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Old 05-25-2018, 04:07 PM   #16
Kman
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While Texans don't pay income tax, they pay a higher property tax. A downside if you own valuable property.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:03 PM   #17
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Don't even get me started on property tax. I live in New York.

You get a lot of house for the money but the property tax's kill you.

Try $225,000 house and over $10,000 in property tax's on for size.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:10 PM   #18
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DANG, 10K that is harsh.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:32 PM   #19
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It is harsh. That's one of the reasons we decided to sell.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:28 PM   #20
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Bought my house for $197K, Zillow now values it at $968K. Pretty close to neighbors sell prices so I’m sure it’s close. Prop tax $7,400. So I’m not as bad as the example above. Time to cash-in and downsize.

Hi tech bringing in tons of new citizens daily. We have a direct pipe to Delhi here. And if I’m not mistaken, few have ever owned a car before, let alone a drivers license so it’s getting dicey on the roads. Need to head down where people are more level headed. As John described, that’s what’s drawing me.

I like sun, warm weather, maybe even hot weather and down to earth people. Getting too crazy here with the tech wealth. Everybody needs a Tesla these days. To go with their M3, Porsche and now Mazarati’s.

With my van in the driveway I’m the poor stepchild of the neighborhood. Time to pack it in.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:57 PM   #21
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Waco was my first Texas home--came down here from Philly as a 17 year old to go to school, and never found a reason to leave. Trip "home" Christmas time of 1970 reminded me just how miserable those north eastern winters can be, and got myself back to Texas just as fast as I could. Spent about 5 years in Austin, and then moved Northwest about 30miles to a quiet little country town. Wasn't too long before Austin made it's presence felt, and by the early 2000 had pretty much swallowed that little country town completely. This time. I moved about another 150 miles Northwest, hopefully far enough away from the I-35 corridor that Dallas, Waco, Temple, Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio (essentially the Central Texas megalopolis) won't metastasize this far. I suspect CX has the same concerns about his neck of the woods out west of SA.

Anyway, just added another 20 plus acres to my little ranch--2500.00 per which to my way of thinking is a pretty good price for land these days. Now all I need is a mule, and I'll have the American dream

Topspin--the I-35 corridor, aside from being the heavy growth area, essentially divides the state. East of I-35 is the coastal plain, and the east Texas pine woods. Also the hot wet part of the state. West of I-35 is the limestone hillcountry, rolling plains, multiple rivers the size of the creeks back home in PA. and what is known as the hot dry part of the state. Sort of simplistic, but I-35 follows the great Balcones escarpment and west of I-35 can be 1000 ft higher elevation than east and that forces the humid prevailing coastal breeze up and it dumps it's moisture as rain. As with everything, geology controls all. My little piece of heaven is in the western cross timbers, or postoak savanna. I like being in the woods, but rain can sure be spotty. Had 40 inches two years ago, and only 3 inches so far this year. Reality is that I'm on the eastern edge of the Sonoran desert which pretty much is what west Texas is.

As some of the guys said--Texas has it all--coast, mountains,woods, lakes, hillcountry and desert--something for everyone. Yea, the summers are hot (wither humid or dry) and sometimes they seem to last forever. On the other hand, I've lived in Texas for about 55 years now, and can't remember ever having to shovel snow--what a blessing that is.

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Old 05-26-2018, 08:20 PM   #22
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Thanks John. Interesting that you should mention limestone. As we were driving from Austin north to Waco I looked off to the west and my wife said what is all that sand or tan colored ground all the way up to Waco? Being that I am a guy, and guys always think they know what they’re talking about I said it looks like a quary of some sort.

Got to Waco and saw all the homes with this sandy colored stone on them and made the assumption it’s probably limestone but just a stab. On the plane back I googled the local geology and Yep, looks like there’s a big strip running almost north south right along 35 of various kinds of limestone.

And I know what you mean about snow. I lived in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin for the first 22 years of my life. People didn’t understand why I complained about having frozen water ponds on my floor mats in the car and frozen door locks. They all would say that Minnesotans are hearty folk and winter just brings out the best in people. I think it’s a mental illness brought on by the cold.

One reoccurring theme that appears from Jon bridge, CX, JVC, and everyone else - wait for it . . . it’s fricking HOT in Texas. I’m sure if little girls born and raised in Texas can handle the heat, I am sure I could too. But wonder if Central Texas heat is just like too cold in Minnesota. Just for crazy people.

Basically my interest is striking a nice balance between affordability to live out a comfortable retirement in sunshine while being not horribly disfigured by the blazing heat. Is there such a place?

I suppose it’s just like Tile: you can have it sunny, inexpensive, comfortable. Pick any two.
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:12 PM   #23
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John, as I recall, when I visited you in Round Rock (how many years ago?) it was already becoming North Austin. Just like Boerne will one day just be part of North San Antonio. Fortunately the pace of that appears still to allow me to die before it actually happens.

I'd stop by and see your hunker down place on the way home from New Mexico one of these days, but I dunno where it is. Perhaps that's intentional?
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Old 05-27-2018, 01:18 PM   #24
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Yeah, Kevin, there is no place where you can have it all. There are two places I know of in this half of the world where the year-round temp is about 80. Mexico has it in the Puerto Vallarta area and there is Hawaii. Although both are very nice, I don't want to live there. Don't like the politics in either place.

In any case, my part of Texas has hot summers, hurricanes and tornados. But other places have their own things to worry about. I think Texas is the best deal around. Apparently others do too. Lots of transplants in these parts. I've been here since 1982, but I'm still considered a transplant, too. I tell my native Texan friends I'm still working on full citizenship.

And Van Camp is not (and never will be) a native. He spent his first 17 years in Yankee Land. That stain can never be removed. CX is the same.

All of us are Texans through and through, though.
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:47 PM   #25
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well JB, I've never claimed to be "natural born", but 2 of the ex's and all 4 of the kids are. Feel like I've been "naturalized" anyway I'm one of those who still tell folks that even if I wasn't born here, I got here just as soon as I could. I might have been born and raised in Yankee land--no control over that, but to my way of thinking, I "grew up" in Texas, and that's what counts when it comes to attitude and stuff.

CX--the "hunker down" is just a few miles north of Highway 84/67 between Brownwood, and Colman. If you get the urge to visit, just ask and I'll pm you the directions.

Topspin--shoot, just come on down. As JB said, nearly everything is air conditioned, and energy costs are still pretty low--enough so that the A/C can run 24-7 without breaking the bank. Texas has it's own grid, and has been pretty sensible as to how it is managed with a good mix of fossil fuel plants, and quite a few wind farms. Little bit of hydro thrown in also. Out here, the wind blows from one direction or another all of the time--we get a little spooked those rare days when it's still, and in just the short time If been out here, I've watched several wind farms spring up. Sort of like the old black land farmers 30 years ago realized the best crop they could grow was a subdivision, these west texas ranchers have learned that raising a turbine every few acres is a lot more profitable than cattle (or goats) ever are.
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:18 PM   #26
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Kevin, I could probably write you a book here. I spent the first 33 years of my life in Minnesota before burning out on the frozen tundra and moving down here in 2007.

First off, the pay here for trades is substantially less than you'll find in yankeeland. I was warned about that on this forum and made the move anyway. I just wasn't patient enough to wait for retirement to escape the northern winters. That said, once you establish a reputation, you can certainly make more than the prevailing rate and do ok. It just takes more hustle. If you go the flipping route, it's less of an issue.

As for where to live, I'm in the dreaded People's Republic of Austin. I'm here in spite of the politics and not because of them though, FWIW. That aside, I think you can scratch the ATX off you short list. Property values have shot though the roof in the time I've been here and show no sign of showing down. While I've never been to Seattle, it sounds like in a lot of ways we're hotter version of it. IT folks making big bucks are flocking here in droves and driving up the cost of real estate with them. Of course with that money flowing, I always have plenty of work, so there is that.

There are nice areas that are more sane in the hinterlands here, but how much longer they stay that way remains to be seen. I lived up in Georgetown for 3 years and really liked it there. If you have to commute into Austin for work, it's not so great though. Traffic is an absolute mess in these parts.

In any event, Texas is a big state that has plenty of areas that have more elbow room and more reasonable real estate prices. You have to decide what kind of climate you prefer and if proximity to a larger city matters to you.

All that said, every place has its warts and Texas is no exception. Overall, I like it here though. While I sometimes miss certain aspects of Minnesota, I don't think I could do the winters again. I'd recommend narrowing down some possibilities and spend a few weeks down here checking it out.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:39 PM   #27
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If I couldn't live in FL I would move to TX.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:40 PM   #28
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More good info. Thanks. Like most good tile guys (I strive to be one), I research things not quite to death, but close to. Got all you can read on the Internet, all of yalls good input, dipping my toes him for the first time a week ago, and plan more of all of the above. With house prices here showing virtually no direction other than up, I have time. Its fun watching Zillow or other houses indices saying how your house went up $20,000 in the last 30 days. I can take a little more of that while I wait.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:38 AM   #29
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Don't even get me started on property tax. I live in New York.
Manhatten makes the rules and upstate pays the price?

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Landed in Austin and drove to Waco to have a sit down with Chip and Joanna last week.
When does the Topspin house flipping show hit HGTV?
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Jim
Manhatten makes the rules and upstate pays the price?
Pretty much. A few years ago they capped the property tax increase year to year at 2%. Everyone said "Yeah, my taxes will only go up 2% !". I said "Great, they just guaranteed my taxes will go up 10% in 5 years at the minimum".
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