Author Topic: Mustachian Relocation Guide  (Read 34748 times)

dpfromva

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #100 on: January 12, 2017, 11:17:12 AM »
Fun read -- might want to expand weather or sustainability category to address long term climate effects (I know, I know, we don't all agree on this), e.g. "likelihood of being underwater by 2050" or "likelihood of turning into a desert/water wars zone over your lifetime" plus the usual earthquake, tornado, stuff.

Bbqmustache

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #101 on: February 05, 2017, 06:40:25 AM »


  • City, State, Country:Warren, Ohio USA

  • If a suburb, distance from city: 15+ miles

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):$250K buy

  • Indoor Hobbies:running OLB, reading, excercise

  • Outdoor Hobbies:Hiking, hunting, gardening, bird watching

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):some 90's in summer, snow and lows in the teens in winter

  • Favorite things:craft beer, good non-chain restaurants

  • Least favorite things:traffic, rude people

  • '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
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Hargrove

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #102 on: February 07, 2017, 06:13:59 AM »
I'm not sure how good that calculator is...

Provo-Orem metro in Utah has access to dirt-cheap public transport and childcare at under half minimum wage on every posting board. You can get anywhere you want with a bike and the bus. Obviously, some/all numbers will be inflated by non-Mustachians. Same for most of what's north of there. Easy access to whatever you want, lots of cheap open land and real estate.

However, Litchfield county CT is listed as being slightly cheaper than SLC County in Utah, with almost the same housing cost (what...?). North of Danbury, CT, most or all public transport dries up within 20 or so miles, childcare costs beat most part-time jobs, housing is higher than the 230k-ish CT average, and yet it's listed as cheaper than SLC to live in (and with lower taxes, but UT has no car property tax and the mill rate in the areas I looked is around 25-75% that of CT for property). CT mill rates go from about 13 to 44 unless the town has no school. Take a peek at Torrington - they're paying for the same infrastructure with a shrinking population as the only major NWCT metro. Distance between towns is 10-20 minutes by car. And the minimum wage is wrong by years - it's $10.10.

I would seriously love to stand corrected.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 06:29:31 AM by Hargrove »

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #103 on: February 07, 2017, 08:35:33 AM »
I'm not sure how good that calculator is...

Provo-Orem metro in Utah has access to dirt-cheap public transport and childcare at under half minimum wage on every posting board. You can get anywhere you want with a bike and the bus. Obviously, some/all numbers will be inflated by non-Mustachians. Same for most of what's north of there. Easy access to whatever you want, lots of cheap open land and real estate.

However, Litchfield county CT is listed as being slightly cheaper than SLC County in Utah, with almost the same housing cost (what...?). North of Danbury, CT, most or all public transport dries up within 20 or so miles, childcare costs beat most part-time jobs, housing is higher than the 230k-ish CT average, and yet it's listed as cheaper than SLC to live in (and with lower taxes, but UT has no car property tax and the mill rate in the areas I looked is around 25-75% that of CT for property). CT mill rates go from about 13 to 44 unless the town has no school. Take a peek at Torrington - they're paying for the same infrastructure with a shrinking population as the only major NWCT metro. Distance between towns is 10-20 minutes by car. And the minimum wage is wrong by years - it's $10.10.

I would seriously love to stand corrected.

It may be off. Ever since I met ARS, and realized how cheap one could actually live in Las Vegas, I realized that there isn't a calculator that truly captures the Mustachian Way. Hence the reason we have this thread. I stayed in West Jordan for a bit, but this was pre-mustachian days. First hand experience, while anecdotal, adds additional data.
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ChpBstrd

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #104 on: February 07, 2017, 01:54:33 PM »

  • City, State, Country:
    Little Rock & North Little Rock, AR, US


  • If a suburb, distance from city:
    Suburbs outside Little Rock include North Little Rock, on the other side of the Arkansas River (1-5m), Benton and Bryant to the Southwest (15-20m), Maumelle (3m) and Conway (30m) to the Northwest, and Sherwood/Jacksonville/Cabot (10-30m) to the North. Housing prices drop negligibly as distance increases.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
    Buy: $100-200k purchases a 3br SFH in a good area with 1000-3000 square feet of space within 0-10 miles of downtown. My mortgage + prop tax + insurance for a 2700sf mansion in a nice neighborhood is under $1k/mo. However, I overspent on housing, which this economy will tempt you to do.

    Rent: $600-1200 for 1-3 bedroom apts. in good areas. Varies widely.SFHs are similar.

  • Indoor Hobbies:
    Theatre, rock climbing wall, dive bar concerts, bars, arts, museums, and of course church.

    • Outdoor Hobbies:

      Winter: hunting, fishing, hiking

      Spring: white water rafting - best after big rains (2-3h away), camping, biking, hiking

      Summer: snorkeling or scuba in clear freshwater lakes (2-3h away), BBQing

      Fall: camping, hiking, biking, etc.

    • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):
      Think Houston but 8-10 degrees cooler. We get a couple inches of snow or ice each year and everything shuts down, which makes it kind of fun (overnight lows in the 20s highs in the 40s F are typical). Summers are spent either indoors with AC running, at a pool, or in one of several big lakes (highs ~ 90-100). The four seasons are definite things here, and both the cold and the heat are made more extreme by humidity that hangs around 80% in the summer. Temperature swings of 40 degrees F are normal - within the same day!

    • Favorite things:
      My commute is 5-15 minutes, depending on "traffic" because I live 5 miles from work. As long as you don't move to a far-out suburb, you are minutes from anywhere.
      The new 14-mile bike/walking trail that loops around and across the Arkansas River is a great recreation option. It's paved but has mountain bike offshoots.
      Housing is dirt cheap, and prices are not volatile (2008 housing crisis? Never heard of him.). A college education is also dirt-cheap. I was debt-free on graduation day for both my BS and my MBA. With those credentials, I'm in the top 2-3% in terms of educational attainment, and my earnings are over twice the average household's. It's easy to be a big fish in this little pond if that matters.

      My middle-priced preschool is $137/week. I hear that's comparatively good.


    • Least favorite things:
      The humidity discourages outdoor exercise - bike to work and you'll arrive drenched in sweat. Also, there is minimal mass transit. The bus is considered for poor people and may take up to an hour to get you across the city (an outrage!!!) ;). It's still very car-centric.

      Mosquitos, ticks, and poison ivy are other common obstacles to outdoor enjoyment. Winter is not a bad time to romp around - but it's also hunting season.

      The political climate is personally annoying - many people are very right-wing, religious, and xenophobic. Given this climate, most people of different skin tones distrust one another at some level. Expect to be lightly shunned at work if you don't go to a church. In the city, however, you see an ideological mixture, and even some behind-enemy-lines activism if that appeals to you. ;)

    • 'Must Try':
       Ride the 14 mile river trail and cross the "Big Dam Bridge". Pinnacle Mountain State Park, just a few miles outside of town offers the opportunity to climb a small mountain on a well-travelled trail and be rewarded with a great view. Crater of Diamonds State Park (3h away) is the only place in the world that lets you dig for diamonds and keep whatever you find. Hot Springs (2h away) is just a damn fun tourist town, Lake Ouachita and Greers Ferry (2h each) are better than the ocean, The Buffalo River and Spring River (3h each) are great canoing trips and there are many more options, the Ozarks (2-4h) are good to visit for fall foliage.

      In the city, there are several unique breweries, restaurants, and museums - too much to list here. Our Museum of Discovery is fascinating for kids and adults. There's also a couple art museums, a military history museum, a history museum, archeological sites, a rock quarry/park, one of the US's largest municipal parks (Burns Park), golf, etc. The Clinton museum brings many travelling exhibits. The River Market entertainment district is hopping most nights. Farmers markets are common. We even have a World War 2 submarine floating in the river that you can tour. Why? IDK. The mayor of NLR said "I want that." and had it dragged up the river.


    • Stupid ordinances/laws:
      You can't buy alcohol on Sundays because you should be in church! You can't buy alcohol at all in about half the counties in the state - which does not include LR. More stupidity is certain to come from the state legislature. Some fancypants suburbs restrict yard sales, grass, etc. F 'em.


    • Words of wisdom/Advice:
      Little Rock is one of the highest-crime cities in the US - alongside Memphis, TN and Detroit, MI. This, plus racism, have driven "white flight" to increasingly far away suburbs over the decades. The costs of commuting slowly destroy the finances of those families who move, so don't play that sucker's game.

      Within the city, the accepted wisdom is that you're safe if you live North of I-630, but the revitalized downtown historic Quapaw Quarter neighborhood seems to be breaking that rule and staying pleasant, judging by the crime maps (It also went from war zone to one of the priciest areas in town within 20 years thanks to artists, rehabbers, LGBTQ people, and a tornado).

      Overall, the city and its schools are racially and economically segregated, but this creates certain arbitrage opportunities for those willing to step outside certain comfort zones, such as the opportunity to drop one's housing and transportation expense to just a couple thousand bucks a year, or engineer a 10-minute commute/bike ride while living in a fairly safe area. Local knowledge is key.

      If I was in a big coastal city with a net worth of $1M, knowing what I know I would strongly consider retiring to this area instead of working another X years just to support a higher cost of living. Little Rock has everything a big city has (arts, nightlife, great food, ethnic stores, gay bars, trendy districts, organizations, events) but in smaller quantities and at a fraction of the cost. Although the city's population is only about 160k, roughly a million people live in a 20 mile radius. You'd never actually run out of things to do here.

      Someone asked for info on Northwest Arkansas. It's much the same, except fewer people of color, more car dependency / sprawl, more racism, and some dependency on Wal Mart as an economic engine - which I wouldn't bet on long-term, given how Amazon is cleaning their clock. LR is more economically diversified, but growing at a snail's pace. NWA's hills and mountains resemble Vermont, but 30 degrees warmer!

      Overall, educated professionals can exploit the low cost of living here or in NWA and achieve a 50% savings rate without even trying. 75% is doable.

      Early retirees who made their million on the coasts could retreat here and shave 5-10 years off their existing ER plan. At 30-40k/year you can easily live in a 1500sf 3br house, eat out twice a week, catch off-Broadway shows at The Rep or symphony at The Robinsin, bar hop in the River Market, and attend various festivities. Cosmopolitan folks will find everything they need - just in small batches.

      Downsides of the LR area also include lower wages and middle-class anxiety about public schools. These are both averages reflecting a cultural lack of emphasis on education, not necessarily your outcome. Those willing to be non-conformists in the right ways can thrive, as usual. FWIW, I attended pubic schools and state universities.
       


    • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
      Gardens are productive here. Don't see much solar - probably too many trees for most homeowners (From an elevated view, the trees block out all but the tallest buildings. We're basically Ewoks.). However, we do host a wind turbine factory that is always looking for engineers. The biggest sustainability gains can be found in home insulation, HVAC efficiency, and living closer to work. Water is plentiful and cheap. My electric, natural gas, and water bills for my embarassing 2,700sf mini mansion don't ever top $250 combined. An actual Mustachian could get a mortgage for 400-600/mo and pay less than 200/mo in bills.



hoping2retire35

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #105 on: February 10, 2017, 11:20:59 AM »
CHPBSTRD,
What is fun in Hot Springs?

ChpBstrd

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #106 on: February 11, 2017, 09:04:30 AM »
CHPBSTRD,
What is fun in Hot Springs?

Horse racetrack, lakes and associated recreation, old school spas, Hot Springs Nat'l Park, trails, museums & historical sites, tourist traps, etc.

Guide2003

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #107 on: February 11, 2017, 09:14:38 PM »
  • City, State, Country:Miami, FL, USA
  • If a suburb, distance from city: Hollywood, FL (30 min north of Miami and 15 min south of Fort Lauderdale)
    We lived right off Young Circle in Downtown Hollywood for 4 years
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Depends
    The housing market in Miami is all over the place; South Florida sees some of the highest fluctuations in the country. I first moved there and found the cheapest 1/1 apartment I could find that allowed dogs ($1k/month) until I found a place to buy. The thing about South Florida is that good areas and bad areas are all intermixed and there is no way to tell through internet research whether the neighborhood is sketchy or not. House prices vary greatly based on the reputation of the neighborhood, so definitely do the legwork to make sure the neighborhood you move into is good. I ended up buying an uninhabitable structure within a mile of the beach for $165k and fixing it up over the next three years, turning it back into a livable 2/2. Tax was $8k and insurance was another $9.5k per year because of the age and proximity to the water. Three blocks west of me was 2/2s in the $150-$200k range and 4 blocks east of me was all 4/3s in the $500k-1.5m range. I have lived in a few states, and more than any other area I would advocate renting temporarily before you commit to buying into a neighborhood to make sure its the flavor you want. Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach county are one continuous metropolis, and your proximity to shopping and amenities will be much more obvious than which city boundary you happen to fall in. I was there for a military tour, and coworkers tended to live in Victoria Park, Sailboat Bend, East Hollywood, Coconut Grove, and Brickell. Those were the most common upper-middle class neighborhoods that were affordable enough for my peers. I didn't have kids, but most people sprung for private schools.
  • Indoor Hobbies:Anything in the summer
    People spend May-September running in between air conditioned spaces. I guess there's not too many indoor things you can't do in Miami, and it will take most people a little while to build up a tolerance to the heat of the summer.
  • Outdoor Hobbies:Beach, Travel, Gardening, Nightlife
    Not a lot of pools near the beach, but if you end up in the western burbs they are a lot more prevalent. Summer is the offseason, so the beaches aren't as crowded and you hear a lot more English if you do go. Winters find the beaches packed with New Yorkers, Canadians, and all kinds of nationalities. Tons of free activities put on by the various cities (art, food, concerts, movies, etc).
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Predictably Caribbean
    May-September is really hot and humid with daily, localized thunderstorms that last 60-90 minutes. The rest of the year is gorgeous with constant sun and 55-75 degrees. As previously mentioned the winter is the peak tourist/snowbird season, with a mini season during the spring break/summer for those who want the beach vacation. The sun is INTENSE and you have to really adjust your gardening seasons to compensate. Its a really lush place, but plan on using a lot of tropical varieties. There will be a one or two week stint in the winter where it will drop into the 40's and maybe high 30's.
  • Favorite things:Beach/Travel/Diversity
    I chose to live near the beach, figuring that if I wasn't close I would never go. Best decision I made, cause it was bikeable and there are no good east-west roads in South Florida. Travel to the Caribbean is ridiculously cheap, and there are almost constant travel deals out of both Miami and Fort Lauderdale (domestic flights, cruises, and short hops to the island nations). There is an amazing mix of cultures in South Florida, and tons of micro-communities that represent various ethnicities all over. This brings great food and interesting conversation, but also reduces the social trust of the region.
  • Least favorite things:Can't trust anyone/Traffic/Superficial people
    I had the hardest time finding trustworthy contractors for anything. No one wanted to pull permits, everyone was trying to be paid under the table, you had to constantly keep everything locked all the time because theft was so common. I had a motorcycle stolen as well as numerous other items that were kept in my privacy-fenced yard, or packages off my screened porch. The traffic is terrible, and public transportation is worse. Some districts of downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale are walkable, but plan to pay a premium for a tiny space. Many people there flaunt wealth and good looks, and you need to intentionally look for community that doesn't embrace those values to avoid getting sucked in to the lies of that culture.
  • 'Must Try':Parks/Travel/Food
    Everglades, the Keys, Fruit and Spice Park, Vizcaya, South Beach or Fort Lauderdale Beach, cheap flights out of FTL and MIA, a cruise, all the great ethnic food around (thousands of good restaurants all over the tricounty area
  • Stupid ordinances/laws:Building codes/Homeless ordinences
    Part of the reason no one wants to deal with the building department is because they are so overly picky in the hurricane zone. You have to purchase building materials that are stamped with a special Miami-Dade seal that makes the building product industry seem like such a mafia-run enterprise. Fort Lauderdale and Miami alternate attempting to force the considerable homeless population out. FTL made the news a couple years ago with a particularly inhumane and ludicrous set of ordinances that was parodied well by Colbert.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:Make connections fast
    Everything down there relies on "knowing a guy" so figure out a way to make those connections fast. Live near the beach. If you don't, you may as well live in Tampa, Orlando, or Jacksonville. Shop at farmers markets for local produce, and stockpile mangoes when the season comes because they come so fast and furious that the city has to send truckloads to the dump to keep the streets from smelling rotten.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Depends where you live
    The burbs to the north, south, and west offer great opportunities for gardening and hydroponics. Passive solar water heaters and solar panels are common. Climate control is unnecessary for 7-8 months of the year if you can catch the beach breeze. If you live downtown, you probably won't be able to afford many square feet to air condition.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 09:21:49 PM by Guide2003 »
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jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #108 on: February 13, 2017, 07:32:54 AM »
I've got the last 3 city reviews added to the main post. Thank you all!
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hoping2retire35

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #109 on: February 14, 2017, 07:55:29 AM »
Still need Charleston, SC linked. it is reply #82.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #110 on: February 14, 2017, 08:45:30 AM »
Still need Charleston, SC linked. it is reply #82.

Missed that one. Sorry. It's there now. Thank you for your contribution.
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mrteacher

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #111 on: February 14, 2017, 08:56:26 AM »
I'd like to see a review of Grand Rapids, MI.

It seems like a mustachian city (low COL) and a desirable place to raise a family.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #112 on: February 14, 2017, 09:05:21 AM »
I've got Grand Rapids added to the request list.
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catmustache

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #113 on: March 04, 2017, 11:42:35 AM »
I'd love to see a review of Cleveland, OH. Seems like it has a low cost of living.



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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #114 on: March 08, 2017, 10:34:15 AM »
Just wanted to say this is an awesome thread!

KS

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #115 on: March 20, 2017, 11:00:58 AM »
I see it's been requested already but since nobody's responded yet I'll bump this thread with another request for info on Corvallis, OR! Have a good friend who relocated there and has been happy so far, but she's only been there about a year and I always like more info from more people on pros/cons. Thanks!

Will try to get on here again soon with info about the HCOL south bay area (general region of Sunnyvale, Mtn View CA), to do my part in contributing. :)

Chippewa

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #116 on: May 15, 2017, 07:39:14 PM »
Would love to see some OR reviews.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #117 on: May 15, 2017, 07:53:20 PM »
Oregon reviews were requested, and I shall provide! I love, love, love talking about my home state, and have lived all over it =)

  • City, State, Country:Corvallis, Oregon, USA
    ETA: overview. Corvallis is a college town. About 20-30 min west of I-5 in the Willamette Valley. Much of life in the town revolves around the University. It is extremely well educated (second only to Cambridge for advanced degree IIRC) but also very white. Well, all of Oregon is very white, but Corvallis especially. Mind you, it is not outwardly intolerant or anything, but just know that you won't see that much diversity here, and resulting societal benefits from that.

    There are very few large employers in Corvallis. Most people work for OSU or the Hospital, or HP. That's... pretty much the list. So locking down employment BEFORE moving to Corvallis would be a very good idea.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):I'm not totally current on this
    I haven't lived there in a few years, but it is definitely Valley city pricing =\ Depends on how dumpy you want to go. Looked it up, median home value according to zillow is $330k. For rent, expect $1-2k for a house. Generally lower, closer to $1,200-1,500.
  • Indoor Hobbies:racquetball, indoor soccer, university lectures, pub trivia nights at Old World Deli, lots of live music opportunities from small bands, usually folksy. Sports: college basketball. Lots of college bars and sports bars.
    Oh! And there is also a very active beer and hard cider brewing scene, including local brew shops. And an amazing local cider company, Two Towns.
  • Outdoor Hobbies:Everything. Tons of trail systems nearby, and rivers. So hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, intertubing, running.
     No snow sports in town, but it's ~ 1.5 hrs to the cascades and ~1-1.5 hours to the coast.


  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Like the rest of the willamette valley
    Rainy and grey in the fall/winter/spring. Rare snow, becoming more common with climate change. We used to joke that the Valley is always 47 and rainy. Pretty temperate. During the summer, it's usually 70s-80sF with a couple weeks in the 90s, and rarely over 100. Pretty humid. In the past surviving without AC was doable and common, but with climate change the summers have been scorchers the past couple years.

  • Favorite things:All the outdoors activities and free activities
    It's a mustachian paradise. Good library system and lots of free activities, easy to bike the entire town. I also like the small local quirky businesses and grocery stores- very few chain companies. They've turned down Walmart from moving in multiple times.
  • Least favorite things:Lots of students.
     Near the university, you can get classic college kid issues- loud parties, drunken idiots accidentally breaking and entering, petty theft of things like bikes, and so on.
  • 'Must Try':Chip Ross to Dimple Hill trail, and the Covered Bridge out past the sheep barns near campus
    Also, star watching on top of bald hill. The farmer's market is good, too.
  • Stupid ordinances/laws:None I'm familiar with

    ETA: when Oregon says 55 on speed signs? BELIEVE IT. We will ticket you. Seriously. Yes, even at 5 over you can be at risk.

    Also, the highest speed I've EVER seen on an Oregon road is 65mph. We like slow, I guess ;)
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:Don't live right near campus unless you like the student partier lifestyle. Renting with dogs sucks, most landlords are anti-dog in town.

  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Tons. Like, even more than most of Oregon. And that's saying something!
    OSU extension service. OSU provides a lot of the hops for the nation's microbreweries. All sorts of gardening. There's even mass gardening volunteer days.
[/quote]
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 01:15:02 PM by Bracken_Joy »
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #118 on: May 15, 2017, 07:54:10 PM »
What other Oregon towns do people want? I guess I can really only do Portland without also giving away where Hometown is. Hmmm.

Actually, I can do Bend and La Pine as well if anyone is interested.
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Chippewa

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #119 on: May 15, 2017, 08:32:54 PM »
am interest in Portland and Bend. Thanks Bracken_Joy!
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #120 on: May 16, 2017, 08:33:17 AM »
  • City, State, Country:Portland, Oregon
    Lived here for 4 years, just moved away. Don't think based on this review I didn't like it. I do. I loved Portland, and we seriously considered staying. But it isn't without it's hiccups.
    Lived both downtown and near the airport. You almost need to break it down by area (PARTICULARLY if you are considering any of the suburbs- Gresham, Beaverton, Willsonville. It's a different world in the suburbs, don't let anyone tell you different. And there are massive choke-point issues from the suburbs. Point is, if you want/need to be going into the city more than like once per month, just don't live in the suburbs, lol)
  • If a suburb, distance from city: Closest: Gresham, Beaverton, Wilsonville
    These are physically close, but during rush hour can take an hour or more to get into the city proper. There are some transit options to do this, depending on where you live, but with the influx of people the MAX (lightrail) is overwhelmed during peak hours.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Expensive, and going up
    Where I lived 3 years ago: 550 sq ft, for $1450/mon + $200/mon parking spot. After we moved, they re-rented it for $2100/month.
    Second place I lived: bad neighborhood on a busy street, 1920s workers cottage, unrenovated since 1920 (aka cold AF in the winter) that ended up having electrical problems. 2 bed/1 bath, ~1000sq ft. It was nearly $1600/month.

    This is the big deal area of concern folks. Portland is having SO many people move in, housing is just squeezed. Lots of people living in things that frankly should be condemned, lots of no-cause evictions, and so on. I think last time I checked rental vacancy was 0.4%, whereas nationally it is 7% https://www.census.gov/housing/hvs/files/currenthvspress.pdf. I was trying to rent a place in a trendy area (Alberta Arts) and there were people walking up and offering the lady the whole year's rent, as cash, plus $3k. Saw it with my own eyes. The place didn't even have off street parking and the partial basement was partially flooded.

    As for buying. All I can say is haha, ha. Ha. Way too much competition, and from people with WAY more money than Oregonians have.

    Anyway, I'm hammering this point home because it is the ISSUE with living in Portland right now. Husband and I made over $100k last year, and we felt priced out of the city.
  • Indoor Hobbies:Everything except religion
    Want to do roller derby? We've got that. Trivia nights? Karaoke? Volunteer? Concerts? Got it and got it. I know less about this since I don't stay indoors very well ;)
  • Outdoor Hobbies:YES
    To note here though, as my mom says, "If you don't do it in the rain then you don't do it". Buy yourself a good rain jacket and you'll be set. Portland is set at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, which has some of the most incredible hiking you will ever hope to see. Famous ones like Multnomah falls and Punchbowl and Oneonta Gorge. And a lot of lesser known ones that also rock. On summer weekends, these trails heads are PACKED and the trails are miserable. If you can't live off-peak and won't hike in the rain, then this will be a lot less awesome for you.
    Water stuff. There are two river. Kite boarding, SUP, kayaking, sailing... all sorts of stuff.
    Close to other outdoor stuff: near the coast, not too far to Mt. Hood for winter sports.
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Willamette Valley
    See my post above. The Willamette Valley all tends to have roughly the same weather. Grey and rainy/sprinkly through late fall/winter/early spring, sunny and mild over the summer. Humid always.
    OH good to note, the Valley routinely clocks in at the highest pollen levels ON EARTH. There's a big weather stream that blows a ton of pollen from Japan and it pools in the Valley, plus all the pollen we have ourselves. Heck, we're a main producer of sod, aka grass, so if you have a grass allergy... maybe don't move here.
  • Favorite things:The people. The food. The drinking. The locavore culture.
    I'm still friends with a couple grocery clerks and baristas I met in the course of daily life. I was invited to someone's wedding after we chatted at a backyard BBQ. People will stop and help you carry heavy things. One time we were going to our car to get a battery pack to help jump a stranded lady's car, and when we got back (less than 5 min later) someone else had already pulled over to jump her. The people can rock.

    Food. Oh lawd the food. Some really good, interesting restaurants. Honestly part of the benefit of moving away- we save tons of money, because restaurants here just cannot measure up. Favorites to try: Pope House happy hour, Smokehouse 21, Porque No, Bamboo sushi, Red Onion Thai, Stepping Stone cafe... too many to name. Don't worry, plenty of people blog about all the awesome places, so it's easy to find. OH AND FOOD CARTS. Oh man. Nong's? Go to Nong's.

    Drinks. Portland does coffee and beer and cider so, so well. And there are super cool places like Reverend Nat's, where you can sit and drink after hours in their production warehouse. Portland has the reputation it has for good reason. We take our coffee seriously, and our alcohol more seriously.
  • Least favorite things:The ripple effect of overcrowding
    Portland is split across a river, and then boxed in by another river and some mountains. This means that there are a lot of choke points. Traffic is god awful. And while there is incredible transit, it is overcrowded too. Peak hours it's not uncommon to absolutely not be able to fit onto the MAX and have to wait another half hour or more before you can even get onto one.
  • 'Must Try':Depends on what you like
    The distillery row tour is awesome if you like liquor. McMenamin's Edgefield is awesome. Hiking, do the triple falls to horsetail loop for a good easy but awesome looking hike. Dog mountain in the late spring for incredible views and wildflowers. Coava coffee. North 45's patio for happy hour.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:I am not wise
    Housing and job options are key issues right now. Everyone wants to move to Portland. As a result, job searches are just totally saturated. And I covered the housing above quite a bit. The face of Portland is shifting so much that it is experiencing some major growing pains. If you aren't willing to, or can't afford, to ride this out, then it's a better idea to come and vacation here, not move here.

    Also, take vitamin D!
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): All of them, of course
    It's Portland ;) I will say though, it can be hard to garden depending on where you are. While it's totally acceptable to have food-not-lawns, you have to rent a place first. Most options are new apartment buildings going up, and community garden spots are multi-year wait lists.
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Chippewa

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #121 on: May 16, 2017, 09:05:51 AM »
It sucks making good money and feeling pushed out in price. Dang, rents are crazy there too. Well Corvallis is sounding enticing to check out.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #122 on: May 16, 2017, 09:10:59 AM »
It sucks making good money and feeling pushed out in price. Dang, rents are crazy there too. Well Corvallis is sounding enticing to check out.

I'll do Bend here shortly. But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

Downside to any non-Portland OR towns: Portland is the only international airport. Eugene has a little airport, but corvallis only has an airfield for the local flight school and stuff. Bend also only has a little municipal air field, is my understanding. So if travel is a consideration, that's something to keep in mind.

Eugene and Salem vie for the second largest Oregon city title. Both have some culture, but are fairly rough overall- too small to be as exciting and dynamic as Portland, too big to have some of the neat small-town benefits (bikeability and so on) of the smaller towns. Some people really like them though, and they're much more affordable. More job opportunities compared to population, too.

ETA: have been corrected, there IS an airport in Redmond (near Bend). Like Eugene, it's a little airport, but it'll get you to all the major hubs in the US.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 08:10:36 AM by Bracken_Joy »
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #123 on: May 16, 2017, 09:43:13 AM »
  • City, State, Country:Bend, Oregon, USA
    I haven't lived in Bend, but have spent substantial time there. And of course have family that lives there. (Uh, I have family in like every town in Oregon, come to think of it!)

    Overview of Bend: initially a small town mainly based around logging historically. It started reinventing itself as a destination resort/outdoors type town in the 80s or thereabouts. It's really grown during my lifetime. As a result of it's history, you get an interesting mix of blue collar types- lots of hunting and logging- and rich folks. (Based on my use of the word 'folks', you can guess which camp my family is! haha)

    Bend is in the high desert. That means cold in the winter (good amount of snow) and hot in the summer. It's also the only town of any note in Central Oregon. It's great if you like the outdoors. There isn't any industry to speak of that I am aware of. Unless you're ER or work in the outdoors/hospitality industries, you might have a hard time finding work. A lot of retirees from the Valley and elsewhere move there. People are generally poor, or have money from somewhere else.
  • If a suburb, distance from city: The closest thing would be Redmond/Terrebonne
    Sisters or Sunriver kinda count, but are further away and frankly more expensive. Redmond/Terrebonne have your 'generic rough Oregon town' feel. Strip malls, a super walmart in Redmond, lots of liquor stores. Totally livable and cheaper than bend, but you get a totally different subset of people generally. Not much in terms of local culture- you would drive into Bend for that. Luckily, while there's really only the one highway that connects them, it moves fast and there isn't much to speak of in the way of traffic jams.
    Redmond has an airport. Not an international one, but gets you to all the major hubs in the US.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Affordable, if you're in the 'rich resort-goer' camp and not the 'blue collar worker' camp
    A decent number of people left the Valley in the 90s/00s and moved out to Bend, and this drove area prices up for central Bend proper. But, since there's no geographic constraints, Bend has just continued to spread out. If you don't want to be close walkable/bikable core of Bend, then you can get housing pretty cheap. Also, Bend crashed hard during the housing collapse, so stuff is still decently low since in terms of buying.

    Looks like the average home price is $380k. It isn't cheap. It's definitely the most expensive area east of the cascades.

    My impression is the rental option in Bend are pretty thin. There are a lot of vacation rentals available, but not much in the way of apartment buildings or even SFHs for rent. It's an area where people either vacation, or Buy.
  • Indoor Hobbies:I don't know much about this
    I haven't done much in this respect. They definitely have a movie theatre. Um, I don't think there's really any music venues. Plenty of bars and restaurants though. Demographics skew older for permanent residents, although seasonally a lot of young people come for outdoors stuff.
  • Outdoor Hobbies:This is what made Bend what it is
    Winter sports galore. Bend is adjacent to many mountains. During the summer, mountain biking and white water rafting/kayaking, and rock climbing are all super popular. Ice caves, and a whole system of lava tube caves, make for some great spelunking. Smith Rock is one of the most famous climbing sites in the US (monkey face in particular) and that's right by Bend. (Well, actually, Terrebonne, it's about 30 min N of Bend). Good access to major mountains to climb, too.
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):High Desert!
    Bring your chapstick, kids. It's dry. And budget in lots of heat in the winter, and lots of AC in the summer. And a snow shovel. Scratch that, a snow plow at the minimum if you have a driveway.
  • Favorite things:Ponderso Pines
    The nature in that area is incredible. BREATHTAKING scenery. Giant pines that smell like heaven, craggy rock faces, the three sisters! Oh god I love that area of Oregon.
  • Least favorite things:It can be pretty boring
    At the end of the day, Bend is a fairly sleepy town. Not compared to the rest of the region- it's hopping compared to La Pine- but if you're used to a real city you might be bored sick in Bend. It's about 75k people, which isn't too bad, but unless you like the outdoors and spend your time doing that, you'll risk boredom.
  • 'Must Try':Deschutes River Canyon
    Go there. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth, IMO. The metolius factory is pretty cool if they still give tours. Definitely go to an ice cave =) Oh, and hug a pondersa pine and put your nose right up to one of the cracks in the bark.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:I am not wise
    Like most of Oregon, the advice about finding work FIRST stands. People forget that Oregon is, fundamentally, a tiny population overall. Yes we are growing. But we still are a slightly larger geographic area, and less than 1/2 of the people, of Washington state. And like 85% of people live within a 90 min drive of downtown Portland. Basically, as soon as you get away from the Portland metro area, it's a pretty different world.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Way less than the valley, but it's still Oregon
    Sustainability: It's going to be better than most of the US, but it doesn't come close to touching the hippies in Portland or Eugene.
    Gardening: very dry, so you have to modify a lot. Green houses are a must for buffering the desert temp swings.
    Solar: oh hell yeah Bend does this well. Bend gets sun nearly every day of the year. Even when it snows, it stops and is bright and sunny the rest of the day. Solar power for sure.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 08:08:52 AM by Bracken_Joy »
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Chippewa

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #124 on: May 16, 2017, 09:52:29 AM »
It sucks making good money and feeling pushed out in price. Dang, rents are crazy there too. Well Corvallis is sounding enticing to check out.

I'll do Bend here shortly. But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

Downside to any non-Portland OR towns: Portland is the only international airport. Eugene has a little airport, but corvallis only has an airfield for the local flight school and stuff. Bend also only has a little municipal air field, is my understanding. So if travel is a consideration, that's something to keep in mind.

Eugene and Salem vie for the second largest Oregon city title. Both have some culture, but are fairly rough overall- too small to be as exciting and dynamic as Portland, too big to have some of the neat small-town benefits (bikeability and so on) of the smaller towns. Some people really like them though, and they're much more affordable. More job opportunities compared to population, too.

I did consider Salem at one time. But Ashland sounds enticing. Thank you so much for all this information.  I thought Bend would be an area I was interested in, but reading your local review I am not so sure that is true anymore. I did not realize Bend was located in the high desert. I love the desert. So something I will still tour in the future.
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Meowmalade

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #125 on: May 16, 2017, 09:55:14 AM »
But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

I heard that Ashland is changing and getting crazy expensive since all the California retirees are moving there :(
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #126 on: May 16, 2017, 10:09:45 AM »
But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

I heard that Ashland is changing and getting crazy expensive since all the California retirees are moving there :(


Oooooh I bet you're right. Since it's more southern, the climate is closer and all =\ Ack. Well, if it goes the way of Yreka then it won't be affordable anymore! Not that it was ever cheap, mind you.

Maybe Medford or K Falls will have a cultural revolution ;) I'm not holding out hope...
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #127 on: May 16, 2017, 10:18:18 AM »
LOL. I would be classified as one of those California retirees in thoughts of moving up there. (course young to retire, but eventually my intention)
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #128 on: May 16, 2017, 10:26:54 AM »
LOL. I would be classified as one of those California retirees in thoughts of moving up there. (course young to retire, but eventually my intention)

Another thought occurred to me. Depending on when you're thinking about moving/how old your kid is... we don't always have the best schools =\ Oregon actually has one of the worst HS grad rates in the country. If your kids are in a special program, like IB or honors at one of the schools, you can get pretty good education. But just be aware that there's a decent amount of drugs/teen pregnancy/drop outs.

Oregon has a pretty major meth problem, particularly in small rural communities. Places like Springfield, Medford (many Oregonians call it "methford"), K Falls, Roseburg... all having pretty major drug crises right now. The costal town aren't faring well either, but they never are. The coast is BEAUTIFUL though, and cheap. So long as you don't mind SO MUCH RAIN and a depressed economy and the possibility of typhoons, the coast might be a neat option. No nightlife to speak of anywhere on the coast though.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #129 on: May 16, 2017, 11:28:29 AM »
realistically, this move probably would not be for another 5-7 years. So DD will be out of school. Not even sure she would want to venture forth with me. (ah, sad thought).
Ah, the goods and bads about rural communities. thank you for the info.
Hopefully with some venturing around, I will discover my little slice of heaven that I can call mine.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #130 on: May 16, 2017, 11:43:15 AM »
realistically, this move probably would not be for another 5-7 years. So DD will be out of school. Not even sure she would want to venture forth with me. (ah, sad thought).
Ah, the goods and bads about rural communities. thank you for the info.
Hopefully with some venturing around, I will discover my little slice of heaven that I can call mine.

Brace yourselves folks =) I've got another 3-5 city reviews on the way. All Oregon, of course ;) May as well go all out, right? I'm home sick from work today and don't want to do dishes.

I'll be honest, coming from LA to anywhere in Oregon (including Portland) would be a massive culture shock. Portland likes to act like a city, and it's getting there, but in reality it's a really big small town in many ways =)
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #131 on: May 16, 2017, 11:49:37 AM »
I've got the ones you've already done added to the first post. Thanks BJ!! Look forward to the additional reviews. It does make such a difference when we can find the awesomeness in the place that we are.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #132 on: May 16, 2017, 11:51:29 AM »
Woohoo! I was gonna ask for more Oregon reviews but didn't want to push. ;)

And you description of Portland just now sounds pretty much my cup of tea. I've live in SF, I can handle OR culture shock (and desire it)  :)
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #133 on: May 16, 2017, 11:53:55 AM »
Woohoo! I was gonna ask for more Oregon reviews but didn't want to push. ;)

And you description of Portland just now sounds pretty much my cup of tea. I've live in SF, I can handle OR culture shock (and desire it)  :)

If you can afford Portland and don't need to live on peak hours, it is incredible. =) Definitely try to live in Portland proper though. Sellwood in particular is an area I could see living... forever. It's like a quiet island right in the center of it all.

And it's such an irony- it kills me to see all the growing pains Oregon is going through, and part of me wants to hold it close and keep it secret. Part of my family has been here 5 generations! I don't want it to change. But at the same time, I love it, and I want more people to discover the quirky, beautiful state I call home.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #134 on: May 16, 2017, 12:19:32 PM »
Albany   


  • City, State, Country:Albany, Oregon, USA
    Albany is an odd little town. Right along I-5, it is pretty insular for people who have lived there forever. At first blush it feels like a little strip mall, crime-ridden nowhere. Which it kinda is, but there's also a surprisingly vibrant culture centered around the historic downtown.
    About 52k people.

    Also, even though Albany doesn't have the richest cultural diversity and activities, it's pretty close to Corvallis and Salem, so that opens up some options.
  • If a suburb, distance from city: None
    If anything, Albany is a suburb for Salem or Corvallis.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Cheap for a Willamette Valley city
    Most of the houses are old and kinda run down, but Albany has been growing recently and there are several new housing developments going up. Average purchase price is like $280k. Since most of the rest of the Valley hovers around 350k, this is cheap.
    Rent is also cheap. The only apartment buildings are VERY rough though, so probably rent a SFH or a duplex. Um, be mindful of where you rent though. Along the train tracks is a lot of transient crime- petty theft, garage and car break ins, trespassing. This also applies along the bike paths.
  • Indoor Hobbies:Food and drink, mainly
    There's a surprising amount of culture around food and drink. Calapooia brewery, a large library, and a lot of very active church communities. And there's a VERY active antiques/thrifting scene. Like, it's an antiquing destination.
  • Outdoor Hobbies:Lots of 'farm oriented' hobbies
    There are rodeos and a large fair grounds. Lots of road biking, some water sports (the Willamette River runs through Albany), but no white water near town. Some nice parks.
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Standard Willamette Valley Weather
    I'll copy and paste what I said for Corvallis:
    Rainy and grey in the fall/winter/spring. Rare snow, becoming more common with climate change. We used to joke that the Valley is always 47 and rainy. Pretty temperate. During the summer, it's usually 70s-80sF with a couple weeks in the 90s, and rarely over 100. Pretty humid. In the past surviving without AC was doable and common, but with climate change the summers have been scorchers the past couple years.
    Note: some intense allergens. Don't move to the Valley if you have seasonal allergies. We're literally the grass seed capitol of the world.
  • Favorite things:All the ducks. Also, u-pick blueberries.
    Self explanatory I think. Ducks are adorable, pushy little floof-monsters.
  • Least favorite things:I hate to use the term but... "white trash"
    There is a strong undercurrent of homophobia, racism, and uneducated close-mindedness. The town can feel a bit... gritty.
  • 'Must Try':The rodeo
    It's pretty fun. They blow stuff up. Also, if you've never been to a livestock auction, go to one and watch. And buy breakfast.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:Cheap, but there are tradeoffs
    As with the rest of Oregon, secure a job first. Be mindful that we don't have the best schools. There are private school options in Albany, but only religious ones.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): It's still Oregon =) So yes
    It's a lot like Corvallis, although you're way less likely to get into a conversation with someone at a BBQ about sustainability or gardening. You get more of the 'garden to feed my family because we are poor' and less of the 'garden because I am ecofriendly and locavore' type feel. Still, it's there, just different motivations usually.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #135 on: May 16, 2017, 12:19:52 PM »
Eugene


  • City, State, Country:Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Eugene really, really, really likes itself. Eugene has Ducks football, and Eugene looooooooooooooves Ducks football. Eugene is on the I-5 corridor in the Willamette Valley. It vies with Salem for second largest Oregon city, second to Portland.
    Eugene also prides itself on its mass transit, but the system isn't heavily used or run very often. There is excellent bike infrastructure though, and it routinely makes top 10 cycling city lists. Lots of bike-only paths and bridges.
    About 160k people.
    If you are uncomfortable with Pot culture, probably look at Salem instead. Eugene flaunts it's hippy roots, whereas Salem is more sedate about this.
  • If a suburb, distance from city: Suburbs, kinda: Springfield, Coburg
    Springfield/Eugene are on the two opposite sides of I-5 as it cuts up the Valley. Springfield is the smaller, rougher sister. But, property taxes are way lower than Eugene, so a lot of businesses and people move to that side. Most of what I write here applies to both cities, since there's little real different between the two.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Moderate. Way less than Portland, about on par with Salem
    According to Zillow, average housing cost is $264k. Most houses are ranch style, built in the 50s/60s. Some weird 70s architecture. Then the suburb feeling housing developments from the 90s. Very little construction happened in the 00s through now, AFAIK. Pricing depends hugely on your area.
    Rent depends majorly on where you are. If you're close to U of O campus/downtown, expend to spend quite a bit for a trashy old house with loud partier neighbors. Confusingly, what used to be one of the highest drug crime neighborhoods in the city (Whitaker) is now "The Whit" and is very trendy. Rents are high here. Areas outside of the city core can be very cheap though, relatively. Expect as low as $700/month for a 1/1 apartment in some areas (esp Springfield) and around $1500-2000/month for a SFH in most areas.
  • Indoor Hobbies:University related, drink related
    Lots of sports and political action. Fairly active "barmuda triangle" downtown. A few breweries, most notably Ninkasi. Which is world famous for a reason. Buy the Oatis. Do iiiitttttt.
    Several movie theaters, including ones where you can drink and eat while watching the movie.
    Some interesting shopping, particularly the 5th Street Public Market.
  • Outdoor Hobbies:Yes, lots
    Eugene is the home of Nike. They like running, a LOT. There are all sorts of running clubs, races, etc. Good access to outdoors, including lakes and rivers. About 2 hours away from the Willamette Pass for winter sports, and about 2 hours from the coast.
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Same as the rest of the Valley, so I will copy and paste
    Rainy and grey in the fall/winter/spring. Rare snow, becoming more common with climate change. We used to joke that the Valley is always 47 and rainy. Pretty temperate. During the summer, it's usually 70s-80sF with a couple weeks in the 90s, and rarely over 100. Pretty humid. In the past surviving without AC was doable and common, but with climate change the summers have been scorchers the past couple years.
    Note: some intense allergens. Don't move to the Valley if you have seasonal allergies. We're literally the grass seed capitol of the world.
  • Favorite things:Food culture
    There is a huge emphasis on sustainable agriculture in Eugene. This is reflected at the farmer's markets, grocery stores, and restaurants. It's common throughout the Valley, but definitely shines in Eugene. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you will have MANY options in Eugene. A very popular rice-and-bean bowl restaurant called Cafe Yumm came out of Eugene. Yumm sauce is pretty damn good, not gonna lie. Its like... hummus and nutritional yeast and magic?
  • Least favorite things:I have a cap for hippy bullshit. Also, a lot of homelessness issues.
    Yeah, I can only handle so much hippy-ness before I get annoyed. People will talk to you about crystal healing and EMF dangers and soy-based cancer cures.
    Eugene also has one of the largest homeless populations per capita in the nation. It is poorly managed by the city, overall. So there is tension around this problem.
  • 'Must Try':Saturday Market. Country Fair.
    Be prepared for tie-dye. It's like an anthropology experiment.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:Don't put an OSU sticker on your car. Don't speed.
    Yep, that's all I've got.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Hippies. So many hippies.
    Eugene has banned plastic bags, and charges you for paper. Expect legitimate confusion if you don't bring reusable bags. There are grocery stores that ONLY sell bulk and recyclable packaging foods. As mentioned before, lots of cycling- most areas you can get by without a car if you're willing to ride in the rain. Good gardening opportunities. Um, really into renewable energy, I think the courthouse downtown has solar panels on it.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #136 on: May 16, 2017, 12:20:06 PM »
Salem


  • City, State, Country:Salem, Oregon, USA
    Salem is the capitol of Oregon. People like to says it's filled with criminals- there's a lot of politicians, and a big state penitentiary. Salem was incredibly boring through the 90s, (it's like a suburb with no main city, in a lot of ways) but it's enjoying a cultural resurgence the past ~10 years. Partially driven by wine country, and partially by spill over from Portland's growth. Salem is on the I-5 corridor in the Willamette Valley, about 1 hour south of Portland. (or 2, with traffic, haha).
    About 161k people.
    Functionally, Salem ends up being larger than Eugene, since it has Keizer, Independence, and Monmouth as nearby bedroom communities. It seems to have more employment opportunities than most Oregon towns, but it is in pretty boring work for the government mainly =)
    Salem has a few distinct areas: West Salem and South Salem being the nicest, and where you probably want to live. Way less crime, and generally better traffic.
    There is a large hispanic community in Salem, and otherwise Salem is mainly white. These communities heavily self-segregate.
  • If a suburb, distance from city: Salem has a few suburbs
    Kaiser, Independence, Monmouth. Living in the suburbs would be an option but not ideal. Because of mountains and rivers, there are a lot of choke points for traffic. So if you are employed in Salem proper, or want to go in often, it can be a traffic nightmare. Parking isn't too bad in the city center though.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Not too bad
    Cheaper than many places in the Valley on average: $207k average home price. BUT this depends hugely on the area you buy in. There are a lot of old, moldy houses in Salem.

    Pretty good rental opportunities. You can get a place in S Salem on Commercial St for like $900 for a nice recently renovated 1br/1ba in a big apartment complex. A little slimmer pickings on nice SFH rentals, but not impossible by any means. Rent vs Buy calcs in most areas work out for buying if you'll stay a while though.
  • Indoor Hobbies:Politics. Restaurants. Lots of meetup groups for some reason
    I don't stay indoors much, I don't know this as well! But there are movie theaters, and some music venues, and good restaurants. There's a few different breweries that call Salem home, and lots of pub grub available. As a result, there are trivia nights galore.
  • Outdoor Hobbies:Access, but little in-town
    It's easy to get to places with great outdoor activities, but there isn't that much in town. The cycling infrastructure isn't as good as Portland or Eugene. However, just outside the city there's some awesome road cycling through wine country. Lots of vineyards to visit.
    Like the rest of the valley, sub-2 hour access to both the Cascades and the coast. A little bit further to a ski resort that Eugene or Portland- Hoodoo is a bit further out, and Bachelor is a bit southern.
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Like the rest of the Willamette Valley, so I will copy and paste
    Rainy and grey in the fall/winter/spring. Rare snow, becoming more common with climate change. We used to joke that the Valley is always 47 and rainy. Pretty temperate. During the summer, it's usually 70s-80sF with a couple weeks in the 90s, and rarely over 100. Pretty humid. In the past surviving without AC was doable and common, but with climate change the summers have been scorchers the past couple years.
    Note: some intense allergens. Don't move to the Valley if you have seasonal allergies. We're literally the grass seed capitol of the world.
  • Favorite things:The mall
    I usually hate shopping, but I won't lie, the mall in Salem is pretty cool. It has sky ways and open balconies and stuff. It's fun.
    There's some EXCELLENT Mexican restaurants in Salem.
    ENCHANTED FOREST. You want some true Oregon flavor? Go to enchanted forest. It's near Salem. It's like a weird psuedo-disney, with classic children's story characters. Don't ask, just go. If you don't have kids, maybe stop at a winery nearby first. Or even if you do have kids ;) haha. (Don't drink and drive obviously, have a DD. Gosh).
  • Least favorite things:It can be really, really boring
    Salem is getting BETTER. That doesn't mean it's GOOD. Haha. I guess it depends on what you like, but I find it's less easy to explore and try new things in Salem. 
  • 'Must Try':Wineries. Willamette Valle Pie Co. If you like historical stuff and museums, see those, there are some cool ones
    • Words of wisdom/Advice:I am not wise
      If you want to live in Salem, live in Independence instead. It's way cooler, and tiny, but then you can VISIT salem, which is all you really want to do anyway =)
    • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Not as good as elsewhere in the Valley, but still Oregon
      On this front, Portland or Eugene or Corvallis win the Valley. Salem isn't bad though, but there isn't the hippy culture underpinnings quite as strongly. You can still easily find vegetarian food and locally sourced meats and such though. And there's a farmers market, of course. BECAUSE OREGON.
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #137 on: May 16, 2017, 12:21:49 PM »
I don't quite know what happened with some of the formatting, but there's 3 more cities. I've got another 2-3 I might do today. Requests welcome. On the off chance I don't know the town, I guarantee you I have a friend I could easily ask.
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G42

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #138 on: May 16, 2017, 08:22:49 PM »
    I've lived in the Bay area for a total of 8 years in two separate chunks:  (briefly) in downtown San Francisco, Berkeley, El Cerrito (ie, inner East Bay) and now in (outer East Bay) Concord.

    • City, State, Country: Concord / Walnut Creek, CA (SF outer East Bay suburbs)
    • If a suburb, distance from city: ~30mi...driving is 60min or up to two hours, especially during rush hour and depending on final location.  BART (mass transit) is about 45min, depending on where you're going.  BART is standing room only during commuter hours.
    • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): Pricey Bay area...rent is anywhere from $1400 for a 1b/1ba to $2300 for a studio (!!!) depending on how new the building is and the exact location, on the low end.  I'm in a 2b/1.5ba old apartment for $1650 right now.  Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County and has less affluent areas, with cheaper rent.  A lot of the older apartments may be rougher, thinner walls, wall A/C units, etc.  Some are not worth it due to bug or safety issues, so you need to check around.  The most expensive rentals are right next the the BART mass transit stations.  Walnut Creek is the more affluent city to the South with high end retail.  Most of the rents there are higher, like $1800-$2500 for 2b/2b.  With all that being said, you can also find mid century ranch style houses to rent in Concord for $1800-$2400/mo if you have good credit.  Having pets will increase your rent in most places.
      To buy a condo or house out here is a huge range, but the prices are stupid high and getting higher.  It's also a very aggressive market with all cash offers above list price being the norm in many areas.

    • Indoor Hobbies: Tons of art, music, culture, museums, sports, food, quirky retail, etc. are in downtown SF.  Oakland also has a lot of culture and things to do (don't be scared of the news, Oakland is like most cities: good sections/bad sections).  The outer East Bay suburbs East of the Berkeley hills (on Hwy 24 and 680) have significantly fewer museums, etc. - these are older originally rural and bedroom communities that have grown up fast.  They are now generally affluent.  There's more traditional big mall retail, movie theaters, indoor climbing places, etc.  Yoga, gyms, martial arts, etc. - there are classes everywhere.  Classes through town community centers are generally less expensive than private.
    • Outdoor Hobbies: Walking around any of the urban downtowns, lots of free parks.  Biking and hiking in the different regional parks, including Mt. Diablo and reserved water shed areas.  Water sports on the Bay.  There are some amusement and water parks.  North of SF is Point Reyes and Marin which are crazy gorgeous.  Further East are the Sierras, with full seasons and just about every outdoor activity.  Since the population density is high in the Bay area, escapes for the weekend are common and traffic (not distance) becomes the biggest factor.  Napa/Sonoma wine tasting and hiking/biking are very popular.  There's a less well know wine area on the south end of the Valley surrounding Livermore that is closer and more affordable but without the Napa/Sonoma cachet.  Beer Week lasts two weeks out here.
    • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Low 30's/high 50/60's in the winter and low 50's/high 80-100's in the summer.  AC is very useful for several hours before the sun starts to drop....then you open your windows and cool everything off for sleeping.  Humidity is low compared to midWest or East Coast.  After 5 years of drought, it finally rained this winter, but water is always a concern.  Generally sunny days - wear your sunscreen!  Lots of exotic plants/trees, so it's hard if you have allergies.
    • Favorite things: Generally diverse population with a wide range of perspectives, people, and things to do.
    • Least favorite things: Cost of housing is high and it's just very crowded.  If you have a long car commute, it's brutal, but if you keep your life super local, it's not bad.  I have a 5mi RT bike commute and can get to Trader Joe's, Costco, and several other grocery stores within that 2.5mi.
    • 'Must Try': Walk around SF if you've never been and go over the Golden Gate bridge...here in the East Bay, go up Mt. Diablo.
    • Stupid ordinances/laws: CA has lots of consumer protections but also lots of red tape.  If you want to own income property, do your research first on what town...the laws vary widely.
    • Words of wisdom/Advice:  You can be Mustachian here if you try...
    • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Being Green is both very popular and totally ignored, depending on where you are and what you choose to opt into.  Local food, organic food, composting, gardens, native plants, bans on plastic bags, solar, etc. are all available in militant and mild versions.

      If anyone has specific questions about the area, let me know.  Cheers
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 04:33:30 PM by G42 »

Vindicated

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #139 on: May 18, 2017, 01:25:31 PM »
Updated to include Verdure's additional comments, and a quotation about the Bloomington area from retiringearly

Fellow Indy resident, thought I'd add a few notes.  Included below in green.

I've lived in San Diego, CA, and West Palm Beach, FL, but I wouldn't choose either over Indianapolis.  I've lived in Indianapolis for 10 years now, and I never plan to leave!
I've lived in about a dozen cities, been in Indy 11 year.  Very happy here, but the right job could draw me away, and likely will choose someplace warmer for retirement

  • City, State, Country:Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

  • If a suburb, distance from city: Plenty of great suburbs all around the circle

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Generic SFH from $100k+.  Our home is 1700sqft, and cost $118k in 2013 (Would be able to rent for $1300ish/mo).  Future target homes will be similar or smaller but nicer and nicer areas for ~$250k

  • Indoor Hobbies:Tons of museums, restaurants, events.  Will list more details below in "Favorite Things" Some great libraries!

  • Outdoor Hobbies:Great parks, super walkable and attractive downtown There are fun regional festivals of all sorts, MiLB Baseball team (AAA Pirates affiliate)

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Summer can "Feels Like" over 100, and can be humid.  Winter can be mild or snowy/icy (but usually for only a few days at a time).  Spring and Fall are 60s-80s with nice weather I think it's a great climate for people looking for 4 seasons, but don't want an extreme winter. Summers may be too humid for some, and if you're a winter sports lover, probably not the place for you.  Fall and spring are absolutely lovely, but the allergies can be a challenge.

  • Favorite things:Indianapolis Museum of Art (One of the most beautiful places I've seen), Indianapolis Children's Museum (#1 in the World), Symphony on the Prairie (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra outdoor event at Conner Prairie), Conner Prairie (1800s educational "park", White River State Park / Canal / Eiteljorg / NCCA Hall of Fame (Many other museums), GenCon host!, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500, Brickyard 400, Angie's List Grand Prix, RedBull Air Race, and more), really nice "trendy" areas (Broad Ripple, Fountain Square, Irvington), within 4hrs of Chicago, Detroit, Cincinatti, St. Louis, Louisville I would add Eagle Creek Park to this list.  The Monon bike trail is pretty cool, also. We have a really great craft beer scene! I also think it's worth noting that Indy is one of the top 10 most racially integrated cities in the country

  • Least favorite things:Colts Fans, hah!  No there isn't really anything I dislike about Indy Hey, Colts fans are lovely people! ;-)  The main thing I would say is that public transportation is pretty lacking, but the traffic is not bad at all, as long as you don't want to go to Fishers/Noblesville during rush hour.

  • 'Must Try':The Indy 500 is something everyone needs to fully experience.  Stop by The Tamale Place for lunch, and The Brugge for dinner.  All of my other "Favorite Things" I'd consider Must Try too! Hah, I can't agree about the 500, but The Brugge and The Tamale Place both get enthusiastic thumbs up.

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:Can't buy beer on Sundays Not just beer.  You can't buy take-home alcohol on Sunday, except growlers. You can still buy a drink in restaurants/bars, though.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:I anticipate Indy's COL to keep raising drastically in the next decade.  Lots of tech companies coming here, and a ton of new developments in and around downtown.  I'm not saying it'll be PNW COL in the next 10 years, but it will definitely be closer. My advice is choose your neighborhood or suburb carefully. There are pluses and minuses to all of them, and they tend to have a very different vibes. Make sure you are choosing one that is best for you.


  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): As of 2014, Indy was the home of the World's largest solar farm.  Not sure it still holds the title. Lots of local farmers markets. A number of CSA options, too, and definitely you can garden. Indiana just passed a law to end net metering for home solar/wind by 2022.


I would add to the Indy list, you are less (?) than an hour away from Bloomington which is routinely voted the most beautiful Big Ten college town.  Bloomington = college sports, college town atmosphere, Little 500 bike race, etc.    A short drive from Bloomington is Brown County and Nashville, IN.  Gorgeous ares.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 06:20:42 AM by Vindicated »
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KS

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #140 on: May 18, 2017, 03:16:38 PM »
Oregon reviews were requested, and I shall provide! I love, love, love talking about my home state, and have lived all over it =)

  • City, State, Country:Corvallis, Oregon, USA
    ETA: overview. Corvallis is a college town. About 20-30 min west of I-5 in the Willamette Valley. Much of life in the town revolves around the University. It is extremely well educated (second only to Cambridge for advanced degree IIRC) but also very white. Well, all of Oregon is very white, but Corvallis especially. Mind you, it is not outwardly intolerant or anything, but just know that you won't see that much diversity here, and resulting societal benefits from that.

Wow thank you for this and all the others, lots of helpful info to encourage even more of us crazy Californians to come up and ruin your state. :) Since my inquiry post, I actually got to visit Corvallis and generally liked it quite a bit (although, yes, VERY white and on the small side compared to what I'm used to in the Bay Area.) The people though? Wow, it actually kind of took some getting used to how friendly everyone was. Like, every person you pass in a park and half the people anywhere near you in a restaurant will at least smile, wave and say hi to you, and possibly stop to chat friendly. My friend who lives there now moved from NY and the culture shock for her and her husband was pretty big. ("Who the hell are you and why are you touching my baby?? Oh, you are just a nice person who wants to say hi and you think our kid is cute... hmm okay.") It seems like if you want to have an easy time as a newcomer finding pretty immediate community in a very family-friendly place, Corvallis is a good bet. We didn't end up deciding to take the plunge but it's on our possibilities list for the future, I think.

G42

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #141 on: May 18, 2017, 03:21:48 PM »
Would love to read about Santa Fe, NM; Bellingham, WA and Victoria, BC
Cheers

Meowkins

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #142 on: May 18, 2017, 03:32:52 PM »
Can I request Atlanta, GA?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #143 on: May 18, 2017, 04:30:21 PM »
Oregon reviews were requested, and I shall provide! I love, love, love talking about my home state, and have lived all over it =)

  • City, State, Country:Corvallis, Oregon, USA
    ETA: overview. Corvallis is a college town. About 20-30 min west of I-5 in the Willamette Valley. Much of life in the town revolves around the University. It is extremely well educated (second only to Cambridge for advanced degree IIRC) but also very white. Well, all of Oregon is very white, but Corvallis especially. Mind you, it is not outwardly intolerant or anything, but just know that you won't see that much diversity here, and resulting societal benefits from that.

Wow thank you for this and all the others, lots of helpful info to encourage even more of us crazy Californians to come up and ruin your state. :) Since my inquiry post, I actually got to visit Corvallis and generally liked it quite a bit (although, yes, VERY white and on the small side compared to what I'm used to in the Bay Area.) The people though? Wow, it actually kind of took some getting used to how friendly everyone was. Like, every person you pass in a park and half the people anywhere near you in a restaurant will at least smile, wave and say hi to you, and possibly stop to chat friendly. My friend who lives there now moved from NY and the culture shock for her and her husband was pretty big. ("Who the hell are you and why are you touching my baby?? Oh, you are just a nice person who wants to say hi and you think our kid is cute... hmm okay.") It seems like if you want to have an easy time as a newcomer finding pretty immediate community in a very family-friendly place, Corvallis is a good bet. We didn't end up deciding to take the plunge but it's on our possibilities list for the future, I think.

Ohhh man I bet it would be a huge culture shock! One of my friends lived in Sweden for a year, and when she came back she was weirded out by how chatty and friendly people are. When a checker asks how your day is, they usually want to know. And like you said, people legitimately just want to chat!

And to be fair, this is most of Oregon =) IME, less so Portland and Salem. But Eugene, Ashland (last I was there), Corvallis, Albany, and certainly the small towns like Dallas, Independence, Roseburg, Junction City, Alsea, La Pine, and so on are like that. Sometimes people are almost aggressively friendly haha. (Obviously not everyone is like this, there are jerks everywhere, but it's definitely more common than elsewhere. I find checkers to be weirdly standoffish when I travel to other states).
The following border-on-absurd things have happened to me:
-At a very large fair, a woman I had never seen before asked me to watch her baby and her 5 year old while she took her 3 year old to the bathroom (bad blowout+toddler meltdown). I was probably about 16-17 and there with a group of friends. She was gone like 20 minutes, maybe more. All of us just stayed and chilled with the kiddos until she got back.
-One time, husband and I were towing a boat and the bearings seized up. We were stuck by I-5 waiting on a tow. In the ~2 hours we were there, more than 10 people stopped to see if we needed food, water, cell phone, etc. We actually knew a couple of them (OR is a small state outside of Portland, I know someone about 1/2 the time I go anywhere). We even ended up sending the dog home with one of them!
-Multiple, multiple occasions I've been to a coffee shop and been told "nope, you don't owe anything, someone earlier paid toward the next 5 (or whatever) number of people getting their coffee! Have a good day."

And then I guess I do the same, because I can't *count* how many people I've parallel parked their cars when they're struggling, or jump started their cars, or seen them unloading something and stopped and helped, etc.

Oregon rocks =)

But seriously seriously we aren't joking about it being grey, and rainy, and depressing. A ton of Californians leave after their first winter. With good reason. No sun shine, zero, days on end.
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chasesfish

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #144 on: May 20, 2017, 03:00:19 PM »
Can I request Atlanta, GA?

I'll take this - What specifically are you looking for, Atlanta proper or the far northern suburbs (that have a bunch of retirees, mountains, and outdoors).  A guy under Retirement Manifesto has a nice blog about this.
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ChpBstrd

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #145 on: May 20, 2017, 11:11:10 PM »
Cost of Living vs. Salary Study

I did an interesting little exercise to see if it would make sense to move from my current location in Little Rock, AR. Salaries in most other cities are higher- in some cases much higher. But how much of that would be consumed by a higher cost of living? Is there somewhere we could go to accelerate our FIRE date by a year or two? A 5-10% increase in our savings rate would do it.

Method:
1) Develop a list of 28 medium-to-large cities across the US. Not comprehensive, just places I'd consider moving to, plus some fun HCOL outliers.
2) Use the cost of living calculator on expatistan.com to estimate the percentage increase in our cost of living for each city.
3) Use the median wage for my job and my DW's job from salary.com for each city (median is accurate for us in our current city).
4) Calculate Savings Amount and Percentage, assuming 15% taxes.

COL Input:
We have about a $50k cost of living (includes mortgage, day care for one kid, 2 dogs, 2 cars). Our savings rate is about 50% right now.

Results:
Either there's no free lunch, or we're already eating it. Our savings rate only exceeded our current 50% savings rate by a percentage or two in Indianapolis, Phoenix, Des Moines, and San Antonio. That's practically a rounding error. The higher cost of living reduced our potential savings rate in all 24 of the other cities. The worst moves would be to go to Boston or San Francisco, where our savings rate would drop to 42% and 35%, respectively. Full results are visible in the attached excel file.

Discussion:
Markets are surprisingly efficient for people saving 50% of their income in a LCOL area. At this point, there is little to gain from moving away from a LCOL area to another relatively LCOL area. However, a move from a LCOL area to a HCOL area - even to pursue the higher pay in that area - could set back our retirement by years. It would be even worse if we were less frugal and the costs inflated even more.

For example, a move from Little Rock, AR to either Chicago or Denver would reduce our savings rate from 50% to 43%, assuming we continue to earn median wages and maintain our current 'standard of living' (hate that term btw, it's so entitled). According to the networthify.com ER calculator, that difference amounts to 3 extra years of work! 

From a macroeconomic perspective, it is unclear why HCOL areas exist if they make it harder for people to become wealthy. The whole rationale of cities is to concentrate economic activity and achieve economies of scale and scope.

One possibility might be that bouts of unemployment are shorter when one lives in a large city, than when one lives in a small city, so realized earnings are higher than in LCOL areas, even if the salaries are about the same. Another possibility is that big cities are lotteries where a few high performers earn very high salaries, and everyone else there endures the disadvantages in exchange for that lottery ticket. A third possibility is that living in e.g. San Franscico is more expensive than Southern / rust belt cities because - like a fancy suburb - the prices keep poor people out, and the residents of HCOL areas are paying for the luxury of not having to live near poor people.

None of these explanations seem satisfactory to me, so I'd love to hear other ideas for why people continue to live in places where salaries don't keep up with living expenses. Why hasn't the economy smoothed everything out so salaries and expenses are the same nationwide? Local government policies? Culture?

In any case, looks like I'm staying put.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #146 on: May 21, 2017, 12:04:49 AM »
Something to keep in mind that COL calculators don't take into account- changing habits. The bigger the city, the more opportunities for unusual living situations, you're more likely to be able to do a side hustle without it encroaching on your day job (bigger markets), way more side hustle opportunities in general, there are more discount grocers and free entertainment options, better library systems, generally better public transit, and since things like gyms run with larger numbers of potential clients, you're more likely to be able to arrange barter for services like your yoga or massage habit or whatever. Then there's even less obvious ones, like people are more likely to visit you than you going to them for vacations, if you're near a major airport travel is cheaper, etc.

It's interesting to look at the Frugalwoods in particular I think and see how much cheaper it was for them to live in Cambridge than in Vermont.

So basically, I'd say yes, if you live a pretty standard life, HCOL kills your savings rate. But if you can get creative, they can be excellent options.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #147 on: May 21, 2017, 06:46:57 PM »
None of these explanations seem satisfactory to me, so I'd love to hear other ideas for why people continue to live in places where salaries don't keep up with living expenses.

Where does pay unilaterally keep up with living expenses anywhere in the country? People live where they live primarily because they were born there, or their kids were. The value of a support network is sometimes another reason to stay put, though it's often not as good a reason as some believe. The attitude to create your own landing pad based on careful consideration of economic factors is not all that common, less so today.

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Why hasn't the economy smoothed everything out so salaries and expenses are the same nationwide? Local government policies? Culture?

I don't understand. The economy doesn't smooth out a single city, because opportunities and wages vary dramatically. Why would it smooth out the entire country, where opportunities vary even more? People move to cities to get jobs now, like they did much earlier in history. Whatever job you have in AR is probably way more rare there than it is in any major, booming city that supports your industry. Your perspective is skewed because you already have the job.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #148 on: May 22, 2017, 06:07:00 AM »
I've got all the new requests and the new cities added to the first post.

As far the Cost of Living discussion goes, I may come back and write a bit more, but for now, I just want to point out that a lot of times, the cities listed are the city proper, not the outlying areas, and that is usually where a good chunk of optimizations take place. For example, there are certain metrics for Colorado Springs that don't show it as incredible LCOL, but Fountain is hugely different in prices. Gas and groceries are similar, but housing is/was ridiculously cheap. And one wouldn't know to even search for Fountain unless some time was spent looking at a map. So in short, I'd say that the majority of calculators and data available are very specific to the city proper, even if the majority of people live outside of it technically.
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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #149 on: May 22, 2017, 08:40:21 AM »
Regarding the cost of living discussion, calculators are useful tools for comparing aggregate data, but they don't take into account an individual's ability to aggressively micro-optimize their personal situation. I think what everyone is saying is, "where there's a will, there's a way".

Remember, Jacob from ERE became FI in five years while living in the Bay Area.

I have more thoughts, but don't want to divert the discussion too much from the Relocation Guide :)
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