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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-30-2006, 10:15 PM   #21
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Re: el paso anyone?

Great post, JPatrick, thanks for insights. Your story reminds me a little of my first trip back to Austin in close to 15 years. That was last summer and boy had the place changed. Still great places to eat and drink, friendly people and live music. But much bigger, more congested and some areas were showing wear and tear (like almost anyplace I suppose). It was in August, I believe, and the night air felt like a steam bath. Great memories from the late 70s/early 80s but not sure I'm ready to do it again even though it's a fabulous town.

Your first-hand observations mean so much more than the data from the Chamber of Commerce or the Places Rated-type books. The junky look along the interstate, the cages around the front entrances to the houses, the dusty pollution that blocked the city view from the mountaintop... those are the impressions of everyday life.

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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-30-2006, 10:38 PM   #22
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Re: el paso anyone?

CAdreamer, JPatrick's post reminded me of a dust storm I ran into driving through El Paso many years ago. Had an el cheapo strap-on roof rack on top of the car and the storm sandblasted the paint completely off the area around the "feet" of the rack. All the way down to shiny bare steel. Nasty.

I'm guessing the only reasonably sized cities in Texas that don't have a high humidity problem are El Paso, Midland-Odessa, Abilene, Amarillo, and Lubbock. None of them are very high on the "places rated" list. You don't give me the impression of being a small town or rural type, so I'm not sure there is anything in the state that meets your needs.

What about New Mexico...Albuquerque or Santa Fe?


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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-30-2006, 11:09 PM   #23
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Re: el paso anyone?

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
CAdreamer, JPatrick's post reminded me of a dust storm I ran into driving through El Paso many years ago. Had an el cheapo strap-on roof rack on top of the car and the storm sandblasted the paint completely off the area around the "feet" of the rack. All the way down to shiny bare steel. Nasty.

I'm guessing the only reasonably sized cities in Texas that don't have a high humidity problem are El Paso, Midland-Odessa, Abilene, Amarillo, and Lubbock. None of them are very high on the "places rated" list. You don't give me the impression of being a small town or rural type, so I'm not sure there is anything in the state that meets your needs.

What about New Mexico...Albuquerque or Santa Fe?


OK, the paint getting sucked off the car from the dust storm is the last straw.* I'm out, El Paso*

You're right, the rural life is probably not for me.* I looked very closely at Santa Fe and Abq last Spring when I had my house for sale.* Interestingly, Santa Fe seems to be in the same part of the real estate cycle as CA whereas Abq (and Las Cruces) are in the same phase as TX.* I really like Santa Fe but it, too, is a little isolated and it's at 7700 feet elevation so there are lots of sub-32 nights over there.* By the way, the places rated book I mentioned earlier ranked Santa Fe #2 behind only Charlottesville, VA.* I looked at Rio Rancho, a nice suburb north of Abq on the way to Sta Fe.* There's an Intel plant there so it's a prosperous place and you can get to Sta Fe in about 45 minutes.* Abq is at 5300 ft so it has its share of freezing nights.* "Cities Ranked & Rated" puts it at #45.* NM has its share of good qualities and it's tantalizing to think about a possible ER if I were to pull up stakes.*

Someone told me San Diego turns you into a "weather wimp."* He's got a point.
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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-31-2006, 06:07 AM   #24
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Re: el paso anyone?

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Someone told me San Diego turns you into a "weather wimp." He's got a point.
I'll admit I had some thoughts along those lines but didn't want to be rude and bring it up. When you live in what very well may be the best climate in the continental US, it's easy to see how that could happen.

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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-31-2006, 08:38 AM   #25
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Re: el paso anyone?

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Justin,

Was that a typo or are those letters on that rock actually 100 feet tall?
No typo. Some crafty Mexican folks wrote that in 100 foot tall letters. The "BIB" in Biblia is actually a good bit taller than that. That's why I was amazed! It looks to be in an area with pretty rough terrain too.
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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-31-2006, 04:13 PM   #26
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Re: el paso anyone?

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
I'll admit I had some thoughts along those lines but didn't want to be rude and bring it up. When you live in what very well may be the best climate in the continental US, it's easy to see how that could happen.

Now if the Hawaii housing market could crash right before San Diego......
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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 02-08-2006, 02:03 PM   #27
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Re: el paso anyone?

El Paso is fine if you don't mind the heat and dust. Has an interesting colonial, Tex-Mex history and a "mission trail" that's worth seeing. Great Mexican food. Housing costs are low.* Actually like it better than Las Cruces where I've been a couple of times for work. Las Cruces seemed too gritty and rough--more so than El Paso. And I've seen a lot of both cities recently.

Really have enjoyed the two times I've spent in the Alpine, Marfa, Terlingua/Lajitas, Fort Davis parts of Texas. Like another poster pointed out, Alpine and Marfa are being transformed into vibrant arts communities. Weather's nice, sunny. Scenery is beautiful and dramatic. If you like small town living, these are worth looking into.
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:14 PM   #28
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Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler
El Paso is fine if you don't mind the heat and dust. Has an interesting colonial, Tex-Mex history and a "mission trail" that's worth seeing. Great Mexican food. Housing costs are low.* Actually like it better than Las Cruces where I've been a couple of times for work. Las Cruces seemed too gritty and rough--more so than El Paso. And I've seen a lot of both cities recently.

Really have enjoyed the two times I've spent in the Alpine, Marfa, Terlingua/Lajitas, Fort Davis parts of Texas. Like another poster pointed out, Alpine and Marfa are being transformed into vibrant arts communities. Weather's nice, sunny. Scenery is beautiful and dramatic. If you like small town living, these are worth looking into.
I have been to all of these places and basically agree with the above. However,
even though I like to be way out in the sticks, "gritty and rough" would accurately describe some of these parts of the country. Also, I looked extensively at property in
east Texas and found it lacking in amenities. Oh, I could live there but suspect
my former life would result in me feeling "trailer parky". DW nailed it when she pointed out
that I was no longer a "big shot". This is true, but after many years of livin' large,
old habits die hard. Bottom line is that I like to be near the big money/movers and
shakers, even though I am no longer a member of the club.

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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 02-08-2006, 02:38 PM   #29
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Re: el paso anyone?

Another place to consider is the little town of Tubac in southern Arizona, about 30-35 miles south of Tucson off I-19. While I live in Sedona now (cashed out my Sacramento house last year), have been spending time with retired friends in Tubac. Artsy and historic in a wide valley with the towering Santa Rita Mountains to the east.* Close to Tucson with its museums, cultural amenities, box stores, and airport.

Downside is that it's a real small town (albeit close to a big one) and housing prices are high. So...if you want to forsake the up-and-coming "cool" place for nice and affordable, look at the planned retirement community of Green Valley right between Tucson and Tubac.

Green Valley skews on the older side--most current residents are in their 70s and up, but younger retirees are moving in. Lots of folks in their mid-50s and 60s looking for sun, golf, etc.* Housing prices were going nuts there last year but seemed to have settled down. Good time to look around.
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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 02-08-2006, 07:39 PM   #30
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Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Bottom line is that I like to be near the big money/movers and
shakers, even though I am no longer a member of the club.
JG
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:49 PM   #31
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Re: el paso anyone?

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I know Johnny, you could get a job handing out hand towels in the Men's Room at W.

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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 02-09-2006, 08:57 AM   #32
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Re: el paso anyone?

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Old 02-10-2006, 08:56 AM   #33
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Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
What about New Mexico...Albuquerque or Santa Fe?
Funny you should mention NM in conjunction with a dust storm.

I only went to Albuquerque (and can you imagine spelling THAT out 5-6 times a week?) once. On the way back to the airport it we were hit by a huge dirt storm. Then it started raining. Coated the entire car with about a half inch of mud. Had to keep getting out and scraping the dirt off the windshield with the Hertz "map" of the area.

About half way, the prim and proper product manager sitting in the passenger seat in her perfect georgia accent said "I aint nevah comin' to this ****ing place ever agin!".
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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 02-12-2006, 12:00 PM   #34
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Re: el paso anyone?

What about the western slope of Colorado? A lot of California escapees are heading that way. Montrose is great. Hour or so from Telluride, 45 from Ouray (Alps of America), Moderate climate, no humudity.

Booming right now, but still cheap compared to CA. May be too desolate for a SD native...
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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 02-13-2006, 01:55 AM   #35
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Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler
Another place to consider is the little town of Tubac in southern Arizona, about 30-35 miles south of Tucson off I-19. While I live in Sedona now (cashed out my Sacramento house last year), have been spending time with retired friends in Tubac. Artsy and historic in a wide valley with the towering Santa Rita Mountains to the east. Close to Tucson with its museums, cultural amenities, box stores, and airport.

Downside is that it's a real small town (albeit close to a big one) and housing prices are high. So...if you want to forsake the up-and-coming "cool" place for nice and affordable, look at the planned retirement community of Green Valley right between Tucson and Tubac.

Green Valley skews on the older side--most current residents are in their 70s and up, but younger retirees are moving in. Lots of folks in their mid-50s and 60s looking for sun, golf, etc. Housing prices were going nuts there last year but seemed to have settled down. Good time to look around.
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Old 02-13-2006, 02:15 AM   #36
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Re: el paso anyone?

Thanks, traveler, for your posts. I actually took a look at Tubac on realtor.com and was pretty surprised at how high the housing has gotten there although the way this housing boom has been going I shouldn't have been. It's been a while but I remember some nice golfing and good Mex food there.

As I mentioned a little sheepishly to REWahoo, I've become a bit of a weather wimp after living in SD. OK, I've become an embarassing full-blown weather wimp. There are many beautiful areas in WA, OR, CO, NM and other states that would be colder and/or less sunny than I'd prefer. I like AZ's warm dry climate and have recently given Tucson some serious consideration. Cash out here, buy for cash there and invest the rest. Hmm, tempting.

I'm intrigued by the Alpine/Marfa/Ft Davis, TX area but, realistically, it's probably not the right place for me at this stage of the game.

My thinking as of 12:09 am PST on February 13 (subject to change by sunrise) is to stay here, put some out-of-state real estate deals together for CA investors looking to move real estate money out (and there are plenty) and be able to leave the day job in two or three years.

Thanks again, all, for your helpful posts.
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Old 02-13-2006, 08:20 AM   #37
 
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Re: el paso anyone?

CF, if you are open to adventure, take a Retirees Visa and move to Australia for a couple of years.

$US is about 30% higher than $A , and you can move around the coast to wherever the weather suits you??
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Re: el paso anyone?
Old 02-13-2006, 01:11 PM   #38
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Re: el paso anyone?

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CF, if you are open to adventure, take a Retirees Visa and move to Australia for a couple of years.

$US is about 30% higher than $A , and you can move around the coast to wherever the weather suits you??
I've given some thought to the international idea, especially Baja since it is so accessible. I have some neighbors who bought a new unit in an interesting development called Loreto Bay in Baja. I don't think I'd want to live in Loreto full time. There'd be more going on in Cabo.

I've never been down under but have always wanted to go. I know there are some previous threads regarding the Retiree Visa. I'll refer back to them. I didn't realize there was a favorable exchange rate with the $A. Is it economical to live there?
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Old 02-14-2006, 01:45 PM   #39
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Re: el paso anyone?

To California Dreamer:
Happy to help-- and I, too, am a weather wimp. Lived for more than twenty years in southern California (in San Diego for ten) then spent 25 in northern California.

We looked around for suitable, less crowded places to move--San Juan Islands in Washington, northwestern Idaho, southern Oregon, western Nevada. After two years of searching, we stopped kidding ourselves: NONE had what we really wanted: lots of sun and mostly warm, dry weather.

The winter weather in southern Arizona is phenomenal--better than San Diego's, I think. Summers are pretty hot but not unbearable. (About ten to twelve degrees cooler than Phoenix.) Humidity rises in July and August during the stormy monsoon season but you can either sweat it out or if you have the resources, spend some time on the San Diego beaches or head to the mountains.


We've been in AZ for a year now (decided on Sedona because my boyfriend wanted a red rock view) but spend just as much time in southern Arizona. We're really happy that we cashed out in California and moved to the southwest.* I wish my 82-year-old mom would sell her house in Point Loma and join us...
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:50 PM   #40
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Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler
To California Dreamer:
Happy to help-- and I, too, am a weather wimp. Lived for more than twenty years in southern California (in San Diego for ten) then spent 25 in northern California.

We looked around for suitable, less crowded places to move--San Juan Islands in Washington, northwestern Idaho, southern Oregon, western Nevada. After two years of searching, we stopped kidding ourselves: NONE had what we really wanted: lots of sun and mostly warm, dry weather.

The winter weather in southern Arizona is phenomenal--better than San Diego's, I think. Summers are pretty hot but not unbearable. (About ten to twelve degrees cooler than Phoenix.) Humidity rises in July and August during the stormy monsoon season but you can either sweat it out or if you have the resources, spend some time on the San Diego beaches or head to the mountains.


We've been in AZ for a year now (decided on Sedona because my boyfriend wanted a red rock view) but spend just as much time in southern Arizona. We're really happy that we cashed out in California and moved to the southwest. I wish my 82-year-old mom would sell her house in Point Loma and join us...
Boy, we are on the same page as far as climate preference. Last year I almost sold my SD house. Had it on the market, had a non-contingent offer for a good price. I was thinking of relocating to Santa Fe, Austin, or Arizona. Being the weather wimp that I am, I was wary of those freezing nights in New Mexico and the humidity of Austin. In retrospect, it would've been perfect timing to move to AZ. I think you guys have gone up 30%+ in the last year. Anyway, I just couldn't get myself to sell. I spent some time in AZ and always liked it. As long as you have reliable AC and a pool the heat is livable. I've always liked Tucson and Southern AZ... nice sunshine and relaxed pace.

It's down to a trade-off between staying here where I really love it or moving to a place that I like a lot and can reap some financial benefits. I estimate I'm paying a premium of $400,000 or so for housing by staying. It's a matter of determining the tipping point. I suspect CA will deflate sooner and more dramatically than AZ so the equation changes as time goes by.
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