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Old 05-02-2019, 09:22 PM
 
725 posts, read 420,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
I was in Austin for 5 years. When my husband died, I had to decide if I wanted to stay in Austin or return to California. I decided to return. Here is why.
1. A very personal reason - old friends, connection and history. In short, my community was not in Austin.
2. I hated the heat. Although Texas has fantastic native wildflowers and other landscape plants, gardening is miserable because of heat and mosquitoes. I love cool weather.
3. Traffic is terrible, and made worse by the incessant festivals down town. (Of course, lots of places have bad traffic.)
4. I was uncomfortable with the gun culture. I know many people don't feel this way, but I hated the open carry, and the emphasis on hunting, including little animals like squirrels and doves.
5. There was very little public land. The county I now live in is 72% public land (County, State and National parks and open space preserves.) And along with that goes public trails, places to camp, hike, etc. In addition, anywhere you go, you can see nature and wild vistas.
6. I missed being close to the ocean. Not Austin's fault, just my preference.

I never talk down Austin, because I knew some really great people there, (including family members) and there were certainly nice things about it. I still visit once a year. But I just wanted to go home. I did not move AWAY from Austin, I moved TO my home County in California. Almost as soon as I got there, I was offered three part time jobs by people who knew me. All the friends, the social group of our past life was still there. I have since made many new friends. There are bad things about living here, too. But they are the things I had lived with for decades before, and I'm used to them. I think it mostly comes down to where you are comfortable and what you are used to. We all have out place. Austin just wasn't mine.
First off. Sorry for your loss, but I’m glad to you got to go “home”. I think your last line is the most important - if a place negatively impacts you, or “isn’t your place” that doesn’t mean its bad. Just means it wasn’t for you - nothing wrong with that, and I don’t understand why people get so weird about life never changing.

I left CA decades ago, and every time I have to go back for work, I appreciate the weather there and appreciate my home here.
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:37 AM
 
647 posts, read 400,745 times
Reputation: 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
I was in Austin for 5 years. When my husband died, I had to decide if I wanted to stay in Austin or return to California. I decided to return.
My sympathies as well, but may I ask - to where in CA did you return? It sounds rather nice. I'd love to be able to consider CA as a retirement possibility but it seems not to be a friendly State for retirement income.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:27 PM
 
17 posts, read 38,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManaMist72 View Post
I am curious about those who have relocated to Austin with the intention of staying, but ended up deciding it wasn’t for them. What were your reasons for deciding to leave? If so, where did you end up deciding to relocate - either back to your original roots or elsewhere? And last, how long did it take for you to come to this decision?

I moved to Austin about 1.5 years ago. I really don't enjoy it here, but feel I am now stuck. Don't really know where to move. Took me less than 6 months to realize, this will never feel like "home"

Reason I don't like it--THIS IS JUST MY OPINION
-Too Congested
-Heat
-Traffic
-Crime & homeless
-Suburban sprawl
-Bugs- especially mosquito - GEEZ they just LOVE me
-Allergies
-Housing prices are too high for what you get quality-wise
-Property Tax are high
-I really don't feel welcome here. No hometown feel--maybe because so many people and spread out?

Last edited by h8Cali; 05-08-2019 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Austin
1,062 posts, read 776,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyp22 View Post
My sympathies as well, but may I ask - to where in CA did you return? It sounds rather nice. I'd love to be able to consider CA as a retirement possibility but it seems not to be a friendly State for retirement income.
Crunch the numbers and you might be surprised. Property taxes can take up a huge chunk of retirement income in Texas
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,813 posts, read 32,948,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthisle View Post
Crunch the numbers and you might be surprised. Property taxes can take up a huge chunk of retirement income in Texas
And on average, an even bigger chunk in California - the average CA property tax bill is +$600 compared to Texas. Yes, there are a lot of expensive homes that contribute to that, but even 'equivalent' homes cost more. And there is no retiree exemption or deduction and their equivalent of the HSE is a whopping $7,000 off full-sales price. Of course, their taxes can only increase by 2% per year (Prop13), but the often will increase by that amount (varies by location). The average increase in Austin is about 5.6%, but if you are retired, that is right about 2% in practice due to exemptions.

It isn't as cut and dried as it seems. In order to 'save' on taxes in CA after considering income taxes, you basically have to buy asimilar cost house, more or less. And a similar cost house may not be what you need/want if it is not similar 'value'.

It can work out well, but make sure you crunch the numbers seriously and not just superficially.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:44 PM
 
35 posts, read 47,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
And on average, an even bigger chunk in California - the average CA property tax bill is +$600 compared to Texas. Yes, there are a lot of expensive homes that contribute to that, but even 'equivalent' homes cost more. And there is no retiree exemption or deduction and their equivalent of the HSE is a whopping $7,000 off full-sales price. Of course, their taxes can only increase by 2% per year (Prop13), but the often will increase by that amount (varies by location). The average increase in Austin is about 5.6%, but if you are retired, that is right about 2% in practice due to exemptions.

It isn't as cut and dried as it seems. In order to 'save' on taxes in CA after considering income taxes, you basically have to buy asimilar cost house, more or less. And a similar cost house may not be what you need/want if it is not similar 'value'.

It can work out well, but make sure you crunch the numbers seriously and not just superficially.
I agree that you have to crunch numbers, and look deeper into the overall cost equation when comparing each State, especially depending on factors such as home ownership, HOA's, 401K, and other investments. It's not very cut and dry.

But having owned several homes and condos (for property investment) in CA, I can say emphatically that the real estate taxes are much higher here when comparing an 'equivalent' cost home. There is absolutely no debating that.

There are however, some areas of CA, such as Irvine that charge mello-roos, which is a special assessment public school fund on top of the base property tax bill (which is roughly .9% on average). The mello-roos fees can bring the overall real estate tax bill up to 1.5-1.9%, depending on the location and school district. Even with mello roos however, the property taxes are still cheaper when comparing to Austin on a cost equivalent home. If you're in a community where you're paying base property tax, mello roos AND HOA's, then you are pushing the numbers into the same arena as Austin real estate taxes.

But as you said, you really have to crunch numbers and it's entirely depending on the community you're choosing to buy property in. Everything can add up. So you have to really crunch the numbers and compare down to the penny.

It's very easy to see these numbers though. Anyone can calculate what they will expect to pay in real estate taxes. On a 1m home in San Francisco, CA, it would be around $11K annually. On a 1m home in Austin, depending on the school district, and exemptions, you can expect to pay upwards of 20K annually. Obviously a 1m home doesn't get you much in San Francisco, but you can buy a really nice home, and even brand new construction in some nice places in Southern Cali.

Last edited by ManaMist72; 05-08-2019 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,813 posts, read 32,948,402 times
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When I say 'equivalent', I mean in quality (size, location to needs), not cost. Generally speaking, an equivalent quality home will cost more in CA than in TX.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:18 AM
 
35 posts, read 47,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
When I say 'equivalent', I mean in quality (size, location to needs), not cost. Generally speaking, an equivalent quality home will cost more in CA than in TX.
^ that is true, although parts of Austin seem to be catching up with CA price-wise. But for the most part, you still get more for your $ here.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Austin
1,062 posts, read 776,529 times
Reputation: 1421
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManaMist72 View Post
^ that is true, although parts of Austin seem to be catching up with CA price-wise. But for the most part, you still get more for your $ here.
Wouldn't it make more sense to retire in small cities? Texas has a few small cities that are decent places to live with amenities that people like... I can think of a couple, San Marcos and College Station
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,813 posts, read 32,948,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthisle View Post
Wouldn't it make more sense to retire in small cities? Texas has a few small cities that are decent places to live with amenities that people like... I can think of a couple, San Marcos and College Station
It is so hard to compare one place to another when you are only going on generalities. You can live dirt-cheap in some places in Texas, if you don't mind being remote from the big cities. Of course, that generally means lower quality or availability of health care, too, which is why more retirees don't do it and instead tend to settle in certain areas - such as Kerrville and Fredericksburg - despite the higher taxees.

Similarly, in CA, there are some cheaper areas, but they have their similar drawbacks. Some areas that are more affordable are not much cooler than Austin and many of the 'reasonably' priced areas are also somewhat remote from medical or commercial.

Just as an anecdote, my mom is now retired in a 55+ community inside the city limits of FB. Her tax rate is 1.79% and her property taxes for next year will be ~$2,200. Her house is about 85% of the median home value for the city. I picked a semi-random (I was just there recently ) place in California that has a very similar median home value -Yuba City. Nice enough place that has some passing similarities to FB. In any case, if she was to sell her house here and buy a same-priced home there, her property taxes would actually be $300 higher. Their tax rate is 1% instead of 1.8%, but there are almost no exemptions. The HS exemption there saves a whole $70. The HS/65+ exemptions in FB result in savings of $2,400, give or take.

She doesn't spend much, so state taxes would likely be $1,000 or less, but compared to none here.

Local sales tax will be lower (7.25% in Yuba City compared to 8.25% in FB), but the local metro is higher (Sacramento is 8.75%).

Last edited by Trainwreck20; 05-09-2019 at 11:47 AM..
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