Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
el paso anyone?
Old 01-28-2006, 08:01 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 468
el paso anyone?

I've been going through my usual obsessing over thinking about cashing out of my home in CA and relocating to a less expensive locale. Bear with me again on this. I've been looking at El Paso, TX as a candidate. I've been there a few times but it's been a while. Pluses: Great housing deals, sunny clime, nearby mountain recreation, friendly, relaxed pace, great Mex food. Minuses: Kind of dusty, isolated, not near water (obviously), perhaps rather dull.

Are there any El Pasoans out there with insight into living in the area? What are the good things and bad things about the area? Particularly curious about recreation, culture, dining, traffic, air quality, best areas to live in, attitude of people there in general. Anyone familiar with an area to the east of EP called Horizon? Any feedback on that particular area?

Thanks very much!

__________________

__________________
califdreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-28-2006, 08:32 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Re: el paso anyone?

I'm not personally familiar with El Paso other than having driven through it on occasion. For those of us living in other parts of Texas, it does not have a reputation as a particularly desirable city. Granted, this is perception and reality may be very different.

You mentioned being isolated, El Paso is so far from the major population centers of Texas that it is actually closer to San Diego than to Houston. The closest major city to El Paso is Phoenix, over 400 miles away.

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, but I would think relocating from San Diego to El Paso would be a huge adjustment.

__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-28-2006, 08:58 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 224
Re: el paso anyone?

I live at the other end of the country and my wife and I are flying in to El Paso in order to head out to Las Cruces NM next Friday, to check things out. I certainly would like to consider Texas as a place to lay my head but the property taxes scare me.
__________________
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-28-2006, 09:06 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 468
Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, but I would think relocating from San Diego to El Paso would be a huge adjustment.

Thanks for input, wahoo. Yes, it would be a very different environment from the one here. I did spend some time living in AZ back in the past and I actually enjoyed the sunny, warm weather. It does get a little too hot in the summer, but if you have access to a pool and a/c it's not so bad. Of course, it's easy to hop over to the west coast from AZ whereas El Paso seems to be an island in the vast southwest. Maybe there's a good reason for those inexpensive home prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
I live at the other end of the country and my wife and I are flying in to El Paso in order to head out to Las Cruces NM next Friday, to check things out. I certainly would like to consider Texas as a place to lay my head but the property taxes scare me.
Thanks for post, Rich. I don't know all the ins and outs of the tax situations in NM and TX but I think, in general, you get hit with relatively high state income tax in NM whereas in TX you pay no personal income tax but pay high property taxes.
__________________
califdreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-28-2006, 09:32 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Re: el paso anyone?

cadreamer, you've probably already seen this but...

Stats and information on Horizon City:
http://www.city-data.com/city/Horizon-City-Texas.html

Property tax rates for taxing entities in El Paso county:
http://elpaso.acttax.com/ElPasoTaxTwo.htm

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 01:20 AM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 468
Re: el paso anyone?

Good info. Thanks wahoo. If I estimated correctly, an El Paso homeowner would pay about 3% property tax once city, county and school district assessments are added up. Even though housing prices are much lower there than in SD, I'd probably end up paying about the same in absolute dollars for propty taxes.

I unearthed a copy of "Cities Ranked and Rated" (Sperling & Sander, 2004) and found El Paso ranked #225 out of 376. I don't put too much stock in these ratings since the authors' criteria for what makes a great place often don't agree with mine. It's interesting to see how low it ranks though. There was one encouraging passage in the description: "The climate, low cost of living, and the "get-away-from-it-all" isolation have made it a popular retirement location. The area is hundreds of miles from a city of any size, but the independent spirit and the availability of low-cost airline flights make the area less isolated than geography may imply."

__________________
califdreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 08:29 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,446
Re: el paso anyone?

Personally, I would check out the West Texas Mountains - Fort Davis, Alpine, Marfa. This is a lovely area, and would be mostly free of urban crime/traffic/sprawl that you see in El Paso.

Yet you would be close enough to El Paso for a major shopping trip, airport, etc.

Alpine is the biggest town in the area. Alpine and Marfa have quite an art community thing going on.

The climate is lovely. The scenery amazing.

Audrey
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 09:11 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by califdreamer
If I estimated correctly, an El Paso homeowner would pay about 3% property tax once city, county and school district assessments are added up.
Correct. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3% is the going rate in most cities and larger towns in the state. This is one reason I chose to live in a rural area, avoiding the city related portion of the property tax, just under 1% in my case. Unfortunately the higher cost of homeowner insurance (no "qualified" fire protection) offsets much of the tax savings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by califdreamer
The area is hundreds of miles from a city of any size, but the independent spirit and the availability of low-cost airline flights make the area less isolated than geography may imply."
Southwest Airlines has lots of flights from Dallas to El Paso due to the Wright Amendment http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/wright.html. This law bars all Southwest flights originating from Dallas Love Field (Southwest home base) from flying non-stop beyond Texas and surrounding states. As as result, a significant number of flights from Dallas to Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, or Las Vegas stop at another point in Texas (El Paso) prior to the final destination.

Serious efforts are underway to repeal the Wright Amendment http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=4247401, and if successful, flights in and out of El Paso will very likely be reduced.

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 10:02 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ronin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,190
Re: el paso anyone?

My FIL was born on the Tigua rez in El Paso.* My wife is a tribal member.* As such she could have a home and other tribal benefits if we chose to relocate.* Haven't seen all of what El Paso might have to offer, but in looking around, my impression was that it would be a step down from the East LA barrio near which I was raised.* And no surf nearby to boot.* Good food at the tribal restaurant though and really cheap pitchers of margaritas.* I could get really fat and drunk there, if nothing else.
__________________
We are, as I have said, one equation short. Keynes
ronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 04:47 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 468
Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
Personally, I would check out the West Texas Mountains - Fort Davis, Alpine, Marfa. This is a lovely area, and would be mostly free of urban crime/traffic/sprawl that you see in El Paso.
Interesting idea.* I've heard Big Bend Natl Park is quite beautiful and unspoiled.* I hadn't thought about the area but I will do some research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Serious efforts are underway to repeal the Wright Amendment http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=4247401, and if successful, flights in and out of El Paso will very likely be reduced.

I've read a little about the controversial Wright Amendment but never made the connection (no pun intended) with the good availability of flights through El Paso.* If the Amendment goes down, and it sounds like it might, it would strike down one of EP's advantages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin
I could get really fat and drunk there, if nothing else.
And there's the bottom line after all this overanalysis.
__________________
califdreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 05:31 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by califdreamer
I unearthed a copy of "Cities Ranked and Rated" (Sperling & Sander, 2004) and found El Paso ranked #225 out of 376.* I don't put too much stock in these ratings since the authors' criteria for what makes a great place often don't agree with mine.* It's interesting to see how low it ranks though.* There was one encouraging passage in the description:* "The climate, low cost of living, and the "get-away-from-it-all" isolation have made it a popular retirement location.* The area is hundreds of miles from a city of any size, but the independent spirit and the availability of low-cost airline flights make the area less isolated than geography may imply."
Ya, sure, you betcha! Comments like the one in bold above make me wonder if these guidebook writers even know how to read. El Paso, decent sized itself, is about 75 feet ( the approximate width of the Rio Bravo) away from Ciudad Juarez, a city of over 2 million souls, and one of the more heavily industrialized cities in all of Mexico.

Recently Cd. Juarez has earned itself an additional name, "la ciudad de las muertas', for the unusual number of female bodies that have been found raped, murdered and dumped therein. Not infrequently a couple of El Paso teenagers head over to old Mexico for a night of partying, and fail to return.

"Since August, 1993, Mexican Federales have been baffled by the number of young women found brutally raped and murdered in the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, an industrial border town next to El Paso with a population of 2 million. The numbers of the dead vary according to the sources. Local women's rights groups believe that since 1993 at least 187 women have met violent deaths in Juarez. Of these, many were killed by pimps, drug dealers, husbands and boyfriends. However, at least a third of the deaths remain unexplained and police have no suspects. Authorities believe that about 30 cases have the common thread of torture and rape suggesting they are the work of one or several serial killers. "* *http://www.mayhem.net/Crime/juarez.html

So, before you get too heavy into your El Paso Del Norte plans, better schedule a visit. It is a beautiful place; one of the naturally prettiest settings for* city that I can think of. A friend of mine owns a farm on flood irrigated land southeast from EP, toward Socorro Mission. Absolutely beautiful down that way. If I remember correctly, the chain of missions following the river south and east from EP are even older than the better known mission trail in California, and much less touristy. I spent several very pleasant days down near Socorro about 20 years ago.

But the 800# gorilla around there is the international border. It was then, and it is now.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 05:40 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
El Paso, decent sized itself, is about 75 feet ( the approximate width of the Rio Bravo) away from Ciudad Juarez...
Uh..."Rio Bravo" was a John Wayne movie. The Rio Grande is the international border between Texas and Mexico.

No quibbling about your other comments.

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 05:49 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,049
Re: el paso anyone?

Spanish is a necessity in El Paso. It's a majority spanish speaking city.
__________________
eridanus is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 05:56 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 468
Re: el paso anyone?

Good points, HaHa. Lately the Federales have made it in the news with their skirmishes in the El Paso area with US Border Patrol and DEA. Also read about concerns regarding air quality problems originating in Juarez. Hmmm, maybe the guide book has it wrong about the "get-away-from-it-all" ambience.
__________________
califdreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 06:24 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Uh..."Rio Bravo" was a John Wayne movie.* The Rio Grande is the international border between Texas and Mexico.

No quibbling about your other comments.

Same river amigo. Just depends on whether you are standing on the north bank looking south, or the south bank looking north.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-29-2006, 06:30 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Re: el paso anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Same river amigo. Just depends on whether you are standing on the north bank looking south, or the south bank looking north.
Si. (...and it was a pretty fair western, pilgrim.)

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-30-2006, 09:35 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,005
Re: el paso anyone?

Just looked at Ciudad Juarez in google earth. I noticed the saying below written on a hillside just outside the city.

"Cd Juarez
La Biblia es
la verdad
Lee la"

Means:
"Ciudad Juarez
The Bible is the truth.
Read it."

Each letter is about 100 feet tall. The total writing measures approx 700x700 feet. Neat. It's located at 31 deg 42 min 16 sec north by 106 deg 31 min 09 sec west.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg labiblia.jpg (61.0 KB, 116 views)
Attached Files
File Type: jpg_thumb labiblia.jpg_thumb (50.8 KB, 0 views)
__________________
justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-30-2006, 09:48 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lou-evil
Posts: 2,025
Re: el paso anyone?

Cali -

I have said this before but I will say it again. If you are thinking of a new spot - spend about 4 weeks there during the bad weather season. I imagine for El Paso it would be the summer months. If you can tolerate it in the worst of times then I suppose it would be a good place for you. IMHO (and trying to help) I would much rather be in the outskirts of San Antonio or Austin in the hill country. Much more appealing to me. Vacations to Big Bend is about all I would ever do in Southern Tejas.
__________________
"These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them"
wildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-30-2006, 08:20 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 468
Re: el paso anyone?

Justin,

Was that a typo or are those letters on that rock actually 100 feet tall?*

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
Cali -

I have said this before but I will say it again. If you are thinking of a new spot - spend about 4 weeks there during the bad weather season. I imagine for El Paso it would be the summer months. If you can tolerate it in the worst of times then I suppose it would be a good place for you. IMHO (and trying to help) I would much rather be in the outskirts of San Antonio or Austin in the hill country. Much more appealing to me. Vacations to Big Bend is about all I would ever do in Southern Tejas.
Thanks wildcat for good advice.* I'm going to blow my cover a little here and give you some of my thougts on this relocation idea.* I moved to CA from Austin more than 20 yrs ago.* Always loved Austin and had a wonderful time there.* I was there seven years, moved from another region of the country to Austin.* Have lived in SF, LA and AZ for a short time.* Enjoyed all of those but SD is my favorite of all.* Last year when I almost sold in SD I considered going back to Austin or trying Santa FE, NM.* Ended up staying put in SD.* Now I'm looking at the home equity again and concerned it may vanish.* Don't know that, but it's possible.* Started looking around again and became fascinated with relative real estate bargains in San Antonio and El Paso.* Have been to both but not that familiar with either.* Love the idea that they're pretty universally considered to be undervalued and would thus provide a safe haven for CA equity.* Thought about AZ also but it's echoing CA's overvaluation.* Main drawback for Cental TX for me is humid climate.* I like dry and sunny so El Paso piqued my curiousity.* I agree Aus and SA are probably higher in all other aspects of desirability.* I know I can tolerate hot summers, been there, done that.* If I'm willing to give up San Diego I could go to one of these other places and use home equity to live well and have enough extra investment $ to RE.* This year seems to be the last chance to take advantage of the real estate arbitrage.* Don't know that for sure but it seems very, very possible.

Sorry for going on so long but that's the dilemma.* Now that I've disclosed more perhaps someone has opinion or insight that would be helpful to hear.* Thanks very much for any input you may have.
__________________
califdreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: el paso anyone?
Old 01-30-2006, 09:39 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JPatrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,494
Re: el paso anyone?

DW and I lived in El Paso for several years in the 70's*
Once you leave El Paso it isn't that easy to get back given the location.* We found a way to return a year and a half ago combining business with pleasure. A twenty some year gap so a little had changed*
Back to the 70's,* we had a custom house built out by the not yet completed Vista Hills golf course.* Upper middle class hood on the east side.* To us, and our friends, El Paso was a paradise.* Very vibrant city, so much new building going on, cost of living was a joke, my 20 year old bride had a maid ($7 per day) and the social life really rocked.* Many great places to eat, everyone a true masterpiece.* Got over the border with a group at least twice a month.* I think it was like 2 cents to use the pedestrian gate.* Never a problem provided you made an attempt to be a good American.
West of the mountain was special as well.* Always seemed to be 5 times greener for some reason.* I don't know about now, but at the time UTEP was held in high esteem primarily because of its ability to attract a superb faculty.
Like the sun? Everyday the paper would print the number of consecutive sunny days.* It seemed like it was always 300 something.* Beautiful clear skies and as they say--it is a dry heat.* The only real downer about the weather is the dust storms.* From March through May you could expect some real blasts,* as in zero visibility all day.* If you had a tight building you probably only got a half inch of dust on your window sills.* I've been though a typhoon, tropical storms 44 degrees below zero, but nothing sucks more than an El Paso dust storm.* Luckily you usually only got one monster per year so nothing you can't deal with.* We had at least one snowfall each year.* That was good.* We had at least one flash flood per year. That maybe was good.
Summing up the 70's gig--couldn't have been happier.
BTW, you mentioned Horizon City. At the time I believe there may have been 7 or 8 homes there. Practically every other lot had a for sale sign. Unreal sight. You may know this development was one of Horizon Corps "dream desert projects along with one in NM and somewhere in AZ.* Most of the buyers went thru a timeshare type sales pitch and were basically conned into buying. At the time we thought the place would never make it as it was 10 miles of desert to El Paso.* Most people just sold their lots to get rid of them and end the misery.
Sorry for the rambling--
Fast forward 25 years--as we cruise in from the east having just gone through a mini sand storm we noted that Horizon City is now right next door to ElPaso.* *Talking serious urban sprawl. Also noticed how everything along IH10 looks run down. We figured that our neighborhood was going to be pretty depressing.* It wasn't, the houses, including ours, looked great.* The shocker was that they all had very elaborate burglar bars and other security devices.* Several houses had erected 10 X 10 cages around the front door. (sally port style) All nice ornamental iron work, but the concept was unreal.* I guess they felt hardening the door was not adequate for the threat.* I'd never seem that level of security in an American neighborhood before.* Burglar bars sure, but this stuff was fresh out of a third world country.* We went to our favorite mall and found it full of rival gangs and other really good stuff.* We asked some locals about the security features and they just laughed and said that was just the style here. (the Martha Stewart answer). But oh yes, our old hood was still one of the better places to live and our favorite mall was still one of the class places to shop. About the second day while we are walking to the car DW says--"you know what I remenber now?"* No what.* "that damn sun"
You think you can't get enough sun? Try El Paso.*
We went over by the college and found that area still looking pretty good, but very crowded.* We grabbed a sandwich and drove up to a mountain turn off so we could eat and look at the twin cities.* You know that pollution you hear about? It's real. No city to be seen.* Elephant Butte was and I believe still is the only water source.* In recent years it has been in very bad shape.* I anticipate their water problems* are going to get very bad soon.
One of our old haunts was still active. Cattlemans Steakhouse east of town. Best steak I've ever eaten.* Cost of housing is still dirt cheap,* but location is very important and I really could not tell you where to look.* I have a feeling their crime problem is among the worst in the country.* I didn't mean to make the weather sound problematic.* You can get through the storms and there is lots of sun.* High dry heat is much more liveable than Austin.
All in all, we were glad to see El Paso in the rear view mirror, but those days in the 70's sure were great.--Good Luck
__________________

__________________
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:01 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.