Author Topic: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living  (Read 9194 times)

greenmimama

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Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« on: February 17, 2014, 10:00:59 AM »
We would love to move south, like Charleston SC but we don't know how to check it out for its COL

Can you recommend anywhere else that meets this criteria? I have no desire to be in AZ or FL

Would love your input, thank you

Carrie

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 10:17:29 AM »
Google COL calculators.  You can input where you currently live and where you're thinking of moving to get an idea.

TN, NC, AL, GA, MS have generally low COL.  Actually, just about anywhere in the south is LCOL. 

Charleston, SC is nice too, but there are other southern cities with slightly lower COL.

MissStache

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 12:26:30 PM »
I'm wondering what your definition of a moderate climate is?  I lived in Charleston for three years and it is HOT HOT HOT.  And I grew up in Alabama, so I know what hot is.  Winters are extremely mild, but full months with 100+ heat indexes are very common.  Don't get me wrong, I loved it there, but I wouldn't consider it moderate. 

COL is very high, but there are other places on the Carolina and Georgia coasts that are much lower and have a similar climate.  You won't find a place that beautiful, though :)

Home Stretch

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 02:02:35 PM »
I live in Raleigh, NC. It's pretty well known for a reasonable cost of living as well as a healthy economy.

In particular, housing costs are very low here. It is not difficult to find a comfortable single family home for around $150,000 in a decent neighborhood.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 02:22:39 PM »
Texas might rate a look. No state tax, very low COL. Lots of high paying jobs in several different sectors. The no state tax means a bit higher property taxes, but not sure how it compares with other states.

Places outside of Dallas/Ft. Worth and Austin might be a bit more expensive, but you'd still get a pretty decent rate of exchange. They're also great cities to live in or near - lots of diverse activities and fun stuff to do.

Down further - Houston is booming and very cheap to live, but you'd not be getting a mild summer (surface of the sun hot from roughly May-October and humidity is painfully high, but usually very mild winters). Crime rates have been increasing as well in certain areas, so not some place you'd want to move to without doing good research on where the best lower cost/low crime spots are.

I've been checking out cities in Tennessee - low cost of living, nice sized cities and towns with some beautiful land and I believe no state tax as well.

phred

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 02:29:49 PM »
According to Kiplinger's (I think) Tennessee was one of the ten top states not to live in

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 03:07:36 PM »
Again, depends on your definition of "moderate" climate. What about places in CO or northern AZ? At least it's dry heat in the summers there.

greenmimama

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2014, 09:41:35 AM »
My definition of mild is, not these negative temps in the winter, I guess I am looking for milder winters, and it would be awesome if the summers weren't scalding either, mild is mild :)

I live in MI now and for the past 15 years, I did live a year in Nashville TN, it was nice, the summers were hot but not unbearable.

I just don't want my DH to have to commute for more than 15min and we want a bit of acreage, and a state friendly to home schooling. Not asking much right? ;)

We have thought about TX too, but the reason we would love to stay in TN or east coast so that the drive back to visit family in IN and MI wouldn't be so bad. nice short flight or a doable drive with 3 little boys. My DH is a sales manager, pretty much needed in every town everywhere, so it's where we want to end up that he will start looking. But we have to sell this house first and can't do that until at the very soonest Aug because of capital gains taxes, so we are just preparing early trying to find out where we would like to be.

RichWard

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 09:57:06 AM »
I live in Raleigh, NC. It's pretty well known for a reasonable cost of living as well as a healthy economy.

In particular, housing costs are very low here. It is not difficult to find a comfortable single family home for around $150,000 in a decent neighborhood.

I've been looking into moving to the Raleigh/Durham area. Like the original poster, I too am trying to get away from the severe winters of the north. The area seems really nice and for the same price I am paying for a mediocre apartment here I can get one with basketball courts, pool, racquetball courts, etc in NC (whoaaaa). I like being active without spending money, but up here we have to essentially hibernate for 3-4 months.

The gf and I will be taking a road trip to that area this summer to check out a few places, any suggestions of neighborhoods (young couple early-mid 20s) to check out?


SunshineGirl

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 09:57:57 AM »
Flagstaff, Arizona fits your weather criteria perfectly, and it's a cool, funky town, too.

greenmimama

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 10:15:08 AM »
Flagstaff, Arizona fits your weather criteria perfectly, and it's a cool, funky town, too.

Cool, but it sure doesn't fit my wanting an easy drive back ti MI criteria :)

bogart

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 10:50:23 AM »
The gf and I will be taking a road trip to that area this summer to check out a few places, any suggestions of neighborhoods (young couple early-mid 20s) to check out?

Assuming you/gf are not yet FIRE, do you have a sense of where in the area you'd seek work?

the fixer

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 05:41:47 PM »
My definition of mild is, not these negative temps in the winter, I guess I am looking for milder winters, and it would be awesome if the summers weren't scalding either, mild is mild :)
California or the Pacific Northwest. For the former, you'd need to get away from the big cities like SF, SD, LA to find reasonable COL, but even then I'm not sure. I know COL in Washington and Oregon is quite nice, again away from the major cities, as long as you can take the rainy months on the west side of the Cascades.

Weedy Acres

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 07:58:24 PM »
Albuquerque.

RichWard

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 08:26:05 PM »
The gf and I will be taking a road trip to that area this summer to check out a few places, any suggestions of neighborhoods (young couple early-mid 20s) to check out?

Assuming you/gf are not yet FIRE, do you have a sense of where in the area you'd seek work?

I've been checking Indeed.com regularly, there seems to be enough accounting/finance positions to be filled in the area. We are in the very early stages of planning where we want to move.

I looked into it heavily prior to meeting her, but we both are trying to meet certain "status" recognitions in our field in order to be more employable in the future, so I have put it off a little bit (we both are on pace to be promoted within the next 6 months). She will be applying to grad school within the next year(ish) so we are checking out some different areas where we would enjoy our time and also be good for her. We have narrowed down our search to North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Arizona..... Obviously we have a lot of work to do.

I have done enough research to book a flight (and then cancel due to my friend/future roommate getting a job in another state) to NC to look at apartments, so I have tried to persuade her that NC could be the best spot.

We both love the active lifestyle and are much happier being outdoors, so this whole 3-4 month dead period/winter is not working well with us.

Any recommendations are welcomed.

wtjbatman

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2014, 08:28:27 PM »
This thread speaks to me. The GF and I are planning to get out of this Winter paradise (right) and move south. Looking at Austin, Nashville, Durham. She wants St Louis but I don't think it's far enough south.

greaper007

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2014, 09:01:05 PM »
I used to live in Florida, and all I can say is that if you want to live in the south, stay within about 2-5 miles from the water.   Past that it gets miserably hot.    I lived right on the beach at the time and I swear that the temperature would drop 10 degrees just driving over the bridge from the mainland to the beachside.

RichWard

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2014, 09:02:07 PM »
This thread speaks to me. The GF and I are planning to get out of this Winter paradise (right) and move south. Looking at Austin, Nashville, Durham. She wants St Louis but I don't think it's far enough south.

If you end up going to Durham, let me know, appears we are in a similar situation. This winter has been more brutal than most.

bogart

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2014, 09:19:07 PM »
Any recommendations are welcomed.

I don't know much about Raleigh; it is, of course, the state capital and home to NCSU.  Others will be able to give you way better info. than I can about it.

Durham is without question the most affordable and probably most diverse, both racially and economically.  In the past ~10 years it has really become a vibrant and lovely small city, with a thriving downtown holding both the Durham Performing Arts Center (a number of fun shows -- not cheap.  But not expensive compared to similar in larger locations) and the AAA ballpark (which is fun and can be done cheaply) and any number of good-to-great restaurants (I know, Mustachians don't eat out.  But hypothetically speaking.).  I'm told its farmers market is also great.  It's home to a roughly 25-mile bike/foot trail, the American Tobacco Trail, that I think reasonably well connects some parts of the city and is widely used for recreation (as well as commuting).  I don't use the Durham buses but my sense is they aren't great; however, there is a great free bus that links the Duke campus with downtown.  There's lots of cool stuff going on at Duke that's relatively affordable, and the campus, though scattered, is lovely, with a large public garden popular for strolling, families, and picnics.

Chapel Hill is more expensive and still mostly a college town centered around UNC, though there are populations that live in it and commute to Durham or the RTP for school or work.  Together with neighboring Carrboro it shares a good public school system (the efforts of the state legislature notwithstanding) that keeps house prices and property taxes relatively high.  But there are plenty of decent student apartments.  The downtown's been sort of vacant but seems to be revitalizing.  There is a good-for-the-town's-size public bus system (also serves Carrboro) that is free to the riders (mostly centered on getting people to/from campus from about 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).  It's pretty bike- and pedestrian friendly; UNC does not have adequate parking for its workforce (never mind the students), so lots of people bike or walk (and there is a not-fully-connected-but-reasonably-extensive-greenway system).    Carrboro, adjacent to Chapel Hill, is a former mill town, now arty/funky/graduate-studenty; it's less expensive than Chapel Hill (but more than Durham), and sits on the ridge of the hill, making it attractive for those who want to bike or walk to campus but to miss the hill that is Chapel Hill. 

The Triangle Transit Authority has a bus system that does a good job of connecting Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and the RTP.  Residential areas are getting created around RTP, but it was created as just business, and is in many ways a commuter destination (somewhere to work, not live).

There's good recreation nearby -- Eno River state park, Duke Forest, and assorted others for hiking/running/biking; Jordan Lake for boating.  And it's about a 3-hour drive to the nearest beaches and mountains (in opposite directions). 

Last week's snowpocalypse notwithstanding, tomorrow's predicted high temperatures are in the 60s.

wtjbatman

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2014, 09:29:08 PM »
This thread speaks to me. The GF and I are planning to get out of this Winter paradise (right) and move south. Looking at Austin, Nashville, Durham. She wants St Louis but I don't think it's far enough south.

If you end up going to Durham, let me know, appears we are in a similar situation. This winter has been more brutal than most.

Buddy of mine just got hired on in Durham, he has repeatedly told me I should come out there. I'm involved in a hiring process in Austin right now so I am going to see that through first, but if it doesn't work out in Austin, I'll be looking at Durham.

RichWard

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2014, 09:46:24 PM »
Any recommendations are welcomed.

I don't know much about Raleigh; it is, of course, the state capital and home to NCSU.  Others will be able to give you way better info. than I can about it.

Durham is without question the most affordable and probably most diverse, both racially and economically.  In the past ~10 years it has really become a vibrant and lovely small city, with a thriving downtown holding both the Durham Performing Arts Center (a number of fun shows -- not cheap.  But not expensive compared to similar in larger locations) and the AAA ballpark (which is fun and can be done cheaply) and any number of good-to-great restaurants (I know, Mustachians don't eat out.  But hypothetically speaking.).  I'm told its farmers market is also great.  It's home to a roughly 25-mile bike/foot trail, the American Tobacco Trail, that I think reasonably well connects some parts of the city and is widely used for recreation (as well as commuting).  I don't use the Durham buses but my sense is they aren't great; however, there is a great free bus that links the Duke campus with downtown.  There's lots of cool stuff going on at Duke that's relatively affordable, and the campus, though scattered, is lovely, with a large public garden popular for strolling, families, and picnics.

Chapel Hill is more expensive and still mostly a college town centered around UNC, though there are populations that live in it and commute to Durham or the RTP for school or work.  Together with neighboring Carrboro it shares a good public school system (the efforts of the state legislature notwithstanding) that keeps house prices and property taxes relatively high.  But there are plenty of decent student apartments.  The downtown's been sort of vacant but seems to be revitalizing.  There is a good-for-the-town's-size public bus system (also serves Carrboro) that is free to the riders (mostly centered on getting people to/from campus from about 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.).  It's pretty bike- and pedestrian friendly; UNC does not have adequate parking for its workforce (never mind the students), so lots of people bike or walk (and there is a not-fully-connected-but-reasonably-extensive-greenway system).    Carrboro, adjacent to Chapel Hill, is a former mill town, now arty/funky/graduate-studenty; it's less expensive than Chapel Hill (but more than Durham), and sits on the ridge of the hill, making it attractive for those who want to bike or walk to campus but to miss the hill that is Chapel Hill. 

The Triangle Transit Authority has a bus system that does a good job of connecting Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and the RTP.  Residential areas are getting created around RTP, but it was created as just business, and is in many ways a commuter destination (somewhere to work, not live).

There's good recreation nearby -- Eno River state park, Duke Forest, and assorted others for hiking/running/biking; Jordan Lake for boating.  And it's about a 3-hour drive to the nearest beaches and mountains (in opposite directions). 

Last week's snowpocalypse notwithstanding, tomorrow's predicted high temperatures are in the 60s.

Thanks for the abundance of information! Durham reminds me of the city I'm living in now, except for the same cost I can be in a comfortable climate. I like the idea of not being on the beach (too expensive), but being able to make a day trip out of it on the weekends - same for the mountains.

yyc-phil

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2014, 09:14:32 AM »
You guys south of the border have so many places to chose from. Up here in Canada, the only option we have for overall decent weather and relatively low COL is around Nanaimo on Vancouver Island...sigh...

nessness

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2014, 11:07:50 AM »
What about Sacramento? Hot summers but mild winters, and an easy day trip to the mountains or the beach ( or fun cities like SF). And unlike the south, it at least cools off in the evenings, making outdoor activities bearable.

ABC123

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2014, 11:28:28 AM »
I work in Nashville and live just north of town.  I really like it here.  I grew up in Wisconsin and went to college/grad school in Florida -- for me, the climate here is wonderful.  This winter has been colder than usual, but even so it is definitely bearable.  And our summers get hot, but not the crazy unrelenting heat of places further south.  No state income tax, but sales tax is almost 10%, so that is a negative.  We have quite a few friends who homeschool their kids, and none have ever seemed to have issues with the state getting involved.  And for us, it is a 10 hour drive (including stops) to get back home to Wisconsin -- not sure what part of Michigan you would be going to, but your going to be closer from here than a lot of other southern places.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2014, 12:04:22 PM »
Come to Richmond, Virginia!

I love it here.  I've been here for 15 years.  The COL is moderate.  The politics are moderate -- example, our last Gov, AG and General Assembly tilted too far right and the voters cleaned house.  I can guarantee that if the Dems now holding the executive branch tilt too far left, they'll get booted too. 

Our economy is very strong.  As the state capital, we have all the cultural amenities you'd want plus outstanding hiking trails right in the city.  We're the only city in the U.S. with Class 4 rapids in our downtown and most of the James River waterfront is parkland.  Schools in the surrounding counties are some of the best in the U.S.  Land/ housing is reasonably priced.

Geographically, we're two hours from DC (though I-95 is a nightmare once you're north of Fredericksburg), two hours from the beach, and two hours from the mountains. 

We're home to two world-class universities -- VCU and the University of Richmond, with more nearby.  VCU has an outstanding dental/ orthodontia program (both my kids had braces done there for a significant discount). 

We're far enough away from the coast to be somewhat insulated from severe weather/ hurricanes.  That's an issue you really need to consider if you're looking at coastal areas.  Natural disaster and divorce are the two surest ways to destroy your financial security.

Anyway, I love my city.  Come visit!

lifepopsicle

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2014, 12:32:33 PM »
I've lived in Raleigh NC for close to 5 years and love it! Very affordable, good size, culture, healthy job and housing markets, lots of green space, and only 2 hours to both beach and mountains. Charlotte, while not my favorite NC city (it's bigger and more cookie-cutter) is a good option if your in finance but a bit pricier. I also love Wilmington (beach), Asheville (mountains) and Charleston, SC (beach) although the job markets in those areas aren't as healthy as the Triangle, especially if you're in tech. Memphis, TN is a really, really affordable up and coming city but has higher crime and can get disgustingly hot in the summer. I could see myself retiring in Asheville because I have such a deep love for the mountains but for now, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill is where it's at!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Moderate climate with a low to mid cost of living
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2014, 06:32:28 AM »
It sounds to me the states that i have researched that give you mild temps and best bang for your buck are TN, KY and NC.