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Old 01-14-2011, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
1,741 posts, read 4,935,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamjeepr View Post
People in Madison are not friendly at all. People don't know how to drive there and have no courtesy. Don't even consider saying "hi" as you pass someone on the street. Also, holding the door for a woman in Madison will be rewarded with nothing short of disgust. Milwaukee is a close second. Don't wave while driving. They just don't understand why you're waving at them. You need to go south to central Illinois before this is acceptable again. One more thing. One finger waves from the steering wheel make people think your flipping them off. Dont do it.
Boy, you must have had one bad trip to Madison......

I've lived in Madison for most of my adult life and I say "Hi" to people as I pass them on the street if our eyes meet..... I don't greet every person I pass, however. I think that would be considered strange no matter where you live (unless you are running for political office).

I also appreciate it if anyone holds the door for me, male or female. I think women were more sensitive to that kind of thing in the 70's and 80's than they are now. Women didn't want to be thought of as "less than" a man in anyway during those years and you would get a, "What, you don't think I could do it myself?!" attitude.

You're right about one thing though, Madison has lousy drivers.

You are also right about not waving while driving. Up here 9 times out of 10 if someone's hand is waving it isn't in a friendly manner.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:49 PM
 
1,593 posts, read 3,177,342 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notmuch69 View Post
I currently live in Arizona and can't wait to move back to rural Wisconsin where I grew up. Being outside and dealing with cold is simple, put more clothes on.
If only it were that simple. Maybe if you stay in all day or only go outside to check the mail. It can get pretty bad in many parts of the Midwest (including WI) and sometimes you can't put enough on and be warm enough, and you still can't cover your eyes, and it's a pain to cover your mouth or nose; either breathe in cold air or fabric air. Then you have to scrape the ice off your car (unless you have underground parking or enough garage space, but then when you go places and if they don't have indoor parking then you still have to do that), and driving conditions can be treacherous. Of course extreme heat is no fun either, but 100 is simpler to deal with than 20 imo.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:55 PM
 
3,326 posts, read 8,098,202 times
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Just moved to Wisconsin about a month ago. Having lived in several other states (Texas being one of them), I have never lived in a place where so many people actually speak to you if for no other reason than to just say "excuse me" in a grocery store. We've already met most of our neighbors. It's still early, so I don't want to get too giddy about it, but first impressions have been more than positive.
Born in the south, raised in the south, and lived about 80% of my life down there so far. Not all southern states are the same, but what I was familiar with was a bit closed off and cliquish. Southern hospitality was little more than a marketing scheme or some romanticized bull crap from the movies. I witnessed first hand people who were otherwise not-so-pleasant really turn on the charm only when they heard a northern accent coming from the other person.
The south isn't all bad and I suppose it has it's good points. Of course I have to step back and remember that cultures may be different, but the underlying American culture is always present, and human nature is pretty much the same everywhere.
That being said, I like Wisconsin.
So far winter hasn't shown anything I can't handle. At least even at it's worst, perhaps especially at its worst, winter forces you to go outside and deal with it.
I doubt I'll miss the seven months of laze-inducing summer hibernation.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Mequon, WI
8,153 posts, read 20,702,759 times
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Well where in Wisco are you?
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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I live in Texas and am thinking of relocating my family . I have three teenagers am concerned about high schools . We have read about Madison, Eauclare ,Appleton not sure what areas . Could you reccomend any other areas? what about taxes, homes, any more info would be great !!!
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Madison, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudy101 View Post
I live in Texas and am thinking of relocating my family . I have three teenagers am concerned about high schools . We have read about Madison, Eau Claire ,Appleton not sure what areas . Could you recommend any other areas? what about taxes, homes, any more info would be great !!!
Don't be too scared of the income tax as the property taxes are WAY less no matter where you live in Wisconsin. That said, some areas have higher mill rates than others.

Here are links to the mill rates for Eau Claire, Madison and Appleton:

Eau Claire

Taxes (http://www.eauclairewi.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=150 - broken link)

I think Eau Claire's was 10.04%, but there are 4 different taxation areas in Eau Claire because it is in two counties with two different school districts. (explained on web page linked above.)

Madison

Madison explains the mill rate here:
Assessor Duties - City Assessor - City of Madison, Wisconsin

You'll have to call the city assessor's office to find out the 2010 levy amount, but I think it was 11.6%.

Appleton

I think Appleton's was 9.09%.

The percentages above are from the link below, but I think there is more that goes into the levy than the cost of the school districts so each area might be higher than listed there.

FY 2010-2011 Equalized Levy Rates (Mill Rates)

If I had a teen-age child in Madison, I would want them to go to West High School. This doesn't tell you much, but here is the Wikipedia description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_West_High_School. Here is their school web site: http://westweb.madison.k12.wi.us/. A good school will welcome you for a scheduled tour.

Most people want to live in the area that is served by the school they want their child to go to. In WI you can send your child to a school other than the one they are assigned to *if* there are spaces left over after all of the children assigned to the school are accounted for.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:27 PM
 
374 posts, read 899,143 times
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I suppose the property taxes may be less if you lived a few very expensive areas of Texas, but my property taxes are almost double what I paid in Schertz, TX and I have less of a house up here.

The only taxes that are less up here are sales taxes. Not only am I paying more property tax, but I lost a nice chunk of my take-home to the income tax. Make no mistake, its substantially cheaper to live in Texas than up here in WI.

As for the schools, I didn't gamble when we moved up here. I put my kids in private school. My brother and sister went to Madison Schools back in the early 90s and they both had to to catch up once back in Texas.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamjeepr View Post
I suppose the property taxes may be less if you lived a few very expensive areas of Texas, but my property taxes are almost double what I paid in Schertz, TX and I have less of a house up here.

The only taxes that are less up here are sales taxes. Not only am I paying more property tax, but I lost a nice chunk of my take-home to the income tax. Make no mistake, its substantially cheaper to live in Texas than up here in WI.
I was looking in Austin, so that is my basis of comparison. I could get a lot more house dollar for dollar, but the taxes were almost twice as much as Madison's.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:12 PM
 
356 posts, read 754,413 times
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I have lived in WI most all of my life and we have looked at Texas for semi retirement in a couple of years. One strong point for us was the wife may be able to transfer with her company since she would be a couple of years to young to retire. What you will notice right away is the income tax here will eat up a good chunk of money that would have been yours if in TX.

I have generally found the property taxes to be less in TX but not much lower than in WI. I have found the taxes can very a lot in WI and TX depending on your location. An example up here is our house is 6 years old, 1600 sq. ft. plus a walk out basement, 2 miles out of the city limits, set on 3.3 acres with some woods and a creek along the property. No services except garbage pickup and town road maintained. Taxes are $4100. per year. If the house was in the city the taxes would be about $6300.

You won't have to use AC as much but you will need to heat a lot more.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:33 AM
 
3,326 posts, read 8,098,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamjeepr View Post


As for the schools, I didn't gamble when we moved up here. I put my kids in private school. My brother and sister went to Madison Schools back in the early 90s and they both had to to catch up once back in Texas.
I think it depends on the individual schools in question.
I know there are schools that stand out in each state, but Wisconsin schools as a whole rank very highly when compared to most other states. Texas, as a whole, is usually middle of the pack.
I went to school in Texas for a while, and didn't find it to be any more challenging than any other place I lived.
At the end of the day, good schools depend more on parenting than anything else.

As far as cost of living is concerned, as renters we've actually found Wisconsin to be a little cheaper than where we lived before. Utilities are substantially cheaper than other places I've lived. That in and of itself might make up for at least some of the higher property taxes when it comes time to buy a house. We live in a similar type of building here as we did in our last place, and the utilities here are 1/2, maybe even a 1/3 of what we were paying.
Licensing a car in WI is a little different than I'm used to, but after you add it add it all up, it's less than what we were paying before.
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