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Old 06-03-2009, 05:21 PM   #21
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ok thanks for the heads up. i didn't know there was a dry side, i thought it was pretty much all the same up in that area. i stand corrected.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:24 PM   #22
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Hello William and welcome! Hmmm, which city to choose. I suppose I'd have to go with Atlanta as I absolutely love the city. You realize that once retired, you could live a few months in each and "test drive" them. Don't buy anything yet...keep renting till you're sure. Good luck!
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:21 PM   #23
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Welcome,

I'm from charleston and live in atlanta now. we're planning on getting out of atlanta when the housing market picks up. Now would be the time to buy if you can. We want to be someplace small after 20 years in Hotlanta. I would not live in Chicago because of the cold, but you would have to assess your ability to handle it. My DH who is from Michigan says he will never do cold, wet and shoveling snow again in his life.

You may remember the atlanta area from your time here, but if you have any questions let me know. I'll try to help. Good luck with your decision. We still don't know where to go ourselves.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:09 AM   #24
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hi sarah,

good idea and thanks.
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:12 AM   #25
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hi enfp,

atlanta has changed alot since i lived there in the late 80s. i call it little chicago now. i am taking the winter into consideration much more now that alot of people have mentioned it.
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:34 AM   #26
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Your tax dollars at w*rk...NOAA's National Climatic Data Center

Temperature map for the US
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/...cag3/cag3.html
Scroll down to the bottom and pick a month and year, click Submit.
This temperature data does not include wind chill as a function of wind speed.
See the lookup table here.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/...windchill.html

I selected January as the time frame because in my experience, molasses flows the slowest in January.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:17 AM   #27
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William,

Welcome, if I were you I would not buy a condo, but rent an Apartment First. You may not like it in Atlanta or the area of town you were targeting. Atlanta has a condo glut that is not going away anytime soon...When we moved here the second time, we stayed at a B&B in Ansley Park near midtown which was an ideal location to house hunt from. There are a lot of neighborhoods in the atlanta metro area with quite different personalities. You'd be better off taking the time to search the area to find the one that best fits you.

We lived in the Chicago area for three years and that is one of my favorite metro areas. One of the best cities to vacation in, I'm not sure I want to live there again though.(too cold/too expensive)

Jim
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:19 PM   #28
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freebird,
thanks for the link. the main thing i'm concerned about now are the high electric bills in the winter. as long as i'm NOT working outside in the winter i'd like to think i could handle it but having not experienced the chicago artic i might be wrong. atlanta is looking more realistic but man i so love chicago! what a great city it is!
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:23 PM   #29
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hi jimnjana,
i guess there's something to be said for the chicago winters and atlanta would be an easier move. i know atlanta pretty well and i lived in the midtown area and the virginia/highlands area also. chicago would be the city to spend time in first though.
thanks for the reply.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:52 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william273 View Post
freebird,
thanks for the link. the main thing i'm concerned about now are the high electric bills in the winter. as long as i'm NOT working outside in the winter i'd like to think i could handle it but having not experienced the chicago artic i might be wrong. atlanta is looking more realistic but man i so love chicago! what a great city it is!
Anytime.
Let me put it this way...I'm a native NYer and I am so sick of snow and especially the cold. The Windy City makes where I live (SE of Lake Ontario) look like Candyland in terms of harsh cold.
I have a 10 year time frame until dh2b retires, so I am starting to look around the country myself for the next adventure.
We may keep the house here, do some short term visits (weeks or a few months) on a rental basis, in order to scope out some areas of interest. We may or may not abandon ship because the nice weather, when it gets here, is very good.
Moving is never an easy decision.
Keep tossing ideas out there...
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:10 AM   #31
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thanks freebird.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:51 AM   #32
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ratface,

i sent you an email. let me know if you get it.

thanks.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:52 AM   #33
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Wiiliam I got the email. Be glad to give you some insight. I hadn;t considered the depressed housing market but still think something must be out of whack for that price. Chicago has much to offer but it also a very dangerous place to live. Be sure you are not 3 feet from an elevated train track or maybe living above an all night bar or something more bizarre. I can give you a general feeling for a particular area. It is also an enormous place where property values tend to be directly correlated to crime levels. As a general guide the city is intersected E to W by Madison St. and N to S by State St. The intersection is considered zero zero. Going north from madison on State you would be 100N, 200N, 300N, 400N,etc. Going South from madison on State=100S, 200S, 300S,400S, etc. The city runs out to about 13000 South which is the Indiana state line and about 8800 North which is the suburb of Skokie. Going east on madison is the same, 100, 200 etc., at 2000 you would have a foot in lake Michigan. Going west on madison you get to about 7200 west bordering endless western suburbs. General rules of thumb are as follows: The North side is almost twice as expensive as the south side. Near north, south, east or west is generarlly pricey as proximity to downtown increases. Lake front property is the most expensive as is proximity to the lake. Ideally living outside of Cook county avoids crime, taxes, and congestion while still having easy access to the city by train.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:00 AM   #34
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thanks very much ratface.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:12 PM   #35
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William, I have 15 years living in Chicago overall with the last time being a year in 2003-4. Since then the sales tax rate has gone to the highest in the country at 10.25%.
The overall tax rate is high in Chicago. For instance, when I went to get the required city sticker for Chicago proper it cost me $150 in 2003. I was paying $85 I think it was for the same sticker in Houston. The State of Illinois is broke, and considering raising the flat rate of 3% State income tax to 4.5% or 5% soon because of it. The city of Chicago will nickle and dime you taxwise to death you'll find.
Crime in Chicago can be a huge problem visiting unknown areas. High crime is just a fact of life in Chicago, although there are pockets--particularly on the North side--that are very safe. This is easily checked on the net if you plug in something like "crime map Chicago" in the search column.
If you have a condo there, you won't have to worry about shoveling. Same with apartments.
Public transportation is super-excellent, and you can go anywhere you want 24/7 in Chicago on it. Many, many innercity Chicagoans have no car at all, and don't need a car there.
The people in Chicago are straightforward and direct (too direct for some, I'm sure), but, personally, I really love it's people. Not especially friendly towards strangers, but, if you know someone they know, you're in totally. Chicago has always had so many transients there that they are pretty sophisticated. Everyone is accepted, and I mean everyone. You shouldn't have a problem making friends there at all, really, if you just put out a slight bit of effort as people there aren't hard to get to know. They just aren't going to go out of their way to meet you is all I mean (too many people coming in and out).
And realize that Chicago is THE most segregated city in America: the young/hip live together, the Polish live together, the Asians live together, the old rich live together, the Blacks live together, the Irish working class live together..well, you get it. At least you'll know where to go to get good soul food or good Irish beer. Just realize that this city has always been this way, however, everyone seems to get along with everyone else there. No race riots or problems like some cities have had in the past.
Chicago's a totally Democratic town, so, if you are of a different party persuasion, you may find yourself in the minority if this is an issue with you. However, the Independent Political party is very active there still, so if you want to remain neutral there's a place for you politically to go.
Chicago offers so many sports, cultural, educational and social opportunities that it's amazing. And it is now considered the best restaurant city in America (over NY and San Francisco). You could eat 365 days a year at a different inexpensive mom and pop place that was delicious. I love this about Chicago!
As for me, the high cost of living, the cold, the taxes and the high crime stops me from retiring there. I love Chicago...but I'm sure I could learn to love somewhere else just so well as Chicago.

**However, if I did decide to retire in the Chicagoland area, I think I'd keep my car and buy somewhere around Crown Point, Indiana, or Valparaiso, Indiana--both a short train ride away. It's safer and a calmer lifestyle over there, but you have faster access to downtown Chicago than if you lived in the northern suburbs! To me, that's the best bet!**
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:56 PM   #36
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thanks orchidflower for the detailed info on chicago. yea, i have already seen the crime map chicago websight and thought it was pretty good. alot of useful info.

i'm still feeling things out in the chicago area and things you mentioned. if you're looking for a place to retire you might consider atlanta. i call it " little chicago" as it's alot like chicago but on a smaller scale...a good energetic city and one that can be walked around in.

for me though chicago just has that "pull" if you know what i mean.
thanks again.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:35 AM   #37
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William, I looked up the California address you are considering for a home. Anything in the 60625 zip is safe. Old German neighborhood that is more mixed now that the oldsters are dying off. That's the Ravenswood area, and I lived there for a long time. Very good area in the city with the elevated train nearby.
The condo you have chosen--and I think I found it correctly on realtor.com--is right before a bridge going over a small branch of a river. That is a VERY good area to be in. Safe and clean. Going about 7 blocks or more West it isn't as great. Not that it is high crime, but just older and more rundown looking. But where you have chosen is fine. There are a few really nice, clean and green city parks around there that you might enjoy walking around in. PLUS, there are some really great produce markets around there for you to shop in that have super-fresh produce brought in daily all year.
The other area near there is Ravenswood Gardens, which is where the ex-crooked Governor Blagojovich lived. VERY nice and safe, also.
Be careful where you pick innercity as there are pockets of safety as I told you. But 60625 is A-ok. Good choice. I like that area alot myself.
Try and stay near the elevated train stations or short driving distance to them. If you don't you will kick yourself in the dead of winter when you don't want to drive.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:01 PM   #38
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William - I was downtown Chicago today. Very spring like at 57 degrees. Lots of people milling around, but it seemed like more CBOE workers were smoking than usual. I'd rather live in Chicago than any other big city - as long as I had a warm winter home to escape to.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:25 AM   #39
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hi ron,

sounds pretty good, lol. thanks!
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:31 AM   #40
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Welcome! Greenville would be more my style. I have no desire to retire to huge cites like Chicago or Atlanta. But good luck with your planning.
I'll second Greenville. My aunt and uncle live there and it is VERY nice. Plus, at 1000 feet or so, its cooler than the coast. And the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains are right there. In addition, North Carolina is only about 30 miles away, and Charleston is only 3 hours.........
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