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Old 11-05-2008, 11:19 AM   #101
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Finally, someone who knows the real joy of property taxes.
That's the reduced amount

They were supposed to go up $2,000 this year, but I fought the law and I WON!

The hard part about living near Chicago is knowing how much of my tax money goes to pay for waste, theft, and greed at the county level. That and we get the highest sales taxes in the country.
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Socal so utilities aren't that much
Old 11-05-2008, 12:16 PM   #102
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Socal so utilities aren't that much

$481 a month for a 1550 sf ranch
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Easy Living in AZ
Old 11-05-2008, 02:51 PM   #103
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Easy Living in AZ

We have two homes, a 2800-sqft in the metropolitan desert, and a 1700-sqft in the high country at 7000ft elevation. The driving distance is 2.5-hr at posted speed limits.

Both have a double-car garage, and no basement.

Following are the costs. Discretionary expenses such as phone/cable/internet are not included for the desert home. The mountain home does not have any of the latter, though they are available.

Desert / Mountain
Insurance: 1028 / 623
RE Tax: 1940 / 1700
Electric: 2456 / 440
Water/Sewer: 1524 / 378
----------------------------
Annual: 6948 / 3141
Ave monthy: 579 / 262

Note that both houses are all electric, no gas. The mountain home is on a septic tank (no sewer charge), and also has no garbage collection (the town dump is 5 miles away).

The desert home has a diving pool (I can hear the pump running sitting here), 5-ton of refrigeration as a life-support system in 120-deg summers, and two college-aged liberal coinhabitants who do not think that their emptying of a 52-gal water heater for a shower is incompatible with their "green" ideology.

The mountain home needs cooling only 2 or 3 days per year. In the winter, the thermostat of the heat pump with electric heat pack is permanently set at 45 degF, whether we are there or not. The house is situated for viewing down a hill, which is coincidentally south facing. Its tall 25-ft facade with 6 large double-pane windows lets in plenty of sunlight for excellent passive heating. It should be noted that the winter there is usually clear-sky and dry, with little wet or snow precipitation. Hence, with the typical winter outdoor temperature of 10/40 (night/day), the inside is 45/70 (night/day) with very little heating. A small bedroom space heater and an electric blanket are used as needed. The fireplace is never used.

I stopped fretting about our electric usage for refrigeration in the desert, when I saw how much people in colder climates have to pay for heating. And our mountain home low cost-of-living just can't be beat.

I can now see that the housing cost in AZ is a lot lower than elsewhere. People in NJ are paying as much for their RE tax as my total expenses. Good grief! And both NJ and AZ have sales taxes and income taxes.

I may just give up my dream of relocating to the PNW. Oh well!
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housing costs
Old 11-05-2008, 05:51 PM   #104
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housing costs

2000' sq ft, Northern California.

Taxes, sewer, water, electric, gas, cable, internet, phone, insurance, etc...

$748.67

Can go up $100.00 a month in the heat of the summer or up slightly in the dead cold of winter. An average of $800 would easily cover the whole year.

Like many, I now wonder where the other $4000 a month is going?
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:43 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by saluki9 View Post
That's the reduced amount

They were supposed to go up $2,000 this year, but I fought the law and I WON!

The hard part about living near Chicago is knowing how much of my tax money goes to pay for waste, theft, and greed at the county level. That and we get the highest sales taxes in the country.
Congratulations on contesting your tax assessment. We are on year 3 of a 5 year phase in from the last revaluation, so mine will only get worse.

That said, we have fairly decent schools and good municipal services for our tax dollars. I just wonder how a town with a gigantic shopping mall and not just one, but two electric power plants, has such high residential taxes. Someone is getting a sweet deal.
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Housing Costs
Old 11-06-2008, 05:53 AM   #106
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Housing Costs

1900 sq. ft. 4 bdrm, 2 bath on 25 acres in West Central Texas, 20 miles from midsized college and military town. Built in 2002. 5 people at home.

Mortgage: None

Property Taxes: $ 138.00 month (about $ 1,650.00 year)

Electricity: average: $ 230.00 month (total electric home)

Water: average: $ 40.00 month

Home Phone: $ 20.53 every month

Trash Service: $ 20.00 every month

Peace and quiet with room to roam: $ Priceless

Total: $ 448.53

Eladio
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:47 AM   #107
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1900 sq. ft. 4 bdrm, 2 bath on 25 acres in West Central Texas, 20 miles from midsized college and military town. Built in 2002. 5 people at home.

Mortgage: None

Property Taxes: $ 138.00 month (about $ 1,650.00 year)

Electricity: average: $ 230.00 month (total electric home)

Water: average: $ 40.00 month

Home Phone: $ 20.53 every month

Trash Service: $ 20.00 every month

Peace and quiet with room to roam: $ Priceless

Total: $ 448.53

Eladio
I always hear bad stories about texas taxes how did you pull this off?
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Home prices are reasonable in Texas
Old 11-06-2008, 11:13 AM   #108
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Home prices are reasonable in Texas

I don't think the property taxes are really that bad. We don't have state income tax. One reason my taxes aren't bad is because the home and land prices in Texas are still very reasonable compared to many parts of the country. We have not had the huge run up in real estate that other areas have experienced. Plus, acreage over 10 acres qualifies for the agricultural exemption on property taxes (about 10% to 15% of what residential land is taxed). Agricultural land in my area can be had for $1300 to $1500 an acre and homes range from $50,000 (decent) to $150,000 (very nice).

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Old 11-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #109
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My housing Expenses for our 3000 square foot home in Maine are:

600 Taxes
14 Water
500 Heat
100 Electric
150 Cable + Phone + Internet
60 Insurance
100 Maintenance -- snowplowing and lawn maintenance

1524 month

As you can see property taxes are pretty bad here as well and the heat went up a extra 100 year as well due to oil being more expensive
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:50 PM   #110
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Vegas area, 1500 sq ft, 2 car gar. All of the above, about 700 per month, including club house dues

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Old 11-06-2008, 02:49 PM   #111
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Thanks Eladio
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:48 PM   #112
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2700 Sq. Ft. (plus 1200 Sq. ft. finished basement) Western Canada

Property tax - $400
Heat - $150 (average over 12 months)
Electric - $125 (now that kids are gone)
Insurance - $75
Phone, cable
Internet - $125


Mortgage - 0
Opportunity
Cost - 0 (200K paid in 98, worth $400K, maybe more, in todays market)
Repairs/upgrades about $25K over 10 years
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #113
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2000 Sq Ft. Portland Oregon area. 4 bedroom, 2 bath.

(all monthly values)
Mortgage: 792
Insurance: $55
Property Taxes: $ 210
Electricity/heat: average: $ 202 (all electric)
Sewer/Water: $65
Phone/Internet: $ 74
Trash Service: $ 25

Rick
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:53 PM   #114
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2000 Sq Ft. Portland Oregon area. 4 bedroom, 2 bath.

(all monthly values)
Mortgage: 792
Insurance: $55
Property Taxes: $ 210
Electricity/heat: average: $ 202 (all electric)
Sewer/Water: $125
Phone/Internet: $ 74
Trash Service: $ 25

Rick
$125/mo just for sewer and water? WOW, that is a lot. Is it because of water shortages such as California has?

One thing we have plenty of in New Orleans is water (everywhere, with 60"/year rainfall, a tight network of criss-cross drainage canals throughout the city, and lakes, swamps, and the Mississippi River all around us, and with the city itself being largely a somewhat drained swamp). So, maybe that is why we pay less than that for that particular bill. I pay just $15.50 for water, sewer, trash, mosquito control, and park maintenance combined.
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Old 11-07-2008, 05:18 PM   #115
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$125/mo just for sewer and water? WOW, that is a lot. Is it because of water shortages such as California has?

One thing we have plenty of in New Orleans is water (everywhere, with 60"/year rainfall, a tight network of criss-cross drainage canals throughout the city, and lakes, swamps, and the Mississippi River all around us, and with the city itself being largely a somewhat drained swamp). So, maybe that is why we pay less than that for that particular bill. I pay just $15.50 for water, sewer, trash, mosquito control, and park maintenance combined.
oops, - that was bi-monthly. I'll edit the orignal post.

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:06 PM   #116
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2800 sq. foot home in SoCal, on a smallish lot (back yard is 50x50):

Mortgage: $2,260
Prop Taxes: $450
Insurance: $200
Water/Sewer: $90 (avg)
Phone/Internet: $88
Cable: $84
Gas/Electric: $88 (avg)
Trash: $0 (included in prop taxes)

Monthly total (w/mortgage): $3,260
Monthly total (w/o mortgage): $1,000

While our property taxes are fairly high, they won't change much in our lifetime thanks to Prop 13 here in CA, which caps property taxes at 1% of a home's assessed value, and can only rise by 2% each year. We can also do a one-time transfer of that tax base if we sell and rebuy a home in a participating CA county (after age 55).
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #117
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Wow!! I hope you are getting some pretty awesome services in exchange for your property taxes.
Yes and no. Obviously no one likes paying taxes. But truth be told, the town has really, really, improved over the last 10 years. Plus we live in an urban environment where just about everything, and I really mean everything, is within walking distance. In fact, I didn't own my first car until I was 32.

I often think about moving somewhere less expensive, but the thought of needing to get in my car if I want to buy a gallon of milk kind of sends shivers up my spine. So I guess I am getting some value for my taxes. Naturally though, I wish they were less.
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:32 PM   #118
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Yes and no. Obviously no one likes paying taxes. But truth be told, the town has really, really, improved over the last 10 years. Plus we live in an urban environment where just about everything, and I really mean everything, is within walking distance. In fact, I didn't own my first car until I was 32.

I often think about moving somewhere less expensive, but the thought of needing to get in my car if I want to buy a gallon of milk kind of sends shivers up my spine. So I guess I am getting some value for my taxes. Naturally though, I wish they were less.
I don't know your tax amount but I think a used car and low RE taxes would be better if you are retired. I know taxes in NJ can range from 8k to 18k or more. Alot of places in NJ once the sun goes down so do many of the people.(rough areas)
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:29 PM   #119
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I don't know your tax amount but I think a used car and low RE taxes would be better if you are retired. I know taxes in NJ can range from 8k to 18k or more. Alot of places in NJ once the sun goes down so do many of the people.(rough areas)
I agree. One of the things I like about my situation is the flexibility moving to a lower cost part of the country gives me. If market returns aren't getting the job done, one of the things I can do is pick up and move somewhere else.

On the other hand, what's the point of quitting your job and moving someplace just because it's cheaper if you're going to end up spending your days wishing you were someplace else?
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