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Old 12-02-2015, 12:29 PM
 
41 posts, read 187,660 times
Reputation: 54

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My husband is retiring early (58 years old) and I'm 10 years younger than him, so although we are retiring we are still very active and fairly young! We both are healthy and active, love nature and the outdoors, hiking and biking, and alfresco dining with our small dog. That being said, we are planning to spend a few months (starting April 2016 if we sell our home), at each of our favored destinations in order to decide where we will live in retirement. The places we have narrowed down to are: California (near Ventura or San Luis Obispo), Tennessee (eastern mountains outside of Knoxville), or Florida (southwest coast near Tampa or Sarasota). For all of you who live in the Central Coast of CA area, could you please tell me the small(ish) charming, walkable, town square type towns in that area? We would either live out in the country with beautiful views and easy access to hiking trails, or in a quaint older bungalow in town. I'm an interior designer and can "fix-up" an older home and prefer somewhat artistic enclaves with easy-going attitudes. Prefer to stay away from suburbia and keep-up-with-the-Jones' attitudes, materialism, and superficiality. Like quiet, laid-back, environments, that are still lively communities with farmers markets, outdoor evening concerts, lots of parks, quaint shops, and natural beauty. School districts and employment aren't an issue, but safety is. Also, low housing costs are important. Coming from the south, we are used to living in a 4,000+ sf, custom home on the lake - but CA housing costs are at least double, plus we will now be on a fixed income so... have champagne tastes on a beer budget! Ha! We drove down the PCH and some parts of Hwy 101 a few years ago and loved Ventura and San Luis Obispo. The dog friendly beaches are awesome and the towns had plenty to offer. So, affordable, quaint, towns around these areas or beautiful land just outside these areas is preferable. Thanks so much for your help!!!

Last edited by Ellygirl67; 12-02-2015 at 12:36 PM.. Reason: Add something
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:39 PM
 
41 posts, read 187,660 times
Reputation: 54
Oh yeah! As for weather, I know there are a lot of micro-climates around there so direct me to less foggy and damp, more warmer and sunnier areas please! 80's in summer is fine! (We are used to very humid 90's - ugh!) But not too cold in winter. 65-85 year round is perfect! The evening temps around there are cool enough. Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2015, 01:10 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,273 posts, read 10,521,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellygirl67 View Post
California (near Ventura or San Luis Obispo)could you please tell me the small(ish) charming, walkable, town square type towns in that area? We would either live out in the country with beautiful views and easy access to hiking trails, or in a quaint older bungalow in town. Like quiet, laid-back, environments, that are still lively communities with farmers markets, outdoor evening concerts, lots of parks, quaint shops, and natural beauty...safety...low housing costs are important.
Of course your desire for "low housing costs" is pretty vague, but weighing in on the CA areas, suggest a focus on Ojai, Ventura, Carpinteria. Or, Santa Barbara if you can afford it.
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Old 12-02-2015, 05:18 PM
 
41 posts, read 187,660 times
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Thanks for that. We visited Ojai and Santa Barbara. Neither really fit the bill. Ojai isn't a town square type town and SB is gorgeous, but way out of price range and maybe too uppity for what we want. On California standards, the housing budget is quite low - definitely less than $500,000, preferably even much less than that, but will be better determined when we get there and see what is available and at what cost. Investment property (good area but home needs work) is desired, so an area that has that type of property would be good. Architecturally, mid-century modern or 1920's - 1940's type bungalows preferred. We want to rent a home for a month or so in the community we find to be the best fit, that is why I'm trying to narrow that area down. We visited a town and I can't remember the name of it, but we passed gorgeous vineyards on the way. It had a town square with a large park with big trees and a gazebo in the middle of it and several local restaurants and shops on the square. We stopped and had lunch there at a picnic table in the park. I think we crossed a railroad track coming into the town and it's not more than 30 minutes from PCH. When I look at a map it looks like it may have been Santa Maria, but what I read about that town doesn't sound like it. Any idea where that was?
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:29 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,273 posts, read 10,521,331 times
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Sounds like Fillmore.
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:00 AM
 
41 posts, read 187,660 times
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Or maybe Paso Robles?
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:35 PM
 
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See other post on Fillmore, not savory IMO.
Plus there are no 'Vineyards' near there, nor 30 minutes from PCH.
Since Santa Maria is mentioned, I presume it is on the 'northern' portion of PCH.
Homes will be a challenge at $500K, but based on your description maybe Santa Ynez/Solvang or Los Olivos?
Unless you meant Highway 101 and not PCH (Hwy 1).
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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I would suggest Paso Robles or Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,372 posts, read 25,586,306 times
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Fillmore is a beautiful city, has a town square area, homes in the $300K and up range. Some people complain about the schools but you are not looking for schools. The area is surrounded by orange trees and a beautiful hillside both to the North and to the South.

Here is a brand new home in Fillmore:

Residence 3 - Oak Haven Plan, New Home Plan by Comstock Homes - Fillmore, CA - realtor.com®

http://bridgesfillmore.com/

Last edited by SOON2BNSURPRISE; 12-04-2015 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:37 AM
 
41 posts, read 187,660 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
Fillmore is a beautiful city, has a town square area, homes in the $300K and up range. Some people complain about the schools but you are not looking for schools. The area is surrounded by orange trees and a beautiful hillside both to the North and to the South.

Here is a brand new home in Fillmore:

Residence 3 - Oak Haven Plan, New Home Plan by Comstock Homes - Fillmore, CA - realtor.com®

The Bridges at Fillmore, CA
That's actually a cute home that is very doable. Thanks! I think the area may have been Paso Robles though.
But we can still check out Fillmore, Atascadero, etc.
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