Semi-Retire in Temecula in 2012

User Forum Topic
Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 9:10am

I am looking to semi-retire somewhere affordable and with great weather. Great weather is subjective, but for me that means no winter, sunny a lot, and warm/hot summers.

I am 37 years old, which is why I'm not talking about full blown retirement. I am a programmer (video game field) and working from home. I think I could continue to work from home in a semi-retirement fashion.

I was in a very good situation last year, with 1M between my 401K and savings. I've stayed fully invested through the market downturns, so I am considerably less well off. Still, I planned to keep this money in the market long-term and live off dividends eventually.

I'm interested in feedback from people on the following assumptions about settling in the Temecula area in a few years (note: I currently reside in Austin, TX)

- can get a quality 2500 sq ft home in desirable area for under $100 per sq ft

- find a house with no mello roos and low (or no) HOA fees

- property taxes will be not bad at 1%

- utility costs will be relatively cheap due to mild weather, excepting electric bills in summer

- can get by without owning a car (can rent car when needed)

- lots of opportunities for outdoor activities, esp. running

- high state tax won't have big impact for me since income will be relatively low (~30K dividends/yr, plus whatever supplemental income from contract work)

- heath insurance? I'm healthy with no history of health issues. Probably just need catastrophic insurance.

Thoughts?

Submitted by bsrsharma on January 22, 2009 - 9:30am.

Have you looked at Florida? FL seems to be on a steep decline too (RE price wise) and might be a more fun place to retire than Temecula. But, if you want financial freedom and fun, why not buy a high end RV and enjoy a mobile lifestyle? Home ownership is more of a family lifestyle and not much fun at all as a hobby for retirement.

Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 10:12am.

FL is too humid in the summer for me, also don't like the idea of high insurance costs.

Regarding the RV idea -- it's not for me. I want a solid place to call home. Although I don't have a family, I just might at some point.

Submitted by Nor-LA-SD-guy on January 22, 2009 - 10:13am.

can get a quality 2500 sq ft home in desirable area for under $100 per sq ft

Yes

- utility costs will be relatively cheap due to mild weather, excepting electric bills in summer

Yes

can get by without owning a car (can rent car when needed)

No

2012 --- No one can say for sure but I think if you want these deals (less than 100 sqf) you better step on it IMO.

SD Beaches about 55 minutes to the nice ones (on the weekends, traffic during the week).
Good luck,

Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 10:17am.

Nor-LA-SD-guy wrote:

can get by without owning a car (can rent car when needed)

No

I'm curious why you say this?

With amazon.com, I can get practically everything I need delivered (without delivery cost or sales tax) except groceries.

Good weather means I can use a bike year-round.

If I have to run errands that require a car, that's where the rental comes in. Maybe rent a car once or twice a months for 1 day at a time.

Am I crazy?

Submitted by temeculaguy on January 22, 2009 - 10:26am.

#1 Yes, sub $100 is the norm for that size, the larger the house, the lower the ppsf

#2 Maybe, the more desirable areas have hoa's, they vary from $30 a month the $150, most are on the low side, just a few have high hoa's and they have fantastic amenities for that. Here is what $150 gets you http://www.previewfirst.com/mls/video/4696

#3 No-you will not find pure 1%, because of the voter approved bonds. They are fixed yearly fees but every house pays something between $500 and $3000 a year above the 1% based on where it is, not the value, these fees don't go up unless the voters approve more stuff. This includes your trash bill which is paid through taxes in the city.

#4, Yes, water and gas are dirt cheap ($50 a month), electric will be a few hundred in summer.

#5, NO, absolutely not. Cars are like shoes in So Cal, especially in the burbs. For a suburb it does have an unusually large amount of cabs, due to having one of the largest casinos in so cal. Since there are dozens of cabs on duty at any one time, getting one is easy and quick, even if you aren't going to/coming from the casino just because they are nearby. I cab it home sometimes from bars, it's cheap and quick, but I would never live here without a car. Just buy a cheap used one.

#6, Yes, outdoor activity is pretty much a year round thing, this holds true for almost all of So Cal.

#7 and #8 weren't really questions.

If you don't have kids and don't want a car, I'm not sure this is the town for you. Downtown or NothPark/Hillcrest/Mission hills are much better suited for a pedestrian lifestyle but you wont find the sq ft for the price you are looking for.

Submitted by Nor-LA-SD-guy on January 22, 2009 - 10:30am.

"I'm curious why you say this?"

Maybe if you get a place next to the Mall.

Otherwize it is a busy and growing town (even now), with lots of traffic (that seem to like to move at Texas speeds)

Come vist the casino, rent a car drive around and you will see.

Submitted by 34f3f3f on January 22, 2009 - 10:31am.

Haha! No you're not crazy, but the suggestion to a Californian of not owning a car is complete anathema. It's true that some places are a little remote and you may find it a bit inconvenient, but if you are walking distance to a supermarket, and there is at least some form of public transportation, then just renting a car for major trips could work I guess. Californian suburbia was built around the car, so you may have a bit of a battle on your hands. Good luck!

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on January 22, 2009 - 10:38am.

Have you considered downtown. That is a place you can surely live without a car 90% of the time or more. I don't know if the prices will get to the same point, but maybe you'll be able to get a 1400 sf condo downtown for the price of a 2500 sf house in Temecula at some point.
The big negative though is the HOA's which will at least track inflation over the bext 30-40 year of your "semi" retirement.
I would at least consider it an option.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 22, 2009 - 10:45am.

In California No Car=No Life

Cannot live without one here. There is too much to see and do in SoCal Depending upon a rental car or public transportation would be maddening.

Submitted by coxapple on January 22, 2009 - 11:04am.

Hey, what's wrong with San Antonio.

Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 11:21am.

FormerSanDiegan wrote:
Have you considered downtown. ouse in Temecula at some point.That is a place you can surely live without a car 90% of the time or more.

I don't care to live in a downtown area. I prefer placid burbs, with proximity to a nice rec center like TG gave a link to. I could spring $150/month for something like that, as I would use it practically every day.

I am a homebody type person, who also likes to engage in outdoor activities. I don't care to visit bars, fancy restaurants, etc.

I want to live somewhere I can have access to good running/walking routes (by good I mean quiet, close to nature type of thing).

Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 11:24am.

coxapple wrote:
Hey, what's wrong with San Antonio.

Too hot in the summer.

Property tax is too high.

No reasonable proximity to oceans or mountains.

Submitted by UCGal on January 22, 2009 - 1:30pm.

Temecula isn't close to the ocean or mountains if you don't have a car.

Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 2:48pm.

UCGal wrote:
Temecula isn't close to the ocean or mountains if you don't have a car.

I don't expect to visit the beach or mountains all the time. Maybe every other week-end or something, and a rental would suffice for that.

Submitted by barnaby33 on January 22, 2009 - 3:15pm.

I'd say that based on your requirements, Mission Hills, Hillcrest and Northpark are indeed more what you are looking for. Its pretty much the only place in SD where you can live without a car. Even downtown requires a car to get around more than Hillcrest. Its not going to be 100 a square though, not for anything nice and certainly not in that price range.
Josh

Submitted by patientlywaiting on January 22, 2009 - 3:25pm.

How about Oceanside? You can get good deals in Oceanside right now.

Submitted by sdduuuude on January 22, 2009 - 4:48pm.

Why not get a place on the coast in Oregon or in the Mountains for the Summer and a place in Tucson/Phoenix for the Winter ?

Submitted by Nor-LA-SD-guy on January 22, 2009 - 6:48pm.

sdduuuude wrote:
Why not get a place on the coast in Oregon or in the Mountains for the Summer and a place in Tucson/Phoenix for the Winter ?

Unless we are talking Condo's I think you would have upkeep issues esp with the place on the coast in Oregon.

Real weather can be hard on a house. then you have mold (need someone to run the central air just to keep the mosture down inside your place) unless you are a ways off the coast maybe.

I think we get spoiled here in SoCal in terms of home maintenance (unless you are right on the beach then upkeep, mold and rust can be real issues to deal with even here).

Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 8:20pm.

sdduuuude wrote:
Why not get a place on the coast in Oregon or in the Mountains for the Summer and a place in Tucson/Phoenix for the Winter ?

That sounds interesting, but I wouldn't want the cost/worry of two homes. I want to find the one idea spot, and maybe take a vacation once in a while.

Submitted by ice9 on January 22, 2009 - 8:22pm.

patientlywaiting wrote:
How about Oceanside? You can get good deals in Oceanside right now.

It seems like Oceanside gets a bad rap from people (but I base this entirely on comments from this site).

It is an area I would look at though, if and when I visit the SD area.

Submitted by 34f3f3f on January 23, 2009 - 9:30am.

Just renting a car is a good idea. If you add up the cost of loan repayments, depreciation, tax, and insurance and divide it my the number of times you actually use a car you probably come up with a silly ratio, but there will be a usage point where renting becomes financially much more feasible. I'd look for a car rental firm that would hold open an account, so you don't need to do all the same paperwork each time. They just drop off the keys, and bill you monthly.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on January 23, 2009 - 9:59am.

I would much rather live in Oceanside than Temecula if lower cost of housing is the consideration. The weather and location are better, especially for a single semi-retired person.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on January 23, 2009 - 10:00am.

qwerty007 wrote:
I'd look for a car rental firm that would hold open an account, so you don't need to do all the same paperwork each time. They just drop off the keys, and bill you monthly.

Enterprise. They will pick you up also.

Submitted by eclipxe on January 23, 2009 - 12:37pm.

patientlywaiting wrote:
I would much rather live in Oceanside than Temecula if lower cost of housing is the consideration. The weather and location are better, especially for a single semi-retired person.

I wouldn't.

So there.

(Sorry tg, too tired to defend properly. My deepest apologies)

Submitted by eclipxe on January 23, 2009 - 12:48pm.

eclipxe wrote:
patientlywaiting wrote:
I would much rather live in Oceanside than Temecula if lower cost of housing is the consideration. The weather and location are better, especially for a single semi-retired person.

I wouldn't.

So there.

(Sorry tg, too tired to defend properly. My deepest apologies)

Ok, sorry I have to give it a try.

Temecula is a good choice. 2500 sq ft, new construction $100 sqft. Boom.

Access to good hiking and trails, lot's of outdoor space, nature - yes. You will love it.

You will not be able to experience a lot of things without a private car, but this city is a dream to bike in. Bike lanes and trails through a lot of the city. There is a trail that goes through Murrieta, by CHS high school, Harveston, by the mall and out to Winchester. It is next to a ravine and a nice, well paved ride. You can get to any type of service you need in a few minutes by bike along this trail, without having to deal with the bike lanes on the road (which aren't bad).

A cab will suffice to get to further locations (Old Town, etc). Living in central or northern Temecula is best if cycling access is desired.

A rental car to the beach a couple of times a month or to go to SD or LA is a fair option. I'm also a software guy that works at home in Temecula and I rarely drive. Like you said - Amazon is our friend. Vons delivers (they even take the bags in for you).

I think I understand exactly the kind of lifestyle you desire and I'm here to say Temecula fits that. Peaceful, quiet, nature but with enough access to the beach and cities to keep you sane. The folks suggesting Hillcrest, Mission Hills or Downtown don't really "get it".

Submitted by eclipxe on January 23, 2009 - 12:54pm.

And I forgot - as a software guy and I assume a gamer - we have FIOS here.

20 mbps down and UP, low latency. $50/mo. You can even get 50 mbps out here now.

Plus uncompressed HDTV over FIOS. If you're a techie (and work at home) Temecula/Murrieta is awesome.

Submitted by unbiasedobserver on January 23, 2009 - 2:00pm.

RE- heath insurance? I'm healthy with no history of health issues. Probably just need catastrophic insurance.

My best friend and one of my aunts were also healthy right up until the day they were diagnosed with cancer in their 30's.

Submitted by ice9 on January 23, 2009 - 2:41pm.

eclipxe wrote:
eclipxe wrote:
patientlywaiting wrote:
I would much rather live in Oceanside than Temecula if lower cost of housing is the consideration. The weather and location are better, especially for a single semi-retired person.

I wouldn't.

So there.

(Sorry tg, too tired to defend properly. My deepest apologies)

Ok, sorry I have to give it a try.

Temecula is a good choice. 2500 sq ft, new construction $100 sqft. Boom.

Access to good hiking and trails, lot's of outdoor space, nature - yes. You will love it.

You will not be able to experience a lot of things without a private car, but this city is a dream to bike in. Bike lanes and trails through a lot of the city. There is a trail that goes through Murrieta, by CHS high school, Harveston, by the mall and out to Winchester. It is next to a ravine and a nice, well paved ride. You can get to any type of service you need in a few minutes by bike along this trail, without having to deal with the bike lanes on the road (which aren't bad).

A cab will suffice to get to further locations (Old Town, etc). Living in central or northern Temecula is best if cycling access is desired.

A rental car to the beach a couple of times a month or to go to SD or LA is a fair option. I'm also a software guy that works at home in Temecula and I rarely drive. Like you said - Amazon is our friend. Vons delivers (they even take the bags in for you).

I think I understand exactly the kind of lifestyle you desire and I'm here to say Temecula fits that. Peaceful, quiet, nature but with enough access to the beach and cities to keep you sane. The folks suggesting Hillcrest, Mission Hills or Downtown don't really "get it".

Thanks for this information!

If you were female, I'd ask you to marry me.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on January 23, 2009 - 2:59pm.

Ice9: I live in Fallbrook, right below Temecula, and do nearly all of my major shopping there.

A couple of things that are also worth mentioning about Temecula: Fairly high income/standard of living (above the US average), same with education and a very diverse workforce. I bring this up, because it appears Temecula is well sited (geographically and demographically) for a comeback, once things start to turn around, economically speaking.

While I love the community I live in, I would definitely consider living in Temecula, if I didn't live here.

Submitted by AK on January 23, 2009 - 5:40pm.

It's been a while since I've had close acquaintance with the video/computer gaming industry, but from what I remember it's a tough way to make a living. I'm sure you earned every cent of your stash.

Here are some of my thoughts. This is no slam on Temecula, which is a nice town with some of my favorite restaurants. My thoughts reflect California and suburbia in general ...

1. No car: Based on my experience in various parts of CA, you'll be considered a freak or worse and you'll draw unwanted attention from your neighbors and from law enforcement. Seriously, try being a single male walking around a suburb any time of day or night, especially if you fit some ethnic profile or another.

Most areas aren't pedestrian-friendly. Where bike lanes and bikeways exist they tend to be for recreational purposes and are all but useless for functional transportation, though others have mentioned a few bike-friendly developments.

2. Utility bills: Expect to pay dearly for electricity.

3. Outdoor recreation: Look for an area with good air quality. Around here that means coastal areas.

4. Insurance: CA is a lousy place to get an individual policy.

5. FIOS: You lucky so-and-sos.

If you can live with a smaller house (also cheaper to heat and cool) you might be happier with something along the SR-78 corridor. There you'll have better access to public transportation and recreational opportunities.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.