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Old 04-17-2009, 07:50 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141

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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Tesaje, where are you looking at now (what states, and why?). Forgive me if you've already told us....I'm trying to keep up with everyone's story and progress....
I'm thinking about the Portland, OR area for these reasons:
  • I want mild summers with not many really hot days but warm enough to grow tomatoes.
  • I want to be within sight of real mountains (western girl that I still am)
  • I want good air quality (I have asthma so more polluted places will be bad)
  • I want a reasonable size city so that when I need serious services, they will be available (like hospitals or other care).
  • I need to be able to buy a house for about what this one will fetch me - still looks to be doable in that area.
Bonuses but not the reason:
  • Mild winters such that rosemary grows well there
  • My nephew lives there
  • An old friend lives there
  • My favorite brother lives in Srn OR
  • A dear friend lives in Seattle
  • It is easy to get to the beautiful coast or the mountains
  • It is lousy with coffee shops, book stores, organic markets
  • I like the general feel of Pac NW areas and have visited many times
Negatives
  • It might be too cloudy (or I might not mind it)
  • I hope it isn't too hard for a new and older person to meet and make friends
  • Not sure whether the property taxes are would get to be too much
I haven't completely made up my mind. Colorado would be a natural place because most of my family lives there (Denver to Ft Collins area). But I am more allergic to something in CO than any other place in the summer. I can always come for visits like my brother does.

What I plan to do before I make any final decision or make any irreversible moves is to live there in some cheap place (maybe my friend's basement if he offers ) for a month in the winter. If I still like it and it feels right after that, then I will make it happen. If not, I will try other places.

I've thought about maybe trying a page from Anomaly's book and do some serious wandering to get to know some places better. But if I did that, I would miss gardening. There's always trade-offs.

But none of this can start until I get to the end line and actually retire (260 more days).

 
Old 04-17-2009, 08:01 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141
We were fessing up on property tax. I paid $3500 last year and expect it to go above $4000 this year. MD does appraisals every 3 years and steps up the tax over that time. This is the 3rd year and we will get a new appraisal at the end of the year so our taxes should go down for next year. It is too late to protest the tax for this year so we are stuck. Another fallout from this real estate bubble. My house is about 1800 sq ft with 2 car gar. and 1.6 acres.

MD is a fairly high tax state but not as bad as some. They tax income, sales, property. The clinker is the counties add an income tax that drives the bite up 3% and that is rarely reported. I think when you are 65 or older there is a reduction in income tax and a reduction for pensions.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
I'm thinking about the Portland, OR area for these reasons:
  • I want mild summers with not many really hot days but warm enough to grow tomatoes.
  • I want to be within sight of real mountains (western girl that I still am)
  • I want good air quality (I have asthma so more polluted places will be bad)
  • I want a reasonable size city so that when I need serious services, they will be available (like hospitals or other care).
  • I need to be able to buy a house for about what this one will fetch me - still looks to be doable in that area.
Bonuses but not the reason:
  • Mild winters such that rosemary grows well there
  • My nephew lives there
  • An old friend lives there
  • My favorite brother lives in Srn OR
  • A dear friend lives in Seattle
  • It is easy to get to the beautiful coast or the mountains
  • It is lousy with coffee shops, book stores, organic markets
  • I like the general feel of Pac NW areas and have visited many times
Negatives
  • It might be too cloudy (or I might not mind it)
  • I hope it isn't too hard for a new and older person to meet and make friends
  • Not sure whether the property taxes are would get to be too much
I haven't completely made up my mind. Colorado would be a natural place because most of my family lives there (Denver to Ft Collins area). But I am more allergic to something in CO than any other place in the summer. I can always come for visits like my brother does.

What I plan to do before I make any final decision or make any irreversible moves is to live there in some cheap place (maybe my friend's basement if he offers ) for a month in the winter. If I still like it and it feels right after that, then I will make it happen. If not, I will try other places.

I've thought about maybe trying a page from Anomaly's book and do some serious wandering to get to know some places better. But if I did that, I would miss gardening. There's always trade-offs.

But none of this can start until I get to the end line and actually retire (260 more days).
Your reasoning seems sound, and it's an attractive city....but hmnnn... Maybe I'm wrong, but I heard that Portland is getting overcrowded and polluted (where did I hear that? perhaps from my good friendwho lives there)...Checking online for prop taxes, a $175,000 house in Portland has taxes of about $2400. Wondering how fast that will rise. That's what I pay now in NE, for a much nicer house. But our taxes are on the rise as the state scrambles for revenue. I visited Portland several years ago to see my very close old friend. She's now in a high-rise subsidized (tiny) apt for elders....it doesn't sound too appealing. Plus I wonder about maneuvering a big city when I'm 70 or 75 (wouldn't have given it a second thought 10 years ago!

I'm looking 10 years down the line...not to be pessimistic, but realistic. Seems like yesterday I was 50, and that was 10 years ago. My next move will be my last in an independent living situation, until Happy Acres Mercy Home comes to take me away So it's a medium sized town, not a city, I'm looking for.

Any great towns just outside Portland? To have easy access to that wonderful city, without having to live inside the city limits, would be great. But the town has to have public transport, a hospital, good medical, and low taxes...we've got to get someone to compile all this info for us!!

~~NewEnglGirl
 
Old 04-17-2009, 09:15 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Your reasoning seems sound, and it's an attractive city....but hmnnn... Maybe I'm wrong, but I heard that Portland is getting overcrowded and polluted (where did I hear that? perhaps from my good friendwho lives there)...Checking online for prop taxes, a $175,000 house in Portland has taxes of about $2400. Wondering how fast that will rise. That's what I pay now in NE, for a much nicer house. But our taxes are on the rise as the state scrambles for revenue. I visited Portland several years ago to see my very close old friend. She's now in a high-rise subsidized (tiny) apt for elders....it doesn't sound too appealing. Plus I wonder about maneuvering a big city when I'm 70 or 75 (wouldn't have given it a second thought 10 years ago!

I'm looking 10 years down the line...not to be pessimistic, but realistic. Seems like yesterday I was 50, and that was 10 years ago. My next move will be my last in an independent living situation, until Happy Acres Mercy Home comes to take me away So it's a medium sized town, not a city, I'm looking for.

Any great towns just outside Portland? To have easy access to that wonderful city, without having to live inside the city limits, would be great. But the town has to have public transport, a hospital, good medical, and low taxes...we've got to get someone to compile all this info for us!!

~~NewEnglGirl
Everywhere is overcrowded any more. The pollution stats I saw had it rated pretty good for a city. I don't know but I breathe good there and it smells good (all those conifers ) I'm more leary of a small town not having adequate amenities for elders but I'm thinking ahead too. There are a lot of towns in the area and you can go over the river to Vancouver as well. Of course a smaller town would have lower housing costs and may have a lower cost of living. I'll have to see. And I could change my mind too.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,592 posts, read 39,962,822 times
Reputation: 23726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
I'm thinking about the Portland, OR area ....
I think the 9% income tax will be a problem in OR, I would consider a place near Officer's Row in Vancouver. It is near library and senior center and bus transit mall. There is a Kaiser Med center a few blocks away, and a new Fred Meyer store (which is a NW grocery + everything else store, and a step above Safeway, but with reasonable sales every week). I think they will be adding some housing in the Ft Vancouver historical area, + they have really nice 'Officers Homes' and some decent smaller homes too. It is 10 min from Downtown Portland, IF you avoid the peak travel times. Taxes are about $10 / Thousand, and rents are much lower than Portland. I live in an area where taxes are much higher due to hungry schools and fire district levies. I am of the persuasion that I want to put my real estate $ into income producing properties and either rent a place, or frequently move from CHEAP distressed properties I buy, raking in the tax free $250k every two yrs (if you buy VERY smart... unlikely in my case). I am looking at 'waterfront' or view condos as a way to do the every two yr thing. It is imperative that they are 'marketable'. + I want to be living internationally while I declare them as 'primary' homes. (for the few Months I'm stateside)
 
Old 04-17-2009, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
1,071 posts, read 1,058,328 times
Reputation: 1980
Quote:
Originally Posted by janb View Post
ugh, yes, $30/day prop taxes, nothing special, but the assessor REALLY likes it
janb- When I read this I'm just flabbergasted! I think I read one of your earlier posts that indicated Washington counties set their tax rates independently. How long has your tax rate been at this level? Are there any lower income people remaining in your area? If so, how are they able to pay this tax rate? I'm surprised there hasn't been a major tax revolt amongst the denizens there.
 
Old 04-18-2009, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Alaska
384 posts, read 877,571 times
Reputation: 186
anomoly - I LIKE your list!

A book is great idea ... but we'd better get going with it or we'll miss the opportune timing.
 
Old 04-18-2009, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by miruca View Post
anomoly - I LIKE your list!

A book is great idea ... but we'd better get going with it or we'll miss the opportune timing.
I'm a professional publications specialist and put self-published books together for people....if someone writes it, I'll do the design/layout and create a PDF of the book that could be posted online...for a cost (profit to our group) if someone can figure out how to do that

~~NewEnglGirl
 
Old 04-18-2009, 02:57 PM
 
345 posts, read 894,966 times
Reputation: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by anomoly View Post
Hey Everyone,
So glad I found this thread, as I'm in a similar situation. Wisteria, I've met you on the TrC, NM thread, and now that I know more about you, I'll follow your posts, cuz we are very similar. I also have to tell you, now, that Truth or Consequences is definitely NOT for you.
For me,
1. warm weather: main consideration, so no matter how nice other places are, I'd never consider a place that gets 'cold'.
2. Not conservative: I'm just too much of a 'free spirit' and 'out of the box' thinker, and feel extremely alone in 'traditional' cultures.

I'll give a new perspective here: I left Tucson in 2005 in a very unexpected way. I had a major crisis due to many factors living in Arizona, (yes you heard me right) that I won't go into, but I knew I had to get out of that state. Long story short, I put my stuff in storage, bought a used RV, and took my 3 cats on the road. I didn't know where to go, I just knew where I DIDN'T WANT TO BE.
My gosh, it's almost 3 years I've been living in my RV, and love it, although I'm still looking for a place to settle. I have income (due to what happened), so I'm fortunate in the sense that employment hasn't had to be an issue, but I'd still like to get back into life again.

I ended up in New Mexico by accident, but buying an annual state park permit led me to travel throughout the state, probably seeing more of it than most residents. It's a beautiful state, and I'm leaning toward Las Cruces--maybe Silver City. Sometimes I move week to week, (taking my kitties and my sattelite TV) and the gas could be considered rent, I guess, but I've been in TrC since October (see below).

My original intention was Utah, and I finally spent 2 or 3 months travelling through the southern part. Absolutely beautiful State!! I really liked MOAB, and am still considering it as a future home. I've been following Utah threads, and see that MOAB is one of the more 'independent' cities, meaning the Mormon conservativism doesn't dominate it as much as other areas. (I got nothing against Mormons, it's the conservatism). Has anyone else considered MOAB?

I, too, have considered Mexico for a long time now. I drove down from Tucson to San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, and found it was predominantly American. It was beautiful, on the coast, (...now why didn't I go? can't remember). Since I've been in my RV, I guess I just wouldn't want to go alone, cuz I know how vulnerable I've felt here in the US, in terms of needing repairs. I would definitely reccommend the RV thing, but what a learning curve!

Last year, I decided to settle along the Colorado river around Bullhead City/Laughlin (grew up camping there). I found a cheap mobile home to rent in Needles (CA side--didn't want to be in AZ), moved my stuff out of storage in Tucson with a Uhaul, but realized in a very short time, it was NOT the place for me. So, I used the time to 'lighten my load', then put my stuff in storage (again) there, and went back on the road.
I still had no plan, although Moab, and NM, kept calling. I opted for NM, visited my camp host friend in Quemado, traveled some more, and eventually wound up in Truth or Consequences for the 2nd time, simply because my Quemado friend planned to spend the winter here. I knew this wouldn't be permanent, but it's so gosh darn cheap (space rent, not using gas), that I've saved alot of money, have internet service, and using the time to regroup. I started looking for volunteer path, as a way to 're-join' society. There's alot of room for me here in NM, (improving Mental health services availiability) and alot of Statewide councils, etc. to participate in. But, Truth or Consequences is NOT ONE OF THEM. This town will die in it's sleep, people. I just read an article in the paper that was so poorly written, and it was obvious the reporter had no idea about the subject.
Anyway, I've survived what I consider to be a 'long, cold winter' (I'm a wuss), and still waiting for the nice warm weather to return. I'll probably leave in May when it gets hot, and am thinking Silver City (progressive little town) for the summer, at least, and may eventually settle in Las Cruces after the summer heat passes.

I still love the idea of Moab, Utah, as well as Mexico. Anyone going?

I love the idea of us all meeting up, forming our own little community (LOL).
Wisteria, have you moved yet?
MEXICO????
 
Old 04-18-2009, 03:59 PM
 
Location: SW US
2,218 posts, read 2,036,207 times
Reputation: 3824
Is anyone else considering climate change predictions in choosing a retirement place? It's a factor for me and one reason I'm looking to leave the Tucson area after 25 years here, for somewhere cooler. Another related factor, especially in the West, is water availability. I'd like to find a good source that compares various places for water quality, source, future supply projections, etc. Does anyone know of a good source for such comparisons?
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