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Old 10-01-2015, 07:08 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,999 times
Reputation: 15

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I have about $3k per month of passive income and I'm tired of fighting for tech jobs and contracts in the metros. I left the Bay Area about 1.5 years ago for Reno NV where I had a job offer. Now that's ending and there's really nothing on the horizon for me so I'm starting to think about finding even cheaper areas where my money will go further and exiting the rat race.

Most of the houses in Reno are going for 200-250k, but it came to my attention that 120-150k comparable houses exist in some decent sized cities and Reno is in a bit of a bubble relative to incomes (I think the exodus from California bringing $$$ there). This opened my eyes a bit - if you have a fixed income and nest egg but the prices are different, you can get more value in different places. Spokane WA and some areas of northern Idaho as well as the west side of the Boise metro area, seemingly cheap as well. Cap rates on four-plexes not bad at 6-7% either and low entry cost of 60-80k/unit as an investment. I figure I should stick with the western 1/3 of the country, generally, to avoid culture shock.

I know you cannot have it all... so I am trying to balance these factors (not in priority order): (1) home price, (2) general cost of living, (3) weather pattern (at least not extreme storms/ice/snow or extreme heat waves), (4) safety/crime, (5) 30 minutes access to chain stores/entertainment (either by some minimum town size, or via proximity to larger town) - I don't care much but my wife does, (6) friendly/tolerant locals - I am not religious and I'm apolitical for the most part and I don't want to be in an area where I am punished for that, (7) stable area - not declining (brings poverty/crime) and not growing much (causes price inflation), (8) avoid sprawl, high density, and traffic while still being mostly modern.

I might also add job availability, but since I have trouble finding constant work even now I don't think the relocation to a more remote area is going to make that any easier. The kinds of places where they need a software QA are not the kinds of places I want to live, at least from what I have seen so far. I'll need to reinvent myself and maybe just work part time doing something I find that I like to stay busy.

So, does anyone know of a place that's not too big, not too small, and not too hot or cold, but just right?
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:31 PM
 
12,888 posts, read 4,657,792 times
Reputation: 5225
Probably Pueblo, Colorado.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,196 posts, read 2,649,444 times
Reputation: 2231
Quote:
Originally Posted by BinaryMan View Post
I have about $3k per month of passive income and I'm tired of fighting for tech jobs and contracts in the metros. I left the Bay Area about 1.5 years ago for Reno NV where I had a job offer. Now that's ending and there's really nothing on the horizon for me so I'm starting to think about finding even cheaper areas where my money will go further and exiting the rat race.

Most of the houses in Reno are going for 200-250k, but it came to my attention that 120-150k comparable houses exist in some decent sized cities and Reno is in a bit of a bubble relative to incomes (I think the exodus from California bringing $$$ there). This opened my eyes a bit - if you have a fixed income and nest egg but the prices are different, you can get more value in different places. Spokane WA and some areas of northern Idaho as well as the west side of the Boise metro area, seemingly cheap as well. Cap rates on four-plexes not bad at 6-7% either and low entry cost of 60-80k/unit as an investment. I figure I should stick with the western 1/3 of the country, generally, to avoid culture shock.

I know you cannot have it all... so I am trying to balance these factors (not in priority order): (1) home price, (2) general cost of living, (3) weather pattern (at least not extreme storms/ice/snow or extreme heat waves), (4) safety/crime, (5) 30 minutes access to chain stores/entertainment (either by some minimum town size, or via proximity to larger town) - I don't care much but my wife does, (6) friendly/tolerant locals - I am not religious and I'm apolitical for the most part and I don't want to be in an area where I am punished for that, (7) stable area - not declining (brings poverty/crime) and not growing much (causes price inflation), (8) avoid sprawl, high density, and traffic while still being mostly modern.

I might also add job availability, but since I have trouble finding constant work even now I don't think the relocation to a more remote area is going to make that any easier. The kinds of places where they need a software QA are not the kinds of places I want to live, at least from what I have seen so far. I'll need to reinvent myself and maybe just work part time doing something I find that I like to stay busy.

So, does anyone know of a place that's not too big, not too small, and not too hot or cold, but just right?
Pueblo CO? Might be worth a shot. Decently warm weather though it's still continental and swings and can get both hot and cold. Grand Junction Colorado?
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
706 posts, read 514,649 times
Reputation: 407
Colorado, New Mexico, both these mountain states fit the bill, NM being slightly warmer and cheeper. Texas and Arizona might be too expensive and/or hot.
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:20 PM
 
21,207 posts, read 30,420,192 times
Reputation: 19655
Quote:
Originally Posted by BinaryMan View Post
I have about $3k per month of passive income and I'm tired of fighting for tech jobs and contracts in the metros. I left the Bay Area about 1.5 years ago for Reno NV where I had a job offer. Now that's ending and there's really nothing on the horizon for me so I'm starting to think about finding even cheaper areas where my money will go further and exiting the rat race.

Most of the houses in Reno are going for 200-250k, but it came to my attention that 120-150k comparable houses exist in some decent sized cities and Reno is in a bit of a bubble relative to incomes (I think the exodus from California bringing $$$ there). This opened my eyes a bit - if you have a fixed income and nest egg but the prices are different, you can get more value in different places. Spokane WA and some areas of northern Idaho as well as the west side of the Boise metro area, seemingly cheap as well. Cap rates on four-plexes not bad at 6-7% either and low entry cost of 60-80k/unit as an investment. I figure I should stick with the western 1/3 of the country, generally, to avoid culture shock.

I know you cannot have it all... so I am trying to balance these factors (not in priority order): (1) home price, (2) general cost of living, (3) weather pattern (at least not extreme storms/ice/snow or extreme heat waves), (4) safety/crime, (5) 30 minutes access to chain stores/entertainment (either by some minimum town size, or via proximity to larger town) - I don't care much but my wife does, (6) friendly/tolerant locals - I am not religious and I'm apolitical for the most part and I don't want to be in an area where I am punished for that, (7) stable area - not declining (brings poverty/crime) and not growing much (causes price inflation), (8) avoid sprawl, high density, and traffic while still being mostly modern.

I might also add job availability, but since I have trouble finding constant work even now I don't think the relocation to a more remote area is going to make that any easier. The kinds of places where they need a software QA are not the kinds of places I want to live, at least from what I have seen so far. I'll need to reinvent myself and maybe just work part time doing something I find that I like to stay busy.

So, does anyone know of a place that's not too big, not too small, and not too hot or cold, but just right?
Given your criteria you might look at a place like Greensboro-Winston Salem NC if you can get outside of your western 1/3 box. The cost of living and home prices are below the national average, it's growing at a manageable clip, has a moderate four season climate with little winter precipitation and while summer scan get hot not extreme or months on end, generally speaking a safe area with many desirable options, easy access to pretty much anything you would want in 30 minutes or less, friendly and tolerant locals who tip blue versus red overall (progressive population in general), it's not sprawling like many Sunbelt cities or high density and traffic is quite manageable.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:43 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,999 times
Reputation: 15
Right now I am favoring Nampa, ID. It's within proximity to Boise that has some tech, yet the houses are well under 150k with a good selection of semi-rural properties (with land). The weather is similar to Reno and they don't get a lot of snow or rain. Houses in the "low 100's" was one of the big things I was looking for. The crime rate apparently is lower than Reno. I looked at some other areas like Spokane WA however crime was really high there (per capita rates, particularly thefts), prices were not much lower, and the weather pattern was poor. I need to examine CO more; going south at all seems to result in extremely hot summers so NM is generally out.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:17 AM
 
Location: The Springs
1,770 posts, read 2,142,930 times
Reputation: 1850
Quote:
Originally Posted by kehkou View Post
Colorado, New Mexico, both these mountain states fit the bill, NM being slightly warmer and cheeper. Texas and Arizona might be too expensive and/or hot.
PARTS of Colorado would be less expensive. The Denver Metro is higher than the national average by quite a bit and is a bubble that may soon burst.

Colorado Springs is right about average.

Pueblo is the largest city in CO with below average housing prices. I'd think that Pueblo and Grand Junction (which is slightly smaller and much more isolated) would offer the best bets here.

Check out the city vs. city comparisons on C-D.
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