Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

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

Post by Laura Ingalls »

from this and other threads I get cheaper housing, nature, and expanded Medicaid are all pluses. All are generally too cold for my liking. :(

My midwest centric list is:

La Crosse, WI
Dubuque, IA
Duluth, MN
Des Moines, IA
Iowa City, IA

Smaller places
Grand Portage, Mn
Ely, MN
Fairfield, IA
Amherst, WI
Veroqua, WI (not sure I spelled that right)
Lansburo, MN (or this either)
Pepin, WI
Decorah, IA
Bayfield, WI
Fort Madison, IA (definitely the grittier and poorer cousin to some of the other towns on the list) distinction of being the warmest.

My list might be a bit too touristy for real life. They also tend to be river or lake centric. But I had fun when I visited :D them.

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

Post by Allagash »

Laura Ingalls wrote:from this and other threads I get cheaper housing, nature, and expanded Medicaid are all pluses. All are generally too cold for my liking. :(

My midwest centric list is:

La Crosse, WI
Dubuque, IA
Duluth, MN
Des Moines, IA
Iowa City, IA

Smaller places
Grand Portage, Mn
Ely, MN
Fairfield, IA
Amherst, WI
Veroqua, WI (not sure I spelled that right)
Lansburo, MN (or this either)
Pepin, WI
Decorah, IA
Bayfield, WI
Fort Madison, IA (definitely the grittier and poorer cousin to some of the other towns on the list) distinction of being the warmest.

My list might be a bit too touristy for real life. They also tend to be river or lake centric. But I had fun when I visited :D them.
Laura Ingalls where do you live now? The Midwest of the U.S. is the area I know least. I have been extensively to every state in the West, New England, much of the Southeast, Texas....but not the Midwest or rust belt.

Have you been to SD... Brookings, Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Rapid City? How about Omaha or Lincoln NE? (NE has high taxes though...but low priced housing). South Dakota has the RARE combo of NO state income taxes, moderate property taxes, and low house prices.

I would like the check out some of the towns you mention in IA, WI. MN seems very flat to me. Iowa is a bit more hilly right? Are their decent state parks and hiking in IA? Hot and humid summers + cold winters are a downside to the Midwest. Iowa City would be good for college sports for me with Univ of Iowa. What about Cedar Falls IA?

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

Post by theanimal »

southern MN is flat. Middle to northern has larger hills. I'd check out Duluth, MN. Right on Lake Superior and not so hot in the summer. Close to large natural areas in the form of national forests and state parks.

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

Post by Riggerjack »

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.

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

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Allagash wrote:
Laura Ingalls wrote:from this and other threads I get cheaper housing, nature, and expanded Medicaid are all pluses. All are generally too cold for my liking. :(

My midwest centric list is:

La Crosse, WI
Dubuque, IA
Duluth, MN
Des Moines, IA
Iowa City, IA

Smaller places
Grand Portage, Mn
Ely, MN
Fairfield, IA
Amherst, WI
Veroqua, WI (not sure I spelled that right)
Lansburo, MN (or this either)
Pepin, WI
Decorah, IA
Bayfield, WI
Fort Madison, IA (definitely the grittier and poorer cousin to some of the other towns on the list) distinction of being the warmest.

My list might be a bit too touristy for real life. They also tend to be river or lake centric. But I had fun when I visited :D them.
Laura Ingalls where do you live now? The Midwest of the U.S. is the area I know least. I have been extensively to every state in the West, New England, much of the Southeast, Texas....but not the Midwest or rust belt.

Have you been to SD... Brookings, Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Rapid City? How about Omaha or Lincoln NE? (NE has high taxes though...but low priced housing). South Dakota has the RARE combo of NO state income taxes, moderate property taxes, and low house prices.

I would like the check out some of the towns you mention in IA, WI. MN seems very flat to me. Iowa is a bit more hilly right? Are their decent state parks and hiking in IA? Hot and humid summers + cold winters are a downside to the Midwest. Iowa City would be good for college sports for me with Univ of Iowa. What about Cedar Falls IA?
I currently live in central Iowa. Some of the Midwest is very flat. Fargo has got to be the flatest place on earth. The glaciers missed a big chunk of NE Iowa, SE MN, an SW WI. My list covers that area pretty well.

I have been too all the places you listed. I have lived in Cedar Falls but have not spent any time there since college. I also lived in Sioux Falls. I am personally a bit burnt on SD. The no income tax thing is great but the winters were far worse than Minneapolis or Green Bay. Read the Long Winter for a semiautobiographical account of my winter of 2012-2013. Food is taxed pretty high which is not the case for the rest of the Midwest. I ended up working in MN when I lived there so we still filed and payed state income tax.
MN, WI, and SD all have excellent state parks. Iowa not so much :(.
Iowa City is great but likely the most expensive on my list.

I like Omaha. I went to a wedding in Lincoln once and my DH used to go to Grand Island for work (he hated it BTW). Nebraska football might be a bit much for even you.

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

Post by Allagash »

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.

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

Post by Dragline »

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.

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

Post by ShriekingFeralHatred »

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Last edited by ShriekingFeralHatred on Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by jacob »

@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.

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

Post by Allagash »

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.
Last edited by Allagash on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Allagash »

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.

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

Post by theanimal »

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.

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

Post by Allagash »

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!

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

Post by jacob »

@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 ...

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

Post by Allagash »

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.

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

Post by jacob »

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

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

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts »

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 »

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

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

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts »

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

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

Post by halfmoon »

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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