CSO your income level relative to the avg median incomes of WV is higher. Your $ will go much further in WV if sacrificing amenities is a non issue. Some who've become accustomed to 12 layers of government services might be disappointed, and therein lies the answer how the lower cost of living has held fast here even when the rest of the country is going haywire with tax on tax on tax. Want amenities for 5 cents, don't we all! hahaha BUT... we all know that can't happen even when comp'd in vegas- they'll get their money back one way or another.
Generally speaking WV is slow and steady, and more a bargain for people wanting a reasonably modest life away from jet set silliness than people seeking huge investment returns that inevitably end with the ensuing slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Having yourself in a position where you've liquidated equity from another home sale will allow you to get more for less. It might even be an upgrade if you've had to live in a high cost of living area.
Utilities are variable depending on how well a property is insulated, and now more than ever that insulation investment will pay for itself at accelerated rate because energy of any sort is not stabilized in US economy. Also a tax write off if I'm not mistaken- check IRS website for details. No one can know what kind of useage you're talking, but if you compare my utility rates to your actual useage for past 12 months it should give you a decent estimate. For example if you used 500kwh last december X my rate= your budget.
I live in charleston so everything below is real time #'s relative to that- what charges are elsewhere I'm not privileged to know.
Main power company is appalachian power- they have a website. Big grumbles from WV when 6 cents kwh were raised to 7-8cents. Let them see 18-24 cents kwh plus tax elsewhere to know what pain is!
Water- 1500 gallons of useage in my charleston home (including a broken garden hose running for hours unnoticed) came to a whopping $20.55 website is www .wvawater.com
Gas- I cannot say this is true everywhere, but within city limits charleston has gas line service to most houses. Depending on the neighborhood will determine who will be the company you deal with from what I've been told, as opposed to 5 companies competing on one block. The rate on my bill from august was $14.0070 per MCF. West charleston is mountaineer gas, and my summer month usage for a hot water heater and gas stove was avg about $30 per month (they keep rounding my usage on meter readings because I just don't use enough). Using it for winter heat, expect a much larger bill. Have augmenting/alternative heat sources like pellet stoves or wood burning fireplaces, you'll be in a position to manage heating costs better. Here is their # if you have questions. 1-800-834-2070
The bill that surprised me in charleston as a new comer- Where I came from sewer/fire/refuse were incorporated onto the property tax bill. In charleston it's a separate bill that comes monthly to the house. Break down for my home per month:
Where I come from, this is still a bargain for full city services @ $33/month. Choose a rural location, these services won't necessarily be available, and you'll know first hand the distasteful chore of sorting trash for a trip to a county dump or grief of a mismanaged septic system when company is over for thanksgiving.
Property taxes are close to the lowest in the USA. New construction will be more, old construction grandfathered into the system is significantly lower. I paid my bill in full for my 100 yr old home- based on the previous owner registering it in the inflated category of rental unit. $661.82 Owner occupied non rental rate for next year is $339.34 . This is without homestead exemption that senior citizens have available to them.
If you're really digging our digital age, every utility mentioned above has auto pay/electronic payment set ups available if you'd rather not chase stamps around.
TIM! Thanks for the tax tips- I'm also learning a thing or two.