Author Topic: Move to small-town Texas??  (Read 23482 times)

Wexler

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2013, 12:04:38 PM »
Lots of Texas love here, which isn't surprising.  Texans love their state, and their love can be infectious.  I'm a lot more ambivalent about it, even after many years.  I'm also a Yankee transplant, but I live in a proper city, which I'm quite fond of.  Large cities in Texas are generally liberal-ish.  However, I would never, ever, ever live in east Texas.  Would not. Not in a small town or a small city. If you think Texas is your thing, I'd look elsewhere in the state and try to split the difference on salary and cost of living.  I think Austin and San Antonio are mid-sized cities with a lot to offer, and you'll still get the benefit of statewide medical malpractice laws. 

And, finally, I personally think east Texas is remarkably ugly. (Ducks for cover!) Soul-crushingly ugly.  Just mundane everyday things in the NYC area like the Merritt Parkway are about 50x prettier than anything you'll see from the geography in east Texas. It's difficult if you are an outdoorsy person, because Texas is flat and dry when it's not flat and swampy. Even the Hill Country is...not that hilly.  I expect much disagreement on this sentiment from native Texans :).

chardog

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2013, 03:20:43 PM »
My impressions of East Texas are that it is the part of Texas that's like the rest of the Southern States. 

Texas is really big and it has a little bit of many other parts of the country.  The South, the Plains, the Mountain West and the Border.

Living in the middle of Texas, it take forever to drive anywhere else.  By the time you are our of Texas, you have driven about all you would car to.

The car based sprawl sucks, but I have seen the same sprawl a lot of places.  Most unfortunate.  I wish more places cared about how their development patterns affect the feel and function of life.  Soul sucking auto dominant sprawl is outpacing human scale development in even the most forward thinking of metro areas nation wide.

travelbug

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2013, 04:06:49 PM »
I would say go for it. I have only been to Texas once to visit my Auntie (we are from Australia) and we loved it. She lived outside Dallas.

So from a purely financial perspective I would so it and then reassess how you feel in two years after your loans are paid off.

We sacrificed living in a place where we love and moved away from family to get ahead financially. It was/is hard and we will not stay here one day longer than we have to...we have done 9 years!!!!

But the city has been good to us and we will retire next year at 42 and 38. So it was worth it to have the freedom for the rest of our lives.

Good luck OP, take a risk or you will always wonder...

KLina

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2013, 07:24:48 PM »
Update: My husband is flying out for the interview! Hopefully he'll get some idea about whether or not this would be a place we could actually live.

ETA: He will probably have one in Dallas, too.

Wexler -- YIKES!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 09:42:58 AM by KLina »

Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2013, 07:28:48 AM »

And, finally, I personally think east Texas is remarkably ugly. (Ducks for cover!) Soul-crushingly ugly.  Just mundane everyday things in the NYC area like the Merritt Parkway are about 50x prettier than anything you'll see from the geography in east Texas. It's difficult if you are an outdoorsy person, because Texas is flat and dry when it's not flat and swampy. Even the Hill Country is...not that hilly.  I expect much disagreement on this sentiment from native Texans :).

I realize that beauty is a bit of a personal thing... but... really?   FAR east Texas is swampy... but not all of it and certainly not the area we're talking about.   It's not flat... it's GREEEN with forests and big ass trees.  Lots of undeveloped open land...  Dallas: yeah, ugly as sin.  East Texas?  There are lots of criticisms I've heard... but ugly isn't one of them.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 07:30:45 AM by Spork »

okashira

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2013, 09:46:11 AM »
Hello fellow Mustachians!

I’d like to enlist your help deciding whether or not to move to a small, conservative town pretty much just for the $$$.

We are a family of five (newborn, 4, and 7) and my husband is in the last year of his medical residency. It is time for him to get his first job in his field.

We are pretty good money managers, except for one huge, pants-on-fire debt: his medical school loans (along with a few of my grad school loans) total almost $300k. Other than that, we have no credit card debts, car loans, etc. We have managed to live on my salary as a teacher during medical school and his resident salary for most of our needs. He makes enough now that I can stay at home with the kids, and plan to do so when we move as well.

An opportunity has arisen to work in a small (bigger than Longmont), but VERY conservative town in Texas. We would be within driving distance (90 min.) of only one family member. They would pay my husband VERY well. Though the pay varies by quarter, he would likely be able to pay off his loans in 1-2 years while maintaining our current, relatively frugal lifestyle.

Other jobs in his field pay well, just not THIS well. We live in NYC right now, and the cost of living and competitiveness of everything (preschool, a cup of coffee, etc.) has been driving me crazy. I’m not at all interested in staying here (it is also a terrible malpractice environment for doctors) but I’m not sure is a small, conservative town would be a good fit for us. Some things we could keep to ourselves (Obama 2012!) Others, like my tattoos and our “friends with two mommies” would definitely come out.

We would obviously have the option of leaving after a couple of years. My question: Is it worth it to move to small-town Texas? It would probably take 5-10 years to pay off our loans in another part of the country before we could begin saving for retirement.

Other reasons to move to small-town Texas:
+very low cost of living
+low taxes
+excellent malpractice environment
+great hospital
+interesting new environment

Reasons not to move:
+very religious
+very conservative
+far from family

To answer your question I would need to know which small town. I've lived in texas my whole life and the quality of the residents could vary widely. If near a larger city, you might be OK.

If it's po-dunk texas, be ready to spend all your time not socializing; you may be able to find a few intelligents.

MooseOutFront

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2013, 11:25:01 AM »
As a Texan with plans to move from a large TX city to a small TX town (3500 population) when we retire at 40, I can assure you that religious is only the most noticeable of groups.  There's plenty of the rest of us.

And 80,000+ is no small town.  You'll even still have traffic problems.

KLina

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2013, 10:23:20 AM »
I just wanted to give a quick update, in case anyone was interested! My husband and I decided he will take the job, so we will be moving to Tyler, Texas in the summer! I am pretty excited about it, and can't wait to see the place (I know, I wish I could have, but baby was sick on the only possible travel days.) I think this will be a Mustachian adventure for my family :)

Frankies Girl

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #58 on: November 13, 2013, 10:47:45 AM »

KLina - congrats to your family on your husband's new job and move - I'm sure you'll adjust quickly and at least get to liking it pretty quick. And you may just get "stuck" here like me (transplanted to East Texas in the 90s, so I've been here a while).  ;)


If I remember right, Tyler is a college town so they tend to be more liberal and have more art/museum stuff... I think they even have a zoo. :)

What did your husband think of the area?

YoungAndWise

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #59 on: November 13, 2013, 01:01:16 PM »

KLina - congrats to your family on your husband's new job and move - I'm sure you'll adjust quickly and at least get to liking it pretty quick. And you may just get "stuck" here like me (transplanted to East Texas in the 90s, so I've been here a while).  ;)


If I remember right, Tyler is a college town so they tend to be more liberal and have more art/museum stuff... I think they even have a zoo. :)

What did your husband think of the area?

Correct in your assessment of Tyler; my brother goes to college at UT Tyler.
As someone who has lived in East Texas all his life, it can much different from NYC. However that being said 80K to 100K population will easily give you diversity.

acroy

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #60 on: November 13, 2013, 03:27:03 PM »
I just wanted to give a quick update, in case anyone was interested! My husband and I decided he will take the job, so we will be moving to Tyler, Texas in the summer! I am pretty excited about it, and can't wait to see the place (I know, I wish I could have, but baby was sick on the only possible travel days.) I think this will be a Mustachian adventure for my family :)
Congratulations!
So Cal native here, 2 years in Midland TX, 10 yrs in Houston, 12 years in Denton. TX ain't all bad - 'leave your preconceptions at the door' and have a good time ;) I think you'll find an awful lot of us here aren't from here. but we got here & decided to stay.
So many Texans on this thread, we could band together, talk about how we're better than everyone else, have a sub-forum with the glorious TX state flag, complain about dry counties, and talk about trucks.
FYI my dear wife has a tattoo as well. It's awesome.

chardog

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #61 on: November 13, 2013, 04:17:43 PM »
I just wanted to give a quick update, in case anyone was interested! My husband and I decided he will take the job, so we will be moving to Tyler, Texas in the summer! I am pretty excited about it, and can't wait to see the place (I know, I wish I could have, but baby was sick on the only possible travel days.) I think this will be a Mustachian adventure for my family :)

If you are in to cycling:

Off road: Tyler State Park had a good mountain bike race and hosts a race each year.

On road: The local bicycle club has been looking out for the interests of cyclists but recently lost a battle for access to the toll road that circles town on the basis of "safety concerns" with the irony being, having wide shoulders, it was the safest road in the area for cycling.

msilenus

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #62 on: November 13, 2013, 04:50:48 PM »
The Big Sort is making both liberals and conservatives dumber, and our country more alienated, divided, and full of hate.

Go.  Meet new and interesting people.  Don't be an asshole or condescending.  Prepare to be surprised.  Folks, by and large, is folks.

If you're worried about an intellectual fight or two breaking out despite your best efforts, you can brush up on some policy wonkery and maybe some new atheist fodder.  (It's not hard to strip the assholery out.)  Groupthink means it's super easy to be the one bringing the gun to the knife fight.

jrhampt

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #63 on: November 13, 2013, 05:39:51 PM »
I grew up in TX and lived all over. People are very polite and generally helpful. But the weather is absolutely beastly. I live in CT now. I have trouble enduring the summer time visits to family. The heat and sun can be unbearable if you're not accustomed to it! And the lack of seasons can be a shock. Best of luck. Let us know what you decide to do.

Hoho!  I also grew up in TX (Dallas) and live in CT.  The heat is awful in the summer, but the food is fantastic (and cheap!).  I did find the southern baptists and overall religious conservative culture to be less to my liking than the northeast, but I would go for two years and feast on brisket and Tex Mex.  And laugh all the way to the bank.  You really will be shocked at how much lower the cost of living is.

ETA congrats on taking the job!  We used to go stay at a cabin in Tyler, TX when i was little.  I remember it as a rather pretty, pine-forested with a great zoo. 
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 05:51:49 PM by jrhampt »

jrhampt

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #64 on: November 13, 2013, 05:42:05 PM »
Is very religious or very conservative a bad thing?

Maybe it's the opposite of cities like New York City or San Francisco were blanket categorized as very liberal and very atheistic.

I just don't know what to make of the categorizations as you described them as a negative.

It can certainly be a bad thing if you're gay, for example.  Or if sexism happens to bother you at all...I found it to be rampant in my Texas, conservative religious upbringing.  I have no patience for it.

Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #65 on: November 14, 2013, 07:49:30 AM »

It can certainly be a bad thing if you're gay, for example.  Or if sexism happens to bother you at all...I found it to be rampant in my Texas, conservative religious upbringing.  I have no patience for it.

FWIW: these types of attitudes have improved significantly there over the years.  I wouldn't say "those problems don't exist."  I would say that "those problems are slowly dying as new generations come along."   That doesn't mean it shouldn't get better.  But sometimes if you have perspective of where it was, you have more appreciation for where it is now.

KLina

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #66 on: November 14, 2013, 08:21:19 AM »
I'm going to just keep a smile and an open mind! I am a peaceful person, but good at shutting down racism/sexism/homophobia when I do encounter it. I'm hoping not to see too much, though.

I'm excited to try the barbecue, since I haven't been a vegetarian for a few years now.

I've noticed they have a zoo and a kids' science museum. It really had everything we were looking for in a smaller city. As for the heat, I was raised in South Florida, so I'm not worried about it at all.



What did your husband think of the area?

My husband thought it was pretty nice when he visited. He liked the Azalea (historical) district downtown, so we might try to live there. He compared it to some of the smaller cities in central Florida (where I went to high school.) He was only there for like 30 hours, so it wasn't a thorough tour, though they did send him out with a realtor.

The only thing I'm a little worried about it are the public middle and high schools. I am thinking we will apply to the magnet school, or move to the next town over if we are there long enough to need better secondary schools. We want to avoid private schools if at all possible (of course). I would probably homeschool before I would do that.

How close are you to the area, Frankies Girl?


Thanks for all the congrats, everyone! We still have a while before we move, but I'm getting excited.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 08:26:05 AM by KLina »

Frankies Girl

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #67 on: November 14, 2013, 09:55:20 AM »
I'm down in Houston, so I just know a few peeps that lived in that general area (friend went to UT, and I think it was that school).

Thank goodness you've lived in the south before - that will make things a bit easier to transition to (fire ants! Nobody told me about those and I walked THROUGH an ant hill my first month down here - warn your kids!)

Honestly, I think it will be pretty great for your family - you're going to run into small minded people but in general most people are nice. I like that size of town as it's just big enough to have lots of amenities, but still have a nicer "small town" feel.

Oh, and you're technically within driving distance of the Texas State Fair http://www.bigtex.com/sft/ which is one thing I keep meaning to do... looks like a whole lot of fun. :D


acroy

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #68 on: November 14, 2013, 11:16:13 AM »
As for the heat, I was raised in South Florida, so I'm not worried about it at all.

We want to avoid private schools if at all possible (of course). I would probably homeschool before I would do that.

2 suggestions:
1) If possible, GET A POOL - somewhat non-mustachian, but MAN do they make the long hot summers much more bearable and fun. And cuts waaaay down on the temptation to drive places.

2) Homeschool rocks. We tackled it, kids are doing great, takes just a few disciplined hours a day and frees the kids day way up. If it's possible, highly recommended.

Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #69 on: November 14, 2013, 11:19:32 AM »
I'm excited to try the barbecue, since I haven't been a vegetarian for a few years now.

for the break-in:  Stanley's.  Been around forever.  Right across the street from one of the main hospitals.  Old Mr. Stanley sold it to a hip young cool dude that has kept what was good and then added stuff for improvement.  They even have live music some evenings.  (They're really proud of their ribs... but IMO they are my least favorite thing they have.)

http://stanleysfamous.com/

Once you're confident... try real barbecue at Pat Gee's.  (It is literally a tar paper shack in the woods.  They've doubled the size of it, so it seats about 15 people now!)  If Stanley's has been there forever, Pat Gee's has been there Forever+1.

Stanley's is "old school gentrified bbq".  Pat's is "southern country Soul Food bbq"

Spork

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #70 on: November 14, 2013, 11:21:13 AM »

1) If possible, GET A POOL - somewhat non-mustachian, but MAN do they make the long hot summers much more bearable and fun. And cuts waaaay down on the temptation to drive places.



better: Find a friend with a pool.  Avoid the hassle.  ;)

jrhampt

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #71 on: November 14, 2013, 02:50:34 PM »
Oh, and you're technically within driving distance of the Texas State Fair http://www.bigtex.com/sft/ which is one thing I keep meaning to do... looks like a whole lot of fun. :D

The TX State Fair is AWESOME.  I was going to recommend it, but Tyler is a bit far.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #72 on: November 14, 2013, 03:25:38 PM »
The Big Sort is making both liberals and conservatives dumber, and our country more alienated, divided, and full of hate.

Go.  Meet new and interesting people.  Don't be an asshole or condescending.  Prepare to be surprised.  Folks, by and large, is folks.

If you're worried about an intellectual fight or two breaking out despite your best efforts, you can brush up on some policy wonkery and maybe some new atheist fodder.  (It's not hard to strip the assholery out.)  Groupthink means it's super easy to be the one bringing the gun to the knife fight.

I love everything about this comment.

OP, sounds exciting and I hope it all works out great! We are in a vaguely analogous situation, albeit with smaller student loans and smaller salary, and no kids. But my boyfriend (Pittsburgh native, lived in PA his whole live) and me (Minnesota native, lived there til I moved to PA in 2009) moved to Oklahoma last year for basically the same reason... I needed a good job to destroy my student loans. We both want to move back north as soon as we get in better shape financially, because it would be nice to be semi-close to at least one of our families, and the summers here are HORRIBLE (in our opinion anyway... I'm sure others think Minnesota winters are horrible ;)).

But all that said, so far we are enjoying it quite a bit. It's a good adventure and I've been pleased to see a lot of my preconceived notions about this part of the country dismantled (although some were definitely confirmed :)). I definitely think it is easier having an SO/family than if you were to be single and move to a town where you are a cultural/political minority... I had a friend in Tulsa who was that situation, recently moved back east and is much happier. But it sounds like you guys have the perfect attitude, hope the job is great and your experience is as good as ours! My only experience with Texas so far has been 3 months in Houston and a weekend in Dallas/Ft Worth, but I liked both those areas tons more than I thought I would.

JohnGalt

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #73 on: November 14, 2013, 06:51:56 PM »
KLina - I live in Dallas and haven't made it out to Tyler in years - but I do have a lot of family in Tyler.  Feel free to PM me if you would like me to try to find out anything for you from a local's perspective before the move. 

Lil_Bit

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #74 on: November 14, 2013, 08:14:54 PM »
I just wanted to give a quick update, in case anyone was interested! My husband and I decided he will take the job, so we will be moving to Tyler, Texas in the summer! I am pretty excited about it, and can't wait to see the place (I know, I wish I could have, but baby was sick on the only possible travel days.) I think this will be a Mustachian adventure for my family :)

Congratulations to you and your husband.  Welcome to Texas, and as others have said if you need anything just let us know. 

kkbmustang

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Re: Move to small-town Texas??
« Reply #75 on: November 15, 2013, 10:43:41 PM »
I just wanted to give a quick update, in case anyone was interested! My husband and I decided he will take the job, so we will be moving to Tyler, Texas in the summer! I am pretty excited about it, and can't wait to see the place (I know, I wish I could have, but baby was sick on the only possible travel days.) I think this will be a Mustachian adventure for my family :)

Congrats! My husband was born in Tyler which is not far from his hometown. We live in Big D so not far either. Welcome to Texas! Would love to meetup sometime. People are friendly so no worries there.