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Old 05-05-2007, 08:01 PM
Location: Bronzeville, Chicago, IL
136 posts, read 927,392 times
Reputation: 44


My wife and I are inter-racial couple looking to relocate out of Michigan. She is a paralegal, I am a Social Studies and English teacher (secondary). We are looking for a place to relocate that has job opportunities for both of us. We are looking for a place that we will not feel "out of place." We want a place that is growing, diverse, and safe enough to consider beginning a family. We want a larger Metropolitan area, realizing that there is a certain amount of crime that will accompany larger cities. Any thoughts that members of the City-Data community could provide would be MUCH APPRECIATED !!!
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Old 05-05-2007, 08:44 PM
525 posts, read 1,615,211 times
Reputation: 125
DC and Baltimore are very $$$ to live in as far as taxes and home costs..don't know about Chicago.>Charlotte area is nice, they are looking for teachers in Union and Mecklenburg counties as well....do a little research on the areas. I like DC and Baltimore as I grew up in those parts but it is just too expensive homewise to live there anymore. Good LUCK!
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Old 05-05-2007, 08:51 PM
Location: Union County, NC
1,889 posts, read 5,446,845 times
Reputation: 739
Check the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools site http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/ as well as the Union County schools http://www.ucps.k12.nc.us/ website for job info. We relocated from NY in 1998 -- no teachers here but they are opening new schools every year so I suspect there will be jobs for teachers. Best of luck to you
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:21 PM
198 posts, read 833,562 times
Reputation: 84
I have lived in or near 4 of the cities you mentioned. Chicago I can't help you with, but Baltimore, DC, Annapolis, and Houston I feel I can speak with some knowledge. I grew up in a Houston suburb (my parents still live there, so I visit often, keep in touch with lots of friends, etc.), and have lived in the DC metro area for the past 12 years.

Obviously the cost of living is much, much less in the Houston area, but if you really want a more urban environment-- taking public transportation, being able to walk to shopping, the grocery store, etc., then I think the DC area beats Houston hands down. If you want a large McMansion for less than $300,000 then Houston definitely beats the DC area. You and your wife will make more $ in the DC area, but that salary could get eaten up by outrageously expensive housing costs. My guess is that you would see the largest salary differential. Maryland pays its teachers better than TX. It is definitely worth it to figure out what salaries would be in each place and weigh cost-of-living issues, vs. how big of house you want, how long of a commute you want, etc.

As for diversity, Houston and Maryland are very diverse. Baltimore and Annapolis are probably the least diverse with really only white and black populations. The DC metro area is one of the most diverse places in the country. I think you could live anywhere close-in to the city (or in the city) with no problems whatsoever. I think in Houston I would definitely find a good real estate agent to help you pick the best area to raise bi-racial kids but it is a really large city, and there is something for everybody. I assume you mean one of you is white and the other black. In Houston I absolutely would not worry about a mix of Asian or hispanic and white.

The DC area is not nearly as sprawling as Houston in terms of things to do, so you are really close to tons of cultural activities, museums, shopping, music. Depending on where you are in Houston, you are much closer to the coast (and the water is warmer!!!!). The economy is stronger in the DC area due in great part to the presence of the federal gov't. It is really pretty recession proof.

In the DC metro area, I would not teach at DC public schools. They are among the worst in the nation. Montgomery Co., Maryland; Arlington Co. VA, Fairfax Co., VA; Howard Co., Maryland are places I would look at. Close-in Arlington and Montgomery Counties would be the closest to DC (if you want to live in the city). These last two counties are very urban, and you can find areas (Ballston, Bethesda, Silver Spring) that offer city living on the metro line. All have public bus transportation as well.

Personally I would never live in Baltimore. It is fine to visit the Inner Harbor with the aquarium, restaurants, and museums, but the low income areas sprawl throughout the city. Also, Baltimore Co. schools are awful.

Annapolis is a great town. I lived there for 2 years. It is as expensive as DC if you want to live either close to the water or in the historic area. It is very quaint, much more of a smalltown feel. Not really what I would call urban, nothing like any of the other cities you've listed. Regardless of all this, Anne Arundel Co. would be my last choice for an inter-racial couple. Anne Arundel Co. is not nearly as diverse as the counties I listed above in the DC area. It is the only place I've lived in the DC area where I had neighbors and acquaintances make racial slurs during casual conversation. I couldn't wait to move closer to DC.

Good luck on your move!
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:36 PM
198 posts, read 833,562 times
Reputation: 84
I put in a reply on your cross-post in the Houston thread.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:17 AM
46 posts, read 218,410 times
Reputation: 16
If you can stand the heat and traffic, check out Houston.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:28 AM
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,712,911 times
Reputation: 29343
I think you'll probably want to stay away from Charlotte because teacher salaries and the quality of education tend to suck in that area. Houston may be the same, but I'm not terribly sure. I think Chicago might be your best option because a) teacher salaries are high, and b) Chicago has one of the largest legal markets in the country, so your wife should be able to find a well-paying job. DC has an even larger legal market, so it might be worth investigating teacher salaries there too. I believe the DC area is growing faster than the Chicago area so there may be more demand for both your services there than in Chicago.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:34 AM
548 posts, read 2,391,285 times
Reputation: 356
Chapel Hill or Raleigh area are great and would fit the bill I think. I lived in DC and Baltimore as well, and I loved Baltimore a lot. DC is a great city too, but it's very transient..everyone seems to be on their way in or out. I
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:46 PM
Location: Concord, NC
1,418 posts, read 6,282,730 times
Reputation: 629
In the Charlotte area, look at the systems in Cabarrus Co., Union Co., Kannapolis city, Mooresville city, and Ft. Mill.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:45 PM
36 posts, read 98,663 times
Reputation: 15
I grew up outside of Chicago, and just lived for 8 years outside of Raleigh, and the two are COMPLETELY different. Chicago has all the hustle and bustle, lots more crime, many more activities. However, I always loved that I could drive on the beltline (the bypass around raleigh) and not even know I was near a large city. Chicago is more expensive. I think it depends on the lifestyle (and weather! chicago winters can be difficult!) that you want. Good luck!
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