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Old 11-15-2007, 08:35 PM
 
663 posts, read 5,268,097 times
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My husband and I are in our late 20's/early 30's and we don't have kids. We recently moved to Washington, DC on a whim--for a change of scenery from the midwest. We have been here a year and are really enjoying it, but we can't stay here due to the exorbitant cost of living. We're currently renting, but would like to buy a place, but we wouldn't even be able to afford a decent house an hour away from DC. So we're thinking about packing up and moving somewhere else. But the question is, where?

Where do you go when you have no ties to anywhere? I guess we're in an unusual kind of position, in that we don't want to live where our families are. Our families live in places where we have no interest in moving to. We don't want to return to our hometowns because we don't feel any ties to them and don't particularly like those cities. We have lived in a bunch of different cities over the course of our college and graduate school experiences, but don't want to settle in those cities. Basically, we want to find a city to settle down in and plant roots, but we don't know where.

Basically, we can go anywhere but at the same time that is very overwhelming. We are both adventurous--we moved to DC not ever having been here and not knowing a single person. I know that most people tend to move to where their families or friends are, or back to where they grew up, but we don't want to do that.

Our only specifications are that we don't like the heat so the south is out, and we'd like a place with a relatively low cost of living so we can buy a place, but at the same time we're city folk and are concerned that if we move to a place like Indianapolis, we'd get bored. We really enjoy the nightlife, cultural events and attractions that big cities like DC have to offer.

We just don't really know what we want. On the one hand, moving to a smaller town with a low cost of living has its advantages--namely, you're able to buy a nice house and there's less traffic. But on the other hand, we've grown accustomed to all the events and amenities that a big city offers.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:11 PM
 
1,727 posts, read 1,441,432 times
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Wow, in a lot of respects, it sounds like I wrote this post. Wow. (I just left the Northern Virginia area in August after 13 years).

Here's what I would do. I would look at lists of "best places", I would, sort of for fun, go to that site called something like ****.com or findyoursite.com. What is that called? Even though you aren't retirement age, I assume, I'd look at some lists of best places to retire since those can have some good ideas. Money magazine, I think Kiplinger's, and many others do these lists.

**Also, I would think about university towns**. A lot of university towns can combine the best aspects of small towns with all of the amenities of a more, you know, sophisticated places. A couple of towns that jump to my mind are Ann Arbor, MI and Madison, WI since these have cooler climates. I've had two different people, separately, who loved one and hated the other, but I can't remember if they were even in agreement. I also love the northwest - Portland, Seattle, Olympia, Corvallis ...

All of these lists are really organized to help you prioritize your own criteria. I also spent hours on realtor.com seeing what I would be able to buy for "x" price. Then once you have some hypothetical ideas, this site is so great when you can propose specific places and have people say yay or nay (sp?).
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
538 posts, read 1,656,553 times
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Sounds like Seattle would be a great fit for you. It is usually on the cool side and the housing market is very good there along with city living. San Francisco is nice but expensive. Maybe Denver? Never been there so I can't say much about it. Good luck, what an adventure!
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,282 posts, read 17,215,172 times
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I would continue to move every few years.
That's what I do now and enjoy it.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:30 PM
 
1,727 posts, read 1,441,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by songinthewind7 View Post
I would continue to move every few years.
That's what I do now and enjoy it.
Interesting ... I think that is neat to do, but I wanted to move somewhere and live here forever. It means more pressure to pick the right place, but I need permanence, heavy furniture that will be impossible to ever move, like grand pianos, that kind of thing. Maybe in part it's because I've already moved so many times in my life!
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:27 PM
 
Location: charlotte, nc
273 posts, read 1,214,316 times
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I would personally take a globe and spin it and stop it with your finger..pending that you dont land in the middle of the ocean just go live wherever your finger lands. talk about new and exciting
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:40 PM
 
1,727 posts, read 1,441,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadedSOUL83 View Post
I would personally take a globe and spin it and stop it with your finger..pending that you dont land in the middle of the ocean just go live wherever your finger lands. talk about new and exciting
I moved overseas after college to pursue my dreams and ended up extremely homesick - neurotically homesick. I went from being literary and artsy to just wanting shopping malls, cheesy romantic comedies and rural America. Totally unpredictable and I haven't quite outgrown it.
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:23 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
74 posts, read 269,954 times
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I am in the same position as you. I have been researching places like crazy. I lived in NYC my entire life except for a two year period recently when I resided in Hawaii for 6 months and the NW for 1 1/2 years. Upon returning I realized just how stressful NYC is and how unhappy I have been. I would also love to own my own home eventually. There is nothing like living somewhere else for a while to clarify things. It is not easy picking a place - no place is perfect. I visited Pittsburg, Spokane and Colorado Springs to investigate as possible places to relocate and have ruled them out for various reasons. I considered Madison, WI, and Austin, TX, but one is too cold in the winter and the other too hot in the summer. Some places are too humid, others too rainy and in others the sun bakes you to a crisp year round. Some places have hurricane risks, others tornado, yet others earthquakes. Some areas have reasonable home prices but tight job markets. Some have good job markets but high home costs. Some places seem too slow paced and others have too much traffic or are growing too fast. Many places have crime/drug problems and some places seem to resent transplants and/or are insular. Some places are too liberal and some too conservative. Etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Always something!!!

I am going back to the Pacific NW where I lived during my short time away from NYC. It was really beautiful there and I didn't find the gray/rain so bad. I found the people friendly and didn't personally experience this Seattle Freeze thing (I was surprised to read about it on this board). I see several others suggested the Seattle area - it really is quite nice but housing is higher than many areas of the country but less so than NYC or California. It does seems like houses are staying on the market longer and prices might start to drop a bit.

It's not an easy choice, but take the pressure off yourself a little by realizing that you always could move again if you made the wrong choice (even though I understand you want to settle somewhere and don't want to move again) and at least you experienced a different area of the country which might help you clarify the lifestyle you want. I was putting tremendous pressure on myself to find the perfect area and I was beginning to drive myself crazy. I have come to the conclusion that as much as I don't want to up and move again it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:04 AM
 
36 posts, read 349,643 times
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I used this quiz when we were looking to relocate. Ended up in Raleigh, NC and it is a perfect fit! Moderator cut: link removed

Last edited by Yac; 12-05-2007 at 01:58 AM..
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Old 11-17-2007, 06:21 AM
 
1,727 posts, read 1,441,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariliz View Post
I used this quiz when we were looking to relocate. Ended up in Raleigh, NC and it is a perfect fit! Moderator cut: link removed
Yeah, that's the one I was referencing above, couldn't remember the exact link!

Last edited by Yac; 12-05-2007 at 01:57 AM..
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