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Old 09-23-2008, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,248,501 times
Reputation: 2657

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Hi folks! Just checking in after crawling out from under that most recent (financial) crash! I may have to re-evaluate my plans!

I want to keep in touch with everyone here -- explore new options considering the economy. I was hoping things would get better, but as you know, it's only getting worse.....so, it's time to revamp plans.

At this point in life, I still think it is a good idea to join other women in finding a place to live.

Maybe many women have enough money to make it and purchase a place without consideration for extra income, but it doesn't seem like it from these posts -- sounds like working together might be easier and more fun!

I'd be happy to brainstorm some entrepreneurial ideas for us as a group. I'm here in California, and I have a small (550 sq. ft.) extra building on the property that could be used for starting a small business. If three or four women were interested, we could set up camp at my place and do something here for the time being. I think that with the country's seemingly downward spiral, we would be wise to supplement our income with something entrepreneurial.

I wanted to move next year, but that may not be as feasible as I had originally hoped. The good side, though, is that my daughter still can come home once a month and visit -- she's come home twice since starting college, and it has been wonderful to see her. We are establishing our new roles as mother-without-her-daughter-living-with-her and "new college student living in the dorms." So, it's not all hopeless.

I have another friend in NYC who is interested in coming back to California. So, I am opening my horizons to Northern California -- areas around Chico and Paradise. Paradise Chamber of Commerce - Tourism (http://www.paradisechamber.com/tourism.html - broken link) They are very reasonable, good weather, long growing seasons, and sunshine. So, I'm juggling New Mexico and Northern California, now. It's almost comparable to New Mexico in costs.

We shall see what the next six months bring -- a recession/depression, or a (hopefully) rise out of these financial depths.

I've used the past month to just regroup and rest after 18 years of mothering (not that it ever stops). I'm settling in with a new boss, and finally starting to feel a bit more rested after years of practically living out of my car because of driving my daughter around to everyplace, skipping lunches and breaks as a result, and doing double-time with so many things. It's time to regenerate and start more careful planning.

I was wondering what happened to Anomoly, too -- I wonder if she's okay??

Glad to see this thread will have a birthday soon! Maybe there would be an event in the U.S. (for me, especially the west or southwest) that we could all plan to attend -- share the costs of hotels, etc. Or, if anyone was open to it, although my house is small, we could have a sleep-over style get-together at my home near Santa Cruz -- there is tons to do here! An hour and a half from San Francisco, forty-five minutes from San Jose, and forty-five minutes to Monterey. Santa Cruz has plenty to keep one right in town, though.

Anyway, I am trying to figure out how to do it on a cut-down budget now. At least I know I'm not alone in this national predictament.

But...I did just renew my subscription to "New Mexico Magazine," so I'm not giving up hope!

 
Old 09-23-2008, 03:57 PM
 
2,628 posts, read 4,964,964 times
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Hi Wisteria,
I am only 57 and still working but keeping my options open. I would very much like to leave hurricaneland Florida. It is so expensive living here. I have a great job (not great pay) working at a place for 35 years now. I yearn for wide open spaces far from a big city. I am just not a "city gal" having grown up in a relatively small town in the midwest. Ha ha, as of 30 minutes ago, I am reading my October issue of New Mexico magazine....I have subscribed to it for about 4 years. I love it.
 
Old 09-23-2008, 05:13 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,242 posts, read 18,544,310 times
Reputation: 17795
So far, I like where I am very much. People have been so friendly and helpful - I still can't decide whether they really are so outstanding, or whether they are normal, and it's only in comparison with the place I left that they seem so friendly. That was the coldest, most socially insular place I've ever been.

You are talking about Alaska ?
That's interesting to know and I am very happy for you. It sounds as though you have found a haven for yourself after a long time of unhappiness.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,066,042 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
So, I am opening my horizons to Northern California -- areas around Chico and Paradise. Paradise Chamber of Commerce - Tourism (http://www.paradisechamber.com/tourism.html - broken link) They are very reasonable, good weather, long growing seasons, and sunshine. So, I'm juggling New Mexico and Northern California, now. It's almost comparable to New Mexico in costs.
I went to high school in Redding. While Chico is nicer than Redding, I would not describe the weather as good. Blistering hot summers that seem to last 2/3's of the year is not my idea of good weather. So hot, even tomatoes get sulky. I dreaded summers every year I lived there. Paradise is up in the mountains a little ways and is nicer but they will get some snow. Now Santa Cruz, that has a nice climate. The ocean really keeps the heat down.

This economic meltdown is really scary. I sure hope it will still make sense for me to retire next year.
 
Old 09-23-2008, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,248,501 times
Reputation: 2657
Quote:
Tesaje :
I went to high school in Redding. While Chico is nicer than Redding, I would not describe the weather as good. Blistering hot summers that seem to last 2/3's of the year is not my idea of good weather. So hot, even tomatoes get sulky. I dreaded summers every year I lived there. Paradise is up in the mountains a little ways and is nicer but they will get some snow. Now Santa Cruz, that has a nice climate. The ocean really keeps the heat down.

This economic meltdown is really scary. I sure hope it will still make sense for me to retire next year.
Hi Tesaje, I agree that Santa Cruz is more ideal....but, the prices are about 3-5 times more! So, since I have been considering New Mexico, I figure I can bear heat in Chico. And Paradise -- well, I understand it can vary even within a mile as to the snow -- but....being from Buffalo, New York, originally, I don't mind western snow, because it melts!

The reason I'm looking at Chico/Paradise is because they are reasonably priced, they still are in California, and also Chico is surrounded by farms -- lots of good fresh fruits and veggies there!

Actually, I live in the mountains above Santa Cruz, so the temperatures where I am are about 15 to 20 degrees more than Santa Cruz. It often gets into the 90s here, and sometimes over 100. I have friends in Monterey and Santa Cruz who ask to come up to visit to get out of the chill from the fog --and to see the sun! But being dry heat here, it is much more bearable, and it does cool down at night.

Because I have to reduce my expenses in order to retire, I am just trying to figure out a cheaper alternative to Santa Cruz, but still be in a nice area. Eureka and along the coast up there is way too cold for me. Some people love the cool ocean temperatures (60s usually), but I don't like that. I am also not into fog. So, it's about compromise.

I love New Mexico, too, only I'm trying to figure out how it would all be on a daily basis. I would like to have a small garden, even if tomatoes wilt. I know this sounds so superficial, but I like that there's a Trader Joe's in Chico! I use them all the time.

I'm still open to other places, but my first concern is cost. Second is a nice place with hiking and normal town amenities -- it doesn't have to be a city, by any means. Paradise is nice, but I haven't been there for awhile, so I need to recheck it out. I heard of a lot of artists from Santa Cruz who moved up there because of the lower cost.

Anyway, they are still on my list, and I'll just have to keep checking places out. New Mexico can get much hotter, and I have heard it is very difficult to grow vegetables and fruits there because of the heat.

But, with the economy, I guess I have time to figure it out!
 
Old 09-23-2008, 10:53 PM
 
3,724 posts, read 8,293,125 times
Reputation: 1415
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
So far, I like where I am very much. People have been so friendly and helpful - I still can't decide whether they really are so outstanding, or whether they are normal, and it's only in comparison with the place I left that they seem so friendly. That was the coldest, most socially insular place I've ever been.

You are talking about Alaska ?
That's interesting to know and I am very happy for you. It sounds as though you have found a haven for yourself after a long time of unhappiness.
No, not at all! I was referring to NW Washington, where we spent the last 7 years until DH died. I like where I am now, and I am content, but Alaska has my soul. If there'd been any way at all possible, I'd have gone back, but it's impossible to live there in any way remotely acceptable to me with only social security as an income.
 
Old 09-24-2008, 12:05 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,567,929 times
Reputation: 6928
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Hi Tesaje, I agree that Santa Cruz is more ideal....but, the prices are about 3-5 times more! So, since I have been considering New Mexico, I figure I can bear heat in Chico. And Paradise -- well, I understand it can vary even within a mile as to the snow -- but....being from Buffalo, New York, originally, I don't mind western snow, because it melts!

The reason I'm looking at Chico/Paradise is because they are reasonably priced, they still are in California, and also Chico is surrounded by farms -- lots of good fresh fruits and veggies there!

Actually, I live in the mountains above Santa Cruz, so the temperatures where I am are about 15 to 20 degrees more than Santa Cruz. It often gets into the 90s here, and sometimes over 100. I have friends in Monterey and Santa Cruz who ask to come up to visit to get out of the chill from the fog --and to see the sun! But being dry heat here, it is much more bearable, and it does cool down at night.

Because I have to reduce my expenses in order to retire, I am just trying to figure out a cheaper alternative to Santa Cruz, but still be in a nice area. Eureka and along the coast up there is way too cold for me. Some people love the cool ocean temperatures (60s usually), but I don't like that. I am also not into fog. So, it's about compromise.

I love New Mexico, too, only I'm trying to figure out how it would all be on a daily basis. I would like to have a small garden, even if tomatoes wilt. I know this sounds so superficial, but I like that there's a Trader Joe's in Chico! I use them all the time.

I'm still open to other places, but my first concern is cost. Second is a nice place with hiking and normal town amenities -- it doesn't have to be a city, by any means. Paradise is nice, but I haven't been there for awhile, so I need to recheck it out. I heard of a lot of artists from Santa Cruz who moved up there because of the lower cost.

Anyway, they are still on my list, and I'll just have to keep checking places out. New Mexico can get much hotter, and I have heard it is very difficult to grow vegetables and fruits there because of the heat.

But, with the economy, I guess I have time to figure it out!
Your post is very interesting. I grew up in Cheektowaga, NY, outside Buffalo. Part of my Army training I spent at the Presidio of Monterey, Defense Language Institute. It was the most beautiful experience in my life. It was my first time in California. I thought I would always want to return and live in Monterey but plans change, life changes.

I was in Monterey about 40 years ago. This was before they built the aquarium on Cannery Row. Many buildings were abandoned. There was a big hotel in the center of town, The San Carlos, right down the hill from my barracks. Many of the rooms rented by the hour, if you know what I mean.

When I was there I read all the Steinbeck books. I would go to the spots described in the book, when I was reading---The Bear Flag Hotel, Doc's Office etc. There were at that time many drifters, bums, hippies, characters, artists that found the area home and lived among the abandoned buildings, just like as described in Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row.

I have been back once, about 15 years ago, and there were indeed changes--many of the decayed areas where gone, as well as the San Carlos Hotel. The Monterey peninsula was still very pleasant and I still think of it today.

I still think that I would love to live there, but the costs are now prohibitive and I am now settled in Denver. I am sure that there are drawbacks to the area that I did not feel being young, and only being there one year. Ah, but what an experience.

Livecontent
 
Old 09-24-2008, 11:26 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,066,042 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Hi Tesaje, I agree that Santa Cruz is more ideal....but, the prices are about 3-5 times more! So, since I have been considering New Mexico, I figure I can bear heat in Chico. And Paradise -- well, I understand it can vary even within a mile as to the snow -- but....being from Buffalo, New York, originally, I don't mind western snow, because it melts!

The reason I'm looking at Chico/Paradise is because they are reasonably priced, they still are in California, and also Chico is surrounded by farms -- lots of good fresh fruits and veggies there!

Actually, I live in the mountains above Santa Cruz, so the temperatures where I am are about 15 to 20 degrees more than Santa Cruz. It often gets into the 90s here, and sometimes over 100. I have friends in Monterey and Santa Cruz who ask to come up to visit to get out of the chill from the fog --and to see the sun! But being dry heat here, it is much more bearable, and it does cool down at night.

Because I have to reduce my expenses in order to retire, I am just trying to figure out a cheaper alternative to Santa Cruz, but still be in a nice area. Eureka and along the coast up there is way too cold for me. Some people love the cool ocean temperatures (60s usually), but I don't like that. I am also not into fog. So, it's about compromise.

I love New Mexico, too, only I'm trying to figure out how it would all be on a daily basis. I would like to have a small garden, even if tomatoes wilt. I know this sounds so superficial, but I like that there's a Trader Joe's in Chico! I use them all the time.

I'm still open to other places, but my first concern is cost. Second is a nice place with hiking and normal town amenities -- it doesn't have to be a city, by any means. Paradise is nice, but I haven't been there for awhile, so I need to recheck it out. I heard of a lot of artists from Santa Cruz who moved up there because of the lower cost.

Anyway, they are still on my list, and I'll just have to keep checking places out. New Mexico can get much hotter, and I have heard it is very difficult to grow vegetables and fruits there because of the heat.

But, with the economy, I guess I have time to figure it out!
Yeah, I'm afraid this mess will not get better for a few years and I will be forced to stay on the east coast. If I can't sell my house, I can't go anywhere.

One nice thing about the CA mountains is the marine air makes the winters much milder than in the Rockies or (gasp!) Buffalo. They can get a lot of snow, but they rarely get the arctic outbreaks. Elevation makes a huge difference. Chico gets temps above 100 quite a bit and suffers from the same inversion layer that traps the summer heat and pollution as all the Central Valley towns do. Even up a mountain at Santa Cruz is a much nicer climate than anywhere in the Central Valley. There's a reason we used to denigrate it as a pit. Sacramento has the most moderated climate of all those towns because of the sea breeze coming in from the Carchinas Straits.

If I were considering going back to CA, Paradise would be on my list of possibilities. I haven't been there in many years, tho, so I don't what it is like now.

For me, having lived in nasty hot summers for a long, long time, I don't want to continue that when I have a choice. The funny thing about CA agriculture is that most of the huge variety of vegetables are grown in the Salinas valley where the temps are moderated by the cool ocean. At the further ends of the Central Valley, the crops are more limited to survive the intense heat of the summer and all must be heavily irrigated. I would just suggest doing a trial living during August before deciding it is for you. Most people really do not understand that it is the summers that present the most undesirable weather in the Central Valley in CA. They think it is mild because it seldom freezes. But that heat lasts from May until October, sometimes longer. I've spring weather last for 2 weeks in March, then the long enervating heat set in late March until October when the fall tule fogs set up. There is more winter rain up there than in Santa Cruz.

About 15 years ago, I could have bid on a job in Monterey but a look at the housing prices yielded a choice of living at least 50 miles away in a tiny house or trailer in the Central Valley where it gets nasty hot. I decided a few more years on the east coast beat that. I would have like to live in Monterey but I'm not wealthy enuf for that.
 
Old 09-24-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,248,501 times
Reputation: 2657
I understand about the fog in the central valley and the heat. I know people who have lived up there, and someone from work sold her condo at the beach here, and moved to Chico -- although she really likes it (but, then, she's originally from Minnesota!! )

I guess I am looking at warmer places, regardless -- New Mexico will be warmer, and Chico/Paradise would be warmer. (I did live in Arizona, too, in the past.) However, being retired, one wouldn't have to drive in that fog, if in a town and near enough to walk around to places. I think it's all relative. I have a friend who says I should go to Paradise rather than Chico -- because of the fog, like you said, and the heat, but then again, I am phobic about driving -- so, to me, there is a trade-off -- have fog and heat, but still be able to get around without driving, or live 10 miles away and drive it with those cross-winds. I really want to not have a car, if possible, in the future. I absolutely detest driving, and even ten miles to me is a lot (I work only 2 miles from my house!). I don't drive highways (no Highway 17 to San Jose for me, no Highway 1, etc.), and only use side roads. It is not easy living in California without driving..... (I didn't have a car back east...)

Rain....oh, living where I am...it is awful. Only 6 miles from the coast and it is truly dramatically different. The only good thing is there aren't thunder storms, like back east. But the rain here absolutely downpours! Ironically, our weather in the summer is better up here in the mountains (in spite of the heat) than at the coast, but in the winter, it is better at the coast (less rain).

Then, again, you have to remember I was raised in Buffalo (!), so there just is no "bad" weather to me in comparison.

With the economy this way, I have time to re-explore areas. And, for me, the driving thing is a biggie -- I would rather live in a place with worse weather than to live in a place where I had to drive most of the time. It's all about lifestyle choices. I wish California had a good mass transportation system.....

I will have to re-check on Paradise, though, and see what stores are nearby, if there is enough to walk to, and if I could manage a monthly drive to Chico for Trader Joe's, etc. If it seems like I'd have to drive to Chico regularly to get stuff I needed or to do things I wanted to do, then I'd just choose to be in Chico instead of driving. Plus, Chico has an Amtrak that comes in from San Jose, where my daughter is (and I could take it there). I just cannot put into words how much I hate driving!!

In Las Cruces, I could manage the driving because it is small and not super highways within town. And there are enough amenities there, although it's still not a "walkable" town like I'd like.....

But, hey, looks like I might as well keep enjoying where I am, because I may be here a lot longer than I thought!!
 
Old 09-24-2008, 06:33 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,703 posts, read 40,103,214 times
Reputation: 23865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post

But, hey, looks like I might as well keep enjoying where I am, because I may be here a lot longer than I thought!!
That's for sure Guess I didn't plan this one too well....

If your prop taxes are affordable you might be fine with your CA plan, and Chico and nearby might be a decent lower cost option. I am afraid LC may get a bit parched. My mom retired there and does some flower gardening, but with only a few inches of rain per yer it is a chore. The wind and dust could get old, but I like the people and the amenities (University, medical, and close to El Paso Airport)

For your 'entrepreneurial' desires, there are a lot of options, but for a passive investment with cash flow, I've been looking into small mobile home parks. I found one with 13 units that offered a 7% cap rate return on investment, (space rents only... residents own their homes), it was under $500k so a group could pool their $$ and get some income + a place to live. I am looking at ways to get out from under the burden of an expensive primary residence that only eats $$$. I think a commercial place with an apartment is in my future. I will rent the commercial space out, and live quietly in the apartment. Owning a campground is another idea, but I recently quizzed some owners, and they warned about the daily 'riff-raff' of less desirables dropping in.

You seem to have a nice place and location now, which might make sense to hang onto until you find something better. With the downturn in sales and available financing we all may be hanging tight for awhile.
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