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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 07:16 AM   #41
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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Originally Posted by califdreamer
Some like it hot... I tend to enjoy warmer, sunnier climates. Southern California weather is just about ideal but I like the sunny Southwest as well. In those "Places Rated" books I tend to disagree with their emphasis on moderation. I look for things like number of sunny days, least number of freezing days, least rainy and the like. I could get into Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas climates. That's stating the obvious I guess. As gorgeous as the Northwest is, and it is phenomenally beautiful, I struggle with short winter days, cloud cover and cool temps.
I am still trying to figure out where in North Carolina to drop my hat from New Jersey. I am tending to think 50 or so miles outside of wake county the raleigh area. They are growing like mad and building schools.

Property taxes are much less in the carolinas, they fund education a bit differently with the property tax NOT the real funding source.

Anyhow, my house here in NJ goes on the market around march 1st or so, decided to wait out the snow and cold here, not in the mood for realtors and people tromping thru in jan and feb with wet shoes etc!
A spring sale, WE HOPE.
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 09:17 AM   #42
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?


Califdreamer wrote:

I also looked at San Antonio at realtor.com and came away astounded at what you can get for 100-200K.* Nice, newer homes in good areas of town.* I know there are some San Antonians out there.* What do you think are the pros and cons of living there?* It's probably a fast growing area with people from all over.*


I will share with you my initial thoughts from living in the city for 7 months.

I enjoy all of the activities that are within a short driving distance:* * The Riverwalk, Fiesta Texas, Schlitterbahn, Sea World & Parks.*

I also appreciated the opportunity to buy a nice home in a great community at a low price.* *Most of the houses in my neighborhood are 75-80% brick exteriors.* Community swimming pools & recreational facilities add to the value.*

This article outlines 300 real estate markets.* It shows that San Antonio is currently 11% undervalued.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/12/29/real...kets/index.htm

I was also very impressed with the Northeast ISD school district.* Great schools with state of the art technology &* small class sizes.*

I do not like how the roads are layed out.* The city uses "Access Roads" that parallel some of the main highways.* For example, there are many times I have to use the turnaround to reach my destination (instead of just using an exit).* *This is hard to explain - - you really need to experience it.* *The city needs to spend some $$ to upgrade it's roadways.* *This may happen through the use of toll roads.*

There are times the the heat is unbearable (July, August, & September).* *You really need to be inside during the 100+ heat days.* The weather during the winter months has been great.*

I currently pay a property tax rate of 2.5%.* My home is right on the city limits border and I expect to be annexed at any time.* *This will increase my tax rate up to 3.0%.* The majority of my taxes go for the schools.* No state taxes though.* *

One additional thing ...* *The soil where I live (and much of San Antonio) is very rocky.* *The landscaping company had to utilize a jackhammer to plant my tree.* *

I hope this helps.* *Let me know if you have any additional questions.* * * *

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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 09:29 AM   #43
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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I will share with you my initial thoughts from living in the city for 7 months.
Trace, you mentioned the opressive summer heat, but you failed to say anything about the high property taxes, high water bills, fire ants, scorpions, and other varmits that inhabit city hall...

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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 10:08 AM   #44
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

Oh yeah ...* *Scorpions

Seven months = Three scorpions in the house

The first one showed up the first night in the new residence (crawled up through the pipes).* * They don't eat much though* *

That number would have been higher w/o the pest control company.*

The water bills are very high (just paid it today $109.00).* *
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 11:33 AM   #45
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

Thanks for additional feedback to all.

New Guy, I think interest rates will stay reasonable through Spring when you're going to sell, so waiting til March should be fine. Don't blame you for not wanting snow and sleet dragged thru the house... having the house ready to show is a pain even in perfect weather. All of the "places rated" articles seem to rank Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill highly. Sounds like it's got a nice mix of mild weather, culture and laid back lifestyle. I've heard the area along the coast in Wilimington has become popular though it looks like we're in a nasty hurricane cycle for a while. Others talk about Asheville and the mountains although that sounds like it has cold winter weather that you're getting away from up North. What about the Charlotte area? Sounds like its economy is bouncing back and the housing is very reasonably priced. All in all, NC sounds like it has a lot to offer for the early retiree. Good luck and keep us posted.

Trace, thanks for your thoughts about living in San Antonio. Last night I had nightmares from wahoo's post.... driving down a packed I-10, air conditioner on the fritz, scorpions and fire ants coming in the rolled down car window.
I'm surprised your propty tax rate would go to 3% if your area gets annexed by San Antonio. Geez, that's pretty hefty.

Thanks very much for feedback and Happy New Year to all!
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 12:32 PM   #46
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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Originally Posted by califdreamer
Trace, thanks for your thoughts about living in San Antonio. Last night I had nightmares from wahoo's post.... driving down a packed I-10, air conditioner on the fritz, scorpions and fire ants coming in the rolled down car window.
califdreamer, I saw this on a chamber of commerce website for a small town in NY state, and thought it would be an interesting measuring stick for life in San Antonio:

"...we don't have earthquakes, mud slides, wild fires, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, dust storms, air pollution indoor-only days, 100 degree heat, high humidity, laws banning fireplaces, avalanches, scorpions, rattle snakes, alligators, fire ants, water restriction days, killer bees, or roaming power outages "

6 out of 21 ain't too bad...

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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 12:54 PM   #47
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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Thanks for additional feedback to all.

New Guy, I've heard the area along the coast in Wilimington has become popular though it looks like we're in a nasty hurricane cycle for a while.


Thanks very much for feedback and Happy New Year to all!
We have a family vacation house near wilmington, Nice to visit, the area as far as I am concerned is NOT what I like.

The thought of having a new home in a Hurricane zone is well NOT appealing, sure ya get insurance but a cat 4 or 5 storm destroys so much, we all saw what Katrina and Rita did to areas on the gulf, I remember HUGO and Fran in north carolina so I am aware!

So it will be off to raleigh area and a new start.

Happy new year guys from the newguy..
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 12-31-2005, 01:30 PM   #48
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

Caldreamer:

I live in Phoenix, but I really like San Diego, especially in the summer.* As part of my so called "investing" (read random luck, both good and BAD!) I* bought a small one bedroom 1980's vintage condo in Vista just outside of Oceanside two years ago. It had sunburst tan toned* appliances, which are now back in vougue>* Please, that is what I told my spouse and I may be able to keep her semi-happy at least until this next summer when I pull them out and go with stainless fridge, dishwasher and Stove.* I paid 225K for it (its worth about what the same today,* as a one bedroom this far inland is not a big since its too small for the move-up crowd, and its not west of I5) and it works for the present as a summer getaway, but I could live there year round.* Its not a bad idea, since you are already wired into SOCAL.* Sell the big place and pay cash for a one bedroom or so in North County.* (The beach is is just a short cruise away and if you are like me you would miss it.)

Maybe you should consider just scaling down but staying in the San Diego area?*

Heres but one example of a potential way to scale down and still remain in San Diego County:

http://www3.helpusell.com/FirstChoic...X?LID=17755751

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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-01-2006, 08:26 AM   #49
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

We cashed out of our San Francisco place and bought in Charleston County, South Carolina. This is a great place to live if you love a walkable and beautiful small city with moderate traffic, white sand beaches, pretty gardens, nature areas and tidal creeks, restaurants from great cheap eats & up, fresh local seafood and farmers markets, boating, colleges for free & cheap events, as well as lots of music & theatre groups, art galleries, and the annual SpoletoUSA Festival--one of the outstanding arts festivals in the world. For the sporty, there's fishing/shrimping/crabbing/oystering, boating/parasailing/swimming, minor league baseball, College of Charleston basketball, and lots of golf courses. We love the slower pace here and the balance among age groups--lots of retirees and semi-retirees in their 40s-60s, quite a few former military who were once based at the Charleston Navy Yard or Air Base, and quite a few from the mid-Atlantic and Midwest. There's a wide range of housing options and prices--small, older houses from $100k and brand new ones for $150k on up, and condos start under $100k. Our property taxes are really REALLY low compared to the Bay Area and suburban Boston. There's a 10 (15?)% prop tax break for seniors.

This part of SC has a lower rate of hurricane hits than the area close to NC--not to mention a far lower chance of hurricanes than FL or NC. Hurricane Hugo actually did more damage inland in Charlotte, NC than it did in Charleston. I pay attention to the weather June-October and keep a hurricane stash (canned food, batteries, tarps and such), good insurance, and my 8-yr-old 4Runner with manly tires
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-01-2006, 06:10 PM   #50
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

Wahoo, you really should consider running for mayor of San Antonio

Newguy, sounds like you're zeroed in on Raleigh-Durham area of NC. I've never been to that part of the state but it sure sounds good from all the "most livable cites" type articles.

You know, LEX, I have looked at downsizing here in SD and I always run into the same mental roadblocks. I brought some equity into the purchase of my current house 3 yrs ago and got a 5% loan rate. So it's tough to beat the monthly payments. I also have a strong preference for detatched housing. And, of course, the thought of spending 40k+ on commissions, etc. makes me sick to my stomach. I figure I really have to move further inland (for example to Temecula) or to another state to make the downsize strategy worthwhile.

Thanks for great info on Charleston, SC, astromeria. I saw the perfect house in the area on realtor.com for about 230k. Interesting. Sounds like a very comfortable lifestyle there. This will sound somewhat trivial but are the mosquitoes bad? Do people put those nets around their backyard pools to keep them away?

Thanks for all the great input and hope everyone's 06 is off to a good start!
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-01-2006, 07:19 PM   #51
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

It is more buggy and humid here than anywhere I've been in CA for sure--San Diego is paradise climate-wise, and we didn't have or need window screens in San Francisco. Some SC people who want to be in their yards at dusk and in the evening spray for bugs or use bug zappers--I never saw a screened-in pool here. While there are gnats and mosquitos, I don't develop the huge itchy/painful welts that I got when I lived in New England. The evening bugs are worse in Massachusetts & New Hampshire (and according to my daughter, Houston and Dallas) than here--but I'm a mile or so from the ocean, so it might be better here than further inland.
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-03-2006, 12:58 PM   #52
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

I'm a lifelong resident of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and I can tell you it is a nice place to live. Growing very fast though. Cost of living is relatively low compared to California, DC, urban Florida or New England. Generally good schools in the urban areas. Good roads. Low property taxes (as long as you aren't in Chapel Hill).

My wife just started a new job at a company with a few hundred other new employees, most of whom were former New England residents. After talking to many of her coworkers over the last few weeks at holiday parties, I keep hearing about how they decided to move to Raleigh-Durham because of the cheap housing and costs of living, and how the pace of life is a little "slower". People say "hi" when you pass by and wave to you. And don't think we're illiterate hicks from the sticks - it's one of the best educated areas in the nation with almost the highest concentration of PhD's in the nation.

Get used to hot, humid summers and generally mild winters (usually above freezing during the day). Spring and fall - the weather is perfect!
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-03-2006, 04:06 PM   #53
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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hot, humid summers
In my part of the world moisture has the decency to fall to the ground. I can walk, run and breathe in comfort.
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-03-2006, 04:20 PM   #54
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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I'm a lifelong resident of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and I can tell you it is a nice place to live.* Growing very fast though.* Cost of living is relatively low compared to California, DC, urban Florida or New England.* Generally good schools in the urban areas.* Good roads.* Low property taxes (as long as you aren't in Chapel Hill).*

My wife just started a new job at a company with a few hundred other new employees, most of whom were former New England residents.* After talking to many of her coworkers over the last few weeks at holiday parties, I keep hearing about how they decided to move to Raleigh-Durham because of the cheap housing and costs of living, and how the pace of life is a little "slower".* People say "hi" when you pass by and wave to you.* And don't think we're illiterate hicks from the sticks - it's one of the best educated areas in the nation with almost the highest concentration of PhD's in the nation.*

Get used to hot, humid summers and generally mild winters (usually above freezing during the day).* Spring and fall - the weather is perfect!
I've heard a lot of good things about living in North Carolina, particularly if you have kids. If you're young and single, then a large Eastern Seaboard city is a better choice.
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-03-2006, 04:35 PM   #55
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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I've heard a lot of good things about living in North Carolina, particularly if you have kids. If you're young and single, then a large Eastern Seaboard city is a better choice.
Kids grown and married and professional jobs.

Gonna be 50 in april, the wife is 52 and still sweet and beautiful!

Still looking at nc, the wifes fun family is in the carolinas and my family would move there or visit!
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-04-2006, 11:13 AM   #56
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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I've heard a lot of good things about living in North Carolina, particularly if you have kids. If you're young and single, then a large Eastern Seaboard city is a better choice.
Where I live in NC is rather kid/family friendly. Two nice city parks within walking distance. Good K-12 schools and two great Universities within 30 minutes that offer in state tuition and essentially every curriculum known to man. My daughter can walk to her elementary school (when she learns to walk). The public high school I attended here in Raleigh usually gets ranked in the top 50 nationally on some poll. Low crime.
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-04-2006, 11:51 AM   #57
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

OK, I've had the holidays to think this thing (cash out of Calif SFR?) through and here's my thinking today (as of 10:30 AM PST subject to change by 11:30).

The investment real estate will provide for FIRE (see original post in this thread for detailed financials) but it will take a few more years. I could cash out of CA, move to a less expensive place and have 200K more for investing and buy a house for cash. That would get me in a position to retire, perhaps in 2006. But the fact is, I really like it here and I think I'd like to retire here. Yes, it will take an additional year (or three) to do it but I have a lot of years left and I'd like to spend them here (for forseeable future anyway).

In order to be able to retire here sooner, I could broker some apartment investment deals. After a year or two, if this enterprise looks promising, I could leave my paycheck job (where I work out of my home and have tremendous flexibility) and just do the real estate deals. I could, I suppose, do some of this as a sideline during ER. I've been investing in apts for almost ten years so I have a good feel for the business. I might even be better at it than I am at my current pleasant but boring job.

Possible downsides: San Diego home prices crash and I lose a quarter million I could've used for relocation... the real estate brokerage doesn't pan out... I die of boredom waiting for ER

I'll throw it open to everyone. Am I crazy? Should I take the money and run? Would it be crazy to relocate just to cash in on home equity? Is my 10:30 decision to stay and pursue a side career in real estate brokerage a good one? As always, thanks in advance for your valuable input.

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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?
Old 01-04-2006, 12:17 PM   #58
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

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OK, I've had the holidays to think this thing (cash out of Calif SFR?) through and here's my thinking today (as of 10:30 AM PST subject to change by 11:30).

The investment real estate will provide for FIRE (see original post in this thread for detailed financials) but it will take a few more years.* I could cash out of CA, move to a less expensive place and have 200K more for investing and buy a house for cash.* That would get me in a position to retire, perhaps in 2006.* But the fact is, I really like it here and I think I'd like to retire here.* Yes, it will take an additional year (or three) to do it but I have a lot of years left and I'd like to spend them here (for forseeable future anyway).*

In order to be able to retire here sooner, I could broker some apartment investment deals.* After a year or two, if this enterprise looks promising, I could leave my paycheck job (where I work out of my home and have tremendous flexibility) and just do the real estate deals.* I could, I suppose, do some of this as a sideline during ER.* I've been investing in apts for almost ten years so I have a good feel for the business.* I might even be better at it than I am at my current pleasant but boring job.*

Possible downsides:* San Diego home prices crash and I lose a quarter million I could've used for relocation... the real estate brokerage doesn't pan out... I die of boredom waiting for ER

I'll throw it open to everyone.* Am I crazy?* Should I take the money and run?* Would it be crazy to relocate just to cash in on home equity?* Is my 10:30 decision to stay and pursue a side career in real estate brokerage a good one?* As always, thanks in advance for your valuable input.

Your time responses are just what I have been going thru. I however do not post them . I too have doubts at times but when I look at my numbers, with a state pension of over 30,000 with medical bennies for both myself and wife with minimal co pays and prescription coverage foe generics at 15 dollar co pay for 90 day supply and then the selling of the home and having near 300,000 to purchase a home for cash in north carolina from new jersey I say what the heck it is time and I am only 50!

Sure I can stay for anothe 1 2 or 3+ years and get an additional 250 dollars a month every year but that means still having to drive 120 miles a day and continue to teach in Newark new jersey!

My situation is a no brainer, New jersey stinks! Time to go, heck Selling Kayaks and running shoes at a sporting goods store while coaching a track team part time is my new career track!
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Old 01-04-2006, 01:08 PM   #59
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

We lived in Cary for 5 years. Cary is right between Raleigh/Durham. We absolutely loved the area. Real estate prices and corresponding property taxes are very reasonable. There has been very little change in real estate prices in Cary for about the last 8 years. Many studies show real estate prices are undervalued compared to the rest of the country. The only downside is state taxes and that is ultimately what made us decide to move to Florida. We were paying 8.25% in NC state income taxes. We absolutely loved the area but by moving to Florida the tax savings alone would pay for our mortgage.

We moved to Central Florida about 4 years ago and built a new home. Then the housing boom hit and our property nearly doubled in price in just 2 years. We were now sitting on a tax-free capital gain of $410K. We could not believe people were willing to pay such prices so we could not resist the temptation to cash out. About this time a year ago, we put our house on the market and sold within 3 months.

We then moved to north Florida where prices are extremely affordable. In fact the prices in Tallahassee are equivalent to what the central Florida prices were 4 years ago. For the first time we own our own home without a mortgage. We are only in our low 30s so we feel this is quite an accomplishment.

Both moves were difficult because we loved both areas we were leaving, but the financial gains were too good to pass up. Cashing out and moving was a tough decision but locking in the gains has been very satisfying.

Good luck in making your decision.
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:10 PM   #60
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Re: cash out of Calif SFR?

Thanks for replies!

Newguy, if I were in your situation I would go to NC in a heartbeat. Everything about moving makes sense for you.... you can cash out of a big SFR... you can move to a very high-quality-of-life area that is actually cheaper!... you can say goodbye to a brutal commute... you can get away from inner city violence (that in itself would be enough for me to go)... you have a defined-benefit pension with health coverage... you have family connections in the new location... you can do things you enjoy while you earn a little spare cash (kayaks, track coaching, etc.)...you can even go back to teaching if you get restless. Makes all the sense in the world to go for it.

Targeting40 thanks for an interesting post and congratulations on being mortgage free in your early 30s. You have made some shrewd real estate moves and you've likely made another one with your purchase in No FL. If I were in my 30s (I'm 46) I would be more inclined to take the money and run. Or if I were dissatisfied with where I was living (like newguy) I'd bolt. But I'm kinda close to ER and I really like it here so I'm leaning toward staying put.

By the way, if you have some money to invest you could consider buying another house or fourplex (perhaps with a partner) in your area. Could be a good investment.

I welcome any other input, opinions, etc. Thanks again!
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