U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 06-30-2017, 12:00 PM
 
8 posts, read 6,563 times
Reputation: 15

Advertisements

Hello everyone! My partner and I are seriously considering moving away from Austin TX within the next few years, so this isn't urgent we're just trying to get an idea of which part of the country might be best for us. Some background info about us- we're both fairly recent college grads, he graduated in 2014 and I graduated in 2015. He's mostly worked in sales for Best Buy and Samsung and I've been a hotline advocate for victims of domestic violence for about a year, so I'm interested in pursuing a career in social work. We both grew up in Texas, he grew up in the Hill Country just outside of Austin and I'm from San Antonio. So we're pretty tired of the oppressive Texas heat and want to escape it, we'd also like to live somewhere that actually has 4 seasons. We're also really tired of Austin traffic and want to live somewhere that actually has decent roads and not terrible traffic and commute times. Also, we'd ideally like to live somewhere that has a lower cost of living than Austin. We're both homebodies so nightlife is not a big deal for us, but we do like to go out to eat so having a variety of good restaurants is definitely a big plus. I would also like to live somewhere that has nice coffee shops as well. A dog friendly city would be nice too since we will probably get a dog sometime in the future. Also, a good airport would be ideal so we can easily take trips back home to Austin and San Antonio.

That's pretty much it for what we're looking for in a city/town. Kids aren't in our future so schools aren't a big deal. Housing/rent wise- we don't have tons of money so I think we'll probably try to save up within the next few years but generally speaking, I think we'd be interested in finding a two bedroom house or apartment to rent for $1500 or less. I know housing and rent prices can easily fluctuate in cities, but like I mentioned we're just brainstorming at this point. We're both fairly liberal, neither of us are really busy activists or anything, but I guess it'd be nice to live somewhere that is more progressive than not. I realize all of these states are solidly red but I've also read that these cities aren't quite as conservative as the states they are in.

Anyway, I've been researching cities and I think Salt Lake City, Kansas City, and Fayetteville AR stand out as places that we might potentially enjoy. I've never actually been to any of these places so if we were to seriously consider moving to any of these cities I know it'd be wise to actually visit them ahead of time. We both love Colorado and being in the mountains but I've read that CO cities can be pricey, so Salt Lake City seems like it'd be a good fit since it's close to the mountains. Kansas City seems good since I've read that the cost of living is pretty cheap and the commute times/traffic isn't bad compared to other big cities. Fayetteville also seems like it'd have a cheaper cost of living and it looks like a pretty town. I know all these places can get hot in the summer but I don't think any of them would be hotter than Austin. Also, any insight on how difficult it can be for out of state folks to find jobs in these cities? The thought of moving somewhere without a job seems really risky to me.


Anyone have any insight on how these cities all compare or any insight on some other city that sounds like it would suit us? Thanks!

Last edited by polkadotpudding; 06-30-2017 at 12:08 PM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-30-2017, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Little Rock, AR
2,305 posts, read 700,124 times
Reputation: 1378
I've been to two of the three places listed, never been to Salt Lake. Fayetteville AR seems to check most of your boxes and most importantly fit your budget. It's been compared to Austin of 30 years ago and having just got back from Austin recently I agree with the comparison. You get 4 nice seasons in Fayetteville along with better cost of living and much less traffic compared to Austin but Austin has many amenities that are missing in Fayetteville.

I would go with Fayetteville.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-30-2017, 12:27 PM
 
8 posts, read 6,563 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for your input! From what I've read it seems like a nice college town. Out of curiosity, what sorts of amenities are missing in Fayetteville?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2017, 06:18 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,106 posts, read 21,722,272 times
Reputation: 10206
Fayetteville does not have direct flights to Austin or San Antonio whereas both Salt Lake City and Kansas City's airports do. It does look like a pretty charming place though.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2017, 07:35 AM
 
482 posts, read 215,985 times
Reputation: 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by polkadotpudding View Post
Hello everyone! My partner and I are seriously considering moving away from Austin TX within the next few years, so this isn't urgent we're just trying to get an idea of which part of the country might be best for us. Some background info about us- we're both fairly recent college grads, he graduated in 2014 and I graduated in 2015. He's mostly worked in sales for Best Buy and Samsung and I've been a hotline advocate for victims of domestic violence for about a year, so I'm interested in pursuing a career in social work. We both grew up in Texas, he grew up in the Hill Country just outside of Austin and I'm from San Antonio. So we're pretty tired of the oppressive Texas heat and want to escape it, we'd also like to live somewhere that actually has 4 seasons. We're also really tired of Austin traffic and want to live somewhere that actually has decent roads and not terrible traffic and commute times. Also, we'd ideally like to live somewhere that has a lower cost of living than Austin. We're both homebodies so nightlife is not a big deal for us, but we do like to go out to eat so having a variety of good restaurants is definitely a big plus. I would also like to live somewhere that has nice coffee shops as well. A dog friendly city would be nice too since we will probably get a dog sometime in the future. Also, a good airport would be ideal so we can easily take trips back home to Austin and San Antonio.

That's pretty much it for what we're looking for in a city/town. Kids aren't in our future so schools aren't a big deal. Housing/rent wise- we don't have tons of money so I think we'll probably try to save up within the next few years but generally speaking, I think we'd be interested in finding a two bedroom house or apartment to rent for $1500 or less. I know housing and rent prices can easily fluctuate in cities, but like I mentioned we're just brainstorming at this point. We're both fairly liberal, neither of us are really busy activists or anything, but I guess it'd be nice to live somewhere that is more progressive than not. I realize all of these states are solidly red but I've also read that these cities aren't quite as conservative as the states they are in.

Anyway, I've been researching cities and I think Salt Lake City, Kansas City, and Fayetteville AR stand out as places that we might potentially enjoy. I've never actually been to any of these places so if we were to seriously consider moving to any of these cities I know it'd be wise to actually visit them ahead of time. We both love Colorado and being in the mountains but I've read that CO cities can be pricey, so Salt Lake City seems like it'd be a good fit since it's close to the mountains. Kansas City seems good since I've read that the cost of living is pretty cheap and the commute times/traffic isn't bad compared to other big cities. Fayetteville also seems like it'd have a cheaper cost of living and it looks like a pretty town. I know all these places can get hot in the summer but I don't think any of them would be hotter than Austin. Also, any insight on how difficult it can be for out of state folks to find jobs in these cities? The thought of moving somewhere without a job seems really risky to me.


Anyone have any insight on how these cities all compare or any insight on some other city that sounds like it would suit us? Thanks!
First I'd say based on your criteria you've narrowed it down to three good choices. However, as nice as I understand Fayetville to be, when compared to the other two I'd probably eliminate it based on size alone. I suppose it's a good choice if you're moving there with a job offer in hand and don't plan to ever leave said job. However if you're moving without a job, or you have a job but would like to move up and/or change jobs at some point, then it's generally best if a person chooses the place with the largest economy among the cities they enjoy or can tolerate.

I'm saying this based on extensive personal experience having relocations fail because I chose places that were attractive on the surface but had comparatively small or weak job markets. Cost of living is of course an understandably huge factor for anyone, but cost of living is always relative to income, so the ability to advance and prosper in one's chosen career is an even higher priority in my opinion.

I'm a Kansas City native, whereas I've only driven through Salt Lake a couple of times, so it's clear which one of the two I'm more familiar with. I'd go with Kansas City if I'm prioritizing living in a larger, more urban metro area. I'd go with Salt Lake if I'm prioritizing access to outdoors activities. Utah is a truly gorgeous state; in recent decades they're getting more and more spillover tourists from Colorado who report that the skiing in Utah is just as nice but less crowded. My impression is Salt Lake just crushes KC when it comes to outdoors activities, and you'd probably sense the difference between those two even more so if a great outdoors place like Austin is your baseline / standard.

Overall though Kansas City does have a four season climate, relatively modest traffic for a major metro area, and it's a flat-out steal in terms of cost-of-living. It doesn't take much research to find that the airport gets very mixed reviews, but if your only concern is having plenty of available flights to Texas, that won't be a problem.

As far as food Kansas City has as many good restaurants as any other big city, but the specialty is barbecue. As a Texan, you'd feel right at home in that regard. Kansas Citians really don't even allow visitors to come without sitting them down, giving them the rundown of area barbecue, and cajoling them to visit one or two or more places. I might get run off of City-Data for saying this, but I truly believe Kansas City barbecue is better than the Texas barbecue I've had (which is a whole lot).

I hope that's all helpful. Congratulations on beginning the next phase of your life.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2017, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Austin
586 posts, read 617,614 times
Reputation: 1041
I grew up in NW Arkansas not too far from Fayetteville, lived in SLC for two years, and Austin for most of the past 20 years years. I've been to KC but have very little experience there so I'll focus on the other cities.

First off, the heat. I too dream of moving away from the awful heat down here. Yes, Fayetteville and Salt Lake can get hot but it will seem like nothing compared to what you are used to. The heat and humidity of Arkansas can be awful at times but the heat doesn't last for nearly as long. The summer temps still fall into the upper 60s. How nice does that sound? It gets better though. In SL, during the summer, it may be low to mid 90s in the afternoon but temps dramatically fall, even down to upper 50s. It feels glorious! It does get cold in winter in both, more so in Utah of course but it's not unbearable. Utah is the king of snow removal on city roads. Fayetteville, not so much. When it does snow, it can be tough for a day or two, but it doesn't snow often.

Something weather related about Salt Lake City that you may or may not have read about - inversions. SLC is surrounded by mountains. In the winter, cold air can get trapped under a warmer layer of air. When that happens, it is like someone put a lid over the city, allowing pollution to build up. The air can get quite nasty. I adore Utah but anyone looking at moving to cities along the Wasatch Front needs to be aware of inversions in the winter.

Fayetteville will seem crazy cheap next to Austin. SLC is cheaper than Austin but prices are climbing there too. I was just playing with flight info and it is cheaper to fly to Austin from SLC than Fayetteville, even though it is farther.

Traffic. Fayetteville traffic will seem non-existent compared to Austin. Salt Lake does have traffic problems but not to the level of Austin. Something great about SL is that beside the interstate highways, there are also many broad streets you can use to get places. Plus, with the street layout of all the cities in Utah, it is basically impossible to get lost once you understand the grid system.

Job Market. Fayetteville has very low unemployment rate and is solid. However, the job market is still small compared to the other cities we are talking about. While that may not be a problem, it is something to be aware of. You will have fewer options. If one of those options end up as a great job opportunity, great!

Politics. You mentioned them so I feel I must address that too. Fayetteville is rather liberal for Arkansas but the area is still quite conservative. You shouldn't have problems meeting other like minded people but the area is still rather red. Washington County, where Fayetteville is, voted 50% Trump, 40% Clinton. Benton County, the largest in the area, with Bentonville and Rogers, voted nearly 2/3 for him. Politically, this is your worst choice. As far as Salt Lake City, yes, Utah is extremely red. However, Salt Lake City is not. Salt Lake County went for Clinton, partly because of a third candidate who is Mormon. Even so, SL is liberal by Utah standards. I lived there when I came out (I'm gay!) and was surprised by my experiences there. I ended up being good friends with a drag queen and we went all over the city without any problems. The worst thing was a kid coming up to ask "Are you a man?" as his mother blushed and apologized. This is the CITY of Salt Lake, not the metro that I'm talking about. The farther you go from downtown Salt Lake, the more conservative the area becomes. Be aware of that when you look for a place to live.

I'll stop rambling. I hope something I've written has been helpful. I wish I had info about KC to share with you. I've heard good things from people I know who live there.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2017, 10:28 AM
 
8 posts, read 6,563 times
Reputation: 15
@OyCrumbler- Yea that is a slight con, I'd definitely prefer to live somewhere that has regular flights to SA and Austin and it looks like the nearest big airport to Fayetteville is in Tulsa which is a two hour drive away. :/

@dallasgoldrush- I totally get that, it seems pretty risky to move to a college town without a job in hand, no matter how pretty the town might be. Fayetteville kinda reminds me of Waco (where I went to college) only prettier. And yea KC seems like a good size metro area with plenty to offer. And I'd definitely want to compare the two kinds of BBQ! In my mind it's tough to beat Texas brisket! I don't suppose you'd have any idea on how tough it can be for out of state folks to find a job there? Also, how easy is it to make friends in KC? I'm pretty shy and can have a tough time actually getting out and meeting new folks. And I don't know anyone in any of these cities I've listed.

@EricNorthman- I know it's the first day of July and I already can't wait for summer to be over I want out of this oppressive heat already! As far as snow goes, I have 0 experience driving or living in it, I've only seen snow on vacations in Colorado so it's just something I'd have to adjust to. But it seems like places like SLC get some snow but it's not as bad as living somewhere in the Northeast or states like Wisconsin or Minnesota. And yea I have read about the inversions so it's definitely something to keep in mind. And yea it does seem like SLC is cheaper than Austin but only slightly cheaper I'm concerned that by the time my partner and I are ready to move it will be more expensive. And I'm glad that you've had good experiences in SLC! I've read it's about 50-50 as far as the Mormon population goes but I've also read most Mormons are generally friendly? Neither my partner and I are particularly religious.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2017, 12:44 PM
 
482 posts, read 215,985 times
Reputation: 1182
Quote:
Originally Posted by polkadotpudding View Post
@dallasgoldrush- I totally get that, it seems pretty risky to move to a college town without a job in hand, no matter how pretty the town might be. Fayetteville kinda reminds me of Waco (where I went to college) only prettier. And yea KC seems like a good size metro area with plenty to offer. And I'd definitely want to compare the two kinds of BBQ! In my mind it's tough to beat Texas brisket! I don't suppose you'd have any idea on how tough it can be for out of state folks to find a job there?
So here's one of the biggest issues with finding jobs out of state in general: in my experience many employers simply refuse to hire out-of-state applicants. Maybe they don't trust that those applicants will actually follow through with the move? Or maybe they're concerned the applicants will expect hefty relocation packages? I'm speculating because I just don't know why, but it's a noticeable pattern. Some of the same employers that reject your application while you live out-of-state would eagerly bring you on if you wait to apply until you have a local address on your resume. The exceptions are usually jobs in academia, government, executive positions, and fields that are so specialized employers must look outside of the area.

At this point I'd say the major KC-area employer most likely to be hiring out-of-state is Cerner, a local healthcare software company that's exploding growth-wise. Since your background and interest is social work, I doubt that helps you. I have relatives in your field, so there would be opportunities for you. I just wonder if it'd be easier if you knew anyone in the area who'd allow you to use their address on applications so you appear to be a local from the get-go.

Worst case scenario you can still go for it from out-of-state and see what happens. If nothing else comes together, there are graduate programs at UMKC that you can consider enrolling in to build your qualifications while you take a couple of years to get plugged into the local network. Overall yes I think you'd be fine, but realistically it could take a while to reach your ideal situation (personal note: as a rule-of-thumb I've found it typically takes about two years to adjust to living in a new major city, and if moving without a job it takes about five years to recover financially and career-wise).

Quote:
Originally Posted by polkadotpudding View Post
Also, how easy is it to make friends in KC? I'm pretty shy and can have a tough time actually getting out and meeting new folks. And I don't know anyone in any of these cities I've listed.
The good news is Kansas Citians are generally a very friendly bunch of folks. The thing I most appreciate about having grown up there is how I was instilled with the signature neighborly demeanor of a Kansas Citian. It's not unlike the welcoming personalities that are associated with many smaller communities in Texas.

The not so great news is Kansas City has a relatively low transplant population (aside from those coming from small towns nearby), so it has some of the same unflattering social characteristics that are tied to many other places with few transplants. People will welcome you, but they may not be interested in actually knowing you. Most everyone has a family and close social network that they've been plugged into for decades, and frankly you'll be excluded from that.

I don't want to discourage you, I'm just being realistic. You'll get to know some people, but gaining significant friendships will potentially take quite a bit of time.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2017, 01:01 PM
sub
 
499 posts, read 260,892 times
Reputation: 831
Kansas City would be my top recommendation.
Never been to Salt Lake, but I'd personally be intrigued by it.
Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas seriously rubs me the wrong way. Only positive there I can think of is you wouldn't be the only transplant. KC isn't too bad in that department in most parts of the metro.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2017, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Cleverly concealed
889 posts, read 1,427,701 times
Reputation: 887
I live in the Kansas City area, and I think it would check a lot of your boxes. We have museums and coffee shops and sports and parks (people love dogs), and our I-35 is a lot less crowded than your I-35. Rentals vary greatly on location. You could find a 2BR rental for $1,000 and a 2BR rental for $2,000 within blocks of each other. I don't know about jobs, because I'm not familiar with the social work field. If you need a mountain fix, you can fly to Denver in one hour.

Like a lot of central or Midwestern cities, people who grew up here often stay here. I don't have statistics, but I would not be surprised if many of our transplants are just people emptying from rural KS/MO/NE/IA towns looking for work. Thus, you might find it difficult to break into circles of friends. I'm just as guilty as anyone. I still hang out on occasion with people I've known since kindergarten.

I just returned from a few days in northwestern Arkansas, and perhaps it was the construction on I-49, but it seems like the infrastructure of the four cities (Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville) hasn't kept up with the population. Drive time between KC and Fayetteville is a shade under four hours, by the way.

I haven't seen Salt Lake City in several years.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top