I’m not a huge Austin fan; it seems to be a place more concerned with “coolness” than anything else these days. I feel weirdly out of place there, as I’m not what is “cool” there.
I have lived in the Chicago area since I was 2 years old, with a couple of absences for college and grad school. There are plenty of places in the Chicago area where you can buy a nice house for well under $600k, including ones right on public transit lines. Our house (3 br, 1 ba, 2-car garage, extra-wide lot) is 2 blocks from 2 different bus lines and a 5-minute bus ride to 2 different train lines. I can buy groceries from a dozen ethnicities within walking distance. I’d have to drive about 4 miles to a sizeable Asian supermarket, but once I got to that neighborhood, I’d have a choice of several. I can get awesome, crazy-cheap takeout sushi 2 blocks away, though. $600k in our current hood would get us a mighty nice house, much bigger and more recently rehabbed than ours (which isn’t a fixer-upper, either).
$600k a couple of miles further east would get you a smallish house (or pretty much any condo you wanted to buy, with cash left over) in a more upscale neighborhood right on commuter rail, though it sounds like commuting isn’t really an issue for you - less than 20 minutes to the downtown station. You’d be even closer to the Asian supermarkets and a couple of miles from the lakefront.
All these places are quite walkable (in the sense of being able to walk anywhere to shops, restaurants, etc., but not in the sense of having pedestrian-only areas). You do need to deal with Chicago weather, though.
This is definitely why I didn’t consider moving “somewhere cheaper” when I retired.
The Twin Cities have one bitterly cold week a year - sometimes two. And there is one incredibly snowy week a year - sometimes two…But many of us just don’t go outside during those weeks. Minnesotans are pantry people - your grandmother survived through a three week blizzard off green beans and pasta noodles and canned soup - you don’t need to leave the house until the temperature reaches the double digits. (I was going to run out of gas when it was really cold, I put $2 in to drive home. I’ll fill it up next week when its above freezing). Both of us work from home.
If you CAN get past the Winter (which granted, isn’t easy) - the other three seasons are beautiful, we have a vibrant art scene and live theatre, and a large Asian American community (although mostly Hmong or Korean - we have the largest concentration of Korean adoptees in the country - and the Hmong community is pretty insular). And while the 'burb’s aren’t walkable, there are lots of areas of the city that are. But…we don’t move. Its hard to relocate here because seriously, I have known most of my friends since high school, my “new” friends are either people I’ve gotten to know better - but have known for going on 40 years - or the adult children of my friends - Minnesotans are known for being nice, but standoffish.
My target retirement area is Virginia, far enough South to be out of the Washington DC mess, far enough North that the chances that your neighbors belong to the militia are less than 50%.
Get a big house. A great big house. With lots and lots of space.
Lots of folks are already moving to Spokane and nearby Coeur d’Alene. House prices are going through the roof. I imagine housing prices in Seattle have to be dropping a bit. The pandemic has benefited a ton of people that are now sitting on a mountain of cash so might as well buy a second or third house.
An article from our local paper today:
BTW, even in that headline, you can see they call it “North Idaho” rather than northern Idaho. I’m sad to see that nomenclature cross over to media.
Coeur d’Alene is specifically where I want to retire and I’m certainly bummed that others are discovering it but I’m not surprised it always jumps to the top of the list for a variety of requirements.
Do you have the required lifted coal-rolling pickup with Trump and Gadsden flags flying from the bed (bumper nuts have finally rotted off)? Are you ready to burn any mask you might own?
I do like a lot about the area, but there is a lot I don’t like. I cycle…a lot. And those trucks hate me. Apparently human powered locomotion is not a right afforded me in the constitution or bill of rights. We are full on 'Murica round these parts.
Well, I do have a pickup that gets 10 mpg but it’s not a diesel. No trump flags though, I’m conservative not retarded. I’m down with masks though but Amazon exists as does delivery sushi so I don’t need to leave my house except to hunt and fish.
As a straight white guy I’d fit in just fine until they learned I was from California but after 20 years in Colorado I’ll just say I’m from here. My only issue with the area is my wife’s unwillingness to leave her family and our unwillingness to subject our kids to the school system (Colorado is bad enough). Once her parents die and the kids are off in college we’ll be in the market. Though I’m hoping to pick up land before that or a vacation home that we can convert to a retirement home.
You sound like a gawdamn libural!
My wife and I don’t have kids, so we haven’t had issues with the schools. I would be mostly happy here the rest of my life, but it’s too cold for my wife so I imagine we will be looking west or south for retirement (10 years). If you like the outdoors (we do), it’s a great area. We fish, hike, backpack, camp, snowshoe/x-ski and bike (road and mtn) and never run out of new places. I do like Colorado though. You want to swap places? Guess it depends on the location. If you are in that part that should really belong to KS or NE, you can keep your house.
Yup, love the outdoors. We’re up at 8,000ft on an acre just outside of Denver, definitely where people think of when they think of Colorado. I’d be willing to entertain a trade for waterfront property but my wife will never go for it.
I’d stay here, I really like Colorado, but the water situation scares me. The front range will turn into a similar water situation as the LA basin in the next 20 years but without the political climate of LA in 1905.
You’d think, but that isn’t the case: Seattle among top markets as U.S. home prices increase by double-digit percentages for the first time in years (Seattle Times).
They’re rising in Seattle proper still, but prices for the more affordable houses in the greater Seattle area are rising even faster.
DAMN!!! I don’t know how anyone is going to afford a “starter” house in the NW within a couple years. They are bad enough around here…I can’t imagine what they go for in Seattle.
I’ve never been to Phoenix (I’m sure it’s nice), but I’ve been to cities with similar designs and I wouldn’t call Phoenix “walkable”. At least not in the same way Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, or New York is. I mean I’m sure there are some “New Urbanist” developments or clusters of shopping and commercial buildings where one can walk around once they arrive at their destination. But that’s like saying Las Vegas is “walkable” because you can walk the one mile of casino strip.
And the obvious problem with most “walkable” cities is that they are exorbitantly expensive to live in the parts where you don’t need a car. Even New Yorkers tend to move out of the city when they are looking to raise a family or just get sick of tiny overpriced studio apartments. Then you’re right back to owning a car with trips to the supermarket and commutes and all that. Even when I lived in Boston, I didn’t live “in” Boston. I lived in some suburb (Waltham specifically). It had a downtown “main street” with bars, shops, restaurants, and a T (commuter rail) station, but even that was a pain in the ass to just “walk” to.