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terezosa

Where would you live?

terezosa / terriks
last month
last modified: last month

I'm less than happy with where we have lived in southern Oregon for almost 30 years. Yes, it's pretty here, but our city of less than 200,000(Edit - that should be 90,000. I was thinking of the population of the entire county) is the largest population center in the region. To get to a major metropolitan center like Portland is about a 4.5 hour drive on a good day.

My husband took early retirement last year, so we don't have to live here any more.

We want what I think everyone is probably looking for - good weather with a low cost of living.

I'd like to find a place that's very walkable, within an hour or less of an urban center, no extreme weather, where we can buy at least a 3 bed/2 bath, 2000 sq ft home for around $500,000 (there's some wiggle room there)

Our kids are spread out over the country - L.A., Denver, and NYC, and are never coming back here. I'd like to be able to enjoy great restaurants, professional sports, museums, etc. without planning a weekend (or longer) trip.

Ideas??

Comments (281)

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Most states, AFAIK I know, allow senior citizens to attend public colleges and universities for free. Unfortunately it is 65 in our state, in MA it is only 60. A friend who used to be my DD2's yoga instructor is going back to get a counselling degree, 100% free. Cool!

    If one wants to be a citizen in Canada, you need to invest. Last time I looked I think the least expensive option was to go to Quebec, where in exchange for lending the province $800k interest free for 5 years, you could become a citizen. I could be misremembering but I think in Vancouver that number was $5mn and it was more like a direct equity investment. Could be wrong it's been a while, you know like maybe it was November 2016 I researched this.

    PS Just looked this up: To apply for citizenship, an investor must invest C$ 1,200,000 (≈ $ 945,000) at zero interest for five years. They are not required to start a business. This distinguishes the Quebec program from the migration programs in other provinces of the country. Must have upped it and or the exchange rate moved against us.

    If you have your money in something lame like munis, giving up 5 yrs of income for free lifelong healthcare and other bennies, might be a good trade.

  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    I really shouldn't have brought up homelessness as an issue, but the reason I did is because even though I live in a rural, seemingly bucolic area with a low cost of living, due to it being part of a three state border region and travel corridor, and general economic decline with an accompanying brain drain, I am finding myself motivated to live elsewhere upon retirement. And I grew up here and never imagined I would move because I was so connected. Now a lot of those connections are being frayed as my generation and my generation's kids increasingly move elsewhere. Ironically, the upper middle class neighborhood I live in is feeling less and less safe as I experience low grade violent and aggressive demonstrations, albeit only by a few bad apples, and the nearby interstate exchange and river have become corridors for traffic in all kinds of bad, bad things and the folks who go along with that. I'm still hanging on and still do what I can to improve the social situation, but seeing my own elderly father and his cohorts struggle getting good elder care and social services here has made me realize that I'm going to get out while I still can.

    One has always had to travel to larger cities to get serious and major medical treatment, but as one ages, the ability to travel becomes less and less. I think one needs to plan for that even if you aren't yet there. We even had good close friends get killed in a car accident as they were driving back from a nearby town because they needed more advanced cancer care. That's why a lot of dad's friends moved to larger urban and cultural centers when they retired, anticipating that they didn't want to have to drive a half hour or more to get medical care, even emergency stuff. They were proactive.

    Dad is kind of stuck, he can't even get his mind around assisted living and would never adapt to another place. He's getting by now in a condo with hired assistance. But if his memory goes, then all bets are off. One of my good friends moved into a condo complex for retirees, but it had nursing and respite facilities on site. Turned out to be a godsend as her husband, (a brilliant businessman) developed Alzheimer's disease. She was also elderly and it made it a whole lot easier for her to get the assistance she needed caring for him because it was right in the nearby vicinity. They scoped that out well in advance so it worked out the way it was supposed to!

    And this was in Bethlehem PA, which on the surface would have the reputation of having bad (if you count four season and some humidity) weather and being a rust belt "sketchy" place. But only if you looked at superficial things. Having a high number of colleges and universities, as well as a storied history of manufacturing and entrepreneurism, the area was filled with folks who were motivated to do lots of things the smart way. In fact, before he got Alzheimer's, my friend's husband was one of those movers and shakers. I am not familiar with the South and West, but I would hazard a guess there are some sleeper communities there as well. I'd start by looking in my nearby vicinity and spending some times connecting to areas that look promising.

    Just for another example, a friend moved to Flint MI for work. A city with a TERRIBLE reputation. However, they found a group of wonderful friends and great places to recreate and a good school system nearby. And then the wife got cancer, and they considered themselves to be blessed to have moved near one of the top cancer treatment centers in the world. Folks outside the area would go by superficial reputation, but that is often terribly skewed.

    And, towns can change dramatically. I once lived in Grand Rapids MI, and we used to joke that it was "the town that hates you back." Which was only a joke, it had many lovely people, but it was a rather insulated region so it was a cliquey town and difficult for someone moving there from outside to make friends. Ask me how I know. Fast forward thirty years, and the area has become a medical hub and the "sketchy" parts of town near where I lived are highly desirable due to now being near major hospitals and a medical school. As a young single gal, I was miserable there, but now oldster me finds that town now high on my list of places to retire, for reasons mentioned . . . when I was young and lived there I bemoaned that all my good cool friends were retirees, because I worked for a non-profit with a lot of retired volunteers. Now, I AM one of those folks so it's not a downside!!

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  • Bunny
    last month
    last modified: last month

    maddie, if I lived in Marin, I would stay put too. :)

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Honestly, I thought Maddie was being very gracious to give Sacramento a shout out when she herself hails from Marin, and then someone had to take a snotty tone. (eye roll)

    I used to go to Sacramento probably about once a year to see CalPERS, but the last time I went it was in 2017. I was with family, stopping for lunch on the way from Tahoe to SF. I thought it was a pleasant town, and I'm sure is more affordable than much of CA.

  • Bunny
    last month

    I have friends in Sacramento who love it. They're retired, active in their neighborhood and community at large. They built a labyrinth in their front yard with an open invitation for folks to stop along their way and walk it. Sac is a little hot and inland for me, but there are worse places to live.

  • maddie260
    last month

    I deleted my own comments:)

  • SeattleMCM
    last month

    kevin9408"I've seen so many say "I'm moving to Canada" for one reason or another but never do and always gives me a chuckle.....

    I'm one of those, LOL. But my husband is Canadian. I have an IN.

  • SEA SEA
    last month

    Lucky you SeattleMCM...

  • SeattleMCM
    last month



  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    I've seen so many say "I'm moving to Canada" for one reason or another but never do and always gives me a chuckle.....


    You are missing the psychology. The Illusion of control/choice provides comfort.

  • SEA SEA
    last month

    The best I could do is wait until one of my kids (both are uber degreed) moves to Canada and hope to score a guest visa for a few months at a time, which defeats my purpose! lol I would want to not leave...alas, they wouldn't want regular ole me.

  • SeattleMCM
    last month

    I wonder how many people would rethink Canada when they learn there are no Target stores. It certainly bothers me.

    (kidding.)

  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    Hmm. Living next door, Canada is on my list of possibilities. Wonder if one can retire there as an American ex-pat.? It's still close to most of my friends and family. We've been exploring the Thousand Islands Area. See the post on Elmira NY for some of the drawbacks . . . if anyone ever watched "Still Standing" with Canadian comedian Jonny Harris that's a fun take on some of the "down but not out" areas of Canada. Boy is this OT! Cold, damp, humid. Hey, if you've lived in it all your life, you don't have to acclimate . . . but I'm not sure I'm ready to start over in a whole new town and region where I don't know a soul. Not at 60+. Not much time to make friends and get to know the ropes.

  • SEA SEA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    haha. I would still take Canada, but they wouldn't take me :(

  • whatsayyou18
    last month

    Funny story. We lived in northern NY for a couple of years and considered retiring in the area. Found a beautiful development just across the border which was pretty much everything we had been looking for. We took DD and her BF to check it out. (I *think* we'd discovered the development in the Fall and I believe their visit was in the summer.) We drive in and they're ooohing and aaaahing, we're still enchanted, we park and step out of the car to literally be attacked by humongous biting deer(?) flies. We jumped back in the car, hightailed it outta there, and never looked back. What a beautiful part of the country though!!

  • SeattleMCM
    last month

    Wonder if one can retire there as an American ex-pat.?

    unless you want to work there for a few more years (with certain skills), or have a relative who can sponsor you, it doesn't seem like a good option.

    https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/baby-boomers/articles/how-to-retire-in-canada

  • palimpsest
    last month

    The problem is if you are retirement age or close to it the proof of retirement income is higher for incoming Americans for some countries is pretty high compared to what the natives live on. I have looked into Canada (where one way to get in is to invest $400,000 in Canadian funds for a certain number of years, they keep the gains and you will get your $400K back whenever you want, or when you move there --I think these are the figures). I have looked into Ireland which requires something like $110,000 per annum retirement income for a couple. I missed the Irish Passport method by one generation.

  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    I have to laugh at the last part of that article, "Food is expensive and much if it is imported from the US." Considering Canada is located in one of the top agricultural areas of the world, that is hard to believe. And how much of our food here in the US comes from Mexico or China? Shows the illogic from an geography, supply chain and ecological perspective of our system of getting food. Yeah, we could grow food here, but we don't, can't make a living doing it. What a waste. That played a big role in why some of those small Canadian towns were dying out, the decline in the agricultural sector. Same here in the US. There's a common joke here in the North Country, about "where you're going when the revolution comes." At that point, the practical aspects of basic survival come in to play. I always think of Dr. Zhivago trying to live and fly under the radar in the hinterlands of Russia, only to get swept up in the mess yet again. No matter where I live, I try to support local agriculture and make friends with local farmers, hunters and fishermen. I know a lot of folks don't think about food supply as a retirement issue, but I'm very food motivated, lol! One question I might ask, "How far is the nearest orchard?" Oh, that's another reason I'm moving. There used to be fabulous produce market and orchards in my county. No more, sigh.

  • Gooster
    last month

    The issues of foreign visas was why I mentioned Portugal and certain countries in Western Europe. Although they have some famous "golden visa" programs, their basic visas for those who are not working have income requirements that are considerably less. In France, for a couple, it is like less than 20K net USD per year for a non-working long stay visa. These countries also offer entry into the health care system. But moving is a big jump, even into expat-heavy areas.


    Regarding the Sacramento area, the area is very large and very diverse. I mentioned the eastern suburbs and small towns in the foothills as being closer to the Southern Oregon/Medford area (a bit warmer in the summer, and the winter) but less isolated. When you talk about the city itself, and the popular close-in neighborhoods the price point has risen above the target budget. In particular, the Bay Area exodus has once again accelerated under COVID, with the advent of full week or partial week remote working. This has driven up prices in the center (for the 20s/30s and the retirees seeking an active lifestyle) and in the outlying suburbs (for families seeking yards, larger homes and good schools). These differences and the changes over time probably reflect in the varying experiences expressed earlier.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    The open houses we have gone to in Boston's South End and Beacon Hill were attended almost by entirely retirees. Made me think going urban as we age is not so crazy.

  • jsk
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I didn't read all the responses, so may have missed it, but nobody mentions New Jersey. I know, I know it has a bad rep. But there are many lovely areas. Check out Princeton, although not sure that fits in your $500k budget. And property taxes there are very high. But there are surrounding areas with lower property taxes (although property taxes in NJ are high compared to most other states).

    I live 10 min from Princeton and I am exactly 1/2 way between NYC and Philly. Each are an hour drive with no traffic. Obviously more with traffic. Trains to both are quick. There are busses to NYC too (not sure about Philly).

    I will eventually most likely end up in the Doylestown area because DD lives near there and I want to be closer to my grands (we are an hour by car now; not terrible but I want to be closer). I've landed on Doylestown because it's close to DD and because of politics. Yes, I checked out how towns in the area voted in the last couple of presidential elections because it's important to me.

    DS is in college in Philly right now, so I suspect he'll end up in that area too.

  • Bookwoman
    last month
    last modified: last month

    mtn, not crazy at all. We have a couple of friends who've moved from their suburban homes to NYC and Philadelphia. Walkability, public transportation, and no need to take care of a yard were high on their lists. One couple is renting in a NYC doorman building, in order to have no worries about things going wrong in the apartment: just call the super!

  • SEA SEA
    last month

    jsk brings a reminder to light about property taxes. Just that is another reason why, for the time being at least, we do stay put. Ours do rise yearly, but it's a metered amount and still below full market value. As long as we don't go wild with more renovations that require a permit (thus a county reassesment), we can figure what our approx property taxes each year will be. Same can't be said for many areas of the country, which is a concern as we age. I don't know what the prop tax situation is in OR where the OP lives, but it is something to factor when making a move, unless $ resources are not a worry.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last month

    Just an aside but I know my state (WA) has property tax exemptions available for qualified seniors and I know other states offer senior tax discounts as well. I helped my mom apply for the exemption after my dad passed. She lived in a very modest home but in a very high income, high real estate pricing area (Bellevue....not far from where Bill Gates lives!) and the property tax rate was ridiculous! For her mortgage free home, the biannual taxes were several times her fixed monthly income. No way could she have afforded them easily.

  • patriceny
    last month

    Mtn, one of my friends from work used to live in one of the pricey suburbs of Boston. He said the location was great when their kids were in school - great school district, and their lives revolved around their kids and school activities.


    However the kids grew up, and their large surburban house seemed too big and too empty. They sold and moved into a newly-built 2 bed condo in Boston and love it - being able to talk to restaurants for dinner, he said he feels like they have a social life as adults again. He plans to stay there in perpetuity now.


    I never thought your Boston idea was crazy. The person I know who did exactly that is very happy. He said the only down side is that kids are whining about where is everyone going to sleep when they all come home - he told them to look up some AirBnB's or to bring a sleeping bag. :)


  • salonva
    last month

    Jsk, we must have been neighbors before we moved. Central NJ is lovely for sure, but it's for sure on the pricier side. The property taxes were insane. If I tell people what we were paying, they think I am bragging about a glorious estate. We had a very nice house in a very good area, but the property taxes were out of control.

    I tell people that yes, (Princeton and nearby) are indeed beautiful area but I honestly think that where we are in Pa is even nicer.


  • robo (z6a)
    last month

    Living in Canada -
    It feels pretty democratic! It’s a constitutional monarchy with the Queen repped by the Governor General, a senate (unelected) and a House of Commons (elected). The Governor General is the head of state and does have power but she (or he) is constrained to only act on the advice of the prime minister (head of the party with the most seats). She ensures the prime minister has the confidence of parliament. In practice, we don’t answer to the Queen and if she wanted to change that relationship we’d kibosh it and leave the Commonwealth.

    The senate is comprised of illustrious Canadians and is supposed to act as the sober second thought to the house. Much of the important business of government such as education and health care are delegated to the provinces, we have our own legislatures with elected members and also a lieutenant governor representing the Queen. Unlike much of the the US healthcare and education are funded provincially (not municipally) and tend to be more equitable for that reason.

    Food - it is more expensive (less heavily subsidized) than the US and yes a lot of the produce is imported year round and particularly in the winter for obvious reasons. Coming from NS in the winter to Florida, yeah our produce kinda sucks because it’s trucked/shipped/flown in so far.

    Immigration - man it’s a hot spot here and the housing market is going nuts. Immigrants by definition have $$ here unless they are refugees and housing prices are rising rapidly to meet ballooning demand. A common phenomenon everywhere but it is red hot here.

  • Kitchenwitch111
    last month

    jsk -- I'm in NJ too (Lawrenceville). I've lived here all my life. Yes it's expensive, but two major cities, great beaches, & the Pocono mountains are each an hour away. And my kids are here and in NYC, so it's hard for me to move.

    I have been considering the Lisbon, Portugal area. I have a dual citizenship with Ireland, so I wouldn't need a visa. It's a 6-hour flight from the NY area. I'm single and would have to move alone, and I'm not sure I can do that and be comfortable. And I can't figure out how to take my dog with me! Love this thread!!

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I've been hearing a lot about Portugal. My gardener in Maine spends the winters there and loves it. I have friend whose brother is part of the Lisbon orchestra and also loves it there.

    I have yet to find someone who does not complain that their property taxes are high. Having lived a decade in NJ, I laugh in their general direction. They have no idea.

    When I moved to CT, I was looking forward to a bit lower property taxes. But, at least in Fairfield County, home prices were higher. So for the same value house taxes were the same, even though the rate was lower than NJ.

    Forgot to add - I agree people can be dumb about NJ. Like the story about the port, they might base it on the ride from EWR to Manhattan! My town was essentially one large, in tact, leafy historic district with grand old homes, real thriving downtowns, a worldly mix of people and destination dining. L'ville and Princeton are lovely too. As I said before, these analyses are never granular enough. It's like people who think Bronxville (gorgeous!) is the Bronx!

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    Robo is a wonderful ambassador. Her good nature, warm, interesting, and worldly personality, square nicely with my view of Canadians.

  • davidrt28 (zone 7)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    As a plant collector, for me it's all about climate. Tempered (no pun intended) with other livability factors. I would say the best climate in the US is either high-elevation Hawaii, or western Sonoma County California. But even if I had vast financial resources, I just think living in HI would feel so far away from the rest of the world. Even if you can fly first class, having to fly to leave Hawaii would be a PITA. As for CA, not to wade into Hot Topics areas, but CA seems to have a lot of long term systemic problems and how they are going to play out is anybody's guess. Massive gap between the rich and poor...running out of water, etc.

    As for the world, again, if one tempers climate with political and livability factors...I come up with the gently elevated parts of SE Australia as being close to perfect. Although their tendency towards sporadic fires and droughts (in climates that are otherwise very wet - much wetter, year round, than CA) is worrisome. And will no doubt get worst with anthropogenic climate change, which is a reality. But in either Melbourne or Sydney you can live in an outer suburb, in the low mountains at the end of a commuter train line, but still easily get into those two excellent cities. And yet Australia is still a very uncrowded feeling country compared to, say, the UK, or even much of the US. Outside the big cities it feels more like the non-urban West than the Northeastern US. Of course I'm not the only one to realize this and real estate prices in those places are quite high.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    I've never understood why people seem to obsess over one or more types of local taxes. As a greater priority than the many other multiplicity of factors that affect the choice of where to live. High or low, they're an element of the cost of living, one of very many things to consider.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    I'm of the view that other than people who live with or come from places with smotheringly inflexible religious or cultural practices that they allow to irrationally rule their lives (which can include native-born Americans too), people everywhere are about the same. No population is smarter than another, nor (with reasonable education and travel) more or less worldly, more or less friendly, more or less insightful. With the good fortune of having lived abroad, travelled extensively throughout my adult life, and having lived in a very diverse area, I find few differences between people of one "kind" versus another.


    Long way around saying - my experience with Canadians, as with any other folks from any other place, is they're not necessarily one way and not another. Take any measure or characteristic, you'll find the same range there as anywhere else. Maybe political views are colored by local factors, but people are people. Isn't everyone about the same everywhere? That's what I've learned.

  • terezosa / terriks
    Original Author
    last month

    I haven't had time to read all of the 208+ responses, and have only skimmed through most of them.

    Many of you have mentioned how wonderful the area where you live is, but have failed to mention where!


    If I were single I would definitely look into moving to Portugal.


    My husband is a Canadian citizen, but I'm not ready for the winters there.


    I have only lived in California and Oregon. I grew up in Sacramento, and I do think that there are lots of good areas to live there. I lived for several years in my late teens/early twenties in San Diego County, and if we could afford it would love live there again. After we were married we lived in the East Bay for a few years, and before moving to Oregon we lived in Riverside County, California.



  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Uhh, Elmer, just fyi it is a partly tongue in chic homage to someone several of us have known here for years and met IRL. Sort of an inside joke not a scientifically validated demographic study.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    "Sort of an inside joke"


    The lack of your indicating something to that effect made YOUR underlying meaning invisible.

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    That's why I am telling you now before we go off on tangents about how all people are the same. No offense intended, Elmer.

  • Bunny
    last month

    western Sonoma County California

    Come visit me! You don't need snow and ice and unbearable humidity to have four distinct seasons. Seriously, I can tell that fall is moving into winter.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    last month

    Santa Rosa, Sebastopol or thereabouts?

  • Bunny
    last month

    Elmer, yes.

  • Gooster
    last month

    mtn, I wonder how old that Movoto article is -- I think some of the median prices have now doubled. Inland is defintely more affordable, and the further away but closer to the coast. I do think it is worth exploring further.


    on some other comments...


    My sister used to live in upper elevation Hawaii. Isolation from other places is an issue.


    If you are interested in comparing climate data, Weatherspark is a great site.


    Anecdotally what I've heard from people who have made the move overseas is that their social life and activity network has only expanded in areas with active expat networks, and that it was much easier than when moving within the US. Portugal is a very popular destination right now -- the language is challenging for some. We checked it out as a destination for an overseas place, as we examined everywhere from Lisbon down to Sicily, before narrowing down a location.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    last month

    My MIL was blind and hard of hearing but was able to live well on her own in NYC for several years, so aging in an urban environment is a good thing, if you like the lifestyle. Her neighborhood got to know her, so she'd walk to restaurants for meals and they'd help her order off the menu, the grocer knew her and always had someone shop with her to help her select her items. She even had a fellow escort her to the NYC Library to get some tax forms. She could taxi or bus to get to dr's appointments and, unlike our suburban area, didn't need to drive to get to where she wanted to go. The best part for us was, when she left for the summer, all she had to do was lock the door on her apartment. Closing up a house is a whole 'nother thing.

  • l pinkmountain
    last month

    As much as folks left the rust belt areas of the upper Midwest and bemoan the humid weather, you'll be back when the well runs dry . . .

  • Bestyears
    last month

    There are charming people everywhere; there are nasty people everywhere, and there are hordes in between. But to suggest that 'people are people' doesn't square with my experiences. I lived in New England for 25 years, in the SF Bay Area for 14 years, and I now live in the Houston area (25 years so far). I found my initial observations to hold pretty true over the duration. I've been fortunate to make some wonderful lifelong friends in all of these locations, but there are most definitely personalities to each area.

  • Kitchenwitch111
    last month

    My town in NJ is walkable to restaurants, a Starbucks, bakery, pizza place, barber, Post Office and ice cream but not a bar or grocery store. We have four seasons, although the summers have gotten much more hot and humid than in the past. There's a gazebo in the park on Main Street and bands play music there in the summer. There's good schools and the neighborhoods have nicely kept early 20th-Century houses and we have bike and walking trails that can get you to nearby towns without going on a road. The train to NYC and Philadelphia is 5 miles away, and there's also a bus stop at the end of my street. I think you can find lots of towns like this across the country, but what makes the difference is where your family and friends are. To me that's the most important consideration in deciding where to live.

  • Tina Marie
    last month

    but what makes the difference is where your family and friends are. To me that's the most important consideration in deciding where to live


    @Kitchenwitch111 I find that to be so true! I mentioned what a "support system" means to me. Really, I cannot imagine a life where I am not near those I love the most.

  • l pinkmountain
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think there are a lot of folks either living in or having experience with the perfect place to live, but they don't want to let us in on the secret . . . makes sense! ;)

    I had good friends who moved to Portland OR from PA. They loved the geography. Both had pretty good jobs, but they ended up coming back to the East Coast, just could not afford the basic middle class stuff like home and starting a family. Plus was closer to parents . . .

  • fran1523
    last month

    I think I would continue to live right where I am in southern Massachusetts. We have easy access to the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, access to the seaside of Cape Cod and the east coast, two large cities in Boston and Providence, excellent medical care, and a wealth of cultural opportunities in theater, music, museums, etc. The winters can be tough but I'm willing to endure an occasional blizzard in exchange for no earthqkuakes, flooding, drought, or tornadoes. Sure it's not the cheapest place to live but you get what you pay for....example no sales tax on clothing, alcohol, I also love the political climate here. It's just the right balance between liberal and conservative and we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.


  • mtnrdredux_gw
    last month

    I think there are a lot of folks either living in or having experience with the perfect place to live


    Yes because one person's "perfect" is not necessarily yours.


    Of the four homes we have owned, two of them, the current two, were bought on a lark. It has turned out very well (but part of that might just be confirmation bias). This time, I am trying to be uber disciplined and we have been spending a huge amount of time learning about towns and neighborhoods in a 2 hr radius of our Maine house. I've got a 60-page spreadsheet (ok mostly photos), probably spent 7 or 8 Sundays at open houses since Spring


    All of this will be helpful knowledge when we decide to buy (prob not till we sell, BTDT owning 3 homes and that was before they killed the SALT deduction). But, at the end of the day, it will probably be an emotional decision simply based on what is available when we look. No home, or town, is perfect, and that sometimes what makes one happy can be totally unpredictable. Some decisions are emotional, even if we try to inform them with facts.


    That was why I encouraged Terri to look at places near San Diego, when she said she "would love live there again." To me, she has her answer. Usually we have to worry about kids, jobs. You should live where you love. Pick a cheaper suburb, up the budget, and give up a bedroom. You will be where you want to be.