Author Topic: Mustachian Places to Live?  (Read 10445 times)

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Mustachian Places to Live?
« on: December 21, 2013, 01:31:44 PM »
I am planning my exodus from the overpriced state of New Jersey. This state seems intent on taxing me to the poor house, so I'm going to get out while I still can.

Profile:
Male
28 years old
No kids
Income: 70k
Profession: Developer
House: Purchased at 185k, 4.25% mortgage - I still owe 160k
Property Taxes: $3500/yr (this is fairly cheap for my area - but it has gone up twice since I bought the place)
Student Loans: 15K remaining (5k at 6.5%, 10k at 2%)

I am looking for an area where I wont need a car, intelligent population, & low cost of living. I really enjoy hiking/camping so I would ideally be near mountains and nice scenery. The girlfriend (who would be coming) likes the beach, but I think I can sell her on a lake but she really enjoys the ocean. I will likely rent at first, then I want to buy a place I can live with 3 or 4 apartments that I can rent.

Something like this: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/4840-N-New-Hope-Rd_Raleigh_NC_27604_M63994-11136?row=17

So far I am considering Raleigh, Denver, Austin, & Pittsburgh. Any other places? What are the pros of your area?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 01:35:01 PM by freeedom »

Cooperd0g

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 02:11:35 PM »
Are you able to work from home or do you need to be able to get a job where you live? That is going to play a huge factor.

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 02:14:10 PM »
Are you able to work from home or do you need to be able to get a job where you live? That is going to play a huge factor.

I'm currently able to work from home. I'm not 100% sure they'd be on board with me moving, but I'm really not worried about my ability to find employment. Developers are in heavy demand everywhere.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3038
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 02:27:40 PM »
Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta (Alpharetta), Austin.   All decent tech markets with a lower cost of living.

Atlanta can have the highest income to lowest housing cost, but it entirely depends on where in the city your job is because commutes can be brutal.  There's land in all directions, so housing and property taxes are low.


Cooperd0g

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 02:32:02 PM »
Las Vegas, Reno, Santa Fe, Boise, Coeur d'Alene, Yakima, Spokane, Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper, Rapid City, Billings, Bozeman, I could go on. You'll find good neighborhoods in many places like this and your ability to find intelligent people will be based on where you live in town and what you do for socialization. There are plenty of stupid people in NYC and in the towns you mentioned.

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 04:04:36 PM »
That place in Raleigh looks extremely unpleasant for carfree living. There are narrow sidewalks along wide, high-speed roads, with no bike infrastructure within miles. Atlanta also generally sounds awful for that.

Pittsburgh is nice, and has many traditional walkable neighborhoods, OK transit, and is pretty bikeable. It has lovely hills and mountains nearby but no beaches. The tech job market is pretty decent, too-- CMU is a driver. There are some absolute bargains to be found, too:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/205-Greenfield-Ave-Pittsburgh-PA-15207/11420385_zpid/
That's in a decently safe, centrally located neighborhood that is very convenient for a cyclist.
There are also some absolutely spectacular houses at reasonable prices:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1356-Denniston-St-Pittsburgh-PA-15217/11630053_zpid/

The Denver region is generally very bikeable, by my understanding, and is building transit aggressively— it'd likely be a good play to buy somewhere where transit is being built in the next few years.

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 06:56:17 PM »
That place in Raleigh looks extremely unpleasant for carfree living. There are narrow sidewalks along wide, high-speed roads, with no bike infrastructure within miles. Atlanta also generally sounds awful for that.

Pittsburgh is nice, and has many traditional walkable neighborhoods, OK transit, and is pretty bikeable. It has lovely hills and mountains nearby but no beaches. The tech job market is pretty decent, too-- CMU is a driver. There are some absolute bargains to be found, too:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/205-Greenfield-Ave-Pittsburgh-PA-15207/11420385_zpid/
That's in a decently safe, centrally located neighborhood that is very convenient for a cyclist.
There are also some absolutely spectacular houses at reasonable prices:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1356-Denniston-St-Pittsburgh-PA-15217/11630053_zpid/

The Denver region is generally very bikeable, by my understanding, and is building transit aggressively— it'd likely be a good play to buy somewhere where transit is being built in the next few years.

What do you by building transit? Increasing the amount of public transportation?

Pittsburgh is probably the top of my list. I see apartment buildings on there for like 400k with 6-10 units. Although more units, the more I'd have to maintain and fix. I am thinking 4-6 units will be the magic number.

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1841
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 07:36:20 PM »
I assume you're talking software developer?  There are jobs here, mostly in RTP or downtown, but Raleigh's not really a good place for living without a car, IMHO.  You might get away with it in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, but housing there is at least 50% higher.

There are some good bike trails in Cary, but I still wouldn't go carless. 

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 09:20:32 PM »
I assume you're talking software developer?  There are jobs here, mostly in RTP or downtown, but Raleigh's not really a good place for living without a car, IMHO.  You might get away with it in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, but housing there is at least 50% higher.

There are some good bike trails in Cary, but I still wouldn't go carless.

Yep, software developer.  The gf really likes Raleigh. I'll still own a car, but I'm really trying to get away from using it.

I heard Cary is boring.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3038
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 05:45:29 AM »
I assume you're talking software developer?  There are jobs here, mostly in RTP or downtown, but Raleigh's not really a good place for living without a car, IMHO.  You might get away with it in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, but housing there is at least 50% higher.

There are some good bike trails in Cary, but I still wouldn't go carless.

Yep, software developer.  The gf really likes Raleigh. I'll still own a car, but I'm really trying to get away from using it.

I heard Cary is boring.

What are you looking for that wouldn't qualify as "boring"?  You may want to include Nashville if you do some research on employment opportunities.

Regarding the "bike friendly" with low cost of living, the cities that were built over farmland in the Southeast have the lowest cost of living relative to incomes, but generally suffer from a lot of sprawl and aren't as bike friendly.


needmyfi

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 07:00:29 AM »
Are you planning on children?  If so, the quality of local schools should be high priority.  Property taxes in my area are half of what you are paying, but there is no way I'd send a kid to the local school.  We are first in something though-teen pregnancy.  Private schools aren't cheap.


geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1841
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 10:51:31 AM »
I assume you're talking software developer?  There are jobs here, mostly in RTP or downtown, but Raleigh's not really a good place for living without a car, IMHO.  You might get away with it in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, but housing there is at least 50% higher.

There are some good bike trails in Cary, but I still wouldn't go carless.

Yep, software developer.  The gf really likes Raleigh. I'll still own a car, but I'm really trying to get away from using it.

I heard Cary is boring.

I'm over 50, so your "exciting" is probably my "get off my lawn". We do have great green space (which you said you wanted), but little nightlife. Downtown Raleigh is 15 - 20 minutes (by car) from my house.

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2013, 04:05:00 PM »
That place in Raleigh looks extremely unpleasant for carfree living. There are narrow sidewalks along wide, high-speed roads, with no bike infrastructure within miles. Atlanta also generally sounds awful for that.

Pittsburgh is nice, and has many traditional walkable neighborhoods, OK transit, and is pretty bikeable. It has lovely hills and mountains nearby but no beaches. The tech job market is pretty decent, too-- CMU is a driver. There are some absolute bargains to be found, too:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/205-Greenfield-Ave-Pittsburgh-PA-15207/11420385_zpid/
That's in a decently safe, centrally located neighborhood that is very convenient for a cyclist.
There are also some absolutely spectacular houses at reasonable prices:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1356-Denniston-St-Pittsburgh-PA-15217/11630053_zpid/

The Denver region is generally very bikeable, by my understanding, and is building transit aggressively— it'd likely be a good play to buy somewhere where transit is being built in the next few years.

What do you by building transit? Increasing the amount of public transportation?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FasTracks

AccidentalMiser

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Age: 51
  • Location: SE Tenn
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 04:09:01 PM »
I'm gonna toss in a vote for Chattanooga, Tn.  I've lived lots of places, I'll never leave this one.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6609
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2013, 07:58:36 PM »
I grew up near Pittsburgh and went to college there (go CMU!) and I really liked it.  I never owned a car there, took the bus and walked, but then again, I was in college.

I've visited the Raleigh area (but Durham mostly), and I don't remember it being particularly bikeable.  I had some friends who were cyclists there though, so there are some areas.

I have a HS friend who lives in Austin, loves it, keeps trying to talk me into moving there.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
    • Mommy Won't Work
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2013, 09:16:43 AM »
I moved to Pittsburgh about 17 years ago for grad school at CMU and ended up staying because I love it.  No ocean, but we do have three rivers, plus plenty of lakes within an hour's drive.  ;-)  It's an extremely mustache-friendly place to live.  Low cost of living, very friendly people, and you have to move out to certain upscale suburbs to find anyone who cares about keeping up with the Joneses.  People in Pittsburgh are proud of their frugality.  I work in IT and have never had a problem finding employment.  Banking, Education, and Health Care are the big industries here.  Good luck!

Mo Money

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2013, 06:19:52 AM »
I have been in Pittsburgh for 30 years and love it.  The cost of living is low, the people are amazingly friendly, and the steel mills are long gone.  It's all service industries now.  A million dollar house in most cities is a $375K house in Pittsburgh.  Culturally, it's strong too: the Carnegie Museum, the Warhol, the Mattress Factory, the Society for Contemporary Craft, etc.  Bike-friendly, and lots of parks and woodland.  A New Yorker writer, Brendan Gill I believe, once said that if Pittsburgh were in Europe, people would travel hundreds of miles to see it.  But I digress:  Trust me, frugality here is not at all out of the norm.

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2013, 12:02:17 PM »
I moved to Pittsburgh about 17 years ago for grad school at CMU and ended up staying because I love it.  No ocean, but we do have three rivers, plus plenty of lakes within an hour's drive.  ;-)  It's an extremely mustache-friendly place to live.  Low cost of living, very friendly people, and you have to move out to certain upscale suburbs to find anyone who cares about keeping up with the Joneses.  People in Pittsburgh are proud of their frugality.  I work in IT and have never had a problem finding employment.  Banking, Education, and Health Care are the big industries here.  Good luck!

How are the property taxes in Pittsburg? I will probably purchase a 4-6 apartment building. The plan is to live in that until it's paid off, then move with the gf into a nicer house for kids.

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
    • Mommy Won't Work
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2013, 11:07:44 AM »
I moved to Pittsburgh about 17 years ago for grad school at CMU and ended up staying because I love it.  No ocean, but we do have three rivers, plus plenty of lakes within an hour's drive.  ;-)  It's an extremely mustache-friendly place to live.  Low cost of living, very friendly people, and you have to move out to certain upscale suburbs to find anyone who cares about keeping up with the Joneses.  People in Pittsburgh are proud of their frugality.  I work in IT and have never had a problem finding employment.  Banking, Education, and Health Care are the big industries here.  Good luck!

How are the property taxes in Pittsburg? I will probably purchase a 4-6 apartment building. The plan is to live in that until it's paid off, then move with the gf into a nicer house for kids.

Depends on if you live in the Burgh itself or in one of the many small boroughs around it.  Google the Allegheny County property tax site for specifics.  In my borough right outside Pittsburgh we pay $3,000 in county, school, and borough taxes on a $120,000 house.

RootofGood

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1361
  • Age: 39
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Retired at age 33. 5 years in, still loving it!
    • Root of Good
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2013, 01:27:58 PM »
OP, you probably don't want to live in that place you listed.  Kind of a rough area.  You can find better places 1-2 miles away most likely without paying much more.  You're in the right general part of town (NE Raleigh inside I-540) if you want affordable housing near town at a very reasonable price.

The location isn't too bad in terms of access to everything.  It's right of Capital Blvd, so you have easy access to Route 1, which is quick transit to downtown Raleigh and plenty of shopping along the way (and you can stick a bike on the front of the bus).  Or go the other way to The Mall and a supertargetwalmart glom.  I used to ride the Route 1 downtown most days, and it was only a 10 minute ride from my neighborhood bus stop to my office's back door.  The same as driving. 

Property taxes here are awesome, FYI.  That quadplex would only run you $3000/yr or so total. 

As for SW developer jobs, you might end up working in RTP which will probably mean driving.  Mrs. RootofGood does the commute right now and it's 30-45 minutes if you can dodge the worst of the traffic.

I think you're on the right track for exploring different cities.  Most of the large cities in the southeast have decent tech jobs and relatively modest housing costs versus NJ, NYC, SF, etc.  And as far as "intelligent people", focus on the larger cities since that's where we tend to congregate.  ;)  And being near a major university won't hurt either.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 01:30:31 PM by RootofGood »

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2013, 09:46:46 AM »
OP, you probably don't want to live in that place you listed.  Kind of a rough area.  You can find better places 1-2 miles away most likely without paying much more.  You're in the right general part of town (NE Raleigh inside I-540) if you want affordable housing near town at a very reasonable price.

The location isn't too bad in terms of access to everything.  It's right of Capital Blvd, so you have easy access to Route 1, which is quick transit to downtown Raleigh and plenty of shopping along the way (and you can stick a bike on the front of the bus).  Or go the other way to The Mall and a supertargetwalmart glom.  I used to ride the Route 1 downtown most days, and it was only a 10 minute ride from my neighborhood bus stop to my office's back door.  The same as driving. 

Property taxes here are awesome, FYI.  That quadplex would only run you $3000/yr or so total. 

As for SW developer jobs, you might end up working in RTP which will probably mean driving.  Mrs. RootofGood does the commute right now and it's 30-45 minutes if you can dodge the worst of the traffic.

I think you're on the right track for exploring different cities.  Most of the large cities in the southeast have decent tech jobs and relatively modest housing costs versus NJ, NYC, SF, etc.  And as far as "intelligent people", focus on the larger cities since that's where we tend to congregate.  ;)  And being near a major university won't hurt either.

In my research I saw that North Caroline was 6th highest on overall tax burden, which isn't that far away from NJ's 2nd place title. I've kind of gotten the girlfriend off of NC with that tidbit of information.

Also, that commute is definitely too long for me. It's one of the things I am trying to get away from. Thanks for the information though.

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2013, 10:43:48 AM »
I moved to Pittsburgh about 17 years ago for grad school at CMU and ended up staying because I love it.  No ocean, but we do have three rivers, plus plenty of lakes within an hour's drive.  ;-)  It's an extremely mustache-friendly place to live.  Low cost of living, very friendly people, and you have to move out to certain upscale suburbs to find anyone who cares about keeping up with the Joneses.  People in Pittsburgh are proud of their frugality.  I work in IT and have never had a problem finding employment.  Banking, Education, and Health Care are the big industries here.  Good luck!

How are the property taxes in Pittsburg? I will probably purchase a 4-6 apartment building. The plan is to live in that until it's paid off, then move with the gf into a nicer house for kids.

Depends on if you live in the Burgh itself or in one of the many small boroughs around it.  Google the Allegheny County property tax site for specifics.  In my borough right outside Pittsburgh we pay $3,000 in county, school, and borough taxes on a $120,000 house.

This site is AWESOME. It lists all the taxes for each property. Thank you!!!

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
    • Mommy Won't Work
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2013, 07:38:14 AM »
Huffington Post has this to say about the Burgh:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/18/pittsburgh-health_n_4339476.html

The housing is affordable.
Their hospitals are world-class.
They're whip-smart (not to mention cultured).
They root, root, root for the home team
It's a great place to retire
Pittsburgh invests in green space
The city is among the country's most secure
Pittsburgh is a reading capital
Their employees are happy

freeedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2013, 10:53:04 AM »
Huffington Post has this to say about the Burgh:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/18/pittsburgh-health_n_4339476.html

The housing is affordable.
Their hospitals are world-class.
They're whip-smart (not to mention cultured).
They root, root, root for the home team
It's a great place to retire
Pittsburgh invests in green space
The city is among the country's most secure
Pittsburgh is a reading capital
Their employees are happy

Thanks! This is going in the convince the girlfriend arsenal. I think she's already convinced though. The prospect of living mortgage-free is really what's doing it. That and my (recent) opposition to NC for cultural, tax, and salary reasons. We could easily find a nice duplex that only needs a little work for 150k and pay $1500 in property tax, that coupled with lower income taxes, lower overall cost of living, and 6 hour drive back to NJ are what's really doing it for us. I showed her my mortgage here, and how half the bill is escrow + taxes and she was flabbergasted.

samburger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 257
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2013, 11:27:21 AM »
If you can handle the brutal winters, Minneapolis/St. Paul MN is tough to beat.

We have some of the lowest housing costs relative to our high wages, lowest unemployment, highest literacy rates. Minneapolis proper is one of the most bikeable big cities in the country. Public transpo is decent in the cities, poor to fair in the suburbs.

It's also gorgeous--really truly. The Mississippi River runs between Minneapolis and St. Paul, and we have city and state parks woven into the whole of the metro. It's very green, tons and tons of outdoor recreation. We have a great arts and music scene, too, if you're into that.


NeverWasACornflakeGirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 231
    • Mommy Won't Work
Re: Mustachian Places to Live?
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2013, 12:26:28 PM »
Let me know if you have any other questions or need anything else!  Happy to help!  :-)