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Old 10-22-2017, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,723,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveLoaves View Post
Many of these generic Cost of Living articles place the cost of Housing first, and usually assign it a significant portion of the COL. Most often, the entire State is lumped into a one Housing Cost.

But if your Home is paid off, your Housing category only needs to cover the Power, Water, Insurance and RE Taxes. That's why earlier in this thread, I said.....Everyone has their own Cost of Living Calculation.

Take the Mortgage Payment out of your monthly nut........see what that does for your Cash Flow.

Good point, which applies to me. I bought my present home 17 years ago, so not only is it paid off, but the property taxes are based on the purchase price (with yearly increases limited to 2%), which is much lower than the current value. So for me to stay here in this high cost of living location does not translate into a high cost of living for me personally. Someone wishing to move to the greater Los Angeles area from out of state would face a different financial picture. Still doable, perhaps, depending on one's resources, but different.


I agree with you that the most significant factor in the cost of living is the price of housing.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27576
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveLoaves View Post
Many of these generic Cost of Living articles place the cost of Housing first, and usually assign it a significant portion of the COL. Most often, the entire State is lumped into a one Housing Cost.

But if your Home is paid off, your Housing category only needs to cover the Power, Water, Insurance and RE Taxes. That's why earlier in this thread, I said.....Everyone has their own Cost of Living Calculation.

Take the Mortgage Payment out of your monthly nut........see what that does for your Cash Flow.
Exactly. Someone who bought in California in the 70s and has their mortgage paid off is going to face entirely different math than someone moving in today paying today's housing rate.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,768 posts, read 4,822,990 times
Reputation: 19387
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveLoaves View Post
Many of these generic Cost of Living articles place the cost of Housing first, and usually assign it a significant portion of the COL. Most often, the entire State is lumped into a one Housing Cost.

But if your Home is paid off, your Housing category only needs to cover the Power, Water, Insurance and RE Taxes. That's why earlier in this thread, I said.....Everyone has their own Cost of Living Calculation.

Take the Mortgage Payment out of your monthly nut........see what that does for your Cash Flow.
I agree that housing prices are often the first thing considered in COL calcs, but frequently in states where housing costs are high the other costs stated are also high. In CA, my former home state, not only is housing high priced, but so are power, water, and real estate taxes. ER correctly states that prop 13 holds down the rate of increase in RE taxes, but they are still much higher in CA than in many low COL states. Using myself as an example, our RE taxes on our home purchased 15 years ago in CA were still 3 times higher than on a comparable home where we live now in TN.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,531,320 times
Reputation: 16771
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Absolutely.

I can't tell you the number of posts I've read over the last couple of months where someone from outside the area (and almost always from outside the South, and from an expensive, wealthy state like CA/IL/NY etc.) wants to move to somewhere CHEAP (that's always number one, and always capitalized) and throws Tennessee in the mix, often having never even seen the state outside the tourist areas, if they've been at all.

Folks, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You're going to be hard-pressed to find any land in east TN for under $1,000/acre in even the most rural of areas, and that will usually be nearly unbuildable mountain/hill land, with no water or electricity near the land. Bottom or pasture acreage is going to run $2,000 - $3,000/acre, even in the rural counties, and often more if you have direct street access without needing a right-of-way/easement. Obviously the closer you get to larger towns, the more the price goes up still.

https://www.trulia.com/property/5029...sburg-TN-37811

This is what you're going to be living in if you want to be in for several acres at under $75,000 and not be in a trailer in Tennessee. It's not going to be pretty and your life will probably suck. Compromises will have to be made - amount of land, your budget, type of home, etc. The #1 thing is that if you are coming from a place where you should be equity-rich (at least compared to Tennessee) and you STILL cannot afford a house in a "normal" price range in an area like this, you aren't financially ready to retire. Period. The least little thing will sink you.

People get the idea that just because an area has low taxes, that it is automatically low cost of living. Tennessee often gets mentioned due to its low taxes. While property taxes are very low and there is no tax on earned income, not everything is cheap.

Groceries, particularly in areas that do not have a lot of agriculture (like here), are likely to be more expensive in rural areas (particularly if they are not "en route" to a more major area) than in metropolitan areas of the same general region. That is largely due to increased transport costs and a lack of competition. Many staple items I buy - frozen chicken, milk, bread, eggs, etc. - are often at least 30% more than what I paid in suburban Indianapolis. Some items, like milk, are double or more. I took a grocery list to Knoxville, TN a few weeks ago, and most items on that list were at least 20% cheaper there than here. My car insurance nearly tripled coming back to TN from IN. When I asked my insurance agent about the disparity, he said it was most likely due to increased crime and claims, largely from drugged drivers, in this area vs. where I was in Indiana.

Overall, I think it's going to be quite a bit cheaper to live somewhere rural in Indiana or Ohio than Tennessee. While taxes may be higher, other items are likely to be substantially less expensive, resulting in a lower overall cost of living.

That house I linked has an IGA (budget/low end grocer) probably ten to fifteen minutes away. That's it. The nearest Walmart is probably in Rogersville and that's close to a half hour away. Doctor's appointments? You're going back to Kingsport, which is at least an hour away. Need a hospital? Well, there is a community hospital in that county, but anything serious is going back to Kingsport. Want cell service? It's basically unavailable from Mooresburg/Bean Station all the way to the KY line, even with Verizon.

A lot of folks seem to be completely unfamiliar with small town/rural living and asinine requirements get posted over and over.
Personally, for me this little house would be very cool. It wouldn't be too big, but I could spread out my stuff better. But then I HAVE a room which just has stuff stored so maybe they'd be set up for hobbies instead. I didn't see square footage, but its probably a bit bigger than mine, which is 720sf. And my house is in town. Mowing lawns is a local way to make a few extra bucks, and after getting tired of over paying them I finally bought myself a mower. Its actually kind of fun.

I don't know how costs of living compare with Tennessee, but my money goes way further here than it would in a bigger town. But I've discovered online shopping, and between Walmart and Amazon most of my groceries come home that way. Walmart will be adding 'fresh food online' soon and for perishables I'll be happy to try it out. But for a house this size in socal, with the same land/yard, it would be a much much bigger sum in property tax too.

As someone with a really big yard which the city requires to be mowed, the growth would be a problem. I'd need a riding mower probably. But I'm SURE that would be fun. If I could leave some of it just trees, then it would be even better. I've never been to Tennessee, but assume they aren't too different than Oklahoma. Also, as someone who is not conservative nor christian, I don't have a problem with the neighbors. The big thing would be I'd have to have a car. I don't see distances right so driving is something I had to give up after surgery number two for a catarac was messed up. But I'd LOVE to live out of town here without the city rules.

It IS a big change to deal with when you move from socal to a town of about 5000. But while where I lived in California was familiar with lots of memories, some even good, this was fresh territory. And a different kind of place. I discovered it while visiting a friend who had done a getoutofdodge and moved there from Florida. I knew this was the kind of place I had been wanting. No, not perfect, but not bad either. Much much much better than socal.

I'd say anyone who is thinking of it, go take a trip. Go visit the town. Take a walk. Talk to people. Look at some small places. Don't say yes or no, until you've gone and then come home. And remember the leap is the hardest part of big decisions. Know it won't be as easy as you assume, or as hard. Once you really make up your mind, you'll find the city around you is so noisy, and so full and can't wait to see the moving truck get full and to be on your way.

And give it time. It isn't always something you can easily do, and know you have to remain open about it and really give it a chance. I found after less than a year here, visiting socal, that I could not wait to go home.

Years ago, when my son was a baby, my ex and I and the dogs and kid went up to northern California for a vacation. We found this little town Shasta county. Its full of small towns with big trees and people who wanted to get out of the rat race. We tried soooo hard to sell, but real estate was not booming, and then later split up, not very happily. I still checked their listings, just maybe if something came up... but when I came to OK to visit a friend and saw more trees, open space and air you can't see (you could in the IE) I decided to see what it would take to join my friend except I wouldn't let anything get in the way this time.

Its been eight years and I can't imagine living in a town with multi six figures of people. You lose a few things, but for ME, I gained so much more.

Bottom line is, don't be scared of dreaming and looking and take a realistic and hard look at your present place. I knew I needed out. Maybe you do too. Maybe it will be taking that leap but if you know that you are NOT happy where you are, then it becomes a good adventure. And those who say but what about....
smile and tell them you aren't moving to mars.

Remember its your life, not someone else's to decide about. Define what you love about where you are and what you don't, and what you dream about and don't let the naggy little whispers in your head that begin with what if get in the way.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:52 PM
 
11,969 posts, read 5,102,113 times
Reputation: 18703
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
Personally, for me this little house would be very cool. It wouldn't be too big, but I could spread out my stuff better. But then I HAVE a room which just has stuff stored so maybe they'd be set up for hobbies instead. I didn't see square footage, but its probably a bit bigger than mine, which is 720sf. And my house is in town. Mowing lawns is a local way to make a few extra bucks, and after getting tired of over paying them I finally bought myself a mower. Its actually kind of fun.

I don't know how costs of living compare with Tennessee, but my money goes way further here than it would in a bigger town. But I've discovered online shopping, and between Walmart and Amazon most of my groceries come home that way. Walmart will be adding 'fresh food online' soon and for perishables I'll be happy to try it out. But for a house this size in socal, with the same land/yard, it would be a much much bigger sum in property tax too.

As someone with a really big yard which the city requires to be mowed, the growth would be a problem. I'd need a riding mower probably. But I'm SURE that would be fun. If I could leave some of it just trees, then it would be even better. I've never been to Tennessee, but assume they aren't too different than Oklahoma. Also, as someone who is not conservative nor christian, I don't have a problem with the neighbors. The big thing would be I'd have to have a car. I don't see distances right so driving is something I had to give up after surgery number two for a catarac was messed up. But I'd LOVE to live out of town here without the city rules.

It IS a big change to deal with when you move from socal to a town of about 5000. But while where I lived in California was familiar with lots of memories, some even good, this was fresh territory. And a different kind of place. I discovered it while visiting a friend who had done a getoutofdodge and moved there from Florida. I knew this was the kind of place I had been wanting. No, not perfect, but not bad either. Much much much better than socal.

I'd say anyone who is thinking of it, go take a trip. Go visit the town. Take a walk. Talk to people. Look at some small places. Don't say yes or no, until you've gone and then come home. And remember the leap is the hardest part of big decisions. Know it won't be as easy as you assume, or as hard. Once you really make up your mind, you'll find the city around you is so noisy, and so full and can't wait to see the moving truck get full and to be on your way.

And give it time. It isn't always something you can easily do, and know you have to remain open about it and really give it a chance. I found after less than a year here, visiting socal, that I could not wait to go home.

Years ago, when my son was a baby, my ex and I and the dogs and kid went up to northern California for a vacation. We found this little town Shasta county. Its full of small towns with big trees and people who wanted to get out of the rat race. We tried soooo hard to sell, but real estate was not booming, and then later split up, not very happily. I still checked their listings, just maybe if something came up... but when I came to OK to visit a friend and saw more trees, open space and air you can't see (you could in the IE) I decided to see what it would take to join my friend except I wouldn't let anything get in the way this time.

Its been eight years and I can't imagine living in a town with multi six figures of people. You lose a few things, but for ME, I gained so much more.

Bottom line is, don't be scared of dreaming and looking and take a realistic and hard look at your present place. I knew I needed out. Maybe you do too. Maybe it will be taking that leap but if you know that you are NOT happy where you are, then it becomes a good adventure. And those who say but what about....
smile and tell them you aren't moving to mars.

Remember its your life, not someone else's to decide about. Define what you love about where you are and what you don't, and what you dream about and don't let the naggy little whispers in your head that begin with what if get in the way.
I couldn't agree more. I don't know why some people refuse to acknowledge that there's a bigger world out there than Eastern Tenn.
Here's another good example of being able to by a house for well under $75,000 on 3 acres. And it's less than a twenty minute drive to a large town small city with a hospital, big box stores and a university.

$39,900 for 1500 sq ft on almost 3 acres.
https://www.trulia.com/property/3275...sburg-KY-42743

A house like this is almost exactly what I want when I retire. Not sure why some people will find this horrendous.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:17 PM
 
Location: North Alabama
767 posts, read 1,845,553 times
Reputation: 725
I had a $10,000 second home in rural Kentucky for about seven years and just loved it. It needed a lot of work to be a long-term living situation, but was great for extended get-aways. Rural Kentuckians are generally good people and easy to get along with. Check with the county sheriff before you buy and they will probably be able to tell you if you can expect any crime problems in the area you are considering.

The same advice applies for Tennessee also, and Tennessee won't tax your pension like Kentucky does. And Kentucky does have an income tax as well. But both states reward you with beautiful rural scenery.
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Old 10-24-2017, 04:40 AM
 
13,313 posts, read 25,542,533 times
Reputation: 20477
[quote=Escort Rider;49881203]...

However, for many people it may be well worth the extra money to live in a place which suits them; it may be that location A will provide an enjoyable and joyful life, but location B will be miserable. Off course if someone simply doesn't have $50,000 a year to spend, then all the location A's will be off the table, and the issue becomes finding the location B that suits him the best. ...
QUOTE]

Thank you for the clarification. You are so right in the point I quoted. It's a good way to set priorities.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27576
Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
I couldn't agree more. I don't know why some people refuse to acknowledge that there's a bigger world out there than Eastern Tenn.
Here's another good example of being able to by a house for well under $75,000 on 3 acres. And it's less than a twenty minute drive to a large town small city with a hospital, big box stores and a university.

$39,900 for 1500 sq ft on almost 3 acres.
https://www.trulia.com/property/3275...sburg-KY-42743

A house like this is almost exactly what I want when I retire. Not sure why some people will find this horrendous.
We have no idea what condition that house is in on the inside. Given how high the bushes are, I'd say it's been sitting a couple of years. It probably needs a lot of work, but then again, it's well under the $75,000 OP mentioned. Maybe the renovation costs could be slipped into the budget.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but finding a good, obviously livable home (not trailer) that isn't a major project is going to be tough with that price range and acreage.

I've lived in several different states outside of Tennessee. This isn't all I know, and I've found similar small towns in Indiana especially to be much cheaper than small towns in east TN. Also, given where pay and the economy are in my local area vs. cost of living, I really don't think it's a good value at all. You'll end up paying as much here in the Tri-Cities (maybe more..) for a similar home vs. Indianapolis or say Winston-Salem, but those places have much better economies, less crime, and more services.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,531,320 times
Reputation: 16771
Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
I couldn't agree more. I don't know why some people refuse to acknowledge that there's a bigger world out there than Eastern Tenn.
Here's another good example of being able to by a house for well under $75,000 on 3 acres. And it's less than a twenty minute drive to a large town small city with a hospital, big box stores and a university.

$39,900 for 1500 sq ft on almost 3 acres.
https://www.trulia.com/property/3275...sburg-KY-42743

A house like this is almost exactly what I want when I retire. Not sure why some people will find this horrendous.
It looks like a castle deep in the forest you'd find in Cinderella. I'm sure I'd love it too. My house cost considerably less, but its exactly what I wanted, and except for adding a room, nobody had disturbed the heavy duty construction. My shed is full of hardwood flooring and as the kitchen floor needs something better, I'm going to try and see how much is there. Nothing like real old wood flooring for free.

I thought way ahead about this. I'd moved around a lot and was so tired of it. I didn't want to see a moving box again. And when we painted my little house bright yellow with white trim, it just pops. And I have all these large old trees.

I watch all the shows where they work on smaller houses, harvesting ideas. Technically, my house fits into the larger numbers for the tiny houses. But for just me and my four legged kids, its quite fine. I don't understand why some want houses with all these big spaces for three people and occasional visitors to live. Who wants to take care of that much space. I wonder how many concentrate the frequently used spaces to a section and close the doors to the rest after a while.

Today, for that and that size with all that land I'd think that jewel in trees would have a line waiting, but eventually the mansion sized sf crowd is going to get tired of all that and smaller places will become appreciated again.

It's interesting that the two trends you see most of are the giga square foot places these clueless shoppers seem to think they 'must have', or the mega small tiny houses. Between them, give me a house a bit bitter than a tiny but with no rooms you don't have to dust since nobody ever goes in there.
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Old 10-24-2017, 04:56 PM
 
11,969 posts, read 5,102,113 times
Reputation: 18703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
We have no idea what condition that house is in on the inside. Given how high the bushes are, I'd say it's been sitting a couple of years. It probably needs a lot of work, but then again, it's well under the $75,000 OP mentioned. Maybe the renovation costs could be slipped into the budget.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but finding a good, obviously livable home (not trailer) that isn't a major project is going to be tough with that price range and acreage.

I've lived in several different states outside of Tennessee. This isn't all I know, and I've found similar small towns in Indiana especially to be much cheaper than small towns in east TN. Also, given where pay and the economy are in my local area vs. cost of living, I really don't think it's a good value at all. You'll end up paying as much here in the Tri-Cities (maybe more..) for a similar home vs. Indianapolis or say Winston-Salem, but those places have much better economies, less crime, and more services.
But that's my point. You look at a picture and your first thought is negative. You immediately think of the worst rather than saying it might be a possibility without even wanting to see the inside. As for myself, I would love a fixer-upper like this. Of course it has to be in livable condition, but not great condition and other than that, it's the perfect project for me in retirement to fix it up at any pace I want to. You just completely disregarded a potentially lovely house with 3 acres, located within 20 minutes of almost anything I might need including a hospital. BTW, the area in question has a very low crime rate as well.
Speaking personally, I don't need a lot of services. I don't need to go to the opera, or a major league baseball game or shop at Nordstroms. I don't need to eat at an expensive restaurant with a French name and I certainly don't need 50 choices of where to go grab something to eat. I can do all that now and I choose not to. I have no desire what so ever to live in a large city whether it be Indianapolis or anywhere else. My priority is obviously not the same as yours and I'm good with that.

Last edited by marino760; 10-24-2017 at 05:10 PM..
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