Author Topic: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?  (Read 5500 times)

Nick_Miller

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States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« on: November 10, 2016, 08:54:39 AM »
I'm not making any rash decisions, but this week's election results have me questioning if I really want to raise my kids in our state anymore. We're one of the reddest states and there's very little to choose from between either a couple of biggish cities (but with significant crime and education problems) or small towns with limited job markets and, to me, a backwards social mentality.

So be specific - what do I want to get away from?

1) our city has crappy public schools
2) our city has pretty bad crime, and it seems to be getting worse
3) our state is super conservative and will soon pass more anti LGBT/pro religion legislation
4) our state is in a financial mess and the job market is pretty poor
5) summers are horribly humid and sticky, and winters can be nasty too. no access to beaches and not a very bike-friendly environment either
6) and finally, I've lived here for 39 of my 42 years, and frankly I think I am ready for a change

This would be something my family and I think about for a few years, but I'm considering starting the process, checking at attorney reciprocity rules in various states, taking some vacations to some of those areas, and keeping options open.

So far I see two that stand out, because both of them have a reciprocity route that would let me practice in the state without having to pass a bar examination. At this stage of my life, I'm just not sure I'm up for taking another bar, especially since I'm pretty sure I'd work in personal injury or work comp wherever I went. I have little interest in studying for a year in a dozen other legal areas I'll never practice in, but I would if I absolutely found the right state and it was necessary.

Anyways, I've looked at two thus far...

Colorado and New Hampshire. Both have reciprocity agreements with my state. Both seem purple and schools seem pretty solid, at least in most parts. Crime seems pretty low, especially in New Hampshire. And having access to the beach in NH after all these years living in middle America seems...well, wonderful.

I think there are quite a few folks from CO on here, but I can't remember any in particular other than MMM himself. Anyone want to chime in on how you like CO? (or dislike it?)

Anyone from New Hampshire? Same questions.

I've also looked at Vermont but I don't think there is a reciprocity agreement with them.

Other possible matches that DO have reciprocity agreements include Minnesota, Washington state, and Wisconsin. Anyone have feedback on those?

Thanks so much!





deadlymonkey

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 08:57:43 AM »
You can also look in Northern Virginia (Fairfax country) it has some of the best schools in the country.  Also Maryland, specifically Howard country or Calvert County.  Avoid PG county for schools

Nick_Miller

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2016, 09:46:38 AM »
My brother is actually going through the same thought pattern as am I right now, and he's looking at northern Virginia! He just told me today. But I'm afraid it may not fit into the "MCOL" category, and both of those states would require taking the bar. But they might be worth looking into anyway as I want to leave all reasonable options on the table! Thanks!

seattlecyclone

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 11:17:03 AM »
Washington could be worth a look. The Seattle area is expensive, but the rest of the state is pretty reasonable.

gardeningandgreen

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 11:24:54 AM »
As someone who lives in a medium sized town in northernish Minnesota I recommend it! As long as you are ok with cold winters. We have wonderful beaches and lakes just a few miles away(if your willing to drive a bit to work you can easily live on one.) Its a very low cost of living area. I bought a fixer upper house for less than $100,000. We have tons of jobs as well. If you are looking for a bigger city the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is very nice but in my heart I like the smaller town. If I were you I would look into Minnesota!

gardeningandgreen

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2016, 11:26:15 AM »
I also forgot to add Minnesota always ranks high in education and low in crime! Especially some of the big towns(as in 30,000-50,000 people)

Nick_Miller

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2016, 12:27:13 PM »
seattlecyclone, it's going on the list. I would like to visit Seattle in the next year or two anyway, but yes I realize the city itself is pretty damn expensive. I'm not looking to dump $500K into a house anywhere I go.

gardeningandgreen, yes your state made my list mostly because when I read rankings, it was ALWAYS in the top 10-15 in low crime and high percentage of college grads. I would consider a town in the 20k-50k range, but I'd want nearby amenities like groceries and movie theatres. I don't think I'm built to live in a total rural area. I don't have to eat that luskfish stuff do I????

Johnez

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2016, 12:35:33 PM »
This is my game plan in about 5-7 years when my kid starts school.

Only suggestion I have is to add "growing economy, or somewhat stable."

gardeningandgreen

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2016, 12:52:13 PM »
seattlecyclone, it's going on the list. I would like to visit Seattle in the next year or two anyway, but yes I realize the city itself is pretty damn expensive. I'm not looking to dump $500K into a house anywhere I go.

gardeningandgreen, yes your state made my list mostly because when I read rankings, it was ALWAYS in the top 10-15 in low crime and high percentage of college grads. I would consider a town in the 20k-50k range, but I'd want nearby amenities like groceries and movie theatres. I don't think I'm built to live in a total rural area. I don't have to eat that luskfish stuff do I????

Lutefisk isn't as bad as everyone says it is! I mean if you are ok with fish jello that is... The town I live in is technically 30k people but we have a town across the river(where I happen to work. There was a move and current tv series to give away where I live) that is around 150k. I have an awesome brewery just 4 blocks from my house grocery about 8 blocks away and downtown is about a mile. Since its a smallish city we have all the amenities without the long commute(you can get from one corner of town to the exact opposite in about 25 minutes).

Bracken_Joy

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2016, 02:58:58 PM »
Consider Oregon? Based on this link: https://www.osbar.org/admissions#reciprocity It seems we offer reciprocity.

Portland is currently booming, but there are a lot of other areas to consider, like Corvallis, Ashland, Eugene, Salem, or Bend.

Norioch

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2016, 08:32:28 PM »
I live in a suburb in the greater Seattle area. It meets all of your conditions (cost of living is not super cheap, but it's not crazy expensive like in NYC or the bay area). It's great for a lot of other reasons too. I love the moderate weather all year and the nearby temperate rainforests. The only thing about living here that bothers me is the high risk of earthquakes.

oldtoyota

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2016, 08:38:11 PM »
I would explore NH in detail. They don't have much in the way of services. If you or anyone becomes disabled, you'll probably need to self fund or move to another state that will help you.

I'm not sure what others sorts of services NH doesn't pay for that other states do. Might be worth a closer look.

Another benefit to NH is that you could help turn it more blue. =-)

Alenzia

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2016, 08:52:04 PM »
I'm in Colorado - if you're not trying to live in fancier parts of Denver or anywhere in Boulder, you can get a house under 500K in the front range area. Bikeability is hit or miss depending on the specific area, albeit consistently improving. The schools are pretty good, but it really depends on the area. If you don't mind the random snowstorm that dumps like crazy, the weather is fabulous. The main downside is that a lot of people have been moving here, so it's getting a bit crowded.

scantee

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2016, 09:20:23 PM »
Yes to Minnesota. Blue, affordable housing, mostly sane people, good schools even in the city (my kids go to a Minneapolis public school and are getting a great education). Weather isn't the greatest in the winter, but with global climate change it is (sadly) pretty bearable!

gimp

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2016, 09:46:35 PM »
Side note - I like california, but after having some interesting discussions with people, I'm playing around with trying to write a program that cross-checks a ton of factors to predict where an up-and-coming area is.

Like, take Portland or Austin or the greater Denver area some twenty, twenty-five, thirty years ago. People who got in then, and have stayed, have seen fantastic growth in their area. Hell, even the bay area, people who got in thirty, thirty-five, forty years ago, have seen their property values appreciate at roughly 7-9% per year... for decades... and haven't been paying rent for a while either.

What do you guys think is the right combination of factors to predict this?

FIFoFum

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2016, 10:15:15 PM »
Agree on Minnesota. There are other Midwestern cities that might give you what you want as well (look at college towns in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin).

I love Seattle, but Seattle and its suburbs are not MCOL.

Also, not sure what you're looking for politically, but Seattle isn't blue to purple. It's bluer than smurf blue. Minnesota really is more purple-ish. Cabela's on one side of the road, REI on the other.

Nick_Miller

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2016, 08:03:03 AM »
Great insight from everyone!

Yeah, I'm not really looking for an "echo chamber" or anything. I'm all for having diverse views in a community, and in a state. I'm just tired of being in such a deep red state. And frankly I am not hip or cool enough for someplace like Portland or Seattle anyway. I actually consider myself a moderate person, but here "moderate" = people view you as "liberal"


Watchmaker

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2016, 08:14:37 AM »
My parents live in Colorado.  I love visiting them, but the congestion of the front range would be a concern for me if I were to move out there.  Plus it sounded like maybe you value beaches more than mountains?  If that's true I think you might have some better choices. 

I have lived in Minnesota and would agree that it's a great place to live.  I live across the border in Wisconsin right now and I think there's a lot a lot of good options here as well.  You may have to be  more selective where you live in Wisconsin (vs MN) as we have a bit more variation in school quality, local politics, etc.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2016, 11:03:24 AM »
I'm not making any rash decisions, but this week's election results have me questioning if I really want to raise my kids in our state anymore. We're one of the reddest states and there's very little to choose from between either a couple of biggish cities (but with significant crime and education problems) or small towns with limited job markets and, to me, a backwards social mentality.

So be specific - what do I want to get away from?

1) our city has crappy public schools
2) our city has pretty bad crime, and it seems to be getting worse
3) our state is super conservative and will soon pass more anti LGBT/pro religion legislation
4) our state is in a financial mess and the job market is pretty poor
5) summers are horribly humid and sticky, and winters can be nasty too. no access to beaches and not a very bike-friendly environment either
6) and finally, I've lived here for 39 of my 42 years, and frankly I think I am ready for a change

This would be something my family and I think about for a few years, but I'm considering starting the process, checking at attorney reciprocity rules in various states, taking some vacations to some of those areas, and keeping options open.

So far I see two that stand out, because both of them have a reciprocity route that would let me practice in the state without having to pass a bar examination. At this stage of my life, I'm just not sure I'm up for taking another bar, especially since I'm pretty sure I'd work in personal injury or work comp wherever I went. I have little interest in studying for a year in a dozen other legal areas I'll never practice in, but I would if I absolutely found the right state and it was necessary.

Anyways, I've looked at two thus far...

Colorado and New Hampshire. Both have reciprocity agreements with my state. Both seem purple and schools seem pretty solid, at least in most parts. Crime seems pretty low, especially in New Hampshire. And having access to the beach in NH after all these years living in middle America seems...well, wonderful.

I think there are quite a few folks from CO on here, but I can't remember any in particular other than MMM himself. Anyone want to chime in on how you like CO? (or dislike it?)

Anyone from New Hampshire? Same questions.

I've also looked at Vermont but I don't think there is a reciprocity agreement with them.

Other possible matches that DO have reciprocity agreements include Minnesota, Washington state, and Wisconsin. Anyone have feedback on those?

Thanks so much!

For Vermont see

https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/LC/Statutes%20and%20Rules/PROMULGATED%20BBE%20Appendix%202-16-16.pdf

At 2(e) and Part III (14-20).

While not reciprocity, I'll let you read and determine if it is too burdensome to bother with.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2016, 11:18:52 AM »
I've lived in both Maine and New Hampshire.  If I were you, I'd consider both.  Crime is extremely low in both.  The lifestyle in both is great.

NH had the better school system, but Maine's isn't bad.  You pay for it in NH though through very high property tax.  Maine's isn't low either compared to the south, but NH's is crazy high.

ME obviously has more coastline.

NH probably has more jobs, at least in the southern half of the state.  But the Portland ME area is always relatively solid.

NH has no income tax or sales tax.  But once again, they make up for it with property tax.

The weather is awesome in both, if you like cold winters and mild summers.

These days, NH is probably a little more red than ME.  I feel like it wasn't always that way.  Rural ME can be quite red though.  ME just passed some very progressive measures - ranked choice voting and (most likely, still waiting for the final count) legalized marijuana.

Whoever suggested Northern VA is crazy.  Sure, the schools are great, but it's expensive as hell and you're stuck living in disgusting suburban sprawl.  I mean, if you prefer big box stores to nature I guess that's fine, but it's certainly not for me.

Everything you say about Maine is pretty spot on at least from my experienced. Portland is not the only game in the state and in fact at times in can be a little heated; last I looked there law jobs were mostly firm mergers or looking to hire with an established book of Maine clients, but that could have changed by now as it was years ago.

Maine is also aging, the Bar is greying, the population is stagnant to declining, the Governor is nationally known. . . and let's not get started on the state budget and revenue sharing, but ever where has it down sides.

I just have to point out ranked choice voting citizen initiative for legislation will may head to the courts for 2 reasons (both in certain circumstances). 1) The Constitution of Maine only requires plurality to be elected . . . I am sure you can see the the potential issue for additional steps after a plurality has been determined to establish a majority and 2) Both the rank choice legislation and the Maine Constitution have provisions on how to address a tie . . . and they don't agree

rosaz

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2016, 04:19:20 PM »
A shameless plug for my city, I know this is oddly specific, but Quincy, MA is awesome (and I have two studies to back that up: http://thequincysun.com/2014/09/23/quincy-ranked-among-top-50-places-to-live/)

Low crime; the schools vary widely within the city itself, but at least a few of them are in "great" range (and you can factor that in before moving); definitely blue; job market in the Boston metro is solid and diverse; and while my impression of it as "medium" cost of living may be out-of-whack due to living in Boston too long, if you stay out of the ritziest parts of the metro area, I think it's quite manageable (especially given higher-than-average local compensation).

And my favorite part - about half the city is within a 15-minute walk from the beach.

Milizard

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2016, 05:35:57 PM »
The area I live in fits the bill for much of your requirements, but is more LCOL than MCOL.  You've got to do your homework to find the areas with the good schools, (of which there are several), and that are a little less conservative, but I don't think it's anything like a deep red state.  Unfortunately, the better schools are more on the red side, but my particular district is one of the best in the area without being too extreme either way.  Awesome Lake Michigan beaches, too. 

MrsWhipple

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2016, 05:59:42 PM »
Side note - I like california, but after having some interesting discussions with people, I'm playing around with trying to write a program that cross-checks a ton of factors to predict where an up-and-coming area is.

What do you guys think is the right combination of factors to predict this?
I would be VERY interested in this as a Californian looking to move somewhere up and coming. Have you read this book yet? https://www.amazon.com/Whos-Your-City-Creative-Important-ebook/dp/B008164JUW/  Some factors that seem to correlate are things like having a high gay population, number of creative jobs, etc.

Keep me apprised of your research; I'd love to help out if you need someone to do some analysis on data sets.

daschtick

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2016, 06:34:33 PM »
I get this.  I live in a Wisconsin county that voted 67% red, and we definitely feel out of place here.  I have lived here for 20+ years, as everything here is actually great except for the politics and long winters.  We love our home and our neighborhood, the schools are great, there is very little crime, my taxes are reasonable, and it is geographically beautiful.  That said, we would ultimately like to move south sometime after our daughter graduates college to escape the cold. 

I have been spending a lot of time looking at maps of property values, crime statistics, and county election results to help understand what areas I would like to investigate.  We really like South Carolina near the coast, and ironically, almost the entire state is less 'red' than my area.  To help with your search for a more blue region, check out the following map.....

http://graphics.wsj.com/elections/2016/results/

Out of curiosity, would you mind sharing what state you are in?  I just want to make sure it is not somewhere that I though I was interested in!

AlanStache

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2016, 07:39:01 AM »
There is a great search tool that will suggest cities/towns around the world or in the US given a range of criteria.

https://www.theearthawaits.com/

thecrazydoglady

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2016, 08:12:34 AM »
I love New Hampshire. Nashua is a wonderful place to live. Very close to MA too, tons of people i work with live in NH.

music lover

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2016, 08:43:25 AM »
I get this.  I live in a Wisconsin county that voted 67% red, and we definitely feel out of place here.  I have lived here for 20+ years, as everything here is actually great except for the politics and long winters.  We love our home and our neighborhood, the schools are great, there is very little crime, my taxes are reasonable, and it is geographically beautiful.  That said, we would ultimately like to move south sometime after our daughter graduates college to escape the cold. 

So, everything is great in your state except the political leaning? Perhaps the fact that your state leans more right than left explains its success??

The good news is that you can always move to a state that votes how you do if you think that is more important than a good neighborhood, low crime, good schools, and reasonable taxes. :)

little_brown_dog

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2016, 08:55:09 AM »
Native New Englander here…lived all over the place around here, RI, MA, NH. You really can’t go wrong in our region when compared to many other areas of the country. The landscape is beautiful, we have something for everyone (mountains, beaches, small rural towns, great small-mid size cities like Portland, Boston, etc), and overall the area is quite progressive/liberal. Even in the more rural areas, New England conservativism is more libertarian than anything else – the “we don’t care what you do, just don’t expect us to pay for it” types. MA is the bastion of liberalism in the region, but if you want to live within an hour drive of Boston, you will pay a pretty penny. Vermont is gorgeous but unless you move to Burlington, you really have to like rural living. Vermont is the 2nd least populous state and it is the type of place where there is very little industry to speak of.

Pros of the region:
Generally more liberal/progressive value systems
Gorgeous seasons and lots of outdoor activities
Low natural disaster and terrorism risk
MA in particular has been named one of the best states to live in

Cons:
HCOL compared to many other areas of the US, although if you live further from the coastal cities it is more MCOL
Snow/weather – snow, sleet, biting cold in the winter time
Higher taxes in many states (CT, MA)


I love my region but it isn't for everyone - the weather can be a huge turn off for people, and the general housing market and cost of living near Boston is outrageously expensive. Personally, I prefer more rural NE, but that comes with its own trade offs.

**watch out for NH – as others mentioned, NH is actually pretty conservative in many respects. While the conservative leanings in NE might be based less on religion and morality and more on economic concerns, make sure that you go into NH with your eyes open if you really want to move to a state with very progressive policies. To me, NH is the type of state that won’t go after gay people or abortion clinics, but might easily slash welfare benefits or require drug testing for recipients.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 10:50:24 AM by little_brown_dog »

Kris

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2016, 10:02:22 AM »
I get this.  I live in a Wisconsin county that voted 67% red, and we definitely feel out of place here.  I have lived here for 20+ years, as everything here is actually great except for the politics and long winters.  We love our home and our neighborhood, the schools are great, there is very little crime, my taxes are reasonable, and it is geographically beautiful.  That said, we would ultimately like to move south sometime after our daughter graduates college to escape the cold. 

So, everything is great in your state except the political leaning? Perhaps the fact that your state leans more right than left explains its success??

The good news is that you can always move to a state that votes how you do if you think that is more important than a good neighborhood, low crime, good schools, and reasonable taxes. :)

Actually, no. I live in Minnesota and worked in Wisconsin for fifteen years up until about six months ago. Wisconsin's past success has more to do with the fact that it used to lean left. That it has shifted right in recent years has also corresponded with falling economic strength, as well as the slow slide downward of its university system. The trend for the state is downward, at least for the foreseeable future.

little_brown_dog

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2016, 10:32:57 AM »
Some more info on MA if you are interested in going all-in for a highly progressive state:

MA supports:

Improved healthcare access (masshealth)
Gay marriage/lgbt rights
Marijuana legalization  (recreational weed was just legalized this year)
Animal welfare (including farm animal protections and increased funding for animal abuse investigations)
Environmental protections
Minimum wage increases (not as aggressive as some other states but the min wage here will be $11 effective Jan 1)

With easy access to Boston, there is world class healthcare available if you need it (Dana Farber, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Womens, etc), and if you live in a solid middle class+ town, the school systems are usually good to great due to high tax revenues. There are tons of universities in the state, and the overall population is extremely well educated. Of course, all of this has its downsides – MA is a HCOL state by definition. You get what you pay for. If you are trying to buy east of I-495 (near Boston), 400k+ is the going rate for 3 bed homes, and they increase dramatically the closer you get to Boston. There are whole towns that are almost completely out of reach for anyone with a budget less than 800k.

MA is also part of that “liberal bubble” where if you live in the more affluent eastern parts of MA, it really is like you are living in a different world than the rest of the nation. Seriously, in Boston you can sometimes feel like an underachiever for only having a masters degree, and the overall academic culture can occasionally be downright hostile and condescending to religion, conservative ideas, or even moderate liberalism sometimes. It can be that type of place. However, MA quickly becomes more working class the more westward you go, so you can certainly find a place that is more diverse politically and ideologically if you are so inclined. These towns also tend to be more MCOL.

Traffic patterns - like other heavily populated states, our traffic sucks here. It isn't catastrophic like LA, but it can be routine to spend 1.5-2hrs commuting if you travel into/out of Boston at peak hours. The weather and roads are not ideal for biking either - Boston being one of the original cities, has roads that are very narrow and loopy, making them particularly dangerous for bikers when coupled with MA drivers' aggressive tendencies.

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2016, 11:58:20 AM »
It sounds like you're looking for a state that has legalized marijuana.  I predict a widespread purple-ing of the entire map once more and more states legalize.

But yea, of the states I've never been to and know very little about, Colorado tops the list of places I most want to try living in someday.  I've heard the western part of the state is a good bit cheaper if you aren't going there specifically for how the front range is portrayed.

Making Cookies

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2016, 03:02:11 PM »
Look for a university town near a larger city?

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2016, 03:22:20 PM »
If you're going to check out seattle, make sure to see Bellingham which is about 1.5 hours north.  Cheaper than Seattle, very blue (lots of hipsters and the like too), very bikable, home to Western Washington university, there are beaches... but not the kind you would expect.  Very outdoor-sy with a lot of hiking.  There are some really bad neighborhoods but generally pretty crime free, I think?

Biggest complaint is the rain... there is a lot of it between October and May.  But the summers are incredible and the temperature does not often go much below 40 (though don't look at this week).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 03:26:00 PM by v8rx7guy »

RangerOne

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2016, 04:09:05 PM »
Austin Texas would be interesting but the state is just too Red. And you can expect that for the foreseeable future if you appreciate more liberal social programs they are going to get hammered in that state.

Wouldn't really want to raise my daughter in a state where college campuses allow open carry, consider a perk of living in a state is cheap access to their colleges.

I know the cost of living in Cali is high in the cities, but there are cheaper areas within the state if you are willing to live in a smaller town and your work allows it. It also opens up cheaper access to the UC college system which has at least 3 of the best schools in the nation and are significantly cheaper for in state residents.

The state is also pretty strong on progressive values and has good maternity leave benefits compared to elsewhere.

snogirl

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2016, 04:30:13 PM »
I live in S. Burlington VT & love it. I grew up in Southern VT. Went to college in Burlington (St. Mikes). Lived all over the country but returned to my roots. I like the political climate here, the arts, craft beer, close to Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Boston, the ocean, the Green & White Mountains, low crime, crystal clear waters, hiking trails,  The school system in excellent. There are 5 colleges UVM, Champlain, St. Mikes, CCV, VT Tech. Also the VT Law School. Lots of farming, Cabot Cheese, Ben & Jerry's, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Darn Tough Socks.
The cons is its expensive in taxes, not many big business & MCOL to HCOL.


Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 04:34:53 PM by snogirl »

jrhampt

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2016, 08:32:40 PM »
Native New Englander here…lived all over the place around here, RI, MA, NH. You really can’t go wrong in our region when compared to many other areas of the country. The landscape is beautiful, we have something for everyone (mountains, beaches, small rural towns, great small-mid size cities like Portland, Boston, etc), and overall the area is quite progressive/liberal. Even in the more rural areas, New England conservativism is more libertarian than anything else – the “we don’t care what you do, just don’t expect us to pay for it” types. MA is the bastion of liberalism in the region, but if you want to live within an hour drive of Boston, you will pay a pretty penny. Vermont is gorgeous but unless you move to Burlington, you really have to like rural living. Vermont is the 2nd least populous state and it is the type of place where there is very little industry to speak of.

Pros of the region:
Generally more liberal/progressive value systems
Gorgeous seasons and lots of outdoor activities
Low natural disaster and terrorism risk
MA in particular has been named one of the best states to live in

Cons:
HCOL compared to many other areas of the US, although if you live further from the coastal cities it is more MCOL
Snow/weather – snow, sleet, biting cold in the winter time
Higher taxes in many states (CT, MA)


I love my region but it isn't for everyone - the weather can be a huge turn off for people, and the general housing market and cost of living near Boston is outrageously expensive. Personally, I prefer more rural NE, but that comes with its own trade offs.

**watch out for NH – as others mentioned, NH is actually pretty conservative in many respects. While the conservative leanings in NE might be based less on religion and morality and more on economic concerns, make sure that you go into NH with your eyes open if you really want to move to a state with very progressive policies. To me, NH is the type of state that won’t go after gay people or abortion clinics, but might easily slash welfare benefits or require drug testing for recipients.

I also vote for New England (moved here from Texas but have also lived in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania and Illinois).  Mountains and beaches and people who progressive, for the most part.  Or at least, live and let live.  Ct is a bit expensive, but it's heaven here may-November.

gimp

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2016, 12:14:11 AM »
Side note - I like california, but after having some interesting discussions with people, I'm playing around with trying to write a program that cross-checks a ton of factors to predict where an up-and-coming area is.

What do you guys think is the right combination of factors to predict this?
I would be VERY interested in this as a Californian looking to move somewhere up and coming. Have you read this book yet? https://www.amazon.com/Whos-Your-City-Creative-Important-ebook/dp/B008164JUW/  Some factors that seem to correlate are things like having a high gay population, number of creative jobs, etc.

Keep me apprised of your research; I'd love to help out if you need someone to do some analysis on data sets.

The results are in: Move to an inner city!

Okay, but seriously though, when sorting for the lowest home cost : household income ratio, from datasets from zillow and the us census and the IRS, the first-order results say to move to the downtown of cities if that downtown is falling apart.

For example, Richmond:

Code: [Select]
State Zip Pop Area Dens Approx Workers Approx Depnd Approx Unempl Worker Inc Household Inc Home 2016-06 Household Home Ratio
VA 23219 3781 1.534 2464.7 2190 370 1221 231956 245402 145100 0.59

Formatting on this forum sucks, but while the average worker income is very high, the unemployment rate estimate appears to be around 50%. Oops!

Here's some interesting information, though.

Let's look at 74114, Tulsa, OK.

Code: [Select]
State Zip Pop Area Dens Approx Workers Approx Depnd Approx Unempl Worker Inc Household Inc Home 2016-06 Household Home Ratio
OK 74114 15778 4.848 3254.5 10710 3630 1438 123305 162836 136700 0.83

Roughly 10k workers, 1500 unlisted (this is the unemployed / retired / whatever category - the data is still pretty rough), but it seems to list worker income average as $123k for that zip code.

However, the zip codes right next to it have average incomes that are ~4-6x less, so maybe it's not that Tulsa is such a great city, but more like there's just one zip code in Tulsa where all the rich people live. (Google says average income is $27k).

I suppose that means that if you can find good paying work in Tulsa, you should go live in 74114, and be very happy. If you can't, then fuck tulsa.

A much more "normal" place with a home-to-income ratio of 2.00 is 43613, Toledo.

Code: [Select]
State Zip Pop Area Dens Approx Workers Approx Depnd Approx Unempl Worker Inc Household Inc Home 2016-06 Household Home Ratio
OH 43613 31635 6.135 5156.4 19320 9350 2965 33778 41017 82100 2

Solid $40k household income, $80k homes, lots of kids.

It will take some time for me to figure out how to search better.

Note: I only downloaded the single family residence data from zillow... fuck condos!

If you're interested - I've attached the spreadsheet. It's in pretty early stages, pretty rough estimates for some stuff. Generated from a population density spreadsheet (census), income (IRS), and SFR prices (zillow).

waltworks

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #37 on: December 10, 2016, 11:11:26 AM »
Los Alamos NM has MCOL, best public schools on earth, and a very nice climate. Purple politics, though the state is blue.

If you are coming from the south, the climate/culture shock will be huge, though. And it's a small town that is almost 100% science nerds, which can be pretty weird. Good for some people, awful for others.

-W


wenchsenior

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2016, 02:11:34 PM »
DH and I keep meaning to check Los Alamos out as a possible retirement spot. We've spent a fair amount of time in NM but for some reason have never gotten to that particular city. It sounds like a good fit for us.

waltworks

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2016, 02:29:05 PM »
Feel free to drop me a line if you want more details. I don't live there but we have a house there that we rent out just to have the option if UT public schools get worse in the next few years.

Briefly, though:

Positive:
Smartest town on earth, great climate (4 real seasons but not horribly cold in winter), tons of outdoor sports (ski, rock climb, mountain bike, run, hike, kayak, etc) all within a very short distance (you can ski powder and climb shirtless on the same day with only a 15 minute drive separating them!), nice local brewery, good grocery store. Best public schools in the US by a large margin - it is *completely normal* to go to Ivy/MIT/Stanford/Cal Tech for the top 20-25% of the graduating class. No, I am not exaggerating.

No crime to speak of. Rated the "easiest" place to live in the entire United States (ie best life outcomes in terms of life expectancy, income, education, obesity/disability, etc) by the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/upshot/where-are-the-hardest-places-to-live-in-the-us.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

Negative:
Nerds, nerds, nerds. Not really very diverse. Small town (10k) so everyone knows if your kid go caught with weed. Only one grocery store, not much in the way of decent restaurants, isolated a bit (45 minute drive to Santa Fe, 90 to Albuquerque). Cheapest housing stock is very cheap ($100k gets you a 3/1 duplex half if you can do a little fix-up) but also old and not designed with cool modern features (ie cramped/dark 1950s and 60s houses).

-W
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 02:37:22 PM by waltworks »

gimp

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2016, 07:08:01 PM »
Quote
Negative:
Nerds, nerds, nerds. Not really very diverse.

Yeah... that doesn't sound like a problem for me ... at all.

I went to a high school where ~13 (out of 130) went to Yale alone... a public school where everyone is expected to excel sounds like a great place to raise kids.

wenchsenior

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2016, 11:10:12 AM »
Quote
Negative:
Nerds, nerds, nerds. Not really very diverse.

Yeah... that doesn't sound like a problem for me ... at all.

I went to a high school where ~13 (out of 130) went to Yale alone... a public school where everyone is expected to excel sounds like a great place to raise kids.

Sounds good to me, too! The main issue for us would be lack of close access to medical care, but everything else sounds almost ideal.  Thanks, waltworks.

waltworks

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2016, 11:43:12 AM »
There is a full modern hospital. A very good one, really. I guess if you needed like, radiation therapy for cancer or something really specific, you would have to drive to Albuquerque, but it's hardly so rural that you don't have the best modern medicine easily available.

http://www.losalamosmedicalcenter.com/our-services

-W
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 11:46:36 AM by waltworks »

AlanStache

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2016, 04:02:34 PM »
Los Alamos almost looks like Eureka https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka_(U.S._TV_series)

Glenstache

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2016, 07:02:29 PM »
Wenatchee, WA is very underappreciated and a great place. Decent sized town, great access to beautiful surroundings, LCOL (for the west coast, at least). For 350k you could have a house with mountain biking trails pretty much out your back door.

J Boogie

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2016, 10:01:57 AM »
I get this.  I live in a Wisconsin county that voted 67% red, and we definitely feel out of place here.  I have lived here for 20+ years, as everything here is actually great except for the politics and long winters.  We love our home and our neighborhood, the schools are great, there is very little crime, my taxes are reasonable, and it is geographically beautiful.  That said, we would ultimately like to move south sometime after our daughter graduates college to escape the cold. 

So, everything is great in your state except the political leaning? Perhaps the fact that your state leans more right than left explains its success??

The good news is that you can always move to a state that votes how you do if you think that is more important than a good neighborhood, low crime, good schools, and reasonable taxes. :)

Actually, no. I live in Minnesota and worked in Wisconsin for fifteen years up until about six months ago. Wisconsin's past success has more to do with the fact that it used to lean left. That it has shifted right in recent years has also corresponded with falling economic strength, as well as the slow slide downward of its university system. The trend for the state is downward, at least for the foreseeable future.

As a Minnesotan, I feel compelled to discourage any reasonable person from considering Wisconsin.  Minnesota is better than Wisconsin in every way but Super Bowl Championships.  Politics are just one area where MN asserts it superiority over Wisconsin.  We are smarter, healthier, better looking, we have higher incomes, we have a higher success rate when throwing snack food up in the air and catching it in our mouths, ditto for throwing waste in a waste bin, etc.  And we don't feel too bad about our men's sports teams lack of success because there is no better WNBA team than the Minnesota Lynx.







Slightly kidding.  I work with a lot of people from Wisconsin (3M is about 20 minutes away from the border) and we have a good back and forth.  I think a good amount of what I perceive as the difference between MN and WI is actually the difference between city people and rural/small town people since the twin cities are so close to the border of WI and so far away from Milwaukee or even Madison.  But the statistics do back a lot of those things I've mentioned.






Watchmaker

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #46 on: December 15, 2016, 10:20:41 AM »
As a Minnesotan, I feel compelled to discourage any reasonable person from considering Wisconsin.  Minnesota is better than Wisconsin in every way but Super Bowl Championships.  Politics are just one area where MN asserts it superiority over Wisconsin.  We are smarter, healthier, better looking, we have higher incomes, we have a higher success rate when throwing snack food up in the air and catching it in our mouths, ditto for throwing waste in a waste bin, etc.  And we don't feel too bad about our men's sports teams lack of success because there is no better WNBA team than the Minnesota Lynx.

Slightly kidding.  I work with a lot of people from Wisconsin (3M is about 20 minutes away from the border) and we have a good back and forth.  I think a good amount of what I perceive as the difference between MN and WI is actually the difference between city people and rural/small town people since the twin cities are so close to the border of WI and so far away from Milwaukee or even Madison.  But the statistics do back a lot of those things I've mentioned.

As a former Minnesota resident living in Wisconsin, I'll agree that the difference is largely city vs country.  Madison is pretty darn similar to Minneapolis (just smaller).  And small towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota are often quite similar to each other.  It's just than Madison and Milwaukee do not dominate WI culture like the Twin Cities do in MN.

Wisconsin has ~1.3 million more residents living outside "big" cities than Minnesota does.  Thant's the difference.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2019, 10:14:38 AM »
Hey @Nick_Miller how did your new location search turn out? Did you move? If so, where?

I also moved after the 2016 elections, but the elections had nothing to do with it. I've know since college that I eventually wanted to settle down near Athens, GA, and I finally made it back. It's a fabulous college town and a little blue island in a deep red state. Life is grand and I hope to never leave :)

waltworks

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2019, 12:13:55 PM »
One day I bumped into maps where you can enter your zip code https://worldpostalcode.com/united-states/north-dakota/ and it will show the economic and social state of the region. Is there the same service with crimes, education level, and other useful information?

2010 census data is publicly available and you can accomplish that pretty easily. But the NYT already did it for you - "The team at The Upshot, a Times news and data-analysis venture, compiled six basic metrics to give a picture of the quality and longevity of life in each county of the nation: educational attainment, household income, jobless rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity rate. "

As you might expect, the places that do better on these variables tend strongly "blue" and the places that do worse, "red" politically.

https://www.census.gov/geography/interactive-maps.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/upshot/where-are-the-hardest-places-to-live-in-the-us.html

-W


Nick_Miller

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Re: States with low crime, blue/purple, great education, MCOL?
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2019, 01:12:07 PM »
Hey @Nick_Miller how did your new location search turn out? Did you move? If so, where?

I also moved after the 2016 elections, but the elections had nothing to do with it. I've know since college that I eventually wanted to settle down near Athens, GA, and I finally made it back. It's a fabulous college town and a little blue island in a deep red state. Life is grand and I hope to never leave :)

I saw this tag and thought, "Holy crap! Was I supposed to move somewhere??" and then I realized that I had already moved. And all was well!

Seriously, thanks for asking! We did move in winter of 2017, so we've been at our new house for almost 2 years now. We stayed in our state, heck we stayed in our city, so most of the issues I mentioned in my OP are still issues, BUT we did enhance our quality of life a bit. Better kitchen, more yard, outdoor covered deck, and nicer neighborhood. Our kids go to better schools (they are public, but this particular slice of the city has access to very good schools). Most of the crime in the area appears to be drug-related, with addicts breaking into cars and such. State is still as red as ever, that won't change.

I'm resigned to finishing out my legal career here so I'm not worried about reciprocity anymore. And with my kiddos "locked" into good schools now, moving away and shaking that up really isn't an option anymore anyway. I'm just trying to stack up as much $ as we can to give us options in a few years.

@Mississippi Mudstache , you mentioned your blue island in GA...was it by chance featured in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy last year? We watched all the episodes and I remember a small GA town with a very young mayor and the city was super progressive and diverse. It seemed like such an awesome little oasis!