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How to Find Your Ideal Country Home: A Comprehensive Guide Paperback – July 1, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


For those interested in moving to rural areas, this monumental book addresses thousands of potential concerns. The author anticipates virtually everything. Chapter topics include The Ideal Country Home; Buy Your Land as Soon as You Can; Wants, Needs and Fantasies; Developing a Criteria List; Lifestyle; Choose Your Climate; Land Characteristics: Topography, Soil and Vegetation; The Cost of Living; Making a Living; Farming and Market Gardening; Air; Water; Health 101; Demographics and Social Conditions; Services and Taxes; To Build or Not to Build; Prices; Regions, Bioregions, States; Real Country, Boondocks and Old Subsistence Farms; Places to Avoid; Real Estate Law and Real Estate Agents; and Making a Final Evaluation Before Purchase. This is one of those rare realty books that is well-researched, extremely well-written and interesting enough to be compelling. On my scale of one to 10, this fantastic new book rates an off-the-chart 12. -- ROBERT BRUSS, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED REAL ESTATE COLUMNIST

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Heartwood Time Warner; Revised edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446674540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446674546
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great how-to book for the person who has no experience with living in the country and hopes to go there soon. It covers a broad group of concerns for the would-be rural land owner, bringing to consciousness numerous important differences between living in densely-populated areas and living far from town. It cautions against living near health hazards (which crop up all too often in unpopulated regions!) or too far from employment, and strongly recommends water and soil tests before buying. These are all good ideas, and the author has many more ideas of equal merit to share.
Unfortunately, the book did not meet my needs since I have already done a fair amount of research on country living, and have some real-life experience in that area. It was too broad and general to be of much help to me. Therefore I caution the informed would-be rural landowner - seek out another source for specifics about buying and settling in your area of choice. If you have reached the level of self-education where you already know to ask about deeded easements and percolation tests, this book is not for you. Also, if you already know which region of the US you want to live in, this book will probably disappoint you. It is aimed at helping people with preliminary decisions such as, "Do you want to live somewhere hot, cold or temperate?"
If you are currently an urban/suburban dweller and you have begun to toy with the idea of getting back to nature, this book will be of immense help to you. After reading it, you will be more realistic and generally informed about country living. If you still have the itch to "get out of Dodge" at that point, you'll be needing another book - one with more specifics.
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Format: Paperback
If you're dreaming of enjoying a life in the country, plan carefully. Choose the best community for your needs, find a great property and then create the perfect homestead. Sounds hard? It's not at all. Just follow this step-by-step guide and the process will be part of the joy. Find your favorite climate and the healthiest areas of each state. Balance your need for services, education and entertainment with your desire for solitude and self-sufficiency. It's all here: easy-to-read maps, expert advice and extensive list of resources for your use. Gene GeRue's gentle guidance and common-sense ideas make this book the perfect foundation of your dream home.
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By A Customer on August 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a delight to find a book that really lives up to the promise of its title. Author Gene GeRue has obviously been there, done that, and writes from personal experience but he also seems to have read every book out there and to have traveled extensively. I've been on a personal quest for a country life for more than three years and have read all the books, or so I thought until I found this one. I thought I knew pretty much everything about the subject. Wrong! This book opened my eyes to new considerations. It gave me a whole lot of ideas on how to bring all the factors together and really make it happen. The final thing I would say is that this book is a great read even if you aren't sure you really want to move out beyond the sidewalks. It's nice to find a non-fiction book that has a lot of humor to balance the serious material. I also appreciated the maps. They make it easier to narrow the search. Buy this book!
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By A Customer on April 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am having a hard time understanding why so many people rave about this book. From the moment I started reading it I found it one of the most annoying "how-to" books I have read. Here is why:
1) There are way to many quotes in this book. The flow of Mr. GeRue's argument is constantly interrupted by quotes of varying quality and relevance. One begins to wish Mr. GeRue had more original thoughts to share himself.
2) The information provided is often shallow and obvious. The argument gets made over and over that rural areas are more quiet, more peaceful, more healthy, less violent, etc. etc. All of this we already know; that's why we bought this book to find out how to get some rural life ourselves. Mr. GeRue relies excessively on trends, mostly as anticipated by others. Even in the most recent incarnation of this book, many of these trends are already outdated and have been proven incorrect.
3) Mr. GeRue has a problem with California. He used to live in Concord, which is not the most scenic place in California, and he probably has some leftover trauma from that experience. He constantly makes negative remarks about California and Californians, which is very annoying for someone trying to use his book to find rural land in California. This bias shows up throughout the book. For example, in his discussion of bio-regions, GeRue simply lumps the entire state of California together with Nevada and Arizona, as if the climate and land in Sonoma County is at all comparable to the desert outside Phoenix.
So maybe Mr. GeRue's book is helpful if you are looking for a place in the social paradise that is Southern Appalachia (just ignore the casinos), but don't buy this book if you are interested in land in the West.
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Format: Paperback
I think I own and have read just about every book on moving to the country and this book is tops. As the founder of the CountryBound Web site, this topic is a passion of mine and several people recommended this book to me. I really appreciated Gene's insights and logical approach to realizing one's country dreams. His style of writing is reassuring but direct. He does not candy coat the trials and tribulations of country life. When you finish this book, you will know if country life is right for you.
The other part of this book that I found extremely useful was the maps and detailed illustrations. I have found no other books that have the detailed info that this book has. And if its any further indication on just how much I liked this book, I bought several copies and gave them to friends and family.
You will not be disappointed with this book.
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