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Which places in the US have the lowest cost of living?

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.

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Postby Steel » January 20th, 2013, 1:38 am

I would say Tucson is a good cheap place to live.
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Postby Winston » January 23rd, 2013, 4:21 pm

Do any of you know any good real estate websites that list property in the US? My parents use Zillow.com. Is that the best one?

MarkLambo,
We looked up properties in Summerlin, but they were more expensive than in other areas. Why is that?

Does Las Vegas have these salad buffet chains: Fresh Choice, Sweet Tomatoes, Soup Kitchen?

What about Togos or Unos Pizzeria? Does it have a Trader Joes store?
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Postby eurobrat » January 23rd, 2013, 10:24 pm

...
Last edited by eurobrat on May 31st, 2013, 12:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby momopi » January 23rd, 2013, 10:58 pm

Winston wrote:Do any of you know any good real estate websites that list property in the US? My parents use Zillow.com. Is that the best one?


Zillow is a good resource for browsing, but in more competitive areas, you need to be driving around the targeted area often and check for homes that are coming on the market. If you're serious about RE, you need to go and physically look at dozens or more properties to really understand what is a "great deal". Since your parents are retired, they're actually at an advantage where they can spend a lot of time (if they wished) to look during weekdays.

I'm in the process of buying another house and, after couple months of looking on the weekends, I spotted this one that was being renovated by an investor. After inspecting the property and chatting with the contractor, I put a bid in on the house before it was ever listed on MLS.

If that doesn't work for your parents, then I'd suggest finding a good Realtor to assist.
Last edited by momopi on January 24th, 2013, 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby marklambo » January 23rd, 2013, 11:43 pm

Winston wrote:Do any of you know any good real estate websites that list property in the US? My parents use Zillow.com. Is that the best one?

MarkLambo,
We looked up properties in Summerlin, but they were more expensive than in other areas. Why is that?

Does Las Vegas have these salad buffet chains: Fresh Choice, Sweet Tomatoes, Soup Kitchen?

What about Togos or Unos Pizzeria? Does it have a Trader Joes store?


Summerlin is the prime location in Vegas. One of the best areas here. That's why it's more expensive. Check out south west areas/mountain's edge, etc. Yes, Vegas has those chains you mentioned including Trader Joes.

You can also use www.realtor.com to check for properties.
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Postby Winston » March 19th, 2013, 7:34 pm

Hi MarkLambo,
My parents found a home in Vegas. They bought a new home rather than a used home, because the used home sellers were waiting on offers to try to get the highest bid, and it was very competitive. My parents didn't like that kind of hassle, so they just bought a new one instead from a developer. The area it is in is the South West area. Know anything about it?

Here is what my dad told me:

Dear Win,

I did do some research about the resale housing market here. The market is crazy hot and once one house is on the market, buyers pour in and compete the offers for it. The sellers are usually waiting for highest bider before selling. This is what happening in the Vegas and people we met were talking about the same story.

The house we chose is in the South West area, about 5 minutes drive to your Aunt's home. Everybody here wants South West area home, they are mostly new and away from the strip, 10, 15 driving away. I believe we made a good choice. New homes are also very hot in here. Once they are on the market, buyers grab them. By buying new home, we don't need to compete. Whoever the most qualified get the house. Cash is always the most qualified.


What do you think? The developers are called Storybook Homes. Do you know anything about them? Their website is:

http://www.storybookhomes.us/our-communities

They're also considering getting a second home as an investment. What do you think? Here is what he told me:

Dear Win,

Since we have already bought a new home and still have some cash left. I continued search on Ziprealty.com for homes in Henderson area, just for fun. I found this relative new home with good size and good price. I thought maybe we buy this home as an investment and for some income. Because it is in Henderson, so I called Amber's recommended agent. It turned out Henderson is as crazy hot as Vegas. This agent said that this house is sitting on many offers. The seller won't show home unless you write up an offer first. How would I write an offer that I have not seen the home yet? This is how insane the market is. Vegas is the same, if not worse.
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Postby eurobrat » March 19th, 2013, 11:35 pm

Winston wrote:Hi MarkLambo,
My parents found a home in Vegas. They bought a new home rather than a used home, because the used home sellers were waiting on offers to try to get the highest bid, and it was very competitive. My parents didn't like that kind of hassle, so they just bought a new one instead from a developer. The area it is in is the South West area. Know anything about it?

Here is what my dad told me:

Dear Win,

I did do some research about the resale housing market here. The market is crazy hot and once one house is on the market, buyers pour in and compete the offers for it. The sellers are usually waiting for highest bider before selling. This is what happening in the Vegas and people we met were talking about the same story.

The house we chose is in the South West area, about 5 minutes drive to your Aunt's home. Everybody here wants South West area home, they are mostly new and away from the strip, 10, 15 driving away. I believe we made a good choice. New homes are also very hot in here. Once they are on the market, buyers grab them. By buying new home, we don't need to compete. Whoever the most qualified get the house. Cash is always the most qualified.


What do you think? The developers are called Storybook Homes. Do you know anything about them? Their website is:

http://www.storybookhomes.us/our-communities

They're also considering getting a second home as an investment. What do you think? Here is what he told me:

Dear Win,

Since we have already bought a new home and still have some cash left. I continued search on Ziprealty.com for homes in Henderson area, just for fun. I found this relative new home with good size and good price. I thought maybe we buy this home as an investment and for some income. Because it is in Henderson, so I called Amber's recommended agent. It turned out Henderson is as crazy hot as Vegas. This agent said that this house is sitting on many offers. The seller won't show home unless you write up an offer first. How would I write an offer that I have not seen the home yet? This is how insane the market is. Vegas is the same, if not worse.


Did they sell their Washington home? Vegas is much better than the nasty pacific northwest.
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Postby zacb » March 20th, 2013, 12:43 am

I know where I live you can get by on 30,000 a year. I imagine some of the western states are really cheap.
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Postby marklambo » March 20th, 2013, 1:12 am

Winston wrote:Hi MarkLambo,
My parents found a home in Vegas. They bought a new home rather than a used home, because the used home sellers were waiting on offers to try to get the highest bid, and it was very competitive. My parents didn't like that kind of hassle, so they just bought a new one instead from a developer. The area it is in is the South West area. Know anything about it?

Here is what my dad told me:

Dear Win,

I did do some research about the resale housing market here. The market is crazy hot and once one house is on the market, buyers pour in and compete the offers for it. The sellers are usually waiting for highest bider before selling. This is what happening in the Vegas and people we met were talking about the same story.

The house we chose is in the South West area, about 5 minutes drive to your Aunt's home. Everybody here wants South West area home, they are mostly new and away from the strip, 10, 15 driving away. I believe we made a good choice. New homes are also very hot in here. Once they are on the market, buyers grab them. By buying new home, we don't need to compete. Whoever the most qualified get the house. Cash is always the most qualified.


What do you think? The developers are called Storybook Homes. Do you know anything about them? Their website is:

http://www.storybookhomes.us/our-communities

They're also considering getting a second home as an investment. What do you think? Here is what he told me:

Dear Win,

Since we have already bought a new home and still have some cash left. I continued search on Ziprealty.com for homes in Henderson area, just for fun. I found this relative new home with good size and good price. I thought maybe we buy this home as an investment and for some income. Because it is in Henderson, so I called Amber's recommended agent. It turned out Henderson is as crazy hot as Vegas. This agent said that this house is sitting on many offers. The seller won't show home unless you write up an offer first. How would I write an offer that I have not seen the home yet? This is how insane the market is. Vegas is the same, if not worse.


As of now, in Las Vegas, there is a high demand and low supply compared to a year or 2 ago. Property values have gone up quite a bit since last year. I bought mine in cash a little over a year ago, and the value has now gone up 50-60%+ since then. I bought at rock bottom. I bought at pretty much the lowest drop point. If you're getting a second home as an investment, don't expect to get the same returns though. Chances are that it won't sky rocket as quickly.

I agree that Henderson is also good. Pretty much all around Vegas is hot now because of the low rates, low supply, high demand. This will probably continue to increase prices but as far as how high over how long? ...nobody knows. In general, it can be a decent investment because prices are still relatively low compared to years ago before the collapse.

As for Story Book homes, I don't have much knowledge of how good or bad they are. Buying a new home definitely has its positives over a used. But on used...you can sometimes get a better bargain overall, not just the fact that it's used and cheaper but actually being able to negotiate and get a better discount. On new, there's not much wiggle room. If you buy new, plan to hold the property a little longer before flipping it, if that's your thing. It's always a better bargain to buy something used, even something that's not in perfect shape, fix it up good and cheap, and you increased the value. You can't do that with a new home. It just depends on your motives. If you plan to buy a home to live in for a very long time, buying new isn't a bad idea.

By the way, I also live in South West and I can tell you that it's definitely a great place overall.
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Postby targetguy » March 20th, 2013, 1:50 am

8) I bougt a new house in the southwest of las vegas in 2005 and it went down about 30percent a year from 340000 to140000 ad i gave it back th bank. las vegas has the highest rate of forclosures of all the states and the worst ay not be over because there will be a water shortage in the usa in certan parts and one of those parts islas vegas nevada which people already pay fines for watering too much onlike many other states. If nevada can overcome the water and attact more business then people might hit the jackpot if not most are stuck with underwate homes.
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Postby Winston » March 20th, 2013, 6:14 am

eurobrat wrote:Did they sell their Washington home? Vegas is much better than the nasty pacific northwest.


Yeah they did. Moving to WA was a big mistake. I knew that back in 1998, but the mistake was multiplied.

Nevada tends to attract misfits and people who don't like mainstream society. So I tend to vibe there well. I lived there before in 2001 and vibed there better than I did elsewhere in the US.
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Postby gsjackson » March 20th, 2013, 6:59 am

The supply is low because banks are sitting on thouands of foreclosures that they don't put on the market because they want to prop up prices. That means you're still dealing -- for many years -- with an artificially distorted market. Which is enough to scare me away, from an investment standpoint. If they want to live there, that's not so much a problem, but I wouldn't count on consistent appreciation. They are, as Mark points out, about a year late, as far as the real bargains go.
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Postby Winston » March 28th, 2013, 9:05 am

Hey check this out. My close friend Amber, who is also a vegetarian and lives in Las Vegas now, found out this vegetarian restaurant for me in Chinatown. Doesn't it look delicious?

http://www.veggiedelight.biz/index.html

The prices are inexpensive too.

http://www.veggiedelight.biz/veggie-delight-menu.html

I didn't know there was a Chinatown in Las Vegas. Does that mean there's cute Chinese girls to meet there too? lol
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Postby marklambo » March 28th, 2013, 10:48 pm

Winston wrote:Hey check this out. My close friend Amber, who is also a vegetarian and lives in Las Vegas now, found out this vegetarian restaurant for me in Chinatown. Doesn't it look delicious?

http://www.veggiedelight.biz/index.html

The prices are inexpensive too.

http://www.veggiedelight.biz/veggie-delight-menu.html

I didn't know there was a Chinatown in Las Vegas. Does that mean there's cute Chinese girls to meet there too? lol


Yes, there's a Chinatown but it's basically just "Spring Mountain Road" starting from the strip area up to about Decatur Ave.

I don't know if there are any cute Chinese girls because I don't find Asian girls attractive at all but I've seen a bunch of Asians hanging around the little bars, boba spots, restaurants, karaoke bars, etc. They are mainly around the age of college students. I'm sure you'll be able to mingle with the Asian community, there's quite a bit here.
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Postby Winston » April 22nd, 2013, 4:29 pm

Hi Mark,
I'm in Vegas now staying in the Southwest area. I guess we are really close to each other. When you get the chance, PM me your number and maybe we can meet up sometime.

We checked out Chinatown already. It was just a bunch of suburban strip malls with shops and restaurants.

One question though: We noticed a lot of places that say "foot massage" on them. My dad thinks that the demand for foot massages can't be that big. So he's guessing that there's more going on inside there. Is that true? Is there really p4p in there, even in a suburban strip mall? I thought p4p would usually only be in seedy areas?

Btw why are there so many lawyers in Vegas? Why do they flock here? Are there that many lawsuits around here that require them?

And why is there always an ambulance or fire truck wailing around on the quiet streets here?
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