Author Topic: How to find your best place to live  (Read 1909 times)

stevef941

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How to find your best place to live
« on: February 25, 2017, 11:09:49 PM »
Hi,

I'm currently in NYC and FI. I can RE but have a great remote job so why?!  I'm ready to move out of NYC and want to find a place to live.  I am wondering if anyone has faced this and how he/she approached finding a new spot?! Thanks in advance.

Steve

pbkmaine

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2017, 11:23:31 PM »
Well, what do you like to do? Are you a city, suburb or country person? What kind of weather do you enjoy?

itchyfeet

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2017, 01:45:09 AM »
Probably a good idea to rent and not buy if you are exploring options.

In the 20 or so years since leaving my parents home I have lived in 8 places (owned 5 of them), moving on average every 2.5 years. I find it hard to believe that the next place I live in I will stay for 40+ years, although I would be happy if it worked out that way.

Everybody is different. But if your inclined to get itchy feet like me, and want to sample lots of different experiences, then owning homes gets expensive.

Getting back to your original question, I really don't my know how to choose one's best place to live (obviously lol.)

Of all the places we have lived we do have one firm favorite, however, that was in an exceptionally HCOL area, and I really hope we can fall in love with somewhere cheaper. I think we will be experimenting some more.... maybe forever.... one thing is for sure, we won't live where are now for more than 2 more years.


chasesfish

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2017, 05:29:59 AM »
Go spend six months in Hawaii...

Classical_Liberal

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 05:45:08 AM »
This is a personal preference question. I have found that smaller "college towns", just outside of the comfortable commutable range of a larger metropolitan area to be ideal.  These areas tend to have; lower crime, progressive attitudes, relatively large base of cultural/activities, public transit to the nearby city if you get a hankering for more urban stuff, closer proximity to nature, and generally have some form of cheap housing available to cater to the college kids/grad students. 

Trifele

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2017, 05:53:44 AM »
Go spend six months in Hawaii...

This. Or the Virgin Islands.  Then you're only one hour off EST, instead of that 5 hour time difference in Hawaii.  Might make your remote work easier.

Steve -- We were in this spot last year.  Living somewhere we didn't want to be, wanting to be somewhere nicer. We approached it like this:  We made a list of our absolute must haves -- five things a place had to have, or we wouldn't even put that city on the list.  Then we made a list of our like-to-haves.  Then we researched like crazy and came up with a short list of 6 or so places that ticked all the must-have boxes, and had some or all of our like-to-haves.  And we ranked them in terms of how many of the like-to-have factors were there.   Lastly, we went on the road and visited the places.   

It was a very interesting process.  Very happy with how it turned out.       

former player

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 06:57:37 AM »
I would say, don't underestimate the benefits of community.  You have existing communities of family and friends: look there first.  If that doesn't work for you, expand the circles around those communities until you find somewhere that does.

Roots&Wings

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2017, 07:15:10 AM »
It's kinda tough when you can live anywhere! For me, the process was think about what I'd ideally like (things like warm weather, low pollution, being outdoors year round, no state income tax, walkable town outside a major city w/ int'l airport). I visited family and friends in places I thought I might like (Austin, Asheville, Hawaii, etc). I even did the quiz on find your spot, which had some interesting suggestions. Good luck!

stevef941

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2017, 07:15:23 AM »
First, thanks for the responses and interest.  I am planning traveling a few months to go to some spots I've never been and also to check out potential places to live.  I also thought about sailing and RVing but the economics don't seem to be very mustachian.  Would be interested to get anyone's opinion on that...

I am going to rent until I'm settled down and I'd prefer not to have a capital outlay for an RV, sailboat or anything else.   

How to choose a spot - I've checked out best places lists and some data driven sites but I think (as many of you seem to agree) it's more about personal preference.  I put together some attributes and am trying to figure out how to filter based on it.

US or attainable citizenship
English language predominant
US Tax advantaged
Low cost of living
Walkable
Excellent Healthcare
Excellent Schools
Major University
Culture
Good Climate - Tropics is preferred
Geography (ocean with close proximity to mountains)
Low risk (Geographic, crime, geopolitical, etc…)

Here are what I think my blockers are:

Disrupting my routine during my trip - Especially eating healthy and the gym

What to do with my stuff - I've been SELLING as much as I can and plan on ramping that up next couple of weeks.  But, I will still have some things and hate the idea of storage. I did that previously and wound up paying $$ to ultimately donate my stuff.

Living low cost while traveling

Access to internet and ergonomics (laptops are the worst)

Last but not least networking and maintaining friendships

Thanks again for your interest!

Steve


Just Joe

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2017, 07:29:00 AM »
This is a personal preference question. I have found that smaller "college towns", just outside of the comfortable commutable range of a larger metropolitan area to be ideal.  These areas tend to have; lower crime, progressive attitudes, relatively large base of cultural/activities, public transit to the nearby city if you get a hankering for more urban stuff, closer proximity to nature, and generally have some form of cheap housing available to cater to the college kids/grad students.

THAT. Look up micropolitians areas on Wikipedia.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2017, 08:38:12 AM »
I am planning traveling a few months to go to some spots I've never been and also to check out potential places to live.  I also thought about sailing and RVing but the economics don't seem to be very mustachian.  Would be interested to get anyone's opinion on that...

Step into my office...

I've given a great deal of thought to what you are proposing.  I'm not FI but have put myself in a position where I can travel for work while I build my stash and find a "perfect place" to settle down in later.  I did much research on RV's and even boats for awhile and here is what I came up with:

I like creature comforts (like long, hot showers and full cooking/bathroom facilities) which are not really conducive to RV's/Trailers/boats etc.  Plus all of these require a big upfront cost (one I didn't want to spend not knowing if I would like it) and more maintenance than I wanted to put into them given I'm still working full time (although more intermittent).  My end decision was to buy a van like  this for only a few thousand.  It's AWD and gets decent gas milage with a ton of room.  I ditched all the rear seating.

I paired down my possessions to only what would fit in the van for transport. Furniture includes a bed that is easily condensed with a foam mattress that bends for storage, a chair, small couch, small table.  A couple of containers of personal items, a few pictures/decorations/lamp/curtains. Also things I use all the time like kitchen stuff, bedding, a few free weights, toiletries, minimized wardrobe (I leave folded stuff in two duffel bags which are my dressers, even when settled, a shower rod in the van to transfer hanger stuff so they dont get all wrinkled), a gas grill (I love grilling) and of course a laptop and small speakers for an entertainment system. Now, I do not live in the van, although even packed I am capable of crashing on the couch for a few days (tight squeeze, but doable). This allows me to travel without paying for expensive hotels. When unpacked I can rearrange the van for longer term camping, or for regular vehicle use if required (multiuse).

Before I arrive in my chosen new location, I have already searched CL for sublease advertisements and narrow it down to a few studio apartments to view.  Usually people are pretty desperate to get out of their leases and offer a free security deposit or even reduced rent.  I usually look for 2-5 mos left on a lease, I can always extend it later if I want.  Move into apartment soon after.  It takes about 2-3 hours unassisted for me to move in and be fully "set up", call for utilities, etc.  I use my phone hotspot for internet to minimize the constant changing there, if I need more data I use a library or see if a neighbor wants to share Wifi.  Then I work my contract and get to know the city, make friends, live life, etc.  Afterwards, it usually take 2-3 hours to "pack up", a couple more to clean if I think I can get that security deposit "back".  Rinse and repeat to your heart's desire.

It's not for everyone, but it is a good middle ground between being totally nomadic and having a home base. My apartments look & feel homey enough once unpacked; no one I have over ever guesses how mobile my lifestyle is. Total buy in cost for me was less than 5K.  Living costs are completely variable based on how much you want to pay for rent, but having such a small amount of stuff, more than 3-500 square feet is not really needed.

stevef941

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 07:14:39 AM »
This is well thought out!  A couple of questions if you don't mind; I've looked into cargo style vans like the Ford transit, Mercedes Sprinter, but they seemed pretty pricey so yours is a great recommendation. Seems like quite a bit of items for that size van, though.  How do you pack everything?! Are your items covered by auto insurance? What do you do with the van if you want to travel overseas? Regarding location; how are you choosing which place to move to?

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: How to find your best place to live
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 10:35:55 AM »
Yes, those other vans were expensive!  So expensive, that I would have probable went with a small class C RV over those. The astro van is tight with all that stuff.  Initially, I thought I had to choose between a bed and a small couch, but the key was a platform bed that tears down so well (see the pics on the link) and a foam vs internal spring mattress because you can manipulate the shape of the mattress. Drivers to passenger side; I pack the bed and foam mattress over the wheel well and then the couch to keep them in place.  This leaves about 3-4 feet of space on the right down the entire length of the van for everything else.  I use the passage front seat area for smaller things, as well. I run a shower rod (which comes in handy as I need the shower rod for some apmts bathrooms) across the back for hanging clothes.  I keep the area on top of the couch free so I can crash on it, easy to access from the back doors. I have no idea if my stuff would be covered by insurance, total cost to by replacements (used) would be less than a couple thousand anyway. I choose location, partially based on work and partially based on where I want to go. I have not been traveling overseas, but if I did, I would just park the loaded van at my mom's, she has an acre of land.  Its essentially a mobile storage locker anyway :).  In leu of family, I'm sure it would be relative easy to find a secure place for long term parking, it might just cost a little $ or trade.