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Old 07-03-2017, 03:21 AM
 
22 posts, read 16,449 times
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Hey everyone! Wondering if I could get some opinions. I'm thinking of moving to the West Coast... I just can't decide what end of it. I am tenatively looking at Portland and San Diego.

I'm originally from the Twin Cities, which is a good place to live in the vast majority of statistical quality of life metrics, and I remember it fondly in some ways. But I'm over the extreme weather, and I have to say I don't miss how hard it is to talk to people.

I've lived in a few other places too (Tuscon AZ, Wellington NZ, London UK...) and come to the conclusion weather and friendliness really do make a big difference to me, perhaps more so than anything else, especially now that I'm approaching 30 and don't want to have to go out every single night for months just to make a friend! In fact, I'd like this to be my last big move for the next decade or two. But... I'd also like to not take such a hard hit on those quality of life metrics as I have in some places in the warmer (both literally and figuratively) South, for example. There's gotta be a balance, right?

Portland is really attractive in many of the same respects that Minneapolis is, but I wonder if I'm ultimately I'm going to find the social scene difficult and, again, feel like I'm in a place that is perhaps more appealing to me on paper than in reality. I feel like I know what to expect, I'm just not sure if that's good or bad.

San Diego has a big appeal for the near-perfect weather and the ocean (which I have sorely missed since leaving NZ), but of course housing is a killer. Exactly how steep are we talking for a 1-bedroom? Like, blood of your first-born? I don't need to be in the best area in the world, but I've had enough of winding up in a dump for one lifetime.

Or, any other suggestions?

Yeah, yeah, you make what you want out of a place... I'm sure I'd ultimately be fine in either one. But I've moved half-cocked way too many times in my life, so I'm just attempting to be a bit more measured this time around.

Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:46 AM
 
1,414 posts, read 1,254,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilin42 View Post
I'm originally from the Twin Cities, which is a good place to live in the vast majority of statistical quality of life metrics, and I remember it fondly in some ways. But I'm over the extreme weather, and I have to say I don't miss how hard it is to talk to people.

I've lived in a few other places too (Tuscon AZ, Wellington NZ, London UK...) and come to the conclusion weather and friendliness really do make a big difference to me

Portland is really attractive in many of the same respects that Minneapolis is, but I wonder if I'm ultimately I'm going to find the social scene difficult and, again, feel like I'm in a place that is perhaps more appealing to me on paper than in reality. I feel like I know what to expect, I'm just not sure if that's good or bad.
From a financial standpoint you're trading down when comparing Portland to Minneapolis, but from a city environment you're trading up. Weather is also somewhat better assuming you don't have SAD or dislike rain.

People-wise Portland folks are (or were) friendly whereas I found Minneapolis people were polite. Neither place is it really all that easy to make long-term friends. For the Midwest I'd say Minneapolis is a good measuring stick for this. If you have trouble in Minneapolis you'll have trouble in Portland.

Only area I'd say Portland wins out on the social front between the two is if you're of the type who fits in Portland and want people who make more of an effort to appear tolerant.

Keep in mind since my time in Portland I've been told by multiple people it has gone downhill a bit and costs even more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilin42 View Post
Like, blood of your first-born?
That sounds about right.

I have a good friend who bounces back and forth between LA and San Diego (living and for work) and she much prefers the people of Portland (but the beaches and friendliness of CA). Claims San Diego/Southern California people are too materialistic, shady, and has found it hard to make friends. Not sure if it's who she hangs out with or what.

If I think about my California friends and then think about my Portland friends (locals to Portland or OR/WA) my Californian friends are a lot more easy going and friendly. Although my friends from Michigan, Alaska, & Hawaii, that I knew in Portland, are even better friends (but I'm sure that just has to do with who I am, not for anyone in general).

Although with how screwy things have gotten in California and with those taxes I can't really recommend living anywhere in the state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilin42 View Post
Or, any other suggestions?
With friendliness and good weather as your top priorities (and you're not looking to stay in the Midwest) I'd start looking at Albuquerque or Nashville.

If you provide additional wants/needs in a city I'd be able to dial it in more.
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:29 AM
 
22 posts, read 16,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Port Pitt Ash View Post
From a financial standpoint you're trading down when comparing Portland to Minneapolis, but from a city environment you're trading up. Weather is also somewhat better assuming you don't have SAD or dislike rain.

People-wise Portland folks are (or were) friendly whereas I found Minneapolis people were polite. Neither place is it really all that easy to make long-term friends. For the Midwest I'd say Minneapolis is a good measuring stick for this. If you have trouble in Minneapolis you'll have trouble in Portland.

Only area I'd say Portland wins out on the social front between the two is if you're of the type who fits in Portland and want people who make more of an effort to appear tolerant.

Keep in mind since my time in Portland I've been told by multiple people it has gone downhill a bit and costs even more.

That sounds about right.

I have a good friend who bounces back and forth between LA and San Diego (living and for work) and she much prefers the people of Portland (but the beaches and friendliness of CA). Claims San Diego/Southern California people are too materialistic, shady, and has found it hard to make friends. Not sure if it's who she hangs out with or what.

If I think about my California friends and then think about my Portland friends (locals to Portland or OR/WA) my Californian friends are a lot more easy going and friendly. Although my friends from Michigan, Alaska, & Hawaii, that I knew in Portland, are even better friends (but I'm sure that just has to do with who I am, not for anyone in general).

Although with how screwy things have gotten in California and with those taxes I can't really recommend living anywhere in the state.

With friendliness and good weather as your top priorities (and you're not looking to stay in the Midwest) I'd start looking at Albuquerque or Nashville.

If you provide additional wants/needs in a city I'd be able to dial it in more.
Thanks! Yeah, I do get a touch of SAD. I'm getting by with UK weather, which is pretty similar to Seattle, and it's definitely not as bad as it was Minnesota, but honestly, I'd love to just never deal with it again. I'm not build for this.

Yeah, that's sort of what I was afraid of with Portland. I know I can manage with that of course, but it does mean a very long, very slow period of rebuilding.

I'm in the weird sort of spot where I love the people in places like Nashville, but... then I look at crime and the job market. And then I remember how dismal the job hunt was the last time I was south of the Mason Dixon. I mean, after the company I had been working for shut down, I wound up having to leave and go back to MN, it was so bad. Granted this was a few years ago, but... my friends in Charleston are still struggling, all my friends from Tucson have moved elsewhere because they just couldn't get anything at all, and that makes me hesitant, you know? It's like you trade social ease for survival ease. And maybe 10 years ago, sure, but honestly... I'm landing back in America after a pretty stressful expat experience, and I'm worried I'll wind up spending 8 months out of work in a state where there's very little help.

I'd just like to have a nice balance of survival ease and social ease, ya know? I know a utopia of having both + beautiful weather (at least not for anything I can afford) doesn't exist, but, just a balance. I'm almost willing to take a leap on California prices if I can find that (and after paying UK taxes and London living expenses, it would probably still feel cheap to me -- just council tax alone can be the equivalent of 2 grand, and that's not even including any of the taxes you pay on income). Although my Googling is showing a pretty similar overall tax rate to Minnesota.

Nah, not interested in going back to the Midwest. I really do miss my ocean.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:47 PM
 
1,414 posts, read 1,254,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilin42 View Post
I'm in the weird sort of spot where I love the people in places like Nashville, but... then I look at crime and the job market. And then I remember how dismal the job hunt was the last time I was south of the Mason Dixon.

It's like you trade social ease for survival ease. And maybe 10 years ago, sure, but honestly... I'm landing back in America after a pretty stressful expat experience, and I'm worried I'll wind up spending 8 months out of work in a state where there's very little help.

I'd just like to have a nice balance of survival ease and social ease, ya know?
Yeah, I ended up not moving to Minneapolis due to the winters.

San Diego is about on par with Seattle or Boston. So it's still cheaper than London or New York, but not by that much. Portland's current prices if I remember correctly are about what it cost to live in Oakland before Oakland became more expensive.

Charleston's good for dating and being a tourist, but yeah it's more of a vacation sort of place. Not great as far as jobs go long term.

Speaking of jobs before everyone found out about how "hot" Portland was the M.O. was to move to Portland for a year, try to land a job, fail, and then move back to wherever.

To put it in perspective I had a job doing basically bodyguard work (for which I had an in) and later tried to get a regular security guard job with no luck. One place wouldn't interview me and the other didn't like my matter of fact answers I gave in my interview. People who work at the big bookstore there commonly have Masters and I had an engineer serving me at a fast food place (again all before it got as popular as it is now). Luckily most of the years I lived there I didn't need a job and just lived off of savings.

Not sure about your situation, but I was looking at moving to the Bay Area a little while back and with my business, housing, etc. I was looking at a tax bill of over 60%. I'd imagine it just depends on the person somewhat and services are probably available there more so than someplace like the south.

Hawaii and San Fran both have good weather, but are also more costly than San Diego. LA maybe?

I have a number of friends who ended up in hot areas like Phoenix, Vegas, and Texas where you have the jobs and cost of living is more reasonable, but it's pretty much the reverse of Minneapolis with the heat. It was 117 the other day in Phoenix. Lots of people seem to like Texas so maybe I'm just missing something?

Almost jumped on the chance to check out living in Vegas due to my friend having an open room just to see what it was like. Not really a city that interests me all that much though.

Personally I'm looking at the Mountain West right now. Reasonable cost of living and jobs seem to be great if you have what they're looking for, but otherwise lots of low paying stuff.

Pretty much over the south. I'm just not one of those small talk loving people and it's almost a must to live around here. Jobs are crap in the Asheville area, but the weather's great. If I were to stay in the south I'd try to make Richmond or Louisville work probably.

Chicago is a pretty good bang for your buck sort of city, but probably not doable if you're trying to get away from the cold. Could try Miami if you're into the 24 hour party thing and have passable Spanish. Not sure about the job situation currently though.

Victoria, BC might be worth checking out. It's cheaper than Portland, but I'm not sure if there are jobs there.
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Midwest
10 posts, read 5,664 times
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Hey there! I'm from the Midwest and approaching 30 myself, and like you, I am ready to move on from the extreme seasons and the social scene while living in the STL and the Midwest. I can't vouch for Portland as I stayed there for some time while attending school, and it's not much different than the social scene here in STL and prob the rest of the Midwest. I considered the Twin Cities, as I visited once, but I've reconsidered moving there.

Trying to find housing in Portland out of state was a little ridiculous as were the shady bait-and-switch property managers that relocated to the metro area to follow the trend of millennials relocating there. But a website that follows this trend has said Portland metro area is one of several metro areas they are moving out of. I did my research before moving there and apartments seemed to be more likely available and cheaper in the suburbs, but you have to consider issues with a longer commute. With millennials moving out of the metro area into suburbs, this could probably decrease the availability in the suburbs if the trend continues. Last time I checked, the rental vacancy rate in Portland is up there with the rest of the cities with the lowest rental vacancy rates, which makes it even harder for a newcomer to be selective. Things I did like about Portland is their streetcar and the view of mountains at the ohsu tram.

Speaking of weather, it eventually caught up with me and the mold there made me leave. And I am looking for a more moderate place. I like weird and Portland is known for that, but it was too weird for me. I don't know much about San Diego, but I'm also interested in what city-data users in S.D. have to say about it. I am planning on doing national service and considered San Diego, and now Austin, I'm just not sure about the South long term. Long Beach is a suggestion I would give as a place on the West Coast to look further into.

Last edited by jay verde; 07-29-2017 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:51 PM
 
16,940 posts, read 3,779,406 times
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San Diego
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Old 07-30-2017, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,555 posts, read 23,355,027 times
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I lived in Portland for many years and it really takes a certain type of person to thrive there. I think if you take a look at the Portland forum on CD you might get an inkling. It seems to have become a city in which its residents absolutely love it or hate it. That will depend as to whether or not you fit in. There always seems to be conflict amongst the two.

It would probably be a good idea if you haven't already to go to cities to which you are contemplating a move. Sometimes you can get a good feel of a place by just walking around neighborhoods, reading the local newspapers, independent ones are best, and just talking to people in general. That's what I did when I relocated from Portland to the Cleveland area a few years ago. It worked well.
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Old Today, 08:59 AM
 
17 posts, read 11,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilin42 View Post
Thanks! Yeah, I do get a touch of SAD. I'm getting by with UK weather, which is pretty similar to Seattle, and it's definitely not as bad as it was Minnesota, but honestly, I'd love to just never deal with it again. I'm not build for this.

Yeah, that's sort of what I was afraid of with Portland. I know I can manage with that of course, but it does mean a very long, very slow period of rebuilding.

I'm in the weird sort of spot where I love the people in places like Nashville, but... then I look at crime and the job market. And then I remember how dismal the job hunt was the last time I was south of the Mason Dixon. I mean, after the company I had been working for shut down, I wound up having to leave and go back to MN, it was so bad. Granted this was a few years ago, but... my friends in Charleston are still struggling, all my friends from Tucson have moved elsewhere because they just couldn't get anything at all, and that makes me hesitant, you know? It's like you trade social ease for survival ease. And maybe 10 years ago, sure, but honestly... I'm landing back in America after a pretty stressful expat experience, and I'm worried I'll wind up spending 8 months out of work in a state where there's very little help.

I'd just like to have a nice balance of survival ease and social ease, ya know? I know a utopia of having both + beautiful weather (at least not for anything I can afford) doesn't exist, but, just a balance. I'm almost willing to take a leap on California prices if I can find that (and after paying UK taxes and London living expenses, it would probably still feel cheap to me -- just council tax alone can be the equivalent of 2 grand, and that's not even including any of the taxes you pay on income). Although my Googling is showing a pretty similar overall tax rate to Minnesota.

Nah, not interested in going back to the Midwest. I really do miss my ocean.
Hey Lilin42: sorry to dig up an old post here, but your thread struck me as SO relevant to exactly the position my wife & I find ourselves in today. The only difference being we are still hoping to spend time in the UK and NZ in maybe 3-4 years after a bit more time in the US. We share very similar values to you, we love the ocean but also love green countryside like what you see in NZ and the UK.

I find what you said about the South very relevant to how we feel: it's intriguing from a finance / weather standpoint, but not somewhere you could see yourself living forever. We feel the same way, leaning towards the West Coast most likely being where we would call home, with the exception of *maybe* Kentucky when we're more retiree age... who knows though, that's a long way off.

Portland has many intriguing nature aspects, but we love how friendly our Cali friends / interactions have been. It's just so easy to build community there, and I find that people in warmer places are so much more friendly and energetic in general. But, it also does feel a bit like a concrete jungle. Bay Area is fantastic, but so insanely expensive it makes even San Diego look cheap.

Where did you land? How is it working out for you?
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Old Today, 10:16 AM
 
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If weather is a big factor for leaving the Twin Cities, I'd go with San Diego.
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