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Old 10-23-2018, 05:11 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davdaven View Post
I get that. Reno is a short drive from Lake Tahoe. In fact, Truckee itself is reasonably affordable. Perhaps he should give that a try. The center of town has some charm.

I wouldn't write off Santa Fe entirely. It has culture. Homes can be had easily for well under $500K. Easy access to a body of water is the main issue. OP may not be able to have his cake and eat it too, so perhaps the body of water will be the thing that drops off the list.

There are a handful of condos currently for sale in San Rafael and Novato for under $500K. Most of the ones in San Rafael have HOA fees of thousands of dollars per month. Of the three that don't, one is not in an area I would buy. That leaves two. At least the options in Novato are more appealing. Assuming you like Novato. Personally, it's not for me.
Truckee's a possibility. Also, Placerville was mentioned earlier. There's a big lake uphill from there. And yes, I think the OP realizes he'll have to make compromises. The question is, what's he willing to compromise on, and what is he not willing to compromise?

Looking forward to continued feedback from the OP.
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Troy View Post
Honestly, I do prefer areas near the ocean, but if not near the ocean, then near a major river or lake.
You might like this place except for December through March.

https://www.trulia.com/p/wi/algoma/2...01--2054601373

https://www.doorcounty.com/experienc...c-attractions/

https://doorcountypulse.com/door-county-restaurants/
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Troy View Post
The point is you can never have too much knowledge, and getting ideas from people who might actually be on the ground isn't a bad thing. I do know how much I can afford, which is what prompted this question. I already know I can't afford Marin, at least not the parts I would want to live, which is Southern Marin, which is why my original question had nothing to do with finances, but wanting to know if there are any places other people are aware of that have a similar vibe and attention to beauty that Marin County has.
Got it.
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:27 AM
 
215 posts, read 203,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
I agree the PNW is relatively mild in winter compared to the East coast or the Midwest, but it's still pretty darn cold. The five coldest months in Seattle and Portland (Nov-Mar) are colder than *any* month in San Francisco, so think of the middle of winter in the Bay Area, then think colder than that -- for nearly half the year. You really *only* get the summers to enjoy. The rest of the year is to be tolerated. Also consider that the PNW has about 100 more days of rain than the Bay Area on average. That's three and a half months of additional rain, if it rained every single day. But more likely, it would rain every other day for 7 months. That's just the extra rain compared to the Bay Area. Add that to Bay Area rain to get an idea. True, it does not snow very often, but it does show, Which is not necessarily a terrible thing, but keep in mind there can be terrible cold snaps and Ice storms. It would not be unusual to have a string of days that never gets above freezing. Also consider the record low temperatures in Portland and Seattle, which hover around zero degrees, compared to 26 in San Francisco. In fact San Francisco has not dropped below freezing in almost 30 years. Just something to think about before moving into an area that far north.
Good God! :-( Well, I would definitely have to find someplace in Washington much cheaper then I could in California, just so I can afford a place somewhere else to get away to in the winters!

Well, I am prepared to move to Bakersfield and just turn my house into a personal Mill Valley, with a pool, deluxe humidifiers and lots of shrubbery, if I have to! How I hope it doesn't get to that point!

The thing is, I wasn't born or even raised in Marin County. I lived here for years, due to work. Because I wasn't born here, I know what it's like to live in inner city Los Angeles, the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, etc. Upon moving to Marin I literally noticed a general sense of well-being. It was fun getting up in the morning just to look out the window! Of course, some of that subsided in time, but there's just a difference living in a place with beautiful scenery and, for the most part, happy people. Parts of Marin County literally look like movie sets! The air seems relatively clean, there are enough good restaurants to where you didn't really have to worry about being disappointed, though I will admit there Mexican restaurants weren't the best. (though they have a Puerto Rican restaurant that makes up for it! Sol Food) plus, the kicker is San Francisco is like 12 miles away! Downtown Mill Valley, especially during Christmas season, literally looks like a snow globe that someone has broken open and blown up to life-size! The town of Larkspur, which I live in has a laundromat that literally has free donuts in it. There's a bar here we're a few years back I was having a drink, and Sean Penn walked in, and no one acted surprised! Everyone went on with their conversation, while I was almost choking! The small town of Fairfax looks like a town populated by rich hippies. There is a road that takes you from the town of Larkspur back to a town called Fairfax. (hippie town) It has got to be the prettiest road I've ever seen in my life! Trees literally overhang the road in some areas. One day I was going down that road a bit faster than I should've and got pulled over by a cop. He literally had an Irish accent! I can't make this stuff up! Parts of Marin County literally look like movie sets! The air seems relatively clean, there are enough good restaurants to where you didn't really have to worry about being disappointed, though I will admit there Mexican restaurants weren't the best. (though they have a Puerto Rican restaurant that makes up for it! Sol Food) plus, the kicker is San Francisco is like 12 miles away! Downtown Mill Valley, especially during Christmas season, literally looks like a snow globe that someone has broken open and blown up to life-size! I'm sure most people I'm sure most people reading this will think, "He's over exaggerating, a city is just a city." It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't spent time here. Most Saturdays I'll go have coffee at a hotel bar in the Medrano Inn, which is located in a town called Sausalito. Sausalito looks like some place in Italy! I remember wanting to get my bearings on the area, so I took a drive past the town to Fairfax, just to see how far the county went. It looked pretty wooded in that direction but I just kept driving. After a while it sort of suddenly lets out to a road near the ocean. I literally saw whales swimming in the water! Whales swimming, with oyster restaurant shacks nearby! I'm thinking, "Am I in goddamn Narnia?" Anyway, I can go on and on, but the point is Marin is a hard place to beat, but I understand I may have to give some things up. However, just as I barely knew a Marin County's existence 20 years ago, I'm hoping there's some other hidden gems elsewhere I know nothing about, which is why I posed the question.

Last edited by Troy Troy; 10-24-2018 at 07:35 AM..
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Old 10-24-2018, 01:26 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
80,940 posts, read 73,981,605 times
Reputation: 80571
We get it, OP; you love Marin! I don't blame you. But in the future, please try to organize your enthusing into paragraphs. Thanks.

OP, I was born and raised in Berkeley, and I never got tired of getting up in the morning, and looking out the window at the beautiful view of the Bay! No one in my family did; my grandmother, who fancied herself a world traveller to a degree, always said that it's more beautiful than the Bay of Naples. That was her highest compliment. Marin has the added beauty of the redwood forests. I haven't taken the backroad between Larkspur and Fairfax, but I've taken the road from Fairfax northwestward, toward the beach. I exclaimed to my Fairfax friends, "It's like driving through a redwood park!". They said, "We ARE driving through a redwood park!". The redwoods hug the road. I highly recommend you explore that area. As you near the beach, you may even pass by a herd of tule elk. Marin is like a dream!

So, are you going to check out townhomes or condos in San Rafael? There are a couple within your price range. With patience, you could score one. Why abandon Heaven, now that you've found it, and experienced it? No redwoods in SoCal, OP. No elk herds. However, in Port Townsend, in some parts of town, the local deer just stroll down the street like they own the place. It has to be seen to be believed. Just saying.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:27 AM
 
215 posts, read 203,096 times
Reputation: 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
We get it, OP; you love Marin! I don't blame you. But in the future, please try to organize your enthusing into paragraphs. Thanks.

OP, I was born and raised in Berkeley, and I never got tired of getting up in the morning, and looking out the window at the beautiful view of the Bay! No one in my family did; my grandmother, who fancied herself a world traveller to a degree, always said that it's more beautiful than the Bay of Naples. That was her highest compliment. Marin has the added beauty of the redwood forests. I haven't taken the backroad between Larkspur and Fairfax, but I've taken the road from Fairfax northwestward, toward the beach. I exclaimed to my Fairfax friends, "It's like driving through a redwood park!". They said, "We ARE driving through a redwood park!". The redwoods hug the road. I highly recommend you explore that area. As you near the beach, you may even pass by a herd of tule elk. Marin is like a dream!

So, are you going to check out townhomes or condos in San Rafael? There are a couple within your price range. With patience, you could score one. Why abandon Heaven, now that you've found it, and experienced it? No redwoods in SoCal, OP. No elk herds. However, in Port Townsend, in some parts of town, the local deer just stroll down the street like they own the place. It has to be seen to be believed. Just saying.
LOL. Sorry about the discombobulation. I'm actually using speak to text on my phone, while also trying to work at the same time, so... Lol
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:29 AM
 
215 posts, read 203,096 times
Reputation: 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
We get it, OP; you love Marin! I don't blame you. But in the future, please try to organize your enthusing into paragraphs. Thanks.

OP, I was born and raised in Berkeley, and I never got tired of getting up in the morning, and looking out the window at the beautiful view of the Bay! No one in my family did; my grandmother, who fancied herself a world traveller to a degree, always said that it's more beautiful than the Bay of Naples. That was her highest compliment. Marin has the added beauty of the redwood forests. I haven't taken the backroad between Larkspur and Fairfax, but I've taken the road from Fairfax northwestward, toward the beach. I exclaimed to my Fairfax friends, "It's like driving through a redwood park!". They said, "We ARE driving through a redwood park!". The redwoods hug the road. I highly recommend you explore that area. As you near the beach, you may even pass by a herd of tule elk. Marin is like a dream!

So, are you going to check out townhomes or condos in San Rafael? There are a couple within your price range. With patience, you could score one. Why abandon Heaven, now that you've found it, and experienced it? No redwoods in SoCal, OP. No elk herds. However, in Port Townsend, in some parts of town, the local deer just stroll down the street like they own the place. It has to be seen to be believed. Just saying.
I'm thinking about taking a visit to Port Townsend within the next couple of months, just to check it out. I'm already extremely interested! But yeah, I will do everything I can just to stay where I'm at, but again once I retire the housing costs are on my own, so that is something I have to take seriously since going from $900 a month to possibly $3,000 a month is quite significant!
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:33 AM
 
2,780 posts, read 3,913,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Troy View Post
Good God! :-( Well, I would definitely have to find someplace in Washington much cheaper then I could in California, just so I can afford a place somewhere else to get away to in the winters!

Well, I am prepared to move to Bakersfield and just turn my house into a personal Mill Valley, with a pool, deluxe humidifiers and lots of shrubbery, if I have to! How I hope it doesn't get to that point!

The thing is, I wasn't born or even raised in Marin County. I lived here for years, due to work. Because I wasn't born here, I know what it's like to live in inner city Los Angeles, the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, etc. Upon moving to Marin I literally noticed a general sense of well-being. It was fun getting up in the morning just to look out the window! Of course, some of that subsided in time, but there's just a difference living in a place with beautiful scenery and, for the most part, happy people. Parts of Marin County literally look like movie sets! The air seems relatively clean, there are enough good restaurants to where you didn't really have to worry about being disappointed, though I will admit there Mexican restaurants weren't the best. (though they have a Puerto Rican restaurant that makes up for it! Sol Food) plus, the kicker is San Francisco is like 12 miles away! Downtown Mill Valley, especially during Christmas season, literally looks like a snow globe that someone has broken open and blown up to life-size! The town of Larkspur, which I live in has a laundromat that literally has free donuts in it. There's a bar here we're a few years back I was having a drink, and Sean Penn walked in, and no one acted surprised! Everyone went on with their conversation, while I was almost choking! The small town of Fairfax looks like a town populated by rich hippies. There is a road that takes you from the town of Larkspur back to a town called Fairfax. (hippie town) It has got to be the prettiest road I've ever seen in my life! Trees literally overhang the road in some areas. One day I was going down that road a bit faster than I should've and got pulled over by a cop. He literally had an Irish accent! I can't make this stuff up! Parts of Marin County literally look like movie sets! The air seems relatively clean, there are enough good restaurants to where you didn't really have to worry about being disappointed, though I will admit there Mexican restaurants weren't the best. (though they have a Puerto Rican restaurant that makes up for it! Sol Food) plus, the kicker is San Francisco is like 12 miles away! Downtown Mill Valley, especially during Christmas season, literally looks like a snow globe that someone has broken open and blown up to life-size! I'm sure most people I'm sure most people reading this will think, "He's over exaggerating, a city is just a city." It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't spent time here. Most Saturdays I'll go have coffee at a hotel bar in the Medrano Inn, which is located in a town called Sausalito. Sausalito looks like some place in Italy! I remember wanting to get my bearings on the area, so I took a drive past the town to Fairfax, just to see how far the county went. It looked pretty wooded in that direction but I just kept driving. After a while it sort of suddenly lets out to a road near the ocean. I literally saw whales swimming in the water! Whales swimming, with oyster restaurant shacks nearby! I'm thinking, "Am I in goddamn Narnia?" Anyway, I can go on and on, but the point is Marin is a hard place to beat, but I understand I may have to give some things up. However, just as I barely knew a Marin County's existence 20 years ago, I'm hoping there's some other hidden gems elsewhere I know nothing about, which is why I posed the question.
This is exactly the feeling we get when we're in Marin too. We live in San Diego now, in an area with fairly big lots and nature around us, and it's much, much cheaper than Marin. If we could get a similar house in Marin, then we'd be there too. It's just the most beautiful place anywhere. But this is a great compromise. From our neighborhood, you can see both the ocean and the mountains, so sometimes in the winter, you'll see snow on the higher peaks. A couple days ago, we were up in the mountains enjoying fall colors and apple pie. Definitely a nice diversity of scenery here, but we don't have redwood forests. Of course, WA state doesn't either. Outside of CA, the forests are different.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:19 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
80,940 posts, read 73,981,605 times
Reputation: 80571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Troy View Post
I'm thinking about taking a visit to Port Townsend within the next couple of months, just to check it out. I'm already extremely interested! But yeah, I will do everything I can just to stay where I'm at, but again once I retire the housing costs are on my own, so that is something I have to take seriously since going from $900 a month to possibly $3,000 a month is quite significant!
Remember when you go to the NW in winter--you're seeing it at its worst, which is probably a good idea, so that you'll know what you're in for, in winter, but spring & summer are glorious. Unless BC is having summer forest fires....

You could always postpone retirement, couldn't you? That might be a wise option. The longer you work, the more goes into your SS, you know.
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:48 PM
 
2,780 posts, read 3,913,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Remember when you go to the NW in winter--you're seeing it at its worst, which is probably a good idea, so that you'll know what you're in for, in winter, but spring & summer are glorious. Unless BC is having summer forest fires....

You could always postpone retirement, couldn't you? That might be a wise option. The longer you work, the more goes into your SS, you know.
It's probably a good idea for someone to visit the PNW during the rainy season, because the summers are so perfect that they might make a false impression!

Pt Townsend looks like a beautiful town, but looking at the next 8 day weather forecast for that town vs, say, San Rafael in Marin County shows 8 days of rain and highs in the 50s in WA and 8 days of partly cloudy and highs in the 70s in Marin. When late October in the PNW already feels like mid-winter in the Bay Area, then you know you're in for a looong hibernation... :-)
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