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Old 12-25-2008, 10:47 AM
 
2,626 posts, read 4,948,496 times
Reputation: 2220

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Sillygal, I love your ideas! I really don't have much money to invest, but I love to garden and am currently (for 35 years) been employed at a botanic garden. Growing organically grown veggies and herbs interests me. Food will always be in demand, no matter the economy.

 
Old 12-25-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,527 posts, read 39,903,732 times
Reputation: 23634
Sillygal, you could renovate a commercial building with living space above retail space, and do some solar + 'container' gardening on the roof (Or if existing roof is strong enough you can incorporate the entire roof into a garden (I would prefer to see elevated 'container / garden beds' that still allow roof repair). Commercial buildings are pretty cheap in a depressed economy. They have lots of space, and you want to have multiple diverse tenants to distribute your risk. You would want to have enough space rented out to cover your obligations, and hopefully give you a low / no cost for apartment. (your business space would want to pay rent to keep the IRS happy). Own the commercial building in an LLC so as not to put your retirement nest egg at liability risk. Commercial tenants are much ez'r to manage than residential (As long as they are not gourmet restaurants that are too full of themselves, but they will go broke soon enough). I would stay away from food service tenants, but bookstore / coffee shop would be ok. My favorite tenant was a barber, who had been there for years and paid rent 3 months in advance !! His consistency helped me bridge times when my deli space was vacant. I bought a building in spring of 2001, and the next week 3 of 4 tenants left. I got 2 spaces filled then 911 happened, 3rd space took 6 months to fill (It was too big... ~ 3000 sq ft (too expensive for most))

Overall I did very well with both value appreciation and cash flow. This historic building had been for sale for ages, and I got it for a 30% discount; fixed it up, got it rented out, then sold it a tad after the peak, but for a decent price. It did not have residential rentals, but an adjacent one did, and they were always full.

I think there is much potential to be in a small town within commute distance to a city. Property will be cheap (er) but so will rents. The tenants are much more friendly and worth giving them a break at times. There is a probability of 're-localization' (buying local) for goods and especially food. We are TEMPORARILY enjoying cheap energy, but the 'writing-is-on-the-wall', both economy and commerce will be consolidating (just as the banks, airlines, manufacturers...are doing today). Co-op housing may be a natural step. As will car / equipment / garden sharing.

Probably there is enough geographic diversity in the group to do this type of thing in a few locations, and keep some 'guest rooms' open.
 
Old 12-26-2008, 04:34 AM
 
2,626 posts, read 4,948,496 times
Reputation: 2220
Here is a link to an interesting sounding town in Kentucky.

Retirement and Real Estate in Danville, Kentucky - Community Life - Best Place to Retire
 
Old 12-26-2008, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Tennessee bound...someday
2,515 posts, read 4,383,180 times
Reputation: 7116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
...So, Christmas has not been this huge overwhelming event. It's quieter, and we play Christmas music, have the tree, don't demand expensive gifts, have a nice meal, make the cookies, and it's pleasant.

When I was very young, we had a huge extended family, and we would go to my grandparent's farm, and there would be at least 30 people there. It was a very festive time. When my grandparents died early on, suddenly it was all gone. Phsst. Just like that. I vowed that I would not do that to my child. So, now, to her, she loves holidays because it's not only a time of good food, and with her boyfriend, who is from China, she is able to introduce him to our customs, and she can create her own traditions. But she doesn't have ugly family encounters, doesn't have to feel as if people are gathered pro and con, or that certain gift expectations must be met. Now, it is a calm, quiet time to relax, enjoy some time off, and just enjoy each other.

Happy holiday weekend!

Well, so this is the post I've read up to on this fine day after Christmas!

I remember celebrating a few holidays with my first husband's family that were very much like the ones you described at your grandparents. But I've also experienced some with the family drama & squabbles....so IMO, the way you & your daughter have been celebrating is exactly the way Christmas should be!

Have a wonderful end-of -year, everyone...I'm thinking BIG, POSITIVE, & HIGH-ENERGY for all of us making our own way in 2009!!!!
 
Old 12-26-2008, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Franklin, NC
69 posts, read 176,585 times
Reputation: 117
Hello! I am so relieved and excited to have found this website! I am 59 (in 2 weeks), single, 2 grown daughters, one in San Fran, and one in NY near Albany, and 2 wonderful grand-kids. I currently am living in Ashland, OR which is pretty nice most of the year, but the weather gets cold, damp and gloomy in the winters, so I have come down to Desert Hot Springs, CA for a couple of months to get warm. Unfortunately, it's been cold and windy here for the past 2 weeks, so I'm not very happy. I have been spending my time searching for good places to live. My requirements are very much like the ones expressed here: small house, garden space, temperate climate, good water supply, low crime, affordable, sense of community. Ashland is very expensive, and I live in a small trailer, but it's walking distance to everything. I volunteer at the Shakespeare Festival in the summer, the Film Festival in April, and Britt Music Fest in the summer, and I take classes at OLLI/SOLIR as well. I walk and bike and hike everywhere, enjoy the Grower's Market for locally grown organic produce, and the scenery is wonderful. There is also a wonderful YMCA. The average price of housing is around $450k which is insane, in my opinion. I moved to Ashland after living for 20+ years in Maine, where you can buy a wonderful house with land for less than $100K! But then, who wants to freeze their butt off 6 months of the year? NOT ME! I also have been doing house-sitting, and that has been a good way to explore other areas, at little cost. I recently drove from Ashland to Las Cruces, NM and spent 2 weeks house-sitting there. My overall concern about the SW in general, is the water situation. IMO the building that is going on there is competely non-sustainable. One must drive a distance to the stores, and the gated communitites are not built for summer heat, eg high a/c bills in the summer, and it DOES get cold in the winter. Having grown up in the east, I find the 'desert' landscape a bit barren, and quite boring, for things like hiking, etc. I am spoiled...I like trees. I have been in real estate most of my life, have owned and rehabbed over a dozen homes on my own, and my philosophy of life today is to live within my means. Which is why I live in a 320 sq ft trailer, but I'm surrounded by 4000+ sq ft $600K+ houses, and don't have to pay taxes or high utility costs to heat them. I am free to travel, and take off whenever I feel like it. I am getting more and more interested in having my own land again, and a garden, because I truly believe we are coming into a huge shift in the world, that will require us to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible. That's enough about me! I would like to say in closing, that reading the posts on the website has been truly a Godsend for me! I am connecting with all of you on a heart level, and feel so much less alone on my journey. I look forward to reading each and every post in the future, and thank you ALL, for sharing your experiences and insights!
 
Old 12-26-2008, 12:58 PM
 
2,626 posts, read 4,948,496 times
Reputation: 2220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betsy63 View Post
Hello! I am so relieved and excited to have found this website! I am 59 (in 2 weeks), single, 2 grown daughters, one in San Fran, and one in NY near Albany, and 2 wonderful grand-kids. I currently am living in Ashland, OR which is pretty nice most of the year, but the weather gets cold, damp and gloomy in the winters, so I have come down to Desert Hot Springs, CA for a couple of months to get warm. Unfortunately, it's been cold and windy here for the past 2 weeks, so I'm not very happy. I have been spending my time searching for good places to live. My requirements are very much like the ones expressed here: small house, garden space, temperate climate, good water supply, low crime, affordable, sense of community. Ashland is very expensive, and I live in a small trailer, but it's walking distance to everything. I volunteer at the Shakespeare Festival in the summer, the Film Festival in April, and Britt Music Fest in the summer, and I take classes at OLLI/SOLIR as well. I walk and bike and hike everywhere, enjoy the Grower's Market for locally grown organic produce, and the scenery is wonderful. There is also a wonderful YMCA. The average price of housing is around $450k which is insane, in my opinion. I moved to Ashland after living for 20+ years in Maine, where you can buy a wonderful house with land for less than $100K! But then, who wants to freeze their butt off 6 months of the year? NOT ME! I also have been doing house-sitting, and that has been a good way to explore other areas, at little cost. I recently drove from Ashland to Las Cruces, NM and spent 2 weeks house-sitting there. My overall concern about the SW in general, is the water situation. IMO the building that is going on there is competely non-sustainable. One must drive a distance to the stores, and the gated communitites are not built for summer heat, eg high a/c bills in the summer, and it DOES get cold in the winter. Having grown up in the east, I find the 'desert' landscape a bit barren, and quite boring, for things like hiking, etc. I am spoiled...I like trees. I have been in real estate most of my life, have owned and rehabbed over a dozen homes on my own, and my philosophy of life today is to live within my means. Which is why I live in a 320 sq ft trailer, but I'm surrounded by 4000+ sq ft $600K+ houses, and don't have to pay taxes or high utility costs to heat them. I am free to travel, and take off whenever I feel like it. I am getting more and more interested in having my own land again, and a garden, because I truly believe we are coming into a huge shift in the world, that will require us to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible. That's enough about me! I would like to say in closing, that reading the posts on the website has been truly a Godsend for me! I am connecting with all of you on a heart level, and feel so much less alone on my journey. I look forward to reading each and every post in the future, and thank you ALL, for sharing your experiences and insights!
I agree with many of your statements. Availability of water will become an increasingly important issue. I love trees too! I also would prefer a moderate climate, not too hot or cold, but one with four seasons. I think the ability to grow some of one's own food will be a definite asset, plus, it is fun to do! In past years, in areas of the country, community gardens were popular. Maybe it is time to bring this back. Even within a somewhat urban area, a vacant lot can become a useful garden. I also feel availability of public transportation and healthcare will be an important issue when deciding where to live.
 
Old 12-26-2008, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,914 posts, read 6,238,329 times
Reputation: 2626
Hi Folks,

I'm beginning to think the spark is lit and we are starting to get on fire! In a great way!

I am open to various places -- I just don't want lots of rain -- I feel horrible in rain. For me, I can deal with snow better than rain. So...since that's my main requirement (which equals sun), here goes.

I think these recent posts are great and maybe in our collective minds we are starting to solidify and compromise with our retirement plans. Personally, I like Betsy's idea of having the land, but a smaller living space -- I like larger living spaces but they actually want you to pay more for it!

If we could find a state and area that allows mobile homes/modular homes on them, that would be the way to go. If we had land nearer a bigger metro area, then we could have the best of both worlds. I don't need a big place, and if we were in a nice area with the gardens, and creativity, and walking spaces/hiking, we'd be using our smaller homes mainly for sleeping in!

I do understand that the water issue is a big one for the southwest. It's, apparently, difficult to get water rights. I keep hearing about that. If I were part of a community of women of like-mind and we agreed to create this innovative living situation, then I would be much more open to other places.

I just don't want to live in a place where there's loads of snow that we'd be slipping and sliding on that would put our safety at risk. Public transportation would be great, but if we had a large amount of land to put on mobile homes, or build, then we'd most likely be off a major transportation route.

If I have to go it alone, then I'd go to an already established place/town/city.

JanB has some really good insights from her own experience, and it is valuable information -- thank you! You're right that an LLC is a good protection.

I'm willing to consider most places at this point, if a community was involved. But I don't want 6-months of winter, like I grew up with....

I've even considered Iowa (I don't know why, but when I went through there one summer, it was so charming and peaceful -- although I do think they have tornadoes in places!). Cheap land, a good planning department in whatever county it is in, water rights, mild winters, and sun -- plus an open-minded community/town nearby.

A lot of the cooperative communities charge a lot, and I think that may have to do with the communal buildings, recreational buildings, etc. (not sure). If we had our own land, and created our own recreational spaces, we would not have those costs. I would like us, as the first wave of this generation, to be the forerunners of creating alternative ways to retire! I do believe it is possible!

So, being on a tight budget, I am open to the small quarters but big land that Betsy speaks of. I am sure there is still land out there for cheap, and planning departments that would allow us to create what we are seeking. Seek and we shall find!

It is the day after Christmas, and I hope you all had a good one. I'm off to lunch with my daughter and her boyfriend and will check back later.

This has become a great thread and I appreciate all the creative ideas and feedback! I am actually feeling excited that this can...and will become a reality!
 
Old 12-26-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,606,705 times
Reputation: 1230
Talking Betsy63........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betsy63 View Post
Hello! I am so relieved and excited to have found this website! I am 59 (in 2 weeks), single, 2 grown daughters, one in San Fran, and one in NY near Albany, and 2 wonderful grand-kids. I currently am living in Ashland, OR which is pretty nice most of the year, but the weather gets cold, damp and gloomy in the winters, so I have come down to Desert Hot Springs, CA for a couple of months to get warm. Unfortunately, it's been cold and windy here for the past 2 weeks, so I'm not very happy. I have been spending my time searching for good places to live. My requirements are very much like the ones expressed here: small house, garden space, temperate climate, good water supply, low crime, affordable, sense of community. Ashland is very expensive, and I live in a small trailer, but it's walking distance to everything. I volunteer at the Shakespeare Festival in the summer, the Film Festival in April, and Britt Music Fest in the summer, and I take classes at OLLI/SOLIR as well. I walk and bike and hike everywhere, enjoy the Grower's Market for locally grown organic produce, and the scenery is wonderful. There is also a wonderful YMCA. The average price of housing is around $450k which is insane, in my opinion. I moved to Ashland after living for 20+ years in Maine, where you can buy a wonderful house with land for less than $100K! But then, who wants to freeze their butt off 6 months of the year? NOT ME! I also have been doing house-sitting, and that has been a good way to explore other areas, at little cost. I recently drove from Ashland to Las Cruces, NM and spent 2 weeks house-sitting there. My overall concern about the SW in general, is the water situation. IMO the building that is going on there is competely non-sustainable. One must drive a distance to the stores, and the gated communitites are not built for summer heat, eg high a/c bills in the summer, and it DOES get cold in the winter. Having grown up in the east, I find the 'desert' landscape a bit barren, and quite boring, for things like hiking, etc. I am spoiled...I like trees. I have been in real estate most of my life, have owned and rehabbed over a dozen homes on my own, and my philosophy of life today is to live within my means. Which is why I live in a 320 sq ft trailer, but I'm surrounded by 4000+ sq ft $600K+ houses, and don't have to pay taxes or high utility costs to heat them. I am free to travel, and take off whenever I feel like it. I am getting more and more interested in having my own land again, and a garden, because I truly believe we are coming into a huge shift in the world, that will require us to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible. That's enough about me! I would like to say in closing, that reading the posts on the website has been truly a Godsend for me! I am connecting with all of you on a heart level, and feel so much less alone on my journey. I look forward to reading each and every post in the future, and thank you ALL, for sharing your experiences and insights!
HELLO Betsy63..... we're neighbors ! I live about 30 miles north of Ashland - so when you are back home, and if you would like a new real-life friend, let me know and we'll meet for lunch. I love Grilla Bites in both Ashland and Medford!
 
Old 12-26-2008, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Franklin, NC
69 posts, read 176,585 times
Reputation: 117
Hello again,
I just spend the entire day reading every message on this site! It was too darn windy today to go hiking like I had planned, and last week when I drove out to Joshua Tree National Park, it was closed because there was too much snow and the roads were closed!

I am including below some of the links I like to spend time on, for your information.

I am inclined to believe that there really IS no perfect place to live, that probably more realistically, there needs to be 2 places to live throughout the year. One place in the summer, and one place in the winter. If you can live cheaply, say in a mobile home for part of the year, then you might live the rest of the year in your current home. It's often quite inexpensive to rent a mobile home for part of the year. You could just go there and try it and see how you like it.

In closing, I want to add this impression I had of my 2 week stay in Las Cruces last March. When I listened to my car radio, almost all the stations were in Spanish, or they were religious stations. When I went to the grocery store, even the cereal boxes were in Spanish. And in the stores, I rarely heard anyone speaking English. I believe Mexicans are the majority in Las Cruces, which for me felt as if I was in a foreign country...in other words...strange. And I can speak Spanish. Let's face it, the population is changing in this country. So, I guess we'll just have to get used to it.

Having spent a lonely Christmas day here in Desert Hot Springs (which I just discovered is the meth lab of the desert...) I came to realize that spending time with my grand-daughter in Albany, NY is important to me. I might have to spend my summers there, since my daughter is having another child in April...and then maybe spend my winters in Florida. My dad used to live in Inverness and Ocala, and I liked it in the winter months. It was away from the touristy madness, had oak trees and hills, and lakes for kayaking, etc. Just something to think about during these depressing Christmas days...sigh....

Now if the sun would just come out! Luckily I have a temporary job starting in a week at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Once that's over I'll be leaving DHS and returning to my little trailer in Ashland. I would love it there were it not for the insane price of real estate and all the trust fund yuppies who live there. With my college degree and 30 years of work experience, I'm lucky to find a job that pays $9/hour. If you can afford it, though, it's a great place to live.

These are some of my favorite links:

This is about intentional communities
Intentional Communities Web Site (ecovillages, community, communes, cohousing, coops, sustainable living...)

These are 2 places I subscribe to for house/pet sitting assignments, all over the world
https://www.housecarers.com
MindMyHouse - Bringing home owners and house sitters together

This is a great volunteer site, where they don't charge you much for food and lodging
Global Volunteer Network: Volunteering Opportunities Abroad with Communities in Need

This is a great site for checking out housing values, what's sold and what's on the market
Trulia - Real Estate, Homes For Sale, Sold Properties, Real Estate Maps

This is a good site for dreaming about that ideal place in the country...sigh...
Country Homes, Farms for Sale, Ranches & Recreational Land - United Country Rural Real Estate
 
Old 12-26-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,235 posts, read 18,505,219 times
Reputation: 17765
A lot of the cooperative communities charge a lot, and I think that may have to do with the communal buildings, recreational buildings, etc. (not sure). If we had our own land, and created our own recreational spaces, we would not have those costs. I would like us, as the first wave of this generation, to be the forerunners of creating alternative ways to retire! I do believe it is possible!

hi wisteria~~~well, this is some thread that you have started & look how long it has lasted. There must be an extremely pressing need for such a conversation. It struck a chord in all of us who have remained on this little old thread here for all this time (about 15 months?). Yes, so many things like co-op living sound wonderful and I also do not require a huge amount of space to live in. No winters for me, though, thank you very much. Close to towns would be a plus as I am not crazy about driving, though I do have a car and all.

Near colleges would be nice . Right now I attend classes at OLLI (Osher Learning) and I am very excited about this. Would love to continue wherever I go; I imagine everyone here would enjoy this.

Gardens and walking paths. Tiny cozy cottage-like houses (they could be manufactured. I wouldn't care.)
Some place warm and safe. That is what I am looking for.
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