Author Topic: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina  (Read 4325 times)

flores_o85

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Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« on: October 05, 2018, 09:13:42 PM »
MOD NOTE: Merged duplicate topics.

Like the title says I am thinking of moving either to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina from Southern California. I would like to know which state you recommend moving to and why. It will be my girl friend and 3 kids. My situation “catch 22” the house where we live in was bought for us by my parents in March of 2012 it is not paid for we have been paying for it ever since, the down payment was put down by my parents. The price was $340,000 the deposit was $130,000 the house is now worth $600,000 so the plan was to file a quit claim deed and put the house under our name might still might happen not sure depending on if/when we move. Now I am not sure but I “heard” if you have over $500,000 in equity you don’t have to pay back the remaining on the house either way if that is so great if not we were thinking of having my parents sell the house while at the same time they get their $130,000 loan back and we move out of state. With the remaining I was thinking of buying a house cash and invest the rest.
Background….
ME: Associates of Science in HVACR (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Refrigeration)
I no longer do HVACR it was during the recession and now I am in the Manufacturing Industry job title Machinist and have been doing it for a year now. Went through a 7 month schooling training program for Machinist.

HER: Bachelors in Business Administration
Currently works in a call center started off as an operator, then moved up to lead, supervisor, assistant manager and now currently the manager. Some of her expertise includes accounts management, product management, employee management, billing, quality management.

I would like to get your input as far as what you would do or recommend and also like I mentioned earlier what state and why. Any feedback would be highly appreciated thank you.

Why am I moving cost of living very high and traffic is unbearable! weather really do not believe it will bother me just looking for a place where I can live and afford.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 12:28:49 PM by arebelspy »

flores_o85

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Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2018, 12:07:46 PM »
Hope this is a better thread to post at.

Like the title says I am thinking of moving either to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina from Southern California. I would like to know which state you recommend moving to and why. It will be my girl friend and 3 kids. My situation “catch 22” the house where we live in was bought for us by my parents in March of 2012 it is not paid for we have been paying for it ever since, the down payment was put down by my parents. The price was $340,000 the deposit was $130,000 the house is now worth $600,000 so the plan was to file a quit claim deed and put the house under our name might still might happen not sure depending on if/when we move. Now I am not sure but I “heard” if you have over $500,000 in equity you don’t have to pay back the remaining on the house either way if that is so great if not we were thinking of having my parents sell the house while at the same time they get their $130,000 loan back and we move out of state. With the remaining I was thinking of buying a house cash and invest the rest.
Background….
ME: Associates of Science in HVACR (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Refrigeration)
I no longer do HVACR it was during the recession and now I am in the Manufacturing Industry job title Machinist and have been doing it for a year now. Went through a 7 month schooling training program for Machinist.

HER: Bachelors in Business Administration
Currently works in a call center started off as an operator, then moved up to lead, supervisor, assistant manager and now currently the manager. Some of her expertise includes accounts management, product management, employee management, billing, quality management.

I would like to get your input as far as what you would do or recommend and also like I mentioned earlier what state and why. Any feedback would be highly appreciated thank you.

Why am I moving cost of living very high and traffic is unbearable! weather really do not believe it will bother me just looking for a place where I can live and afford.

Thought I would add since many are asking.
Texas cities to live in I have only thought of 2 Houston and Austin. Do not want to have my house flooded. Still considering other cities but those 2 are the main ones.
Iowa - Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dyeresville, Dubuque.
Idaho - Im thinking Boise but all I hear is Boise nothing outside of that??
North Carolina - Yes Raleigh not sure what other cities would have to do my homework first and see what other cities.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 02:42:22 PM by flores_o85 »

accolay

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2018, 12:22:21 PM »
What are you goals? Why only those four states? Why not talk to the bank about options for the house? Are you from Southern California? The weather is a lot different in Idaho than there. Just sayin' maybe you don't know what you're getting into if you're not used to 6 months of cold/cool months a year.

Are you only looking for a lower cost of living but has good jobs and no traffic? You're wife is good with this plan or are you moving without her?

Need more info. Why not do a case study?

G-dog

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2018, 12:46:43 PM »
Those four states are very different! I live in one of them, so could advise to some degree.

What are you looking in a place to live?

You may find this dataset interesting. You can compare data between states.

https://datausa.io/

Soccermom2b

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 01:34:25 PM »
I’ve lived in one of those states, have relatives in two others and have never been to the 4th.  Think it depends greatly on what your goals are, what you are looking for, and what kind of support system (family, friends) you have in each.  Also, each part of the three states I’m familiar with are vastly different than each and you pretty much can find whatever you are looking for in all (just depends greatly on what that is.

One or two of them do not have income tax, if you care about that.  Imagine there are good schools in all four, depending on where you live.

use2betrix

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2018, 02:33:48 PM »
I spent about 17 years in Iowa, around 4? In Texas, and about 6 months in South Carolina, which is very similar to NC.

These states have HUGE differences amongst each other, and even within them. Austin TX is a huge difference from Beaumont TX. Des Moines, IA is a huge difference between Emmetsburg, IA.

Do you have better ideas of cities within these states? Big city or small town?

I am usually stuck down south due to work, but I hate the heat. In TX, I do love Austin and San Antonio. Unfortunately that’s not usually where my work is.

IMO, in terms of people, I feel like the northern Midwest is one of the best parts of the country to raise a family.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2018, 02:36:10 PM »
What are you goals? Why only those four states? Why not talk to the bank about options for the house? Are you from Southern California? The weather is a lot different in Idaho than there. Just sayin' maybe you don't know what you're getting into if you're not used to 6 months of cold/cool months a year.

Are you only looking for a lower cost of living but has good jobs and no traffic? You're wife is good with this plan or are you moving without her?

Need more info. Why not do a case study?

Those are just states I have been looking at online, I have considered/will consider others as well, and yes obviously she is coming as we have kids. I am a Machinist and will resume work in that field. So having a job lined up is important. But yes Low cost of living, jobs, low traffic not implying I be the only one driving in the road.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 02:38:29 PM »
Those four states are very different! I live in one of them, so could advise to some degree.

What are you looking in a place to live?

You may find this dataset interesting. You can compare data between states.

https://datausa.io/

Those are just a few states considered, always open to others but low cost of living a nice home nothing exquisite obviously and jobs more than anything.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 02:39:39 PM »
I’ve lived in one of those states, have relatives in two others and have never been to the 4th.  Think it depends greatly on what your goals are, what you are looking for, and what kind of support system (family, friends) you have in each.  Also, each part of the three states I’m familiar with are vastly different than each and you pretty much can find whatever you are looking for in all (just depends greatly on what that is.

One or two of them do not have income tax, if you care about that.  Imagine there are good schools in all four, depending on where you live.

Will consider other states, but low cost of living as California is WAY too expensive. So low cost of living and work.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 02:43:00 PM »
I spent about 17 years in Iowa, around 4? In Texas, and about 6 months in South Carolina, which is very similar to NC.

These states have HUGE differences amongst each other, and even within them. Austin TX is a huge difference from Beaumont TX. Des Moines, IA is a huge difference between Emmetsburg, IA.

Do you have better ideas of cities within these states? Big city or small town?

I am usually stuck down south due to work, but I hate the heat. In TX, I do love Austin and San Antonio. Unfortunately that’s not usually where my work is.

IMO, in terms of people, I feel like the northern Midwest is one of the best parts of the country to raise a family.

Thought I would add since many are asking.
Texas cities to live in I have only thought of 2 Houston and Austin. Do not want to have my house flooded. Still considering other cities but those 2 are the main ones.
Iowa - Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dyeresville, Dubuque.
Idaho - Im thinking Boise but all I hear is Boise nothing outside of that??
North Carolina - Yes Raleigh not sure what other cities would have to do my homework first and see what other cities.

NV Teacher

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 02:51:18 PM »
Idaho could be a challenge because the predominant religion is Mormon.  Many of the smaller towns and communities are so set to the Mormon customs that it can be very difficult for others to live there and be accepted, especially children. 

Indexer

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2018, 03:19:33 PM »
I don't have a lot on the other states, but if you are looking at NC check Charlotte and Asheville.

Charlotte is the business capital of NC. You should both have easy times finding high paying jobs in Charlotte. Your GF in particular, with her resume, should be looking at dozens of potential employers large and small. Charlotte is also a lot of fun with plenty to do, and it's within a 2 hour drive of the mountains and 3 1/2 hour drive of multiple coastal cities.

Asheville is the iconic cool mountain town. If you like hiking, snow boarding, white water rafting, etc. then Asheville is the place to be. While it's a great place to live it's probably going to have less job opportunities than Charlotte, but still with a similar cost of living.


Raleigh is nice, but given your skill sets I think you would both have easier times finding jobs in Charlotte. Raleigh has a lot of large universities and it's the capital so plenty of government jobs as well.

Cost of living: All three will be high compared to other parts of NC, but they are probably cheap compared to Southern cal.

Note about the southeast, all three of these cities will be pretty humid in the summer. Charlotte and Raleigh summers can see extended periods over 90 with occasional highs over 100. 100 with humidity is a lot different than a dry 100. Asheville, being in the mountains, will normally be 10-15 degrees cooler.

If it was me, work in Charlotte to speed up FIRE, then move to Asheville post FIRE.

G-dog

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2018, 03:31:37 PM »
Well, almost anything will seem like low cost of living compared to SoCal. I am in Iowa. Cost of housing varies a lot between the cities/towns you have listed.

Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are likely more expensive than Dubuque, I assume Syersviked is cheaper than Dubuque.  All except Dyersville will likely have everything you want regarding a Big box stores, other shopping, etc. start picking the smaller places and potentially start adding more travel for shopping, entertainment, etc.

If you have to / want to travel (fly), you may want to be closer to an airport. Flights out of smaller airports are going to have fewer options and cost more. Suck most of your travel points just getting to a hub.

Asheville, NC gets rave reviews for quality of life.

Milizard

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2018, 03:42:05 PM »
You both should easily get jobs in Holland, MI, and it's LCOL, as well as very easy traffic, but you would have to deal with snow.  You probably need to come up with more criteria as a group, and go from there.

use2betrix

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2018, 05:32:26 PM »
I spent about 17 years in Iowa, around 4? In Texas, and about 6 months in South Carolina, which is very similar to NC.

These states have HUGE differences amongst each other, and even within them. Austin TX is a huge difference from Beaumont TX. Des Moines, IA is a huge difference between Emmetsburg, IA.

Do you have better ideas of cities within these states? Big city or small town?

I am usually stuck down south due to work, but I hate the heat. In TX, I do love Austin and San Antonio. Unfortunately that’s not usually where my work is.

IMO, in terms of people, I feel like the northern Midwest is one of the best parts of the country to raise a family.

Thought I would add since many are asking.
Texas cities to live in I have only thought of 2 Houston and Austin. Do not want to have my house flooded. Still considering other cities but those 2 are the main ones.
Iowa - Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dyeresville, Dubuque.
Idaho - Im thinking Boise but all I hear is Boise nothing outside of that??
North Carolina - Yes Raleigh not sure what other cities would have to do my homework first and see what other cities.

I have lived in Houston a lot due to work and don’t feel like it has a lot to offer aside from its sheer size. It has everything most big cities have but nothing that sets it apart. I would consider San Antonio and Dallas over Houston.

In Iowa, I would also suggest checking out Ames. My top 3 Iowa choices, in no particular order, would be Des Moines, Ames, and Iowa City. I’m not a fan of Cedar Rapids, nor many of the cities on the east part of the state.

Have you considered Minnesota at all? Minneapolis and Saint Paul would be high on my list. I like Mankato a lot as well. There’s many more beautiful cities in Minnesota. Same goes for Wisconsin.

swampwiz

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2018, 07:33:36 PM »
Why am I moving cost of living very high and traffic is unbearable! weather really do not believe it will bother me just looking for a place where I can live and afford.

Thought I would add since many are asking.
Texas cities to live in I have only thought of 2 Houston and Austin. Do not want to have my house flooded. Still considering other cities but those 2 are the main ones.
Iowa - Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dyeresville, Dubuque.
Idaho - Im thinking Boise but all I hear is Boise nothing outside of that??
North Carolina - Yes Raleigh not sure what other cities would have to do my homework first and see what other cities.

Certainly, HVAC is a necessary business in TX & NC.  Austin is nice, but there is a bit of a traffic problem, although not like a super big city ... like Houston.  Have you thought of Dallas?

There's not much of any decent sized cities in ID other than Boise, although Coeur d'Alene is really like an exurb of Spokane, WA.  There is also Moscow, ID. which is a small university town.  The mountains in ID are gorgeous.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 07:35:31 PM by swampwiz »

Telecaster

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2018, 07:48:18 PM »
Idaho could be a challenge because the predominant religion is Mormon.  Many of the smaller towns and communities are so set to the Mormon customs that it can be very difficult for others to live there and be accepted, especially children.

Idaho is about 20% Mormon.  Smaller towns in southern Idaho might be on the order of 85%, but the rest of the state isn't really like that. 

G-dog

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2018, 08:09:50 PM »
I think Moscow, ID is also close to the WA borde (neR Pullman, WA), and is a university town.

What about Tucson or Flagstaff AZ?

M2 pilot

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2018, 08:10:04 PM »
I've lived in NC all my life. Good place to be in many ways. In my experience, the further from the cities you get, the more conservative the population.  My son has lived in Raleigh for around 10 years now & loves it. Generally, most of NC east of Raleigh is pretty backwards.
My last ex wife lives in Boone & likes it pretty well.

I don't know much about Iowa.  I had a good friend who lived in north central IA & he stressed how dangerously cold the winters could be.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 08:11:45 PM by M2 pilot »

G-dog

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2018, 08:18:37 PM »
I've lived in NC all my life. Good place to be in many ways. In my experience, the further from the cities you get, the more conservative the population.  My son has lived in Raleigh for around 10 years now & loves it. Generally, most of NC east of Raleigh is pretty backwards.
My last ex wife lives in Boone & likes it pretty well.

I don't know much about Iowa.  I had a good friend who lived in north central IA & he stressed how dangerously cold the winters could be.

Well, compared to NC, for sure. But not really unusually cold. Last year around NYE was really nasty. But we haven’t consistently had cold like that for many years. The winters during the 1970s and early 1980s were much more brutal. They have much milder in the last 20 or so years - but any year can be different.

Certainly will be a learning experience for anyone moving from someplace that rarely goes below freezing in the winter.  Our winters (and summers) do keep HVAC folks busy.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2018, 08:24:19 PM »
I'm modestly familiar with Coer d Alene Idaho and Houston TX
Getting very familiar with the Raleigh area.

(I've lived in many other areas of Texas and spent a considerable amount of time in WA state).

I'm sure you've already looked up the numbers but the tax hit would be like this:
Highest to Lowest-
CA
IA
ID
NC
TX

Houston probably has the most humid summer weather and someone coming from Southern California may not be ready for that level of humidity unless you live right along the coast in San Diego...often the daytime high and the nighttime low in the summer may be only 10 degrees different such as 95 during the day and 85 at night.

Idaho will be a shock for you (very, very frigid for a Southern CA native, lots of snow - I think they've already had a snowfall or two by now, and while in Idaho they may think they have a decent amount of sun, it will feel somewhat cloudy and grey during the entire winter and part of early spring to someone from Southern California unless, once again, you lived on the coast and dealt with the Marine Layer taking your sun away).

North Carolina summers in Raleigh will also be abominably humid for anyone who is used to the very dry areas of Southern Cali, and you have never experienced bugs like they have in NC.  I think I encountered fewer bugs in the rainforests of Central America as compared to what I run into daily in the Raleigh area.

I don't think you'll save too much on housing costs going to Austin.  Last time I checked it was a medium-high cost of living.  In Houston, you can find many areas at many price points.

I know nothing about Iowa.

I do know that the produce tends to be much fresher and more affordable in Southern California than the few places I've lived on the East Coast (NC, VA, DC, GA). 

Having said all those negative things about the SouthEast - I really like living in the Raleigh area.  The housing is lower medium cost...but competition for the reasonably priced homes has been fierce (sub $400K goes fast...we bought a sub $300K home in Cary that is 3bdrm/2.5bath as a fixer upper, everything in decent condition at this price point was being snatched up.  On the other hand, there are plenty of homes for less than $300K in Garner, Fuquay and North Raleigh and these tend to be around 2000sq ft 3 or 4 bdrm).  The trails, forests, and animal life population is amazing and may surprise you if you are from any of the more desert regions of Southern CA like LA to Riverside area).

Here is our cost of living in Cary NC:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/those-of-you-with-$200k-income-whats-your-typical-monthly-spending-like/msg2126633/#msg2126633
Add 5.49% (flat) income tax
Property Taxes are roughly 0.8% of the home value yearly

There are many great outdoor activities nearby (bond park has a little lake/reservoir where you can rent mini sailboats or bring your kayak and many miles of trails; lake crabtree is also a nice place for fishing or boating...and if you want to use a powerboat or have a really big lake for kayaking you go to Jordan lake about a 45 minute drive to the West of Cary).  Many of the bike paths connect through the city, the downtown area is still mid-revitalization but they have some cute shops there and two performing arts theaters (The Cary and Cary Arts Center).  In 2019 a new library will open effectively doubling the size of the prior library and around the library/downtown park area they have concerts of various different genres of music I believe twice a week throughout the summer.  A few other nearby shopping and mall areas also have summer performances every week.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2018, 08:25:43 PM »
I've lived in two out of those four states.

Texas - I lived there for 2.5 years in Dallas/Plano. Loved it. There is no income tax, so on average (5%?) savings already. The weather was good for me - I hate snowy winters. It's a flat land and the city was metropolitan and had all the facilities needed for us (like direct flights to various international destinations etc.).

North Carolina - Currently living in NC for nearly 4 years in & around Triangle area (Raleigh/Durham). It's a pleasant place to live, a lot of greenery and weather is pretty good as well. There are so many employers in this area, so job market is very good. Decent place to retire.

My choice between Raleigh, NC, and Dallas, TX would be the latter. one for zero state income tax and second its a bigger city. Good luck !!!!

gggggg

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2018, 08:26:19 PM »
I was born in and still live on the outskirts of Raleigh NC. State employee in the downtown area. Raleigh is fine, but is a little "vanilla" or plain for a capital city. Humitidy is brutal in the summer (and can be in the spring and fall as well). The area has many universities, but NC's public K-12 system probably ranks pretty far down compared to other places. COL can be low or highish, depending on your taste. I live in a low COL house/area (by choice). If you get outside the triangle (Raleigh, Durham, chapel hill), or Charlotte, you will quickly be in farming/southern conservative land (I am a southern moderate, so not bashing). Right now, NC is republican, but has traditionally been conservative democrat.

Noodle

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2018, 08:53:24 PM »
What makes Houston a great city is the people, not the scenery or architecture. It's incredibly diverse, and the vast majority of people that I have met here are very warm and friendly. Since you have to be here awhile, or know a local, to really get to know it, it can be pretty opaque to visitors. The food is also amazing.

The downsides of Houston are the weather (heat, humidity, flooding) and traffic. One upside to the massive flooding during Hurricane Harvey is that it gives you a good idea as to what does and doesn't flood based on actual experience rather than badly outdated maps. Housing prices are higher than a lot of places but would probably look pretty reasonable compared to California.

Idaho is pretty cheap and has some really stunning wilderness areas. However, it's got less diversity and the focus on low taxation means that government services can be pretty scanty. Also, once you get outside Boise, you would be traveling pretty far distances for even mid-tier medical treatment or airport access.

use2betrix

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2018, 08:54:40 PM »
One thing to consider about Texas, while it doesn’t have state income tax, if you plan on owning a home, the property taxes are some of the highest in the country. On a $300k house you will likely be spending $500/mo or more on property taxes.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2018, 08:59:54 PM »
I noticed someone mentioned medical for another area so I though I'd mention for NC Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), there is quite a great medical system in the area due to having the three major universities.

Another advantage is that if your children go to one of the three area schools, you can probably let them live at home and avoid room&board costs for college (a not insignificant yearly savings that is usually higher than the tuition itself).

Traffic in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is fairly light compared to Los Angeles area, even if the locals think it is bad around here, it really isn't at all.  My worst complaint about the local traffic is the people in the really poor condition cars seem to be the ones who flaunt all the traffic rules (I guess they have nothing to lose as they drive like it).  I have seen at least 10 or so people (since I moved here this past summer and I work from home so I am rarely on the roads) run through an intersection doing a left turn when they did not have a green arrow and there was oncoming traffic.  Lucky for those people, the other drivers were cognizant of the crazy antics and prevented an accident.

LSUFanTX

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2018, 09:05:44 PM »
People like to badmouth Houston but it is not a bad place to live. Houston is a lot more than oil companies.

Pros:
Lots of jobs in most every field. Obviously you wouldn't have issues finding HVAC work here.
Relatively low cost of living (although real estate prices have increased quite a bit in the last five years, especially inside the loop near downtown)
No state income tax
Great restaurant scene
Underrated museums and arts
Very diverse population. Sizable Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian populations in addition to white, black, and Hispanic.

Cons:
Insane property taxes (~2.5% in city of Houston and sometimes 4%+ in the new developments in the burbs)
Pitiful public transit
Traffic everywhere
Heat and humidity from early April through October.

Definitely check disclosures to make sure you don't buy a flood house, but even during Harvey the vast majority of homes did not flood.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2018, 09:33:15 PM »
The OP seems to be looking for Machinist jobs.

The OP stated that HVACR is no longer their profession, but it is probably a decent fall back plan to have for any of the southern states on the list.

I have a few friends that get paid quite well in the Dallas area as machinists.  It wouldn't surprise me if you could find similar in the Houston area.

From what I remember, the oil companies in the area hire more on the R&D, Engineering and business sides in Houston and most of the skilled work is out at various locations across the US.

TexasRunner

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2018, 12:38:19 PM »
ME: Associates of Science in HVACR (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Refrigeration)
I no longer do HVACR it was during the recession and now I am in the Manufacturing Industry job title Machinist and have been doing it for a year now. Went through a 7 month schooling training program for Machinist.

If you are willing to go back into HVAC, journeyman in Texas makes 80k+ and Master makes 130k+ and then some with the right employer or stand-alone.  Consider going back to that. 

If you want to stick with machinist, pay isn't nearly as good but there is plenty of work.  Adjusted for inflation a machinist made 120k+ in 1970...  today its around 35k on the machinist side and 40k on the CNC programmer side.  And people wonder why some take offense to globalism...

Can't speak towards the other states.  Keep climate in mind, but it looks like everywhere on your list is hot and humid.

Good luck!

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #29 on: October 09, 2018, 06:15:50 PM »
ME: Associates of Science in HVACR (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Refrigeration)
I no longer do HVACR it was during the recession and now I am in the Manufacturing Industry job title Machinist and have been doing it for a year now. Went through a 7 month schooling training program for Machinist.

If you are willing to go back into HVAC, journeyman in Texas makes 80k+ and Master makes 130k+ and then some with the right employer or stand-alone.  Consider going back to that. 

If you want to stick with machinist, pay isn't nearly as good but there is plenty of work.  Adjusted for inflation a machinist made 120k+ in 1970...  today its around 35k on the machinist side and 40k on the CNC programmer side.  And people wonder why some take offense to globalism...

Can't speak towards the other states.  Keep climate in mind, but it looks like everywhere on your list is hot and humid.

Good luck!

Cool thanks ill keep it in mind.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2018, 06:17:40 PM »
I don't have a lot on the other states, but if you are looking at NC check Charlotte and Asheville.

Charlotte is the business capital of NC. You should both have easy times finding high paying jobs in Charlotte. Your GF in particular, with her resume, should be looking at dozens of potential employers large and small. Charlotte is also a lot of fun with plenty to do, and it's within a 2 hour drive of the mountains and 3 1/2 hour drive of multiple coastal cities.

Asheville is the iconic cool mountain town. If you like hiking, snow boarding, white water rafting, etc. then Asheville is the place to be. While it's a great place to live it's probably going to have less job opportunities than Charlotte, but still with a similar cost of living.


Raleigh is nice, but given your skill sets I think you would both have easier times finding jobs in Charlotte. Raleigh has a lot of large universities and it's the capital so plenty of government jobs as well.

Cost of living: All three will be high compared to other parts of NC, but they are probably cheap compared to Southern cal.

Note about the southeast, all three of these cities will be pretty humid in the summer. Charlotte and Raleigh summers can see extended periods over 90 with occasional highs over 100. 100 with humidity is a lot different than a dry 100. Asheville, being in the mountains, will normally be 10-15 degrees cooler.

If it was me, work in Charlotte to speed up FIRE, then move to Asheville post FIRE.

umm...... how would you speed up F.I.R.E.? my plan is to eventually buy a house but with the little bit of money I may have from selling the house to invest that money and like I said eventually buy.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2018, 06:18:40 PM »
Well, almost anything will seem like low cost of living compared to SoCal. I am in Iowa. Cost of housing varies a lot between the cities/towns you have listed.

Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are likely more expensive than Dubuque, I assume Syersviked is cheaper than Dubuque.  All except Dyersville will likely have everything you want regarding a Big box stores, other shopping, etc. start picking the smaller places and potentially start adding more travel for shopping, entertainment, etc.

If you have to / want to travel (fly), you may want to be closer to an airport. Flights out of smaller airports are going to have fewer options and cost more. Suck most of your travel points just getting to a hub.

Asheville, NC gets rave reviews for quality of life.

I swear NC is winning right now and 2nd runner up is TX.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #32 on: October 09, 2018, 06:19:18 PM »
You both should easily get jobs in Holland, MI, and it's LCOL, as well as very easy traffic, but you would have to deal with snow.  You probably need to come up with more criteria as a group, and go from there.

yeah idk about MI look at Detroit........

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #33 on: October 09, 2018, 06:20:33 PM »
I spent about 17 years in Iowa, around 4? In Texas, and about 6 months in South Carolina, which is very similar to NC.

These states have HUGE differences amongst each other, and even within them. Austin TX is a huge difference from Beaumont TX. Des Moines, IA is a huge difference between Emmetsburg, IA.

Do you have better ideas of cities within these states? Big city or small town?

I am usually stuck down south due to work, but I hate the heat. In TX, I do love Austin and San Antonio. Unfortunately that’s not usually where my work is.

IMO, in terms of people, I feel like the northern Midwest is one of the best parts of the country to raise a family.

Thought I would add since many are asking.
Texas cities to live in I have only thought of 2 Houston and Austin. Do not want to have my house flooded. Still considering other cities but those 2 are the main ones.
Iowa - Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dyeresville, Dubuque.
Idaho - Im thinking Boise but all I hear is Boise nothing outside of that??
North Carolina - Yes Raleigh not sure what other cities would have to do my homework first and see what other cities.

I have lived in Houston a lot due to work and don’t feel like it has a lot to offer aside from its sheer size. It has everything most big cities have but nothing that sets it apart. I would consider San Antonio and Dallas over Houston.

In Iowa, I would also suggest checking out Ames. My top 3 Iowa choices, in no particular order, would be Des Moines, Ames, and Iowa City. I’m not a fan of Cedar Rapids, nor many of the cities on the east part of the state.

Have you considered Minnesota at all? Minneapolis and Saint Paul would be high on my list. I like Mankato a lot as well. There’s many more beautiful cities in Minnesota. Same goes for Wisconsin.

Yes Minnesota as well as Atlanta is another one I have considered, Mankato was a city I was looking at.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2018, 06:21:34 PM »
Idaho could be a challenge because the predominant religion is Mormon.  Many of the smaller towns and communities are so set to the Mormon customs that it can be very difficult for others to live there and be accepted, especially children.

Idaho is about 20% Mormon.  Smaller towns in southern Idaho might be on the order of 85%, but the rest of the state isn't really like that.

So high amount of Mormon so for someone who is not that means.....?

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2018, 06:22:23 PM »
I think Moscow, ID is also close to the WA borde (neR Pullman, WA), and is a university town.

What about Tucson or Flagstaff AZ?

That is a state I have considered.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2018, 06:23:44 PM »
I've lived in NC all my life. Good place to be in many ways. In my experience, the further from the cities you get, the more conservative the population.  My son has lived in Raleigh for around 10 years now & loves it. Generally, most of NC east of Raleigh is pretty backwards.
My last ex wife lives in Boone & likes it pretty well.

I don't know much about Iowa.  I had a good friend who lived in north central IA & he stressed how dangerously cold the winters could be.

NC is the runner up right now and TX seems to be 2nd runner falling behind NC according to the feedback I am getting up the ONLY thing about NC is the KKK............. feel free to elaborate.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2018, 06:26:32 PM »
I'm modestly familiar with Coer d Alene Idaho and Houston TX
Getting very familiar with the Raleigh area.

(I've lived in many other areas of Texas and spent a considerable amount of time in WA state).

I'm sure you've already looked up the numbers but the tax hit would be like this:
Highest to Lowest-
CA
IA
ID
NC
TX

Houston probably has the most humid summer weather and someone coming from Southern California may not be ready for that level of humidity unless you live right along the coast in San Diego...often the daytime high and the nighttime low in the summer may be only 10 degrees different such as 95 during the day and 85 at night.

Idaho will be a shock for you (very, very frigid for a Southern CA native, lots of snow - I think they've already had a snowfall or two by now, and while in Idaho they may think they have a decent amount of sun, it will feel somewhat cloudy and grey during the entire winter and part of early spring to someone from Southern California unless, once again, you lived on the coast and dealt with the Marine Layer taking your sun away).

North Carolina summers in Raleigh will also be abominably humid for anyone who is used to the very dry areas of Southern Cali, and you have never experienced bugs like they have in NC.  I think I encountered fewer bugs in the rainforests of Central America as compared to what I run into daily in the Raleigh area.

I don't think you'll save too much on housing costs going to Austin.  Last time I checked it was a medium-high cost of living.  In Houston, you can find many areas at many price points.

I know nothing about Iowa.

I do know that the produce tends to be much fresher and more affordable in Southern California than the few places I've lived on the East Coast (NC, VA, DC, GA). 

Having said all those negative things about the SouthEast - I really like living in the Raleigh area.  The housing is lower medium cost...but competition for the reasonably priced homes has been fierce (sub $400K goes fast...we bought a sub $300K home in Cary that is 3bdrm/2.5bath as a fixer upper, everything in decent condition at this price point was being snatched up.  On the other hand, there are plenty of homes for less than $300K in Garner, Fuquay and North Raleigh and these tend to be around 2000sq ft 3 or 4 bdrm).  The trails, forests, and animal life population is amazing and may surprise you if you are from any of the more desert regions of Southern CA like LA to Riverside area).

Here is our cost of living in Cary NC:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/those-of-you-with-$200k-income-whats-your-typical-monthly-spending-like/msg2126633/#msg2126633
Add 5.49% (flat) income tax
Property Taxes are roughly 0.8% of the home value yearly

There are many great outdoor activities nearby (bond park has a little lake/reservoir where you can rent mini sailboats or bring your kayak and many miles of trails; lake crabtree is also a nice place for fishing or boating...and if you want to use a powerboat or have a really big lake for kayaking you go to Jordan lake about a 45 minute drive to the West of Cary).  Many of the bike paths connect through the city, the downtown area is still mid-revitalization but they have some cute shops there and two performing arts theaters (The Cary and Cary Arts Center).  In 2019 a new library will open effectively doubling the size of the prior library and around the library/downtown park area they have concerts of various different genres of music I believe twice a week throughout the summer.  A few other nearby shopping and mall areas also have summer performances every week.

sounds like fun!!! NC seems to be getting better reviews then all other states.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2018, 06:27:59 PM »
I've lived in two out of those four states.

Texas - I lived there for 2.5 years in Dallas/Plano. Loved it. There is no income tax, so on average (5%?) savings already. The weather was good for me - I hate snowy winters. It's a flat land and the city was metropolitan and had all the facilities needed for us (like direct flights to various international destinations etc.).

North Carolina - Currently living in NC for nearly 4 years in & around Triangle area (Raleigh/Durham). It's a pleasant place to live, a lot of greenery and weather is pretty good as well. There are so many employers in this area, so job market is very good. Decent place to retire.

My choice between Raleigh, NC, and Dallas, TX would be the latter. one for zero state income tax and second its a bigger city. Good luck !!!!

Giggidy NC does seem to be the runner up so I may plan a vacation there and then decide if I will move there or not.

Milizard

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2018, 06:28:56 PM »
You both should easily get jobs in Holland, MI, and it's LCOL, as well as very easy traffic, but you would have to deal with snow.  You probably need to come up with more criteria as a group, and go from there.

yeah idk about MI look at Detroit........
Detroit isn't MI.  Not even close.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2018, 06:29:47 PM »
I live in a major city in Iowa. (So, still a small city.)
Cost of living here is near identical to myself sister in Fort Worth.  Go more rural and house price drop drastically.  Traffic is the motivator to stay here. I hate going back to Austin, where I grew up, and seeing the traffic there.

We have low unemployment, but I'd find jobs before you come. Lots of low level jobs. Too many PhDs in the area, so I've seen them work in reception! Machinist jobs might be around. We have lots of manufacturing. For a BBA, it would be harder. Geico is near me and they have a huge call center.

Watch for flood zones when looking for a house. We've had a few tragic ones, and just high water tables in some areas. I also think the taxes are insane, in comparison to when I lived in Texas.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 06:36:54 PM by I'm a red panda »

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2018, 06:31:10 PM »
What makes Houston a great city is the people, not the scenery or architecture. It's incredibly diverse, and the vast majority of people that I have met here are very warm and friendly. Since you have to be here awhile, or know a local, to really get to know it, it can be pretty opaque to visitors. The food is also amazing.

The downsides of Houston are the weather (heat, humidity, flooding) and traffic. One upside to the massive flooding during Hurricane Harvey is that it gives you a good idea as to what does and doesn't flood based on actual experience rather than badly outdated maps. Housing prices are higher than a lot of places but would probably look pretty reasonable compared to California.

Idaho is pretty cheap and has some really stunning wilderness areas. However, it's got less diversity and the focus on low taxation means that government services can be pretty scanty. Also, once you get outside Boise, you would be traveling pretty far distances for even mid-tier medical treatment or airport access.

Yeah the flooding..... that is the only thing I have to see, moving in to a city that was not hit by the flood.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2018, 06:31:50 PM »
One thing to consider about Texas, while it doesn’t have state income tax, if you plan on owning a home, the property taxes are some of the highest in the country. On a $300k house you will likely be spending $500/mo or more on property taxes.

your kidding me right, how did you come up with that number?

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2018, 06:33:16 PM »
People like to badmouth Houston but it is not a bad place to live. Houston is a lot more than oil companies.

Pros:
Lots of jobs in most every field. Obviously you wouldn't have issues finding HVAC work here.
Relatively low cost of living (although real estate prices have increased quite a bit in the last five years, especially inside the loop near downtown)
No state income tax
Great restaurant scene
Underrated museums and arts
Very diverse population. Sizable Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian populations in addition to white, black, and Hispanic.

Cons:
Insane property taxes (~2.5% in city of Houston and sometimes 4%+ in the new developments in the burbs)
Pitiful public transit
Traffic everywhere
Heat and humidity from early April through October.

Definitely check disclosures to make sure you don't buy a flood house, but even during Harvey the vast majority of homes did not flood.

Thats what I dont want a flooded house, or an area that got hit by the flood, preferably somewhere where it wont get flooded.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2018, 06:33:56 PM »
The OP seems to be looking for Machinist jobs.

The OP stated that HVACR is no longer their profession, but it is probably a decent fall back plan to have for any of the southern states on the list.

I have a few friends that get paid quite well in the Dallas area as machinists.  It wouldn't surprise me if you could find similar in the Houston area.

From what I remember, the oil companies in the area hire more on the R&D, Engineering and business sides in Houston and most of the skilled work is out at various locations across the US.

will keep that for consideration thanks.

flores_o85

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #45 on: October 09, 2018, 06:36:33 PM »
You both should easily get jobs in Holland, MI, and it's LCOL, as well as very easy traffic, but you would have to deal with snow.  You probably need to come up with more criteria as a group, and go from there.

yeah idk about MI look at Detroit........
Detroit isn't MI.  Not even close.

what???

G-dog

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2018, 06:40:00 PM »
I think Moscow, ID is also close to the WA borde (neR Pullman, WA), and is a university town.

What about Tucson or Flagstaff AZ?

That is a state I have considered.

Lived in Tucson for 4 years, working for the university. I really liked it, but you should look up employer options for you and spouse, I have no idea on those.  Close to Mexico, should you want to visit.

Vacation in Flagstaff a lot, which also has a university.  Flagstaff is further north, higher elevation, therefore has something more like a winter (gets snow). Ski area nearby. It is also close to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  Flagstaff is also smaller than Tucson.

G-dog

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2018, 06:42:27 PM »
@Slow2FIRE - what is your source for estimated taxes by state?  Does it also include local taxes?

Milizard

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2018, 06:47:16 PM »
You both should easily get jobs in Holland, MI, and it's LCOL, as well as very easy traffic, but you would have to deal with snow.  You probably need to come up with more criteria as a group, and go from there.

yeah idk about MI look at Detroit........
Detroit isn't MI.  Not even close.

what???
Most of Michigan is nothing like Detroit. I gave you an example of a place in Michigan that is absolutely  nothing like Detroit, but fulfilled your criteria. I also suggested that you narrow down your criteria with your family that would be moving, because tons of places can possibly satisfy such vague criteria.

So dismissing Michigan because Detroit is nonsensical for a couple reasons here.

OtherJen

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Re: Thinking of moving to Texas, Iowa, Idaho, or North Carolina
« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2018, 07:21:50 PM »
You both should easily get jobs in Holland, MI, and it's LCOL, as well as very easy traffic, but you would have to deal with snow.  You probably need to come up with more criteria as a group, and go from there.

yeah idk about MI look at Detroit........
Detroit isn't MI.  Not even close.

what???
Most of Michigan is nothing like Detroit. I gave you an example of a place in Michigan that is absolutely  nothing like Detroit, but fulfilled your criteria. I also suggested that you narrow down your criteria with your family that would be moving, because tons of places can possibly satisfy such vague criteria.

So dismissing Michigan because Detroit is nonsensical for a couple reasons here.

Well, the Detroit Metro area does house 43% of the population of Michigan.

I live in a suburb that borders Detroit. We’re happy here. Relatively LCOL area; diverse population; well-maintained state, county, and metro parks throughout our county; and a city center that changes for the better every year.