Author Topic: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)  (Read 1678 times)

lesmalheurs

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Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« on: June 24, 2018, 03:31:14 PM »
Hello,

A lot of people ask about relocation advice, and I won't be any different here...

Context: 35, married, kids, job in IT.

I currently live in Fort Worth. Life is cheap here, I have to admit. When it comes to wealth building, I'm able to save 50-60k a year. The problem is... it's boring... In terms of activities I like, DFW has very little to offer. The impression I have is that people here spend most of their time either shopping, eating at restaurants or simply staying at home due to the heat. I don't like shopping, I'm not a foodie, and I especially like hiking and biking.

I've started doing a small research on my own, but it's tough, since I haven't lived anywhere else in the US.

I'm basically looking for a place with a better access to outdoors with a comparable cost of living. Any recommendations?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 03:53:07 PM by lesmalheurs »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 03:44:06 PM »
Here's a best places to live for outdoors access list: https://www.outsideonline.com/2105956/best-places-live-us-2016

I think the big problem will be job opportunities balanced with lower COL. Obviously places like Denver and Seattle have lots of IT jobs and beautiful outdoors, but they are not LCOL. So maybe look for cities with less of an IT scene and try to find a WFH position?

DreamFIRE

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 03:45:48 PM »
Many places.  There's also a sticky thread dedicated to the topic:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/mustachian-relocation-guide

I'm considering Tennessee personally for similar reasons along with low cost of living (in most areas) and for not being clear across the country from where I live now.

Noodle

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 10:31:44 PM »
Well, the upside is that since you already live in Texas, a relatively conservative area won't freak you out too much. The people looking for liberal politics, nature, and a low cost of living are tough to help.

What about the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan) since you have kids and need to think about the education system? Long winters, though, which may not be for you. The Upper South (western Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee), is really beautiful and not insanely hot but I don't know that I'd want to put kids through school there (although even those areas have college towns or cities that have more options.) Another choice would be the Intermountain West--Montana, Idaho, parts of Utah and Colorado (not Denver), even eastern Washington and Oregon--although there the suspicion of government spending tends to have an impact on public amenities. All those areas get some snow but there are parts where the winters are not too awful, especially at lower altitudes.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 08:37:49 AM »
Well, the upside is that since you already live in Texas, a relatively conservative area won't freak you out too much. The people looking for liberal politics, nature, and a low cost of living are tough to help.

What about the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan) since you have kids and need to think about the education system? Long winters, though, which may not be for you. The Upper South (western Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee), is really beautiful and not insanely hot but I don't know that I'd want to put kids through school there (although even those areas have college towns or cities that have more options.) Another choice would be the Intermountain West--Montana, Idaho, parts of Utah and Colorado (not Denver), even eastern Washington and Oregon--although there the suspicion of government spending tends to have an impact on public amenities. All those areas get some snow but there are parts where the winters are not too awful, especially at lower altitudes.

If it weren't for politics and hard winters, I would LOVE to live in Baker City Oregon. It is absolutely beautiful. The camping near there in [area I will never tell people because I will take the secret to my grave] is some of the best I have ever found anywhere. Unlike Wyoming, New Mexico, Idaho and Colorado, national forest is truly free access in Oregon for recreational use, and there aren't weird ranch access issues that block you from just going into a gorgeous forest and finding somewhere to camp for a week or so.

dot

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 02:32:11 PM »
In the mean time, have you tried hiking and biking in North Texas? Since there's no real winter, you can do them year round, there are miles and miles of country roads, plus mountain bike trails and state parks all over the place. Yeah, it's not a "walk out the door into the mountains" situation, but the cycling scene is huge, and there's a lot more nature than you might realize.

Cranky

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 04:45:11 PM »
What is it that you want to do outside that DFW doesn’t offer? My sister liv s in Midland, which is not particularly charming, but they belong to hiking by groups and do tons of excursions.

CogentCap

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 10:49:04 AM »
Michigan is gorgeous and cheap AF (excluding Ann Arbor and a few higher-price vacation towns on the Great Lakes).

Ecky

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 10:57:59 AM »
Burlington VT might be your speed if you can handle the winters. I personally like them.

Half an hour from downtown by car and 4 hours by foot up a mountain with my brother:



Just across the lake:



The view from my apartment:





Queen City Park, about a 20 minute walk:




Housing is on the high side here, but otherwise the COL and wages are both pretty average. It's not Michigan cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but quality of life is great. Today (June 26th) the high is 76 with 30% humidity, and sunny. Low tonight is 58.

EDIT: IT is pretty booming here, at least for a town of its size.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 11:04:28 AM by Ecky »

lesmalheurs

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 02:57:58 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the responses.

In the mean time, have you tried hiking and biking in North Texas? Since there's no real winter, you can do them year round, there are miles and miles of country roads, plus mountain bike trails and state parks all over the place. Yeah, it's not a "walk out the door into the mountains" situation, but the cycling scene is huge, and there's a lot more nature than you might realize.
I agree there are some options, and as you said the weather is good almost all year round (except summers), but it's mediocre compared to other places in the country. When it comes to mountain biking are you referring to DORBA trails in DFW?

dot

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 10:50:38 AM »

I agree there are some options, and as you said the weather is good almost all year round (except summers), but it's mediocre compared to other places in the country. When it comes to mountain biking are you referring to DORBA trails in DFW?

Yes, that's what I meant. I just wanted to make sure that you weren't just pining for somewhere else without knowing what's already in the backyard, but it sounds like you do (and I'm definitely not denying that other locations are more appealing, especially when it's 104° out).

partdopy

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Re: Relocation advice (currently bored in DFW)
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 11:38:19 AM »
Here's a best places to live for outdoors access list: https://www.outsideonline.com/2105956/best-places-live-us-2016

I think the big problem will be job opportunities balanced with lower COL. Obviously places like Denver and Seattle have lots of IT jobs and beautiful outdoors, but they are not LCOL. So maybe look for cities with less of an IT scene and try to find a WFH position?

I just relocated from Gainesville, FL to Denver, it's a great area for hiking / biking.  Denver being a HCOL area is up to the individual I think, my rent in Gainesville was 1200/month living in a nicer area with a large apartment, and when I moved to Denver I specifically looked for a smaller space in a decent area.  Currently pay 1050/month and live about 1 mile outside of the Cherry Creek neighborhood, where a similar apartment goes for about 1800.

Even with a family you should be able to find decent housing for an acceptable price (barring moving to San Francisco or something), you just have to look for areas populated by more blue collar people instead of areas populated by IT hipsters.  Not that there is anything wrong with IT hipsters, I'm surrounded by them at work, I just wouldn't choose to pay 2300/month for a 2 bedroom apartment next to the shopping mall.