Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
percy
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:35 pm

Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by percy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:42 pm

I'm currently living in an apartment rental in CA, and have inherited some money; on top of my retirement fund I have around $120k with a bit more on the way. I'm thinking about doing longterm traveling/being nomadic overseas, and I had the idea of getting an inexpensive condo or house, to store the small amount of stuff I have (I don't have a ton, but there are a few things I definitely want to keep), and to maintain a U.S. address. Additionally the though of the property being an investment is nice, though I don't consider real estate a sure thing.

I have a couple friends in Milwaukee, WI (and many more in Chicago, a couple hours away), and noticed there are some surprisingly inexpensive houses (many for less than $100k) in the MKE area (the economy and unemployment is a bit worse there compared to the rest of the country, but the city is very vibrant; it's no Detroit). Though maybe a condo would work better; if I have a house without someone renting it, it will be obviously vacant, maybe not so much with a condo, depending on the size of the building.

Anyone have thoughts about buying property in the Milwaukee area? Any other suggestions of places to look, anywhere in the country, but especially, MKE, Chicago, California, Pacific Northwest? Or other thoughts in general? Thanks.

Gill
Posts: 4200
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Gill » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:45 pm

Why not just get a storage unit?
Gill

Dottie57
Posts: 3300
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:05 pm

How much time per year will you be nomadic? Where do you want to be when not traveling?

truenorth418
Posts: 353
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:38 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by truenorth418 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:10 pm

I am considering a similar path. I will be interested to read comments on this one.

If you are considering the purchase of a condo or house as a "home base", don't forget there are significant expenses associated with home ownership. First, there are all the expenses that come with purchasing the property. Then there are the ongoing "carrying costs" - maintenance, HOA fees, property taxes. You hope those don't increase much but you never know. And then if you are planning to sell the place after a few years, the transaction costs associated with home sales are likely to be 6-10% of the sale price. And there is no guarantee that the property will increase in value during the short time you have it. This place is liable to be your "legal domicile", so state and local income taxes must be factored in.

(edit) Also, if you anticipate spending significant chunks of time at this "home base" between your trips, you should consider a location that's truly of interest to you so you can enjoy your time there. There is no sense just stewing in your dumpy little condo for weeks at a time while you are waiting for your next exciting trip overseas. So pick a home base which has at least some appeal to you.

Therefore, if you are looking to make this kind of commitment, I would recommend you think about buying a place you are more likely to have an interest in living in for a longer term, say 6 years or more, when you return from your travels. And one with a good chance of price appreciation, to improve the chances that the value of your property will increase and "break even" during the period you will own it. There are no guarantees obviously.

Considering all of these factors, I would suggest you look at Texas or Florida, where taxes and expenses are pretty reasonable and home values have been increasing. Since air travel is important to you, maybe consider the suburbs around hub cities like Miami, Dallas or Houston, with easy access to the airports. Las Vegas might also be a good option.

On the other hand, if you are planning to travel for only a couple of years, it might be better to forget about buying altogether - rent a small storage space and hire a mailing service that can double as your legal address. This approach might provide more flexibility and fewer headaches in the long run. Again, Florida and Texas have plenty of these services according to my Google searches. The drawback with this approach is that you would still need a place to park the money you would have spent on a home - but where to invest for the couple of years you will be traveling? Stocks may be highly valued at the moment, while interest rate son savings accounts and bond funds are still pretty lousy.

In my case I would prefer to own an actual piece of real estate i.e. a small condo as my "home base" while I am away but I am struggling with finding one that meets all of the criteria I described here.

gougou
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:42 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by gougou » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:18 pm

Do you know this city Milwaukee very well? A quick look up on Wikipedia shows that the population has been decreasing for the past 40 years (from 740K to 590K) and this is never a good thing for real estate prices.

In California it's hard to find sub $100K houses. But houses in the Central Valley are much more affordable than the coastal areas. For example, in Fresno, CA you can probably get a small house for under $200K in a reasonable area or a small condo for maybe $60K. The city has an airport and will have high speed rail in the future. Probably better weather than Milwaukee depending on your taste. And its population has been increasing.

percy
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by percy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:19 pm

Gill wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:45 pm
Why not just get a storage unit?
Gill
They're expensive, around $80-100/month I think...also, wouldn't provide me with an address, or place to stay when I'm in town.
Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:05 pm
How much time per year will you be nomadic? Where do you want to be when not traveling?
Not sure; probably 3/4 of the year or so. I would be in the house or condo when not traveling.
gougou wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:18 pm
Do you know this city Milwaukee very well? A quick look up on Wikipedia shows that the population has been decreasing for the past 40 years (from 740K to 590K) and this is never a good thing for real estate prices.

In California it's hard to find sub $100K houses. But houses in the Central Valley are much more affordable than the coastal areas. For example, in Fresno, CA you can probably get a small house for under $200K in a reasonable area or a small condo for maybe $60K. The city has an airport and will have high speed rail in the future. Probably better weather than Milwaukee depending on your taste. And its population has been increasing.
I've been in the lakefront area, near the art museum a bunch of times. The decline in population seems to be good for buying price, but presumably wouldn't be good investmentwise, though that's definitely not the main purpose. Do you think it's the local economy that's causing the decline in population, or ?

Yeah, CA is steep, but I'll look into Fresno.

percy
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by percy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:24 pm

truenorth418 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:10 pm
I am considering a similar path. I will be interested to read comments on this one.

If you are considering the purchase of a condo or house as a "home base", don't forget there are significant expenses associated with home ownership. First, there are all the expenses that come with purchasing the property. Then there are the ongoing "carrying costs" - maintenance, HOA fees, property taxes. You hope those don't increase much but you never know. And then if you are planning to sell the place after a few years, the transaction costs associated with home sales are likely to be 6-10% of the sale price. And there is no guarantee that the property will increase in value during the short time you have it. This place is liable to be your "legal domicile", so state and local income taxes must be factored in.

(edit) Also, if you anticipate spending significant chunks of time at this "home base" between your trips, you should consider a location that's truly of interest to you so you can enjoy your time there. There is no sense just stewing in your dumpy little condo for weeks at a time while you are waiting for your next exciting trip overseas. So pick a home base which has at least some appeal to you.

Therefore, if you are looking to make this kind of commitment, I would recommend you think about buying a place you are more likely to have an interest in living in for a longer term, say 6 years or more, when you return from your travels. And one with a good chance of price appreciation, to improve the chances that the value of your property will increase and "break even" during the period you will own it. There are no guarantees obviously.

Considering all of these factors, I would suggest you look at Texas or Florida, where taxes and expenses are pretty reasonable and home values have been increasing. Since air travel is important to you, maybe consider the suburbs around hub cities like Miami, Dallas or Houston, with easy access to the airports. Las Vegas might also be a good option.

On the other hand, if you are planning to travel for only a couple of years, it might be better to forget about buying altogether - rent a small storage space and hire a mailing service that can double as your legal address. This approach might provide more flexibility and fewer headaches in the long run. Again, Florida and Texas have plenty of these services according to my Google searches. The drawback with this approach is that you would still need a place to park the money you would have spent on a home - but where to invest for the couple of years you will be traveling? Stocks may be highly valued at the moment, while interest rate son savings accounts and bond funds are still pretty lousy.

In my case I would prefer to own an actual piece of real estate i.e. a small condo as my "home base" while I am away but I am struggling with finding one that meets all of the criteria I described here.
Thanks for the reply, a lot to ponder here. By the way, the investment aspect is secondary; definitely not the main reason for considering property.
Last edited by percy on Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

123
Posts: 3187
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by 123 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:25 pm

I'd be concerned about moving to a substantially different climate, particularly if you're accustomed to California. Multiple seasons can be a nice change but in some areas the seasons can be severe.

If I were you I'd be tempted to stay put until you see how well you tolerate the nomadic "bug". Perhaps trips of a month or two will do you will and you'll be ready to return to your same apartment. In my younger years I took a 2 month overseas trip and after I was away for a month I began to wander why I really needed anything that was back in my apartment, I did just fine with a backpack and suitcase in those days. Nevertheless it was good to get back home. If I were you I wouldn't relocate until you're sure it's the right decision, it can be difficult, tedious, and costly to undo.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 4413
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:15 pm

Consider a condo with a secure parking garage and storage vs a townhouse or single family home. Security. No maintenance. However, property tax, monthly HOA/Maintenance fees, property insurance. VS a storage unit.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 1946
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:20 pm

You can easily be away from a condo for months doing little more than paying the bills. This is never true of a standalone house, which will require, at minimum, landscape maintenance.

In either case, find out from your insurance company whether they require regular checks of the property. This will certainly be required for a standalone house. Insurance companies know that unoccupied houses are more likely to be vandalized and be damaged unrepaired from water leaks, etc.

heybro
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by heybro » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:22 pm

Have you ever lived in a condo before?

HOA fees are no joke and they can hit you with an assessment at any time for anything.

A storage unit + post office box rental (or UPS box rental) + long term rentals (month to month) will save you in the long run.

Plus, it may be a perfect time to get rid of stuff if you can!

Condos are just such a scary beast. They rarely increase in value, they decrease very easily in value, and it is essentially a house that you do need to be around to care for, etc. I mean, who is getting your mail when you are not there? Who is turning on the heat or looking after the place? A few notices on your door and you are suddenly a target for a break-in. What about snow removal off your deck....I mean, a headache with no reward, in my opinion.

percy
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by percy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:41 pm

Thanks for the feedback, folks.

Lonestarz
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:40 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Lonestarz » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:55 pm

I agree with the take a trip or two before you go. If that pans out I would do storage - paying for 3/4 year unused?

What about renting a room from a friend - people with garage apartments or back yard guest houses to store your stuff for like $500/mo and you can stay there for 4 months between trips. You won’t Travel forever then figure out where you want to live. I wouldn’t just pick up and buy because it’s cheaper unless there where reasons to move there.

I plan to get rid of all my things and Travel for a good while. I’m out on a multi week trip now and working with 3 changes of clothes - wash in the shower each night with quick dry by morning. Things only slow you down - I like to make due with less

percy
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by percy » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:26 am

Lonestarz wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:55 pm
I agree with the take a trip or two before you go. If that pans out I would do storage - paying for 3/4 year unused?

What about renting a room from a friend - people with garage apartments or back yard guest houses to store your stuff for like $500/mo and you can stay there for 4 months between trips. You won’t Travel forever then figure out where you want to live. I wouldn’t just pick up and buy because it’s cheaper unless there where reasons to move there.

I plan to get rid of all my things and Travel for a good while. I’m out on a multi week trip now and working with 3 changes of clothes - wash in the shower each night with quick dry by morning. Things only slow you down - I like to make due with less

I traveled in SE Asia and Oceania a few years back for 5 months, with only what I could carry in a backpack and shoulder bag, lived cheaply and really loved it. Found places I'd love to live, or at least stay for extended periods of time.

Not crazy about the idea of spending $500/month for storage...

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 4413
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:34 am

I have stored personal belongings (crates) for "friends" in my office building for years, sometimes decades. One of them travelled the world for 30 years before I had to call him up to "get his stuff" because I was selling the building. This is a "free" alternative but you have to have friends or relatives that have a secure place to store your things.
This is one option.
Hope this is helpful. :D

denovo
Posts: 4026
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by denovo » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:59 am

percy wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:41 pm
Thanks for the feedback, folks.

Get a storage. Use a friend or family's address for mailing, but put everything on paperless to eliminate any inconvenience for them. Get short-term rentals when in the US through AIRBNB, craigslist, etc. Owning a home/condo while not being there for a long time is very difficult to manage and a money pit. Many insurers will balk at covering you.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

gougou
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:42 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by gougou » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:44 am

percy wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:19 pm
gougou wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:18 pm
Do you know this city Milwaukee very well? A quick look up on Wikipedia shows that the population has been decreasing for the past 40 years (from 740K to 590K) and this is never a good thing for real estate prices.

In California it's hard to find sub $100K houses. But houses in the Central Valley are much more affordable than the coastal areas. For example, in Fresno, CA you can probably get a small house for under $200K in a reasonable area or a small condo for maybe $60K. The city has an airport and will have high speed rail in the future. Probably better weather than Milwaukee depending on your taste. And its population has been increasing.
I've been in the lakefront area, near the art museum a bunch of times. The decline in population seems to be good for buying price, but presumably wouldn't be good investmentwise, though that's definitely not the main purpose. Do you think it's the local economy that's causing the decline in population, or ?

Yeah, CA is steep, but I'll look into Fresno.
I don't know much about Milwaukee but yes, I think the local economy was causing people to move away.

I think buying out of state is more risky. Because you are in CA I think you should first look at where you can drive to in a few hours.

I moved from Ontario, Canada to San Francisco 2 years ago and I don't want to live in cold weather anymore :) But keep in mind that the Central Valley is very HOT in summer.

You can possibly buy a house that has an in-law suite and hire a management company to rent out the main house and keep the in-law suite for yourself. This way the property is managed and occupied and you get to reduce expenses or maybe even make some money every month.

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 2095
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:56 am

Have you looked at housing in Thailand or Bali?

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 5154
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Pajamas » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:04 am

heybro wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:22 pm
Condos are just such a scary beast. They rarely increase in value
Do you have any evidence to support that second sentence? It is false.

You may not realize that there are many urban areas in which there are very few single-family dwellings and rental, condo, and co-op apartments are the predominant form of housing and the value of condos and co-ops fluctuates over time similarly to single-family housing in other areas.

User avatar
gasdoc
Posts: 1429
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:26 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by gasdoc » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:32 am

Of the two choices, I would go with the condo because of its low maintenance costs. As an owner of second homes, I am familiar with the costs of maintaining an unoccupied home. Personally, I would rent or lease the "home base," perhaps on a yearly basis. At the end of the year, you can release or walk free.

gasdoc

percy
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:35 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by percy » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:21 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:56 am
Have you looked at housing in Thailand or Bali?
Yes, in Thailand.

Rupert
Posts: 3000
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Rupert » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:39 pm

I have a colleague who recently had to vacate his house (a condo near the ocean) for 8 weeks for medical reasons. When he returned, a rat had eaten its way into the condo via a dishwasher hose. The rat destroyed the dishwasher ($800) and a good chunk of the floor underneath the dishwasher ($$$). (He also ate most of a 10 lb bag of jasmine rice). That's the sort of thing that happens when you leave a house or condo vacant for months at a time. I wouldn't do it unless you are willing to pay someone to care for the house in your absence or would consider renting it out, either as a short-term rental (VRBO, etc.) or sharing it with a full-time roommate.

bob60014
Posts: 344
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:59 pm
Location: The Land Beyond ORD

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by bob60014 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:07 pm

Be aware in year search that Wis. taxes retirement income, other than social security.

renue74
Posts: 1040
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by renue74 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:56 pm

How much stuff do you have? Could you not store it with family?

I read a blog about a retired couple who traveled all the time using AirBnB, Homeaway, etc. "Nomadic retirees."

Why not look for a super cheap state with no state taxes and home base there? Somewhere near a major airport.

I'm not sure how they do their calculations....but I just did a back of the napkin calc, after we pay our house off, yearly expenses to own our home would still hit about $40/night. (insurance, prop taxes, lawncare, utilities, about about $4K in incidentals=$14,500/year)

If you are at home base 1/4 of the year, you could easily Homeaway or do some other short term plan.

I would definitely look into a garage apartment type plan. As a landlord, I would love a tenant who I only see 3 months and still sends his $ on time. :)

User avatar
BolderBoy
Posts: 3879
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by BolderBoy » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:24 pm

percy wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:42 pm
Anyone have thoughts about buying property in the Milwaukee area? Any other suggestions of places to look, anywhere in the country, but especially, MKE, Chicago, California, Pacific Northwest? Or other thoughts in general? Thanks.
Why not pick a no-income-tax state?

When kids join the military the first thing I suggest to them is to gain residency in a no-income-tax state.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Zack59
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:17 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Zack59 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:02 pm

You need to be near a major airport. You can buy a condo in a 55 community in South Florida a short Uber ride to MIA or FLL no income tax state. Less than 50k with maintenance less than $300 a month. An address, a place to put your stuff and car in good active areas to live.

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 2095
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:20 am

percy wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:21 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:56 am
Have you looked at housing in Thailand or Bali?
Yes, in Thailand.
And what did you conclude?

Traveler
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Traveler » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:01 pm

Beware that with some condos, there are limits on the number of properties in the complex that can be rented so you may not be able to buy it and immediately rent it out.

RVosen
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:00 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by RVosen » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:09 pm

Be sure to know the neighborhood you buy anything in. Milwaukee still has some pretty rough areas.
But construction has been booming there for a couple years and overall it is a pretty nice city to visit.

tj
Posts: 2051
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by tj » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:06 pm

HOA fees are no joke and they can hit you with an assessment at any time for anything.
Anything....that your elected neighbors agree is necessary. HOA's are fine and can reduce a lot of your costs, but you have to stay involved and if necessary run for the board to keep out the incompetents.

I'll give you an example. I had a plumber quote removal of old and installing a new toilet. $250.

The maintenance guys on-site can do it for $30/hr and it shouldn't take more than 2.

renue74
Posts: 1040
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by renue74 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:59 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:20 am
percy wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:21 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:56 am
Have you looked at housing in Thailand or Bali?
Yes, in Thailand.
And what did you conclude?
I follow a guy on youtube from NC who moved to Thailand 2 years ago. The guy pays about $500/month for a decent apartment. Yes...in Thailand, you can find super cheap housing, but to be honest, I could probably move to Alabama or some other LCOL state and find housing for $500-$600/month.

The savings of living in Thailand looks like food, phone, utilities.

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 2095
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:17 pm

renue74 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:59 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:20 am
percy wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:21 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:56 am
Have you looked at housing in Thailand or Bali?
Yes, in Thailand.
And what did you conclude?
I follow a guy on youtube from NC who moved to Thailand 2 years ago. The guy pays about $500/month for a decent apartment. Yes...in Thailand, you can find super cheap housing, but to be honest, I could probably move to Alabama or some other LCOL state and find housing for $500-$600/month.

The savings of living in Thailand looks like food, phone, utilities.
Have you been to Thailand?

I don't think anyone who's been to Thailand would compare it to Alabama.

It's far superior on many levels.

For instance, you get access to world class health care for the same cost as your deductible would be in US.
Last edited by unclescrooge on Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tj
Posts: 2051
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by tj » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:03 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:17 pm
renue74 wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:59 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:20 am
percy wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:21 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:56 am
Have you looked at housing in Thailand or Bali?
Yes, in Thailand.
And what did you conclude?
I follow a guy on youtube from NC who moved to Thailand 2 years ago. The guy pays about $500/month for a decent apartment. Yes...in Thailand, you can find super cheap housing, but to be honest, I could probably move to Alabama or some other LCOL state and find housing for $500-$600/month.

The savings of living in Thailand looks like food, phone, utilities.
Have you been to Thailand?
Jason of MrFreeat33.com has moved there.

halfnine
Posts: 848
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by halfnine » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:10 pm

percy wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:42 pm
I'm currently living in an apartment rental in CA, and have inherited some money; on top of my retirement fund I have around $120k with a bit more on the way. I'm thinking about doing longterm traveling/being nomadic overseas, and I had the idea of getting an inexpensive condo or house, to store the small amount of stuff I have (I don't have a ton, but there are a few things I definitely want to keep), and to maintain a U.S. address. Additionally the though of the property being an investment is nice, though I don't consider real estate a sure thing.
I've gone off and traveled long term as well as lived overseas. If I knew then what I know now I would have gotten rid of everything, relocated my domicile to a new state, and setup an address with a mail forwarding company before I left the country the first time. It would have saved a lot of hassle later. But, then again, I didn't know my nomadic life and time abroad would become permanent, either. And, neither do you. So, my recommendation is not to buy a place. Get rid of anything that is easy or cheap to replace and put the rest in storage or ideally leave the stuff with a friend or family member who has space. Get an address with a mail forwarding company as it just makes life easier. Then go give it a year and bump this thread when that time is up.

snowox
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:17 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by snowox » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:11 am

Actually your case on Milwaukee is a bit skewed. Yes Milwaukee itself is declining despite the new basketball stadium for the Bucks being built, the new high rise going up, the lakefront is fabulous but the investment area is just outside of Milwaukee in the small towns just on either side of the interstate between Milwaukee and Chicago. Its going to turn into one big city with Milwaukee taking all the good away from Illinois and leaving the crap there. One business after another is going up for Example Amazon just competed a monster distribution center, Uline has been building one building after another, Ikea is going up and FoxCon is building a huge TV assembly plant and this is just to name a few. There is also a pretty good concentration of lakes on Either side of 94 running between Milwaukee and the State line which is maybe 30-40 miles long not to mention Lake Michigan obviously on the East side of the freeway and you can get some good deals. People from Illinois are moving over the boarder in droves because of the tax difference and the State of Illionois fincancial problems. So check those areas. From South Milwaukee to Racine/Kenosha and the cities /town between like Waterford, kansasville etc.. Not only then do you get to be near 3 airports you also get two cities to enjoy.

fishboat
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by fishboat » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:36 am

+ 1 on the above.

I've lived in the Milwaukee-region for 50+ years and traveled around the US & EU..Milwaukee is a nice town. My former company wanted me to move to Charlotte..I looked at Charlotte on three different trips..I declined the offer to move. There's a number of reasons behind that decision, but Milwaukee and what it has to offer is heads and shoulders above Charlotte..no comparison.

The following is an irresponsible statement..I'll leave it at that.
gougou wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:44 am

...I don't know much about Milwaukee but yes, I think the local economy was causing people to move away.
As with any city..if you're looking for very inexpensive housing, there are good and not so good places to hang your hat. If you look at mean. median, & mode stats (Zillow has massive buckets of downloadable data..if you like to crunch numbers), Milwaukee is in a Chicago-region bubble that raises the floor of home prices. There are many states-regions that have lower median metrics..but that's true anywhere you go..some other areas are higher, some others are lower. If you compare stats between the Milwaukee-region and, say, Appleton..Appleton is a fair bit less expensive.

Another option, if you prefer being close to an urban area, is Madison..also a very nice town. If you like smaller towns..there's a ton to choose from in SE, or S Wisconsin.

OP..if you have questions..feel free to ask.

FlexibleSpender
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:29 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by FlexibleSpender » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:02 am

Do you plan to live there for 3 months straight and then 9 months being nomadic?

How do you feel about getting a two bedroom place and renting out the other room to someone who understands that they will be basically living solo for 3/4 of the year, therefore, you can change a bit more than if you were sharing a place full time.

gougou
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:42 pm
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by gougou » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:48 pm

fishboat wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:36 am
The following is an irresponsible statement..I'll leave it at that.
gougou wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:44 am

...I don't know much about Milwaukee but yes, I think the local economy was causing people to move away.
So why did people move away for the past 40 years in your opinion? Or are you disputing that as well?

Milwaukee is inside or very close to the Rust Belt. There was a loss of manufacturing jobs in the area over a long time. So the local economy was causing people to move away. I can also see swaths of foreclosed houses selling for $10K, $20K, $30K in the suburb. I would not touch this market as a real estate investor myself.

But OP mentioned repeatedly that investment return is not a main concern. So I left out these details, and focused more on the weather, proximity, and possible in-law unit set up to keep the property occupied.

freebeer
Posts: 1964
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by freebeer » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:46 am

Why not get a condo suitable for Airbnb and set it up with a co-host who runs it while you are not there and as part of that also picks up and forwards/stores mail? Then you get income and the place is occupied and you have storage for your stuff. And a permanent US address. https://www.zeonamcintyre.com is a co-hoster recently profiled on MMM blog. Her turf is St Louis so it's not like this is possible only in expensive touristy areas (probably could work in Milwaukee).

And/or use Earthclassmail or similar service. A bit pricy but you get access to PDFs of your physical mail and they will even deposit checks. I used ECM for several years for a business and it was great, allowed our bookkeeper to be remote.

Old Guy
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:20 am

Re: Inexpensive house or condo as home base (MKE?)

Post by Old Guy » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:40 pm

Make sure that you're away from Milwaukee during the winters. It's really really cold there.

Post Reply