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Where should we buy/rent a winter home or condo?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe, Mar 28, 2016.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Winter wears on me as I continue to get older and I would like to escape for 4 months a year. We tried moving to Vegas full time and that didn't work. So, throw out some suggestions for becoming a snowbird. I'm not totally against the idea of a part-time residence in Vegas, but looking for options.

    Don't need beach and water, just some moderate temperatures Dec-March and no SNOW!

    We like San Diego, but probably couldn't afford anything there. Seattle is also nice, but rain in the winter, ehh. We also like Scottsdale, but again affordability might be an issue.

    So, lets say a $250,000 condo somewhere warm or moderate in winter. Where would you go? It needs bars and restaurants kind of place, but not necessarily night life. Austin keeps popping up on my searches. Maybe VMB member "big tip" will buy me us a drink if we move to Austin.

    Anyway, throw out some ideas.
     
    Christmas
  2. Julie888

    Julie888 High-Roller

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    Consider if it has inexpensive and easy flights to Vegas so you can get your fix.

    I like Palm Springs and Scottsdale, but have no idea of the prices. Folks sure were friendly during the short stay we had there.
     
  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Arizona need not be "Scottsdale." The Valley of the Sun is one big massive megalopolis now stretching from not all that far from Wickenburg on out to Gold Canyon and Queen Creek, Carefree down toward Maricopa. And there's also Tucson and environs.

    Austin would be awesome, love that town. However, to our way of being, we thing winter is cold down that way. I know, it's all relative.

    Maybe you should come out here and visit us some time?! I'll show you around, winter is about our best season (everything is off 90 degrees here). It ain't SD or SF here, and that's exactly why we like it.

    Coachella Valley (Palm Springs down to Thermal or thereabouts) has gobs of options. It's also overrun in winter. I'm of "senior" age now and they drive me nuts, anyway. Great place to be however. I've written god knows how many articles about the area, a book; I should send you some clips. And we're down there still at least monthly, so you'd have that obvious upside, too. ;)
     
  4. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    St. George, Utah. Not too big or busy. A great jumping-off point to hitting many wonderful sites in the South West. My wife and I have property there we may build on one day.

    Bill
     
  5. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Interesting thread Joe. I've been having the same thoughts over the past few years about how to get away for winter. I'm just done with snow.

    Being Canadian, I only once considered buying a vacation home in the U.S. and that was short lived. I have given some thought to just renting a vacation home in the U.S. somewhere warm for a couple months to get away. I think it would be interesting to stay somewhere for a couple months and really enjoy everything that the area has to offer, knowing I'll probably never return to live there again. I get the impression when you and your wife lived in Vegas, you guys took the time to see what the area offered besides just gambling.

    I wonder though about the finances of owning vs. renting on a vacation home. Of course everyone's needs are different so I'm not suggesting one is better than the other. And the obvious is you live in the U.S. and I, in Canada. What works for some does not work for others since we are not all in the same boat to begin with. I just wonder if the costs might be close when taking in the costs associated with home ownership.

    For instance for us, we don't need fancy, but would want to rent somewhere where we could get out and walk, ride bikes, take the dog for a walk, visit restaurants, go on interesting excursions and be close to a major airport (for both visits home and to Vegas and also visitors).

    Ute had a wonderful suggestion with his tip on St. George. I just briefly checked out the town and location and it looks beautiful. For us, a quick monthly rental check brings up affordable options such as this condo at $1500 a month, all inclusive of utilities, furnished and access to resort amenities. Not fancy but workable. $3000 for a 2 month holiday away from the snow sounds good. I know you're looking at 4 months but doing a couple months rental to try an area out might be an idea.

    But Joe, the very best part is that St. George is only 2 hours from Vegas for a quick vacation away.

    I'm going to give this place a serious look. Thanks Ute.

    Anyhow Joe, just my thoughts. You said to throw out ideas.

    https://stgeorge.craigslist.org/apa/5500830159.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  6. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    I just visited mobile, al this past January and i enjoyed it much, much more than i thought i would.
     
  7. Seven

    Seven Tourist

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    What about Biloxi? I love Biloxi. Plenty to do. Great golf courses, good food, casinos, and the beach. Considering Mississippi cost of living isn't very high I'm sure something there could be had for a reasonable price.
     
  8. JJLV

    JJLV Low-Roller

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    Hi Joe,

    Your post caught my eye quickly. I just got done with my almost daily web searching of warmer spots to get into the sun. Even though not a bad one this year, we as well are looking to get out of this frozen tundra:) We are looking to similar qualifications as you, same budget/ except for sure warmer then moderate and more like 4 to 5 to eventually 6 months a year.

    I was actually on the phone today with a AZ golf retirement community. Found a smoking deal (I thought) till found out the home was a deal but the HOA fees were killer. Also, not 100% excited about this particular community. Still on the quest and it's not ruled out.

    Just sharing a bit of our "shopping for new warmer home" venture.

    As many do, We started with Florida a few years ago. Pretty much ruled that out, just not quite the vibe and if end up there a bit in even April, it gets too humid (never mind the alligators and bugs). But there is just so much bang for the buck there and selection. We do think before we completely rule it out we might need to go back again to make sure. Amazingly while there, we never went to the biggest golf community of the Villages and do think we should at least check it out.

    We are leaning quite toward AZ now. Like the drier climate all around. Just hard finding THE place. Hubby is hung on a community and has to be golf, golf and more golf with some restaurants and bar/s. We have not ruled out the gulf shores or other southeast yet. AZ has family there(Sedona) so helps up the positive list. Also the (hate to admit but true) proximity to Vegas does not hurt. We looked at Bullhead/ Laughlin too. Just not many golf communities and gets quite windy in winter and a wee bit warmer is desired, but is still on our list. Might be something you would like. Some nice condos in Laughlin in 'our' budget. We take a few junkets to Laughlin a year and always go shopping. Met with a realtor last time and finally went in some in Laughlin and Bullhead. We also drive to Lake Havasu. Another nice option for you indeed! It is still on our list. Oh and a btw NO to Sun City AZ unless at least Sun City West or Grand. Talk about OLD. My oh my is true Sun City old. (We're old, but not THAT old ...yet) haha

    We also went to St. George Utah as mentioned prior. You may feel differ, but we so did not get a vibe at all. Again we look at communities... go figure, not a big bar crowd. :) We like our cocktails time to time. It just seemed truly dead at 6PM every where we went. St. George is for sure ruled out. One community we went to there was like no one out and about even at 3pm on a gorgeous day. Just a handful of golfers too. Felt like a ghost town. It all just didn't feel right or for us. (but yes, quite beautiful).

    We have Palm Springs on the list too, but only if rent to check it out. Cost of living is a bit up there.
    We also looked at Texas a bit. I had been there often as a child. He never has. I just never had fond memories of it or the weather. Doesn't mean it wouldn't work. I'm just a bit biased against. However, he had on Golf this weekend, the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play. I always ask where they are playing when I look up from PC and looks nice... Go figure it was Austin. Hmmmmm

    We also flip flop almost daily between buying or renting. I think renting at first just to make sure is a very smart idea.

    The quest goes on... We are blessed to have such a venture to look forward to. Let me know where you end up. If near by I'll make you mean Old Fashioned! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  9. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 High-Roller

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    Austin is nice, but pricey. (Compared to the rest of Texas.) But, if you like a nightlife, people LOVE Austin, and it's got a lake and a great food music scene. And 250k should do you fine.

    Depends on your budget. Dallas has a really low priced market and lots of bars/food/etc. (But tornadoes.) Weirdly, rentals in Dallas are higher, but property is not. They also have a good IT sector with high-paid contractors always coming in. IF you were willing to hire a rental company and rent it our furnished when you're not there, you could probably make a killing. I.E. have a "free" winter crash pad. but, even with a rental company, renters scare me.

    But if you catered to the IT sector, a furnished unit, (even a furnished so-so condo) that is comfy can go in the thousands per month...kind of lessens your risk as it'll attract higher-end renters.

    BUT Dallas is purely base on price and having all the perks of a big city. (But, rarely, rarely, you can get ice...)

    If people like more outdoorsy, Pinetop AZ is like a smaller Flagstaff AZ without the prices of a college town. (And not big enough to be on the HOA radar. AND cheap property taxes.) Warm but NOT AZ warm as it's in the mountains. And you have trees. Driving distance to Vegas and Scottsdale too :D
     
    Sooooo far away still...
    Cosmo, always our favorite part of our trip!
  10. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    I would rent before I bought unless I really knew the area. A lot of snowbirds where I live,most popular areas seem to be FL followed by SC. A lot of these people are heavy into golf ,two of my friends are in the southern or low country area of SC and the winter temps range from 50's to70's typically. .Great golf weather .
     
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    jersey brings up a key point. So many relocation/second-home decisions are made through the rosy lenses of vacation, and that's not always a good thing.
     
  12. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Clearwater-Tampa-St. Pete.
     
  13. kathiemc23

    kathiemc23 Tourist

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    I live in Tucson and there are tons of people who just come here for the winter. The weather is terrific and the cost of living is reasonable, plus it is just a one hour flight to Vegas. Housing is affordable and not all neighborhoods have expensive HOAs (mine is $75/month). You should check it out, but most places won't have that Scottsdale vibe if that is what you are looking for in Arizona, Tucson is a bit more laid back.
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Love the Old Pueblo. Great food scene, old historic neighborhoods, the foothills and the highlands, SNP, bit better weather than Phoenix, the art scene down Tubac way is phenomenal. Some very good golf to be had. It's a first-rate cluster when it comes to surface transportation but then again what isn't in the West.
     
  15. JJLV

    JJLV Low-Roller

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    Following for ideas (and to some degree more confusion) ... Just looked up Low Country SC Golf Communities. Looks wonderful. (thinking hubby already has though, he's been looking for years now) Glad Joe started this thread.
     
  16. Pizzaman

    Pizzaman Low-Roller

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    Gilbert Az. Is the place to look at.
     
  17. Loverboy

    Loverboy Low-Roller

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    Simple...
    Belize
     
  18. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Retiring (esp part-time) internationally can be far more complex than staying in the same country. Just make sure you are aware of ALL the issues.

    My in-laws love to buy property. They have had several properties in Costa Rica (I think they've sold all but one piece of land now) They liked it there (no clue why as they were totally in the middle of nowhere, but hey, different strokes) Eventually they got tired of making the airplane trips. Now (in addition to their place in our town, and their primary residence at the NC coast) they are spending the cold season in Florida, having a great time flipping houses. Again, middle of freaking nowhere. But they love it, and when they get bored, they travel to another house. My FIL is a private pilot and they have a plane, so travel for them around the SE is pretty easy.

    I'm thankful my husband and I agree that one property is all we want, and we can vacation wherever we want because we don't have to go take care of a property in another location....

    On the other hand, I live in NC and I think winter here is just fine. Apparently my in-laws disagree (even though they were raised in northern Ohio...Their blood has thinned considerably, I guess :peace:)
     
  19. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    Joe I would agree with two earlier posters; one- rent. If you are only going to be there a third of the year then you have a lot of time the property is being used by someone else paying you to stay or empty. Your responsibility for HOA or utilities, taxes, etc. have to be balanced with the time absent and having purchased the property. Also, from conversations and previous thread remarks, you love being close to your brothers as you all grow older which increases the likelihood you would only be out of state for a portion of the year. Secondly, Tucson is a great place which we discovered when visiting with our son's godfather and his family. He is a department head at the University and his wife does research at the school as well. Bars, food, nightlife, cultural events were all in evidence each time we have visited. Also it has a vibrancy which reminds me of Austin when I was going to school there (wayyyy prior to the techy invasion back when) before it got very expensive (in terms of cost of living in Texas). We have only visited in the summer however so can't speak to the winters in Tucson. However, they have a golf tournament around there every weekend the Super Bowl is held and people don't look too uncomfortable in the gallery. Obviously beer was involved as well.
    Good luck in your decision. And stay off the basement stairs!
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
  20. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    lol

    That would be the Waste Management Phoenix Open. It's so uncomfortable they only got something like 600,000 people to show up this year. lol Weather is typically perfect for that tourney. In fact, in recent years the problem has been cold and frost in the morns. Now the alcohol is a problem for many! Heck, two of the last three or four playings in Tucson the Match Play event was snowed out a day or two.
     
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