In a word: freedom!  I’ve heard other reasons about non-GMO food, homeschooling, being able to have livestock, no HOA’s, etc.  Those are all very VALID reasons, and for me I lump all of those reasons into the superordinate word of freedom.


Florida has become an extremely regulated state.  Some of that was needed, and I believe started with low construction standards pre 1992 and a hurricane.  We had builders from up north that came to Florida to build their style of houses, and during tropical storms and hurricanes those houses FAILED catastrophically!  Look for any footage of Hurricane Andrew and see the toothpicks that were left after a Cat Five hurricane demolished Homestead, FL.  In our area, we experienced Cat One winds from Andrew and some houses sustained damage from a hurricane 150 miles away. Even the more recent Hurricane Matthew that only skirted the coast of Florida created a lot of damage.  The north coast of Florida hadn’t had a near hit in a long time.  I saw pictures of houses where their rooves were basically intact, just flipped on to the ground.  Do you know why?  A long time ago, the standard was just to place the trusses on top of the walls, just resting there.  There were NO ATTACHMENT POINTS.  This obviously doesn’t work well in a state that can experience near 200 MPH winds with one storm.

Hurricane Andrew was a game changer in the state.  Almost all the houses were obliterated, so Miami-Dade County created their own building code.  Every year after 1992, the code became more stringent because they kept analyzing the data from that storm.  They had simulation models, etc., until today, the entire state follows the Mimi-Dade Code Plus standard.  It is a very good code – trust me.  I’ve been though five hurricanes, three of them major and literally countless tropical storms.  You really WANT a strong house!  I believe the construction code is so good, that all of the country should investigate it and adapt the best parts of it to fit their areas.

Then the down side of regulation is the city & state becomes financially desperate. When we left, our city was charging a $100.00 permit fee to replace our hot water tank.  Same to have repair work done on a garage door.  If it’s not paid when the house sells, the seller will have to pay the $100 fee plus a $100 fine.  When your house is listed, they come inspect it.  There was talk about permits to replace light bulbs too.  Yeah, crazy.

The HOA’s have gone completely Stazi on people.  One cannot have two different color potted plants on a porch.  House paint colors the only approved colors, can’t leave your garage door open for more than five-minutes.  How enforceable these rules are, I’m not really sure, but you will see them in your documents.  Several years back a man got fined for flying an American flag on a flag pole on his property.  HOA didn’t like the pole, but he could have it attached to his house.  There were liens, court battles, fines, and ultimately President George W. Bush weighed in on the matter and got this  HOA in Jupter, FL to relent and waive all back fines and liens.  From what I’ve seen, this is only getting worse not better.


In Tennessee you basically get ignored by everyone: Federal, state, local, neighbors, deer, everyone!  It’s a ‘flyover state’, so it’s easy to get looked over.  In this application being ignored translates into freedom.  We basically can do as we please.   Yes, I complain about the condition of the road and we are about one hour away from everything, but we are learning to adapt.  Once our road woes are fixed, guess what?  It’s over!  I won’t have to repeatedly deal with a HOA, city government officials, liens, etc.

Don’t think we are going to come out here and destroy our own land!  We have diligently been working at improving and conserving our resources and improving habitat for the local wildlife population.  This will ultimately help us in the long run, since we plan on harvesting a few of those animals.