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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:00:50 PM

Title: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:00:50 PM
Welcome to the Mustachian Relocation guide.
Initially, I was going to create this for the purposes of getting some information on areas I was contemplating relocating to for the purpose of work. However, after realizing the kind of information I was looking for, not only could this be extremely helpful for other people, but it could also be an opportunity to exercise something that Mustachians are very good at. We kick ass at understanding the kind of things that make a place worth living, and we rock at finding ways to make anywhere awesome. That being said, I (with some invaluable help from arebelspy) decided that an honest look at a specific location through the lens of Mustachianism and Catching FIRE would be cool to collate.

This thread will be a constant work in progress, and I'll do my best to keep it updated. The first few posts of this thread will be reserved for a Table of Contents (which will link to specific comments in this thread), so that one can easily find specific cities with feedback from those mustachians who know. Below, there are also some guidelines regarding the kind of information that we would like answers to. If I seem to have missed something that people would like to know, just post here and I'll get it added.

So this post is going to be a one stop shop guide for moving somewhere. Have a city you want advice on? Post a question here. Do you live somewhere and want to share your experiences? Post a review here. Let's see what kind of awesomeness we can create!!

The guidelines below are just that, a guide. You don't have to have all the information, just post your experiences and share what knowledge you have. Also, one of the biggest things I'd personally like to know is suburbs around the area that are probably cheaper.

Rough guidelines/information to include:

Resources/Getting Started

So you are looking at moving? Feel free to request firsthand knowledge here, but check out some of these resources to get started (and comment if you know of something else that should be added):


City Reviews

Review Requests
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:00:59 PM
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:01:07 PM
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:01:15 PM
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:01:26 PM
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:01:36 PM
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:02:08 PM
THIS POST RESERVED FOR EXPANSION
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:02:48 PM
Colorado Springs, CO

I make an effort to love everywhere I find myself, but it was so much easier here. The city itself is pretty large, with the natural growing pains that come with expansion. However, all expansion is moving east. To the west (a 20 minute bike ride from downtown), you have access to the foothills (and Pikes Peak). Throughout the city, there are a lot of bike trails, and they are very well maintained (as in some get plowed before the streets do). There is a plethora of fun free activities, and UppaDowna does weekly rides downtown. Weekly 5K fun runs are held almost year round. Bear Creek is a fun park, as is Fox Run (on the north side). COS is home to USA Triathlon, US Cycling, and USA Ultimate. Costs for housing vary within city limts. The North end of town is most expensive, and housing costs drop as you move south. I currently live just East of downtown, and the housing here is very cheap, since they are ranch style homes built in the 50s, and not McMansions that are in more demand these days. Colorado gets 300 days of sunlight, so our passive solar heat works quite well. I'm not familiar with many indoor activities here, but that's because there is a whole lot of outdoor activities and they are free. Hiking, bouldering, and biking are common hobbies, and they are all easily accessible (you can bike to a location for any of these). We also support dispersment camping in National Forests and BLM lands, so as long as you stay 100 feet (or something) away from rivers, you can just pitch a tent and enjoy. Even though it costs money, one of the most fun things that you have to try is outdoor laser tag at Battlefield Colorado, and the Starlight Spectacular is an awesome biking event where they close down the streets for a ride in the dark. The soil up north is more clay, so there will be some work getting a garden to grow. The soil seems to get better the further south you go. Throughought all of Colorado, there are strange laws regarding water usage and storage. It's technically illegal to collect rain water, but I haven't had an issue with it yet. Due to the proximity of the mountains, sunsets aren't anything all that great, but sunrises are cool. The views of the mountains are outstanding, and never cease to amaze me. There is a fair amount of sprawl, so be prepared to travel a bit if using an alternative mode of transportation. The libraries (21C) are great, and even have CNC machines and 3D printers that you can use (if you take a class and provide the materials). Overall, it's a great place to live, especially if you like outdoor activities. If you are a social butterfly, you can also find all kinds of groups to engage in activities with others (there is seriously a red wine and hiking group).
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:03:05 PM
New Orleans, LA

Coming soon...I just hate dead links.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Parizade on February 23, 2016, 03:11:27 PM
I've found this resource to be helpful. You can select any state and any county or town within that state. The tool then generates a bare bones budget of living expenses for that town or county.

Living Wage Calculator
http://livingwage.mit.edu/

It's not perfect, I think many of the people who participate in this forum could live on less than the calculator suggests. Still, it's a useful starting point for comparing communities.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 23, 2016, 03:18:41 PM
I've found this resource to be helpful. You can select any state and any county or town within that state. The tool then generates a bare bones budget of living expenses for that town or county.

Living Wage Calculator
http://livingwage.mit.edu/

It's not perfect, I think many of the people who participate in this forum could live on less than the calculator suggests. Still, it's a useful starting point for comparing communities.

Nice. I suppose I need to add a resource section as well. Thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: deborah on February 23, 2016, 09:53:08 PM
There are a lot of companies who do international city livability indices. For instance, just a couple of days ago, Mercer updated theirs for 2016. As usual, Vienna and Zurich head their list as the world's most livable city, with Auckland, Munich, Vancouver, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Sydney rounding out the top 10. Of the cities they look at, All Australian cities except Brisbane come in before any US cities (well Canberra ties with San Francisco). This is a bit surprising as one of the major criteria for this study is International connectivity, and Australia and New Zealand tend to be the end of the line, so they wouldn't do well (especially Canberra which will start to have international flights in September). Mercer is obviously quite Euro-centric.

But there are a number of other world's most livable city indices, one of which often puts Sydney at no. 1 position in the world, another of which often puts Melbourne there (there is a bit of rivalry between the two cities, so this is HEADLINES). Vancouver also seems to make it to the top of most lists. The Economist does one of these surveys.

It is really interesting to read the criteria these studies use for their choices. I think it is worth while thinking about what your criteria are, even when you look at this list.

The Living Wage calculator seems to have a bias (in Australia) towards the CBD when it is talking about things like lunch prices. Melbourne and Sydney both have "Cheap Eats", awards and information about where to buy cheap meals, so Mustachians should have a different experience to that in the calculator.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Sailor Sam on February 26, 2016, 11:26:58 AM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: MickeyMoustache on March 03, 2016, 07:27:04 AM
I currently live in NE OH, (originally from Long Island) and my wife and I would like to get back to the East coast.  Our current guess of a great place to live would be in the Raleigh North Carolina area, or maybe a suburb of Charlotte.  Can anyone provide some advice on these areas?  I've only been to Charlotte for work and my wife has only heard that its a great place to live from others.  We are planning on vacationing there later this year but have no idea where to go... Any help would be appreciated!

Basically, we want to get to warmer weather and live near a nice city to go into as well as having outdoor options (hiking, biking, camping, etc.)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on March 03, 2016, 09:01:06 AM
I currently live in NE OH, (originally from Long Island) and my wife and I would like to get back to the East coast.  Our current guess of a great place to live would be in the Raleigh North Carolina area, or maybe a suburb of Charlotte.  Can anyone provide some advice on these areas?  I've only been to Charlotte for work and my wife has only heard that its a great place to live from others.  We are planning on vacationing there later this year but have no idea where to go... Any help would be appreciated!

Basically, we want to get to warmer weather and live near a nice city to go into as well as having outdoor options (hiking, biking, camping, etc.)

I've added Charlotte and Raleigh to the request list. Also, I was looking at a comparison between Raleigh and Austin, TX, so that resource may be helpful. This (http://www.city-data.com/forum/city-vs-city/1261517-raleigh-vs-austin.html) is the comparison I was looking at. Also, would you mind posting your review of Long Island and/or where you are now?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: CanuckExpat on March 03, 2016, 10:53:50 AM
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Nords on March 06, 2016, 04:54:46 PM
This is a very rough guide to Hawaii, and it's mostly about Oahu/Honolulu.  Those of you who live here (especially on a neighbor island) please edit this to match your experiences.  I've also included links to all of my blog posts and their related references to other books, manuals, & newspapers.

I live on Central Oahu.  We're about 20 miles northwest from Honolulu ("town") and we can be in Waikiki in about 45-60 minutes.  (Traffic is more critical than distance.)  However the island is roughly 30x40 miles (600 sq mi) so it's hard to get more than 90 minutes away from town.  Kapolei ("Second City") in the west is just starting to grow, and in 20 years or so it'll be the second urbanized area.  Oahu is currently building a light rail system to link Kapolei (Ewa Beach) to town (Ala Moana Shopping Center) and should be running by 2018 or 2019. 

Average housing cost is all over the map.  The median condo price is roughly $350K and the median single-family home price is roughly $750K.  However high-rise studios rent for as little as $1000/month and some homes are as expensive as $6000/month.  It's reasonable to budget $1500/month for an apartment and $2500/month for a single-family home, but the house may require a 40-minute drive to town (each way). 

Indoor hobbies?!?  This is paradise!  Get outside!  Oh, it's raining again?  Well, there's always hula or martial arts.

Outdoor hobbies:  everything you'd do on the Mainland, plus surfing.  Wear sunscreen.

Weather:
Like much of the island, Central Oahu's climate is 75-85 deg F year-round with winter lows in the 60s and summer/fall highs around 90.  May-November is generally dry (with the threat of an occasional hurricane every year or two) while December-April (especially January) is rainy.  However the island's microclimates vary from tropical forest all the way to desert.  A couple elevations can get down into the low 50s in winter.  The joke is that local meteorologists have the country's easiest job, and if you don't like the weather then you should walk a couple miles or wait an hour.

Favorite things:  Surfing. 
Other island activities can be found at the website 101ThingsToDo.com.  It's designed for visitors of all types but it's a good place to find the latest stores and vendors. 
We enjoy Hawaii's multicultural population, especially the different cuisines.  Waves of immigration over the last 150 years (mainly from Asia) have brought together many different cultures and nobody is a majority.

Least favorite things:
Oahu is struggling with urban growth and the high cost of owning a residence.  Sprawl is competing with the loss of agricultural land, and the island's future growth will have to come from high-rise buildings and walkable neighborhoods oriented around light rail. 
Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983 and has spewed tons of sulfur dioxide into the air.  Normally this gas is blown away from the islands by the tradewinds, but when those winds die down then "vog" (volcanic fog) permeates the air.  It can cause respiratory problems for some.
Some temporary residents (mostly military on a tour of 2-3 years) complain about "rock fever" (small-town syndrome) and want a climate with four seasons.  Others miss being able to drive hundreds of miles, seeing professional sports teams (of all leagues) in person, and NASCAR racing. 
Mainland family (elderly parents, your grandkids) can draw you away from the islands.  Some residents tire of having to fly at least 2500 miles to the Mainland several times per year for family or business.

Must try:
This post describes a typical vacation itinerary:
http://the-military-guide.com/2014/05/01/lifestyles-in-retirement-hawaii-vacation/

Stupid ordinances/laws:
Hawaii culture (Chinese, other Asian countries) encourages fireworks at New Years Eve.  This has extended to American culture on the 4th of July.  Residential firecrackers and smaller displays can be lit at home with a $25 permit, but the law is widely ignored.  Many residents buy illegal aerials and other powerful explosives.  The noise, smoke, and debris are incredible. 

Words of wisdom/advice:
You have to live here to truly understand how you'll feel about a tropical paradise.  At the very least you'll want to stay for six months as a resident.  If you're considering buying a home, be ready to rent for at least 12-18 months while you sort out the neighborhoods and prowl for bargains.
Read these posts, and note the other blogs/books/publications mentioned in the "Related links" sections.
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/06/14/lifestyles-in-early-retirement-hawaii-long-term-travel/ Lifestyles in early retirement: Hawaii long-term travel
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/03/28/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-learning-to-surf-in-hawaii/ Lifestyles in military retirement: learning to surf in Hawaii
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/08/29/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-surfing-photos/ Lifestyles in military retirement: surfing photos
http://the-military-guide.com/2010/11/04/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-surfing/ Lifestyles in military retirement: surfing
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/10/13/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-living-in-hawaii/ Lifestyles in military retirement: Living in Hawaii
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/08/27/good-reasons-not-to-live-in-hawaii/ Good reasons NOT to live in Hawaii
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/05/16/lifestyles-in-military-retirement-haleakala-crater/ Lifestyles in military retirement: Haleakala Crater
http://the-military-guide.com/2011/05/30/lifestyles-in-retirement-haleakala-crater-redux/ Lifestyles in military retirement: Haleakala Crater redux
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/10/29/3d-hawaii-right-here-on-the-blog/ 3D Hawaii: right here on the blog
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/11/01/lifestyles-in-hawaii-tsunamis/ Lifestyles in Hawaii: tsunamis
http://the-military-guide.com/2013/04/15/lifestyles-in-hawaii-hawaii-island-the-big-island/ Lifestyles in Hawaii: Hawaii Island (the Big Island)
http://the-military-guide.com/2012/09/03/lifestyles-in-hawaii-naked-on-the-beach/ Lifestyles in Hawaii: “Naked on the beach”
http://the-military-guide.com/2014/05/01/lifestyles-in-retirement-hawaii-vacation/

Sustainability:
Hawaii grows less than half of its own food.  You can do a lot with your own garden and fruit trees, which may produce 2-3 crops per year.
The islands are attempting to be 100% renewable energy by 2030.  Oahu is at about 20% and Kauai is already hitting 90% on some days. 
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2016/02/03/kauai-utility-reaches-90-renewable-energy.html
All of Hawaii's potable water comes from rainfall that percolates down to artesian wells.  The water supply is threatened by salt-water intrusion and residential construction. 
One sewage plant is running a small project to reclaim and purify effluent for golf-course irrigation.  I suspect that toilet-to-tap utility systems will be widespread within another 20 years.
Hawaii's sewage infrastructure is old, antiquated, and frail. 
Over a third of Oahu's residences use solar water heating systems.  All new construction is required to include this feature.
Oahu has one of the nation's highest per-capita uses of photovoltaic grid-tied electric power.  Nearly one-third of the single-family homes have PV systems and a net-metering agreement with HECO.  There are over 77,000 PV systems on the island.
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/blog/morning_call/2016/01/hawaiian-electric-has-77-000-installed-solar-pv.html
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: forestj on March 08, 2016, 12:30:08 AM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on March 08, 2016, 06:51:02 AM
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.

I've added your requests to the first post. Thanks for participating.

-Hawaii-

    -Minneaplolis/Saint Paul, MN-
Awesome reviews and a huge thanks to you both. Those were both great reads with a lot of great information.[/list]
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: cantgrowamoustache:( on March 09, 2016, 03:51:16 PM
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.

I would be very interested in a San Jose review, or really anywhere California coastal.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on March 09, 2016, 04:56:14 PM
If anyone has information on Charleston SC, Wilmington NC, or Miami FL that would be great.

Let me know if anyone wants to know about San Jose CA, Baltimore MD, or Toronto (Canada), the former is pretty expensive, and my info on the latter two is dated.

I would be very interested in a San Jose review, or really anywhere California coastal.

*cough, cough* Spartana!!!! I'll send a PM, and add your locations to the requested section tomorrow.

Where do you live? Can you add your review of your city?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: AZDude on March 10, 2016, 12:51:12 PM
Not a request in this thread, but I know others have asked about it in the forums plenty of times. I grew up in Arizona and currently live on the west side of the Phoenix metro area:

City: Phoenix, AZ, USA
If a suburb, distance from city: So the metro area is huge. Think Los Angeles if you have ever been there, or imagine it taking 90 minutes to drive from one side to the other. I live on the northwest part of the area, and its about 30 to 45 minutes to get downtown.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): Housing is relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the US. A single family home in a decent area can be found for $150K to $250K. You can rent a 3br/2ba for about $1250 in a good part of town. For mustachians, you can buy a 2br condo for under $100K and you can rent a 1br apartment for $650.

Things to do: So understand its almost like two different cities. From October to April, you have a million things going on. Its like one giant party. Superbowls, spring training, hot air balloons, golf tournaments, NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA all in the city, plus bowl games, NCAA tournament games, concerts, expositions, etc, etc, etc... You also have plenty of outdoors stuff. Weather is great so hiking, fishing, hunting, etc... are all easy to do. 2 hours north of the city is a smallish college town with a nearby ski resort. In the summer months, its like a ghost town and your options for entertainment diminish.

Weather: Again, October through April, its beautiful. Expect 60s-70s for most of the winter.  May through September is horrific. You usually see ten or more days of 110F+ and pretty much the whole season is 100F+. Not to mention that July and August you get monsoon season with haboobs(think of a thunderstorm, only no rain, just dust, lightning, and wind). Very dry, obviously, with plenty of days with under 10% humidity.

Favorite things: Winter weather, lots to do in the winter, and life is easy. Jobs are plentiful, cost of living is low. San Diego is 6 hours away. Rocky mountains are 2-4 hours away.

Least favorite things: The summer weather, rednecks, and how car dependent the city has become. Smoking is more common than in places like California. People drive like assholes.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on March 10, 2016, 12:57:22 PM
Not a request in this thread, but I know others have asked about it in the forums plenty of times. I grew up in Arizona and currently live on the west side of the Phoenix metro area:

AZDude, thank you for the review. I've added it to the main post.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: MayDay on March 10, 2016, 01:13:14 PM
There are even serious broomball leagues (hockey in tennis shoes, its real silly).

I am personally offended by this comment. 

BROOMBALL FOREVER.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: new old life on March 15, 2016, 11:19:13 AM
•  City: Boston, Ma – I live in Boston proper, but when most people think of Boston, they think of Boston and the immediate suburbs (Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline and Allston). I don’t consider them suburbs for the sake of this guide since everything about Boston will apply to them as well.
•  Average housing cost (specify rent or buy) – It is very expensive to live here. I have been lucky in all 3 places I have lived have been amazing deals. Place 1 was in Cambridge $1,000 a month with 4 roommates and 4 bathrooms. Place 2 was in Cambridge was $2,000 a month for a 660 sqft 1Bed/Bath apartment with a deeded parking spot that I lived in with my now ex-girlfriend. My current apartment is $1050 a month in South Boston for a 11x12 sqft room with a detached bathroom and 2 roommates. All of these are very good deals for the area. If you live with roommates, the typical rent is between 1100 – 1500 a month. If you want to live on your own, it moves to 1700+ per month.

The key to living here, in my opinion, is living within walking distance of the subway or bus lines. You can spend less living away from public transport, but if you work in the city, that means driving into some of the worst rush hour traffic in the country and paying 350+ a month to park your car in the garage plus any tolls along the way. If you find the right area, you don’t even need a car (I was car free for 2 years).

There is an extensive commuter rail system for people who want to live in the suburbs, but they just passed the 3rd fare increase in the 6yrs I’ve been here and it is just as expensive as a parking pass for the people in the farthest zones, and takes just as long, but you don’t have to drive, so there’s that.

Buying a home or condo is also ludicusly expensive. The single apartment condo I rented with my ex has an estimated retail of 425k and was last updated in 1995. Houses are far worse. All the new building in the city is “luxury” apartments and condos, so I don’t expect that price to go down any time soon.

http://newbostonpost.com/2016/03/14/why-soaring-housing-costs-threaten-bostons-economic-vitality/

Indoor Hobbies – Lots – Sports teams (Bruins, Celtics), 4 concert venues I can think of off the top of my head. Multiple museums and historical landmarks along with guided tours. Lots of bars/drinking/night life (expensive, think 7-10 dollar beers and 10-20 dollar mixed drinks). Hundreds of indoor sports leagues from floor hockey to volley ball and whiffle ball.
•  Outdoor Hobbies – Varies on season – Red Sox and Patriots. Hundreds of rec sports leagues – you can find almost anything you’re interested in here. Kayaking and deep sea fishing in the summer, skiing/snowboarding in the winter. It is only a few hours to some of the best mountains in the Northeast.
•  Weather – All 4 seasons. Seriously, I have 3 sets of clothes for summer, fall/spring, and winter. Summers can range from 80-90ish, with a handful of 100+days. Spring and fall are the most temperate with 60-80 days and cooler nights. Winter can get COLD.  This year we were lucky with only 2 days below 0 and almost no snow. Last year was a horror show with almost an entire month in the low single digits with negative wind chill and over 120 inches of snow that almost paralyzed the city.
•  Favorite things – The sports teams (Championship city, lately). The rec leagues, and the music scene in the summer, close to family
•  Least favorite things – traffic, how expensive it is, winter
•  'Must Try' -  Fenway park, the museums, harbor walk.
•  Words of wisdom/Advice – Avoid the mass pike (I-90) on the weekdays as much as possible. Live on rapid transit system. If you want to live in the suburbs, be ready for a 1.5-2+ hour commute each way. I moved into the city for that exact reason, 2 hours each way at the end of the work day and paying 400-500 a month for the privilege.

Edited to add link
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on March 15, 2016, 11:28:12 AM
•  City: Boston, Ma

Thank you!! I've got it added. Do you like it there?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: new old life on March 15, 2016, 11:42:07 AM
•  City: Boston, Ma

Thank you!! I've got it added. Do you like it there?

Yes, aside from the traffic and the expense. I grew up relatively close, CT, and I have made a lot of good friends here. People are mostly friendly and there is never a shortage of things to do, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't seriously considering moving somewhere warmer and cheaper.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: overwhelmed on April 03, 2016, 09:16:13 AM
I have only been reading for about a week so I'm not sure that I have 'mustachian' assistance to provide but I live right outside of Charlotte NC for the last 6 years & have a child going to college in Charleston.

I am not sure how much information I can provide but am happy to try to answer any questions if I can.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: BrooklineBiker on April 03, 2016, 08:42:17 PM
•  City: Boston, Ma

Thank you!! I've got it added. Do you like it there?

Yes, aside from the traffic and the expense. I grew up relatively close, CT, and I have made a lot of good friends here. People are mostly friendly and there is never a shortage of things to do, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't seriously considering moving somewhere warmer and cheaper.
Hi,
I'm another Bostonian. The area is pretty bike friendly until you hit some of the suburbs. Public transit is good in areas served by light rail. Some areas are well served by bus. The people are very educated & most suburban public schools are excellent. However, real estate prices are astronomical even in bad areas, the COL is generally high, & weather is atrocious. It is April 3 as I write this & it snowed yesterday, snowed today, & will snow tomorrow. this winter has actually been relatively benign. However last winter we not only had snow high enough to cover our first floor windows, it covered up bus stop & street signs in front of our  house due to plowing. Many houses locally have oil heat, not gas, and very high heating bills. I don't enjoy winter sports or snow generally. While cultural activities are plentiful, this isn't NYC & you can burn out on indoor stuff by february in a snowy winter. Being snowbound indoors & paying top dollar in terms of COL for the privilege gets old. I too am looking south & considering relocation.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ac on April 04, 2016, 10:10:25 AM
Great thread!

Other candidate cities:

Asheville NC

Brevard NC

Portland Oregon

Outer Banks NC

Denver CO

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on April 04, 2016, 10:33:35 AM
Great thread!

Other candidate cities:

Asheville NC

Brevard NC

Portland Oregon

Outer Banks NC

Denver CO

I'll get those added to the post. Thanks for the contribution.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: chasesfish on April 10, 2016, 05:28:03 AM
I saw Austin, TX requested, you should add that to your list as well.  My observation is that's an interesting place, awesome if you want to retire early but horrible if you have to commute to work for a living
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ac on April 12, 2016, 12:50:15 PM
I saw Austin, TX requested, you should add that to your list as well.  My observation is that's an interesting place, awesome if you want to retire early but horrible if you have to commute to work for a living

and CRAZY HOT
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: notarealdoctor on April 21, 2016, 07:27:28 AM
I just came across this site for evaluating public transit, and I thought it might be a useful resource for people here who might want to make decisions based on access to public transit:

http://alltransit.cnt.org/ (http://alltransit.cnt.org/)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: InsertFullNameHere on May 02, 2016, 10:33:58 PM
If anyone has experience in the following, I'd love to hear it.

Corvallis, OR

Charlottesville, VA

Burlington, VT

I also would be willing to review Denton, TX if anyone's interested.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: forestj on May 03, 2016, 11:36:19 AM
Any input on Philadelphia metro area?  All I know so far is these guys:

(http://cdn3.thr.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/nfe_square_383x383/2012/10/philly_a.jpg)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on May 03, 2016, 03:37:06 PM
I've got all the new requests added to the main post.

I also would be willing to review Denton, TX if anyone's interested.

By all means, review away. The more data the better!!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: LipFoliage303 on May 04, 2016, 08:17:10 PM
I'd love to see a review of Tacoma WA. It seems like a Mustachian city from what I've heard/read.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: MrsStubble on May 08, 2016, 07:51:52 PM
City: North Delaware/West Chester PA area  (Outside Philladelphia, south-east)

•  Average housing cost  - all over the place.  This little area between Newark DE - Valley Forge, PA runs the gambit from country, to little city (Wilmington, West Chester), to big towns (Newark DE, Valley Forge, Wayne, PA, Kennett Square, PA etc) to little suburb nooks (North Wilmington, Arden, Brandywine Hundred, Hockesin, Chadds Ford, etc).    Basically depending where you want to be you are looking somewhere between $900 - $2500/mo to rent or housing between $180,000 - all the way up over $2 mil if you want.    Most the stuff around here falls in the $1200 range for rent and $200,000 - $300,000 for housing which gets you a lot for your money. 

• Hobbies – Lots – Sports (30 mins from Philly, plus U Delaware, West Chester U, and local teams).  Lots of bars, breweries, outdoor events, music, arts.  Basically lots of perks of living near NYC and Washington DC (1 1/2 hours) without the HCOL.  1 hr away from the beach or mountains, but hilly and beachy areas inbetween for biking, hiking, kayaking.  Lots of museums in the area (especially the large amount of Dupont & such related properties - Winterthur, Nemoirs, Hagley, Longwood, etc).   Philly is close and mass transit is pretty great, plus philly is a drivable city so you can always just go on in if the mood hits you.

•  Weather – All 4 seasons. Summers can range from 80-90ish, with a handful of 100+days and it can get humid, especially in July/Aug.  If you are from the east coast of the US you are used to this, if you are from West Coast, it will be hellish. Spring and fall are beautiful and the temperate will be in the 40-70 degrees range. Winter can get COLD but not freezing usually.  Sometimes we get snow, sometimes we don't. Rarely we get into single digits here.

•  Favorite things – Fun area and it's a helluva lot cheaper then NYC or DC while you can still bring in the $$$ income, especially with all the banks in DE and the pharmaceutical companies in the Philly-area.   Not hard to make over $100k here so much cheaper tax wise then NYC/NJ/CT/NY suburbs.   Lots of easy travel and big arts culture in/around philly so there's always something to do.   There is i think a festival of some sorts every weekend here, it's really unbelievable.  Easy to go from mountains to beach to rivers quickly and lots of biking here.   Also big drinking community (beer, wine, cider).  Traffic isn't crazy here like NYC suburbs where i came from.   Whole Boston - DC corridor is connected via train so it's easy to get anywhere around here.  IT jobs a plenty, you can trip over them.

•  Least favorite things – Can get pretty humid in the summer, find a friend with a pool.  Also, Delaware especially doesn't have towns per say, so it can be difficult to foster a community in parts of DE because there are lots of developments vs actual towns.  (not alot of sidewalks depending where you live).  On top of that, DE public schools are pretty much crap so if you live here instead of the 20 minutes over the line in PA, you are likely sending your kids to one of the many private schools or home schooling.  If you don't have kids (like us), you an enjoy some of the cheapest taxes in the NE.

•  'Must Try' -    Many many dupont musuems and their events like Point to Point, Longwood Christmas, Longwood Fireworks, etc.
                        Any sports in Philly - Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, 76ers - be prepared to scream with the best of them.
                        XPonential Music Festival - our favorite every summer
                        Dewey Beach, DE - all the partying you can imagine, sans the NJ Shore people
                        Cape May/Wildwood NJ - Victorian and 50's vintage, fun for families and couples, really close
                        Philadelphia Flower Show
                        All the phily outdoor fests and food/drink events.
                        Wilmington - loops and food fests  - lots of fun
                        Arden, DE - Labor day fest, plays, dinners, pool, arts, fun place to visit or live.


•  Words of wisdom/Advice – Rent before you buy anything. There's tons of neighborhoods in Philly and in the suburbs, all with their own different style and flair.  Visit and figure out what you want before you buy.   Avoid DE if you have kids in public schools unless you want to go down below the canal in Delaware (country-ish), because you'll be paying to send them to private school.   
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: FrugalKube on May 08, 2016, 10:22:01 PM
Got a suggestion or two for cities
Bend, Or

Does it have to be big towns? Is there a population size in mind? I was thinking a few places in Eastern Washington State

Great thread btw!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on May 09, 2016, 12:12:41 PM
Got a suggestion or two for cities
Bend, Or

Does it have to be big towns? Is there a population size in mind? I was thinking a few places in Eastern Washington State

Great thread btw!

I added bend to the request list, and added MrsStubble's review as well. The only requirement for reviews or request is that it has to be a place with a city name (hopefully) and a place people want more information about. I want to leave it pretty open and capitalize on the knowledge contained on these boards.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: betsbillabong on May 09, 2016, 08:41:22 PM
This is a great thread! Would love to add a request for Boulder, CO.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on May 09, 2016, 11:25:59 PM
I grew up half an hour's drive from Charlottesville. I guess I don't have intimate experience with it, but I could probably answer some questions.

In terms of schools, most of the people I knew from around Charlottesville lived out in the county and went to Western Albemarle HS. I interpreted that living situation as being for the sake of going to that school (it's ranked #74/322 in VA). City of Charlottesville schools have Charlottesville high school, which is ranked much lower (though not as low as my school, which still manages to send people to quite good schools.) Of course, I think those statistics are mostly useless because average test scores mean almost nothing in a public school, considering that someone on this forum will have their children in the right tail of the distribution.

The other education thing I can give is that going to high school in VA is a huge advantage if you're below the level of getting big scholarships at really, really top schools. It's not at the level of Georgia (I think they're one of the states with free tuition), but UVA and William & Mary, and several other public VA schools, are excellent schools. William & Mary seems to have strongest networking in DC; I haven't figured out any patterns for UVA people.

I'm hoping to move to Charlottesville when I have a family to be near my and my fiancee's parents. I'd move back to Waynesboro (better weather, and I see a lot of potential in recent developments) but realistically the jobs are in Charlottesville.

If anyone has experience in the following, I'd love to hear it.

Corvallis, OR

Charlottesville, VA

Burlington, VT

I also would be willing to review Denton, TX if anyone's interested.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Cyaphas on May 20, 2016, 05:17:25 PM
Does anyone have any experience with Aberdeen WA?

I lived in Centralia for a year and loved it. I thought if I were to ever retire, Aberdeen seemed very ideal.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: mousebandit on May 20, 2016, 05:28:25 PM
Would love info on Spokane, WA and Post Falls, ID.  Also, could we had state and local tax info and DMV data to the summaries?  Things like income tax rates, sales tax, DMV fees and whether or not smog cert is required, are really important to us.  :-) 

THANKS!
Mouse Bandit
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Jaguar Paw on May 28, 2016, 02:51:32 PM
No love for Houston, TX, one of the fastest growing cities in the country?! :( I'll see how appealing or unappealing that I can make it!

Houston, Tx, United States of America!

If a suburb, distance from city: I actually live in Spring, TX which is approximately 26 miles from downtown.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): I've been in Houston area for 8 years now so I will include all my living experiences as the low housing cost is what makes Houston most attractive. We currently live in a 2,500 sq ft. 4 BR 2 ba house, attached garage, nice yard, good school district, nicer inside than we need and it just appraised at 180K. My wife purchased it 6 years ago as a foreclosure for 120K. Before that I lived in a condo in a  nice area of Houston 1Br plus studio 990 sq ft that I sold for 93K almost two years ago. When I first moved here 8 years ago I lived in a brand new "luxury" 3 br apartment (with two roommates) for 1500 total. I can't remember the size but it was massive and amazing. My friend lives down the street from me in a 3,500 sq ft mcMansion that he bought for 350K.

Indoor Hobbies: Reading, board games, coffee roasting, and crafting.

Outdoor Hobbies: Running! Exploring! Fishing! Good camping under an hour away. Only 14 hours to Colorado :(.

Weather: The absolute worst part of Houston. From May until October it is over 90 (frequently over 100) with more humidity than you can imagine. Summer time frequently turns in to running from one air condition area to another. Also we have been having some biblical flooding during the last few months and 5 years ago we had the worst drought in 100 years so you never really now what you're going to get.

Favorite things: The super duper low cost of living allows us to travel a ton. We normally get out of Houston for 3 weeks every summer to Colorado or New England. Living in a big city has tons of awesome food opportunities. Living in a big city has tons of entertainment opportunities: ballets, symphonies, plays, movies, museums, parks.

Least favorite things: The weather! the weather. THE WEATHER!! Houston is also not a pedestrian commuting city as the city is literally the size or Rhode Island. Houston has lots of sketchy areas that you wouldn't really want to bicycle through either.

'Must Try': Depends on what you want! Shoot me a message!

Stupid ordinances/laws: Houston has no zoning laws. Businesses next to houses next to falling down houses are not uncommon in SOME areas of Houston.

Words of wisdom/Advice: When you're sweating your you know what off in the summer, think about how cheap your house is and how much sooner you will be able to retire to a spot like Colorado.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): The oil/gas/energy mecca of the country: I don't think many people know what solar power is here. Plenty of people have some pretty awesome gardens though.

Anything else? Just ask! Houston Rocks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on June 11, 2016, 01:35:42 AM
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Nords on June 11, 2016, 09:58:13 AM
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
I spent my share of time in those towns (and Ledyard, and Gales Ferry) in the 1970s-90s and... yikes.  The cold weather there has a special nasty quality inspired by excess humidity.

The Thames River and the Long Island Sound are also a couple of the nation's most terrifying places to drive submarines, even at slack tide.  If you're in the military I have suggestions for other duty stations.  If the military has already issued you orders then I can share what I've experienced.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on June 11, 2016, 12:35:37 PM
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
I spent my share of time in those towns (and Ledyard, and Gales Ferry) in the 1970s-90s and... yikes.  The cold weather there has a special nasty quality inspired by excess humidity.

The Thames River and the Long Island Sound are also a couple of the nation's most terrifying places to drive submarines, even at slack tide.  If you're in the military I have suggestions for other duty stations.  If the military has already issued you orders then I can share what I've experienced.

No orders yet, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I've been thinking of Groton or Washington as my top choices.  The humid heat of the Southeast points me away from King's Bay, though in every other way a SSGN from there would be ideal. My family's in VA, DC, and PA, and my fiancee's is in VA as well. And she'll be working as a physician assistant. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Nords on June 11, 2016, 05:32:13 PM
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
I spent my share of time in those towns (and Ledyard, and Gales Ferry) in the 1970s-90s and... yikes.  The cold weather there has a special nasty quality inspired by excess humidity.

The Thames River and the Long Island Sound are also a couple of the nation's most terrifying places to drive submarines, even at slack tide.  If you're in the military I have suggestions for other duty stations.  If the military has already issued you orders then I can share what I've experienced.

No orders yet, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I've been thinking of Groton or Washington as my top choices.  The humid heat of the Southeast points me away from King's Bay, though in every other way a SSGN from there would be ideal. My family's in VA, DC, and PA, and my fiancee's is in VA as well. And she'll be working as a physician assistant.
New London: the winds and the currents on the Thames River are just ridiculous.  It was common to head upriver at a 2/3 bell, slam over the rudder when you're abreast of the pier, put on a back full bell, and pray that your biggest, strongest, most experienced linehandlers would snag line 1 around the capstan before you lost control of the bow.  (The piers are close together and tugs don't have much maneuvering room to help.)  In the winter, it got cold enough to freeze the pierside sanitary tank discharge hoses unless you flushed them religiously with salt water after every use. Otherwise you'd try to pump a sanitary tank before morning duty section turnover and discover that you just blew apart the hose on the pier... hopefully not on anybody or on your topside.  The commercial traffic on the Thames and in Long Island sound is a huge hassle to navigate, and you're usually in a rush to catch the right tide/current in the Thames.  You're on the surface for several hours before you reach the 100-fathom curve to dive.  Oh, and the fog makes navigating exciting too.

The duty stations can depend on your personal priorities:

Family life (you & your fiancé), more regular schedule:  SSBN or SSGN out of Bangor.  But frankly boomer life under today's strategic arms limitations (which are a very good thing for the rest of the world) make it hard to be excited about 90-day patrols.  Admittedly the Straits of Juan de Fuca can be busy, and there might be fishing fleets to dodge off the channel entrance.  I'm pretty sure that I remember fog, but it apparently didn't leave scars on my psyche the way New London did.  I'm not sure about the medical employment situation. 

Tactical skills, real-world experience:  SSN out of Pearl Harbor or Guam.  (Pearl Harbor is the nation's largest submarine homeport.)  This is not so good for family life or a set schedule but you'll gain tremendous tactical proficiency.  The water around the islands gets very deep very quickly (no continental shelf) so you rig for dive pierside.  30 minutes after you get underway, you can submerge... even right outside the channel buoys.  Your spouse could work in either the civilian or military (civil-service) hospital system.  Both islands are particularly hurting for doctors and PAs.  Your family in the VA/DC/PA area can Skype, Facetime, or get on a plane.

My impression of leadership on the west coast and Hawaii/Guam is that the crew has much more authority to run the boat while the officers are expected to focus their attention on fighting the boat.  (New London's submarine officers remind me more of the stuffy owners of Downton Abbey.)  You had more independence from the benevolent oversight of squadron and the type commander, too.  Lots of people go to Hawaii or Bangor, dig in deep with the sea/shore rotation, and try to never leave. 

Admittedly New London has the Submarine Learning Center and other shore duty, as well as some employment at the shipyard or with defense contractors.  But Hawaii and Bangor both have similar opportunities and milder weather.  I'll take tropical hurricanes, typhoons, and earthquakes any day over a New London winter.

In my opinion the only place worse than New London (even worse than refueling overhaul in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard) would be Norfolk.  But you probably already know that.

I hope someone has an update on the New London area that makes all the drawbacks worthwhile.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on June 11, 2016, 06:43:51 PM
Can anyone do Groton/New London, CT?
I spent my share of time in those towns (and Ledyard, and Gales Ferry) in the 1970s-90s and... yikes.  The cold weather there has a special nasty quality inspired by excess humidity.

The Thames River and the Long Island Sound are also a couple of the nation's most terrifying places to drive submarines, even at slack tide.  If you're in the military I have suggestions for other duty stations.  If the military has already issued you orders then I can share what I've experienced.

No orders yet, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I've been thinking of Groton or Washington as my top choices.  The humid heat of the Southeast points me away from King's Bay, though in every other way a SSGN from there would be ideal. My family's in VA, DC, and PA, and my fiancee's is in VA as well. And she'll be working as a physician assistant.
New London: the winds and the currents on the Thames River are just ridiculous.  It was common to head upriver at a 2/3 bell, slam over the rudder when you're abreast of the pier, put on a back full bell, and pray that your biggest, strongest, most experienced linehandlers would snag line 1 around the capstan before you lost control of the bow.  (The piers are close together and tugs don't have much maneuvering room to help.)  In the winter, it got cold enough to freeze the pierside sanitary tank discharge hoses unless you flushed them religiously with salt water after every use. Otherwise you'd try to pump a sanitary tank before morning duty section turnover and discover that you just blew apart the hose on the pier... hopefully not on anybody or on your topside.  The commercial traffic on the Thames and in Long Island sound is a huge hassle to navigate, and you're usually in a rush to catch the right tide/current in the Thames.  You're on the surface for several hours before you reach the 100-fathom curve to dive.  Oh, and the fog makes navigating exciting too.

The duty stations can depend on your personal priorities:

Family life (you & your fiancé), more regular schedule:  SSBN or SSGN out of Bangor.  But frankly boomer life under today's strategic arms limitations (which are a very good thing for the rest of the world) make it hard to be excited about 90-day patrols.  Admittedly the Straits of Juan de Fuca can be busy, and there might be fishing fleets to dodge off the channel entrance.  I'm pretty sure that I remember fog, but it apparently didn't leave scars on my psyche the way New London did.  I'm not sure about the medical employment situation. 

Tactical skills, real-world experience:  SSN out of Pearl Harbor or Guam.  (Pearl Harbor is the nation's largest submarine homeport.)  This is not so good for family life or a set schedule but you'll gain tremendous tactical proficiency.  The water around the islands gets very deep very quickly (no continental shelf) so you rig for dive pierside.  30 minutes after you get underway, you can submerge... even right outside the channel buoys.  Your spouse could work in either the civilian or military (civil-service) hospital system.  Both islands are particularly hurting for doctors and PAs.  Your family in the VA/DC/PA area can Skype, Facetime, or get on a plane.

My impression of leadership on the west coast and Hawaii/Guam is that the crew has much more authority to run the boat while the officers are expected to focus their attention on fighting the boat.  (New London's submarine officers remind me more of the stuffy owners of Downton Abbey.)  You had more independence from the benevolent oversight of squadron and the type commander, too.  Lots of people go to Hawaii or Bangor, dig in deep with the sea/shore rotation, and try to never leave. 

Admittedly New London has the Submarine Learning Center and other shore duty, as well as some employment at the shipyard or with defense contractors.  But Hawaii and Bangor both have similar opportunities and milder weather.  I'll take tropical hurricanes, typhoons, and earthquakes any day over a New London winter.

In my opinion the only place worse than New London (even worse than refueling overhaul in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard) would be Norfolk.  But you probably already know that.

I hope someone has an update on the New London area that makes all the drawbacks worthwhile.

That's the first time I've heard what you said about the differences in squadron oversight. Despite the misery of 3-section duty, I've pretty much resigned myself to SSN (unless I get SSGN) because SSBN is too boring. Also, I've spent my last year with crypto guys, so they've got me convinced that I should go on a boat that does exciting things. I was turned off SSGN for a while when I found out that they did turnover, but I figure that's not such a big deal compared to fast boat duty schedule. At least I'd still get to be home and boat-less almost half the time.

At least in part I've leaned toward Groton and Washington because they're not in such built-up areas, and in CT the base is even not too far out of town.

How was the housing situation in Pearl? Did you live out in town or use base housing?

Do you have any wisdom about San Diego or fast boats out of Washington?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Nords on June 11, 2016, 08:00:06 PM
That's the first time I've heard what you said about the differences in squadron oversight.
That may be my officer bias against the New London crowd, where you were expected to support the wardroom in all social activities instead of having a life.  The spouse groups seemed much more stiff & formal, too.  The officers seemed a little too involved in the details of running the boat, and after a while the chiefs tended to spend more time in the chiefs quarters.  Three decades later, I sure hope it's better.

Or it may be my first exposure to PACFLT SSNs.  For my first underway on my first SSN in the Pacific, when I got to the bridge my CO was wearing the usual khaki shirt with all the insignia and ribbons.  But down below chest level, where nobody from the pier could see what was in the bridge cockpit, he was wearing surf shorts and slippers.  Alooooooha.

Despite the misery of 3-section duty...
My daughter kvetched once about her destroyer going from six-section duty down to five-section.  I almost tore her head off by sheer reflex before I got control of myself, but I think she understood my facial expression.

... I've pretty much resigned myself to SSN (unless I get SSGN) because SSBN is too boring. Also, I've spent my last year with crypto guys, so they've got me convinced that I should go on a boat that does exciting things. I was turned off SSGN for a while when I found out that they did turnover, but I figure that's not such a big deal compared to fast boat duty schedule. At least I'd still get to be home and boat-less almost half the time.
A submariner after my own heart.  "Once you go fast attack you'll never go back"... I'm glad I did SSBNs when I was young and didn't know that anything better existed. 

I don't know much about SSGN schedules, but my impression is that they still get to do everything a fast attack would want to do-- until it's time to ripple-offload 100+ TLAMs on targets.  The OHIO-class' greater internal volume (with not much more crew than a SSN) makes them harder to keep clean.  However their two crews give them a better (or at least more reliable) schedule than SSNs.

How was the housing situation in Pearl? Did you live out in town or use base housing?
When I was on active duty, my spouse and I both had a housing allowance and lived off-base. 

In the last decade, almost all of the island's housing has been demolished and rebuilt to modern code.  There's so much base housing (after the drawdown) that some Reserve/Guard servicemembers & DoD civilians are eligible.  Depending on what you need, the base house may be waiting for you when you get here-- or you may find a decent bargain out in town.

Off-base housing is way too expensive to buy, and rents are rising.  The bargains lead to longer commutes, but some neighborhoods are close enough to commute by bicycle.

If you get orders out here then we can dig into the details.  In the meantime your spouse can have lifetime employment out here and you could homestead on active duty or finish your career in the Reserves...

Do you have any wisdom about San Diego or fast boats out of Washington?
San Diego is getting very crowded and expensive, with nasty traffic.  Everybody wants to be stationed there, including surface & aviation as well as submarines.  I'd go for Pearl, Guam, or Bangor (in about that order) before SD, but they're all still way better than the east coast.  SD is also a smaller squadron (like Guam) so for advanced schoolhouse training you'd have to go to Pearl or Bangor.  SD SSNs also spend a lot of time doing exercises with C3F ships & aircraft, and they're probably assigned more counterdrug operations than Pearl or Guam.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but that latter is just my speculation and I'm not up on the latest ops.

As far as I know (and I'm pretty far away from my security clearances) the only SSN in Bangor is the CARTER.  If you get that duty then you will gain an awesome amount of tactical proficiency but you may be unhappy with the family routine.  You might get more info on that lifestyle from your crypto guys, who are way more familiar with it than I ever had to be.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Systems101 on June 11, 2016, 10:18:52 PM
Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont, United States

I have lived 1/2 mi south of Downtown as well as 5 mi ENE of downtown. I owned the vast majority of the time I lived there.

Average Housing Cost: Can't say I'm sure anymore, but it's above national averages.  Local requirements and zoning try to control sprawl, and a required on site dig to avoid disturbing Native American sites kept development enough in check that there wasn't the same boom/bust as other areas.  Then again, some of the lake-accessible condos downtown are just insane $ to buy. Expect higher than average property taxes as well.

Indoor Hobbies: Get one or else.  Seriously, everyone I knew who didn't ski, bowl, play serious quantities of board games, or have some other significant winter outlet moved after their first winter.

Outdoor Hobbies: You can be a 20 min drive from the lake and 20 minutes from the mountains at the same time. <3  Tons and tons of options... biking, hiking, skiing, swimming, sailing, rock climbing, etc.  A bunch of very local rock climbing with a locally owned gym and non-profit owned crags to climb.  A few hours to NH or NY for thousands of additional routes.

Weather: There are 4 seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Mud.  Summers are awesome, a few days into the 90s, but many 80s.  People joke that summer is a week long, and in many cases, there really is just one super-hot week.  Autumn is great too, with the changing of the leaves as a breathtaking event with the available mountain climbs.  Winter is COLD.  The lowest when I lived there was -38'F... and that only tied the record for that day.  (Although that is rare, expect some nights under 0'F each year).  Expect FEET of snow and once it starts, you will see your lawn again in April (or May) and piles in the shade may last until June.  The highest mountains are muddy (and shouldn't be climbed to protect the trails) until the July 4 timeframe.

Favorite things: Mountains readily available for hiking, climbing, skiing.  Lots of local stores/crafts/etc with people focused on a more relaxing life and on their community.  People let you into traffic when it's congested.  Actually, the cold winters were great in some ways because it means whole families of insects just don't live there.  The airport security line is you and the 4 people in front of you, and that's when it's busy.  Take your guests to Ben & Jerry's headquarters ~45 min away.

Least Favorite things: Snow.  The community is smaller.  If you are married/with a partner, it's an utterly fantastic place.  If you're single, especially over 30, it gets small.  You can fly to what feels like 3 places and then have to catch a second (and then possibly third) flight to get anywhere distant.  (It's not really only 3, it just feels that way)

Must Try: Hike Mt Mansfield from Underhill State Park.  Go climb Mt Elmore and look out from the fire tower.  Then swim in Elmore Lake when you make it back to the bottom.  Ripcord (especially after it's groomed) and Jester (those are ski trails) at Sugarbush.  Food: Breakfast at Penny Cluse, Pizza at American Flatbread, also VT Pub & Brewery.  City Market if you're less into the traditional grocery store for food.  Stowe and Essex craft festivals.

Stupid ordinances/laws: It's not a stupid law, but *don't* drive through a crosswalk with a person in it. I've seen police ignore speeders, moving stops at stop signs, but they protect the sidewalks.  On actually stupid things, I don't recall any good examples... but as far a suburbs be careful in Williston. They were straining under their growth (both schools and housing/taxes) and don't quite have a balanced formula worked out.  Essex, as an example, is more mature in that sense and has managed growth much better.

Words of Wisdom: Be aware about the overall area economy.  It hinges on The University of Vermont and one other major employer, although in fits and starts, it has been reducing that employer dependency for >10 years, so it's much, much better than it was.  It also never really had an uncontrolled boom, so this isn't a huge risk, just a point of awareness.

Look for more recent houses with 6" outer walls. not 4".  The extra insulation makes a difference especially in the winter.

Make sure you learn what roads close or are impassable in winter if you aren't in downtown/surburbia.

Sustainability: Yes, it's pretty much in the culture... in fact, if you do something too obviously UNsustainable, you may hear about it!  Wind commercially in some mountains in eastern VT, solar occasionally, but I'm not really sure of the ROI.  Lots of community gardens. 

You're in Peregrine falcon country, please be conscious of closures to climbing or hiking due to nesting.





Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on June 11, 2016, 10:20:38 PM

A submariner after my own heart.  "Once you go fast attack you'll never go back"... I'm glad I did SSBNs when I was young and didn't know that anything better existed. 

I don't know much about SSGN schedules, but my impression is that they still get to do everything a fast attack would want to do-- until it's time to ripple-offload 100+ TLAMs on targets.  The OHIO-class' greater internal volume (with not much more crew than a SSN) makes them harder to keep clean.  However their two crews give them a better (or at least more reliable) schedule than SSNs.



SSGNs work on the same schedules as SSBNs. The one difference is that the West Coast ones, though home-ported out of Bangor, do turnover in Guam. And yes, you have the capabilities right, except that they also have a significant capability for working with special forces. I've never been on an Ohio boat, but I've heard midshipman cruise stories of people playing cards on the floor of their berthing areas. Having only seen VA boats with their 2 foot aisles in 6-man berthings, I had no idea that there existed 9-man versions with open floor space.


When I was on active duty, my spouse and I both had a housing allowance and lived off-base. 

In the last decade, almost all of the island's housing has been demolished and rebuilt to modern code.  There's so much base housing (after the drawdown) that some Reserve/Guard servicemembers & DoD civilians are eligible.  Depending on what you need, the base house may be waiting for you when you get here-- or you may find a decent bargain out in town.

Off-base housing is way too expensive to buy, and rents are rising.  The bargains lead to longer commutes, but some neighborhoods are close enough to commute by bicycle.

If you get orders out here then we can dig into the details.  In the meantime your spouse can have lifetime employment out here and you could homestead on active duty or finish your career in the Reserves...

That's good to know about the base housing. I've always been discouraged when I've tried to size up the market out there. Maybe I'll move Pearl Harbor back up the list.

San Diego is getting very crowded and expensive, with nasty traffic.  Everybody wants to be stationed there, including surface & aviation as well as submarines.  I'd go for Pearl, Guam, or Bangor (in about that order) before SD, but they're all still way better than the east coast.  SD is also a smaller squadron (like Guam) so for advanced schoolhouse training you'd have to go to Pearl or Bangor.  SD SSNs also spend a lot of time doing exercises with C3F ships & aircraft, and they're probably assigned more counterdrug operations than Pearl or Guam.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but that latter is just my speculation and I'm not up on the latest ops.

As far as I know (and I'm pretty far away from my security clearances) the only SSN in Bangor is the CARTER.  If you get that duty then you will gain an awesome amount of tactical proficiency but you may be unhappy with the family routine.  You might get more info on that lifestyle from your crypto guys, who are way more familiar with it than I ever had to be.

So, Carter is the only Bangor SSN, but over in Bremerton they have the other two Seawolf boats: Seawolf and Connecticut. The Bremerton base is integrated into the town of Bremerton, which is itself a good size and has little development directly surrounding it. It's also easy to reach SeaTac, which is just a direct flight away from the East Coast. Then again, I might just need some cooling off time as far as worrying about flights; I've flown between San Francisco and Savannah quite a few times this year, so I probably need some recharging.

As to San Diego, we thought it would be too hard to be able to live near both Point Loma and healthcare workplaces. That, and there's a disheartening lack of green there.

In case you wanted to catch up on what's where, the Wikipedia list should be complete:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_ships_of_the_United_States_Navy
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Systems101 on June 11, 2016, 10:31:51 PM
Raleigh/Wake County, North Carolina, United States

I live in a suburb of Raleigh, approx 5 mi from downtown Raleigh, and moved here approx 2 years ago (from Burlington, VT see above :) ).

Average housing Cost: Western Suburbs rent from 75c-$1 per square foot/month for a house.  Downtown Raleigh is more expensive for housing.  Expect apartments to be $1.50-$1.80/sq ft/month.  Lots of competition from folks working at places like Red Hat.  Eastern suburbs are cheaper, but lower quality schools, more crime.  Historically the area had a reputation for low housing cost, but you have to be farther out (Wake Forest or Fuquay Varina) to really capture that benefit now (and even those aren't really that great)

Indoor hobbies: Rock Climbing is fairly popular, bunches of Board Games folks as well.  Carolina Hurricanes hockey team in the winter.  The Durham Performing Arts Center is one of the busiest such facilities in the nation (concerts, shows, et al).

Outdoor hobbies: Biking is very popular (Falls Lake area is very popular to ride around), Hiking is available, Golf is a big thing.  Some (shallow) lakes for swimming, boating, sailing.  Good Rock Climbing is 3-5 hrs away.  So are ocean beaches.  There are often charity 5K runs going on in Cary Park (and elsewhere).  Durham Bulls (minor league) baseball for a few months in the summer.

Overall on Hobbies: There are a bunch of meetups that are fairly effective, especially if you are under 40.

Weather: Winters are mild, with a few bouts of snow here and there.  More often it's the +/- 1 batch of ice that really causes the issues.  Expect grocery stores to empty when snow is forecast - if you can plan at all,  you'll never notice.  Summers can be hot - it can reach 100'F.  It can also be a bit muggy, and we get the occasional tropical storm threat (though nothing like Florida :) ).

Favorite things: Well developed bike path systems, especially in central/western Wake County, mild winters.  Continued, conscious effort by local government to grow the system.  Big enough area [actually kind of huge area] such that I don't see the same people at every activity :)

Least Favorite things: A large chunk of the area is designed around the automobile.  This can severely impact certain areas (Western Cary is notable for this design, see Amberly!).  They are getting much better about creating smart infill - Research Triangle Park has done this recently and there are some (expensive and popular) townhouses/homes that are now within trivial biking distance to many RTP employers.  Note that rush hour can be a mess, and this includes much of I-40.  Many of the local roads are not directly east/west (they are curved), so I-40 gets congested.  Avoid it if possible.

There are few places with basements (due to the hard clay soil), those that do are on a slope.  Garages generally become storage for many families, and they park in driveways or the road.

Must Try: Going for 3 days without finding someone who grew up in Upstate/Western NY.  BBQ is supposedly famous, but I happen to like Austin, TX version of it better.  Get to Duke gardens at the right time of year, and visit Umstead State Park (or better yet, live where you can ride the bike path system to Umstead :) )

Stupid ordinances/laws: Not sure about stupid, but there is a bunch of illegal importing of fireworks from South Carolina - expect to hear these at least July 4 and new years.  I haven't seen it meaningfully enforced though (not that I care).  It's also hard to ignore pointing out HB-2 given the national news on the topic (and cancelled concerts, et al)

Words of Wisdom: The area is growing quickly - so there are opportunities for great housing that recognize folks have less interest in using a car, and on the other side, some real sticky locations that are car bound (think single digit walkability scores). 

Home schooling is a big thing in the area, partially due to school district, partially due to culture.  There is zero stigma and not unusual at all to see school age children out and about during the day.

Also be thoughtful about purchasing on the southern side of Wake County - make sure the realtor is very clear on the possible future paths of route 540 (a divided highway).  One section is known, the rest has a few possible options, and you don't want that to be a surprise.

Sustainability options: Gardens are certainly viable, though it will take some work to get set up as the soil is generally hard clay.  Expect to buy a pick axe if you need to dig.  Better yet, build a raised bed.  Solar should be viable, but I see less of it than I would expect.

Some comments on various surrounding areas:

Durham County is MUCH cheaper (housing) than Wake County, a lot of this is the school district impact (Wake = near highest in the state, Durham = near lowest in the state).  However, Downtown Durham is getting a LOT of investment from the family that owns Capital Broadcasting (and the Durham Bulls baseball team), so it is improving by leaps and bounds.  It is nothing like its (historic) reputation, but still edgy, and there is still a lot heavy lifting to do. Having said that, Durham is rather popular with younger folks for the lower costs.

The new commercial regions being built are still concentrated, but are no longer large pockets of dense commercial that rely on the driving design of the community.  Developers recognize folks want to be able to walk to stores and live near services.  Newer commercial center builds (and there are plenty of them) comprehend this mix, and some of the surrounding communities have some potential on that front (Holly Springs may be especially interesting in a few years if they get a Lowes or Home Depot in a strategic spot - certainly on my radar).

As a comment on Chapel Hill (the third part of "The Triangle") - the driving culture impacts this area too.  It's not unusual for folks to think about driving to Durham not being a big deal for events/activities.  It's not crazy far by car, but it shows the culture.  Chapel Hill really is a more of a college town anyway (UNC Chapel Hill) and it has that as a major cultural side effect.  It means some significant areas are walkable, but rent can be up there ($).

Edit: See Also: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/living-in-north-carolina-raleigh-area/






Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: dougules on June 13, 2016, 12:51:12 PM
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States

I live about 100 miles away, and this is our top contender for FIRE if we stay in the US.  It's our favorite daytrip destination when we are feeling the need to blow good money on getting the F out of town for a day.  Being as I don't live there, I can't speak to all categories, but I wanted to put it out there.  Feel free to add since I'm sure there's more to say. 

Average housing Cost: Going up a lot in some areas, but I think a good Mustachian could find a deal for well under $200k, especially if you're less picky about house size, neighborhood, or getting a fixer-upper. 

Indoor hobbies: Very fast internet.  Not familiar enough to give more answers.

Outdoor hobbies: This is where Chattanooga really shines.  The Tennessee River is big and runs right through downtown.  Great for boating or paddle boarding, and the gorge a few miles downstream of downtown is really underrated.  Also nice if you're into fishing.  Lookout Mountain looms over town and is great for views and an easy escape to the woods in town.  The Blue Ridge Mountains, including the Smokies, and the Cumberland Plateau are both within a couple hour's drive.  They have no end of hiking, camping, views, waterfalls, rock climbing, etc.  The Blue Ridge Mountains don't look as rugged as they are because they're covered bottom to top in rainforest.  The Ocoee River is great whitewater only 60 miles out of town, although it can get crowded.  Plenty of other whitewater options deeper into the Blue Ridge if you want less traffic.  Foster Falls a bit out of town has both great swimming and rock climbing under a gorgeous waterfall, although the water is freezing cold even in the summer.  Hang gliding a few miles south of town.  Chickamauga Battlefield is close for the history buffs. 

Overall on Hobbies:  Go outside. 

Weather: Just like everywhere else in the mid-South, not great.  Very hot and humid in the summer.  Temperatures are well below comfortable in the winter, but anyone from further north would think winters aren't bad.  Snow and ice is infrequent enough not to need a snow shovel, so that's a plus.  The random wild downpours keep things green, too. 

Favorite things: Strolling Walnut Street Bridge. Riding across the dam on Raccoon Mountain.  Just the vibe of the town in general. 

Least Favorite things: It's still in East Tennessee, so there are still some closed-minded uneducated people around.  The inner areas are generally fairly forward thinking, though.  Some areas of town are also a bit blighted. 

Must Try: Lupi's Pizza, Julie Darling Donuts, Taco Mamacita

Stupid ordinances/laws:  Also not familiar enough to answer this one. 

Words of Wisdom: Don't stick your finger in a light socket.

Sustainability options:  Definitely one of the more bike friendly cities in the South.  I'm sure there are several more points, but I don't know personally. 

Some comments on various surrounding areas:  East Tennessee and North Georgia... Very green, very beautiful, but the people are... not always the most educated or open-minded.   120 miles to Atlanta if you want to hit a major metropolitan area or want a major airport.  Nashville is also 130 miles away. 

Title: Mustachian Relocation Guide-Goose Creek, SC
Post by: Diniecita on June 23, 2016, 06:48:27 PM

Goose Creek, SC
About 30 minutes to Charleston, SC down I-26


Average housing cost-Average housing costs are going up every year. When I rented an apartment 4 years ago I got a one bedroom (pre-fancy remodel) for $600. Now you would be lucky to find the
same (literally, the same) apartment for less than $800. Just like with everywhere if you live with friends/roommates or a SO you will can split the rent and it's cheaper for everyone. A 3 bedroom will probably run you about $1200 to rent. Buying you can find a nice 3 bedroom home from $100,000-200,000. Depends on the area really. It's a college and navy town so there are always openings for housing. I'm sure most people reading this are either Navy or college.

Indoor Hobbies-Well, there is always reading. I like board games and card games, but I'm a nerd. Magic, D&D, roleplaying games... There is a great shop in North Charleston (about 5-10 miles away) that caters to games like this called the Green Dragon. Seriously, check it out. They have a game room that you can join new games with other people and they already have all the books there. You don't HAVE to buy them, but they appreciate it when you do. There is also an indoor ice skating rink for when it's way too hot and humid to even think about being outside, not too far from the game shop and the mall.

Outdoor Hobbies-Anything you can think of really. Hunting, fishing running, biking, skating, skateboarding, surfing(if you go to the ocean obviously), beach volleyball, four-wheeling(if you know someone) are all popular things to do in the summer. Swimming is always popular too, whether at the ocean or a pool.
Weather- hot and humid most of the time. You have 4 basic seasons, there is almost summer, actual summer, late summer, and fall. Get used to being hot and sweaty.
Favorite things-There isn't really a whole lot going on in the town of Goose Creek right now. The fact that it is in the middle of everything is what's going to help it grow. You are literally 20 minutes from everything.
Least favorite things-Since it's a transient station for Navy and College people you will meet people you like and they will leave in 2-4 years. People come and go. I did as well.
'Must Try'- Eat at Montana's in Goose Creek, yeah I know it looks bad from the outside, but it's really good. And it's a hole in the wall bar. You can drink there too. I used to live in the neighborhood behind the bar and would walk home. In Summerville, (a town close by) they have the Azalea festival in April every year. It's fun, they sell a lot of stuff and food.
Stupid ordinances/laws- To my knowledge there aren't any that are stupid.
Words of wisdom/Advice People don't understand bike laws so be careful out there. Do NOT pull into someone's driveway if you don't know them or were not invited. It's a southern thing and you might get shot if you're out in the woods. If you are near water.(..or heck, if you are in G.C you are near water) look out for alligators. They will eat cats, birds, mall to medium dogs and small children. Do not feed them-EVER! But, do try eating them. Gator is one of my most favorite things and I really miss it now that I'm in MN. I wish someone would get it up here. Maybe I'll just have to go back home to get some. And I will...my Momma lives there still.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc)- The soil quality is amazing. The sun is always on. IF you want sustainability you will definitely have to pay a lot for it. I know there was a company who was doing solar hot water heater replacements, but as far as anything else I'm not too sure. I didn't get into much of the sustainability for energy while I was there. I did garden a lot. Just about anything you want to grow will grow without any problems.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: TexasRunner on June 28, 2016, 12:22:21 PM
TYLER, TEXAS:

Rough guidelines/information to include:
City, State, Country:
Tyler, Texas, USA
Population 100,000

If a suburb, distance from city:
Self-sustaining city.  Suburbs include Whitehouse, Flint, Lindale and Chapel Hill.  Much more mustacian to live in town though.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
Buy-  Varies from 110,000$ 3bd/2bath to 600,000$+.  There are many good options sub-200K for 3bd/2bath in town.
Rent-  Pretty expensive (but a good market to landlord in).  1bed/1bath around 680$-900$, 3bd/2bath around 900$-1400$+

Indoor Hobbies:

Pretty much anything.  Tyler has 2 colleges (Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler) that provide a wide berth of options in arts and sciences.  A few museums in town. Historic downtown.

Outdoor Hobbies:
Bike riding, trail riding, the occasional 5k (about 4-8 per year that are organized), a few marathons and half marathons, lake Tyler (short distance) for lake recreation, Tyler State Park for more advanced trail riding, regional airport for those who are pilots (but storage is pricey), lots of geocaching, some options for dirtbike and stunting.
Missing: skiing, mountains, anything to see but trees (lol).

Weather: 
Pretty good winters.  Rarely snows and largely stays in the 20-45F range.  Quite comfortable if you have any idea of "real" cold (as in Northern States or Canada).  Excellent spring and summer if you are OK with temps in the low to mid 80s.  Summer is and will forever be HOT.  Average in the upper 90s with 60% or more humidity.  You can get acclimated to it, but it takes time.  Fairly typical rain seasons during spring and fall.  Generally does not rain for weeks at a time like some areas - but will get a day or two of rain every week during certain times of the year.

Favorite things:
Small town character, generally nice people, a genuine desire to return to a local market.  Colleges bring in income. 

Least favorite things:
"Larger" city as in area and land-mass.  Can be annoyingly spread-out at times.  Population is growing but business growth is slightly sluggish in comparison.  Generally lacking bike friendliness but this is improving rapidly (thanks to a new city master plan demanding bike lanes and sidewalks on all roads).

'Must Try':
Stanley's Pit BBQ.  Geocaching downtown. 

Stupid ordinances/laws:

Speed limits are low.  Speed limit zones change in certain areas without warning or city approval.  This is slowly getting better.

Words of wisdom/Advice:
If you are going to try mustachism in Tyler, move into the center of town, south of Front street and inside loop 323.  From this location you can bike almost anywhere in the city within 15-20 minutes (or significantly less).  Most jobs are on the south side as well.  Hospitals are on the central-east side.  Colleges are the same.  Try to pick a location in this area that is close as possibly to your employment.  You will want to use Brookshires for groceries (better, cheaper, local and fresher) so take that into account.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
No ordinances against farming/gardening.  No ordinances against solar (and Texas does offer some rebates but not much).  Lots of sun for solar and generally a good location for gardening.  HOAs may have specific requirements on solar so be sure to check BEFORE buying a house.  A house on the south side of an East-West street would be the best option (to put solar on the back side of the house).  The latitude is good enough that you can roof-mount solar without much additional angle being required.  Minor permitting required to add structures and no permitting required for detached storm shelters.  Home winery in a detached cellar is certainly an option.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on June 28, 2016, 01:49:21 PM
Sorry for the delay everyone. Those are some awesome reviews. Thanks to everyone who has participated so far! I've got the main post updated. Keep 'em coming, and if I missed anything, feel free to comment here, and I'll get them added.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Stachey on June 29, 2016, 03:40:42 PM
Thank you JordanRead...this is a fantastic idea!

Please can you add Nanaimo, BC (Canada) to the list? 

Is it also possible to ask the reviewer to talk about what the winter weather is like? 
I have visions of five months of cloud and/or rain.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: kerriohs on June 30, 2016, 06:16:14 PM
City, State, Country: Oakland, CA, USA

If a suburb, distance from city: 12 miles from San Francisco, CA

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): $1500 for a 1-bedroom/studio in Oakland, $2500 in San Francisco - to rent. Rough estimate.

Indoor Hobbies: Lots of things. It's a big city area and between Oakland and SF, you can find anything to do. ANYTHING.

Outdoor Hobbies: Hiking all year round. The beach is nearby, the forest, the mountains. You can go to Tahoe for snowboarding in the winter, it's about a 4 hour drive. Tahoe is also great in the summer for water activities. Yosemite is also fairly close and is amazing. There are tons of places to fish, hike, camp, and otherwise play. Surfing in Santa Cruz is amazing.

Weather: Ridiculously nice year round. Sometimes too nice, as in we experience droughts. It doesn't seem to affect daily life very much. It's always fairly warm. This is not LA -- therefore it does tend to be cooler here. Especially in San Francisco it can get chilly and foggy at night. But overall it's very warm. You won't need a heavy winter coat here, and people do silly things like wear sandals all year round.

Favorite things: I am biased because I was born and raised in Oakland. It has the coolest mash of people. There are people of all types and all classes, living together. I like to tell people that living in Oakland prepares you for all kinds of situations. The tolerance here is unparalleled. It's very liberal, which can be good or bad; to me it's great, because I have never felt weird being myself. I think the overall vibe is laid back and chill. It's not as hectic as New York or London, not as superficial as LA. It's just the best place ever. :)

Least favorite things: The Silicon Valley tech boom is real here. It's good and bad, but as a native I see the negative effects and it pains me sometimes. Overall it's a fairly wealthy place to live, meaning it's freaking expensive. If you try to live in the city (SF) it's very expensive. Oakland is not much better nowadays, it's almost as expensive as the city now. This is one of the places where we just like to complain about rent. The traffic is also truly horrible. Personally I take BART to work. If you try to drive to work (into the city) during rush hour, it will probably take you hours to complete what should be a 20 minute drive. The public schools are not great in Oakland -- I would recommend moving further away to Fremont or another suburb if you have school age children, for the better schools and environment.

'Must Try': Greyhounds at Cafe Van Kleef. Oakland "First Fridays" art walk and festivals. In SF: Local Edition bar. Walk on Embarcadero at night at watch the Bay Bridge lights twinkle. Go see the Golden Gate Bridge and do all those touristy things. Check out Golden Gate Park if you want to have a picnic. Get out of town and see nature, that's the best part of being here. Tahoe, Yosemite, Muir Woods are all a short car ride away.

Stupid ordinances/laws: I'm not sure.

Words of wisdom/Advice: It's really expensive to live here, but it's wonderful. I don't know about buying a house -- it's probably very expensive. I haven't even looked.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): No idea.

My perspective is really as a late-20s single millenial living in downtown Oakland. I don't have any plans to purchase property nor can I offer any real insights on family life (yes, I grew up there, but in a ghetto part of down in a less-than-ideal public school, so I'm not sure I would recommend it! It's a great place to live though. If you can get a job in the tech industry, life can be pretty comfortable.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on July 01, 2016, 06:06:43 AM
Thank you JordanRead...this is a fantastic idea!

Please can you add Nanaimo, BC (Canada) to the list? 

Is it also possible to ask the reviewer to talk about what the winter weather is like? 
I have visions of five months of cloud and/or rain.

I've got it added to the request list. I also changed the second post so that people can easily get a format for a bit of consistency. Weather is on there, but I expanded it a bit.

City, State, Country: Oakland, CA, USA

Thank you!! I lived in Hayward for a while, but I need to really figure out if I want to use this city to consider the request for San Francisco fulfilled.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on July 05, 2016, 06:48:26 AM
For dumb laws in Oakland, you could at least add Propositions 13 and 65. 65 doesn't affect much, but 13 adds to the problems of home scarcity and high prices in CA.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: nawhite on July 28, 2016, 09:57:16 AM
City, State, Country: Denver, CO, USA
Ask and you shall receive

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
I own a 3 bedroom 1 bath of 1100 sq ft on the south side of town (I-25 and Yale) that is worth about $310,000. We currently are renting it out for about $1800/month which is probably on the lower side. It's not a high end rental.
I have friends that rent a 600 sq ft 1 bedroom apartment for around $850/month by DU.
Condos aren't a thing here but it's a very long story so you either rent or own a single family home, no middle ground.
Suburbs closer to the mountains are more expensive (Golden and Boulder are ridiculous) North (Longmont, Westminister) and South (Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch) of the city are less. East is a mixed bag, Aurora and Parker are much cheaper but Stapleton is HSWTF?!?! insane for what you get.

Taxes:
(I know it isn't in the original list but I think it should be)
Property taxes are crazy low. I pay $1,800 per year on a house worth $310k. There is some lag in assessing with home prices going up as fast as they have been but if I break $2,200 in the next 5 years, I'll be really surprised.
Income Taxes: Colorado is 4.6%, Denver adds another like $100/year
Sales Tax: about 4-6% depending on the category (lots of neighboring towns don't have much of a sales tax so you there are tons of car dealerships right across the border outside the city limits)

Indoor Hobbies:
- There is a very good theater district in downtown. They get really good shows and the orchestra is decent.
- Drinking beer. Seriously. We host the Great American Beer Festival every year and we have a bazillion breweries.

Outdoor Hobbies:
Skiing, hiking, kayaking, climbing, running, biking, wind sports (paragliding is huge in Golden). Mostly people pick a few different outdoor sports so that they can cover every season.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):
(All temps in Fahrenheit)
Sunny almost every day but afternoon rainstorms are common in the Spring and Fall. Winter is usually dry ground except for about half a dozen major snow events where we'll get 8+ inches and then it will just about all melt within 3 days to a week.

Summer highs: Highs in the mid 90s are common and the past couple years we've seen about ten 100+ days per summer. The good news is really really low humidity. Like single digits most of the year.
Winter highs: usually around upper 20s to upper 30s (though this past year was warmer) but lots of sun so the snow all melts. We'll usually have a week per year that doesn't get above 15 degrees with lows at night around -10

Favorite things:
The outdoors are great. The mountains are about 45 minutes to the front range and 1.5 hours to true Mountains. Public transit is good and getting better (especially now that the light rail line to the airport is open). The beer selection is better than anywhere I've ever even visited. The culture is much more laid back than the east coast where I grew up. No one wears suits for anything ever.

Least favorite things:
- Traffic is terrible. Last list I saw put us at 6th worst traffic in the country. They are doing a lot of construction to improve it but the city is growing faster than construction keeps up. Bike trails are pretty good and light rail system is very good every direction except for to the North.
- The mountains are farther away than people think.
- Homeless. There is a big homeless problem in downtown along the 16th St Mall. In the past couple months relations have gotten very bad because a couple of drug addled people have physically assaulted pedestrians for no reason and it was caught on camera and played on the news. I'm curious what, if anything is going to happen about it.
- Water. No one really talks about it but the state doesn't have enough water to supply all the people moving here and agriculture at the same time. We've been ok for a couple years now just because we've been lucky. 2 low years in a row (like 2012) and we'll have major problems. Either the cities will need to buy water rights from farmers who let their farms go fallow or the city is going to need to have water restrictions like California had last year. It also means that forest fires are a legitimate fear of most residents outside the major urban areas but even Colorado Springs had a fire take out 500 homes in a suburb (the Black Forest Fire) 2 years ago.

'Must Try':
- Marijuana. It's cheap, it's legal, it's fairly consequence free for adults. Just buy an edible and try one serving at home with some food and TV to see if it's your thing or not. A single edible wont kick in for up to an hour and will then last up to about 4 hours for first timers.
- Red Rocks Amphitheater. Even if you don't pay money to go to a show, during the day it's free to visit and has some great hiking, amazing views, and the people watching is great because tons of people go there to do workouts running up and down the seats.
- Hiking. Anywhere.

Stupid ordinances/laws:
- Only buy beer from liquor stores. All beer in grocery stores is restricted by law to be 3.2% alcohol or less. So you can buy a can of PBR from the grocery store that will be 3.2% and the can from the liquor store next door will be 6.4% but the cans will look identical.
- Rain barrels and grey water recycling isn't allowed (though there has been a bit of movement on this in the past year). The reason is that technically all water in all waterways in the state is owned by someone, so technically the water that falls on your property is owned by someone's water right. So if you use it on your property instead, you are stealing from the real owner.
- TABOR the taxpayer bill of rights. Basically any time that a politician wants to increase taxes, we have a referendum vote. Some people love it because it means they can keep their taxes low. Others hate it because it means that the government basically can never get the money it needs without doing a full marketing campaign before the vote. Also means that if we collect more money than expected (like with the marijuana tax) we then have to vote again on if the government can keep the money instead of just rolling it into schools like they wanted to.

Words of wisdom/Advice:
- Usually living here you need to decide, live near work, or live near the mountains (unless you work in Golden). You should live near work. 100%. Or live and work next to a light rail station. You'll have to drive farther to get to the mountains, but you commute to work way more often than you commute to the mountains and traffic at rush hour is TERRIBLE.
- People move here for weed, but not as many as you think. The gold rush is finishing up, most of the market needs have been filled and most of the business have the employees they need. That said, everyone from out of state will assume you moved here for the weed regardless of if you did or not. It gets annoying fast.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
We have solar panels on our house. The electric company allows Net Metering which makes it cost effective. You can also pay a $0.03/kwh premium to get your electricity from a wind farm (the Windsource program from Xcel energy). The biggest way to make your life more sustainable in Denver is to decrease your water usage. Xeriscape your lawn, get efficient shower heads and an efficient washer. Decreasing your energy use is also a good idea because something like 60% of our electricity comes from coal.
Title: Los Alamos, NM
Post by: waltworks on July 30, 2016, 09:45:07 AM
Los Alamos, NM, USA

Please note that I don't actually live here. I do own a house in Los Alamos, but it's a "bailout" in the event I get tired of my job in Park City ($$$) UT.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): ~$250,000 to buy a 3/4 bed SFH. Lots of much cheaper attached dwelling housing available (3/1 duplexes go for <$100k). Decent rentals are $1000-1500.

Indoor Hobbies: Any form of geekery you can imagine. More nerds, scientists, and engineers per capita than anywhere in the USA.

Outdoor Hobbies: Mountain/road biking, skiing, rock climbing, hiking, trail running, ball sports of various kinds, etc.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): July average high 81, January average low 18. Full 4 "real" seasons, almost always sunny. About 60" of snow annually (in town, double that at the ski area 10 minutes away), 18" of rain.

Favorite things: Incredible schools (literally the best public schools in the US) and amazing views/outdoors activities. Where else can you drive 10 minutes to a ski area with 45 runs/1300' vert and lift tickets are $30? Amazing trail networks for all forms out outdoor activities, tons of great rock climbing within a 20 minute drive. You can quite literally ski powder in the morning and then go climbing shirtless in the afternoon.

Least favorite things: Very little nightlife/limited social activities if you're not an enginerd.

'Must Try': Breakfast burritos at Chile Works, tasty microbrews at Bathtub Row Brewery (yes, there's a brewery).

Stupid ordinances/laws: None that I know of.

Words of wisdom/Advice: Great place for kids and families. AWFUL place for single adults (unless you're a lady who likes engineers!)

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):  Good weather for gardening, loads of solar for power/hot water.

Los Alamos was rated the "easiest" (best) place to live by the NYT based on 2010 census data (looking at income, life expectaancy, poverty, education, and obesity/disability rates): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/upshot/where-are-the-hardest-places-to-live-in-the-us.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Alamos,_New_Mexico
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: CanuckExpat on August 01, 2016, 02:47:00 PM
Very specific request if anyone can help. I'd like more information about the "Blue Hole" in Washington: Sequim, also Port Angeles and Port Townsend if they get the same rain shadow affect.

Is it as big a difference compared to the rest of the region claimed. And do you actually get more sunshine, or simply grey days with less rain?
How is it living in Sequim? We drove through quickly for unrelated reasons, and I didn't see much of a town. I really liked Port Angeles and Port Townsend, but wasn't sure if they had the same level of blue-holeness.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: stoaX on August 01, 2016, 03:51:33 PM
City, State, Country: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA

If a suburb, distance from city: it's all part of the sprawl of Orange County.  One hour from LA by car.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):  a 2 bedroom, 2 bath rental goes for just shy of $2k.  Houses vary but can be had for as "little" as $500k.


Indoor Hobbies:  it's SoCal, why would you be indoors? Because of Orange County's large population you can probably find fellow enthusiasts of your favorite hobby nearby.  Thanks God for indoor ice and the beer belly men's hockey leagues.

Outdoor Hobbies: Mountains for hiking and biking and rock climbing.  The ocean and harbors for surfing, kayaking, swimming boating.  Great biking and skateboarding and tons of parks for soccer and softball, etc.. The one thing I've noticed lacking is the absence of trap/skeet - you gotta drive a ways to do that. 

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Summers can be hot but not miserable like other parts of the country. I have seen temps dip into the 50's and even the 40's in the winter...brrrr....  Generally we vacillate between "really nice" and "perfect". 

Favorite things: the walkability of my town - a rare thing in SoCal.  And although utilities might be pricey on a unit cost basis, you don't need to turn your AC or your heat on all that much.

Least favorite things: housing is expensive.  Traffic can be a problem.

'Must Try':  enjoying the beach, free concerts in the park, walking around the lake in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Stupid ordinances/laws: I'm sure we have plenty of them but I haven't encountered any. 


Words of wisdom/Advice:  Lots of material for the "Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy" to be found here as in much of California, but exercise your Mustachian muscles and skills and you will be rewarded. 

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): If you have a house with a yard you can grow stuff all year round - just keep it on the drought tolerant side.  And of course we get tons of sunshine for solar.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on August 03, 2016, 02:54:56 PM
Very specific request if anyone can help. I'd like more information about the "Blue Hole" in Washington: Sequim, also Port Angeles and Port Townsend if they get the same rain shadow affect.

Is it as big a difference compared to the rest of the region claimed. And do you actually get more sunshine, or simply grey days with less rain?
How is it living in Sequim? We drove through quickly for unrelated reasons, and I didn't see much of a town. I really liked Port Angeles and Port Townsend, but wasn't sure if they had the same level of blue-holeness.

I've got all 3 added.


Thanks for the participation so far. I really like how the love that people have for where they are come through in some of these posts.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Zelbinian on August 09, 2016, 02:50:21 PM
This post is effing awesome. I'll be checking back here in a year or so when there may be an opportunity to find greener pastures. (And a greener wallet.)

A possible item for your resources section: http://www.numbeo.com

It's crowdsourced information showing the cost of all sorts of things. I find it invaluable, because I can compare cities based on the things I actually spend money on instead of some averaged value across all things. Paired with walkscore.com, which can help you figure out how car-dependent/bike friendly an area is, you can get a good sense of how living in that place would affect your lifestyle and your bottom line.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: BoonDogle on August 15, 2016, 10:00:05 AM
Great post idea.  I would be interested to know more about Northwest Arkansas (Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers area).  I have been there a few times and know a little about the activities but very little about the cost of living.  It would be great to get the perspective of another Mustachian.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: 2lazy2retire on September 02, 2016, 06:45:20 AM
City: North Delaware/West Chester PA area  (Outside Philladelphia, south-east)

•  Average housing cost  - all over the place.  This little area between Newark DE - Valley Forge, PA runs the gambit from country, to little city (Wilmington, West Chester), to big towns (Newark DE, Valley Forge, Wayne, PA, Kennett Square, PA etc) to little suburb nooks (North Wilmington, Arden, Brandywine Hundred, Hockesin, Chadds Ford, etc).    Basically depending where you want to be you are looking somewhere between $900 - $2500/mo to rent or housing between $180,000 - all the way up over $2 mil if you want.    Most the stuff around here falls in the $1200 range for rent and $200,000 - $300,000 for housing which gets you a lot for your money. 

• Hobbies – Lots – Sports (30 mins from Philly, plus U Delaware, West Chester U, and local teams).  Lots of bars, breweries, outdoor events, music, arts.  Basically lots of perks of living near NYC and Washington DC (1 1/2 hours) without the HCOL.  1 hr away from the beach or mountains, but hilly and beachy areas inbetween for biking, hiking, kayaking.  Lots of museums in the area (especially the large amount of Dupont & such related properties - Winterthur, Nemoirs, Hagley, Longwood, etc).   Philly is close and mass transit is pretty great, plus philly is a drivable city so you can always just go on in if the mood hits you.

•  Weather – All 4 seasons. Summers can range from 80-90ish, with a handful of 100+days and it can get humid, especially in July/Aug.  If you are from the east coast of the US you are used to this, if you are from West Coast, it will be hellish. Spring and fall are beautiful and the temperate will be in the 40-70 degrees range. Winter can get COLD but not freezing usually.  Sometimes we get snow, sometimes we don't. Rarely we get into single digits here.

•  Favorite things – Fun area and it's a helluva lot cheaper then NYC or DC while you can still bring in the $$$ income, especially with all the banks in DE and the pharmaceutical companies in the Philly-area.   Not hard to make over $100k here so much cheaper tax wise then NYC/NJ/CT/NY suburbs.   Lots of easy travel and big arts culture in/around philly so there's always something to do.   There is i think a festival of some sorts every weekend here, it's really unbelievable.  Easy to go from mountains to beach to rivers quickly and lots of biking here.   Also big drinking community (beer, wine, cider).  Traffic isn't crazy here like NYC suburbs where i came from.   Whole Boston - DC corridor is connected via train so it's easy to get anywhere around here.  IT jobs a plenty, you can trip over them.

•  Least favorite things – Can get pretty humid in the summer, find a friend with a pool.  Also, Delaware especially doesn't have towns per say, so it can be difficult to foster a community in parts of DE because there are lots of developments vs actual towns.  (not alot of sidewalks depending where you live).  On top of that, DE public schools are pretty much crap so if you live here instead of the 20 minutes over the line in PA, you are likely sending your kids to one of the many private schools or home schooling.  If you don't have kids (like us), you an enjoy some of the cheapest taxes in the NE.

•  'Must Try' -    Many many dupont musuems and their events like Point to Point, Longwood Christmas, Longwood Fireworks, etc.
                        Any sports in Philly - Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, 76ers - be prepared to scream with the best of them.
                        XPonential Music Festival - our favorite every summer
                        Dewey Beach, DE - all the partying you can imagine, sans the NJ Shore people
                        Cape May/Wildwood NJ - Victorian and 50's vintage, fun for families and couples, really close
                        Philadelphia Flower Show
                        All the phily outdoor fests and food/drink events.
                        Wilmington - loops and food fests  - lots of fun
                        Arden, DE - Labor day fest, plays, dinners, pool, arts, fun place to visit or live.


•  Words of wisdom/Advice – Rent before you buy anything. There's tons of neighborhoods in Philly and in the suburbs, all with their own different style and flair.  Visit and figure out what you want before you buy.   Avoid DE if you have kids in public schools unless you want to go down below the canal in Delaware (country-ish), because you'll be paying to send them to private school.


For the schools in the Philly suburbs, look to "The Mainline" -  a string of towns along the the R5 Septa train line. These schools constantly rank top in the State and sometimes in the nation. Lots to do and lots of employment ops with companies in the suburbs ( avoid the Philly tax ;) ) , good public transport with direct trains to NYC from certain stations. House prices can be expensive with everything from 400K to the millions for a family home, for renting you would be hard pressed to get anything less than 1K/bedroom. Property tax about 1% for older homes and 2% for new construction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Main_Line

More detail on each town - something for everyone?

http://mainlinetoday.com/core/pagetools.php?url=/main-line-today/march-2011/our-29-best-towns/&mode=print
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Meowkins on September 10, 2016, 02:59:04 PM
I don't know quite how to phrase this, but could you also add a section to these reviews that speak about political climate or how safe minorities feel in that area or any information on diversity (race, religion, orientations, etc)? It would be interesting to know for many people, I think.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on September 10, 2016, 03:02:00 PM
I don't know quite how to phrase this, but could you also add a section to these reviews that speak about political climate or how safe minorities feel in that area or any information on diversity (race, religion, orientations, etc)? It would be interesting to know for many people, I think.
Let me think on a good way of putting that, and I'll add it to the main post. Those who have already reviewed a place, I link to your initial comment. If you have some of the new info requested, feel free to just edit your post.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zolotiyeruki on September 19, 2016, 08:29:56 AM
Can I put in a request for Knoxville and/or Nashville, TN?

Can I also suggest a section in the review regarding taxes (property, income, sales), since that figures heavily into retirement calculations?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: JG in Hangzhou on October 08, 2016, 10:40:48 PM
City, State, Country: Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): Rent 1000 -2000 /month in nice gated community  Buy: $1M+

Population:   6 Million and growing

Indoor Hobbies: lots of health clubs, swimming, skating rinks in the malls, you can find it here.

Outdoor Hobbies: West Lake area and XIXI wetlands park are two of the big attractions here.  Wonderful natural beauty, short hikes, exploring historical neighborhoods.  Also, every day living in China is a day with some unexpected and unbelievable event. 
Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Moderate for 10 months 30-80F, two months of dry hot summer, 90-100F.  It snows every other year.

Favorite things:  Strong but relatively small international community enjoy alot of activities.  Learning Chinese language and culture.  Interesting food.  No expectations on how you should live (as you are not Chinese, so people don't expect you to be any certain way).

Least favorite things:
Traffic can be bad, but the subway is in progress.  National Holiday events are extremely crowded.

'Must Try': Come visit for up to 6 days without a Visa. Walk around West Lake, it's no wonder the Chinese call this "Heaven on Earth".

Stupid ordinances/laws: You can't get permanent residence.  Either you need to work for someone, or you need to register a business.

Words of wisdom/Advice:Come see it.  It's not like the China you see on TV, or read about, this is the new young vibrant China, site of Jack Ma's Alibaba Headquarters and the 2016 G20 meeting.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):?? Yikes I'm not sure I know what this means. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on October 13, 2016, 06:13:23 PM
Are foreigners required to somehow get a hukou to establish permanent residence in China? Is it Hangzhou in particular that's bad, or just China in general?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: JG in Hangzhou on October 13, 2016, 09:25:28 PM
Are foreigners required to somehow get a hukou to establish permanent residence in China? Is it Hangzhou in particular that's bad, or just China in general?
For the most part, foreigners can't get permanent residence in China. 
We registered a company, and hence get a 5 year business visa.  We renew it every 5 years.  It's a pain, but we've made it through tax audits, etc.
Why would a foreigner in China want to have a hukou?  With my residence work visa, my company (me) can do work anywhere in China.  I do have to pay for private schooling for my daughter, but it's fairly cheap. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on October 16, 2016, 03:18:17 PM
Are foreigners required to somehow get a hukou to establish permanent residence in China? Is it Hangzhou in particular that's bad, or just China in general?
For the most part, foreigners can't get permanent residence in China. 
We registered a company, and hence get a 5 year business visa.  We renew it every 5 years.  It's a pain, but we've made it through tax audits, etc.
Why would a foreigner in China want to have a hukou?  With my residence work visa, my company (me) can do work anywhere in China.  I do have to pay for private schooling for my daughter, but it's fairly cheap.

OK, interesting. And I didn't know how it worked for foreigners, as I've only ever spoken to Chinese nationals about the hukou system. As to why you'd want one: maybe it'd be worth having in Shanghai or Beijing? Most of the people I spoke to seemed to regard that as quite the valuable thing (they were mostly from guangdong). Though the only Beijing person I met went to school at Penn state instead (rich parents I guess.)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: JG in Hangzhou on October 17, 2016, 06:28:25 AM
Hukou for Chinese nationals tells where their kids can go to school.  If you live in Beijing but your hukou is in guandong, you have to pay for private school, and usually you have to test in, or pay alot.
Lucky for me, my daughter passed the 7 part examination, including teamwork, for First Grade, so I only pay a modest tuition for elementary school. There may be some other legal implications of the hukou, but public school seems the most obvious.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on October 17, 2016, 01:35:30 PM
Lhamo also knows quite a bit about this. She lived in Beijing for some time.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: hoping2retire35 on October 20, 2016, 08:49:03 AM
Nawhite-thanks for the tip on rain barrels. I was somewhat familiar about western water rights but was always curious about if you just put a damn on you property or whatever for a garden etc.

PLEASE REVIEW

JONESBORO, AR(SURROUNDING TOWN/SMALL CITY TOO, CLOSE TO OZARKS)
SANTA FE, NM
ALBUQUERQUE, NM

ANCHORAGE, AK
JUNEAU, AK
KETCHIKAN, AK
ANYWHERE, AK
-I get that it is cold cloudy and dark, but i would guess these three are all a little different. When is the best time to visit, September(decent sun, not too much, not too cold, not much rain?)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zolotiyeruki on October 20, 2016, 01:43:20 PM
Stupid ordinances/laws:
...
- Rain barrels and grey water recycling isn't allowed (though there has been a bit of movement on this in the past year). The reason is that technically all water in all waterways in the state is owned by someone, so technically the water that falls on your property is owned by someone's water right. So if you use it on your property instead, you are stealing from the real owner.
I think your information on grey water recycling and rain barrels is outdated:
Grey water is ok since 2013: http://collegian.com/2013/05/gov-hickenlooper-signs-graywater-bill-into-colorado-law/ (http://collegian.com/2013/05/gov-hickenlooper-signs-graywater-bill-into-colorado-law/)
Rain barrels are ok since August: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/05/colorado-household-rain-barrel-law-takes-effect-tuesday/ (http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/05/colorado-household-rain-barrel-law-takes-effect-tuesday/)

Not sure if local laws can/do override those, though.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: hoping2retire35 on October 21, 2016, 08:57:44 AM
City, State, Country:Charleston, SC, USA
If a suburb, distance from city: Isle of Palms(12mi~20min drive) Mt Pleasant (6mi, 12 min)

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Highly variable. Multi-million dollar mansions are south of Broad street, 1 mile up are rooms for $500 a month(basically forget buying). Isle of Palms will be expensive in the summer, unless you can really find a deal probably starting off paying $400,000 for 2bd, $500 for a 1 room rental, condo rental $1000+(price is non-summertime), Mt Pleasant you can find 2bd condos for under $200k and perhaps some decent deals if you look, renting is about the same as IOP.IOP price is non summer months*

Indoor Hobbies: Go outside, downtown is where it is at, museums, house tours, Aquarium, boat tours(sorta inside), nightlife, shopping(window shopping; lots of expensive stuff)

Outdoor Hobbies: The beach, walking downtown staring at rich people houses and old stuff, boat tours/rides, fishing, Francis Marion NF is ~30 minutes away, waves aren't big enough to surf so you boogie board, look for seashells and critters, The Market(its outside), beer festivals, mountains are 4hrs away.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun)
:Its hot and humid, I go running at 3 in the afternoon in July, you will learn to deal properly with it. It will freeze in the winter but usually not in the teens. It can be really windy just about all the time near the ocean. 4 full seasons but we went swimming Christmas day last year...Hurricanes happen late summer/fall, mostly just tropical storms though; have a contingency plan.

Favorite things:The beach, food, saltwater fishing, want to do more boating soon, downtown walking around, has a more worldly(?) feel than other cities I have been too. First historical district in the country (world?). letting kids just run carefree on the beach is the best

Least favorite things:The housing prices with very few exceptions, humidity, its a city and I am a country person.

'Must Try': she crab soup, the beach after labor day(read; no crowds! literally awesome), go to some house and area plantation tours

Stupid ordinances/laws:Never lived there just visited a lot so not too familiar. Some of our states beer laws(not unlike other states) are antiquated and progressive but seems to be changing for the better. We are one of 5 states that does not allow open carry, just seems odd to me (TX, NY, Ca, ILL are the others).

Words of wisdom/Advice:imagine the hottest day you have ever experienced, its like that for 6-8 weeks so stay in the shade, drink water and go to the beach with sun screen

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Electricity is really cheap so solar just doesn't make sense, financially, but in any case the state does not offer any rebates, but if you just want to do it knock yourself out. It is right in between tropic and temperate zones so you can grow just about anything if you can find the gardening space. Land is really cheap as you leave the coast.Downtown, Mt Pleasant, IOP, and other areas are all pretty bikable individually, at least getting to grocery stores etc, having sidewalks but getting in between them can be more of a hassle, just a long ride over a tall exposed bridge

Jordanread, if a long time resident does a write up feel free to link theirs instead of mine, I think I covered it all thoroughly but they will have deeper knowledge than myself.

EDITS
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: TrulyStashin on October 27, 2016, 02:07:38 PM
City, State, Country: Richmond, VA USA  ("RVA")  Metro area population about 1.5 M
If a suburb, distance from city: I'm in a historic RVA neighborhood but used to live in a suburb - 15 miles to downtown, 18 minutes.  That's typical unless you're way out.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): A nice SFH in a good school district will run you in the low to mid $200's.  We bought our city condo for $135k.  Average rent on a 1 BR apartment is $1,000 - $1,200/ mo. 

Indoor Hobbies: the Museum of Fine Arts is outstanding -- one of the best on the east coast.  We're the state capital so other museums abound.  The music scene here is robust so concerts at local venues are easy to find and cheap.  We have two theater venues for national productions ("Broadway in Richmond") but also local, professional theater that is wonderful.  The craft beer scene is outrageous -- more craft breweries than anywhere else on the eastern seaboard according to a recent article.  Lots of Meet Ups for every interest.

Outdoor Hobbies:
The James River runs right through downtown and long ago the City created the James River Park system (http://www.jamesriverpark.org/ (http://www.jamesriverpark.org/)) which put both north and south banks of the river under conversation.  There are extensive natural amenities: hiking trails, mountain bike trails, white water rafting, paddle boarding, sun bathing on big flat rocks.  We also have the Capital Trail (Richmond to Jamestown, dedicated bike-walk path 50 miles long) that starts in downtown and runs along the James River and eventually to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in N. America.  There are historical attractions of every kind from battlefields to historic homes to quaint towns -- colonial era, Revolutionary War, antebellum, Civil War, WW I & II.  If that's not enough for you, DC is a day trip away.  Charlottesville (Monticello/ Thomas Jefferson) is an hour to the west.  We are increasingly bike friendly thanks to having hosted the UCI World Championship cycling race last fall (http://richmond2015.com/ (http://richmond2015.com/)) which led to bike-fever taking hold in RVA.  We will soon open a "bike highway" on Floyd Avenue connecting the west end of the city to downtown.  Bike lanes are springing up everywhere.  My BF and I frequently bike through the city, to the James River Park trails, then to a brewery for a beer, than home.  Did that yesterday, in fact.  We are two hours from the beach; two hours from the Blue Ridge Mountains; and two hours from DC (or 6, or 8, depending on traffic/ mode of transport).

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):
Spring and fall are absolutely wonderful with low humidity, weather in the 70's to 80's and absolutely beautiful forests and blooming plants.  Summers are hot and humid (mid-June to mid-Sept) with 95 degree days common.  Winters tend to be pretty brief (mid-December to mid-March, maybe late March) and we typically get one or two good snowfalls a year but otherwise temps are in the 30's and 40's.  Bundle up and you can still do all the fun outside stuff.

Favorite things:  Biking or hiking the James River Park system or the Capital Trail or to breweries.  Oh, and the food scene here is amazing!  Twice a year we have restaurant week with a three-course meal priced at $29.16 (proceeds to charity).  RVA has had multiple articles recently on our food/ restaurant scene (Esquire, Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living, USA Today).  There is some kind of festival going on almost every weekend and they're usually free -- you will not be able to keep up with them all.  Irish Fest, Bourbon and Bacon Fest,  Folk Festival (music), River Rock (extreme sports), Watermelon Festival, Tomato Festival, Hogtober (beer, music, BBQ), Greek Festival.  That's just off the top of my head.

Least favorite things:   Hmmm..... That's tough.  I've lived here since 1998 and have grown increasingly proud of my city as it has morphed from a stuffy place (old motto:  "Tradition, unhampered by progress") to a vibrant, artsy, forward-looking city.  I guess my least favorite thing is that we still have a minority of people who cling to our Confederate history (we were the capital of the CSA).  But in the 18 years I've lived here, I've seen that wane considerably.  Thanks to Va Commonwealth University (40,000 students, campus in the heart of the city) and its young, hip, artistic, tattooed influence  the Confederate voice is significantly lessened. 

'Must Try': Hiking the James River Park trails at dawn.  Or dusk.  Taking a bottle of wine out onto the flat rocks at Texas Beach and drinking it while the sun sets.  Biking from Belle Isle to Reedy Creek to Riverside Drive.  Wasting a day at Hardywood brewery, drinking beer and throwing corn hole.  Any one of our hundreds of outdoor/ patio restaurants -- oh, Legends' deck overlooking downtown and the James River (our original craft brewery, c. 1993). 

Stupid ordinances/laws:  Not aware of any.

Words of wisdom/Advice:  Everyone here is very friendly.  People will smile and talk to you while you're standing in line at the grocery store.  But if you've somehow transgressed our cultural norms, the smile will get tight and a bit frozen.  If anyone smiles and says "bless your heart" then you've just been tagged as the village idiot.  Separate issue -- if you're LGBT, no worries. With the exception of the Old Richmond crowd at the Country Club of Virginia (you won't be hanging with them anyway) no one cares.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): As was said about Charleston, SC, it's true for us too:  "Electricity is really cheap so solar just doesn't make sense, financially, but in any case the state does not offer any rebates, but if you just want to do it knock yourself out. It is right in between tropic and temperate zones so you can grow just about anything if you can find the gardening space. Land is really cheap as you leave" downtown.  The urban garden movement is strong here (Google Tricycle Gardens).  As I mentioned, biking is growing quickly.  We're building a bus rapid transit system and the long-term plan includes high-speed rail to DC.  We have a bus system but its lame.  The city is very walkable and bikeable with lots of affordable housing options and neighborhoods with their own distinct sense of place and personality.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: TrulyStashin on October 27, 2016, 02:10:48 PM
I currently live in NE OH, (originally from Long Island) and my wife and I would like to get back to the East coast.  Our current guess of a great place to live would be in the Raleigh North Carolina area, or maybe a suburb of Charlotte.  Can anyone provide some advice on these areas?  I've only been to Charlotte for work and my wife has only heard that its a great place to live from others.  We are planning on vacationing there later this year but have no idea where to go... Any help would be appreciated!

Basically, we want to get to warmer weather and live near a nice city to go into as well as having outdoor options (hiking, biking, camping, etc.)

Check our Richmond, VA.  See my post, above.  PM me is you have questions.  It's an awesome place to live.  Very high quality of life with low cost of living.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Singularity on November 09, 2016, 03:17:19 PM

Anyone have experience in the Aberdeen, MD / Havre de Grace, MD?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: waltworks on November 11, 2016, 08:29:11 PM

PLEASE REVIEW
SANTA FE, NM
ALBUQUERQUE, NM

I have lots of experience with both, here's a quick summary (feel free to drop me a line in person if you want more detail)

Santa Fe:

Positives: High elevation desert (7k') with a TON of outdoor (skiing, mountain bike, hike, rock climb, kayak/raft, etc) activities and a vibrant art/music scene. Relatively cheap housing ($250k for a 3/2 in a safe neighborhood) and fantastic weather with 4 (including "real" winter with accumulating snow) seasons. Decent bike path network but basically no useful public transit. Lots of interesting local food options and of course NM green chile!

Negatives: Terrible public schools (as in, "my kid might get stabbed") due to odd demographics (wealthier residents are mostly older/don't have school age children) and NM's very poor public school funding. Houses in desirable locations near the plaza/capital are much more expensive ($500k+ even for pretty crappy structures) and most of those areas are also "historic" which means it can be impossible to remodel/add to an older house. Relatively isolated (1 hour to Albuquerque airport which only has flights to a few hub airports).

Albuquerque:

Positives: Great high desert (5.5k') weather, inexpensive housing, great NM cuisine. Lots of outdoor activities (though less so than Santa Fe). Not very cold in winter, not very snowy (if you don't like cold/snowy, that's good!) Minor league baseball team named for the Springfield Isotopes! Airport right in town, though you'll probably have to fly to a hub to get anywhere you want to go.

Negatives: Super, super, mega sprawl. Car required to go anywhere, and lousy bike path/trail system - you have to be brave and resourceful to get around on a bike. Negligible culture/art. Public schools generally crappy. Sometimes has polluted air due to the Sandia mountains trapping emissions from the city. A fair amount of crime. A lot of big city problems without big city benefits, in short.

I would live in Santa Fe in a hot second if I didn't have kids (or wanted to homeschool). I would live in Albuquerque if I had to, but I wouldn't be very excited about it.

-W
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Kenoryn on November 17, 2016, 06:57:33 PM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SouthLand on November 25, 2016, 03:04:25 PM
I'm applying for a job in San Mateo, CA. I'd love a mustachian's input on the city if anyone's from around that area.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Dicey on November 27, 2016, 12:44:27 AM
For dumb laws in Oakland, you could at least add Propositions 13 and 65. 65 doesn't affect much, but 13 adds to the problems of home scarcity and high prices in CA.
Um, no. Prop 13 caps property taxes at 1.25% of the purchase price and strictly limits the amount they can go up each year. If I want to pay fewer taxes, I can buy a smaller house. Not sure how it contributes to scarcity in any significant way. Pretty sure high prices are caused by a myriad of factors, of which these props are miniscule in comparison to say, bitchin' weather and majestic scenery.  FWIW, these props are in effect state-wide, therefore not unique to Oakland. Low property taxes are one thing CA does right, IMHO.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: stoaX on November 28, 2016, 10:10:01 AM
For dumb laws in Oakland, you could at least add Propositions 13 and 65. 65 doesn't affect much, but 13 adds to the problems of home scarcity and high prices in CA.
Um, no. Prop 13 caps property taxes at 1.25% of the purchase price and strictly limits the amount they can go up each year. If I want to pay fewer taxes, I can buy a smaller house. Not sure how it contributes to scarcity in any significant way. Pretty sure high prices are caused by a myriad of factors, of which these props are miniscule in comparison to say, bitchin' weather and majestic scenery.  FWIW, these props are in effect state-wide, therefore not unique to Oakland. Low property taxes are one thing CA does right, IMHO.

I agree Diane C.  Other states I have lived in have had lower property taxes as a % of the purchase price (with good schools to boot!).  Also, many houses that you buy have additional property taxes on them (known as "mello - roos" taxes) that make the total property tax more than the 1.25%.

Add on high sales taxes, income taxes and a myriad of fees and one can conclude that California governments are not starved for tax money. 

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: MichaelB on November 28, 2016, 01:52:12 PM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: compulsivereader on November 28, 2016, 03:14:20 PM
City, State, Country: Austin, TX, USA
If a suburb, distance from city: N/A. I live approximately six miles north of downtown in a neighborhood called Crestview. It was considered far north Austin 20 years ago but is now considered north-central Austin. Drive time to downtown is ~20 minutes with normal traffic. Bicycle time is ~40 minutes. Bus time is ~50 minutes.
Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): When I moved to Austin in 2009, I rented a 750SF house for $1,075 a month and shared it with a housemate. The same house now rents for ~$1,300 a month. Houses in my neighborhood were selling for $200K (1950s era, 750SF) seven years ago; now, the same house might go for $300K to a developer who would tear it down and replace it with a 2,500SF house to sell for $600K. Housing prices in the city are rising rapidly, and that has become a hot button political issue. Many old neighborhoods (including mine) are gentrifying, and older retired folks, artists/musicians, and other lower/fixed income groups are getting priced out by rising rents and taxes. Our total tax bill for this year was approximately 2% of the appraised value of our home. FEMA maps were just updated, which is requiring some homeowners to purchase flood insurance.
Indoor Hobbies: Board and card games, home brewing, cooking, bowling, writing, crafting. You'll find a club or interest group for most activities you can think of. My local coffee shop hosts groups for: knitting, writing, bible study, language exchanges, etc.
Outdoor Hobbies:Town Lake/Ladybird Lake/ Colorado River (name depends on how long the person you ask has lived in Austin) has a great walking/bicycling trail and kayak, canoe, stand up paddle boat, and sail boat rental spots. It's illegal to swim in the lake, but the public park system has a number of good pools. Look up Deep Eddy and Barton Springs. There are good hiking spots around the edges of the city that are easily accessed by car and with effort by bicycle. There are also a number of beautiful state parks for hiking/camping within a 2-3 hour drive of the city.
Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Summer is hot and fairly humid. Most folks only do voluntary active outdoors activities before 10am or after 5pm between May and September. Expect most days at 90F+ degrees and at least a dozen days above 100F. Fall and Spring are both pleasant, mostly in the mid 70s to high 80s. The city wakes up for both seasons, and there are lots of outdoor performances and events, the outdoor seating at restaurants fills up, etc. Winter usually resembles the fall in more northern climes, although it has been very unpredictable over the last seven years. We have had a few winters with several weeks in a row falling below freezing and a couple of winters where it only froze a handful of times. If memory serves, it has snowed twice. 
Favorite things: Friendly people, good (and getting better) food, easy walk/bicycle/short car ride from my neighborhood to anything I need, the Long Center for the Arts, Zach Theater, UT-Austin (for courses and some facilities open to the public), Austin Community College (good courses at cheap prices), ok art galleries, lots of live music, and a plethora of festivals. The city is very dog friendly, and a number of bars and coffee shops have outdoor seating where dogs are allowed.
Least favorite things: 1) The traffic on the four primary freeways (U.S. 183, U.S. 290, I-35, and Mopac (SH 1)) is bad and getting worse. I-35 and Mopac seem to have partial shutdowns due to wrecks almost every day. Evening rush hour started around 4:30pm seven years ago. Now, it starts around 3:30pm. 2) There is a racial and financial divide between east Austin and west Austin. 3) The city lacks the culture and diversity of more sophisticated large cities (e.g. Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, NYC); although there are good asian and greek markets in my area and various festivals celebrating different ethnicities and cultures. There are no world-class museums. The arboretum is nice but not particularly impressive. I have not heard anything particularly good about the zoo or aquarium.
'Must Try': Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, breakfast tacos, rowing on Ladybird Lake, Kite festival
Stupid ordinances/laws: I can't think of any that are truly egregious. Building codes are strict, and that brings both good and bad.
Words of wisdom/Advice: Live on the same side of the river as where you work and expect to make friends and spend most of your time on that side. The best real estate deals are east of I-35, but those neighborhoods are gentrifying. If you plan to rent, expect your rent to go up each year. Check the floodplain maps before you buy a house. Even the suburbs are getting expensive, so the best situation is to live close to work.
Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Solar panels are subsidized through Austin Energy, but the ROI is still going to be 5-8 years depending on which install company you go with. The utility has a list of approved installers that is updated annually. As of now, the city will rebate 50% of the cost of rainwater collection tanks. Gardening is very feasible, but soil conditions vary by what part of the city you are in. Austin is at the confluence of five eco regions. There are very active gardening clubs, community gardens, and a number of farmers markets and co-ops.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SouthLand on December 19, 2016, 02:32:19 PM
I'd be interested in hearing about Las Vegas from a Mustachian. I'm interested in a position there, but with its reputation as all the worst tourist traps thrown together, I'm wondering if it's worth it.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on December 19, 2016, 02:34:29 PM
I'd be interested in hearing about Las Vegas from a Mustachian. I'm interested in a position there, but with its reputation as all the worst tourist traps thrown together, I'm wondering if it's worth it.

I'll add it to the list. Our one and only arebelspy lived there pre-FIRE. It's surprisingly cheap, so long as one avoids the tourist stuff. The temperature makes it shitty for biking though.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: aoedae on January 06, 2017, 04:10:38 PM
(Review in progress)

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: sw1tch on January 10, 2017, 07:54:58 AM
I'd like to request reviews of the following:

- Fairfax, VA (also Falls Church, Vienna, etc)
- Washington DC
- Virginia Beach
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SuperMex on January 12, 2017, 03:51:35 AM
•   City, State, Country: Chetumal, Mexico
South of Cancun as far South as you can go in Mexico right on the Belize border
•   If a suburb, distance from city: Chetumal is the capital of the state of Quintana Roo
it has a population of about 170,000. There are many American big name stores there including Walmart, Home depot, Chili’s, and Sam’s Club.
•   Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): I will include base, middle class, & luxury
Base Rent for a 500 Sf 1/1 or 2/1 apartment or home $50-100 a month, no AC. Purchase $35-50K
Middle Class 750-1500 Sf 2/1 to 4/2 home $125 – 200 a month. Could have AC in bedrooms. Purchase $50-80K
Luxury 2000 Sf and up, 3/2 and up, $500 -700 a month. Luxury finishing’s, in a gated community, AC in all rooms. Purchase $100-200K
•   Indoor Hobbies: Movies nice theater $3-5, Martial Arts, Music & Dance, language lessons, gym.

•   Outdoor Hobbies: Fishing, boating/canoeing, running, crappy man made beach, awesome bike lane along the ocean, every evening there are outdoor aerobic classes in a park on the bay. Seems to always be a festival of some sort in the plaza.

•   Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Two seasons hot and really hot. From Nov-Feb the average temperature is 70-83, Mar & Oct is 72-85, and Apr-Sep is 76-88. Keep in mind these are average highs and lows. You will have a few days that hit the lower 60’s and a few that hit the upper 90’s. There is a constant breeze about 22 hours a day.

•   Favorite things: Fruit and vegetables are very cheap in the market, there are so many exotic fruits and everything is fresh from local villages. People are generally friendly and not pushy like in tourist areas of Mexico. Cabs are so cheap driving is not necessary ($1-2 anywhere in the city, the bus or collective is 25-50 cent). The culture of Chetumal is very different as there is a blend of Belizeans, Asians, Lebanese, and Mexicans. There are almost no tourists or expats here who tend to distort the economy.

•   Least favorite things: Lack of cleanliness, no recycling, treatment of animals, and some poverty.

•   'Must Try': Mayan museum, Corozal free zone, perusing the market, lake bacalar, day trips to Xcalax and Ambergris Caye.

•   Stupid ordinances/laws: Self-defense is basically not an option, firearms are illegal to own, only criminals and the police have them. 

•   Words of wisdom/Advice: Don’t ruin the economy by paying above market prices for everything. Know what Mexicans pay for things and learn to barter. Don’t expect others to conform to your 1st world way of doing things. Don’t get loud or verbally abusive with people they tend to be very quiet and submissive but aren’t afraid to throw down if you run your mouth too much.

•   Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Solar water heaters are readily available and viable year around. Most homes have a rain water collection system that can easily provide the entire water supply for the home 9-10 months out of the year. The ground is very fertile and you can grow fruit and vegetables year around.

The attached pictures are of one of my homes. The ground floor is a 2/1 apartment (1000 Sf) I rent it for $125 a month. The top two floors are a 4/2 (2500 Sf) with it's own entrance I rent it for $200 a month. These are typical Mexican prices.


Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on January 12, 2017, 07:15:05 AM
I've got the requests added, and Cambridge and Chetumal added to the review list. Thanks again for your participation.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: sw1tch on January 12, 2017, 07:21:38 AM
•   City, State, Country: Chetumal, Mexico
South of Cancun as far South as you can go in Mexico right on the Belize border
•   If a suburb, distance from city: Chetumal is the capital of the state of Quintana Roo
it has a population of about 170,000. There are many American big name stores there including Walmart, Home depot, Chili’s, and Sam’s Club.
•   Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): I will include base, middle class, & luxury
Base Rent for a 500 Sf 1/1 or 2/1 apartment or home $50-100 a month, no AC. Purchase $35-50K
Middle Class 750-1500 Sf 2/1 to 4/2 home $125 – 200 a month. Could have AC in bedrooms. Purchase $50-80K
Luxury 2000 Sf and up, 3/2 and up, $500 -700 a month. Luxury finishing’s, in a gated community, AC in all rooms. Purchase $100-200K
•   Indoor Hobbies: Movies nice theater $3-5, Martial Arts, Music & Dance, language lessons, gym.

•   Outdoor Hobbies: Fishing, boating/canoeing, running, crappy man made beach, awesome bike lane along the ocean, every evening there are outdoor aerobic classes in a park on the bay. Seems to always be a festival of some sort in the plaza.

•   Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Two seasons hot and really hot. From Nov-Feb the average temperature is 70-83, Mar & Oct is 72-85, and Apr-Sep is 76-88. Keep in mind these are average highs and lows. You will have a few days that hit the lower 60’s and a few that hit the upper 90’s. There is a constant breeze about 22 hours a day.

•   Favorite things: Fruit and vegetables are very cheap in the market, there are so many exotic fruits and everything is fresh from local villages. People are generally friendly and not pushy like in tourist areas of Mexico. Cabs are so cheap driving is not necessary ($1-2 anywhere in the city, the bus or collective is 25-50 cent). The culture of Chetumal is very different as there is a blend of Belizeans, Asians, Lebanese, and Mexicans. There are almost no tourists or expats here who tend to distort the economy.

•   Least favorite things: Lack of cleanliness, no recycling, treatment of animals, and some poverty.

•   'Must Try': Mayan museum, Corozal free zone, perusing the market, lake bacalar, day trips to Xcalax and Ambergris Caye.

•   Stupid ordinances/laws: Self-defense is basically not an option, firearms are illegal to own, only criminals and the police have them. 

•   Words of wisdom/Advice: Don’t ruin the economy by paying above market prices for everything. Know what Mexicans pay for things and learn to barter. Don’t expect others to conform to your 1st world way of doing things. Don’t get loud or verbally abusive with people they tend to be very quiet and submissive but aren’t afraid to throw down if you run your mouth too much.

•   Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Solar water heaters are readily available and viable year around. Most homes have a rain water collection system that can easily provide the entire water supply for the home 9-10 months out of the year. The ground is very fertile and you can grow fruit and vegetables year around.

The attached pictures are of one of my homes. The ground floor is a 2/1 apartment (1000 Sf) I rent it for $125 a month. The top two floors are a 4/2 (2500 Sf) with it's own entrance I rent it for $200 a month. These are typical Mexican prices.

Awesome post and great info!!  If only I were more fluent in Spanish.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: dpfromva on January 12, 2017, 11:17:12 AM
Fun read -- might want to expand weather or sustainability category to address long term climate effects (I know, I know, we don't all agree on this), e.g. "likelihood of being underwater by 2050" or "likelihood of turning into a desert/water wars zone over your lifetime" plus the usual earthquake, tornado, stuff.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bbqmustache on February 05, 2017, 06:40:25 AM


[/quote]
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Hargrove on February 07, 2017, 06:13:59 AM
I'm not sure how good that calculator is...

Provo-Orem metro in Utah has access to dirt-cheap public transport and childcare at under half minimum wage on every posting board. You can get anywhere you want with a bike and the bus. Obviously, some/all numbers will be inflated by non-Mustachians. Same for most of what's north of there. Easy access to whatever you want, lots of cheap open land and real estate.

However, Litchfield county CT is listed as being slightly cheaper than SLC County in Utah, with almost the same housing cost (what...?). North of Danbury, CT, most or all public transport dries up within 20 or so miles, childcare costs beat most part-time jobs, housing is higher than the 230k-ish CT average, and yet it's listed as cheaper than SLC to live in (and with lower taxes, but UT has no car property tax and the mill rate in the areas I looked is around 25-75% that of CT for property). CT mill rates go from about 13 to 44 unless the town has no school. Take a peek at Torrington - they're paying for the same infrastructure with a shrinking population as the only major NWCT metro. Distance between towns is 10-20 minutes by car. And the minimum wage is wrong by years - it's $10.10.

I would seriously love to stand corrected.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 07, 2017, 08:35:33 AM
I'm not sure how good that calculator is...

Provo-Orem metro in Utah has access to dirt-cheap public transport and childcare at under half minimum wage on every posting board. You can get anywhere you want with a bike and the bus. Obviously, some/all numbers will be inflated by non-Mustachians. Same for most of what's north of there. Easy access to whatever you want, lots of cheap open land and real estate.

However, Litchfield county CT is listed as being slightly cheaper than SLC County in Utah, with almost the same housing cost (what...?). North of Danbury, CT, most or all public transport dries up within 20 or so miles, childcare costs beat most part-time jobs, housing is higher than the 230k-ish CT average, and yet it's listed as cheaper than SLC to live in (and with lower taxes, but UT has no car property tax and the mill rate in the areas I looked is around 25-75% that of CT for property). CT mill rates go from about 13 to 44 unless the town has no school. Take a peek at Torrington - they're paying for the same infrastructure with a shrinking population as the only major NWCT metro. Distance between towns is 10-20 minutes by car. And the minimum wage is wrong by years - it's $10.10.

I would seriously love to stand corrected.

It may be off. Ever since I met ARS, and realized how cheap one could actually live in Las Vegas, I realized that there isn't a calculator that truly captures the Mustachian Way. Hence the reason we have this thread. I stayed in West Jordan for a bit, but this was pre-mustachian days. First hand experience, while anecdotal, adds additional data.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ChpBstrd on February 07, 2017, 01:54:33 PM

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: hoping2retire35 on February 10, 2017, 11:20:59 AM
CHPBSTRD,
What is fun in Hot Springs?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ChpBstrd on February 11, 2017, 09:04:30 AM
CHPBSTRD,
What is fun in Hot Springs?

Horse racetrack, lakes and associated recreation, old school spas, Hot Springs Nat'l Park, trails, museums & historical sites, tourist traps, etc.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Guide2003 on February 11, 2017, 09:14:38 PM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 13, 2017, 07:32:54 AM
I've got the last 3 city reviews added to the main post. Thank you all!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: hoping2retire35 on February 14, 2017, 07:55:29 AM
Still need Charleston, SC linked. it is reply #82.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 14, 2017, 08:45:30 AM
Still need Charleston, SC linked. it is reply #82.

Missed that one. Sorry. It's there now. Thank you for your contribution.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: mrteacher on February 14, 2017, 08:56:26 AM
I'd like to see a review of Grand Rapids, MI.

It seems like a mustachian city (low COL) and a desirable place to raise a family.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 14, 2017, 09:05:21 AM
I've got Grand Rapids added to the request list.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: catmustache on March 04, 2017, 11:42:35 AM
I'd love to see a review of Cleveland, OH. Seems like it has a low cost of living.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Mr. McGibblets on March 08, 2017, 10:34:15 AM
Just wanted to say this is an awesome thread!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: KS on March 20, 2017, 11:00:58 AM
I see it's been requested already but since nobody's responded yet I'll bump this thread with another request for info on Corvallis, OR! Have a good friend who relocated there and has been happy so far, but she's only been there about a year and I always like more info from more people on pros/cons. Thanks!

Will try to get on here again soon with info about the HCOL south bay area (general region of Sunnyvale, Mtn View CA), to do my part in contributing. :)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SingleMomDebt on May 15, 2017, 07:39:14 PM
Would love to see some OR reviews.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 15, 2017, 07:53:20 PM
Oregon reviews were requested, and I shall provide! I love, love, love talking about my home state, and have lived all over it =)

[/quote]
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 15, 2017, 07:54:10 PM
What other Oregon towns do people want? I guess I can really only do Portland without also giving away where Hometown is. Hmmm.

Actually, I can do Bend and La Pine as well if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SingleMomDebt on May 15, 2017, 08:32:54 PM
am interest in Portland and Bend. Thanks Bracken_Joy!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 08:33:17 AM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SingleMomDebt on May 16, 2017, 09:05:51 AM
It sucks making good money and feeling pushed out in price. Dang, rents are crazy there too. Well Corvallis is sounding enticing to check out.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 09:10:59 AM
It sucks making good money and feeling pushed out in price. Dang, rents are crazy there too. Well Corvallis is sounding enticing to check out.

I'll do Bend here shortly. But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

Downside to any non-Portland OR towns: Portland is the only international airport. Eugene has a little airport, but corvallis only has an airfield for the local flight school and stuff. Bend also only has a little municipal air field, is my understanding. So if travel is a consideration, that's something to keep in mind.

Eugene and Salem vie for the second largest Oregon city title. Both have some culture, but are fairly rough overall- too small to be as exciting and dynamic as Portland, too big to have some of the neat small-town benefits (bikeability and so on) of the smaller towns. Some people really like them though, and they're much more affordable. More job opportunities compared to population, too.

ETA: have been corrected, there IS an airport in Redmond (near Bend). Like Eugene, it's a little airport, but it'll get you to all the major hubs in the US.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 09:43:13 AM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SingleMomDebt on May 16, 2017, 09:52:29 AM
It sucks making good money and feeling pushed out in price. Dang, rents are crazy there too. Well Corvallis is sounding enticing to check out.

I'll do Bend here shortly. But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

Downside to any non-Portland OR towns: Portland is the only international airport. Eugene has a little airport, but corvallis only has an airfield for the local flight school and stuff. Bend also only has a little municipal air field, is my understanding. So if travel is a consideration, that's something to keep in mind.

Eugene and Salem vie for the second largest Oregon city title. Both have some culture, but are fairly rough overall- too small to be as exciting and dynamic as Portland, too big to have some of the neat small-town benefits (bikeability and so on) of the smaller towns. Some people really like them though, and they're much more affordable. More job opportunities compared to population, too.

I did consider Salem at one time. But Ashland sounds enticing. Thank you so much for all this information.  I thought Bend would be an area I was interested in, but reading your local review I am not so sure that is true anymore. I did not realize Bend was located in the high desert. I love the desert. So something I will still tour in the future.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Meowmalade on May 16, 2017, 09:55:14 AM
But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

I heard that Ashland is changing and getting crazy expensive since all the California retirees are moving there :(
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 10:09:45 AM
But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

I heard that Ashland is changing and getting crazy expensive since all the California retirees are moving there :(


Oooooh I bet you're right. Since it's more southern, the climate is closer and all =\ Ack. Well, if it goes the way of Yreka then it won't be affordable anymore! Not that it was ever cheap, mind you.

Maybe Medford or K Falls will have a cultural revolution ;) I'm not holding out hope...
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 10:26:54 AM
LOL. I would be classified as one of those California retirees in thoughts of moving up there. (course young to retire, but eventually my intention)

Another thought occurred to me. Depending on when you're thinking about moving/how old your kid is... we don't always have the best schools =\ Oregon actually has one of the worst HS grad rates in the country. If your kids are in a special program, like IB or honors at one of the schools, you can get pretty good education. But just be aware that there's a decent amount of drugs/teen pregnancy/drop outs.

Oregon has a pretty major meth problem, particularly in small rural communities. Places like Springfield, Medford (many Oregonians call it "methford"), K Falls, Roseburg... all having pretty major drug crises right now. The costal town aren't faring well either, but they never are. The coast is BEAUTIFUL though, and cheap. So long as you don't mind SO MUCH RAIN and a depressed economy and the possibility of typhoons, the coast might be a neat option. No nightlife to speak of anywhere on the coast though.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 11:43:15 AM
realistically, this move probably would not be for another 5-7 years. So DD will be out of school. Not even sure she would want to venture forth with me. (ah, sad thought).
Ah, the goods and bads about rural communities. thank you for the info.
Hopefully with some venturing around, I will discover my little slice of heaven that I can call mine.

Brace yourselves folks =) I've got another 3-5 city reviews on the way. All Oregon, of course ;) May as well go all out, right? I'm home sick from work today and don't want to do dishes.

I'll be honest, coming from LA to anywhere in Oregon (including Portland) would be a massive culture shock. Portland likes to act like a city, and it's getting there, but in reality it's a really big small town in many ways =)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on May 16, 2017, 11:49:37 AM
I've got the ones you've already done added to the first post. Thanks BJ!! Look forward to the additional reviews. It does make such a difference when we can find the awesomeness in the place that we are.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SingleMomDebt on May 16, 2017, 11:51:29 AM
Woohoo! I was gonna ask for more Oregon reviews but didn't want to push. ;)

And you description of Portland just now sounds pretty much my cup of tea. I've live in SF, I can handle OR culture shock (and desire it)  :)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 11:53:55 AM
Woohoo! I was gonna ask for more Oregon reviews but didn't want to push. ;)

And you description of Portland just now sounds pretty much my cup of tea. I've live in SF, I can handle OR culture shock (and desire it)  :)

If you can afford Portland and don't need to live on peak hours, it is incredible. =) Definitely try to live in Portland proper though. Sellwood in particular is an area I could see living... forever. It's like a quiet island right in the center of it all.

And it's such an irony- it kills me to see all the growing pains Oregon is going through, and part of me wants to hold it close and keep it secret. Part of my family has been here 5 generations! I don't want it to change. But at the same time, I love it, and I want more people to discover the quirky, beautiful state I call home.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 12:19:32 PM
Albany   


Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 12:19:52 PM
Eugene


Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 12:20:06 PM
Salem


Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 16, 2017, 12:21:49 PM
I don't quite know what happened with some of the formatting, but there's 3 more cities. I've got another 2-3 I might do today. Requests welcome. On the off chance I don't know the town, I guarantee you I have a friend I could easily ask.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: G42 on May 16, 2017, 08:22:49 PM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Vindicated on May 18, 2017, 01:25:31 PM
Updated to include Verdure's additional comments, and a quotation about the Bloomington area from retiringearly

Fellow Indy resident, thought I'd add a few notes.  Included below in green.

I've lived in San Diego, CA, and West Palm Beach, FL, but I wouldn't choose either over Indianapolis.  I've lived in Indianapolis for 10 years now, and I never plan to leave!
I've lived in about a dozen cities, been in Indy 11 year.  Very happy here, but the right job could draw me away, and likely will choose someplace warmer for retirement

  • City, State, Country:Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

  • If a suburb, distance from city: Plenty of great suburbs all around the circle

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Generic SFH from $100k+.  Our home is 1700sqft, and cost $118k in 2013 (Would be able to rent for $1300ish/mo).  Future target homes will be similar or smaller but nicer and nicer areas for ~$250k

  • Indoor Hobbies:Tons of museums, restaurants, events.  Will list more details below in "Favorite Things" Some great libraries!

  • Outdoor Hobbies:Great parks, super walkable and attractive downtown There are fun regional festivals of all sorts, MiLB Baseball team (AAA Pirates affiliate)

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Summer can "Feels Like" over 100, and can be humid.  Winter can be mild or snowy/icy (but usually for only a few days at a time).  Spring and Fall are 60s-80s with nice weather I think it's a great climate for people looking for 4 seasons, but don't want an extreme winter. Summers may be too humid for some, and if you're a winter sports lover, probably not the place for you.  Fall and spring are absolutely lovely, but the allergies can be a challenge.

  • Favorite things:Indianapolis Museum of Art (One of the most beautiful places I've seen), Indianapolis Children's Museum (#1 in the World), Symphony on the Prairie (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra outdoor event at Conner Prairie), Conner Prairie (1800s educational "park", White River State Park / Canal / Eiteljorg / NCCA Hall of Fame (Many other museums), GenCon host!, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500, Brickyard 400, Angie's List Grand Prix, RedBull Air Race, and more), really nice "trendy" areas (Broad Ripple, Fountain Square, Irvington), within 4hrs of Chicago, Detroit, Cincinatti, St. Louis, Louisville I would add Eagle Creek Park to this list.  The Monon bike trail is pretty cool, also. We have a really great craft beer scene! I also think it's worth noting that Indy is one of the top 10 most racially integrated cities in the country

  • Least favorite things:Colts Fans, hah!  No there isn't really anything I dislike about Indy Hey, Colts fans are lovely people! ;-)  The main thing I would say is that public transportation is pretty lacking, but the traffic is not bad at all, as long as you don't want to go to Fishers/Noblesville during rush hour.

  • 'Must Try':The Indy 500 is something everyone needs to fully experience.  Stop by The Tamale Place for lunch, and The Brugge for dinner.  All of my other "Favorite Things" I'd consider Must Try too! Hah, I can't agree about the 500, but The Brugge and The Tamale Place both get enthusiastic thumbs up.

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:Can't buy beer on Sundays Not just beer.  You can't buy take-home alcohol on Sunday, except growlers. You can still buy a drink in restaurants/bars, though.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:I anticipate Indy's COL to keep raising drastically in the next decade.  Lots of tech companies coming here, and a ton of new developments in and around downtown.  I'm not saying it'll be PNW COL in the next 10 years, but it will definitely be closer. My advice is choose your neighborhood or suburb carefully. There are pluses and minuses to all of them, and they tend to have a very different vibes. Make sure you are choosing one that is best for you.


  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): As of 2014, Indy was the home of the World's largest solar farm.  Not sure it still holds the title.  Lots of local farmers markets. A number of CSA options, too, and definitely you can garden. Indiana just passed a law to end net metering for home solar/wind by 2022.


I would add to the Indy list, you are less (?) than an hour away from Bloomington which is routinely voted the most beautiful Big Ten college town.  Bloomington = college sports, college town atmosphere, Little 500 bike race, etc.    A short drive from Bloomington is Brown County and Nashville, IN.  Gorgeous ares.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: KS on May 18, 2017, 03:16:38 PM
Oregon reviews were requested, and I shall provide! I love, love, love talking about my home state, and have lived all over it =)

  • City, State, Country:Corvallis, Oregon, USA
    ETA: overview. Corvallis is a college town. About 20-30 min west of I-5 in the Willamette Valley. Much of life in the town revolves around the University. It is extremely well educated (second only to Cambridge for advanced degree IIRC) but also very white. Well, all of Oregon is very white, but Corvallis especially. Mind you, it is not outwardly intolerant or anything, but just know that you won't see that much diversity here, and resulting societal benefits from that.

Wow thank you for this and all the others, lots of helpful info to encourage even more of us crazy Californians to come up and ruin your state. :) Since my inquiry post, I actually got to visit Corvallis and generally liked it quite a bit (although, yes, VERY white and on the small side compared to what I'm used to in the Bay Area.) The people though? Wow, it actually kind of took some getting used to how friendly everyone was. Like, every person you pass in a park and half the people anywhere near you in a restaurant will at least smile, wave and say hi to you, and possibly stop to chat friendly. My friend who lives there now moved from NY and the culture shock for her and her husband was pretty big. ("Who the hell are you and why are you touching my baby?? Oh, you are just a nice person who wants to say hi and you think our kid is cute... hmm okay.") It seems like if you want to have an easy time as a newcomer finding pretty immediate community in a very family-friendly place, Corvallis is a good bet. We didn't end up deciding to take the plunge but it's on our possibilities list for the future, I think.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: G42 on May 18, 2017, 03:21:48 PM
Would love to read about Santa Fe, NM; Bellingham, WA and Victoria, BC
Cheers
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Meowkins on May 18, 2017, 03:32:52 PM
Can I request Atlanta, GA?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 18, 2017, 04:30:21 PM
Oregon reviews were requested, and I shall provide! I love, love, love talking about my home state, and have lived all over it =)

  • City, State, Country:Corvallis, Oregon, USA
    ETA: overview. Corvallis is a college town. About 20-30 min west of I-5 in the Willamette Valley. Much of life in the town revolves around the University. It is extremely well educated (second only to Cambridge for advanced degree IIRC) but also very white. Well, all of Oregon is very white, but Corvallis especially. Mind you, it is not outwardly intolerant or anything, but just know that you won't see that much diversity here, and resulting societal benefits from that.

Wow thank you for this and all the others, lots of helpful info to encourage even more of us crazy Californians to come up and ruin your state. :) Since my inquiry post, I actually got to visit Corvallis and generally liked it quite a bit (although, yes, VERY white and on the small side compared to what I'm used to in the Bay Area.) The people though? Wow, it actually kind of took some getting used to how friendly everyone was. Like, every person you pass in a park and half the people anywhere near you in a restaurant will at least smile, wave and say hi to you, and possibly stop to chat friendly. My friend who lives there now moved from NY and the culture shock for her and her husband was pretty big. ("Who the hell are you and why are you touching my baby?? Oh, you are just a nice person who wants to say hi and you think our kid is cute... hmm okay.") It seems like if you want to have an easy time as a newcomer finding pretty immediate community in a very family-friendly place, Corvallis is a good bet. We didn't end up deciding to take the plunge but it's on our possibilities list for the future, I think.

Ohhh man I bet it would be a huge culture shock! One of my friends lived in Sweden for a year, and when she came back she was weirded out by how chatty and friendly people are. When a checker asks how your day is, they usually want to know. And like you said, people legitimately just want to chat!

And to be fair, this is most of Oregon =) IME, less so Portland and Salem. But Eugene, Ashland (last I was there), Corvallis, Albany, and certainly the small towns like Dallas, Independence, Roseburg, Junction City, Alsea, La Pine, and so on are like that. Sometimes people are almost aggressively friendly haha. (Obviously not everyone is like this, there are jerks everywhere, but it's definitely more common than elsewhere. I find checkers to be weirdly standoffish when I travel to other states).
The following border-on-absurd things have happened to me:
-At a very large fair, a woman I had never seen before asked me to watch her baby and her 5 year old while she took her 3 year old to the bathroom (bad blowout+toddler meltdown). I was probably about 16-17 and there with a group of friends. She was gone like 20 minutes, maybe more. All of us just stayed and chilled with the kiddos until she got back.
-One time, husband and I were towing a boat and the bearings seized up. We were stuck by I-5 waiting on a tow. In the ~2 hours we were there, more than 10 people stopped to see if we needed food, water, cell phone, etc. We actually knew a couple of them (OR is a small state outside of Portland, I know someone about 1/2 the time I go anywhere). We even ended up sending the dog home with one of them!
-Multiple, multiple occasions I've been to a coffee shop and been told "nope, you don't owe anything, someone earlier paid toward the next 5 (or whatever) number of people getting their coffee! Have a good day."

And then I guess I do the same, because I can't *count* how many people I've parallel parked their cars when they're struggling, or jump started their cars, or seen them unloading something and stopped and helped, etc.

Oregon rocks =)

But seriously seriously we aren't joking about it being grey, and rainy, and depressing. A ton of Californians leave after their first winter. With good reason. No sun shine, zero, days on end.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: chasesfish on May 20, 2017, 03:00:19 PM
Can I request Atlanta, GA?

I'll take this - What specifically are you looking for, Atlanta proper or the far northern suburbs (that have a bunch of retirees, mountains, and outdoors).  A guy under Retirement Manifesto has a nice blog about this.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ChpBstrd on May 20, 2017, 11:11:10 PM
Cost of Living vs. Salary Study

I did an interesting little exercise to see if it would make sense to move from my current location in Little Rock, AR. Salaries in most other cities are higher- in some cases much higher. But how much of that would be consumed by a higher cost of living? Is there somewhere we could go to accelerate our FIRE date by a year or two? A 5-10% increase in our savings rate would do it.

Method:
1) Develop a list of 28 medium-to-large cities across the US. Not comprehensive, just places I'd consider moving to, plus some fun HCOL outliers.
2) Use the cost of living calculator on expatistan.com to estimate the percentage increase in our cost of living for each city.
3) Use the median wage for my job and my DW's job from salary.com for each city (median is accurate for us in our current city).
4) Calculate Savings Amount and Percentage, assuming 15% taxes.

COL Input:
We have about a $50k cost of living (includes mortgage, day care for one kid, 2 dogs, 2 cars). Our savings rate is about 50% right now.

Results:
Either there's no free lunch, or we're already eating it. Our savings rate only exceeded our current 50% savings rate by a percentage or two in Indianapolis, Phoenix, Des Moines, and San Antonio. That's practically a rounding error. The higher cost of living reduced our potential savings rate in all 24 of the other cities. The worst moves would be to go to Boston or San Francisco, where our savings rate would drop to 42% and 35%, respectively. Full results are visible in the attached excel file.

Discussion:
Markets are surprisingly efficient for people saving 50% of their income in a LCOL area. At this point, there is little to gain from moving away from a LCOL area to another relatively LCOL area. However, a move from a LCOL area to a HCOL area - even to pursue the higher pay in that area - could set back our retirement by years. It would be even worse if we were less frugal and the costs inflated even more.

For example, a move from Little Rock, AR to either Chicago or Denver would reduce our savings rate from 50% to 43%, assuming we continue to earn median wages and maintain our current 'standard of living' (hate that term btw, it's so entitled). According to the networthify.com ER calculator, that difference amounts to 3 extra years of work! 

From a macroeconomic perspective, it is unclear why HCOL areas exist if they make it harder for people to become wealthy. The whole rationale of cities is to concentrate economic activity and achieve economies of scale and scope.

One possibility might be that bouts of unemployment are shorter when one lives in a large city, than when one lives in a small city, so realized earnings are higher than in LCOL areas, even if the salaries are about the same. Another possibility is that big cities are lotteries where a few high performers earn very high salaries, and everyone else there endures the disadvantages in exchange for that lottery ticket. A third possibility is that living in e.g. San Franscico is more expensive than Southern / rust belt cities because - like a fancy suburb - the prices keep poor people out, and the residents of HCOL areas are paying for the luxury of not having to live near poor people.

None of these explanations seem satisfactory to me, so I'd love to hear other ideas for why people continue to live in places where salaries don't keep up with living expenses. Why hasn't the economy smoothed everything out so salaries and expenses are the same nationwide? Local government policies? Culture?

In any case, looks like I'm staying put.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 21, 2017, 12:04:49 AM
Something to keep in mind that COL calculators don't take into account- changing habits. The bigger the city, the more opportunities for unusual living situations, you're more likely to be able to do a side hustle without it encroaching on your day job (bigger markets), way more side hustle opportunities in general, there are more discount grocers and free entertainment options, better library systems, generally better public transit, and since things like gyms run with larger numbers of potential clients, you're more likely to be able to arrange barter for services like your yoga or massage habit or whatever. Then there's even less obvious ones, like people are more likely to visit you than you going to them for vacations, if you're near a major airport travel is cheaper, etc.

It's interesting to look at the Frugalwoods in particular I think and see how much cheaper it was for them to live in Cambridge than in Vermont.

So basically, I'd say yes, if you live a pretty standard life, HCOL kills your savings rate. But if you can get creative, they can be excellent options.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Hargrove on May 21, 2017, 06:46:57 PM
None of these explanations seem satisfactory to me, so I'd love to hear other ideas for why people continue to live in places where salaries don't keep up with living expenses.

Where does pay unilaterally keep up with living expenses anywhere in the country? People live where they live primarily because they were born there, or their kids were. The value of a support network is sometimes another reason to stay put, though it's often not as good a reason as some believe. The attitude to create your own landing pad based on careful consideration of economic factors is not all that common, less so today.

Quote
Why hasn't the economy smoothed everything out so salaries and expenses are the same nationwide? Local government policies? Culture?

I don't understand. The economy doesn't smooth out a single city, because opportunities and wages vary dramatically. Why would it smooth out the entire country, where opportunities vary even more? People move to cities to get jobs now, like they did much earlier in history. Whatever job you have in AR is probably way more rare there than it is in any major, booming city that supports your industry. Your perspective is skewed because you already have the job.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on May 22, 2017, 06:07:00 AM
I've got all the new requests and the new cities added to the first post.

As far the Cost of Living discussion goes, I may come back and write a bit more, but for now, I just want to point out that a lot of times, the cities listed are the city proper, not the outlying areas, and that is usually where a good chunk of optimizations take place. For example, there are certain metrics for Colorado Springs that don't show it as incredible LCOL, but Fountain is hugely different in prices. Gas and groceries are similar, but housing is/was ridiculously cheap. And one wouldn't know to even search for Fountain unless some time was spent looking at a map. So in short, I'd say that the majority of calculators and data available are very specific to the city proper, even if the majority of people live outside of it technically.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: CanuckExpat on May 22, 2017, 08:40:21 AM
Regarding the cost of living discussion, calculators are useful tools for comparing aggregate data, but they don't take into account an individual's ability to aggressively micro-optimize their personal situation. I think what everyone is saying is, "where there's a will, there's a way".

Remember, Jacob from ERE became FI in five years (http://earlyretirementextreme.com/how-i-became-financially-independent-in-5-years-part-i.html) while living in the Bay Area.

I have more thoughts, but don't want to divert the discussion too much from the Relocation Guide :)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ChpBstrd on May 22, 2017, 08:49:45 AM
After much reading of this blog/forum and others, I have not yet encountered a side gig or optimization that would work in a HCOL area but not a LCOL area. All the same products/services can be bought or sold in any metro area of 600k people or so, and LCOL areas also have lots of free or cheap recreation/learning opportunities. Internet-based gigs would be even more profitable if done from an office that cost $70/sf to buy rather than $300/sf.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zolotiyeruki on May 22, 2017, 09:02:12 AM
I've got all the new requests and the new cities added to the first post.
Could you please also add Nashville, TN and Knoxville, TN?  Thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: laurelei on May 23, 2017, 09:26:42 AM
I no longer live in Ventura since I determined it was too HCOL for me, but since its the best (IMO) choice for mustachians looking for a SoCal coastal city, I thought I'd share my knowledge.

City: Ventura, California, USA


Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on May 23, 2017, 12:40:20 PM
I've got all the new requests and the new cities added to the first post.
Could you please also add Nashville, TN and Knoxville, TN?  Thanks!

Done. Also added Ventura to the Table of Contents.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Orvell on May 23, 2017, 12:58:25 PM
Mewokins asked me to post about Madison, since I really love it here! Happy to oblige. :)

Madison, Wisconsin - USA


If a suburb, distance from city
Madison is the Capitol of Wisconsin, but not its largest city. It's about 1.5 hours drive from the larger Milwaukee, and about 3 hours drive from Chicago. Milwaukee and Chicago are also easily accessible by bus. Sadly not by train. Don't ask Wisconsinites about this. We just get depressed (and curse Walker's name).
Madison itself is a 'small' city-- both geographically and population wise. Its heart is settled on an isthmus between two lakes, and it spreads east and west. You can drive 30 minutes out of the heart of downtown and find yourself in a cornfield. That said, it's a vibrant, fun city with a large university town feel, and bridges the line between city life and town life in terms of size and amenities. One of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to walk and bike within the city, because of its small size.

•Average housing cost (specify rent or buy)
Overall, Madison probably falls into LCOL, but thanks to housing, I consider it medium cost of living. Our rents are higher than pretty much anywhere else in Wisconsin, but still cheap compared to big cities. If you want to be on the isthmus expect that a room in a shared house will cost at least $500/month, and single bedroom and studios are around $600-800 on the low end. I currently rent a room for $600, had a studio for $700, and half of a 2 bedroom for $800 after that.
Houses start around $150K and progress up from there getting cheaper and larger the further out you go.
According to Trulia: Median house price is $237K, price per square foot is $180, median rent is $1,595

•Indoor Hobbies
Roller derby, great library system, comedy club, bars a plenty (it's Wisconsin, you can't spit without finding one), Children's museum, Veteran's museum, History museum, (2) Art museums, movie theaters, a shockingly huge selection of really great and diverse restaurants (and not at New York prices)

•Outdoor Hobbies
Ice fishing, regular fishing, hiking, biking (good trail systems all over southern Wisconsin), cross country skiing, all sorts of festivals and races (there's a really fun one in February where they pump snow into the Capitol loop and have ski and dog races!), amazing farmers markets, boating on the lakes, outside concerts (6 free outside Chamber Orchestra concerts every summer on Wednesday nights at the Capitol square, often with as many as 40,000 people in attendance), music at the Terrace, "Rhythm and Booms" fireworks and music on the 4th of July on the lake.

•Weather
So this is the thing. It's Wisconsin. It's not Canada levels of winter, but we have that winter thing. There's no getting around it. If you want to move here, you should be comfortable driving in snow/ice to some extent, and realize what you're getting into. It gets cold, and dark, and the days are short and the nights are long. The flip side is that we have a jaw droopingly beautiful 4 seasons. Our springs are gorgeous, our summers are hot and lush, our fall colors are beautiful, and our winters are.... well. Being honest they're a bit long. But they're good in their own ways. People here get into winter sports. :) And watching everyone emerge from their shells when spring comes is sort of beautiful. That first day above 50 degrees with sun? You will just see everyone, all at once, smiling. :)

•Favorite things
The walk/bike-ability. You pay a premium to stay on the geographically compressed isthmus, but the reward is pretty grand. I live 2.5 miles from work (and pretty everything in the city proper is within 3-4 miles) and bike, walk, and take the bus. Even friends who live out in "the burbs" are only 5-6 miles away. :) I love nothing more than in summer, walking around downtown on a Saturday, listening to people playing music in the streets and eating cheesy bread (it's Wisconsin. Cheese is a thing. We don't fuck around with our cheese, and it's damned good) and enjoying life. Summers here are lovely.
Because it's compact, it's easy to feel connected to the city and its inhabitants.

•Least favorite things
The winter. Less the cold and snow, which I'm fine with, more the short, dark days. The winter blues are real, and can be an understandable deal breaker for folks.
Another thing I'm not super delighted about are drunk university students. UW-Madison likes its beer, and youngins are often not equipped to drink/handle themselves responsibly. State Street after 10PM can be a bit jammed with them.
Overall, the city is pretty white, especially in the gentrifying and expensive downtown.
Finally, Madison is (overall) a liberal city. But the state tends towards conservatism. This can be frustrating, as the city's values are not the same as the state's.

•'Must Try'
Come here on a summer Saturday morning and walk the farmers market that circles the Capitol. You won't regret it, and you'll love Madison for it. Also, walk down State Street with me, buy an ice cream cone, and come with me for a beer on the Terrace by the water. We'll watch the sailboats go by. If it's raining, we'll go to the Chazen art museum instead. (All these things are within 1.5 miles.)

•Stupid ordinances/laws
They decided to 'sanitize' a few crazy block parties, specifically "Freak Fest" which used to be Madison going completely bonkers on Halloween. Now it's bonkers within certain boarders, and they sell tickets. I wasn't here before the change (about 10 years ago I think) and am neutral/have no opinion. Other than it's probably good not to have a city go completely nuts and this probably results in less property damage.

•Words of wisdom/Advice
I have no idea the future. :) Madison seems to be a budding technology base, with lots of start ups, and a backdrop of the software company Epic bringing in (and churning out) people in the tech fields. It certainly seems to be a healthy city, and I don't see that changing.

•Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc.)
Our growing season is fairly short, but the area is brimming with CSAs and farms, and it's totally possible to have a nice garden. Winter months bring much more limited local food possibilities, but should you desire, the Willy Street Co-Op will always have sustainable food choices for you.
Solar panels exist, but I imagine they are not as efficient as elsewhere in the country. The city respects hippies. :)

In Sum: I really like Madison. A lot. It's a solid little city, and I've found amazing people here to be friends with. The winter thing sucks, but something is always going to suck. At least this type of suck also lets you go ice skating.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: crimwell on May 29, 2017, 01:45:04 PM
What other Oregon towns do people want? I guess I can really only do Portland without also giving away where Hometown is. Hmmm.

Actually, I can do Bend and La Pine as well if anyone is interested.

You can do La Pine? Wow, sure I'm interested.

I've been through there a couple times and thought it seemed like a nice area (nearer to some very pretty areas) but also a weird place to live, like not really a town but not true rural countryside.

 it seemed like large portions had been subdivided into large semi-rural/semi-suburban lots in big lot grids that put a lot of houses with not a huge amount of land that also aren't near anything. Kind of like a lot of places in semi-rural central Florida, where you just find a big grid with 0.5 to 1 acre lots and only half of them are full and no sidewalks and no commercial anywhere. Similar to Central Florida too with the pines and sandy soil, just a lot colder and drier.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 30, 2017, 08:22:36 AM
What other Oregon towns do people want? I guess I can really only do Portland without also giving away where Hometown is. Hmmm.

Actually, I can do Bend and La Pine as well if anyone is interested.

You can do La Pine? Wow, sure I'm interested.

I've been through there a couple times and thought it seemed like a nice area (nearer to some very pretty areas) but also a weird place to live, like not really a town but not true rural countryside.

 it seemed like large portions had been subdivided into large semi-rural/semi-suburban lots in big lot grids that put a lot of houses with not a huge amount of land that also aren't near anything. Kind of like a lot of places in semi-rural central Florida, where you just find a big grid with 0.5 to 1 acre lots and only half of them are full and no sidewalks and no commercial anywhere. Similar to Central Florida too with the pines and sandy soil, just a lot colder and drier.

Haven't spent much time in central FL (some time in Jacksonville, but not enough to get a strong impression beyond "no", lol), but it sounds like you pretty well have La Pine pinned. It's a really odd place. Very welcoming in the "give you directions" sort of way, but very closed off in terms of moving to town. A neat town to have a vacation home I imagine, but year round residents are pretty much old people and young people with drug problems- everyone else moves =\ You have to, there are just no jobs really. Particularly over the winter when tourism through the area dies down.  You can seasonally make a pretty good living as a hunting guide or similar fields. I suppose you could commute into Bend, if you can find a job up there.
Oddly enough, there's a pretty cool little enclave of weird old hippy artists that live around the area. They mainly sell out of Bend at the nice galleries up there, but if you know the right places to go you can see people doing some incredibly iron sculpture work and stuff like that =)

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: crimwell on June 04, 2017, 12:37:45 PM
Cost of Living vs. Salary Study

 The worst moves would be to go to Boston or San Francisco, where our savings rate would drop to 42% and 35%, respectively.


But percentages can be overwhelmed by absolute numbers.

To simplify drastically, if your current income is $100K/yr, and you save 50% for a yearly savings of $50K/yr, compare that to San Francisco.

If your income in San Francisco is $200K/yr and you save 35%, that's a yearly savings of $70K/yr. You can bank that extra $20K/yr but still base your retirement COL on Little Rock (or another Low COL place).

Again simplifying drastically, assuming 0% investment rates of return, it would take you 20 years of saving $50K/yr to get to $1M. It would only take 15 years of saving $70K/yr to get to $1M (again, with the 0% rate of return). In this example you can cut 5 years off your years of work. If you're going to retire in Little Rock regardless, you can move to San Francisco, juice your earnings with San Francisco salaries, and then leave when you hit your Little Rock retirement number.

edit: this basic phenomenon is very common with traditional Florida retirees.  The classic Florida retiree made her money in NYC or New Jersey, retired, sold the condo, and bought a bigger house in Florida for cheaper.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: crimwell on June 04, 2017, 12:59:04 PM

  • City, State, Country:La Pine, Oregon, USA
    That city you've driven through. It only has 1500 people. Has its own elementary, middle, and high schools though.

Awesome, thanks! I guess no huge surprises there, but good to have it confirmed.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ChpBstrd on June 04, 2017, 02:19:26 PM
Cost of Living vs. Salary Study

 The worst moves would be to go to Boston or San Francisco, where our savings rate would drop to 42% and 35%, respectively.


But percentages can be overwhelmed by absolute numbers.

To simplify drastically, if your current income is $100K/yr, and you save 50% for a yearly savings of $50K/yr, compare that to San Francisco.

If your income in San Francisco is $200K/yr and you save 35%, that's a yearly savings of $70K/yr. You can bank that extra $20K/yr but still base your retirement COL on Little Rock (or another Low COL place).

Again simplifying drastically, assuming 0% investment rates of return, it would take you 20 years of saving $50K/yr to get to $1M. It would only take 15 years of saving $70K/yr to get to $1M (again, with the 0% rate of return). In this example you can cut 5 years off your years of work. If you're going to retire in Little Rock regardless, you can move to San Francisco, juice your earnings with San Francisco salaries, and then leave when you hit your Little Rock retirement number.

edit: this basic phenomenon is very common with traditional Florida retirees.  The classic Florida retiree made her money in NYC or New Jersey, retired, sold the condo, and bought a bigger house in Florida for cheaper.

That was my thought too. Unfortunately, even the absolute savings numbers were lower! Here's how a LR > SanFran move would affect our finances:

LR take-home pay after 15% taxes: 122k
LR cost: 50k
LR savings: 72k or 50%

SF take-home pay after 15% taxes: 151k
SF cost: 90k
SF savings: 61.5k or 35%

The caveat here is whether salary.com underestimates salaries in HCOL areas. I see no reason to think so.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Johnez on June 04, 2017, 05:34:48 PM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: retiringearly on June 05, 2017, 08:50:43 AM
Can I please make a request for Bloomington, IN?

Thanks
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on June 05, 2017, 08:59:14 AM
I've got Anaheim in the table of contents, and the request for Bloomington is on there now.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Johnez on June 08, 2017, 03:54:17 PM
I'd like to request a few cities:

Las Vegas, NV
Cedar Rapids, IA
Erlanger, KY

All have opportunity for me with my employer at decent pay. Interesting how the further isolated one gets the higher the pay gets. Brookville IN and Fargo ND have the highest pay rates I've seen for warehouse loaders.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on June 09, 2017, 08:20:51 AM
I'd like to request a few cities:

Las Vegas, NV
Cedar Rapids, IA
Erlanger, KY

All have opportunity for me with my employer at decent pay. Interesting how the further isolated one gets the higher the pay gets. Brookville IN and Fargo ND have the highest pay rates I've seen for warehouse loaders.

I've got them added. I'll reach out to a few people who can answer the first two on your list.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Johnez on June 09, 2017, 03:46:51 PM
Awesome. Thanks for putting this thread together AND keeping it updated.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Channel-Z on June 10, 2017, 10:46:14 AM
City, State, Country: Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas), USA

If a suburb, distance from city: The city itself is vast. Suburbs can be anywhere from 5 to 50 miles away.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
-This varies greatly on the part of town. But a typical SFH in a reasonable neighborhood will be $250,000. In Kansas City, Missouri, the median SFH is $190,000. In Overland Park, Kansas, it is $375,000. If you want a beige mcmansion, we have plenty.
-I rent a 910 ft^2 apartment for $820/month. This is typical for a reasonable neighborhood. But you can easily spend $1,500 if you want.

Indoor Hobbies: Whatever you like to do indoors, you can do it here.

Outdoor Hobbies:
-Lake culture is huge, especially in Missouri. Boating, water-skiing, fishing, floating, day-drinking.
-People love to eat. You can find a food festival every weekend. Kansas City is fat.
-You can find an outdoor music festival every weekend.
-Charity 5Ks are popular.
-50% of the town seems to be on a rec league softball or sand volleyball team.
-We have three major professional sports teams (Royals, Chiefs, Sporting K.C.)
-College sports are territorial and families go to war for their alma mater.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):
-Whatever weather you can imagine, we have it. Kansas City has four distinct, relatively equal seasons. Climate change has made winter, especially, kind of wild. Zero (F) one day... 50 degrees the next? We can do that!
-Winter can be brutally cold and surprisingly mild, all in one week. A typical snowfall is 20" per winter, mostly in February and March. The last several winters have been dry. We had 6" this past winter. Our coldest low temperature was around -10 (F). Unfortunately, the cold arctic air tumbles down the plains without anything to stop it.
-Spring is the wettest and stormiest season. We rarely see tornadoes. Usually, super-cell storms form over western and central Kansas, then congeal into an overnight downpour when reaching Kansas City.
-Summer is hot, highs in the 90s. The humidity is not as bad as the eastern U.S., but it's not as dry as Colorado-- just somewhere in between.
-Fall is downright pleasant.
-In the great plains, the wind rarely ceases. "Skirt alert" is a common phrase the meteorologists at my TV station use.
-If you have a ragweed allergy, you're going to have a bad time.

Favorite things:
-Barbecue
-Easy to drive
-Sports
-Relatively cheap. I only make $52k a year, so while I'm not doing well by comparison to the rest of the nation, I can be mustachian and still live comfortably. If you have a high-paying job, you can count stacks of money until you retire.

Least favorite things:
-The city is car-centric. I probably risk my life every week walking on streets that lack sidewalks. Kansas City is not bicycle-friendly. Bus transportation is typically seen as "poor person's transportation." Mass transit is non-existent in many parts of town.
-Kansas City and environs is sharply segregated. Troost Avenue is a physical representation of a socio-economic division here.
-People get really territorial about which side of the state line they live.
-People see law enforcement personnel as god-like, and law enforcement definitely takes advantage of it.
-The riverfronts are not developed, unless you count riverboat casinos. Homeless still camp on the rivers.
-People who grew up here, stay here. I am guilty of it. I am going to a cookout hosted by a guy I've known some pre-school. Those cliques can be hard to break.

'Must Try':
-Barbecue. Kansas City has a sauce-based barbecue culture.
-Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It's free.
-Liberty Memorial/National World War One Museum
-Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
-Jayhawk Basketball at Allen Field House (Lawrence, Kansas -- my hometown)

Stupid ordinances/laws:
-Kansas doesn't allow Sunday liquor sales.
-Kansas only this year approved full-strength beer at grocery stores
-Kansas never ratified the 21st amendment.
-Some suburbs (both states) have .05 DUI ordinances, issuing city tickets as revenue generators.
-Some areas (both states) have banned pit bulls.
-Your point of view may differ, but in Kansas, people can openly carry a handgun without a permit. An exemption for hospitals and college campuses is ending, so now all have to allow guns, or set up expensive security to keep them out. Missouri is considered "open-carry friendly" but local restrictions still exist. Both Kansas and Missouri recently dropped permit requirements for concealed handguns.

Words of wisdom/Advice:
-You might be tempted to live 30 miles from work, but come on. Live as close as you can. I live six miles, and it takes me 15 minutes.
-I live in Kansas but work in Missouri. Kansas credits 100% of my income, so it all evens out, tax-wise.
-The central parts of the city are more liberal/Democratic and the suburbs/exurbs or more conservative/Republican.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
-Wind energy provides some electricity.
-Kansas and Missouri are trying to collect fees from solar panel users to give back to the utility companies.
-Back yard chickens and beehives are becoming more popular.
-Community gardens are becoming more popular.
-Typically you shouldn't plant until Mother's Day.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: spaniard999 on June 21, 2017, 11:08:57 AM
Please can someone do a review of Asheville. I'm very very interested.
I currently live in Chicago.
Winters are brutal and summers are very hot too (and humid)
I love outdoors stuff but there just a few days you can do that, but there are a few State Parks, or the lake to have fun. Also the amount of people here is insane in summer. All tourism! Can't even walk downtown or the beach.
Prices are high and the state is almost in bankruptcy...

So Asheville, NC seems to have a better weather, mild winters and cooler summers, more outdoors activities, more affordable...
I love the perfect temperature of the mid 70s.
Asheville is on my list of places to move for living in a short time (5 years)
Should I consider other places?

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: wordnerd on June 25, 2017, 05:51:05 PM
City, State, Country: Atlanta, GA

If a suburb, distance from city: Suburbs as far as the eye can see! I've mostly lived on the east side of things with easy access to the city.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): Highly area/school district dependent. The low end of things near-ish to the city will be Clarkston/unincorporated Dekalb where you can get a 3 bedroom house for $150Kish. In Decatur (beautiful with great schools) or intown, you're probably looking at $500K+. If you're willing to go farther out, Lilburn has great schools and big houses for $250K-$300K. Northside suburbs (Duluth, Suwanee, etc) are somewhat similar to Lilburn I think.

Indoor Hobbies: Anything you want is probably available in Atlanta--live literature, burlesque, ballet, symphony, traveling musicals, cool concert venues, live bluegrass, major sports, good restaurants, comedy, poetry slams. Some of these things are easy to find; some take time to figure out.

Outdoor Hobbies:Lots of hiking both in hidden pockets of the city and outside the city (most notably Stone Mountain, but others like Arabia Mountain are great too), lazy river rafting (AKA Shootin' the Hooch), parks, farmers' markets, festivals, music festivals, races (lots of 5Ks and half marathons--the Peachtree Road Race is annual Fourth of July tradition, though I have no idea why thousands of people want to run in July in Atlanta)

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): Sticky. Occasional ice in the winter. This ice sometimes shuts down the city

Favorite things: Mild climate, lots of outdoor activities, generally nice people, low cost of living, access to bug city amenities

Least favorite things: Poor infrastructure, including lack of sidewalks, public transit, and bike lanes, which contributes to unnecessarily bad traffic, low-quality schools in much of the metro, high segregation still (finding any one neighborhood with an ethnic/religious mix can be difficult), a lot of community building is church-centric, which isn't great for me

'Must Try': Your Dekalb Farmers' Market (the craziest, most amazing international Costco-like farmers' market you'll ever experience), Write Club Atlanta, Fox Brothers' BBQ, catching a show at the Fox Theatre, MLK historic sites

Stupid ordinances/laws: No booze buying until 12:30 on Sunday (used to be all-day), heavy policing in general it seems (I think a lot of the municipalities make their money this way)

Words of wisdom/Advice: It took me a long time to find my niche in Atlanta and seek out/build the community that worked for me. But now that I have, I can't think of a better mix of climate/cost-of-living/big city benefits. Also, if you're a typical Mustachian, stay away from Buckhead.

•Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): There are community gardens sprinkled in the more hippy-leaning parts of town (Decatur, Kirkwood, Avondale Estates, East Atlanta Village, Grant Park), but in general sustainability is not a community norm. There are groups focused on solar energy and electric vehicles though (again, everything/everyone is here if you look hard enough)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SnackDog on June 27, 2017, 10:02:32 AM
Please add Boise, Palm Springs and Tucson.  And alphabetize the index.  Thanks
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Undecided on June 27, 2017, 09:20:45 PM
It sucks making good money and feeling pushed out in price. Dang, rents are crazy there too. Well Corvallis is sounding enticing to check out.

I'll do Bend here shortly. But have you considered Ashland, OR? It has some of the Portland flavor (weird hippy stuff, haha) in a little town. Shakespeare festival is pretty cool too.

Downside to any non-Portland OR towns: Portland is the only international airport. Eugene has a little airport, but corvallis only has an airfield for the local flight school and stuff. Bend also only has a little municipal air field, is my understanding. So if travel is a consideration, that's something to keep in mind.

The airport in Redmond, which is 25 minutes from my house in Bend, has direct service to at least Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Salt Lake City.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: sisto on June 28, 2017, 04:33:02 PM
I'd love to see more cities in Mexico, it's seriously starting to look like a good place to retire. I think I'd prefer to see stuff that's easy driving to the ocean, but not right on it.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Verdure on June 28, 2017, 06:04:13 PM
Fellow Indy resident, thought I'd add a few notes.  Included below in green.

I've lived in San Diego, CA, and West Palm Beach, FL, but I wouldn't choose either over Indianapolis.  I've lived in Indianapolis for 10 years now, and I never plan to leave!
I've lived in about a dozen cities, been in Indy 11 year.  Very happy here, but the right job could draw me away, and likely will choose someplace warmer for retirement

  • City, State, Country:Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

  • If a suburb, distance from city: Plenty of great suburbs all around the circle

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Generic SFH from $100k+.  Our home is 1700sqft, and cost $118k in 2013 (Would be able to rent for $1300ish/mo).  Future target homes will be similar or smaller but nicer and nicer areas for ~$250k

  • Indoor Hobbies:Tons of museums, restaurants, events.  Will list more details below in "Favorite Things" Some great libraries!

  • Outdoor Hobbies:Great parks, super walkable and attractive downtown There are fun regional festivals of all sorts, MiLB Baseball team (AAA Pirates affiliate)

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Summer can "Feels Like" over 100, and can be humid.  Winter can be mild or snowy/icy (but usually for only a few days at a time).  Spring and Fall are 60s-80s with nice weather I think it's a great climate for people looking for 4 seasons, but don't want an extreme winter. Summers may be too humid for some, and if you're a winter sports lover, probably not the place for you.  Fall and spring are absolutely lovely, but the allergies can be a challenge.

  • Favorite things:Indianapolis Museum of Art (One of the most beautiful places I've seen), Indianapolis Children's Museum (#1 in the World), Symphony on the Prairie (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra outdoor event at Conner Prairie), Conner Prairie (1800s educational "park", White River State Park / Canal / Eiteljorg / NCCA Hall of Fame (Many other museums), GenCon host!, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500, Brickyard 400, Angie's List Grand Prix, RedBull Air Race, and more), really nice "trendy" areas (Broad Ripple, Fountain Square, Irvington), within 4hrs of Chicago, Detroit, Cincinatti, St. Louis, Louisville I would add Eagle Creek Park to this list.  The Monon bike trail is pretty cool, also. We have a really great craft beer scene! I also think it's worth noting that Indy is one of the top 10 most racially integrated cities in the country

  • Least favorite things:Colts Fans, hah!  No there isn't really anything I dislike about Indy Hey, Colts fans are lovely people! ;-)  The main thing I would say is that public transportation is pretty lacking, but the traffic is not bad at all, as long as you don't want to go to Fishers/Noblesville during rush hour.

  • 'Must Try':The Indy 500 is something everyone needs to fully experience.  Stop by The Tamale Place for lunch, and The Brugge for dinner.  All of my other "Favorite Things" I'd consider Must Try too! Hah, I can't agree about the 500, but The Brugge and The Tamale Place both get enthusiastic thumbs up.

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:Can't buy beer on Sundays Not just beer.  You can't buy take-home alcohol on Sunday, except growlers. You can still buy a drink in restaurants/bars, though.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:I anticipate Indy's COL to keep raising drastically in the next decade.  Lots of tech companies coming here, and a ton of new developments in and around downtown.  I'm not saying it'll be PNW COL in the next 10 years, but it will definitely be closer. My advice is choose your neighborhood or suburb carefully. There are pluses and minuses to all of them, and they tend to have a very different vibes. Make sure you are choosing one that is best for you.


  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): As of 2014, Indy was the home of the World's largest solar farm.  Not sure it still holds the title.  Lots of local farmers markets. A number of CSA options, too, and definitely you can garden. Indiana just passed a law to end net metering for home solar/wind by 2022.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Vindicated on June 29, 2017, 06:34:39 AM
I approve all of Verdure's additions!

Verdure, head over the the "Anyone in Indiana?" thread.  We have meet ups every month in the Indy area.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: crimwell on June 29, 2017, 03:01:10 PM

That was my thought too. Unfortunately, even the absolute savings numbers were lower! Here's how a LR > SanFran move would affect our finances:

LR take-home pay after 15% taxes: 122k
LR cost: 50k
LR savings: 72k or 50%

SF take-home pay after 15% taxes: 151k
SF cost: 90k
SF savings: 61.5k or 35%

The caveat here is whether salary.com underestimates salaries in HCOL areas. I see no reason to think so.

I'm sure you're right if you've looked at your specific job fields/industries. I imagine certain jobs you could get pretty big premiums being in San Francisco versus Little Rock and other jobs you would not, since those are going to vary by job and by the specific industries of the HCOL and LCOL areas you are comparing (e.g., a doctor in Rochester MN, which is somewhat LCOL, might be paid the same as a doctor in NYC, because of the presence of the Mayo Clinic and associated medical industry cluster. But a financial analyst in Rochester MN might get paid a lot less than a financial analyst in NYC.)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: retiringearly on June 29, 2017, 06:00:28 PM
Fellow Indy resident, thought I'd add a few notes.  Included below in green.

I've lived in San Diego, CA, and West Palm Beach, FL, but I wouldn't choose either over Indianapolis.  I've lived in Indianapolis for 10 years now, and I never plan to leave!
I've lived in about a dozen cities, been in Indy 11 year.  Very happy here, but the right job could draw me away, and likely will choose someplace warmer for retirement

  • City, State, Country:Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

  • If a suburb, distance from city: Plenty of great suburbs all around the circle

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Generic SFH from $100k+.  Our home is 1700sqft, and cost $118k in 2013 (Would be able to rent for $1300ish/mo).  Future target homes will be similar or smaller but nicer and nicer areas for ~$250k

  • Indoor Hobbies:Tons of museums, restaurants, events.  Will list more details below in "Favorite Things" Some great libraries!

  • Outdoor Hobbies:Great parks, super walkable and attractive downtown There are fun regional festivals of all sorts, MiLB Baseball team (AAA Pirates affiliate)

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Summer can "Feels Like" over 100, and can be humid.  Winter can be mild or snowy/icy (but usually for only a few days at a time).  Spring and Fall are 60s-80s with nice weather I think it's a great climate for people looking for 4 seasons, but don't want an extreme winter. Summers may be too humid for some, and if you're a winter sports lover, probably not the place for you.  Fall and spring are absolutely lovely, but the allergies can be a challenge.

  • Favorite things:Indianapolis Museum of Art (One of the most beautiful places I've seen), Indianapolis Children's Museum (#1 in the World), Symphony on the Prairie (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra outdoor event at Conner Prairie), Conner Prairie (1800s educational "park", White River State Park / Canal / Eiteljorg / NCCA Hall of Fame (Many other museums), GenCon host!, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500, Brickyard 400, Angie's List Grand Prix, RedBull Air Race, and more), really nice "trendy" areas (Broad Ripple, Fountain Square, Irvington), within 4hrs of Chicago, Detroit, Cincinatti, St. Louis, Louisville I would add Eagle Creek Park to this list.  The Monon bike trail is pretty cool, also. We have a really great craft beer scene! I also think it's worth noting that Indy is one of the top 10 most racially integrated cities in the country

  • Least favorite things:Colts Fans, hah!  No there isn't really anything I dislike about Indy Hey, Colts fans are lovely people! ;-)  The main thing I would say is that public transportation is pretty lacking, but the traffic is not bad at all, as long as you don't want to go to Fishers/Noblesville during rush hour.

  • 'Must Try':The Indy 500 is something everyone needs to fully experience.  Stop by The Tamale Place for lunch, and The Brugge for dinner.  All of my other "Favorite Things" I'd consider Must Try too! Hah, I can't agree about the 500, but The Brugge and The Tamale Place both get enthusiastic thumbs up.

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:Can't buy beer on Sundays Not just beer.  You can't buy take-home alcohol on Sunday, except growlers. You can still buy a drink in restaurants/bars, though.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:I anticipate Indy's COL to keep raising drastically in the next decade.  Lots of tech companies coming here, and a ton of new developments in and around downtown.  I'm not saying it'll be PNW COL in the next 10 years, but it will definitely be closer. My advice is choose your neighborhood or suburb carefully. There are pluses and minuses to all of them, and they tend to have a very different vibes. Make sure you are choosing one that is best for you.


  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): As of 2014, Indy was the home of the World's largest solar farm.  Not sure it still holds the title.  Lots of local farmers markets. A number of CSA options, too, and definitely you can garden. Indiana just passed a law to end net metering for home solar/wind by 2022.

I would add to the Indy list, you are less (?) than an hour away from Bloomington which is routinely voted the most beautiful Big Ten college town.  Bloomington = college sports, college town atmosphere, Little 500 bike race, etc.    A short drive from Bloomington is Brown County and Nashville, IN.  Gorgeous ares.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on June 29, 2017, 06:30:50 PM
I approve all of Verdure's additions!

Verdure, head over the the "Anyone in Indiana?" thread.  We have meet ups every month in the Indy area.

Do you want to just update your original post to include the new information? That way we don't have nested quotes and stuff. That is where it currently links to.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: clarkfan1979 on June 30, 2017, 12:22:07 AM
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

The island of Kauai, HI

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):

I think the median house price for a single family home for the entire island is 600K. The most expensive areas are Princeville on the north shore and Koloa/Poipu on the south shore. The west side is cheaper (Kekaha, Waimea, Hanapepe). On the east side, the inland part of Kapaa (Kapahi) is a little cheaper.

Most houses need work, even the one's for 600K. When the listing says that it's ready to go, it means that it's not a tear down. You can find a single family for 400K and put 50K to 100K into it to make it look real nice.

Many houses come with attached studios that rent for $1000-$1500/month. Most of them are "unofficial" but not necessarily illegal. If it's an unpermitted full kitchen, then it's illegal. If it's a mother in law suite with a kitchenette, then it's probably within the rules. Rentals must be leases at least 6 months. No airbnb, unless your property falls within the special zoning.

We rented a studio for 1,100/month including utilities and the internet. We were less than 1 mile to the beach. It was an income suite attached to a house.

There are no apartments on the island except for low income housing projects. All other units are individually owned and operated.


Indoor Hobbies: Not really sure about this one. Everyone is outside pretty much all the time. Most people do not have air conditioning so your house can be hot during the day. Better to get outside and catch a breeze.

Outdoor Hobbies: Surfing and hiking. Year round surfing is best on the west side. You could both south swells in the summer and north swells in the winter. If you are on the north shore, it's huge during the winter and non-existent during the summer. For the south shore it's medium size during the summer and small during the winter, but often rideable.   


Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun): The weather is pretty hot and humid from May to September. You really wish you had the money to pay for air conditioning, but you don't. You buy fans, but it still sucks. October and November is not miseable. The weather is perfect from December to March with no air conditioning needed.

Favorite things: You learn to not sweat the small stuff and be nice to one another (Aloha). It feels like it would add at least 5 years to my life.

Least favorite things: traffic in between Kapaa and Lihue from 3:30-6:00. Many landlords won't rent to people with dogs. If they do, it's very expensive. This is because the red clay stains everything. Outdoor dogs who never come inside are less discriminated against by landlords.

'Must Try': Hike sleeping giant and waimea canyon. Golf the 9-hole course in Kalaheo.

Stupid ordinances/laws: Flying dogs/cats to and from the island is more than a human. When you fly a pet to Kauai, it costs about $500 in fees. If you count the $100 each-way for the airlines, it's $700 round trip for a dog. We have the Alaska credit card which gives you a $99 companion fare each year. A typical round trip flight from Kauai to Denver, CO costs about $800 + $99 . That's $450/each. We each have a credit card and do this twice/year. Our third flight is typically free with points. As a result, we typically only spend about $2,000/year for 3 round trip tickets for 2 people (6 round trip flights total).


Words of wisdom/Advice: It's truly a magical place, in both the topography and the people. If you are nice to the people, they are very nice back. No trouble with racism as a white person.

It's more expensive than Denver, but less expensive than San Diego.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): The nickname for Kauai is the Garden Island. Everything grows here. Neighbors swap fresh fruit and vegetables year round. If you don't have any friends, you could do the farmer's markets, but I never found the need.

Costco is about 10% more expensive than the mainland. However, with the year round growing season and free fruit and vegetables from neighbors, I think it's a wash. I would pick up avocados on my morning walk. We would eat about 5-7 avocados/week and only paid for about 5% of them so far.

Solar is a nice option if you want air conditioning. If you don't opt for air conditioning, it's probably not worth it to buy solar panels. The cheapest energy is propane. Propane clothes dryer and propane cooking stove are worth the extra money. Electricity is about 300% the normal rate of the mainland.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: DarkandStormy on July 05, 2017, 02:15:16 PM
Newish to the forums, so thought I'd hop in and rep my hometown of Columbus.

City, State, Country: Columbus, Ohio, USA

If a suburb, distance from city: Suburbs can be found anywhere from 2 miles to 25+ miles away from the city.  The CBD or "downtown" isn't huge and Columbus annexed a lot of areas in the '70s & '80s so "Columbus proper" is actually spread out quite a bit

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
-This depends on where you want to live -> near the city's center or out in the suburbs or even rural areas.  Using the links provided on COL, "Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area" runs $1,462/month.  "Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area" runs $1,037/month.  That is in line with what I've seen posted for rents - if you want the brand new apartment downtown it'll cost you $1.5K-$2K or even more for the luxurious ones.

Median home price is listed around $160K or ~$120/sq ft.  You will definitely find pockets of Columbus that run much more than that.  I'd say if you are looking in a decently safe neighborhood and closer to the city (say, within 6-8 miles) it will cost upwards of $150/sq ft.  There are some "revitalizations" going on immediately east and west of downtown, so the prices there are a bit cheaper while still being close to downtown.  Suburbs vary - if they're nice w/good schools (Dublin, New Albany, Westerville, Upper Arlington) it might be a bit higher.  If you're really looking to keep your $/sq ft down, then you should look to some of those suburbs near or even outside the outer belt (the flip side is you will be 10-12+ miles from downtown but if you like suburban living then it works out).

Indoor Hobbies: There are several museums (COSI is big for the kids).  It depends on if you have kids or not - Columbus has options for all.  Like most cities, plenty of gyms if you're a gym rat, plenty of community rec centers to get involved with. If you or your kids like hockey, there are several indoor rinks.  Columbus actually has the 3rd or 4th largest adult hockey league in the country. There is a lot of shopping (not that it's recommended, but hey...people watching!).  A lot of smaller music venues if you're a concert-goer (a couple big arenas too, but that costs a lot of $$$).  A bunch of local breweries have popped up in the last 3-4 years (I think 25+ now in the area).  You can find plenty to do indoors.

Outdoor Hobbies:
-In the fall, Ohio State football dominates - probably 150K+ are on campus for tailgating, partying, going to the game, etc. for the home games on Saturdays.
-There are a good number of city and metro parks for dog walking, biking, some kayaking/canoeing, minimal hiking (Columbus is very flat).
-There are 3-4 decent-sized inland lakes within an hour drive or so.
-Festivals.  I won't name them all, but there are a lot of free (and some with a cost) festivals around the city - most occur from late April-September.  Music, food, fashion, etc.
-Could be "indoor" but there are a lot of independently-owned restaurants.  I've heard Columbus described as an under-the-radar foodie town.  We also have quite a few of your typical chain restaurants when you get farther away from downtown.  We actually are a "test market" for fast food restaurants in a lot of cases as we supposedly are described as "America in one city."  So if that's your thing, you'll get to try that new Wendy's burger or White Castle slider before it goes national.
-Golf is pretty big - there are a lot of nationally ranked courses within ~hour drive of Columbus.  We host the Memorial PGA event in a nearby suburb in June and have had a Nationwide Tour (is that what it's still called?) at Ohio State's course.  There are a lot of good courses that are open to the public as well (in addition to I'd guess 12-15+ country clubs).
-The Clippers (AAA baseball farm team of the Indians) and Columbus Crew play in outdoor stadiums.  There is a Major League Lacrosse team as well and I think rugby?  Should have put under "indoors" but the Blue Jackets are our NHL team.
-I'm sure there is even more, but in a nutshell Columbus is a pretty flat area with a lot to do outside in the city, and even more if you care to venture out to the surrounding counties & towns.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):
-We get it all in Columbus.  It's technically a "hardiness zone" as defined by the USDA.
-Humid, humid, humid.  We get a lot of humidity in the summer months, but usually cold and dry winters.
-Definitely a four season climate.  The joke is that we even manage to get all four within a few days sometimes.
-Summers can be hot, even brutal sometimes.  Typically low 90s in the "dog days" but usually 80-89 in the summer (these are in Fahrenheit, obviously).  Seems like those "summer storms" can pop up any day.  So pools get a lot of use from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
-Falls can be absolutely beautiful.  Typically we get the full range of leaves changing colors.  It's usually very mild for 2-3 months (I don't think we ran heat or AC from mid-September to Thanksgiving last year).  Tops out at maybe the low 70s but more often temps are in the 60s in the fall.
-Winter can be hit or miss.  I think the last 2-3 winters have been very mild (don't think the schools closed at all last winter).  Sometimes we get pounded with snow.  We don't get any lake effect like Cleveland or Buffalo, so it's actually low snowfall on average for the region.  You will have to shovel snow (if you own property or a driveway for your car, that is) and/or scrape your car off a few times.  It's usually not too bad, but every few years we get a blizzard that dumps a foot of snow.
-Springs are typically pretty wet.  When it's not raining, spring-time can be very nice and it's funny how many people get excited about hitting 45+ degrees F and the snow all melting until next winter.
-Record high (twice) is 106 F and record low is -22 F - just to give a range.  Anything above 95 F is rare and anything below 10 F is rare as well.  That's the given range I'd expect in a year.

Favorite things:
-Local beer/breweries & restaurants.  We have cut back significantly on going out, so it's more of a treat for us to try a beer at a new brewery (finace and I usually split, because of course).  Personally, we don't really like the chains (it's fine if you do, because those dot the suburbs) so when we do celebrate by going out for a meal, it's nice that there are so many local options.
-The history.  This might not be high on too many people's list, but it's cool for me.  Columbus, as the capital of Ohio, has some really cool history and buildings/museums celebrating that.  The hockey team (the Blue Jackets) is named for Ohio's contributions to the Civil War (320,000+ soldiers, for example).  There is some under-the-radar history here if you're into history at all (and you can explore a lot of it for free!).
-The people.  Maybe it's just who I've had the opportunity to interact with, but everyone I have come in contact with (even random people walking around or at shops) are all pretty laid back and friendly.  Could be complete coincidence or it could be part of that "midwestern" way of living.  YMMV.
-The resources.  The metro area is home to 2 million+ people now, so with that comes a lot of things to do.  It's growing as well, so there are always new things popping up.  The airport isn't too far from downtown, so if I wanted to travel far away it's convenient.  We're also within a 500 mile radius of roughly 1/2 the population of the U.S.
-Very open city.  I've heard us referred to as the "San Francisco of the midwest."  There is a fairly significant LGBTQ population and many businesses are very open-minded about that.  We're probably a little more progressive/liberal than one might think for Ohio.  A lot of diversity as well.

Least favorite things:
-The city is car-centric (for various reasons that I won't delve into - but the auto industry is big in Ohio and provides a lot of jobs for people, so there's some incentive to downplay other means of transit).  Columbus is trying to do other things, but most notably missing is light rail or passenger rail.  We're the largest city and I believe largest metro area with no light/passenger rail.  There is a bus system that just went through an overhaul and it provides free service for a 3-4 mile stretch downtown.  Bike share has been available for awhile and has expanded.  We have car2go - the car sharing service.  Some bike lines have been put in, but they're only experimenting with the completely segregated bike lines (instead of just drawing a small line on the road).  The bus service is also implementing "bus rapid transit" for a line with plans to expand.  We did win the "Smart Cities" grant so a lot of companies (in addition to the $50m federal grant) are now collaborating on fully autonomous vehicles for workers in a low-income area of town, which is adjacent to one of the mega mall complexes.
-Some parts of the city aren't great - high crime, low income, foreclosed homes, etc.  If you know where to avoid, then it's ok.  But the murder rate has jumped this year - we might be above 40 for 2017 so far.
-Some people see the "Ohio State football-centric" part of the city as a downside.
-I've mentioned it, but a lot of the suburbs are the prototypical "suburban sprawl" of America - the same chain stores surrounded by the same chain restaurants and massive parking lots.
-Transient city.  A lot of people "stop here" while going to Ohio State and then move on to somewhere else.
-If you are into real estate, it can be hard to compete with the tax abatements the city hands out to the big developers.  I get the premise behind them, but it's difficult for the "little guy" to break into real estate if only the big developers are getting tax help.
-I like to ski and there are no mountains (a few small ones - we're talking 250 foot verticals) about an hour away.  So no mountains, no oceans/beaches - some small lakes 30-60 minutes away and a couple rivers that cut through the city, but almost no one goes out on the water on them (not exactly the kind of rivers you boat on).
-Fairly segregated (often along racial and income lines) in terms of living.  Columbus has not done a great job of offering low-income housing options near more expensive housing.  Maybe that's just how it always is, but certain places can have almost no minorities.  So I think you lose the sense of a "melting pot culture" if you are outside of a 2-3 mile radius from downtown.

'Must Try':
-Ohio State football - just to experience everything that is a Saturday in Columbus, at least once
-State House Tour
-COSI (science museum)
-Zoo - we're consistently ranked #1 or #2 in the country
-Sports fans should check out a Blue Jackets game at Nationwide Arena
-North Market - 30+ vendors in old market warehouse-type building.  Walk around and smell the food of a bunch of local restaurants and then pick one, or two!

Stupid ordinances/laws:
-No alcohol can be purchased from 1:30 AM to 5:30 AM (bars will stay open until 2:30 AM though).
-No "open container" districts (unless specified, like for a festival).  There are some areas where people have argued it should be allowed to people can walk with a drink to another bar.
-Can't really think of too many others and I'm not going to post the goofy ones that would come up on a google search.

Words of wisdom/Advice:
-Do you want to live without a car?  Columbus is trying to improve that, but for now it's very hard to live in the city without some kind of vehicle.  It depends on your lifestyle, of course.
-Have you considered Columbus? Many people I've talked to haven't or didn't...until a family member wanted to or a job offer came along. https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/columbus  From what I've read/heard/compared, we have a pretty low cost of living.
-Can you deal with the weather?  We'll get everything from a blizzard to 95 F sun.  That said, it's pretty mild compared to other locations and we avoid tornadoes (they rarely occur here), hurricanes, extreme desert heat, the worst of the snow, and earthquakes.  I'd take that into account if climate is a big part of where you are moving.
-If you still want to work or still need to work, Columbus has a strong economy.  We have a strong government presence - being the state capital and all.  A lot of healthcare jobs, a growing number of tech jobs, several large insurers.  A lot of jobs tied into the university.  We handled the 2008-2009 surge in unemployment much better than the national average.
-Come visit! If Columbus isn't on your radar, but the low cost of living appeals to you then come check out the city for a weekend (or even longer).  Plenty of things going on if you don't want to be purely a "doing your homework" type of visit.  Hopefully the above gives you a good enough overview to decide if it should be on your radar.
-You can have almost any kind of lifestyle you want here - the urban bustle downtown, the "university" type living near Ohio State, the typical suburban lifestyle, or even more rural living but nearby a big city if you want to make use of the airport, theaters, etc. on a rare occasion.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):
-We do have certified master gardeners in the city - tied in with Ohio State.
-Net metering is an option with your electric company.  That said, I haven't run numbers on how much energy could actually be generated give we are overcast here quite a bit.  I'd need to double check Project Sunroof.
-Community gardens are popping up and taking hold, at least in my estimation as I drive by them frequently.
-A lot of people have backyard gardens.  A lot of options for seeds, planting, etc. at stores around the city.  Growing season is probably mid-April into October.
-"Go Green Columbus" offers rebates on composting bins.  It's pretty easy - you fill in your address information and they'll send you a rebate form.  You either buy from one of their approved retailers or send them the receipt and photo of one you bought.  Rebate is either $50 or maybe even $75 now - haven't looked recently.  You may need to check HOAs or whatnot if composting is allowed (can only think of one notorious snooty suburb that has tighter restrictions on composting, fencing, etc.).
-Not sure if it's needed or not, but every single-family home in Columbus is provided with a recycling bin.  It's a bit tougher to recycle if you're in an apartment, townhouse, etc.

That's all I can think of for now - quote this and ask me any questions you might have and I'll do my best to answer!  If you've been thinking about Columbus at all, shoot me a PM.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: noplaceliketheroad on August 01, 2017, 01:57:51 PM
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:




City, State, Country:

Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA, USA

If a suburb, distance from city:

15 miles to DT LA, 20 minutes without traffic, an hour with traffic. Not sure on public transpo, only experience with taking the train in North Hollywood was a novelty, not a practical option.
You could make it work with just a bike, as long as you work from home or can pedal during the early morning hours. There are a lot of things to do within walking distance of most of the city (variety of grocery stores, farmer's markets, pharmacies, restaurants, etc.)

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):

Rent apt: Studios 1100-1500, 1 bedrooms 1500-2500, 2 bedrooms 2000-3000
Rent detached house or townhouse in nice neighborhood with good schools: 3000-4500
Buy: 750,000 for a real fixer in a not walkable to much neighborhood, 1 mil + for nice, walkable neighborhood with good schools

Indoor Hobbies:

Movie theaters, comedy shows, or sit on your couch under the air conditioning half the year.
The Getty museum is about 20 mins away

Outdoor Hobbies:

Hiking in Fryman canyon (watch out for snakes May-November if hiking with your dog)
Day trip to the beach in Santa Monica or Malibu (1.5 hours each way with traffic, 40 minutes without)
Weekend trip to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead (2 hours away)
Weekend trip to Ojai (hour and a half away)
Santa Barbara (hour and a half away)
Beaches of North San Diego (2 hours away)


Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):

Summer: Daytime 85-115 and no clouds and miserable. Summer is May-late November (it never ends!!!). Nights are 80-90.

The Other Season known as Not Summer: Days are 55-70. This is December-March with maybe a little bit in April. Nights are 40-55. Some rain, sometimes clouds, usually sun.

In the Valley, not many days in the 70s.
I lived without central air for 8+ years and it is absolutely terrible when relying on a wall AC. Spend the extra to get an apt with central air. 

A few times in Nov-February we get a Santa Ana which is when the winds reverse direction and air from the desert will blow in. Which can mean 100+ degrees during the day and 45 degrees at night. A Santa Ana will last 3-4 days at a time. Maybe 3-5 of these a year? This is common throughout all of Southern California, not just the Valley.

Favorite things:

Healthy food! Organic produce readily avail all times of year. Great farmer's markets. Wonderful, healthy restaurants with dog friendly patios. Delicious brunch spots, and lots of walkable restaurants/bars/coffee shops along Ventura Blvd. This is a great place to live if you're vegan/vegetarian or gluten free. EVERYONE in LA has dietary restrictions, so if you do, you will fit right in.

Least favorite things:

The HEAT! It's on FIRE there and not in the mustachian FIRE kind of way ;)
Not a lot of central AC offered in rental apartments since they are mostly old buildings
A culture of one upping each other


'Must Try':

Casa Vega for the best Mexican Food in all of LA. It's pricey, but if you enjoy a nice date now and again, it's well worth it!

Weekend trips to Ojai.

Stupid ordinances/laws:

Expensive parking tickets! Pay attention to street sweeping days/times and your parking meters. Street sweeping tickets are about $70 and expired meters are about the same. Even if the street sweeper doesn't come that week, they still give tickets! I probably got 7 parking tickets my first year in LA... luckily figured it out after that.

Words of wisdom/Advice:

Only move here if you work in the film industry! Seriously! San Diego is a much better option if you just want the SoCal life and weather. Only move to the Valley (Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Burbank, Encino) if you work in the film industry and often travel to different studios. It's really centrally located (unless you have to work on the westside at manhattan beach/raleigh studio) and you can get to Paramount in 25 mins, Warner Bros in 20, CBS Radford in 10, Warner Ranch in 15, Universal in 15, and all the smaller Hollywood ones in 20-30. The Valley is great if you like being able to park places easily (or get a parking spot with your apt.), like walking to do your errands, and want a little bit less of the hustle of the rest of LA.  This is a great place to live if you are new to LA and working in the industry since it is centrally located to studios and you'll often find yourself working on location within walking distance of home since the Valley doubles as many US cities. The weather is manageable if you are working in the industry since you'll prob only be home 8 hours a day and the rest of the time at work. It's also really dog friendly and lots of store leave out water bowls in the fronts. Also, all restaurants are dog-friendly if they have a front patio, think that's a CA thing?

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):

Not a homeowner so not sure on house sustainability options. Gardening is tough since it's super hot all summer without any rain or cloud cover. Basically everything dies in the summer unless you are avail to water everyday. If you go out of town, your outside plants will wither away and die quickly. Great farmer's markets with awesome year round produce though.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: slappy on August 02, 2017, 10:34:06 AM
Such a great thread! I'd love info about Denver.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: CanuckExpat on August 23, 2017, 11:16:55 PM
There was what I thought a very nicely written post about more things to consider when evaluating cost of living differences on Reddit: Cost of Living & You :: A Defense of Big Cities (https://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence/comments/6o3kj7/cost_of_living_you_a_defense_of_big_cities_xpost/):
Quote
Every once in a while here, someone helpfully points out that earning minimum wage in Smallsville is the same thing as earning one million dollars in San Francisco, and then I have to explain that handy dandy cost of living (CoL) data sites like Numbeo or Best Places, while useful, don't tell the whole story. Nowhere close to it, in fact.
Now I'm not here to argue that places like SF and NYC aren't very expensive (they are), but these websites often exaggerate the difference even so. Here's why you can't just take a salary from one area and naively multiply it by the difference in cost of living that a website tells you about.
(For the sake of simplicity, I'm conflating big city with expensive city here, since those two attributes are usually correlated. I know that expensive small cities (Boulder) and cheap big cities (Detroit) also exist.)

Some things cost the same no matter where you are.
Anything digital, like your Netflix sub, or all those cheap Steam games you buy on sale, same price no matter where you are. Almost any durable good that comes out of a factory, like your laptop or a car, same price across the country. For many nerds this constitutes a sizable amount of spending.

Some things are actually effectively cheaper in bigger cities, in both obvious and subtle ways.
One of the more obvious ones is air travel, especially internationally. It's going to be significantly cheaper (and less time/headache) to travel overseas if you live in a metro with multiple major airports, like SF or NYC, than if you live in Des Moines. A more subtle one may be, say, 'shows', like comedy tours or concerts or plays. Living in a small city, you'll probably have to travel a fair distance, maybe even stay at a hotel in order to participate, whereas the person who lives in a big city can just wait for the tour to come to them.
And here's an even trickier example: let's say you're comparing transportation in NYC vs Tulsa. BestPlaces, a cost of living comparison site, says that that category is more expensive in NYC. Makes sense, it's definitely more expensive to have a car in NYC, and the transit pass probably costs more there too. Except...transit is nearly always much cheaper than owning and operating a car, and relying on transit is much more realistic in NYC (transit mode share: ~57%) than in Tulsa (transit mode share: 1.4%). Essentially, what these sites can fail to account for is how viable different strategies or lifestyles can be, and the financial impact therein.

Most things that are good about cheaper areas can be had for more money in expensive areas
...but the reverse is frequently not true: things that people move to big cities for cannot be had in cheaper areas at all. The most salient point here is, well, usually the biggest thing people cite in favor of smaller cities is the cost of housing, that they can get a big house for cheap. That's something you can get in bigger cities, it just costs much more, so that goes into the formulas. Conversely, many of the reasons that people cite for living in a big city, like walkability or cultural diversity or a feeling of "happeningness", simply don't exist in smaller cities, and can't be bought at any price.
Ok, so what? Consider: if you could get walkability in a smaller city by paying a 'neighborhood service fee' of $200/month, that might get taken into account in a cost of living calculator, and it'd make the bigger city look better. But since it's not available at $200, or $500, or $10,000, or infinity dollars, it just gets ignored instead. You can't do a price comparison for something that doesn't exist, so they never make it into any formula, which again slants things against bigger cities.
Cost of living calculators use generic calculations that don't take into account your particular needs and wants.

This is sort of a meta-point. Even if a CoL website accounted for all the problems above, ultimately it would still be a ballpark figure based on a hypothetical, average basket of goods. Fine for you if you're average in your spending in every way, but otherwise you need to think about your particular spending habits, and your particular values and priorities. Someone for whom the number one priority is owning a big house will probably be well-served by CoL sites and should target a smaller city. Conversely, someone who places a high priority on traveling the world would probably be better served living in a major city with a major airport or two.

Savings is CoL-orthogonal if the savings will be used after you move to a different city.
This is most relevant for retirement savings: if you're not going to retire where you currently live, then it's the absolute dollar amount that you are able to save right now that matters, not the amount you're saving relative to your current cost of living. This means that living early in your career in SF tends to give you a life flexibility advantage, since moving will effectively increase the purchasing power of your savings, whereas the opposite is true if you saved money living in a cheap rural area. It doesn't matter if saving $5,000/year is a big deal and could sustain you for years in Middle-of-nowhere Arkansas, it's not going to be terribly useful if someday you do decide that you want to try out living in Boston instead.

Cool cool cool, but what should I do with this newfound insight?
Using CoL sites is still okay for evaluating ballpark expensiveness as long as you're aware of their biases and shortcomings. If you want to, say, look at specifics comparing two different areas, create a rough budget based on how you would live (for more on that, perhaps check out /r/personalfinance's budgeting tag or their budgeting FAQ) in those two areas. Numbeo's per-item breakdowns are good for this, as are the usual online tools and websites that let you estimate major costs: padmapper, craigslist, zillow, etc. With a budget in place, you can think both about your potential lifestyle in an area and its attendant costs, and also how much saving in that area would affect your financial future.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Freedomin5 on August 27, 2017, 10:41:20 PM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: deborah on August 28, 2017, 01:48:55 AM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: IWannaGo on August 30, 2017, 10:22:35 AM
Hi!  Can we add Vancouver, WA to the list?  WA an income tax free state, and Oregon being a sales tax free state....wondering what it's like to live in Vancouver, WA just across the river and state line from Portland.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on September 06, 2017, 12:21:52 PM

Everyone gets confused by the hook turns in the CBD.


I got confused just reading it.

I'll get the main post update within a week. I'm stupid busy these days.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: penguintroopers on September 08, 2017, 11:18:30 AM
I'll add Philly to the list! (well, almost)

City, State, Country - I do live in Philadelphia, PA, USA, but my data points will be more reminiscent of nearby suburbs, specifically Glenside, Jenkintown, Willow Grove, etc as I am actually closer in proximity to those areas than center city specifically!

If a suburb, distance from city - about 10-20 miles, 30-45 minutes in traffic. However, pretty much all suburbs are linked to center city via a great (well, by American standards) public rail system. Tickets to/from the city are $5 to $7/trip. Buses and metro are pretty good, and would be $3/trip, but come with longer commute times and switching systems.

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy): one bedrooms start at $700 and go up from there. Great 1 bedrooms could be found for $1000. 2 bedrooms start at $850 and good ones can be found $1200. House prices start at $200k, but doesn't take much to get to $250k or $300k. I think average would be somewhere around $350k.

Indoor Hobbies: Lots of popular bars and comedy shows in the area

Outdoor Hobbies: Running/biking. Lots of good trails for both in this area (valley forge and the schkukyll river come to mind)

Weather: I'd say pretty great. Summer this year was very mild, but I don't think we ever have more than three days or so over 100 degrees. Rains a good frequency, winters can be cold and snowy but I'm sure some people love that.

Favorite things: The history in the area, and the feeling of community I get sometimes. A lot of people we meet have lived in Philadelphia for many generations, but they are still kind and welcoming to newcomers.

Least favorite things: Lack of city planning with roads. I've been here over a year and still can get lost by making a wrong turn on accident.
'Must Try': cheese steaks and pretzles, of course! And all of the local historical sights (Independence Hall, City hall, Congress, etc...)

Stupid ordinances/laws: Philadelphia county recently passed a beverage tax that puts an insane tax on all beverages with a certain amount of sugar in them. Some people choose to shop outside of Philadelphia county because of the tax. On some beverages it more than DOUBLES the cost of the item/case.

Words of wisdom/Advice: CSA programs can be hard to get into, but I've been a big fan of Hungry Harvest. (Reclaim produce that would otherwise be wasted). Philly is one of the few cities the company is delivering to at the moment.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): not too bad. Lots of people do gardening, even in the city. There's a city compost program for everyone. certain sections of the city are bike friendly.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ChpBstrd on September 13, 2017, 02:46:14 PM
May I suggest a separate sticky post for the HCOL area vs LCOL area debate please? Specifically:

In which type of area is it easier to acheive FIRE? Or is there a sweet spot somewhere that mobile mustachians can exploit to shave years off the journey to FIRE?

Certainly it's possible to FIRE anywhere, and this thread covers the lifestyle or quality of life components. Yet when it costs 10X as much to live in area X than it does in area Y, that has to be relevant to those of us beginning or midway to FIRE and who are not fortune 500 executives. IMO, you pick your COL before you pick your location, and narrow things down accordingly. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: StarBright on September 18, 2017, 06:33:45 PM
Adding per request from the Mustache-ville thread:

Hillsborough, NC (small town, medium cost of living):

https://visithillsboroughnc.com/


If a suburb, distance from city: 15 minutes from Durham, 20 from Chapel Hill and 40 or so from Raleigh and Greensboro

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy)
: zillow says $133 per square foot to buy and I believe it. (has gone up a fair bit since we moved two years ago).

Indoor Hobbies - Triangle Sportsplex is 5 minutes from the center of town with active Hockey culture, swimming pool, etc.

Outdoor Hobbies - Huge outdoors area. Biking in all of Orange County is normal, Hiking in Hillsborough and nearby Eno River State Park (tons of good trails and swimming holes), Lots of hunting and fishing if that appeals, and picnic spots (Ayr Mount, Historic Ocaneechee Nascar Track). Town is putting in dedicated walking trails and bike paths. The pleasant temps encourage outdoor culture in general. Most restaurants and local brewery have outdoor seating, Lots of festivals, events, art walks,etc.

Weather - hot and muggy in the summer. Temperate Fall-Spring. In the five years we lived there we did have one ice storm but temps in the 40-60s were more common in winter and we were surprised by how crowded hiking trails were in January.

Favorite things
- Food and arts culture, community spirit, history of the location, commitment to the environment, local businesses and health of inhabitants. Hillsborough has a particularly high percentage of authors and artists and they are committed to town in a big way. Dual Supply Hardware Store (a real old fashioned hardware store where you can find anything!), Paper lantern winter solstice walk, the Handmade Parade, Annual Christmas "production" of A Christmas Carol.
 
Least favorite things - Bugs, snakes

'Must Try' - Wooden Nickel (our local pub), BBQ, Mystery Brewing CO, Blue Grass Festival, Weaver Street Market (our local grocery/co-op), River Walk. Bike to Saxapahaw and enjoy a restorative meal at the General Store (this is a very common bike route from either Hillsborough or Carrboro).

Stupid ordinances/laws - No grocery store alcohol sales on Sundays. I believe there is a law that says land in excess of "X" acre must be farmed. My understanding is that folks usually let their neighbors farm their land for a small % of sales (and they usually all grow hay).

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc) - Hborough just committed to going 100% renewable energy by 2050 (and is the first town in NC to do so). There is a wonderful gardening and farming community.

Other nearby towns worth looking at: Pittsboro is south of Chapel Hill and is cheaper, but less developed than Hillsborough. 

Carrboro (a small incorporated area inside Chapel Hill) is full of students and profs but is 100% walkable, has tons of bike lanes, a free bus system and anything you could ever need. It is very livable and there are actually 3 bedroom places available for around 200k.

Durham is also pretty awesome. If you have kids I would lean towards Hborough or Chapel Hill/Carrboro for the better schools systems, but DINKS and singles should look at DURHAM!

I'd say the triangle area in general requires driving but we found it was limited to weekends. Everything we needed for day to day life was available in Hborough and my DH was able to take the bus to his schooling/job in Chapel Hill. There is a great bus system between CH, Durham and Hborough. We would head to CH or Durham for shows and concerts and museums for our kiddos.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: PR Mustachian on October 01, 2017, 11:33:00 AM
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

  • City, State, Country:Point Roberts, WA, USA

  • If a suburb, distance from city: Less than 25 miles outside Vancouver, BC
    Rated 3rd best city in the world by the Economist

  • Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):Buy a nice 3/2 for 200k-300k
    Rent a nice 3/2 for 700-800 a month

  • Indoor Hobbies:Go to Vancouver for any cuisine, arts and entertainment your heart desires

  • Outdoor Hobbies:You name it
    We are right on the water with a nice marina.  Boating, Kayaking, Paddleboarding, etc.  Fantastic biking and hiking.  Less than an hour from Cypress ski slopes.  I would find it hard to believe there would be anything you are interested in that you couldn't find

  • Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun):Summertime is 60s and 70s.  Winter is 30s and 40s.  Snows a couple times a year on average.  Summer is endless sunshine.  Winters are very wet but it's a great time to travel
    Gets less rain than Vancouver and Seattle because of it's location

  • Favorite things:The PRICE!  I was able to take my stash and turn a substantial amount of it into Canadian dollars at an incredible exchange rate so I can get everything on discount in Canada, which is a 10 minute bike ride away.
    Very little light pollution so you can see the stars.  SAFETY!  24 hour armed security gate at the border makes Point Roberts the biggest gated community in the US.  Views of Vancouver Island and Mt. Baker are always incredible.  4 great county parks, one at each corner of town.  Great hiking and water sports.  Very low stress laid back lifestyle.  Very safe to bike everywhere because there are very few cars on the road

  • Least favorite things:A lot of people complain about the border but if you have a Nexus pass you can usually sail right through.
      I usually bike and bikers get priority over drivers so it's a non-issue for me.  I would like to be a little closer to Vancouver but it would be 4 times the price at least.


  • 'Must Try':Such a great place to build your own home like I'm doing now
    Land is dirt cheap (I got a lot right near the water for 57k USD)  Not a lot of amendments to the International Building Code.  Buy all your materials in Canada on discount because of the exchange rate. 

  • Stupid ordinances/laws:It isn't a city
    It is just a community so it is governed by Whatcom County.  This makes it difficult to get anything done legislatively.

  • Words of wisdom/Advice:Just visit and fall in love with the beauty and the prices
    Make sure you check out the parks at all 4 corners of town and spend a few days in Vancouver if you've never been there.  It is truly a very beautiful and vibrant city. 

  • Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Great gardening in the summer.  Very popular.  Definitely need a greenhouse if you want to do anything in the winter.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zolotiyeruki on October 01, 2017, 12:26:26 PM
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

  • City, State, Country:Point Roberts, WA, USA
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: PR Mustachian on October 01, 2017, 01:03:47 PM
They established the border along the 49th parallel during the Oregon Treaty of 1846 and just didn't make any exceptions for any peninsulas.  There is a sister city on the east coast that is actually part of Canada but only attached to the US.  It's a really unique place
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: CanuckExpat on October 08, 2017, 01:46:23 AM
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMkYlIA7mgw
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on October 09, 2017, 02:10:02 PM
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMkYlIA7mgw

I love snarky YT videos. That was super fun, and quite interesting. Thanks CE!!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: RidetheRain on October 10, 2017, 04:15:08 PM
I saw a request for Bloomington, IN.

Now, I haven't lived there for a few years, so the information is about 4 years out of date. But, I managed to live in both North and South Bloomington, IN so hopefully I can give a full range of answers here. North Bloomington is the Indiana University Campus and is mostly college kids and South Bloomington is the "townie"/regular people area.

City, State, Country - Bloomington, Indiana, USA

If a suburb, distance from city - Not a suburb, but it's about an hour drive to Indianapolis

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy) - I rented for a range between 500-800/mo depending on roommates and parts of town. I'm not sure about actual houses, but renting a house on the North side with a few friends was the cheapest. Students drive the prices up in the North, but some nicer places on the South side can get really pricey compared to the average COL.

Indoor Hobbies - Lots of benefits to having a big university nearby - touring musicals and plays are common and people love their homebrews.

Outdoor Hobbies - It's a small town! There are hiking and a great forest preserve right out of town. Places for horses and kayaking and camping. This is a dog-friendly place too - lots of big friendly dogs that all seem to be well trained.

Weather - Generally sunny with mildish winters. Typical Mid-West fair.

Favorite things - I loved the old town areas that are a part of small-town USA. You get a real homey, know-your-neighbor feel. Also, A+ walking, biking, public transport.

Least favorite things - The students can be a bit. Students come from all over Indiana and all over the country. Lots of international students too. That's great, but sometimes it creates an entitled air with little things like parking and nightlife.

'Must Try' - Hiking to Griffy Lake. It's beautiful!

Stupid ordinances/laws - Hmm. I'll get back to you. I wrote to my councilman about crappy streetlighting for pedestrians as a student, but that's all I got.

Words of wisdom/Advice - Let's be real, politics can get a little heated in mixed areas. This is a mash-up of traditionally liberal students and small-town rural folks who made Mike Pence governor. Protests happen and there is tension. People are friendly outside of that. Say 'hi' to your neighbors!

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc) - There's a community garden with a waitlist. It's well stocked and people absolutely trade crops.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: TexasRunner on October 12, 2017, 03:24:37 PM
Just quote this post, and then delete the quote for an easy format with all of the requested information:

  • City, State, Country:Point Roberts, WA, USA
I looked it up on Google Maps, and I would LOVE to hear the story of why that tiny spit of land was included in the US, since it's contiguous with CA and everything west, southwest, and north of it is part of Canada.

What cracks me up is that they actually have a Customs Office to deal with "Coming into the US"  LOL!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/US+Immigration+%26+Customs+Enforcement+Centre/@49.0011309,-123.0687971,345m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x5485e5ffff02c5fd:0x2b6ed49177b716a!2sPoint+Roberts,+WA+98281!3b1!8m2!3d48.9883827!4d-123.0568693!3m4!1s0x5485e60bd1e48e25:0x286832d50054b96d!8m2!3d49.0011084!4d-123.068165
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide Las Vegas?
Post by: terarym on October 12, 2017, 05:56:17 PM
Leaving from the Oregon Coast to Las Vegas on the 21st.  Have an airbnb in the Summerlin area until Nov 1.  Looking for a small place for 6 months.  All I see on CL are commercial apartment complexes.  Where to find private rentals?  Married couple 50's NP, NS excellent credit. Only stayed on the strip ad a visitor.


Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: anadyne on October 17, 2017, 06:59:34 PM
After much reading of this blog/forum and others, I have not yet encountered a side gig or optimization that would work in a HCOL area but not a LCOL area. All the same products/services can be bought or sold in any metro area of 600k people or so, and LCOL areas also have lots of free or cheap recreation/learning opportunities. Internet-based gigs would be even more profitable if done from an office that cost $70/sf to buy rather than $300/sf.

Maybe mine qualifies! I live in a relatively HCOL part of New England that is a very popular tourist destination in the summer and fall. Around here, folks rent out their own houses in the summer months and earn between 80 - 100% of their annual mortgage payments in summer rent. Essentially their summer rental pays their housing cost the rest of the year, while they either 1) have a smaller in-law cottage they relocate themselves or a single family member to for the summer, to be on site for tenants or to keep going to work, or 2) hire a management company and RV around, or travel to an inexpensive international destination if they are R or working remotely. My house location and setup comes in at ~82% of my total annual mortgage payments for 12 weeks of summer rentals.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: fuzzy math on October 19, 2017, 04:50:08 PM
Hi!  Can we add Vancouver, WA to the list?  WA an income tax free state, and Oregon being a sales tax free state....wondering what it's like to live in Vancouver, WA just across the river and state line from Portland.

Having lived in Vancouver and Portland - I will do my best to answer this (without the preferred formatting).

There are 2 types of people who live in the Couve ( aka Vantucky) - people who wish they were living in Portland but can't afford it, and people who are disgusted by everything Portland stands for and would never move there.
There are 2 bridges that cross the Columbia River between the 2 states - the I5 and the I205 bridges. Both get horribly backed up anywhere remotely near rush hour. I'd say 6 - 10:30 am is bad and any time after 1:45 is bad until about 8 or 9 pm. The freeways into Portland are limited by a huge hill, and industry and more rivers/bridges in Portland. One of t he bridges is structurally deficient and there have been many diff ideas about adding in a toll. If the one bad bridge goes, no one is getting in or out of Portland. These freeways are also the main thoroughfare for all of the west coast going N/S so there are a lot of trucks on them. There was a huge push to extend the MAX (the light rail) from Portland into WA, but the local politicians and overwhelming political feel is pretty conservative. people rejected the idea of the max going into wa because it was too hippie-ish and too expensive and not what people who've chosen to live in Vancouver want.

There is a ton of tax dodging shopping that occurs in OR. Can't say I wasn't guilty of it when I lived in Vancouver. I get it, it's tempting. WA not having a state income tax, relies heavily on sales taxes and it actually depresses the local economy because of it.

Overall we were not happy with the schools in Vancouver for a lot of the reason s listed above - schools losing tax base, people who actively avoid and hate the big city life. It was 25 minutes with no traffic living near the bridge to get into the outskirts of a nowhere you'd consider cool. Not a great fit for us.

It's been a while since I lived in the Couve but real estate there was getting super crazy due to the rise in Portland. I'd guess a house is near $400k there. Property taxes are probably $4k which isn't too different from what you'd pay in OR.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: IWannaGo on October 22, 2017, 09:12:24 PM
Good insight - thank you for posting!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: LittleWanderer on October 25, 2017, 10:00:25 AM
I have a request for Prescott, AZ!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: pdean on October 28, 2017, 10:13:25 AM
Request please: Nelson/Kaslo, BC - thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zero_house on November 23, 2017, 02:18:31 PM
Sorry if I missed it, but has anyone reviewed Detroit yet? It seems like there is a lot of interesting stuff going on there culturally, and the cost of homes is certainly low. I'd love to hear more, especially from families with kids. Thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: TheGadfly on November 25, 2017, 09:29:37 AM
I'm really interested in a post about Chicago. I visited a couple weeks ago for a wedding and fell in love with it. Also, as a current Boston resident, I really envied the relatively low real estate prices. Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: freya on November 25, 2017, 11:42:17 AM
This one might be controversial, and I hope others with info to add will weigh in.  I see lots of reviews with comparisons to New York City, so why not consider retiring in the Real Thing?  I'm not FIRED but a friend of mine is, and she's thoroughly happy living here as an early retiree, on mainly the savings from her career as a veterinary nurse.

New York City, New York

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):  Depends very much on the neighborhood.  My friend and I live in Washington Heights in northern Manhattan, and there are lots of nice options further north (Inwood) or in the outer boroughs. The only cardinal rule is to stay away from the prime real estate south of 110th street in Manhattan, and enclaves like Park Slope or Dumbo in Brooklyn.

You will spend more $$ on housing than other locations, but you'll spend less on other things e.g. you don't need a car and don't have whole houses to furnish, clean and maintain.  In my neighborhood, you can find 1 bedroom apartments in the $300-400K range depending on apartment condition, with maintenance of ~$800/month.  This covers everything including electricity, taxes, capital improvements to anything outside your apartment walls, and building maintenance/staff (who can be super helpful when you want to make minor improvements).  Other than that, your main expenses are groceries, internet/cell phone, and occasional bus/subway fare.  My friend keeps a community garden plot in the Bronx ($25/year fee).  She produces & preserves enough so that her monthly grocery spend is less than $100, but it's also a social activity and has led to things like her sitting on the board of the New York Food Council.

As an early retiree, New York's income taxes won't bug you too much.  There are benefits galore for low-income and senior residents.  The state Medicaid program is among the country's most generous.

Hobbies:  More to choose from than you can shake a stick at.  People immediately think of all the expensive options like Broadway shows or lavish restaurants, but low or even no cost entertainment is everywhere.  Dining out can be amazingly inexpensive given all the restaurant competition in town.  One of my favorite weekend outings is to walk from my apartment across the George Washington Bridge to pick up the Long Trail along the Palisades, then hike upriver.  I've also occasionally biked to City Island, a little gem off the coast of the Bronx with a New England seacoast town feel (btw also inexpensive housing).  You can also take public transportation to hiking trails north of the city, or east into Long Island.  A Metropolitan Museum of Art membership ($100/year) gets you free admission to the Met and the Cloisters, where you could literally go every week and still not see everything on offer.  My coop building sponsors chamber music concerts in our common space as do local churches, and my friend is a member of a chorus giving several performances per year (zero cost by definition).  You can get last minute, very inexpensive opera & Juilliard tickets, or just wait for the free summer concerts, operas, plays, and movies in various locations around the city.  See "The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Manhattan" for lots of ideas.

Weather  Winters can occasionally get cold (well below freezing), which I actually enjoy especially when snow gives me an excuse to break out the XC skis.  Summer is famously hot and sticky.  Did I forget to mention that the city maintains free public outdoor swimming pools?

Favorite things  See above.  I was also struck by how neighborly life is.  You can get seriously isolated in a suburb where people tend to cocoon in their McMansions and cars, but that doesn't happen here.  There's always a door to knock on if you need to borrow the proverbial cup of sugar.

Least favorite things:  City government.  Describing it as a bloated bureaucracy would be too kind.  Also, no laundry installations in coop apartments for fear of busting 100 year old plumbing systems.  Portable machines delivered in "discreet" packaging are your friend.

Words of wisdom/Advice:  Use "Streeteasy.com" to check out the housing market.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc):  Your best opportunities here are to act on a community level.  Mustachians would make outstanding coop board members.  Many coop buildings including mine are getting rooftop solar, and some have ventured into rooftop vegetable gardens.  My coop has outdoor grounds with a patio herb garden for residents, and I'm hoping to coax them into permitting residential plots or Earthboxes.  There's also the community garden plot option. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on December 04, 2017, 07:24:29 AM
Thanks for that Freya. I've also got the two additional requests added to the main post.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: dbtx on December 08, 2017, 10:12:06 AM
Great info! We'll be relocating next year so I'm keenly interested in this type of info. I'd like to put in a request for the following cities:
Boise, ID
Flagstaff, AZ
Bozeman, MT
Fort Collins, CO
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: mhlavac on December 11, 2017, 07:08:41 PM
Boise, ID

Average Housing cost (specify rent or buy):  I own in one of the subburbs of Boise, Eagle (15 miles from city center).  Eagle is one of the nicer areas.  It has a cute/historic downtown but most of the basic services you need.  There's lots of open property and housing starts at about $250k in Eagle for a 3 bedroom 2 bath.  Pricing might be a little less in Boise or Meridian, depending on the age of the house and condition.  Nampa isn't bad but Caldwell I would stay away from (this is where any gang activity takes place).  Most housing is new and the area is growing rapidly.

Hobbies:  Venture outdoors!  Skiing/snowboarding is 20 minutes from downtown Boise in the winter time, with larger mountains a couple of hours away.  Lines aren't horrible compared to skiing in California or other areas just because the population isn't that great.  Snowshowing and alpine skiing are also popular.  In the summertime, fly fishing and camping are very popular.  McCall is a popular destination location and it's a 2 hour drive from Boise.  There are lake activities there, as well as a few small shops, biking, etc.  Another popular destination is Red Fish lake, but it's a few hours drive.  I like being able to drive 20 minutes in any direction and being in the middle of farmland.  When you camp, look at the stars (you can actually see them)!

Weather:  Usually there are 2-3 weeks of temperatures in the low hundreds, but it's a dry heat.  Most days of the summers are in the mid to upper 90's.  The coldest months are December and January.  Most years have a couple of days that fall to single digits for the low.  Snow (most years) is not a problem.  A big snow storm is 3" and the major roads are well taken care of.  People put on snow tires, but I've only had a problem once in my FWD econobox, when there was 14 inches of snow on the ground (big snow year).  If you garden, planting times are usually early May and the first frost is right around October 1.  January brings about an inversion - clouds settling into the Boise area.  No rain, no snow, just dreariness.  If you drive up to higher elevations, the sun breaks through the clouds and it's sunny.

Favorite things:  Boise has an amazing farmers market.  It's up to 4 city blocks now, and you can find fresh produce as well as crafts.  I like how walkable/bikable Boise and the surrounding area is.  There's a ~20 mile long greenbelt (paved bike trail) that crosses the city that lots of folks utilize.  World-class whitewater rafting happens near Boise.  I feel very safe wherever I go, and whatever I do.  Boise also has a number of semi-professional sports teams that are worth attending.

Least Favorite things:  The state is very red historically, but as more people move from CA, WA and OR into ID, this is beginning to change.  As a result, people are very proud of their guns and hunting here is a constitutional right, but gender equality is not.  In general, people are very nice.  Often times people will hold up traffic to let you out of a driveway.  Ethnic food options are limited.

Words of Wisdom/Advice:  Have a job setup before you move here, if you require one.  Even though Boise is growing, it's still not a metropolis and options can be limited compared to larger cities.  I've lived here ~10 years and worked in the tech community.  Everyone in that community knows me and I know most people.

Know your commute.  Traffic isn't bad, but it pays to know the flow of traffic.  A 15 minute commute with no traffic can easily turn into a 40 minute commute with traffic.  Avoid your commute being on Eagle Road, if you can.

Sustainability Options:  The Idaho government doesn't subsidize green energy.  Some local utilities are talking about not having to buy homeowner-produced solar energy.  A majority of power in the Boise area is produced by coal and hydro.  Idaho Power is resistant to change.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on December 12, 2017, 06:18:31 AM
Got it added. Thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Cubert on December 15, 2017, 04:09:51 AM
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on December 18, 2017, 07:57:26 AM
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.

I don't believe the reviewer said anything about it being more racist than any other community, it was just something they noticed. When you are done being blown away by someone else's perspective of a city you obviously like, perhaps you can do a review on it. I will go ahead and combine them and link to that instead.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SimpleCycle on December 18, 2017, 07:59:53 AM
I'm really interested in a post about Chicago. I visited a couple weeks ago for a wedding and fell in love with it. Also, as a current Boston resident, I really envied the relatively low real estate prices. Thanks in advance!

I'm going to put one together shortly.  It's funny you mention Chicago vs. Boston - my friend calls our condo a "Cambridge mansion".
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SimpleCycle on December 18, 2017, 09:18:39 AM
Chicago, IL, USA - there are a bunch of Chicagoans on here, so I hope others chime in.

Average housing cost: It really, really depends.  Housing prices have been going up for a while.  In close in neighborhoods, a 2 br condo goes for $400-$600k.  A SFH for $800k and up.  Further out neighborhoods you can get a SFH for $300-500k, and depending on the neighborhood, you might even get a good neighborhood school.  In the current market, rent/buy is probably break even.  In my neighborhood, rents for a 2 br range from $1300 for a smaller, older unit to $2000 for a high end unit.

Indoor Hobbies: The museums in Chicago are top notch.  All of them have free days throughout the year.  The Art Institute, consistently rated #1 on Trip Advisor, is free every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. for Illinois residents.  There are two indoor conservatories with tropical plants that are great for warming up in the winter.  The Chicago Park District has a number of indoor activities, mostly for kids, but there are also some adult leagues and indoor tennis lessons.  The library system is pretty amazing.  I’m also a fan of the Meetup scene here, which has just about every interest you can imagine.

Outdoor Hobbies: Hiking (although people from places with real terrain will call it walking), canoeing and kayaking, boating, cycling.  There are lots of outdoor options within and hour or two of the city for camping and hiking.  There’s a forest preserve system for Cook County and the areas surrounding Chicago, and some are even accessible by train.  The park district sponsors lots of performances in the summer, including Shakespeare in the Park.  The botanical garden is pay for parking but free admission, which means if you bike there you get in free, or you can take a train/trolley combo.  The Lincoln Park Zoo is also free.  There are also lots of community gardens, although I have to say they’re not the most Mustachian option for grow your own produce.

Weather: Hot in the summer, cold in the winter, moderate amount of snow.  People say Chicago weather is notoriously extreme, but I have not found it any more intense than New England or other Midwestern winters and summers.

Favorite things: Chicago has a big city lifestyle with a moderate cost of living.  Salaries seem to do better than COL would dictate because employers are competing for talent with other more glamorous cities.  I love how much there is to do here - if you’re bored, you’re doing it wrong.  Chicago also has an AMAZING food scene, which you can experience even on a Mustachian budget if that’s your thing.  Arguably we have the best Mexican food outside of Mexico and L.A., and there’s huge diversity in cheap eats.

Least favorite things: Taxes are pretty ridiculous.  10.25% sales tax in the city, 4.95% income tax on your Illinois taxable income, and property taxes are average nationwide, but high for Illinois.  Navigating the Chicago Public School system is a mess.  The city is very racially and economically segregated, although there are some notable exceptions.  On a Mustachian note, depending on your social circle, you might go against the grain a bit, as lots of people are into the high-end restaurant scene (which is among the best in the world) and there are basically unlimited opportunities for conspicuous consumption.

'Must Try': Art Institute, Garfield Park Conservatory, Shedd Aquarium, biking the lakefront trail, a concert in Millennium Park in the summer, neighborhood walking tours (I love this book (https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Chicago-Scandalous-Architecture-Neighborhoods/dp/0899974163)), the Architecture Foundation’s walking tours (the boat tour is great too, but walking tours are way more interesting and detailed, they’re the only paid thing on this list)

Stupid ordinances/laws: Taxes, as mentioned.  Bag tax is 7 cents per bag, but you’re using reusable bags anyway, right?

Words of wisdom/Advice: I would probably rent if you are new to the city.  Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and it’s best to figure out where you fit before you make the plunge to buy.  Don’t rule out Chicago Public Schools if you have children, but do educate yourself about how the system works and what your options are.  Neighborhood Parent Network is a good resource.

Sustainability options: there is municipal recycling, but no municipal composting.  As mentioned, there are lots of community gardens.  Solar is an option, although we’re not prime solar latitude and you’ll probably have trouble in a multifamily.  Bike share is ubiquitous.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on December 18, 2017, 10:59:44 AM
SC, Thanks!! I've got your review added to the main post.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zolotiyeruki on December 18, 2017, 11:08:33 AM
Least favorite things: Taxes are pretty ridiculous.  10.25% sales tax in the city, 4.95% income tax on your Federal taxable income, and property taxes are average nationwide, but high for Illinois. 
I'd like to contribute a couple clarifications here.  The income tax isn't really based on your Federal taxable income, because Illinois has much smaller personal exemptions (about half as much) and far fewer deductions (almost none) than you get from the Feds.  Property taxes out in the SW suburbs are >3%.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SimpleCycle on December 18, 2017, 11:22:55 AM
Least favorite things: Taxes are pretty ridiculous.  10.25% sales tax in the city, 4.95% income tax on your Federal taxable income, and property taxes are average nationwide, but high for Illinois. 
I'd like to contribute a couple clarifications here.  The income tax isn't really based on your Federal taxable income, because Illinois has much smaller personal exemptions (about half as much) and far fewer deductions (almost none) than you get from the Feds.  Property taxes out in the SW suburbs are >3%.

Thanks, I forgot how that worked.  I'll update my post.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Apple_Tango on December 23, 2017, 12:39:59 AM
City: Roanoke VA https://www.playroanoke.com/blog/

I’ve lived in several cities in VA and NC  including Alexandria, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, and Edenton and the one I would recommend the most when the social scene, affordable housing, and ourtdoor activities all mix is Roanoke, VA. Here’s a video featuring one of the events the city holds:
  https://youtu.be/HcW9KwrIoUs

Average Housing Cost: officially it appears to be $135,600 which is below the national average. You can get a large, nice, 100 year old home practically downtown next to a greenway, maybe even with Mountain views for around $150-$200,000. If you go up to $350,000 or so you can get something restored and totally gorgeous. Of course there are condos, smaller homes, mountain cabins, etc.

Indoor hobbies: let’s talk about museums. Roanoke used to be a sleepy mountain railroad town, so it still has tons of history in that vein. There are some museums dedicated to Appalachia, the town history, etc. there’s also a science museum, a pinball museum and an art museum. As far as shopping, there are big box stores and strip malls on the outskirts by the highway  but also a really cute downtown/cultural center with lots of unique shops and restaurants. there's a rock climbing gym and about 6 library branches.

Outdoor Hobbies: This is where Roanoke shines.  Look up  Carvin’s Cove Nature reserve. It’s the second largest municipal park in the US. It has 60 miles of biking/hiking trails, and a 630 acre reservoir for boating, kayaking, etc. I believe there is access to the Appalachian Trail.  Mill Mountain Park is another cool area. This will give you a sense of how great living right on the Blue Ridge Parkway is. There are probably close to 100 miles of mountain biking trails, and some of the greenways go right through downtown. There is also a river that runs right through the city for water activities. There’s breweries and wineries all throughout southern and central VA.  Here’s a feature on the biking culture:  http://www.roanokeoutside.com/land/biking/mountain-bike/

Weather: All four seasons. Depending on where you live in the city in relation to the mountains, you can get lots of snow or hardly any. You might expect 10-20 inches of snow per year. There’s no skiing in the area that I’m aware of, closest resort is about 1 hour away. (By the way, Harrisonburg has similar attributes to Roanoke, is a college town/blue collar town, and skiing is literally 5 min away) It’s the blue ridge parkway/Appalachia so spring and fall are my favorite time of year with the trees all around and the mountain air. It’s a colder part of VA with less humidity so summer days average around 85 degrees.

Favorite things: the cost of living and the greenways

Least Favorite things: I am born and raised in VA so I can say this with love: it is the Bible Belt. Roanoke city trends purple but it’s surrounding counties are all bright red. There can be some racism. Also it’s not a huge city so there is a little bit of a brain drain effect going on. Salaries tend to be low, crime is slightly high. It’s mostly a blue collar, southern city. Which is not bad, but you need to know what to expect.

Must Try: get your picture with the Roanoke Star and check out Carvin’s Cove. And grab a beer at one of the breweries.

Words of advice: visit the central va area to see what fits you. There are lots of different towns with their own cultures. Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Crozet, Staunton, Richmond. There’s something for everyone :)

Other aspects: population hovers around 100,000 and there is a regional airport. By car it’s about 5 hours to the beach, 4 hours to dc, and 3 hours to the state capital. Less than 30 min to Va Tech/Blacksburg which obviously has a much younger crowd and slightly more nightlife and also football.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: davisgang90 on December 23, 2017, 03:56:03 AM
Apple-Tango,

Thanks for the review of Roanoke!  I was thrilled to see it.  We are FIREing to Roanoke in June and just signed a contract on a house in SW county in the Hidden Valley school district.  DW and I are VT grads and she is from Roanoke originally.  I've been dragging her all over the country for 28 years in the Navy, time to take her home!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: CanuckExpat on December 23, 2017, 02:44:56 PM
@Apple_Tango , thanks for the Roanoke review. Do many people end up retiring there like @davisgang90 is planning?
We visited last year, as part of our bumming around / relocation tour, and I had a similar but different view. Like you said, the location seemed perfect for access to the outdoors, and the backdrop was stunning. But there was a vibe I got, and I couldn't put my finger on it, perhaps it was too quick to make a judgement from only a short visit, but even with the museums and awesome greenway, everything seemed a bit empty, compared to say Charlotesville, where everything seemed to be booming. Might there be something to that, or was it just the wrong day in Roanoke and the right day in Charlotesville? There was another aspect I couldn't put a finger one, but somethings made me feel more comfortable in the latter than former, I say as  person of color, and knowing it might be touchy subject (can't articulate, but was a feeling). I'd love to discuss more, here or or in other thread.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Apple_Tango on December 23, 2017, 03:09:18 PM
It is blue collar, low income type of area and there is some racism in the city.  Charlottesville VA and Asheville NC are much more exciting places but the cost of living/housing is much higher. Roanoke has just a small college compared to Charlottesville and Asheville...and even Harrisonburg and Blacksburg, which all have true university presences. Really that makes all the difference. Charlottesville was my favorite place I’ve ever lived but the cost is much higher. Roanoke is really good for a retired life if you love the outdoors in my opinion, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bustling city. It’s got a lot to offer for what it is though. There seem to be lots of people who retire there. Honestly what you might have been feeling in Charlottesville was the student’s energy/ diversity. If you go out of the nicer areas of Charlottesville there is a big problem with homelessness, poverty, income inequality, and a “townie” vs “student” mentality. The Charlottesville downtown mall has tons of restaurants and shops, pop up stalls,  street performers, and everyone walks everywhere  which make things feel special, and that vibe isn’t as prevelant in roanoke.  Each city is great in it’s own way but they have two different vibes
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: NiteWolf on December 31, 2017, 12:50:21 AM
Hi there!

I'm looking for a bit of advice on moving to Winnipeg. We are a family of six who are moving from Thailand where we've lived for many years.
If you have any comments on best areas to rent a house, winter life or such, please respond here.
My SO has a pretty good opportunity for working in education, while I am considering working in a trade since I have building skills.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on January 01, 2018, 01:23:20 PM
Hi there!

I'm looking for a bit of advice on moving to Winnipeg. We are a family of six who are moving from Thailand where we've lived for many years.
If you have any comments on best areas to rent a house, winter life or such, please respond here.
My SO has a pretty good opportunity for working in education, while I am considering working in a trade since I have building skills.

I've got your request added to the list in the OP. Would you mind doing a write up on Thailand? I'm interested in that.

I've also got Roanoke added to the TOC. Thanks @Apple_Tango !
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SunnyDays on January 08, 2018, 08:33:25 PM
To NiteWolf re relocating to Winnipeg:

Okay, where to start?  I've lived in or around the city for most of my life, so if you have specific questions feel free to ask.
If you are planning to rent a house, prices average about 1200 to 1500 CAD per month, but may be more for the space 6 people would require.  Avoid the inner city.  Prices are lower, but it's not very safe and the schools are bad.  Anything in a ring around the inner city should be fine.  My recommendations would be East, West or Old Kildonan, Fort Garry, St. Vital or River Heights for good family neighbourhoods.  Transcona is okay too.  As you go in a ring outwards from the city centre, homes are newer and pricier.  I would personally avoid Charleswood due to it's distance from amenities.  It's almost exclusively residential.
As for winter life, there's lots to do if you don't mind the cold.  Skating, cross country skiing, hockey, curling, skidooing are popular.  Otherwise, there's lots of cultural and entertainment activities available: museums, art gallery, zoo (polar bears!), planetarium and in summer, tons of festivals, including the highlights of Folklorama, Fringe Fest and Folk Fest.  Also, many great beaches at the two major lakes just an hour's drive away.  Also, tons of restaurants in almost any nationality you can think of.
Overall, it's a great place to live.  People are very friendly, it's multicultural and offers a very good work/life balance.  People are not married to their jobs.
The biggest drawbacks are the cold in winter and the mosquitoes in summer (yes, these stereotypes are true).  On the upside, we have no feral pigs (my neighbour recently lived for 2 years in your neck of the woods, in Malaysia)!
Any further questions, just ask.  Hope you love it here!

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: RichMoose on January 09, 2018, 10:02:51 AM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on January 09, 2018, 12:03:38 PM
@Mr. Rich Moose, I've got your contributions added.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: des999 on January 10, 2018, 11:54:51 AM
Went thru the thread and didn't see Wilmington NC.  I'm look at property there next month.  Would love to hear some info about the city.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on January 10, 2018, 12:45:08 PM

Words of advice: visit the central va area to see what fits you. There are lots of different towns with their own cultures. Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Crozet, Staunton, Richmond. There’s something for everyone :)

Are you familiar with Waynesboro at all? I've never lived in Harrisonburg, but every time I go there I feel like they're rushing much more aggressively into bad development than Waynesboro, which makes me inclined to lean toward Waynesboro. The expanses of 45 mph big-box-lined roads seems larger in Harrisonburg. On the other hand, they have JMU as a sort of anchor, which is something Waynesboro is sorely lacking, having lost most of their industry.

As to Charlottesville, I can never really figure out where there's decent housing availability. Probably that's just because I look too close to UVA. Also, the weather typically seems worse on that side of the mountains, especially in summer.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Apple_Tango on January 10, 2018, 11:59:46 PM
I think Charlottesville housing is bananas. Very very cool town though. Harrisonburg has quite the strip mall feel along the highways and sometimes the wind shifts and you smell the animal farming byproducts (mostly chickens) which can be unpleasant.  But the downtown area is quite nice and walkable, and there are a couple of really amazing local restaurants and bars. There are some dance studios, farmers markets, yoga/pilates centers, local ice cream, coffee, and breweries, plus all the things that the university offers. 5-10 minutes away there's a ski resort and two towns called called Elkton and Mcgaheysville (pronouced McGackiesville...why? lol) which have some seriously beautiful views and are way more rural if you're looking to get away from development. I found a little tour video of Harrisonburg online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Lhj0u_EF0

Before I would choose Waynesboro, I would would live in Staunton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7VA1-cjuk4) or Crozet, which are both 20 min away in opposite directions. My impression of Waynesboro is just a town of chain shops and restaurants with little to no culture. I've never lived there but that's my opinion anyway, since you asked for it. I used to work in Fishersville which is quite close...and very similar to Waynesboro. I was not impressed. There's one main downtown street...idk I think I wouldn't care to live there. The big talk of my coworkers who lived in that town a few years ago was that Moe's Southwest Grill was opening which is not high on my priority list.

My personal ranked order for Virginia out of the towns I would consider (cost of living is a factor that pushes some areas lower on the list) are: Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ik9bfTXrKw), Williamsburg, VA Beach, and my Northern VA (NOVA) choice is Old Town, Alexandria. Side note: I chose that city because if you're going to live in the NOVA craziness, might as well do it right. I'm not really a suburb/stripmall fan (which basically describes NOVA in a nutshell) That particular neighborhood in Alexandria is amazing as far as quality of living.Super historic, walk everywhere, right on the river, easy metro into DC, dogs are everywhere, everyone jogs, the restaurants are out of this world, fun free events going on all the time,  boating and paddleboarding are awesome, fireworks for national holidays....aka $$$$$$$$$$$ aka out of my price range.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: seatofthepants on January 12, 2018, 04:26:49 AM
Just to add a different voice to the Portland discussion, I live there currently and have for over a decade. Here are my thoughts.

Although the housing costs are definitely going up, I really choked on my cornflakes when the person above said that she brought home $100k last year and feels "priced out" of Portland. Wow. My annual income has been $10-12,000 / year for the entire time I've lived here and I still live here & don't consider myself "priced out" yet. I live in inner Portland, also, not way out in Gresham or another suburb. With mustachian levels of lifehacking you can do these things here. 

I have to contradict our other poster again and say that Portland culture is not just about super-hero levels of friendliness. Sure, people are friendly on the surface (checkers in checkout lines, everyone saying 'thank you' when getting of the bus, strangers will banter with you in public, etc.)... but in my opinion underneath the culture is really quite cold. Although people do like to do things to "keep it weird" or generally "Portlandey" I don't find Portland to have a good sense of humor (ironic, since there is a thriving comedy scene) or the... "ease with itself" that you would expect.

Here's an example: many people here have a distinct, rigid way of walking, which my family members who visit from out of town comment on. This rigid, slightly-fearful, slightly-so-as-not-to-mess-up-my-outfit attitude is very Portland, I think. There is an odd woodenness that often happens when Portlanders try to have fun. Often times if you look around you, even at fun events, no one is visibly "having fun." They may be perfectly pleasant, smiling, or whatever, but that's not quite the same thing. While I believe that subjectively they may be having a ball, it's hard to feel welcome or feel warmth from a people who have a wall up like that.

Another thing is that it is VERY hard to make real friends with Portlanders. You might think that this is just me, but it's something I hear from a lot of people (similar things are said about Parisians). Perfectly pleasant and friendly, but making friends takes years...decades. I believe this has to do with how individualistic the cultural values here are. While there is nothing objectively wrong with that, it is difficult and a little alienating, especially for those of us, like moustachians, who have values that lead them away from the traditional value placed on acquiring money, status, and possessions for the sake of it.

You can feel the crazy "I live in a liberal bubble" feeling among many people you meet here, especially if they are white and middle to upper class. While I have no problem with liberalism per se (I'm definitely not a conservative, if anything more like a leftist), it's disconserting how much of an echo-chamber it feels like it is here. Some of the things that go on really make me wonder if liberals are navel-gazing themselves into insanity.

There is very little diversity and, sadly, you can feel it. I get the feeling that white people are scared on a deep level, while also being extremely "comfortable" at the same time. It's odd. I'm a person of color, btw. So.... yeah. Call me somewhat jaded, but these are the things I felt my perspective could add.

I can also say, happily, that Portland is a GREAT place to live on a budget--so many free events, cultural happenings, and clubs / meetups / churches. Free days at the Portland Art Museum. Arts programming is discounted for those who are living below the poverty line, as are other great things like farmers' markets. We have an amazing library system. A nationally-ranked public transit system. It's super bikeable, with very good bike infrastructure (at least in the inner city) & tons of fellow-bikers to keep you company on your commute. Travel just a little further, and there are tons of trails to trail bike on. We have more green space in our city limits than any other city in the US. We have great food, even for relatively cheap.

Yes, I consider this city my own by now, warts and all... <3
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SnackDog on January 12, 2018, 06:36:09 AM
The low diversity in Portland is disappointing. It has the dubious distinction of being the whitest major city in America.  Oregon has a horrible history of racism and even prohibited black people from living in the state early on (the only state to ever do so).

But the biggest complaint I hear from the (mostly white) people who live there is the appalling weather.  Winter lasts from October to April and is dark, cloudy, wet and just above freezing.  Snow would be preferred or just more sunlight.

It's on our relocation list, but I am skeptical.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Parizade on January 14, 2018, 12:17:56 PM
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.

Sorry Cubert, but the Twin Cities is one of the worst metropolitan areas for black people (6th worst actually). As a white native I was just as shocked as you to learn the truth, and it pains me still.

from The 5 Worst Cities for Black Americans
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/03/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-2/2/ (http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/03/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-2/2/)

"Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Black population: 7.4%
> Black median income: 44.0% of white income
> White unemployment: 2.8%
> Black unemployment: 9.5%

Black residents in Minneapolis are not particularly impoverished compared to black residents in other metropolitan areas. The typical black household earns $34,720 a year, compared to the national median black household income of $38,555. However, while they typically do not face the same level of poverty compared to black residents elsewhere, they live in one of the most unequal places. The typical white household earns more than double the income at $78,864 a year."
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on January 17, 2018, 09:45:29 AM
That "racist" comment just blew me away. Prove to me that we're more racist than any other community in America today. Having traveled extensively and spent time in other cities with racial divides, Minneapolis is no better and no worse. Jesus people. Get a grip.

Sorry Cubert, but the Twin Cities is one of the worst metropolitan areas for black people (6th worst actually). As a white native I was just as shocked as you to learn the truth, and it pains me still.

from The 5 Worst Cities for Black Americans
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/03/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-2/2/ (http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/11/03/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-2/2/)

"Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Black population: 7.4%
> Black median income: 44.0% of white income
> White unemployment: 2.8%
> Black unemployment: 9.5%

Black residents in Minneapolis are not particularly impoverished compared to black residents in other metropolitan areas. The typical black household earns $34,720 a year, compared to the national median black household income of $38,555. However, while they typically do not face the same level of poverty compared to black residents elsewhere, they live in one of the most unequal places. The typical white household earns more than double the income at $78,864 a year."

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on January 17, 2018, 10:01:58 AM
I think Charlottesville housing is bananas. Very very cool town though. Harrisonburg has quite the strip mall feel along the highways and sometimes the wind shifts and you smell the animal farming byproducts (mostly chickens) which can be unpleasant.  But the downtown area is quite nice and walkable, and there are a couple of really amazing local restaurants and bars. There are some dance studios, farmers markets, yoga/pilates centers, local ice cream, coffee, and breweries, plus all the things that the university offers. 5-10 minutes away there's a ski resort and two towns called called Elkton and Mcgaheysville (pronouced McGackiesville...why? lol) which have some seriously beautiful views and are way more rural if you're looking to get away from development. I found a little tour video of Harrisonburg online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2Lhj0u_EF0

Before I would choose Waynesboro, I would would live in Staunton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7VA1-cjuk4) or Crozet, which are both 20 min away in opposite directions. My impression of Waynesboro is just a town of chain shops and restaurants with little to no culture. I've never lived there but that's my opinion anyway, since you asked for it. I used to work in Fishersville which is quite close...and very similar to Waynesboro. I was not impressed. There's one main downtown street...idk I think I wouldn't care to live there. The big talk of my coworkers who lived in that town a few years ago was that Moe's Southwest Grill was opening which is not high on my priority list.

My personal ranked order for Virginia out of the towns I would consider (cost of living is a factor that pushes some areas lower on the list) are: Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ik9bfTXrKw), Williamsburg, VA Beach, and my Northern VA (NOVA) choice is Old Town, Alexandria. Side note: I chose that city because if you're going to live in the NOVA craziness, might as well do it right. I'm not really a suburb/stripmall fan (which basically describes NOVA in a nutshell) That particular neighborhood in Alexandria is amazing as far as quality of living.Super historic, walk everywhere, right on the river, easy metro into DC, dogs are everywhere, everyone jogs, the restaurants are out of this world, fun free events going on all the time,  boating and paddleboarding are awesome, fireworks for national holidays....aka $$$$$$$$$$$ aka out of my price range.

I definitely have to agree with most of what you said. Especially your correct identification Alexandria as the only place to be in NoVA.

What's really frustrating about a lot of the central VA places is that they've rebuilt their schools out on the edge of town. That means kids are either driven or bused, with rare exceptions. As someone who grew up biking home for lunch, that's a tough pill to swallow. Staunton, in particular, seem to have fallen for this particular mistake. I can't speak for Roanoke. In Staunton I suppose you could send your kids to private school instead, but that's not cheap, and I'm not sure it's something I'd want to do, either.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Parizade on January 17, 2018, 04:13:34 PM

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.

I would have remained blissfully unaware of the problems of blacks in the Twin Cities if I didn't have any black friends. But a woman I used to work with (she was my manager actually) and have remained friends with is now employed by the City of Minneapolis and it's her job to analyze and address the racial inequities. I have learned from her, and other black friends, to at least try to see things from their point of view.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: yuka on January 17, 2018, 10:36:13 PM

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.

I would have remained blissfully unaware of the problems of blacks in the Twin Cities if I didn't have any black friends. But a woman I used to work with (she was my manager actually) and have remained friends with is now employed by the City of Minneapolis and it's her job to analyze and address the racial inequities. I have learned from her, and other black friends, to at least try to see things from their point of view.

This is a nice statement and sentiment, and I see that it's related, but it in no way addresses what I said. In a way, your response is to my comment what the fluff piece's title is to its contents.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Parizade on January 18, 2018, 07:04:47 AM

I confess I've never been to Minneapolis and know nothing about it. I've never been black, either.

But surely, there must be something else that makes life worth living besides having the same incomes as white people? The title of that piece is preposterous.

I would have remained blissfully unaware of the problems of blacks in the Twin Cities if I didn't have any black friends. But a woman I used to work with (she was my manager actually) and have remained friends with is now employed by the City of Minneapolis and it's her job to analyze and address the racial inequities. I have learned from her, and other black friends, to at least try to see things from their point of view.

This is a nice statement and sentiment, and I see that it's related, but it in no way addresses what I said. In a way, your response is to my comment what the fluff piece's title is to its contents.

Fine yuka, what measurable criteria would you use then to judge which cities are the worst for blacks?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zolotiyeruki on January 18, 2018, 08:05:28 AM
I hate to be "that guy", but there's a much more appropriate location for this kind of discussion (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/).    Would you be willing to take it there, so we don't clutter up this thread with the debate?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Parizade on January 18, 2018, 08:30:20 AM
I hate to be "that guy", but there's a much more appropriate location for this kind of discussion (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/).    Would you be willing to take it there, so we don't clutter up this thread with the debate?
Excellent suggestion. Go for it yuka
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Shinplaster on February 06, 2018, 11:08:02 AM
Jordan - Kenoryn's review of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada seems to be missing on the main index page.   Reply #87.   

I was glad to stumble across it since Peterborough is on our short list of places to move to.  Good review Kenoryn.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on February 06, 2018, 03:21:08 PM
Jordan - Kenoryn's review of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada seems to be missing on the main index page.   Reply #87.   

I was glad to stumble across it since Peterborough is on our short list of places to move to.  Good review Kenoryn.

Good catch. I've fixed it.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: freya on February 13, 2018, 08:45:31 AM
Can I add a request for Juneau, Alaska?

Other Alaskan locations (Anchorage, Seward) appreciated also.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on February 13, 2018, 07:53:53 PM
Can I add a request for Juneau, Alaska?

Other Alaskan locations (Anchorage, Seward) appreciated also.

@SisterX  not sure where you were in Alaska. @Allie also not sure on you. But I figured Alaska knowledge in general was a good start in case you have any input =)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SisterX on February 14, 2018, 12:30:06 PM
Can I add a request for Juneau, Alaska?

Other Alaskan locations (Anchorage, Seward) appreciated also.

@SisterX  not sure where you were in Alaska. @Allie also not sure on you. But I figured Alaska knowledge in general was a good start in case you have any input =)

I was in the interior, so far away from these places, but I've been to all of them. Not sure how helpful that is. Juneau: I know it's very rainy, more like Seattle than what you typically think of for AK. Lots of fishing, cruise ships and tourism in the summer. Surrounded by mountainous terrain, I think there's great hiking around there.

Anchorage is...Anchorage. Being the biggest city and with large military bases it gets the most outsiders. Hence, driving in the area can be treacherous because there are the most people who have no idea how to drive in Alaskan conditions, and the most people who are there but don't actually want to be there. But it also has the most amenities. (Costco!) It's a good hub because you can go anywhere by either road or air, and a good start to 'the Alaskan experience'. You'll either find out that you love AK and want to stay there forever or you'll quickly realize that you hate everything about it. (There is no in-between.) It's also surrounded by mountains and it's close to a downhill skiing resort, if that's your thing.

I've only visited Seward in the summer but it's beautiful. Nice small-ish town, with lots and lots and LOTS of tourists in the summer because the cruise ships stop there. I'll ask my spouse for his take, since he grew up close enough to there to know more than I do.

If you're moving to Alaska, have a plan for how you'll get out during the winter. Some kind of sport that requires you to suck it up and go out in the cold or rain or whatever can be crucial to staving off cabin fever. The people who hate it tend to be the ones who say it's cold and dark and who never leave the house unless they have to.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: HipGnosis on March 01, 2018, 01:45:30 PM
Is there an actual guide for the act / process of relocating (once a destination has been researched and decided)?!?!   
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jordanread on March 01, 2018, 01:58:00 PM
Is there an actual guide for the act / process of relocating (once a destination has been researched and decided)?!?!

Nothing like that I'm aware of, but we can create one. It won't be pinned, but it could happen.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Bracken_Joy on March 01, 2018, 04:06:22 PM
Is there an actual guide for the act / process of relocating (once a destination has been researched and decided)?!?!

Are you thinking more of how to move, or how to set up life in a new city?

Here's some good "how to move" blog posts:
https://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/06/05/our-15-frugal-moving-tips/ (https://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/06/05/our-15-frugal-moving-tips/)
https://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/17/moving-wait-before-you-renovate/ (https://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/03/17/moving-wait-before-you-renovate/)

And an article on setting up a life in a new city (geared toward young and single though):
https://thoughtcatalog.com/dory-trimble/2014/02/7-ways-to-build-a-life-in-a-new-city/ (https://thoughtcatalog.com/dory-trimble/2014/02/7-ways-to-build-a-life-in-a-new-city/)
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Sister C on March 02, 2018, 08:38:11 PM
Buffalo, NY, USA

Average housing cost: Houses in Buffalo are ridiculously affordable.  Urban revitalization is 20-30 years behind many other cities, so there are still great deals to be had on many desirable blocks/neighborhoods in the city.  There are even better deals if you are willing to do some fixing up.  I bought my house in 2009 for 62K on a graduate student's stipend.  Prices on my block have risen over the past 9 years and with improvements today it would be more like 175k, but you can find comparable deals nearby. It's a double (an upper 3 bedroom apartment and a lower 3 bedroom apartment) so we have rental income to pay our mortgage.  Both double and single family houses are easy to find in the city. 

Indoor Hobbies: The local colleges and universities host literary events, concerts, low cost sports games etc.  The science museum has a nice indoor play space for young kids.  The public library system is so-so in terms of books available, facilities and fees.  I was spoiled with great free libraries growing up out west, and I find it ridiculous that the system here charges 25 cents per book.  You can buy a community membership to Buffalo State University which allows you to access the SUNY library system if you don't have student/faculty/staff access.  You can also sign up for one class a semester to access cheap student health insurance.

Outdoor Hobbies: Hiking (more like walking in the woods), canoeing and kayaking, sailing, cycling.  You can travel about 3 hours to the Finger Lakes for hiking, or 4-6 to Alqonquin National Park in Ontario or the Adirondacks.  There is an Olmstead Park System which hosts Shakespeare in the Park.  We have a Slow Roll organization which hosts neighborhood bike rides which are a great way to see the city and build community.  There is a botanical garden and a zoo.  There are some community gardens, although they are not all that easy to access.

Weather: Warm in the summer, cold in the winter, moderate amount of snow.  Buffalo has a reputation for huge snow storms, but since it's lake effect snow generally the southern suburbs get blasted while the city itself gets a reasonable amount of snow.  For a while I enjoyed a year-round walking commute which I highly recommend.  Spring is short and fall is beautiful.  Lake Erie moderates our weather, making the city warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than much of New York, Massachusetts etc.

Favorite things:  The people and the cost of living.  Buffalo's motto is "The City of Good Neighbors" and it is absolutely true.  Your neighbors will go out of their way to help you - snow shoveling, cat sitting, tool lending, lending a hand with house and garden projects, little thoughtful things, big thoughtful things - like the time our downstairs neighbor (who we had known for 4 months and who was cat sitting while we were at my father in law's funeral out of state) put together some furniture that arrived while we were gone.  Cost of living is low, especially housing.  For those with kids, there is a program called Say Yes Buffalo which pays full college tuition for graduates of the public school system at a variety of public and private universities (including some Ivy League schools).  It's easy to get around the area in a car, and there is a surprisingly good airport for this size town.  Overall, I'd say Buffalo is an easy place to live.  It's also easy to get to Toronto, which is one of my favorite cities.  When I first moved to Buffalo I used to joke that the best thing about Buffalo was that it's about an hour and a half away from Toronto, but I have since been been charmed by the city :)

Least favorite things: Winter lasts a long time and is windy.  Navigating the public school system is a pain.  The area is racially and economically segregated, although parts of the city is more integrated.  Connections really matter in this town, enhancing racial and economic disparities. It's a big drinking town. Public infrastructure isn't supported (libraries, parks, transportation).  There aren't many neighborhood parks, which matters to me more now that I have a young child.  Newcomers will notice that most things in Buffalo are 10-30 years behind the rest of the country.  For instance it's not yet standard for businesses to have websites/an internet presence with accurate hours.   

'Must Try': Architecture tours.  Buffalo has some beautiful architecture dating from the mid-late 1800s.  There are also several Frank Lloyd Wright houses.  There is a large Garden Walk every July which began as a neighborhood revitalization effort and is a great chance see pretty gardens, catch up on what your neighbors are up to and swap garden tips.  Kayaking through the old shipping harbors is pretty cool.

Stupid ordinances/laws: Parking regulations are poorly signed and inconsistent block by block.  There is alternate street parking which makes sense for winter plowing but not for summer.  They say that it's to allow street sweeping in the summer but I haven't seen much benefit and it has not been a thing in other towns I have lived in. 

Words of wisdom/Advice: Renting first is a good idea as the character of blocks can vary widely within neighborhoods.  If you have kids, there can be good options within Buffalo Public Schools but it's a lottery system and you will want to familiarize yourself with time frames/procedures.  Make friends with lifelong Buffalonians who know how this town works.  Connections matter in this town and people are unabashed about helping their connections get what they need, from jobs to schools to timely car repairs to more mundane and bureaucratic matters.

Sustainability options: There is municipal recycling, but no municipal composting.  Solar is an option.  There is not much support for biking but hopefully this will change with the implementation of a complete streets policy.  Affordable organic vegetables and meat (not USDA certified) are available through a local CSA, with work share options available.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Sister C on March 09, 2018, 11:35:29 AM
Another Idaho request- Pocatello, anyone?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: going2ER on April 18, 2018, 01:06:41 PM
I'd like some recommendations on small towns in southern Florida. Looking for low crime and laid back, we don't need anything fancy. We're planning on visiting south Florida, but would like some pointers on where to start.

Our ideal place to retire would be on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, but Florida would be much cheaper for us.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Ecky on May 14, 2018, 12:57:22 PM
Kindof a specific request, but any recommendations for:
-Not too big - let's say <100k people
-Cool summers and lower average humidity
-Preferably at least moderate sunshine throughout the year, at least not PNW grey
-"Left" leaning (e.g. LGBTQ friendly)
-Decent opportunity/cost:income

My partner has a chronic illness which makes high heat index very difficult. Currently in Burlington VT (which I like pretty well!) and while the summers here are fine, I wouldn't want to go much warmer unless it's dryer too, and a little cooler would be better. I think what makes this possible is that cold winters are not a problem. I would prefer a bit more sunshine and lower cost of living.

Nice city heat index list:
http://www.bertsperling.com/2013/07/02/sizzling-cities-ranked-our-new-heat-index/

From that list, like some possible areas with compatible weather include much of Colorado, Wyoming, Montanna, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, New York. If we were to move, I'd personally want to get away from the high-COL and grey skies of the northeast, and would be reluctant to trade them for the reportedly oft-grey skies of the cities west of the Cascades. Most of California is probably on the expensive side too. Mountains and a lake or ocean are a plus.

Asking not because we're unhappy here, but just curious where else might be good.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Retyrebye50 on July 09, 2018, 09:21:42 AM
I would like to put in a request for the following cities:
Huntsville, AL
Fort Mill, SC
Gainesville, FL
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: BMW Jalopy on July 15, 2018, 11:24:35 PM
City, State, Country:
Henderson, NV

If a suburb, distance from city:
Borders Clark County, which most people think of as Las Vegas

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy):
In Henderson or Summerlin, the main areas you'd want to live, currently $300K for a very small house, rising to literally whatever you want to spend. That small house would rent for $1600. Note that the house/rent prices boom and bust at roughly a 2X1 ratio every 10 years or so. We are presumably at the top of the cycle right now.

Indoor Hobbies:
Drinking, gambling, lots of restaurants, non-moustachian $120/seat stage shows, superb high school drama productions, lots of churches and a few cults (You know how you can tell if you're in a cult? Good news! You're not in one. Yours is the true faith - it's those weird clowns worshiping across the street that are in a cult.) There's a scrabble club that plays lots of moldy oldies from the 1950s, an emerging board games scene, brew pubs, opportunities to serve at homeless shelters, dog rescue, typical stuff for a medium size city.

Outdoor Hobbies: Lots of hiking, skiing, bicycling, motor racing of all descriptions, iron man competitions, bikini contests, water skiing, jet skiing, and if you sad sacks hadn't face punched me into selling my sailboat - sailboating on Lake Mead all year long.

Weather: Superb October thru May. A convection oven June thru September. Total rainfall ranges from 2 inches to 6 inches per year. Rainstorms often don't get the area under your car wet.

Favorite things: Very non-judgmental. Whatever your style, there's a place for you. A real melting pot. A huge number of really good mom n pop ethnic restaurants. Once you get plugged into your professional network, you make so much money it's hard to leave the city.

Least favorite things: The minute you leave Henderson city limits, there's homeless dudes all over the place, panhandling. Summers are brutal, you truly need epic level air conditioning at home and in your car. Old cars frequently die when their cooling system can't cope. All the touristy stuff and anything on The Strip are an overpriced ripoff. The "landscape rocks" covering all residential yards is hugely depressing. For a metro area of 2M people, there's very little culture in the way of museums, orchestras, etc. There's the Smith Center, but who can afford it.

'Must Try': Sailing on Lake Mead

Stupid ordinances/laws: This only came in when the megaweed corporations got recreational cannabis legalized: If there's a recreational dispensary within 25 miles of your house, you can't grow your own medicinal cannabis plants, even with your doctor's referral document.

Words of wisdom/Advice: Don't move here. Once you're networked professionally, you'll stay here way longer than any sane person would want to.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Solar, aw hell yah. Gardens look great through June, then incinerate by fourth of July. Even on drip, only a few hardy herbs make it to September.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: sisto on July 16, 2018, 09:58:53 AM
I would love to have Merida, MEX added. Also love to hear about any places in MEX. Seriously considering relocating there post FIRE.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: magnet18 on August 08, 2018, 09:27:56 AM
I can chime in from Fort Wayne, IN.


[/quote]
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: TxAg70 on August 11, 2018, 11:25:21 AM
I would like to request Ft. Worth, TX. I could move there from my job in more rural TX but housing costs are probably gonna be a bit higher and I'd like some idea from the mustachians in Ft. Worth about where to look.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: aashusharma1 on August 15, 2018, 07:16:56 AM
Hi All,

A relocation related question not really info on the cities. How about the adding info on the investment landscape if we are moving across countries. Also what to do with investments we have currently.

In my case I am planning to move to Canada in an year or two and i was wondering when i make that move I will have to withdraw from my 401, HSA and multiple Roth accounts which i am currently max-ing out. And that will entail penalties as i am withdrawing before retirement. What should be my strategy,
----should I reduce my contributions to the HSA -assuming i may still have medical needs till i move
----Reduce 401 contribution just enough to get the employer match
----Stop contributing to Roth IRA accounts?
----Should i invest more in individual stocks in the meanwhile

All this would mean more cash in hand which i can put in CDs etc and it will be easy to move when i finally move to Canada.

Thanks in advance!
Cheers
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: RichMoose on August 15, 2018, 09:24:07 AM
Hi All,

A relocation related question not really info on the cities. How about the adding info on the investment landscape if we are moving across countries. Also what to do with investments we have currently.

In my case I am planning to move to Canada in an year or two and i was wondering when i make that move I will have to withdraw from my 401, HSA and multiple Roth accounts which i am currently max-ing out. And that will entail penalties as i am withdrawing before retirement. What should be my strategy,
----should I reduce my contributions to the HSA -assuming i may still have medical needs till i move
----Reduce 401 contribution just enough to get the employer match
----Stop contributing to Roth IRA accounts?
----Should i invest more in individual stocks in the meanwhile

All this would mean more cash in hand which i can put in CDs etc and it will be easy to move when i finally move to Canada.

Thanks in advance!
Cheers

US-Canada tax arrangements can be very complicated and often require an accountant specializing in cross border moves to get things done efficiently and correctly.
A better thread might be the Canada Tax thread on this forum as some other Mustachians have done/are doing this move.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: jscott2135 on August 25, 2018, 07:52:16 PM
Currently live in Bend, OR.  Since this post was originally made, Bend has gotten even more crowded and home prices have gone up a bit. But I love my home state to death and having lived in Eugene, Hillsboro and now Bend am happy to help answer any questions about these areas as well!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: azu612 on September 23, 2018, 10:11:57 AM
Anyone have any information on locations in New Hampshire and Vermont?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: dougules on September 25, 2018, 11:39:02 AM
Since there was a request for Huntsville, I'll put in my 2¢ as a native.  Full disclosure, I'm not really enamored with it, and a driver for FIRE for me is to be able to move somewhere that's a better fit.  I'll try to be neutral since the area is good for some people.  A different take from somebody else in the area wouldn't be a bad thing. 

Huntsville, Alabama

Average housing cost: This gets us to the best part first.  It's easy to find a decent smaller older house for <$100k, maybe a tad more if you want new, big, and/or a better school district.  $200k will buy you something big and fancy. 

Indoor Hobbies:  Lots of nerdy pursuits.  If you want to 3D print a detailed 6ft replica of the Millenium Falcon or fab PCBs in your garage, this is the place for you.  Craft beer is a thing in a lot of places now, but Huntsville is keeping up in that arena.

Outdoor Hobbies: The area is decent here.  The city nestles up to a mountain with a large state park.  The Tennessee River is big and is great for water activities.  Plenty of smaller rivers for canoes and kayaks.  Plenty of hiking around including trails that start only a mile from downtown.  It's one of the best places in the country for spelunking, or does this go under "indoor hobbies"?  Gardening is popular.  Hunting and fishing are big here.  If you're into football, you'll feel right at home.

Weather: At least it's not boring.  The one guarantee is that it will be steamy from May to September.  We don't really have spring and fall  so much as random switches back and forth between winter and summer.  Winter can be just about anything.  Pick a number between 10 and 70.  Then pick a completely different number the next day.  Snow and ice is on average only about once every other winter although it's unpredictable.  It's a big event when it does snow.  We actually get more total average rainfall than Seattle, but the average doesn't tell the story.  It can be gloomy for a month straight, but it can also be sunny for a month straight.  Really, though, most of it comes in storms that pop up, drain a lake somewhere in heaven, then go away.  The storms can also be pretty strong.  The area is just as much a part of tornado alley as Oklahoma or Kansas.  Our tornadoes aren't the pretty ones, though.  They come at night hidden behind a curtain of blinding rain and hail.  Also, it's not necessarily weather, but in April the pollen is thick enough to look like yellow paint.  Allergy sufferers, you've been warned.

Favorite things:  I actually really enjoy thunderstorms.  Very lush and green.  Housing is dirt cheap.  Good for hiking and canoeing.  Great place to nerd out. 

Least Favorite things:  Transportation=driving.  Lots of sprawl.  Far right politics.  Can we talk about something other than football, fishing, or church?  The most expensive airport in the country. 

Must Try:  Southern food.  Locals will roll their eyes, but yes, you should see our real Saturn V rocket. We have the largest antebellum district in Alabama. 

Stupid ordinances/laws:  9% sales tax to fund all the asphalt.  Schools aren't very good. 

Words of Wisdom:  What you think of the area very much depends on who you are.  People who are more likely to like it here are those who don't mind driving, are focused on LCOL over other factors, don't mind hot weather, don't have allergy issues, enjoy college football, and those who are nerdy, religious, married, conservative, or introverted.  The more of those that fit you, the more likely you are to enjoy being here. 

Sustainability:  Not really a big thing here. The nerd factor does make for some interest in electric cars and solar energy, though. 

Some comments on various surrounding areas:  It's rural Alabama and Tennessee, so I think you have some idea.  It is relatively cheap in the area to live on a lake front, with a mountain top view, or on a large plot of land.  Smith Lake and Guntersville are popular areas along those lines. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: palee on January 27, 2019, 06:28:21 AM
[/quote]
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Cool Friend on February 05, 2019, 07:38:32 AM
Request for Savannah, Georgia! I visited for a weekend some years ago and thought it was a very beautiful place.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Geographer on March 03, 2019, 05:42:27 PM
Would be nice to get some more cities from the southeast US on here. How about Columbia SC, Savannah GA, or Jacksonville FL? Specifically from a walkability/bikeability perspective?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ForwardThinker on March 04, 2019, 01:23:34 PM
I'd love a review of the Lancaster, PA area.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: thisismyusername on March 26, 2019, 02:41:36 PM
Salt Lake City, UT

Average housing cost: If you want to live in the city itself within an easy bike ride or transit to the downtown area, then you're looking at $300,000-$350,000 for a small 100-year old bungalow, and then it goes up from there depending on the exact location in the city, size of the house, etc.
If you are willing to live in some of the "undesirable" parts of the city, you can still get a house for under $275,000. The undesirable parts are not really that bad, just more run down, more crime, the usual. If you so desire you can push out to the suburbs and get a McHouse new build for cheaper or more expensive, depending on which suburb. COL in general is going up because of a large influx of people.

Rent is variable - you can rent one of the aforementioned small bungalows for about $1700; you can rent a new build studio downtown for $1200. Some really old small apartments I've seen for rent for around $900-1000, although I don't know if that's true anymore. It just varies.

Indoor Hobbies: SLC has one of the best indoor climbing gyms out there (The Front), as well as another climbing gym on the other side of town. Mormonism is common here, so a lot of indoor church-based activities. Your typical bars, bar trivia, board games, meetups, museums, etc. People don't really move here for the indoor activities. There is an indoor farmers' market in the winter. The library is really cool.

Outdoor Hobbies: In the winter, all manners of snowsports - skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing. If you're in the city the slopes are about 45 minutes-1 hour away, although there is a bus that can take you out there. As far as I know the season passes for areas like Brighton and Snowbird are very expensive. The rest of the year you have hiking of all sorts (mountainous, desert, flat areas, you pick), rock climbing, lakes nearby, National parks, outdoor farmers' markets, and there are frequently festivals going on downtown.

Weather: I moved here specifically because it gets a lot of sun all year, even in the winter. Utah is one of the most extreme weather places I've lived. It gets up to the 90s/100s in the summer and down to the teens in the winter with snow. Spring and fall are very short. As a whole the weather is decent, and it's very dry so you don't have to deal with humidity. I do feel like the winter lasts longer than I'd prefer - it gets cold in October and snows and stays cold until April. You will have to pay for heating and for air conditioning, unless you're willing to suffer through the summer without it. It does not rain very much; it's a high desert.

Favorite things: I am not a snowsport person, but for people who are, that's definitely it for them. As for me, I like SLC because it's an "all right" city. It has all the amenities of a city - major airport, bars, museums, restaurants, large central park, major university, capitol - without being huge, and it is very close to almost every type of nature you could be interested in. It's in the valley of snowy mountain ranges on all sides which are beautiful, but drive a couple of hours and you're in the desert. I was able to afford a house here, which I could not in Portland where I was living before. The rock climbing gym is really good and there is lots of outdoor rock climbing to be had just minutes away. I like the architecture of the houses and old buildings in the city.

Least Favorite things: I have a lot of least favorite things here, because as a whole I just find SLC to be 'okay' but not great.
Air pollution is bad here. It's some of the worst in the country because of the inversion, and the commuter culture doesn't help. The city itself is quite small, but there is a huge population of suburbs around it that people commute in from. The multitudes of highways, billboards, strip malls, etc. make for a pretty ugly city, but the mountains help buffer that.
I do not feel like wages are keeping up with the rapidly rising COL.
The elephant in the room - the control the LDS church has over the government. The crazy liquor laws, the fact that Mormon leaders are consulted by lawmakers, etc., etc. Gerrymandering has contributed to a right-wing majority.
Additionally, the Mormon culture and its effect on the populace. Mormons in general are pretty nice but in SLC it has created this culture of perfection and 'sameness', even for those who are no longer Mormon. Everyone looks the same, there is a lot of focus on appearance so there are tons of plastic surgery places, hair salons, you-name-it. I look nothing like your typical Mormon and even though I'm comfortable with that it's hard not to feel a bit like an outcast. There just isn't a lot of diversity of types of people here, unless you really hunt them down.
The general commuter, consumer, oblivious culture is big here, and has been hard to deal with after living in Portland. People drive big cars for 1-2 hours every day to their giant new-build houses in the suburbs that don't have recycling and it doesn't bother them and they don't care.
The city is not very walkable at all. There are a few patches here and there, and if you live near downtown you'll be okay, but as a whole the blocks are HUGE and things are just very spread out.
My major beef is that, while I have met a lot of great people, the larger culture is less progressive (in every way, not just political) than I'd prefer.

Must Try: There's nothing specific to SLC that I feel like is worth commenting on, but in general just the access to nature is hard to beat. Lots of National Parks, mountains, deserts, etc. I'm sure there are snowsport-related things I could mention here. There is a very strange outdoor sculpture garden called Gilgal Gardens that is worth seeing. The temple is cool to check out.

Stupid ordinances/laws: All the liquor laws. Beers on draft and in the grocery store can't be more than 4% ABV. You can't have a cocktail with more than I think 1 shot's worth of alcohol. You can't have two drinks at a time (or something like that). You can't buy high percentage alcohol on Sunday. The legal BAC limit is 0.05%. You can only buy wine, hard alcohol, and high percentage beer from government-run liquor stores. The list goes on.

Words of Wisdom: You move here either for a job or because you like mountains and their associated activities. It is a pretty neat city overall and still relatively affordable compared to the west coast cities, but most of the people I know moved here because they liked skiing and wanted to be close to mountains. I know people who move from the east and south like it more than I think people who have moved from other western areas do.

Sustainability:  I see more efforts in the city itself than in the outskirts. Potential for solar energy is pretty good because it's frequently sunny. Vegetable gardening is easy, and fruit trees are common. There are some community gardens. You can put compost in the yard waste bins. Some areas will give you rebates for installing 'waterwise' landscaping.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: stoaX on March 28, 2019, 03:25:56 PM
Salt Lake City, UT

Average housing cost: If you want to live in the city itself within an easy bike ride or transit to the downtown area, then you're looking at $300,000-$350,000 for a small 100-year old bungalow, and then it goes up from there depending on the exact location in the city, size of the house, etc.
If you are willing to live in some of the "undesirable" parts of the city, you can still get a house for under $275,000. The undesirable parts are not really that bad, just more run down, more crime, the usual. If you so desire you can push out to the suburbs and get a McHouse new build for cheaper or more expensive, depending on which suburb. COL in general is going up because of a large influx of people.

Rent is variable - you can rent one of the aforementioned small bungalows for about $1700; you can rent a new build studio downtown for $1200. Some really old small apartments I've seen for rent for around $900-1000, although I don't know if that's true anymore. It just varies.

Indoor Hobbies: SLC has one of the best indoor climbing gyms out there (The Front), as well as another climbing gym on the other side of town. Mormonism is common here, so a lot of indoor church-based activities. Your typical bars, bar trivia, board games, meetups, museums, etc. People don't really move here for the indoor activities. There is an indoor farmers' market in the winter. The library is really cool.

Outdoor Hobbies: In the winter, all manners of snowsports - skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing. If you're in the city the slopes are about 45 minutes-1 hour away, although there is a bus that can take you out there. As far as I know the season passes for areas like Brighton and Snowbird are very expensive. The rest of the year you have hiking of all sorts (mountainous, desert, flat areas, you pick), rock climbing, lakes nearby, National parks, outdoor farmers' markets, and there are frequently festivals going on downtown.

Weather: I moved here specifically because it gets a lot of sun all year, even in the winter. Utah is one of the most extreme weather places I've lived. It gets up to the 90s/100s in the summer and down to the teens in the winter with snow. Spring and fall are very short. As a whole the weather is decent, and it's very dry so you don't have to deal with humidity. I do feel like the winter lasts longer than I'd prefer - it gets cold in October and snows and stays cold until April. You will have to pay for heating and for air conditioning, unless you're willing to suffer through the summer without it. It does not rain very much; it's a high desert.

Favorite things: I am not a snowsport person, but for people who are, that's definitely it for them. As for me, I like SLC because it's an "all right" city. It has all the amenities of a city - major airport, bars, museums, restaurants, large central park, major university, capitol - without being huge, and it is very close to almost every type of nature you could be interested in. It's in the valley of snowy mountain ranges on all sides which are beautiful, but drive a couple of hours and you're in the desert. I was able to afford a house here, which I could not in Portland where I was living before. The rock climbing gym is really good and there is lots of outdoor rock climbing to be had just minutes away. I like the architecture of the houses and old buildings in the city.

Least Favorite things: I have a lot of least favorite things here, because as a whole I just find SLC to be 'okay' but not great.
Air pollution is bad here. It's some of the worst in the country because of the inversion, and the commuter culture doesn't help. The city itself is quite small, but there is a huge population of suburbs around it that people commute in from. The multitudes of highways, billboards, strip malls, etc. make for a pretty ugly city, but the mountains help buffer that.
I do not feel like wages are keeping up with the rapidly rising COL.
The elephant in the room - the control the LDS church has over the government. The crazy liquor laws, the fact that Mormon leaders are consulted by lawmakers, etc., etc. Gerrymandering has contributed to a right-wing majority.
Additionally, the Mormon culture and its effect on the populace. Mormons in general are pretty nice but in SLC it has created this culture of perfection and 'sameness', even for those who are no longer Mormon. Everyone looks the same, there is a lot of focus on appearance so there are tons of plastic surgery places, hair salons, you-name-it. I look nothing like your typical Mormon and even though I'm comfortable with that it's hard not to feel a bit like an outcast. There just isn't a lot of diversity of types of people here, unless you really hunt them down.
The general commuter, consumer, oblivious culture is big here, and has been hard to deal with after living in Portland. People drive big cars for 1-2 hours every day to their giant new-build houses in the suburbs that don't have recycling and it doesn't bother them and they don't care.
The city is not very walkable at all. There are a few patches here and there, and if you live near downtown you'll be okay, but as a whole the blocks are HUGE and things are just very spread out.
My major beef is that, while I have met a lot of great people, the larger culture is less progressive (in every way, not just political) than I'd prefer.

Must Try: There's nothing specific to SLC that I feel like is worth commenting on, but in general just the access to nature is hard to beat. Lots of National Parks, mountains, deserts, etc. I'm sure there are snowsport-related things I could mention here. There is a very strange outdoor sculpture garden called Gilgal Gardens that is worth seeing. The temple is cool to check out.

Stupid ordinances/laws: All the liquor laws. Beers on draft and in the grocery store can't be more than 4% ABV. You can't have a cocktail with more than I think 1 shot's worth of alcohol. You can't have two drinks at a time (or something like that). You can't buy high percentage alcohol on Sunday. The legal BAC limit is 0.05%. You can only buy wine, hard alcohol, and high percentage beer from government-run liquor stores. The list goes on.

Words of Wisdom: You move here either for a job or because you like mountains and their associated activities. It is a pretty neat city overall and still relatively affordable compared to the west coast cities, but most of the people I know moved here because they liked skiing and wanted to be close to mountains. I know people who move from the east and south like it more than I think people who have moved from other western areas do.

Sustainability:  I see more efforts in the city itself than in the outskirts. Potential for solar energy is pretty good because it's frequently sunny. Vegetable gardening is easy, and fruit trees are common. There are some community gardens. You can put compost in the yard waste bins. Some areas will give you rebates for installing 'waterwise' landscaping.

Good job - thanks!  I lived in the Salt Lake suburbs many years ago and may move back.  Despite the negatives you mention, those mountains are irresistible.  The lack of humidity is a bonus.  And I never had a problem with the "mormon-ess", but I'm not sensitive to those kinds of things.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: chasesfish on April 08, 2019, 07:28:25 AM
@hoping2retire35 - Loved your review on Charleston.  Not sure if you ares still posting, but just how hot could it be if you run at 3pm in the afternoon?  Looking to relocate from Dallas, TX and the heat you described for 6-8 weeks is basically mid-June until early October here.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: waltworks on April 08, 2019, 10:49:23 AM
Salt Lake City, UT

I'd add, on the negative side - there is pretty bad air pollution in winter (PM2.5) and summer as well (ozone). We lived in SLC briefly 7 years ago and found it to be unacceptable, especially with small children (so we moved 30 minutes away to Park City).

Education funding in UT is 49th or 50th in the nation (we fight with Idaho for that last place distinction) and teacher shortages/turnover are a big problem. Overall test scores are good because of the mostly Mormon population (who tend to be diligent students) but the quality of education is lower than those test scores indicate, IMO. Most non-LDS upper middle class parents in SLC send their kids to private schools.

The population is growing very fast (both high birthrate and migration) and pollution/congestion problems are probably going to be much worse in the future. It's not LA yet but the traffic is pretty darn bad if you have to get around town during normal business hours - I literally won't go to SLC from about 7-10am and then 3-6pm. Bike infrastructure is meh, you'll want to be confident sharing the road with cars if you bike commute.

The climbing and skiing are indeed excellent, and access to the desert is great if you get sick of winter. Of course, I never get sick of winter, so there's that.

I don't think most Mustachians would notice the LDS culture thing much, or be bothered by it. I have plenty of LDS friends and they're very nice folks who will politely have a cup of tea while they chat with you while you drink your coffee. Think Ned Flanders, not pushy evangelists (though if you decide to express an interest in the religion, you will get more information than you want).

-W
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zolotiyeruki on April 08, 2019, 11:15:39 AM
Salt Lake City, UT
Education funding in UT is 49th or 50th in the nation (we fight with Idaho for that last place distinction) and teacher shortages/turnover are a big problem. Overall test scores are good because of the mostly Mormon population (who tend to be diligent students) but the quality of education is lower than those test scores indicate, IMO. Most non-LDS upper middle class parents in SLC send their kids to private schools.
On the subject of education, Utah is very homeschooling-friendly, and there are a ton of homeschooling groups, co-ops, meetups, etc.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: waltworks on April 08, 2019, 01:08:45 PM
On the subject of education, Utah is very homeschooling-friendly, and there are a ton of homeschooling groups, co-ops, meetups, etc.

That is a good point, for those who are interested in homeschooling, UT makes it very, very easy. You basically just fill out a form and the state will provide you with access to a ton of online and other resources.

Be aware that a lot of the homeschoolers in UT are VERY weird LDS people, but in SLC proper you can find more "normal" folks doing homeschooling.

You can also do a mixed home/public school thing if you want to mix it up. We may do that ourselves as our kids are both a couple of grades ahead at only 6/4 years old.

-W
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ultimoblaze on May 28, 2019, 09:24:48 PM

If anybody has has a review of the Dallas area I'd be interested in learning about it.

Ultimoblaze
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: spaniard999 on June 04, 2019, 08:22:37 AM
I'm going to chime in since this forum gave me so much.
There is already a guide on Chicago but I have some other things to add to it.

I have lived in Chicago for 8 years now. I moved here from Madrid, Spain.

Chicago, IL, USA

I lived in several areas: Lakeview, Gold coast, downtown, Logan Square

Average housing cost (specify rent or buy)

Some areas are getting more popular lately, so prices are going up around Logan Square for example. There is a huge movement of investors in real state that buy places to remodel them and rent them.
Prices vary from 400K to 650K for remodeled places.

I always rented though, and the prices I payed or my friends pay are:
- $700/month ($2100 total)for a 3 bedroom apartment in Lakeview
- $1000/month ($2000 total) for a 2 bedroom apartment in Lakeview
- $1200/month ($2400 total) for a 2 bedroom apartment downtown
- $1800/month for a 1 bedroom apartment rigth on Millenium Park (downtown)
- $600/month (1200 total) for a 2 bedroom apartment in Logan Square.

Indoor Hobbies


The food/drink scene is so diverse and huge in Chicago. You get so many bars and restaurants and most of them are so good.
There are so many sports you can do indoors (soccer, vball, basketball) I have played several leagues and there are so many courts around the city. They are expensive for my taste ($80-$120 per person)


Outdoor Hobbies

Chicago people hate the winter, so when there is a ray of sun, everyone is out.
You have trails for bikes and running almost everywhere.
The lake trails go all the way to Indiana around the lake.

There are sports events when the weather allows, so beaches are always full of people playing something or just relaxing.

There is some hiking around but nothing amazing. There are no mountains around so next best thing is 'Starved Rock' which is a one day hike thing to do.

Weather
I would say Chicago is great during summer but awful in winter.
They salt the roads all the time so your car will accumulate rust for sure. It might not be that snowy but its frigggggging cold.
But summer makes up for it most of the time. I would say Chicago is one of the best cities in the summer in the whole US.

Favorite things
I love to ride after work to the lake, bring a beer, play vball and swim. (so just summer lol)
Public transportation -> VERY VERY VERY good. some buses and trains run all night long.
Night life

Least favorite things

Cold cold and cold. Weather doesn't get better until almost May and it goes cold again before Thanksgiving.
During winter, solar hours are very low so you go to work and its dark and you leave work and its dark again...depressing.

'Must Try'
Field Museum.
Ride the lake shore on a bike.
Visit some tall buildings (Hancock tower > Sears Tower).
Food on patios and rooftops.
The river walk downtown.
U of Chicago campus.


Stupid ordinances/laws
They are super stupid with tickets on cars for parking, street cleaning and other stuff.
There is an increasing number of red light cameras and speed cameras.

Words of wisdom/Advice
Most areas is worth just renting. If you live a little bit further from the downtown or highly demanded areas, prices drop really fast.
CTA (public transport) works really well. Trains more than buses but overall I recommend living close to a red or blue line stop which run 24/7 and the blue one goes to the airport.
CTA tickets are $2.25 for the first ride. Then the second ride within 2 hours is $0.25 and the third ride withing 2 hours is free. Keep this in mind for quick errands.
The whole city is very flat so bikes are very common. Just be careful of stupid drivers and potholes.

If you have more specific questions, please dont hesitate to ask and I will gladly answer.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: zoochadookdook on June 24, 2019, 10:34:54 AM
Hi didn't see if there was a section about a request? I'm eying relocation to San Antonio TX for work this fall.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: tyrannostache on June 27, 2019, 01:16:03 PM
Can someone share info about Des Moines? I went to college in Iowa a loooong time ago, and I haven't been back since. I remember Des Moines as a stodgy old town. I'm looking at the potential of a move to the area for a MegaCorp job in Johnston. I have young kids, so I'm particularly interested in schools, kids activities, and the outdoors.


Bonus points if you can help me excise the Dar Williams song that has been rolling through my head ever since we started considering this move.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: ChpBstrd on June 27, 2019, 02:56:26 PM
For those who have moved recently, how accurate are the various cost of living comparison calculators? E.g.

https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx (https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx)
https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/ (https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/)
https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator (https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator)

Did your budget change by about the amount predicted?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: mrigney on July 05, 2019, 10:22:48 PM
Huntsville is in northern Alabama along the Tennessee River, situated about 80 miles north of Birmingham and 100 miles south of Nashville. It is the fastest growing large city in Alabama and is currently undergoing rapid development. Traditionally, Huntsville has been driven by the aerospace and defense industry (NASA, Army Materiel Command, Army Aviation & Missile Center). Recently, however, the variety of industry has expanded. Recent or current developments include the FBI moving 1,300 jobs here, a $1.6B Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant, Blue Origin opening a production facility here, Facebook and Google Data center, a growing Biotech industry anchored by Hudson-Alpha institute. On top of the thousands of new jobs coming in, there is a huge amount of commercial development under way including Mid-city Huntsville, which is one of the top 5 largest commercial developments in the US (as of earlier this year). All this makes Huntsville a pretty dynamic place to live right now. Downtown is undergoing a massive transformation with numerous hotels, apartments, condos, and restaurants opening or under construction.

Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: penguintroopers on July 08, 2019, 09:06:58 AM
For those who have moved recently, how accurate are the various cost of living comparison calculators? E.g.

https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx (https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx)
https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/ (https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/)
https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator (https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator)

Did your budget change by about the amount predicted?

Philly checking in. Not too bad, but I wanna know where they're buying gas and milk.

Edit: didn't realize you were asking for recent-movers, but as a roughly three year resident its pretty accurate as to what it costs around here.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Sun Hat on July 14, 2019, 08:38:03 AM
Colorado Springs, CO

I make an effort to love everywhere I find myself, but it was so much easier here. The city itself is pretty large, with the natural growing pains that come with expansion. However, all expansion is moving east. To the west (a 20 minute bike ride from downtown), you have access to the foothills (and Pikes Peak). Throughout the city, there are a lot of bike trails, and they are very well maintained (as in some get plowed before the streets do). There is a plethora of fun free activities, and UppaDowna does weekly rides downtown. Weekly 5K fun runs are held almost year round. Bear Creek is a fun park, as is Fox Run (on the north side). COS is home to USA Triathlon, US Cycling, and USA Ultimate. Costs for housing vary within city limts. The North end of town is most expensive, and housing costs drop as you move south. I currently live just East of downtown, and the housing here is very cheap, since they are ranch style homes built in the 50s, and not McMansions that are in more demand these days. Colorado gets 300 days of sunlight, so our passive solar heat works quite well. I'm not familiar with many indoor activities here, but that's because there is a whole lot of outdoor activities and they are free. Hiking, bouldering, and biking are common hobbies, and they are all easily accessible (you can bike to a location for any of these). We also support dispersment camping in National Forests and BLM lands, so as long as you stay 100 feet (or something) away from rivers, you can just pitch a tent and enjoy. Even though it costs money, one of the most fun things that you have to try is outdoor laser tag at Battlefield Colorado, and the Starlight Spectacular is an awesome biking event where they close down the streets for a ride in the dark. The soil up north is more clay, so there will be some work getting a garden to grow. The soil seems to get better the further south you go. Throughought all of Colorado, there are strange laws regarding water usage and storage. It's technically illegal to collect rain water, but I haven't had an issue with it yet. Due to the proximity of the mountains, sunsets aren't anything all that great, but sunrises are cool. The views of the mountains are outstanding, and never cease to amaze me. There is a fair amount of sprawl, so be prepared to travel a bit if using an alternative mode of transportation. The libraries (21C) are great, and even have CNC machines and 3D printers that you can use (if you take a class and provide the materials). Overall, it's a great place to live, especially if you like outdoor activities. If you are a social butterfly, you can also find all kinds of groups to engage in activities with others (there is seriously a red wine and hiking group).

I lived in Colorado Springs from 2007-11 and can add a few points:
For indoor activities, I had season's tickets to the philharmonic for less than $10/ticket.
There's a beautiful reservoir that you can boat on and run/bike around just west of the city (sorry, I forget the name).
I second the shout out to the library system. It was really great.
Downtown has a reputation for being dangerous, but it's also vibrant and great for walking during the day, so is where I chose to live. It gets a bit sketchy between 2-3am when the bars let out, but I wasn't generally out and about then, and had no problems at all.
The only gardening that I did was a few pots on my balcony, but I think that if you were to try to grow vegetables that you might need to consider row covers or a greenhouse to keep the moisture in, as the air is extremely dry.
For the perfect day out, go to Kings Chef diner for breakfast, then head to Poor Richard's bookstore/cafe/toy shop/pizzaria.
For the occasional non-mustachian splurge, the Broadmoor Hotel did a lavish Sunday brunch that was really without equal.
A few hours away is Mesa Verde National Park, which is a must-visit experience.
Another favorite experience was making a weekend trip into the mountains to volunteer at the Leadville Trail 100 ultramarathon. It's a hoot to meet the crazies who voluntarily run 100 miles of high-altitude mountains. I did it every year and loved it.
I LOVED my years there because I embraced the outdoors lifestyle. I had colleagues who hated it, but they were neither active nor interested in exploring the culture.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: stoaX on July 26, 2019, 02:26:52 PM
Boise, ID

Average Housing cost (specify rent or buy):  I own in one of the subburbs of Boise, Eagle (15 miles from city center).  Eagle is one of the nicer areas.  It has a cute/historic downtown but most of the basic services you need.  There's lots of open property and housing starts at about $250k in Eagle for a 3 bedroom 2 bath.  Pricing might be a little less in Boise or Meridian, depending on the age of the house and condition.  Nampa isn't bad but Caldwell I would stay away from (this is where any gang activity takes place).  Most housing is new and the area is growing rapidly.

Hobbies:  Venture outdoors!  Skiing/snowboarding is 20 minutes from downtown Boise in the winter time, with larger mountains a couple of hours away.  Lines aren't horrible compared to skiing in California or other areas just because the population isn't that great.  Snowshowing and alpine skiing are also popular.  In the summertime, fly fishing and camping are very popular.  McCall is a popular destination location and it's a 2 hour drive from Boise.  There are lake activities there, as well as a few small shops, biking, etc.  Another popular destination is Red Fish lake, but it's a few hours drive.  I like being able to drive 20 minutes in any direction and being in the middle of farmland.  When you camp, look at the stars (you can actually see them)!

Weather:  Usually there are 2-3 weeks of temperatures in the low hundreds, but it's a dry heat.  Most days of the summers are in the mid to upper 90's.  The coldest months are December and January.  Most years have a couple of days that fall to single digits for the low.  Snow (most years) is not a problem.  A big snow storm is 3" and the major roads are well taken care of.  People put on snow tires, but I've only had a problem once in my FWD econobox, when there was 14 inches of snow on the ground (big snow year).  If you garden, planting times are usually early May and the first frost is right around October 1.  January brings about an inversion - clouds settling into the Boise area.  No rain, no snow, just dreariness.  If you drive up to higher elevations, the sun breaks through the clouds and it's sunny.

Favorite things:  Boise has an amazing farmers market.  It's up to 4 city blocks now, and you can find fresh produce as well as crafts.  I like how walkable/bikable Boise and the surrounding area is.  There's a ~20 mile long greenbelt (paved bike trail) that crosses the city that lots of folks utilize.  World-class whitewater rafting happens near Boise.  I feel very safe wherever I go, and whatever I do.  Boise also has a number of semi-professional sports teams that are worth attending.

Least Favorite things:  The state is very red historically, but as more people move from CA, WA and OR into ID, this is beginning to change.  As a result, people are very proud of their guns and hunting here is a constitutional right, but gender equality is not.  In general, people are very nice.  Often times people will hold up traffic to let you out of a driveway.  Ethnic food options are limited.

Words of Wisdom/Advice:  Have a job setup before you move here, if you require one.  Even though Boise is growing, it's still not a metropolis and options can be limited compared to larger cities.  I've lived here ~10 years and worked in the tech community.  Everyone in that community knows me and I know most people.

Know your commute.  Traffic isn't bad, but it pays to know the flow of traffic.  A 15 minute commute with no traffic can easily turn into a 40 minute commute with traffic.  Avoid your commute being on Eagle Road, if you can.

Sustainability Options:  The Idaho government doesn't subsidize green energy.  Some local utilities are talking about not having to buy homeowner-produced solar energy.  A majority of power in the Boise area is produced by coal and hydro.  Idaho Power is resistant to change.

Belated thanks for this...Idaho is on my list of places I want to investigate moving to.  Anything you would add, delete or change to your review above?
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: aspiringnomad on August 04, 2019, 09:39:44 PM
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: edgeofjupiter on August 24, 2019, 05:01:18 PM
City, State: San Francisco, CA, USA

If a suburb, distance from city: I lived in the Bay Area for 20 years, and in SF for the last 4. I lived in Bernal Heights and I bought a house in the Outer Sunset. I moved away three years ago.

Average housing cost: Average rent: $3700. For that amount I don't think you'll get anything bigger than a one bedroom apartment. Median house price as of 2019: $1.7 million.

True story: in 2015 I looked at a house in Noe Valley (very desirable neighborhood) that could have been a set of a horror film. It was literally unfit for humans to live in. It sold for $1.5 million.

Indoor Hobbies: Music, foodie scene, museums, drinking/nightlife.

Outdoor Hobbies: Windsurfing, sailing, hiking, biking, running... you name it. If you like snow sports, Tahoe is about a four hour drive (given favorable traffic).

Weather: Fairly uniform all year round. The locals all know a Mark Twain quote: "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco." It is chilly enough at night that you will rarely go outside at any time of year without a jacket. Winter is rainier and a bit darker. Otherwise it can be difficult to distinguish seasons.

Favorite things: Good food. SF is a beautiful place, once you look past the urban decay. I would never get tired of looking at the Golden Gate Bridge. Proximity to places like Tahoe and Sonoma County.

Least favorite things: Where to start? Property crime is essentially legalized. If you are unlucky enough to have your car broken into (which is pretty much guaranteed if you are foolish enough to leave a laptop in plain view), the police will not help you. The stories you've read about human feces in the streets is true- and this goes for the more expensive, "nice" neighborhoods. You get to experience all this while paying exorbitantly high taxes (state, sales, and property).

'Must Try': Mission burritos. Muir Woods. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. If you're lucky enough to have a friend with a sailboat, don't pass up sailing in the Bay.

Stupid ordinances/laws: This place has the worst politicians, and they love stupid laws. Plastic straws are banned, but garbage is piled up everywhere. I once received a threatening letter from the city because I put too much paper in our recycling bin and the lid wouldn't close all the way. The NIMBYism is terrible- it's practically impossible to build anything new as the project will be scrapped if the neighbors complain.

Words of wisdom/Advice: Pretty simple- don't move there. Maybe if you're young, single, and have decent employment prospects, but even then you should look elsewhere. More dogs live in SF than children- this is literally a city without a future. It is not a place for normal people who are not billionaires or addicts living on the street. This is a huge problem as people you want as your neighbors (teachers, baristas, firefighters, cops, nurses) can't afford to live there.

Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc): Solar panels might be an option for you. It's unlikely you'll get a large enough patch of land to make gardening worth your while (if you want to save money as opposed to gardening because you like gardening). Watch out for droughts as you will be encouraged to save water.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: FIREmesoIcanFIRE on October 26, 2019, 08:35:25 PM
Request for Frankfurt, Germany
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: smoghat on November 26, 2019, 06:42:35 PM
How about some small towns in New England (Vermont!)? Or Portland, Maine.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: MotoMM on January 05, 2020, 06:43:39 AM
@hoping2retire35 re: Charleston and solar

We are in Mt Pleasant and had solar panels installed in 2017. 30% federal tax credit and 25% SC state tax credit, one of the best in the country. Pretty sure the credits were still in place in 2019 - not sure about 2020.
Most of what you posted is pretty accurate. I'd add that this area is very NOT bike friendly. Maybe downtown Charleston, I don't know, but certainly not the surrounding areas.
Nice place though if you like the beach or fishing or boating or other water activities. Folly Beach has decent surf (including lessons and contests), and people also surf IOP.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Droog on January 24, 2020, 10:09:03 AM
Currently live in Bend, OR.  Since this post was originally made, Bend has gotten even more crowded and home prices have gone up a bit. But I love my home state to death and having lived in Eugene, Hillsboro and now Bend am happy to help answer any questions about these areas as well!

I would love to hear about Hillsboro, OR as I have a job relocation opportunity there. Thanks!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Dee18 on January 24, 2020, 05:18:27 PM
+1 for Huntsville
If you are driving on I-65 in December or January be sure to check out Wheeler National Wildlife refuge.  There is an enclosed viewing building for birding right on the water (even heated)  where you can see thousands of Sandhill cranes, a few whooping cranes, and many species of ducks.  The entrance is only about 5 minutes off the interstate and it is truly an amazing place.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: fuzzy math on January 25, 2020, 09:54:09 AM
Currently live in Bend, OR.  Since this post was originally made, Bend has gotten even more crowded and home prices have gone up a bit. But I love my home state to death and having lived in Eugene, Hillsboro and now Bend am happy to help answer any questions about these areas as well!

I would love to hear about Hillsboro, OR as I have a job relocation opportunity there. Thanks!

Intel?

I lived on the edge of Beaverton / Hillsboro. Cost of living is high. Probably $450+k for a home on a 4000sf lot. You will be packed in like sardines. I would suggest living off city streets for your commute. The 26 freeway is super backed up and inaccessible from 6 - 10 am and 2 - 7 pm. That's the only way to get into Portland proper. Every freeway is bound by bridges, mountains, or water so there aren't opportunities to build more roads. There is light rail but from where you'd be its 30+ mins into Portland and sometimes its so crowded you can't get on. Portland itself is great but the majority of the city will be 45+ mins for where you want to go. I found myself just staying at home a lot of the time. Concerts, food, culture is all great. TONS of homeless people. I left 3 yrs ago and it was not safe for women to be on some of the biking trails due to the tent cities. Some of that may have changed, but Portland is a destination for homeless people because its hip and the weather is mild.
I was not particularly thrilled with Beaverton schools. Historically the area was where people who couldn't afford to live closer to the city lived so you may find lots of lower income people. Lots of temp HB visa workers at Intel and Nike so there's a huge south asian population who are all very insular because they are only in town for a number of months.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Tris Prior on February 26, 2020, 10:18:52 AM
New Orleans, LA

Coming soon...I just hate dead links.

It doesn't look like this ever got reviewed and I'd be interested!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: SimpleCycle on February 26, 2020, 12:45:42 PM
I would love to have Merida, MEX added. Also love to hear about any places in MEX. Seriously considering relocating there post FIRE.

I too am Merida curious.  Hopefully we'll be spending extended time there in the next couple years, so I'll report back.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: adamzerner on June 04, 2020, 10:01:47 PM
City, State, Country
Las Vegas, NV, USA

Average housing cost
A typical one room apartment goes for ~$900-1200/month. There are some more seedy parts of town where you can get under that, but then you'll have to deal with higher crime and sketchy management. There are also some more upscale places that can push $1500/month.

As for housing, there's options across the board:
If you're looking for a more urban atmosphere, you can't really find that here in Vegas. The only option would be Downtown Vegas, ie. around Fremont Street. I lived there for a year and a) it isn't actually an urban atmosphere, and b) it is missing a lot of the practical things you'd need to live: supermarkets, libraries, parks, etc. The type of person that it'd be a good fit for is someone who eats out a lot and enjoys exploring different bars (or someone who wants to be within walking distance to casinos), but I don't expect many Mustachians to fit that description.

Indoor Hobbies
All of the stuff that you'd find in a major city: malls, shopping, restaurants, movie theaters, bowling, etc. The notable ones here that you wouldn't find elsewhere of course involve casinos. Gambling, shows, fine dining, etc.

There's also a lot of stuff on Groupon, maybe leaning on the touristy side.

Oh, and there's weed. It's legal and there are dispensaries everywhere.

Outdoor Hobbies
There are plenty of parks.

Being a valley that is surrounded by mountains, there's some good hiking on the outskirts. From one end of town to the other is only maybe 45-60 minutes by car, so you're never too far from hiking if it's what you want.

Be careful though, you might come across scorpions and stuff. The mascot of Nevada State College is a scorpion. I don't hike much so I don't know how common it is to come across stuff like that, but for me it isn't fun to be out there having to worry about encountering a snake or scorpion. There are also some coyotes in the mountains. I've had an encounter with them once.

There's also Lake Las Vegas which is maybe a 30 minute drive. I see a lot of people with boats who take advantage of that. And there's another lake somewhere about an hour away.

People near the mountains also do a lot of offroading. I live in Henderson right now and see it all the time.

If you like biking, there are some decent options, mostly on the outskirts of town. Check out https://www.traillink.com/city/las-vegas-nv-trails/. It never gets too hilly. On the outskirts there's a little bit of an incline but it isn't too bad.

As for the more interior parts of town, it isn't a great place to bike. I bike as my means of transportation, and I don't think Vegas was really designed well for bikers. Sidewalks and bike paths mysteriously end sometimes, and it's usually hard to find a bike rack at places. And in some parts of town you have to worry about your bike getting stolen (I've had mine stolen outside of a bar, my friend had his stolen outside of a casino, and that's just generally the vibe I get. I'm not actually sure what the data says.)

Note that it's insanely hot for 3-4 months of the year, and you can't really be outside, which really sucks.

Weather (High Temps, Low Temps, Seasons, Sun)
Summers are totally insane. 100-120 degrees during the day, with a very strong sun. You really can't be outside. I remember a friend who was visiting explained it perfectly: it feels like the wave of heat you feel when you open up the oven. Personally, I get headaches if I'm outside for too long, which sometimes is only five minutes.

Even at night time it's often 90-100 degrees and being outside is uncomfortable. So for 3-4 months out of the year you can't really be outside. To me this is the big downside with living in Vegas.

However, there are people who don't mind the heat. No one can be outside when it's 120 and sunny, but when it's closer to 100-110 some people enjoy laying out by the pool with shade.

Winters can actually get cold. We had snow last year, but hitting below freezing is very rare. It'll get into the 40s though.

And then of course fall and spring are in between.

Favorite things
I play poker so that has to be my favorite thing about Vegas.

A close second is the food, and I don't mean on The Strip. There are some really awesome restaurants off The Strip. I've lived in Culver City, Gainesville, Pittsburgh, and Long Island and the quality of restaurants here really strikes me as something that is notable. It isn't consistently good, you do have to do your research and find the good places, but there are a bunch of really, really good mid-level restaurants with dishes in the $15-25 price range. Here are some of my favorites:
Note: I know eating out can be a little anti-Mustachian, but I think it's ok if you do it once or twice a month. That's what I try to do.

Least favorite things
The heat. For 3-4 months of the year, you really can't be outside.

Words of wisdom/Advice
Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc)
I don't know too much about it, but with such a strong sun I assume that solar is a good option.

Electric cars
My girlfriend has an electric car. It has a range of about 75 miles (Ford Focus Electric). It works out relatively well here in Vegas. We can go from one end of town to the other on a full charge, but in a bigger city we wouldn't be able to do that, so Vegas' smaller size works out well for us. Our 75 mile range is small though, most electric cars have 100+ mile ranges.

One issue is that there aren't too many charging stations available. Also a lot of the places with charging stations only have 2-8 options, and they might be already taken by a different electric car owner, so you can't always rely on it being available for you. This makes it hard to spend the day driving around from place to place. We don't really have enough charge for that, but we would if we were able to charge it at more places we would. This is probably a blessing in disguise though, since driving around isn't something that I want to do anyway.

Living here without a car
I've lived here for about four years without a car. Well, my girlfriend has one so it kinda doesn't count. Here's what I've found. With some research and a little bit of luck, you can find a location where all of your necessities are close by. I used to live at Ritiro Apartments in Summerlin and had a library, supermarket, gym, park, movie theater (half price on Tuesdays!), great restaurants, CVS, FedEx, and banks all within a half-mile of me. You can definitely find places like that in Vegas. Sometimes you'll have to bike 30-60 minutes if you're going somewhere further. And sometimes you might need to Uber, eg. if you're going shopping and can't hold it all on your bike, or maybe if you're sick and need to go to the doctor, but that's ok if you need to Uber sometimes. The biggest obstacle is probably grocery shopping. You might want to get groceries delivered if you don't have a car, especially if you don't want to be outside in the summer.

Also, the buses here are pretty good. I've used them a lot and they're almost always on time, rarely crowded, very comfortable air conditioning in the summer, and free WiFi that is plenty fast! Amazing! A single ride is $2 and an all day pass is $5. I used to take the bus when I lived in Summerlin and wanted to go to The Strip to play poker, or when I wanted to go to the Steelers bar (Noreens!!!). It takes longer than a car ride, but us Mustachians don't mind, right?

Tech scene
There isn't really much of a tech scene here. I'm a programmer and entrepreneur. I'm also the organizer of the Indie Hackers Las Vegas meetup. It's really hard to find people to attend the meetup, and in talking to other programmers and entrepreneurs there, the consensus is that the tech scene is pretty weak here. I work out of coffee shops sometimes and don't meet a lot of other programmers or tech entrepreneurs. And as for jobs, Zappos is a good option, but there isn't much else. The messages I get on LinkedIn are all from weird gaming companies trying to sucker away more money from gamblers. No thank you.

People/Culture
The people here are... normal? I wish I could comment more, but I can't think of anything else to say. There's a variety of people. You'll meet different types of people in different parts of town. I don't really notice anything distinct about the people here in Vegas.

Maybe that's just me though. I lived in Gainesville, Pittsburgh and Culver City and would say the same thing about those places. Eg. I can't really point to something noteworthy about the people there. Growing up on Long Island there are definitely more of the pretentious wealthy types, but in day-to-day life I don't think it's something you notice. I've never been someone who notices much about the people around me. Maybe in more extreme places it'd be different. Like maybe the places I've lived in are all too moderate and something like Portland would be ultra-hipster or Iowa would be ultra farmy and conservative and I would notice that.

Actually, one thing to note about the people of Las Vegas is that there's a ton of transplants. You won't meet too many locals. A lot of the transplants come from California or somewhere else on the west coast, but definitely a fair share of those from the east coast as well. And it makes sense because Vegas just isn't a very old city. The modern Strip started becoming a thing in the 1980s and I believe most of the expansion happened around then.

Politics
Nevada is known as a swing state. My impression of Vegas specifically is that people lean a little more left. I don't have a good feel for this though; I haven't talked to many people I meet about politics.

The only thing that comes to mind is that off The Strip at some local casinos like Red Rock, there's a lot of old white men and sometimes you get a conservative vibe. Sometimes they'll even start rambling about politics, but that isn't too common.

Dogs
Dogs seem pretty popular. I have one. There are plenty of vets and dog parks. The big thing worth mentioning here is, again, the summer. I walk my dog in the morning and at night during the summer because I don't want to be outside midday.

And, by the way, my dog doesn't want to be outside midday either! You can definitely tell. He's panting and sometimes stops walking and tugs on me like he wants to go home. Also, the pavement can get really hot and hurt their paws, so be careful of that.

Schools
I've heard the schools are really bad here. From talking to people, I feel pretty confident that it's true. My girlfriend grew up here and went through the school system. A lot of people don't graduate or take it seriously, and the quality of instruction can be pretty bad. Standards are also very low. One issue is that the casinos often offer solid jobs for kids who are in high school that don't require them to graduate, and there's a feeling of "Why would I go to class when I already have a comfortable job available?".

My two cents are that this doesn't matter. You're responsible for your own education. If you want to learn something, libraries and the internet provide you with all that you need.

Actually, I'm sure that there are good options in wealthy areas. Maybe public, maybe private, I'm not sure.

Conclusion
Vegas is a great place to live other than the summers. It's pretty affordable and has everything you need. It could be more friendly to people without cars, you could make do.

The big issue is the summer. You really just can't be outside for 3-4 months out of the year, and that's a dealbreaker to me (once my girlfriend finishes school we plan on moving).
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: waltworks on September 08, 2020, 11:20:32 AM
This thread is semi-necro at this point, but I'd love to hear from anyone from the bigger towns (especially Marquette, Houghton) in the UP.

Schools look good, lots of winter which we like, and it's dirt cheap and uncrowded.

As our formerly small/funky ski town explodes (yes, we're turning into California) we're thinking of bailing/cashing out.

How bad are the bugs in summer? Lyme disease an issue?

Are the moose Alaska-level angry or just normal moose grumpiness? Here we have a sort of moose detente which involves everyone staying out of each other's business and it works fine.

How bad does it suck to get anywhere via air?

Are yoopers so weird we'll never fit in (I'm professional level at dorking around with 2-stroke engines, mountain biking, nordic skiing, and welding... does that help?)

Long shot, I know...

-W
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Paul | pdgessler on December 26, 2020, 09:44:07 AM
This thread is semi-necro at this point, but I'd love to hear from anyone from the bigger towns (especially Marquette, Houghton) in the UP.

I'm late to the party but I might be able to help a bit. I never lived there as an adult, but I did live in a small town outside of Houghton for a few years as a kid around 2001-2004. My mom's side of our family also still owns a small cabin up there, at which they spend a lot of the summers. So I can give a bit of info, but take it with a grain of salt since I only lived there year-round for a few years as a middle schooler. I don't really have an adult's perspective of what it's really like to plan a life there, I was just a kid doing kid stuff. :-)

Quote
Schools look good, lots of winter which we like, and it's dirt cheap and uncrowded.

Agreed with all of that.

Quote
How bad are the bugs in summer? Lyme disease an issue?

Mosquitoes can be troublesome for a few weeks in the summer, depending on the year. Many people seem to love to complain about them. I am probably a bit weird in this respect, but when I lived there is when I started my experiment of not wearing any bug spray. After a season or two, the mosquitoes don't really bother me any more. Deer flies are annoying for a couple of weeks (again, timing and duration depends on the year). But those are big enough that you usually notice them and swat them away before they manage to bite you. I am really selling the UP well, aren't I? :-)

My brothers and I would get ticks occasionally from running around in the fields and woods around our rural house. But we never had any problems with Lyme disease. I am not an expert on Lyme disease, but if I remember right, we usually got the larger wood ticks that don't carry it, not the deer ticks that do. But this might vary by where in the UP you choose to live. Just make sure to check yourself for ticks regularly when spending time outside in tall grass or brush.

Quote
Are the moose Alaska-level angry or just normal moose grumpiness? Here we have a sort of moose detente which involves everyone staying out of each other's business and it works fine.

If you're in one of those cities, you don't really have to worry about moose. If you're living out in the boonies, well, you're probably already prepared for any eventuality anyway. I've only ever seen them from the road while driving in low-lying wooded/boggy areas. Oh, and one close encounter while backpacking on Isle Royale. I think it's like most large wildlife: as long as you aren't acting like a complete clown, they'll mostly leave you alone.

Quote
How bad does it suck to get anywhere via air?

I never flew anywhere when I lived there, but yeah, that could be an issue. Your options are to drive 5+ hours to a bigger hub or catch a tiny regional jet from one of the local airports to the bigger airports. Could be a bit of an issue depending on how frequently you fly.

Quote
Are yoopers so weird we'll never fit in (I'm professional level at dorking around with 2-stroke engines, mountain biking, nordic skiing, and welding... does that help?)

I think you'll fit right in. Lots of tinkerers around (sometimes you can even see evidence of such tinkering in people's front yards). Mountain biking and nordic skiing there are great. Not as much elevation change as you're probably used to, but still plenty of fun. Both Marquette and Houghton have great trail systems, with even more options not too far away.

I hope this helps a bit!
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: baconschteam on February 19, 2021, 10:15:55 AM
I have a request! My family and DW’s family live in North Jersey and Central Jersey, so we would like to end up somewhere nearby. I notice there’s nothing listed for NJ (not such a mystery). To make the request easier, we are basically looking for a nice town within a couple of hours drive from Central NJ, or within a couple hours from NYC. Any leads? Buffalo NY is too far. .
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: JetBlast on March 18, 2021, 09:38:52 AM
This thread is semi-necro at this point, but I'd love to hear from anyone from the bigger towns (especially Marquette, Houghton) in the UP.

Schools look good, lots of winter which we like, and it's dirt cheap and uncrowded.

As our formerly small/funky ski town explodes (yes, we're turning into California) we're thinking of bailing/cashing out.

How bad are the bugs in summer? Lyme disease an issue?

Are the moose Alaska-level angry or just normal moose grumpiness? Here we have a sort of moose detente which involves everyone staying out of each other's business and it works fine.

How bad does it suck to get anywhere via air?

Are yoopers so weird we'll never fit in (I'm professional level at dorking around with 2-stroke engines, mountain biking, nordic skiing, and welding... does that help?)

Long shot, I know...

-W

Way late to the party and no experience living in either place, but when I flew for a regional airline Houghton was one of my favorite small town layovers.  Beautiful area. Hanging out on the patio at the Downtowner on a nice summer with the rest of the crew, drinking Bell's Oberon and enjoying the view of the river definitely did not suck.  Also interesting to be able to explore Finnish culture and cuisine, which is very strong in the UP. 

Air travel would be tough.  Flights are very limited to Houghton/Hancock with only a couple fights a day to Chicago O'hare.  Marquette has a bit more with flights to Chicago, Minneapolis/St.Paul, and Detroit but still not a whole lot of options.  Escanaba is also quite limited. 

If you're looking for a lot of winter but maybe somewhere a little larger for travel options perhaps Duluth, MN would be worth a look.  I always thought is seemed like a nice place to live if not for Minnesota's high income taxes.
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: Loretta on April 11, 2021, 07:34:16 PM
My 68 year old mother has expressed a desire to move to...Aiken, South Carolina of all places .... due to the climate of OH being too darn cold.  If anyone Can share info with me on Aiken SC I’d be grateful.

She has a pension and I’m her only living relative. I would prefer to see her in a condo vice a house due to home maintenance being a PITA at 70+.  Would people be nice to her, is my most burning question. 
Title: Re: Mustachian Relocation Guide
Post by: stoaX on April 14, 2021, 09:40:44 AM
My 68 year old mother has expressed a desire to move to...Aiken, South Carolina of all places .... due to the climate of OH being too darn cold.  If anyone Can share info with me on Aiken SC I’d be grateful.

She has a pension and I’m her only living relative. I would prefer to see her in a condo vice a house due to home maintenance being a PITA at 70+.  Would people be nice to her, is my most burning question.

I don't know about Aiken specifically but regarding South Carolina in general, South Carolina is tax-friendly when it comes to retirement income and there are a lot of retirement communities in the state where much of the maintenance would be done for her. 

Also lots of retirees means lots of people living here who migrated from other states so I think that can make for more social opportunities than if you are the only one who is not a  local.  For example, on my block of 11 houses, only 3 are occupied by people native to the area.  The rest of us are transplants.