[mmr] Re: Change is in the air...

  • From: order <order@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: mmr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 19 May 2021 21:39:35 -0800

On 5/19/21 8:33 PM, Jeremy Lumley (Redacted sender lumley for DMARC) wrote:

Does Google Maps confuse me or is this quite a move south for you eventually? 
West of Seattle?

Way too much detail coming... :-O

Alaska is a beautiful place to live, but a very expensive place to live. And as I get older the light swings, cold, and continuous rainfall are starting to affect me. Sooo...

A couple years ago I started to prioritize what I wanted in a place to live and retire to.

1) Climate. Being a geek I figured I could get all the weather data for the lower 48, sort it based on my criteria and find my happy places. I walked over to my local weather office and got a very quick education from a forecaster who told me I was doing it all wrong! He pointed me to something called Koppen climate classification. Basically it breaks the climate down into categories, sub, and sub-sub categories. Turns out I'm a Csb kind of guy. In other words, I like a Mediterranean climate. :)

This put me on the West coast; Washington, Oregon, and California.

2) No income tax. This can be a huge hit for a retiree. Here in the US, each state sets their own taxes and it will normally be a combination of two of three types of taxes; income, property and sales taxes.

Of the three states above, only Washington has no income tax.

3) Water. I've lived in desert environments and rain forest environments and I definitely lean towards the latter. Too, I think water is one of the most valuable resources so I wanted to be somewhere that rainfall collection, if necessary, would be reasonably possible.

4) Smaller population. I DO NOT like big cities. There are all sorts of negative issues living in or around cities that I just don't want to deal with.

5) Some acreage. Five acres seemed about right, some space to do stuff, elbow room from the neighbors, but not so much it's impossible to keep up with.

6) Relatively close to decent healthcare and shopping resources.

7) Price. I'm cheap, but willing to pay for quality. And I wanted to pay cash, no loan.

Those criteria put me in Washington, west of the Cascade mountains, and south of Olympic National Park. Oregon has no sales tax so being further south would be a bonus. ;)

Area defined, it was time to start searching for property. Found a realtor and that gave me access into the Washington MLS database (where all properties for sale are listed and can be searched). I spent about eight months searching the database nightly. Over time I started to see trends in size, quality, price, and frankly, bullshit. In early January there were six properties that interested me enough to buy a plane ticket to Seattle, rent a car and spend a very long day driving about 500 miles to look at them. None gave me good vibes but it was a good learning experience.

About three weeks ago, another collection of eight properties made it interesting enough to buy another ticket and spend three days driving around looking. On the second day I was headed north to Forks to look at a property and realized I was driving right by one that really wasn't on the list, but it seemed a shame to not at least stop and look.

Well, the stop and look turned into three hours of walking the property, meeting the curious neighbors and getting sunburned. At the end of the three hours I had decided that I had found a definite candidate. Research started and once I satisfied myself that there weren't any show stoppers I made an offer, counter-offer and we close this Friday.

If you've survived this long the address is 61 Axford Prairie Lane. It's a little far north, so it's a Cfb climate (a little more rain in the summer) but I can live with that. It's not right on the coast, so no rusting problems. It's fifteen minutes out of Hoquiam/Aberdeen, which is about 30,000 people with a decent hospital, about 70 miles from Olympia (much larger), about 100 miles to Astoria, Oregon (no sales tax), and about 120 miles to SeaTac airport (the major airport for the region).

Is it perfect? No. But life has taught me that waiting for perfect can be a long wait.

Next up? Survey the property to find the legal corners and work to get it cleared and the land cleaned up. It was logged in 1994 and the slash is still there.

Next year I want to build the shop so I have a secure place to move and keep my tools. It will also allow me to start bringing in the utilities.

The year after, start building the house. Having the shop gives me a place to live while building.

I'm still working and will be for the next five years at a minimum, probably more like eight, so this will get worked on during vacation time. I'm fortunate to accrue a lot every year and have a ton built up to draw on.

Anyways, like I said, way too much detail, but there it is...


BTW, if anyone is interested I have a KMZ file that will put the Koppen data in a visual format on Google Earth. Fascinating to browse around...

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