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View Full Version : Where to buy a home... NEAR WATER?



TheBabyBadger
10-16-2017, 03:55 PM
Hey guys!

While I'll be scouring the depths of the internet to also find the answer, I'd love some real life insight. The wife and I were discussing moving OUT OF CALIFORNIA in 2-3 years. We want to be somewhere a little bit calmer. A little bit less crazy. Less pollution. And now... less natural disasters. HOWEVER; our ideal move puts us on some sort of LARGE body of water River. Lake. Something. Also, preferably somewhere that the water doesn't FREEZE in the winter. Some snow is cool. We just want to be on the water year around. We'd love some pics of where YOU live and your insight on PROs and CONs. I work in insurance (run a major body shop) so my career should be able to take me anywhere with open positions. My wife is a medical assistant for Kaiser, so she is versatile as well. Budget is $500k-ish on the home, but willing to go lower if available and higher if needed.

Thanks in advance for all your input! pics accompanied by your own feedback would be AWESOME. Also if you're familiar with the collision and medical industries, EVEN BETTER. If you're hiring either of our positions, please also put compensation, moving allowance and a desired move date! HAHA! (But seriously, lemme know!).

Stazi
10-16-2017, 05:14 PM
I'd recommend MI, but the lakes freeze here. You probably want to be in the Kentucky or Tennessee area to be away from natural disasters and not be in the freeze zone.


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trayson
10-16-2017, 05:34 PM
Like everyone else, you could join the zillion CA transplants that move to the PNW. Portland is known as "Bridgetown". If you're willing to deal with water that's not as warm as the South, we've got an amazing place to live. We've also got some of the largest floating home communities in the nation. We're within 2 hours of the ocean, the mountains, the high desert... We have the Columbia river gorge that's a windsurfing and kiteboarding mecca. We're famous for our Microbrews, our coffee, and our wine. We get very little snow in the city. I can run my boat from April through early November. (although right now the water temps are in the low 50's! But totally doable with a drysuit). And we have LOTS of Kaiser Permanente here.

Our rivers don't freeze. rarely do we find a time when we can't launch somewhere. But I have to winterize my boat around early November until April because I store my boat under a carport and we get freezing temps at night.

dusty2221
10-16-2017, 05:48 PM
Hot Springs, Arkansas. Live on lake Hamilton for weekday boating, pull the boat and make the short cruise over to Lake Ouachita for the weekends.

TheBabyBadger
10-16-2017, 08:23 PM
Hot Springs, Arkansas. Live on lake Hamilton for weekday boating, pull the boat and make the short cruise over to Lake Ouachita for the weekends.

Is there a particular desirable area to live in?

TheBabyBadger
10-16-2017, 08:23 PM
Like everyone else, you could join the zillion CA transplants that move to the PNW. Portland is known as "Bridgetown". If you're willing to deal with water that's not as warm as the South, we've got an amazing place to live. We've also got some of the largest floating home communities in the nation. We're within 2 hours of the ocean, the mountains, the high desert... We have the Columbia river gorge that's a windsurfing and kiteboarding mecca. We're famous for our Microbrews, our coffee, and our wine. We get very little snow in the city. I can run my boat from April through early November. (although right now the water temps are in the low 50's! But totally doable with a drysuit). And we have LOTS of Kaiser Permanente here.

Our rivers don't freeze. rarely do we find a time when we can't launch somewhere. But I have to winterize my boat around early November until April because I store my boat under a carport and we get freezing temps at night.


I've been up to Portland and Redmond/Bend area but it's been a long while. The area is HUGE, is there a particular area you can recommend there? What are summers like?

russellsmojo
10-16-2017, 08:47 PM
Anywhere with a really long boating season. And a good airport nearby for the winter ski trips.


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KG's Supra24
10-16-2017, 11:37 PM
Hot Springs, Arkansas. Live on lake Hamilton for weekday boating, pull the boat and make the short cruise over to Lake Ouachita for the weekends.


Is there a particular desirable area to live in?

Hot springs national park was the first land set aside by federal government for recreational use, 40 years before Yellowstone was named the first national park. It is now the smallest national park in the registry. It was created to preserve mineral rich water.

Hot springs village is/was the largest manned gated community in the US. It is popular for retirees as it houses 7 well manicured golf courses and other amenities. Lake homes available inside the gates as well.

4 seasons ... lighter in winters/heavier on summer

The state has several great Lakes to choose from. Northwest west arkansas (beaver lake) is home to UofA and the Waltons (walmart) who have built a world class museum (crystal bridges) and just announced a 5 to 7 year corporate campus build.

It's not for everyone but it certainly seems better than the reputation that proceeds it.

Oh ... medical jobs are in demand in several areas of the state. Your job sounds like it may best in higher populations? 500k can go a long ways here.

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zabooda
10-17-2017, 12:07 AM
Arkansas is a great place for boating and everything is cheap there. I even gave away a lot on a golf course there as there were no takers. Many Californians have moved to Coeur d'Alene Idaho with a lot of boating and snow ski areas. Where ever you go I'd recommend ditching your CA car plates as soon as you can.

smorris7
10-17-2017, 07:18 AM
Hot Springs, Arkansas. Live on lake Hamilton for weekday boating, pull the boat and make the short cruise over to Lake Ouachita for the weekends.

This!


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Dtbradly
10-17-2017, 07:28 AM
This!


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Agreed!!!!

TheBabyBadger
10-17-2017, 01:36 PM
Where ever you go I'd recommend ditching your CA car plates as soon as you can.

Hahahahaha! That is MOST DEFINITELY the plan. Probably before we even move! Have another plot available? I'll park my RV there for now!You guys are awesome!

I think we ruled out PNW just because of how many Californians have already headed there and long winters. We really want some LONG summers. We're looking at Lake Havasu City, Hot Springs and Coeur d'Alene. We just want to start a family and raise our kids somewhere with VALUES. California is so plagued with corrupted people and has lost its appeal to us. Ideally we really want some friendly, hard-working, God-fearing, gun toting American neighbors. HAHAHAHA!

Thank you everyone. I'll keep the research going and let you know what we decide when we decide. Most likely a few years out but obviously it would take some time to get our home sold and coordinate a move. Again, thank you much, very appreciated!

trayson
10-17-2017, 03:17 PM
I've been up to Portland and Redmond/Bend area but it's been a long while. The area is HUGE, is there a particular area you can recommend there? What are summers like?

Summers are fantastic, with temps typically in the 80s and 90s. We don't have high humidity like the South. Don't have elevation like some other mountain areas, so boats make more power. That said, We're not gonna get you the LONG season you want because even though we don't have snowy winters, we have colder wetter weather and that's not going to make you happy.


Hahahahaha! That is MOST DEFINITELY the plan. Probably before we even move! Have another plot available? I'll park my RV there for now!You guys are awesome!

I think we ruled out PNW just because of how many Californians have already headed there and long winters. We really want some LONG summers. We're looking at Lake Havasu City, Hot Springs and Coeur d'Alene. We just want to start a family and raise our kids somewhere with VALUES. California is so plagued with corrupted people and has lost its appeal to us. Ideally we really want some friendly, hard-working, God-fearing, gun toting American neighbors. HAHAHAHA!

Thank you everyone. I'll keep the research going and let you know what we decide when we decide. Most likely a few years out but obviously it would take some time to get our home sold and coordinate a move. Again, thank you much, very appreciated!

Idaho certainly fits your demographic, but you aren't going to get that long boating season. It won't be any longer than in the PNW and the winters will be a lot more harsh.

If you want that 'endless summer', you have to go South and that typically involves hot, humid weather (unless you end up in the dessert).

TheBabyBadger
10-17-2017, 03:30 PM
If you want that 'endless summer', you have to go South and that typically involves hot, humid weather (unless you end up in the dessert).

Yeah I think we are gonna vaca in Havasu this spring and see what we think of it. Lots of body shops. TONS of boating. LONG summer. I used to live in Phoenix, so I'm pretty used to warm weather. Plus it's pretty dry there and the homes are BALLER in our budget range.

IF I'm gonna have a winter, I want snow! LOL. No sense in staring at a boat, I'd rather be bombing down a mountain on my snowboard in the off season. HAHA!

Broke Pilot
10-17-2017, 03:42 PM
Texas is always a good option... for 500k you can do very well down here. But humidity, I'll leave it at that lol

trayson
10-17-2017, 03:51 PM
Yeah I think we are gonna vaca in Havasu this spring and see what we think of it. Lots of body shops. TONS of boating. LONG summer. I used to live in Phoenix, so I'm pretty used to warm weather. Plus it's pretty dry there and the homes are BALLER in our budget range.

IF I'm gonna have a winter, I want snow! LOL. No sense in staring at a boat, I'd rather be bombing down a mountain on my snowboard in the off season. HAHA!

Our original retirement plan was the area around Park City, so we could be at the lake all summer and have world class snow resorts all winter with a City close enough to have some arts and culture.

But we've since changed up our strategy. Ironically it was after visiting Texas and getting a taste of what it would be like to live waterfront. Needless to say, the idea of living with our boat ON the water and our house waterfront was really appealing. I mean, right now I can be at a few different boat launches within 15 to 25 minutes. So for it to be significantly better, it'd need to be waterfront. The new retirement plan (in 12 to 16 years) is for us to buy a floating home in the Portland area and live there from April through Thanksgiving. Then we'll pick a ski town (Park city, Tahoe, Breckenridge, Whistler, etc) and rent a small condo for the ski season. Then we get the best of both and hopefully can afford it all. :-) Having a floating home would be pretty rad. You're on the water 24/7 and we'd hope for a place with a rooftop patio and a boat slip (with a covered lift) attached to the home. For us, the combo of boating summer, snowboarding winter, city life access, and something we could afford is tough to attain. But we're gonna try to find it. :-)

TheBabyBadger
10-17-2017, 04:32 PM
Yeah I totally get it. Luckily in my field of expertise salaries stay pretty competitive, my money will just go further in another state. California has insane taxes, gas, home prices, etc. I just want MORE for my money. Realistically if I wasn't addicted to boating I'd have a $7-800K home but I like being well within my means and also having some left over. I'm currently raped and pillaged for child support by my ex. That goes away in two years... so the budget gets much more fun! :) I like the snow, but prefer to travel TO IT. Youd have to visit California to really get it... people here just aren't very nice or appreciative. Of all the cars we fix... we get so little thanks for the job we do. Which is fine, we are here to make money... but I've been to Texas several times and lived in AZ... people are just different. Kinder.

My retirement plan in 25 years is also to retire to the water. I LOVE IT. Just live on the water with my Moomba in tow. Ready to go!

execoll
10-17-2017, 05:18 PM
Ozarks has some amazing lakes and the only place I have lived that actually had 4 distinct seasons. Being in the South I have to recommend Smith Lake in Alabama (yea you can just tell everyone you married your cousin, you don't have to actually do it, they won't check). Super long season, think 7 months without wet suits. One of the cleanest lakes I've ever been to. Southern hospitality (we're all family so we have to be nice to each other). What cost a million in CA will cost around 250k in AL (but it is in AL, cant get around that). 1hr away from Birmingham or Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide). Bad side? HOT it's freaking HOT, humidity, and mosquitoes the size of cars. Did I mention it's hot? current temp is outright blustery 90 but I'm over in MS so it might be cooler there now say 85.

KG's Supra24
10-17-2017, 08:08 PM
https://www.instagram.com/arkansas/

Arkansas Instagram does a good job of capturing "the natural state"

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sandm
10-17-2017, 09:38 PM
havasu would be a great place to live.

I would check into the income levels first. not sure that cali income levels move from state to state as easily as one might think..

moombahighrider
10-17-2017, 09:42 PM
I havenít been there yet but have multiple friends who do and my first thought was lake havasu. Hot but dry. Thatís my kind of weather...

zabooda
10-18-2017, 03:44 AM
Wherever you go, check out the quality of the schools if your kids are still in school. Areas where there are a lot of retirees may not have good school funding as many of those bonds are voted down. Also check the restrictions on the lake.

5:00
10-18-2017, 10:02 AM
Wherever you go, check out the quality of the schools if your kids are still in school. Areas where there are a lot of retirees may not have good school funding as many of those bonds are voted down. Also check the restrictions on the lake.

This for sure. There is a thread about SC houses. We are going to Lake Keowee, SC in a few years. We found however the public school systems are not great and most who can afford it will opt for private schools. We aren't moving until all of our kids are in college so it solves that problem.

TheBabyBadger
10-18-2017, 12:25 PM
Yeah that's part 2 of this process... find out if it's doable. Managerial salaries in my field tend to remain pretty consistent and we have good equity in our home, so even a paycut wouldn't be a deal breaker. Lots of research to do. Also, my company is pretty aggressively expanding so it's not out of the question to pitch a new shop in the area. The populous definitely warrants the work. Even a smaller shop would thrive. Lots of boats + lots of towing = lots of fixing. LOL.

5:00
10-18-2017, 03:08 PM
We also found from our realtor that there is plenty of room for repair shops locally. They said especially for PWC. The repair shops where we are looking just aren't into the PWC business and want to charge $1,000 just to look at them at times. I have owned PWC's for 11 years now and have never taken them to a shop for repair so I am good there. General repair in the area for housing and cars can be improved. The handymen there basically show in the morning (if they aren't hunting) but might go to lunch never to return or come back after a couple of cold ones. So I have that fall back for work if I want.
I am sure all places have these quirks. If there are places that compete they may not be much competition if you are a doer. Everyone on this forum is a doer so not an issue there. You have to visit all of the places on your list. We have spent the last two years looking in VA, GA, NC and SC. So damn ready to get out of the D.C. area.

patrick232
10-19-2017, 11:31 AM
I would say Tennessee might be your best bet.
Many riverfront or lakefront homes on TVA lakes.
Norris is where we have our condo and will spend a lot of time there but haven't ruled out a lakefront home closer to Knoxville or Nashville.
No state income tax
Very low property tax, you can afford a more expensive home when taxes aren't $9000 a year on a $300K house like Ohio.
You can boat year round as the water does not freeze and still have some snow once in a great while.

BigOrange
10-19-2017, 11:46 AM
Feel free to hit me up with any questions about middle TN. Normally, I'd quietly stay silent about more carpet baggers but I do welcome conservatives as I infer from your previous posts! Good luck!

NOMITC74
10-20-2017, 09:38 PM
The place go be is Northern Michigan. I moved from California to MI ten years ago and do not regret the move at all. We have great schools, low crime and plenty of health care jobs. Breweries, Wineries, great restaurants, world class golf Golf, skiing, snowmobiling and more outdoor activities I am missing. I have not even gotten to the natural beauty of Lake MI and the surrounding Lakes. Torch Lake, Lake Leelanau, Glenn Lake, Crystal Lake, West and East Grand Traverse Bays and Long Lake just to name a few. All of these lakes are so clear you can see 30 feet down. Because of the proximity to Lake MI the winters are not as cold as other Midwest areas. We do get lots of snow for winter activities though. We have very long days in the summer because of being at the 45th parallel the western edge of the Eastern Time zone. Day light until 10:30PM in the summer. You owe it to yourself to check out the Traverse City area, boating and Life is awesome up here.

2017 Moomba Craz

Stazi
10-21-2017, 02:07 PM
Traverse Bay is awesome. When I was there a month ago I couldn't believe the glass for as far as the eye could see, and not one wakeboard out there? WTF?! I would be able to surf and wakeboard for miles and never need to turn.


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NOMITC74
10-21-2017, 02:52 PM
We have been going to Torch Lake lately its Deep 200 ft +. It has a great sand bar to hang out at. The bay on a calm day is great to surf on. Deep and like you said uninterupted surf. I will post some pics if I can figure out how to.

2017 Moomba Craz

NOMITC74
10-21-2017, 03:33 PM
Torch Lake Sand Bar

rdlangston13
10-22-2017, 08:53 AM
I second KG and Dusty with the Hot Springs, AR. My wife and I said if we ever left TX that is where we would choose to go.

That being said you may want to check out central Texas. Lake LBJ is a constant level lake on the Colorado river with some awesome houses on the banks. It's far enough away from Austin to not deal with their traffic everyday but close enough that if you want to go into the big city for something it is not too far away. The northern part of the lake around Kingsland is pretty narrow as it actually just the Colorado River and it can be good for wakeboarding and surfing as long as its not too crowded. The Texas hill country is also some of the prettiest land around.