Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

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Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:42 pm

I think if I was going to go for a smaller city in colder part of the U.S. (like the ones you mention Laura Ingalls), I would probably lean towards Maine over IA, WI or MN. I would have to ask myself, if the weather is about the same (or even probably a bit milder in winter in ME and not as hot in summer), why would I choose IA, WI, MN over ME? I don't think housing is much cheaper. Maine has a huge Atlantic coastline, quaint historic towns that go back to 1600's, tons of lakes, tons of wilderness, bigger mountains, close to a lot of other stuff in New England, close to Boston & NH cities.

It would be different if I was going for a more urban area, since ME does not have a big city, that might be a reason to choose a Midwest larger city.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Dragline » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:26 am

I grew up in Cedar Rapids (second largest city in Iowa), which is just north of Iowa City. It is cheap to live there, but I have no desire to move back (not much to do). Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls are both cities that experienced a lot of industrial decay from the 1960s-1990s but have bounced back a little since, at least in some parts. Cedar Falls has the University of Northern Iowa, which is sizable but not overwhelming. Cedar Rapids's downtown was devastated by a flood about ten years ago.

The towns in northeast Iowa/southeast Wisconsin are more attractive than most of the midwest, due to the hilly countryside. The area around Decorah (where Luther college is located) is known colloquially as "Little Norway." But you need to visit in both the summer and winter, because the variations in weather are extreme, from below zero in the winter to near 100 in the summer, with humidity. I would not choose to live in Iowa again for that reason, although the changes in seasons are quite spectacular sometimes. Most places in the US actually do not experience the seasons like you do in the midwest, and the Pacific Northwest is pretty much the opposite in that regard.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by ShriekingFeralHatred » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:53 pm

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:05 pm

@Allagash - IIRC Maine has more coastline than all the other east coast states combined. Therefore rising sea levels are a concern because Maine taxpayers would pretty much be responsible for covering 50%+ of the cost(*) of that problem; alternatively choose to to solve it and suffer 50%+ of the consequences.

(*) Caveat: Protecting Miami, Bosten, or NYC is more expensive ... so think distributed costs... harder to move one county over. Still, some cost will spill over to the state level.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:28 pm

Riggerjack wrote:So, you like the weather, need people, don't need a job. Juneau, AK comes to mind. Also, Springfield/Eugene Oregon.

I like Vancouver, but the Portland drivers/traffic are just too much. And really is there enough of a price difference to justify the move?

Rent has gone up, and as a landlord, I enjoy that. But my predilection for rural really limits my recommendations. I can say that from Clinton, it is just a 20 minute ferry ride to the sounder, and you are downtown. But I have no need to ever be downtown, so I have never made that trip.

I guess I'm just fishing for what it is that you do, that makes where you are in the Seattle sprawl the right place. Because it pretty much stretches from Olympia to Marysville, and soon to Burlington. Rents vary greatly within that corridor, but population demographics far less so.
Juneau would be too isolated for me at this point. Eugene/Springfield I like but the 9% state income tax is a killer there, it takes away a lot of the cost advantage of Seattle vs. Eugene. The income tax in OR also discourages you from striving to make more money as they just take more.

Van is a good deal cheaper on rent than Seattle (and house prices), I would say a $950/mo very basic 1 bed apt in Van goes for $1,250 in a average suburb 15-30 miles out of Seattle. That is a $3,600 difference a year, nothing to sneeze about. And I think Seattle area prices will escalate faster going forward over the long term than Van (both houses prices and rents...i.e Seattle being SF Bay 2.0). I think home prices in Van are a good deal lower than most of the Seattle metro if I do try to beat the bushes for a deal to buy where I could keep my PITI <$1,000/mo.

Being a major metro Seattle just offers a ton of stuff to do, all kinds of varieties from shopping, live music, social meetup groups (for this point in my life I like that...20 yrs from now I will feel differently). I would probably stay here for the next 10 yrs if I could get lower rent or buy a place and fix my PITI payment from inflation. The traffic is really bad, but doesn't really affect me much since I am retired and do not have to commute and I can do things outside of rush hour time most of the time, and create my own little world in my suburb north of Seattle and not have to get on the freeways. Also, Seattle offers great access to the Cascade mountain passes (hwy 2, hwy 90, hwy 20) since it is central in the state (I get up and hike, ski, snowshoe, camp).

The reason for looking at a place like say Pittsburgh is it gives me a major metro with much lower housing costs. That would be probably the only reason to move to a place like that from WA State, housing costs.

I have looked at a lot of the small cities in WA that are lower cost pretty far from a Seattle and I just can't see myself living there yet, except for Van. A smaller city is not out of play if it would offer want I want. At this point I can't live in a smaller city that is dumpy, low education levels, isolated, economically depressed, little to do (i.e. Aberdeen, Centralia, Mount Vernon, Longview would be examples...although MV is getting a lot better). That's why sometimes college towns can be good, because they offer some culture and ambiance, more educated folks, but in a smaller city lower cost package (this is a NICE thing about say Bruswick Maine pop 30k with Bowdoin College...gives is a little bit of a cosmopolitan vibe despite being a smaller city with lower house prices and rents).

So to summarize, the main thing making me brainstorm a move is the HOUSING COSTS. I can control all my expenses and cut them to the bone (no cable, bulk food, carpool, movies library, eat at home, cheap cell plan, etc....) But housing and health care are the two toughest costs to get lower. It takes much more work and more radical actions like making big moves to cheaper parts of the country. And I do not do roommates anymore (been there done that from age 18-33, but now I love my privacy and do not want to give it up) and I don't want to really live on a boat or RV's. So to lower my housing payment, my only option is to move to a cheaper area or pray for a housing crash.

To lower my health insurance premium my only choice is to find a way to get taxable income a lot lower (or get a JOB with an employer that subsidizes it... a JOB...yikes). There is really no other option for my now but to suck up that high Obama Care premium with it's massive deductible.
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Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:37 pm

jacob wrote:@Allagash - IIRC Maine has more coastline than all the other east coast states combined. Therefore rising sea levels are a concern because Maine taxpayers would pretty much be responsible for covering 50%+ of the cost(*) of that problem; alternatively choose to to solve it and suffer 50%+ of the consequences.

(*) Caveat: Protecting Miami, Bosten, or NYC is more expensive ... so think distributed costs... harder to move one county over. Still, some cost will spill over to the state level.
That could be a possibility but that is a fairly inconclusive outcome that may or may not happen and/or how far off in the future will it happen or severity level/extent that it does happen. I'd be willing to take a risk on that. Maine is a really big state so there are ton of places to live away from the cost on high ground. But yes I guess you could possibly get higher taxes down the road resulting from rising sea levels, but then you could just move again if it was too onerous.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by theanimal » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:40 pm

See if you can find a multi unit building in Seattle that is looking for a building manager. Usually, in exchange for light maintenance work you are given a unit to live in free of charge. That's what Ego on the forums here does.

Edit: Have you looked on Craigslist in Seattle for cheaper housing? Searching their pages now, I am finding a ton of housing $900 and below. Good quality. I don't know Seattle so I can't comment on location. Not sure what size you're looking for either.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:49 pm

theanimal wrote:See if you can find a multi unit building in Seattle that is looking for a building manager. Usually, in exchange for light maintenance work you are given a unit to live in free of charge. That's what Ego on the forums here does.

Edit: Have you looked on Craigslist in Seattle for cheaper housing? Searching their pages now, I am finding a ton of housing $900 and below. Good quality. I don't know Seattle so I can't comment on location. Not sure what size you're looking for either.
Apt mgr is a good idea for a lot of folks, but don't think it's for me. I own and have owner more rental property and don't want to deal with deadbeats and I'm not a handyman type.

I have found through many years of moving, just briefly checking rents on Craigslist can be quite misleading. Lot's of bait and switch. You have to really spend a week driving all of the rentals to get a good idea. I don't need the Taj Mahal, but a basic, decent, quiet place. Can't live in dumps or noisy places any more. Much of that cheap stuff you will find will be in crappy complex's, on busy streets, bad blocks, etc... It can be deceiving. I know this apartment market very, very well. You start at about $1,200 to get a decent 1 bed here, and that is in pretty vanilla burbs not that close to jobs, not even in the hip areas. The hip areas closer to jobs you start at more like $1,500/mo. Thanks Amazon.com!

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:54 pm

@Allagash - It's already happening and future predictions are pretty conclusive in terms of when and how much. However, RE values, will remain high until the majority of buyers bother to look it up. Then things will be underwater, first financially, and then eventually, literally. Until then informed sellers will have an edge over uninformed buyers.

It's quite conceivable that counties will try to pull on the tax revenue of the entire state, including counties on higher ground, to fund their funding shortages when it comes to protecting highways and cities. Not doing that would be quite unusual. If nothing else, people moving away from overpriced coast lines would reduce tax revenue. Anything, this is probably only relevant if one has the long game in mind.

http://www.theforecaster.net/sea-level- ... attention/
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/1 ... hurt-Maine
and so on ...

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:57 pm

jacob wrote:@Allagash - It's already happening and future predictions are pretty conclusive in terms of when and how much. However, RE values, will remain high until the majority of buyers bother to look it up. Then things will be underwater, first financially, and then eventually, literally. Until then informed sellers will have an edge over uninformed buyers.

It's quite conceivable that counties will try to pull on the tax revenue of the entire state, including counties on higher ground, to fund their funding shortages when it comes to protecting highways and cities. Not doing that would be quite unusual. If nothing else, people moving away from overpriced coast lines would reduce tax revenue. Anything, this is probably only relevant if one has the long game in mind.

http://www.theforecaster.net/sea-level- ... attention/
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/1 ... hurt-Maine
and so on ...
Thanks for the links Jacob I will check them out.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:42 pm

@Allagash - Those were just a quick search. There's [way] more.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:15 pm

jacob wrote:@Allagash - IIRC Maine has more coastline than all the other east coast states combined.
Maybe you're thinking of New England? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U ... _coastline

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:20 pm

@ML - Yeah, not sure how to measure. It's a fractal problem.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:30 pm

It is big. But it seems like regardless of measuring stick, it's smaller than e.g. North and South Carolina combined. Compared to the total New England coast it's disproportionately large.

Exploring the Louisiana coast areas around areas like Grand Isle gives an interesting look at the measuring problem. Seeing them in real life is quite cool too.

This was interesting as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastline_paradox

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by halfmoon » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:49 pm

Allagash wrote: Being a major metro Seattle just offers a ton of stuff to do, all kinds of varieties from shopping, live music, social meetup groups (for this point in my life I like that...20 yrs from now I will feel differently). I would probably stay here for the next 10 yrs if I could get lower rent or buy a place and fix my PITI payment from inflation. The traffic is really bad, but doesn't really affect me much since I am retired and do not have to commute and I can do things outside of rush hour time most of the time, and create my own little world in my suburb north of Seattle and not have to get on the freeways. Also, Seattle offers great access to the Cascade mountain passes (hwy 2, hwy 90, hwy 20) since it is central in the state (I get up and hike, ski, snowshoe, camp).
I also love Seattle, but I don't want to live or drive there. That's why we have a bus system. If you like having access to the Cascades, Monroe is a possibility. Real estate has blown up along with Seattle, but it's still far more reasonable and property taxes are lower (Monroe also has a lot of duplexes, which can be a great residence/investment alternative). The demographic is mixed, which could be a drawback if you want primarily well-educated people around you. I like a mix.

Then there's Duvall, 8 miles up the road. It's mostly a bedroom community for Microsoft these days, but there's still the aging hippie contingent to keep it slighty funky. The education/artsy level is definitely higher than Monroe. Real estate is pricier (though still nowhere near Seattle levels), there's okay bus service to the city, and you have the outstanding King County library system at your fingertips (Monroe is in Snohomish County). Duvall is in the picturesque Snoqualmie Valley but has a lot of winter fog and rain.

You may guess that I've put a lot of thought into this for the future. ;)

One last thought about Maine, because you've mentioned it several times. I spent my childhood summers on the Maine coast, and it's one of my favorite places. Be aware, though, that very little of Maine's forestland is public; it's mostly owned by timber companies or private parties. Also: in the smaller coastal or island communities, you can experience a marked barrier between the locals (many generations) and the 'outsiders'. This may not be obvious to a visitor, but living there is different. People engaged in the tourist or real estate trade will paint a different picture, of course.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:58 pm

@ML - It could be by "area flooded". Which is not a fractal problem (as far as I can intuit).

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by mfi » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:50 pm

I moved to a different state (NYC to PXH) and cut my housing costs by 75℅.

A few months ago, I moved to a different state of mind and cut my housing costs by an additional 95℅ by living out of my car.

Moving to a different state will only save you so much. Moving to a different state of mind offers limitless possibilities....

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:04 pm

@halfmoon

Thanks for the suggestions. I've been though Monroe many times heading up to Stevens Pass. Those outskirt areas of Seattle are moving up in price quickly and don't have a lot of rental inventory and rents are higher than one might think. It might not be bad but it's pretty far out there on the exterior. It has a pretty blue collar feel. Duvall is a nice place too, traffic can be intense as the sprawl pushes out there. Something really cool about Duvall and Monroe is you are close to many farms and can buy veggies direct from the farmers right at their farm all summer/fall :D

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:10 pm

@mfi

I have enough money so I don't have to live in a car/van/RV. I just want to lower my overhead as much as I can to make my money last the next 40-50 years. I did look at full time RV-ing which I could do but I don't really want to be a nomad. I've moved around a fair amount in my life and I'd rather get some roots in a community and meet more friends, have a social life, etc...

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by MZMpac » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:30 pm

I'm far from retired but looking to move to a different state as well to facilitate earlier retirement. Denver is great in many ways but costly and rising.

Lots of options for 2 DINKS, but there is more to a move than just packing up and hitting the road. House sale, new jobs, leaving behind friends and family. Easier to do when retired, no doubt.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by halfmoon » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:28 pm

Allagash wrote:@halfmoon

I've been though Monroe many times heading up to Stevens Pass. Those outskirt areas of Seattle are moving up in price quickly and don't have a lot of rental inventory and rents are higher than one might think.
You're absolutely right about that, which makes them desirable as a landlord. I was thinking in terms of your buying a duplex and renting out half, or even just renting rooms in a single-family home you own.

I agree that Duvall traffic can be horrible, but this is avoidable for a retired person. The cool thing about Duvall is the Snoqualmie Valley rail trail, which runs all the way from Duvall to North Bend. Fantastic. The town itself has maybe two useful stores; the rest is touristy fluff.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:44 pm

halfmoon wrote:
Allagash wrote:@halfmoon

I've been though Monroe many times heading up to Stevens Pass. Those outskirt areas of Seattle are moving up in price quickly and don't have a lot of rental inventory and rents are higher than one might think.
You're absolutely right about that, which makes them desirable as a landlord. I was thinking in terms of your buying a duplex and renting out half, or even just renting rooms in a single-family home you own.

I agree that Duvall traffic can be horrible, but this is avoidable for a retired person. The cool thing about Duvall is the Snoqualmie Valley rail trail, which runs all the way from Duvall to North Bend. Fantastic. The town itself has maybe two useful stores; the rest is touristy fluff.
I'll have to check out the rail trail :D Duplex and renting rooms are an option. I had roommates from 18-33 yrs old and done with roommates. I just don't people I don't know hanging out in my living room, using the kitchen, bring friends over, etc... Really value my privacy these days.

Duplex can work in the right situation, but I have always found on the west coast it works better in theory than reality. I bought a number of rental town homes cheap 2009-2012 after the RE crash as rentals when I was living in San Diego. I looked at pretty much every 2,3 and 4 unit property in the entire county and they were all overpriced, major fixers, etc.... And this is even at their post crash prices! In theory the duplex should work where rent from the other half makes it cheaper to live in your half than it would be to rent or buy a single unit. I found this wasn't the case. Town homes were cheaper then a duplex even counting the rent. And most of the 2-4's were 60+ years old and money pits. My guess is it might be similar in the Puget Sound area, especially with real estate hot as a pistol here for the last 4-5 years here. Other parts of the U.S. where property prices are much cheaper (esp Midwest), you can pull this off more with owning a duplex and living for free or practically. Also, living in one end of a 2-4 unit, you have to have to live next to your tenants, which can prove difficult during an eviction or some other issue.

Housing situations like duplex's, roommates, etc... worked in my 20's and 30's on the road to ERE, just no longer willing to deal with those housing inconveniences my 40's+. One of the nice things in this life is having a decent place to live, that is peaceful, quiet and no drama :D

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by halfmoon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:29 pm

Allagash wrote:
Duplex can work in the right situation, but I have always found on the west coast it works better in theory than reality. I bought a number of rental town homes cheap 2009-2012 after the RE crash as rentals when I was living in San Diego. I looked at pretty much every 2,3 and 4 unit property in the entire county and they were all overpriced, major fixers, etc.... And this is even at their post crash prices! In theory the duplex should work where rent from the other half makes it cheaper to live in your half than it would be to rent or buy a single unit. I found this wasn't the case. Town homes were cheaper then a duplex even counting the rent. And most of the 2-4's were 60+ years old and money pits. My guess is it might be similar in the Puget Sound area, especially with real estate hot as a pistol here for the last 4-5 years here.
We bought a duplex in Monroe a couple of years ago, and the rents more than cover expenses including mortgage principal. We don't live in it, but the tenants are effectively buying it for us. No drama, though on Christmas day I had my hand in a clogged toilet pulling out wads of paper (let's just leave it at that) lodged against a piece of wire stuck in the drain. :evil:

It's true that prices have jumped in the last couple of years. I keep looking for another rental property (it's a sickness), and there's nothing in that price range available now.

My father used to urge us to move back to some depressed area in the east where we could buy a house for $30,000. Ummm...no. Like you, I enjoy being near a great* city like Seattle.

*If you don't commute in a car.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by halfmoon » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:43 pm

I forgot to mention also that IMHO 2009-2012 was a little too early for great real estate deals, at least around here. It took a long time for people to accept the duration of the crash, and a lot of sellers waited for years before giving up. When the banks did repossessions, they typically held the properties on their books at an unrealistic value to avoid the writedown. When we started looking in early 2012, there was very little available at a reasonable price -- and the cheap stuff was horrendous, as you note. We looked at one house whose attic was literally filled with white mold like some sort of spray foam, and another had a huge hole in the living room ceiling with water trickling down.

I don't know quite what happened, but in late 2012 the banks started to release properties in Monroe at good prices. It was a pretty small window of opportunity (maybe a year), and now we're back in the bubble.

I just realized that I've babbled way beyond the original question about moving to a different state. Sorry!

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Post by Allagash » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:03 pm

halfmoon wrote:
Allagash wrote:

My father used to urge us to move back to some depressed area in the east where we could buy a house for $30,000. Ummm...no. Like you, I enjoy being near a great* city like Seattle.

*If you don't commute in a car.
Seattle is great and I'd like to stay but it's not worth it to me where the rents and prices are. I will probably stay one more year only because I just moved up here in 2013 (and then moved again out of Seattle 15 miles north to a cheaper apartment again in Jan 2016). So I am just sick of moving for now. For someone who is early retired and didn't buy their house a few years ago and lock in their payment, it isn't a good place to be for housing costs. Even if you bought a long time ago, I know people with paid off houses watching their property taxes go up and up and up. I know a older guy with a paid off house around Seattle but pays $9,000 a year in property taxes and is looking to get out of the area. Another great thing about cheap out of the way type areas to live is not only is the initial purchase price so much cheaper, but the property taxes barely rise over decades, vs. skyrocketing areas like Puget Sound.

Actually I have really come around to the idea of moving back east these days. It doesn't even have to be to a depressed area back east to be cheap, it is so much cheaper everywhere. I grew up in New England but moved to the West Coast for college back in 1988. At this point in my life I wouldn't mind moving back. I have experienced the west for 30 yrs and done so much out here I feel satisfied, I think I could move on. There are also so many states that just don't have the population growth WA State has. Maine for example barely grows, so no traffic, no endless construction and endless change/sprawl that Puget Sound sees. What is happening in WA now reminds me of the hyper growth in CA in the 70's, 80's, 90's.

And as you get older and retired you spend a lot of time at home anyway so it doesn't matter as much where you live IMO. Most decent sized metros have the same grocery shopping, decent airports, entertainment that Puget Sound does. Why live in an area that is exploding in growth, price and traffic? Like the SF Bay Area, Puget Sound is a great place for under 40 year old people who work in tech in make 6 figures, it is not really a great place anymore for early retired people on fixed retirement incomes. But other areas of WA like Bellingham and Vancouver may still be an option for me. Although not cheap, they are a lot cheaper. But both are growing very fast too.

Many areas back east are great places to be a cash flow type rental property investor as well if that is what someone is into. I know a lot of people who do well with that back there. I know a guy in Wisconsin who buys duplex's for in the $30k range and rents them for $500 a side. Can't do that on the west coast.

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