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Old 01-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #61
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Katsmeow and Culture,

I am in the same process and area as you are. Have you looking at using the Houston Owner Builder network to essentially be your own build manager? The promise is you get the house you want for significantly less than buying new from a builder. Essentially, you buy you lot, pay building costs and not the builders profit. This is not an add, it is an alternative that I am considering and wanted to know if you had looked at it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:03 AM   #62
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  1. "Do we stay near family, if we do, does this mean in the same county or same state? "
We are of the thinking on this one of NOT staying near family, but the area we want to retire to is a very appealing vacation destination that family will want to come a stay with us. So the thinking is to buy a nice enough place so that when family wants to come visit they will be comfortable and it will be a great experience.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:28 PM   #63
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That's what we thought too... With both parents working and all the other pressures of family life do they want to spend their vacations visiting parents Rarely!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Brdofpray View Post
In the end, I left work on my final day of employment on August 31, 2009. We drove nonstop, through the night, to SC where we began our new life on September 1, 2009. To date, there have been no regrets. We love the area, the people, and the multitude of activities and possibilities available to us.
This is an encouraging story! I love to hear about success. To often we only hear of failure.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:35 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by GetNclose View Post
Katsmeow and Culture,

I am in the same process and area as you are. Have you looking at using the Houston Owner Builder network to essentially be your own build manager? The promise is you get the house you want for significantly less than buying new from a builder. Essentially, you buy you lot, pay building costs and not the builders profit. This is not an add, it is an alternative that I am considering and wanted to know if you had looked at it.
I have seen this, but have not looked at it in detail, so I have no comment on the organization.

Generally speaking, I think acting as your own GC is a great idea, if you are a construction professional with experience in residential construction, good at project management and have lots of time. Otherwise, I have doubts about the viability of the proposition. However, I could be wrong.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by GetNclose View Post
Katsmeow and Culture,

I am in the same process and area as you are. Have you looking at using the Houston Owner Builder network to essentially be your own build manager? The promise is you get the house you want for significantly less than buying new from a builder. Essentially, you buy you lot, pay building costs and not the builders profit. This is not an add, it is an alternative that I am considering and wanted to know if you had looked at it.

I looked at it very briefly. Basically I felt that I didn't have the expertise to effectively do it and it seemed a headache. I do think that it is a viable alternative for someone with the expertise and time and inclination to do it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #67
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I want to be able to travel a couple of months at a time and do not want to worry about my property, so renting will work for me. An urban area is important so I can bike/walk for errands. We will only have one car and I would prefer to put no more then 4,000 miles per year. An active urban community where my volunteer activities will have a positive affect on my immediate neighbors. The urban location needs to offer easy access to low traffic bicycle riding ( a mile or two outside of town). Mild winters that make it easy for going outdoors. Finally, I am looking at something around 1500 SF and am willing to put up with the crowds that may occur for a short period at holiday times.

Exactly what I want, only with low property taxes and very low crime. Please let me know if you find it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:47 PM   #68
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I want to be able to travel a couple of months at a time and do not want to worry about my property, so renting will work for me. An urban area is important so I can bike/walk for errands. We will only have one car and I would prefer to put no more then 4,000 miles per year. An active urban community where my volunteer activities will have a positive affect on my immediate neighbors. The urban location needs to offer easy access to low traffic bicycle riding ( a mile or two outside of town). Mild winters that make it easy for going outdoors. Finally, I am looking at something around 1500 SF and am willing to put up with the crowds that may occur for a short period at holiday times.
Would you like whipped cream and a maraschino cherry with that?
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #69
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New member, first post, please be tolerant of forum culture violations. We are within 4 - 6 months of purchasing a retirement home. Recently sold residence and vacation home. We are struggling with the question of cash or mortgage for our retirement home. My brain says mortgage, my heart says cash. What say ye? BTW, glad to find this site. This site will be a valuable resource.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:45 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by guvnerwl View Post
New member, first post, please be tolerant of forum culture violations. We are within 4 - 6 months of purchasing a retirement home. Recently sold residence and vacation home. We are struggling with the question of cash or mortgage for our retirement home. My brain says mortgage, my heart says cash. What say ye? BTW, glad to find this site. This site will be a valuable resource.
Welcome to E-R.org.

Please take a few minutes to introduce yourself on the "Hi, I am..." forum.

As to your mortgage/no mortgage question, it is one of the common topics here, discussed ad nauseum with no clear right or wrong answer. Here are a few of those threads for reference. (FAQ archive) Should I pay off the mortgage or invest the money?

My personal take on the question: do what makes you feel best.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:26 AM   #71
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One thing they missed in their renovations was how use of the place changes if mobility becomes an issue. They could have incorporated more mobility accommodations: larger hallways and adequate door widths, easy to use handles, planning for usage patterns that avoid stairs, accessible bathrooms, and the like at the time of their original renovations very easily. Instead they went through several additional projects as these became more important to them.
+2

As a fellow engineer, I'd suggest you rethink your disdain of building your own home. True, it may have a few headaches, and once you move in you will find a handful of things that make you say "Oh, if only we did ____".

HOWEVER, consider the cost of enlarging those door frames, or replacing the tub with a shower. Or (as we happened to find out with a pleasant surprise with my grandmother's house and her final days of life), imaging having to get an ambulance stretcher maneuvered around some incredibly tight corridors of older homes. And that's just from an accessibility aspect, not counting the media room and other 'wish list items' you'd want.

Also, if you go with a builder, most will be more than happy to tweak floor plans to give you (nearly) exactly what you want. And try looking at a bunch of different floor plans that they already have - you might be pleasantly surprised and find something that already is almost everything you want, minus a few of your finishing touches. Any builder is willing to put in a half bath, or move a wall a little bit, or do this or that for you (sure, it might cost a little more, but you get almost exactly what you want).

Plus, the newer floorplans often incorporate the fewer, larger rooms that will make Mrs. Culture swoon. (AND, you can only show her a few floorplans that don't have that unused dining room, but instead have a large eat-in kitchen with an attached large hearth/family room).
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by guvnerwl View Post
New member, first post, please be tolerant of forum culture violations. We are within 4 - 6 months of purchasing a retirement home. Recently sold residence and vacation home. We are struggling with the question of cash or mortgage for our retirement home. My brain says mortgage, my heart says cash. What say ye? BTW, glad to find this site. This site will be a valuable resource.
Not as imminent, but we're going to be in the same boat. I would ordinarily go cash, but with interest rates so low a mortgage is a consideration. Even so, if I don't go cash, I'd probably get a mortgage expecting to pay it off way early - another option. As REW noted, do a search here for lots of other views.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by guvnerwl View Post
New member, first post, please be tolerant of forum culture violations. We are within 4 - 6 months of purchasing a retirement home. Recently sold residence and vacation home. We are struggling with the question of cash or mortgage for our retirement home. My brain says mortgage, my heart says cash. What say ye? BTW, glad to find this site. This site will be a valuable resource.

Real estate is like love; always go with your heart.

If your brain says mortgage, you should ask it why. Maybe there is a good reason? It woud have to be an awfully good reason for one to ruin their retirement years with fees, mortgage payments, and hard earned money out the window in the form of interest.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:08 PM   #74
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We are struggling with the question of cash or mortgage for our retirement home. My brain says mortgage, my heart says cash. What say ye?
If you go the 30-year fixed mortgage route, at the lowest rates in 50 years, then you'll have three decades to change your mind. Not so easy to pay cash up front and then try to change your mind.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:48 PM   #75
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I want to be able to travel a couple of months at a time and do not want to worry about my property, so renting will work for me. An urban area is important so I can bike/walk for errands. We will only have one car and I would prefer to put no more then 4,000 miles per year. An active urban community where my volunteer activities will have a positive affect on my immediate neighbors. The urban location needs to offer easy access to low traffic bicycle riding ( a mile or two outside of town). Mild winters that make it easy for going outdoors. Finally, I am looking at something around 1500 SF and am willing to put up with the crowds that may occur for a short period at holiday times.
That pretty well describes what we have retired to. Initially to 1450' of living area plus double garage, then 2 years into retirement down to 1250'. We have 150 miles of bike trails from right outside our complex to lots of small shopping areas. Summers are hot though, which is why we 'lock and leave' for much of the summertime and head for cooler climes.
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