Author Topic: Moving to a New City, Advice on Locations  (Read 1199 times)

madacho

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Moving to a New City, Advice on Locations
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:13:17 PM »
Hello everyone!

Glad to be part of this community, I stumbled across Mr. Money Mustache's blog a fair while ago and have been reading religiously ever since. Suffice it to say that the blog and this forum has changed my outlook on my life and finances!

I have a pressing matter that I would love to have some advice on: I will be soon moving to a new city (Charleston, SC) for a new job and I was wondering what everyone thought about my options. For those who know the city, your advice would even be more appreciated! Otherwise, I have some basic attributes to separate each location.

1. West Ashley
  Pros:
   - Close to work (10 min drive, could bike but lack of bike paths makes this difficult)
   - Lot of similar-aged "young professionals" in the area
   - Costco within walking distance
   - Close to downtown Charleston
  Cons:
   - Father away from nicer grocery stores, gyms/basketball

2. Mt. Pleasant
  Pros:
   - Walking distance from a Trader Joe's, Whole Foods
   - Very close to downtown Charleston (5 min drive, ~15 min bike)
   - "Nice" area, where more families go to settle down, etc...
  Cons:
   - Further from work, about 20 minute drive (but against traffic)
   
3. James Island
  Pros:
   - Close to beach, 10 min drive, 20 min bike. (not too big of a beach person though)
   - Walking distance to Walmart, other local stores
   - Biking distance to community center (for basketball, I play a lot)
  Cons:
   - Far (furthest of the three) away from work, 25+ minute drive
   - Traffic (especially in the summer, with people going to the beach)


All three are very tempting places to live, and I have been Craigslisting and have potential places/roommates to live with in all three locations.

In my attempt to be a Mustachian person, I'm trying to live somewhere where I can bike to work, but apparently Charleston is a hard place to bike around in (other than downtown). Thus, I'm resigning to the fact that I will most likely have to drive to work, but I want to live within walking/biking distance of everything else (grocery stores, gym, etc...).

Rent is looking like $600-700 a month for a 2 BR apartment no matter which place I live, which is acceptable.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

superone!

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Re: Moving to a New City, Advice on Locations
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2014, 10:17:32 PM »
Hi! I grew up in Charleston, and my family still lives there.

This might be asking for too much info, but where is your work? Is it in West Ashley?

If so, I definitely vote for that. It is definitely a growing and fun area, and probably more bikeable than you think. It's been getting more "hip" in the past few years. There is a very nice grocery store (called Earthfare, kind of like Whole Foods) in West Ashley -- though I suspect from your commuting estimates that you are looking on the other end of West Ashley.

My family lives on Johns Island, which might be another option for you depending on what kind of lifestyle you want (and the length of commute). It is definitely cheaper to live out there, but rather rural, though (if you will be working in West Ashley) probably a shorter commute than James Island.

I did live on James Island for a while as a teenager. It is nice that it is close to downtown, but that James Island Walmart is possibly the place where every photo ever featured on "people in Walmart" was taken. To say it is kind of gross is an understatement. (Though I'm not generally a fan of Walmarts, so take that as you will). There is a much nicer Walmart in West Ashley, by the way.

Mount Pleasant is great-- but definitely anti-mustachian. I wouldn't seriously consider it unless you have other concerns you haven't mentioned (the public schools, for example, are better out there).

If you are really interested in biking/walking closer to everything other than work, have you considered the northern part of the Charleston peninsula? Not North Charlestion, but apartments north of Meeting St.? Hampton park area? This is also very up and coming (read: gentrification). But you can bike pretty much anywhere downtown.