Author Topic: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD  (Read 12649 times)

BG

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Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« on: September 25, 2013, 01:29:35 PM »
As a long-time MMM reader and forum lurker, I'm very interested in getting some of your insights on life in a handful of areas.

My situation: I'm recently married, early 30s, no kids (yet) currently living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  The wife and I both have good jobs and a good combined income.  We do our best to practice MMM-style frugality, are good savers, and have no debt.  We currently rent an apartment in the very expensive DC renter's market (we can't stomach the thought of paying 400k plus $400/month in condo fees for a postage-stamp high-rise condo). 

For a variety of reasons (high cost of living in the DC area not least among them) we are seriously considering moving to a new area.  The following are a few that particularly pique our interest:

1.) Raleigh, NC

Perceived upside: Very low cost of living for a metropolitan area, and apparent job opportunities.  Within driving distance to family / close friends in the DC area.
Perceived downside: Don't know anyone there.  Wondering how welcoming the area is to outsiders / how easy it is to find a job and become involved in the community. 

2.) Charleston, SC

Perceived upside:We love this town, and love the idea of living near the beach.  We are also very partial to warm weather.  We also have some friends in the area.
Perceived downside: Cost of living seems extremely cheap compared to DC, but it is very high for the state.  Hearing that salaries in the area are low.

3.) Austin, TX

Perceived upside: We're fans of both Austin and Texas.  Much lower cost of living / housing.  I went to college in the area, so have a feel for the city and know some people around.  Love the warm weather.
Perceived downside:  Not driving distance to family/friends in DC/MD area.  Property taxes are high compared to the rest of the state, negating some of the COL advantage.

4.) Baltimore, MD
Perceived upside: Stay very close to family/friends.  Career/salary possibilities also probably the greatest here, though would necessitate long commute into the DC area. 
Perceived downside: While COL is lower than DC, it's still very expensive compared to the other areas mentioned.  Plus, while the area is "home," it is very crowded and frantic, and appears to only be getting more so.  We would enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle. 

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on these areas, my perceptions (are they right or wrong?), and suggestions on other areas that you might recommend.

A few of the attributes we're looking for (excluding proximity to family/friends and ability to land gainful employment, which obviously will be the biggest factors in our final decision), include:

(1) reasonable cost of living
(2) slower-paced lifestyle
(3) warm climate
(4) acceptance of outsiders / transplants

Thanks in advance!

Rust

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 01:42:48 PM »
I'll give a plug for my city even though it didn't make your list.

Check out Richmond, VA.  2 hours south of DC, hour to the mountains, 2 hours to the beach.

Cost of living is pretty much spot on national average.  River is really nice, lots of great trails and only city with class three rapids within in city limits.

Work all depends on what you do but quite a few fortune 500's in town, (Capital One, Altria, Dominion, Genworth, Meadwestvaco, CarMax, Owens and Minor)  Plus you have a number of federal jobs (Fed Reserve bank, Military bases) and being the state capital a number of state jobs to be had as well.  GE also has also made Richmond it's Information Security Technology Center.

I love living here.

Lans Holman

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 02:59:19 PM »
We're fans of both Austin and Texas. 

My understanding was that this is pretty rare.

Spork

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 03:10:50 PM »

I can give you (some) Texas insight...

As you seem to know... Austin is a cool, eclectic place.  I've only visited, never lived there.  It seems to be under some ridiculous boom phase right now.  I don't know what that's done to cost of living, but traffic sucks.  I think the job situation is pretty decent there.

DFW - I lived there almost 20 years.  Not nearly as cool/hip as Austin.  Not as pretty.  Hot as hell.  Icky, slimy gumbo dirt (if you're a gardener.)  But the jobs are good.  The housing/cost of living is good.  It is probably not as accepting of outsiders as Austin... but as a big city, you'll always find someone that will accept you. 

East Texas - I grew up there... and live there again.  Much prettier than DFW area.  Good soil for growing things.  It's still hot, but there are these "trees" that grow and provide shade, unlike Dallas.  Housing/cost of living is pretty good... not quite as good as DFW.  But you can still find land bigger than a suburban lot.  Jobs... depend on the industry you're looking for.  Tech is thin.  Medical jobs seem to be the big thing.   Acceptance of outsiders:  ...not so good.  I don't fit in... but I also don't exactly care that much most of the time.

bo_knows

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 03:19:50 PM »
Being a DC-suburbs resident, I would vehemently be opposed to moving to Baltimore and trying to commute to DC on a daily basis.

I've accepted that the cost of living is high here, and we do what we can to stay mustachian.  Live as far out into the burbs as you can without making your commute insane. For us, that is Fairfax, VA (My commute is 20-30min, Wife's is 40min).  Commuting from Baltimore would be hell.

You can find places to buy in the surburbs for 300-400k that aren't postage-sized. That's expensive compared to the rest of the country, but wages in the DC area are higher.

BZB

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 03:38:46 PM »
I have input about Austin - have family we visit there often. The population increased a lot since the 90's but the roads have not changed to accomodate the traffic. Even though the city is relatively small, the traffic is horrendous, and keep in mind I'm used to notoriously bad Houston traffic. Insane crowd influx during annual SXSW and Formula One, Austin City Limits Festival. Don't have any input for you on property taxes. One big plus for Austin is the proximity to hill country camping. Access to all the good things a university town has to offer. Also good public transport and a focus on environmental issues (curbside recycling, they recently passed a no plastic bags law, etc.) I used to want to move to Austin if I could find a job there but I don't anymore. My feeling is it's turned very hipster and people trying to create the "keep Austin weird" vibe instead of the genuine thing..if that makes any sense. But maybe I'm just older and have become a fuddy duddy.

kh

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2013, 03:42:57 PM »
Those property taxes are high in Austin because there is no state income tax. So, keep that in mind.

Having lived in Austin for 5 years, I'd say it's a wonderful city that I would move back to in a second. As I'm sure you're aware, don't plan on a lengthy commute, as traffic is highly disproportionate to the size of the city. Upside: awesome bike lanes!

There's not a ton of major industry overlap in this city list... What type of job will you be looking for?

livetogive

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2013, 04:05:32 PM »
I did the Baltimore - DC commute for 4 weeks and it nearly killed me.  I don't know how people manage it; I spent about 2+ hours per day in heavy traffic and I left the house at 6:15am.  If you must commute to DC then look elsewhere.

Super reasonable places can be found in Alexandria, Clarendon, and some of the more transitional DC hoods.

Dee18

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2013, 04:14:37 PM »
I had a colleague who was offered jobs inAustin and Boston and went with Boston because real estate was so expensive in Austin.  That was several years ago.  Anyone know how those prices are now?

Tyler

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2013, 04:34:10 PM »
Austin is a great Texas city.  Agreed on the traffic -- you'll want to find a place near-ish where you work for sure.  The housing prices near downtown are quite high for Texas (because of the huge influx of people, I'm sure), but if you look up towards Round Rock it's a lot cheaper.  For reference, property taxes are actually 1% lower than I had in Dallas, and I do like the complete lack of a state income tax. 

I've lived in Dallas, San Francisco, and Austin, and of the three I find Austin to be (by far) the most laid back.  It has a nice vibe.  The city is growing so fast that transplants are the definitely the norm.  Austin has become an interesting mashup of Texas farmers, high-tech entrepreneurs, and Bay Area hipsters -- there's something for everyone here.

RootofGood

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 04:43:53 PM »
Raleigh resident.  We like it.  We live ~4 miles north of downtown in a neighborhood full of houses that only cost $120-160k.  0.25 acre lots, no HOA, taxes around $1200-1500/yr.  But within a mile or two, the house prices can double (location location location). 

My wife drives 25 minutes to Research Triangle Park- where the good jobs are (45 min to 1 hr drive during rush hour).  Her company relocated over a thousand staff from NYC due to higher quality of living here and lower costs (facility costs and personnel costs are lower).  Most of the people that moved here from NYC love it and think nothing of commuting 45 min-1 hr from their suburban houses in our "traffic" (that they laugh at). 

Public transit is limited.  In my area, there's plenty of ethnic food and restaurants, but other areas can be pretty plain Jane.  Downtown has a nice vibe to it, unlike 10-15 years ago when there wasn't much going on. 

Schools in Raleigh/Wake County are generally good, and there are some great charter school options if that is a concern.

We live in a hip neighborhood that is gentrifying, so there's ample cool people that get alternative lifestyles like mustachianism.  Lots of artists, work from home programmer types, musicians, and the like along with a mix of white and blue collar.  Of course each area of Raleigh is different. 

Just at lunch today we were discussing a job offer someone had for Northern Va. in Arlington.  It only paid $120k/yr and I would equate that to about $90-100k in Raleigh since housing is way cheaper (along with other things).  No one was really excited to leave Raleigh for NoVa.

BG

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 05:06:45 PM »
Thanks for all the helpful replies.

-I will definitely give some thought to Richmond.  Any suggestions on nice suburban neighborhoods with good schools, etc?  Or neighborhoods to avoid?

-On the Baltimore-DC commute, I wouldn't be doing the full thing.  If we went that route, we'd likely be in Columbia, which is about a 40-minute commuter train ride to DC Union Station.  So, the commute would still suck, but wouldn't be as appalling as driving from Baltimore to DC each day.

-On the job front, I work in Communications/PR/writing/editing.  Have done political, corporate, non-profit.  So, while I figure I could find SOMETHING just about anywhere, I don't think there's a natural area outside of the biggest metro areas where my "skill set" is particularly in-demand.  If anyone does have an idea for such a place, that would be appreciated. 

-On Austin / Round Rock -- I really like the northern suburbs and am amazed at the kind of house you can get there in the 250k range.  Definitely intriguing. 


smalllife

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 06:06:05 PM »
Thanks for all the helpful replies.

-I will definitely give some thought to Richmond.  Any suggestions on nice suburban neighborhoods with good schools, etc?  Or neighborhoods to avoid?

That is entirely dependent on your definition of "nice".  There are so many varieties of neighborhoods and vibes that we would need a bit more to go on.  Personally I'm a fan of the Near West End, Church Hill, and the areas closer to downtown but they aren't terribly suburban (the Near West End is old suburbia but not Short Pump).   It all depends on your priorities and what you want out of a neighborhood - bikability, access to interstates, attractions, etc. 

Paul der Krake

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 06:08:58 PM »
I love to hate Raleigh. As a life long city dweller, the city embodies everything I despise about suburbia and its armies of Lexus SUVs on Glenwood Avenue. You can get away with cycling with good research. Like RootOfGood says, location location.

RootofGood

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2013, 06:16:25 PM »
I love to hate Raleigh. As a life long city dweller, the city embodies everything I despise about suburbia and its armies of Lexus SUVs on Glenwood Avenue. You can get away with cycling with good research. Like RootOfGood says, location location.

I live just off a different major 8-10 lane road.  Cycling would be difficult on it.  But I used to cross it daily on foot when I was riding the bus to downtown. 

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2013, 06:20:37 PM »
I just wanted to chime in regarding Charleston. While it is more expensive than other parts of the state, again, a lot of it has to do with where you want to live. Obviously if you wanted to live on The Battery, cost of housing is very very high. There are reasonably priced homes all over. It has a great atmosphere, old south charm and lots of history. It is also a bit of a college town and tourist attraction, so you would have to deal with that as well. I think it is pretty easy to make a decent living in Charleston, but going rates are probably significantly less than DC for the same work. It all depends, of course.

CU Tiger

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2013, 06:57:10 PM »
I live in the Baltimore burbs. The husband commutes to DC. I have a 10 min commute. It is not necessary to do it all by car in this area, there are good trains to DC. There are also jobs in Baltimore, Columbia, Hunt Valley.

If we did not already own, I would look at living in Catonsville.

I like Baltimore, but it is a city and you have to contend with traffic and lots of people.

I would not live in Charleston. Too hot, too many bugs, and for SC it is expensive.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 08:20:20 PM by CU Tiger »

derekh

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2013, 07:39:36 PM »
I moved from Fairfax, VA to an area an hour outside of Raleigh.  I LOVE RALEIGH!  It is SOOO full of cool craft bars and culture both old and new.  Because of NCSU's unparalleled engineering facilities that opened up in the past few years, it is even better than ever for people with mechanical aptitude to live and work there!

bogart

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2013, 07:54:17 PM »
If you're considering Raleigh, you may as well consider Durham, particularly if you're going to be working in the RTP (as suggested up-thread).  Smaller, less traffic, also has a really good university albeit one with noticeably strained town-gown relations from time to time.  Plenty of affordable housing, particularly if you're willing to consider a fixer-up.  Quality of schools in the public system probably more varied (less consistently good) and no better than Raleigh (even at the high end of what's available), though.

Abe

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2013, 08:21:02 PM »
Native North Carolinian here! I've lived in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, which make up the Triangle area. 

Raleigh is nice, but too spread out for my taste. I'd say half the people in town are from DC, California or New York! If you are OK driving to everything, or biking long distance, then it is great.  Some of the newer developments are denser with nearby shops, but that is still rare. Public transportation is a joke. The public schools are quite good, and parents are very involved.

Do consider Durham or Chapel Hill. The advantage of Durham is it is closer to Research Triangle Park, where most of the engineering jobs are. Also, housing prices are cheaper for reasons elaborated below. The advantages of Chapel Hill are that it has great public transit, it is easy to walk around to places, and is very welcoming to transplants since almost everyone there is one. It is by far the smallest of the three cities and the most centered around college life.

The public schools in Durham are not good, to say the least. From my friends' reports, they aren't going to get any better anytime soon. There are parts of Durham that are nice though, especially towards the Raleigh or Chapel Hill sides. In addition, crime is a problem around Duke campus, but nothing compared to DC or other big cities. Crime in Raleigh and Chapel Hill is very low.

Also, if you are into college sports, Duke and Chapel Hill have a bit of a rivalry.

If you have further questions about any of these, feel free to private message me.

Good luck on your search!

Mini-Mer

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2013, 08:44:42 PM »
Has anyone mentioned the traffic in Austin?  ;-) 

Austin's public transportation is not terrible - I've never been totally marooned when I've used it - but it's not serious either.  If you want to use it, seek it out and practice patience.  I started working late regularly, and got tired of waiting for buses on top of that. 

If you're looking at Round Rock, there's not really mass transit up there, and depending on the time it can take you a while to get to Austin itself.  You do get more square footage for the money.  I hear the schools are good, and can vouch for the restaurants.

Otherwise, the main drawbacks are the summers (hot), the politics (Texas), the winters (if you like snow or have cedar allergies), and the population boom (welcome?).     

Rust

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2013, 07:04:22 AM »

-I will definitely give some thought to Richmond.  Any suggestions on nice suburban neighborhoods with good schools, etc?  Or neighborhoods to avoid?



Schools around Richmond are great.  Really cannot go wrong.  Even within the city the elementary schools (varies) are pretty good.  As for neighborhoods that all depends on where you want to work.  If you get a job downtown, I'd suggest looking at Manchester or the Fan, or carytown.  Manchester is just on the otherside of the river, is "up incoming" early with it's flip but comes with a perception (maybe rightfully so) of higher crime.  Access to parks is plentiful as you are connected to the james river park system which has trails to connect various parks and places to launch a boat.  The fan is trendy shopping, VCU, good bar scene.  Carytown has lots of shops, places to eat and is close to Byrd park and Maymont.  (Turn of the century Victorian mansion which was given to the city upon the owners deaths, has a zoo on property, some amazing gardens and is overall a great place to walk.)

If you work out in the west end, it's cookie cutter could be in Anytown, USA.  Big Mall (Short Pump) with a bunch of Fancypants shopping places.  Big homes on postage lots.  Schools are great and housing (while expensive for the area) is still affordable compared to DC.   I'd say they run about $134 per square foot for house costs.

I live in Midlothian and work just on the other side of the river.  My neighborhood is connected to three others via a trail system which is connected to a park.  The park is the site of the first coal mines in America.  Pretty cool ruins are there and they have built a recreation of one of the elevators to bring miners up and down.  Houses in Midlothian generally run about $114/sq. ft.


What I love about Richmond is you get a city full of history, (Revolutionary war, Civil war, overall just founding of this country type history) and no matter where you live your about 15 - 20 minutes away from anything.  City has an abundance of interstate style roads to move you from one spot to another.  I commute 10 miles a day and it takes me 14 minutes.  Richmond also has a thriving foodie, hipster, and active culture.  Monument Avenue 10k attracts over 30K each year, Runners World has dubbed Richmond "America's friendliest marathon, Xterra holds their East Coast championship in Richmond (http://www.xterraplanet.com/news/dsp_content.cfm?id=3300), in 2015 the UCI Road World Championships are here. 

I know I'm droning on but I really love this town.  Another cool thing that is in t he works is a Cap to Cap trail.  50 mile bike ride from Richmond to Williamsburg on bike paths the whole way.  http://virginiacapitaltrail.org/trail/


Nice article I saw with video and photos of some of the stuff I've talked about.
http://www.gadling.com/2012/01/24/richmond-americas-most-underrated-city/


TrulyStashin

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2013, 08:27:28 AM »

-I will definitely give some thought to Richmond.  Any suggestions on nice suburban neighborhoods with good schools, etc?  Or neighborhoods to avoid?



Schools around Richmond are great.  Really cannot go wrong.  Even within the city the elementary schools (varies) are pretty good.  As for neighborhoods that all depends on where you want to work.  If you get a job downtown, I'd suggest looking at Manchester or the Fan, or carytown.  Manchester is just on the otherside of the river, is "up incoming" early with it's flip but comes with a perception (maybe rightfully so) of higher crime.  Access to parks is plentiful as you are connected to the james river park system which has trails to connect various parks and places to launch a boat.  The fan is trendy shopping, VCU, good bar scene.  Carytown has lots of shops, places to eat and is close to Byrd park and Maymont.  (Turn of the century Victorian mansion which was given to the city upon the owners deaths, has a zoo on property, some amazing gardens and is overall a great place to walk.)

If you work out in the west end, it's cookie cutter could be in Anytown, USA.  Big Mall (Short Pump) with a bunch of Fancypants shopping places.  Big homes on postage lots.  Schools are great and housing (while expensive for the area) is still affordable compared to DC.   I'd say they run about $134 per square foot for house costs.

I live in Midlothian and work just on the other side of the river.  My neighborhood is connected to three others via a trail system which is connected to a park.  The park is the site of the first coal mines in America.  Pretty cool ruins are there and they have built a recreation of one of the elevators to bring miners up and down.  Houses in Midlothian generally run about $114/sq. ft.


What I love about Richmond is you get a city full of history, (Revolutionary war, Civil war, overall just founding of this country type history) and no matter where you live your about 15 - 20 minutes away from anything.  City has an abundance of interstate style roads to move you from one spot to another.  I commute 10 miles a day and it takes me 14 minutes.  Richmond also has a thriving foodie, hipster, and active culture.  Monument Avenue 10k attracts over 30K each year, Runners World has dubbed Richmond "America's friendliest marathon, Xterra holds their East Coast championship in Richmond (http://www.xterraplanet.com/news/dsp_content.cfm?id=3300), in 2015 the UCI Road World Championships are here. 

I know I'm droning on but I really love this town.  Another cool thing that is in t he works is a Cap to Cap trail.  50 mile bike ride from Richmond to Williamsburg on bike paths the whole way.  http://virginiacapitaltrail.org/trail/


Nice article I saw with video and photos of some of the stuff I've talked about.
http://www.gadling.com/2012/01/24/richmond-americas-most-underrated-city/

Fellow Richmonder here and refugee from N. Va where I grew up.   I love this town, too.  I work downtown and live in Chester, about 15 miles due south of downtown.  I taught in Chesterfield County Public Schools for 9 years and between me and Hybrid, who also worked in CCPS, we can school you on which area schools are the strongest.  There's an area of Chesterfield County called Bon Air with excellent schools that has a wide variety of housing prices.  I was just house hunting on Zillow last night and found this 3 Br/ 3 Ba 1700 sq feet in pre-foreclosure estimated to go at $113k   http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/11143-Guilford-Rd-North-Chesterfield-VA-23235/12152822_zpid/.  Even at market prices, homes in this area can be easily found for under $200k and it's a great location -- close to everything (though not very bikeable). 

A more bikeable area (though still not great) is the neighborhood of Raintree in the "Near West End" which also has great schools (Henrico County) also with nice houses and lots of trees for under $200k.  Raintree is a wonderful neighborhood full of walking trails and connected to a big county park by bike trail.  http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Henrico-County-VA-23238/pmf,pf_pt/67613_rid/37.627046,-77.577424,37.604848,-77.619438_rect/14_zm/  Immediately adjacent to Raintree is Godwin High School, http://www.greatschools.org/virginia/richmond/901-Mills-E.-Godwin-High-School/ connected to the neighborhood by a series of walking trails through a wide band of woods.  The neighborhood is full of families and it is a common sight to see the high school kids walking to school.  Godwin is a high-performing school but still diverse and not overly wealthy.  (Note:  I know so much about this because when my son was in middle school a few years ago, I was hunting for a better school district for him and after extensive research, Godwin was my choice.  Then my son was accepted into a magnet program and we didn't have to move).

If kids/ schools matter less or not at all, then the Old Manchester, Maymont, Byrd Park, Forest Hill, Woodland Heights, Carytown, the Museum District or Church Hill neighborhoods (in the city) are awesome places to live -- very bikeable and walkable.  Byrd Park and Maymont are gems.

Richmond has a funky vibe to it, too, if you know where to look.  Va Commonwealth University dominates the city and is renowned for its art and music schools.  For 10 years now, our Downtown core has been experiencing a steady revival -- even through the downturn -- with lofts, restaurants, craft breweries, and "gastro pubs" part of the scene.

Last night I toured Rocketts Landing as part of a work-networking event and saw the newest soon-to-arrive restaurant --  in the cliffs of the James River, the Yuengling Brothers opened a brewery right after the Civil War and stored their beer in a series of four stone caves.  The caves are slated for restoration and operation as a brewpub, restaurant, and biergarten overlooking the James.  It should be open by end of 2014.

The James River is an amazing asset -- people routinely swim, paddleboard, white water raft, and kayak; hiking trails along the river are numerous and part of an elaborate public park system.  Open air festivals are too numerous to mention.  You might want to visit Richmond for this one coming up the weekend of Oct. 11-13.   http://www.richmondfolkfestival.org/

In many ways, our regional economy is recession-proof.  We never ballooned as high as other markets in the mid-2000's but then our dip was no where near as low.  I think RVA's unemployment stayed under 8% throughout the recession.

Richmond is hosting the 2015 UCI World Road Racing (Bike) championship races and biking has become a hot topic of discussion.  The city is pushing hard to become more bikeable.  I'm a bike commuter and very supportive of city efforts.  The city is planning to study turning Floyd Ave into an east-west bike highway, dedicated to bikes.  I'm hopeful it happens.

Finally, there is a small but mighty Mustachian community here!  Hybrid, Rust, Recon, me, and a  few others who don't post are slowly getting to know one another.  C'mon down and visit!  We'll show you around.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2013, 08:42:52 AM »
RE:  Charleston

I often research the vulnerability of coastal communities to the impacts of climate change.  I'm a land use lawyer and climate change impacts and how cities/ counties will react to the impacts is a key part of my practice area.  I recommend great caution in considering any coastal area because of rising sea levels and storm damage.  Divorce and natural disasters are the two biggest wealth destroyers I can think of.   It's best to choose a place to live with a lower risk of natural disaster and/ or higher degree of resilience to disasters.   Here's a link to a report on Charleston.  http://slr.s3.amazonaws.com/factsheets/South_Carolina.pdf

Note:  this is NOT a political statement so please don't post back about climate change.  I'm simply pointing out the need to factor this in as one part of a rational analysis in choosing a place to live.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 08:44:35 AM by TrulyStashin »

livetogive

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2013, 11:05:59 AM »
RE:  Charleston

I often research the vulnerability of coastal communities to the impacts of climate change.  I'm a land use lawyer and climate change impacts and how cities/ counties will react to the impacts is a key part of my practice area.  I recommend great caution in considering any coastal area because of rising sea levels and storm damage.  Divorce and natural disasters are the two biggest wealth destroyers I can think of.   It's best to choose a place to live with a lower risk of natural disaster and/ or higher degree of resilience to disasters.   Here's a link to a report on Charleston.  http://slr.s3.amazonaws.com/factsheets/South_Carolina.pdf


I've heard about this field and am very intrigued.  Buddies and I have joked about certain areas being secular shorts but we're only half kidding.  Does the same hold true i.e. those who live on hills in San Francisco can expect to see property values rise with sea level?


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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2013, 11:32:09 AM »
-On Austin / Round Rock -- I really like the northern suburbs and am amazed at the kind of house you can get there in the 250k range.  Definitely intriguing.

This will only be ok if you work up north. As people have written, traffic has outpaced the infrastructure to handle it. if you live in Round Rock and work at Dell, great. If you live in Round Rock and work downtown, not-so-great (I-35 is particularly bad).

A central Austin bungalow can be had for about $300k. Not as much room as a RR/Leander Park house but it might be worth it to reduce a commute.

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2013, 11:56:30 AM »
I've heard about this field and am very intrigued.  Buddies and I have joked about certain areas being secular shorts but we're only half kidding.  Does the same hold true i.e. those who live on hills in San Francisco can expect to see property values rise with sea level?

In San Francisco, I'd be more concerned about earthquakes affecting property values in my lifetime.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2013, 12:05:20 PM »
RE:  Charleston

I often research the vulnerability of coastal communities to the impacts of climate change.  I'm a land use lawyer and climate change impacts and how cities/ counties will react to the impacts is a key part of my practice area.  I recommend great caution in considering any coastal area because of rising sea levels and storm damage.  Divorce and natural disasters are the two biggest wealth destroyers I can think of.   It's best to choose a place to live with a lower risk of natural disaster and/ or higher degree of resilience to disasters.   Here's a link to a report on Charleston.  http://slr.s3.amazonaws.com/factsheets/South_Carolina.pdf

I've heard about this field and am very intrigued.  Buddies and I have joked about certain areas being secular shorts but we're only half kidding.  Does the same hold true i.e. those who live on hills in San Francisco can expect to see property values rise with sea level?

Every Location A v. Location B debate is ultimately an analysis of trade-offs.  The questions become "what benefits are most important to you?" and "what risks are you willing to live with?"  That said, right now, few people consider climate change impacts in their analysis and this is a huge data-gap.   Without doubt, any rational analysis should include this issue.  Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Va Beach, etc) VA and New Orleans, LA are two of the most threatened locations WORLD WIDE.   For Norfolk, the odds of a flood covering areas of the city up to 4 feet above sea level are 1 in 2 -- by the year 2020.  That area of the city includes approximately 15,000 people and 7,000 housing units (at the 5 foot level, the numbers of affected people/ homes goes up dramatically).  Va Beach is similarly vulnerable.   Statewide, 149,000 people and 72,000 homes are in high-risk coastal areas.

The question becomes, at what point will cities and counties abandon certain areas?  Will the city be required to buy-out landowners (under the "takings" doctrine of the 5th Amendment) or can the city tell residents who refuse to leave these areas "Stay if you want, but we won't make any [road, sewer, water] repairs after the next storm.  You're on your own."

Another question looming:  how much will it cost (in capital and opportunity-cost) to adapt?  Relocate?  Abandon?  Who will insure such locations and how much will that cost?  And who pays for all of this, including repairs from natural disaster? 

Could this increase property values in interior states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio?  Perhaps.  It certainly gives them a market advantage.

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2013, 11:11:55 PM »
Digging up an d post. Sorry but don't take my word for how awesome Richmond is.

http://www.frommers.com/slideshows/847926-frommer-s-top-destinations-for-2014#slide848252

It's a Frommers 2014 top destination. Right up there with the big island, Bali, India, and lots of places you'd expect to see in the list.

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2013, 07:59:16 AM »
First, I know this is an older thread.

I will add that Richmond is a cooler city than people think. I grew up in N VA but have traveled to and still have friends in Richmond.

I actually live in Charlotte, NC now and would suggest you consider it as well. More compact than Raleigh/Durham. 2.5 hours from the mountains (Asheville is great), 3 hours from Charleston, so easy to make a weekend getaway either direction. Good job opportunities, cheap housing, close-ish to DC for visits or flying is easy also. Has a good downtown if you want a city and some nice arty areas as well (NoDA, Plaza Midwood).

Samsam

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2013, 08:53:37 AM »
First, I know this is an older thread.

I will add that Richmond is a cooler city than people think. I grew up in N VA but have traveled to and still have friends in Richmond.

I actually live in Charlotte, NC now and would suggest you consider it as well. More compact than Raleigh/Durham. 2.5 hours from the mountains (Asheville is great), 3 hours from Charleston, so easy to make a weekend getaway either direction. Good job opportunities, cheap housing, close-ish to DC for visits or flying is easy also. Has a good downtown if you want a city and some nice arty areas as well (NoDA, Plaza Midwood).

I live there too and I love it!  There is always a different part of the city I visit depending on my mood. 

blackfedora

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2013, 09:09:01 AM »
I just moved to Charleston a year ago after graduating college.

Pro's:
- Very accepting of outsiders; probably a third of the people I meet here are transplants from the rust belt/north east.
- Efficient commuting, especially if your company will allow you to avoid rush hour. I live in West Ashley and can be anywhere in the Charleston Area in less than 20 minutes thanks to I-526. It's not as ideal as a bike commute, but many areas of town are becoming increasingly bike friendly as well. The only issue is that most businesses have offices in North Charleston or on the Charleston peninsula, so biking to work is not very feasible if you're living in the more affordable parts of town.
- Academic Magnet. Charleston County is home to one of the best High schools in the country. Charleston has great educational offerings from Montessori preschools to the College of Charleston (incredibly low in-state tuition!).
- Thriving cultural center. My Yankee friends call it the Portland of the south (though that title probably belongs to Asheville NC). As mustachians we don't partake often, but the fine dining in this city is amazing. There's great theatre and improv comedy downtown, food truck rodeos, 4 or 5 local breweries, a government subsidized rock climbing park, and of course, the beaches.
- Climate is beautiful. I ran the AC from June to August, and I just turned on the Heat last week, but for most of the year you can just leave the windows open.

Cons:
- most of the work to be had falls into DoD, Medical, and Tourism, and the sequester is starting to hit the DoD shops pretty hard.
- While certain communities like Park Circle, the Greenway, and Downtown are pretty bike/walking friendly, the city as a whole definitely still requires a car.
- Global Warming is a legitimate issue (Downtown regularly floods just from a typical thunderstorm that comes with high tide). I bought my house with this in mind, but it means  that you will almost definitely have a longer commute. (I work from home though, so not as much of an issue for me personally).
- Housing is cheap and plentiful, but not very mustacian. New construction is all McMansions, and older houses are ridiculously priced for the square footage.

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2013, 09:44:55 AM »
I found and rented a cheap apartment in downtown DC in one day in 2000.  With its own parking spot. 
Rent was circa $650 a month.

Was it pretty?  No.
Was it stylish?  Hell no.
Was it convenient?  Hell yes.
Was it safe?  Not if you come home late at night, stumbling drunk.  If you pay attention, absolutely.

simonsez

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2013, 10:07:31 AM »
Speaking of the Raleigh-Durham area................

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzkWTcDZFH0&noredirect=1

Sorry, couldn't resist.

hybrid

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2013, 10:35:54 AM »
First, I know this is an older thread.

I will add that Richmond is a cooler city than people think. I grew up in N VA but have traveled to and still have friends in Richmond.

I actually live in Charlotte, NC now and would suggest you consider it as well. More compact than Raleigh/Durham. 2.5 hours from the mountains (Asheville is great), 3 hours from Charleston, so easy to make a weekend getaway either direction. Good job opportunities, cheap housing, close-ish to DC for visits or flying is easy also. Has a good downtown if you want a city and some nice arty areas as well (NoDA, Plaza Midwood).

+1 more on give metro Richmond a long look.  I've lived here 41 years and like my home town more with each passing year.  One day I woke up and we went from sleepy to cool.  Not sure what tipped us in that direction, but it happened all the same.  Like TrulyStashin says, the revitalization of downtown, some formerly light industrial areas and Old Manchester (across the 9th St bridge from downtown) has had a major role in that.  We have a plethora of quality microbreweries too!  (Legend, Hardywood, Center of the Universe, Midnight Brewery, and a few more just opened up...)

I currently live in what I call a diamond-in-the-rough area just inside the Chesterfield County line.  There is a pocket of about 1000 homes in a quadrant bordered by Route 10, the Falling Creek reservoir, Meadowbrook Country Club, and Chippenham Parkway (Google map zip code 23234).  Most of these homes were built by W.S. Carnes in the 60s and 70s for the executives of DuPont and Philip Morris when 2400 SF was considered gynormous, and he was well known for the quality of his home construction.  Homes range from 1600 SF to well over 3000 SF, the typical lot is a 1/2 acre in my neighborhood.  The areas surrounding my neighborhood aren't as nice, so my area of the county gets overlooked by the sheeple wanting new, hot, and trendy.

The upside is that my 2400 SF, solid as a rock, 100% brick rancher on 1/2 acre would only set you back 180K in today's market.  Compared to DC, that's just plain stupid cheap.  Compared to the trendy West End of Richmond, that's probably 75-100K lower.

The downside is the schools are the least desirable in Chesterfield and it is not as convenient to the best shopping and restaurants (oh heaven forbid a whole 15 minute drive to Stony Point or Carytown....).  As a Mustachian you don't care about public perception about schools (all of the schools in Chesterfield are relatively good, it's the demographics that are different) or being five minutes from Whole Foods, you want the best home for the money.  I can bike to work in downtown Richmond and when I commute by car I am there in 18 minutes while never touching the Interstate.

I convinced long time Mustachian Buddy (LuckBetterSkill) to move to my neighborhood about 18 months ago and he loves it. 

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2013, 03:21:14 PM »
I currently live in what I call a diamond-in-the-rough area just inside the Chesterfield County line.  There is a pocket of about 1000 homes in a quadrant bordered by Route 10, the Falling Creek reservoir, Meadowbrook Country Club, and Chippenham Parkway (Google map zip code 23234).  Most of these homes were built by W.S. Carnes in the 60s and 70s for the executives of DuPont and Philip Morris when 2400 SF was considered gynormous, and he was well known for the quality of his home construction.  Homes range from 1600 SF to well over 3000 SF, the typical lot is a 1/2 acre in my neighborhood.  The areas surrounding my neighborhood aren't as nice, so my area of the county gets overlooked by the sheeple wanting new, hot, and trendy.

The upside is that my 2400 SF, solid as a rock, 100% brick rancher on 1/2 acre would only set you back 180K in today's market.  Compared to DC, that's just plain stupid cheap.  Compared to the trendy West End of Richmond, that's probably 75-100K lower.

The downside is the schools are the least desirable in Chesterfield and it is not as convenient to the best shopping and restaurants (oh heaven forbid a whole 15 minute drive to Stony Point or Carytown....).  As a Mustachian you don't care about public perception about schools (all of the schools in Chesterfield are relatively good, it's the demographics that are different) or being five minutes from Whole Foods, you want the best home for the money.  I can bike to work in downtown Richmond and when I commute by car I am there in 18 minutes while never touching the Interstate.

I convinced long time Mustachian Buddy (LuckBetterSkill) to move to my neighborhood about 18 months ago and he loves it.

You have just described my neighborhood exactly.  Except it is in Raleigh! 

Built in the 60's and 70's.  Rock solid homes.  1000 houses in the neighborhood.  Some areas around it are rough.  Schools are nearly the least desirable in the whole county, but good by most measures (especially compared to rural schools).  With magnet options, you can choose to go to the really nice schools if you don't mind driving an extra 5-10 minutes (we're in the middle of the city) or put your kid on a bus for 20 minutes (no problem with that). 

Houses are similar in size - 1200 sf to 2500 sf for $100-150k.  The area used to be very nice (where the rich people lived) before they moved to the area a few miles away that gentrified.  Houses a few miles away are 2-4x the prices here for no better (and often older) construction.  Since we are 2-3 miles from the richest part of town, high end shopping isn't very far away.  And all the stores that mustachians would probably like are nearby (many within walking distance).  And we're on a major bus route, so you can actually get around fairly easily on foot or by transit. 

Our neighborhood is full of awesome real people that are very varied and diverse.  And interesting.  And mustachian without even knowing it. 

These little enclaves of ours are awesome secrets.  Apparently realtors steer people away from our neighborhood because some undesirables live elsewhere in the zip code. 

hybrid

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Re: Perceptions on NC - SC - TX - MD
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2013, 09:23:23 AM »
These little enclaves of ours are awesome secrets.  Apparently realtors steer people away from our neighborhood because some undesirables live elsewhere in the zip code.

Don't you know it!  There is a part of me that just doesn't get it when people turn their nose up at my general area then remark about how nice the neighborhood is.  I have encouraged many of my good friends to move here.  The difference of course being that for the vast majority of people location, location, location still moves real estate.

Well, our little secret then...  No matter how many times I tell folks otherwise.  ;-)