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Old 10-28-2012, 03:35 PM
 
8 posts, read 8,237 times
Reputation: 13

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About me: 23 year old, male, live in San Jose California, just graduated from UC Santa Barbara, have wanted to move far away since high school. I had always thought I'd be moving to NYC, but I started re-thinking that about a year ago because of the exorbitant cost of living. I should have almost $20,000 saved up by next April and I'm hoping to take the leap and move somewhere then. I've done tons of research and read hundreds of threads on CD but I still can't make up my mind (fairly indecisive person ) so I wanted to make a post specifically tailored to me and see if I can get some advice to help give me that decisive push.

What I'm looking for:

1. Active urban life: I'm young and lovee having lots of activities/events/parties to go to. A big city is therefore the obvious priority. I'm not huge into bars/clubs, but definitely an active nightlife is nice. At least as important is lots of other things to do besides drinking, from sports to parks to walkability. I'm a big walker so having a walkable downtown and many interesting areas to explore is a big plus. San Jose is not very interesting in this regard, very spread out and suburban plus no major sports teams here and not much nightlife. San Francisco is pretty ideal, but I won't move there as it's much too close to where I grew up among other reasons.

2. Affordability: This cuts both ways. One, cost of living is very important. However, it's also important that the economy is vibrant and I can make a good living there. The whole Bay Area obviously hits a home run on the latter but not so much on the former, it's incredibly expensive here.

4. Weather: Maybe I'm spoiled, but 70 and sunny for your entire life is just boring. I've always liked snow so definitely more northern climates are appealing to me. I'm also open to more tropical weather, but not just general pleasantness/cloudiness.

4. Body of water: Having lived in Santa Barbara for a couple of years, I got used to the awesomeness of living by the water. Anywhere landlocked is mostly out of the question for me because of this. San Jose is 30-40 minutes away from Santa Cruz so not too bad although it'd be nice to be closer.

5. Travel: It's nice to have some neat places to go on day trips too. Beaches obviously, but mountains, nearby cities, interesting towns, etc.

6. People: This one would be one of the most important except that I'm skeptical that people are really that different from city to city. Obviously as a guy it's better to have more women, especially women in their twenties. General friendliness and openness to outsiders is always good. I'd like to live in an area with lots of educated people. And I'd prefer a city where people are happy with where they live and have a strong sense of community (San Jose is the opposite of most of these things).

With all that said, here's my rankings so far and thoughts on various cities:

1A. Chicago: Definitely the cheapest of all of the cities under consideration, while still having a good economy. That seems like it'd make life more comfortable and less stressful. Also very urban with lots of things to do, good night life, sports teams, and parks. It's not near the ocean, but from what I've read Lake Michigan is pretty much the same thing? Some other negatives are that it's not really near any other big cities or the mountains and there doesn't seem to be as many interesting day trips.

1B. Boston: Very cool environment with tons of places to explore and very walkable. Lots of smart people (too smart? might be hard to compete with Ivy-Leaguers for jobs) and a very good economy (better than Chicago). Also some great places around the area to take trips to. I think I'd like the East Coast vibe and being near the ocean and NYC. Not as urban as Chicago although I'm not sure how different the two are as I've never been to Boston. Also a good amount more expensive to live in which is not good. Basically, I'm not sure if Boston is worth the premium in price over Chicago (does the better economy make up for this) or if the smaller size/population makes it less enjoyable with not as many things to do.

2. New York City: Definitely #1 for most of these factors. There's just the one huge strike against it. The cost. Without living there it's hard know if this is overblown but I don't want to have to constantly worry about money. My parents main reason for divorce was money and I know it's pretty much the #1 reason people stress. Also, I'm fine living in a shoebox for now (haven't had my own room for 10 years so I'm used to it) but I don't want to live that way forever. It seems pretty hard to leave that environment in New York though. There's pretty much no way to buy property in Manhattan and even the other boroughs are more expensive than Boston. And if I bought property in Hoboken down the line or something, I'm basically back to the boring suburbs again haha.

3. Seattle/Denver: Interesting places that are cheaper with good outdoors, sports, and a different feel than the Bay Area. I'm just not sure that they're big enough to make me want to stay there for a long time and I also don't want to be near the West Coast.

4. Miami/San Diego: Tropical places by the beach but some big downsides to each. Both are expensive and Miami doesn't have a good economy. San Diego is just too close as I really want an adventure and somewhere that is far away from home I think.

Those are pretty much the cities I'm considering with Chicago, Boston, NY being the easy favorites. I'd need some convincing to consider the others but I'm potentially open to anywhere that seems like a good fit for what I'm looking for. Any help is very, very much appreciated as I've thought about this forever but can't seem to pull the trigger and decide for sure which city I'm going to move to. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:54 PM
 
5,691 posts, read 8,758,435 times
Reputation: 4911
What about Philly? It has the big city vibe without the price tag. NY is close enough for a day trip - as is the NJ beach.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Detroit
983 posts, read 1,428,608 times
Reputation: 1065
It really depends on what's most important to you. Denver would be great for the climate and travel (to mountains) parts and is more affordable than most of the other cities. However, it is smaller than the others and pretty well landlocked. If travel to other cities is important, the NE would be your best bet. Chicago does fairly well in all of the categories, but I think what it has going for it most is its price. Maybe money you could save living there you could use to go on trips? Just a thought. As for Seattle, it is expensive and it sounds like you wouldn't like the weather. The area around Seattle is extremely nice though.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:31 PM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,453 posts, read 3,753,926 times
Reputation: 9592
Quote:
Originally Posted by movernshaker11 View Post
About me: 23 year old, male, live in San Jose California, just graduated from UC Santa Barbara, have wanted to move far away since high school. I had always thought I'd be moving to NYC, but I started re-thinking that about a year ago because of the exorbitant cost of living. I should have almost $20,000 saved up by next April and I'm hoping to take the leap and move somewhere then. I've done tons of research and read hundreds of threads on CD but I still can't make up my mind (fairly indecisive person ) so I wanted to make a post specifically tailored to me and see if I can get some advice to help give me that decisive push.

With all that said, here's my rankings so far and thoughts on various cities:

1A. Chicago: Definitely the cheapest of all of the cities under consideration, while still having a good economy. That seems like it'd make life more comfortable and less stressful. Also very urban with lots of things to do, good night life, sports teams, and parks. It's not near the ocean, but from what I've read Lake Michigan is pretty much the same thing? Some other negatives are that it's not really near any other big cities or the mountains and there doesn't seem to be as many interesting day trips.

Those are pretty much the cities I'm considering with Chicago, Boston, NY being the easy favorites. I'd need some convincing to consider the others but I'm potentially open to anywhere that seems like a good fit for what I'm looking for. Any help is very, very much appreciated as I've thought about this forever but can't seem to pull the trigger and decide for sure which city I'm going to move to. Thanks in advance!!
What you will find:


1. Active urban life: lots of activities/events/parties to go to. A big city is what Chicago is. Definitely an active nightlife is available here. Lots of other things to do besides drinking, from sports to parks to walkability. A walkable downtown and many interesting areas to explore.


2. Affordability: Cost of living is reasonable here. However, the economy is quite vibrant and you can make a good living here.


4. Weather: Four Seasons


4. HUGE Body of water: Lake Michigan


5. Travel: Chicago is the main pivot point to anywhere in the Midwest, North, South, East, or West...or the rest of the world for that matter.


6. People: Great population of people and diversity becuase we are from all over the world!


As I was reading your post, I kept saying to myself...that's Chicago, that's Chicago, that's Chicago...so on and so forth.

The most recent c-d thread on QOL and living in Chicago...Good Luck!

Tell me bout Chi
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
3,853 posts, read 7,634,666 times
Reputation: 1583
Just throwing it out there, but Hoboken isn't really a suburb. I mean, maybe you could technically count it as a suburb because it's outside the city limits, but it's not suburban. It's as urban as many areas within the city limits.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:00 PM
 
56,593 posts, read 80,890,793 times
Reputation: 12500
I was thinking Philly and Chicago too. Baltimore may be a sleeper and its proximity to DC doesn't hurt.
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