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Old 02-03-2017, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
62 posts, read 124,659 times
Reputation: 76

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My wife and I moved to Portland, OR, when I retired. We are beginning to think (like so many others) that California weather would suit us better. My wife's target is San Luis Obispo. I am curious how we would find life there vs. here in Portland.

Our positives in Portland are
  • A walkable neighborhood, with excellent public transit to town. This means that as we get older, we won't be tied to a car, nor much limited by the inability to drive.
  • Many coffee shops, brewpubs, and inexpensive restaurants we can walk to
  • A good scene for symphony, chamber music, ballet, and jazz
  • A circle of friends that we made, with a lot of effort, over 7 years
  • A great library system
  • For me, some great audio dealers
  • Beautiful outdoors -- in the summer
  • A nice house, whose market value has appreciated rapidly to near $900k
  • Lower taxes than California, and more equitable than CA's sticking new arrivals with 10x the tax burden
Negatives in Portland are
  • A long, dark winter. We are not skiers, and in winter, our exercise is mainly in the gym, as neither of us tolerates cold well.
  • An increasing problem of homelessness, which seems to be common on all W Coast cities
  • Traffic and other issues of a fairly large city (600k + many suburbs)
So the questions are
  • Which of the positives would we have to give up?
  • How much higher are taxes in CA? OR has no sales tax; our RE taxes are about $6500; and OR income taxes are relatively high
  • If we did look at SLO, what parts of town should we consider?
  • Could we find a well-maintained house with at least 3/2, and decent-sized rooms, in the same general price range?

Last edited by Mike-NC; 02-03-2017 at 04:43 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:29 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,271 posts, read 10,506,470 times
Reputation: 11848
Re property taxes:
California has Proposition 13, which sets the assessed value of properties at the time of purchase (known as an acquisition value system), with a possible maximum 2% annual assessment increase (however, it can also go down in real estate slumps, mine did). In 2015, my taxes went up 40 cents. Really. As a result, properties of equal value can have a great amount of variation in their assessed value, even if they are next to each other. But on the positive side, seniors are safer from being priced out of their homes due to property tax increases, a real danger in many other US states.

SLO sacrifices: a much smaller city, remoteness from any other cities, a lack of a major airport, having 1 way in and out of town, does not attract national cultural events.

Last edited by nightlysparrow; 02-03-2017 at 05:41 PM..
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
62 posts, read 124,659 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Re property taxes:
California has Proposition 13, which sets the assessed value of properties at the time of purchase (known as an acquisition value system)[...]

SLO sacrifices: a much smaller city, remoteness from any other cities, a lack of a major airport, having 1 way in and out of town, does not attract national cultural events.
Thanks for your quite informative post. I was going to say something more about real estate taxes, but I don't want to make this a thread about Prop 13. Enough of those, I'm sure!

As to cultural events, I suppose Cal Poly must have some -- I'll do a Web search. What airport would you use to fly, say, to Boston? to Hawaii?

Thanks again!
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:28 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,271 posts, read 10,506,470 times
Reputation: 11848
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-NC View Post
What airport would you use to fly, say, to Boston? to Hawaii?
You'd take the short trip flight from SLO Regional Airport to Los Angeles (for Hawaii) or to San Francisco (Boston). So, always have the extra fees and need to change planes, unfortunately.

Home - San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,132 posts, read 11,725,675 times
Reputation: 5324
You might also want to give Monterey a look as it also along the Central Coast. The town is somewhat larger especially when considering the surroundings cities of Carmel, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Marina, Seaside, etc... Monterey is also not as isolated as SLO which for some is either a plus or a minus depending on how much they want to be removed from 'city life.'

We've lived in a number of places including large and medium sized cities. For us Monterey is the perfect size. We enjoy what we consider small town living. Yet its location means that we can be in the Bay Area for big city stuff in a little over an hour when we want to. Santa Cruz is right up the road as well. When we travel we'll typically fly out of San Jose whereas for business I'll fly out of Monterey for convenience. It's just nice to have more options. With regards to retirement and medical care, having a larger city nearby when needed can be very important. With Stanford Medical Center and other world class medical facilities not too far away, you have more available if/when needed. Even young people will sometimes choose to go there for certain specialists or treatments. Oh, and you mentioned cultural events such as music. The Monterey jazz festival is a world class event among others we also enjoy.

Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I still think SLO is a fantastic place to live and it may in fact be better for you. I just want to give some additional options not too far away. I recommend visiting them both before making any long term decisions. On your next vacation check these Central Coast towns out and see what you think in person. While no place is perfect, they both have a lot to offer depending on what you are looking for.

Derek
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
62 posts, read 124,659 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
You might also want to give Monterey a look as it [is] also along the Central Coast. ...
Derek,

Thanks for the suggestion. I think it's a great idea, for many reasons. By the way, I visited Monterey a few times several decades ago for work, and thought it was beautiful, but our path was pretty circumscribed: hotel, work, planned dinner, repeat.

Since we'd be 70+ when we got there, it would be wise to have hospitals nearby. And perhaps easier to find the right friends in a larger place -- as well as a treat to go to the Jazz Festival.

It's on our list!

Mike

Last edited by Mike-NC; 02-03-2017 at 11:08 PM.. Reason: typo (I make lots)
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
62 posts, read 124,659 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
You'd take the short trip flight from SLO Regional Airport to Los Angeles (for Hawaii) or to San Francisco (Boston). So, always have the extra fees and need to change planes, unfortunately.
Thanks again . . . you're extremely helpful, and I really appreciate it. We lived in a place for 11 years that was an hour from the commuter airport, which in turn was an hour flight from a real hub. The extra legs did get old.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:46 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,271 posts, read 10,506,470 times
Reputation: 11848
Have you considered anything south of SLO?, If so, where?
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
62 posts, read 124,659 times
Reputation: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Have you considered anything south of SLO?, If so, where?
We've considered San Diego, where we lived at the beginning of our life together. But when we visited, we thought it was too big and congested for us at this phase of life.

Last edited by Mike-NC; 02-04-2017 at 06:37 AM.. Reason: Clarity
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:19 AM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,271 posts, read 10,506,470 times
Reputation: 11848
What about Santa Barbara? Or maybe Ventura? Both have the culture and walkable downtowns and almost everything on your list. Visible homeless presence, however.

If you want drivable access to LAX, world-class medical facilities and culture, plus super-low crime, almost no homeless, eastern Ventura County.
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