Best Small Towns for Livability

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

August 6, 2015 — We are always pleased to see a “Best” list that is actually based on more than just someone’s personal opinion. 100 Most Livable Small Towns from Livability.com, which is based on overall livability, is a great example. To come up with their list they claim to have examined more than 40 data points for 12,000 towns with populations between 1,000 and 20,000. One caution is that their “livability” list is meant for people of all ages, not just retirees. Fortunately, most of their criteria apply to everyone, with the possible exception of the quality of the schools. The four major criteria used were in the broad categories of Schools, Businesses, Health Care, and Real Estate options.

Some people might be disappointed that these towns are not necessarily the most inexpensive places to live. That wasn’t a criterion, but on the other
hand if you want to live somewhere nice you might have to pay a little extra. Home prices shown in this article are from Livability.com – they might differ from the prices listed in the Topretirements.com city reviews (when available they are linked to the city names).

Top 10 Livable Small Towns
We have showcased the top 10 of the Livability 100 list here.

1. Lebanon, New Hampshire. This small town on the Connecticut River is home to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. It is so pretty with key institutions clustered around the town green that it has been described as the quintessential New England town.
Population 13,367
Reasons for selection: Visual appeal, strong economy and educational system, affordable housing, civic engagement, health care, outdoor recreation.
Median Home Price: $235,400.

2. Los Alamos, New Mexico. Los Alamos is built on the Pajarito Plateau between White Rock Canyon and the Valles Caldera, part of the Jemez Mountains. The town is a household name because it was home to the Manhattan Project, culminating in the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in WWII.
Population: 12,068
Reasons for selection: Located in the mountains it is visually and vibrantly appealing. There is no shortage of things to do in Los Alamos, from the cultural to outdoor adventures.
Median Home Price: $293,000.

Narrow gauge railroad in Durango

3. Durango, Colorado. The Animas River, a gold medal fly fishing stream, flows through the center of town. The town is world famous for every kind of outdoor recreation including mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and golf. Because it is an old railroad and mining town, it has an interesting downtown. Five major ski areas are close by. Note: After this article was written in early August there was a major spill of old toxic mining waste-contaminated water into the Animas River. Locals are very concerned and anxious to learn when it will be cleaned up.
Population: 17,145
Reasons for selection: Old western heritage, shops, great outdoor recreation.
Median home Price: $362,000.

4. St. Augustine, Florida. This popular retirement community was established in 1565 by the Spanish. It has been under 4 flags – Spanish, English, Confederate, and U.S. – and some of these (Spain and U.S.) more than once! It’s located on Florida’s northeast coast, southeast of Jacksonville.
Population: 13,271
Reasons for selection: historic Spanish architecture, beautiful beaches, lush parks, and a vibrant downtown filled with restaurants, shops and museums.
Median home Price: $204,500.

View of Bar Harbor, Maine

5. Bar Harbor, Maine Located along the coast, this idyllic spot was fiercely protected by the Rockefeller family, who were instrumental in the formation of Acadia National Park. There are great beaches here, whale watching, and an interesting, if slightly touristy town. It is a great summer spot for snowbirds to live, if you an afford it.
Population: 2,427
Reasons for selection: This is one of the prettiest spots in America with a stunning National Park. Bar Harbor is home to College of the Atlantic.
Median home Price: $310,000.

6. Louisville, Colorado. Louisville is the home of several high-technology companies, including the Space Systems component of Sierra Nevada Corporation. An old coal mining town, it has an interesting downtown with shopping in its Old Town.
Population: 18,831
Reasons for selection: Galleries, studios, restaurants and music venues occupy many of the 100-year old buildings that line streets in the downtown area. The city has made numerous “Best Places to Live” lists.
Median home Price: $370,800.

7. Hood River, Oregon. Located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Hood River, a popular tourist destination, is one of the world’s premiere wind surfing spots due to the high winds generated by the gorge and its 4,000-foot cliffs.
Population: 7,214
Reasons for selection: An outdoor lover’s playground, Hood River provides opportunities to snow ski, windsurf and mountain bike, all in the same day. Perched on the Columbia River,
Median home Price: $314,200.

8. Spearfish, South Dakota. Spearfish is a growing town of 10,500 located on the western South Dakota border with Wyoming. This is in the Black Hills area famous for the gold rush that displaced so many native Americans.
Population: 10,690
Reasons for selection: Crows Peak, Lookout Mountain and Spearfish Mountain offer residents impressive views. There are quaint shops and a lively arts and entertainment district. Frank Llloyd Wright visited the area and said that its beauty – “unique and unparalleled elsewhere in our country.” The 40-bed Spearfish Regional Hospital serves area residents.
Median home Price: $172,200.

9. Sebastopol, California. This former plum and apple growing region is about a 20-minute drive from the Pacific Ocean, between Santa Rosa and Bodega Bay. It is known for its liberal politics and small-town charm.
Population: 7,469
Reasons for selection: Sebastopol ranks high in cultural and outdoor amenities with small-town charm. Although Livability.com cites affordable housing across a range of home types, the median home price hovers around a half million dollars. They must mean affordable for the Bay Area! The city hosts an annual Apple Blossom Festival and Gravenstein Apple Fair.
Median home Price: $492,500

10. Port Angeles, Washington. A busy port on the northern portion of the Olympic Peninsula, the town offers spectacular scenery and recreational opportunities. Victoria, British Columbia is across the Strait by ferry. Port Angeles is home to Peninsula College.
Population: 19,099
Reasons for selection: The city connects to the Olympic Discovery Trail that traverses 130 miles of lowlands bordered by the Olympic Mountain Range and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Other recreational opportunities for residents include mountains, rivers, lakes and forestland.
Median home Price: $201,900.

About the list methodology
Livability.com’s “100 Most Livable Small Towns” used a modified version of the methodology developed with the Martin Prosperity Institute.

More articles about Livability:
7 Great Places to Live For Livability
10 Affordable and Highly Livable Places to Retire
More Affordable Places to Retire – A Reading List

Comments
Can anyone report on their experience living in one of these towns? Do you have other livable small towns that should have made the list – if so please list in the Comments section below.




Posted by Admin on August 6th, 2015

42 Comments »

  1. I lived on poverty lane in West Lebanon, NH….Lebanon is as described. Darthmouth does bring some culture to the area. The town as well as the town of Hanover are quaint. Dartmouth’s teaching hospital( Mary Hitchcock) is located in Lebanon. It actually moved from Hanover to Lebanon while I lived there.

    Summer is great and the autumn is spectacular, Winter is beautiful, but can be hard on seniors (in addtition to snow and ice, it is not that flat and not that much daylight hours.) And spring is called mud season for a reason…it was my least favorite season.

    Even with Dartmouth I found it too rural for my tastes. A fun and interesting vacation spot, but not for full time living for me.

    by elaine — August 8, 2015

  2. Hi Everybody,

    #11 on this list in Traverse City, MI. We’ve lived here for almost 2 years and we are loving it! The highlight for us is the Traverse City Film Festival http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org. This year the fest had over 80,000 paid admissions and another 20,000 admissions to the free movies! It’s now the 4th largest film fest in North America. There’s a surprising amount of culture to be found in this small town in Northern Michigan

    by Troutbum — August 12, 2015

  3. Any town where temperatures get down to below 50F a good part of the year (much less freezing) is not “liveable” in my opinion. Of course, if I were suffering from hot flashes I may have a different set of criteria to evaluate.

    by Steve — August 12, 2015

  4. I found it interesting that only one of the top 10 towns was in the South, and FL of course. In a few years I’ll be moving to Farmington, AR, which is on the outskirts of Fayetteville, AR, in the Ozarks. I’ll have access to all Fayettevile has to offer, but won’t have to live smack dab in the middle of all the commotion and activity. I wish there was a state by state best towns survey done so that people who want to stay closer to where they lived pre-retirement would have a chance to find local towns that are desirable. The Ozarks are centrally located for me to travel to all parts of the country I love (except Puget Sound), and Fayetteville is a senior-friendly place that is involved in a study that over the next 5 years is looking to identify what seniors need to live quality lives. Does anyone know the name of that study? I would like to read more about it. I’ll do research to find more about it, unless someone knows the name quickly.

    by Elaine C. — August 12, 2015

  5. Livable ? Maybe if you have a 10 digit bank account. How bout spot lighting livable towns with affordable real estate?

    Editor’s note: That’s easy, see this one. http://www.topretirements.com/blog/great-towns/more-affordable-places-to-retire-a-reading-list.html/

    by Donna — August 12, 2015

  6. Seriously! Your listings are ridiculous per median costs for homes. I believe the majority of retirees cannot afford the prices nor desire the sq.ft. offered. Questions: do I wish to continue maintaining a 4 bedroom home (do I NEED a McMansion), who’s mowing the land, how frequently will family fly out to my residence? The choices given favor couples and avoid singles. How many singles can afford homes in the $250,000-500,000 bracket? Let’s get real…

    I suggest Tryon, Brevard and Columbus, NC (near Ashville). Homes are affordable, weather is mild, economy is stable, there’s diverse adventures to be had and pick something you’ve wanted to learn “how to” because someone with experience will offer to help.

    by CM — August 19, 2015

  7. CM and Donna
    I was happy to read your post! We love the area you are talking about. There are many in NC just have to find them or be pointed in the right direction! We are even looking at the NE area of Tennessee.
    We are renters so therefore talk about communities are not really valuable to us. Areas of high priced housing doesn’t really help either although there are usually lower priced ones in there somewhere.

    Thanks again to both of you for your input.

    by Virginia — August 20, 2015

  8. CM, Isn’t the weather in Tryon and Columbus hot in the summer? Sperlings Best Places website lists the average July temp. as 89 (see below). Thanks!

    Climate Tryon, NC United States
    Rainfall (in.) 64.1 36.5
    Snowfall (in.) 6.7 25
    Precipitation Days 127 100
    Sunny Days 219 205
    Avg. July High 89 86.5
    Avg. Jan. Low 31.3 20.5
    Comfort Index (higher=better) 37 44
    Elevation ft. 1,060 1,443

    by ella — August 21, 2015

  9. Whoops, sorry folks. Didn’t notice the chart i just sent needed to be formatted!

    by ella — August 21, 2015

  10. CM and Ella…We live in Greensboro, NC and are looking at the southern NC mountains for retirement. We lived in Asheville for 6 years in the 90s and loved it.

    Tryon, Saluda and Columbus are at the base of the mountains and in the geo-thermal belt. The weather is the same as Piedmont NC…hot and humid. We love Tryon and Saluda and have been keeping watch on the weather and humidity this summer. I wish it were cooler and less humid.

    Brevard, Waynesville and Franklin are cooler and more comfortable. Hendersonville is a little warmer but a nice town. And Flat Rock is very nice.

    Ella…be sure and check out Brevard and the Pisgah Nat’l Forest for your hiking needs.

    by Nancy — August 21, 2015

  11. The suggestion of a list of best places/state is a good one.

    by John H — August 22, 2015

  12. Nancy, thanks so much for substantiating the data i found; so helpful.
    How do you feel about Waynesville vs. Franklin? Have you been to Waynesville in the summer? I’m told that the population swells 3X, but don’t know if this is true. Is Hendersonville too large for a gal (me) who is looking for a more rural area?

    Thanks again,

    by ella — August 26, 2015

  13. Ella…We’re going to revisit Franklin and give it another chance. My heart will always be in Waynesville, however we’re having trouble finding the right kind of housing. We really would prefer townhouse living. There are some really nice ones in Laurel Ridge golf community but they’re outside our price range. And we still would love to find a place where we can walk to town, but that dream may have to die, too. But we have several years yet before we move.

    I have been to Waynesville in the summer. When we lived in Asheville I worked part-time in Waynesville. It is a bustling little town in the summer, but I love that feel. I don’t see it as expanding in the summer…I see it as a little empty in the winter. There’s only the one main street, so whatever expanding it does is not a problem. Leaf season is a little crazy but still not an annoyance.

    Hendersonville has more of a wide street open feel downtown. There are certainly more neighborhood developments, but you don’t have to drive out too far for it to be rural. You may enjoy Brevard or Flat Rock more. They are certainly worth checking out. I guess it’s all about how far you are willing to drive for amenities. Any of these areas have wonderful countryside. And in the Hendersonville area you will have more flat land than in Waynesville and Franklin, but you’ll still have the beauty of the mountains.

    I would love to be able to give you a tour of “my country”!! Ha! I think I’m getting homesick to get back up there. I hope we all find the perfect place for each of us.

    by Nancy — August 27, 2015

  14. I agree with Nancy. I am in love with the Waynesville-Maggie Valley area. You have the choice of living in the mountains (which can be as high as 5000′ elevation) or in the valley. And I love the small town feel of Waynesville. Plus Asheville is just a 30 min drive for good medical care. I am not at the retiring stage yet, but that is where my heart is. But I am not sure my pocketbook will handle it. So I would not rule out the NE corner of TN for affordability. I currently live in Middle TN. No income tax is very nice!!

    by Debbie M — August 27, 2015

  15. Does anyone here live in any of the towns around the lakes in TN? We are looking for lakefront living!

    by Shelley — August 28, 2015

  16. Shelley, I live near Smithville, TN, which is home to Center Hill Lake. It is a beautiful lake and some of the country music stars live there PT & FT. You can find very affordable housing on the lake or you can find magnificent mansions. You can also find affordable lots to build on. There are several marinas on the lake. A home in Smithville is extremely reasonable. It has a hospital, but Nashville is just an hour away with some of the best hospitals & doctors in the country. You would not go wrong with a decision to live here.

    by Debbie M — August 29, 2015

  17. Anybody in Delaware specifically middle to southern part of the state close to ocean. We are very much interested there and myrtle beach. We are looking to buy below $200,000 or close to $200,000. We want to stay busy yet be relaxed believe both places would give us lots of options. Cost of living is very important to us as it should be as we want to work part time so we can have medical benefits.

    by Vic — August 29, 2015

  18. Nancy – How i wish you could give me a tour of “your country”. Your descriptions are very helpful for now; so thanks so much for that! I hope you can return to the SW mountains of NC soon, and agree that it would be wonderful to find the right spot. I do have a few more comments/questions which i hope you can shed some light on for me.

    First, while my husband and i want to live in a rural situation, i believe we have to live within a reasonable distance to necessary amenities. He is in his mid-70’s, i’m eleven years younger. While we’re both healthy and fit now, i have to look ahead 10, and maybe, 20 years. I want this to be our last home, if at all possible.

    Next, i don’t really want to be on a mountain or in a valley. Do any of the towns you recommended have rolling hills with mountains a distance away? We’d love the mountains for the view, but would rather drive the hills. Also mountains on either side of a valley seem to close one in. I’d prefer the more spacious feeling of hills close by and mountains further out.

    While i loved the main street area of Waynesville, and the close proximity of medical and fitness centers, i had a few concerns. It seemed that to do any hiking we’d have to drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway first, and then get onto a hiking trail from there. To much to do! We love walking and hiking and need something closer with more than one or two trails available. Is there anything we weren’t aware of? I know the GSM National Park is about 35 minutes away. We didn’t get there, plan to our next trip: but it’s still further than i’d like. Also, the homes we were shown were on mountains. I need to ask the realtor about rolling hills in Waynesville(???).

    Flat Rock appears too warm in the summer, at least as per Sperlings Best Places webite. We did visit Brevard. Whereas we didn’t like the town as much as Waynesville, i loved the green, foresty areas. We are considering visiting a community there.

    Both Franklin and Hendesonville will be firsts for us. Originally, i thought Hendersonville would be too large for us, but now i’m willing to give it a look. We still want to close to amenities, have hiking close by, and be surrounded by the beauty of nature. If there is ANYTHING you want to add or suggest (or just ‘think out loud’ on), it would be most welcome! Thanks so much, Nancy! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

    PS – I’m also planning to visit No. Georgia.

    by ella — August 29, 2015

  19. I drove around the Cumberland river area in July and do not suggest Gallatin. Henderson was cleaner but more costly. It was hot, and humid in both areas, and very busy, congested at times. Rental properties were $990 and higher, electric not included. The properties were well kept. I traveled north to visit the Kentucky Downs about 30 minutes and found a very nice smaller town, more considerate to seniors. Less crime, busy Friday music socials in town, all the amenities from hospital, doctors, Walmart, Lowe’s, and Dollar General Market. Museums, arts, antiques, and a breeze with the heat. It was 88 degrees compared to 95 degrees in Henderson. Homes were $30K less in price. I am preparing now to move/retire there.

    by DeyErmand — August 29, 2015

  20. Sorry for got to add I live in NE Ohio, and if anyone tries to sale you a bill of goods for this area being a senior, DON”T fall for it. The area is really a tidal wave of crime. I wouldn’t suggest anyone living North of route 70 in Ohio. It is all drugs, and welfare recipients. No jobs. Be careful living right in the towns of Columbus and Cincinnati. Springfield, Dayton, Troy, Circleville, Newark, and Zanesville are very good places to live if your a senior. I just can’t take the cold anymore and the last 3 winters have been 17 inches of snow. It is already 67 degrees at night (Aug) and looking for snow by November. I have seen snow from November until April even in southern Ohio.

    by DeyErmand — August 29, 2015

  21. Thanks Debbie M. for the info. How about Lake of the Ozarks? Anyone?? Missouri vs Tennessee for us.

    by Shelley — August 30, 2015

  22. How about the California coast? Friends say Santa Rosa, Oxnard, Carlsbad. Walkability is top of list.

    by Sallie — August 31, 2015

  23. Sallie, You may want to check out what Topretirements says about Sebastapol, in today’s blog. Rated high for walkability, and location sounds very good. My daughter lives in the Bay Area, and loves Santa Rosa; is considering moving there at some point. Keep in mind that it gets hot in the summer. The temperate weather is on the coast (Carlsbad). I lived near Carlsbad, in Escondido, many years ago and loved it. But it was so long ago, i can’t provide any info. that is relevant today. As for prices, California IS expensive. Housing costs, however, do vary widely. Just check the areas you’re interested in. Wishing you well, and sorry that i don’t have more to offer.

    by ella — September 1, 2015

  24. Ella – thanx for another vote for Seb., Carl., SR. Zeroing in. Fortunately, I will be sharing expenses with daughter and son-in-law, so can afford somewhat better digs.

    by Sallie50th — September 1, 2015

  25. Sallie, Good for you, glad to hear it! Good company as well as a great location!

    by ella — September 1, 2015

  26. We are anxious to get out of California and especially the Santa Rosa area. Since moving here in 1984 the area has outgrown the infrastructure and the number of gangs vying for position is only 24 at this time. IF you enjoy the Liberal atmosphere, you will feel right at home (especially in the Sebastopol area). I have discovered some Conservatives though most of us stay under the radar. By moving out of California, our cost of living will go down by at least 30%. Yes, the weather in most of California is lovely but quality of life is more than the weather.

    by Katherine — December 3, 2015

  27. Katherine,
    What do you mean about gangs in the Santa Rosa area? My daughter lives in the Bay Area and hopes to move to Sonoma County in the next few years. Thanks!
    Sad that we conservatives feel we must stay ‘under the radar’ in liberal territory. I worked in educational settings here in NYS for years and felt the same way. My views were laughed at when people didn’t realized my ideas and insights were not the same as theirs. And i know from comments made on this blog, it goes both ways! So unnecessary!

    by ella — December 4, 2015

  28. Hello again, Ella. Just following some of the comments roundabout, and saw your reaction to gangs. Unfortunately, to escape that type of activity, you’d have to move to the moon. Sad to say, it’s virtually everywhere. A true epidemic and scourge. Roanoke has a gang problem. Even sleepy Bluefield has evidence of gang activity. And you thought you were leaving NYC behind! Hope all is well, nevertheless!

    by Doc Stickel — December 5, 2015

  29. To DeyErmand, could you please clarify the area you recommended? I always go to Realtor.com to check housing prices (as one’s “Reasonable” price, might well be way more than I consider ‘reasonable’) when I read about an area that sounds like it might appeal to me. You mention ” I traveled north to visit the Kentucky Downs about 30 minutes and found a very nice smaller town, more considerate to seniors….” I tried to find where you were talking about, but not knowing anything about the area, was unsuccessful. (Had to guess you were even talking about TN.) What is the name of the ‘nice smaller town’ you mentioned? Thank you!

    by Anne — December 9, 2015

  30. Anne, You have two choices living near the Kentucky Downs, Portland Tenn. or Franklin, KY. I found homes and the heat higher in Tenn. Franklin, KY is 20-30 minutes south of Bowling Green, KY, with all the amenities of retirement. It was placed on the 50 greatest small towns to live in America.

    by DeyErmand — December 10, 2015

  31. Anne, I also wanted to point out, my “search” was for a place that would keep more of my retirement money in my pocket, in a comfortable climate, as I like being outdoors. Having it’s own hospital and activities was a plus. It is right off of Hwy 65 which connects Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN. It has one 55 plus community.

    by DeyErmand — December 10, 2015

  32. DeyErmand, Thanks for responding. I’d heard Franklin KY mentioned on this website before and checked it out a bit then. But will officially list it on my “To be Investigated Deeper” list so I won’t forget it (so many place names mentioned on this website, and I’m not limiting myself as to area of the country).

    by Anne — December 11, 2015

  33. Having grown up in Maryland with no a/c, in the 90+ temps and 100% humidity, and then moving to the Arizona desert, humidity is my main bugaboo. Someone mentioned a website they refer to to check more specifically into weather/trends in a particular locale (specifically a humidity index). Can someone tell me the name of the website and how much it’s to be trusted? Thank you!

    by Anne — December 11, 2015

  34. Anne, Interesting that you mentioned how much the website can be trusted.

    I visited Franklin, NC this past October. Sperlings Best Places website reports that it gets an average of 5 inches of snow per year; however the realtor is spoke to said the number is more like 15 inches.

    Also, the same website reports housing prices in Dahlonega, GA to be well above the national average. (Previously it stated 50% above, then it went down a little. I’m not sure what is being reported now.) I had ruled that area off my list due to the housing prices. Upon finding myself in Dahlonega and liking the town, i went out with a realtor to find for myself what the prices are. They were totally in line with other prices in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the several states i’m interested in. NO higher! These experiences lead me to wonder about the validity of anything i’m researching on the web. Can i make any decisions based on this research???

    For example, Dahlonega is reported as having tornadoes. Should i cross it off my list for this reason, or is this data tainted as well. Who knows?

    by ella — December 12, 2015

  35. Anne, I seen a humidity calculator on another site, ?farmersalmanac.com? In my notes I have …The apparent temperature, also known as the Heat Index, measures how hot the weather really feels, considering both temperature and humidity. For instance, a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 ° Celsius) along with 60 % humidity pushes the apparent temperature to 100 °F (37.8 °C). Most States have 72.5% or higher h?umidity!? Checking the area’s weather Dew points is easier.
    40-50 – Nice and comfortable.
    60s – Getting uncomfortable.
    70s –?Oppressive!?
    Talking on this site to other members built up my trust on the research that is shared here. Of course, we have our different wants and desires for retirement but others sites have disappointed me. Spend several visits, winter and summer to the area before you up and move.

    by DeyErmand — December 12, 2015

  36. Ella, Just saw your reply to my statement. The schools in this area are 41% Hispanic. Most agricultural areas draw Mexicans for labor and this means more non-English speaking people and unfortunately gangs. A friend who is married to a deputy sheriff, suggested I get out of at least the Southwest of Santa Rosa but I am happy just to leave the state. The area is not inexpensive. The last home like ours (1343 sq.ft.) went for $452,000. I look forward to seeing my money go further.

    by Katherine Teissere — January 13, 2016

  37. I am late to this discussion. Just wanted to toss out that one of my favorite websites is http://www.weatherbase.com. I can’t swear to the accuracy, but it has been helpful to me in my search for where I’m going next.

    by Judy — January 14, 2016

  38. Thanks Judy and Katherine,
    Judy, i’ll check it out. Weather is important to me; although i may have to sit inside (with a.c.) during the summer in the end if i fall in love with a very warm area such as in TN (not the far NE).
    Katherine, so far my daughter is remaining in the Bay Area (loves it there), but i will pass this on to her. Of course, each area has their own gangs; just differing in race and ethnicity. Then again, the more poverty, the higher the crime. Sadly, makes sense!

    by ella — January 14, 2016

  39. How come I never see anything about Southport,NC….great small town. good housing $$. but would love to here from anyone who has actually moved there.

    by Roseann — January 14, 2016

  40. Thanks Judy! The website you mentioned is AWESOME! Much appreciation.

    by DeyErmand — January 14, 2016

  41. Hi Judy,
    Ditto DeyErmand’s post! I tried to thank you twice yesterday, but my post didn’t go through either time. Great site for weather. Now all i need is wind and cloudiness added, plus natural disasters and i’ve got it all. I plan to do mega-research on weather base this weekend. Can’t wait!

    Thanks, again!

    by ella — January 15, 2016

  42. Having lived my life in Sebastopol and work in Santa Rosa, I can tell you that housing costs including rent, are absolutely through the roof. I just had to sell my home of 30 years (cheater cheater pumpkin eater) and while I have decent equity, I am priced out of the area if I want to find a home without a mortgage or even a small one. There are certain areas of Santa Rosa where I would just plain refuse to live, and unfortunately that’s about the only areas to find ‘reasonable’ prices. It’s unbelievable what people are asking for these places!! In order to stay close enough to family, the only option for a no/low mortgage scenario would be to buy in Lake County but that area is remote and kind of depressing. 200-250k will buy you a house there but again, it’s a small secluded area with not much going on. A 45 min. trip over Mt Saint Helena begins any journey.
    Yes, there are many jokes about the politics, lifestyles and people of Sebastopol – you’d either let it slide right off your back or you could let it really bother you. Personally, I could care less what people think. Anyway, the area is quite interesting; you’re close enough to the City (SF) and the ocean. The traffic can be REALLY bad on the highways leading in to town and the one-way traffic structure thru town can be a pain. I’m going to sit tight for a bit but I want to retire soon so unless i have a miracle I’ll be looking out of state. BTW it’s been raining for weeks now and the gray skies are quite depressing! I’m happy to answer any questions about Sonoma County – as a letter carrier for 30 years I know every nook and cranny of Santa Rosa and what’s in them!

    by Linda — January 16, 2016

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