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View Full Version : Where is the best place in the country for a ukulele player?



sculptor
07-12-2018, 05:11 PM
My wife and I have this fantasy of selling our house in one of the most over priced areas in the country and buying a much nicer house, at a third of the pricer, in a lot cheaper area to live. I'd like an area that's really uke friendly so do you guys have any suggestions?

-- Gary

sculptor
07-12-2018, 06:49 PM
OoooKkkkkk.... Maybe I wasn't specific enough about the country, but there is that little location field over in corner of the posting and last time I checked there wasn't a California in Australia. Mind you I've visited Australia and I found it pleasant enough but changing countries is a nontrivial exercise. Of course if Trump gets bad enough I'll give you a holler and see if you can sponsor me or whatever it is you have to do to help somebody immigrate....

:cheers:

-- Gary

spongeuke
07-12-2018, 07:40 PM
I live in Sonoma County CA 50 miles North of San Fransisco. We live modestly in a Mobile Home park. There are 3 ukulele groups I regularly attend and several others that I visit several times a year. Owning and caring for ukuleles is a breeze do to the climate that doesn't require a humidifier and multiple shops, luthiers and collectors to trade with. The cost of living is high but I like the community and such.

robinboyd
07-12-2018, 08:15 PM
Ha,ha, I'd be more than happy to sponsor you!

We have been looking seriously at Tasmania ourselves, that's why it was the first recommendation I could offer! Good luck with your search! :D Lots of places look wonderful until you really take a close look with "Buyer's Eyes" :cool:

Give us a holler if you decide to make the move. It really is a beautiful place, although the way house prices are going, it won't be a bargain for long.

robinboyd
07-12-2018, 09:26 PM
I certainly will Robin, I didn't realize you were living in Tasmania, I thought Jon Duncan aka Eugene Ukulele aka Mountain Goat was the only UUer down there :D

There is also Caspet (Peter) and Joo (Jon's wife) making a total of 4 that I am aware of.

sculptor
07-12-2018, 09:32 PM
I live in Sonoma County CA 50 miles North of San Fransisco. We live modestly in a Mobile Home park. There are 3 ukulele groups I regularly attend and several others that I visit several times a year. Owning and caring for ukuleles is a breeze do to the climate that doesn't require a humidifier and multiple shops, luthiers and collectors to trade with. The cost of living is high but I like the community and such.

Well, it's nice up that way except when things decide to burn... I'm pretty sure though that the houses are not any cheaper. One downside of Prop 13 is that you loose your tax lock-in so my taxes would triple if I did what amounts to a trade.

-- Gary

robinboyd
07-12-2018, 09:43 PM
Well, it's nice up that way except when things decide to burn... I'm pretty sure though that the houses are not any cheaper. One downside of Prop 13 is that you loose your tax lock-in so my taxes would triple if I did what amounts to a trade.

-- Gary

Interesting to see Prop 13 in practice. I've only seen and heard about it in articles talking about it as one of the wackiest examples of taxation law in the world.

Oh, and to correct you, Prop 13 does not mean you lose your tax lock-in. It's the reason you have it in the first place. Without it, you'd be like the rest of the world where property values are reassessed every few years.

kkimura
07-13-2018, 01:09 AM
Maybe San Jose? Good population of Pacific Islanders. Down sides are the earthquake faults (unless you like moving and shaking) and high cost of living anywhere close to the Bay Area / Silicone Valley.

Nickie
07-13-2018, 01:26 AM
Florida.
It's getting more crowded every day, but is still one of the nicest places I've ever lived. It's less expensive than most places. There are modest homes for sale, in decent neighborhoods.
Right here, we have the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society, 4th largest ukulele club in America, and is very active. Just this week there were 3 events, and that's not unusual.
5 of us just started Ukers For Life, a group that plays for hospice and children in the hospital.
You can check us out on Facebook.
3 luthiers here, our Sam Ash Music store sells more ukes than any other nationwide, and another uke store on the beach.
There might be a little culture shock here, it's quite a stronghold of fans of the 45th occupant of the White House, but we stay out of their way....
Florida (sometimes I call it Floriduh) is a strange place. The farther north you go, the farther "south" you get. North Florida is very pretty and some is still unspoiled by man.
Unfortunately, Lake Okeechobee is an ecological disaster...and hurricanes can be a real inconvenience!
But, here we are....
If you love sports, we have baseball and hockey.

Jerryc41
07-13-2018, 02:56 AM
Do a search for ukulele clubs, and you will see that some areas have more activity than others. I can go to three meetings a week here, with three more monthly. The downside is the driving time and mileage.

Checking New England - 435,000 links -

https://www.google.com/search?q=ukulele+clubs+in+new+england&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS716US717&oq=ukulele+clubs+in+new+england&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64.6102j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Captain America
07-13-2018, 10:13 AM
Try Iowa, one of the cities along the Mississippi River. Would be a wonderful retirement area.

mountain goat
07-13-2018, 12:16 PM
Under a tree by a brook. :)

Osprey
07-13-2018, 02:26 PM
Whereever two or more Ukulele players gather.

Jo3x
07-13-2018, 03:39 PM
Seattle Area. "Ukulele Mike" were born and living here. He is the reason I started learning uke.

Though I never met him in person. But I missed him a lot. I haven't checked out his website and video channel for a long time, not because I don't want to, but because it always brings me tears. May him rest in peace.

UkerDanno
07-14-2018, 03:11 AM
Hawaii has to be the most ukulele friendly place is the world! :shaka::D

Sun City, AZ is much more affordable, has a thriving Ukulele Club with weekly jams and in the winter lots of other things going on, so many I lose track. There are also 3-4+ other smaller jams close by. And who knows how many others across town...

SteveZ
07-14-2018, 03:58 AM
Under a tree by a brook. :)

Agree, plus in any house where there is a fridge with good snacks and better beverages, a porch with a nice breeze, no complaining neighbors, and at least one dog as an at-your-feet audience.

ralphk
07-14-2018, 04:09 AM
Sun City is probably a good choice, as would be Florida and Texas. Since you are in a high price area, high tax area. look at low tax areas (FL and TX included). Places like Sun City have great mobile home parks, again a lower cost real estate option. The central part of the nation has good value too, but skip the mobile home option there -- not tornado proof. I enjoyed my years in TX and now in Tulsa

Yea, Sun City is looking good all things considered. But the dog, a nice breeze and a good fridge has appeal too -- central America is great.

Ralph

70sSanO
07-14-2018, 04:16 AM
I'm guessing you are part of the San Jose club, which is considered to be one of the best. When my wife and I talk about possibly moving, although it really is only just talk, I'll go to Areavibes and get an overview if an area. I've also looked at Sperlings Best and City Data. There are forums there, but some are old posts, that give an idea.

I would think the first step is to look for clubs on the internet in different parts of the country and then research different cities. The idea of finding a base location and then travel to other areas is a good idea, if you are not looking to settle and stay put year round.

Weather, amenities, and medical need to be considered. Coming from a pretty mild climate in California may make some of the more extreme climate areas hard to adjust.

John

Ziret
07-14-2018, 05:37 AM
Agree, plus in any house where there is a fridge with good snacks and better beverages, a porch with a nice breeze, no complaining neighbors, and at least one dog as an at-your-feet audience.

OK, I'm staying home! Although at this point the pup is a bit too energetic to lay at my feet for more that 30 seconds, it seems. Squirrel!

Rllink
07-14-2018, 08:48 AM
Which is good for a ukulele player, a place where there are a lot of them, or a place where there isn't a lot of them?

sculptor
07-14-2018, 09:38 PM
Interesting to see Prop 13 in practice. I've only seen and heard about it in articles talking about it as one of the wackiest examples of taxation law in the world.

Oh, and to correct you, Prop 13 does not mean you lose your tax lock-in. It's the reason you have it in the first place. Without it, you'd be like the rest of the world where property values are reassessed every few years.

I'll keep my lock-in when I move (to some extent) only if I move to someplace within Santa Clara County where I live. :wallbash:

Note, Prop 13 is a bad fix to real problem. The assessments need to float with market rates. However the rates need to locally readjust to keep the state from reaping a windfall when homes increase in cost faster than the increase in the cost of services.

-- Gary

sculptor
07-14-2018, 09:43 PM
Florida.
It's getting more crowded every day, but is still one of the nicest places I've ever lived. It's less expensive than most places. There are modest homes for sale, in decent neighborhoods.
Right here, we have the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society, 4th largest ukulele club in America, and is very active. Just this week there were 3 events, and that's not unusual.
5 of us just started Ukers For Life, a group that plays for hospice and children in the hospital.
You can check us out on Facebook.
3 luthiers here, our Sam Ash Music store sells more ukes than any other nationwide, and another uke store on the beach.
There might be a little culture shock here, it's quite a stronghold of fans of the 45th occupant of the White House, but we stay out of their way....
Florida (sometimes I call it Floriduh) is a strange place. The farther north you go, the farther "south" you get. North Florida is very pretty and some is still unspoiled by man.
Unfortunately, Lake Okeechobee is an ecological disaster...and hurricanes can be a real inconvenience!
But, here we are....
If you love sports, we have baseball and hockey.

:biglaugh: I lived in Pinellas Park for three years back in the 80s (tech jobs have taken me to every corner of the country) and I also called in Floriduh!

Note, isn't the humidity an issue for solid wood ukuleles there?

-- Gary

sculptor
07-14-2018, 09:48 PM
Maybe San Jose? Good population of Pacific Islanders. Down sides are the earthquake faults (unless you like moving and shaking) and high cost of living anywhere close to the Bay Area / Silicone Valley.

That's just the next city over from where I play (:nana: live.)

-- Gary

sculptor
07-14-2018, 09:59 PM
Hawaii has to be the most ukulele friendly place is the world! :shaka::D

Sun City, AZ is much more affordable, has a thriving Ukulele Club with weekly jams and in the winter lots of other things going on, so many I lose track. There are also 3-4+ other smaller jams close by. And who knows how many others across town...

I'm politically I'm somewhere out left of the Democrats and I'm a bit concerned that I might not be comfortable in Arizona or least in the mainstream bits of. This experience is based on my spending 10 months in Salt Lake City which was the longest decade in my life. :eek:

-- Gary

sculptor
07-14-2018, 10:04 PM
Do a search for ukulele clubs, and you will see that some areas have more activity than others. I can go to three meetings a week here, with three more monthly. The downside is the driving time and mileage.

Checking New England - 435,000 links -

https://www.google.com/search?q=ukulele+clubs+in+new+england&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS716US717&oq=ukulele+clubs+in+new+england&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64.6102j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

I lived in Boston area back in the mid-eighties. It's a really nice area but so soo expensive. :(

-- Gary

kkimura
07-15-2018, 12:55 AM
That's just the next city over from where I play (:nana: live.)

-- Gary

Yeah, sorry 'bout that but the Bay Area has a lot going for it not to mention at least two major Hawaiian festivals. High cost of living and traffic density are the downsides.

70sSanO
07-15-2018, 11:08 AM
How about a Northern Virginia? The housing will probably exceed your 1/3, but there is supposed to be a strong ukulele presence, including an annual festival. The political climate will probably be conducive to yours. But you will get some snow.

I'm assuming you don't have health insurance concerns. I'm on medicare, but my wife is 5 years younger and we decided to both retire at the same time. She has 3 years to go and we are making a run at staying in California. Wouldn't consider a red state if I were over 60 and had to buy private health insurance. Regardless, it is still costing us a "K" brand a month for her health care. But it is what it is.

John

John

Nickie
07-15-2018, 02:19 PM
:biglaugh: I lived in Pinellas Park for three years back in the 80s (tech jobs have taken me to every corner of the country) and I also called in Floriduh!

Note, isn't the humidity an issue for solid wood ukuleles there?

-- Gary

No, not unless you play in the rain....
My ukes love it here!

El Viejo
07-15-2018, 05:06 PM
I'm politically I'm somewhere out left of the Democrats and I'm a bit concerned that I might not be comfortable in Arizona or least in the mainstream bits of. This experience is based on my spending 10 months in Salt Lake City which was the longest decade in my life. :eek:

-- Gary

Phoenix is a big city... parts of it are quire conservative (Sun City is just about as conservative as it gets anywhere in the country, same for Scottsdale and Gilbert), parts of it are actually pretty moderate though. Arizona as a whole is much more varied than people give it credit for, though. Prescott is a beautiful city that is on the more conservative end, Flagstaff is an amazing college town up in the pines that is very liberal. Tucson on the whole is a very liberal city. There is definitely more to Arizona than deserts and wingnuts on either end of the political spectrum... it's a beautiful place.

That said, as an ukulele player, I think you are at just about the best spot you can be on the mainland, except for living in Orange County or the South Bay in Southern California. Those might be the only places where you might have an upgrade in terms of pro players living nearby, lots of great shops, cool clubs, and events. Otherwise, it's off to the islands!

When it comes to ukulele, we are spoiled up here. I'm not even in the Bay Area or in the San Jose/Santa Clara area, I'm a couple hours away, and I still consider myself spoiled. For example, the number of quality builders in our state is amazing (particularly in Northern California). There's nothing like that anywhere else on the mainland. Blackbird in the City, Pohaku in Berkeley, Mike Pereira down by Paso Robles, Iriguchi in Sacramento, Kala Elite in Petaluma, Tyde Music up at Tahoe, Kinnard down by San Diego, Compass Rose (Rick Turner) in Santa Cruz, Hive (Jake McClay) in Santa Cruz, Little River (Dave Sigman) in Mendocino, Tony Graziano in Santa Cruz... and I'm sure I'm leaving a few out.

sculptor
07-17-2018, 07:05 PM
I guess I should thank everybody for putting in their two cents worth. I'm not sure I'm really any less confused about this than before.

My own though was Portland might be OK cost wise and it has an active ukulele group (PUA.) But a lot of people don't care for the rainy season there, it's got a bad homelessness problem and some people say Portlanders are a bit fey and on the standoffish side. I know about the rain having lived there in the late 70s, I believe them about homelessness but the last attributes I'm not so sure about but I wouldn't be happy if they were true.

-- Gary

robinboyd
07-17-2018, 08:26 PM
I've just been listening to this song and I thought of you....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foUTuTj6Riw

plunker
07-18-2018, 03:25 AM
I would move to Texas or Florida. With out the taxes think of all the ukes you could buy.

Osprey
07-18-2018, 05:27 AM
I guess I should thank everybody for putting in their two cents worth. I'm not sure I'm really any less confused about this than before.

My own though was Portland might be OK cost wise and it has an active ukulele group (PUA.) But a lot of people don't care for the rainy season there, it's got a bad homelessness problem and some people say Portlanders are a bit fey and on the standoffish side. I know about the rain having lived there in the late 70s, I believe them about homelessness but the last attributes I'm not so sure about but I wouldn't be happy if they were true.

-- Gary

I used to live and work on the Oregon Coast and my office was in Portland. I could easily live in Portland. I found the people there friendly and helpful and the city is green and feels great to me. Yes it rains there, but the weather is generally livable all year long.

Cliff

70sSanO
07-18-2018, 05:44 AM
It all comes down to economics. If you can afford to stay in California, you probably just stay. It is tough not to want to sell a massively over-priced house and move to a much less expensive area and pocket the windfall. But living is more than a house and if you really like the area where you live, and have relationships there, why leave?

John

hoosierhiver
07-18-2018, 06:14 AM
Milwaukee has a great ukulele community mainly thanks to Lil'Rev

sculptor
07-18-2018, 11:32 AM
It all comes down to economics. If you can afford to stay in California, you probably just stay. It is tough not to want to sell a massively over-priced house and move to a much less expensive area and pocket the windfall. But living is more than a house and if you really like the area where you live, and have relationships there, why leave?

John

Our, modest 3 bedroom house is now worth $1,600,000... the difference between that and the cost of a similar house in say Portland is enough to bump our retirement savings into the comfortable area. So it's more a matter of scraping by in Silicon Valley verses doing quite well somewhere else. Note, it's not just the size of our nest egg, it's the cost of living. We recently traveled overseas to a couple of famous high end tourist areas and frankly it was cheaper to eat out there than is here in the Bay Area.

-- Gary

70sSanO
07-18-2018, 01:00 PM
Our, modest 3 bedroom house is now worth $1,600,000... the difference between that and the cost of a similar house in say Portland is enough to bump our retirement savings into the comfortable area. So it's more a matter of scraping by in Silicon Valley verses doing quite well somewhere else. Note, it's not just the size of our nest egg, it's the cost of living. We recently traveled overseas to a couple of famous high end tourist areas and frankly it was cheaper to eat out there than is here in the Bay Area.

-- Gary

Well, that can buy a whole lot of umbrellas, and a snow plow or two... lol.

Seems the thread needs to carry on with more location suggestions.

John

robinboyd
07-18-2018, 02:36 PM
Our, modest 3 bedroom house is now worth $1,600,000... the difference between that and the cost of a similar house in say Portland is enough to bump our retirement savings into the comfortable area. So it's more a matter of scraping by in Silicon Valley verses doing quite well somewhere else. Note, it's not just the size of our nest egg, it's the cost of living. We recently traveled overseas to a couple of famous high end tourist areas and frankly it was cheaper to eat out there than is here in the Bay Area.

-- Gary

If you're sitting on that much, definitely move to Tasmania then ;)