ohio is really cheap, we went through a town that had houses at $54,000, but there really isn't anything there. with all the fires, earthquake potential, storms, mudslides etc, california seems to have, i wouldn't want to go there myself.
My brother just moved away from there up to Washington State. The taxes in CA are outrageous (check out car registrations, hundreds of dollars) and he said Fresno was going downhill. The plus side, though is that it is just a couple hours from Yosemite and other beautiful sites in Northern CA.
considering how the climate is changing, i wouldn't worry too much about snow fall. i wouldn't want to live in ohio either... sorry ohion's? i heard new mexico is nice, good for allergies, i don't think the desert has much snow. you just have to learn new spanish.
Have you considered Arizona? Tucson is very affordable relative to anywhere in California and though it has some crime issues in some areas it also has some really nice areas in and around the city. The summers are extremely hot but the thunderstorms in July and August provide some relief and the daily high of rarely under 60 degrees in the winter. Phoenix is hotter, flatter and more expensive but has a lot more to "do." Though Tucson is similar in size to the Fresno metro I think.
Everyone comes to Florida when they retire, yeah hurricanes are devastating but the weather is nice other wise. I feel like I'm on vacation every day since I've been living in Crystal River for the past 14 years.
Moving to Florida at the end of this month.... and into a hurricane proof building. I just can't afford Cali anymore, after 24 yrs here.... makes me sad, but at least I'll be next to family... which is the only reason I'm going to Florida. I hate hot and humid.
Hmmm, hurricane proof building? I didn't know such a thing existed. I remember that Homestead Air force base had some bunkers that were rated for 200+ mph winds and more and they got destroyed during hurricane Andrew in 1992.
What is your purpose? Lowest cost of living, quality of life? Is this a "bottom line" kinda thing? There are places in upstate NY that are cheap. Places ALL over America that are cheap?
Here's a cheap alternative. Buy a used Bluebird/Wanderlodge RV, 40 feet, anything from the 80's, around $50,000, might need some work, tires, batteries but the diesel engines are usually fine. Stay in parks and also travel. May need a "towed", which is the small car that is pulled behind, which you may already have.
Fresno is a city in California's San Joaquin Valley. Created in the early 1900s, Forestiere Underground Gardens consists of Roman-catacombs-inspired subterranean passages and courtyards. Fresno Chaffee Zoo has sea lions and a stingray touch pool. Sprawling, trail-lined Woodward Park is home to the Shinzen Japanese Garden. The city is a base for Yosemite National Park, with its waterfalls and giant rock formations.
If you suss out which neighborhood is safe enough, sounds like a good move.
I would avoid Florida. I like to visit FL, but living there is a different kettle of fish.
I would consider AZ. I would also consider UT and CO. But you want no snow.
I live in Fresno. I hate it. There are only two seasons, very hot and foggy. We get on average .01 inches of rain from May to October and the temps are in the 95-105 range all summer. In the "rainy season" we tend to get a very thick Tule fog for several days after a rain event. You literally cannot see more than a few feet in front of you when driving. We also have some of the worst air quality in the country. Bakersfield's air is actually worse. Taxes anywhere in CA are too high. Traffic isn't too bad here, though. The cost of living is lower here than most places in CA.
As some others have noted, on the plus side is that we are about 2 hours from 3 National Parks and a day's drive from 3 or 4 more. The coast is also only about a 3 hour drive and does make for some nice day trips.
It's going to be about 6 months between the day the house closes and when I'll get my half of the inheritance.
In the meantime I'll have to get a job and pay rent somewhere.
Bakersfield has the best ratio between minimum wage and cost of living and Fresno comes in second.
I can't rely on getting a job that pays above the minimum wage to start and since it takes a couple of years to build a portrait photo business, if one can at all in this new economy, I can't rely on that either. Fresno seems to be a bit more cosmopolitan than Bakersfield.
As I said in other posts, I want to avoid snow.
I also have friends and relatives living from San Diego to San Francisco who I'd like to see more often.
I actually applied for a studio photographer position with Norwegian Cruise Lines on a ship that does a circuit of the Hawaiian islands.
They offered me a position as one of the roving photographers, but that only paid $7.25 an hour and you have to spend time wearing a mascot costume. Not doing that at 56 years old.
On the studio photographers salary I could have lived in Hawaii. On the roving photographers pay I could live in a box somewhere.
It's not just a case of no snow. It's cost of living vs the local minimum wage. There are a lot of places that have good weather, but their minimum wages are low and things like food costs, utilities, rents, etc are much higher.
You might consider Southern Utah. Saint George isn't cheap but there are nearby cities and towns that are, you could live in one of those and commute to Saint George which has really exploded in recent years. It's not no snow, but snowfall is very minimal.
I live 30 miles from Fresno in the foothills on the highway to Yosemite. I’ve been here 20 years. I spent the previous 20 years in Sacramento, (a good place to live also.)
Bakersfield no because the bad air alone isn’t worth it.
I like the area. It’s still close to a city for me. I make the drive regularly. Fresno is like any city if you stay out of the bad areas then there is no problem.
Clovis which borders Fresno is a great and popular place but more expensive.
The area is a hikers paradise. If that is what you like to do then it definitely out weighs the negatives.
I grew up in Orange County and love California despite the higher cost of living.
Google Sperling's Compare Cities, if you haven't already. I had to sell my house in CA and move out of state because the property taxes prevented me from retiring there. Try northern Nevada. No income tax, very low property taxes, no estate or inheritance tax, etc. Good luck!
Choice between Fresno and Bakersfield. Fresno. It's close to God's country! Big enough reason!
I had a retail store in Bakersfield for seven years. I hated the place. Nasty weather and tight wads. I was dancing out of there when my lease came up. Never wanted to go back. Had to a couple of times... and hated every moment of it.
DS, I'm pretty sure nobody in a well populated area in Utah is making anywhere close to min wage right now except maybe wait staff who make it up and then some on tips. I've heard many fast food joints are starting at $11-12.
I guess if you’re a downtown kind of person, it may work. It could be interesting. I don’t mean Mayberry. I don’t go there much but do like to visit. There are some good venues. I’ve walked around the Mural District but not an expert on it.
I participated in the “Sierra Art Trails” the last 2 years. Everyone hangs their work at the “K Jewel Radio station” art gallery to kick off the open studio event. They have ArtHop event there also. Two Thursday nights a month throughout the city.
They are trying to revive downtown like many cities seem to be. They just finished renovating the Fulton Mall area which included Art installations. I’m glad to see it.
It’s a mix like many downtowns. Homeless, professionals, artists and well.....
Nice old architecture of course.
There’s a reason it is kind of cheap.
I wont be moving down there....
Housing is tight in California in general.
Considering that I spent much of my free time from 1982 -2014 in Manhattan, including basically living in my photo studios on W28th and W26th 3 - 4 days a week for 7 years from 1994 - 2001, I guess you could consider me a downtown kind of person. Even during the 18 months I spent in NH in the last 2 1/2 years I spent as much time as I could in Dover and Portsmouth.
Portsmouth, NH has a major problem in that the entire riverfront is being filled with $1,000,000+ condo apartments that are only occupied a few weeks a year. The local economy is being devastated because all the locals have been forced out as much as an hour or more drive away. What retail businesses are holding on can't get employees because they can't afford to travel, especially since there's no public transportation to speak of. Rentals in the seacoast area are almost as high priced as in the outer boros of NY and apartments in Portsmouth proper are as high as Manhattan.
I was in Fresno last week. Personally, I would never trade Idaho Falls for any California location. But the close proximity to 3 national parks, including Yosemite would be appealing. The area I stopped for fuel and food was NOT appealing. But I am sure other areas are better, If you like avocados, 6 for a dollar may be perfect. As for studio prospects, I usually find areas within close proximity to national parks to have an abundance of photographers. But there may be a reasonable market there. I definitely love the scenery of California. The cost of living expenses are what drive Californians to Idaho every day. Best of luck in your choice. You won't have to settle for minimum wage there, or in most western locations. My wife manages a local hotel. You can't retain any decent employees with the minimum wage. Walmart and McDonalds pay considerably more.
Greg - if you were on Highway 99 at your fuel stop, then yes, that is not an ideal area. Any stop off the 99 in Fresno is not a good area of town. Yes, Idaho Falls is MUCH nicer and I would trade my 3 National Parks here for the 2 nearest you. :)
David - Downtown is a place that most of Fresno avoids after 5pm, unless they are going to a ball game. A lot of downtown is rundown and has been abandoned for decades. They have been trying to revitalize it for more than 20 years and very little has changed. For what you are looking for, the Tower District might be better. It is a more artsy and eclectic part of town. Still not a great part of Fresno, but much better than downtown and more foot traffic, too.
If you are set on the Central Valley I recommend checking out Chico and Davis in the northern half of the valley. Sacramento might also be worth a look. Air pollution tends to back up against the mountains in the Bakersfield and Fresno areas in the summer. I lived in Chico for many years and liked it overall but I wanted a change from the hot summers. Chico's downtown is charming, the university is adjacent to downtown, and Bidwell Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the country.
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