Author Topic: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US  (Read 35537 times)

mobileagent

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Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« on: April 24, 2016, 05:20:03 PM »
We currently live in Pacific Northwest, which is a great location to raise a family with good jobs around. However, it is a pretty expensive place in comparison to many places in the US. Once we ER, we would like to move to a different city in the US that meets the following criteria:

- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

bobechs

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 06:04:22 PM »
Muleshoe, Texas

Polish up your Spanish...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muleshoe,_Texas

JLee

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 06:10:25 PM »
We currently live in Pacific Northwest, which is a great location to raise a family with good jobs around. However, it is a pretty expensive place in comparison to many places in the US. Once we ER, we would like to move to a different city in the US that meets the following criteria:

- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

Is sales tax under 6% that big of a deal if you save $150k on a house? That would offset $5,000,000 in spending, assuming $150k house and 9% sales tax.

boarder42

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2016, 06:13:37 PM »
Mizzoura. Particularly the kc side. Only a little snow.

mobileagent

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2016, 06:14:39 PM »

Is sales tax under 6% that big of a deal if you save $150k on a house? That would offset $5,000,000 in spending, assuming $150k house and 9% sales tax.

Fair feedback. Sales/State Income taxes are a lower priority for us in comparison to reducing overall expenses.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 07:16:27 PM »
Sugar Land, TX?

NorCal

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 07:34:52 PM »
What does an open minded diverse community mean to you?  Some people define that differently.

I can think of some good places in the South, particularly the Carolina's, Florida, or Georgia that might fit the bill.  I found the communities in the South to be very open and welcoming when I lived there, but I know a lot of West Coaster's (I'm a Californian) instinctively view the entire South as a redneck backwater.

I really like living near Nashville and Atlanta, although they might not fit your price/school criteria.

pbkmaine

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mobileagent

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mobileagent

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2016, 08:03:27 AM »
Thanks everyone for the feedback!

greaper007

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2016, 08:51:09 AM »
How about college towns?

UnleashHell

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2016, 09:07:52 AM »
Wesley Chapel, FL
Ticks every box on your list.

rugorak

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2016, 10:01:08 AM »
- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

To slightly hijack the thread. How about for those who love the cold and want snow? But aren't big fans of heat? I missed skiing/snowboarding this year because I didn't feel it was worth ice skating down the slopes in the Northeast.

AZDude

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 01:16:25 PM »
- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

To slightly hijack the thread. How about for those who love the cold and want snow? But aren't big fans of heat? I missed skiing/snowboarding this year because I didn't feel it was worth ice skating down the slopes in the Northeast.

I would look at Nevada near the Sierras/Lake Tahoe. Beautiful area, and the Nevada side is reasonable priced, even if the CA side is a little nicer(no casinos).

dougules

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 04:07:54 PM »
Chattanooga?  It's our top candidate for FIRE now that Portland is getting ridiculous. 

The Tennessee River runs right through downtown (bigger than the Willamette) then cuts through the Cumberland Plateau in a deep gorge right downstream of town.  Lookout Mountain forms a nice backdrop.  It's also about two hours from the Blue Ridge Mountains (they look like the Cascades, but with more biodiversity) and about an hour from the Ocoee River where you can run the 1996 Olympic whitewater slalom course.  The ocean is a bit far, but the sugar-white beaches of the FL panhandle are worth every one of the 400 miles to get there. 

Real estate is cheap. TN has no income tax (but does tax dividends). 

Snow is only about once a winter, although it really varies from year to year.  It does get a bit steamy in the summer, though.

Major airport?  How about the busiest one in the world?  Chattanooga's about 2 hrs from ATL. 

Inner city Chattanooga is inclusive (but the burbs and the rest of TN not so much)

Don't know much about schools, though, since I don't have kids. 

retiringearly

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2016, 04:56:36 PM »
We currently live in Pacific Northwest, which is a great location to raise a family with good jobs around. However, it is a pretty expensive place in comparison to many places in the US. Once we ER, we would like to move to a different city in the US that meets the following criteria:

- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

Bloomington, IN.  Great schools, low cost of living.  Fun college town atmosphere.

Fishinshawn

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2016, 06:21:36 PM »
Have you looked at Eugene OR?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2016, 06:38:04 PM »
Have you looked at Eugene OR?

Doesn't meet income tax, and I don't think it quite fits "great" public schools, either.

If they're tired of PNW grey and drizzle, it doesn't win there, either.

mobileagent

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2016, 09:04:48 PM »
Awesome set of recommendations! Thank you

midwestmixtape

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2016, 07:47:03 AM »
Corvallis, Oregon. Check it out on Wikipedia. It's small and they keep big chains OUT. Bike lanes on every major street... it's a dream.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2016, 08:44:13 AM »
Asheville, NC

Jack

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2016, 09:56:07 AM »
Atlanta. Stay inside I-285 (or at least near it) for maximum inclusiveness / diversity, although the Buford Highway corridor is extremely diverse too. The best school quality/house price ratio is in the East Lake neighborhood of the City of Atlanta (former housing projects got redeveloped and got a very good charter school).

acroy

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2016, 10:35:11 AM »
Denton TX (my home)
-college town: funky, always changing, lib for my taste but they do bring the fun.
-reasonable COL
-no state income tax
-2.x% property tax
-easy access to state parks to the North
-easy access to the big DFW area to the South
-hot in the summer (get a pool)
-cold and windy in winter, sometimes. Sometimes it's 70 and sunny for Christmas.
-don't know about public schools.

Dezrah

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2016, 03:32:57 PM »
I highly suggest you check out the Rogers/Bentonville/Fayetteville area.

The fact that Walmart is headquartered there has done amazing things for the area.

There's Crystal Bridges Museum, the University of Arkansas, lots of great housing for the demand created by vendor Reps who deal with Walmart.

Within an hour you could be in the Ozark Mountains and caves, or on the very clean Beaver Lake, or visiting hundreds of tigers at Turpentine Creek near Eureka Springs.

A days drive can get you to the Rockies, the Appalachians, Texas countryside, or the Great Lakes. Going further? XNA airport can get you anywhere you want and is one of the most low key airports you'll find.

It snows occasionally but it doesn't stay all winter.

Cultural diverse? Probably less so, but the U of A actively tries to bring more world culture in various ways. There is a surprising large South Asian population in the area so you could always join a cricket league if you're so inclined. Plus if you look around you'll find things like Marian Days in Carthage, Missouri where tens of thousands of Catholic Vietnamese gather from all over the country for a week long festival.

Happy hunting

Scandium

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2016, 10:54:30 AM »
We currently live in Pacific Northwest, which is a great location to raise a family with good jobs around. However, it is a pretty expensive place in comparison to many places in the US. Once we ER, we would like to move to a different city in the US that meets the following criteria:

- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

Problem is that low cost and cheap housing is often reversely correlated with good schools, libraries and public services in general. And often to "inclusiveness" too, by which I assume general redneck attitudes.. I'm sure there are many lovely places in the south, but looking into the politics of those areas not many places I'd want to live.

dougules

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2016, 11:14:01 AM »
We currently live in Pacific Northwest, which is a great location to raise a family with good jobs around. However, it is a pretty expensive place in comparison to many places in the US. Once we ER, we would like to move to a different city in the US that meets the following criteria:

- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

Problem is that low cost and cheap housing is often reversely correlated with good schools, libraries and public services in general. And often to "inclusiveness" too, by which I assume general redneck attitudes.. I'm sure there are many lovely places in the south, but looking into the politics of those areas not many places I'd want to live.

The South as a whole is quite redneck-y, I agree, but it's bigger than a lot of whole countries.  There are pockets that are just as inclusive and progressive as anywhere else.   Asheville, ITP Atlanta Area, New Orleans, Charlottesville, Savannah, Charleston, etc.   Most any other decent-size southern cities will have a neighborhood or two that is.  Plus, my experience is that the rest of the country is not always particularly good at being inclusive and progressive either.

marcela

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2016, 11:19:51 AM »
Gainesville Fl!
- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K Currently 20 homes on zillow that match your requirements
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings) The city overall is rated a 7, but there are many schools rated 10
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse Nothing like a college town to keep things very inclusive
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain There were some flurries here one day in January and the whole town flipped out. It was amazing.
- Access to good public libraries and parks Yup
- State tax needs to be <=6%  No state income tax, alachua county sales tax is 6.25%, close enough
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities Payne's Prairie, Ginny Springs...etc
- Less than two hours from a major airport You are less than 2 hours from 3 major airports (Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando)

Downsides, our governor is less than spectacular, ocasional hurricanes, college students

Jack

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2016, 11:27:05 AM »
And often to "inclusiveness" too, by which I assume general redneck attitudes.. I'm sure there are many lovely places in the south, but looking into the politics of those areas not many places I'd want to live.

I'll let you in on a secret: being in the South doesn't make people racist or conservative. The only reason the South appears that way is that being rural correlates with being racist or conservative, and the South tends to have a higher rural/urban population ratio than the rest of the country.

In other words, the bigger the city you pick, the more you'll like the politics, and conversely, the more rural area you pick the less you'll like the politics -- regardless of which state the location is in.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that, because the South has a more diverse population than other places (e.g. the rural Midwest, especially WV/OH/PA Appalachia), we've learned to deal with multiculturalism better than those other places. It's easy to claim to be tolerant of differences when the population is actually homogeneous, but if a bunch of dissimilar people started showing up in <insert small midwestern town here> you might be surprised how badly the incumbent population reacts.

mlejw6

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2016, 11:32:26 AM »
Tucson?

I don't know about tax, since I don't live there.

However, I have cousins that go to school there and one goes to a high school that is consistently in top 10/20 high schools in the country. I believe there is another school that lists in the top 50 or 100 also.

Scandium

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2016, 11:33:16 AM »
We currently live in Pacific Northwest, which is a great location to raise a family with good jobs around. However, it is a pretty expensive place in comparison to many places in the US. Once we ER, we would like to move to a different city in the US that meets the following criteria:

- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

Problem is that low cost and cheap housing is often reversely correlated with good schools, libraries and public services in general. And often to "inclusiveness" too, by which I assume general redneck attitudes.. I'm sure there are many lovely places in the south, but looking into the politics of those areas not many places I'd want to live.

The South as a whole is quite redneck-y, I agree, but it's bigger than a lot of whole countries.  There are pockets that are just as inclusive and progressive as anywhere else.   Asheville, ITP Atlanta Area, New Orleans, Charlottesville, Savannah, Charleston, etc.   Most any other decent-size southern cities will have a neighborhood or two that is.  Plus, my experience is that the rest of the country is not always particularly good at being inclusive and progressive either.

Sure. But you're still affected by the state or county politics in many ways. For example when they cut all mental health programs, ban gays, add the Flintstones to the biology curriculum, or whatever other nonsense they're up to.

ps: not that the north-east, PWN and (especially!) CA isn't immune to idiotic politics, but in general I find it to be slightly less so. Perhaps less ideological? Most issues here are nanny-state nonsense.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2016, 12:11:33 PM »
Sure. But you're still affected by the state or county politics in many ways. For example when they cut all mental health programs, ban gays, add the Flintstones to the biology curriculum, or whatever other nonsense they're up to.

It's difficult to gather useful information if you're just making stuff up. I am not sure what you think you are adding to the conversation besides signalling that you have disdain for the South.

(Not that there aren't bad things going on in the South to point to, but it's not especially unique in boneheaded and bigoted local governance.)

Scandium

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2016, 12:15:55 PM »
Sure. But you're still affected by the state or county politics in many ways. For example when they cut all mental health programs, ban gays, add the Flintstones to the biology curriculum, or whatever other nonsense they're up to.

It's difficult to gather useful information if you're just making stuff up. I am not sure what you think you are adding to the conversation besides signalling that you have disdain for the South.

(Not that there aren't bad things going on in the South to point to, but it's not especially unique in boneheaded and bigoted local governance.)

Oh I don't know:

http://www.care2.com/causes/south-carolina-lt-governor-compares-states-poor-to-stray-animals.html
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/20/2496741/columbia-criminalize-homeless/
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-north-carolina-lgbt-20160412-story.html

Jack

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2016, 12:53:29 PM »
Sure. But you're still affected by the state or county politics in many ways. For example when they cut all mental health programs, ban gays, add the Flintstones to the biology curriculum, or whatever other nonsense they're up to.

It's difficult to gather useful information if you're just making stuff up. I am not sure what you think you are adding to the conversation besides signalling that you have disdain for the South.

(Not that there aren't bad things going on in the South to point to, but it's not especially unique in boneheaded and bigoted local governance.)

Oh I don't know:

http://www.care2.com/causes/south-carolina-lt-governor-compares-states-poor-to-stray-animals.html
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/20/2496741/columbia-criminalize-homeless/
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-north-carolina-lgbt-20160412-story.html
  • Prop 8.
  • Recent police murders of black people: Tamir Rice (Ohio), John Crawford (Ohio), Michael Brown (Missouri), Eric Garner (New York), etc.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center hate map (hate groups per capita -- note how prominently Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, West Virginia, Montana and Idaho figure)

Bigotry against Southerners (stereotyping us as "rednecks" when we are, in fact, not) is bigotry too, you know.

Scandium

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2016, 01:01:33 PM »
Sure. But you're still affected by the state or county politics in many ways. For example when they cut all mental health programs, ban gays, add the Flintstones to the biology curriculum, or whatever other nonsense they're up to.

It's difficult to gather useful information if you're just making stuff up. I am not sure what you think you are adding to the conversation besides signalling that you have disdain for the South.

(Not that there aren't bad things going on in the South to point to, but it's not especially unique in boneheaded and bigoted local governance.)

Oh I don't know:

http://www.care2.com/causes/south-carolina-lt-governor-compares-states-poor-to-stray-animals.html
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/20/2496741/columbia-criminalize-homeless/
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-north-carolina-lgbt-20160412-story.html
  • Prop 8.
  • Recent police murders of black people: Tamir Rice (Ohio), John Crawford (Ohio), Michael Brown (Missouri), Eric Garner (New York), etc.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center hate map (hate groups per capita -- note how prominently Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, West Virginia, Montana and Idaho figure)

Bigotry against Southerners (stereotyping us as "rednecks" when we are, in fact, not) is bigotry too, you know.
The issue isn't the existence of racist or hate groups, it's whether this is accepted, and implemented, in mainstream politics. More often this happens in the south and midwest than on the coasts.

I know not everyone there is a redneck, but they have political influence in the south to a different degree than in the north. Heck, I can drive 45 from DC and be deep in redneck MD, with confederate flags and Cruz signs, but thankfully they don't drive state policy a whole lot.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2016, 01:25:07 PM »
Sure. But you're still affected by the state or county politics in many ways. For example when they cut all mental health programs, ban gays, add the Flintstones to the biology curriculum, or whatever other nonsense they're up to.

It's difficult to gather useful information if you're just making stuff up. I am not sure what you think you are adding to the conversation besides signalling that you have disdain for the South.

(Not that there aren't bad things going on in the South to point to, but it's not especially unique in boneheaded and bigoted local governance.)

Oh I don't know:

http://www.care2.com/causes/south-carolina-lt-governor-compares-states-poor-to-stray-animals.html
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/08/20/2496741/columbia-criminalize-homeless/
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-north-carolina-lgbt-20160412-story.html
  • Prop 8.
  • Recent police murders of black people: Tamir Rice (Ohio), John Crawford (Ohio), Michael Brown (Missouri), Eric Garner (New York), etc.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center hate map (hate groups per capita -- note how prominently Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, West Virginia, Montana and Idaho figure)

Bigotry against Southerners (stereotyping us as "rednecks" when we are, in fact, not) is bigotry too, you know.
The issue isn't the existence of racist or hate groups, it's whether this is accepted, and implemented, in mainstream politics. More often this happens in the south and midwest than on the coasts.

I know not everyone there is a redneck, but they have political influence in the south to a different degree than in the north. Heck, I can drive 45 from DC and be deep in redneck MD, with confederate flags and Cruz signs, but thankfully they don't drive state policy a whole lot.

I see more stars-and-bars in the rural Northeast than I ever did growing up in Dallas. Nobody is denying that bigotry exists in the South, and that it is frequently involved in government there. Our point is simply that the South is not that out of line with the rest of the country and that you have a very biased view of the South and Southerners. I've never seen people say "don't move to Chicago, it's a racist hole" but take a look at news stories about the police there and you'll check your search bar to make sure you didn't type in South Carolina.

Finding out what state Paul LePage is governor of is left as an exercise to the reader.

Jack

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2016, 02:09:00 PM »
I know not everyone there is a redneck, but they have political influence in the south to a different degree than in the north. Heck, I can drive 45 from DC and be deep in redneck MD, with confederate flags and Cruz signs, but thankfully they don't drive state policy a whole lot.

1. LOL, as if Maryland isn't part of the South. Denial much?

2. In reality, all states are purple, but winner-take-all elections often mask that -- so that "different degree of political influence" might very well be the difference between 49% and 51%. Condemning 49% because they fall short of a majority through no fault of their own represents defective reasoning on your part.

JLee

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2016, 02:21:12 PM »
Denton TX (my home)
-college town: funky, always changing, lib for my taste but they do bring the fun.
-reasonable COL
-no state income tax
-2.x% property tax
-easy access to state parks to the North
-easy access to the big DFW area to the South
-hot in the summer (get a pool)
-cold and windy in winter, sometimes. Sometimes it's 70 and sunny for Christmas.
-don't know about public schools.

Heh I was in Denton a couple of weeks ago, picking up my car from ATS.  You guys just had some massive hail come through, no?

Scandium

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2016, 02:21:33 PM »
I know not everyone there is a redneck, but they have political influence in the south to a different degree than in the north. Heck, I can drive 45 from DC and be deep in redneck MD, with confederate flags and Cruz signs, but thankfully they don't drive state policy a whole lot.

1. LOL, as if Maryland isn't part of the South. Denial much?

2. In reality, all states are purple, but winner-take-all elections often mask that -- so that "different degree of political influence" might very well be the difference between 49% and 51%. Condemning 49% because they fall short of a majority through no fault of their own represents defective reasoning on your part.
I don't remember condemning anyone, certainly not non-rednecks in the south. No need to take this personally if you're one them. I was talking about the 51%, not you.

  There are just places that implement policies I don't like, generally socially conservative and/or rabid anti-government in nature (and I'm not super-progressive either). More often these are in the south/MW. But also in the north as you say, see Maine. That also means I wouldn't move there. I just said this was a concern, and used redneck as a shorthand. I want to like the Carolinas for example since it's cheap there, but then I read about the politics.. And also hot and humid.

I know MD is technically in the south, but politically very liberal due to Baltimore and DC suburbs. We have decently functional gov services (perhaps except Baltimore), gay marriage (before SCOTUS) , and decriminalized weed etc
« Last Edit: April 28, 2016, 02:23:17 PM by Scandium »

mobileagent

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2016, 09:30:41 PM »
Thanks everyone for your recommendations! We will evaluate the options when we are ready to ER. Cheers!

startingsmall

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2016, 09:46:26 PM »
Gainesville Fl!
- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K Currently 20 homes on zillow that match your requirements
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings) The city overall is rated a 7, but there are many schools rated 10
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse Nothing like a college town to keep things very inclusive
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain There were some flurries here one day in January and the whole town flipped out. It was amazing.
- Access to good public libraries and parks Yup
- State tax needs to be <=6%  No state income tax, alachua county sales tax is 6.25%, close enough
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities Payne's Prairie, Ginny Springs...etc
- Less than two hours from a major airport You are less than 2 hours from 3 major airports (Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando)

Downsides, our governor is less than spectacular, ocasional hurricanes, college students

I'll second the Gainesville recommendation... lived there for 7 years (undergrad and vet school) and still have a number of friends in the area. Miss the abundance of nearby hiking/biking trails (San Felasco, Devil's Millhopper, Payne's Praire, etc) and plentiful nearby daytrips (Cedar Key crabbing daytrips were my favorite, with Anastasia State Park a close second).

Love Gainesville.

JLee

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2016, 10:35:10 PM »
Gainesville Fl!
- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K Currently 20 homes on zillow that match your requirements
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings) The city overall is rated a 7, but there are many schools rated 10
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse Nothing like a college town to keep things very inclusive
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain There were some flurries here one day in January and the whole town flipped out. It was amazing.
- Access to good public libraries and parks Yup
- State tax needs to be <=6%  No state income tax, alachua county sales tax is 6.25%, close enough
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities Payne's Prairie, Ginny Springs...etc
- Less than two hours from a major airport You are less than 2 hours from 3 major airports (Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando)

Downsides, our governor is less than spectacular, ocasional hurricanes, college students

I'll second the Gainesville recommendation... lived there for 7 years (undergrad and vet school) and still have a number of friends in the area. Miss the abundance of nearby hiking/biking trails (San Felasco, Devil's Millhopper, Payne's Praire, etc) and plentiful nearby daytrips (Cedar Key crabbing daytrips were my favorite, with Anastasia State Park a close second).

Love Gainesville.
Plus you have PUBLIX!

I love Publix (also lived in Gainesville/area for 6 years).

Jack

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2016, 11:11:12 PM »
Plus you have PUBLIX!

I love Publix (also lived in Gainesville/area for 6 years).

Atlanta has Publix too (but several other grocery stores -- Aldi, Costco, even Kroger -- are better and/or more Mustachian).

JLee

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2016, 11:19:18 PM »
Plus you have PUBLIX!

I love Publix (also lived in Gainesville/area for 6 years).

Atlanta has Publix too (but several other grocery stores -- Aldi, Costco, even Kroger -- are better and/or more Mustachian).

Maybe more Mustachian but I have never been to a grocery store that was as good as Publix.

Aldi doesn't even compare to the shadow of Publix...at least not the one I've found here in NJ.

BFGirl

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2016, 03:52:15 AM »
Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  Lots of places to choose from to live, lots of libraries, lots of things to do, and no state income tax. 

Also, second the Bentonville/Rogers area.  It is quite lovely and I believe the Bentonville schools are quite good and have a lot of funding.

MandalayVA

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2016, 04:25:15 AM »
Come to Richmond!  If you live in Chesterfield County you'll get very good schools and it fits all your other criteria.  It also has Aldi and is getting the first of two Wegmans next month.  And in 2018?  Richmond will have Publix.

/drops mike

ender

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2016, 05:59:34 AM »
We currently live in Pacific Northwest, which is a great location to raise a family with good jobs around. However, it is a pretty expensive place in comparison to many places in the US. Once we ER, we would like to move to a different city in the US that meets the following criteria:

- Able to buy a 4 BR 2500 sq ft home under $300K
- Great public schools (9+/10 ratings)
- Open minded/inclusive community, diverse
- Not too cold/minimal snow. Ok with warm/hot/rain
- Access to good public libraries and parks
- State tax needs to be <=6%
- Less than 1 hour from outdoor activities
- Less than two hours from a major airport

Appreciate any recommendations of the towns for us after ER. Thanks.

Problem is that low cost and cheap housing is often reversely correlated with good schools, libraries and public services in general. And often to "inclusiveness" too, by which I assume general redneck attitudes.. I'm sure there are many lovely places in the south, but looking into the politics of those areas not many places I'd want to live.

You realize that $300k for a house lets you take your pick of school district in most of the country, right?


Schaefer Light

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #46 on: April 29, 2016, 07:10:02 AM »
It's easy to claim to be tolerant of differences when the population is actually homogeneous, but if a bunch of dissimilar people started showing up in <insert small midwestern town here> you might be surprised how badly the incumbent population reacts.
Couldn't have said it better myself.  I've lived in the south my whole life, and still haven't seen a blatant display of racism.

marcela

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2016, 08:25:29 AM »
Plus you have PUBLIX!

I love Publix (also lived in Gainesville/area for 6 years).

Atlanta has Publix too (but several other grocery stores -- Aldi, Costco, even Kroger -- are better and/or more Mustachian).

Well, in addition to Publix (First of its Name, King of All Grocery Stores, Master of Fried Chicken, Protector of the BOGO, Lord of the Subs), Gainesville has a Lucky's, Fresh Market, Trader Joe's, Earth Fare and we're getting a 365 by Whole Foods and two Aldi's. Also super walmart and Sam's Club.

Happy to see so many fellow/former Gainesvillians. We're here for at least another year while my husband finishes vet school.

wenchsenior

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2016, 08:29:27 AM »
It's easy to claim to be tolerant of differences when the population is actually homogeneous, but if a bunch of dissimilar people started showing up in <insert small midwestern town here> you might be surprised how badly the incumbent population reacts.
Couldn't have said it better myself.  I've lived in the south my whole life, and still haven't seen a blatant display of racism.

It might be that you can't see what you were born and raised to swim in?

I had one aunt who was born and raised in Wisconsin (not exactly a hotbed of racial diversity and acceptance) who moved to Fayetteville Arkansas. She loved the area, and stayed for about 15 years, but she constantly talked about how shocking the blatant racism was. Same thing with my sister, born and raised in (definitely redneck and racist, but more on the 'down low') far northern Wisconsin. She fell in love with the Richmond/Willliamsburg area of Virginia on a visit, moved there and has been living there more than 10 years. She regularly comments on how appallingly and blatantly racist a lot of the people are.

Note that I myself would happily consider moving to either of these areas from where I currently live, because of some of the great amenities they offer. But racial and cultural tolerance would not be on my list of expectations if I moved to either place. Whereas, the city I currently live in (and don't care for) doesn't have notably blatant racism. Instead, there is nustso religious and political conservatism everywhere, which depresses me.

There's problems everywhere. No good pretending they don't exist, and when you move, prepare yourself to deal with whatever set of problems will be most problematic to your daily life in that location.

ETA for OP: I also am a fan of Tucson (although full disclosure, I haven't lived there in nearly 20 years YIKES, so things might have changed somewhat)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 08:33:35 AM by wenchsenior »

Jack

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Re: Inexpensive Inclusive Towns in the US
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2016, 08:45:19 AM »
Plus you have PUBLIX!

I love Publix (also lived in Gainesville/area for 6 years).

Atlanta has Publix too (but several other grocery stores -- Aldi, Costco, even Kroger -- are better and/or more Mustachian).

Well, in addition to Publix (First of its Name, King of All Grocery Stores, Master of Fried Chicken, Protector of the BOGO, Lord of the Subs), Gainesville has a Lucky's, Fresh Market, Trader Joe's, Earth Fare and we're getting a 365 by Whole Foods and two Aldi's. Also super walmart and Sam's Club.

I've never heard of Lucky's, but we've got all those other ones in Atlanta too. Also, Sprouts (which might become my new favorite if the rumors that one will be going in 1.5 miles from my house turn out to be true).