Author Topic: Mustachian Relocation Guide  (Read 21162 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
[/quote]

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 »

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.



Mr. McGibblets

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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. :)