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Old 03-11-2009, 01:37 PM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,051,697 times
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I've got crocus starting to bloom and some miniature iris up here. My lenten rose is blooming for the first time.

Wisteria, renting isn't what it used to be on the east coast either. Almost everything they could, they turned into condos so you own an apartment. That plus changes in zoning laws to restrict multiple families and non-related people in the same house have really pinched and reduced the availability of low cost housing. Rents are very high here too. It used to be that many people with a sizable house would build a 1-2 bedroom apartment in the basement with it's own entry and rent it out. This provided low coast housing for decent people and helped the owner with bills. Density wasn't too high. But most places outlawed this sort of thing so there is less and less available options at the lower end of affordability. It is why we have a housing crisis for decades for working people -- the options have evaporated under the claims that we can't have that sort of thing in our neighborhood.

I can remember CA used to have a lot more renting options when I was young but it went the condo route like the rest of the country.

Old 03-11-2009, 02:21 PM
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,392,568 times
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Originally Posted by knoxgarden View Post
Spring has come to East Tennessee. The pear trees at the condo complex are in bloom. When the complex was built they put two trees at the entrance to each section of the garden apartments, lined the streets with them and planted in in the area between the levels of the complex (it's built on the side of a ridge). Most all thrived and are now 4 stories high. It's a glorious site when they bloom.
And I had a cardinal at the birdbath by the back sliding door yesterday. My tiny daffodils are blooming and so are my tiny scented violets. It's hard to be depressed when spring is so beautiful.
Hey, Knox...

Your pics are just gorgeous - do your pear trees grow real pears? I love any flowering tree...I planted a catalpa 4 years ago and last year it finally bloomed - it looks tropical with hugh heart shaped leaves (as big as my head) and the most wonderful smelling blooms - soon..................
Spring is my favorite season.
Tell me about your summer months - heat & humidity. We get it here for a couple of weeks - high 90s-100+ and humidity so high you feel like swimming outside. CO & TN are still my top two locs.
Old 03-11-2009, 03:46 PM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,975,704 times
Reputation: 15649
Default newenglandgirl still pondering all

[quote=Wisteria;7834182] So, for me, it's really a mixed bag. If I can find a nice rental that's affordable, I won't have the stress of maintenance, insurance, property taxes, upkeep, etc. If I can find a home to buy that is really "good," then that could work, too. Unless someone owns a home for a lifetime, I don't see that the equity gained is that much more (except for this weird decade we had where everything mulitiplied out of control), than saving or investing. I do know people who feel that they have "not made it," or somehow are missing out if they don't own...I don't feel that way. At this point, I don't have enough time to pay off a mortgage to be mortgage-free, so either way, I'm going to pay... If I can get some equity and a nice rental for awhile, that will suit me just fine, and if something happens to my job, I won't have to be all stressed out trying to sell, feeling stuck, etc. I am trying to put a more positive spin on this right now.

From NEG: If we were any younger, I'd say hold onto the house for another 10 years, bc that 's how long it COULD take to get out of this housing/economic mess. Age is always a factor. At age 60+, it seems like Wisteria's reasoning (above) is sound. But how about selling the house and finding an affordable condo like Knox's? If one could find a great condo at 150 or less, even with prop taxes, condo fee and a possible mortgage, we may be better off because we are situated for the next 10+ years of our life. Maitaining a house is never ending money out the window in this economy, which will never recover (soon anyway) any outlays we make for roof, furnace, repairs, etc.

Also, I don't know about other states, but in my state there's a $7500 first-time homebuyer tax credit, which means we could very well attract a FT buyer even in this economy. Who knows whether this incentive will be available next year...

We also might consider the transportation piece...I would never venture any further out in suburbia or the countryside at this stage, with the uncertainties of gas supplies and cost, and no public trans. Being able to take a bus or taxi if we had to, and being close enough in for the "senior van" to find us in a few years, may be critical in our plannning. Plus, I don't want to have to make a move more than once more in the next 15-20 years. The next move may it be my last, and may I land in a very nice place for all my trouble!!
Old 03-11-2009, 04:27 PM
Location: Knoxville, TN
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No pears, just ornamental. They aren't Bradford pears, though, different shape.
I don't think the heat and humidity are bad here at all. I rarely have the AC on during the day in the summer. I open the sliding glass door in back and there's usually a breeze in the afternoon. I'm also on the bottom level of the three-story brick condo building so it stays pretty cool.
Some complain about the heat and humidity here. I lived in southern Georgia and before that in Washington, D.C. East Tennessee isn't even close to either of those.
Old 03-11-2009, 05:04 PM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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Well, Spring is starting to pop out here, too. My camillias are blooming -- and I have quite a few around the yard. Soon my ornamental cherry tree will be blooming, too (too much shade where I am for them to bloom earlier). I have two wonderful trumpet plants but the deer and insects seem to get to them first... I do have some kind of cherry plum tree that's starting to bud, and will bear fruit. My lemon bush is flowering now, also. So, it's not a lost cause! Plus, with the change in time, it is lighter longer, and I have really bad SAD, so I know that these long, dark days really affect me -- I feel so much better already with sunlight!

NEG: you asked about a condo. I think if I had a choice in the same price-range, I would choose a house over a condo -- condos have those HOA, and the fees -- too many rules for someone like me. I'm quiet, and all, but I don't want to be controlled by rules I may not like, fees that rise, and regulations that sometimes don't make sense.

I'm going to just take a wait and see attitude for now. My realtor already sent me an application for getting help to clear out the yard of junk. She's really on top of it -- a smart cookie, is she! It's hard to find a realtor who is literate, detail-oriented and service-oriented, but I searched through numerous MLS listings in my area to find someone who seemed to have great listings, wrote well, and once I met her, she was really organized. So, at this point, I have to trust someone and I'm looking to her for guidance. I think that she doesn't need this as a primary income, so that gives her more flexibility, too. At any rate, I'm going to try. Wish me good luck!
Old 03-11-2009, 06:35 PM
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,514,371 times
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Well, hello everyone~~~~~~

I am so jealous when I read that all of you have spring now. I will tell you that there is NO sign of spring on Long Island. There are still traces of last week's blizzard tucked away in corners.

I know that the internet can be a daunting place, but I bet we would like each other if we met. It isn't as if we know nothing about anyone here. When I think of the mistakes I have made with people that I actually chose on my own........
I think I may be older than you all, though. I was 62 in November and am already getting SS!!!

wisteria ~~~ I had not known that you had lived in Boulder. My brother once lived there too (he was in law school). A little cottage sounds wonderful. He loved it there & now lives in Grand Junction. It is so hard to know what to do when your house (and the money you could pay for a new one) is disappearing as we write these notes. It is just so depressing and none of it is our fault which makes it even worse.

KNOX~~~ Whoa, knox. Those pictures are sure inducements for people to move to your beautiful city .You are such a good advertiser for your city. Anything would be better than the greyness of endless winter that we have here.The activities at the college sound so interesting to me. It looks so pretty now there; we will not see buds until late April.

New England ~~~ neg, We have so much in common. ALthough I have a son near you, other than him I do not have any family left at all. In a way that makes it harder because I have so many many places to choose from. If someone said, " Nancy, you MUST go to ________". It would almost be easier because then I would not have to make the decision myself. Does that make sense ?

mn2co ~~~ Just did not want to forget about you. I guess you do not have a spring yet either. I still keep on thinking that there must be someplace for "the rest of us". We are all a lot alike. Of course, there are many diffrences, but no more so than if were wre in any kind of organization, I wouldn't think. What a bummer that the economy played such a terrible trick on us. I know that you are leaning toward Colorado. My brother has lived there since he left for school in 1967 and he loves it. He would never live anywhere else.

hi tesaje ~~~ Still counting down???? I have a condo also, but that works for me because I would not be able to maintain a place on my own with all that it entails. Shoveling snow and all that. This way , I am just responsible for the inside which is enough for me.

People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
Old 03-11-2009, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Oh, DancingEarth, I hope your job holds out. I work for a county agency, and there are plans to furlough us for one month! (Not in a row, but to pay us for only 11 months of work, not 12!) In addition, they are also talking about cutting pension benefits for both current and future retirees! I guess I have to be grateful for a job, but, geez, cutting all this out?? So, I understand that sense of anxiety about "will I have a job, will I not?" Let's just hope the economy starts working the kinks out (or is it the "crooks" out) soon.

I am still going to try to unload this house. If I can rent for a year or two, that would be the way to go -- but with pets, you just never know what you can or can't find....
Thanks Wisteria. I have one week unpaid in June which I negotiated to take it later in the month when I can go visit family and go camping with my children/grandchildren at the ocean. We also lost the matching 401 this year and got a 4% cut in pay. Really wishing I had not bought a house--like you I'd feel a whole lot easier not being in debt for a house. I love it but what a mess if I can't pay for it. I've never been in that position before. Good luck with selling the house. Keep telling people you're looking to rent and something might pop up. The best deals are thru people who know people. I loved the situation in WA where I rented except the mobile home was a little small. If it had been a little bigger I might never have left!

MN2CO - you're probably right but my ex had a TV going all the time and I can't take the noise. I wouldn't mind so much if they had it in their room so I probably should have left that off the ad but I'd like to live with someone who has similar attitudes about life. I'm just an old hippie without the drugs.
Old 03-11-2009, 10:23 PM
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I can't remember if anyone posted this site:
Women Turn to Alternative Housing to Meet Retirement Needs at SmartMoney.com

I want to look for the book mentioned in the article.
Old 03-11-2009, 11:10 PM
Location: Edina, MN, USA
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Default Great article!!

Dancin...-Really good article - I just bet we will be seeing/hearing about many of these situations. It doesn't sound too bad - I haven't lived with another woman since ....the 70's. Long time and it definitely would take some getting use to. I am strongly considering getting a roommate - you're the one that gave me the idea. My best roommate ever was my ex and if he was in town I'd ask him to be my rommate again - but he moved home to Cleveland. Will you have a lease agreement?

Nancy....I don't think we've heard how your retrement is going. It will be a year soon and I'm curious about how the adjustment went (if you even had one). Some people totally unravel that first year (I didi) and some just sail right through it.

What are you doing with your time? I know you are going to school - what else? Or just tell me to mind my own business!
Old 03-11-2009, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MN2CO View Post
Dancin...-Really good article - I just bet we will be seeing/hearing about many of these situations. It doesn't sound too bad - I haven't lived with another woman since ....the 70's. Long time and it definitely would take some getting use to. I am strongly considering getting a roommate - you're the one that gave me the idea. My best roommate ever was my ex and if he was in town I'd ask him to be my rommate again - but he moved home to Cleveland. Will you have a lease agreement?
I wasn't going to do a lease agreement figuring it would be better to do month to month in case it doesn't work but I didn't get any calls. I lived communally in the 70s and managed to make it work. I keep telling people about the room hoping they will recommend someone. I wish the National Sharing Housing had an organization here that helped find roommates by screening them for me. Looks like there might be one in your state.
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