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Old 11-15-2018, 03:03 PM
Status: "Where to Move to?" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Midwest
120 posts, read 127,401 times
Reputation: 71

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A quick bit about me:

Looking to move, but not buy. I'll be looking for a place with roommates. Lower skilled worker with customer service background. Looking to move to highly rated cities with great job markets.

---

I'm having trouble deciding where to move to. I'm bouncing around from bigger cities like Portland, OR to Salt Lake City or Austin. Then I consider smaller cities like Fayetteville, AR. Portland by far has higher wages than any of these areas, but costs more to live. All of these places are top ranked cities right now. Austin seems like a really tough bet. I for the life of me can't find decent deals on even roommate situations. I can see they exist in Portland funnily enough, though. Salt Lake City has excellent deals on roommate listings. Trouble with SLC is the winter, I'm trying to escape the snow.. but their snow doesn't sound as bad and they don't have bone-chilling cold it sounds like. They have good public transportation it would seem, so even if it were really bad out I could just take that? I've lived in snowy conditions the majority of my life now.

Fayetteville looks beautiful and it's one of the top ranked cities in the nation, but the wages for lower skilled workers like myself I'm not sure the lower rent would make up for the lower wages. Also, although Fayetteville is top-ranked, the state of Arkansas is the complete opposite. It's one of the lowest ranked states in the nation. Should I be concerned about that?

In Portland I could get a warehouse job for $17 and pay about $600/month living with roommates. In Fayetteville I'm not sure I'd ever find that kind of wage either for warehouse or call center. I'm also willing to wait tables, but wages in the south are quite bad for that.
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Old 11-15-2018, 07:34 PM
 
2,507 posts, read 1,076,093 times
Reputation: 1918
Fayetteville, AR is one of the better small metros in the nation, but they don't have very good Buying Power (cost of living vs average annual income). With an index of 100 being the national average, Fayetteville's housing costs are a 84.36 (ie 15.64% below the national average) and overall cost of living 87.40. BUT, their average annual income is only 69.59% of the national average, giving them a Buying Power Score of 115.44 (ie 15.44% below the national average). Fayetteville is a big retirement area, so service jobs are big there, but it brings down the average salary of the area.

If you're willing to go to a larger metro with better Buying Power, Kansas City 75.90, Houston 82.46, San Antonio 82.83, and Charlotte 91.29. These areas have below average costs of living and good salaries. For the specific details of the jobs you're looking for, just do a little research on areas that you're interested in. Hope this helps a little. Good luck in your search!
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Little Rock, AR
2,354 posts, read 720,708 times
Reputation: 1410
Quote:
Originally Posted by march2 View Post
Fayetteville, AR is one of the better small metros in the nation, but they don't have very good Buying Power (cost of living vs average annual income). With an index of 100 being the national average, Fayetteville's housing costs are a 84.36 (ie 15.64% below the national average) and overall cost of living 87.40. BUT, their average annual income is only 69.59% of the national average, giving them a Buying Power Score of 115.44 (ie 15.44% below the national average). Fayetteville is a big retirement area, so service jobs are big there, but it brings down the average salary of the area.

If you're willing to go to a larger metro with better Buying Power, Kansas City 75.90, Houston 82.46, San Antonio 82.83, and Charlotte 91.29. These areas have below average costs of living and good salaries. For the specific details of the jobs you're looking for, just do a little research on areas that you're interested in. Hope this helps a little. Good luck in your search!
Where can I find these buying power metrics?
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:43 PM
Status: "Where to Move to?" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Midwest
120 posts, read 127,401 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by march2 View Post
Fayetteville, AR is one of the better small metros in the nation, but they don't have very good Buying Power. Fayetteville is a big retirement area, so service jobs are big there, but it brings down the average salary of the area.

If you're willing to go to a larger metro with better Buying Power, Kansas City 75.90, Houston 82.46, San Antonio 82.83, and Charlotte 91.29.
Interesting. Thank you for sharing this concept "Buying Power Score." Does that apply to renters and lower wage earners, though?

It's very tricky. For instance, San Antonio is often recommended as you yourself even referred to it, but what's happening there right now before our eyes is the cost of living is increasing rapidly. It doesn't surprise me. It's so close to Austin. That whole area will be expensive to live. Why anyone wants to live in intense heat 4-6 months of the year is beyond me. Maybe they are people like me who are fed up with driving in the snow for 3-5 months.

This is why I like the PNW.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:47 PM
Status: "Where to Move to?" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Midwest
120 posts, read 127,401 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoOnMyMind View Post
Where can I find these buying power metrics?
The closest I could find was this ranked guide. I failed to find a nationwide "Buying Power Score" chart. The trouble with a list like that is they don't account for so many other areas like crime and safety. Bakersfield? Kansas City? Both high crime areas.
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:05 PM
 
7,212 posts, read 3,938,076 times
Reputation: 7596
Low-skill jobs tend not to pay much more in places with higher COL. Some states and cities have a higher minimum wage, but once you get above that tier, low paying jobs tend to pay about the same, regardless of location. If you're working at Costco for $13/hr, that money will go a lot further somewhere like Pittsburgh than in Austin.
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Old Today, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
5,260 posts, read 5,625,168 times
Reputation: 3844
Quote:
Originally Posted by pystachio View Post
The closest I could find was this ranked guide. I failed to find a nationwide "Buying Power Score" chart. The trouble with a list like that is they don't account for so many other areas like crime and safety. Bakersfield? Kansas City? Both high crime areas.
But there are plenty safe areas in Kansas City and Bakersfield. Stay away from criminal types and there isn't crime.
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