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Old 05-04-2008, 09:46 AM
 
18 posts, read 50,314 times
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Default Why is W. Va. an unpopular destination?

I've been scouting the forums, looking for a retirement destination, somewhere between the Northeast and Southeast. PA, NC, TN, VA, even OH and KY seem popular, but WV is off the radar. Why so unpopular? Jobs? Crime? Politicians? No major city? People who do move there seem to locate near the border, presumably to be able to cross over to another state to get things done.

To me it seems ideal. Mountains. Off the beaten path. Quiet.

What gives?
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Western Pennsylvania
2,379 posts, read 4,186,231 times
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Quote:
To me it seems ideal. Mountains. Off the beaten path. Quiet.
I agree. But then, the points you raise may in fact be (part of) the reasons.

Mountains. Lots of retirees (esp. from the northeast and the midwest) don't want to see any more snow. Now you and I know that unless you're in Davis, the snow isn't any more than any other mid-Atlantic state, but that's the impression.

Off the beaten path. If we had three interstates reaching every county, maybe WV would be more attractive, but then it wouldn't be quiet, would it?

Quiet. I guess they're planning to hit the clubs and the rock concerts after they retire.

Some hear that WV has an income tax (3.5% to 6.5%), unlike Florida, and a personal property tax, and that turns them off. Of course, they don't consider the ridiculous property taxes and home insurance rates in Florida.

I actually think that, over the next decade or so, WV will start getting more attention. You can still buy acreage for $5K/acre in many parts of WV, and few other states in the East can say that.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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West Virginia is not for everyone.. It appeals to a group attached to older american values.
If its unpopular with what is called main stream America...I say, "that is very good."

West Virginia is almost one big family...argue...love...hate and always include each other...I like that too.

As for retirement...IMO, it should be left as a haven for expatriates and those others, from distant areas who seek beauty and peace...with a slowness to it all. They have earned what we have...

Retire? Florida and Arizona becon...take their heed or even the Carolina's...West Virginia is for a distinct individual...as was Oregon long ago (and ruined by the California welfare tribes along with the Hari Krishna's)
I hope we can keep our unique identity intact...at least as long as I live...

Unpopular here? I certainly hope so...and thanks for that compliment...
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Puerto Penasco, Mexico
967 posts, read 1,878,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kennedy View Post
West Virginia is not for everyone.. It appeals to a group attached to older american values...
Another superb analysis DK!

LIborn (I assume Long Island...?) I'm a native NY'er, soon to be retired military. I looked all over the globe, and in more states than I can count, before I settled on WV. We hadn't ever considered WV. For some reason we just never put it in the mix. While driving from Virginia Beach to Morehead, Kentucky to look at property, we had one of those V-8 moments while driving through WV..**WHACK*..."why not WV?". It had everything we were going to look at in Kentucky, and a whole lot more. It's one of the best kept secrets out there. Perhaps the stigma of "...It's WEST VIRGINIA..." is enough to keep most people from stopping to look. I still get that when I tell people we bought our retirement home there! They think I'm out of my mind.

I've posted it here before, and I can't say it enough: West Virginia and it's residents are the friendliest, most down-to-earth, good old fashioned Americans out there. It's probably good that most people overlook it!

~Mark
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:53 PM
 
Location: NE Georgia
2,776 posts, read 6,579,075 times
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On retirement the other reason is taxation.

In West Virginia your pension is taxed, your property is taxed, your car is taxed, and other earned income is taxed. My father bemoans this daily.
I myself would love to return to WV in 6 years when I retire, but instead I may stay in Georgia.

In Georgia, pension income is not taxed, at 62 you do not have to get the full rift of car tax, at 65 your property tax is reduced to just pennies on the dollar as services is the only thing your taxed on, your now exempt from school taxes, also other earned income is tax free.

Many other states offer this too outside of Georgia. Florida, Tennessee, Nevada, Washington, even Illinois will provide tax breaks for retirees.

Overall, West Virginia is high on the list of taxation.


Another item is quality healthcare, as one ages this is a hot button. WV lacks in this area too.

Now for beauty, mountains, etc., it is great!
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:00 PM
 
4,715 posts, read 8,271,468 times
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WV's legislature is socialist democrat in the strictest sense of the word. Tax and tax...i only wish they would spend..Well, they do...on the nepotic beauracracies that have existed since 1930 and the New Deal...the War on Poverty and whatever keeps us Open for business. We almost carry 3rd world status..If we really qualified, we could get help fromthe U.N.

Things are changing and the politico's know that...watch the next election...MoJo and his crowd might be on their way out...the scandal at the university is still brewing and the people, in the past eras have been know to speak. Rochefeller might be gone too.
25 years of exactly doing nothing but holding ffice...what a waste of our time.

The actual surplus this year was over 1 billion dollars...never made the news but to say it was 300 million...after all the raises..all the expenses and after everything was over funded but teacher salaries...have to keep them at the poverty line you know...
Coal had a banner year...up 300% Gambling? Dumping in the money...
I only wish we had an economist or two handling th money instead of the bozo's that are elected...
The cycle will continue until we change it...and the WE....the we is the thousands of new pople coming here form out of state to work. They are making demands for honesty and beneficial changes that help the people...not hinder them...

The days of buying a vote for a 5 dollar bill and a drink of whiskey is almost over...
wonder how many dead people will be voting this time around...

lovin' it....that's why I'm a proud West Virginia Democrat...
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Old 05-04-2008, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Parkersburg, WV
3 posts, read 8,808 times
Reputation: 16
Default I Have Your Answer

I am originally from WV. I lived there 18 years, moved away for 18, and then returned. I am in WV right now, and ready to relocate out of state again.

1. Historically, West Virginia wasn't really even used by the Indians but for a hunting ground at one time. West Virginia had a wealth or resources such as salt and deer. The Iroquis Indians would come out of NY, hunt and gather, and take the resources back to their camps.

2. Later, West Virginia was still used for its resources such as coal and timber. The wealthy exploited the poor immigrants from Europe. They were used almost like indentured slaves. They worked to mine coal, paid low wages, and forced to buy products in company stores because of no competition. This led to exploitation of people. In turn, it lead to the hostility and suspiciousness that another person described in her posting.

3. The terrain of West Virginia did not allow for roads and buildings. This caused isolation and lack of commerce. This is why West Virginia seems "behind the times". Not because the people are dumb. At one time, they did not have the opportunity to learn. An impoverished state cause some young people to go to work by the time they were young teens.

4. Today, we have new roads, new bridges, and the expansion of jobs from Washington D.C. moving into the area. This has helped to bring better jobs. The price of real estate had escalated. There has been an increase in diversity of races since the D.C. jobs and people transferring into the state. Also, the emigration of doctor's leaving the state has cause for immigration of foreign doctors to come into the state. This increase diversification.

5. Problems: #1--WV is a litigious state. Insurance rates are high, because people sue. Doctors have left the state because they cannot afford their malpractice insurance. Doctors that live on the borders, have set up their practice in neighboring states in order to afford the insurance but still provide services to West Virginians. #2--Before West Virginias were more educated and had financial opportunities, they were taken advantage of. Their land was practically stolen from them. Their resources, practically stolen. And, toxic material dumped in water, and land. The cancer rate in some areas are huge. Research before you buy. #3--Housing developments are a new concept for WV. It has been slow to get started. More houses are built in the Central and Eastern parts of the state which make it more affordable. Otherwise, you pay high dollars for a house that may be OLD. #4--Jobs are leaving the state. More jobs leave the state than come into the state. More West Virginians have left the state for jobs. It is sad. The jobs in the state that are stable say that they offer a pay scale for this area. So, again, companies are back to exploitation of the people. They are not paid what they are worth. It is difficult finding a good job, and it is difficult getting the money you deserve to be paid for that good job.

6. Good Things: #1--Crime rate is relatively low. Although, with immigration from the cities, gang activity and drugs are beginning in border towns. #2--It is a beautiful state. #3--There is room to move and breath. #4--It has all four seasons equally. Snowfall isn't that bad. January and February are the worst. But, snow often melts within a few days of the fall. #5--Within driving distance, from the center of the state (Clarksburg), you have access to fishing and rock climbing within 1 to 3 hours. In the winter, skiing. Waterskiing on rivers and lakes. In the fall, the colorful drive and hikes are beautiful. State parks are goregious. Kayaking, White watering, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, the rail trails, ATV's on the Hatfield and McCoy trails, hunting, fishing, etc. If you are an outdoors person, you will love WV. And, it is historical. Romeny WV changed hands 51 times during the Civil War. That is an average of once every two months. Harpers Ferry is where the first bullet was shot that initiated the Civil War. West Virginia was not a free or slave state, but became their own state during the Civil War because they had their own oppression from their tax money being used on the eastern side of the mountains in what is now Virginia.

I know this is long. I hope it helps to understand the people and the state.
Thank you for reading.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:02 PM
 
11,962 posts, read 7,030,331 times
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ohh how I wish yall wouldn't answer LIBorn, because when it's america's best kept secret the riff raff does stay out.
Mark, congrats BTW on your homestead. I drove through there to get to charleston, beautiful country.
I still think the taxes here are nominal, despite your protesting, but I won't ask you to quit bellowing. The gov't here needs to hear those complaints before they turn it into 5 layered tax system like ny & nj, where each layer of govt stands in line to tax what the other guy didn't get. fed, state, county, municipal, and the litany of special taxes imposed on "luxury" items like gasoline to get to work when they killed the electric car. Teachers and cops get paid well because the property tax is astronomical. Yes, cars still get taxed, but in NY they call it a registration fee for $50 per year.

Anyway, my property tax is a whopping $619 this half of the year because it was registered as a rental property last year. Come july it will be $400 ish for the following 6 months. This same house would be about $450k in a nice middle class town like great river, NY, and the property taxes on it will likely be something in the 10k range. This house in a rubble neighborhood infested with drug dealers and child molesters on long island would be at least $240k with a 7+k tax liability.

Buddy from work who retired to a custom built house in florida got the chit kicked out of him in taxes when the real estate boom happened, and found himself having to get a job down there so he wouldnt go broke between taxes and the triple rate insurance increase. RE busted bubble will make it impossible for him to sell his house in NY at top dollar when so many are in foreclosure. Seems florida decided to cash in on it's reputation at an inconvenient time for him. NC is doing the same, looking at retiree $ as windfall profit for local govt coffers. I'm hearing similar tales from tuscon AZ and taos NM.
WV RE agent and I were talking and we came to a conclusion. West Virginian's don't buy into the barnum and bailey nonsense of hype, they work too hard for what little they have to squander it foolishly on the macy's 500% mark up keeping up with the joneses. The real estate here plods along at a conservative 3% appreciation rate (barring any environmental nightmare or gross neglect) and doesn't suffer the way other roller coaster markets do in FLA, NY, CA, NJ do. Taking reasonable care of your home will NOT result in your house being worth 100k less than you paid for it elsewhere. I may be wrong in morgantown, which appears to be seeing a large growth spurt in a short amount of time, but time will tell, or perhaps locals there would be wise to take heed the lessons from other states.
As for me in my new home town, I'm happy being around sane people in my little switzerland nobody knows about. Maybe I won't kill my transmission forgetting about the parking brake yet again.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:28 PM
 
4,715 posts, read 8,271,468 times
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The growth spurt in central Wv is expected to occur within a 20 year period. Began about 1990 with the High Tech work and is expected to bring in 60 to 80k people to the area...area extends from Fayette and Washington counties in Pa to Weston/Buckhannon.
The investment, both private and public has been great enough that the area can sustain itself now...independant of the country at large.

The influence of the Pittsburgh banks in handling the money has made it an almost honest endeavor...I thank R.C. Byrd personally for keeping the money out of West Virginia hands.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Elkins, WV
1,942 posts, read 3,570,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kennedy View Post
The growth spurt in central Wv is expected to occur within a 20 year period. Began about 1990 with the High Tech work and is expected to bring in 60 to 80k people to the area...area extends from Fayette and Washington counties in Pa to Weston/Buckhannon.
The investment, both private and public has been great enough that the area can sustain itself now...independant of the country at large.

The influence of the Pittsburgh banks in handling the money has made it an almost honest endeavor...I thank R.C. Byrd personally for keeping the money out of West Virginia hands.
Leaving Elkins out are we Kennedy? ha ha
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