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Old 01-08-2011, 09:16 PM
 
492 posts, read 1,018,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampbird View Post
I am a bookkeeper looking to leave Florida and since I am a bookkeeper, I need rent to be under $500.00 (a studio is fine). This leaves only a few cities in the U.S. (where I will also be able to find a job). I don't know much about these cities, though. I love nature and cold weather, but beggars can't be choosers.

Cities with jobs and cheap rent: Texas heads the list.

Houston
Dallas
Fort Worth
Colorado Springs
Indianapolis (I'm liking this one)
Columbus, OH

Feel free to add to the list. But I have to be able to find a studio or apartment for under $500 unless the job I land will pay more than what I make in Florida ($12.00 an hour).
I have met lots of people here (Houston) who have moved here from Fl. and the vast majority are a lot happier here. The culture shock is minimal, the weather and the environment is very similar plus Houston is a lot more cosmopolitan (there are more people of varied backgrounds compared to Miami or other parts of FL).
English is spoken here by the majority or at least people try to speak it, unlike Miami where most don't want to speak English.
As far as apartments I would look somewhere where there is a mixture of Asian and Hispanics (IMHO rent tend to be lower and to some extent safer there and you would probably be close to lots of inexpensive restaurants with great food; and huge Asian and Hispanic grocery stores) There are also lots of garage apartments in many neighborhoods its a matter of looking for them.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH for now
31 posts, read 67,268 times
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I would have to cosign on the Cleveland suggestion. you can find an apartment for $450, pretty easily. Especially if you rent from a private landlord, as opposed to from the management companies listed on rent.com, etc. Check out Craigstlist, there are PLENTY of listings in your price range, and there are a few places hiring bookkeepers/people with bookkeeping experience.
And if you love nature? Yes, Cleveland is definitely the place for you! We have the Cleveland Metroparks, which are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I'd say we do have that slight advantage over Columbus
but definitely check out columbus too.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,169,700 times
Reputation: 29451
If you want nature and cold weather, I'd look at the smaller college towns in the Northwoods region in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Forget Madison and Ann Arbor though, they'll be out of your price range. (They're not in the Northwoods but I thought I'd just mention it anyway). Examples would include UW-La Crosse, UW-Stevens Point, Michigan Tech (WAY up in the middle of bumblesnot where they get 20 feet of snow a year), et cetera. I'm not as familiar with Minnesota and Michigan, but Wisconsin has an extensive university system with schools located all over the state in cheap but tidy towns.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Miami
410 posts, read 699,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
If you want nature and cold weather, I'd look at the smaller college towns in the Northwoods region in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Forget Madison and Ann Arbor though, they'll be out of your price range. (They're not in the Northwoods but I thought I'd just mention it anyway). Examples would include UW-La Crosse, UW-Stevens Point, Michigan Tech (WAY up in the middle of bumblesnot where they get 20 feet of snow a year), et cetera. I'm not as familiar with Minnesota and Michigan, but Wisconsin has an extensive university system with schools located all over the state in cheap but tidy towns.
Those were my very first choices - I LOVE WI. But after much research, I found those states unaffordable, with the exception of some of the smaller towns, in which I am sure I would have difficulty finding a job. Appleton, StevensPoint, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, no apartments under $500.00. Looked into Minneapolis, same thing. Have not checked out MI yet.

Man, you are not kidding about Madison. I took one look at those prices and crossed it right off my list.

I do prefer renting from a regular apartment as opposed to a private owner. I just want to be able to sign an annual lease and be able to call maintenance if there is a problem. I find this goes more smoothly with larger apartment buildings.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:00 PM
 
161 posts, read 556,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampbird View Post
Those were my very first choices - I LOVE WI. But after much research, I found those states unaffordable, with the exception of some of the smaller towns, in which I am sure I would have difficulty finding a job. Appleton, StevensPoint, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, no apartments under $500.00. Looked into Minneapolis, same thing. Have not checked out MI yet.

Man, you are not kidding about Madison. I took one look at those prices and crossed it right off my list.

I do prefer renting from a regular apartment as opposed to a private owner. I just want to be able to sign an annual lease and be able to call maintenance if there is a problem. I find this goes more smoothly with larger apartment buildings.
A few suggestions in the Minnesota-Wisconsin region that seem to be clean, safe, have cheaper rents, and lower unemployment are Eau Claire, Wisconsin and St. Cloud, Minnesota. Also, if you are interested in Appleton, you could also look at neighboring communties like Neenah and Oshkosh. They seem to be cheaper, but are all part of the Fox Cities metro. You could easily live in one and work in another.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Miami
410 posts, read 699,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailhiker View Post
A few suggestions in the Minnesota-Wisconsin region that seem to be clean, safe, have cheaper rents, and lower unemployment are Eau Claire, Wisconsin and St. Cloud, Minnesota. Also, if you are interested in Appleton, you could also look at neighboring communties like Neenah and Oshkosh. They seem to be cheaper, but are all part of the Fox Cities metro. You could easily live in one and work in another.
Okay, I will check those out. I am willing to commute up to an hour, to be able to find what I am looking for.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,169,700 times
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If Eau Claire proper is too expensive, nearby Chippewa Falls is probably cheaper. Also look into La Crosse (WI); and if La Crosse proper is too expensive, look into nearby Onalaska.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
989 posts, read 1,930,232 times
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Columbus is a great place as long as you're happy with "Overgrown college town that's incredibly cool and city-like" as opposed to a bustling metropolis...I'd live there in a heartbeat if it was an option.

But I'd also go after Pittsburgh as well, you can't beat it for scenery and the cost of living to opportunities ration is unbeatable by any other city within the nation.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Miami
410 posts, read 699,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Also look into La Crosse WI. If La Crosse proper is too expensive, nearby Chippewa Falls is probably cheaper.
Okay...so long as they are within an hour's commute of a larger city, as I will need to work full-time. What are some decent sized cities besides Milwaukee and Green Bay?
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,169,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampbird View Post
Okay...so long as they are within an hour's commute of a larger city, as I will need to work full-time. What are some decent sized cities besides Milwaukee and Green Bay?
Note I got my geography a little mixed up re: La Crosse and Chippewa Falls (which is actually near Eau Claire) and corrected my post accordingly. It's Onalaska that's next to La Crosse.

I got it in my head for some reason that you were looking for smaller cities so I have been shaping my recommendations accordingly. My apologies for confusing you with someone else. As for "decent sized cities", the only three in Wisconsin that exceed 100,000 are Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay in that order. Milwaukee and Madison are out of your price range, even in the suburbs. Some of the outlying areas outside of Madison are reasonably priced but rental stock in your price range will be hard to come by as what little there is will mostly be full, detached houses.

You might find something in Green Bay in your price range, but GB is sleepy, somewhat gritty post-industrial town and there's not a lot going on up there. Someone suggested looking in some of the other towns in the area such as Neenah or Oshkosh. You may find something in that Fox River Valley corridor (from GB to Oshkosh) in your price range but I don't know how nice it will be. Appleton is the crown jewel of that corridor and priced accordingly. Something to be cautious of in the Fox Valley corridor is an abundance of paper mills that smell like goat's ass.
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