Author Topic: Mustachian Relocation Guide  (Read 50809 times)

laurelei

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #150 on: May 23, 2017, 09:26:42 AM »
I no longer live in Ventura since I determined it was too HCOL for me, but since its the best (IMO) choice for mustachians looking for a SoCal coastal city, I thought I'd share my knowledge.

City: Ventura, California, USA


  • If a suburb, distance from city: Only 1 hour drive from northern LA (Hollywood, West Hollywood, Malibu, etc.) but it is definitely not considered an LA suburb. It's also only 45 minutes south of Santa Barbara. So it's far enough away from those cities to be considered its own community, but close enough to visit for a festival, concerts, etc.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): A modest 3-bedroom home in a decent neighborhood will be $600k, minimum. A 3-bed duplex or a home in a less desirable neighborhood will be $500k. You can find condos for $300-400k. Many of the "affordable" (less then $600k) homes have desert-like landscaping - no trees, front yard made of rocks or completely paved. Anything with trees or other plants have higher price tags.

    One bedroom apartments rent for $1,100 - $1,700, depending on neighborhood and whether or not you have pets. The renting market is extremely competitive, so renters with pets are limited in apartment choices. We have two dogs and could only find 2 apartment complexes that would take us when we moved there (2013). We managed to find a $1,000 400 sq ft tiny apartment in Oxnard after our first year living there, but it was not a nice place to live and we were anxious to leave after 2 years.

    Most people rent since it's so expensive. Housing prices are changing rapidly, especially on the west side of town near "The Avenue", which is quickly gentrifying thanks to its easy access to downtown and home to many art galleries. You used to be able to find a tiny, < 1,000 sq ft home on the west side for $300k, and I had a few friends who did. Now, those are all snatched up by investors paying cash - usually within hours of listing. Any other info you find on the internet about that neighborhood is likely outdated since it is changing so rapidly.

    I had several friends who took almost a year to eventually find a house, thanks to investors and others outbidding them.
  • Indoor Hobbies:  There are lots of creative people in Ventura, so you have many art galleries lining Main St. downtown or on Ventura Ave ("The Avenue"). One of my favorite things to do there was see local plays - there are several theaters that do small productions with local talent, for $10-25 a ticket. Because of Ventura's proximity to LA, the local talent is off the charts. Leaf through the playbill when you get to a play and notice the impressive resume of all the performers.

    There's also a lot of healthy, yoga-loving, crunchy, woo people in Ventura too. Lots of yoga and meditation classes.
  • Outdoor Hobbies: Popular outdoor activities are paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, hiking, fishing, walking on the beach. The water is too cold to swim in and Venutra is only a mid-sized city, so the beaches are fantastically empty sometimes. It is not unusual to go to the busiest beach downtown and still not be near a single person. If you know where to find the less known beaches, you almost always have it to yourself.

    Because of the amazing weather and views, there are several groups that do donation-based outdoor yoga classes.
  • Weather: This is Ventura's strongest suit. The weather is about as perfect as you can ask for. It's 60-70 degrees and sunny almost all year. It does get foggy and gray from May - early July, otherwise known as "June gloom." The winters are like a beautiful autumn - just grab a light jacket and scarf if its the morning or evening - in the middle of the day it still gets warm.
  • Favorite things: Lots of free entertainment just by being anywhere with an ocean view. Go for a walk, have a picnic on the beach, drive up the 101 and back, bike on trails right next to the beach.
  • Least favorite things: The housing costs. Even as a DINK couple with frugal habits, we still couldn't afford a home AND early retire there.

    The job market for professional white-collar jobs was slim. I am in software, my husband is an accountant. Neither of us could find work in Ventura. Expect a commute. I bused up to Santa Barbara every day, which made for a 1.5 hr commute each way. My husband commuted down to Thousand Oaks (LA suburb) on bus, which also took about 1.5 hrs. It was one of the primary reasons why we left.

    I also didn't like that LA seemed to be slowly creeping up towards Ventura by the time I left there (2017). Rumors were flying around town that people were tired of the traffic and urban sprawl of LA were moving to Ventura and making the housing market even more competitive than it already is. BUT, I will say that I met a lot of new people in my time living there, and I didn't meet a single person who moved there from LA, so it's either a rumor or its still in its early days.
  • 'Must Try': Drive up a little mountain road next to the old courthouse downtown and it takes you up to Grant Park / "The Cross". Gorgeous views of the city and ocean, a few picnic tables, and some grass to sit and enjoy the view. People get married up there. I was proposed to there. It's just gorgeous.

    Spencer MacKenzie's fish tacos near downtown Ventura - get a large delicious fish taco for ~$5 and sit out on the patio and enjoy the people watching and fresh ocean breeze. Walk two blocks down the street to the pier/beach after your meal.
  • Stupid ordinances/laws: If CA is in a drought, you're not supposed to wash your car, water your lawn, and you have to explicitly ask for water at restaurants. It's not really *stupid* - it's actually smart, but dealing with the drought in general is what sucks.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice: If you're wanting to move there, move soon. Prices keep going up and up as people hear how great Ventura is compared to LA and Santa Barbara. Oxnard, which is the city right next to Ventura and in the same general metro area, is probably a smarter choice. It's less gentrified than Ventura and you can find cheaper prices there. And anywhere you live in Oxnard is still only a 20 minutes drive to anywhere in Ventura, so you can technically live in Oxnard but have your social life in Ventura, if you wanted to.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Solar panels would do well in Ventura. Gardens are possible but need to be watered like crazy since it's so dry there.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #151 on: May 23, 2017, 12:40:20 PM »
I've got all the new requests and the new cities added to the first post.
Could you please also add Nashville, TN and Knoxville, TN?  Thanks!

Done. Also added Ventura to the Table of Contents.
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Orvell

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #152 on: May 23, 2017, 12:58:25 PM »
Mewokins asked me to post about Madison, since I really love it here! Happy to oblige. :)

Madison, Wisconsin - USA


If a suburb, distance from city
Madison is the Capitol of Wisconsin, but not its largest city. It's about 1.5 hours drive from the larger Milwaukee, and about 3 hours drive from Chicago. Milwaukee and Chicago are also easily accessible by bus. Sadly not by train. Don't ask Wisconsinites about this. We just get depressed (and curse Walker's name).
Madison itself is a 'small' city-- both geographically and population wise. Its heart is settled on an isthmus between two lakes, and it spreads east and west. You can drive 30 minutes out of the heart of downtown and find yourself in a cornfield. That said, it's a vibrant, fun city with a large university town feel, and bridges the line between city life and town life in terms of size and amenities. One of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to walk and bike within the city, because of its small size.

•Average housing cost (specify rent or buy)
Overall, Madison probably falls into LCOL, but thanks to housing, I consider it medium cost of living. Our rents are higher than pretty much anywhere else in Wisconsin, but still cheap compared to big cities. If you want to be on the isthmus expect that a room in a shared house will cost at least $500/month, and single bedroom and studios are around $600-800 on the low end. I currently rent a room for $600, had a studio for $700, and half of a 2 bedroom for $800 after that.
Houses start around $150K and progress up from there getting cheaper and larger the further out you go.
According to Trulia: Median house price is $237K, price per square foot is $180, median rent is $1,595

•Indoor Hobbies
Roller derby, great library system, comedy club, bars a plenty (it's Wisconsin, you can't spit without finding one), Children's museum, Veteran's museum, History museum, (2) Art museums, movie theaters, a shockingly huge selection of really great and diverse restaurants (and not at New York prices)

•Outdoor Hobbies
Ice fishing, regular fishing, hiking, biking (good trail systems all over southern Wisconsin), cross country skiing, all sorts of festivals and races (there's a really fun one in February where they pump snow into the Capitol loop and have ski and dog races!), amazing farmers markets, boating on the lakes, outside concerts (6 free outside Chamber Orchestra concerts every summer on Wednesday nights at the Capitol square, often with as many as 40,000 people in attendance), music at the Terrace, "Rhythm and Booms" fireworks and music on the 4th of July on the lake.

•Weather
So this is the thing. It's Wisconsin. It's not Canada levels of winter, but we have that winter thing. There's no getting around it. If you want to move here, you should be comfortable driving in snow/ice to some extent, and realize what you're getting into. It gets cold, and dark, and the days are short and the nights are long. The flip side is that we have a jaw droopingly beautiful 4 seasons. Our springs are gorgeous, our summers are hot and lush, our fall colors are beautiful, and our winters are.... well. Being honest they're a bit long. But they're good in their own ways. People here get into winter sports. :) And watching everyone emerge from their shells when spring comes is sort of beautiful. That first day above 50 degrees with sun? You will just see everyone, all at once, smiling. :)

•Favorite things
The walk/bike-ability. You pay a premium to stay on the geographically compressed isthmus, but the reward is pretty grand. I live 2.5 miles from work (and pretty everything in the city proper is within 3-4 miles) and bike, walk, and take the bus. Even friends who live out in "the burbs" are only 5-6 miles away. :) I love nothing more than in summer, walking around downtown on a Saturday, listening to people playing music in the streets and eating cheesy bread (it's Wisconsin. Cheese is a thing. We don't fuck around with our cheese, and it's damned good) and enjoying life. Summers here are lovely.
Because it's compact, it's easy to feel connected to the city and its inhabitants.

•Least favorite things
The winter. Less the cold and snow, which I'm fine with, more the short, dark days. The winter blues are real, and can be an understandable deal breaker for folks.
Another thing I'm not super delighted about are drunk university students. UW-Madison likes its beer, and youngins are often not equipped to drink/handle themselves responsibly. State Street after 10PM can be a bit jammed with them.
Overall, the city is pretty white, especially in the gentrifying and expensive downtown.
Finally, Madison is (overall) a liberal city. But the state tends towards conservatism. This can be frustrating, as the city's values are not the same as the state's.

•'Must Try'
Come here on a summer Saturday morning and walk the farmers market that circles the Capitol. You won't regret it, and you'll love Madison for it. Also, walk down State Street with me, buy an ice cream cone, and come with me for a beer on the Terrace by the water. We'll watch the sailboats go by. If it's raining, we'll go to the Chazen art museum instead. (All these things are within 1.5 miles.)

•Stupid ordinances/laws
They decided to 'sanitize' a few crazy block parties, specifically "Freak Fest" which used to be Madison going completely bonkers on Halloween. Now it's bonkers within certain boarders, and they sell tickets. I wasn't here before the change (about 10 years ago I think) and am neutral/have no opinion. Other than it's probably good not to have a city go completely nuts and this probably results in less property damage.

•Words of wisdom/Advice
I have no idea the future. :) Madison seems to be a budding technology base, with lots of start ups, and a backdrop of the software company Epic bringing in (and churning out) people in the tech fields. It certainly seems to be a healthy city, and I don't see that changing.

•Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc.)
Our growing season is fairly short, but the area is brimming with CSAs and farms, and it's totally possible to have a nice garden. Winter months bring much more limited local food possibilities, but should you desire, the Willy Street Co-Op will always have sustainable food choices for you.
Solar panels exist, but I imagine they are not as efficient as elsewhere in the country. The city respects hippies. :)

In Sum: I really like Madison. A lot. It's a solid little city, and I've found amazing people here to be friends with. The winter thing sucks, but something is always going to suck. At least this type of suck also lets you go ice skating.
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crimwell

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #153 on: May 29, 2017, 01:45:04 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.

You can do La Pine? Wow, sure I'm interested.

I've been through there a couple times and thought it seemed like a nice area (nearer to some very pretty areas) but also a weird place to live, like not really a town but not true rural countryside.

 it seemed like large portions had been subdivided into large semi-rural/semi-suburban lots in big lot grids that put a lot of houses with not a huge amount of land that also aren't near anything. Kind of like a lot of places in semi-rural central Florida, where you just find a big grid with 0.5 to 1 acre lots and only half of them are full and no sidewalks and no commercial anywhere. Similar to Central Florida too with the pines and sandy soil, just a lot colder and drier.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #154 on: May 30, 2017, 08:22:36 AM »
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.

You can do La Pine? Wow, sure I'm interested.

I've been through there a couple times and thought it seemed like a nice area (nearer to some very pretty areas) but also a weird place to live, like not really a town but not true rural countryside.

 it seemed like large portions had been subdivided into large semi-rural/semi-suburban lots in big lot grids that put a lot of houses with not a huge amount of land that also aren't near anything. Kind of like a lot of places in semi-rural central Florida, where you just find a big grid with 0.5 to 1 acre lots and only half of them are full and no sidewalks and no commercial anywhere. Similar to Central Florida too with the pines and sandy soil, just a lot colder and drier.

Haven't spent much time in central FL (some time in Jacksonville, but not enough to get a strong impression beyond "no", lol), but it sounds like you pretty well have La Pine pinned. It's a really odd place. Very welcoming in the "give you directions" sort of way, but very closed off in terms of moving to town. A neat town to have a vacation home I imagine, but year round residents are pretty much old people and young people with drug problems- everyone else moves =\ You have to, there are just no jobs really. Particularly over the winter when tourism through the area dies down.  You can seasonally make a pretty good living as a hunting guide or similar fields. I suppose you could commute into Bend, if you can find a job up there.
Oddly enough, there's a pretty cool little enclave of weird old hippy artists that live around the area. They mainly sell out of Bend at the nice galleries up there, but if you know the right places to go you can see people doing some incredibly iron sculpture work and stuff like that =)

  • City, State, Country:La Pine, Oregon, USA
    That city you've driven through. It only has 1500 people. Has its own elementary, middle, and high schools though.
  • If a suburb, distance from city: I guess it's kinda close to Bend
    It's a half hour drive to Bend. Feels like it's own world though.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Cheap, but not many
    This is a 'visited often, haven't lived' town for me, so I don't have first hand knowledge. According to zillow, median home price is $210k. And there's literally not a single place listed on craigslist right now in La Pine proper.
  • Indoor Hobbies:Church, or drive to Bend for shopping
    Not much there.
  • Outdoor Hobbies:Tons
    Summer: water sports, hiking, road and mountain biking, caving, rock climbing. Winter: snow shoeing, snow mobiling, skiing/snowboarding, etc. Then of course fishing and hunting.
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Hot in the summer, cold in the winter. DRY.
    Sunny almost year round, but with snow in the winter. The same weather I wrote up for Bend applies here.
  • Favorite things:There's a couple good greasy spoon diners I like... although I can't find them on a map, so maybe they're gone now
    Also there's an Ace and a BiMart, which sell literally everything you would ever need ;) And it has Ray's, which is the best independent grocery store EVER. Plus you can be outside of town in one of the best State Parks we have. Also the Wikiup Reservoir. Hellooooooo fishing.
  • Least favorite things:Tiny, tiny town. Drugs
    Sadly, Meth is alive and well in La Pine. It's an incredibly small town, so unless you're integrated into family/community there, it can be really boring and exclusionary. The houses are all in really rough shape, most of them are manufactured homes, and a lot of the streets are super dusty/rocky/not paved. One of my favorite games there as a kid was "throw the rock at the pine tree", so as you can tell it's a Happening Place ;)
  • 'Must Try':Lake Paulina
    Pro-tip, it's pronounced "paul-eye-nah", not like the name Paul-ee-nah. And it's incredibly beautiful. And also there are pikas, and pikas are the best.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice:You could make a really cool life here, if you're a rural sort
    There's a strong current of religion, Trump support, and why-did-the-logging-jobs-falter. But, that balances with being very close to Bend and having that weird rich hippy vibe. La Pine loves to hate Bend, all the while relying on that Walmart being there. So it's an odd, small town, but if you're the sort who doesn't mind small town culture and small town problems, it's a pretty cool one. And the country out there is GORGEOUS.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Little to none
    You can't really bike for a commute (you're probably driving in to bend), unless you have a pretty intensive green house setup you're not gardening much, and there isn't much culture for it... OTOH, there's plenty of sunlight for solar, and you might need to compost just by necessity, so there are personal action options you could take.
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crimwell

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #155 on: June 04, 2017, 12:37:45 PM »
Cost of Living vs. Salary Study

 The worst moves would be to go to Boston or San Francisco, where our savings rate would drop to 42% and 35%, respectively.


But percentages can be overwhelmed by absolute numbers.

To simplify drastically, if your current income is $100K/yr, and you save 50% for a yearly savings of $50K/yr, compare that to San Francisco.

If your income in San Francisco is $200K/yr and you save 35%, that's a yearly savings of $70K/yr. You can bank that extra $20K/yr but still base your retirement COL on Little Rock (or another Low COL place).

Again simplifying drastically, assuming 0% investment rates of return, it would take you 20 years of saving $50K/yr to get to $1M. It would only take 15 years of saving $70K/yr to get to $1M (again, with the 0% rate of return). In this example you can cut 5 years off your years of work. If you're going to retire in Little Rock regardless, you can move to San Francisco, juice your earnings with San Francisco salaries, and then leave when you hit your Little Rock retirement number.

edit: this basic phenomenon is very common with traditional Florida retirees.  The classic Florida retiree made her money in NYC or New Jersey, retired, sold the condo, and bought a bigger house in Florida for cheaper.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 12:53:31 PM by crimwell »

crimwell

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #156 on: June 04, 2017, 12:59:04 PM »

  • City, State, Country:La Pine, Oregon, USA
    That city you've driven through. It only has 1500 people. Has its own elementary, middle, and high schools though.

Awesome, thanks! I guess no huge surprises there, but good to have it confirmed.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #157 on: June 04, 2017, 02:19:26 PM »
Cost of Living vs. Salary Study

 The worst moves would be to go to Boston or San Francisco, where our savings rate would drop to 42% and 35%, respectively.


But percentages can be overwhelmed by absolute numbers.

To simplify drastically, if your current income is $100K/yr, and you save 50% for a yearly savings of $50K/yr, compare that to San Francisco.

If your income in San Francisco is $200K/yr and you save 35%, that's a yearly savings of $70K/yr. You can bank that extra $20K/yr but still base your retirement COL on Little Rock (or another Low COL place).

Again simplifying drastically, assuming 0% investment rates of return, it would take you 20 years of saving $50K/yr to get to $1M. It would only take 15 years of saving $70K/yr to get to $1M (again, with the 0% rate of return). In this example you can cut 5 years off your years of work. If you're going to retire in Little Rock regardless, you can move to San Francisco, juice your earnings with San Francisco salaries, and then leave when you hit your Little Rock retirement number.

edit: this basic phenomenon is very common with traditional Florida retirees.  The classic Florida retiree made her money in NYC or New Jersey, retired, sold the condo, and bought a bigger house in Florida for cheaper.

That was my thought too. Unfortunately, even the absolute savings numbers were lower! Here's how a LR > SanFran move would affect our finances:

LR take-home pay after 15% taxes: 122k
LR cost: 50k
LR savings: 72k or 50%

SF take-home pay after 15% taxes: 151k
SF cost: 90k
SF savings: 61.5k or 35%

The caveat here is whether salary.com underestimates salaries in HCOL areas. I see no reason to think so.

Johnez

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #158 on: June 04, 2017, 05:34:48 PM »
  • Anaheim, CA, USA
  • If a suburb, distance from city:
    Los Angeles is considered the major metro, but Anaheim is a metro in its own right. This guide is mostly Orange County oriented, being that to me it feels like one giant city as there aren't many boundaries.  About 30-60 minutes away from LA, more or less depending on where you are going. 90 miles away from San Diego.
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): Rent currently $1535 for 1 bedroom apartment per month. If no pets one can grab a steal for about $1300 if you are patient. Houses-few below $500,000.
  • Indoor Hobbies: Mostly an outdoor haven.
  • Outdoor Hobbies: Beach, sports (lots of soccer and baseball leagues), hiking in surrounding areas, gardening (a lot of "annual" plants are perrenial here), outdoor fitness (walking/running/biking). Cities around have started adding some really great and visible bike lanes recently. Parks are spotty, some are decrepit and near druggy neighborhoods, others well kept (Mile Square Park).
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):70s-80s year round. No snow. Perpetual drought or fear of drought, means watering restrictions.
  • Favorite things: Weather never miserable. Tons of places to go. Sports is everywhere. Pro baseball, and hockey. Basketball and more baseball and more hockey 30 miles away. Disney is boring and sanitized and hellishly expensive-but people like it. Food-variety AND tons of it. Like Mexican food? Depending on the street ya might find between 5-10 restaurants a block. OK, slight exaggeration. Vietnamese pho restaurants everywhere as well. Cuban, Peruvian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Puerto Rican, restaurants all easy to find.  Ethnically diverse people as well with some very proud communities and business districts (Little Saigon in Westminster is an example). Aquarium of the Pacific, multiple zoos nearby, the beach, entertainment out the wazoo.
  • Least favorite things: Cost of living is very high. Homeless population is exploding. I see lots of new complexes going up, unfortunately living here is unsustainable long term. Hotels and redevelopment push out some older and unique places. Anaheim had strawberry fields up till recently when room was made for another parking lot. Disney and friends have eaten up a lot of my old childhood stomping grounds....
  • 'Must Try': A Ducks game close up, or a concert at the Honda Center. I saw AC/DC and Rammstein here and seeing and being a part of the mass of humanity united in enjoyment was pretty awesome. Get up and close to awesome bands at the House of Blues in Anaheim.
  • Stupid ordinances/laws: I honestly can't think of anything too onerous.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice: If going to an Angels game, or Disneyland especially,-bring your own food. Both places allow it. Disney especially is horrendously expensive.
  • Gardening year round, solar is big here. A school and a hospital nearby just covered their parking lot with solar panels. Brilliant IMO.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 01:09:09 AM by Johnez »

retiringearly

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #159 on: June 05, 2017, 08:50:43 AM »
Can I please make a request for Bloomington, IN?

Thanks

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #160 on: June 05, 2017, 08:59:14 AM »
I've got Anaheim in the table of contents, and the request for Bloomington is on there now.
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Johnez

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #161 on: June 08, 2017, 03:54:17 PM »
I'd like to request a few cities:

Las Vegas, NV
Cedar Rapids, IA
Erlanger, KY

All have opportunity for me with my employer at decent pay. Interesting how the further isolated one gets the higher the pay gets. Brookville IN and Fargo ND have the highest pay rates I've seen for warehouse loaders.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #162 on: June 09, 2017, 08:20:51 AM »
I'd like to request a few cities:

Las Vegas, NV
Cedar Rapids, IA
Erlanger, KY

All have opportunity for me with my employer at decent pay. Interesting how the further isolated one gets the higher the pay gets. Brookville IN and Fargo ND have the highest pay rates I've seen for warehouse loaders.

I've got them added. I'll reach out to a few people who can answer the first two on your list.
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Johnez

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #163 on: June 09, 2017, 03:46:51 PM »
Awesome. Thanks for putting this thread together AND keeping it updated.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #164 on: June 10, 2017, 10:46:14 AM »
City, State, Country: Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas), USA

If a suburb, distance from city: The city itself is vast. Suburbs can be anywhere from 5 to 50 miles away.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
-This varies greatly on the part of town. But a typical SFH in a reasonable neighborhood will be $250,000. In Kansas City, Missouri, the median SFH is $190,000. In Overland Park, Kansas, it is $375,000. If you want a beige mcmansion, we have plenty.
-I rent a 910 ft^2 apartment for $820/month. This is typical for a reasonable neighborhood. But you can easily spend $1,500 if you want.

Indoor Hobbies: Whatever you like to do indoors, you can do it here.

Outdoor Hobbies:
-Lake culture is huge, especially in Missouri. Boating, water-skiing, fishing, floating, day-drinking.
-People love to eat. You can find a food festival every weekend. Kansas City is fat.
-You can find an outdoor music festival every weekend.
-Charity 5Ks are popular.
-50% of the town seems to be on a rec league softball or sand volleyball team.
-We have three major professional sports teams (Royals, Chiefs, Sporting K.C.)
-College sports are territorial and families go to war for their alma mater.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):
-Whatever weather you can imagine, we have it. Kansas City has four distinct, relatively equal seasons. Climate change has made winter, especially, kind of wild. Zero (F) one day... 50 degrees the next? We can do that!
-Winter can be brutally cold and surprisingly mild, all in one week. A typical snowfall is 20" per winter, mostly in February and March. The last several winters have been dry. We had 6" this past winter. Our coldest low temperature was around -10 (F). Unfortunately, the cold arctic air tumbles down the plains without anything to stop it.
-Spring is the wettest and stormiest season. We rarely see tornadoes. Usually, super-cell storms form over western and central Kansas, then congeal into an overnight downpour when reaching Kansas City.
-Summer is hot, highs in the 90s. The humidity is not as bad as the eastern U.S., but it's not as dry as Colorado-- just somewhere in between.
-Fall is downright pleasant.
-In the great plains, the wind rarely ceases. "Skirt alert" is a common phrase the meteorologists at my TV station use.
-If you have a ragweed allergy, you're going to have a bad time.

Favorite things:
-Barbecue
-Easy to drive
-Sports
-Relatively cheap. I only make $52k a year, so while I'm not doing well by comparison to the rest of the nation, I can be mustachian and still live comfortably. If you have a high-paying job, you can count stacks of money until you retire.

Least favorite things:
-The city is car-centric. I probably risk my life every week walking on streets that lack sidewalks. Kansas City is not bicycle-friendly. Bus transportation is typically seen as "poor person's transportation." Mass transit is non-existent in many parts of town.
-Kansas City and environs is sharply segregated. Troost Avenue is a physical representation of a socio-economic division here.
-People get really territorial about which side of the state line they live.
-People see law enforcement personnel as god-like, and law enforcement definitely takes advantage of it.
-The riverfronts are not developed, unless you count riverboat casinos. Homeless still camp on the rivers.
-People who grew up here, stay here. I am guilty of it. I am going to a cookout hosted by a guy I've known some pre-school. Those cliques can be hard to break.

'Must Try':
-Barbecue. Kansas City has a sauce-based barbecue culture.
-Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It's free.
-Liberty Memorial/National World War One Museum
-Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
-Jayhawk Basketball at Allen Field House (Lawrence, Kansas -- my hometown)

Stupid ordinances/laws:
-Kansas doesn't allow Sunday liquor sales.
-Kansas only this year approved full-strength beer at grocery stores
-Kansas never ratified the 21st amendment.
-Some suburbs (both states) have .05 DUI ordinances, issuing city tickets as revenue generators.
-Some areas (both states) have banned pit bulls.
-Your point of view may differ, but in Kansas, people can openly carry a handgun without a permit. An exemption for hospitals and college campuses is ending, so now all have to allow guns, or set up expensive security to keep them out. Missouri is considered "open-carry friendly" but local restrictions still exist. Both Kansas and Missouri recently dropped permit requirements for concealed handguns.

Words of wisdom/Advice:
-You might be tempted to live 30 miles from work, but come on. Live as close as you can. I live six miles, and it takes me 15 minutes.
-I live in Kansas but work in Missouri. Kansas credits 100% of my income, so it all evens out, tax-wise.
-The central parts of the city are more liberal/Democratic and the suburbs/exurbs or more conservative/Republican.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
-Wind energy provides some electricity.
-Kansas and Missouri are trying to collect fees from solar panel users to give back to the utility companies.
-Back yard chickens and beehives are becoming more popular.
-Community gardens are becoming more popular.
-Typically you shouldn't plant until Mother's Day.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2017, 11:53:27 AM by Channel-Z »

aalferez

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #165 on: June 21, 2017, 11:08:57 AM »
Please can someone do a review of Asheville. I'm very very interested.
I currently live in Chicago.
Winters are brutal and summers are very hot too (and humid)
I love outdoors stuff but there just a few days you can do that, but there are a few State Parks, or the lake to have fun. Also the amount of people here is insane in summer. All tourism! Can't even walk downtown or the beach.
Prices are high and the state is almost in bankruptcy...

So Asheville, NC seems to have a better weather, mild winters and cooler summers, more outdoors activities, more affordable...
I love the perfect temperature of the mid 70s.
Asheville is on my list of places to move for living in a short time (5 years)
Should I consider other places?


wordnerd

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #166 on: June 25, 2017, 05:51:05 PM »
City, State, Country: Atlanta, GA

If a suburb, distance from city: Suburbs as far as the eye can see! I've mostly lived on the east side of things with easy access to the city.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): Highly area/school district dependent. The low end of things near-ish to the city will be Clarkston/unincorporated Dekalb where you can get a 3 bedroom house for $150Kish. In Decatur (beautiful with great schools) or intown, you're probably looking at $500K+. If you're willing to go farther out, Lilburn has great schools and big houses for $250K-$300K. Northside suburbs (Duluth, Suwanee, etc) are somewhat similar to Lilburn I think.

Indoor Hobbies: Anything you want is probably available in Atlanta--live literature, burlesque, ballet, symphony, traveling musicals, cool concert venues, live bluegrass, major sports, good restaurants, comedy, poetry slams. Some of these things are easy to find; some take time to figure out.

Outdoor Hobbies:Lots of hiking both in hidden pockets of the city and outside the city (most notably Stone Mountain, but others like Arabia Mountain are great too), lazy river rafting (AKA Shootin' the Hooch), parks, farmers' markets, festivals, music festivals, races (lots of 5Ks and half marathons--the Peachtree Road Race is annual Fourth of July tradition, though I have no idea why thousands of people want to run in July in Atlanta)

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Sticky. Occasional ice in the winter. This ice sometimes shuts down the city

Favorite things: Mild climate, lots of outdoor activities, generally nice people, low cost of living, access to bug city amenities

Least favorite things: Poor infrastructure, including lack of sidewalks, public transit, and bike lanes, which contributes to unnecessarily bad traffic, low-quality schools in much of the metro, high segregation still (finding any one neighborhood with an ethnic/religious mix can be difficult), a lot of community building is church-centric, which isn't great for me

'Must Try': Your Dekalb Farmers' Market (the craziest, most amazing international Costco-like farmers' market you'll ever experience), Write Club Atlanta, Fox Brothers' BBQ, catching a show at the Fox Theatre, MLK historic sites

Stupid ordinances/laws: No booze buying until 12:30 on Sunday (used to be all-day), heavy policing in general it seems (I think a lot of the municipalities make their money this way)

Words of wisdom/Advice: It took me a long time to find my niche in Atlanta and seek out/build the community that worked for me. But now that I have, I can't think of a better mix of climate/cost-of-living/big city benefits. Also, if you're a typical Mustachian, stay away from Buckhead.

•Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): There are community gardens sprinkled in the more hippy-leaning parts of town (Decatur, Kirkwood, Avondale Estates, East Atlanta Village, Grant Park), but in general sustainability is not a community norm. There are groups focused on solar energy and electric vehicles though (again, everything/everyone is here if you look hard enough)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 05:54:15 PM by wordnerd »

SnackDog

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #167 on: June 27, 2017, 10:02:32 AM »
Please add Boise, Palm Springs and Tucson.  And alphabetize the index.  Thanks
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Undecided

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #168 on: June 27, 2017, 09:20:45 PM »
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.

The airport in Redmond, which is 25 minutes from my house in Bend, has direct service to at least Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Salt Lake City.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 09:22:21 PM by Undecided »

sisto

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #169 on: June 28, 2017, 04:33:02 PM »
I'd love to see more cities in Mexico, it's seriously starting to look like a good place to retire. I think I'd prefer to see stuff that's easy driving to the ocean, but not right on it.
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Verdure

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #170 on: June 28, 2017, 06:04:13 PM »
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.


Vindicated

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #171 on: June 29, 2017, 06:34:39 AM »
I approve all of Verdure's additions!

Verdure, head over the the "Anyone in Indiana?" thread.  We have meet ups every month in the Indy area.
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crimwell

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #172 on: June 29, 2017, 03:01:10 PM »

That was my thought too. Unfortunately, even the absolute savings numbers were lower! Here's how a LR > SanFran move would affect our finances:

LR take-home pay after 15% taxes: 122k
LR cost: 50k
LR savings: 72k or 50%

SF take-home pay after 15% taxes: 151k
SF cost: 90k
SF savings: 61.5k or 35%

The caveat here is whether salary.com underestimates salaries in HCOL areas. I see no reason to think so.

I'm sure you're right if you've looked at your specific job fields/industries. I imagine certain jobs you could get pretty big premiums being in San Francisco versus Little Rock and other jobs you would not, since those are going to vary by job and by the specific industries of the HCOL and LCOL areas you are comparing (e.g., a doctor in Rochester MN, which is somewhat LCOL, might be paid the same as a doctor in NYC, because of the presence of the Mayo Clinic and associated medical industry cluster. But a financial analyst in Rochester MN might get paid a lot less than a financial analyst in NYC.)

retiringearly

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #173 on: June 29, 2017, 06:00:28 PM »
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.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #174 on: June 29, 2017, 06:30:50 PM »
I approve all of Verdure's additions!

Verdure, head over the the "Anyone in Indiana?" thread.  We have meet ups every month in the Indy area.

Do you want to just update your original post to include the new information? That way we don't have nested quotes and stuff. That is where it currently links to.
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clarkfan1979

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #175 on: June 30, 2017, 12:22:07 AM »
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

The island of Kauai, HI

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):

I think the median house price for a single family home for the entire island is 600K. The most expensive areas are Princeville on the north shore and Koloa/Poipu on the south shore. The west side is cheaper (Kekaha, Waimea, Hanapepe). On the east side, the inland part of Kapaa (Kapahi) is a little cheaper.

Most houses need work, even the one's for 600K. When the listing says that it's ready to go, it means that it's not a tear down. You can find a single family for 400K and put 50K to 100K into it to make it look real nice.

Many houses come with attached studios that rent for $1000-$1500/month. Most of them are "unofficial" but not necessarily illegal. If it's an unpermitted full kitchen, then it's illegal. If it's a mother in law suite with a kitchenette, then it's probably within the rules. Rentals must be leases at least 6 months. No airbnb, unless your property falls within the special zoning.

We rented a studio for 1,100/month including utilities and the internet. We were less than 1 mile to the beach. It was an income suite attached to a house.

There are no apartments on the island except for low income housing projects. All other units are individually owned and operated.


Indoor Hobbies: Not really sure about this one. Everyone is outside pretty much all the time. Most people do not have air conditioning so your house can be hot during the day. Better to get outside and catch a breeze.

Outdoor Hobbies: Surfing and hiking. Year round surfing is best on the west side. You could both south swells in the summer and north swells in the winter. If you are on the north shore, it's huge during the winter and non-existent during the summer. For the south shore it's medium size during the summer and small during the winter, but often rideable.   


Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): The weather is pretty hot and humid from May to September. You really wish you had the money to pay for air conditioning, but you don't. You buy fans, but it still sucks. October and November is not miseable. The weather is perfect from December to March with no air conditioning needed.

Favorite things: You learn to not sweat the small stuff and be nice to one another (Aloha). It feels like it would add at least 5 years to my life.

Least favorite things: traffic in between Kapaa and Lihue from 3:30-6:00. Many landlords won't rent to people with dogs. If they do, it's very expensive. This is because the red clay stains everything. Outdoor dogs who never come inside are less discriminated against by landlords.

'Must Try': Hike sleeping giant and waimea canyon. Golf the 9-hole course in Kalaheo.

Stupid ordinances/laws: Flying dogs/cats to and from the island is more than a human. When you fly a pet to Kauai, it costs about $500 in fees. If you count the $100 each-way for the airlines, it's $700 round trip for a dog. We have the Alaska credit card which gives you a $99 companion fare each year. A typical round trip flight from Kauai to Denver, CO costs about $800 + $99 . That's $450/each. We each have a credit card and do this twice/year. Our third flight is typically free with points. As a result, we typically only spend about $2,000/year for 3 round trip tickets for 2 people (6 round trip flights total).


Words of wisdom/Advice: It's truly a magical place, in both the topography and the people. If you are nice to the people, they are very nice back. No trouble with racism as a white person.

It's more expensive than Denver, but less expensive than San Diego.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): The nickname for Kauai is the Garden Island. Everything grows here. Neighbors swap fresh fruit and vegetables year round. If you don't have any friends, you could do the farmer's markets, but I never found the need.

Costco is about 10% more expensive than the mainland. However, with the year round growing season and free fruit and vegetables from neighbors, I think it's a wash. I would pick up avocados on my morning walk. We would eat about 5-7 avocados/week and only paid for about 5% of them so far.

Solar is a nice option if you want air conditioning. If you don't opt for air conditioning, it's probably not worth it to buy solar panels. The cheapest energy is propane. Propane clothes dryer and propane cooking stove are worth the extra money. Electricity is about 300% the normal rate of the mainland.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #176 on: July 05, 2017, 02:15:16 PM »
Newish to the forums, so thought I'd hop in and rep my hometown of Columbus.

City, State, Country: Columbus, Ohio, USA

If a suburb, distance from city: Suburbs can be found anywhere from 2 miles to 25+ miles away from the city.  The CBD or "downtown" isn't huge and Columbus annexed a lot of areas in the '70s & '80s so "Columbus proper" is actually spread out quite a bit

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
-This depends on where you want to live -> near the city's center or out in the suburbs or even rural areas.  Using the links provided on COL, "Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area" runs $1,462/month.  "Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area" runs $1,037/month.  That is in line with what I've seen posted for rents - if you want the brand new apartment downtown it'll cost you $1.5K-$2K or even more for the luxurious ones.

Median home price is listed around $160K or ~$120/sq ft.  You will definitely find pockets of Columbus that run much more than that.  I'd say if you are looking in a decently safe neighborhood and closer to the city (say, within 6-8 miles) it will cost upwards of $150/sq ft.  There are some "revitalizations" going on immediately east and west of downtown, so the prices there are a bit cheaper while still being close to downtown.  Suburbs vary - if they're nice w/good schools (Dublin, New Albany, Westerville, Upper Arlington) it might be a bit higher.  If you're really looking to keep your $/sq ft down, then you should look to some of those suburbs near or even outside the outer belt (the flip side is you will be 10-12+ miles from downtown but if you like suburban living then it works out).

Indoor Hobbies: There are several museums (COSI is big for the kids).  It depends on if you have kids or not - Columbus has options for all.  Like most cities, plenty of gyms if you're a gym rat, plenty of community rec centers to get involved with. If you or your kids like hockey, there are several indoor rinks.  Columbus actually has the 3rd or 4th largest adult hockey league in the country. There is a lot of shopping (not that it's recommended, but hey...people watching!).  A lot of smaller music venues if you're a concert-goer (a couple big arenas too, but that costs a lot of $$$).  A bunch of local breweries have popped up in the last 3-4 years (I think 25+ now in the area).  You can find plenty to do indoors.

Outdoor Hobbies:
-In the fall, Ohio State football dominates - probably 150K+ are on campus for tailgating, partying, going to the game, etc. for the home games on Saturdays.
-There are a good number of city and metro parks for dog walking, biking, some kayaking/canoeing, minimal hiking (Columbus is very flat).
-There are 3-4 decent-sized inland lakes within an hour drive or so.
-Festivals.  I won't name them all, but there are a lot of free (and some with a cost) festivals around the city - most occur from late April-September.  Music, food, fashion, etc.
-Could be "indoor" but there are a lot of independently-owned restaurants.  I've heard Columbus described as an under-the-radar foodie town.  We also have quite a few of your typical chain restaurants when you get farther away from downtown.  We actually are a "test market" for fast food restaurants in a lot of cases as we supposedly are described as "America in one city."  So if that's your thing, you'll get to try that new Wendy's burger or White Castle slider before it goes national.
-Golf is pretty big - there are a lot of nationally ranked courses within ~hour drive of Columbus.  We host the Memorial PGA event in a nearby suburb in June and have had a Nationwide Tour (is that what it's still called?) at Ohio State's course.  There are a lot of good courses that are open to the public as well (in addition to I'd guess 12-15+ country clubs).
-The Clippers (AAA baseball farm team of the Indians) and Columbus Crew play in outdoor stadiums.  There is a Major League Lacrosse team as well and I think rugby?  Should have put under "indoors" but the Blue Jackets are our NHL team.
-I'm sure there is even more, but in a nutshell Columbus is a pretty flat area with a lot to do outside in the city, and even more if you care to venture out to the surrounding counties & towns.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):
-We get it all in Columbus.  It's technically a "hardiness zone" as defined by the USDA.
-Humid, humid, humid.  We get a lot of humidity in the summer months, but usually cold and dry winters.
-Definitely a four season climate.  The joke is that we even manage to get all four within a few days sometimes.
-Summers can be hot, even brutal sometimes.  Typically low 90s in the "dog days" but usually 80-89 in the summer (these are in Fahrenheit, obviously).  Seems like those "summer storms" can pop up any day.  So pools get a lot of use from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
-Falls can be absolutely beautiful.  Typically we get the full range of leaves changing colors.  It's usually very mild for 2-3 months (I don't think we ran heat or AC from mid-September to Thanksgiving last year).  Tops out at maybe the low 70s but more often temps are in the 60s in the fall.
-Winter can be hit or miss.  I think the last 2-3 winters have been very mild (don't think the schools closed at all last winter).  Sometimes we get pounded with snow.  We don't get any lake effect like Cleveland or Buffalo, so it's actually low snowfall on average for the region.  You will have to shovel snow (if you own property or a driveway for your car, that is) and/or scrape your car off a few times.  It's usually not too bad, but every few years we get a blizzard that dumps a foot of snow.
-Springs are typically pretty wet.  When it's not raining, spring-time can be very nice and it's funny how many people get excited about hitting 45+ degrees F and the snow all melting until next winter.
-Record high (twice) is 106 F and record low is -22 F - just to give a range.  Anything above 95 F is rare and anything below 10 F is rare as well.  That's the given range I'd expect in a year.

Favorite things:
-Local beer/breweries & restaurants.  We have cut back significantly on going out, so it's more of a treat for us to try a beer at a new brewery (finace and I usually split, because of course).  Personally, we don't really like the chains (it's fine if you do, because those dot the suburbs) so when we do celebrate by going out for a meal, it's nice that there are so many local options.
-The history.  This might not be high on too many people's list, but it's cool for me.  Columbus, as the capital of Ohio, has some really cool history and buildings/museums celebrating that.  The hockey team (the Blue Jackets) is named for Ohio's contributions to the Civil War (320,000+ soldiers, for example).  There is some under-the-radar history here if you're into history at all (and you can explore a lot of it for free!).
-The people.  Maybe it's just who I've had the opportunity to interact with, but everyone I have come in contact with (even random people walking around or at shops) are all pretty laid back and friendly.  Could be complete coincidence or it could be part of that "midwestern" way of living.  YMMV.
-The resources.  The metro area is home to 2 million+ people now, so with that comes a lot of things to do.  It's growing as well, so there are always new things popping up.  The airport isn't too far from downtown, so if I wanted to travel far away it's convenient.  We're also within a 500 mile radius of roughly 1/2 the population of the U.S.
-Very open city.  I've heard us referred to as the "San Francisco of the midwest."  There is a fairly significant LGBTQ population and many businesses are very open-minded about that.  We're probably a little more progressive/liberal than one might think for Ohio.  A lot of diversity as well.

Least favorite things:
-The city is car-centric (for various reasons that I won't delve into - but the auto industry is big in Ohio and provides a lot of jobs for people, so there's some incentive to downplay other means of transit).  Columbus is trying to do other things, but most notably missing is light rail or passenger rail.  We're the largest city and I believe largest metro area with no light/passenger rail.  There is a bus system that just went through an overhaul and it provides free service for a 3-4 mile stretch downtown.  Bike share has been available for awhile and has expanded.  We have car2go - the car sharing service.  Some bike lines have been put in, but they're only experimenting with the completely segregated bike lines (instead of just drawing a small line on the road).  The bus service is also implementing "bus rapid transit" for a line with plans to expand.  We did win the "Smart Cities" grant so a lot of companies (in addition to the $50m federal grant) are now collaborating on fully autonomous vehicles for workers in a low-income area of town, which is adjacent to one of the mega mall complexes.
-Some parts of the city aren't great - high crime, low income, foreclosed homes, etc.  If you know where to avoid, then it's ok.  But the murder rate has jumped this year - we might be above 40 for 2017 so far.
-Some people see the "Ohio State football-centric" part of the city as a downside.
-I've mentioned it, but a lot of the suburbs are the prototypical "suburban sprawl" of America - the same chain stores surrounded by the same chain restaurants and massive parking lots.
-Transient city.  A lot of people "stop here" while going to Ohio State and then move on to somewhere else.
-If you are into real estate, it can be hard to compete with the tax abatements the city hands out to the big developers.  I get the premise behind them, but it's difficult for the "little guy" to break into real estate if only the big developers are getting tax help.
-I like to ski and there are no mountains (a few small ones - we're talking 250 foot verticals) about an hour away.  So no mountains, no oceans/beaches - some small lakes 30-60 minutes away and a couple rivers that cut through the city, but almost no one goes out on the water on them (not exactly the kind of rivers you boat on).
-Fairly segregated (often along racial and income lines) in terms of living.  Columbus has not done a great job of offering low-income housing options near more expensive housing.  Maybe that's just how it always is, but certain places can have almost no minorities.  So I think you lose the sense of a "melting pot culture" if you are outside of a 2-3 mile radius from downtown.

'Must Try':
-Ohio State football - just to experience everything that is a Saturday in Columbus, at least once
-State House Tour
-COSI (science museum)
-Zoo - we're consistently ranked #1 or #2 in the country
-Sports fans should check out a Blue Jackets game at Nationwide Arena
-North Market - 30+ vendors in old market warehouse-type building.  Walk around and smell the food of a bunch of local restaurants and then pick one, or two!

Stupid ordinances/laws:
-No alcohol can be purchased from 1:30 AM to 5:30 AM (bars will stay open until 2:30 AM though).
-No "open container" districts (unless specified, like for a festival).  There are some areas where people have argued it should be allowed to people can walk with a drink to another bar.
-Can't really think of too many others and I'm not going to post the goofy ones that would come up on a google search.

Words of wisdom/Advice:
-Do you want to live without a car?  Columbus is trying to improve that, but for now it's very hard to live in the city without some kind of vehicle.  It depends on your lifestyle, of course.
-Have you considered Columbus? Many people I've talked to haven't or didn't...until a family member wanted to or a job offer came along. https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/columbus  From what I've read/heard/compared, we have a pretty low cost of living.
-Can you deal with the weather?  We'll get everything from a blizzard to 95 F sun.  That said, it's pretty mild compared to other locations and we avoid tornadoes (they rarely occur here), hurricanes, extreme desert heat, the worst of the snow, and earthquakes.  I'd take that into account if climate is a big part of where you are moving.
-If you still want to work or still need to work, Columbus has a strong economy.  We have a strong government presence - being the state capital and all.  A lot of healthcare jobs, a growing number of tech jobs, several large insurers.  A lot of jobs tied into the university.  We handled the 2008-2009 surge in unemployment much better than the national average.
-Come visit! If Columbus isn't on your radar, but the low cost of living appeals to you then come check out the city for a weekend (or even longer).  Plenty of things going on if you don't want to be purely a "doing your homework" type of visit.  Hopefully the above gives you a good enough overview to decide if it should be on your radar.
-You can have almost any kind of lifestyle you want here - the urban bustle downtown, the "university" type living near Ohio State, the typical suburban lifestyle, or even more rural living but nearby a big city if you want to make use of the airport, theaters, etc. on a rare occasion.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
-We do have certified master gardeners in the city - tied in with Ohio State.
-Net metering is an option with your electric company.  That said, I haven't run numbers on how much energy could actually be generated give we are overcast here quite a bit.  I'd need to double check Project Sunroof.
-Community gardens are popping up and taking hold, at least in my estimation as I drive by them frequently.
-A lot of people have backyard gardens.  A lot of options for seeds, planting, etc. at stores around the city.  Growing season is probably mid-April into October.
-"Go Green Columbus" offers rebates on composting bins.  It's pretty easy - you fill in your address information and they'll send you a rebate form.  You either buy from one of their approved retailers or send them the receipt and photo of one you bought.  Rebate is either $50 or maybe even $75 now - haven't looked recently.  You may need to check HOAs or whatnot if composting is allowed (can only think of one notorious snooty suburb that has tighter restrictions on composting, fencing, etc.).
-Not sure if it's needed or not, but every single-family home in Columbus is provided with a recycling bin.  It's a bit tougher to recycle if you're in an apartment, townhouse, etc.

That's all I can think of for now - quote this and ask me any questions you might have and I'll do my best to answer!  If you've been thinking about Columbus at all, shoot me a PM.
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noplaceliketheroad

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #177 on: August 01, 2017, 01:57:51 PM »
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:




City, State, Country:

Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA, USA

If a suburb, distance from city:

15 miles to DT LA, 20 minutes without traffic, an hour with traffic. Not sure on public transpo, only experience with taking the train in North Hollywood was a novelty, not a practical option.
You could make it work with just a bike, as long as you work from home or can pedal during the early morning hours. There are a lot of things to do within walking distance of most of the city (variety of grocery stores, farmer's markets, pharmacies, restaurants, etc.)

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):

Rent apt: Studios 1100-1500, 1 bedrooms 1500-2500, 2 bedrooms 2000-3000
Rent detached house or townhouse in nice neighborhood with good schools: 3000-4500
Buy: 750,000 for a real fixer in a not walkable to much neighborhood, 1 mil + for nice, walkable neighborhood with good schools

Indoor Hobbies:

Movie theaters, comedy shows, or sit on your couch under the air conditioning half the year.
The Getty museum is about 20 mins away

Outdoor Hobbies:

Hiking in Fryman canyon (watch out for snakes May-November if hiking with your dog)
Day trip to the beach in Santa Monica or Malibu (1.5 hours each way with traffic, 40 minutes without)
Weekend trip to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead (2 hours away)
Weekend trip to Ojai (hour and a half away)
Santa Barbara (hour and a half away)
Beaches of North San Diego (2 hours away)


Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):

Summer: Daytime 85-115 and no clouds and miserable. Summer is May-late November (it never ends!!!). Nights are 80-90.

The Other Season known as Not Summer: Days are 55-70. This is December-March with maybe a little bit in April. Nights are 40-55. Some rain, sometimes clouds, usually sun.

In the Valley, not many days in the 70s.
I lived without central air for 8+ years and it is absolutely terrible when relying on a wall AC. Spend the extra to get an apt with central air. 

A few times in Nov-February we get a Santa Ana which is when the winds reverse direction and air from the desert will blow in. Which can mean 100+ degrees during the day and 45 degrees at night. A Santa Ana will last 3-4 days at a time. Maybe 3-5 of these a year? This is common throughout all of Southern California, not just the Valley.

Favorite things:

Healthy food! Organic produce readily avail all times of year. Great farmer's markets. Wonderful, healthy restaurants with dog friendly patios. Delicious brunch spots, and lots of walkable restaurants/bars/coffee shops along Ventura Blvd. This is a great place to live if you're vegan/vegetarian or gluten free. EVERYONE in LA has dietary restrictions, so if you do, you will fit right in.

Least favorite things:

The HEAT! It's on FIRE there and not in the mustachian FIRE kind of way ;)
Not a lot of central AC offered in rental apartments since they are mostly old buildings
A culture of one upping each other


'Must Try':

Casa Vega for the best Mexican Food in all of LA. It's pricey, but if you enjoy a nice date now and again, it's well worth it!

Weekend trips to Ojai.

Stupid ordinances/laws:

Expensive parking tickets! Pay attention to street sweeping days/times and your parking meters. Street sweeping tickets are about $70 and expired meters are about the same. Even if the street sweeper doesn't come that week, they still give tickets! I probably got 7 parking tickets my first year in LA... luckily figured it out after that.

Words of wisdom/Advice:

Only move here if you work in the film industry! Seriously! San Diego is a much better option if you just want the SoCal life and weather. Only move to the Valley (Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Burbank, Encino) if you work in the film industry and often travel to different studios. It's really centrally located (unless you have to work on the westside at manhattan beach/raleigh studio) and you can get to Paramount in 25 mins, Warner Bros in 20, CBS Radford in 10, Warner Ranch in 15, Universal in 15, and all the smaller Hollywood ones in 20-30. The Valley is great if you like being able to park places easily (or get a parking spot with your apt.), like walking to do your errands, and want a little bit less of the hustle of the rest of LA.  This is a great place to live if you are new to LA and working in the industry since it is centrally located to studios and you'll often find yourself working on location within walking distance of home since the Valley doubles as many US cities. The weather is manageable if you are working in the industry since you'll prob only be home 8 hours a day and the rest of the time at work. It's also really dog friendly and lots of store leave out water bowls in the fronts. Also, all restaurants are dog-friendly if they have a front patio, think that's a CA thing?

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):

Not a homeowner so not sure on house sustainability options. Gardening is tough since it's super hot all summer without any rain or cloud cover. Basically everything dies in the summer unless you are avail to water everyday. If you go out of town, your outside plants will wither away and die quickly. Great farmer's markets with awesome year round produce though.


slappy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #178 on: August 02, 2017, 10:34:06 AM »
Such a great thread! I'd love info about Denver.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 07:11:10 AM by slappy »

CanuckExpat

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #179 on: August 23, 2017, 11:16:55 PM »
There was what I thought a very nicely written post about more things to consider when evaluating cost of living differences on Reddit: Cost of Living & You :: A Defense of Big Cities:
Quote
Every once in a while here, someone helpfully points out that earning minimum wage in Smallsville is the same thing as earning one million dollars in San Francisco, and then I have to explain that handy dandy cost of living (CoL) data sites like Numbeo or Best Places, while useful, don't tell the whole story. Nowhere close to it, in fact.
Now I'm not here to argue that places like SF and NYC aren't very expensive (they are), but these websites often exaggerate the difference even so. Here's why you can't just take a salary from one area and naively multiply it by the difference in cost of living that a website tells you about.
(For the sake of simplicity, I'm conflating big city with expensive city here, since those two attributes are usually correlated. I know that expensive small cities (Boulder) and cheap big cities (Detroit) also exist.)

Some things cost the same no matter where you are.
Anything digital, like your Netflix sub, or all those cheap Steam games you buy on sale, same price no matter where you are. Almost any durable good that comes out of a factory, like your laptop or a car, same price across the country. For many nerds this constitutes a sizable amount of spending.

Some things are actually effectively cheaper in bigger cities, in both obvious and subtle ways.
One of the more obvious ones is air travel, especially internationally. It's going to be significantly cheaper (and less time/headache) to travel overseas if you live in a metro with multiple major airports, like SF or NYC, than if you live in Des Moines. A more subtle one may be, say, 'shows', like comedy tours or concerts or plays. Living in a small city, you'll probably have to travel a fair distance, maybe even stay at a hotel in order to participate, whereas the person who lives in a big city can just wait for the tour to come to them.
And here's an even trickier example: let's say you're comparing transportation in NYC vs Tulsa. BestPlaces, a cost of living comparison site, says that that category is more expensive in NYC. Makes sense, it's definitely more expensive to have a car in NYC, and the transit pass probably costs more there too. Except...transit is nearly always much cheaper than owning and operating a car, and relying on transit is much more realistic in NYC (transit mode share: ~57%) than in Tulsa (transit mode share: 1.4%). Essentially, what these sites can fail to account for is how viable different strategies or lifestyles can be, and the financial impact therein.

Most things that are good about cheaper areas can be had for more money in expensive areas
...but the reverse is frequently not true: things that people move to big cities for cannot be had in cheaper areas at all. The most salient point here is, well, usually the biggest thing people cite in favor of smaller cities is the cost of housing, that they can get a big house for cheap. That's something you can get in bigger cities, it just costs much more, so that goes into the formulas. Conversely, many of the reasons that people cite for living in a big city, like walkability or cultural diversity or a feeling of "happeningness", simply don't exist in smaller cities, and can't be bought at any price.
Ok, so what? Consider: if you could get walkability in a smaller city by paying a 'neighborhood service fee' of $200/month, that might get taken into account in a cost of living calculator, and it'd make the bigger city look better. But since it's not available at $200, or $500, or $10,000, or infinity dollars, it just gets ignored instead. You can't do a price comparison for something that doesn't exist, so they never make it into any formula, which again slants things against bigger cities.
Cost of living calculators use generic calculations that don't take into account your particular needs and wants.

This is sort of a meta-point. Even if a CoL website accounted for all the problems above, ultimately it would still be a ballpark figure based on a hypothetical, average basket of goods. Fine for you if you're average in your spending in every way, but otherwise you need to think about your particular spending habits, and your particular values and priorities. Someone for whom the number one priority is owning a big house will probably be well-served by CoL sites and should target a smaller city. Conversely, someone who places a high priority on traveling the world would probably be better served living in a major city with a major airport or two.

Savings is CoL-orthogonal if the savings will be used after you move to a different city.
This is most relevant for retirement savings: if you're not going to retire where you currently live, then it's the absolute dollar amount that you are able to save right now that matters, not the amount you're saving relative to your current cost of living. This means that living early in your career in SF tends to give you a life flexibility advantage, since moving will effectively increase the purchasing power of your savings, whereas the opposite is true if you saved money living in a cheap rural area. It doesn't matter if saving $5,000/year is a big deal and could sustain you for years in Middle-of-nowhere Arkansas, it's not going to be terribly useful if someday you do decide that you want to try out living in Boston instead.

Cool cool cool, but what should I do with this newfound insight?
Using CoL sites is still okay for evaluating ballpark expensiveness as long as you're aware of their biases and shortcomings. If you want to, say, look at specifics comparing two different areas, create a rough budget based on how you would live (for more on that, perhaps check out /r/personalfinance's budgeting tag or their budgeting FAQ) in those two areas. Numbeo's per-item breakdowns are good for this, as are the usual online tools and websites that let you estimate major costs: padmapper, craigslist, zillow, etc. With a budget in place, you can think both about your potential lifestyle in an area and its attendant costs, and also how much saving in that area would affect your financial future.
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Freedomin5

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #180 on: August 27, 2017, 10:41:20 PM »
  • City, State, Country: Shanghai, China
  • If a suburb, distance from city: n/a
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):

    Varies from 1500 RMB (~$250 USD) per month for a single room/bed in an illegally partitioned apartment to over $10,000 USD per month for a villa in a gated community. Most expats who come on expat packages live in the villas or upper-crust serviced apartments in the JinQiao or Hongqiao areas, close to the international schools. You can find a reasonably decent, if small, apartment for approx. $1500 to $2000 USD per month in a decent, safe neighbourhood that approximate N. American standards in terms of quality.

    I wouldn't consider buying a place in Shanghai. Old, rundown apartments near subway lines that are reasonably close to the city center go for over a million USD. Plus, there are a whole bunch of restrictions for foreigners purchasing property in China.

  • Indoor Hobbies:

    Museums, the Shanghai Aquarium, Science and Technology Museum, lots of shopping centers, restaurants (not all of them are expensive -- you can get a decent restaurant meal for around $3 - 5 USD), movie theaters, regular theaters, exhibitions. Fake Market has knock offs and it can be fun to barter. Taobao is an online marketplace where you can buy practically anything you can dream up.

  • Outdoor Hobbies:

    Shanghai Disney (there is a free park outside of the amusement park that's run by Disney and is nice and clean).
    Dishui Lake is at the end of Metro Line 16 and is a quiet man-made lake.
    There are ancient watertowns within driving distance.
    Yuyuan Gardens (pay the $10 USD to get into the actual garden area) is chock full of history.
    Strolling/dinner on the Bund.
    Century Park (entrance fee is $1.50 USD).
    If you enjoy biking, most of the major streets have dedicated bike lanes separated by a fence so that cars won't hit you.

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):

    Two seasons - Cold and clammy, and Hot and humid, with a two-week transition period between the two. In the summer, the temperature can be over 40 Celsius (100 F) and HUMID! As in, you're literally dripping sweat as soon as you walk outside. In the winter, it can get to the single digits (Celsius) but it feels colder because it's wet and clammy.

    I also feel like I should mention the smog. This city is not known for its great air quality. Typically, if the AQI (Air Quality Index) is in the double digits, we call it a good day. For comparison, Toronto is usually in the single digits. A warning is issued if it hits double digits and elderly folks and children are advised to stay indoors. In China, a few years ago, a warning was issued because the AQI hit 500. Basically, your hand looked hazy when you held it an armslength away from yourself.

  • Favorite things:

    The technology. Subways come every two minutes. There are 16 subway lines that can get you practically anywhere in the city, not to mention the busses that run above ground and get you everywhere else.
    Highspeed trains get you to other cities within a very reasonable amount of time.
    You can have groceries delivered to your doorstep for a small delivery fee (usually less than $1 USD).
    There are apps that you can use to call taxis to your doorstep.
    You can find practically anything you want on Taobao, and order directly from the factory. For example, I'm knitting a 100% cotton blanket and bought balls of yarn for $1.25 USD per ball.
    You can get good restaurant food for very decent prices. Buying breakfast from the local baozi vendor runs me about $0.50 per meal. You can get a bowl of noodles and meat for $3 USD.
    With the exception of housing, cost of living is generally quite low.
    Taxes are low compared to Canada/States.

  • Least favorite things:

    The smog and pollution.
    Poor construction - no/poor soundproofing, poor weatherproofing - in the winter it can get COLD in your apartment because the walls are all concrete.
    The humidity.
    People can be rude. You kind of have to very aggressive otherwise you'll get trampled in this city of 20 million people.

  • 'Must Try':

    Food
    - Shanghai dumplings - Xiao long bao
    - Pan-fried dumpling balls - sheng jian
    - 'Chinese burrito' - jian bing
    - Sea salt coffee from 85 degree C café - Haiyan ka fei
    - Bubble tea - zhen ju nai cha
    - Rice balls with meat/egg stuffing - fan tuan

    Taking the Maglev from the city to the airport. The Maglev stands for "magnetic levitation" and it's a train that runs on electromagnetic energy. The train 'floats' above the tracks and travels 300 km per hour over the city. It makes what is normally a 45 min. car trip a 10 min. train ride.

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:

    Too many to list. Basically, expect that whatever you do, you will be breaking one law or another. Some of the laws are structured so that you can't keep one law without breaking the other one. For example, I recently came across one while riding my bike. Bikes are considered vehicles, which means you ride on the road, except when you are crossing a traffic light, at which point you must use the pedestrian crossing, except when you are turning left at a traffic light, at which point you must follow the left turn signal for the cars. But if you're turning right, you can just ride on the sidewalk. And if there is a sky bridge for pedestrians, you should take your bike on the sky bridge to cross the street. Yes. So simple.

    Also, you have 10 mandated holidays per year, but then you work either Saturday or Sunday to make up for taking a day off during the week.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:

    The nail that sticks up gets pounded down. Keep your head down, don't cause trouble, don't stand out, otherwise you will get in trouble. And don't get offended if someone horks and spits right in front of you, shoves you aside in an attempt to get the last seat on the subway, or pees/poops beside you.

    Also, if in doubt, act like a dumb foreigner. Bonus points if you actually don't look Asian. Foreigners get away with a lot. I once took a bunch of paperwork to a local tax bureau for filing and got yelled at because I was missing one piece of paper. They threatened to confiscate all of my original documentation and report me. So I left and send DH the next day with the exact same pieces of paper. He got a standing ovation for being able to speak Chinese 'so well!!!' and the paperwork was processed without any delay.

    Don't buy a car. No need for one. Also no need to buy a bike. Just use the bikesharing apps.

  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Nope

deborah

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #181 on: August 28, 2017, 01:48:55 AM »
  • City, State, Country:Melbourne Victoria Australia

  • If a suburb, distance from city:
    Suburbs in Melbourne range from 1km - 80km from the centre of the city (4 million people live here)

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Rent
    2 bedroom house $400AUD per week - but this varies depending on where you live

  • Indoor Hobbies:
    What do you want? Melbourne is often thought of as the sports capital of Australia, and Australia is one of the sportier countries! Indoor tennis, squash, football, cricket... there are a couple of ice rinks. Melbourne is often called the dining capital of Australia, and as it has a very diverse community (one of the top 10 in the world), the dining options are more or less, you name it, it will be there. However, few people come from South/Central America, so we don't have many Mexican... options. Coffee shops vie for your custom. Crafting, reading (there are lots of book groups everywhere that you can join). Just about anything is available, as you would expect in a large city.

  • Outdoor Hobbies:
    In Australia every suburb has at least one oval (for most football codes and cricket), and tennis courts so there are outdoor games of just about all types available. Cycling is big in Melbourne. There are parks for hiking, cross country skiing available within a couple of hours, and downhill about three hours away. The Yarra river has white water kayaking. The bay has yachting and waterskiing. There is rock climbing a few hours away in the Grampians. Several National parks surround Melbourne, including temperate rainforest, volcanic formations and beaches. Melbourne has several penguin colonies, and there are kangaroos and koalas within an hour.

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Mediterranean Climate
    January is the hottest month in Melbourne with an average temperature of 21°C (70°F) and the coldest is July at 10°C (50°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 11 in January. It can get hot - a week each year above 35C maximum is usual. It doesn't usually get below 0C in Melbourne itself in winter. Melbourne's hottest day on record was on 7 February 2009, when the temperature reached 46.4 °C (115.5 °F) in the CBD. This was when the Black Saturday bush fires happened. Mediterranean Climate = Summer hot and dry, winter cool and moist. Melbourne doesn't get as much rain as other Australian cities. It has four distinct seasons.

  • Favorite things:
    There is always something on. The weather is good (apart from a week in summer when it is HOT). It's comparatively flat, so it is easy to get to places (a lot better than Sydney which is hilly). The CBD is surrounded by a ring of parks which stretch for a long way.

  • Least favorite things:
    The fire season - in the El Nino Summers.

  • 'Must Try':
    Food. Coffee. Mornington Peninsula. Yarra Wineries (edge of Melbourne). Sherbrooke Forest. Fairy Penguins at St. Kilda (the middle of the city).

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:
    Everyone gets confused by the hook turns in the CBD.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:
    It's a big place - make sure you work out how long it takes to get places.

  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
    Melbourne has been big on sustainability. CERES, and the Collingwood Childrens' Farm are world class facilities demonstrating alternative techniques. Brunswick and Eltham have been alternative lifestyle centres. Most of Australia requires that all new houses include solar and/or water harvesting. There are also campaigns including free low-water shower heads, low energy light bulbs, and energy efficiency home reviews. Rain gardens are encouraged in Melbourne. National Parks and roadside rest areas around Australia may have composting toilets.

IWannaGo

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #182 on: August 30, 2017, 10:22:35 AM »
Hi!  Can we add Vancouver, WA to the list?  WA an income tax free state, and Oregon being a sales tax free state....wondering what it's like to live in Vancouver, WA just across the river and state line from Portland.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #183 on: September 06, 2017, 12:21:52 PM »

Everyone gets confused by the hook turns in the CBD.


I got confused just reading it.

I'll get the main post update within a week. I'm stupid busy these days.
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penguintroopers

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #184 on: September 08, 2017, 11:18:30 AM »
I'll add Philly to the list! (well, almost)

City, State, Country - I do live in Philadelphia, PA, USA, but my data points will be more reminiscent of nearby suburbs, specifically Glenside, Jenkintown, Willow Grove, etc as I am actually closer in proximity to those areas than center city specifically!

If a suburb, distance from city - about 10-20 miles, 30-45 minutes in traffic. However, pretty much all suburbs are linked to center city via a great (well, by American standards) public rail system. Tickets to/from the city are $5 to $7/trip. Buses and metro are pretty good, and would be $3/trip, but come with longer commute times and switching systems.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): one bedrooms start at $700 and go up from there. Great 1 bedrooms could be found for $1000. 2 bedrooms start at $850 and good ones can be found $1200. House prices start at $200k, but doesn't take much to get to $250k or $300k. I think average would be somewhere around $350k.

Indoor Hobbies: Lots of popular bars and comedy shows in the area

Outdoor Hobbies: Running/biking. Lots of good trails for both in this area (valley forge and the schkukyll river come to mind)

Weather: I'd say pretty great. Summer this year was very mild, but I don't think we ever have more than three days or so over 100 degrees. Rains a good frequency, winters can be cold and snowy but I'm sure some people love that.

Favorite things: The history in the area, and the feeling of community I get sometimes. A lot of people we meet have lived in Philadelphia for many generations, but they are still kind and welcoming to newcomers.

Least favorite things: Lack of city planning with roads. I've been here over a year and still can get lost by making a wrong turn on accident.
'Must Try': cheese steaks and pretzles, of course! And all of the local historical sights (Independence Hall, City hall, Congress, etc...)

Stupid ordinances/laws: Philadelphia county recently passed a beverage tax that puts an insane tax on all beverages with a certain amount of sugar in them. Some people choose to shop outside of Philadelphia county because of the tax. On some beverages it more than DOUBLES the cost of the item/case.

Words of wisdom/Advice: CSA programs can be hard to get into, but I've been a big fan of Hungry Harvest. (Reclaim produce that would otherwise be wasted). Philly is one of the few cities the company is delivering to at the moment.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): not too bad. Lots of people do gardening, even in the city. There's a city compost program for everyone. certain sections of the city are bike friendly.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 11:21:51 AM by penguintroopers »

AlienRobotAnthropologist

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #185 on: September 12, 2017, 07:56:06 PM »
Review Requests:

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ChpBstrd

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #186 on: September 13, 2017, 02:46:14 PM »
May I suggest a separate sticky post for the HCOL area vs LCOL area debate please? Specifically:

In which type of area is it easier to acheive FIRE? Or is there a sweet spot somewhere that mobile mustachians can exploit to shave years off the journey to FIRE?

Certainly it's possible to FIRE anywhere, and this thread covers the lifestyle or quality of life components. Yet when it costs 10X as much to live in area X than it does in area Y, that has to be relevant to those of us beginning or midway to FIRE and who are not fortune 500 executives. IMO, you pick your COL before you pick your location, and narrow things down accordingly. Thoughts?

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #187 on: September 18, 2017, 06:33:45 PM »
Adding per request from the Mustache-ville thread:

Hillsborough, NC (small town, medium cost of living):

https://visithillsboroughnc.com/


If a suburb, distance from city: 15 minutes from Durham, 20 from Chapel Hill and 40 or so from Raleigh and Greensboro

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy)
: zillow says $133 per square foot to buy and I believe it. (has gone up a fair bit since we moved two years ago).

Indoor Hobbies - Triangle Sportsplex is 5 minutes from the center of town with active Hockey culture, swimming pool, etc.

Outdoor Hobbies - Huge outdoors area. Biking in all of Orange County is normal, Hiking in Hillsborough and nearby Eno River State Park (tons of good trails and swimming holes), Lots of hunting and fishing if that appeals, and picnic spots (Ayr Mount, Historic Ocaneechee Nascar Track). Town is putting in dedicated walking trails and bike paths. The pleasant temps encourage outdoor culture in general. Most restaurants and local brewery have outdoor seating, Lots of festivals, events, art walks,etc.

Weather - hot and muggy in the summer. Temperate Fall-Spring. In the five years we lived there we did have one ice storm but temps in the 40-60s were more common in winter and we were surprised by how crowded hiking trails were in January.

Favorite things
- Food and arts culture, community spirit, history of the location, commitment to the environment, local businesses and health of inhabitants. Hillsborough has a particularly high percentage of authors and artists and they are committed to town in a big way. Dual Supply Hardware Store (a real old fashioned hardware store where you can find anything!), Paper lantern winter solstice walk, the Handmade Parade, Annual Christmas "production" of A Christmas Carol.
 
Least favorite things - Bugs, snakes

'Must Try' - Wooden Nickel (our local pub), BBQ, Mystery Brewing CO, Blue Grass Festival, Weaver Street Market (our local grocery/co-op), River Walk. Bike to Saxapahaw and enjoy a restorative meal at the General Store (this is a very common bike route from either Hillsborough or Carrboro).

Stupid ordinances/laws - No grocery store alcohol sales on Sundays. I believe there is a law that says land in excess of "X" acre must be farmed. My understanding is that folks usually let their neighbors farm their land for a small % of sales (and they usually all grow hay).

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc) - Hborough just committed to going 100% renewable energy by 2050 (and is the first town in NC to do so). There is a wonderful gardening and farming community.

Other nearby towns worth looking at: Pittsboro is south of Chapel Hill and is cheaper, but less developed than Hillsborough. 

Carrboro (a small incorporated area inside Chapel Hill) is full of students and profs but is 100% walkable, has tons of bike lanes, a free bus system and anything you could ever need. It is very livable and there are actually 3 bedroom places available for around 200k.

Durham is also pretty awesome. If you have kids I would lean towards Hborough or Chapel Hill/Carrboro for the better schools systems, but DINKS and singles should look at DURHAM!

I'd say the triangle area in general requires driving but we found it was limited to weekends. Everything we needed for day to day life was available in Hborough and my DH was able to take the bus to his schooling/job in Chapel Hill. There is a great bus system between CH, Durham and Hborough. We would head to CH or Durham for shows and concerts and museums for our kiddos.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2017, 06:36:21 PM by StarBright »

PR Mustachian

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #188 on: October 01, 2017, 11:33:00 AM »
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

  • City, State, Country:Point Roberts, WA, USA

  • If a suburb, distance from city: Less than 25 miles outside Vancouver, BC
    Rated 3rd best city in the world by the Economist

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Buy a nice 3/2 for 200k-300k
    Rent a nice 3/2 for 700-800 a month

  • Indoor Hobbies:Go to Vancouver for any cuisine, arts and entertainment your heart desires

  • Outdoor Hobbies:You name it
    We are right on the water with a nice marina.  Boating, Kayaking, Paddleboarding, etc.  Fantastic biking and hiking.  Less than an hour from Cypress ski slopes.  I would find it hard to believe there would be anything you are interested in that you couldn't find

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Summertime is 60s and 70s.  Winter is 30s and 40s.  Snows a couple times a year on average.  Summer is endless sunshine.  Winters are very wet but it's a great time to travel
    Gets less rain than Vancouver and Seattle because of it's location

  • Favorite things:The PRICE!  I was able to take my stash and turn a substantial amount of it into Canadian dollars at an incredible exchange rate so I can get everything on discount in Canada, which is a 10 minute bike ride away.
    Very little light pollution so you can see the stars.  SAFETY!  24 hour armed security gate at the border makes Point Roberts the biggest gated community in the US.  Views of Vancouver Island and Mt. Baker are always incredible.  4 great county parks, one at each corner of town.  Great hiking and water sports.  Very low stress laid back lifestyle.  Very safe to bike everywhere because there are very few cars on the road

  • Least favorite things:A lot of people complain about the border but if you have a Nexus pass you can usually sail right through.
      I usually bike and bikers get priority over drivers so it's a non-issue for me.  I would like to be a little closer to Vancouver but it would be 4 times the price at least.


  • 'Must Try':Such a great place to build your own home like I'm doing now
    Land is dirt cheap (I got a lot right near the water for 57k USD)  Not a lot of amendments to the International Building Code.  Buy all your materials in Canada on discount because of the exchange rate. 

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:It isn't a city
    It is just a community so it is governed by Whatcom County.  This makes it difficult to get anything done legislatively.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:Just visit and fall in love with the beauty and the prices
    Make sure you check out the parks at all 4 corners of town and spend a few days in Vancouver if you've never been there.  It is truly a very beautiful and vibrant city. 

  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Great gardening in the summer.  Very popular.  Definitely need a greenhouse if you want to do anything in the winter.


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #189 on: October 01, 2017, 12:26:26 PM »
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

  • City, State, Country:Point Roberts, WA, USA
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.

PR Mustachian

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #190 on: October 01, 2017, 01:03:47 PM »
They established the border along the 49th parallel during the Oregon Treaty of 1846 and just didn't make any exceptions for any peninsulas.  There is a sister city on the east coast that is actually part of Canada but only attached to the US.  It's a really unique place

CanuckExpat

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #191 on: October 08, 2017, 01:46:23 AM »
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMkYlIA7mgw
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jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #192 on: October 09, 2017, 02:10:02 PM »
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMkYlIA7mgw

I love snarky YT videos. That was super fun, and quite interesting. Thanks CE!!
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RidetheRain

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #193 on: October 10, 2017, 04:15:08 PM »
I saw a request for Bloomington, IN.

Now, I haven't lived there for a few years, so the information is about 4 years out of date. But, I managed to live in both North and South Bloomington, IN so hopefully I can give a full range of answers here. North Bloomington is the Indiana University Campus and is mostly college kids and South Bloomington is the "townie"/regular people area.

City, State, Country - Bloomington, Indiana, USA

If a suburb, distance from city - Not a suburb, but it's about an hour drive to Indianapolis

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy) - I rented for a range between 500-800/mo depending on roommates and parts of town. I'm not sure about actual houses, but renting a house on the North side with a few friends was the cheapest. Students drive the prices up in the North, but some nicer places on the South side can get really pricey compared to the average COL.

Indoor Hobbies - Lots of benefits to having a big university nearby - touring musicals and plays are common and people love their homebrews.

Outdoor Hobbies - It's a small town! There are hiking and a great forest preserve right out of town. Places for horses and kayaking and camping. This is a dog-friendly place too - lots of big friendly dogs that all seem to be well trained.

Weather - Generally sunny with mildish winters. Typical Mid-West fair.

Favorite things - I loved the old town areas that are a part of small-town USA. You get a real homey, know-your-neighbor feel. Also, A+ walking, biking, public transport.

Least favorite things - The students can be a bit. Students come from all over Indiana and all over the country. Lots of international students too. That's great, but sometimes it creates an entitled air with little things like parking and nightlife.

'Must Try' - Hiking to Griffy Lake. It's beautiful!

Stupid ordinances/laws - Hmm. I'll get back to you. I wrote to my councilman about crappy streetlighting for pedestrians as a student, but that's all I got.

Words of wisdom/Advice - Let's be real, politics can get a little heated in mixed areas. This is a mash-up of traditionally liberal students and small-town rural folks who made Mike Pence governor. Protests happen and there is tension. People are friendly outside of that. Say 'hi' to your neighbors!

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc) - There's a community garden with a waitlist. It's well stocked and people absolutely trade crops.
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TexasRunner

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #194 on: October 12, 2017, 03:24:37 PM »
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

  • City, State, Country:Point Roberts, WA, USA
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.

What cracks me up is that they actually have a Customs Office to deal with "Coming into the US"  LOL!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/US+Immigration+%26+Customs+Enforcement+Centre/@49.0011309,-123.0687971,345m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x5485e5ffff02c5fd:0x2b6ed49177b716a!2sPoint+Roberts,+WA+98281!3b1!8m2!3d48.9883827!4d-123.0568693!3m4!1s0x5485e60bd1e48e25:0x286832d50054b96d!8m2!3d49.0011084!4d-123.068165
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terarym

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide Las Vegas?
« Reply #195 on: October 12, 2017, 05:56:17 PM »
Leaving from the Oregon Coast to Las Vegas on the 21st.  Have an airbnb in the Summerlin area until Nov 1.  Looking for a small place for 6 months.  All I see on CL are commercial apartment complexes.  Where to find private rentals?  Married couple 50's NP, NS excellent credit. Only stayed on the strip ad a visitor.



anadyne

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #196 on: October 17, 2017, 06:59:34 PM »
After much reading of this blog/forum and others, I have not yet encountered a side gig or optimization that would work in a HCOL area but not a LCOL area. All the same products/services can be bought or sold in any metro area of 600k people or so, and LCOL areas also have lots of free or cheap recreation/learning opportunities. Internet-based gigs would be even more profitable if done from an office that cost $70/sf to buy rather than $300/sf.

Maybe mine qualifies! I live in a relatively HCOL part of New England that is a very popular tourist destination in the summer and fall. Around here, folks rent out their own houses in the summer months and earn between 80 - 100% of their annual mortgage payments in summer rent. Essentially their summer rental pays their housing cost the rest of the year, while they either 1) have a smaller in-law cottage they relocate themselves or a single family member to for the summer, to be on site for tenants or to keep going to work, or 2) hire a management company and RV around, or travel to an inexpensive international destination if they are R or working remotely. My house location and setup comes in at ~82% of my total annual mortgage payments for 12 weeks of summer rentals.

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #197 on: October 19, 2017, 04:50:08 PM »
Hi!  Can we add Vancouver, WA to the list?  WA an income tax free state, and Oregon being a sales tax free state....wondering what it's like to live in Vancouver, WA just across the river and state line from Portland.

Having lived in Vancouver and Portland - I will do my best to answer this (without the preferred formatting).

There are 2 types of people who live in the Couve ( aka Vantucky) - people who wish they were living in Portland but can't afford it, and people who are disgusted by everything Portland stands for and would never move there.
There are 2 bridges that cross the Columbia River between the 2 states - the I5 and the I205 bridges. Both get horribly backed up anywhere remotely near rush hour. I'd say 6 - 10:30 am is bad and any time after 1:45 is bad until about 8 or 9 pm. The freeways into Portland are limited by a huge hill, and industry and more rivers/bridges in Portland. One of t he bridges is structurally deficient and there have been many diff ideas about adding in a toll. If the one bad bridge goes, no one is getting in or out of Portland. These freeways are also the main thoroughfare for all of the west coast going N/S so there are a lot of trucks on them. There was a huge push to extend the MAX (the light rail) from Portland into WA, but the local politicians and overwhelming political feel is pretty conservative. people rejected the idea of the max going into wa because it was too hippie-ish and too expensive and not what people who've chosen to live in Vancouver want.

There is a ton of tax dodging shopping that occurs in OR. Can't say I wasn't guilty of it when I lived in Vancouver. I get it, it's tempting. WA not having a state income tax, relies heavily on sales taxes and it actually depresses the local economy because of it.

Overall we were not happy with the schools in Vancouver for a lot of the reason s listed above - schools losing tax base, people who actively avoid and hate the big city life. It was 25 minutes with no traffic living near the bridge to get into the outskirts of a nowhere you'd consider cool. Not a great fit for us.

It's been a while since I lived in the Couve but real estate there was getting super crazy due to the rise in Portland. I'd guess a house is near $400k there. Property taxes are probably $4k which isn't too different from what you'd pay in OR.
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IWannaGo

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #198 on: October 22, 2017, 09:12:24 PM »
Good insight - thank you for posting!

MSquared

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #199 on: October 25, 2017, 10:00:25 AM »
I have a request for Prescott, AZ!