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Articles on Living in Small Town America

Introduction to Small Town Guide

Why Move To A Small Town?

Financial Advantages

Quality Of Life Advantages

Choosing a Small Town

Making the First Impression on the Family

Shopping For a Home

Looking At Schools

Looking At Amenities

Career Considerations

The Art of Commuting

Finding a Mover

Moving Considerations

First Days in Town

Expanding Out

Leveraging the Town Advantages

Staying In Touch With Old Neighbors


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Want to Build an Estate Your Heirs Can Afford to Keep for Generations to Come?

Many Americans would like to create a safe haven for their family over many generations. A place where every member of the family has a safe, upscale base no matter what happens elsewhere in the U.S.  Some people have tried to create this great inheritance in the city, only to find it lost after one or two generations. Others have successfully created this utopia in small town USA, and are finding it works generation after generation. Why? 

First of all, financial reasons. The cost of maintaining an estate in the city is too high. Between property taxes, repairs, utilities and help (housekeepers, gardeners, etc.), the amount necessary just to pay these obligations can become too high for future heirs to afford. In most cities, property tax alone can exceed 2.5% of appraised value, so the taxes alone on a $1 million estate can exceed $25,000 per year. Throw in the other costs, and even with no mortgage, the bill can approach $75,000 per year.  This is a big hurdle to saddle your heirs with, and historically, a bad prospect for success. Look at most of the big estates in the U.S. cities, and you'll see them sold off just one or two generations later, mainly because nobody could afford to keep them up. 

Compare that with an estate in a small town. The taxes are slight thanks to low valuations and small tax rates. Taxes can be as little as 1% of a low appraised value.  Also, utilities are cheap and labor is also much lower.  The same estate that costs $75,000 to keep up in a city can cost $25,000 in a small town. That's a figure that your heirs can probably reasonably afford. 

The other main benefit to a small town compound over a big city is the future of what's around you.  In the city, growth can often lead to a shift of fortune, and your great location in 1920 can end up in the ghetto a few decades later. On the contrary, in a small town, the growth is slow and much more controlled. A country setting in 1920 is probably about the same today as it was then. The great estates of the Hudson River Valley have maintained their quality due to their non-city location. Look at some of the great estates of Los Angeles, California for inspiration. Many of them are now surrounded with 10' high barbed wire fences and a neighborhood so bad that you would be afraid to drive out the gate.  If you are interested in building a home for your family for the ages, forget the big city and look at small town options. Your heirs will thank you.

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