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Old 02-04-2015, 11:02 PM
 
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My town is on the outer edge of a major metro area. Everything I actually need is within three miles, except the very good hospital, which is eight miles away. No need to get on interstate driving for anything. However, there is really no public transport (including taxi) at present. I think the senior center will do vans to the pharmacy, supermarket and maybe hospital.

I really like my house and its location. I wouldn't like to be further from things and have given up a retirement daydream of living somewhere remote for the weather and views. That'll be for vacations.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Our city has a population of just shy of 70K, and is the center of an MSA of about 144K, much of the MSA being quite rural. Our home is around the geographical center of the city. There really isn't anything more than 5 miles away. The airport, on the very edge of town, is about 7 miles away. Depending on how much walking one wants to do, there is a grocery store less than a mile away, and virtually any kind of convenience within 2.5 miles, including the hospital and post office. There is also quite decent public transit (buses), excellent recreation centers, and a wonderful climate (if you don't mind a little snow in the winter and some wind in the spring).

I think a city of this size offers what's "needed" for a comfortable existence, yet maintains a smaller town feel. If it's chain restaurants and stores you want, we're peculiarly void of those, but it all adds to the charm of the place. If you want more of all that, Albuquerque is less than an hour away.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
That describes my townhouse, which I bought 14 years ago without even realizing how convenient the location is.
When we bought our home in 1993, convenience was not on our minds at all. NONE of the amenities I listed were nearby. We fell in love with the neighborhood and the terrain (hills, native woods, ponds, a large lake), even though it was a bit isolated. We were pleasantly surprised when things began to develop around us. Since good roads/lights/sidewalks came with the development and our neighborhood is gated, it's worked out well for us.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jakabedy View Post
I think a city of this size offers what's "needed" for a comfortable existence, yet maintains a smaller town feel. If it's chain restaurants and stores you want, we're peculiarly void of those, but it all adds to the charm of the place. If you want more of all that, Albuquerque is less than an hour away.
We spend several weeks a year in Santa Fe, and it came to mind when I read the OP.
When there, we typically spend more time sitting at red lights there than actually driving, but we're gradually getting better at knowing how and when to avoid the traffic jams.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Generally speaking, many college towns fit this bill. Since I am also from New England, so do some of the old coastal towns, like Portsmouth NH, but prices are dear since these have become tourist havens, as well. It's probably easier to pick a place and then look for an area in that town that fits your bill. Come to think of it, on my last drive from Southboro to upstate New York, a lot of small towns i drove through fit that bill. For warm weather...my son lives in Castro Valley, CA and he has all this close to his place.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
It's probably easier to pick a place and then look for an area in that town that fits your bill.
Exactly. Services and amenities are usually clustered, so all you have to do is look for the cluster.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:03 AM
 
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The Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego is very walkable, with lots of amenities and conveniences and perfect weather.

You can walk to three grocery stores; maybe one hundred restaurants, bars and cafes; a bunch of stores including used book stores; hair stylists and barbers; numerous medical and dental offices; two nearby hospitals; Balboa Park; a hardware store; etc.

Once you get away from the commercial core, the neighborhood is quiet.

There are age 55 and above apartments and other services for seniors, and a free shuttle through the neighborhood.

Public transportation is good between Hillcrest and downtown San Diego. If you own a car, street parking is a bit of a challenge but doable. Most apartment and condo buildings have secured parking.

Downtown San Diego is two miles away, San Diego Bay about the same. Ocean beaches are a ten minute freeway drive.

Most of the terrain is flat, even though you are on top of a hill. If you live in a highrise, you'll see everything -- the bay, the ocean, La Jolla, Point Loma, Mexico, etc.

The neighborhood is pretty, with lawns, gardens, trees and a great variety of interesting architecture from the late 1800s to the present.

It's fairly safe for a big city neighborhood. The only downside is price: Rents are $1200 and up for a studio or one-bedroom apartment. Condos start at about $350,000. A 1500 square foot house on a quarter acre will run $1 million and up. On the other hand, transportation and energy costs are low for obvious reasons. For more details, check out the 92103 zip code.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:30 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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I'd like to say that I planned it this way but I didn't. I moved to a spot about 15 miles outside of large city and by the time I'm on a walker it will be here -- probably sooner.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dechatelet View Post
The only downside is price: Rents are $1200 and up for a studio or one-bedroom apartment. Condos start at about $350,000. A 1500 square foot house on a quarter acre will run $1 million and up. On the other hand, transportation and energy costs are low for obvious reasons. For more details, check out the 92103 zip code.
Wow, I'm surprised! Prices are close to that if not higher, for rentals and condos, in many parts of Austin, Dallas, and Houston, TX, and energy costs are certainly higher. DH and I have been looking for a rental in Austin, our upper limit for a condo is $1400 for a one-bedroom +study and we've found extremely limited choices.
I'd always considered San Diego to be a comparatively high COL area compared to Texas, who knew?
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:52 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,644 posts, read 40,010,157 times
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TX rents (near DFW, SAT and AUS) are abnormally high at the moment due to strong economy and desirable spot.

I am surprised too, but am enjoying the strong 'cap-rate' on my TX investment props. I keep other locations (apart from TX) to diversify my risk. The pendulum swings ...
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