In Western New York, about halfway between Rochester and Buffalo, the quiet little Village of Medina rests along the banks of the Erie Canal. All of the old manufacturing businesses have long ago moved away to Mexico or China.
The only things remaining are the old houses, some dating back almost two-hundred years, and the people who, for one reason or another, never left for warmer climates or big cities. But things are finally looking up for Medina.
Retire in Medina?
A few new businesses have begun to spring up. The new Dunkin Doughnuts store now sits just down the street from the almost new Tim Horton’s Doughnut store. A shiny new Tractor Supply has taken up residence in part of the old Ames Department store plaza and a smart new Aldi’s grocery store has sprung up to compete with Tops Supermarket.
On Main Street, Zambistro’s restaurant is bringing top quality dining to town. I’ve eaten there several times and the food is first rate. Along with the venerable Country Club Restaurant on Main St, restaurants like Rudy’s on West Center Street still offer the old “diner” experience for a warm lunch or a delicious breakfast. I will add that both also have excellent hash browns.
All this brings me to the point. With all this to offer, would you want to retire in Medina?
One word sums it all up . . . winter.
But we’ve done it anyway. And we really like it.
Western New York often offers up some of the harshest weather south of the Arctic Circle. But that is the only drawback I can see. So, soon we’ll be moving to Medina.
We’ve bought an old (1828?) house just down the street from my favorite breakfast spot (Rudy’s) and we are going to attempt to fix it up and move in.
We are buying it on a HUD sale. This means cheap, really cheap. We paid $38,900 and with closing fees, we’ve got about $41,000 in the purchase. I’m estimating that with another 30 or 35 thousand, for a new kitchen, furnace, flooring, and bathroom renovations we’ll end up with about $75,000 in the whole deal. Not a bad price overall.
I know what you’re probably thinking. YES, taxes are stupidly high. But . . . the prices are stupidly low!
In North Carolina, our house taxes are about 1/4 the taxes in Medina, but a nice house in North Carolina will cost almost $200,000.
Also, in New York State, they have a tax break for seniors, (we now qualify) and a tax break for the first $60,000 or so on school taxes. This makes it just about the same, in our case, as North Carolina. In fact, one website calculator say’s it will be a hundred bucks cheaper for us in New York (not counting thermal underwear).
The main reason for moving here is Suzanne. My wife grew up here and many of her friends still live here. Simply put, she’s homesick. This is where she wants to be!
In my case, it doesn’t really matter where I live, as long as the heater works. I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and it has long since ceased to be anything I recognize. I can’t even find the High School I attended, let alone any friends. The only thing that’s the same is the ocean. It’s still as beautiful as ever. And we can always go south for a visit. (like in January)
If you are looking for a nice, friendly place to retire and don’t have a lot to retire on, take a look at Medina. The housing stock is reasonable, the summers are beautiful, and the people are friendly. Oh yeah, bring a snow shovel.