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Old 03-01-2017, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,772,783 times
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On a broad philosophical level, it seems to me that those who dream of a wonderful, perfect retirement location and house are setting themselves up for some almost inevitable disappointment. There is no perfection in this world. There is no Garden of Eden.

Years after I bought and moved into my retirement home I was still discovering both advantages and disadvantages of it. One doesn't come to the end of those discoveries right away, but only after the experience of living in the place for a while. And neighborhoods change over time. Sixteen years ago I moved into this somewhat sleepy little nothing of a city (or at least about as sleepy as it gets in the greater Los Angeles area!). But the development continued inexorably if slowly and traffic is now noticeably worse than 16 years ago. I still like it here and I have no plans to ever move again, but I'm sure glad I didn't have some ideal perfection in mind when I bought this place! I just figured it was about as good as I was going to find at the price I was willing to pay, and that has turned out to be pretty much the case.
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Old 03-02-2017, 03:09 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,696 posts, read 40,074,231 times
Reputation: 23849
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedolce View Post
I was worried about the same thing when I retire in a couple of years, ... I don't ... Sell the house here, jump into our RV, and head to Arizona. ...'
Another thing that works well is extended house sitting (once you have a chosen location). Several retirees that visit us have found their new homes through house / pet / plant-sitting. In particular we have had guests from Prescott, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Sierra Vista (All AZ) who found their retirement homes via house sitting.

I still have the crazy idea of 'equity share'. Find a home / village / estate / farm, and own with 3-4 others who are there once in a while (or FT if enough space). There is really no need to tie up so much capital in a personal home...(non-cash producing asset). I remember a homeschool family from Oregon who wanted a winery, but USA wineries are out of sight expensive, so they bought one in France, much less expensive. As usual in Europe, it came with 4 homes, vineyard, processing plant and a full-time caretaker So they started a business of buying Europe farms and selling shares to USA families who came once in a while, or FT (since there were plenty of homes).

I add RV hookups at all my rural homes. Good for friends, travelers, volunteer workers, wayward adult kids, relatives, caregivers, caretakers, and income (if necessary).

One of our friends in Canada, rent their 2800 SF apartment above woodshop to a retired couple who RV most of the yr. The couple comes to Canada for the summers and garden, farm, fish, and relax, yet they always have a 'home' for their 'stuff', and a place to recuperate if necessary.
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Old 03-02-2017, 03:44 AM
 
212 posts, read 573,026 times
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My advice on trying to run a building project in TN from NJ? Don't do it.
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Old 03-02-2017, 04:22 AM
 
1,137 posts, read 572,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
We are having one heck of a time trying to find the perfect retirement home -we are picky-very picky. We have made numerous trips to TN looking at houses after finding them online -and have come close but no cigar. It's always something!
We had that same problem. We ended up just purchasing land in a scenic area, and are breaking ground for infrastructure (well, septic, driveway, electric, and a large barn/woodshop) shortly. In the past, we have remodeled houses by ourselves, from small tasks at first, leading up to doing our own roofing with architectural shingles and framing in and finish of new kitchens, so this time, are putting up a 'shell' with outbuildings, and will do all the framing/plumbing/electrical/finish work by ourselves. Not only is the cost a fraction of what we would pay for a custom design, but we end up getting stupid things that nobody in the world but us wants. Like individual bathrooms each the size of small bedrooms with tons of built-in storage. Built-in floor to ceiling cabinetry scattered throughout the house. And built-in bookcases. I don't see boredom in retirement as a looming issue . I will also need storage for tons of ICY-HOT and Thera-Gesic.

Downsize be damned.

Last edited by MichiganGreg; 03-02-2017 at 04:46 AM..
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:16 AM
 
14,012 posts, read 7,465,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedolce View Post
I was worried about the same thing when I retire in a couple of years, and we sell this house, and need to find one in Arizona, where we're planning to relocate. I don't want to have to rush into a house that I don't love. So our solution is buying an RV that year. Sell the house here, jump into our RV, and head to Arizona. We can live in it as long as we need, until we find our dream retirement home. Relieved a lot of stress for me, both in the timing leaving here, and where to stay when we get 'there.'
I'm not so sure about the RV but renting for a year certainly is the conservative thing to do.

A common outcome with people who sell everything, retire, and buy a house far away from where they've lived before is that they quickly figure out that the grass wasn't greener. For a lot of people, they're then stuck because they can't afford take the huge loss if they sell and move elsewhere.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:28 AM
 
71,950 posts, read 71,997,171 times
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as most know , we had a bought a house in 2007 to retire to eventually in the pocono's in pa .

as we got close to retiring we realized our list of priority's changed .

now things like a good public transportation system if we couldn't drive was important .

a wide variety of medical facility's ,doctors ,specialist were important .

finding a decent part time job with good pay if i wanted to work a little bit was now on the radar .

having different things to do daily was important .

the area lacked just about everything that we would want so we ended up selling in 2012 .

everything on our list was right here in queens ,nyc where we already lived .
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
1,886 posts, read 2,305,907 times
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About 20 years before I retired, I stumbled across the perfect retirement home. I said that I want to live at a place like this when it's time.

Flash forward 25 years. I had been retired a few years and the wife and I wanted to make the move. We spent about 2 years looking and couldn't find the right place. We had given up on finding the right place. It was Sunday we decided to drive the 40 miles to town to see a movie. On the way to town I told my wife I wanted to drive past my perfect retirement home from 25 years ago. We drove down the one lane dead end road and saw that my perfect house was for sale.

I called the real estate agent from the car while we sat outside the house. Made an appointment to view the house the next day. We liked the inside of the house as much as the location and the acreage it sat on and made an offer.

That was 13 years ago and we are still very happy here. Some times things work out just great.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,380 posts, read 3,722,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
We are having one heck of a time trying to find the perfect retirement home -we are picky-very picky. We have made numerous trips to TN looking at houses after finding them online -and have come close but no cigar. It's always something!

Does it make any sense that we should just find something "temporarily" that suits us but isn't the "dream home" just so we can get our stuff out of our home in NJ and get it sold?

Then while in our interim/temporary house we will be closer to the area and not have to make numerous long house hunting trips.

We may even build so we would be close enough to keep an eye on construction.

Does that make any sense? I know we could rent but my husband was a builder and is always remodeling stuff so I think buying would be better for us- we would probably even make money on the deal.

How did you go about finding your retirement home if it was several states away?
Find your location, costs of living, shore, mountains, 4 seasons, local services etc.

Then rent in the area.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
1,369 posts, read 772,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
How did you go about finding your retirement home if it was several states away?
exit82, in answer to your question, I can tell you how we moved out of New Jersey.
We booked a week on Kiawah Island near Charleston back in the mid-80's based on nothing more than a photo in a magazine article. We fell in love with the area -- the climate, the beaches, the history, the restaurants, the arts & museums. The whole thing just struck a chord with us.

Over the ensuing years, we would use our vacations to check out different spots in the Southeast to see if we could catch that Lowcountry vibe anywhere else. Florida was too hot and too crowded. North Carolina was just a little too chilly in the off-season. Virginia was still a little too "north" for our liking. We kept coming back to Charleston, and it always affirmed our first impressions.

30 years later, came time to retire. We sold our home in Monmouth county (a nightmarish experience, be ready for that ordeal). I had become friendly with a South Carolina Realtor who was sending us Listings that checked all the boxes on our wish list. As soon as we had a signed contract in NJ, we flew down to Chuck-town and looked at 16 homes in 2 days -- a real HGTV show. We found two that we really liked and put in an all-cash offer with a 48-hour time limit......first seller to accept the offer wins. We bought a nice home in a great location.

What can you learn from our experience ??
First, recognize that in our case we were very lucky to find our ideal retirement location early on. We knew what we were looking for. You have to get to know the state you're moving into. If you relocate out of state to rent while looking for a home, or while building a new one....you've added an extra layer of difficulty to the entire process.

Second, selling a house is difficult, even in fashionable Toms River. We had so many low-ball offers -- most buyers think that every home in NJ is underwater (ours was fully paid off). An out-of-state move is a logistical battle. We moved furniture that we ended up replacing with new. Moving to a rental and then to a final home is just double trouble.

If you're asking my advice -- Spend your next couple of vacation weeks in the short list of areas you would consider as your future home. And don't stay in the posh hotels in that area.....get out and get around. Also IMO, building a new home, whether on-site or with a remote GC is not ideal. I would suggest a recently built home in a great location.....and then put DH in charge of remodeling the kitchen or whatever.

Good Luck. Moving out of the People's Republic of New Jersey is your first step in a happy retirement !!
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:56 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,560 posts, read 62,355,227 times
Reputation: 32351
Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
-we are picky-very picky... looking at houses after finding them online
-and have come close but no cigar. It's always something!
The specific house is really the least important aspect.

Find the City or Town and the neighborhood in it that fits best.
Then look for the most practical property within it.

Quote:
I know we could rent but...
No buts. Absent specific, extensive and personal knowledge of the City or Town...
you can't know until you've been THERE for a year or so.

Assuming that all is what you hoped... use that time to find that "most practical" property.
Don't start by expecting the specific property to be ideal or perfect.

If it turns out that the City or Town is NOT all that you hoped... start over.
That prospect is a whole lot easier if you don't have to sell too.
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