Texas and Spray Paint

>> 2.01.2011

There are two things you need to know if you're planning on moving to Texas:
1. The weather is crazy and unpredictable. Yesterday's high was 78... while tomorrow's high is only 31. Oh, and you can expect just about every day in August to hover around 100 degrees.

2. Watch out for the property taxes. Without a state income tax, we have to make up the difference somewhere. In Austin, we pay about 2.3% of the home value in property taxes each year (and 8.25% in sales tax). Do the math- you're probably not going to be able anywhere near the same level of home here.

What does this all have to do with spray paint? Well, thanks to #1 we get plenty of spray-paintable weather during the winter (most spray paints recommend temperatures above 50-60 degrees). It's actually funny because after going on about my resolution to finish the projects I start, I had to leave my orange yard chairs sitting out like this for a few weeks while I waited for the spray paint weather to come back:

But, thanks to the amazing weather this weekend, I finally got the job done:
Those little wet spots on the chair? Ice! Again, it was 78 yesterday!

And the fire pit/ sitting area is as cozy as can be for sunset watching:

Way cozier than before: 

PS I brought up #2 because I think it comes as a shock to many families when they realize that they'll have to pay $500+ per month on property taxes alone in Austin (the suburbs cost less). Also, I'm just curious about other regions... What percent of your home's value do you have to pay in property taxes?

PPS I love my city and no amount of savings would have me moving!


Elisa @ What the Vita February 1, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

100% agree about everything you said about Austin and love the spraypainted chairs - less Longhorn-looking now :)

What's funny is that yesterday was the last day of warm weather and I was determined to spraypaint my project once and for all when we got home from work, but it was toooo windy! That's another weather tidbit about Austin - sometimes the wind is crazy.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards February 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM  

Wow! That's high for property taxes. We are currently basking in a property tax break because we are eligible for some sort of a break since we fixed up a very run-down home and paid so little for the property to begin with. (Our neighbor is the township tax assessor, which is handy.) But, after this year, it goes back up. But, I still don't think it will be near the 2.3 percent mark.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards February 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM  

And, PS - I would totally take 30 right now. I'm over this subzero weather crap. Why did we decide to live in the midwest?

Heather @ REOlisticRenovation February 1, 2011 at 11:49 AM  

I had to laugh because we went to a wedding in Texas and it was gorgeous weather when we landed...an hour later the streets were flooding and there was huge balls of hail falling from the sky and we were like...what? The chairs look great!

Jenna Scott February 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM  

Property taxes, the only reason I'm not looking forward to moving to Austin next year!

I live in Las Vegas, our taxes aren't bad at all, I don't have a huge expensive house, but my taxes are only about 150 a month :) THANK YOU NEVADA!

Hilary @ My So-Called Home February 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM  

I actually did a spray-painting project just a few days ago and I was worried the 20 degree temps would make it impossible but it actually dried even faster! I like to take those kinds of warnings not too seriously.

The Brick Cottage February 1, 2011 at 1:51 PM  

Sounds a lot like Knoxville! Weather is unpredictable (luckily we're missing this crazy storm so our temps will be in the 40s but a freak storm could easily make it snow in March!); no state taxes so our property tax is 2.46% and sales tax is 9.25%. BUT overall it's a very affordable/comfortable city to live in so I don't mind. Actually, I didn't even realize our property taxes were considered high.

Kate@TwentySixToLife February 1, 2011 at 2:44 PM  

For near 80* days in winter, I would pay those taxes. I'm so over this weather. Nice job with the chairs :)

Mrs. Chic February 1, 2011 at 4:59 PM  

I so cant wait to tackle a spray painting project soon, hoping to nice weather this weekend in Northern CA

Hmm - property taxes right now in CA are low and based on the sales price of your home & the current market / county. The do home value assessments once a year. Right now its 1.25% - low I know :)

Sales tax varies per County and per City here right now its 8.75% and up -- plus theres a high cost of living here and city taxes etc....

chacha February 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM  

Thankfully, property tax in my county is 1.0% + local bonds/extras, so I pay about 1.09%. The highest you can pay in CA is 1.25% (before the local stuff, like Mello Roos - evil 30 year long bonds in some newer communities).

After this last downturn, it's actually not that expensive anymore to own in San Diego when compared to avg incomes.

Sales tax is 8.75%. Was 7.75 until last year of the year before. Income tax... high. I think I am paying somewhere in the 8-10% ballpark.

Carol February 1, 2011 at 5:23 PM  

I live and sell real estate in Waco, about an hour from you. We, too, were in the high 70s Sunday and today the high was 26. Our property taxes come out to 1.75% of the assessed value, but those numbers fluctuate greatly throughout our county. I'm with you, though. I cannot imagine living anywhere that has this ridiculous weather all winter!


savvy_homegirl February 1, 2011 at 9:23 PM  

I was in Austin in December and it was beautiful! Our shuttle drive also went on and on and on and on and ON about how great Austin was. I got the impression it was expensive to live there and the people that did, loved it.

My taxes are only about 1.5% in Southern Ontario (Canada).

Sara @ Russet Street Reno February 1, 2011 at 10:27 PM  

Our property taxes are $23 per 1k of value, so we're the same as you in Racine, WI. Sort of ridiculous if you ask me. At least our sales tax is only 5.1%.

Loving your fire pit area!

LizzieBeth February 2, 2011 at 9:36 AM  

I would say your taxes are about double what I will be paying. However, it looks like you can get a much larger home for the money, so it probably evens itself out in the end.

The chairs look fantastic and the whole area looks cozy. JEGs and I will bring the marshmellows for s'mores ;)


Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog February 2, 2011 at 10:23 AM  

Here's an interesting calculator to compare cost of living to Austin:

I think Austin is quite expensive if you want to actually live in a central area (suburbs are much less expensive). Most single family homes go for above $300,000 and have a $575+ monthly property tax added on to the mortgage payment. Compared to 1.2% tax, you're looking at $275 difference per month or roughly $40,000 in home buying power.

Cindy @The Flipping Couple February 2, 2011 at 2:24 PM  

We pay about $150/month in property taxes. We're city-dwelling folk as well, some of the suburbs are much cheaper. But we also bought a cheap house and brought the value up significantly, which the current property taxes don't really reflect. It's a good thing to be aware of, though! Some people forget to calculate things like taxes and insurance into their home buying experience.

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