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Old 06-04-2015, 01:03 PM
 
61 posts, read 59,736 times
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Hi,
We are considering moving to Madison, Wisconson. We are currently in Charlotte, NC but originally from Australia. We are middle aged and have a 6 year old boy. We will be living off our Australian-earned retirement income. We can afford up to $500k for a house but also happy to buy a cheaper house in a good area if that will mean a lower property tax bill. Great public schools is essential (at all levels). Walkability and access to public transport would also be good - wife only feels comfortable driving locally and not on highways or where it's more congested etc.

We were originally looking at Pittsburgh, PA but the area with great schools equated to property tax bill of about $14k per year for a $400k house.

Can anyone suggest some neighborhoods that we could look at that has very good schools (8+ ranking) and not too high taxes, particularly property please?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:12 PM
 
Location: WI
3,805 posts, read 8,513,254 times
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OP, as you'd like to use public trans where able, for the most part that will keep you in Madison proper and not as many areas in the surrounding 'burbs. Those on here who live in the city can give some better ideas to consider, another option may be Middleton as it is served by Madison Metro bus service (see link below) and is a very nice location.

As for taxes, WI can be higher than some other regions. We lived in SC for 6 yrs and just moved back last fall; if NC is anything like SC you'll have some 'sticker shock' when viewing home pricing and it's property taxes. One site you can try is realtor.com (again see below), as it's 'property history' tabs can give you the taxes on a specific home that you've clicked on in one of the local communities.
Note that in WI we do not pay prop taxes on autos, boats, etc so that can balance out somewhat compared to some of the southern states where home taxes are low but they add up in other areas.


If i may ask, what brings you to consider WI? It is a beautiful state, one just needs to understand there are 4 distinct seasons and in the case of comparing to the Carolinas, summer isn't near as hot or long, winter on the other hand will be colder and with more snow. I always felt SC winter was like WI fall. So if you embrace the available outdoor activities here it can be enjoyed.
As with any relocation by choice, i'd always recommend a good visit, not only spending time looking at the city and some of it's neighborhoods, but do a few things that you would do if you lived here.




Realtor.com
Find Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Apartments & Houses for Rent - realtor.com®



Madison Metro:
System Maps - Fare Options - Metro Transit - City of Madison, Wisconsin
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:29 PM
 
61 posts, read 59,736 times
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Thanks for your reply ranger17. I'm originally from Chicago, lived in Australia for 20 years and moved back to US last year (with Australian wife and son). Looking at moving because walkability and public transport is non-existent where we are in NC (my wife is only confident driving locally), plus we don't like the heat and humidity.

Yes, we would definitely visit all prospective places to get a feel for it first before deciding. Based on reviews of other threads, I have tried looking for properties in Middleton and it's very affordable. We're trying to minimize the property tax so will be trying to buy as cheap as a house as we can manage.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:20 PM
 
5,413 posts, read 4,820,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monjam View Post
Hi,
We are considering moving to Madison, Wisconson. We are currently in Charlotte, NC but originally from Australia. We are middle aged and have a 6 year old boy. We will be living off our Australian-earned retirement income. We can afford up to $500k for a house but also happy to buy a cheaper house in a good area if that will mean a lower property tax bill. Great public schools is essential (at all levels). Walkability and access to public transport would also be good - wife only feels comfortable driving locally and not on highways or where it's more congested etc.

We were originally looking at Pittsburgh, PA but the area with great schools equated to property tax bill of about $14k per year for a $400k house.

Can anyone suggest some neighborhoods that we could look at that has very good schools (8+ ranking) and not too high taxes, particularly property please?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Taxes are almost as high from what I see..especially in premind schjol areas......traffic is not bad...but walkability and public transportation depends highly on a very small location...and only downtown.....school are okay to very good..but again...it's spotty.
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:19 AM
 
Location: WI
3,805 posts, read 8,513,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monjam View Post
Thanks for your reply ranger17. I'm originally from Chicago, lived in Australia for 20 years and moved back to US last year (with Australian wife and son). Looking at moving because walkability and public transport is non-existent where we are in NC (my wife is only confident driving locally), plus we don't like the heat and humidity.

Yes, we would definitely visit all prospective places to get a feel for it first before deciding. Based on reviews of other threads, I have tried looking for properties in Middleton and it's very affordable. We're trying to minimize the property tax so will be trying to buy as cheap as a house as we can manage.

Thanks again for your input.
At least you've spent time in the midwest & have a general idea on climate, etc so that won't be a real shock (though we acclimated pretty quickly to SC's weather in our 6 years there so being back in WI now still feel chilly on days like today lol). We actually miss the climate of the south, but the pull of family & our grandson was stronger than living in a preferable (to us) area.

good luck on your search!

I wanted to add, traffic here is not what it's like in larger metro areas. Its worst spot for backups is the "south beltline" running on the south side of Madison, from the interstate to Middleton. My wife took that for years before our SC time and is back on it now, winter and construction can add 20+/- mins to her normal transit time. I'd have to say the other spot would be going into downtown Madison, as it's funneled between the 2 lakes (and has its share of one way streets). But as the volume is less it won't be like what you see in Charlotte. I bring that up, as winter here can affect one's desire to walk and use public trans so if driving is needed it isn't as bad as other locales.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:13 AM
 
61 posts, read 59,736 times
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That's a good point re walking and public transport On snowy days ranger17. Must admit I'm not sure I'm ready for the long, cold winters yet. Don't know how my wife will find it either. That said, we both prefer the cold to the heat. By all accounts it was a mild summer in Charlotte last year (when we first arrived) but my wife and I struggled with the heat and humidity.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:21 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,273 posts, read 10,521,331 times
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What makes you think Madison isn't humid? It's on an isthmus between two lakes.

"Madison, Wisconsin has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season." https://weatherspark.com/averages/30...-United-States
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:03 AM
 
Location: WI
3,805 posts, read 8,513,254 times
Reputation: 2219
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
What makes you think Madison isn't humid? It's on an isthmus between two lakes.

"Madison, Wisconsin has a humid continental climate with hot summers and no dry season." https://weatherspark.com/averages/30...-United-States
I'd say Madison can have its humidity, but it (speaking in terms of the spring/summer season) it isn't near what it is in the southeast. Especially when combined with the higher temps. There may be a few days in July/August it can reach those levels but that's over a short period.
Much like those in the SE who will complain about a 'cold' day in their winter, it's all relative.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:25 AM
 
61 posts, read 59,736 times
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We'd have to agree with ranger17 on the issue of heat and humidity. It's all relative, and the continuous number of days with high temps and humidity are likely (we expect) to be less than where we are now.
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