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Old 01-22-2015, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
Reputation: 15649

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
OP, I hear you!

First, condos for seniors are a really bad idea. If you have medical bills don't think for one moment that the HOA will be nice, they will in fact toss you out on the street to get their dues faster than a bank can take your property. My DH was on the board of a 90 unit complex so we saw this up close many times when people have financial problems. Also, an HOA can raise rates and if they spent all your money on golf course you don't use, they can hit you with a special assessment. HOAs only benefit lawyers and management companies. Just Google what your HOA won't tell you. In a SFH you decide when, and what, to repair and no one can tell you what color curtains to hang in your own windows.

Our school district is always crying about needing money for teacher training instead of hiring qualified teachers in the first place. We have paid for the same building repairs over and over so it is clear that the district doesn't respect the average tax payer. For a senior, there are some exemptions available so we don't vote against their monkey business, but I still do. Even with the school exemption, property taxes will always increase so that is a risk we all take. It is important to stay involved and ask questions.

We have concerns about the future also so we live a conservative life style and carry an umbrella insurance policy just to be safe. Having good medical and other policies are really about all one can do. We live in a two story so I'm trying to get DH to sell and move to a place where we can have at least one bedroom on the ground floor so if one has limitations in the future our chances of being able to stay home increase. Getting old is not for the weak.

As much as I would like to be in one sometimes, I don't think we will ever live in an apt or condo. We just wouldn't fit in with the rules and regs, we're too individualist. We'd be balking all the time, and rising condo fees like property tax are something you can't escape. If we do move one last time, it will be in about 3 years and it will be to a SFH no larger than 1200 sf, even less. That is our "old age" alternative to a condo, a very small property that either one of us can handle when the other passes on.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
You'd still come out ahead, though. Think of the monthly income. The tax hike would only take a small part of that, not even 10%, probably.
Renovating and renting out the garage may be a good idea for a caretaker, or a relative (or maybe by the semester to a college student). To rent to a stranger would be so risky what with the rental laws today always favoring the tenant even when they don't pay for months on end. And our garage is almost part of the house, so any problems such as loud music would be in our face. I favor the downsize to the smallest possible dwelling, SFH.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,083 posts, read 22,934,448 times
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This is the thing people don't realize - or know - about California. In CA, the property taxes stay based on the purchase price of the home - no matter when that was. From there, the increase per year is capped at around 1%. There is so much misconception about the cost of living in CA.

So, sell the farm, buy something modest in CA, and your property taxes won't go up, but 1% or so every year.

Other costs need to be considered, of course. I'm now renting, and honestly, I like the freedom. I missed a garden, but the truth is, the idea of having to bend over or be on my knees, etc., to tend to the garden - well, I'd probably have to hire someone to do that. The good news is, I never have to worry about tending to a yard. I can just go play, and someone else does the maintenance and the yard work :-)
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:30 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,469 posts, read 859,536 times
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We just moved from a 4400 sf home on 11 acres in PA that was built in 1988 to a home in MI that is half the sf, on 1/3 acre and built in 1995. The differences in upkeep are dramatic...We were lucky enough to dodge the bullet of installing a new roof in our old house before we sold...The walls were 4 inches instead of 6 in our new house which is a great heat saver. Our heat is natural gas instead of oil. The Master is on the 1st floor as opposed to all bedrooms on the 2nd in our old house. We now have a level yard which is easy to garden and my husband appreciates that it takes 30 min to cut the grass instead of 5 1/2 hours. We are only 5 min from shopping instead of 45 min and a hospital is only about 10 min away. Even though there are minor updates like lighting and gold doorknobs we are thrilled that the paint colors match our furniture and belongings. I think when you are considering retirement you weigh the plusses and minuses of both houses with an eye on what best fits for old age and make a decision based on what will best fit your lifestyle....
We don't have kids and could move anywhere so we researched many areas of the country to decide what would best fit our boating and snowmobiling lifestyle. I think it is important to know yourself well and be honest with what is most important in your older years.
I feel sorry for the lady who moved out of this house to move down state to be close to her kids and grandkids. She left her social network of friends to be near her children who work all day and grandkids who really don't want to hang out with grandma. We heard through the grapevine that she is sorry she sold the house which she and her husband custom built. While I feel bad for her we sure aren't giving the house back and we feel she should have been more realistic about the realities of moving close to family that have no time to spend with her.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68551 View Post
We just moved from a 4400 sf home on 11 acres in PA that was built in 1988 to a home in MI that is half the sf, on 1/3 acre and built in 1995. The differences in upkeep are dramatic...We were lucky enough to dodge the bullet of installing a new roof in our old house before we sold...
This demonstrates that our needs in older age can be so different from our needs and wants at a younger stage. What is the comparison in property tax?
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,469 posts, read 859,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
This demonstrates that our needs in older age can be so different from our needs and wants at a younger stage. What is the comparison in property tax?
About the same but the cost of living and housing in MI is lower than PA....We had very low property taxes in PA because we were in Clean and Green meaning any property is taxed at half the normal rate if you have over 10 acres and agree not to subdivide the property. We pay about 2200 in taxes both places.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:40 AM
 
4,479 posts, read 4,739,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
Not me. Neighbor across the street is in construction, put a light gray metal roof on his gray three-story Victorian about five years ago. Glare from sun bounces off that roof into my living room most of the day, so that I now have to keep picture window shade drawn almost half down all day. Before that d**d roof, I had a very nice view. I HATE them. They are UGLY. This is a very old residential neighborhood with varying architectural styles - Craftsman, bungalow, colonial, Frank Lloyd Wright - most homes valued well over $300k, several close to $400k, one around the corner sold for $650k last year. If this was an historic district, he couldn't have done what he did. He did not make a friend of me when he put on that roof. My next door neighbor snubs him - very obviously.

That said, my property taxes this year actually dropped a teeny bit. City is approving construction of apartment buildings, hotels, business complexes, and other office structures (in areas which don't affect me, thankfully) to broaden the tax base. Before the recession, my taxes were approaching $8k. I got the City Assessor over here three times beginning in 2010 when values were dropping like a stone, and taxes now are just under $6k. Still very high compared to other parts of the country, but it is what it is. No breaks for over-65 in WI.

My budget has a line item allocating 17% of my revenue for property maintenance. What isn't spent ends up as a surplus at year-end to be saved for future major expenses.


Nah, not if you do the roof right, and proper color. I would never have a gray metal roof. Gray is very unappealing.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,856 posts, read 14,356,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
One big area of financial concern for some (many?) retirees, looking ahead 5 to 10 to 20 years down the road, is around housing:

1. Property tax (actual) rise year to year, and % of rate hike year to year

2. The cost of replacements and repairs, even if today our home is newer, but especially if older (roof, furnace, plumbing, kitchen and bath updates, etc.)

3. If we live or go into a condo, not only the property tax but rising monthly condo fees

Retirees can be frugal if need be in most other areas (food, clothing, travel, use of car, etc) but these housing costs seem to be the wild card in long-term planning.

Personal perspective: The year-to-year % rate climb here where I am is something to ponder in our planning. And yet I see tax histories in online home listings in other areas of the country and notice not only hugely less amounts in prop taxes, but also very small rise in tax (and % rate of hike) year to year, and in some instances the prop tax even dips a bit!

General discussion?
I agree. But we have found another wild card. The cost of prescriptions. They become more expensive every year for us.
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
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Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I agree. But we have found another wild card. The cost of prescriptions. They become more expensive every year for us.
Your health insurance covers what part of it?
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:52 AM
 
2,498 posts, read 6,389,321 times
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We are caught up in tax spiral in Ct,we purchased small 1955 home from estate in good condition for not much money.We have done the fix ups.
Ct is a very regressive tax state with no relief of any kind,costs only go up,no breaks to retiree's of any kind.
Our reason for this move would be family.I n the last year we have lost four family members,so less reason to move.
We have not sold our property in north FL and are now considering on selling Ct home.
We have lived here for over twenty years and have $72,000 in exemptions which have no strings attached.We pay only fire and rubbish $350,this is how we managed to purchase Ct home,as we look at it and with census bureau stating 26,000 people have moved out in 2013 we might not move there,I do not think we can afford it.
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