Author Topic: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal  (Read 30893 times)

begood

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[I modified the thread title to better reflect that it's MY ideal, not anyone else's!]

I read on another thread recently (can't find it! holler if it was you!) that there are three things that make an impact on a job - people, work, money. You hope to always have two of the three be positive at any given job.

As I continue to dream of what our next stage might look like - probably in ten years, could be as few as five or six - I keep coming back to the fact that what I'm looking for and what I currently have are not in congruence.

I have:

Negative: High cost of living
Negative: Cold, messy, long winters
Positive: Strong, socially liberal community

I'd like:

Positive: Low cost of living
Positive: Mild(er) climate - shorter winters, longer summers
Positive: Socially liberal community

Some places do come to mind: Asheville and Charlotte NC; Nashville TN; Athens GA. Chapel Hill, where I grew up, is pretty HCOL compared to other spots in NC. Maybe there are hundreds of college towns where I'd find that, and I just don't know about them.

But I'd love to hear about other areas of the country where I might find that trifecta. It feels like the places that are more liberal tend to be HCOL and/or less desirable climate-wise.

I have another dream list that includes things like access to an int'l airport, good health care options, and a Costco, but it seems like looking at climate, cost of living, and overall community values structure would be a good place to start.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 10:56:04 AM by begood »

velocistar237

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 07:57:25 AM »
There was a search for the perfect ERE city on the ERE forums. There's a list of candidates on the ERE wiki. Jacob was seriously considering Eugene, OR.

I heard that COL was rising in places like Charlotte, but it doesn't look like it from the real estate prices.

Has anyone created a Mustachian city metric that could be compiled from readily available data?

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2015, 08:07:52 AM »
There was a search for the perfect ERE city on the ERE forums. There's a list of candidates on the ERE wiki. Jacob was seriously considering Eugene, OR.

I heard that COL was rising in places like Charlotte, but it doesn't look like it from the real estate prices.

Has anyone created a Mustachian city metric that could be compiled from readily available data?

I'll check out the ERE wiki - thanks for that tip, velocistar237! What I find in my admittedly cursory research so far is that the more desirable areas of Charlotte and the Triangle have higher COL. Duh, I guess. :) There's plenty of LCOL areas in NC, some even near big cities like Charlotte, but it veers from blue to purple to deep red pretty quickly once you're out of the metro areas. I like Davidson, NC - close enough to the airport, close to Lake Norman, more liberal than much of NC because of the college-town atmosphere. But real estate is expensive there compared to more rural areas further afield.

And I have seen a city metric - a member created it - but I don't know if it included climate and political persuasion.

frugalnacho

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 08:10:32 AM »
There was a search for the perfect ERE city on the ERE forums. There's a list of candidates on the ERE wiki. Jacob was seriously considering Eugene, OR.

I heard that COL was rising in places like Charlotte, but it doesn't look like it from the real estate prices.

Has anyone created a Mustachian city metric that could be compiled from readily available data?

Hehe.  The idea of a mustachian city metric has me giggling, even though it's actually a cool idea. 

justajane

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 08:13:44 AM »
What do you define as a short winter? i.e. Would areas of the lower Midwest fit the bill? That would open up other places for you.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2015, 08:25:40 AM »
What do you define as a short winter? i.e. Would areas of the lower Midwest fit the bill? That would open up other places for you.

Does "shorter than the one I experience in southeast PA" work? ;)

I lived in Cincinnati for a couple of years. Really effing cold there, I've gotta say. I liked the Memphis winters but didn't love the super hot muggy summers. SO much hotter in Memphis than in Orlando. I actually loved the weather in Orlando, but my mister missed autumn. So maybe it's better to say I'd like four seasons with milder summers and winters?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2015, 08:31:12 AM »
The border regions of Texas are warm (not exactly mild, though) and they certainly vote Democrat, though what "socially liberal" mean to people seems to change day-by-day. Definitely cheap.

garion

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2015, 08:32:53 AM »
Asheville actually has a pretty high COL from what I can tell because everyone wants to live there. When we visit, we usually avoid crazy Asheville hotel prices by staying in neighboring Black Mountain. It is cute and less expensive, but I can't speak to the politics there.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2015, 08:36:58 AM »
Asheville actually has a pretty high COL from what I can tell because everyone wants to live there. When we visit, we usually avoid crazy Asheville hotel prices by staying in neighboring Black Mountain. It is cute and less expensive, but I can't speak to the politics there.

Yes, Asheville proper is pretty expensive. Black Mountain and Swannanoa are less expensive, but also more isolated. I would imagine there's a mixed bag, politically speaking, in the outer areas. Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa is crunchy granola, for example.

I had not considered Texas - or anywhere in the West, really, since my orientation is so markedly East Coast. We felt VERY far from home when we lived in Memphis. Central Time Zone! Crazypants! But this is why I put the question to the group at large - y'all are from every old where, and the time will come when we could choose to uproot and set down somewhere completely new.

Maybe a better term than "socially liberal" would be "politically blue"? I don't know. I grew up in a liberal college town in an overall conservative state. I find I'm more comfortable in those kinds of towns, so that's where I hope to retire.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 08:41:52 AM by begood »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2015, 08:43:56 AM »
Maybe also question your desire to live in an echo chamber? (If you'd be discriminated against someplace, that I get. But others on this forum have said they did a "Prius count" to decide whether a places was OK. That's bizarre.)

justajane

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2015, 08:53:23 AM »
What do you define as a short winter? i.e. Would areas of the lower Midwest fit the bill? That would open up other places for you.

Does "shorter than the one I experience in southeast PA" work? ;)

I lived in Cincinnati for a couple of years. Really effing cold there, I've gotta say. I liked the Memphis winters but didn't love the super hot muggy summers. SO much hotter in Memphis than in Orlando. I actually loved the weather in Orlando, but my mister missed autumn. So maybe it's better to say I'd like four seasons with milder summers and winters?

This is a hard combo to find. I feel ya, though. I've often said to my husband that this would be my ideal year: 8 months of real spring/fall temperatures (i.e. a high between 60-70, lows between 40-50), 2 months of swimming weather (i.e. highs of 85), and 2 months of winter (high of 30/40ish to allow for some snow).

Sadly, this precision doesn't exist in nature. I loved English weather overall, although I could do without the spitting, cold rain and the wind.

Here in Missouri, we seem to get the worst of both worlds. In one year, our temps can swing from 0 to 102 degrees, sometimes even more. It sucks, but at least it's cheap. :)

Regarding politics, you can find liberal enclaves all over the country. I live in a liberal area, but the state I live in is solidly red now, and you wouldn't have to drive far to enter solidly red areas.

Is Austin not on your list because it's hot or because it's getting more and more expensive? Also, what about areas of Kentucky? What about Knoxville? Or Louisville?

TheFixer

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2015, 08:54:40 AM »
We've been looking for years, and it doesn't seem to exist.
Find a place on the map w/ mild climate & liberal, and the COL is sky high (compared to the upper midwest).
Find a place down south w/ nice climate & LCOL and the yards around the mobile homes are populated by jacked up trucks w/ rebel flag mudflaps.
And then there's LCOL areas w/ liberal minds that have nasty winters (MN & WI cities).

Subscribed in hope of new possibilities being mentioned.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2015, 08:58:38 AM »
Maybe also question your desire to live in an echo chamber? (If you'd be discriminated against someplace, that I get. But others on this forum have said they did a "Prius count" to decide whether a places was OK. That's bizarre.)

I would not be discriminated against myself, but I have family members who might be. I've lived in conservative spots (Greensboro NC, Memphis TN, even Cincinnati has a strong conservative streak). In my younger years, I was content to keep my views to myself in order to make friends - we just knew what we couldn't talk about, and we found enough in common to make that work. But oh, the joy I felt when I moved to a community that was much more solidly liberal, where I could speak freely about how I felt and feel understood and accepted. This is not a small thing, and it doesn't constitute an echo chamber, in my view. As the child of a journalist, I was taught to read widely and voraciously, and to form my own opinion rather than blindly follow any particular credo or ideology.

If there's a good thing about getting older, it's feeling more secure in being who I am. I experienced a lot of cognitive dissonance when we lived in those more conservative places, where I felt that to be accepted, I had to hide the parts of myself that wouldn't meet with community approval. I felt... out of place. If I have the choice, I'd rather not to back to feeling like that.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2015, 09:07:03 AM »
Tucson is liberal and low COL and eight months of ideal weather. However, you wouldn't want to be here in summer if you didn't have to be. If you could leave in the summers, it meets your other criteria.

justajane

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2015, 09:09:46 AM »
Tucson is liberal and low COL and eight months of ideal weather. However, you wouldn't want to be here in summer if you didn't have to be. If you could leave in the summers, it meets your other criteria.

And there's Flagstaff for the reverse effect. In other words, you might want to escape the winter snow.

Or has housing gotten too expensive in Flagstaff?

MayDay

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2015, 09:13:48 AM »
There are lists online of best college towns.  Pretty much any college town will have socially liberal, and cheap if you look at the right size of town.  Then just pick the geography you want.

That is basically what we are searching based on, but our geography goal is more Midwest, with an emphasis on being close enough to a major city for access to excellent health care and reasonable airport costs, etc. 

I don't plan to retire somewhere warm (awful summers, ick) I hope to just winter somewhere southern for January and February. 

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2015, 09:16:18 AM »
Is Austin not on your list because it's hot or because it's getting more and more expensive? Also, what about areas of Kentucky? What about Knoxville? Or Louisville?

I hadn't considered any of Texas before today, but I'll have to rethink that! I will take a look at Austin and those border areas mentioned above. I think the college towns in KY and TN have potential - Lexington, Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville. Although after so long in NC and FL, we felt really landlocked in both Memphis and Cincinnati, so maybe those interior KY and TN cities would feel like that too?

For you AZ folk, I looooove Arizona. Flagstaff is freakin' gorgeous, and Tucson has all that sky. And I have family in Scottsdale. I could see snowbirding there.

I like eastern Maryland for climate but it's another spot like NC where its LCOL areas are red and its HCOL areas are blue. I need to find me some purple, people! ;)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 09:21:41 AM by begood »

pagoconcheques

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2015, 09:19:42 AM »
Very hard to find without compromising on at least one.  The HCOL, to the extent that it's a function of housing prices, is what ruins most candidates that have good weather.  Places like southern coastal California that have good year-round weather will see 7-figure price tags for houses that barely crack 1,000 sf and are in dubious neighborhoods.  In these markets you are not really buying a house as much as you are buying year-round access to good weather. 


begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2015, 09:23:47 AM »
There are lists online of best college towns.  Pretty much any college town will have socially liberal, and cheap if you look at the right size of town.  Then just pick the geography you want.

That is basically what we are searching based on, but our geography goal is more Midwest, with an emphasis on being close enough to a major city for access to excellent health care and reasonable airport costs, etc. 

I don't plan to retire somewhere warm (awful summers, ick) I hope to just winter somewhere southern for January and February.

Sounds like we're looking for pretty similar things, MayDay, except maybe the section of the country. Wintering warm could be a compromise. I've already told my mister that if we end up settling down here in southeast PA for good, he's going to have to take me someplace warm for January - March, possibly even to mid-April. We visited NC over the weekend, and it was 70s and sunny, with dogwoods and redbuds and azaleas in bloom, and green everywhere, then drove back north, watching for the change from green to dead winter brown. It happened in Bowling Green, VA.

dcheesi

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2015, 09:24:21 AM »
The problem is that once places like this get "found", their CoL tends to rise. That's what happened to my home town; when I left housing prices were almost on par with where I live now, but now they're much, much higher. Part of that was the housing bubble (which never reached my current small city), but another big part of it was that my home town started to be featured in various "best places" lists. That attracts wealthy buyers, which in turn drives up prices.

historienne

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2015, 09:28:01 AM »

I'll check out the ERE wiki - thanks for that tip, velocistar237! What I find in my admittedly cursory research so far is that the more desirable areas of Charlotte and the Triangle have higher COL. Duh, I guess. :) There's plenty of LCOL areas in NC, some even near big cities like Charlotte, but it veers from blue to purple to deep red pretty quickly once you're out of the metro areas. I like Davidson, NC - close enough to the airport, close to Lake Norman, more liberal than much of NC because of the college-town atmosphere. But real estate is expensive there compared to more rural areas further afield.


I grew up in Davidson, and several of my friends who still live in the area have moved to Cornelius and Mooresville (east of 77 in both cases) due to housing costs.  Those towns are both now much like Davidson was 15 years ago, albeit with a lot of sprawl attached.  I'd look there, particularly Mooresville.

trobertson79

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2015, 09:32:46 AM »
If you don't mind Grey, the pacific northwest.  I lived in Corvallis, OR for grad school which is half hour from Eugene, OR.  Those cities are liberal, bikeable, no huge temperature extremes, beautiful greenery.  In the early 2000's Portland was cheap and I kinda wish I had settled there.  Oh well.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2015, 09:36:25 AM »
Houston and Dallas are substantial urban centers with plenty of liberals and even more socially liberal people. Both have relatively low cost of living (though Houston really bumped up over the last five years).

I've more Confederate flags in the small metro area where I live in southeastern Pennsylvania and in western New York State where I went to college than I remember seeing growing up in Houston and Dallas.

If you think, as somebody said above, that everywhere outside of deep-blue urban centers is Confederate flags and trailer parks, you are leading a thoroughly blinkered existence.

Genevieve

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2015, 09:39:20 AM »
If you grew up in NC, you probably know this. But in terms of being liberal, Asheville is more liberal than Chapel Hill, and Chapel Hill is more liberal than Charlotte. I'm sure you'd find a home in any of these places. Have you considered Wilmington or the surrounding beaches? It's smaller, but the beaches are beautiful.

I grew up in NC so I have friends and family in all these places still.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 09:42:57 AM by Genevieve »

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2015, 09:41:37 AM »

I'll check out the ERE wiki - thanks for that tip, velocistar237! What I find in my admittedly cursory research so far is that the more desirable areas of Charlotte and the Triangle have higher COL. Duh, I guess. :) There's plenty of LCOL areas in NC, some even near big cities like Charlotte, but it veers from blue to purple to deep red pretty quickly once you're out of the metro areas. I like Davidson, NC - close enough to the airport, close to Lake Norman, more liberal than much of NC because of the college-town atmosphere. But real estate is expensive there compared to more rural areas further afield.


I grew up in Davidson, and several of my friends who still live in the area have moved to Cornelius and Mooresville (east of 77 in both cases) due to housing costs.  Those towns are both now much like Davidson was 15 years ago, albeit with a lot of sprawl attached.  I'd look there, particularly Mooresville.

Funny, historienne, Mooresville is what I was just looking at on city-data.com! If we're not trying to get into Charlotte every day (which we wouldn't be...), I could see that as a great spot. I also like Matthews, which is much closer to the Costco, but again, prices are going up up up. There's the Lake Wylie area of SC, but I'd definitely want to be sure I could go to NC for health care if we bought in SC.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp, I'm not living a blinkered existence. I don't think anywhere outside urban areas is trailer parks and confederate flags. That's the whole point of me coming on here with my query - I'm hoping people can point me to great spots that aren't on the extreme of any spectrum - political or climatological. I'm sure they exist. It's a big world out there.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2015, 09:44:13 AM »
ShoulderThingThatGoesUp, I'm not living a blinkered existence. I don't think anywhere outside urban areas is trailer parks and confederate flags. That's the whole point of me coming on here with my query - I'm hoping people can point me to great spots that aren't on the extreme of any spectrum - political or climatological. I'm sure they exist. It's a big world out there.

I was paraphrasing TheFixer's post, not one of yours.

Argyle

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2015, 09:45:08 AM »
Austin is becoming very pricy as regards housing.  Prices are heading up steeply. It also has more of a city vibe than a smallish-town vibe, which has advantages (more going on) but disadvantages (less bikable).

Eugene has pretty much what you want, is very bikable, and has a mild climate.  House prices are not that cheap in Eugene, but oddly rents are quite cheap.  Not so good if you want to own rentals, but good if you want to live in one.  Housing is cheaper to own in the adjacent town, Springfield.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2015, 09:46:32 AM »
ShoulderThingThatGoesUp, I'm not living a blinkered existence. I don't think anywhere outside urban areas is trailer parks and confederate flags. That's the whole point of me coming on here with my query - I'm hoping people can point me to great spots that aren't on the extreme of any spectrum - political or climatological. I'm sure they exist. It's a big world out there.

I was paraphrasing TheFixer's post, not one of yours.

Ah, I see! I think even TheFixer's post was a list painted with broad strokes. I understood it as generalities.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2015, 09:51:48 AM »
If you grew up in NC, you probably know this. But in terms of being liberal, Asheville is more liberal than Chapel Hill, and Chapel Hill is more liberal than Charlotte. I'm sure you'd find a home in any of these places. Have you considered Wilmington or the surrounding beaches? It's smaller, but the beaches are beautiful.

I grew up in NC so I have friends and family in all these places still.

I think we could find a spot in any of those places too, Genevieve. I think the downside to Wilmington is that it's pretty far from a good-sized airport (RDU, CLT). My mister's folks lived in the Sand Hills near Pinehurst. Dirt cheap, mild winters, good health care because of the wealthy golfer set, but quite conservative and a solid 90 minutes without traffic to RDU. When his folks passed, we considered keeping their home, but we didn't want to be long-distance landlords or supervise the absolutely necessary renovations to kitchen and bathrooms (and subfloor, it turned out). So we sold it. This was pre-MMM and odds are good that the story would have had a different ending if we'd known then what we know now. We could still buy in that area if we chose, but it probably wouldn't be my first choice.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2015, 10:02:10 AM »
Very hard to find without compromising on at least one.  The HCOL, to the extent that it's a function of housing prices, is what ruins most candidates that have good weather.  Places like southern coastal California that have good year-round weather will see 7-figure price tags for houses that barely crack 1,000 sf and are in dubious neighborhoods.  In these markets you are not really buying a house as much as you are buying year-round access to good weather.

I think that's a great point, pagoconcheques. My brother lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, so at least I have a nice place to go visit. :)

Thanks for all those mentions of Eugene, OR. I'll have to take a look. I never imagined living in the PNW - it's so alien to my mindset! But thanks to finding this forum, all kinds of mindsetty things have evolved, so maybe this can too?

mak1277

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2015, 10:07:16 AM »
Aren't there liberal and conservative people everywhere?  I read a lot of people saying they want a certain overall political/social environment in which to relocate, but I would think you could find like-minded people almost anywhere nowadays.

I can't imagine rejecting an otherwise excellent place to live because of the political landscape in that place...maybe it's because I've never felt impacted by political and social views of those around me.

bacchi

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2015, 10:20:16 AM »
Aren't there liberal and conservative people everywhere?  I read a lot of people saying they want a certain overall political/social environment in which to relocate, but I would think you could find like-minded people almost anywhere nowadays.

I can't imagine rejecting an otherwise excellent place to live because of the political landscape in that place...maybe it's because I've never felt impacted by political and social views of those around me.

There are entire states that are, for example, making it socially acceptable to discriminate against gays and lesbians. I can see how "No gays allowed!" signs would make for an unpleasant walk in the city.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2015, 10:20:29 AM »
Aren't there liberal and conservative people everywhere?  I read a lot of people saying they want a certain overall political/social environment in which to relocate, but I would think you could find like-minded people almost anywhere nowadays.

I can't imagine rejecting an otherwise excellent place to live because of the political landscape in that place...maybe it's because I've never felt impacted by political and social views of those around me.

mak1277, I was a much younger self when I lived in those conservative enclaves (true story: I lived in Memphis for 18 months before I met another Democrat), and I'm much more confident now. Perhaps if I had allowed  my true self out in those spots, I would have met different people and made different friends. I would like to live in a place where the gay folk we know and love would feel safe and accepted if they came to visit. I gravitate toward smaller towns, suburbs over urban OR rural, and college towns above all, because that's where I grew up and that's what I know and am comfortable with. So I'd probably choose COL and climate first, then try to narrow down to a place that felt like a good fit in other ways.

Fu Mainechu, Richmond is on the list!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2015, 10:44:12 AM »
If you can put up with the absolute opposite politics in the rest of the state, the suburbs of Austin, TX seem to fit your criteria.

pdxbator

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2015, 10:54:34 AM »
If you don't mind Grey, the pacific northwest.  I lived in Corvallis, OR for grad school which is half hour from Eugene, OR.  Those cities are liberal, bikeable, no huge temperature extremes, beautiful greenery.  In the early 2000's Portland was cheap and I kinda wish I had settled there.  Oh well.

I feel lucky I bought my house in Portland in the late 90s. I could actually afford a house IN the city (not 'burbs) on a salary that wasn't super high. Now I see 2 bed/1 bath houses that need work going for $400K. For people in the Bay area this probably sounds like a steal, but Portland doesn't have tons of high paying jobs. It's become pretty unaffordable due to the fact that it meets most of the above criteria. It has decent weather (no 3 feet of snow) and is quite liberal.

Pigeon

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2015, 11:32:12 AM »
Aren't there liberal and conservative people everywhere?  I read a lot of people saying they want a certain overall political/social environment in which to relocate, but I would think you could find like-minded people almost anywhere nowadays.

I can't imagine rejecting an otherwise excellent place to live because of the political landscape in that place...maybe it's because I've never felt impacted by political and social views of those around me.

The political climate is hugely important for me, too.  The political landscape can define all kinds of things that impact people on a daily basis.  I wouldn't live in a state that denies my daughters control of their own bodies or prohibits the teaching of science in schools.  That kind of thing is way, way more important to me that the climate.

mak1277

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2015, 12:20:41 PM »
Aren't there liberal and conservative people everywhere?  I read a lot of people saying they want a certain overall political/social environment in which to relocate, but I would think you could find like-minded people almost anywhere nowadays.

I can't imagine rejecting an otherwise excellent place to live because of the political landscape in that place...maybe it's because I've never felt impacted by political and social views of those around me.

mak1277, I was a much younger self when I lived in those conservative enclaves (true story: I lived in Memphis for 18 months before I met another Democrat), and I'm much more confident now. Perhaps if I had allowed  my true self out in those spots, I would have met different people and made different friends. I would like to live in a place where the gay folk we know and love would feel safe and accepted if they came to visit. I gravitate toward smaller towns, suburbs over urban OR rural, and college towns above all, because that's where I grew up and that's what I know and am comfortable with. So I'd probably choose COL and climate first, then try to narrow down to a place that felt like a good fit in other ways.


Thanks...that makes sense to me. 

I guess my curiosity is based on the fact that I don't really self-identify as a member of a particular party, nor does it ever cross my mind to even wonder what political party others belong to.  I don't know what party any of my co-workers belong to, or even most of my good friends and family (I mean, I could guess, but it's not something I care about enough to ask).  So if I lived in Memphis, I'd never know that I didn't know any Democrats.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2015, 12:29:25 PM »
Aren't there liberal and conservative people everywhere?  I read a lot of people saying they want a certain overall political/social environment in which to relocate, but I would think you could find like-minded people almost anywhere nowadays.

I can't imagine rejecting an otherwise excellent place to live because of the political landscape in that place...maybe it's because I've never felt impacted by political and social views of those around me.

mak1277, I was a much younger self when I lived in those conservative enclaves (true story: I lived in Memphis for 18 months before I met another Democrat), and I'm much more confident now. Perhaps if I had allowed  my true self out in those spots, I would have met different people and made different friends. I would like to live in a place where the gay folk we know and love would feel safe and accepted if they came to visit. I gravitate toward smaller towns, suburbs over urban OR rural, and college towns above all, because that's where I grew up and that's what I know and am comfortable with. So I'd probably choose COL and climate first, then try to narrow down to a place that felt like a good fit in other ways.


Thanks...that makes sense to me. 

I guess my curiosity is based on the fact that I don't really self-identify as a member of a particular party, nor does it ever cross my mind to even wonder what political party others belong to.  I don't know what party any of my co-workers belong to, or even most of my good friends and family (I mean, I could guess, but it's not something I care about enough to ask).  So if I lived in Memphis, I'd never know that I didn't know any Democrats.

Interesting, mak1277. The Democrats I met in Memphis were all women I already knew. We were sitting around the kitchen table one night, just us chickens, working on scrapbooks. I don't remember how the "secret" came out, but in a big noisy rush of laughter and recognition and appreciation, it turned out that all five of us were Democrats. None of us had any inkling that the others were. We'd talked about our kids, family trips, what we were scrapbooking - keeping everything on the surface - for MONTHS. Once that dam broke, though, they became my closest friends, and I still keep in touch with several of them even though we moved away from Memphis in 2007. I will never forget the feeling I got that night, as if I'd been wandering, coasting, but then finally found an anchor to hold on to.

Imustacheyouaquestion

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2015, 12:37:20 PM »
I think Asheville can be expensive because housing costs are driven up by tourism. Not sure what the availability of good-paying jobs is like, either.

I'd expand beyond Chapel Hill and think of Durham and/or Carrboro. I spent a few years in the triangle and there are lots of high-paying jobs in biotech and other fields, but still a relatively low cost of living (if you avoid rich suburbs like Cary or Apex). Very socially liberal area as well.

Definitely has mild winters good for yearlong biking. I hesitate to call the climate totally mild because the hot/humid summers are not to my liking personally.

begood

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2015, 12:43:20 PM »
I think Asheville can be expensive because housing costs are driven up by tourism. Not sure what the availability of good-paying jobs is like, either.

I'd expand beyond Chapel Hill and think of Durham and/or Carrboro. I spent a few years in the triangle and there are lots of high-paying jobs in biotech and other fields, but still a relatively low cost of living (if you avoid rich suburbs like Cary or Apex). Very socially liberal area as well.

Definitely has mild winters good for yearlong biking. I hesitate to call the climate totally mild because the hot/humid summers are not to my liking personally.

We lived in Durham when we first married (I worked in Chapel Hill, he worked in Raleigh and we split the difference), and my dad now lives in Durham too. There are still nice neighborhoods of old mill houses that people have fixed up. Small houses, small yards, sidewalks. Very appealing. And we have friends who've found similar neighborhoods in Carrboro. Chapel Hill feels trafficky and crowded to me now, especially compared to what it was like when I was a kid in the 70s.

goatmom

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2015, 01:11:14 PM »
I would put weather and COL on my list for sure as I too never really care about people's politics.  I am pretty openminded. I don't want to listen to only people that think exactly like me.  I have moved around lots due to dh's work and have complained about the weather and the COL but not the people.  I put traffic on the list.  That said, I don't want to live in a state that doesn't teach science in the schools - dare I ask what state that is?

Spork

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Re: Seeking the ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2015, 01:14:48 PM »
Houston and Dallas are substantial urban centers with plenty of liberals and even more socially liberal people. Both have relatively low cost of living (though Houston really bumped up over the last five years).

I've more Confederate flags in the small metro area where I live in southeastern Pennsylvania and in western New York State where I went to college than I remember seeing growing up in Houston and Dallas.

If you think, as somebody said above, that everywhere outside of deep-blue urban centers is Confederate flags and trailer parks, you are leading a thoroughly blinkered existence.

I can only comment on the Dallas area...  It depends on what "mild climate" means.  If mild means "not frigid" -- it qualifies.  If it means "not too hot, not too cold" -- it doesn't.  Dallas is such an enormous heat-gathering concrete slab.  When Texas hits its 100+ degree days, Dallas is just almost unbearable.  If you get a few miles away (or at least out of the gumbo dirt so there are trees and shade) ... it gets more bearable.

But yes: there are liberals and conservatives (and some of us libertarians!) in the area.  It's big enough that you can find friends of any ilk.  But if you're hoping for a liberal climate in state politics, you probably won't find it.  I suspect we will be among the last to allow gay marriage, unless the Supreme Court fixes that for the whole nation.  (Oddly enough, there is a bill to legalize pot in session, but I expect it to die before it makes it to the floor.)

And yes: Dallas is a total win on CoL.  Maybe not Dallas proper (although it's still way better than a lot of the nation).  But the suburbs are super cheap for housing, food, gas, etc. 

begood

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2015, 01:20:33 PM »
I would put weather and COL on my list for sure as I too never really care about people's politics.  I am pretty openminded. I don't want to listen to only people that think exactly like me.  I have moved around lots due to dh's work and have complained about the weather and the COL but not the people.  I put traffic on the list.  That said, I don't want to live in a state that doesn't teach science in the schools - dare I ask what state that is?

Some states (Tennessee and Louisiana, to name two) allow creationism to be taught in public schools in science classes as an "alternative" to evolution:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_public_schools_mapped_where_tax_money_supports_alternatives.html

mak1277

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2015, 01:32:48 PM »
I would put weather and COL on my list for sure as I too never really care about people's politics.  I am pretty openminded. I don't want to listen to only people that think exactly like me.  I have moved around lots due to dh's work and have complained about the weather and the COL but not the people.  I put traffic on the list.  That said, I don't want to live in a state that doesn't teach science in the schools - dare I ask what state that is?

Some states (Tennessee and Louisiana, to name two) allow creationism to be taught in public schools in science classes as an "alternative" to evolution:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_public_schools_mapped_where_tax_money_supports_alternatives.html

Does "alternative" mean "in addition to" or "instead of"? 

cavewoman

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2015, 01:33:14 PM »
What about Savannah, Georgia? I've only been a visitor, but a good friend lives there and it seems to be pretty awesome. Its on my list.

goatmom

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2015, 01:48:30 PM »
Still wondering what state prohibits teaching science in the classroom?  This was hyperbole? My kids went to school for a while down in the bible belt and had what I thought was a fairly progressive curriculum in the public school. 

Capsu78

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2015, 01:57:14 PM »
Yeah, I was trying to find a link to those "No Gays Allowed" signs, too mentioned upthread...

Spork

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2015, 02:03:07 PM »
I would put weather and COL on my list for sure as I too never really care about people's politics.  I am pretty openminded. I don't want to listen to only people that think exactly like me.  I have moved around lots due to dh's work and have complained about the weather and the COL but not the people.  I put traffic on the list.  That said, I don't want to live in a state that doesn't teach science in the schools - dare I ask what state that is?

Some states (Tennessee and Louisiana, to name two) allow creationism to be taught in public schools in science classes as an "alternative" to evolution:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/creationism_in_public_schools_mapped_where_tax_money_supports_alternatives.html

Does "alternative" mean "in addition to" or "instead of"?

My understanding (based on Texas) is that they teach both.  The bad news is they give them equal scientific footing.  Texas also really sets lots of the standards for all the other states -- not because we are better, but because we are such a huge book buyer, we tilt the scales for the publishing.

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2015, 02:12:18 PM »
What about Savannah, Georgia? I've only been a visitor, but a good friend lives there and it seems to be pretty awesome. Its on my list.

Just be aware of the paper mill stench that can permeate the air in Savannah, and in other southern coastal cities with these paper mills. Major turnoff when I visited!

goatmom

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Re: Seeking my ideal trifecta: mild climate, LCOL, socially liberal
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2015, 02:15:10 PM »
My kids also went to school in San Antonio for four years - we do get around.  They didn't learn creationism in their science classes.  This was pretty recently.