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Old 07-24-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Idaho
30 posts, read 107,301 times
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Default Are there cheap places in WA?

Dh and I lived in PDX years ago and loved going over to WA. We love the northwest and it has always "called" us back. We have been looking at a few places to relocate to after we are done with school. WA is one of them.....However are there any cheap places to live??? We live small town, rural country. We arent into any city scene and cant stand it for more than just twice a month shopping. We homeschool our kids so school districts arent a factor there but dh will be a middle school teacher when done with school. For me, and I am queen of frugalness, I cant fathom paying more than 150k for a house, but considering we are a one income family thats about all we can do. We love rain, snow, sun anything, although we dont like the heat all that much. I garden alot so someplace that we can do that would be great.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,874 posts, read 11,307,616 times
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Hi.
"We love rain, snow, sun anything, although we don't like the heat all that much. I garden a lot"
From your description, it sounds as though you would prefer western Washington to eastern Washington. Heat occurs in western WA on about 10 days, usually not consecutive, in summer. Period. Veggies and fruits grow happily in western Washington.

"I can't fathom paying more than 150k for a house, but considering we are a one income family that's about all we can do."
This is the best one-stop resource I've found for real estate in a large area of western Washington, sea.themlsonline.com/home.
TheMLSonline.com - Seattle Real Estate, Top Seattle Real Estate Search - Call 425-467-6577
After clicking on "Add More Criteria", I plugged in a few numbers: minimum $90,000 to maximum $150,000, single-family residence and manufactured, min. 3 BR, min. 1 BA -- and it brought up many possibilities. However, what condition those houses or lots are in I don't know. But if I were in your shoes, I'd sit down with a map and that website and see if anything interests me. You might also want to try realtor.com and redfin.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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Thanks that is a great site! Way better than Realtor.com.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:08 PM
 
7,151 posts, read 4,137,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlinsmom View Post
Dh and I lived in PDX years ago and loved going over to WA. We love the northwest and it has always "called" us back. We have been looking at a few places to relocate to after we are done with school. WA is one of them.....However are there any cheap places to live??? We live small town, rural country. We arent into any city scene and cant stand it for more than just twice a month shopping. We homeschool our kids so school districts arent a factor there but dh will be a middle school teacher when done with school. For me, and I am queen of frugalness, I cant fathom paying more than 150k for a house, but considering we are a one income family thats about all we can do. We love rain, snow, sun anything, although we dont like the heat all that much. I garden alot so someplace that we can do that would be great.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
$150K will not buy you much of anything in Western Washington, but you could get by in Eastern Washington. However, these are galaxies apart in character, weather, economic opportunities, etc., on and on.

However, you struck a note with me somehow and in complete seriousness I offer: consider the great state of Maine for your interests, broad tolerances, price range, and sense of adventure. You could have a few acres on a lakeshore with a cute little house for $150K. EVERYONE in the whole state of Maine is a character (mostly fun to be around types ... by and large pretty down home, helpful and friendly ... rarely ostentatious). Second lowest crime in the United States (#1 is New Hampshire or Vermont ... forget which). The state is growing only very very slowly in population (unlike WA which is exploding on the West side of the mountains). Maine is easily as beautiful as Washington. And the sun comes out regularly in winter. Think about it. I'm moving back. Been in Washington 39 years. Feeling overwhelmed by the growth and Californication.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:20 PM
 
Location: I <3 NY
371 posts, read 1,259,901 times
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Youre from PDX? Im in Tri Cities and I agree that Eastern is really different from West. Here in TC its very cheap, you pay 200k for an otherwise 400k home. But I guess it depends on what you define as "small." You wont find any big cities in Eastern WA, but maybe youre looking for Davenport-100 people small.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:26 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,900 posts, read 17,967,210 times
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Maine is a place of choice for low cost of living (except heat), but you can use a combo of solar, earth shelter and wood. Some places in the south are fairly moderate, tho much colder and humid than WA.

If I was gonna teach I would be looking into Wyoming (superb funding and schools and non-'entitlement' kids... many have had to grow up working on a ranch), there are some great places to live and you can't beat the locals for hospitality. Finding housing is another story during this 'energy boom'. But it will go bust and you will be able to find affordable places. In the meantime look for a non-energy spot, I'd look into Powell, as it has a community college and an ag economy, and is close enough to MT for airport and bulk shopping (tho it is also rebuilding the downtown into a sustainable commerce center SANS Walmart ). It is a moderate climate (for WY, close to Yellowstone and the Big Horn Mtns.

For WA I would look to rural areas around Wenatchee, but $150k will keep you limited. Services, jobs, and needs can be met closeby + regional public transit for our upcoming 'transportation adjustment' when folks realize fuel prices are not ever going to be cheap.
The killer for WA state is property taxes. Mine have gone up 10x in 13 yrs, and projected to be over $100,000/yr by the time I'm 65 (13 more yrs) and be over a million $/yr @ age 78.
currently they are 10 times what I spend on food and double my highest ever house payment. We homeschooled our kids due to a pitiful school system, yet they get an increasingly large share of the WA tax dollars, and the voter approved levies 'Float' (meaning the school gets the same % whether the district values go up or down). Just like the fire and police levies they will hold the taxpayer hostage during campaigns by threatening to remove vital services if you vote down the levy. Since they direct their discretionary budgets they can often choose what to fund, tho they are not supposed to fund vital services from discretionary voter approved levies.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:14 AM
 
7,151 posts, read 4,137,300 times
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JanB, above, makes some good observations ... but the reason I suggested Maine, in particular, was your stated fondness for the NW Washington character. Maine is the only other place I have been that has similar qualities to the NW coast. (I have lived in 9 U.S. locations, each coast and mid-west between, as well as overseas a bit ... I have traveled and camped in 47 of our states, plus Canada and Mexico)

The rest of the east coast, btw, sucks, badly. Maine is VERY unique in every ambiance: natural and cultural. The NW is rapidly changing into a materialistic, superficial sophistication society ... if you like that, fine. IF what you remember about Washington relates to its former, woodsy, fishing, farming community character, you will find little left and last vestiges on last legs.

Wyoming is certainly a distinct, beautiful outdoors environment ... it IS experiencing a boom. But it is quite different from Washington. Maine comes closest ... and in some ways exceeds Washington's former qualities. I have lived in both places.
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Old 07-26-2008, 01:13 PM
 
Location: I <3 NY
371 posts, read 1,259,901 times
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Not necessarily all of the East Coast is ugly ^

A few hours north of NYC, and I found beautiful forests. The light green really resonated because of the overcast sky. There are places in NY state that are secluded, away from the big city, and look spectacular. Then again there aren't very many of these.
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Old 07-26-2008, 02:47 PM
 
7,151 posts, read 4,137,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameHog9 View Post
Not necessarily all of the East Coast is ugly ^

A few hours north of NYC, and I found beautiful forests. The light green really resonated because of the overcast sky. There are places in NY state that are secluded, away from the big city, and look spectacular. Then again there aren't very many of these.
Ah, well, I didn't mean to say there aren't beautiful places in the east ... there are many many many ... my comment that every place east sucks except Maine refers to living there ... most specifically ALL the cities ... I grew up back there and even today when I visit Phila., NYC, Boston, D.C., etc., I am reminded I would rather shoot myself than have to live there again. Pennsylvania, N.Y. State, Virginia all have terrific places if you stay hours and hours away from the cities. Even so, I wouldn't ever consider suggesting any of them, except Maine, to anyone as a place to live.

Although, come to think of it, perhaps I SHOULD start suggesting that those writing in from California looking for a move ... hmmm?
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Idaho
30 posts, read 107,301 times
Reputation: 16
[quote=nullgeo;4606614]

However, you struck a note with me somehow and in complete seriousness I offer: consider the great state of Maine for your interests, broad tolerances, price range, and sense of adventure. quote]

How funny you mention Maine. I would LOVE to live there. My favorites list is filled with Maine links and facts, pictures and home listings. Our only concern in moving 3000 miles away is whether we will like it enough to stay. Thats a long way to go to turn around. Having already lived in the NW its kinda safe territory.
So nullgeo, where in Maine would you reccommend? We always stick to Aroostook and Penobscott Counties because of the housing costs.
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