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Burnt Out on Urban Living, Looking for Advice

We have been living in the NW (Gresham,OR near Portland) but have really wanted to make a drastic change. We live on one income and the pay is really nominal. We are burnt out on urban living and are looking into what other states have better cost of living and real estate prices. For example, here the average 3bed, 1&1/2 bath home will cost about $160,000.00. On our income, we cannot afford that. We know about Habitat for Humanity, but so far they are only building deep into the inner city in bad neighborhoods, just what we don't want, furthermore they are townhomes with no yards. Right now, we can't even afford a single car. I am looking for fresh ideas and suggestion, as well as what other parts of US is like economy wise. Hope I hear from someone. Thanks

Elizabeth

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August 14, 20040 found this helpful

Living on Long Island in New York is now only for the wealthy, so I know what you are talking about. The average yearly property taxes are, yes, $10,000 a year. (This is NOT a typo!!)

I moved to Goose Creek, South Carolina-15 minutes outside of Charleston. It sounds like a small town but has everthing you need. It's close to the ocean (A must for a former Long Islander!), has tons of shopping and I was even able to find delicious pizza!

3 bedrooms, 1 and a half bath, living room, big kitchen, dining room, family room, 75x100 fenced yard in QUIET neighborhood-fresh AND salt water nearby-$82,000. Oh, my yearly property taxes? $437 (This is NOT a typo)

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August 15, 20040 found this helpful

I would indentify some states you want to live in and call around to some chamber of commerce and realtors and find out how the housing and job market it is in small towns. I don't know if you can afford this, but I have found new places to live on road trips. Plot out some camping areas and check out some places... if you fall in love with a town, go to a realtor's office and find out what property is going for. Ask about the job market. Ask someone at a local diner what kind of jobs they have. In some places they may be looking for workers and will help you move. In many small towns they have a tough time finding year round, reliable labor. Best of luck!

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August 15, 20040 found this helpful

We live in Indiana. I used to live in CA. DRASTIC difference in cost of living. Everything from houses to groceries are much cheaper! The smaller towns have less expensive housing than say, Indianapolis. But depending on where you live, you are very close to a lot of entertainment. We are minutes from OH and MI. We just love it here.

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August 15, 20040 found this helpful

I live in central Oklahoma and an average home with 3 bds, 1 1/2 baths is about $50,000. There is a super walmart, a mall, and OKC is only 20 minutes away.

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August 16, 20040 found this helpful

WE LIVE IN CENTRAL NC AND JUST BOUGHT A 3 BDRM, 2 BATH, LVING RM, FORMAL DINING ROOM, HUGE SUNROOM, DEN,KITCHEN, 2 FULL BATHS,LARGED FENCED IN BACK YARD, IN SUBURBS, FOR 136,000. I THINK THAT IS AVERAGE, I HAVE SEEN THE SAME IN THIS AREA FOR HIGHER AND LOWER PRICES. WE ALSO OWN A 2 BDRM HOME IN SAME AREA WHICH WE PAID ABOUT 75,000 FOR. WE HAVE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HERE TOO AND THE NEIGHBORHOODS ARE NOT BAD. THEY ARE NOT THE BEST BUT I WOULD NOT BE AFRAID TO LIVE THERE AT ALL, THEY ARE STILL IN THE SUBURBS SO CLOSE TO EVERYTHING BUT DEFINITELY NOT BIG CITY PROBLEMS EITHER.

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August 17, 20040 found this helpful

I live in north cental Alabama about an hour from Huntsville and 1-1/2 hours from Birmingham. The cost of living is not so high but taxes are starting to increase.

Another solution to buying a house is Rural Housing Development. I bought my 2 bdrm,1bath home 13 yrs ago and the payments are according to my income. I topped out several yrs ago at $301 monthly and it will never increase nor will I have to refinance unless I start making a lot more money.

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August 19, 20040 found this helpful

Citysearch at http://national.citysearch.com/search?query=real%20estate may help answer some of your questions.

Homestore, Inc. http://www.homestore.com/move/default.asp?poe=homestore includes tabs for Homes by Realtor.com, New Homes, Apartments & Rentals, Senior Housing, Home Finance, Moving and Home & Garden. They also have The Salary Calculator, where you can select the states you are moving to and from to calculate the cost of living; Moving Tools, which include a Moving Calculator, Checklist Generator, Local School Reports, Relocation Crime Lab, Real Estate News, Credit Reports and Rent Furniture; and, Find a Neighborhood which includes City Comparison, Great Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Finder, City Matchmaker and Community Close-Up.

I don't know anything about the town, but historic Petersburg, Virginia, has lots of old houses at low prices which need to be refurbished. This could provide inexpensive housing if you and/or your husband are handy do-it-yourselfers. You may want to check out their website at http://www.historicpetersburg.org/realestate.htm. There are also lots of other old cities which have similar historic district projects.

Sperling's BestPlaces http://www.bestplaces.net/default.aspx is the "ultimate resource for relocation, recreation, retirement." In 1985, Bert Sperling developed a software program named "Places, U.S.A." which allowed people to enter their personal preferences to find their own best place. BestPlaces.net is a natural extension of our work over the last fifteen years regarding demographics, preferences, and the selection of "Best Places" to live, work, or retire.

Sperling's concepts and methodology have been the basic of numerous studies since 1985. Today, Fast Forward, Inc. (the producer of BestPlaces.net) is responsible for more "Best Places" studies and projects than any other single organization.

On this website, you can even find your best place to live by defining "your ideal place to live by indicating the importance to you of each category. Our computers then run through thousands of calculations and display a ranking of the cities which best meet your criteria."

I hope some of this information is helpful. Good luck finding your perfect place to live!

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November 11, 20090 found this helpful

You might reduce your expectations. It's only been in the last 50 years that we have expected that each child or even each sex of child should have their own bedrooms. Why do you think that a 2 bedroom home was the norm, when the families were so large? I know that isn't what you wanted to hear, but it's a truth.

The market in each area will rise to match the what the employment in the area can handle. If you find an area that prices are very low, you'll have a hard time finding a job that pays what a job in a high priced area pays. You can't have it both ways. You can find an area that's poised for growth. But, if you ask around t find it, you'll be paying those who saw it first. Do your own research to find the place that is going to rise in value, making it affordable now, but ready for prices to sky rocket.

If you are financially independent, you can look anywhere. Otherwise, I'd recommend that you look first for a place that you can get work.Good Luck in finding a place that suits you. It's what we all want & there's no perfect place for everyone. If there were, everyone would want to live there. Imagine the wars that could happen over it!

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August 30, 20150 found this helpful

Hi! We live in (what I consider to be a very frugal place to live in) the lower western mountains of NC. We are located 200 miles away from the NC beach's for our summer time fun IF that is where we want to go for a few days. In our life time we have owned 2 homes and 1 town house in our 60+ years of life and we have found that what we are living in now is the cheapest and most economical way to live (wishing we would have done this back in our younger years). We now live in a 16x80 single wide in a very nice mobile home park...sure the park lot rent is $150 a month BUT that doesn't even begin to compare to the city property taxes we were paying when we were living in our stick built homes or town house yearly. BESIDES our property taxes go down each year as a mobile home is taxed as an automobile [because it is on wheels] where as in a stick built house you are taxed out the ying yang. (My parents are still living & are in the late 80's) their house is in Iowa with their taxes for 2014 were close to $3,000 so, paying lot rent doesn't look too bad to us. Our taxes this year were under $150 for the whole year. Our house is a 16x80 single wide, that we had custom built by Southern Mobile Homes, which equals 1216 square foot of livable space - it is very economically to heat and cool and we both just love it!!!

Good luck where ever you and yours may end up!

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August 30, 20150 found this helpful

Hi! We live in [what I consider to be a very frugal place to live in]... in our life time we have owned 2 homes and 1 town house in our 60+ years and have found that what we are in now is the cheapest and most economical way to live [wishing we would have done this back in our younger years]. We live in a 16x80 single wide in a very nice mobile home park...sure the park lot rent is $150 a month BUT that doesn't even begin to compare to the city property taxes we were paying when we were living in our stick built homes or town house yearly. BESIDES our property taxes go down each year as a mobile home is considered to be taxed as an automobile because it is on wheels where as in a stick built house you are taxed out the ying yang. {My parents are still living, & their house is in Iowa - their property taxes were close to $3,000 this year so paying lot rent doesn't look to bad to us. Our taxes this year were under $150 for the whole year. The house is a 2003 16x80 single wide that was custom built for us - it is very economically to heat and cool [less then $140 a month [or $35 a week if you break it down the way we do as retired restaurant management workers] anyway we just love the affordability of it!

Good luck to you and yours and where ever you choose to end up.

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