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Old 11-28-2017, 05:22 PM   #141
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The polar vortex of 2013-'14 did some crazy things to propane prices, IIRC. Some people had trouble getting their tanks filled at any price.
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Old 11-28-2017, 05:46 PM   #142
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I have enjoyed this post. We live in a suburb that is really close to our metro downtown area as well as the next door suburb. I thought about moving, but all things considered we really like our location, house and yard. This post has a lot of good questions and considerations so I have followed along. For now and the forseeable future, this home works great for us.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:16 PM   #143
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I bought my current house in 1997. It's 10 minutes from hospital, groceries, etc., and 2 minutes from a highway to exit the city. It's on 1.7 acres with an empty field behind me, and I built the garage, decks, and fence to completely shield me from the neighbors but still provide a view of wide open space. It's the perfect combination of convenience, space, and privacy.
That type of thing is pretty much my ideal location. I actually had something close to it for awhile. We owned 1 acre unrestricted in a similar type location. It was absolutely wonderful in terms of access to things. And, with our dogs at the time (5 of them) it was ideal.

We eventually sold it without building on it as we had planned. But, the cost to build just seemed absurd. The existing house we ended up buying was larger with better finishes that what he would have built and was at least 25% cheaper (probably closer to a third when it would have all been done). To build something comparable to what we bought would have been probably twice the price. I just couldn't justify the difference in price. So we bought our current house.

And, as it turns out almost 6 years later, I don't like being 20 minutes from everything.

We are thinking of moving in a few years and one possibility is the area that I grew up in. I've been looking at houses to get an idea of market. One issue I am having is that where I am now most everywhere is unincorporated. So no city ordinances. We do have an HOA but no pet number restrictions.

We actually have fewer pets now and could fit in more locales (we are down to 2 dogs/3 cats and will eventually be 0 dogs -- they are old -- but would like the option to have 4 cats). Even so, I would prefer some place without pet number restrictions. Around here there are a lot of subdivisions that don't have any.

But in the place we are looking at most of the County is incorporated. So most every City - big or small - has pet limits. Many of the limits are actually fine and would accommodate what we have. But, I don't like it anyway. Cities can change their ordinances. So the place that now allows 4 pets can suddenly change to only allowing 2. I don't want to take that risk.

There are very few unincorporated areas. I could go to surrounding counties and buy a house much like we have now. But, then I run into the same issue...20 minutes from everywhere.

I could try to find an unincorporated area close to amenities. But, the risk there is that it is close to a city and you move in and then it gets annexed so you get subject to the city ordinances.

We haven't decided yet what to do. I mean by the time we move we may be down to 0 dogs or maybe 1 and we have 3 indoor cats now. So most ordinances would be OK with that (not all HOAs, of course, but I could find some). And, we may never get a 4th cat. I would just like to have the option. So, we'll see.
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:10 AM   #144
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On the changing pet rules and especially cats how do they really know how many cats you have...they don't have cat police and most cats are inside animals. Most likely if a change like this happened existing cat owners would register their cats and be grandfathered into the new limit.

There is no way any branch of government would make you give away existing pets or move..as far as cities having pet limits as a person who had pets and right now doesn't have pets, I'm completely OK with a city or township telling my neighbors they can't have 6 dogs or half a dozen cats....outside cats can be destructive too.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:42 PM   #145
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Quick update..

I've come to learn through this whole process that my biggest issue is the neighbor's massive (6,000+ sq ft) house that's built so it's mostly in what would otherwise be our back yard.

We did roughly $100K in landscape (HUGE trees) to hide the monstrosity, but we are on a corner..and our house sits in front of both neighbors. So when the Italian builder guy plunked a 6K+ sq ft house basically 20 feet from us - including having his driveway where all the kids "play" (which basically means screaming like you're on fire) a few feet from my office window - well, that sucked.

Noise is bad, although it's been FAR worse in the past when the older boy (who's now at college) was growing up. They're down to one kid and he's (so far) better but no telling who might move in one day..and then the cycle will start all over again.

The main thing I hate is that I don't feel like I have ANY privacy - INSIDE my own house. The Italian Monster looms over us. And while they are reasonably nice people, I freaking HATE feeling like anyone is walking around their yard looking into my house. I'm just too private for that - and I also don't want to live like a prisoner, constantly having to pull down blinds to create any sense of actual privacy.

The trees we planted to hide the Italian Monstrosity are dying - badly. I spend roughly $1k per year to TRY to keep them healthy, and wonder how trees actually LIVE in the woods, as my trees keep trying to die..every disease, blight, scab, bug, etc known to mankind seem to LOVE them. They're 40+ feet tall, so irreplaceable - and if they go, so do we because without them, we have even LESS privacy (not that we really have much of any today - but at least it's "something").

On the "why not move to the new lots in the country" list, I came up with the following:

- Huge capital outlay..(new construction here is hugely expensive - $200+ / sq ft) at a time I want to RE, which would put a serious dent in my piggy bank as I would have $0 income coming in..and spending hundreds of K$s with no income - that's frightening..
- No nearby EMS service..and DW had a near fatal heart attack ~3 yrs ago. She could literally die if she had another cardio "event" and the ambulance is too far away to help. (#1 reason actually..)
- Could RE much earlier if we stayed put (though living here would suck..I'm tired of it and want new)
- Smaller, less "nice" house than we have now, for far more $$ (we built ~18 years ago..prices were much better even though we thought they were sky high then)
- Well, septic, etc
- Far from ANY amenities - we'd basically have the trail to ride on and not much else
- Far from ANY medical care
- Far from family (though not totally unmanageable)
- Lose access to local parks, Senior center (over 50 facility), quaint city we live in now with lots of restaurants, shopping, etc.

And for what?

PRIVACY.

And a sense that when I'm in my OWN HOUSE, I'm in my OWN HOUSE. Not a fishbowl. Not something that I'm always wondering who else might be looking into. Not something where I see the side wall of a 6K+ sq foot Italian Monstrosity when I look out my back windows. My. Own. Space.

I know..the answer seems obvious. Except it isn't. I realize there are many pre-built options that meet that main criteria - but then we get into the "2nd tier" criteria of liking the floor plan, the area, etc. And we are super fussy on what we want as the current dream home (on a terrible lot) has somewhat spoiled us. We have a lot of nice things in this house..finding that somewhere else is pretty unlikely unless we build - and properties are limited unless you go into the sticks.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:00 PM   #146
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Maybe it's time to move on to other problems as this one seems to be unsolvable.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:07 PM   #147
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Maybe it's time to move on to other problems as this one seems to be unsolvable.
Gee..thanks. That's really helpful. Glad that I could ask for your guys opinion and experiences.

This is obviously a very hard decision with a lot of conflicting issues.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:10 PM   #148
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Gee..thanks. That's really helpful. So glad to ask for your guys opinion and experiences.
If you can't figure it out after 140+ posts offering ideas and suggestions, what else would you expect from "us guys"?

On we go...
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:23 PM   #149
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It's fairly simple:

If you live in town, you have:

congestion, noise and neighbor nuisance
quick access to restaurants, shopping and medical care
city amenities - parks, etc (and paying for them)

If you live in the boonies, you have:

little or no congestion, noise and neighbor problems
longer drive to restaurants, shopping and medical care
no city amenities (but not paying for them either)

Life is a series of choices. And one's choice on living location may not be ideal in every way. You just have to evaluate what are the most important needs and wants for you and your family in arriving at a decision.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:26 PM   #150
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If you can't figure it out after 140+ posts offering ideas and suggestions, what else would you expect from "us guys"?

On we go...
You got over 140 posts and don't consider us "helpful" actually this is the second thread, the first one was the high cost of custom building. No matter what anyone offers you seem to come back to "yea, but".....you really think anything someone says here is going to be a light bulb moment?
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:37 PM   #151
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You got over 140 posts and don't consider us "helpful" actually this is the second thread, the first one was the high cost of custom building. No matter what anyone offers you seem to come back to "yea, but".....you really think anything someone says here is going to be a light bulb moment?
I didn't say the 140+ posts were not helpful as they definitely were. I was saying the snarky response was not helpful.

The high cost of building is a legitimate issue in trying to RE - unless you are far more wealthy than I am. Not sure what your point is.

It is not simple trying to figure any of this out. If you have a magic silver bullet answer, I'm all ears.

And here I thought the entire purpose of the forum was to discuss issues around RE and what it means to all of us.

I appreciate the help of the "140+" replies but am going to dial back - the tone of this forum at times is so overly sensitive and hypercritical that I quite frankly cannot deal with it. I posted asking for honest feedback - and for the most part, got it. One or two people seem over focused on nit picking my questions. Can't fathom why, except at times that just seems to be how things are.

And, to net it out - there are a whole lot of very legitimate "yeah, but" facets to this decision. That's just the way it is unfortunately. Wish it was easier but it is not easy deciding where to spend most of the rest of your life with a spouse who had a near fatal, near death experience.

Sorry to bother any of you with my silly questions. I'll take my decisions elsewhere.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:42 PM   #152
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Sorry to bother any of you with my silly questions. I'll take my decisions elsewhere.
Oh OK. I'll delete my post just three posts back (right before ivinsfan's) that explained a constructive and proven solution to your dilemma, then.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:51 PM   #153
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Sorry to bother any of you with my silly questions. I'll take my decisions elsewhere.
Oh OK. I'll delete my post just three posts back (right before ivinsfan's) that explained a constructive and proven solution to your dilemma, then.
I give. I said ONE or TWO people were not being helpful, because they insisted on snarky and disrespectful responses - and attempted to let all of the rest of you know how much I appreciated the feedback. I actually think this thread was a very good discussion and apparently others who commented to that same point did as well.

Best of luck to all of you. I deal with a level of stress and conflict every day that's unmanageable. (Hence, the strong desire to RE). My DW almost died (literally) due to the stress we have in our lives. I can't add to it in our after hours.

Wish you all well.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:05 PM   #154
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You need to come to grips that you can't have everything. Country living seems dangerous with your wife's condition. I totally get the privacy issue. You're unlikely to find the same desirable type of floor plan unless you stay or build yourself, the latter being costly.


I think you either need to compromise on the floor plan in an existing home with decent privacy and location, or find a buildable lot closer to medical that is good enough for privacy and live with the cost. Or stay with you are and put up with the privacy issues. You say it's quieting down but you don't know who might move in next, so you could deal with it if noisy kids move in again.


It's really about prioritizing what's most important given that you won't get everything.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:09 PM   #155
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You need to come to grips that you can't have everything. Country living seems dangerous with your wife's condition. I totally get the privacy issue. You're unlikely to find the same desirable type of floor plan unless you stay or build yourself, the latter being costly.


I think you either need to compromise on the floor plan in an existing home with decent privacy and location, or find a buildable lot closer to medical that is good enough for privacy and live with the cost. Or stay with you are and put up with the privacy issues. You say it's quieting down but you don't know who might move in next, so you could deal with it if noisy kids move in again.


It's really about prioritizing what's most important given that you won't get everything.
Very good advice and well netted out. Thank you.

Unfortunately, there are no buildable lots anywhere near medical. The area is extremely built out already and only buildable with privacy is reasonably far out. Hence the dilemna.

Beginning to think we are just going to have to jettison the dream to have what we want, and buy an "acceptable" house in a sub somewhere - even if we don't love it. Hopefully where we have reasonable privacy and quiet though that is very hard to find.

I'd move out of state to find it, but DW is very close to her (large) family that is all here. So options are very limited.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:10 PM   #156
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Given your work situation and your DW's health, I think you are doing things in the wrong order. In your shoes, I would make a beeline for the exit door at work. Take some time to de-stress and figure out how you want to live the rest of your life. You may find that the little things that bother you now are not so bad once the main stressor is removed.

Once you are no longer w*rking, you can spend a lot of time at home, figuring out what things work for you and what things really bother you. Maybe after you are settled into your retirement routine, you will find a property that suits your needs and wants better than the one you live in now. Or maybe you will settle in where you are.

With your reaction to stress and your DW's health, I would not take on building a house. Every little problem will be a big headache for you. The decisions will be torturous. You don't need that. DW certainly does not need the tension. You need peace and quiet and a stress-free routine where you can relax and feel free.

In your shoes, I would run the numbers and set the date. Maybe you can get a package to sweeten the parting. But make the decision to take the lifeboat and get off the ship.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:10 PM   #157
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One more point, building a house is a very stressful event. Especially a custom home. You should ask yourself if you and DW are really up for this.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:21 PM   #158
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One more point, building a house is a very stressful event. Especially a custom home. You should ask yourself if you and DW are really up for this.
Agreed. One of the things we are thinking very hard about. Not sure we are.

We built our current house, but it's in a sub with 400+ other houses. Way different..
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:27 PM   #159
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Given your work situation and your DW's health, I think you are doing things in the wrong order. In your shoes, I would make a beeline for the exit door at work. Take some time to de-stress and figure out how you want to live the rest of your life. You may find that the little things that bother you now are not so bad once the main stressor is removed.

Once you are no longer w*rking, you can spend a lot of time at home, figuring out what things work for you and what things really bother you. Maybe after you are settled into your retirement routine, you will find a property that suits your needs and wants better than the one you live in now. Or maybe you will settle in where you are.

With your reaction to stress and your DW's health, I would not take on building a house. Every little problem will be a big headache for you. The decisions will be torturous. You don't need that. DW certainly does not need the tension. You need peace and quiet and a stress-free routine where you can relax and feel free.

In your shoes, I would run the numbers and set the date. Maybe you can get a package to sweeten the parting. But make the decision to take the lifeboat and get off the ship.
Yes - that's probably very much the case..and I often thought about doing a different 'order' as suggested.

Very much thinking about bailing and RE Feb or March of next year, after my next batch of RSUs vest. But we have offers on the 2 properties now that expire mid-Dec so unfortunately will lose them unless we act in the next 2 weeks or so..
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:27 PM   #160
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Unfortunately, there are no buildable lots anywhere near medical. The area is extremely built out already and only buildable with privacy is reasonably far out. Hence the dilemna.
Why do you want to build so badly? No one I know that has built a house (I know several who have) has built anything so special that they couldn't have found something similar on the market with modest effort.

It's just a house...they all have kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms. Find one with the privacy you want in the neighborhood you want that has a decent floor plan and make a few minor adjustments. End of story.
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