Author Topic: Mustache Friendly Cities  (Read 5617 times)

Elaine

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Mustache Friendly Cities
« on: September 08, 2013, 09:51:57 PM »
Hello Everyone!
Currently my SO and I live in nyc (he is finishing a degree and I have a fairly high paying job). I'm still able to save over 50% of my take home pay, but I'd love to live somewhere less expensive (and honestly less exhausting) once he graduates and gets a professional job.

I look at real estate recreationally, budget wise $150k-$200k for a house or apartment would be ideal. Our current place is 471 sq. ft. and we love the amount of space, we don't want a sprawling monstrosity. I like the look of Philly and also Pittsburgh, though I've never been. Not big on really rural or suburban areas, I'd prefer to live in a small town with some things in walking distance than a suburb where everything necessitates a car*

So, who has great mustache friendly cities or towns? I haven't given much thought to property tax yet, which I know is an important factor. Any advice would be appreciated regarding how to make this decision.

*Please Note: Before I get flak for this, one of us is not fully able bodied so biking is not an option a lot of the time. We currently don't have a car because we can use the subway system.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 04:50:16 AM »
Hi Elaine;
I moved to Pittsburgh about 15 years ago and love it!  It's a beautiful city with very friendly people, good jobs in the Banking, Education, and Health Care industries, and, working in IT, I've never been unemployed.  Housing costs are VERY low.  That $150k - $200k would get you a very, very nice house in Pittsburgh.  There are some really great neighborhoods in Pittsburgh if you want to be able to walk to everything and catch a bus when it's too far to walk.  I highly recommend the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, which is like a small town unto itself.  We have large, beautiful city parks if you want to enjoy nature, and Pittsburgh has consistently been one of the top "most livable" cities.
Good luck!

Louisville

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 08:47:03 AM »
Yeah, mid to small cities in fly over country like Pittsburgh, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Nashville, Quad Cities, Omaha, etc. Some have better economies than others, but they're all old enough to have old neighborhoods with small (often shotgun) houses that are getting hipster revitalized. Neighborhoods built for the waves of western european immigrants that came in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It's slow and hit and miss, but business and industry in flyover country is shifting south and a little west with population density.

hybrid

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 09:22:07 AM »
Richmond has a great outdoors scene being on the fall line of the James River, and we are far more affordable than our neighbors in the DC area.  Government and banking abounds.  Our city is recession resistant as a result, the downturn did not hit us as hard as many localities.  Lots of NY and NJ transplants here, they all marvel at how much more affordable Richmond is.

My 2400 SF brick rancher sits on 1/2 acre in a nice, quiet, demographically older subdivision just outside the city line.  I work in downtown Richmond and my commute is only 15 miles round trip.  If I put my house (in very good condition) on the market right now?  Perhaps 180K.  Bought for 224 in 2008, our neighborhood is not booming like other current hot spots are and is just starting to come off the real estate bottom.  The shopping and the schools aren't the best where I live (which should not be a concern for you), and the neighborhood itself is great.  In a trendier part of the area it would fetch an additional 100K.

PM if you want more details.

vern

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 10:52:43 PM »
Elaine,

  If you can move anywhere, I would suggest finding a small or midsize town in a state with no income tax.

Alaska
Florida
Nevada
New Hampshire
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Washington
Wyoming

(New Hampshire and Tennessee tax interest income)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_income_tax

We are very happy living in rural Washington state and if we need to make a large purchase we try to do it in Oregon.  (No sales tax.)

Try to work the system in your favor!

Elaine

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 08:24:40 AM »
Thanks everyone! It's great to see that we are on the right track, even if we're only in the planning stages at this point. The info on income tax is very helpful, and it's good to see that Pittsburgh may just hit the mark for us. One question, and maybe this is all a misnomer, but isn't the economy of small cities like Pittsburgh more volatile because they're less established? I'm afraid of being in a situation where X company moves out of the city and then there's nothing left, mass unemployment, etc. Perhaps this is my own bias built from living in a place that has infinite options, is this a real concern about less established middle of the road cities or am I being overly cautious/paranoid (wouldn't be the first time). Thanks again!

hybrid

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 08:40:38 AM »
Thanks everyone! It's great to see that we are on the right track, even if we're only in the planning stages at this point. The info on income tax is very helpful, and it's good to see that Pittsburgh may just hit the mark for us. One question, and maybe this is all a misnomer, but isn't the economy of small cities like Pittsburgh more volatile because they're less established? I'm afraid of being in a situation where X company moves out of the city and then there's nothing left, mass unemployment, etc. Perhaps this is my own bias built from living in a place that has infinite options, is this a real concern about less established middle of the road cities or am I being overly cautious/paranoid (wouldn't be the first time). Thanks again!

Doesn't sound paranoid to me.  A lot of cities along the rust belt are having to reinvent themselves this century (and it is my understanding Pittsburgh has done well here).  IMO a city should be just like your portfolio - diversified.  One trick ponies are great right up until they aren't.  And then what?  For example, Philip Morris has consolidated production from three major production sites to just one in the United States - here in Richmond, where they also brought the headquarters back to from NYC.  If all Richmond were known for was Marlboros (and a really super collection of second place trophies circa 1865...) then I would be concerned.  But with being the government seat, having one of the twelve Feds, possessing a large banking presence (Capital One, among others), and home to Dominion Power we can adapt (painful as it will be) if smoking finally goes the way of the dinosaur.   

olivia

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 08:54:20 AM »
I think you'd like Philly quite a bit.  Depending on where you live, there is easy access to multiple public transportation options.  And depending on your industry there are a lot of job opportunities here, too.  For example, if you do anything with healthcare or research, there are a ton of great hospitals and universities in the area.  I moved here a few years ago and I'm a big fan.  Housing is somewhat pricey but nothing compared to NYC.  You could definitely get a small condo or apartment in your price range.

I'm originally from Richmond and it is Mustachian in that it's pretty low cost (and is a super fun place to live), but there also aren't good public transportation options.  You pretty much need a car, especially if you can't bike everywhere.  The only option is the bus and it is extremely unreliable and SLOW.  And depending on your industry jobs are somewhat limited, just because it's a small city.  That said, I loved living there and wouldn't be opposed to moving back if I could get a good job. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 03:58:38 PM »
Pittsburgh is pretty diversified, major education, health, various other industries. Check out www.burghdiaspora.com for all the information on Pittsburgh (and other Rust Belt cities... shoot, just cities/demographics in general) you could want.

chasesfish

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Re: Mustache Friendly Cities
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 07:46:03 PM »
There are places that are warm in the winter...

I actually like Pittsburgh, I wish my employer would open an office there.  PA Taxes stink though