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Old 02-20-2014, 11:27 AM   #141
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Wrigley,
I only mentioned it in relation to the financial risks of a CDD such as Nocatee or Durbin crossing. I will have 2 young children so St.John's schools and proximity to UF in Gainesville are driving my decision, although I find Mandarin in Duval county interesting.

I am retired but my wife will be working for another 20 years, so we will probably need to be in commuting distance of Jacksonville, which is why we are not looking at Amelia Island.

Fruit Cove seems to check most of our boxes,

I see you are in Jax, any advice to offer?

What you listed are excellent choices. St. Johns county does have the best school systems, but other counties have some good ones as well. "Oakleaf" is a new up and coming community in Jacksonville that is built in Duval as well as Clay counties. Oakleaf community currently has 3 schools that have pretty good reputations. The HS just opened about 4 years ago. www.oakleafknights.com/index.php
http://www.oakleafplantation.com/
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:41 AM   #142
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They sure are! They are sisters from the same litter and will be 7 years old in June. We brought them home from the breeder the day after they turned 8 weeks old. We have had at least one bulldog in our family spanning the past 16 years. Emma is in the foreground and Shea (my wife's the Met's fan ) is in the background (on my avatar) .

Mike

I think I linked a couple pics.
Thanks for the pics Mike!

Nothing cuter than a bulldog, IMHO. We brought our bulldog Bowser (my son named him after the Mario video game character) home at 8 weeks as well.

Bowser lived a long (11 years) and happy life, mostly on the couch snoring, before leaving us two years ago. I would love to get a rescue bullie....

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Old 02-20-2014, 12:01 PM   #143
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Thanks for the pics Mike!

Nothing cuter than a bulldog, IMHO. We brought our bulldog Bowser (my son named him after the Mario video game character) home at 8 weeks as well.

Bowser lived a long (11 years) and happy life, mostly on the couch snoring, before leaving us two years ago. I would love to get a rescue bullie....


My first bully was "Otis". He was 9 when he died. He had cancer and was a very sickly dog for most of the latter part of his life. I'm sure the new corvette my vet was driving was paid for by my wife and I.

Mike
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:52 PM   #144
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My first bully was "Otis". He was 9 when he died. He had cancer and was a very sickly dog for most of the latter part of his life. I'm sure the new corvette my vet was driving was paid for by my wife and I.

Mike
Wow. I don't know that I am strong enough to get to love a pet that will be with us for so short a time. Our Pomapoo is 9 now and still acts mostly like a puppy. No shedding, no drooling, and we are not allergic. Dog is way too smart and we have to spell some words around him...until he catches on to that too, of course! At 15 lbs, their life expectancy is about 20 years.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:11 AM   #145
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For fun, I did an "expense" exercise for 3 options: living in Bay Area, in Sacramento/CA, and The villages/Florida. To maintain my current living standard at RE, it'd take $120000/year, $95000, and $90000, respectively. I can RE now in Sac/CA & Florida. RE in Bay Area will only have 84% success via FireCalc (I need to work 1 more year).
I am not sure if this has been presented on E-R before:
Vancouver is 72% more expensive than Puerto Vallarta. Cost of Living Feb 2014
This comparison is mostly because Vancouver is so expensive. In fact, by living in PV for 6 months, we can afford a European trip every year and still save a bundle.

PV is also 41% cheaper than St Louis. It is also half the price of Honolulu. This is for living not vacationing.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:04 AM   #146
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I am not sure if this has been presented on E-R before:
Vancouver is 72% more expensive than Puerto Vallarta. Cost of Living Feb 2014
This comparison is mostly because Vancouver is so expensive. In fact, by living in PV for 6 months, we can afford a European trip every year and still save a bundle.

PV is also 41% cheaper than St Louis. It is also half the price of Honolulu. This is for living not vacationing.

I have never been to Vancouver, but when I talked to a guy in Vegas about what it cost for a nosebleed seat to watch the Canucks play, I am a believer it is a high cost area! You do have to be careful with some of these cost of living comparison things, however. Take St. Louis MO where I live nearby. While it is a low cost area, it may not be quite as low as it appears. They quote median housing costs as around $139,000 which sounds cheap. However, STL city has not been able to annex with the more prosperous county areas like many big cities have, so the averages will skew some. Most people that I know and certainly myself would have no desire to buy that "median house", even though I am a very median type person.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:15 AM   #147
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I am not sure if this has been presented on E-R before:
Vancouver is 72% more expensive than Puerto Vallarta. Cost of Living Feb 2014
This comparison is mostly because Vancouver is so expensive. In fact, by living in PV for 6 months, we can afford a European trip every year and still save a bundle.

PV is also 41% cheaper than St Louis. It is also half the price of Honolulu. This is for living not vacationing.
I found the Expatistan site and a few others like it last year. The cost of living difference between a high COL city in the U.S. and low COL resort areas in other countries was a real eye opener.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:23 PM   #148
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Believe it or not, Hawaii is a great place to retire.....before you say I am nuts because of the cost, here me out. If you are retired, have decent assets and can get by the real estate and food bill, this state has some nice features for retirees. The property tax is very small. (I also have a house in Reno, the property tax for that house is 4000.00 and here in Hawaii it is 2100) It doesn't cost anything to enjoy the beach year round. I believe it is the only state that doesn't tax annuity payments, among other income sources. No heating bills.

If you can purchase your house/condo initially it really isn't too bad. I have been here since the early 80's and while working I wouldn't be writing this but now that I am retired I am seeing a different side.....of course maybe after 34 years I have gotten used to the prices....
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:08 PM   #149
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Sacramento is quite a bit hotter and flatter, but some of the overbuilt Bay Area fringe suburbs will get you a newish house with low maintenance costs, still give you easy access to the Bay Area and all the parks, beaches, museums, airports and attractions for half the price or less of closer in housing.
Which fringe suburbs?

My housing costs are low but getting aggravated with the increasing traffic.

Even when I'm not driving, the idea of all those cars idling near my house (about 1/3 of a mile from a major intersection as the crow flies) is something I think about a lot.

There are some nice carless villages in some European countries I've visited.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:13 PM   #150
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Even when I'm not driving, the idea of all those cars idling near my house (about 1/3 of a mile from a major intersection as the crow flies) is something I think about a lot.
Just wait a few years. As more cars are equipped with start/stop systems, you won't have as many stopped cars idling...
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:24 AM   #151
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Take St. Louis MO where I live nearby. While it is a low cost area, it may not be quite as low as it appears. They quote median housing costs as around $139,000 which sounds cheap. However, STL city has not been able to annex with the more prosperous county areas like many big cities have, so the averages will skew some. Most people that I know and certainly myself would have no desire to buy that "median house", even though I am a very median type person.
I used St Louis initially and it show 41% more expensive than PV. But for housing, it compares in city rentals so it is just not representative because many snowbirds do not rent in city. However many comparisons like cost of eggs, bread and beer are very accurate. And it gets better with more participants.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:49 AM   #152
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Which fringe suburbs?

My housing costs are low but getting aggravated with the increasing traffic.

Even when I'm not driving, the idea of all those cars idling near my house (about 1/3 of a mile from a major intersection as the crow flies) is something I think about a lot.

There are some nice carless villages in some European countries I've visited.
Places like Cordelia and Discovery Bay. They are the opposite of walkable, though. The reason they are relatively cheap is because they are overbuilt bedroom communities, outside the commute zone unless you don't mind a really long commute. But the newer homes there can be less than half the price of older, high maintenance, less energy efficient homes closer to the City.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:21 PM   #153
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Places like Cordelia and Discovery Bay. They are the opposite of walkable, though. The reason they are relatively cheap is because they are overbuilt bedroom communities, outside the commute zone unless you don't mind a really long commute. But the newer homes there can be less than half the price of older, high maintenance, less energy efficient homes closer to the City.
OK, I figured something like that.

Or north of Santa Rosa or south of Morgan Hill, east of Pleasanton and so on.

Doesn't really feel like the Bay Area in some of those cases, like you're not near the amenities and such.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:24 PM   #154
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I used St Louis initially and it show 41% more expensive than PV. But for housing, it compares in city rentals so it is just not representative because many snowbirds do not rent in city. However many comparisons like cost of eggs, bread and beer are very accurate. And it gets better with more participants.
Saw an episode of House Hunters, where a young hipster couple (liked "industrial" look) was shopping for a combination business and residential property where they'd have a photo studio business -- I didn't realize photo studios still existed.

Anyways, they ended up choosing an old fire station, probably like 3-4k sq. feet, for around $150k. There was a lot of renovation work which was needed but he was going to do it himself.

I don't know the exact location but seemed like the money went pretty far.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:46 PM   #155
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OK, I figured something like that.

Or north of Santa Rosa or south of Morgan Hill, east of Pleasanton and so on.

Doesn't really feel like the Bay Area in some of those cases, like you're not near the amenities and such.
I know. I get that, too. I would rather be in a more walkable area, closer to the coast and the Redwoods, and closer in. We haven't checked out north of Santa Rosa yet. That is on our list of things to do.

The price difference is hundreds of thousands of dollars just on house price alone, plus less ongoing maintenance costs for the newer houses in the 'burbs. If we aren't commuting to jobs every day and aren't billionaires, moving 20 - 30 minutes further out of town from a financial point of view makes a lot of sense. I could put a Zen garden in the back yard with a fraction of the money we'd save on the house price.

Plus on an absolute dollars scale, the less expensive houses don't have as far to fall when housing prices get hit and they aren't as expensive to sell, based on a 5% commission. And we would get to reset our capital gains tax exclusion.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:12 PM   #156
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Well I don't know about Cordelia but Fairfield and Vallejo supposedly have crime problems and they're close to refineries aren't they?

A couple of decades ago, people talked up Sacto, Stockton and maybe Modesto as areas which are likely to see faster growth in real estate values than the Bay Area, which was already seen as overpriced.

That not only failed to happen but there is gang activity around Stockton?

The value of an area further out could be lower housing prices. However, could they also attract more lower-income buyers so that you end up with just as much traffic and maybe as much or more crime?
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:21 PM   #157
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It is hard when you are single because there are so many things one could do and no one to negotiate with to narrow choices.
You could just make some arbitrary rules that you must satisfy, kind of a synthetic spouse.

Ha
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:29 PM   #158
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Well I don't know about Cordelia but Fairfield and Vallejo supposedly have crime problems and they're close to refineries aren't they?

A couple of decades ago, people talked up Sacto, Stockton and maybe Modesto as areas which are likely to see faster growth in real estate values than the Bay Area, which was already seen as overpriced.

That not only failed to happen but there is gang activity around Stockton?

The value of an area further out could be lower housing prices. However, could they also attract more lower-income buyers so that you end up with just as much traffic and maybe as much or more crime?
You can look at the crime reports and the school rankings on most of the real estate sites. Some of the suburbs tend to be lower crime than the more urban areas. I think if you want to find a nice but cheaper area you have to take a more micro look at neighborhoods, crime reports, parks, school rankings, etc. Your post mentions places that we aren't considering.

The Sacramento metro area is pretty big and diverse. There are some swanky gated communities with McMansions and some high crime areas. Fairfield is the same. They are just like Oakland in terms of extremes in crime and housing prices depending on what part of the city you live in.

Part of the reason some of the East Bay and Central Valley locations are lower cost is because they didn't live up to the predictions and were overbuilt. That is why they are bargain places to live now. The bubble already burst.

If you are interested in dramatic price appreciation from your personal residence then these may not be the best places for you to live. I'm more interested in low overhead and having less money invested in a continual boom and bust housing price area.
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:31 AM   #159
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Wow. I don't know that I am strong enough to get to love a pet that will be with us for so short a time. Our Pomapoo is 9 now and still acts mostly like a puppy. No shedding, no drooling, and we are not allergic. Dog is way too smart and we have to spell some words around him...until he catches on to that too, of course! At 15 lbs, their life expectancy is about 20 years.

Our Pom was 17 years, 4 months, and 3 days old when she passed.

Mike
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:55 AM   #160
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I'm sorry to hear that Mike. The fact you know how old your dog was to the day tells me of your loss.
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