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Old 03-02-2017, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
1,362 posts, read 764,777 times
Reputation: 2428

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Renting first while looking for a home:



Moving twice is a lot more work than moving once, no question about it! You were able to work things to avoid moving twice, and no one can argue with that.

What I do argue with, however, is the implication that avoiding the rental stage is always the better way to go. You had a particular set of circumstances which allowed you to do that, and it worked well for you. Well done! But other people have other circumstances, and renting may be a whole lot better than making a decision which one regrets later and which may cause another move anyway down the road.
While I didn't actually say avoiding rental stage is always better, but I could see where you might read that implication into it. I think I said "It's not ideal." and that's the truth. Believe me, we were on the cusp of Renting if we didn't find the right place over that rush weekend. That was going to be difficult, I'm glad we avoided that extra layer of difficulty. In our case we were familiar with that neighborhood and knew a bargain when we saw it.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:50 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,463,318 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Not sure how this town became my perfect location. I think over the 30 years I've been visiting, it has changed (and somewhat grown) into a more cosmopolitan place than it was before, and that suits me and other transplants. Being a mountain town, it's not exactly cheap, but hey, I'm coming from the Boston area. Have not found cheaper areas that remotely interest me (I am not a southeast/humid/southern person). The geography and views are perfect for me. I don't mind winter anywhere, and it's no "worse" than Massachusetts and is sunnier. Summers are magnificent.

One more humid summer in the East to go.

And that's how I found as close to perfect as I ever hoped and more.
It's a true bonus that you have spent considerable time in the location to which you'll be retiring. My wife and I researched a number of places over the several years before retiring and kept returning to the Ozarks region. She lived for most of the '70s in the AR Ozarks just about 40 miles from where we now live. I'd spent many years in the South (AL, NCx2, VAx2, TXx2, GA, KY) thanks to both my father's and my own military service so the Ozarks culture - we're just five miles as the crow flies from the AR border - was something familiar to me. It made good sense for both of us to leave CA and move here. Eight years now and counting with no regrets.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
1,802 posts, read 1,650,692 times
Reputation: 1640
It is funny how priorities change.

For many years our retirement plan was based on relocating to Mystic CT. But by the time I actually retired in 2011, our priorities had changed and Mystic no longer made any sense.

Based on a lot of online research, and having lived north, south, east (not west) and abroad - we narrowed our search to few medium to large metro areas. We narrowed the list to a handful and vacationed in those cities, visited some more than once. We deliberately visited during the least desirable season for each (summer heat in our case) and really tried to do things as if we lived there, not tourist activities. Drove through as many neighborhoods as we could and scouted actual homes within our budget.

We'd like to live around Portland OR, Seattle or NoVA but they're just too expensive. Despite other contenders, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill keeps rising to the top of our list. But we've never lived in NC so we plan to rent there for 6-12 months to be sure, and not put our current home up for sale until we're sure. That time renting will also give us time to better understand which city/neighborhoods are most appealing to us.
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:41 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,527 posts, read 39,903,732 times
Reputation: 23634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
It is funny how priorities change.
...

We'd like to live around Portland OR, Seattle or NoVA but they're just too expensive
. ....
Don't forget to look at Vancouver, WA. 7 - 10 min to downtown Portland, with all the benefits of WA
For even lower CoL you can go +45 min from Portland, yet in WA. I bought my last (investment) home in WA <20 min from PDX, Small home with orchard, shop barn, gardens, view, and a few acres for $87k. In 2012 (today worth $150k, but still 'affordable'. We did some fixing (cleaning), but spent less than $5k on improvements...) I have several more just like it and passed on 3 below $100k in last 12 months. (I seldom / never use realtors, nor solicit places already on the market. I dig up my own deals by searching ares, then using on-line data (GIS records)

While renting / relocating, I consider it a good idea to retain your current 'Home" (if acceptable for retiring). Sometimes nirvana is only a dream. I have had a few friends sell out and move to wonderful vacation spots, only to find retirement life did not suit them there. This has resulted in more than a few divorces and a lot of financial and emotional strife.
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Old 03-02-2017, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,056 posts, read 2,566,050 times
Reputation: 5975
Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
How did you go about finding your retirement home if it was several states away?
We bought our retirement home that was 2500 miles away and across an ocean!

We looked for 5 years for the perfect house and we finally realized we were not going to find it so we lowered our standards a bit to a "good" house that can be improved to a better house. We came here every year on a 2-4 week vacation and would spend a lot of the time looking at houses. We did that every year for 5 years.

So we spent a little less on the house and put the money we saved into 3 remodel projects to improve the house we bought to be more what we were looking for. We are currently on the last project. It has been 3 years since we moved in.

I would not build a house far away. A house can take a long time to build depending on where. Around here from the time you purchase a lot until you move in is easily 15 months. The permit process drags on and on and contractors are all over-booked and there are delays. But you should be there to keep an eye on things so you spend a lot of time in a rental while they build. It gets stressful. Remodeling is easy since you live there and there is less pressure to get it done quickly.
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Old 03-02-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Asheville NC
1,601 posts, read 1,311,930 times
Reputation: 4155
We knew the general area where we wanted to retire. We had been vacationing here for 40+ years. I found a home in a small subdivision, with older, well built custom homes, having views on 2 to 5 acre lots. I messaged photos to my husband, and made an offer. My husband didn't see it until closing. Sometimes you just know when you walk into a home that it is "the one." My husband loved it so much, he went back after the closing, and put in for his retirement- a year and a half early.

We spent a full year remodeling - and now have a home perfect for us. We did not downsize. We had remodeled the home we had lived in for 32 years twice, but this one was easier as we paid a contractor to do the work. At the same time we prepped our previous home for sale. It sold within the first week of listing and closed within the same month.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19124
Quote:
Originally Posted by exit82 View Post
How did you go about finding your perfect retirement home ?

... How did you go about finding your retirement home if it was several states away?
We decided to settle in Maine, when we were still living in Italy. We came back to the states and moved into a property that we owned in Connecticut. Then I began making trips to Maine, to shop for land to buy.

I made a total of five of these shopping trips to Maine. Each trip took a week, I met with realtors and looked at lots of properties. It was exhausting.

When I finally decided on which property I liked, I hiked the property lines and took a bunch of photos. Then I went back to Connecticut and showed my wife the photos and satellite pictures.

We closed on it through the mail.

I hired a lawyer, he did the title search and insurance, and he recorded the new deed all for $200. I spoke with him over the phone, but never met him in person. Even now 12 years later I still have not met him

I filed permits and the next Spring I began building. That next Fall my family moved to Maine and our children enrolled in school here.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,658 posts, read 2,807,585 times
Reputation: 4436
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
I didn't move! Don't know why people think they have to move when they retire.
That's pretty simple. They didn't want to live in retirement at a place where they worked. Often times work places are not conducive to quality retirement.

I worked as a white collar professional, and lived in a distinctly blue-collar neighborhood. In fact, I lived in an area, where it was rare to have any of my neighbors have more than a high school diploma, while I had two college degrees. While I was working, this was not much of a problem. I took long summer vacations traveling, and during the day I worked. But in my retirement, I would be more idle, and needed to move to a place which was a lot more like me.

I did that successfully.

Last edited by slyfox2; 03-02-2017 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,669 posts, read 49,416,421 times
Reputation: 19124
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
I didn't move! Don't know why people think they have to move when they retire.
Many of the places where I was stationed were places with a high COL. My pension is not enough to allow us to live there and support a family.

Most of my duty stations were places where we did not prefer to live.

When I retired we were living in Naples Italy. Italy was okay for a few years, but we had no desire to stay there.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
1,827 posts, read 2,615,322 times
Reputation: 2887
In 2005 I fulfilled my dream and bought a fixer upper 100 year old farmhouse in the Blue Ridge mountains. It was meant to be a vacay home so I really didn't stress myself out over the details I would have been concerned with if I were MOVING. I knew I loved it and I was overjoyed and I absolutely had an amazing time when I spent the summer (coming from south Florida) I remember when I left after the 1st summer and I drove away and saw my beautiful house in the rear view mirror.Lss after 2 years of going back and forth, I made dear friends here, and I knew in my heart this was where I was meant to be! 12 years later I still thank God and feel so blessed to call this home. A few years ago I had appendicitis and was admitted to our regional hospital, it is the kind of place where as soon as the neighbors heard I was sick they took care of my 4 dogs and 2 horses! There is transportation for seniors if it's ever needed, there is a senior center, the scenery and climate is awesome! It's my happy place and I am truly enjoying my golden years Lol...I feel like I hit the jackpot!
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