Re: Hello, new member with questions
Its been a while since I lived in the new england area, but I did manage to buy at the top of an old bubble and rode it all the way down and back up again.
I saw a real estate report that listed the Boston area as the biggest RE bubble in the nation. That wouldnt make me comfortable. Nor would $14000 in RE taxes. That must be a 100 acres with a 7000 sq foot house on it, yes? The home I bought there in 1985 for $160k, 55 year old 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath on a slab with a .25 acre lot is selling for almost $400k now. The house would cost roughly $150k to rebuild from scratch and the homes are pretty tired. That piece of land isnt worth $250k.
Statistically, children who finish school in the same place and live out their childhood in one home have a reasonably higher chance of being successful. While there arent enough data sets to determine this, its likely that the value of having both parents unstressed and around all the time may be more beneficial to them than sitting still. That RE tax nut coupled with the RE bubble would have me down buying boxes and packing by the end of the day.
Have you done a detailed budget to determine actual real costs, and have you factored in the net present annual costs of longer term items? Replacement cars, tires, major appliances, furniture replacement, major dental work, new roof, etc. can really boost your real costs when annualized. I just did a major budget analysis and my numbers were hard costs (utilities, health care, food, etc) were roughly $16k, elective spending was about $8k, and annualized major purchases were $6k. These are very conservative numbers, but the 6k annualized number was a little eye popping.
With all due respect to our beloved Floridians, the keys are the only place I've found interesting. The humidity and bugs in the summer are killers, the hurricanes dictate the need for a fairly sturdy house. You might consider areas in the southwest and northwest. Parts of texas, nevada, california, oregon and washington are reasonably priced, out of the snow belt, decent weather and interesting local places to explore. As artists, I would imagine you would really like Californias Marin County just north of san francisco...which is predominately peopled with well to do retired artists. Hard to find a low cost property there, but they can be had. The area between santa cruz and monterrey just south of SF is also a haven to laid back artist types and reasonable priced properties can be found with a little investigative work.
One of the biggest variable costs in retirement is travel and vacationing. Considering the area within 100 miles of SF has dozens of major areas that are vacation hotspots, and hundreds of interesting tourist attractions, the ability to day trip your "travel" and "vacations" is a real cost benefit. We take a couple of day trips a month to places from the Hearst Castle in San Simeon up to Muir Woods at the Marin Headlands, to downtown SF's fishermans wharf, to Napa Valley wine tastings, and skiing/hiking at Lake Tahoe.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.