Author Topic: Most mustachian towns/locations  (Read 14826 times)

Stacey

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Most mustachian towns/locations
« on: May 02, 2012, 07:20:21 PM »

My family and I are planning to move in about a year and, although we probably know where we'll end up (Burlington, Vermont), we've been thinking about which towns/locations are the most mustachian.  So - what do you all think - which towns/locations seem the most mustachian - either because of the types of people that live there, the amenities (bike trails, great libraries), low cost of living, or something else entirely? 

To kick off the conversation, I'd say the most mustachian place I've been/lived has been Ithaca, New York.

velocistar237

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 08:33:35 AM »

tooqk4u22

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 09:15:25 AM »
Based on MMM and other people it seems that CO is place to be - low cost of living/taxes and high quality of life, and reasonable prospects for employment if that is still needed.

Stacey

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 12:01:34 PM »
Thanks for the links to the ERE discussions.  Looks like Ithaca and Burlington have both already been brought up!

smedleyb

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 12:49:56 PM »
Ithaca is not cheap at all; housing is double the price when compared to bordering municipalities. 

Stacey

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 02:55:23 PM »
I should has specified that I meant the Ithaca area.  It's true that Ithaca is a lot more expensive than the surrounding towns - when I lived there I didn't live in Ithaca - but in an area not too far from Ithaca.  However, it's still not a particularly expensive area - and certainly much less expensive than many other areas in the US.  You can live very reasonably in Ithaca.  But, more than anything, it's the abundance of inexpensive or free activities in the area and the do-it-yourself attitude of many folks that makes me think of it as a mustachian location. 

judgemebymyusername

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 04:26:55 PM »
There was a discussion on the ERE forum about ERE cities.

Why must it be a city? :P

CNM

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 05:11:50 PM »
I would like to throw out my town, Santa Fe, NM as a mustachian choice.  It's pretty similar to Boulder, close to where MMM lives, in terms of property prices and cost of living.  Even a bit less expensive than Boulder.  But, perhaps most importantly, there is very little "keeping up with the Joneses" here.  Outdoor life is highly prized and, as my sister remarked one day, by outward appearance, someone in this town could be a millionaire just as easily as a pauper.  The drawback is that it can be challenging to find well-paying employment here (small town, no university, primarily tourist economy).

Parizade

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 07:23:04 PM »
I've set my sights on Harmony Minnesota. Low cost of living, great bike and ski trails, rivers to kayak. And with the Amish farmers all around there, my mustachian lifestyle looks downright NORMAL by comparison.
http://www.harmony.mn.us/

Not to mention the world's best lefse factory within biking distance.
http://www.norslandlefse.com/

ponchoape

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 04:58:37 PM »
My wife and I have been planning on moving to a lower cost of living location once we reach financial independence. We're currently in a fairly expensive city.

I've been doing some research and would be interested to hear what other Mustachians have come up with. Specifically, I'm looking to be able to bike year round without much snow.

I'm currently looking at:
Paradise, CA
Grass Valley, CA
Fort Collins, CO
Longmont, CO
Colorado Springs, CO
Gainesville, FL

It's certainly a big country...

kudy

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 07:13:32 PM »
Quote
Fort Collins, CO

If the last few years are any indication, we don't really get much snow anymore.  A big storm or two, and a lot of minimal snow storms that melt immediately.

This is a great town, and can be very affordable if you live in the right area and avoid hitting up breweries every week :)

trammatic

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 07:20:59 PM »
You can find some great deals in the rust belt...you just have to live there.  An old favorite of mine was Steubenville, OH...only about 35 mi. from Pittsburgh, but with enough amenities that you didn't have to make the drive often.  It also has some amazingly cheap real estate, so early retirement is a nice option.  (When I went to college there, I bought a small 700 sqft apartment on top of a 2-car garage for about $17,000.  I took out a mortgage for about $80/month and sold it for $17,000 4 years later when I was ready to move on.  You can easily buy larger homes for 40 or 50k.

Speaking of which, Pittsburgh itself is pretty low cost of living...also I've heard good things of South Bend, Youngstown, Ft. Wayne, etc...

ponchoape

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 09:42:03 PM »
You can find some great deals in the rust belt...you just have to live there.  An old favorite of mine was Steubenville, OH...only about 35 mi. from Pittsburgh, but with enough amenities that you didn't have to make the drive often.  It also has some amazingly cheap real estate, so early retirement is a nice option.  (When I went to college there, I bought a small 700 sqft apartment on top of a 2-car garage for about $17,000.  I took out a mortgage for about $80/month and sold it for $17,000 4 years later when I was ready to move on.  You can easily buy larger homes for 40 or 50k.

Speaking of which, Pittsburgh itself is pretty low cost of living...also I've heard good things of South Bend, Youngstown, Ft. Wayne, etc...
How interesting, thanks. You may enjoy this thread I found, which has a bunch of pictures of Steubenville.

I'm kind of picky on my weather, and according to city-data it looks like that area has lots of cloud cover and precipitation:


madgeylou

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 04:43:45 AM »
pittsburgh is in fact super cheap, or at least it can be. my mortgage is less than a lot of people's car loans (around $20k now) and the job market is pretty good, too.

but yeah, if you're picky about the weather, this probably isnt the place for you. we could easily be called the seattle of the east!

Secret Stache

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 06:02:33 AM »
I curious about the more Anti-Mustachian cities out there.  I live in Houston and feel it may rank near the bottom.  Top reasons 1.  horizontal expansion and distance between major business hubs makes a commute necessary for at least one member of the household 2.  limited mass transit (restricted mainly to a small radius of downtown) 3. weather (100% humidity in 100+ degree heat/doesn't drop below 90 in the summers even at night) 4.  landscape (flatness)

There is affordable housing here so that is one point for the good guys but the cons seem to out weigh the pros.  However in my industry Houston is where I need to be. 

trammatic

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2012, 07:11:19 AM »
Like I said...you do have to live in there. :)  It's cheap and has decent ammenities, but the weather's nothing special.  It's far enough off of the lake that it's not usually pummeled with snow, but you still get some.

Physics

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2012, 08:01:46 AM »
I 2nd (3rd?) Pittsburgh being very mustachian.  Great place to live!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 08:27:14 AM by Physics »

adam

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2012, 08:05:36 AM »
I hope you like snow if you're moving to Burlington.  Your heating costs will not be cheap.

I do miss it sometimes though.

chrissyo

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 08:25:11 AM »
I agree with the others that Colorado is a fantastic Mustachian location, due to the cheap cost of living and plentiful outdoor beauty and activities. The nearly ever-present sunshine also helps the residents maintain higher levels of happiness and optimism IME, too :)

Also, Colorado has some of the cheapest gas in the country, so when you _do_ have to drive, it's a bit less pricey.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2012, 01:15:55 PM »
I 2nd (3rd?) Pittsburgh being very mustachian.  Great place to live!

I just want to throw this out there: the hills here are pretty damn brutal.  Biking around isn't as much of a treat as it was in Germany.  Blergh.

Stacey

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 01:12:56 PM »
Thanks for these great suggestions!  I'm definitely going to look more into the Pittsburgh area.  We went up and visited Burlington again and while I love it, it is certainly pricey.  We're going back to square one and brainstorming new places to check out.  I would prefer to live in a smaller city or small town (or rural area) that has a strong community - and a proper winter!  But, we're open to cities that may have good access to outdoor activities.  Other places we've had in mind are Chattanooga, TN, Floyd, VA, Taos, NM, Iowa City, IA, Minneapolis, MN.  Pros and cons to each, of course. 

Thanks again for the great ideas, everyone!

gecko10x

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2012, 02:57:03 PM »
pittsburgh is in fact super cheap, or at least it can be. my mortgage is less than a lot of people's car loans (around $20k now)

This statement seems quite odd to me. Pitt housing may not be too bad compared to other large cities, but seems expensive to me, and the property taxes are INSANE, at least compared to WV.

And I would think biking would be hard there with all the hills. Though it might not be as bad as I imagine- I haven't really spent much time in the city.

tannybrown

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2012, 03:08:15 PM »
I grew up in Pittsburgh and would recommend it as a Mustachian city, but property taxes are high, IMO.  The job market is booming in the burgh, too -- a cool place to be, as well.  Check out http://burghdiaspora.blogspot.com/

I'll throw out a vote for my current city: Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale.  We bought our 3/2, 1300 sq home in South Scottsdale (built 1950) for $132k in 2010, and pay only $800/year in property taxes.  You could buy it for about the same price now.  Miles of bike paths run north/south from North Scottsdale down into Tempe, so a strategic home purchase/job search can make biking work, especially around Tempe.  Sales tax is very high (9.75%?) but for Mustachians this tends to be a good thing, as they tend to have an inverse relationship with property taxes.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 03:09:59 PM by tannybrown »

stashette

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2012, 10:25:13 AM »
I lived in Dallas for a while, which would probably be categorized as anti-mustachian, but I'm sure you could still make it work.  Texas has no state income tax, which is nice, but property taxes are a lot higher.

I think some Midwestern college towns could also fit the bill, with cheaper housing, bike friendly culture, and good diversity and cultural activities for their size.  Weather in the Midwest goes through some pretty extreme changes, though, and there are no mountains.

madgeylou

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2012, 12:36:33 PM »
pittsburgh is in fact super cheap, or at least it can be. my mortgage is less than a lot of people's car loans (around $20k now)

This statement seems quite odd to me. Pitt housing may not be too bad compared to other large cities, but seems expensive to me, and the property taxes are INSANE, at least compared to WV.

And I would think biking would be hard there with all the hills. Though it might not be as bad as I imagine- I haven't really spent much time in the city.

the biking would be hard -- i myself do not bike here, as i live at the top of a very steep hill.

but, like i said, my house cost less than $30K. if you want to live close to the universities in the fancy part of town, house prices are more in line with other cities -- $150K and up. but if you don't mind living in the non-trendy parts of town, you can find great deals. huge 3 story brick houses with big yards for $50K and such.

there's soooo much empty housing stock in pittsburgh. there's even a program that, if you live next door to an empty lot, you can buy it for $500. we're doing that later this year, so we can quadruple the size of our garden.

James

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2012, 12:48:38 PM »
Any thoughts on North Carolina?  We are hoping to leave Wisonsin next year for warmer climate, and my wife is interested in Wilmington NC.

gecko10x

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2012, 12:59:52 PM »

but, like i said, my house cost less than $30K. if you want to live close to the universities in the fancy part of town, house prices are more in line with other cities -- $150K and up. but if you don't mind living in the non-trendy parts of town, you can find great deals. huge 3 story brick houses with big yards for $50K and such.

there's soooo much empty housing stock in pittsburgh. there's even a program that, if you live next door to an empty lot, you can buy it for $500. we're doing that later this year, so we can quadruple the size of our garden.

I had no idea!

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2012, 05:49:38 PM »
pittsburgh is in fact super cheap, or at least it can be. my mortgage is less than a lot of people's car loans (around $20k now)

This statement seems quite odd to me. Pitt housing may not be too bad compared to other large cities, but seems expensive to me, and the property taxes are INSANE, at least compared to WV.

And I would think biking would be hard there with all the hills. Though it might not be as bad as I imagine- I haven't really spent much time in the city.

the biking would be hard -- i myself do not bike here, as i live at the top of a very steep hill.

but, like i said, my house cost less than $30K. if you want to live close to the universities in the fancy part of town, house prices are more in line with other cities -- $150K and up. but if you don't mind living in the non-trendy parts of town, you can find great deals. huge 3 story brick houses with big yards for $50K and such.

there's soooo much empty housing stock in pittsburgh. there's even a program that, if you live next door to an empty lot, you can buy it for $500. we're doing that later this year, so we can quadruple the size of our garden.

I'm currently living with my brother, and he lives at the top of an enormous hill too.  My car is still on a boat, so I have no choice but to bike!  I have started to simply walk the bike up the hills, since it takes about the same time, but is less tiring.

Also, what neighborhoods are these 50k houses for sale?  One of my friends is moving to Pittsburgh soon, he's going to be working at the universities as a medical recruiter.  I told him to look at Southside, as it's close to his work and lots of entertaining stuff.

madgeylou

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2012, 05:57:34 PM »

Also, what neighborhoods are these 50k houses for sale?  One of my friends is moving to Pittsburgh soon, he's going to be working at the universities as a medical recruiter.  I told him to look at Southside, as it's close to his work and lots of entertaining stuff.

southside is going to be much more expensive -- it's getting fairly well fancified at this point. but there may be some deals mixed in.

for deals, you have to go a bit further out of town, but not too far -- brookline, carrick, even where i live (mt. oliver) which is a little bit like the hood but not too bad -- we've never had any problems and have been living here for years. my neighborhood is walkable but not in a cute-cafe-way. there's a rite-aid, hardware store, grocery store, several rent-a-centers, nail salons, check cashing places, etc. sometimes there are shootings in the neighborhood which i hear about the next day ... but you can get a house for less than a car? it's a tradeoff.

where i live is good in that it's one quick bus right down through the south side and over to oakland -- 20 minutes from here to CMU, which is comparable to driving. most other routes go through downtown which adds a good 45 minutes to the commute.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2012, 10:21:50 PM »
Ahh, you live right above the Slopes, he was looking for a few places in that area.  He's not really that mustachian, so if you can get a 50k house there, I'll recommend it. 

that said, last time we went through that area toward Southside, my brother told me it was pretty ghetto... I didn't really mind it, althought I think I've had more experience with "ghettos" and the people that live in them. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2012, 10:24:49 PM »
That said, the mustachian gentleman in this case (me) would look for housing nearest his place of employment, which would probably not be mount oliver, so most likely, case closed for Kriegsspiel.

madgeylou

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2012, 05:57:12 AM »
That said, the mustachian gentleman in this case (me) would look for housing nearest his place of employment, which would probably not be mount oliver, so most likely, case closed for Kriegsspiel.

makes sense. my fiance bought this house several years before we got together and it works great for us right now for a variety of reasons, but i don't think we'd buy it again if we found ourselves homeless today.

the people i would recommend a neighborhood like this to are (1) those who are looking for a super low burn rate on their money, like they're starting a company or something, or (2) those who are already retired, or (3) those who work from home. i fall into (1) and (3) so it works great.

Mike Key

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2012, 09:28:05 AM »
Based on MMM and other people it seems that CO is place to be - low cost of living/taxes and high quality of life, and reasonable prospects for employment if that is still needed.

I find this oddly funny. It seems like everyone assumes, becuase MMM lives in CO it's somehow cheaper... My wife and I had to pick one year ago, between a job in CO Springs and St. Petersburg, FL. We did a ton of comparative research and found that the cost of living in St. Petersburg, FL is incredibly lower, plus no state income tax.


Bullseye

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Re: Most mustachian towns/locations
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2012, 10:54:58 AM »
Just spent the weekend in Ithaca, NY, and would second it as a good place to live.   Seemed very compact and bikable, well serviced, definite college town vibe, even with school out.  Surrounded by nice state parks, and the finger lakes.   Prices reasonable, looks like $200k would get you something decent.