Sunday, August 9, 2015

We Might Be Leaving Kalifornaistan Earlier Than I Thought......

Sorry I didn't get going on this earlier. Much to my surprise (and delight!) my lovely wife has all of a sudden become rather "antsy" about moving to Colorado, and relegating the wonderful People's Democratik Republik of Kaliforniastan to the dustbin of history.

I guess it started a few days ago when I was looking at real estate prices in the Fort Collins/Bellvue/Laporte/Wellington area, and saw some rather nice properties for about $75~100k less than what we'd walk away with if we sold this place.

She ran the numbers again, and confirmed my SWAG about the valuation vs what we owe, and realized she could retire early.

ANYWAY.....we could get a nice 3br 2ba on at least one acre of land, and if we moved a bit further out, we could get the same thing on 2~3 acres, and be well within our comfort zone regarding PITI, and other matters that she understands very well.

Here's one on 2.6 acres for $290,000:

Here's one on a 13,000 sqft lot for $250,000:

I noticed there's a trend towards Manufactured Housing in some areas, like the 2.6 acre property shown above.

I have no real opinion on Manufactured Housing (different link than above), other than I know it's improved tremendously over the last 25 years. My step son's future Father-In-Law (great guy) owns a construction company and builds "custom" homes, and has an excellent reputation in the area, so I'll talk to him about manufactured housing as used in that area before I make any final decision on it.

As an Engineer, I believe that if it was properly designed, properly assembled with quality components, and properly transported and installed, it should be OK.

As a potential buyer, I have a lot to learn!

And of course you can get real "fixer-uppers" in the $150,000~$200k range, but I'm just too damn old to take on another "fixer-upper" house!

Some more Good Things:

Colorado sales tax is 4.5~6.5%, compared to 9+% here.

Gasoline is 75 cents to a buck a gallon cheaper.

Food is cheaper.

Colorado state income tax is a flat-rate 4.63%, compared to 13.3% here.

Colorado property tax is generally under 1% (varies GREATLY by county), but on a less expensive home, it would be less than we're paying now, and it could very well be half of what we're paying now.

And I found several references to a "Senior Exemption" on the property tax, but as of this time, I have no idea what that means.

Our current house payment is in the $1800 range right now, and after she ran the numbers (again), she realized our payment would be in the $800~$1000 range.

The last thing she wants me to research are utility rates, and I want to look into "High Speed" Internet access.

We might possibly be out of here in two years, or less, compared to the 3~5 years she was looking at before.

I just hope things hold together that long........


  1. "I just hope things hold together that long........ "

    Me too, brother. Good luck!

  2. The biggest issue in Colorado is the influx of Californians. ;-)

    All your antennas will be about 5,000 feet higher.

    But we have no battleships, that I know of. It'd be amusing to drop one into Cherry Creek Reservoir, though.

    Despite the excremental efforts of last year's legislature, our gun laws are nowhere near as bad.

    If you get away from the coverage areas of CTL and Comcast, there's Skybeam. Not sure what speed they provide. I know a couple people using them.

    2-3 year timeframe? Tough to call that. I wonder whether, and by how much, the real estate market will drop by then.

    1. I think it'll be more like 1~2 years. The wife is really getting fed up where she works, and she's almost to the point of running the numbers daily on what her retirement will provide.

      I'm from almost-rural Illinois, and my wife is from rural Iowa, so even though we've been here quite a while, we grew up with Midwestern values and work ethics. The times we visited Colorado we fit right in, and felt like we'd gone home.

      Laporte is looking better and better as far as what we want. Wellington is nice, too, but might be a bit further than she'd care to drive to see the kids.

      I remember back during one of the last housing booms (mid/late 80's) a lot of people cashed out their houses and left the state. There was a bumper sticker saying "Please Don't Californiacate Oregon!", which I thought was a bit amusing as I always thought Oregon was fairly liberal to begin with.

      Yep, I'll definitely miss the Iowa, and all my friends here.

    2. If the numbers aren't quite looking right, you could always go small. :-)

      Just saw this: Northern Colorado’s boom built on former farmland.

      I think that bodes poorly, in the short term, for housing prices in the areas you're looking at. Ft. Collins and surrounding are very popular right now, and I think following the general trend from the Denver area. Housing here is insane, though not at CA levels.

      Oregon was odd. Timber economy, back in the day. Surely not a liberal mindset among those folks, but pollution from paper mills, and logging practices, were among the early targets of the environmental movement. I think that attracted a lot of liberal thinking to the state. Of course, I wasn't paying a lot of attention to such things back then, when I lived there, except as they were on the news, and later, when the economy tanked during the housing bust of early 80's. (So, I moved to Denver, just in time for the petroleum bust.)

      And I do recall the insularity of Oregonians. That wasn't politically motived, so much as people just didn't want a huge population boom. Or, that's what I remember.

      Oregon is (or was) a lot like other states, where the big cities tend towards progressive politics.

    3. Hah!

      No "tiny home" for us. Those people are nuts. I've had bigger closets than what some of these "houses" have to offer.

      Yeah, it seems like I'm always behind the curve when it comes to where I live. She's getting the numbers from her employer, and right now she's definitely going to pull the plug at either the end of this scholastic year, or next year.

      If we sold our current house *right now*, we'd walk away with about $170k cash "profit" to use as a down payment on a new place.

      We have about 4 times that in liquid savings, so we could probably afford to pay cash for a place, but she wants to keep a good sized cash cushion, so we'd probably finance a little over $100k of the purchase price.

      I'd rather be further out of the city on a bigger piece of land, but neither of us wants to live *in* the city. Fort Collins is a great place, but the further I am from the University, the better.

      We're not the "coffee shop philosopher" types, and we have not, and never will, hang out with the "hipster" crowd!

  3. I bet your only loss would be for good sushi if you are so inclined.

    I look forward to the day when I can give this awful state the finger.

    1. Sushi I can take or leave. I was never "in" to it, but can appreciate GOOD sushi.

    2. Oh, there's good sushi to be had in Colorado. And a lot of good Asian fare in general.

      And brew pubs. They've been sprouting up like weeds.

    3. Oh, yeah!

      Last summer we were out there for two weeks, and stayed in the Armstrong Hotel in "Old" Fort Collins.

      You couldn't swing a cat without hitting some trendy little place, brewpub, or restaurant!

      My wife should know by the end of this week/early next week what her retirement benefits are, spelled out for her retiring either at the end of this academic year, or next.

      If it's only a couple of hundred per month, she'll pull the plug at the end of this academic year. If it's more than $500 a month, she'll stick it out another year.

      Our future in-laws are already looking around for property for us, and have put us in touch with an RE agent. The husband runs a small/medium sized construction company, and specializes in "custom" homes, although he'll build just about anything his client needs. He has a lot of "ins" in the construction and real estate fields, so if something really good pops up, we can get at it before it hits the MLS, and the bidding wars start.

      We'll qualify as "all cash buyers", so the RE agents are salivating already....

  4. 2.6 acres = 113256 sq/ ft
    lots more room for antennas. Over 300 ft. on a side if square.
    Good look planning your rhombics, curtains and beverages.
    Good luck and I hope it is sooner rather than later. I still hope to work you on the Iowa before you move.

    1. Well, not really thinking of growing that much of an Antenna Farm.

      A 50 or 60 foot tower with a good Yagi on it would be fine, and hang some wire off it for the lower bands.

      We're active almost every Wednesday from 0900 to 1600 local time, or 1600UTC to 2300UTC.

  5. Go, Go, GO, and go now. You'll never regret the decision.
    One caveat: Colorado is heavily populated with immigrants from the Peoples Republic of California....and they seem to want to make it just like where they came from.

    1. Yeah, and I agree that sucks!

      If you liked Kaliforniastan so much, why the hell did you move?

      The wife wants to go there to be by the kids, and grandkids when they come, and I'm looking forward to increased LIBERTY, and I'll help the locals fight like hell to keep it that way......

  6. FWIW, if there's a choice between big house/small plot or small house/big plot I'd definitely go with the bigger lot. I can never tell if the 160m bug might hit! Last year, my wife and I committed to staying in our place longer. Figure ten years, and I'll retire ASAP - before that, for sure. Could be next year, but not more than "a few".

    1. Bigger lot absolutely wins.

      We don't need a 5br, 6ba house. 3br, 2ba is plenty for us and the occasional guest who might drop by.

      If my nearest neighbor was a quarter-mile away, well...that would be just fine by me!

  7. If 65 you may apply to have 1/2 off of the tax on your residence but not land; provided the legislature has appropriated funds for the program.

  8. If we have a "real winter" this year there will be a bunch of rural properties for sale again. It happens every time we have a cold snowy winter. People that got lulled into the “ease” of country living with mild winters get wacked upside the head with the reality of winter in the Rocky Mountains. If you are looking for a university town there is another one 60 miles north, we are a little less populated, but more windy.

  9. Oh, yeah.....been to Cheyenne more than just a few times!

    My future daughter-in-laws younger sister goes to UW in Laramie and just loves it.

    I'd actually prefer Wyoming, but my wife couldn't make it there. She wants to be close to her son and DiL for when the kids grandbabies start arriving!

    Of course, what I'd consider "close", what she considers "close" and what a Colorado native considers "close" are three different things!


Keep it civil, please....

Welcome To The Weekend!

 And we're off to the Larimer County Fair! Photo crew will be SLW and my son. TLG has been talking about it all week.... Have fun and be...