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DQOTD: Would you pay $100K to avoid winters?
Old 04-12-2017, 10:13 AM   #1
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DQOTD: Would you pay $100K to avoid winters?

I know it's a stupid question, but more than once someone here has pointed out something (often simple) that pushed me off dead center when we get stuck (minded). We were all charged up (again) to move to NC, but a comparable home will cost $100K more, and avoiding winter and just new places to explore is really all it comes down to. Being a snowbird would be even more costly, so that's out for us.

It's not only the $100K out of pocket, but 2-2 times higher property taxes and slightly higher income/sales taxes too.

Anyone got that convincing push?

It's a choice only you can make, and if you can afford it why not aren't working so far...
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:22 AM   #2
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You can always look for a cheaper place to live...
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:25 AM   #3
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It would depend on how much it would affect my withdrawal rate... But I really hate winter so if I could afford it, I would probably do it.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:27 AM   #4
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You can always look for a cheaper place to live...
Believe me, we have - from OR/WA all the way to NC. Every place we find that is more appealing (aside from winter) is more expensive than where we are, too many WAY more expensive. Where we are has a lot to offer, if it wasn't for winter.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:29 AM   #5
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I know it's a stupid question, but more than once someone here has pointed out something (often simple) that pushed me off dead center when we get stuck (minded). We were all charged up (again) to move to NC, but a comparable home will cost $100K more, and avoiding winter and just new places to explore is really all it comes down to. Being a snowbird would be even more costly, so that's out for us.

It's not only the $100K out of pocket, but 2-2 times higher property taxes and slightly higher income/sales taxes too.

Anyone got that convincing push?

It's a choice only you can make, and if you can afford it why not aren't working so far...
I live in NC. I can't imagine the entire state is that way. I imagine the range of housing prices and property taxes in NC is probably one of the widest ranges in the country (e.g., Charlotte vs. Wanchese). No data to support that, tho.

There's lots "in between" those along a LONG cost spectrum. Where are you proposing to move?
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:36 AM   #6
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A Home "comparable" to what ?? A difference of 100 Large is quite a leap. If you're looking to compare two different states....you have to take a lot of stuff into account -- Real Estate Taxes, Personal Property Taxes, Income Tax and yes, even the Gasoline Tax should be part of the equation.

And what part of NC were you considering ?? Some parts of NC do not skip winter altogether. The mountains get a lot of snow, and the north-east corner of the state can get a little chilly in Jan/Feb.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:36 AM   #7
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Well, we don't have cold winters here, but we DO have hot summers.

I wouldn't pay much of anything to get better temperatures, even in the summers. In 2017, we are not living in a covered wagon train or a mud hut. We have excellent climate control in our houses, cars, the gym, and in all the businesses and restaurants that we patronize, and so on. The only time we experience unpleasant weather is for about 10 feet from the car to wherever we are going.

Now, maybe it's different in the North:
(1) You'd have to pay someone for snow removal (but then down here, we pay for incessant lawn mowing).
(2) You might slip and fall, or even break a hip, on the ice and snow (but then, even I have heard of YakTrax and that would be the first purchase I'd make if we ever lost our minds and moved north).
(3) You might have more power outages than we do, due to ice, but my perception is that most houses up north do not heat with electricity, plus they have a fireplace or wood stove too. You could get a generator for other electrical needs during an outage.
(4) You can't do much gardening in the wintertime (but here, gardening pretty much consists of hacking back vegetation, back breaking work that is required weekly since we get outrageous jungle-like growth; I have never intentionally planted anything in the 20+ years since I moved to South Louisiana, and that's not uncommon).

So what is your biggest objection to the cold? This is an honest question since I have not lived in "snow country" since the mid 70's. All I remember is being afraid to drive after spinning out on black ice once. But you are used to driving on ice by now, I would expect.

Would having the insulation on your home "beefed up" so that you can be nice and toasty warm all winter, make you happier than moving to North Carolina? If you are really thinking of spending $100K for climate alone, why not invest that $100K in insulating your home, getting a better heating system for your home and garage too, and hiring someone to shovel the snow so that you don't have to?

It sounds to me like your present home has a lot of qualities that you really like, and if you move you might miss all of those great qualities and regret it.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:42 AM   #8
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Why would snowbirding cost more than $100K? You can rent a fairly decent suite with kitchenette in South Florida for $5K per month in the winter.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FIREmenow View Post
There's lots "in between" those along a LONG cost spectrum. Where are you proposing to move?
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And what part of NC were you considering ?? Some parts of NC do not skip winter altogether. The mountains get a lot of snow, and the north-east corner of the state can get a little chilly in Jan/Feb.
Somewhere in the Triangle. We've been spoiled living next to (very) large metro areas all our lives, and we're not willing to give that up. Charlotte and the Triangle are probably the only options to us.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:44 AM   #10
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To NC? I haven't seen an argument out there that would make me want to move there. Hawaii? Well, yes, I could see that, but comparable housing is double if not triple. What we will likely do, eventually, is buy a small condo somewhere in Hawaii, stay there 4-5 months of the year, sell the main house in Kalifornia, possibly keep the Nevada home as a home base, or sell both the main and NV homes, domicile in South Dakota, park the RV 4-5 months of the year while in HI, and roam in the RV while on the mainland. The latter is what DW says she wants to do...but sometimes we know our spouse better than they know themself, and I know that she'd be bored to tears in a month if we did that. She's always got to be moving. We exercise a lot together, which is great, but after the vigorous exercise, I'm fine to relax and read, or walk the dogs, do light activity, while she's always got to be on the move...just watching her can make me tired.

Somewhere, we've got to find a happy medium, which may mean keeping the NV house as a home base, but RV on and off. The home here, or in NV both have suitable RV storage, but Kali politics and taxes are wearing us down quickly, so staying here long term is not really an option.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:44 AM   #11
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I would like to move from NY winters but DW is very hesitant to do so but she is not adverse to going south for a few months.
I have been looking into 3 or 4 month rentals and have been finding very reasonable rents in costal NC, costal SC.
So renting may be a cheaper option then relocating.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:47 AM   #12
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To NC? I haven't seen an argument out there that would make me want to move there.
Admittedly we're moving "from" something (winter, and too familiar surroundings), more than "to."
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:51 AM   #13
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...if we ever lost our minds and moved north.
I hear that.

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So what is your biggest objection to the cold? This is an honest question since I have not lived in "snow country" since the mid 70's.
Very true it is comfy indoors anywhere these days. Driving and shoveling snow are manageable, falls are an increasing concern. But most of all we love to be outdoors and be active, and absolutely hate being cooped up for months on end - been there, done that for 24 straight years.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:55 AM   #14
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Why would snowbirding cost more than $100K? You can rent a fairly decent suite with kitchenette in South Florida for $5K per month in the winter.
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I have been looking into 3 or 4 month rentals and have been finding very reasonable rents in costal NC, costal SC.
So renting may be a cheaper option then relocating.
I guess we should re-look at rentals, it would allow us to change locations every year - we'd like that. But DW is going to expect a full sized house, which adds costs and logistics issues. And we'd want to be there in winter, when I assume everyone else does too.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:57 AM   #15
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Chicago has the highest sales tax in the country.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tool.../INF26299.html

It is the 8th highest overall taxed city in the country.

10 Cities That Pay Some of the Highest Taxes in America


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Old 04-12-2017, 10:59 AM   #16
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Chicago has the highest sales tax in the country.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tool.../INF26299.html

It is the 8th highest overall taxed city in the country.

10 Cities That Pay Some of the Highest Taxes in America


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We don't live IN Chicago, in the burbs about 50 miles out where all costs are surprisingly low, great schools, yet crime is almost non-existent...and Lake Michigan is a (long) bike ride away.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:00 AM   #17
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Very true it is comfy indoors anywhere these days. Driving and shoveling snow are manageable. But we love to be outdoors, and absolutely hate being cooped up for months on end - been there, done that for 24 straight years.
So, throw on your nice ski jacket and boots with YakTrax and mittens and hat, grab some ski poles if you have them, and go for a fast, intense, heart healthy powerwalk up the street and back every morning when you get up! That would get your blood moving and might well satisfy your desire to get outside. Sure sounds cheaper than $100K.

My concern is that you have a "rose colored glasses", idyllic idea of what it's like to live in a warmer climate. We get cooped up too, due to the heat, at least in maybe July through September. When you live in a place, it's not like taking a vacation even in that same place. We don't sit around outside all afternoon every afternoon drinking tropical drinks. At least, nobody that I know of in New Orleans would do that. That's more what tourists do here. We have places to go (in our cars), things to do, a life to live.

If you truly want to spend most of your time outside, I'd suggest Hawaii since the temperatures there are quite stable the year around. But, some people think it's too humid there. Go figure. When you live in a place like that, you become more sensitive to minor temperature changes. When I was in high school in Hawaii, we'd break out the expensive sweaters if the temperature got down as low as 73 or so. We felt pretty cold at that temperature.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:03 AM   #18
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We don't live IN Chicago, in the burbs about 50 miles out where all costs are pretty low...
My siblings live in Tinley Park, Naperville, and Park Ridge. Their taxes are THROUGH THE ROOF according to them. I just can't imagine it costs more to live in NC.

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Old 04-12-2017, 11:03 AM   #19
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Yes, I think I would be willing to pay $100K more to move to better weather and location and surroundings. Easily.

Increased taxes would give me pause. But if it were just property taxes maybe OK. I'd have to look at the big tax picture.

I wouldn't buy right away though. I'd make sure to try out the area well first, which means some time in a more temporary type living arrangement. Otherwise how would I know it was really worth it to move there?
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:04 AM   #20
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My siblings live in Tinley Park, Naperville, and Park Ridge. Their taxes are THROUGH THE ROOF according to them. I just can't imagine it costs more to live in NC.

Mike
Trust me, I know exactly what our costs are here, and how they compare to every city in the Triangle.

We have friends in Naperville, and he's told me about his prop taxes, orders of magnitude higher than our burb.
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