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Old 08-08-2013, 12:16 PM   #41
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Home is 16% of net worth (paid cash, no pensions per op's requirement), and runs $12k/annually to maintain (single family gated community). We snowbird in Florida currently for January/February, and do weekly travel during the rest of the year. We've been retired for just under 4 years (retired early 59/57), and our thoughts always go to selling the property and going into a rental or condo to allow for less space/cost and more freedom. Thoughts are to do more travel w/o the worry of a single family home in the frozen winters up north. Our children are here in the metro area, so leaving permanently has its issues. We've looked at two places, but having had them in the past - find this somewhat limiting and an ongoing financial commitment (but haven't ruled it out completely). We believe there will come a time when this current travel scenario will change/slowdown (age/health), but look to make the most of it before those factors eventually come into play.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:46 PM   #42
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No offense taken! When we were first married, we got into a little house down in North San Diego County, but 3 years later, we got transferred to the Bay Area and had to move.

We were told that we would "take a shellacking," and we did, but staying put has worked out, more or less.

We always thought that when our w*rking days were done, we'd have a chance to choose where we wanted to live, and we've sure been looking, but we haven't found the place with the right combination of factors that will outweigh what we already have.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:58 PM   #43
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Recently, out of curiosity, I looked at RE in Yountville, fantasizing that it would be nice if I had the money to walk to the French Laundry for dinner every night. I could trade both my homes for one small home there (they were all small, really).

But, as I do not have money to eat at the French Laundry everyday, it remains a fantasy, and I am still here.

PS. Just joking about eating at the French Laundry everyday. Even with money, one would get tired of the same things quickly. But there are other restaurants, and it is a really nice small town. Really pretty and romantic. Wish I had money for a 2nd home there. Maybe just a condo.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:17 PM   #44
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No offense to people on the West Coast, but years ago, I had a job offer with a 25% pay raise to relocate there, but I declined. The housing cost was so high that the pay raise would not be enough. I can have two houses here for the price of one there. And as I like to be out of the city, I am not missing anything, and even pay less.
I think it might be hard to offend a West Coaster over geography, unless you happen to live in Monte Carlo.

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Old 08-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #45
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I love the geography and the climate, even the rainy one around the Puget Sound. It's the crowdedness that I mind.

The last time we were in SF a couple years ago, I wanted to go into Chinatown to look for a place to get some crispy fried noodle, then a bowl of roast duck soup. I could not find a place to park and had to give that up.

I have visited SF quite a few times, starting from the 70s. It was crowded back then, but with a bit of patience, I was able to park without having to walk too far. Not true anymore.

And driving my RV through SF and LA areas was so stressful, even though I took the encircling freeways to stay as far from centers of town as much as possible. I prefer the open space of my areas.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:51 PM   #46
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I love the geography and the climate, even the rainy one around the Puget Sound. It's the crowdedness that I mind.

The last time we were in SF a couple years ago, I wanted to go into Chinatown to look for a place to get some crispy fried noodle, then a bowl of roast duck soup. I could not find a place to park and had to give that up.

I have visited SF quite a few times, starting from the 70s. It was crowded back then, but with a bit of patience, I was able to park without having to walk too far. Not true anymore.

And driving my RV through SF and LA areas was so stressful, even though I took the encircling freeways to stay as far from centers of town as much as possible. I prefer the open space of my areas.
I understand what you are saying. But that is an inappropriate criterion for dense urban areas. If they were hospitable to your car, let alone your RV, they would not be attractive to urban dwellers. OTOH taxis, streetcars, underground, buses, and walking work just fine. It would be like wanting got live in a Phoenix suburb, and walk everywhere.

Even in Seattle, many people who live in core areas do not bother with cars, especially younger people. Cars are a bother. Until you go "car free" īt is hard to realize how much time, effort, and money goes into keeping these things decent looking, and safely on the road

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Old 08-08-2013, 06:45 PM   #47
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Yes, I do appreciate the allure of big city living. But you have to be closer in town.

What I saw was that even the suburbs of these metro areas were so crowded. There's really no walking there at all, hence everybody flocked to the freeways. I thought Phoenix has been getting bad in the last 40 years, but it's still nothing compared to LA and SF.

Crossing LA three years ago to visit my aunt, I waited until 10PM to be past rush hour, and it was still bumper-to-bumper starting 60 miles out from my aunt's place. People there did not go to bed!
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:58 PM   #48
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I am reading Alan Blinder's book " After the music stopped: The Financial crisis, the Response, and the Work ahead." I am struck by this assertion he made, using the Case-Schiller index plotted from 1890 to 2012:

"On balance, the relative prices of houses in America barely changed over more than a century! To be precise, the average annual relative price increase from 1890 to 1997 was just 0.09 of 1 percent. You don’t get rich on that."

I know there are many different Case-Shiller Index, this one Blinder quoted with a graph is House Price deflated with Consumer Price Index. He was talking about the housing bubble. The index was more or less a flat line until about 1998, then the index spiked to about 200 and then crashed back to 100 in 2006.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:33 PM   #49
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I understand what you are saying. But that is an inappropriate criterion for dense urban areas. If they were hospitable to your car, let alone your RV, they would not be attractive to urban dwellers...
Just now realized I might have given the wrong impression. No, I would not be so dumb to drive my motor home, though it was not that big, into SF. I towed a toad, and drove this car into the city from an RV park outside the city. I guess I should have taken a train, but in all previous trips I drove my own car.

But outside the cities, the interstates all around were jam-packed, such as 580, 880 in SF, and in LA even the outer circle like 210. I saw so many new housing developments and farms on I-5 from Los Banos down to Santa Clarita. There weren't anything when I last drove it 20 years ago.


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"On balance, the relative prices of houses in America barely changed over more than a century! To be precise, the average annual relative price increase from 1890 to 1997 was just 0.09 of 1 percent. You don’t get rich on that."
Certainly true in my case. Been in my home for 24 years. After the bubble burst, it is now about 2X what I paid for it. And that's about the inflation factor.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:00 AM   #50
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Our home is roughly 10% of NW. We anticipate staying there for the next 10-15 years, possibly into our early to mid 60s (51 now). When I get to the point that I no longer wish to care for 2 acres, and DW finally realizes that 4300 sq ft is too much to clean, then we'll move. While we love Spring summer and autumn, we aren't too fond of the tule fog in the winter, and we are tired of the state of affairs in California. But, my parents are nearby and are aging. And, we haven't found a climate that we definitely prefer, either (both weather and political), so we stay put for now. When we do move, it will be a downsizing, so I would expect our housing equity/net worth to fall to around 5-6%, plus or minus, depending on what the various markets do in the meantime.

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Old 08-09-2013, 11:41 AM   #51
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But outside the cities, the interstates all around were jam-packed, such as 580, 880 in SF, and in LA even the outer circle like 210. I saw so many new housing developments and farms on I-5 from Los Banos down to Santa Clarita. There weren't anything when I last drove it 20 years ago.


Having lived in the Bat Area my whole life, you are correct that it is jam-packed. My only complaints are the traffic and crowds.

I consider the high cost of housing normal and everywhere else is a bargain.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:53 AM   #52
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[Rant on] California is such a populous, large, and rich state with such a diverse economy: agriculture, industrial production, high tech, aerospace, etc... It has it all. Amazing how the state government runs a deficit. Goes to show no matter how much money one has, it is possible to squander it all, just like the instant millionaire jackpot winners. [Rant off]
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