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Old 04-06-2014, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana (35 miles south of Chicago)
12 posts, read 27,570 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all, I am a 40 yr old single female who has lived my entire life in the midwest (3 yrs in Chicago and the rest in NW Indiana). I am so sick of the cold weather and snow and this winter was the worst. I've been visiting places to see where I may want to move. I went to Phoenix/Scottsdale area last week and loved it. Granted it was the end of March and not Aug when it gets super hot, but the sunshine and being able to sit by the pool was great. Not to mention the wonderful mountain views (something we don't have in the midwest). Climbed the Camelback Mountain too. I am going to San Diego, LA suburbs at the beginning of May. I have visited different areas of FL many times for vacations.

I've been reading the pros and cons of each area. While I did love living in Chicago (the public transportation, culture, sports etc), I know most places won't have great public transportation and I will be driving and I'm okay with that as I do that now in NW IN.

My main criteria is: warm climate (at least for most of the year), lots of outdoor activities (hiking, biking etc), friendly people, nightlife- I don't like the bar scenes but I like theater and good restaurants, singles activities (I'm hoping to meet someone wherever I go). Perhaps someone knows which are the best cities for meeting eligible single young professional men. I hear Denver has been nicknamed Menver- lol. I am a nurse, so finding a job won't be hard. Also have been thinking about flipping homes as have done 2 renovations here. Are any of those places better than others for that?

1. Phoenix/Scottsdale area-- loved the sunshine and warm weather, have not visited during the dead of summer when it's very hot and may be a good idea to do that. Didn't like that there was no viable downtown but I can adjust to that. Not sure how many single men my age group there would be there. Beautiful mountains, liked the desert look, lots of outdoor activities. No beach (could prob get used to that as long as I had a pool). Lower cost of living that below places.

2. San Diego-- I've heard the weather is unbeatable, beaches. Cons would be the high cost of living.

3. LA suburbs- a friend lives there and told me the weather is fabulous- 65-80 all year round. Lots to do there- hiking, biking, beaches not too far away. Cons would be the high cost of living and the traffic and not sure how nice the people are.

4. Austin-- friendly, nice weather in the summer, milder winters that Midwest.

5. Denver- lots of outdoor activities, my cousin who lives there and used to live in the Midwest told me the winters are milder than the Midwest but I have been reading they still get 60 inches a year and that seems like a lot to me.

6. FL (not sure where) maybe Tampa- lots to do, green, lush, beaches, watersports. Cons would be high taxes, high cost of living, high humidity and possible hurricanes.

Any suggestions would be great- thanks!
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana (35 miles south of Chicago)
12 posts, read 27,570 times
Reputation: 10
No ideas?
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
135 posts, read 146,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contemplation View Post
No ideas?
I'll be completely honest - I think this decision is absolutely bound by your financial status. To put it in context, the average home price of something near the water in Tampa is around $200,000. Something commensurate in Manhattan Beach (LA) would be well over $1.5 million dollars (and likely a few decades older). I would propose that 98% of (sane) people would take Manhattan Beach if the financial burden were equal. This negates so much of what is desirable about Southern California, or forces people into Southern California communities that are on the whole quite less desirable than the aforementioned Tampa.

Having lived in a few cities on this list and spent good time in them all, I'll give you my lame, sure to offend, CD-style quick impressions focused on your list:

1. Phoenix/Scottsdale - Kind of like Central Florida in the desert; very much a town of Midwestern transplants and $50,000 millionaires (i.e. comically superficial at times). Tepid economy, but if you like the desert, it can be an amazing place. The heat and lack of culture seems to wear on lots of people. Not terribly educated or diverse.
2. LA - If you can afford it (I.E. living comfortably within a mile or two of the coast or the nicer West LA suburbs), nothing on the list can compare. 99.5% of Americans really can't. Your experience there will almost completely depend on where you live.
3. SD - Everything a Midwesterner would expect from Southern California without the trappings of LA's massiveness. A bit more "accessible" for the average American. Cute and nice. Still expensive
4. Austin - surprisingly nice and surprisingly "crowded". More to do outdoors than you would think, but becoming a bit of a self-fulfilling, hipster cliche of a city. Affordable. Hot.
5. Denver - Maybe the most distinct town on your list; definite Rocky Mountain vibe and surprisingly young. Don't go there if you are trying to escape cold or avoid playing in snow. Definitely the most stoner and granola place on your list
6. Tampa - Trashier than you might imagine (more of a Bud-lite, MMA fan crowd in your age group). Nice beaches, good weather, but still feels like a giant summer vacation for people from St. Louis. Easily the least impressive, least educated and cheapest place on your list.


Best of luck in your search.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:36 PM
 
34,355 posts, read 41,427,648 times
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Just to clarify, those Tampa beaches are actually on the West side of St Petersburg, a good 25 mile heavily congested drive from Tampa.Tampa has no beaches..
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana (35 miles south of Chicago)
12 posts, read 27,570 times
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Thanks, J_Treehorn and Jambo. Appreciate your responses. I would want to rent for about a year first to make sure I like the area. Those homes sound ridiculously expensive in California. I've looked on craigslist just to get an idea of apartment costs and CA (West Hollywood, Culver City, Melrose, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills) of course is more expensive. A 2 BR is like $1800/month where in AZ you can get the same for $800-900.

Where do you think is the best place in FL that is closer to a beach? Tampa doesn't sound too good.

Austin sounds more like a college town (place for 20-somethings) which with me being 40, may not be a good fit. However I had a friend my age who lived there a few years ago and really liked the hills around there for hiking.

Last edited by Contemplation; 04-07-2014 at 04:42 PM..
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,031,517 times
Reputation: 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contemplation View Post
Thanks, J_Treehorn and Jambo. Appreciate your responses. I would want to rent for about a year first to make sure I like the area. Those homes sound ridiculously expensive in California. I've looked on craigslist just to get an idea of apartment costs and CA (West Hollywood, Culver City, Melrose, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills) of course is more expensive. A 2 BR is like $1800/month where in AZ you can get the same for $800-900.

Where do you think is the best place in FL that is closer to a beach? Tampa doesn't sound too good.

Austin sounds more like a college town (place for 20-somethings) which with me being 40, may not be a good fit. However I had a friend my age who lived there a few years ago and really liked the hills around there for hiking.
Unless you're a snob, you can easily, in many neighborhoods, get a 2BR apt. in PHX for around $650.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:48 AM
 
34,355 posts, read 41,427,648 times
Reputation: 29840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contemplation View Post

Where do you think is the best place in FL that is closer to a beach? Tampa doesn't sound too good.
You might want to do a little research on St Petersburg if its warm weather and beaches you are looking for.
http://0.tqn.com/d/goflorida/1/0/x/c/beach_map_lg.jpg

Some St Pete area beach pics
https://www.google.ca/search?safe=ac...=isch&imgdii=_
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Mesa, AZ (via NY)
148 posts, read 146,248 times
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IF your #1 criteria is Warm Weather, you should probably remove Denver from your list. I'm personally moving from the Northeast to the Phoenix area next month primarily for weather (and a change) but I have to admit that the cheap cost of living was a major draw as well along with the desert landscape.

Southern CA is extremely expensive as others have said and you already know. I was also considering the west coast of FL but came to the conclusion that, for me, FLA is a fun place to vacation but I don't want to live there. I've never been to Austin so I can't comment.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,412 posts, read 1,878,992 times
Reputation: 497
3. Phoenix- very warm all year with average high in upper 80s, big city, many things to do, not expensive, nice scenery
2. San Diego- warm year round average high in low 70s, relaxed vibe, big city, also many things to do/see, expensive
1. LA- warm year round with average high in low 80s, big city feel, vibrant, diverse, full of culture, infinetely many things to do,and see, Beautiful Beaches (LA /OC), this would be my choice.

all others I would want to live
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:11 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,541 posts, read 3,650,165 times
Reputation: 12300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contemplation View Post
My main criteria is: warm climate (at least for most of the year), lots of outdoor activities (hiking, biking etc), friendly people, nightlife- I don't like the bar scenes but I like theater and good restaurants, singles activities (I'm hoping to meet someone wherever I go).

Any suggestions would be great- thanks!
Is there a reason Albuquerque isn't on your list? All of those things you list as criteria exist in Albuquerque plus it has a very reasonable cost of living compared to your other choices plus (again) the cultural mix is very interesting. The RailRunner commuter train connects Albuquerque to Santa Fe (1 hour trip is under $10 RT) for more stuff to do and see. Just a suggestion.
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