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Best Places To Live??
Old 06-28-2008, 08:19 AM   #1
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Best Places To Live??

I'm a lifetime washingtonian having been born and raised in the DC metro area, and for about half my lifetime I've yearned to move somewhere else, but just never got up the courage to bite the bullet and just do it. Don't get me wrong, There are a lot of things I like about this area, but there are lots of things I don't like about this area as well. Specifically I can't stand the humidity in the summers along with all the bugs. And while the winters are comparatively mild, I have come to really dislike snow and ice. My dream location has always been the Bay area in NorCal

So anyway I went on Sperling's best places to fill out their questionnaire and see where would be my ideal place to live....and not surprisingly, San Francisco came up #1 on my list. But I had to chuckle because at #3 came the DC metro area where I live right now (even though I'm constantly thinking I want to be somewhere else). I guess no place is really perfect so I might as well be content with where I am.

As I slowly move closer towards retirement, I wonder how things worked out for those who have retired? Did you move to some warmer climate and like it? Did you move somewhere more affordable? Just wondering If anyone here really did find their best place to live?
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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If you are rich and don't have close ties to your home, move to the San Francisco. Hard to beat in many ways. My brother once said that he would rather live in a studio apartment where he wanted to be than in a mansion somewhere else. I think he had the right idea.

Ha
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:35 AM   #3
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My research suggests that areas around San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Barbara are probably the best places to live in the continental USA. What gives the West Coast the advantage over otherwise comparable alternatives is the moderate weather thanks to the Pacific and weather prevailing from the west (ie, not the same phenomena on the Atlantic coast). Temperature flucuations on the West Coast are much narrower than anywhere else. However most of us (including me) could not begin to afford to live in any of these places, not even in a 600 sqft something. But someone has to live there, might as well be you if you can...
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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My research suggests that areas around San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Barbara are probably the best places to live in the continental USA. However most of us (including me) could not begin to afford to live in any of these places, not even in a 600 sqft something. But someone has to live there, might as well be you if you can...
Just wait for "the big one", then swoop in during the aftermath.

It isn't just Santa Barbara and SanDiego in the south- all the beach communities from Santa Barbara south to Mexico are unique in America.

Ha
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:33 AM   #5
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The peace and quiet of West Texas where men are still men and where men still tip their hats to a lady.

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Old 06-28-2008, 12:51 PM   #6
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I've lived in both San Diego and San Francisco. Personally, while both are lovely, I prefer the Bay Area. I agree with a previous poster, if you are rich, go for it. If a person has the money, there is no way to go wrong with either area - the key point being MONEY.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:59 PM   #7
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I've lived in both San Diego and San Francisco. Personally, while both are lovely, I prefer the Bay Area. I agree with a previous poster, if you are rich, go for it. If a person has the money, there is no way to go wrong with either area - the key point being MONEY.
So what do you all define as "rich"?
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:22 PM   #8
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So what do you all define as "rich"?
The ability to ER when and where I want to.
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:57 PM   #9
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So what do you all define as "rich"?
Well, I have a friend who makes $200K and struggles. Of course, he's got a million dollar home, so I see why he struggles. However, a million doesn't buy all that much in the City and not even that much in the East Bay, let alone Marin. It's been five years since I left and I know prices have gone down though (21.7% according to what I found online as of June 08. The median price is now $517K for the Bay Area).

I think a person would have to make at least $200K to be comfortable (preferably more) and buy something not out in the boonies. When I lived there the average professional salary was $73K.

Not sure what that translates into in terms of ER or rich enough.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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However, a million doesn't buy all that much in the City and not even that much in the East Bay
Cities, such as Concord, Antioh, and Pittsburg, in Contra Costa county are still quite affordable albeit the commute to work is a bear. However, this should not be an issue for a retiree.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:00 PM   #11
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Cities, such as Concord, Antioh, and Pittsburg, in Contra Costa county are still quite affordable albeit the commute to work is a bear. However, this should not be an issue for a retiree.
I lived in Antioch and would not recommend either Antioch or Pittsburg. I left five years ago and there are now weekly shootings in Antioch if not more frequently. I think Concord is fine and prices have dropped in San Ramon, which is nice. If a person can go to Brentwood or Discovery Bay at least it's not Antioch or Pittsburg, but in time the gangs and crime will spread to Brentwood too. Of conversely, there are some really nice and cute little towns over the Antioch bridge that are nice (other side of the San Joaquin river).

Anyway, to the OP, I came across this...

Quote:
A San Francisco household requires an annual income of $196,878 to afford a median-priced home in the city, according to a February report from the California Budget Project, a liberal research and advocacy group. Fewer than 4 in 10 city households owned their homes in 2006, 39.3 percent, the lowest rate among counties in the state.
Exodus of S.F.'s middle class
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #12
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I'm a lifetime washingtonian having been born and raised in the DC metro area, and for about half my lifetime I've yearned to move somewhere else, but just never got up the courage to bite the bullet and just do it. Don't get me wrong, There are a lot of things I like about this area, but there are lots of things I don't like about this area as well. Specifically I can't stand the humidity in the summers along with all the bugs. And while the winters are comparatively mild, I have come to really dislike snow and ice. My dream location has always been the Bay area in NorCal

So anyway I went on Sperling's best places to fill out their questionnaire and see where would be my ideal place to live....and not surprisingly, San Francisco came up #1 on my list. But I had to chuckle because at #3 came the DC metro area where I live right now (even though I'm constantly thinking I want to be somewhere else). I guess no place is really perfect so I might as well be content with where I am.

As I slowly move closer towards retirement, I wonder how things worked out for those who have retired? Did you move to some warmer climate and like it? Did you move somewhere more affordable? Just wondering If anyone here really did find their best place to live?
Novaman,

I too am a DC area native and have resided in Fairfax County for many years. I recently retired and my spouse will be joining me in retirement within a year.

We are pretty much tied to the immediate area since we both have widowed mothers who we want to visit on a regular basis and rely on us for assistance. For this reason, we have checked into potential retirement areas within a reasonable distance.

I would recommend exploring places like Charlottesville, VA which is consistently rated one of the best retirement communities in the country. You wouldn't have to move far and would still be close to the things you like about this area. Since Charlottesville is near the mountains the weather is much cooler in the summer. Plus, having UVA there means lots of cultural attractions and first rate health care.

We are looking at Culpeper, which is not too far from Charlottesville, since we have good friends there. I must admit if I wasn't tied to this area I would be attracted to San Diego due to the beauty of the place and wonderful weather. Maybe one day. Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:21 PM   #13
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I think a person would have to make at least $200K to be comfortable (preferably more) and buy something not out in the boonies. When I lived there the average professional salary was $73K.
It's true for new comers. However, people who purchased their houses before the boom are doing fine. Both my younger sister and brother are doing fine, earning about $104K. Their houses, however, are almost paid for.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #14
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If you are rich and don't have close ties to your home, move to the San Francisco. Hard to beat in many ways. My brother once said that he would rather live in a studio apartment where he wanted to be than in a mansion somewhere else. I think he had the right idea.

Ha
You are half right, Ha. Your brother was brilliant but you don't have to be rich to live in a studio apt. in The City. $50,000/yr. and you would be comfortable, if you make more than that, save the excess to retire in place. BTY, studios built in the Teens and 1920s in really good areas like Nob Hill and Russian Hill tend to be really large and livable. I would avoid the large studio apts. in The Marina because it's built on landfill; I once lived in a corner apt. there which was of the same design as the one that crashed and burned after the '89 quake. Rent control still apples to older buildings so the deal has always been that when you sign the lease, the rent is more than you would ever want to pay, but 10 years later if your income rises, it feels more affordable.

Clearly not for everyone, Kathryn says she doesn't like noise and shared walls. I do like a bit of noise and lots of life (and dogs) in the neighborhood. The old apts. have thick walls and I never hear my neighbors unless they are cheering for the team or partying, which doesn't happen often; it is too too quite on holidays because many people leave town. I could not stand to live in a detached house again, and crickets annoy me. Love the story about the kid who went off to college and took along a recording of the cable cars because he couldn't sleep without that noise.

Novaman, think about living your dream! I went through my last really cold winter in Madison, WI with a S.F. calendar at my bedside.
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