ERE City (US)

How to avoid signing your life over to a mortgage
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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:38 pm

> $300 million for bike transit over the next 20 years.
Are they buying everyone a bike? Do you get one if you move there as part of a welcome package? I'd love that. All I got from my town was a bumper sticker and some restaurant coupons when we moved here.
9-11% in income tax is HIGH. I realize the goal here is to avoid a lot of income per se, but I would think an income tax would hit us harder than a sales tax. I'll have to run some numbers to see. I guess once you're FI no sales tax is key, but I'm still wary of that kind of income tax. Do most retirees move out of state?
Is that a state-wide income tax, or just for city residents/workers?


George the original one
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Post by George the original one » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:32 pm

Oregon income tax is statewide, allows for $4,500 personal exemption, $9,000 exemption if married filing jointly, $2,000 exemption for each child.
Useful web site to compare various states: http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/228.html
Regarding Portland's bike transit plan, that was all for improvements, such as bike paths and bike lanes and bike bridges and bike parking. Sadly, the city is not handing out bicycles (even though that's $600 per person over 20 years).


jacob
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Post by jacob » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:03 pm

More on Oregon from early-retirement.org.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVmq9dq6 ... r_embedded


George the original one
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Post by George the original one » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:33 pm

In another thread,"When did you decide to ERE?" chilly wrote: "After about the millionth rainy weekend followed by a sunny beautiful work week."
This is a common experience in western Oregon and Washington (and further north into Canada). If you're still working and can't cope with the odds of this happening, then consider living in eastern Oregon and Washington (or Idaho) instead. Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Boise, Baker, Burns, Pendelton, Bend, Walla Walla, Klamath Falls, Ashland.


chilly
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Post by chilly » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:12 pm

Yeah, it's certainly not a myth:
http://hurricane.ncdc.noaa.gov/climaps/sky51c13.pdf

http://hurricane.ncdc.noaa.gov/climaps/sky51a13.pdf

http://hurricane.ncdc.noaa.gov/climaps/sun5213.pdf
Who knows though... being retired means you have 100% of your days free/flexible, vs. 28% when working. That means someone working would need to live in a place 3.5 times sunnier than a retiree to have the same number of free sunny days. Not to say more isn't better though.


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Post by jeremymday » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:48 pm

@ George,
I must say that I think Coeur d'Alene is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. I didn't expect to find this driving through the tip of Idaho on my way to Seattle.


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Post by jacob » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:14 am

I think this is a good argument against big cities [going forward]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ondon.html
Smaller cities does not have a critical mass of idiots and people will be less likely to "not get involved and just let the police handle it."


Ralphy
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Post by Ralphy » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:33 am

Decorah, Iowa.
I plan to stay in Iowa for a while to be near family, so I have a bias, but I think this is still a good addition to the list.
Random stats I can think of -
Population approx. 7-8,000.

Home of Luther College.

On the Upper Iowa River, about 40 miles from the Mississippi.

Not particularly close to major cities (3-5 hours). I'm not interested in being very close to major population centers.

Vibrant biking community.

Historic, walkable downtown.
You might like to check out their Sustainability Plan on the city website (no links from me, I'm trying to write from a phone). Seems very pro local food development, biking and walking.
~20% of energy produced in Iowa is wind power, highest in the country.


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Post by chilly » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:22 am

I love Idaho and have considered it myself. Specifically I was eyeing McCall. It's not the ideal ERE location, but it has great year round outdoors appeal (skiing and a big beautiful lake). Hunting, fishing. Housing is not especially cheap, but rents are quite low. About 2 hours from Boise. So again, while not the absolute most practical or cheap, it is near the top of my practical vs. appealing tradeoff list right now (bang for the buck).


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Post by jacob » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:36 pm

Last week, we went on a road trip to Oregon to check out real estate. The plan was pretty to go to Portland and then zig-zag all the way back down again driving between potential addresses on redfin.
I find that it's easier to get a feel for the neighborhood when on the ground.
The favorite spot for us was Veneta, OR which is 12 miles west of Eugene on the other side of the lake. It has 0.5+ acre lots in a small time atmosphere (you can see your neighbors hours from your but his wall doesn't cover your entire view because it's ten feet away like in suburbia) for 90-150k (most of which are light fixer uppers .. what we looked at anyway).
This made me realize that to please as many people as possible, we need do find places where, so to speak, there's a moon (for the small town people) orbiting a bigger planet (for the city people).


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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:46 pm

How far is Veneta from the coast? It looks like about 30 minutes or so on the map I have. Did you get any closer to the coast? Does the real estate get prohibitively expensive like it does here in the northeast? One of the most attractive things about the cities in NH was their proximity to the coast.
I'm planning a solo trip this fall (need to get out of stepford once in a while). Maybe I can head up to NH and check out some of the towns mentioned. I'm not opposed to Oregon though.


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Post by jacob » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:02 pm

More like 60 minutes.
I'm not a resident expert, but from the listings it looks like homes in Oregon get cheaper as you move out from I-5 which splits the state North/South down the middle---even as you get to the coast (101). Most things away from I-5 belong to the white areas of the map (here be dragons!) with lots of woodland where cities are few and far in between. The coast is sparse too.
We didn't get closer to the coast in person.


chilly
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Post by chilly » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:15 am

That doesn't look too bad actually... houses look decent and prop tax not horrible, if you can somehow get over that draconian income tax. What's up with that lake next to Veneta? It looks really weird on Google maps:
http://tinyurl.com/fern-lake
Is it nasty like the great salt lake or something?


chilly
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Post by chilly » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:25 am


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Post by jacob » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:47 am

Lots of marshland to the south. I saw sailboats on it.


dragoncar
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Post by dragoncar » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:36 am

One of my ERE city criteria is a minimum of two monsters in the lake. Tentacles a plus.


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Post by doglover » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:41 pm

I've been reading this topic and feeling open to every idea.
It interested me enough to sign up and comment.
Jacob, did you consider the towns and cities in the Hudson valley of New York? I realize some people will have to get over issues about NY. Truth is property taxes vary by which place in NY you live, but statewide it is a good state for retired people with income.
I mentioned the Hudson River valley because you mentioned waterways as important, and NY has a ton of water. I have my eye on Troy, NY, which has property in the range you were looking at (below $100k), a very vibrant farmers' market, and a large train station, with regional bus connection to the Greyhound bus station across the river and the airport.
Plus, the city is in a very rural county (and it's beautiful).
Winter exists, but it is three and a half months, not six. Personally, I think winter is a great time to go hiking/snowshoeing in the mountains.


George the original one
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Post by George the original one » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:51 pm

@chilly - that is Fern Ridge Resevoir, formed by an impassable dam (no fish ladder) on the Long Tom River. Contains many fish species and the subsequently formed swamp is home to lots of birds. Good slow-water kayaking area.
The premier native fish species is the coastal cutthroat trout, which grow in the lake and then spawn in the upper reaches of the Long Tom River and tributaries. There are also nonnative species like bass and crappie.
The Long Tom River was not historically a producer of salmon or steelhead, so the fact that the dam has no fish ladder is of little consequence. The coastal cutthroat trout in the Willamette Valley basin can't migrate to the ocean due to the size of Willamette Falls (Oregon City), so once again the dam is of little consequence.
Flowing out of the coast range, the Long Tom River and it's tributaries are fed by springs and rainfall only. Consequently the drawdown on Fern Ridge Reservoir can be fairly severe in a drought year.


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Post by George the original one » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:04 pm

@jennypenny - the coast property that's closest to Portland by car with the highest quality homes will have the highest prices. Only Cannon Beach, Neakanie, and Gearhart have prohibitively expensive homes (that I'm aware of), but there are also nearby homes that are affordable in those same communities. If you want to investigate owning property in Oregon, I highly recommend http://rmls.com.
Jacob mentions the woodland between I-5 and the rest of the state. What he hasn't said is that it is mostly government land... over half of Oregon is owned by local and national government entities. Of the state's forest land, probably about a third is in the hands of timber companies.


NH
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Post by NH » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:46 am

I have only skimmed the postings on this thread, but saw plenty of interest in NH and the seacoast towns in particular. I grew up in Concord, NH and am a somewhat-recent graduate of the University of NH (Durham. To clarify, Dartmouth is on the other side of the state in the beautiful small town of Hanover). I have also lived in Dover and Newmarket for around a year each. Thus, let me know if there are any specific questions I might answer about my beloved Granite State. As my ERE knowledge was in its infancy while I lived in NH (moved for school; I shall return), I didn't pay much attention to property taxes, etc., but this is easily googled and you seem to have done your research.

Anyway, if I may offer my biased opinions/reviews/recommendations/tidbits, let me know.


dragoncar
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Post by dragoncar » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:11 am

NH, we'd be happy to hear your biased opinion of the area in general. Just because you've lived there doesn't mean we can assume you'd recommend it to others.


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Post by jacob » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:14 am

@NH - What's the general Dover, Durham, Newmarket area like? Is it walkable? Bikeable? Still true in winter? Are people friendly? Nosy? Stick to themselves? How much for a gallon of milk? Have you lived in what you'd consider better places?
This particular area is what I've spent the most time researching from afar. It's currently losing to Eugene, OR due to higher health insurance, higher housing cost, and majorly higher property taxes.


Matthew
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Post by Matthew » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:41 pm

I think if you are happy with a location, most of the rest of us could be happy there. Most of us want LOW property taxes
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Ta ... state.aspx
and cheap health insurance since these are things that we will not be able to reduce (without moving yet again). It’s no longer just death and taxes, it is turning into health insurance, death, and taxes. We definitely need to check community zoning/building rules. I know the states of Colorado, Washington, and Utah do not allow rain water collection.


George the original one
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Post by George the original one » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:06 pm

Nice map, but either those home prices are average (rather than median) or the list is outdated. No way is the median home value in Oregon at $273k today!
The best method for evaluating is using the rates. Most of us won't purchase a home priced in the high range and, if we're retired, the % of income column is irrelevant.


Matthew
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Post by Matthew » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:09 pm

Ya, it is outdated from 2008.


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