much everything else too. OK even taxes unprepared foods(such as raw meat, uncooked noodles, etc.). The taxes themselves are individually low(property tax for example), but I suspect that overall they're just as much as most others.

If you're staying where you are for the time being, any improvements you make should help you sell later when you are ready to go.

JimNKC:
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I suspected that anywhere you go the taxman gonna get you. If we shoot for providing for more and more of our own needs though, and maybe find neighbors to barter with, then I'd think even taxes on unprocessed foodstuff would be hard to assess if we don't 'value it' in dollars but just say trade a 1/4 beef for X dozen eggs, X amount of tomatos and lettuce, and X lbs. of tilapia or catfish fillets... right?

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