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Old 02-19-2019, 02:55 PM
 
4 posts, read 292 times
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Hi everyone,

I am a long time reader of this forum, and have learned so much from it! I'm hoping that you can help me find the right place to live.

I am in my early 30's, married, and work remotely in the financial field so I can live anywhere. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa, so that is the weather that I am used to. I have lived in the US for over 10 years.

I've lived in medium-sized cities in the Northeast and Midwest (Providence, Buffalo, Portland (ME), Columbus, Kansas City) where I find the humid summers and freezing winters to be unpleasant for daily life. The weather was novel and exciting when I first moved to the US, but now I am getting tired of it as it affects the things that I like to do in life. Some of these cities had worse extremes in different seasons than the others, but you get the point. I also know that these places aren't as cold as some other cities like Minneapolis, but I guess winter weather does not sit well with me, and neither does humidity. I like snow, but not places with 4-6 months of winter and would prefer to live somewhere where snow and freezing temperatures are rare.

I am looking to live somewhere sunny, warm to mild, with low to possibly medium humidity. I HATE humidity and overcast weather - it makes me feel terrible. We love to be outside, so a place where outdoor activities are enjoyable for a good chunk of the year is a must. I know that Southern California has the "best" (the best weather is personal preference) year round mild weather, but it is too expensive. I would also prefer to live somewhere with one bad season (like the summers in Phoenix) rather than a place where both summers and winters are horrible. With this criteria, I have been looking at cities/metro areas in the West.

The three contenders right now are:

Phoenix, AZ:
I am very attracted to Arizona, especially the landscape, sunshine and outdoor opportunities. In addition, the variety of climates within a few hours' drive is extremely appealing. I would love to drive somewhere with snow and higher elevations when I feel like it. I think I could live in Phoenix for some years while I am younger, with a long term goal of moving up to one of the higher elevation towns that have cooler, but mild winters.

The outdoor attractions in Northern Arizona/Southern Utah are also appealing and another advantage to living in Phoenix because of it's proximity to them, rather than Tucson.

I am aware of the heat in Phoenix, but feel that I can handle the summer heat there much better than the freezing winters of the Northeast and Midwest.

Tucson, AZ
Should Tucson be a contender? It does not seem as appealing - the quality of life seems lower. Are there as many unique and beautiful outdoor attractions in Southern Arizona? I am also worried about Tucson's crime rate.

Albuquerque, NM:
Another sunny, dry (high) desert city with low humidity. This is a contender because it's not as hot as Phoenix or Tucson. I know it gets a little snow in the winter, but the winters are mild. I would be worried about the isolation of the city, and the crime rate.

I know Phoenix crime is not great, but some of the suburbs are very safe.

Should I be considering places like Boise, Denver or Medford/Ashland, OR (supposedly sunnier than northern Oregon)? I know Boise and Denver get cold, but they are sunny and dry.

Phoenix is the frontrunner. I am open to any other suggestions. Thank you for any advice that you may have!
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:04 PM
 
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Based on your very limited criteria, they all three work for you. However, to decide which is best, it would be better to know what size city you like, if you like urban or suburban living, if you're more liberal or conservative, if you prefer nature over city amenities, etc. Wanting dry heat and little to snow is a very open door to a lot of cities in the western half of the country.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:09 PM
 
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How about inland empire CA or Sacramento, CA? Both are dry and not as expensive as other cities in CA. Is COL an issue? If not, you can consider San Diego.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
Based on your very limited criteria, they all three work for you. However, to decide which is best, it would be better to know what size city you like, if you like urban or suburban living, if you're more liberal or conservative, if you prefer nature over city amenities, etc. Wanting dry heat and little to snow is a very open door to a lot of cities in the western half of the country.
City size is not of utmost importance to me, but I like metros with populations of around 1 million or bigger. Although, I could live in a smaller metro if it was within a few hours drive of a bigger city, and the smaller city/metro in question had a good restaurant and arts scene.

I am not a fan of cookie cutter suburban living, but am open to living in suburbs with a bit of character. I also enjoy living in city neighborhoods that have single-family homes.

I am right in the middle between liberal and conservative - I have views on both sides for different issues. I apologize if that doesn't help.

City amenities are important, but access to nature within a short drive is too. I know, it's a very specific list of requirements and I appreciate your advice.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fwsavemoney View Post
How about inland empire CA or Sacramento, CA? Both are dry and not as expensive as other cities in CA. Is COL an issue? If not, you can consider San Diego.
Yes, the COL in San Diego would be too high. Sacramento sounds appealing, but I would be concerned about the taxes and cost of housing. I also love the desert, which is why Arizona is at the forefront of what I'm thinking.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:08 PM
 
6,171 posts, read 13,635,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oswilder View Post
City size is not of utmost importance to me, but I like metros with populations of around 1 million or bigger. Although, I could live in a smaller metro if it was within a few hours drive of a bigger city, and the smaller city/metro in question had a good restaurant and arts scene.

I am not a fan of cookie cutter suburban living, but am open to living in suburbs with a bit of character. I also enjoy living in city neighborhoods that have single-family homes.

I am right in the middle between liberal and conservative - I have views on both sides for different issues. I apologize if that doesn't help.

City amenities are important, but access to nature within a short drive is too. I know, it's a very specific list of requirements and I appreciate your advice.
Well the issue you may run into in Phoenix is the cookie suburban living unless your budget can you get a home in the more urban/older parts of the city itself or Scottsdale. New developments tend to be very cookie cutter, but older neighborhoods tend to have more character. Phoenix is a pretty moderate city and is big enough for any culinary adventure you'd like probably.

Idk enough about Tucson, but I'm assuming it's similar to Phoenix in regards to cookie cutter neighborhoods.

Albuquerque, again, not as positive.

I would suggest you keep Denver as an option, though. It's more expensive than the others probably, but its inner neighborhoods will give you more options to non-cookie cutter suburban style housing most likely. Its definitely liberal, but it's still no NYC or SF.

Idk enough about Boise, but I think it and Spokane WA could be good options as well, especially if your budget can't get you what you want in Denver.
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Old Yesterday, 03:53 PM
 
4 posts, read 292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
Well the issue you may run into in Phoenix is the cookie suburban living unless your budget can you get a home in the more urban/older parts of the city itself or Scottsdale. New developments tend to be very cookie cutter, but older neighborhoods tend to have more character. Phoenix is a pretty moderate city and is big enough for any culinary adventure you'd like probably.

Idk enough about Tucson, but I'm assuming it's similar to Phoenix in regards to cookie cutter neighborhoods.

Albuquerque, again, not as positive.

I would suggest you keep Denver as an option, though. It's more expensive than the others probably, but its inner neighborhoods will give you more options to non-cookie cutter suburban style housing most likely. Its definitely liberal, but it's still no NYC or SF.

Idk enough about Boise, but I think it and Spokane WA could be good options as well, especially if your budget can't get you what you want in Denver.
Thank you so much for your advice! One of the older neighborhoods in Phoenix sounds like right up my alley. I'll look into Denver.

Does anyone have any other advice?
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Old Today, 09:56 PM
 
315 posts, read 143,857 times
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I think you've answered your own question about Phoenix. Boise would be too cold for you in the winter, I believe, although it's not the humid-cold like Providence winters are(that's where I'm from and you're familiar with.) People have been suggesting other cities and you've answered 'but Phoenix!'. Great, Phoenix it is!
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