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Old 01-15-2015, 04:56 PM
 
8 posts, read 12,763 times
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Originally Posted by holl1ngsworth View Post
Click "Quote" in the bottom right corner of the post you want to respond to, and make sure you type your response after the
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Thank you.
Might've gotten the hang of it just earlier.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by allsunny View Post
100% agree. Just relocated from Scottsdale to Chicago, by the way grew up in Bay Area. After 10 years in az could not stand it any longer. OP you commented on az winter yeah its great but my suggestion to you is go visit in the summer for a good month like July- August. And by the way summer there is NOT 3-4 month it hits 90 in may 100 in june -september , and stays above 90 till Halloween thats 6 month of above 90. It is not cheaper to live there, your property tax is lower but add association( as most homes is planed community) pool service year around, and landscaping ( dont see much of it in IL,) and you looking at 2-3k a year and puts you in same amount you pay for property tax in IL. Dont forget you AC bill.
I guess it depends what kind of bad weather one is willing to live with... Phoenix summers or Chicago winters.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wjj View Post
We have a second home in South Fort Myers that we use year round (go back and forth from BG) and we actually like the summers there. But if you do not have a pool, I can see where the summer might be hard to take. It generally does not get really hot down there. There are 3 pretty hot months, but even then, it is usually not extreme. The most recent annual daily temperature info I could find was for 2013. The highest temperature in Fort Myers that year was 94, and that happened only twice. Summers in Chicago can get much hotter than that for extended periods of time. It got down to 39 one day and there are several nights where it is in the 40s, but frost is rare. We have not seen frost in the 3 years we have been down there (got close on that 39 degree day). Even now, in January, it is usually in the 70s during the day with occasional 80s and 60s.

And in response to a poster up-thread, I do like swimming in the winter. Watching the Super Bowl from your pool can really focus your mind when deciding between Chicago and SWFL. That is what pool heaters are for.

Now that we have been going back and forth for 3 years we have a good handle on the difference in COL. What we have found is that the cost of goods and utilities overall is about the same as in Illinois, but the cost of services is much less. For example, I pay my landscape company in FL much less for 12 months than I pay my landscape company up here for 8 months. And my lot in FL is bigger. Good service people can be hard to find down there, but once you do find good service providers, you would be shocked at how cheap things can cost in FL vs IL. I find that when in SWFL, I hire people to do things I would normally do myself because the cost is so low. Of course, FL has no income or estate taxes and a low sales tax rate, so that is a huge difference. And real estate taxes down there come in around 1.0% and 1.25% of value vs many parts of Illinois where 2.5% to 3% is the norm. That is a huge chunk of change on a $400,000 house.

Depending where you go in FL, employment can be a challenge and pay rates are lower than around Chicago. The medical area seems to be the one place where there are consistently a lot of job opportunities. Schools are nowhere near what we are used to in suburban Chicago, so a big issue for those with kids.

I personally would not move to AZ. Too much moonscape and extreme heat. I prefer green environs and can deal with the low 90s for 3 months of the year. And as for California? It would drive me nuts and bankrupt me in pretty short order. California was never a consideration for us when deciding where to buy a second home in anticipation of retirement.
Your post makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the detailed info.

I heard (and don't know if it's true) that the west coast of FL has lower humidity than the east coast. Also, most people say FL humidity is worse than Chicago but others say it's the same. I guess it depends say if you are in Fort Myers or Orlando. (beach vs. inland)
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
You could try, but it wouldn't end well.

COL is definitely lower in much of the south. Maybe ALL of the south. Higher in California, the northeast, and Washington D.C. I think the amenities that Chicago offers are more in line with the latter.
The job market has been stagnant/on the decline in Chicago for a while now in a number of areas, so I don't know that Chicago necessarily offers either better job options or better salaries compared to many other metros. In terms of amenities like high end restaurants, culture, nightlife, Chicago does do well there, but once you're 30-50 years old with kids living in the suburbs, how often do you take advantage of those amenities? Maybe once or twice a year? Most people are getting in and out of the city as quickly as possible and spending their evenings and weekends out in the burbs. I think people tell themselves that the amenities and jobs are part of why they're staying when in reality similar jobs are elsewhere and they don't actually take advantage of the amenities.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:28 PM
 
397 posts, read 435,071 times
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Originally Posted by helena101 View Post
The job market has been stagnant/on the decline in Chicago for a while now in a number of areas, so I don't know that Chicago necessarily offers either better job options or better salaries compared to many other metros. In terms of amenities like high end restaurants, culture, nightlife, Chicago does do well there, but once you're 30-50 years old with kids living in the suburbs, how often do you take advantage of those amenities? Maybe once or twice a year? Most people are getting in and out of the city as quickly as possible and spending their evenings and weekends out in the burbs. I think people tell themselves that the amenities and jobs are part of why they're staying when in reality similar jobs are elsewhere and they don't actually take advantage of the amenities.
People definitely earn more here. I work for a national company and they use an adjustor for salaries based on the metro area and employees in the Chicago area made more than their counterparts in all of the sunbelt cities. The only comparable metro areas were in CA (world unto itself), Boston and NYC.

There are more upper management type jobs here because there are more company headquarters here than the sunbelt.

Now most people in Chicago don't have high powered jobs that pay more so they might not be coming out ahead when you consider the higher COL.

In terms of amenities the QOL is probably better in the good Chicago suburbs than in any sunbelt city. Look at the park districts in the wealthy and upper middle class suburbs.

Housing stock is beautiful in the good suburbs. The population is educated, affluent and progressive about social issues.

The problem with Chicago is that it takes more and more money to get into the good QOL suburbs. We've got acquaintances who bought into Wilmette and Hinsdale in the early 1990s who are very middle class people. I can't imagine how we could afford to buy into those towns now. The good quality of life suburbs have gone from middle class to upper middle and wealthy. And the real middle class suburbs and lower middle class suburbs have gotten worse.

But all things being equal, if we could buy a house on the North Shore by the lake and send our kids to the schools up there and take the Metra into a job in the loop, we would probably stay here forever.

As someone who did not grow up in the Chicago area, there is a tremendous amount of wealth here and some of that wealth was used to benefit everyone with public parks, etc. instead of the rich clustering themselves behind gates. There's a progressive midwestern mentality there that you do not find in the sunbelt at all.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:18 PM
 
1,231 posts, read 1,323,515 times
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Originally Posted by Mark_3377 View Post
The more nice months out of 12, the better. Both FL and AZ come with their cons but they beat Chicago weather IMO. Can I get any witnesses for the last winter we had here?
Look at my recent post on the "would you still live in the Chicago area" thread. I don't blame you for wanting to move. Chicago is one of the cities with the worst weather in our giant country with many cities, towns, states, and metro areas. I HATE the cold. If you dislike the cold as much as I do, leave Illinois, but don't move to a state that has more problems than IL.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by allsunny View Post
But that's my point you add that 2-3 k on top of your property taxes. association fee, pool maintenance, repainting the house every 5-7 years( as sun beats down on it) its averages same 5 k a year so its an illusion, same amount comes out of your pocket every year. I'm sure many people pay 2 k taxes like my mom with senior citizens tax freeze. My taxes were 4+k plus dont forget pools they break, filters, motors, heaters, popups.... plus AC units many homes have 2 units replacement cost 7k each lifespan 7-10 years. All I'm saying you have to consider all those when calculating costs you cant just look at taxes because its deceiving.
Where in Arizona were your taxes $4k? I haven't ever seen anything that high unless you're talking about a 5,000 square foot house or a 3-4000 square foot house in a gated community where you have to pay CCRs.

You're really not comparing apples to apples. There are many areas in the valley where you can get a 2500-3000 square foot home that's less than 10 years old for $250-300k and have taxes that are around $2k per year. Meanwhile, in almost every suburb in Chicagoland with decent schools, $300-350k will get you a 60-70s 1600-1800 square foot split level and taxes of $7-8k a year. $6000 in additional property taxes per year is $500 per month, and that doesn't include the higher home prices. That's a lot of pool maintenance and landscaping... I'm sorry, but from personal experience living in both areas, your math doesn't add up. Housing overall is much cheaper in Arizona. Sure, you have higher electric bills in the summer and you have to pay for pool maintenance if you have a pool, but there's still no way it's a wash. You have to pay for heating in IL from November to April.

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Originally Posted by allsunny View Post
Don't forget that you don't make in az what you make here calculate that too.
I make more in AZ than I did in IL and income taxes are about half of what they are in IL. It's by no means a given that everyone makes less.

Last edited by brian571; 01-15-2015 at 11:01 PM..
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:59 PM
 
545 posts, read 1,078,770 times
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OP - back on track... RE: Denver, that was the other place I was looking at. Very nice town. Homes are expensive because of the demand (similar to Chicago prices in my experience), but property taxes are very low. Someone mentioned that it's not much more sunny than Chicago. Not true - Denver gets close to 300 days of sunshine a year. The weather can be pretty random. In spring one day it'll be 75 and the next it'll snow (it doesn't last though). I was there at the end of May one year and there was a morning snow that stuck for a few hours. Winters are generally more mild than Chicago. It's typically in the 30s, though it can still get pretty cold (below zero overnight). Difference is that the air is much drier there so it's doesn't feel as cold. What I like most about their weather though is the summers. It'll get to around 90 most days, but the nights are cool - in the 50s and 60s most of the time. You can sleep with your windows open almost all the time. There's no humidity at any time of the year. If you like the outdoors it's a great place to be. The only reason we didn't end up there is that AZ panned out sooner for me and we kind of wanted to get away from winter for a bit. IMO Denver is a nicer town than Phoenix (more to do, more upscale, more lively), but I still like being here. If I ever wanted to get to a more seasonal place, Denver would be at the top of my list.
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:38 AM
 
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Brian571 I lived in Scottsdale and it was 2300 sf.house not a 5000. People keep mentioning gated communities and not having pool to cut expenses, if we talking strictly housing then why not move in il in the middle of nowhere? Phoenix /Scottsdale already very little going on so where do they not have masterplaned comunites methinfested Mesa? Gilbert? Its in the middle of nowhere. You can live in IL in the middle of nowhere and pay lower taxes....Chandler, Goodyear? Even in Glendale 250k get you a stuco house build in 1970. To each its own. Reading this thread I understand less and less why people choose Az over Fl but to each its own.
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:48 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,849,693 times
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Originally Posted by helena101 View Post
The job market has been stagnant/on the decline in Chicago for a while now in a number of areas, so I don't know that Chicago necessarily offers either better job options or better salaries compared to many other metros.
Chicago's employment outlook has improved over the last several months. And the high unemployment numbers were always skewed towards low-skilled positions in the first place. Chicagoland still offers a huge number of opportunities for high-wage positions compared to most metro areas, and many companies are hiring. Many of the Sun Belt cities have been reliant on adding large numbers of low-skilled positions to bolster their job numbers in recent years (particularly cities in Texas).

Quote:
Originally Posted by helena101 View Post
In terms of amenities like high end restaurants, culture, nightlife, Chicago does do well there, but once you're 30-50 years old with kids living in the suburbs, how often do you take advantage of those amenities? Maybe once or twice a year?
I am pretty much right in the center of that age range, have multiple kids, and still use these amenities on a very regular basis. And in addition to that huge wonderful city over there on the lake, I would argue that the Chicago suburbs offer superior amenities to most other suburban regions, with consistent rail service to Chicago's CBD being one of the most unique and important (but not unlike CalTrain in the SF Bay Area or the various commuter routes in and out of New York). We also have better access to shopping, restaurants, culture, and amenities than your typical Phoenix or Atlanta suburb.
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