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Old 12-08-2008, 11:39 PM
 
52 posts, read 182,436 times
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Hi all,

we're inching closer to a possible move to NE. while I'd like the drier western end, there is more "stuff" in the east and job opportunities.

anyway, we are basically fleeing our lifelong home in new england which is a rat race in a way with very high taxes. blech. wasnt like that growing up but everything sprang up around us. anyway we're too mellow for this crap so the midwest, plains, and far west seem more our speed.

we arent rich so tax burden is a big factor. property tax especially.

I looked online at small towns and the homes for sale, and there are some real deals such as $20k (Im sure would need work but thats ok) to $35k which would be our range.

so..... whats the property tax burden? it looks like $600 or so for houses in that value range. BUT what am I missing, is there a separate school tax or fire tax in some of these communities? here we have usually a single "property tax" bill that pays it all. some towns break out a fire district tax.

also, how much is homeowners insurance on a house in our range?

and what about car tax, and registration fees?

im less concerned about income tax because the more you make the more you pay, but you're making more, so thats ok with me.

the idea is that if one us ever gets out of work or sick, car accident whatever, we dont immediately come under risk of not paying the bills.

since we have some equity in our home now, we'd be able to buy the NE house with no mortgage. so if its really true that the total tax burden is $700 per year, we'd save the $310/MONTH tax bill we're paying now for a small house (and soon to go up), AND the $800 more for the mortgage itself.

sorry for the long post just trying to explain where we coming from so as to get better info. we dont want to make a mistake by being caught by surprises when its too late.

also, one possibility is to work in Omaha and commute up to an hour from a small town. is this common to do?

thanks in advance for the replies.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,419,480 times
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I just moved here, on purpose, from the south, so I'll give you my impressions.

We moved from a 1,000 sq foot FmHA home on less than 1/3 acre to a 1700 sq foot home on 60 acres, with 14 acres in a small town. The taxes are equal. We lived in a town and county that charged taxes, but here the towns are not allowed to. We pay for trash pickup once a week(a pickup truck and trailer, no waste management trucks here) and the small town has water and sewer, so we pay for that - a third of what we paid back east. I am about to sell my house back there for $1,000 more than we paid for this one - and at considerably less than other houses around it. The fire department here is all-volunteer, and is paid for by the county; any extra operating funds they raise on their own (fundraisers). If I buy something (like furniture, equipment, etc) in a nearby larger town and have it delivered to my house, the seller is not allowed to charge sales tax. Ditto anything I order on the Internet and have shipped in. Registering our vehicles - and insuring them - cut those bills in half. Homeowner's insurance - well, hard to say, since I have two barns, a shop, a garage, and a much larger, older house with more fire potential with a wood stove as well as propane heat - but the insurance here is about $350 more a year for all of that.

Don't assume that the cheaper houses are fixer-uppers; they may just be older and smaller and don't have expensive upgrades. What you will find (or, what we found) is solid construction and longevity. Our FmHa house - like many back east - didn't have a single wall that was square (try laying tile or putting up wallpaper, even a wallpaper border!) and was built with the cheapest products available; we were constantly replacing and repairing, trying to fix it up and discovering things like the exterior wood was raw, untreated, and therefore rotten, etc. (Wood doesn't rot here in the western side, so that isn't a problem.)

They don't need a whole lot of law enforcement where we live; no boys walking around with gangsta apparel and no girls with multiple piercings and 'meth scars' on their faces. There's no graffiti. There's no trash. People here are neat and clean and pick up after themselves and discipline their children. I have a yard gargoyle that back east was frequently 'attacked' with bottles and trash; here he sits brooding and unmolested by the road. I couldn't put up Christmas decorations or have a shed in my yard without them being torn down or destroyed; here the kids don't come on the property unless they are invited - and when they do they say unfamiliar things like "please" and "thank you". There's no day care on the high school property for the children's children. There's no Starbuck's, no WalMart, no Home Depot or Lowe's for over 150 miles where we live, and the Interstate is 80 miles away - which means no I-95 Drug Corridor. I won't tell you there's no drugs here, but they are not as readily available nor as accepted as they are back east. People here work Damned hard, from see to cain't see, and sometimes two or three jobs. The pay is not great; considerably less than back east, but the COL is commensurate. The big towns are endlessly cute and well-kept and beautiful - and a lot smaller than back east. Don't expect to come here and have everyone cater to your needs, wants, and desires - they all have their own lives to lead and are VERY busy leading them. But they are not stuck-up; if you want to learn and understand and be a part, their arms are wide-open.

It is a long way between towns, especially towns that 'have stuff' and towns that don't. So your mileage will increase. Living in a 'small town' outside a city is not like living in a suburb-town, like it is back east. And the high winds - even without snow - in the western half of the state can make driving suddenly untenable. The main roads are well-cared for, but the back roads - well, they are fun to drive. Your commute will be fraught with sudden unpredictable snowstorms (the Weather Channel has no idea we exist here) and your workday with occasional tornado warnings. All facts of life here; the locals can predict the weather better than the weather stations. Commuting is a big thing here; many folks live in our small town and drive 40 miles one way to employment in a larger town. I'm told that the humidity is killer on the eastern side in the summer, because of the flat land, the irrigation ditches, and the water features there; but here it is far less humid than back east.

WHAT AM I DOING!!! I don't want anyone else to move here and screw it up like they did back east!! The taxes are ridiculously high, the weather is terrrible, and the people are awful - don't come!!!

Last edited by SCGranny; 12-09-2008 at 07:47 AM.. Reason: spelling as usual
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:52 AM
 
52 posts, read 182,436 times
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hi, thanks for the reply.

can anyone give me a specific example especially if they own a home worth under $50k. what are the approx taxes and other government costs of living in NE that you pay?

the more examples the better!

thanks!
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,545,182 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryKV View Post
hi, thanks for the reply.

can anyone give me a specific example especially if they own a home worth under $50k. what are the approx taxes and other government costs of living in NE that you pay?

the more examples the better!

thanks!
Are you targeting a specific part of the state (or even a specific county or town)? That will help.

In Nebraska, Property Taxes fund the local functions like County, Town, School, Water District, Fire, etc... not the state functions - so the answer really does vary by area.

I live in a metro area just south of Omaha (Sarpy County, City of Papillion), I have a $160,000 home and my total property tax bill is $3,100... its been that rate for about 5 years - has been a very stable area.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:56 AM
 
52 posts, read 182,436 times
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hi dave, I'm looking for examples especially of homes worth under $50k. but your helps I can just divide the number down to my anticipated price range.

how much is your homeowners insurance and how much to register the car and any other government costs besides income and sales tax that you can think of?

many thanks
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,545,182 times
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I have a 1994 pickup and a 1998 Nissan - both are about $35 for car tax... I have a 2000 Intrepid which is about $75... I have a 2006 Pacifica which is about $350. All came due this month and I just wrote a $500 check for all 4. Newer cars is where it bites you in Nebraska.

Sales tax will range from 5.5 - 7.5% (excluding most food and alot of services). The 5.5% is set by state then some towns can add up to 1.5% (if approved by voters).

Then the property tax... for under $50,000 you will be mimimal but again really varies by county/city. In Sarpy that home (if you could find one) would be about $950. I assume a $50,000 home you are looking a lot more rural (e.g. central Nebraska)... $50,000 for a small home in a rural area might be doable, but will take some work to find. - Caution: $50,000 closer to the metro areas would be a poverty home (run down, high utilities, higher crime).

Utilities will really vary based on where you are and the services provided... could be like SCGranny and have a well/septic so you would be on your own, or you could have municipal water/sewer... Nebraska is generally known as having very reasonable utility rates.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:28 AM
 
52 posts, read 182,436 times
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thanks dave, how much is car regestration fee and is it every year or every other year?

and is homeowners insurance high there? i think mine is about $600 here but we are on the coast (so has a hurricane factor)



as to houses, i found houses in tekamah and other outlying areas of omaha for $20k and up.

www.realtor.com
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,545,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryKV View Post
thanks dave, how much is car regestration fee and is it every year or every other year?
That $500 I mentioned for my 4 cars is annually... you register cars annually and pay your registration fee then... the only other fee related to cars is the one-time sales tax (a big hit). When you buy your car you do pay sales tax (the 5.5-7.5% mentioned earlier) when you register it.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Sandhills
2,177 posts, read 3,176,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryKV View Post
hi, thanks for the reply.

can anyone give me a specific example especially if they own a home worth under $50k. what are the approx taxes and other government costs of living in NE that you pay?

the more examples the better!

thanks!

We have a home we purchased 3 years ago in Nebraska town pop 1500 that we plan to move into in the next couple years. We paid $22000 for it, 1800 sq ft, 4 bedrooms/2 baths. 1 car detached garage, 2.5 lots total. Taxes last year on it were $576 total, no other hidden taxes. Insurance ran us just under $46 per month on it. I can't really give you a utility figure as we are just running things to keep it warm, not renting it out.

We found a lot of homes in the price range under 50k in the areas we looked.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:02 PM
 
52 posts, read 182,436 times
Reputation: 32
thanks! that helps
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