Author Topic: Mustachian Relocation Guide  (Read 87802 times)

pdean

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #200 on: October 28, 2017, 10:13:25 AM »
Request please: Nelson/Kaslo, BC - thanks!

zero_house

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #201 on: November 23, 2017, 02:18:31 PM »
Sorry if I missed it, but has anyone reviewed Detroit yet? It seems like there is a lot of interesting stuff going on there culturally, and the cost of homes is certainly low. I'd love to hear more, especially from families with kids. Thanks!

TheGadfly

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #202 on: November 25, 2017, 09:29:37 AM »
I'm really interested in a post about Chicago. I visited a couple weeks ago for a wedding and fell in love with it. Also, as a current Boston resident, I really envied the relatively low real estate prices. Thanks in advance!

freya

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #203 on: November 25, 2017, 11:42:17 AM »
This one might be controversial, and I hope others with info to add will weigh in.  I see lots of reviews with comparisons to New York City, so why not consider retiring in the Real Thing?  I'm not FIRED but a friend of mine is, and she's thoroughly happy living here as an early retiree, on mainly the savings from her career as a veterinary nurse.

New York City, New York

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):  Depends very much on the neighborhood.  My friend and I live in Washington Heights in northern Manhattan, and there are lots of nice options further north (Inwood) or in the outer boroughs. The only cardinal rule is to stay away from the prime real estate south of 110th street in Manhattan, and enclaves like Park Slope or Dumbo in Brooklyn.

You will spend more $$ on housing than other locations, but you'll spend less on other things e.g. you don't need a car and don't have whole houses to furnish, clean and maintain.  In my neighborhood, you can find 1 bedroom apartments in the $300-400K range depending on apartment condition, with maintenance of ~$800/month.  This covers everything including electricity, taxes, capital improvements to anything outside your apartment walls, and building maintenance/staff (who can be super helpful when you want to make minor improvements).  Other than that, your main expenses are groceries, internet/cell phone, and occasional bus/subway fare.  My friend keeps a community garden plot in the Bronx ($25/year fee).  She produces & preserves enough so that her monthly grocery spend is less than $100, but it's also a social activity and has led to things like her sitting on the board of the New York Food Council.

As an early retiree, New York's income taxes won't bug you too much.  There are benefits galore for low-income and senior residents.  The state Medicaid program is among the country's most generous.

Hobbies:  More to choose from than you can shake a stick at.  People immediately think of all the expensive options like Broadway shows or lavish restaurants, but low or even no cost entertainment is everywhere.  Dining out can be amazingly inexpensive given all the restaurant competition in town.  One of my favorite weekend outings is to walk from my apartment across the George Washington Bridge to pick up the Long Trail along the Palisades, then hike upriver.  I've also occasionally biked to City Island, a little gem off the coast of the Bronx with a New England seacoast town feel (btw also inexpensive housing).  You can also take public transportation to hiking trails north of the city, or east into Long Island.  A Metropolitan Museum of Art membership ($100/year) gets you free admission to the Met and the Cloisters, where you could literally go every week and still not see everything on offer.  My coop building sponsors chamber music concerts in our common space as do local churches, and my friend is a member of a chorus giving several performances per year (zero cost by definition).  You can get last minute, very inexpensive opera & Juilliard tickets, or just wait for the free summer concerts, operas, plays, and movies in various locations around the city.  See "The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Manhattan" for lots of ideas.

Weather  Winters can occasionally get cold (well below freezing), which I actually enjoy especially when snow gives me an excuse to break out the XC skis.  Summer is famously hot and sticky.  Did I forget to mention that the city maintains free public outdoor swimming pools?

Favorite things  See above.  I was also struck by how neighborly life is.  You can get seriously isolated in a suburb where people tend to cocoon in their McMansions and cars, but that doesn't happen here.  There's always a door to knock on if you need to borrow the proverbial cup of sugar.

Least favorite things:  City government.  Describing it as a bloated bureaucracy would be too kind.  Also, no laundry installations in coop apartments for fear of busting 100 year old plumbing systems.  Portable machines delivered in "discreet" packaging are your friend.

Words of wisdom/Advice:  Use "Streeteasy.com" to check out the housing market.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):  Your best opportunities here are to act on a community level.  Mustachians would make outstanding coop board members.  Many coop buildings including mine are getting rooftop solar, and some have ventured into rooftop vegetable gardens.  My coop has outdoor grounds with a patio herb garden for residents, and I'm hoping to coax them into permitting residential plots or Earthboxes.  There's also the community garden plot option. 
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 11:44:06 AM by freya »

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #204 on: December 04, 2017, 07:24:29 AM »
Thanks for that Freya. I've also got the two additional requests added to the main post.

dbtx

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #205 on: December 08, 2017, 10:12:06 AM »
Great info! We'll be relocating next year so I'm keenly interested in this type of info. I'd like to put in a request for the following cities:
Boise, ID
Flagstaff, AZ
Bozeman, MT
Fort Collins, CO

mhlavac

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #206 on: December 11, 2017, 07:08:41 PM »
Boise, ID

Average Housing cost (specify rent or buy):  I own in one of the subburbs of Boise, Eagle (15 miles from city center).  Eagle is one of the nicer areas.  It has a cute/historic downtown but most of the basic services you need.  There's lots of open property and housing starts at about $250k in Eagle for a 3 bedroom 2 bath.  Pricing might be a little less in Boise or Meridian, depending on the age of the house and condition.  Nampa isn't bad but Caldwell I would stay away from (this is where any gang activity takes place).  Most housing is new and the area is growing rapidly.

Hobbies:  Venture outdoors!  Skiing/snowboarding is 20 minutes from downtown Boise in the winter time, with larger mountains a couple of hours away.  Lines aren't horrible compared to skiing in California or other areas just because the population isn't that great.  Snowshowing and alpine skiing are also popular.  In the summertime, fly fishing and camping are very popular.  McCall is a popular destination location and it's a 2 hour drive from Boise.  There are lake activities there, as well as a few small shops, biking, etc.  Another popular destination is Red Fish lake, but it's a few hours drive.  I like being able to drive 20 minutes in any direction and being in the middle of farmland.  When you camp, look at the stars (you can actually see them)!

Weather:  Usually there are 2-3 weeks of temperatures in the low hundreds, but it's a dry heat.  Most days of the summers are in the mid to upper 90's.  The coldest months are December and January.  Most years have a couple of days that fall to single digits for the low.  Snow (most years) is not a problem.  A big snow storm is 3" and the major roads are well taken care of.  People put on snow tires, but I've only had a problem once in my FWD econobox, when there was 14 inches of snow on the ground (big snow year).  If you garden, planting times are usually early May and the first frost is right around October 1.  January brings about an inversion - clouds settling into the Boise area.  No rain, no snow, just dreariness.  If you drive up to higher elevations, the sun breaks through the clouds and it's sunny.

Favorite things:  Boise has an amazing farmers market.  It's up to 4 city blocks now, and you can find fresh produce as well as crafts.  I like how walkable/bikable Boise and the surrounding area is.  There's a ~20 mile long greenbelt (paved bike trail) that crosses the city that lots of folks utilize.  World-class whitewater rafting happens near Boise.  I feel very safe wherever I go, and whatever I do.  Boise also has a number of semi-professional sports teams that are worth attending.

Least Favorite things:  The state is very red historically, but as more people move from CA, WA and OR into ID, this is beginning to change.  As a result, people are very proud of their guns and hunting here is a constitutional right, but gender equality is not.  In general, people are very nice.  Often times people will hold up traffic to let you out of a driveway.  Ethnic food options are limited.

Words of Wisdom/Advice:  Have a job setup before you move here, if you require one.  Even though Boise is growing, it's still not a metropolis and options can be limited compared to larger cities.  I've lived here ~10 years and worked in the tech community.  Everyone in that community knows me and I know most people.

Know your commute.  Traffic isn't bad, but it pays to know the flow of traffic.  A 15 minute commute with no traffic can easily turn into a 40 minute commute with traffic.  Avoid your commute being on Eagle Road, if you can.

Sustainability Options:  The Idaho government doesn't subsidize green energy.  Some local utilities are talking about not having to buy homeowner-produced solar energy.  A majority of power in the Boise area is produced by coal and hydro.  Idaho Power is resistant to change.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #207 on: December 12, 2017, 06:18:31 AM »
Got it added. Thanks!

Cubert

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #208 on: December 15, 2017, 04:09:51 AM »
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #209 on: December 18, 2017, 07:57:26 AM »
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.

I don't believe the reviewer said anything about it being more racist than any other community, it was just something they noticed. When you are done being blown away by someone else's perspective of a city you obviously like, perhaps you can do a review on it. I will go ahead and combine them and link to that instead.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #210 on: December 18, 2017, 07:59:53 AM »
I'm really interested in a post about Chicago. I visited a couple weeks ago for a wedding and fell in love with it. Also, as a current Boston resident, I really envied the relatively low real estate prices. Thanks in advance!

I'm going to put one together shortly.  It's funny you mention Chicago vs. Boston - my friend calls our condo a "Cambridge mansion".

SimpleCycle

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #211 on: December 18, 2017, 09:18:39 AM »
Chicago, IL, USA - there are a bunch of Chicagoans on here, so I hope others chime in.

Average housing cost: It really, really depends.  Housing prices have been going up for a while.  In close in neighborhoods, a 2 br condo goes for $400-$600k.  A SFH for $800k and up.  Further out neighborhoods you can get a SFH for $300-500k, and depending on the neighborhood, you might even get a good neighborhood school.  In the current market, rent/buy is probably break even.  In my neighborhood, rents for a 2 br range from $1300 for a smaller, older unit to $2000 for a high end unit.

Indoor Hobbies: The museums in Chicago are top notch.  All of them have free days throughout the year.  The Art Institute, consistently rated #1 on Trip Advisor, is free every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. for Illinois residents.  There are two indoor conservatories with tropical plants that are great for warming up in the winter.  The Chicago Park District has a number of indoor activities, mostly for kids, but there are also some adult leagues and indoor tennis lessons.  The library system is pretty amazing.  Iím also a fan of the Meetup scene here, which has just about every interest you can imagine.

Outdoor Hobbies: Hiking (although people from places with real terrain will call it walking), canoeing and kayaking, boating, cycling.  There are lots of outdoor options within and hour or two of the city for camping and hiking.  Thereís a forest preserve system for Cook County and the areas surrounding Chicago, and some are even accessible by train.  The park district sponsors lots of performances in the summer, including Shakespeare in the Park.  The botanical garden is pay for parking but free admission, which means if you bike there you get in free, or you can take a train/trolley combo.  The Lincoln Park Zoo is also free.  There are also lots of community gardens, although I have to say theyíre not the most Mustachian option for grow your own produce.

Weather: Hot in the summer, cold in the winter, moderate amount of snow.  People say Chicago weather is notoriously extreme, but I have not found it any more intense than New England or other Midwestern winters and summers.

Favorite things: Chicago has a big city lifestyle with a moderate cost of living.  Salaries seem to do better than COL would dictate because employers are competing for talent with other more glamorous cities.  I love how much there is to do here - if youíre bored, youíre doing it wrong.  Chicago also has an AMAZING food scene, which you can experience even on a Mustachian budget if thatís your thing.  Arguably we have the best Mexican food outside of Mexico and L.A., and thereís huge diversity in cheap eats.

Least favorite things: Taxes are pretty ridiculous.  10.25% sales tax in the city, 4.95% income tax on your Illinois taxable income, and property taxes are average nationwide, but high for Illinois.  Navigating the Chicago Public School system is a mess.  The city is very racially and economically segregated, although there are some notable exceptions.  On a Mustachian note, depending on your social circle, you might go against the grain a bit, as lots of people are into the high-end restaurant scene (which is among the best in the world) and there are basically unlimited opportunities for conspicuous consumption.

'Must Try': Art Institute, Garfield Park Conservatory, Shedd Aquarium, biking the lakefront trail, a concert in Millennium Park in the summer, neighborhood walking tours (I love this book), the Architecture Foundationís walking tours (the boat tour is great too, but walking tours are way more interesting and detailed, theyíre the only paid thing on this list)

Stupid ordinances/laws: Taxes, as mentioned.  Bag tax is 7 cents per bag, but youíre using reusable bags anyway, right?

Words of wisdom/Advice: I would probably rent if you are new to the city.  Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and itís best to figure out where you fit before you make the plunge to buy.  Donít rule out Chicago Public Schools if you have children, but do educate yourself about how the system works and what your options are.  Neighborhood Parent Network is a good resource.

Sustainability options: there is municipal recycling, but no municipal composting.  As mentioned, there are lots of community gardens.  Solar is an option, although weíre not prime solar latitude and youíll probably have trouble in a multifamily.  Bike share is ubiquitous.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 11:25:37 AM by SimpleCycle »

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #212 on: December 18, 2017, 10:59:44 AM »
SC, Thanks!! I've got your review added to the main post.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #213 on: December 18, 2017, 11:08:33 AM »
Least favorite things: Taxes are pretty ridiculous.  10.25% sales tax in the city, 4.95% income tax on your Federal taxable income, and property taxes are average nationwide, but high for Illinois. 
I'd like to contribute a couple clarifications here.  The income tax isn't really based on your Federal taxable income, because Illinois has much smaller personal exemptions (about half as much) and far fewer deductions (almost none) than you get from the Feds.  Property taxes out in the SW suburbs are >3%.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #214 on: December 18, 2017, 11:22:55 AM »
Least favorite things: Taxes are pretty ridiculous.  10.25% sales tax in the city, 4.95% income tax on your Federal taxable income, and property taxes are average nationwide, but high for Illinois. 
I'd like to contribute a couple clarifications here.  The income tax isn't really based on your Federal taxable income, because Illinois has much smaller personal exemptions (about half as much) and far fewer deductions (almost none) than you get from the Feds.  Property taxes out in the SW suburbs are >3%.

Thanks, I forgot how that worked.  I'll update my post.

Apple_Tango

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #215 on: December 23, 2017, 12:39:59 AM »
City: Roanoke VA https://www.playroanoke.com/blog/

Iíve lived in several cities in VA and NC  including Alexandria, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, and Edenton and the one I would recommend the most when the social scene, affordable housing, and ourtdoor activities all mix is Roanoke, VA. Hereís a video featuring one of the events the city holds:
  https://youtu.be/HcW9KwrIoUs

Average Housing Cost: officially it appears to be $135,600 which is below the national average. You can get a large, nice, 100 year old home practically downtown next to a greenway, maybe even with Mountain views for around $150-$200,000. If you go up to $350,000 or so you can get something restored and totally gorgeous. Of course there are condos, smaller homes, mountain cabins, etc.

Indoor hobbies: letís talk about museums. Roanoke used to be a sleepy mountain railroad town, so it still has tons of history in that vein. There are some museums dedicated to Appalachia, the town history, etc. thereís also a science museum, a pinball museum and an art museum. As far as shopping, there are big box stores and strip malls on the outskirts by the highway  but also a really cute downtown/cultural center with lots of unique shops and restaurants. there's a rock climbing gym and about 6 library branches.

Outdoor Hobbies: This is where Roanoke shines.  Look up  Carvinís Cove Nature reserve. Itís the second largest municipal park in the US. It has 60 miles of biking/hiking trails, and a 630 acre reservoir for boating, kayaking, etc. I believe there is access to the Appalachian Trail.  Mill Mountain Park is another cool area. This will give you a sense of how great living right on the Blue Ridge Parkway is. There are probably close to 100 miles of mountain biking trails, and some of the greenways go right through downtown. There is also a river that runs right through the city for water activities. Thereís breweries and wineries all throughout southern and central VA.  Hereís a feature on the biking culture:  http://www.roanokeoutside.com/land/biking/mountain-bike/

Weather: All four seasons. Depending on where you live in the city in relation to the mountains, you can get lots of snow or hardly any. You might expect 10-20 inches of snow per year. Thereís no skiing in the area that Iím aware of, closest resort is about 1 hour away. (By the way, Harrisonburg has similar attributes to Roanoke, is a college town/blue collar town, and skiing is literally 5 min away) Itís the blue ridge parkway/Appalachia so spring and fall are my favorite time of year with the trees all around and the mountain air. Itís a colder part of VA with less humidity so summer days average around 85 degrees.

Favorite things: the cost of living and the greenways

Least Favorite things: I am born and raised in VA so I can say this with love: it is the Bible Belt. Roanoke city trends purple but itís surrounding counties are all bright red. There can be some racism. Also itís not a huge city so there is a little bit of a brain drain effect going on. Salaries tend to be low, crime is slightly high. Itís mostly a blue collar, southern city. Which is not bad, but you need to know what to expect.

Must Try: get your picture with the Roanoke Star and check out Carvinís Cove. And grab a beer at one of the breweries.

Words of advice: visit the central va area to see what fits you. There are lots of different towns with their own cultures. Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Crozet, Staunton, Richmond. Thereís something for everyone :)

Other aspects: population hovers around 100,000 and there is a regional airport. By car itís about 5 hours to the beach, 4 hours to dc, and 3 hours to the state capital. Less than 30 min to Va Tech/Blacksburg which obviously has a much younger crowd and slightly more nightlife and also football.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 09:25:32 AM by Apple_Tango »

davisgang90

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #216 on: December 23, 2017, 03:56:03 AM »
Apple-Tango,

Thanks for the review of Roanoke!  I was thrilled to see it.  We are FIREing to Roanoke in June and just signed a contract on a house in SW county in the Hidden Valley school district.  DW and I are VT grads and she is from Roanoke originally.  I've been dragging her all over the country for 28 years in the Navy, time to take her home!

CanuckExpat

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #217 on: December 23, 2017, 02:44:56 PM »
@Apple_Tango , thanks for the Roanoke review. Do many people end up retiring there like @davisgang90 is planning?
We visited last year, as part of our bumming around / relocation tour, and I had a similar but different view. Like you said, the location seemed perfect for access to the outdoors, and the backdrop was stunning. But there was a vibe I got, and I couldn't put my finger on it, perhaps it was too quick to make a judgement from only a short visit, but even with the museums and awesome greenway, everything seemed a bit empty, compared to say Charlotesville, where everything seemed to be booming. Might there be something to that, or was it just the wrong day in Roanoke and the right day in Charlotesville? There was another aspect I couldn't put a finger one, but somethings made me feel more comfortable in the latter than former, I say as  person of color, and knowing it might be touchy subject (can't articulate, but was a feeling). I'd love to discuss more, here or or in other thread.

Apple_Tango

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #218 on: December 23, 2017, 03:09:18 PM »
It is blue collar, low income type of area and there is some racism in the city.  Charlottesville VA and Asheville NC are much more exciting places but the cost of living/housing is much higher. Roanoke has just a small college compared to Charlottesville and Asheville...and even Harrisonburg and Blacksburg, which all have true university presences. Really that makes all the difference. Charlottesville was my favorite place Iíve ever lived but the cost is much higher. Roanoke is really good for a retired life if you love the outdoors in my opinion, but I wouldnít say itís a bustling city. Itís got a lot to offer for what it is though. There seem to be lots of people who retire there. Honestly what you might have been feeling in Charlottesville was the studentís energy/ diversity. If you go out of the nicer areas of Charlottesville there is a big problem with homelessness, poverty, income inequality, and a ďtownieĒ vs ďstudentĒ mentality. The Charlottesville downtown mall has tons of restaurants and shops, pop up stalls,  street performers, and everyone walks everywhere  which make things feel special, and that vibe isnít as prevelant in roanoke.  Each city is great in itís own way but they have two different vibes
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 04:27:13 PM by Apple_Tango »

NiteWolf

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #219 on: December 31, 2017, 12:50:21 AM »
Hi there!

I'm looking for a bit of advice on moving to Winnipeg. We are a family of six who are moving from Thailand where we've lived for many years.
If you have any comments on best areas to rent a house, winter life or such, please respond here.
My SO has a pretty good opportunity for working in education, while I am considering working in a trade since I have building skills.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #220 on: January 01, 2018, 01:23:20 PM »
Hi there!

I'm looking for a bit of advice on moving to Winnipeg. We are a family of six who are moving from Thailand where we've lived for many years.
If you have any comments on best areas to rent a house, winter life or such, please respond here.
My SO has a pretty good opportunity for working in education, while I am considering working in a trade since I have building skills.

I've got your request added to the list in the OP. Would you mind doing a write up on Thailand? I'm interested in that.

I've also got Roanoke added to the TOC. Thanks @Apple_Tango !

SunnyDays

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #221 on: January 08, 2018, 08:33:25 PM »
To NiteWolf re relocating to Winnipeg:

Okay, where to start?  I've lived in or around the city for most of my life, so if you have specific questions feel free to ask.
If you are planning to rent a house, prices average about 1200 to 1500 CAD per month, but may be more for the space 6 people would require.  Avoid the inner city.  Prices are lower, but it's not very safe and the schools are bad.  Anything in a ring around the inner city should be fine.  My recommendations would be East, West or Old Kildonan, Fort Garry, St. Vital or River Heights for good family neighbourhoods.  Transcona is okay too.  As you go in a ring outwards from the city centre, homes are newer and pricier.  I would personally avoid Charleswood due to it's distance from amenities.  It's almost exclusively residential.
As for winter life, there's lots to do if you don't mind the cold.  Skating, cross country skiing, hockey, curling, skidooing are popular.  Otherwise, there's lots of cultural and entertainment activities available: museums, art gallery, zoo (polar bears!), planetarium and in summer, tons of festivals, including the highlights of Folklorama, Fringe Fest and Folk Fest.  Also, many great beaches at the two major lakes just an hour's drive away.  Also, tons of restaurants in almost any nationality you can think of.
Overall, it's a great place to live.  People are very friendly, it's multicultural and offers a very good work/life balance.  People are not married to their jobs.
The biggest drawbacks are the cold in winter and the mosquitoes in summer (yes, these stereotypes are true).  On the upside, we have no feral pigs (my neighbour recently lived for 2 years in your neck of the woods, in Malaysia)!
Any further questions, just ask.  Hope you love it here!


RichMoose

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #222 on: January 09, 2018, 10:02:51 AM »
  • City, State, Country: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): As in most places it varies by neighbourhood and how close to downtown/Old Strathcona you are. Some suburbs like St. Albert, Windermere, and Sherwood Park are also pricier. Best neighbourhood picks are King Edward, Hazeldean, areas south of the University to Duggan, Westmount, Inglewood, Highlands, and Sherwood Park or St. Albert if you work in these suburbs. Sherwood Park in particular has a lot of good-paying jobs.
    Single family home in good neighbourhood: C$450,000 to C$600,000 OR C$2,000 to C$2,500 monthly rent
    Newer duplex/rowhouse: C$350,000 to C$450,000 OR C$1,500 to C$2,000 monthly rent
    Apartment condo: C$250,000 to C$400,000 OR C$1,200 to C$2,000 monthly rent
  • Indoor Hobbies: Very important!! Edmonton has long winters with short daylight hours and it gets cold outside! Boardgames, card games, curling, escape rooms, gyms and martial arts, and hockey are all popular with lots of options. Edmonton Sport & Social Club offers many activities at reasonable prices and various skill levels. https://www.edmontonsportsclub.com/
  • Outdoor Hobbies: Winter sports include snowshoeing, nordic skiing, skijoring, pond/outdoor hockey, and fat-biking in the river valley. We love our summers here! Ball hockey, biking or hiking in the river valley or nearby mountains, road cycling is becoming very popular, soccer, and lots of different sports in the city's many parks. Again, check out the Edmonton Sport & Social Club to get an idea of the options out there. Out of the city there's lots of camping, hiking, and fishing, especially heading west towards the Rockies or north east into lake country.
    Edmonton offers a continuous stream of outdoor festivals during the summer. Most are free or cheap to enjoy so take advantage!
  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Edmonton is very much a winter city. Our winters are about 5 months long. Expect snow around Halloween and until the end of March. During the winter the temperature often hovers between 5C to -15C with several cold snaps where temperatures drop in the -30C or colder for about a week each time. It's a low humidity environment, so outdoor activities are very doable until about -15C. Winters are fairly sunny but days are short.
    Our summers are fantastic! It rarely gets above 30C and there's a ton of sunshine. Afternoon rainstorms are common, but they pass pretty quick. It cools down nicely at night, so no A/C is required. Our summer days are long (16+ hours of sunlight) and people tend to stay up late and make the most of summer.
  • Favorite things: The River Valley, the largest continuous urban park system in North America. Long summer days. Large variety of festivals. Many restaurants including good ethnic cuisine from Filipino to Korean to Greek to Indian. Lots of younger people and young families. Great place to get ahead financially in Canada; pay is high and the cost of living is reasonable compared to many other larger cities. Surprisingly bike friendly with a growing commuter bike population. I bike year-round and so do several of my friends. Many cyclists bike about 200 days a year, skipping the worst winter months.
  • Least favorite things: The distance from the mountains and nice lakes. It's still about a 4 hour drive to enjoy some of the most beautiful nature in the world, which makes for a long day-trip or requires an overnight stay or two. Of course it's a bit selfish to complain about being a whole 4 hours away from crystal clear lakes, thick green forests, world-class hiking and scrambling, and amazing scenery, but even a 2 hour drive would make it so much more accessible.
    Transient attitudes prevail here. Many people come here for work and all they talk about is how much better things are "back home" (often the East Coast, Ontario, or B.C.). If you move here, come prepared for long winters and limited outdoor options that are less than a few hours drive away.
  • 'Must Try': The River Valley parks, Heritage Festival, Oil Kings hockey (junior pro for $20/ticket!), Eskimo games (Canadian football), The Fringe, RapidFire Theatre, Alley Kat Brewery, The Next Act, tubing the Pembina River, hiking Jasper Park and Nordegg, and hiking with the wild bison in nearby Elk Island Park.
  • Stupid ordinances/laws: Nothing I would be too worried about. Just don't speed because photo radar enforcement is very strict!
    Edmonton is surprisingly liberal considering it's in the heart of "Conservative country". The queer community is really active and accepted, there's a decent size neo-hippie population, and it's a melting pot of all cultures. While there's the occasional news story about a racist rant or bigot individual, people here are generally relaxed and accepting of anything. I suspect the few problem individuals are often from the redneckish conservative rural areas that surround the city.
  • Words of wisdom/Advice: The two entertainment areas are Downtown (Jasper Ave) and Old Strathcona (Whyte Ave). Downtown is a bit pricier and prim while Old Strathcona is more relaxed. Both have their merits but we stay south of the river for the most part.
    Very much a big truck, SUV, motorcycle and 2 snowmobiles in the garage, 5th wheel RV, spendy on consumer crap type of place. People here make lots of money and spend it recklessly. You may have to learn to say "No" to frequent bar nights, expensive hockey game tickets, and other pricey invites. Depends on your crowd, but tradespeople in particular can be difficult this way.
    Edmonton is a great jump-off point to exploring the North. Yellowknife, Fort Liard, Nahanii Park, the Yukon, and northern B.C. are a 10 to 20 hour drive away. Haven't been there yet, but it's on my list.
  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): The growing season is short but very productive due to the long sunlight hours. You can grow pretty much anything in the fertile black soil, but you will need to greenhouse start things like tomatoes and beans. Root veggies in general do really well! Fruits can be more difficult, the cold winter temperatures limit the types of trees/bushes that can be grown successfully. We're in Zone 4 after all.
    Alberta is coal and natural gas rich so "dirty power" is cheap. Wind turbines are very common in southern Alberta. Solar hasn't really taken off in a meaningful way, but you do see it around as we get decent sunshine hours. I just don't think solar/wind is very competitive since we are sitting on some of the largest gas and high-quality coal reserves in the world.
    Take the plunge and bike year round. All you need is decent cold weather gear and studded tires which are not hard to find or expensive. The city is good about clearing bike paths quickly. We generally don't get large snowfalls, but ice can be tricky. Expect to fall a few times each year (you get good at it).

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #223 on: January 09, 2018, 12:03:38 PM »
@Mr. Rich Moose, I've got your contributions added.

des999

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #224 on: January 10, 2018, 11:54:51 AM »
Went thru the thread and didn't see Wilmington NC.  I'm look at property there next month.  Would love to hear some info about the city.  Thanks!

yuka

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #225 on: January 10, 2018, 12:45:08 PM »

Words of advice: visit the central va area to see what fits you. There are lots of different towns with their own cultures. Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Crozet, Staunton, Richmond. Thereís something for everyone :)

Are you familiar with Waynesboro at all? I've never lived in Harrisonburg, but every time I go there I feel like they're rushing much more aggressively into bad development than Waynesboro, which makes me inclined to lean toward Waynesboro. The expanses of 45 mph big-box-lined roads seems larger in Harrisonburg. On the other hand, they have JMU as a sort of anchor, which is something Waynesboro is sorely lacking, having lost most of their industry.

As to Charlottesville, I can never really figure out where there's decent housing availability. Probably that's just because I look too close to UVA. Also, the weather typically seems worse on that side of the mountains, especially in summer.

Apple_Tango

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #226 on: January 10, 2018, 11:59:46 PM »
I think Charlottesville housing is bananas. Very very cool town though. Harrisonburg has quite the strip mall feel along the highways and sometimes the wind shifts and you smell the animal farming byproducts (mostly chickens) which can be unpleasant.  But the downtown area is quite nice and walkable, and there are a couple of really amazing local restaurants and bars. There are some dance studios, farmers markets, yoga/pilates centers, local ice cream, coffee, and breweries, plus all the things that the university offers. 5-10 minutes away there's a ski resort and two towns called called Elkton and Mcgaheysville (pronouced McGackiesville...why? lol) which have some seriously beautiful views and are way more rural if you're looking to get away from development. I found a little tour video of Harrisonburg online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Lhj0u_EF0

Before I would choose Waynesboro, I would would live in Staunton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7VA1-cjuk4) or Crozet, which are both 20 min away in opposite directions. My impression of Waynesboro is just a town of chain shops and restaurants with little to no culture. I've never lived there but that's my opinion anyway, since you asked for it. I used to work in Fishersville which is quite close...and very similar to Waynesboro. I was not impressed. There's one main downtown street...idk I think I wouldn't care to live there. The big talk of my coworkers who lived in that town a few years ago was that Moe's Southwest Grill was opening which is not high on my priority list.

My personal ranked order for Virginia out of the towns I would consider (cost of living is a factor that pushes some areas lower on the list) are: Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ik9bfTXrKw), Williamsburg, VA Beach, and my Northern VA (NOVA) choice is Old Town, Alexandria. Side note: I chose that city because if you're going to live in the NOVA craziness, might as well do it right. I'm not really a suburb/stripmall fan (which basically describes NOVA in a nutshell) That particular neighborhood in Alexandria is amazing as far as quality of living.Super historic, walk everywhere, right on the river, easy metro into DC, dogs are everywhere, everyone jogs, the restaurants are out of this world, fun free events going on all the time,  boating and paddleboarding are awesome, fireworks for national holidays....aka $$$$$$$$$$$ aka out of my price range.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:02:02 AM by Apple_Tango »

seatofthepants

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #227 on: January 12, 2018, 04:26:49 AM »
Just to add a different voice to the Portland discussion, I live there currently and have for over a decade. Here are my thoughts.

Although the housing costs are definitely going up, I really choked on my cornflakes when the person above said that she brought home $100k last year and feels "priced out" of Portland. Wow. My annual income has been $10-12,000 / year for the entire time I've lived here and I still live here & don't consider myself "priced out" yet. I live in inner Portland, also, not way out in Gresham or another suburb. With mustachian levels of lifehacking you can do these things here. 

I have to contradict our other poster again and say that Portland culture is not just about super-hero levels of friendliness. Sure, people are friendly on the surface (checkers in checkout lines, everyone saying 'thank you' when getting of the bus, strangers will banter with you in public, etc.)... but in my opinion underneath the culture is really quite cold. Although people do like to do things to "keep it weird" or generally "Portlandey" I don't find Portland to have a good sense of humor (ironic, since there is a thriving comedy scene) or the... "ease with itself" that you would expect.

Here's an example: many people here have a distinct, rigid way of walking, which my family members who visit from out of town comment on. This rigid, slightly-fearful, slightly-so-as-not-to-mess-up-my-outfit attitude is very Portland, I think. There is an odd woodenness that often happens when Portlanders try to have fun. Often times if you look around you, even at fun events, no one is visibly "having fun." They may be perfectly pleasant, smiling, or whatever, but that's not quite the same thing. While I believe that subjectively they may be having a ball, it's hard to feel welcome or feel warmth from a people who have a wall up like that.

Another thing is that it is VERY hard to make real friends with Portlanders. You might think that this is just me, but it's something I hear from a lot of people (similar things are said about Parisians). Perfectly pleasant and friendly, but making friends takes years...decades. I believe this has to do with how individualistic the cultural values here are. While there is nothing objectively wrong with that, it is difficult and a little alienating, especially for those of us, like moustachians, who have values that lead them away from the traditional value placed on acquiring money, status, and possessions for the sake of it.

You can feel the crazy "I live in a liberal bubble" feeling among many people you meet here, especially if they are white and middle to upper class. While I have no problem with liberalism per se (I'm definitely not a conservative, if anything more like a leftist), it's disconserting how much of an echo-chamber it feels like it is here. Some of the things that go on really make me wonder if liberals are navel-gazing themselves into insanity.

There is very little diversity and, sadly, you can feel it. I get the feeling that white people are scared on a deep level, while also being extremely "comfortable" at the same time. It's odd. I'm a person of color, btw. So.... yeah. Call me somewhat jaded, but these are the things I felt my perspective could add.

I can also say, happily, that Portland is a GREAT place to live on a budget--so many free events, cultural happenings, and clubs / meetups / churches. Free days at the Portland Art Museum. Arts programming is discounted for those who are living below the poverty line, as are other great things like farmers' markets. We have an amazing library system. A nationally-ranked public transit system. It's super bikeable, with very good bike infrastructure (at least in the inner city) & tons of fellow-bikers to keep you company on your commute. Travel just a little further, and there are tons of trails to trail bike on. We have more green space in our city limits than any other city in the US. We have great food, even for relatively cheap.

Yes, I consider this city my own by now, warts and all... <3
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 04:33:20 AM by seatofthepants »

SnackDog

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #228 on: January 12, 2018, 06:36:09 AM »
The low diversity in Portland is disappointing. It has the dubious distinction of being the whitest major city in America.  Oregon has a horrible history of racism and even prohibited black people from living in the state early on (the only state to ever do so).

But the biggest complaint I hear from the (mostly white) people who live there is the appalling weather.  Winter lasts from October to April and is dark, cloudy, wet and just above freezing.  Snow would be preferred or just more sunlight.

It's on our relocation list, but I am skeptical.

Parizade

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #229 on: January 14, 2018, 12:17:56 PM »
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.

Sorry Cubert, but the Twin Cities is one of the worst metropolitan areas for black people (6th worst actually). As a white native I was just as shocked as you to learn the truth, and it pains me still.

from The 5 Worst Cities for Black Americans
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/03/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-2/2/

"Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Black population: 7.4%
> Black median income: 44.0% of white income
> White unemployment: 2.8%
> Black unemployment: 9.5%

Black residents in Minneapolis are not particularly impoverished compared to black residents in other metropolitan areas. The typical black household earns $34,720 a year, compared to the national median black household income of $38,555. However, while they typically do not face the same level of poverty compared to black residents elsewhere, they live in one of the most unequal places. The typical white household earns more than double the income at $78,864 a year."
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 12:21:26 PM by Parizade »

yuka

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #230 on: January 17, 2018, 09:45:29 AM »
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.

Sorry Cubert, but the Twin Cities is one of the worst metropolitan areas for black people (6th worst actually). As a white native I was just as shocked as you to learn the truth, and it pains me still.

from The 5 Worst Cities for Black Americans
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/03/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-2/2/

"Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Black population: 7.4%
> Black median income: 44.0% of white income
> White unemployment: 2.8%
> Black unemployment: 9.5%

Black residents in Minneapolis are not particularly impoverished compared to black residents in other metropolitan areas. The typical black household earns $34,720 a year, compared to the national median black household income of $38,555. However, while they typically do not face the same level of poverty compared to black residents elsewhere, they live in one of the most unequal places. The typical white household earns more than double the income at $78,864 a year."

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.

yuka

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #231 on: January 17, 2018, 10:01:58 AM »
I think Charlottesville housing is bananas. Very very cool town though. Harrisonburg has quite the strip mall feel along the highways and sometimes the wind shifts and you smell the animal farming byproducts (mostly chickens) which can be unpleasant.  But the downtown area is quite nice and walkable, and there are a couple of really amazing local restaurants and bars. There are some dance studios, farmers markets, yoga/pilates centers, local ice cream, coffee, and breweries, plus all the things that the university offers. 5-10 minutes away there's a ski resort and two towns called called Elkton and Mcgaheysville (pronouced McGackiesville...why? lol) which have some seriously beautiful views and are way more rural if you're looking to get away from development. I found a little tour video of Harrisonburg online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Lhj0u_EF0

Before I would choose Waynesboro, I would would live in Staunton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7VA1-cjuk4) or Crozet, which are both 20 min away in opposite directions. My impression of Waynesboro is just a town of chain shops and restaurants with little to no culture. I've never lived there but that's my opinion anyway, since you asked for it. I used to work in Fishersville which is quite close...and very similar to Waynesboro. I was not impressed. There's one main downtown street...idk I think I wouldn't care to live there. The big talk of my coworkers who lived in that town a few years ago was that Moe's Southwest Grill was opening which is not high on my priority list.

My personal ranked order for Virginia out of the towns I would consider (cost of living is a factor that pushes some areas lower on the list) are: Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ik9bfTXrKw), Williamsburg, VA Beach, and my Northern VA (NOVA) choice is Old Town, Alexandria. Side note: I chose that city because if you're going to live in the NOVA craziness, might as well do it right. I'm not really a suburb/stripmall fan (which basically describes NOVA in a nutshell) That particular neighborhood in Alexandria is amazing as far as quality of living.Super historic, walk everywhere, right on the river, easy metro into DC, dogs are everywhere, everyone jogs, the restaurants are out of this world, fun free events going on all the time,  boating and paddleboarding are awesome, fireworks for national holidays....aka $$$$$$$$$$$ aka out of my price range.

I definitely have to agree with most of what you said. Especially your correct identification Alexandria as the only place to be in NoVA.

What's really frustrating about a lot of the central VA places is that they've rebuilt their schools out on the edge of town. That means kids are either driven or bused, with rare exceptions. As someone who grew up biking home for lunch, that's a tough pill to swallow. Staunton, in particular, seem to have fallen for this particular mistake. I can't speak for Roanoke. In Staunton I suppose you could send your kids to private school instead, but that's not cheap, and I'm not sure it's something I'd want to do, either.

Parizade

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #232 on: January 17, 2018, 04:13:34 PM »

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.

I would have remained blissfully unaware of the problems of blacks in the Twin Cities if I didn't have any black friends. But a woman I used to work with (she was my manager actually) and have remained friends with is now employed by the City of Minneapolis and it's her job to analyze and address the racial inequities. I have learned from her, and other black friends, to at least try to see things from their point of view.

yuka

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #233 on: January 17, 2018, 10:36:13 PM »

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.

I would have remained blissfully unaware of the problems of blacks in the Twin Cities if I didn't have any black friends. But a woman I used to work with (she was my manager actually) and have remained friends with is now employed by the City of Minneapolis and it's her job to analyze and address the racial inequities. I have learned from her, and other black friends, to at least try to see things from their point of view.

This is a nice statement and sentiment, and I see that it's related, but it in no way addresses what I said. In a way, your response is to my comment what the fluff piece's title is to its contents.

Parizade

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #234 on: January 18, 2018, 07:04:47 AM »

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.

I would have remained blissfully unaware of the problems of blacks in the Twin Cities if I didn't have any black friends. But a woman I used to work with (she was my manager actually) and have remained friends with is now employed by the City of Minneapolis and it's her job to analyze and address the racial inequities. I have learned from her, and other black friends, to at least try to see things from their point of view.

This is a nice statement and sentiment, and I see that it's related, but it in no way addresses what I said. In a way, your response is to my comment what the fluff piece's title is to its contents.

Fine yuka, what measurable criteria would you use then to judge which cities are the worst for blacks?

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #235 on: January 18, 2018, 08:05:28 AM »
I hate to be "that guy", but there's a much more appropriate location for this kind of discussion.    Would you be willing to take it there, so we don't clutter up this thread with the debate?

Parizade

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #236 on: January 18, 2018, 08:30:20 AM »
I hate to be "that guy", but there's a much more appropriate location for this kind of discussion.    Would you be willing to take it there, so we don't clutter up this thread with the debate?
Excellent suggestion. Go for it yuka

Shinplaster

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #237 on: February 06, 2018, 11:08:02 AM »
Jordan - Kenoryn's review of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada seems to be missing on the main index page.   Reply #87.   

I was glad to stumble across it since Peterborough is on our short list of places to move to.  Good review Kenoryn.

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #238 on: February 06, 2018, 03:21:08 PM »
Jordan - Kenoryn's review of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada seems to be missing on the main index page.   Reply #87.   

I was glad to stumble across it since Peterborough is on our short list of places to move to.  Good review Kenoryn.

Good catch. I've fixed it.

freya

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #239 on: February 13, 2018, 08:45:31 AM »
Can I add a request for Juneau, Alaska?

Other Alaskan locations (Anchorage, Seward) appreciated also.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #240 on: February 13, 2018, 07:53:53 PM »
Can I add a request for Juneau, Alaska?

Other Alaskan locations (Anchorage, Seward) appreciated also.

@SisterX  not sure where you were in Alaska. @Allie also not sure on you. But I figured Alaska knowledge in general was a good start in case you have any input =)

SisterX

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #241 on: February 14, 2018, 12:30:06 PM »
Can I add a request for Juneau, Alaska?

Other Alaskan locations (Anchorage, Seward) appreciated also.

@SisterX  not sure where you were in Alaska. @Allie also not sure on you. But I figured Alaska knowledge in general was a good start in case you have any input =)

I was in the interior, so far away from these places, but I've been to all of them. Not sure how helpful that is. Juneau: I know it's very rainy, more like Seattle than what you typically think of for AK. Lots of fishing, cruise ships and tourism in the summer. Surrounded by mountainous terrain, I think there's great hiking around there.

Anchorage is...Anchorage. Being the biggest city and with large military bases it gets the most outsiders. Hence, driving in the area can be treacherous because there are the most people who have no idea how to drive in Alaskan conditions, and the most people who are there but don't actually want to be there. But it also has the most amenities. (Costco!) It's a good hub because you can go anywhere by either road or air, and a good start to 'the Alaskan experience'. You'll either find out that you love AK and want to stay there forever or you'll quickly realize that you hate everything about it. (There is no in-between.) It's also surrounded by mountains and it's close to a downhill skiing resort, if that's your thing.

I've only visited Seward in the summer but it's beautiful. Nice small-ish town, with lots and lots and LOTS of tourists in the summer because the cruise ships stop there. I'll ask my spouse for his take, since he grew up close enough to there to know more than I do.

If you're moving to Alaska, have a plan for how you'll get out during the winter. Some kind of sport that requires you to suck it up and go out in the cold or rain or whatever can be crucial to staving off cabin fever. The people who hate it tend to be the ones who say it's cold and dark and who never leave the house unless they have to.

HipGnosis

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #242 on: March 01, 2018, 01:45:30 PM »
Is there an actual guide for the act / process of relocating (once a destination has been researched and decided)?!?!   

jordanread

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #243 on: March 01, 2018, 01:58:00 PM »
Is there an actual guide for the act / process of relocating (once a destination has been researched and decided)?!?!

Nothing like that I'm aware of, but we can create one. It won't be pinned, but it could happen.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #244 on: March 01, 2018, 04:06:22 PM »
Is there an actual guide for the act / process of relocating (once a destination has been researched and decided)?!?!

Are you thinking more of how to move, or how to set up life in a new city?

Here's some good "how to move" blog posts:
https://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/06/05/our-15-frugal-moving-tips/
https://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/17/moving-wait-before-you-renovate/

And an article on setting up a life in a new city (geared toward young and single though):
https://thoughtcatalog.com/dory-trimble/2014/02/7-ways-to-build-a-life-in-a-new-city/

Sister C

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #245 on: March 02, 2018, 08:38:11 PM »
Buffalo, NY, USA

Average housing cost: Houses in Buffalo are ridiculously affordable.  Urban revitalization is 20-30 years behind many other cities, so there are still great deals to be had on many desirable blocks/neighborhoods in the city.  There are even better deals if you are willing to do some fixing up.  I bought my house in 2009 for 62K on a graduate student's stipend.  Prices on my block have risen over the past 9 years and with improvements today it would be more like 175k, but you can find comparable deals nearby. It's a double (an upper 3 bedroom apartment and a lower 3 bedroom apartment) so we have rental income to pay our mortgage.  Both double and single family houses are easy to find in the city. 

Indoor Hobbies: The local colleges and universities host literary events, concerts, low cost sports games etc.  The science museum has a nice indoor play space for young kids.  The public library system is so-so in terms of books available, facilities and fees.  I was spoiled with great free libraries growing up out west, and I find it ridiculous that the system here charges 25 cents per book.  You can buy a community membership to Buffalo State University which allows you to access the SUNY library system if you don't have student/faculty/staff access.  You can also sign up for one class a semester to access cheap student health insurance.

Outdoor Hobbies: Hiking (more like walking in the woods), canoeing and kayaking, sailing, cycling.  You can travel about 3 hours to the Finger Lakes for hiking, or 4-6 to Alqonquin National Park in Ontario or the Adirondacks.  There is an Olmstead Park System which hosts Shakespeare in the Park.  We have a Slow Roll organization which hosts neighborhood bike rides which are a great way to see the city and build community.  There is a botanical garden and a zoo.  There are some community gardens, although they are not all that easy to access.

Weather: Warm in the summer, cold in the winter, moderate amount of snow.  Buffalo has a reputation for huge snow storms, but since it's lake effect snow generally the southern suburbs get blasted while the city itself gets a reasonable amount of snow.  For a while I enjoyed a year-round walking commute which I highly recommend.  Spring is short and fall is beautiful.  Lake Erie moderates our weather, making the city warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than much of New York, Massachusetts etc.

Favorite things:  The people and the cost of living.  Buffalo's motto is "The City of Good Neighbors" and it is absolutely true.  Your neighbors will go out of their way to help you - snow shoveling, cat sitting, tool lending, lending a hand with house and garden projects, little thoughtful things, big thoughtful things - like the time our downstairs neighbor (who we had known for 4 months and who was cat sitting while we were at my father in law's funeral out of state) put together some furniture that arrived while we were gone.  Cost of living is low, especially housing.  For those with kids, there is a program called Say Yes Buffalo which pays full college tuition for graduates of the public school system at a variety of public and private universities (including some Ivy League schools).  It's easy to get around the area in a car, and there is a surprisingly good airport for this size town.  Overall, I'd say Buffalo is an easy place to live.  It's also easy to get to Toronto, which is one of my favorite cities.  When I first moved to Buffalo I used to joke that the best thing about Buffalo was that it's about an hour and a half away from Toronto, but I have since been been charmed by the city :)

Least favorite things: Winter lasts a long time and is windy.  Navigating the public school system is a pain.  The area is racially and economically segregated, although parts of the city is more integrated.  Connections really matter in this town, enhancing racial and economic disparities. It's a big drinking town. Public infrastructure isn't supported (libraries, parks, transportation).  There aren't many neighborhood parks, which matters to me more now that I have a young child.  Newcomers will notice that most things in Buffalo are 10-30 years behind the rest of the country.  For instance it's not yet standard for businesses to have websites/an internet presence with accurate hours.   

'Must Try': Architecture tours.  Buffalo has some beautiful architecture dating from the mid-late 1800s.  There are also several Frank Lloyd Wright houses.  There is a large Garden Walk every July which began as a neighborhood revitalization effort and is a great chance see pretty gardens, catch up on what your neighbors are up to and swap garden tips.  Kayaking through the old shipping harbors is pretty cool.

Stupid ordinances/laws: Parking regulations are poorly signed and inconsistent block by block.  There is alternate street parking which makes sense for winter plowing but not for summer.  They say that it's to allow street sweeping in the summer but I haven't seen much benefit and it has not been a thing in other towns I have lived in. 

Words of wisdom/Advice: Renting first is a good idea as the character of blocks can vary widely within neighborhoods.  If you have kids, there can be good options within Buffalo Public Schools but it's a lottery system and you will want to familiarize yourself with time frames/procedures.  Make friends with lifelong Buffalonians who know how this town works.  Connections matter in this town and people are unabashed about helping their connections get what they need, from jobs to schools to timely car repairs to more mundane and bureaucratic matters.

Sustainability options: There is municipal recycling, but no municipal composting.  Solar is an option.  There is not much support for biking but hopefully this will change with the implementation of a complete streets policy.  Affordable organic vegetables and meat (not USDA certified) are available through a local CSA, with work share options available.

Sister C

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #246 on: March 09, 2018, 11:35:29 AM »
Another Idaho request- Pocatello, anyone?

going2ER

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #247 on: April 18, 2018, 01:06:41 PM »
I'd like some recommendations on small towns in southern Florida. Looking for low crime and laid back, we don't need anything fancy. We're planning on visiting south Florida, but would like some pointers on where to start.

Our ideal place to retire would be on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, but Florida would be much cheaper for us.

Ecky

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #248 on: May 14, 2018, 12:57:22 PM »
Kindof a specific request, but any recommendations for:
-Not too big - let's say <100k people
-Cool summers and lower average humidity
-Preferably at least moderate sunshine throughout the year, at least not PNW grey
-"Left" leaning (e.g. LGBTQ friendly)
-Decent opportunity/cost:income

My partner has a chronic illness which makes high heat index very difficult. Currently in Burlington VT (which I like pretty well!) and while the summers here are fine, I wouldn't want to go much warmer unless it's dryer too, and a little cooler would be better. I think what makes this possible is that cold winters are not a problem. I would prefer a bit more sunshine and lower cost of living.

Nice city heat index list:
http://www.bertsperling.com/2013/07/02/sizzling-cities-ranked-our-new-heat-index/

From that list, like some possible areas with compatible weather include much of Colorado, Wyoming, Montanna, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, New York. If we were to move, I'd personally want to get away from the high-COL and grey skies of the northeast, and would be reluctant to trade them for the reportedly oft-grey skies of the cities west of the Cascades. Most of California is probably on the expensive side too. Mountains and a lake or ocean are a plus.

Asking not because we're unhappy here, but just curious where else might be good.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 12:59:27 PM by Ecky »

Retyrebye50

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Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
« Reply #249 on: July 09, 2018, 09:21:42 AM »
I would like to put in a request for the following cities:
Huntsville, AL
Fort Mill, SC
Gainesville, FL