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About John

Your Guide to Small Town Living, 
from Determining if Life in the Country Lane is for You, 

to Choosing the Perfect Place to Set Roots, 

to Making your Dream Come True

by John Clayton

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Choosing a Town

I really hate those one-size-fits-all "Top Ten Town" lists. I even tried some recent ones where you can plug in your own criteria to find locations that might work for you. And they struck me as absurd. I recommend you NOT choose a town through an online tool or a magazine article!

Learning about a town

http://chamber-of-commerce.com/search.htm

http://officialcitysites.org/

Most people, I've found, have a specific place in mind: where they have friends or family, or where they were offered a job. So they need information about the place to inform their decision. The Chamber of Commerce is a good (if sometimes biased) place to start, as are local government websites. Many newspapers, even small community weeklies, have gone online. They represent another chance to learn about your potential destination over a period of months.

Community-Building

http://www.sonoran.org/front.html 

http://www.cpn.org/

I believe that what most of us are really seeking in a small town is a sense of community. Thus, even after we make the move, we will want to enhance that sense of community. These sites among many othrs offer interesting perspectives on how to do that.

What do you miss?

http://www.amazon.com

One of the most difficult things about relocating to a remote area is matching the selection of items you get in the city. Online sites offer a lot of potential, especially if you already like shopping online. But a warning: even Amazon Prime can't match a fun urban neighborhood.

Real estate?

I should also note that there are dozens of sites offering rural real estate Avoid these sites! Remember two things:

*         You may not like the first small town you choose, and have to move. Rent first! If you still like it after a year, that's the time to buy.

*         You don't realize the benefits of small-town life by purchasing its land. Getting into the rhythms and culture of a small town is a transition of the mind and heart, not the wallet.


 

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The folks at Country Connections magazine have posted several interesting articles on their website. The editors have an unusual perspective: after seven years in the country, they moved back to L.A.!

THE CARETAKER GAZETTE has been helping landowners and property caretakers find each other since 1983. 500+ caretaking opportunities are offered each year.

Time Magazine put small towns on the cover in December 1997. The article is now behind a paywall, but is evidence of a '90s fad.

 

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Here are some of the books listed in the Resources section of Small Town Bound. Follow these jumps to order any or all of these books now through amazon.com.

Guides and ratings:

* Country Careers: Successful Way to Live and Work in the Country by Jerry Germer;

* 50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family by Lee and Sara Lee Rosenberg;

* The 100 Best Small Towns in America (2nd Ed) by Norman Crampton;

* The Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities by G. Scott Thomas;

* The Rating Guide to Life in America's Fifty States by G. Scott Thomas

Community, growth, and other topics:

* Edge City : Life on the New Frontier by Joel Garreau;

* The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau;

* Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life by Robert Bellah, et al;

* Paradise Paved: The Challenge of Growth in the New West by Raye Ringholz;

* Community and the Politics of Place by Daniel Kemmis

Are you ready to order?

* Order Small Town Bound online now!

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http://www.johnclaytonbooks.com -- Revised: 11/21/2011

Copyright 1996-2011 John Clayton info [at] johnclaytonbooks.com