Author Topic: Love where you live? Tell me about it!  (Read 7809 times)

athomeintheworld

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Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« on: January 21, 2019, 09:32:40 PM »
Looking for somewhere to move long term. Right now we are in Southern CA. It's expensive. It's crowded. We like it alright, but we don't love it and aren't particularly attached. We have looked at so many different cities and just can't ever make a decision. Jobs don't matter (remote work). Most places are less expensive than our current situation, so that's a nice plus too.


Wants:
medium sized, or smaller city with close access to a larger city nearby (decent airport access)
walkable community or close to it would be amazing
temperate climate would be amazing, but we understand how spoiled we are currently
nice outdoor areas, hiking/biking/etc
somewhat liberal would be nice

Currently considering US locations only.


Go!

bryan995

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 09:45:10 PM »
Live and work in San Diego, CA currently. Love it ! But long term we are looking at Utah or Colorado. Or if we can make/save enough then we would stay in SD for the long haul.  The area / weather is phenomenal in all regards. Our dream home here would cost $1.4MM in 2019 dollars.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 09:48:09 PM by bryan995 »

athomeintheworld

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 09:58:15 PM »
Live and work in San Diego, CA currently. Love it ! But long term we are looking at Utah or Colorado. Or if we can make/save enough then we would stay in SD for the long haul.  The area / weather is phenomenal in all regards. Our dream home here would cost $1.4MM in 2019 dollars.

Hmm what part of SD are you in? And agree, parts of UT and CO are nice for sure. I don't know enough about specific communities though.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 10:34:26 PM »
You can find most of that in midwest college towns if you drop the temperate requirement. The town itself will be liberal, but the farmland surrounding it will be conservative. You'll probably have a red representative. Which particular state will pick if you're in red, blue, or purple territory at the state level.

athomeintheworld

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 12:10:43 AM »
You can find most of that in midwest college towns if you drop the temperate requirement. The town itself will be liberal, but the farmland surrounding it will be conservative. You'll probably have a red representative. Which particular state will pick if you're in red, blue, or purple territory at the state level.

I really wouldn't have considered that! Thanks for the new idea.

fuzzy math

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 07:16:43 AM »
You can find most of that in midwest college towns if you drop the temperate requirement. The town itself will be liberal, but the farmland surrounding it will be conservative. You'll probably have a red representative. Which particular state will pick if you're in red, blue, or purple territory at the state level.

I really wouldn't have considered that! Thanks for the new idea.

I'm a west coaster living in one of those midwest college towns. Super liberal (but yes my congress is red), super walkable, decent access to big airports (with a couple hour drive), cheap as hell, great local scene (music, food, arts), but yeah the weather is intense. I think it was single digits yesterday with the wind chill. As a plus you can own your own palace for dirt cheap and stay inside when the weather is god awful.

Just Joe

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 07:44:47 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_micropolitan_statistical_areas

Sort based on your preference for politics, climate and university town. I highly recommend a small university town with a bigger city within an easy drive.

Candace

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 07:58:48 AM »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_micropolitan_statistical_areas

Sort based on your preference for politics, climate and university town. I highly recommend a small university town with a bigger city within an easy drive.
Wow, this is great! Thank you.

Camarillo Brillo

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2019, 08:20:05 AM »
You can find most of that in midwest college towns if you drop the temperate requirement. The town itself will be liberal, but the farmland surrounding it will be conservative. You'll probably have a red representative. Which particular state will pick if you're in red, blue, or purple territory at the state level.

I really wouldn't have considered that! Thanks for the new idea.

I'm a west coaster living in one of those midwest college towns. Super liberal (but yes my congress is red), super walkable, decent access to big airports (with a couple hour drive), cheap as hell, great local scene (music, food, arts), but yeah the weather is intense. I think it was single digits yesterday with the wind chill. As a plus you can own your own palace for dirt cheap and stay inside when the weather is god awful.
My guess is that we are in the same town.  My wife and I spent 19 years in the Bay Area, then 5 years in Dallas, and have now been in a medium size town in the Midwest for the past 15 years.  It's extremely liberal, very walkable, very affordable, has a very strong job market with a growing focus on tech, and offers an incredible variety of activities. 

I don't know if you have kids or not, but based on your username it seems so.  The schools here are phenomenal and many of the Midwest states consistently rank among the highest test scores nationally.  And the colleges are very good and affordable.

The outdoor activities are off the charts.  My sons fish, hunt, hike, and camp.  All those activities are very accessible.

And one last thought is that after dealing with traffic on the West Coast and in Dallas, it's extremely refreshing to see nothing but wide, open roads.  I would be hard pressed to think of any time where we were stressed about traffic, or stuck in jams.

Good luck with your search.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2019, 08:32:06 AM »
Madison, WI outskirts would be a great town for you if you don't mind the winters and are willing to get into winter activities. Great College town, Very low cost of living. Have everything you need as far as Jobs to entertainment and the City is predicted to pass up Milwaukee which is only 60 miles away in population. Very Liberal and Wisconsin School system is among the best.

wenchsenior

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2019, 08:33:17 AM »
Look into Madison, WI, if you can handle the winters.  It's a great (and fun) town.  Also, you could check on Rochester, MN, if you don't mind an hour or so drive a hub airport.

I also loved Tucson, and am thinking of trying to move back, but it IS large and has grown exponentially since I left about 20 years ago.  It just never felt big to me b/c I worked all over the city and knew it very well. 

Hadilly

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2019, 08:38:09 AM »
Portland Maine is pretty great. I go visit my parents there and love it. I have to admit that they do leave for the winters, so that is a consideration. But otherwise, perfect size, great food, on the water, beautiful architecture, beaches nearby. I totally fantasize about retiring there.

wbranch

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2019, 09:44:39 AM »
I would look at Pullman, WA, I live a bit north of there on the ID side of the border. Pullman is more purple, since it is a college/university town in sea of red. Moscow, ID is right across the border, so two large universities bring a lot to the area. No income tax in WA. 1.5 hrs to Spokane international airport. Populations of 30k+ in Pullman and 25k in Moscow.

Winters are much more mild than anything in the midwest. Not sure on walk-ability, but biking access appears to be ok in town. Outdoor opportunities are endless.  I really like the palouse prairie which has easy hiking and biking, more intense mountain biking is nearby, and there is amazing access to rivers, lakes (a bit further to lakes), desert, canyons, mountains, roadless areas, and wilderness areas for hiking and backpacking. You would never finish visiting all of the outdoors that are within a 3 hr drive of Pullman.

AMandM

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2019, 10:19:20 AM »
You might consider some of the older, close-in suburbs of Washington DC. Silver Spring and Hyattsville in MD come to mind. They're not cheap except by SoCal standards, but otherwise I think they tick all your boxes: walkable, great arts scene, easy transit access to downtown and the airport (and Amtrak), lots of outdoor activities nearby (hiking, camping, beach, sailing, canoeing, hunting), politically liberal, much milder winters than the Midwest.

davisgang90

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2019, 02:09:17 PM »
We just moved to Roanoke VA.  Not very bikeable/walkable, but it ticks most of your other boxes.  It is growing by leaps and bounds due to many factors, but one is mountain biking and hiking.  The Appalachian trail is close by and McAfee's Knob is one of the most iconic vistas on the entire trail and its a short drive from Roanoke.  There are lots of new breweries in town and nearby if that is of interest.


Cgbg

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2019, 05:36:55 PM »
McMinnville or Independence, Oregon. Small town America, some mix of red and blue.

Bend Oregon if you can afford it.

Bellingham Washington is wonderful.



bryan995

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2019, 05:57:45 PM »
Live and work in San Diego, CA currently. Love it ! But long term we are looking at Utah or Colorado. Or if we can make/save enough then we would stay in SD for the long haul.  The area / weather is phenomenal in all regards. Our dream home here would cost $1.4MM in 2019 dollars.

Hmm what part of SD are you in? And agree, parts of UT and CO are nice for sure. I don't know enough about specific communities though.

Live on the outskirts of La Jolla currently, rent a 2 bed SFH for $2700. Desired location is up in Carmel valley / sorrento valley / pacific highlands ranch.  Probably would not buy unless our family crosses 400K income + guaranteed stable work . What we rent is fine for now. For us, we are constantly tempted to move up to the Bay Area to maximize income vs staying in fabulous SD and “retiring-early” at current jobs and forgetting about following promotions etc.

Del Mar / La Jolla / Rancho Santa Fe would be great but $$$ + :)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 06:02:40 PM by bryan995 »

AlexMar

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2019, 06:20:52 PM »
I LOVE South Florida because it's one of the lowest cost of living major metro areas with access to tons and tons of amazing things to do.  Plus it's tropical.  Warm, white and beaches, etc.  The issue in SoFlo is low wages, but you don't have that issue since you work remotely.  We have 3 major international airports, too.

That said, I don't think it's quite what you are looking for.  But there are some smaller towns that may be a good fit for you in and around Orlando and Tampa.  No State income taxes, either.

Clever Name

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2019, 06:26:25 PM »
Have you considered Asheville, NC? Expensive by NC standards, but super affordable by west coast standards. Beautiful scenery, thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails, fairly liberal (though surrounding areas are more conservative), some of the best craft beer in the country if you care about that. The winters are colder than you're used to, but nowhere near as cold as most of the other suggestions I've seen.

rothwem

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2019, 07:27:00 AM »
Have you considered Asheville, NC? Expensive by NC standards, but super affordable by west coast standards. Beautiful scenery, thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails, fairly liberal (though surrounding areas are more conservative), some of the best craft beer in the country if you care about that. The winters are colder than you're used to, but nowhere near as cold as most of the other suggestions I've seen.

I'm just outside of Asheville.  The outdoors stuff is absolutely incredible, but there's a lot of stuff about the town that I really don't like.  Its not particularly walkable, and the population is surprisingly old.  Everyone leaves in the winter, which is nice for traffic, but downtown is a ghost town on a January night.  During the early fall, the traffic is insane, I-26 is bumper to bumper all day during the weekend and almost as bad during the week.  Don't even try to get on the parkway in October, you'll join a caravan of cars going 20mph with random stops for some dumbshit that wants to stop in the middle of the road to take pictures.  Also, outside of town it is REALLY conservative. 

All of that is balanced out by gorgeous scenery for me, but you've got to love it to put up with the BS of living here.  Oh, and we have beer and stuff. 

wglennreid

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2019, 10:06:25 AM »
Ever consider Delaware?  Areas like the beach cities (Rehoboth Beach, Bethany, Lewes) tend to be expensive but walkable and you can find more reasonable prices if you are a few miles from the beach.  Delaware is a lower tax state.  There is quite of bit to do, especially in the summer, which unfortunately attracts a lot of summer crowds and traffic, which is the main downside of the area.  You are 1-2 hours away from Philly, DC, Baltimore.  Weather is a little milder than the bigger cities because of the location - 3-5 degrees can make a difference.  And the beach area is fairly liberal as is the state, although the counties are more conservative because it includes many rural areas.

bbates728

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2019, 10:47:10 AM »
Bellingham Washington is wonderful.

I have been considering Bellingham myself for when I retire. Right in between Vancouver and Seattle in a beautiful part of the state. I hear that it is a bit cheaper than its big brothers to the north and south.

Is there anything in particular that prompted you to mention it CgBg?

Cgbg

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2019, 11:10:10 AM »
Property prices are climbing but still pretty reasonable. Nice walkable town with a great farmers market. It feels like a miniature Portland to me, but Portland from 20+ years ago when it was smaller and more affordable with fledgling microbreweries.

Itís a very beautiful area with plenty of recreational opportunities particularly if you like water and woods.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2019, 11:17:07 AM »
Bellingham Washington is wonderful.

I have been considering Bellingham myself for when I retire. Right in between Vancouver and Seattle in a beautiful part of the state. I hear that it is a bit cheaper than its big brothers to the north and south.

Is there anything in particular that prompted you to mention it CgBg?

Bellingham is on my short list, too. There have been some good discussion around the region and it appears that Bellingham often floats to the top.

There's also been quite a few recommendations in the past for Gainesville, FL as a locale with more reasonable housing and excellent biking infrastructure.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2019, 12:24:18 PM »
Bellingham is not bad...  You might unknowingly bump into me!  Really the only con I can think of is the weather from November to April... but that usually means record snow at Mt. Baker if you are the glass half full type.

Steveray7071

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2019, 12:30:28 PM »
Ogden Utah..

Great for families, average housing costs, low crime, all 4 seasons, great outdoors activities, one of the best state economies, one of the lowest unemployment rates, access to larger city (Salt Lake) great state infrastructure, lots of universities, one of the most beautiful places in the world... Pretty much an awesome place to live!

wxdevil

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2019, 01:37:42 PM »
I'm looking at taking a promotion in Indianapolis, after living in the Southwest. I spent part of my childhood in the Midwest and thought it was a great place for my childhood. I also love living in the Southwest, but I'm not sure it's the best place for my career or raising kids. I've done a lot of research about Indy and came across a lot of good things about it.

Arbitrage

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2019, 01:58:51 PM »
Bellingham Washington is wonderful.

I have been considering Bellingham myself for when I retire. Right in between Vancouver and Seattle in a beautiful part of the state. I hear that it is a bit cheaper than its big brothers to the north and south.

Is there anything in particular that prompted you to mention it CgBg?

Bellingham is on my short list, too. There have been some good discussion around the region and it appears that Bellingham often floats to the top.

There's also been quite a few recommendations in the past for Gainesville, FL as a locale with more reasonable housing and excellent biking infrastructure.

Bellingham is at the top of our list right now as well.  We visited there last summer and really enjoyed it; it has a lot that ticks our boxes.  DW does want to go back again to spend more time in the city and see if she really *feels* it, though.  We spent the majority of time visiting outdoor attractions, and didn't really hit downtown or walk around much aside from the parks.  She felt a bit like she was still looking for where the actual city was.

I also like Bend, OR, but the isolation and cold winters might be a bit too much for DW. 

Evildunk99

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2019, 02:43:31 PM »
Ever consider Delaware?  Areas like the beach cities (Rehoboth Beach, Bethany, Lewes) tend to be expensive but walkable and you can find more reasonable prices if you are a few miles from the beach.  Delaware is a lower tax state.  There is quite of bit to do, especially in the summer, which unfortunately attracts a lot of summer crowds and traffic, which is the main downside of the area.  You are 1-2 hours away from Philly, DC, Baltimore.  Weather is a little milder than the bigger cities because of the location - 3-5 degrees can make a difference.  And the beach area is fairly liberal as is the state, although the counties are more conservative because it includes many rural areas.


I'll 2nd your recommendation - more broadly the whole delmarva peninsula.  Gorgeous and laid back vibes with the Chesapeake & the Atlantic on either side. 

I live in a "millenial" town outside of Philly called Conshohocken.  The density (8,000 / sq mile) makes it feel urban despite being 10 miles from downtown Philly.  Walkability, bike path, river access, affordable COL (for the N.E. corridor) commuter rail access, and highway access make it a very fun place to live.  The beaches & mountains are also just 2 hours away.  Downsides = commuter traffic, and cold weather.  Good luck with your search!

eostache

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2019, 09:18:44 PM »
Grand Junction in western Colorado is not especially liberal and is kind of remote (4 hours to either Denver or Salt Lake City). It's a high desert mild climate. Not much snow in the valley but you can head upslope if you want to see some. Not as hot as Arizona. Doesn't get the big thunderstorms or hail storms like the front range sometimes does.

Amazing public lands all around for hiking and exploring. Great bike riding (road and mountain). There is even a herd of wild horses that live at the edge of the city. It's easy to hike out to see some of them.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2019, 09:48:09 PM »
I don't know about the town itself in detail, but in addition to the larger college towns (Madison, Champaign-Urbana, West Lafayette) it might be worth considering the "2nd tier" -- SIU at Carbondale is going to have a lot less "winter" than any of those. It's far enough south you start picking up some rolling hills and there's a lot of national forest nearby. It *is* a lot smaller though and probably a more conservative.

Some other side benefits of university towns -- the school is a stabilizing force on the local economy and real estate -- they tend not to have bubbles (you can just pave over farm land... not ideal but it does keep prices in check) and they tend (at least mine) not to have crashes. 2008 was a kinda a big non-event here, house-price-wise. The bigger ones have tech hubs attached (hi!) that while not being silicon valley still have decent prospects for techie types.

athomeintheworld

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2019, 12:11:37 AM »
McMinnville or Independence, Oregon. Small town America, some mix of red and blue.

Bend Oregon if you can afford it.

Bellingham Washington is wonderful.

Bend has been on the list before!! Great place.

DocMcStuffins

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2019, 04:03:17 PM »
Knoxville, TN

soccerluvof4

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2019, 04:19:01 PM »
I don't know about the town itself in detail, but in addition to the larger college towns (Madison, Champaign-Urbana, West Lafayette) it might be worth considering the "2nd tier" -- SIU at Carbondale is going to have a lot less "winter" than any of those. It's far enough south you start picking up some rolling hills and there's a lot of national forest nearby. It *is* a lot smaller though and probably a more conservative.

Some other side benefits of university towns -- the school is a stabilizing force on the local economy and real estate -- they tend not to have bubbles (you can just pave over farm land... not ideal but it does keep prices in check) and they tend (at least mine) not to have crashes. 2008 was a kinda a big non-event here, house-price-wise. The bigger ones have tech hubs attached (hi!) that while not being silicon valley still have decent prospects for techie types.



I agree with you Except SIUe vs Carbondal! lol  West Lafeytte a great town and very inexpensive.

eav

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2019, 08:51:37 PM »
Pittsburgh has been pretty great to me. Rapid growth is happening. Still a medium sized city with residents who pretty much stick to their burough which all have unique characteristics. I live south of the city and can get downtown in 15 minutes via highway. I'm also 15 mins from the airport.

Max 1 inch of snow at a time (unlike most of NE)

Will need to get used to bridges and tunnels. But your WFH situation will mean skirting the commuter traffic.

Edit: also SUPER cheap. Came from philly and am amazed by the low real estate cost.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 08:54:35 PM by eav »

Trifele

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2019, 04:57:31 AM »
Chattanooga TN ticks almost all your boxes, OP.  Not sure about walkability though.  I'm hearing lots of good buzz lately about Chattanooga. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2019, 05:01:27 AM »
Knoxville, TN




Love Knoxville, TN! great choice

wenchsenior

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2019, 08:02:59 AM »
Chattanooga TN ticks almost all your boxes, OP.  Not sure about walkability though.  I'm hearing lots of good buzz lately about Chattanooga.

I'm not sure about walkability, either, though downtown it has the free buses. And for sure TN is conservative (except for Nashville), but I was absolutely delighted by Chattanooga on a visit last summer.   Enough so to consider it as a possible retirement location.

Peachtea

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2019, 10:48:42 AM »
I'm looking at taking a promotion in Indianapolis, after living in the Southwest. I spent part of my childhood in the Midwest and thought it was a great place for my childhood. I also love living in the Southwest, but I'm not sure it's the best place for my career or raising kids. I've done a lot of research about Indy and came across a lot of good things about it.

Indyís okay. Not my first pick to live there, although if I had kids Iíd be more okay with it. I liked Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Milwaukee better for smaller (than Chicago) Midwest towns. They seem more livable and interesting, with more to do. Indy felt more commercial and like it was zoned by function: this part is where we work, this part is where we go out, and this part is where we live. OTOH Indy was clean, had nice parks, good restaurants, and nice, affordable housing so...(shrug).

fuzzy math

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2019, 07:01:22 PM »

My guess is that we are in the same town.  My wife and I spent 19 years in the Bay Area, then 5 years in Dallas, and have now been in a medium size town in the Midwest for the past 15 years.  It's extremely liberal, very walkable, very affordable, has a very strong job market with a growing focus on tech, and offers an incredible variety of activities. 



I'm guessing we don't based off of you mentioning a growing tech sector. If you name yours I'll say yes or no, or I could PM you. I'd be interested in meeting other mustachians, so here's hoping I'm wrong!!!

SwordGuy

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2019, 08:39:59 PM »
Fayetteville, NC.

Large enough city to have lots of the chain stores, small enough to have locally owned businesses and restaurants.
Surprisingly cosmopolitan because of the military presence at Ft. Bragg.  Lots of  ethnic groceries and restaurants for the same reason.

If you get active in making the community better you'll be welcomed.    Small enough to make a big difference.   Large enough to have resources to make things happen.

Two universities in town.    Within a  couple hours of the beach or several different, larger cities.  Within a day's drive of lots of cities.    Amtrak station.   Local airport with decent connections and no long lines.

Friendly, welcoming people.   None of that, "You ain't from around here, are ya?"

Some great neighborhoods.   Active artist community though you'll have to look for it.

Low cost of living.   

rothwem

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2019, 07:19:59 AM »
Fayetteville, NC.

Large enough city to have lots of the chain stores, small enough to have locally owned businesses and restaurants.
Surprisingly cosmopolitan because of the military presence at Ft. Bragg.  Lots of  ethnic groceries and restaurants for the same reason.

If you get active in making the community better you'll be welcomed.    Small enough to make a big difference.   Large enough to have resources to make things happen.

Two universities in town.    Within a  couple hours of the beach or several different, larger cities.  Within a day's drive of lots of cities.    Amtrak station.   Local airport with decent connections and no long lines.

Friendly, welcoming people.   None of that, "You ain't from around here, are ya?"

Some great neighborhoods.   Active artist community though you'll have to look for it.

Low cost of living.

True, and if you need your hair cut, a loud muffler installed on your vehicle, your arm tattooed, or your lap danced on, there's no shortage of choices for you! 

Kidding aside, Fayetteville must've changed a lot in the last 10 years.  I'm glad its reviving itself, it was pretty bad the last time I was there. 

ericrugiero

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2019, 08:34:21 AM »
Athens, OH: 
Nice bike trails, Liberal, good food, ~1 hour from Columbus OH, reasonable cost of living, nice outdoor recreation in the area, home to Ohio University

Charlottesville, VA:
Liberal, beautiful area, outdoor recreation, beautiful mountains, slightly better weather than Athens, home to University of Virginia

Roanoke or Salem VA:
Beautiful area, top notch outdoor recreation (hiking on Appalachian trail, mountain biking, etc), somewhat liberal, weather similar to Charlottesville.  There are several small colleges in the area rather than one larger one like Athens or Charlottesville. 

LittleWanderer

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2019, 08:49:57 AM »
Madison, WI outskirts would be a great town for you if you don't mind the winters and are willing to get into winter activities. Great College town, Very low cost of living.

I don't feel like Madison has a very low cost of living.  Housing and rent here is INSANE right now.  Things are relatively cheap aside from that.

It's a nice enough city, but I want out.  I am so tired of living here. 

dignam

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2019, 09:00:01 AM »
As stated before, lots of midwest college towns would fit.

Southern WI resident my whole life, and Madison kinda fits your wants as you describe.  Medium-ish (although growing rapidly), close to bigger cities like Milwaukee and Chicago.  Very bike-able, not that great for walking though as it's spread out due to the lakes.  Has relatively high COL, but generally only in Madison proper.  Tech sector has seen considerable growth in the last few years.  Keep in mind though, the winters are brutal.  We just had 3 snow storms in about 9 days, with forecast lows of -26F this week, NOT including wind chill.  The rest of the year is mostly good weather-wise (can get hot and humid in summer with thunderstorms, sometimes severe but not as often as plains states get), but it will never be as consistently good as southern CA.  State parks are abundant and generally well-maintained.  Personally, I love it, and just grin and bear the shitty winters.

Madison itself is very left-leaning with a large university just outside downtown, and surrounding areas tend to lean right.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 09:02:00 AM by dignam »

hudsoncat

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2019, 09:08:09 AM »
I don't know about the town itself in detail, but in addition to the larger college towns (Madison, Champaign-Urbana, West Lafayette) it might be worth considering the "2nd tier" -- SIU at Carbondale is going to have a lot less "winter" than any of those. It's far enough south you start picking up some rolling hills and there's a lot of national forest nearby. It *is* a lot smaller though and probably a more conservative.

Some other side benefits of university towns -- the school is a stabilizing force on the local economy and real estate -- they tend not to have bubbles (you can just pave over farm land... not ideal but it does keep prices in check) and they tend (at least mine) not to have crashes. 2008 was a kinda a big non-event here, house-price-wise. The bigger ones have tech hubs attached (hi!) that while not being silicon valley still have decent prospects for techie types.

Carbondale was a great town to live in while in grad school, but I'm not sure I'd want to live there now. Depends on what you want to prioritize. Great outdoor opportunities, we hiked a lot. Nice wine trail if that's your thing. No real airport to speak of, but St Louis is a couple hours away. But the town really exists only because of SIU and SIU is struggling. I don't think it's going to shut down any time soon, but there is certainly a lot less going on than in some of the other larger college towns mentioned in this thread. I think both because SIU is smaller, but also because it is struggling. I do have some friends living their now (work for SIU) and love it as a place to raise their kids, but admit that their opportunities for involvement are less than if they lived in a larger area.

wenchsenior

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2019, 09:13:37 AM »
Madison, WI outskirts would be a great town for you if you don't mind the winters and are willing to get into winter activities. Great College town, Very low cost of living.

I don't feel like Madison has a very low cost of living.  Housing and rent here is INSANE right now.  Things are relatively cheap aside from that.

It's a nice enough city, but I want out.  I am so tired of living here.

Yeah, rents are crazy.  My sister is renting a studio in a less desirable area of town for about 800/month.  Housing costs are not nearly as cheap as a lot of small mid-country cities. I still love the area, though apparently they are having a blizzard currently. I dislike where I live, but the winter weather is definitely better.

dougules

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2019, 01:05:31 PM »
Chattanooga TN ticks almost all your boxes, OP.  Not sure about walkability though.  I'm hearing lots of good buzz lately about Chattanooga.

I'm not sure about walkability, either, though downtown it has the free buses. And for sure TN is conservative (except for Nashville), but I was absolutely delighted by Chattanooga on a visit last summer.   Enough so to consider it as a possible retirement location.

Chattanooga is our favorite day trip and one of our top candidates for FIRE.  The inner neighborhoods of Chattanooga are pretty walkable and seem fairly progressive.  The only thing is that those parts of the city are getting expensive by Southern standards.  I'm sure it would still be dirt cheap to anybody coming from Southern CA, though. 

Temperate climate it is not, but snow and ice aren't very frequent.  I think anywhere is going to have terrible weather if you're coming from California. 

Chattanooga's airport isn't all that big, but the busiest airport in the world is 120 miles away.

Chattanooga also has more outdoor activities than you can shake a stick at, a few of them right in town. 

Smevans

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2019, 02:16:49 PM »
Madison, WI

medium sized, or smaller city with close access to a larger city nearby (decent airport access) : Medium sized. Has a good airport. Milwaukee and Chicago are 1.5-2 hours away.

walkable community or close to it would be amazing: Very walkable and bikable. Many breweries on the bike paths.

temperate climate would be amazing, but we understand how spoiled we are currently: Wednesday low is -31 with windchill around -55. I may dust off the winter coat.

nice outdoor areas, hiking/biking/etc: Beautiful state parks near by. Great hiking and trail running. Surrounded by large lakes.

somewhat liberal would be nice: Got to be one of the most liberal cities in the US.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Love where you live? Tell me about it!
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2019, 03:01:27 PM »
Madison, WI... Very walkable and bikable...Wednesday low is -31 with windchill around -55...

Eek! o_O

Do residents still use the bike paths in the winter?