Day Two of my vacation, and I haven’t really done anything fun yet, but I needed a couple of days to just rest. I worked through the Memorial Day weekend, so it had been a while since I had a day off.
I have a few projects to do around the house. The pergola in the backyard is looking mighty sad. Half the lattice panels on the roof blew off and are resting on top of the house. Some of the boards need replaced. For now, I’m just going to hang a canopy for shade. This fall, I’m going to have it repaired. It seems like we just had it constructed a couple of years ago, but I guess it’s been 12 years.
And I don’t know what the deal is with my yard, but I’m spending a ridiculous amount of time just chopping back weeds. It didn’t use to be so bad. I think it’s the mild winters that we’ve been having. Last winter, it didn’t even snow, really. Central Illinois weather is not what it was 40 years ago.
I’m not ready to turn my yard into a parking lot, but keeping up with it is a chore. The older I get, the more a condo or something along those lines, doesn’t sound so bad.
A few weeks ago, a new sign/artwork/sculpture thing was unveiled in Nelson Park next to the amphitheater. I like it! Of course, there were a few naysayers on social media saying it was a waste of taxpayer money, even though taxpayer money didn’t pay for it. Now that the amphitheater is bringing in people from other parts of the state and elsewhere, it’s a great idea to do a little marketing and show that we’re proud of our city. It was a smart thing to do. We want people to remember where they were when they had a good time. A lot of people will be taking pictures in front of that sign.
Something taxpayers can legitimately complain about is Illinois’ property taxes. They’re too high, and we see too little in return. Mine went up again, even though the assessed value of my house went down. The taxes in my neighborhood sure seem a lot higher than many other parts of town. Maybe I’m being taxed per weed. That might explain things, because I have a lot of those. It’s just aggravating. The house is paid for, and I feel like I’m paying rent on it when I divide my taxes by 12 months.
A cousin of mine suggested that I move to Tennessee, where property taxes are far lower and there is also no state income tax. I told her that it was tempting, but then a house like mine in Tennessee would be listed at about $300,000. I’d be lucky to get $100,000 for my house here. Even with our ridiculous taxes, Decatur’s housing is still cheap. That’s both good and bad. It’s good if you’re moving to the area, but bad when moving out or retiring.
Another cousin of mine just moved to Tennessee from San Diego, California. The value of her house probably increased by 500% or more since she bought it in the 80s. Today, a simple home in many parts of California is worth $900,000. People are retiring off of the value of their homes and moving to less expensive states. I sure wish I could do that.
I have thought of selling my house and investing the money in some safe way over the next 15 years, and just rent something, but rent is expensive. Decatur also doesn’t have many nice places to rent. There are apartments, but I want a place with my own yard and space.
Well, it looks like I’ll be here with my weeds, and high taxes. That’s okay. I like where I live, but it would be nice to have more options and a home that was increasing in value at a faster pace than the property taxes.