ERE City (US)

How to avoid signing your life over to a mortgage
jacob
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by jacob »

I'm aiming for a cheap house in a nice (let's say "fun") area. Heck, I'll even aim for an RV or a mobile home if need be.

The reason is that I need/want the area to provide opportunities to do the kind of things I like to do. In particular, for there to be people around during daytime (when many people are working) to do things. I think this criteria is most easily fulfilled in bigger cities and/or in artsy/student oriented towns.

If I was aiming for solitude there are houses in central WA, around Aberdeen or Grayland that go for low tens.

But I don't think it would be very entertaining to live there for 50 years?!

jacob
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by jacob »

I think the best we can hope for is picking one ERE city in each state, maybe :)

Another thing to consider is local interest or places people have already gravitated towards. Compare the sf bay area to Chicago. In the former, people would travel for hours just to get to an ERE meetup. ERE is thinly populated out there. Conversely, it's been easy to meet up with people in Chicago (despite Chicagoland metro being bigger than the state of Vermont!). Also, local interest is strong.

vivacious
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by vivacious »

So should we start nominating places state by state then? Or have people done that before?

Jacob you have a few ideas for Washington.

For California I would say one of the cheap parts of the Bay area or Sacramento maybe?


It's really kind of hard to say because as you say Jacob, factoring in having interesting things to do is a big factor.

Also are we talking build up to FI or after it? A good place to save money or a good place to enjoy your time etc?

seanbrenna
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by seanbrenna »

i am planning a move from massachusetts to greenville, sc... its a growing city with low real estate prices... nice and warm. my sister is there so that has influenced my decision.

jacob
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by jacob »

@vivacious - There's been plenty of nomination (this is a huge thread) but little consensus. There's even a wiki page http://earlyretirementextreme.com/wiki/ ... e=ERE_City

What's needed is a way to aggregate the data better and provide a sales pitch for each place that includes things like cost of living ERE style, likelihood of finding ERE friendlies (given that we're not all going to move there at once), and things to do (work/not-work), ... basically the ERE perspective on the place.

Preference would be given to post-earning money since that phase lasts far longer.

JohnnyH
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by JohnnyH »

I'm almost leaning towards 2 dwellings; a country homestead and a city condo/appt... Seems like most on here want something in between but I'm not sure that is extreme enough for me. :|

vivacious
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by vivacious »

Ya that sounds kind of fun. If you have the money then why not I guess. And you could rent out 1 of them when you're not in it or something.

jacob
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by jacob »

@JohnnyH - What kind of time split do you have in mind? 6 months here 6 months there? Weekend getaway?

KevinW
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by KevinW »

@JohnnyH - What are your thoughts on keeping the places maintained and secure while you're not there? And how would you travel between them in an ERE way? I like the two-house idea but the nitty gritty logistics are a turn-off.

JohnnyH
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by JohnnyH »

@jacob: I think it follows the introvert/extrovert split... 80% of the time I am happy being an introvert out in the country. 20% of the time I like being an extrovert out on the town... So I guess it would probably be a weekend or 1 week a month thing (better use of transportation time/costs), and likely accomplished less expensively with other arrangements.

@KevinW: Yes, it might be too impractical. I imagine the city appt would have no lawn to maintain, be in a building that takes care of most maintenance and very low carrying costs... Travel likely just drive car 60-100 miles once a month, or ride bike + trailer... Or bus/train if available. Perhaps even hitchhike.

I like European hut culture... Just my ideal one would be in reverse (city cottage, country home).
_____
I've been thinking more and more about the value of having multiple households on one property... Say 2-3 siblings and their mates and children. Would definitely speed up wealth accumulation of the unit.

With other people/families present, you could easily leave without having to worry about security, upkeep, bills/utilities not being utilized.

Dragline
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by Dragline »

There is another living "strategy" that I know some traditional retirees have adopted, which is to plan to live somewhere for a few years, exhaust what value/interest you have in that location, and then move on. It's kind of half way between settling down and living in an r.v. This is usually a renting strategy -- its not worth owning something if you are only going to be there a few years.

susswein
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by susswein »

One way to support such a two-home system (that I've been considering) is to pick locations that have high vacation-rental income during specific seasons, and live in them during the off-season. An example of this would be to buy one property in a ski resort town, rent it out throughout the ski season, and live in it during the other 7 months of the year (spend summer in the mountains). For the other property, pick something that has high rental income during the summer vacation season (maybe a beach house in the south or something near disneyworld?)

seanbrenna
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by seanbrenna »

@susswein... that is an excellent idea

Chad
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by Chad »

Dragline wrote:There is another living "strategy" that I know some traditional retirees have adopted, which is to plan to live somewhere for a few years, exhaust what value/interest you have in that location, and then move on. It's kind of half way between settling down and living in an r.v. This is usually a renting strategy -- its not worth owning something if you are only going to be there a few years.
Similar too what I would like to do at the beginning of my ERE "retirement." I'm interested in hitting a whole bunch of places for 3 months or so at a time (Eugene OR, Portland ME, Burlington VT, Key West, etc.). Then selecting one of them to be kind of permanent.

Plus, maybe knock off a 3-4 months stint in NYC. No way I'm living there permanently, but I would enjoy the experience for a little while.

FreeyourShackles
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by FreeyourShackles »

I great idea to help all in the city would be creating self-sufficient renewable energy automated systems for all the basic needs. This could pull the helpful intelligent ERE'ers who wanted to volunteer into a giant ThinkTank of endless possibilities to improve their city's lives.

For energy needs, A big example is Masdar City for a fully self-sufficient with renewable energy city. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masdar_City

For food needs, a small example is the prefab Greenhouse + Ardunio Controls Buildings. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/10/11 ... ture-video

In the Discovery Channel's The Colony, a self-sufficiency without currency post-apocalyptic experiment demonstrated how 10 people could survive and build an ERE village in less than 16 weeks out of old junk and nature.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by Spartan_Warrior »

The problem is ERE isn't any one lifestyle, so it's hard to bring people together. For me, ERE City is so passe. My ideal would be more of a Village or Colony. A small, completely self-sufficient perma-culture/simple living outpost on a large plot of isolated, rural land in some temperate area of the world. Solar panels, simple drinking wells, hunting, gathering, farming, fishing and aquaculture. Preferably close enough to civilization to get an internet connection and cell phone reception, and access to emergency services as needed, but far enough (and large enough of a plot) to form an isolated culture or "country within a country", similar to the Amish, but secular, modern, and come and go as you please.

I see it as something like a holding company or LLC, or the original London Company of Virginia, where the initial "founders" parcel out "shares" in the form of subplots of land. Everyone could develop their plot of land however they please. Yurts, tents, log cabins, tiny homes, mobile homes, underground homes ala Mike Oehler (http://www.undergroundhousing.com/), all accepted. McMansions accepted too if you want but you might raise some eyebrows!

Residency could be full-time or seasonal. Personally, I'd just want a home base in between my travels. Some folks might want to hold a "city home" to get their fix of action-packed city-slicker hustle and bustle.

As the land is improved, and the community grows, and self-sufficiency increases, membership in the community would also increase in value, so the initial founders could realize a profit by selling out portions of the land to new shareholders at an appreciated value. Alternately, they could rent parts of their land to interested parties. There could be a type of rent-to-own structure built on the classic employment structure of "indentured servitude" in which potential ERErs lacking the funds to buy into the ERE neighborhood could agree to work for 5 years on the land. :P

Of course the work wouldn't only be simple and self-sustaining (although that work would be available for those who want it). Once we have that more or less automated, we would devote our minds to bettering ourselves and mankind, as well as producing a profit (further increasing the value of "shares" in the ERE Company). We could develop software, invent new products and patents, become a think-tank, create and conduct an ERE college in classic philosophical style, or get a reality TV show gig.

The possibilities are limitless! In my head, anyway.

theanimal
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by theanimal »

+1 Spartan
I sure do like the sound of that! My view of an ERE "city" is very similar.

workathome
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by workathome »

I'm considering moving to Traverse City (https://www.google.com/search?q=traverse+city&tbm=isch). It has a nice balance of wants for me.

jacob
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by jacob »

A commune is substantially more ambitious than what I have in mind. I simply figured that an ERE city would make ERE meetups, teaching, tool borrowing, support, etc.---simple things---much easier. Maybe if we ever decide on a city (or several), such communes could be built in the vicinity. The style than best fit into existing regulations would likely be an RV park since it allows people to move in and out very easily.

Freedom_2018
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Re: ERE City (US)

Post by Freedom_2018 »

How about the "human nature" aspect of such a venture?

Given that people are people, how to prevent issues like "I am more ERE than you" type of keeping up with the Joneses?
Does someone who have a slightly higher level of consumption be looked down upon by his neighbors? What is someone is not as mechanically adept, would he/she feel marginalized in such a community? Would someone who is more outgoing and friendly feel unwelcome (have to wonder about this after my trip to Seattle area)? What would be the dominant social mores? Would the INTJs start getting on the case of the INTPs for being too laid back and lazy and not showing up to the meetings on time? What about religious vs non-religious orientations etc? There are many many variables here....more complex than weather prediction.

I think FI/ERE mindset might be a necessary but not sufficient condition for such a venture to take hold. Or maybe it can be done by some people at a smaller scale...i.e. folks who would have gotten along anyways and FI/ERE is the icing on the cake.

Maybe ERE city is more feasible as a virtual concept...like through this blog/forum?

Sorry...don't mean to be Debbie Downer but have had some life experiences.

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