Author Topic: Mustachian Relocation Guide  (Read 21017 times)

jordanread

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Mustachian Relocation Guide
« on: February 23, 2016, 03:00:50 PM »
Welcome to the Mustachian Relocation guide.
Initially, I was going to create this for the purposes of getting some information on areas I was contemplating relocating to for the purpose of work. However, after realizing the kind of information I was looking for, not only could this be extremely helpful for other people, but it could also be an opportunity to exercise something that Mustachians are very good at. We kick ass at understanding the kind of things that make a place worth living, and we rock at finding ways to make anywhere awesome. That being said, I (with some invaluable help from arebelspy) decided that an honest look at a specific location through the lens of Mustachianism and Catching FIRE would be cool to collate.

This thread will be a constant work in progress, and I'll do my best to keep it updated. The first few posts of this thread will be reserved for a Table of Contents (which will link to specific comments in this thread), so that one can easily find specific cities with feedback from those mustachians who know. Below, there are also some guidelines regarding the kind of information that we would like answers to. If I seem to have missed something that people would like to know, just post here and I'll get it added.

So this post is going to be a one stop shop guide for moving somewhere. Have a city you want advice on? Post a question here. Do you live somewhere and want to share your experiences? Post a review here. Let's see what kind of awesomeness we can create!!

The guidelines below are just that, a guide. You don't have to have all the information, just post your experiences and share what knowledge you have. Also, one of the biggest things I'd personally like to know is suburbs around the area that are probably cheaper.

Rough guidelines/information to include:
  • City, State, Country
  • If a suburb, distance from city
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy)
  • Indoor Hobbies
  • Outdoor Hobbies
  • Weather
  • Favorite things
  • Least favorite things
  • 'Must Try'
  • Stupid ordinances/laws
  • Words of wisdom/Advice
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc)

Resources/Getting Started

So you are looking at moving? Feel free to request firsthand knowledge here, but check out some of these resources to get started (and comment if you know of something else that should be added):




City Reviews




Review Requests
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Seattle, WA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Miami, FL
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Wilmington, NC
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Asheville, NC
  • Brevard, NC
  • Portland, OR
  • Outer Banks, NC
  • Denver, CO
  • Austin, TX
  • Corvallis, OR
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Burlington, VT
  • Philadelphia,PA
  • Bend, OR
  • Boulder, CO
  • Aberdeen, WA
  • Spokane, WA
  • Post Falls, ID
  • Groton/New London, CT
  • Nanaimo, BC Canada
  • Sequim,WA
  • Port Angeles,WA
  • Port Townsend,WA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Fairfax, VA
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Washington D.C.
  • Grand Rapids, MI
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 09:03:25 AM by jordanread »
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jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 03:00:59 PM »
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

  • City, State, Country:REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • If a suburb, distance from city: REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Indoor Hobbies:REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Outdoor Hobbies:REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Favorite things:REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Least favorite things:REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • 'Must Try':REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Stupid ordinances/laws:REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): REPLACE ME
    REPLACE ME WITH CONTENT
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 06:04:12 AM by jordanread »
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 03:01:07 PM »
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 03:01:15 PM »
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
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jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 03:01:26 PM »
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
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jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 03:01:36 PM »
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 03:02:08 PM »
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
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jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 03:02:48 PM »
Colorado Springs, CO

I make an effort to love everywhere I find myself, but it was so much easier here. The city itself is pretty large, with the natural growing pains that come with expansion. However, all expansion is moving east. To the west (a 20 minute bike ride from downtown), you have access to the foothills (and Pikes Peak). Throughout the city, there are a lot of bike trails, and they are very well maintained (as in some get plowed before the streets do). There is a plethora of fun free activities, and UppaDowna does weekly rides downtown. Weekly 5K fun runs are held almost year round. Bear Creek is a fun park, as is Fox Run (on the north side). COS is home to USA Triathlon, US Cycling, and USA Ultimate. Costs for housing vary within city limts. The North end of town is most expensive, and housing costs drop as you move south. I currently live just East of downtown, and the housing here is very cheap, since they are ranch style homes built in the 50s, and not McMansions that are in more demand these days. Colorado gets 300 days of sunlight, so our passive solar heat works quite well. I'm not familiar with many indoor activities here, but that's because there is a whole lot of outdoor activities and they are free. Hiking, bouldering, and biking are common hobbies, and they are all easily accessible (you can bike to a location for any of these). We also support dispersment camping in National Forests and BLM lands, so as long as you stay 100 feet (or something) away from rivers, you can just pitch a tent and enjoy. Even though it costs money, one of the most fun things that you have to try is outdoor laser tag at Battlefield Colorado, and the Starlight Spectacular is an awesome biking event where they close down the streets for a ride in the dark. The soil up north is more clay, so there will be some work getting a garden to grow. The soil seems to get better the further south you go. Throughought all of Colorado, there are strange laws regarding water usage and storage. It's technically illegal to collect rain water, but I haven't had an issue with it yet. Due to the proximity of the mountains, sunsets aren't anything all that great, but sunrises are cool. The views of the mountains are outstanding, and never cease to amaze me. There is a fair amount of sprawl, so be prepared to travel a bit if using an alternative mode of transportation. The libraries (21C) are great, and even have CNC machines and 3D printers that you can use (if you take a class and provide the materials). Overall, it's a great place to live, especially if you like outdoor activities. If you are a social butterfly, you can also find all kinds of groups to engage in activities with others (there is seriously a red wine and hiking group).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 04:20:37 PM by jordanread »
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 03:03:05 PM »
New Orleans, LA

Coming soon...I just hate dead links.
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Parizade

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2016, 03:11:27 PM »
I've found this resource to be helpful. You can select any state and any county or town within that state. The tool then generates a bare bones budget of living expenses for that town or county.

Living Wage Calculator
http://livingwage.mit.edu/

It's not perfect, I think many of the people who participate in this forum could live on less than the calculator suggests. Still, it's a useful starting point for comparing communities.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 03:13:40 PM by Parizade »
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jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2016, 03:18:41 PM »
I've found this resource to be helpful. You can select any state and any county or town within that state. The tool then generates a bare bones budget of living expenses for that town or county.

Living Wage Calculator
http://livingwage.mit.edu/

It's not perfect, I think many of the people who participate in this forum could live on less than the calculator suggests. Still, it's a useful starting point for comparing communities.

Nice. I suppose I need to add a resource section as well. Thanks!
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deborah

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2016, 09:53:08 PM »
There are a lot of companies who do international city livability indices. For instance, just a couple of days ago, Mercer updated theirs for 2016. As usual, Vienna and Zurich head their list as the world's most livable city, with Auckland, Munich, Vancouver, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Sydney rounding out the top 10. Of the cities they look at, All Australian cities except Brisbane come in before any US cities (well Canberra ties with San Francisco). This is a bit surprising as one of the major criteria for this study is International connectivity, and Australia and New Zealand tend to be the end of the line, so they wouldn't do well (especially Canberra which will start to have international flights in September). Mercer is obviously quite Euro-centric.

But there are a number of other world's most livable city indices, one of which often puts Sydney at no. 1 position in the world, another of which often puts Melbourne there (there is a bit of rivalry between the two cities, so this is HEADLINES). Vancouver also seems to make it to the top of most lists. The Economist does one of these surveys.

It is really interesting to read the criteria these studies use for their choices. I think it is worth while thinking about what your criteria are, even when you look at this list.

The Living Wage calculator seems to have a bias (in Australia) towards the CBD when it is talking about things like lunch prices. Melbourne and Sydney both have "Cheap Eats", awards and information about where to buy cheap meals, so Mustachians should have a different experience to that in the calculator.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 11:26:58 AM »
  • City: Seattle, Washington, USA
  • If a suburb, distance from city: The neighbourhood I live in is University District/Ravenna. Still in the bounds of Seattle proper, ~8 miles north of downtown
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): I've rented 2 places:
    • First was $1595+electric. That got me a 600sf condo inside a access controlled building, with an assigned parking spot and laundry in the condo. The condo building was 3 blocks from a high end outdoor shopping mall.
    • Second place is $150+electric. That gets me 400sf apartment, laundry in the basement, street parking. The apartment building is on a big hill, which has a fantastic view of lakes and mountains. It's under priced for the market, and should cost ~1200. I got it through connections.
    [li]Indoor Hobbies: Meet ups abound. People like to play gameboards, attend indoor climbing gyms and indoor soccer gyms, go to micro-breweries and play trivia...
  • Outdoor Hobbies: like, 14 bazillion. It's Seattle. Water, mountains, trails, parks
  • Weather: The summers are astounding. In the winter it rains, andit's dark. At the winter solstice we get 8.5 hours of light. Swooping towards the equinoxes, we lose/gain 4 minutes per day, or 28 minutes per week. The rapid shift can disorient your time sense.
  • Favorite things: It's beautiful.
  • Least favorite things: Traffic patterns. The city is set up to move cars north-south fairly easily, but there aren't many major arteries moving east-west is very slow. Trying to get to, or across the freeway is always a gamble.
  • 'Must Try':
    • Marinated, in West Seattle. Hawaiian Food!
    • Renting a boat from the Center for Wooden Boats and paddling around Lake Union
    • Smoking a cigarette, and watching the people's disapproving faces
    • Laughing when you realize the entire downtown smells like pot
    [li]Stupid ordinances/laws: Composting is mandatory, but no one puts of signs saying what can be composted. You're just supposed to know, by witchcraft and alechemy
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:It's expensive, and there are a lot of people. It's probably worth it, for a little while. Buying is probably a bad idea, prices are incredibly high, and probably inflated.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Seattle. Lawn vegetable plots abound.

MickeyMoustache

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2016, 07:27:04 AM »
I currently live in NE OH, (originally from Long Island) and my wife and I would like to get back to the East coast.  Our current guess of a great place to live would be in the Raleigh North Carolina area, or maybe a suburb of Charlotte.  Can anyone provide some advice on these areas?  I've only been to Charlotte for work and my wife has only heard that its a great place to live from others.  We are planning on vacationing there later this year but have no idea where to go... Any help would be appreciated!

Basically, we want to get to warmer weather and live near a nice city to go into as well as having outdoor options (hiking, biking, camping, etc.)

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2016, 09:01:06 AM »
I currently live in NE OH, (originally from Long Island) and my wife and I would like to get back to the East coast.  Our current guess of a great place to live would be in the Raleigh North Carolina area, or maybe a suburb of Charlotte.  Can anyone provide some advice on these areas?  I've only been to Charlotte for work and my wife has only heard that its a great place to live from others.  We are planning on vacationing there later this year but have no idea where to go... Any help would be appreciated!

Basically, we want to get to warmer weather and live near a nice city to go into as well as having outdoor options (hiking, biking, camping, etc.)

I've added Charlotte and Raleigh to the request list. Also, I was looking at a comparison between Raleigh and Austin, TX, so that resource may be helpful. This is the comparison I was looking at. Also, would you mind posting your review of Long Island and/or where you are now?
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2016, 10:53:50 AM »
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.
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Nords

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2016, 04:54:46 PM »
This is a very rough guide to Hawaii, and it's mostly about Oahu/Honolulu.  Those of you who live here (especially on a neighbor island) please edit this to match your experiences.  I've also included links to all of my blog posts and their related references to other books, manuals, & newspapers.

I live on Central Oahu.  We're about 20 miles northwest from Honolulu ("town") and we can be in Waikiki in about 45-60 minutes.  (Traffic is more critical than distance.)  However the island is roughly 30x40 miles (600 sq mi) so it's hard to get more than 90 minutes away from town.  Kapolei ("Second City") in the west is just starting to grow, and in 20 years or so it'll be the second urbanized area.  Oahu is currently building a light rail system to link Kapolei (Ewa Beach) to town (Ala Moana Shopping Center) and should be running by 2018 or 2019. 

Average housing cost is all over the map.  The median condo price is roughly $350K and the median single-family home price is roughly $750K.  However high-rise studios rent for as little as $1000/month and some homes are as expensive as $6000/month.  It's reasonable to budget $1500/month for an apartment and $2500/month for a single-family home, but the house may require a 40-minute drive to town (each way). 

Indoor hobbies?!?  This is paradise!  Get outside!  Oh, it's raining again?  Well, there's always hula or martial arts.

Outdoor hobbies:  everything you'd do on the Mainland, plus surfing.  Wear sunscreen.

Weather:
Like much of the island, Central Oahu's climate is 75-85 deg F year-round with winter lows in the 60s and summer/fall highs around 90.  May-November is generally dry (with the threat of an occasional hurricane every year or two) while December-April (especially January) is rainy.  However the island's microclimates vary from tropical forest all the way to desert.  A couple elevations can get down into the low 50s in winter.  The joke is that local meteorologists have the country's easiest job, and if you don't like the weather then you should walk a couple miles or wait an hour.

Favorite things:  Surfing. 
Other island activities can be found at the website 101ThingsToDo.com.  It's designed for visitors of all types but it's a good place to find the latest stores and vendors. 
We enjoy Hawaii's multicultural population, especially the different cuisines.  Waves of immigration over the last 150 years (mainly from Asia) have brought together many different cultures and nobody is a majority.

Least favorite things:
Oahu is struggling with urban growth and the high cost of owning a residence.  Sprawl is competing with the loss of agricultural land, and the island's future growth will have to come from high-rise buildings and walkable neighborhoods oriented around light rail. 
Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983 and has spewed tons of sulfur dioxide into the air.  Normally this gas is blown away from the islands by the tradewinds, but when those winds die down then "vog" (volcanic fog) permeates the air.  It can cause respiratory problems for some.
Some temporary residents (mostly military on a tour of 2-3 years) complain about "rock fever" (small-town syndrome) and want a climate with four seasons.  Others miss being able to drive hundreds of miles, seeing professional sports teams (of all leagues) in person, and NASCAR racing. 
Mainland family (elderly parents, your grandkids) can draw you away from the islands.  Some residents tire of having to fly at least 2500 miles to the Mainland several times per year for family or business.

Must try:
This post describes a typical vacation itinerary:
http://the-military-guide.com/2014/05/01/lifestyles-in-retirement-hawaii-vacation/

Stupid ordinances/laws:
Hawaii culture (Chinese, other Asian countries) encourages fireworks at New Years Eve.  This has extended to American culture on the 4th of July.  Residential firecrackers and smaller displays can be lit at home with a $25 permit, but the law is widely ignored.  Many residents buy illegal aerials and other powerful explosives.  The noise, smoke, and debris are incredible. 

Words of wisdom/advice:
You have to live here to truly understand how you'll feel about a tropical paradise.  At the very least you'll want to stay for six months as a resident.  If you're considering buying a home, be ready to rent for at least 12-18 months while you sort out the neighborhoods and prowl for bargains.
Read these posts, and note the other blogs/books/publications mentioned in the "Related links" sections.
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/06/14/lifestyles-in-early-retirement-hawaii-long-term-travel/ Lifestyles in early retirement: Hawaii long-term travel
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/03/28/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-learning-to-surf-in-hawaii/ Lifestyles in military retirement: learning to surf in Hawaii
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/08/29/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-surfing-photos/ Lifestyles in military retirement: surfing photos
http://the-military-guide.com/2010/11/04/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-surfing/ Lifestyles in military retirement: surfing
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/10/13/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-living-in-hawaii/ Lifestyles in military retirement: Living in Hawaii
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/08/27/good-reasons-not-to-live-in-hawaii/ Good reasons NOT to live in Hawaii
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/05/16/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-haleakala-crater/ Lifestyles in military retirement: Haleakala Crater
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/05/30/lifestyles-in-retirement-haleakala-crater-redux/ Lifestyles in military retirement: Haleakala Crater redux
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/10/29/3d-hawaii-right-here-on-the-blog/ 3D Hawaii: right here on the blog
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/11/01/lifestyles-in-hawaii-tsunamis/ Lifestyles in Hawaii: tsunamis
http://the-military-guide.com/2013/04/15/lifestyles-in-hawaii-hawaii-island-the-big-island/ Lifestyles in Hawaii: Hawaii Island (the Big Island)
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/09/03/lifestyles-in-hawaii-naked-on-the-beach/ Lifestyles in Hawaii: “Naked on the beach”
http://the-military-guide.com/2014/05/01/lifestyles-in-retirement-hawaii-vacation/

Sustainability:
Hawaii grows less than half of its own food.  You can do a lot with your own garden and fruit trees, which may produce 2-3 crops per year.
The islands are attempting to be 100% renewable energy by 2030.  Oahu is at about 20% and Kauai is already hitting 90% on some days. 
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2016/02/03/kauai-utility-reaches-90-renewable-energy.html
All of Hawaii's potable water comes from rainfall that percolates down to artesian wells.  The water supply is threatened by salt-water intrusion and residential construction. 
One sewage plant is running a small project to reclaim and purify effluent for golf-course irrigation.  I suspect that toilet-to-tap utility systems will be widespread within another 20 years.
Hawaii's sewage infrastructure is old, antiquated, and frail. 
Over a third of Oahu's residences use solar water heating systems.  All new construction is required to include this feature.
Oahu has one of the nation's highest per-capita uses of photovoltaic grid-tied electric power.  Nearly one-third of the single-family homes have PV systems and a net-metering agreement with HECO.  There are over 77,000 PV systems on the island.
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/blog/morning_call/2016/01/hawaiian-electric-has-77-000-installed-solar-pv.html
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forestj

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2016, 12:30:08 AM »
  • Minneaplolis/Saint Paul, MN, USA
  • Housing Cost: Highly variable. You can easily spend over $2000 a month in rent downtown, but it also goes down to about $250 a month if you live in the right place and share. But most "bad neighborhoods" here are actually just good neighborhoods with black folks and latinos who live there. Check out a neighborhood map for Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Whittier, Powderhorn, Phillips, and Longfellow are good, cheap places to live in Minneapolis. MacGroveland, Highland Park, and Frogtown are good cheap places to live in Saint Paul. Avoid Uptown, Downtown, Crocus Hill, Loring Park, and other rich areas.  Minneapolis/Saint Paul is a decent place to buy rather than rent. You can easily pay $500 a month rent in a "cheap" area if you are not careful. Personally I pay $270 a month but I share with 6 other people, YMMV.  There are bad houses and forclosures selling for under 100k.
  • Indoor Hobbies: Umm, drinking? What else is there to do here? /sarcasm. There is a pretty active music scene if you are into that. There are tons of cool things to do. Sign up for a membership at the Hack Factory maker space, talk Ham Radio and play with a Laser Cutter and Electron Microscope all day. Or join the North Star Roller Girls (or Twin Cities Terrors men's) Roller Derby league. There are tons of things to do here, more than I know about, I'm sure.
  • Outdoor Hobbies: Winter is kinda intense here, so it helps if you can get into it. Skating / Nordic skiing is relatively big here. There is a ski race where the streets are blocked off and paved with snow. Go figure. Also ice hockey is big here. There are even serious broomball leagues (hockey in tennis shoes, its real silly). There aren't very many mountains around so if elevation is your thing don't come here. 
  • Weather: It exists. It gets cold in the winter. Don't F*** around, bring a coat and gloves. If you ignore that and come anyway, just hit up goodwill and get your winter fix.
  • Favorite things: Minneapolis and Saint Paul are some of the most bike-able cities in the united states. Even in the winter, baby. (That's right, eat it Portland!!). This isn't just a bullshit statistic. See the greenway and protected bike lanes. Also, (and this is a personal favorite for me) there is a diverse and active food culture here with some great shops. Check out Shuang Hur and United Noodle for some cheap and tasty Hmong, Chinese, Thai, and Indonesian ingredients!! Also located here: Tons of breweries.
  • Least favorite things: Minnesota Nice. This is a cultural phenomenon here. Basically it means that people will accept you, and be nice to you, but unless you went to grade school, middle school, high school, (and maybe college) with someone, you might never be as close with them as "thier buddies" are. Someone else described Minnesota Nice as "Minnesotans, upon meeting you, will tell you all about thier day. But even after years, they still won't tell you the address of their lake cabin..."  Also, Minnesota is pretty racist. Not overtly, but its there. I'm consistently irritated by that.
  • Must Try: I don't know, there are so many "Must Try"s here. Are they all great, or are they all lame? I can't tell, you decide. 24 hour bike races around town. May day. The Juicy Lucy (a hamburger stuffed with cheese) at any of the 3 or 4 bars who claim to have invented it. Hidden Beach, a working class swimming spot and stoner refuge in the middle of one of Minneapolis' richest neighborhoods. Check out Hard Times Cafe a cheap 24 hour punk-as-fuck dining experience.
  • Stupid ordinances/laws: One of the most anti-mustachian laws: depending on the residential zone, you are only "allowed" to have 3 or 5 unrelated people living in a "unit". If two people are married and two others are just friends, then it counts as 4 un-related people. However this is seldom enforced and no one really cares as long as you keep a low profile. For example my house is 7 people in a 6 bedroom and I never had any problems with 3 different professional property management companies.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice: Honestly I don't know what to put here. Please don't be an asshole and ruin my favorite city?? Minneaplolis/Saint Paul have great income to rent ratios, especially if you work in tech and can share a house. Maybe the cultural temperment is a little different (see "Minnesota Nice" above). But in my opinion this is a great place to live, especially if you already know someone living here already, and you can hook up with them for an initial social boost. Also don't forget the winter is no joke.
  • Sustainability options : There are lots of community/urban gardens here. Ask around, volunteer, get on the mailing list and participate. Before starting a back yard garden, know that some of the ground is heavily contaminated with lead from previous industrial activitiy, and some of the topsoil has been replaced with fresh stuff. Look it up for your area. Solar panels wont work so well up north with all the cloud cover. At least we have a good source of water. There is huge and epic water treatment plant which converts gargantuan amounts of stank-ass  missisipi river water into some of the best tap water you have ever tasted. There are numerous food co-ops around, which range from ugly expensive bourgeois "sustainability" masturbation to genuine local food offerings at a decent price. Also, there are lots of farmers markets. Same thing: variable. Some are all megascale commercial grower resellers (Minneapolis farmers market), some are all over 5$ a pound (Mill city farmers market). But hidden in the rough (Saint Paul farmers market) there are some real local farmers selling thier produce at a decent price.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 11:42:58 AM by forestj »

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2016, 06:51:02 AM »
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.

I've added your requests to the first post. Thanks for participating.

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Awesome reviews and a huge thanks to you both. Those were both great reads with a lot of great information.[/list]
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2016, 03:51:16 PM »
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.

I would be very interested in a San Jose review, or really anywhere California coastal.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2016, 04:56:14 PM »
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.

I would be very interested in a San Jose review, or really anywhere California coastal.

*cough, cough* Spartana!!!! I'll send a PM, and add your locations to the requested section tomorrow.

Where do you live? Can you add your review of your city?
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2016, 12:51:12 PM »
Not a request in this thread, but I know others have asked about it in the forums plenty of times. I grew up in Arizona and currently live on the west side of the Phoenix metro area:

City: Phoenix, AZ, USA
If a suburb, distance from city: So the metro area is huge. Think Los Angeles if you have ever been there, or imagine it taking 90 minutes to drive from one side to the other. I live on the northwest part of the area, and its about 30 to 45 minutes to get downtown.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): Housing is relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the US. A single family home in a decent area can be found for $150K to $250K. You can rent a 3br/2ba for about $1250 in a good part of town. For mustachians, you can buy a 2br condo for under $100K and you can rent a 1br apartment for $650.

Things to do: So understand its almost like two different cities. From October to April, you have a million things going on. Its like one giant party. Superbowls, spring training, hot air balloons, golf tournaments, NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA all in the city, plus bowl games, NCAA tournament games, concerts, expositions, etc, etc, etc... You also have plenty of outdoors stuff. Weather is great so hiking, fishing, hunting, etc... are all easy to do. 2 hours north of the city is a smallish college town with a nearby ski resort. In the summer months, its like a ghost town and your options for entertainment diminish.

Weather: Again, October through April, its beautiful. Expect 60s-70s for most of the winter.  May through September is horrific. You usually see ten or more days of 110F+ and pretty much the whole season is 100F+. Not to mention that July and August you get monsoon season with haboobs(think of a thunderstorm, only no rain, just dust, lightning, and wind). Very dry, obviously, with plenty of days with under 10% humidity.

Favorite things: Winter weather, lots to do in the winter, and life is easy. Jobs are plentiful, cost of living is low. San Diego is 6 hours away. Rocky mountains are 2-4 hours away.

Least favorite things: The summer weather, rednecks, and how car dependent the city has become. Smoking is more common than in places like California. People drive like assholes.

  • Stupid ordinances/laws: You can carry a handgun concealed around in public legally.
    Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Electricity is cheap, but solar panels are all over the place. Gardening is difficult, but can be done.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2016, 12:57:22 PM »
Not a request in this thread, but I know others have asked about it in the forums plenty of times. I grew up in Arizona and currently live on the west side of the Phoenix metro area:

AZDude, thank you for the review. I've added it to the main post.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2016, 01:13:14 PM »
There are even serious broomball leagues (hockey in tennis shoes, its real silly).

I am personally offended by this comment. 

BROOMBALL FOREVER.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2016, 11:19:13 AM »
•  City: Boston, Ma – I live in Boston proper, but when most people think of Boston, they think of Boston and the immediate suburbs (Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline and Allston). I don’t consider them suburbs for the sake of this guide since everything about Boston will apply to them as well.
•  Average housing cost (specify rent or buy) – It is very expensive to live here. I have been lucky in all 3 places I have lived have been amazing deals. Place 1 was in Cambridge $1,000 a month with 4 roommates and 4 bathrooms. Place 2 was in Cambridge was $2,000 a month for a 660 sqft 1Bed/Bath apartment with a deeded parking spot that I lived in with my now ex-girlfriend. My current apartment is $1050 a month in South Boston for a 11x12 sqft room with a detached bathroom and 2 roommates. All of these are very good deals for the area. If you live with roommates, the typical rent is between 1100 – 1500 a month. If you want to live on your own, it moves to 1700+ per month.

The key to living here, in my opinion, is living within walking distance of the subway or bus lines. You can spend less living away from public transport, but if you work in the city, that means driving into some of the worst rush hour traffic in the country and paying 350+ a month to park your car in the garage plus any tolls along the way. If you find the right area, you don’t even need a car (I was car free for 2 years).

There is an extensive commuter rail system for people who want to live in the suburbs, but they just passed the 3rd fare increase in the 6yrs I’ve been here and it is just as expensive as a parking pass for the people in the farthest zones, and takes just as long, but you don’t have to drive, so there’s that.

Buying a home or condo is also ludicusly expensive. The single apartment condo I rented with my ex has an estimated retail of 425k and was last updated in 1995. Houses are far worse. All the new building in the city is “luxury” apartments and condos, so I don’t expect that price to go down any time soon.

http://newbostonpost.com/2016/03/14/why-soaring-housing-costs-threaten-bostons-economic-vitality/

Indoor Hobbies – Lots – Sports teams (Bruins, Celtics), 4 concert venues I can think of off the top of my head. Multiple museums and historical landmarks along with guided tours. Lots of bars/drinking/night life (expensive, think 7-10 dollar beers and 10-20 dollar mixed drinks). Hundreds of indoor sports leagues from floor hockey to volley ball and whiffle ball.
•  Outdoor Hobbies – Varies on season – Red Sox and Patriots. Hundreds of rec sports leagues – you can find almost anything you’re interested in here. Kayaking and deep sea fishing in the summer, skiing/snowboarding in the winter. It is only a few hours to some of the best mountains in the Northeast.
•  Weather – All 4 seasons. Seriously, I have 3 sets of clothes for summer, fall/spring, and winter. Summers can range from 80-90ish, with a handful of 100+days. Spring and fall are the most temperate with 60-80 days and cooler nights. Winter can get COLD.  This year we were lucky with only 2 days below 0 and almost no snow. Last year was a horror show with almost an entire month in the low single digits with negative wind chill and over 120 inches of snow that almost paralyzed the city.
•  Favorite things – The sports teams (Championship city, lately). The rec leagues, and the music scene in the summer, close to family
•  Least favorite things – traffic, how expensive it is, winter
•  'Must Try' -  Fenway park, the museums, harbor walk.
•  Words of wisdom/Advice – Avoid the mass pike (I-90) on the weekdays as much as possible. Live on rapid transit system. If you want to live in the suburbs, be ready for a 1.5-2+ hour commute each way. I moved into the city for that exact reason, 2 hours each way at the end of the work day and paying 400-500 a month for the privilege.

Edited to add link
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 02:15:08 PM by new old life »

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2016, 11:28:12 AM »
•  City: Boston, Ma

Thank you!! I've got it added. Do you like it there?
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new old life

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2016, 11:42:07 AM »
•  City: Boston, Ma

Thank you!! I've got it added. Do you like it there?

Yes, aside from the traffic and the expense. I grew up relatively close, CT, and I have made a lot of good friends here. People are mostly friendly and there is never a shortage of things to do, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't seriously considering moving somewhere warmer and cheaper.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2016, 09:16:13 AM »
I have only been reading for about a week so I'm not sure that I have 'mustachian' assistance to provide but I live right outside of Charlotte NC for the last 6 years & have a child going to college in Charleston.

I am not sure how much information I can provide but am happy to try to answer any questions if I can.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2016, 08:42:17 PM »
•  City: Boston, Ma

Thank you!! I've got it added. Do you like it there?

Yes, aside from the traffic and the expense. I grew up relatively close, CT, and I have made a lot of good friends here. People are mostly friendly and there is never a shortage of things to do, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't seriously considering moving somewhere warmer and cheaper.
Hi,
I'm another Bostonian. The area is pretty bike friendly until you hit some of the suburbs. Public transit is good in areas served by light rail. Some areas are well served by bus. The people are very educated & most suburban public schools are excellent. However, real estate prices are astronomical even in bad areas, the COL is generally high, & weather is atrocious. It is April 3 as I write this & it snowed yesterday, snowed today, & will snow tomorrow. this winter has actually been relatively benign. However last winter we not only had snow high enough to cover our first floor windows, it covered up bus stop & street signs in front of our  house due to plowing. Many houses locally have oil heat, not gas, and very high heating bills. I don't enjoy winter sports or snow generally. While cultural activities are plentiful, this isn't NYC & you can burn out on indoor stuff by february in a snowy winter. Being snowbound indoors & paying top dollar in terms of COL for the privilege gets old. I too am looking south & considering relocation.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2016, 10:10:25 AM »
Great thread!

Other candidate cities:

Asheville NC

Brevard NC

Portland Oregon

Outer Banks NC

Denver CO


jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2016, 10:33:35 AM »
Great thread!

Other candidate cities:

Asheville NC

Brevard NC

Portland Oregon

Outer Banks NC

Denver CO

I'll get those added to the post. Thanks for the contribution.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2016, 05:28:03 AM »
I saw Austin, TX requested, you should add that to your list as well.  My observation is that's an interesting place, awesome if you want to retire early but horrible if you have to commute to work for a living

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2016, 12:50:15 PM »
I saw Austin, TX requested, you should add that to your list as well.  My observation is that's an interesting place, awesome if you want to retire early but horrible if you have to commute to work for a living

and CRAZY HOT

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2016, 07:27:28 AM »
I just came across this site for evaluating public transit, and I thought it might be a useful resource for people here who might want to make decisions based on access to public transit:

http://alltransit.cnt.org/

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2016, 10:33:58 PM »
If anyone has experience in the following, I'd love to hear it.

Corvallis, OR

Charlottesville, VA

Burlington, VT

I also would be willing to review Denton, TX if anyone's interested.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2016, 11:36:19 AM »
Any input on Philadelphia metro area?  All I know so far is these guys:


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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2016, 03:37:06 PM »
I've got all the new requests added to the main post.

I also would be willing to review Denton, TX if anyone's interested.

By all means, review away. The more data the better!!
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2016, 08:17:10 PM »
I'd love to see a review of Tacoma WA. It seems like a Mustachian city from what I've heard/read.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2016, 07:51:52 PM »
City: North Delaware/West Chester PA area  (Outside Philladelphia, south-east)

•  Average housing cost  - all over the place.  This little area between Newark DE - Valley Forge, PA runs the gambit from country, to little city (Wilmington, West Chester), to big towns (Newark DE, Valley Forge, Wayne, PA, Kennett Square, PA etc) to little suburb nooks (North Wilmington, Arden, Brandywine Hundred, Hockesin, Chadds Ford, etc).    Basically depending where you want to be you are looking somewhere between $900 - $2500/mo to rent or housing between $180,000 - all the way up over $2 mil if you want.    Most the stuff around here falls in the $1200 range for rent and $200,000 - $300,000 for housing which gets you a lot for your money. 

• Hobbies – Lots – Sports (30 mins from Philly, plus U Delaware, West Chester U, and local teams).  Lots of bars, breweries, outdoor events, music, arts.  Basically lots of perks of living near NYC and Washington DC (1 1/2 hours) without the HCOL.  1 hr away from the beach or mountains, but hilly and beachy areas inbetween for biking, hiking, kayaking.  Lots of museums in the area (especially the large amount of Dupont & such related properties - Winterthur, Nemoirs, Hagley, Longwood, etc).   Philly is close and mass transit is pretty great, plus philly is a drivable city so you can always just go on in if the mood hits you.

•  Weather – All 4 seasons. Summers can range from 80-90ish, with a handful of 100+days and it can get humid, especially in July/Aug.  If you are from the east coast of the US you are used to this, if you are from West Coast, it will be hellish. Spring and fall are beautiful and the temperate will be in the 40-70 degrees range. Winter can get COLD but not freezing usually.  Sometimes we get snow, sometimes we don't. Rarely we get into single digits here.

•  Favorite things – Fun area and it's a helluva lot cheaper then NYC or DC while you can still bring in the $$$ income, especially with all the banks in DE and the pharmaceutical companies in the Philly-area.   Not hard to make over $100k here so much cheaper tax wise then NYC/NJ/CT/NY suburbs.   Lots of easy travel and big arts culture in/around philly so there's always something to do.   There is i think a festival of some sorts every weekend here, it's really unbelievable.  Easy to go from mountains to beach to rivers quickly and lots of biking here.   Also big drinking community (beer, wine, cider).  Traffic isn't crazy here like NYC suburbs where i came from.   Whole Boston - DC corridor is connected via train so it's easy to get anywhere around here.  IT jobs a plenty, you can trip over them.

•  Least favorite things – Can get pretty humid in the summer, find a friend with a pool.  Also, Delaware especially doesn't have towns per say, so it can be difficult to foster a community in parts of DE because there are lots of developments vs actual towns.  (not alot of sidewalks depending where you live).  On top of that, DE public schools are pretty much crap so if you live here instead of the 20 minutes over the line in PA, you are likely sending your kids to one of the many private schools or home schooling.  If you don't have kids (like us), you an enjoy some of the cheapest taxes in the NE.

•  'Must Try' -    Many many dupont musuems and their events like Point to Point, Longwood Christmas, Longwood Fireworks, etc.
                        Any sports in Philly - Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, 76ers - be prepared to scream with the best of them.
                        XPonential Music Festival - our favorite every summer
                        Dewey Beach, DE - all the partying you can imagine, sans the NJ Shore people
                        Cape May/Wildwood NJ - Victorian and 50's vintage, fun for families and couples, really close
                        Philadelphia Flower Show
                        All the phily outdoor fests and food/drink events.
                        Wilmington - loops and food fests  - lots of fun
                        Arden, DE - Labor day fest, plays, dinners, pool, arts, fun place to visit or live.


•  Words of wisdom/Advice – Rent before you buy anything. There's tons of neighborhoods in Philly and in the suburbs, all with their own different style and flair.  Visit and figure out what you want before you buy.   Avoid DE if you have kids in public schools unless you want to go down below the canal in Delaware (country-ish), because you'll be paying to send them to private school.   
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FrugalKube

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2016, 10:22:01 PM »
Got a suggestion or two for cities
Bend, Or

Does it have to be big towns? Is there a population size in mind? I was thinking a few places in Eastern Washington State

Great thread btw!
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2016, 12:12:41 PM »
Got a suggestion or two for cities
Bend, Or

Does it have to be big towns? Is there a population size in mind? I was thinking a few places in Eastern Washington State

Great thread btw!

I added bend to the request list, and added MrsStubble's review as well. The only requirement for reviews or request is that it has to be a place with a city name (hopefully) and a place people want more information about. I want to leave it pretty open and capitalize on the knowledge contained on these boards.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2016, 08:41:22 PM »
This is a great thread! Would love to add a request for Boulder, CO.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2016, 11:25:59 PM »
I grew up half an hour's drive from Charlottesville. I guess I don't have intimate experience with it, but I could probably answer some questions.

In terms of schools, most of the people I knew from around Charlottesville lived out in the county and went to Western Albemarle HS. I interpreted that living situation as being for the sake of going to that school (it's ranked #74/322 in VA). City of Charlottesville schools have Charlottesville high school, which is ranked much lower (though not as low as my school, which still manages to send people to quite good schools.) Of course, I think those statistics are mostly useless because average test scores mean almost nothing in a public school, considering that someone on this forum will have their children in the right tail of the distribution.

The other education thing I can give is that going to high school in VA is a huge advantage if you're below the level of getting big scholarships at really, really top schools. It's not at the level of Georgia (I think they're one of the states with free tuition), but UVA and William & Mary, and several other public VA schools, are excellent schools. William & Mary seems to have strongest networking in DC; I haven't figured out any patterns for UVA people.

I'm hoping to move to Charlottesville when I have a family to be near my and my fiancee's parents. I'd move back to Waynesboro (better weather, and I see a lot of potential in recent developments) but realistically the jobs are in Charlottesville.

If anyone has experience in the following, I'd love to hear it.

Corvallis, OR

Charlottesville, VA

Burlington, VT

I also would be willing to review Denton, TX if anyone's interested.

Cyaphas

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2016, 05:17:25 PM »
Does anyone have any experience with Aberdeen WA?

I lived in Centralia for a year and loved it. I thought if I were to ever retire, Aberdeen seemed very ideal.
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mousebandit

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2016, 05:28:25 PM »
Would love info on Spokane, WA and Post Falls, ID.  Also, could we had state and local tax info and DMV data to the summaries?  Things like income tax rates, sales tax, DMV fees and whether or not smog cert is required, are really important to us.  :-) 

THANKS!
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2016, 02:51:32 PM »
No love for Houston, TX, one of the fastest growing cities in the country?! :( I'll see how appealing or unappealing that I can make it!

Houston, Tx, United States of America!

If a suburb, distance from city: I actually live in Spring, TX which is approximately 26 miles from downtown.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): I've been in Houston area for 8 years now so I will include all my living experiences as the low housing cost is what makes Houston most attractive. We currently live in a 2,500 sq ft. 4 BR 2 ba house, attached garage, nice yard, good school district, nicer inside than we need and it just appraised at 180K. My wife purchased it 6 years ago as a foreclosure for 120K. Before that I lived in a condo in a  nice area of Houston 1Br plus studio 990 sq ft that I sold for 93K almost two years ago. When I first moved here 8 years ago I lived in a brand new "luxury" 3 br apartment (with two roommates) for 1500 total. I can't remember the size but it was massive and amazing. My friend lives down the street from me in a 3,500 sq ft mcMansion that he bought for 350K.

Indoor Hobbies: Reading, board games, coffee roasting, and crafting.

Outdoor Hobbies: Running! Exploring! Fishing! Good camping under an hour away. Only 14 hours to Colorado :(.

Weather: The absolute worst part of Houston. From May until October it is over 90 (frequently over 100) with more humidity than you can imagine. Summer time frequently turns in to running from one air condition area to another. Also we have been having some biblical flooding during the last few months and 5 years ago we had the worst drought in 100 years so you never really now what you're going to get.

Favorite things: The super duper low cost of living allows us to travel a ton. We normally get out of Houston for 3 weeks every summer to Colorado or New England. Living in a big city has tons of awesome food opportunities. Living in a big city has tons of entertainment opportunities: ballets, symphonies, plays, movies, museums, parks.

Least favorite things: The weather! the weather. THE WEATHER!! Houston is also not a pedestrian commuting city as the city is literally the size or Rhode Island. Houston has lots of sketchy areas that you wouldn't really want to bicycle through either.

'Must Try': Depends on what you want! Shoot me a message!

Stupid ordinances/laws: Houston has no zoning laws. Businesses next to houses next to falling down houses are not uncommon in SOME areas of Houston.

Words of wisdom/Advice: When you're sweating your you know what off in the summer, think about how cheap your house is and how much sooner you will be able to retire to a spot like Colorado.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): The oil/gas/energy mecca of the country: I don't think many people know what solar power is here. Plenty of people have some pretty awesome gardens though.

Anything else? Just ask! Houston Rocks!

yuka

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2016, 01:35:42 AM »
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2016, 09:58:13 AM »
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
I spent my share of time in those towns (and Ledyard, and Gales Ferry) in the 1970s-90s and... yikes.  The cold weather there has a special nasty quality inspired by excess humidity.

The Thames River and the Long Island Sound are also a couple of the nation's most terrifying places to drive submarines, even at slack tide.  If you're in the military I have suggestions for other duty stations.  If the military has already issued you orders then I can share what I've experienced.
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yuka

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2016, 12:35:37 PM »
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
I spent my share of time in those towns (and Ledyard, and Gales Ferry) in the 1970s-90s and... yikes.  The cold weather there has a special nasty quality inspired by excess humidity.

The Thames River and the Long Island Sound are also a couple of the nation's most terrifying places to drive submarines, even at slack tide.  If you're in the military I have suggestions for other duty stations.  If the military has already issued you orders then I can share what I've experienced.

No orders yet, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I've been thinking of Groton or Washington as my top choices.  The humid heat of the Southeast points me away from King's Bay, though in every other way a SSGN from there would be ideal. My family's in VA, DC, and PA, and my fiancee's is in VA as well. And she'll be working as a physician assistant. 

Nords

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2016, 05:32:13 PM »
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
I spent my share of time in those towns (and Ledyard, and Gales Ferry) in the 1970s-90s and... yikes.  The cold weather there has a special nasty quality inspired by excess humidity.

The Thames River and the Long Island Sound are also a couple of the nation's most terrifying places to drive submarines, even at slack tide.  If you're in the military I have suggestions for other duty stations.  If the military has already issued you orders then I can share what I've experienced.

No orders yet, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I've been thinking of Groton or Washington as my top choices.  The humid heat of the Southeast points me away from King's Bay, though in every other way a SSGN from there would be ideal. My family's in VA, DC, and PA, and my fiancee's is in VA as well. And she'll be working as a physician assistant.
New London: the winds and the currents on the Thames River are just ridiculous.  It was common to head upriver at a 2/3 bell, slam over the rudder when you're abreast of the pier, put on a back full bell, and pray that your biggest, strongest, most experienced linehandlers would snag line 1 around the capstan before you lost control of the bow.  (The piers are close together and tugs don't have much maneuvering room to help.)  In the winter, it got cold enough to freeze the pierside sanitary tank discharge hoses unless you flushed them religiously with salt water after every use. Otherwise you'd try to pump a sanitary tank before morning duty section turnover and discover that you just blew apart the hose on the pier... hopefully not on anybody or on your topside.  The commercial traffic on the Thames and in Long Island sound is a huge hassle to navigate, and you're usually in a rush to catch the right tide/current in the Thames.  You're on the surface for several hours before you reach the 100-fathom curve to dive.  Oh, and the fog makes navigating exciting too.

The duty stations can depend on your personal priorities:

Family life (you & your fiancé), more regular schedule:  SSBN or SSGN out of Bangor.  But frankly boomer life under today's strategic arms limitations (which are a very good thing for the rest of the world) make it hard to be excited about 90-day patrols.  Admittedly the Straits of Juan de Fuca can be busy, and there might be fishing fleets to dodge off the channel entrance.  I'm pretty sure that I remember fog, but it apparently didn't leave scars on my psyche the way New London did.  I'm not sure about the medical employment situation. 

Tactical skills, real-world experience:  SSN out of Pearl Harbor or Guam.  (Pearl Harbor is the nation's largest submarine homeport.)  This is not so good for family life or a set schedule but you'll gain tremendous tactical proficiency.  The water around the islands gets very deep very quickly (no continental shelf) so you rig for dive pierside.  30 minutes after you get underway, you can submerge... even right outside the channel buoys.  Your spouse could work in either the civilian or military (civil-service) hospital system.  Both islands are particularly hurting for doctors and PAs.  Your family in the VA/DC/PA area can Skype, Facetime, or get on a plane.

My impression of leadership on the west coast and Hawaii/Guam is that the crew has much more authority to run the boat while the officers are expected to focus their attention on fighting the boat.  (New London's submarine officers remind me more of the stuffy owners of Downton Abbey.)  You had more independence from the benevolent oversight of squadron and the type commander, too.  Lots of people go to Hawaii or Bangor, dig in deep with the sea/shore rotation, and try to never leave. 

Admittedly New London has the Submarine Learning Center and other shore duty, as well as some employment at the shipyard or with defense contractors.  But Hawaii and Bangor both have similar opportunities and milder weather.  I'll take tropical hurricanes, typhoons, and earthquakes any day over a New London winter.

In my opinion the only place worse than New London (even worse than refueling overhaul in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard) would be Norfolk.  But you probably already know that.

I hope someone has an update on the New London area that makes all the drawbacks worthwhile.
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