Author Topic: Reader Case Study: Most Moustachian Town To Live in the US (moving from Australi  (Read 8197 times)

kylew

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Hi there,

My wife and I have recently made the move to the US from Australia to take on new challenges while we are still young (both 26yo).

Part of the attraction was the lower living costs here. Like MMM I have a website which at the moment generates 100% of our income. However, we are finding it difficult to find an appropriate Moustachian town to live in in which we can leverage low rent with being able to cycle most places. My only internet knowledge of many US towns really does not help this.

We have mostly been staying with family in Iowa and at Airbnb locations.

Current income: $2000 p.m. - should double in the next 6 months
Current savings: $9,243
Debt: $0
Expenses: Other then accom. pretty minimal as we don't pay for internet, phone etc. We left that all behind. Although we will add a few things back in once settling.

Ideal house:
Somewhere we can have a 2bdrm would be fantastic for our family visiting from Australia. It should ideally be in a town where we can bike ride or public transport easily to shops and meeting locations.
Originally Boulder, CO and Oakland, CA both appealed to me because of the tech scene, easy access to outdoor activities and ticking the box on bike rideable. However we are yet to find an affordable renting location in either of those cities.
Prices should be no more then $1,000 p.m. because, you know, we need to eat.

Am I crazy? Does a place like this even exist? If it does I would LOVE your suggestions. Also questions if I've left something out.



kylew

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Why are you looking to rent a 2 bedroom if, say, 98% of the time, a 1 bedroom would perfectly suit your needs?  I've never understood having an extra guest room for the 5 days per year when people actually use it.   Plus, a one bedroom would better fit your budget, and allow you to live in places with more attractive communities.

Valid point. I do work from home so that second bedroom would also be an office.

We have looked at one bedrooms too and have still been priced out of the market. A two bedroom is just the 'ideal' but we are flexible.

Do you have any town recommendations?

Annf

  • Guest
How about Lincoln Nebraska?  I lived there for years and recently moved to Madison, WI and Lincoln prices are about 20% less. Great bike paths and bus schedules are ok. Try to live near bus routes going directly to the university because they run significantly more often. I also own rental property and you can find a nice house for under $1000/month.

RetiredAt63

  • CMTO 2023 Attendees
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *
  • Posts: 20802
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
What about weather?  How long is this stay?  We are in spring now, but do you really want to experience a Northern winter?

If you do, Canada has some LOC areas, and we truly have winter and know how to enjoy it, plus we like our fellow Commonwealth members.

Of course you might prefer not to freeze to death  ;-)

MDM

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11491
You could try www.findyourspot.com, if you don't mind entering an e-mail address to get the results.

Various "best cycling cities" sites are available, e.g. http://www.bicycling.com/news/featured-stories/bicyclings-top-50 and http://bikeleague.org/bfa/awards.

Average rental price sites include http://average-rent.findthebest.com/, etc.

Good luck!


prefrontalfinance

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Age: 34
My first thought was to try some smaller 'college' towns. I don't know what your budget is exactly, but for example, Eugene Oregon seems to have some 2 bedroom apts for around 800-1000 per month. Great town for biking year round with solid bus system. A slightly smaller town would be Corvallis Oregon - its weather is a bit drier, too. Both towns have public universities and so there will be some arts/music/culture/sports.

I'm sure other states have similar small to medium towns with large university student populations that are moderately good for biking around as well.

For browsing apartments, most people in the US use websites like padmapper and craigslist. Here's a list of a few other services that are popular:

http://lifehacker.com/five-best-apartment-search-tools-1571103043

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
look up Bellingham Washington.

ch12

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 592

Even with your description, it's very hard to figure out what you're looking for.  I can't tell whether you're looking for something cosmopolitan or woodsy.  I'd have thought Madison would be a pretty attractive, or Minneapolis.  Highly educated, progressive community... but also have beautiful outdoor spaces.  These places are NOTHING like Boulder or Oakland, so I have very little confidence  in making a recommendation.  But maybe you could AirBnb a few and see what suits you.

Have you read Mr. Money Mustache's recent 'Stashtown post? Longmont is very slightly cheaper to rent in than Boulder. I'm finding 2 bd places in the downtown area for around $800 +- $100.

http://www.walkscore.com/apartments/search/loc?lat=40.16879821345952&lng=-105.08886337280273

I live in Madison. The upside is that many, many people in this area are highly educated. The downside is the length of winter and the severity of it. http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/04/nation/la-na-nn-cold-weather-20140104 It can snow around the end of October to the beginning of April. It's very beautiful here, and people are on average very nice. There are always people running outside or walking along with a stroller and/or a dog. The cost of living is very low, notwithstanding the lady who moved from Lincoln. I also got sticker shock moving from my college town, but the job opportunities here are quite nice.


EDIT: It's very bikeable. My coworkers who live downtown tell me that it's faster to bike places than it is to drive, because it's hard to find parking. There are bike lanes galore and bike paths.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 05:48:25 PM by ch12 »

Hugh H

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Let me get this straight... your business is 100% dependent on the internet, yet you have no internet? Just the ad money on auto-pilot?

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4958
Where in IA have you stayed?  I grew up in Ames and find it very bikeable with great busses for the awful winter months.  Cheap rent, good organic foods coop if you ever need specialty food (this is a major issue in the similar sized town that I currently live in- I have to drive over an hour to the next big city if I want certain things) good cultural stuff given the size if the town due to the university.

I think Iowa city and Des Moines would also meet your needs, so I am assuming there is something else that you don't like about Iowa, or that you are looking for but haven't named yet.

Any medium (under 100k people) sized college town might be a pretty good bet.  They are usually fairly cheap since they aren't a big city, but have many of the big city advantages due to the college.  Plus great cheap ethnic restaurant food ;)

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
You make money from a website, which means you can live ANYWHERE. Why does a city with a tech scene matter? Tech cities will be expensive, because tech cities make a lot of money.

Figure out climate you want. There are low COL cities pretty much everywhere in the US. It's hard to give specific recommendations.

Also, most anywhere can be made Mustachian if you're flexible, especially since you only have to worry about shopping proximity and green space, not also job proximity.

historienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 376
This is not specific location advice, but I'd try looking for a one bedroom plus a spot at a suitable coworking space.  This should be significantly cheaper than a two bedroom apartment in most places, and would have the added advantage of helping you get to know people in your new location.  Coworking spots are particularly plentiful in tech-heavy cities.

ch12

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 592
Tech cities will be expensive, because tech cities make a lot of money.

Figure out climate you want. There are low COL cities pretty much everywhere in the US. It's hard to give specific recommendations.

Also, most anywhere can be made Mustachian if you're flexible, especially since you only have to worry about shopping proximity and green space, not also job proximity.

+1 to that

I will say that tech cities are not always ultra expensive - we think of SF and the ridiculous COL over there, and that's not a very Mustachian place to live.


Here is a list of the top 25 tech areas in the US:



http://www.citylab.com/work/2013/10/americas-top-25-high-tech-hotspots/7335/

Moving to one of the high tech places that is also a college town should probably swing you a $1000 rent and affordable COL.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 09:25:41 PM by ch12 »

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4385
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Florida
I would recommend the college town suggestion.  Figure out what climate is right for you, then lookup the big state colleges in those climates.  You also tend to be able to find $400/bedroom housing because that's what state students can typically afford.    They also are more bike friendly and progressive because let's face it, between professors and students,  75% of the town doesn't really work.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 454
If you want a bigger city, look at Pittsburgh— tons of colleges/universities and dirt cheap historic houses. Walkable and increasingly bikeable. Rentals are cheap and owning is even cheaper. It's a rainy climate, but not as cold as the upper Midwest (Madison, etc.).

If you want to live in the Big City, Chicago is the quite affordable for one, and has a good enough transit system that living carfree wouldn't be a particular compromise. It's likewise decently walkable and increasingly bikeable.

historienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 376
They also are more bike friendly and progressive because let's face it, between professors and students,  75% of the town doesn't really work.

This reads like a claim that professors don't "really work."  Which is, frankly, both incorrect and insulting.

RetiredAt63

  • CMTO 2023 Attendees
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *
  • Posts: 20802
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
@historienne - lots of people think teachers don't work that hard.  I have seen so many professionals come in to a community college to teach a specialty course.  They think it will be so easy.  They last one semester.
The reason so many professors at Universities are not into early retirement is not that they don't work hard.  They just love what they do, so why retire?
I'm with you, it's incorrect and insulting - but how do we get people to change their opinion? Put them in a classroom for a year?
Rant over.

They also are more bike friendly and progressive because let's face it, between professors and students,  75% of the town doesn't really work.

This reads like a claim that professors don't "really work."  Which is, frankly, both incorrect and insulting.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4385
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Florida
Sorry for getting the thread off topic.  I should have probably said have a better quality of life.  That's been my observation in living in two college towns


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk