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Old 01-16-2009, 05:37 PM
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,610,770 times
Reputation: 1230


My neighbor who just sold her house moved to Portland to live with her daughter until she get's her own place. She told me they were "snowed-in" for a couple of days during that last snowstorm they had, a few weeks ago....

I always though I would rather be in a cold climate rather than a hot climate, cuz I could always bundle-up and then be able to go about my daily activities. UMmmmmmmmm........ after living in the PNW for 5 years, I realize it doesn't work that way!

SNOW = BLACK ICE = FROZEN ROADS = FREEKIN-COLD = all keep me housebound!! In all fairness, today was an OK day in the Rogue Valley. It was about 30 in the morning, warmed up to about 45ish in the afternoon, the sun was shining, blue sky and the pavement was dry!! I had 3 layers of clothing on, thermal long-johns under my jeans and wool socks, a double hat and a down parka!! Oh yeah, it was a nice day

Old 01-17-2009, 09:24 AM
2 posts, read 4,044 times
Reputation: 13
I'm in the same leaky boat as the others in this forum, especially since the market melt-down. I'm looking for a place I can afford where I can make friends (not so easy after 60?). I'd like to get out of the awful summer heat and humidity. I love animals, reading, music (I sing in a community chorale), photography. I'd like to stay active mentally and physically, but I'm not a hiker/jogger. I dislike heavy traffic, but want a place where "something" is happening. Suggestions?
Old 01-17-2009, 10:52 AM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,244,494 times
Reputation: 2651
Hi Folks! Just checking in this morning because my lovely daughter is here for a couple of days (now that she has a boyfriend and is in college, I truly miss our weekends together).

Here's another thought. It sounds like everyone is very keen on owning property. I am also into the "renting mode" now. I find so many problems around the property, it's a pain to have to do all the upkeep, and the affordable places in this county are farther out.

So....just to toss out an idea -- where I am, really is like Paradise, and it's a shame I feel I have to move because of costs. However......I don't see why two or three of us couldn't rent a large house in Santa Cruz, proper, and have all the amenities of this community for cheap? And without the property taxes, upkeep costs, etc. Just think about how it could be to walk or bicycle to the beach, be within walking distance of numerous cafes, bookstores, restaurants, musical venues, art galleries -- just tons of stuff. Of course, those are the reasons the area is so expensive. But renting could take care of that. Extra money from the sale of a home could be put into savings, or extensive travel, or for whatever.

Just an idea. I rented for decades, and I have to admit that it was easier than owning. I like the idea of being an "owner," but I can't say that I've seen a huge difference in it -- other than now I'm responsible for what goes wrong, and it's more expensive.

By the way, it has been clear, sunny, and in the 70s for weeks now! Our "rain" is supposed to be on Tuesday. I work in Felton and we are smack up against a state park and have many hiking trails around our building, so I've been using this beautiful weather to walk during my lunch hours or breaks. One day, I even had a big buck come dashing across my path (fortunately about twenty feet ahead of me!).

Although I realize that most people want to own, I'm also now considering the rental option. In Santa Cruz, it's not uncommon for people to rent, because the median house price is about $700,000 here in town -- the homes actually on Monterey Bay with ocean vistas are well into the millions, as you might imagine. But the beauty of living here is that all beaches in California must be public -- so even if someone pays 10 million dollars for their home on the beach, the public can still walk right in front of their house! There are more parks and hiking places than I can name, the weather is "Mediterranean," meaning it is sunny for six months straight (no rain), and during the other six months (like now) there will be rain (but not everyday like most of the PNW). Sometimes we get our rain for the season all in two weeks, other times it is spread out throughout the winter season and we get a little each week. If you were here, you would see why it is so expensive.

The plus side of renting (I do know people who make well over $100,000 a year who rent here!) is that not only can you rent in a place that you may never be able to afford to own, but you don't have those responsibilities of ownership, and you are freer to do what you want to do. My former boss who retired with a huge pension, still rents her duplex in town -- because it is centrally located, and although she'd kind of like to have her own place, she realizes that she'd never be able to afford anything else and have money to spare -- so, she has her nice duplex, with nice neighbors, within walking distance of the beach, a small two-bedroom for $1,400/month -- and that is a great price here! If she owned in the same neighborhood...well, even at her income level, she'd be left with so little that her quality of life would suffer. She'd have to move out of the area to afford it, but she has all she wants and needs here. So, just tossing out another idea.

My daughter is moving in her room, so I'm going to get off. Today we are going to "Feng Shui" a part of the kitchen! I took the day off yesterday and we went to our local used bookstore and got a nice Feng Shui book, so that I can play around with the concept while trying to figure out how to sell this place. We also went to see "Slumdog Millionaire," and everyone applauded at the end -- very interesting movie!

Glad to see everyone is keeping warm. Being a Buffalo native, I definitely understand winter! But I'm sure glad I'm not there now!

Have a good weekend!!!

Last edited by Wisteria; 01-17-2009 at 11:13 AM..
Old 01-17-2009, 11:13 AM
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,610,770 times
Reputation: 1230
Default Wisteria..

I only visited Santa Cruz one time, in the early 90s and remember it with positive vibes; we rode the Roaring Camp train up to Fenton, we ate breakfast in Capitola on the beach, had clam chowder on the SC/Boardwalk, and also visited a HUMONGOUS Flea Market somewhere between SC and San Jose All-in-all I loved the area, and agree with your idea

I've also heard very good things about the Lan Luis Obispo area, but have never been there.

Last night on the travel channel there was a show about "Rachel Rey's Vacation" in the Bay area.... she visited Berkeley, Sausalito and Mill Valley
If I had my d'ruthers.............. and win the Lottery.......
Don't get me California Dreamin'
Old 01-17-2009, 02:09 PM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,058,733 times
Reputation: 2141
Renting is expensive. That $1400/mo goes out with no tax deduction to offset it and no equity build. My financial plans are based on only having to pay out taxes and insurance on my abode, which should be significantly less than my mortgage was. And that $1400 is more than my old mortgage/escrow payments were. Having to pay out rent every month would mean I would have to really tighten my financial belt. I would rather be in a little less perfect weather place and own my own home. Plus, if I ever need to get into an assisted living place, being able to sell my house (assuming real estate gets more normal in future years) will help offset those costs. It is part of my long-term security plan.

I would be more inclined to own my property and rent a room or two (being very, very careful about that) to offset costs if that becomes necessary. CA is just too expensive now and is about to implode with the budget problems that state has. If you already live there, that is one thing, but moving there now is not on my list.

Wisteria, if you have a little guest house and the costs of that lovely property is a concern, would you consider renting that out?
Old 01-17-2009, 02:11 PM
Location: home...finally, home .
8,237 posts, read 18,529,576 times
Reputation: 17765
You know, that doesn't sound too bad. At least it is certainly worth a thought. The "golden girls" must have rented (I think only Bea Arthur owned the home.....not that I ever watched the show or anything ).

The climate on California's coast is perfect. My favorite. It is about seven degrees today and it is supposed to snow again tonight. YEEECH.

we rode the Roaring Camp train up

Coney, I used to read this story by Bret Harte with my kids (students). They loved it (very sad) and we looked up on the internet to get info about the place you're talking about.

People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
Old 01-17-2009, 02:57 PM
71 posts, read 252,833 times
Reputation: 106
Smile moving out west

Hi y'all

Haven't been at the site for a while so I've been catching up with the posts. I'm going out west (again) this spring to look at Sequim, and Poulsbo, Washington; Florence and Brookings, Oregon. I refuse to give up my dream of living close to the coast. Wisteria, I like your idea about the group rental thing. I'm a little unsure of how a landlord would feel about a cat and dog.
I have no family except a brother that lives in Florida so the only thing that bothers me about picking up and moving is that "all alone" feeling for awhile. But then I remember I've done it so many time in my life and I always make new friends wherever I go. It is very hard to meet other like minded single women here. Although I'm 57, staying here is like a death sentence for my "still young" spirit. I know I need to push on to find a place that is better for my soul. Whenever I was out west - I felt like a different person. I so appreciate all the comments from the women and their journeys. May we all find our paradise, whether it be a place or a state of mind (or both).
Old 01-17-2009, 03:17 PM
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,890,681 times
Reputation: 1525
Wisteria -- Go to the library or a bookstore and get the book Cat Laughing Last by Shirley Rousseau Murphy.
It's part of a series of mysteries set in a town like Carmel/Monterey. In that book a group of older women start planning to combine their assets and buy a home they can share since none of them on their own can afford to retire there.
It really explores the ins and outs of the women pulling this off in addition to the mystery. It does involve cats that can talk to humans, so just deal with that.
Old 01-17-2009, 10:16 PM
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,409 posts, read 5,935,435 times
Reputation: 7126
Hi all -- just wanted to say hi and Happy New Year! I haven't been around here lately due to having been in FL for the holidays (with Mom) plus having a new puppy, which as you know, consumes as much if not more time than a new baby. I'm trying to catch up on the board, but in the meantime, just wanted to check in -- I've missed you guys, and welcome to the new members as well.
Old 01-18-2009, 12:13 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,658 posts, read 40,029,981 times
Reputation: 23811
RE: rental... at this time it is feasible. For long term it could be a problem, depending how you are getting your cash to pay rent. (inflation risk)

Mitigation option... invest your existing home equity (which is probably significant for some... CA owners) into income producing real estate that is bought at a decent price and is in an area with minimal risk to equity 'downturn' (not Detroit, LV, San Diego or other 'peak DOWN markets' at this time...)

Hopefully the income prop (commercial, multi family, storage buildings, senior home...) would generate positive cash flow to fully fund rent AND you would be keeping some assets in real estate rather than equities or inflation risky cash accts. If eventually you needed to sell to fund your 'assisted living' arrangement, you would have something available.

The renting option may be a good thing for investigating and finding a 'true' home. I would avoid considering it for a '20-30yr' future timeframe, rents could really escalate!!

For the assisted living thing, the cooperatively owned senior centers appear to be a good option, as you get some appreciation + the same 'write-offs' as 'Owning a home'. Write offs may not be needed unless you have adequate income / deductions to benefit from itemized deductions. I don't perceive that level of 'income / expenses' to be part of my 'retirement' financial situation. I was never sold on the idea of 'interest' & property tax deductions to offset income, as it comes off the tail end, (deduction / not credit) and is thus quite 'diluted' as to benefit. I.E. my effective tax rate (not marginal) is only ~10%, thus I only see less than 10% benefit from any deductions, and 90% is GONE to get that measly 10%.

Example... If you had $500,000 cash equity in a primary residence... a decent commercial income property would generate 7-10% net , or $3,000 + / month/ That would more that cover your rent (and travel expenses)... OR Living in a $500k home at average property tax rates of $10 / thousand would COST you ~ $400 / month, JUST in taxes + insurance and maint. Add opportunity costs to having $500k 'tied up' in your home and rent looks pretty cheap (Today). I would have a difficult time giving up a beneficial prop 13 CA prop (if in fact you have one) It is amazing that you can 'roll' your tax basis into another home. I have an uncle in San Clemente that pays $500 / yr for property taxes...

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 01-18-2009 at 12:27 AM..
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