I am almost 60 years old and my wife and I are looking to buy a townhouse or apartment for retirement (minimal maintenance!). We wanted to find a lakeside location in a city that was usually not too icy, has an urban feel with walking distance to shops and restaurants, good universities / colleges, hospitals, and so on. museums, theaters and live music venues. Ideally, it should have a liberal mindset with a sense of community. We’ve always thought that Burlington, VT, would be ideal -. If it were only 700 miles south.
We live in Washington, DC right now, which might be great too, but colder than we’d like during the winter months and there’s a temporary large population coming and going with political administrations or military business trips. When we sell our house for 30 years, we will have about 1 million dollars to spend on it (thank you, the real estate boom of the first years!).
What do you think?
A lakeside university town with warm weather with an urban feel of order. But a house overlooking a lake or a college town with an urban feel? Can do it.
Now, if you’re willing to live with a river view instead of a lake, you have more options. Knoxville and Memphis, if Tennessee appeals, say. If you want a lake but are willing to drive into the city for urban conveniences, you can start with the many clock communities outside of Charlotte, especially Davidson, NC, where Davidson College is located. (I have suggested all of these in other articles.)
If a small (artificial) lake is acceptable, choose your favorite cities and search for newer neighborhoods. You can also refine “waterfront” in online listings, such as those listed above Realtor.com (like MarketWatch, owned by News Corp).
A few word tips Jeff Speck, a city planner who advocates for more walkable cities and has books that include “A Walkable City: How the city center can save America, step by step”: Cities built before the Great Depression often provided the walking ability you wanted. But we all know that they have also expanded since World War II, and newer installments have lost some of that mobility. So the neighborhood is even more important than the city.
Use WalkScore numbers to help assess walking ability. WalkScore, owned by Redfin, calculates how walkable a neighborhood or community is, although of course you always want to verify its findings.
If you’re considering newer neighborhoods, you might want to looking for “new urban” development. This is the design philosophy of walkable neighborhoods, with houses and shopping malls in close proximity.
And there’s this radical thought: downsize DC, which you seem to love in winter, and use January and February to get out of the cold and explore the world. Let the apartment association handle the snow shoveling. Washington’s WalkScore is 76 very hard to beat. Indeed, Miami is the only major warmer city, with a WalkScore score of 78.
If your heart is somewhere warmer than DC, here are some pointers to get you started.
Urban, multicultural, walkable, water, college (especially Tulane University). Lake Pontchartrain if the Mississippi River isn’t your thing. Music a lot. So is the theaterincluding touring performances on Broadway. More than 135 annual festivals, of course, are held by Mardi Gras. Culinary paradise. Museum – the National Museum of World War II Head up on Trip Advisor and open in 2021 Southern Jewish Experience Museum. Historic houses and neighborhoods. Healthcare? University Medical Center – New Orleans is a Level 1 trauma center.
Do I need to say more?
New Orleans, with about 390,000 residents, has an overall WalkScore score of 59, or equal to Burlington, Vt.; The only community in Louisiana rated better was Gretna, on the west bank of Mississippi and just east and across the river from upstream New Orleans, with 64. Nearly 18,000 people live there.
Yes, it gets wet. Extreme summer humidity balances the absence of snow (although it is less humid than Miami). Yes, there is a risk of a hurricane, as is the case in Miami.
The average listing price for a home in New Orleans in February 2021 was $ 319,000, according to Realtor.com, below the average Miami listing price. This is What’s on the market now.
Winter park, Florida
The upscale city of 30,000 people northwest of Orlando is full of lakes, parks and restaurants. It checks the college box with Rollins College, an expensive private college for 2,100 students that US News ranks # 1 among regional universities in the South. It has museums and performing arts; starts with American Museum of Art Charles Hosmer Morse and the world’s most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany works. Southern Living Magazine brought Winter Park in List of the best culinary towns in the South 2018.
What you can’t find in Winter Park is right there in Orlando, starting with nationally ranked hospitals. Bonus: SunRail train service to Orlando stops at Winter Park. So is Amtrak.
Winter Park’s overall WalkScore score is 44, but, again, neighborhoods are important.
Winter temperatures will not be an issue; The average high is in the 70s lower. The highest in summer averages around 92.
The average listing price for a home was $ 410,000 as of February 2021, according to Realtor.com. This is What will your money buy?.
Here’s my wild card, just because it would be difficult to find that lakeside site. You may need to stabilize to have views of the Willamette River.
Eugene, home to the University of Oregon, has 175,000 residents; live in the city center or nearby and you’re in a walker’s paradise, according to WalkScore. Downtown has a WalkScore score of 90; Eugene is generally 45 points.
You will find a vibrant food and beer scene along with about two dozen wineries nearby. If you make time for your exploratory visit in January, you can do so Oregon Truffle Festival.
There are also plenty of museums, live music and other cultural events to keep you from missing Washington.
Eugene and its neighboring communities, located between two mountain ranges, are an utopian destination for outdoor enthusiasts. You will find plenty of hiking options (with hidden waterfalls) and the American Federation of Cyclists call Eugene Gold level bike friendly community. (Both New Orleans and Winter Park are silver grant communities.)
The entire Lane County, which spans the Pacific Ocean, has around 375,000 people and will turn blue by 2020.
The summer average breaks 80, but with low humidity. Average high temperatures in winter are only slightly warmer than Washington, DC (over 40 years old) and you’ll get more rain than snow. The Pacific Northwest is famous for its bleak winters, and Eugene has received that misty winter rain.
Is winter weather a deal breaker? Or can lower property prices compensate? The average listed price for a home in February 2021 was $ 386,250, according to Realtor.com.
This is What’s on the market now.
Where should the readers, Scott and his wife retire? Leave your suggestions in the comments.