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Desert Rat, wishing to relocate up in the NW
Old 07-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
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Desert Rat, wishing to relocate up in the NW

I am a Desert Rat, wishing to relocate up in the NW to escape the 110+ weather of the SW, hence my call name.

Hi, everyone. I have been lurking around for the past month, reading a lot of posts. A bit about myself as a way of introduction.

I am a 52-yr old engineer, married with two children in college. DW got fed up with her work, and decided to throw in the towel 2 years ago, after 27 years with the same company.

When I turned 40, perhaps because of a mid-life crisis, quit the comfort of a cushy job at a big corp, and helped founded a small start-up company in an entirely different business. After working hard for 6 years, and not earning enough to justify it, we folded the company and I have been back working in my previous field, but only part-time.

The forced belt-tigthtening during previous lean years conditioned me to feel comfortable with a reduced income, and I have learned to value my free time too much to suffer fools in the big corporations.

I do not regret giving up my earlier job, its pension and benefits to take a chance on my own. If I did not take it, would always wonder what could have been. Though a failure, looking back, it was a life-enrichment experience, although I am too old and tired to ever try again, nor would I recommend anyone else to do it.

We have always practiced LBYM, so have quite a bit stashed up, both in 401k/IRA and after tax. Our net worth, including the main residence and vacation home, is 2M+. Compared to other in our economic class, We spend much less money on new cars, cloth, restaurants, etc... Yet, we love to travel, and have made 6-7 European trips in the last 5 years in addition to domestic vacations, because we value that. (No, we are too old to backpack, or stay in hostels )

Prior to the 2000 crash, I invested mostly in mutual funds, but ever since working part-time, had more free time to become a more active investor. I would say it is too early to say if I can do better than an average mutual fund manager, or a simple indexing strategy.

Hope to join the fun-loving, jesting bunch that you guys are.
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:27 PM   #2
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There are a bunch on the board who live in the NW, like me. If you want suggestions of communities to consider just let us know.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for the offer.

A few days ago, I read about another poster who was looking for a house up there.

I have done some travelling around Seattle, so know a few places like Sequim, and Port Ludlow. I did look at real estate in Port Ludlow a couple of years back, but decided it wasn't time. Sadly, even now it is still not yet time. I have to wait for my children to finish college - they stay home to go to a state university 10 mi from home. That takes 3-4 years. Also, I need my current part-time income to allow for my savings to grow.

Meanwhile, I keep surfing the Web, looking at real estate around the Puget Sound, and dream of dropping my crab pots to get fresh ingredient for my Cioppino. My friends keep warning me about the rain, but I can't see spending the rest of my life in the desert. I have lived here long enough.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:44 PM   #4
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Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Thanks for the offer.

A few days ago, I read about another poster who was looking for a house up there.

I have done some travelling around Seattle, so know a few places like Sequim, and Port Ludlow. I did look at real estate in Port Ludlow a couple of years back, but decided it wasn't time. Sadly, even now it is still not yet time. I have to wait for my children to finish college - they stay home to go to a state university 10 mi from home. That takes 3-4 years. Also, I need my current part-time income to allow for my savings to grow.

Meanwhile, I keep surfing the Web, looking at real estate around the Puget Sound, and dream of dropping my crab pots to get fresh ingredient for my Cioppino. My friends keep warning me about the rain, but I can't see spending the rest of my life in the desert. I have lived here long enough.
It will be different. I grew up in Tucson and my family moved here while I was still in High School. I am continually fascinated by the many shades of green and blue you can find here. But should you miss the desert -- we have that too (in eastern Washington) -- complete with rattlesnakes, but no tarantulas or scorpions.

-- Rita
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:05 AM   #5
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I don't live in the NW, but I have been seriously tempted to move there just to live in one of these communities Ross Chapin Architects...Projects. They look perfect to DW and I.

Welcome aboard, I admire your path in life...
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
It will be different. I grew up in Tucson and my family moved here while I was still in High School. I am continually fascinated by the many shades of green and blue you can find here. But should you miss the desert -- we have that too (in eastern Washington) -- complete with rattlesnakes, but no tarantulas or scorpions.

-- Rita
I live on the east (desert) side of Washington State near Spokane. Much lower COL than the Seattle area. We do travel to the west side a lot to watch baseball games and enjoy the green landscape (as well as the cooler summer temperatures). We love living in the PNW!
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:37 AM   #7
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Midpack, I don't know if it is a Chapin project but there is an area with homes that look similar in Poulsbo. Very walkable.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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Thanks everybody for the welcome and the info.

Whenever we went to WA, we spent our time around the Puget Sound, because it was the ocean that attracted us there. We only ventured east as far as the Mt Rainier Park, and have not been further inland to cities such as Spokane.

Thanks again for the info on Chapin. I got more ideas now to contemplate for the next 3-4 years. You've got to have a plan :-)

A question for Brat:

I do know that places like Port Angeles and Sequim are a lot drier than Poulsbo, Port Ludlow and towns along the Hood Canal. But the latter are closer to the Bainbridge ferry for a quick trip to town, and appeal to me more.

One of my friends teased me about the potentially high humidity. He said I am going to need a lot of bleach, to kill the fungi, mold, and yucky stuff that grows everywhere. Well, that's the price for living in a green place, but it is something I have never had to deal with in the arid SW. Is it as bad as my fear monger friend said?
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:00 PM   #9
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There was an extensive thread on this topic not too long ago. Searching on 'Seattle', etc. might retrieve it for your amusement.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:36 PM   #10
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Well, mold is not nearly the issue as it is in Pacific Grove, CA.

When you buy a home in the PNW you really need to check for moisture management. My DH goes ballistic when he sees the work of builders that take shortcuts on the building envelope. During the first energy crisis building officials demanded that homes be sealed up against the cold. Well, houses have to breathe.. exhale as it were. Lots of homes had mold problems from the inside. I am sure ours was not the only area that discovered this issue. Subsequently the building code also required ventilation BUT they aren't paying attention to underlayment and flashing.. code doesn't do a good job in that area.

Always assume that water will get behind the siding, eventually, somewhere. Underlayment needs to breathe and be self sealing (tar felt paper, some of the newer BREATHABLE wraps). I would never buy a home with that fake stucco - good results are applicator specific and few home builders hire the best. I shall stop ranting.

A home built before 1970 that has been well cared for is often a better house than those built later. IMHO. The Portland Metro area has a lot of homes built in the 1930s that are absolute treasures.

Personally I would not be content on the north end of the Kitsap Peninsula because it is too far way from Seattle. The south end of Bainbridge Island is relatively dry, but there is no crabbing close because the tidal currents through Rich Passage are pretty strong. I hear that there is pretty good crabbing in the Hood Canal, around Suquamish and Indianola, however (we buy from tribal members when they have a better price than Albertson's). None of the above are particularly dry.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:02 PM   #11
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We'll be waiting for you at the Siskiyou Pass with a long rifle.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:39 PM   #12
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NW Bound, I lived up in Spokane for 20 years, now live in AZ. Like you, I want to move to the PNW; but I am looking for a place on the water. (as ed said, I love the smell of diesel on a tideflat in the AM..)
We have been looking for a couple of months, and found the best waterFRONT and or CLOSE waterview properties for us to be between Poulsbo and Port Orchard. One criteria we are looking at is proximity to Hwy 3 to get over to SEAtac airport - we will bith continue to work for a couple of years before pulling the plug for good. We are going back to WA at the end of the month, will be flying into Spokane for a friend's wedding, then driving across, via the North Cascades Hwy, Ferry trip thru the San Juan Islands, finally ending up over on the OP to look at more homes.

Feel free to PM me with any PNW questions.
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