Old February 23rd, 2021, 11:53 AM #11
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We are thinking of moving to west virginia. Our family is in md so it would be a big change but we cant find a house to buy here after almost 2 years of looking.
Are you thinking of the Eastern Panhandle? I see you're in Frederick and am assuming you'd still work in MD but live in WV?
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 12:15 PM #12
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Central or Southern WV is likely going to be your best bet for those activities. Land is cheap and plentiful with few HOAs or other restrictions. Most of the eastern part of the state is covered with national forests that don't take too kindly to four-wheeling and the existence of resort communities in the area means your money doesn't go as far.

If you REALLY love four-wheeling, I highly recommend searching for something near the Hatfield-McCoy trail system which offers hundreds of miles of ATV friendly trails connecting all types of former mining communities throughout the southern part of the state. The caveat is that the southern part of the state IS very much economically depressed with the death of mining as a permanent, lifetime employment opportunity. The towns may be a little uglier and you'll see plenty of run-down places.

That said, there are plenty of deals to be had.

For example:

Hacker Lick Forest in Webster County is 126+/- Acres for $119k

Panther Forest in McDowell County (deep in coal country and the poorest county in the nation, but beautiful and rich in nature) is 112+/- Acres for $78k

Chessie Forest in Fayette County (home of the newest National Park in the US) is 80+/- Acres for $138k

All of these would likely fit your stated purposes of shooting, riding ATVs, camping, hunting (assumed), etc. with plenty of land and potential house sites. Some are a closer drive than others, but you're not going to be more than 6 hours from the DC or Baltimore region for any of those properties.
Yes, I'm fairly new to hunting, but that is another potential user for the land. I really appreciate the insight. While I want some affordable land, I have also considered that some of the poorer areas may not take too kindly to me rolling into town once in a while in my new truck, with all my toys in tow. I want a place where i can enjoy the outdoors on my private land, but not earn the ire of the locals.
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 01:17 PM #13
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Yes, I'm fairly new to hunting, but that is another potential user for the land. I really appreciate the insight. While I want some affordable land, I have also considered that some of the poorer areas may not take too kindly to me rolling into town once in a while in my new truck, with all my toys in tow. I want a place where i can enjoy the outdoors on my private land, but not earn the ire of the locals.
Thing is, in WV, the poor locals probably have nicer toys than you.

I can't tell you the number of guys I went to high school with who lived in a run-down single-wide but drove a supercharged F250 with 36" lift-kit and trail-rated tires with a gun rack in the back holding the latest Browning, Remington, and Winchester rifles and shotguns.

People in WV, by and large, don't judge you on what you own or how much money you have. They judge you by your character and the work you do. They're also some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I had a buddy on a mission trip down in Logan County (coal country) that literally had a complete give him the shirt off his back.

Kind words, respect for the locals, and adapting to the more laidback lifestyle of the mountains will do more than anything to get you in the good graces of those around you. That goes for just about anywhere in the state as well as greater Central Appalachia.
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 01:33 PM #14
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Tallen, thanks for the resources and all the insights. I had been thinking of PA as an exit, but now you got me re-thinking it. Very helpful info.
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 01:54 PM #15
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Well written and very informative. Thx
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 02:07 PM #16
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Good to know. I really need to get out of my capital area mindset.
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 02:30 PM #17
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Thank you for the information. Very well written.
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 02:34 PM #18
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This is all very bad information. Do not move to WV or even consider buying there. Stay in MD
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 02:45 PM #19
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Thank you for the information. I have been dreaming of buying land in a bordering state for years now. Trying to convince a buddy to go 50/50 on something for camping/shooting.
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Old February 23rd, 2021, 02:56 PM #20
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Tallen, thanks for the resources and all the insights. I had been thinking of PA as an exit, but now you got me re-thinking it. Very helpful info.
No problem. If you're near retirement age and looking to retire, PA has WV currently beat on income tax for retirement accounts and pensions (not taxed in PA, taxed in WV, but nothing horrible). The thing to compare between the two is the true cost of living. Many areas of PA have massive township taxes that most folks don't realize are pretty high until they buy. My in-laws found this out. They are from NJ and wanted to move back to that region, but with NJ taxes being what they are, and MD taxing pensions/retirement income, they decided to buy outside of Philly in Thorndale Twp, PA. Turns out that they could have actually bought here (closer to their daughter but still within a 4hr drive of their family in NJ) for less overall given the township tax situation.

That said, WV is exploring ways to get rid of personal income tax completely. The makeup in revenue would come from an increase of 1.5% for sales tax (would become 7.5%, just a penny-and-a-half more than current per dollar) a tax on tobacco products, and sodas (which West Virginians tend to drink a lot of). So, if you're not of retirement age, have a job that can be done remotely or a job lined up in WV, and this effort passes (which I think it will), it'd win out in my mind. But I'm biased having grown up there.

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Good to know. I really need to get out of my capital area mindset.
I take a group of nearly 60 high school kids to the poorest counties in WV every year ostensibly to do home repairs through Appalachia Service Project. The reality is, I'm taking a bunch of fairly privileged kids to what is basically their backyard and showing them what the real world looks like. Yes, we make the homes of those we serve warmer, safer, and drier, but more importantly, we show the kids we take some pretty important life lessons. The one thing that I consistently hear every year we got from kids who are experiencing the region, people and culture for the first time is how they're amazed at how happy the people are even though they have so little in terms of wealth. Usually, it's by the time we've visited one of the many beautiful wild rivers in the region, or taken some time to see a sunset from a mountain top that they begin to realize why. Usually, the first day or two they're turned off a bit by how some towns are so run down, but by Saturday morning, they're upset they have to leave and want to come back as soon as possible.

If you've never been there, it truly is a beautiful place:
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