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Old 04-21-2013, 08:29 AM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,645,130 times
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I'll start with a quick bio about me and my wife. I've lived in Topeka, KS my whole life, but have traveled a lot all over the US, Central America, and China. I own a lawn mowing business which I plan on restarting if we move anywhere. My wife is from China and is fluent in mandarin/english. She has a masters degree and a good resume, but can't seem to find any work here. We thought she had a job lined up in international marketing, but it fell through. She's tired of staying home and with no local job options, I've opened up the idea of moving. We don't really know where we want to live, but we know what we like and we want to stay within our budget. We both would prefer the west coast, but it's not a deal breaker if it's somewhere else. We'd like to own a home where ever we live and lets just say for estimating sake we make $75,000/year and can afford a house up to $250,000. We don't like really cold weather or really hot weather, but we could live with either for a short time each year. We like green places and rain, but I'm not sure if I could live somewhere it's cloudy for months at a time. Having a Chinese community nearby would be nice, we currently have to drive about 50 miles to get to an Asian market or real Asian restaurant. The most important part is that we could make a living where we relocate to and that my wife could find a job. We've dreamed about living in Hawaii, but I don't think it's financially feasible and I worry we would end up disappointed after living there a while.

Thanks for any help
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,036,585 times
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First, I think you tuned into the fact that Hawaii is expensive. While the majority of Asians there are of Japanese descent, there is still a sizable Chinese community there.

The whole not liking cold weather thing, but liking rain and green, but not where it's cloudy thing, and not liking hot weather is a little interesting. My first thought was Seattle, even though it can be cloudy a lot, but it's a step up from Portland in that regard. They have a sizable community for sure. If you don't mind southern california, then San Diego although it can get hot.

In the midwest, I'd say some suburbs in Chicago. There's actually a good sized Asian community in the northern suburbs of Chicago..and of course a sizable population in Chinatown and Bridgeport. I think in the suburbs, your budget would work.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:33 AM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,645,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
First, I think you tuned into the fact that Hawaii is expensive. While the majority of Asians there are of Japanese descent, there is still a sizable Chinese community there.

The whole not liking cold weather thing, but liking rain and green, but not where it's cloudy thing, and not liking hot weather is a little interesting. My first thought was Seattle, even though it can be cloudy a lot, but it's a step up from Portland in that regard. They have a sizable community for sure. If you don't mind southern california, then San Diego although it can get hot.

In the midwest, I'd say some suburbs in Chicago. There's actually a good sized Asian community in the northern suburbs of Chicago..and of course a sizable population in Chinatown and Bridgeport. I think in the suburbs, your budget would work.
Thanks for the reply. I should clarify on the weather. I like the rain and when everything is green, but I don't think I could live somewhere that's cloudy for weeks or months on end(I would get too depressed). I can live somewhere that's cold or hot for a little while, but again, I don't want it to be freezing out for 3+ months or 90+ for 3+ months. We'd like it to be more temperate than that. Me and my wife have been to Chicago a few times, we both like it, and at one time it was on the list of places to look into, but for us it's too cold for too long, but I'll do some more looking, maybe it will have to go back on the list. Another city we have looked into and like is Corvallis, Oregon, but I assume it's weather is similar to Portland? We have looked into the Pacific Northwest a lot, but I worry I would get really depressed living there, but besides it being cloudy we like almost everything about that region. Another area I know little about is the San Francisco Bay area, what I do know is that it can be very expensive, but are there any areas around the Bay that would fit my description?
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,036,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Thanks for the reply. I should clarify on the weather. I like the rain and when everything is green, but I don't think I could live somewhere that's cloudy for weeks or months on end(I would get too depressed). I can live somewhere that's cold or hot for a little while, but again, I don't want it to be freezing out for 3+ months or 90+ for 3+ months. We'd like it to be more temperate than that.
Gotcha. That makes sense.

Quote:
Me and my wife have been to Chicago a few times, we both like it, and at one time it was on the list of places to look into, but for us it's too cold for too long, but I'll do some more looking, maybe it will have to go back on the list.
Chicago has winters but IMO they are overrated. At least lately they've been mild. Though, this winter got started late..like February, but yeah. I went to college in Iowa by the way and actually found Iowa to be colder than Chicago during the winters FWIW.

Quote:
Another city we have looked into and like is Corvallis, Oregon, but I assume it's weather is similar to Portland? We have looked into the Pacific Northwest a lot, but I worry I would get really depressed living there, but besides it being cloudy we like almost everything about that region. Another area I know little about is the San Francisco Bay area, what I do know is that it can be very expensive, but are there any areas around the Bay that would fit my description?
Not an expert, but my guess would be Corvallis would be similar to Portland. Portland and places like Cleveland and Buffalo do not get a ton of sun either..some of the worst for that. In my experience in the Bay area, you wouldn't get much for $250,000 or you'd be in a not so good neighborhood. That's my experience with it though.

For a reference too on Chinese-American populations, check this out:

List of U.S. cities with significant Chinese-American populations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keep in mind though it's only city proper. In some of these cities, the suburbs actually have a larger population. In the list above, for COL to population, the cities where you could work within your budget would be Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego (maybe), Houston, Seattle, Sacramento, Portland, etc..at least in my opinion (many others like Austin of course).

My girlfriend is of Chinese descent (Malaysian) and she likes Chicago quite a bit, although it is a little cold for her in the winters (but she's from a tropical country). There are quite a few people here either from China or Chinese descent. If you look at the top 5 of the above link, Chicago has the best COL. If you expand to top 10, then it might be Houston...but Houston probably does not fit your weather needs.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:51 AM
 
Location: IN
20,856 posts, read 35,982,121 times
Reputation: 13304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
I'll start with a quick bio about me and my wife. I've lived in Topeka, KS my whole life, but have traveled a lot all over the US, Central America, and China. I own a lawn mowing business which I plan on restarting if we move anywhere. My wife is from China and is fluent in mandarin/english. She has a masters degree and a good resume, but can't seem to find any work here. We thought she had a job lined up in international marketing, but it fell through. She's tired of staying home and with no local job options, I've opened up the idea of moving. We don't really know where we want to live, but we know what we like and we want to stay within our budget. We both would prefer the west coast, but it's not a deal breaker if it's somewhere else. We'd like to own a home where ever we live and lets just say for estimating sake we make $75,000/year and can afford a house up to $250,000. We don't like really cold weather or really hot weather, but we could live with either for a short time each year. We like green places and rain, but I'm not sure if I could live somewhere it's cloudy for months at a time. Having a Chinese community nearby would be nice, we currently have to drive about 50 miles to get to an Asian market or real Asian restaurant. The most important part is that we could make a living where we relocate to and that my wife could find a job. We've dreamed about living in Hawaii, but I don't think it's financially feasible and I worry we would end up disappointed after living there a while.

Thanks for any help
Chicagoland area would be a bit more affordable than the immediate West Coast overall, but winters would be somewhat colder obviously. Corvalis, OR is a college town with high real estate prices based on the local economy. Portland, OR region is a good bit further south than Seattle so the climate tends to be milder overall. I understand your concern about cloudy areas, but I think the best suggestion for combating the clouds is to get outside at least 1-2 hours a day and take extra Vitamin D supplements. I wouldn't recommend Denver, way too brown with not enough rain if you prefer green and lush areas to live. You could also look into Spokane, WA- a bit more isolated and a bit less green, but very close to nice mountains and lakes. In the East I would look at Nashville or the Research Triangle area, milder climate with a diverse population and a good deal of growth. All areas mentioned would be much better than anything in Kansas! I should know as I used to live in Kansas (Kansas City metro) and escaped as soon as I could as I really dislike the prevaling culture of the state overall.
Edit: You could also look at the Madison, WI area (I moved here last year) as it is one of the best small to medium sized metro areas in the Midwest with a good deal of job growth so your business ventures would have quite a bit of demand growth overall.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:15 PM
 
5,820 posts, read 5,191,568 times
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The West coast might not work for you due to high costs (CA) and rain in the coastal areas (OR & WA & even the SF CA area). I dunno, though - I'm from the Midwest originally and the rain in Western WA didn't bother me a bit - Seattle's expensive, though. Western WA does have a "banana belt" which gets less rain - the San Juan islands and Sequim. She'd probably have to commute into Seattle for work, though. My brother lives in Spokane and although it's very affordable it doesn't seem to me to be very active in commerce.

Chicago, which others are recommending, does get cold & windy & snowy in the winter and is too hot and humid for me personally in the summer, although others aren't bothered by it. Housing seems pretty expensive to me.

What about:

Houston: supposed to be very strong in international business (per The Atlantic), if you could take the heat & humidity. or
Austin: Nice mix of ethnicities including lots of Chinese students - fun town - weather not so bad as Houston - and something exciting must be happening there for North Korea to target it or
Omaha: because of agribusiness it has very strong international business activity now (although it wouldn't be too much different than where you are living now).

If it were me, though, I'd be looking at job boards around the country for businesses that are actively seeking bi-lingual Mandarin/English speakers and pick a place based on that. You can adjust to any kind of weather for a while and just enjoy the different experience for 2 or 3 years - you don't have to stay there permanently! And I'd also suggest that she expand her search beyond business to schools - the small town in WI which I'm considering moving to has only 2 languages taught in their schools: Spanish and Mandarin.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,798 posts, read 19,036,585 times
Reputation: 6805
Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
Chicago, which others are recommending, does get cold & windy & snowy in the winter and is too hot and humid for me personally in the summer, although others aren't bothered by it. Housing seems pretty expensive to me.
Chicago itself doesn't really get that snowy actually, but the suburbs can the further west you go out of the area. Wind? Yes, but the skyscrapers make it worse, so in other areas without that, it's actually not as windy. While, again, it can be windy here...the city is not named "the windy city" because of the wind actually.

It can get cold and it's about 7-10 degrees colder than Topeka in the winters in Chicago, but it's not the frozen tundra people lead you to believe it is. Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, and parts of Iowa are definitely colder on average. Now the good news for the OP maybe, is that on average Chicago is about 5 degrees colder in the summer than Topeka. It is in the 80s and 90s sometimes, but still slightly colder than Topeka.

Housing in Chicago is kind of two faces here. Single family homes in the city can be expensive in good neighborhoods, but condos are considerably less. I suggested the suburbs though because I know for a fact the single family homes in some suburbs are within that budget.


I'd say Houston is a good fit BUT the summers are pretty miserable there if you aren't a fan of hot weather. That's the only problem...hot and humid. Austin isn't as bad, but it's still hot.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:09 AM
 
21,207 posts, read 30,412,852 times
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You might look to the Mid-Atlantic region if you're hoping for good work options for her and an area with sufficient disposable income for your lawncare business. Check out Baltimore, particularly the Glen Burnie area which offers plenty of housing in your price range as well as transit access to job centers in both Baltimore and Washington, DC. The area has the strongest economy of any big metro in the US and milder four season weather as it rarely snows heavily and is typically not hot for extended periods. The Asian culture is very well represented in the area with many transplants from China, and lots of great restaurants and specialty markets.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: New York NY
4,270 posts, read 6,356,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
You might look to the Mid-Atlantic region if you're hoping for good work options for her and an area with sufficient disposable income for your lawncare business. Check out Baltimore, particularly the Glen Burnie area which offers plenty of housing in your price range as well as transit access to job centers in both Baltimore and Washington, DC. The area has the strongest economy of any big metro in the US and milder four season weather as it rarely snows heavily and is typically not hot for extended periods. The Asian culture is very well represented in the area with many transplants from China, and lots of great restaurants and specialty markets.
This is good advice. The areas in Baltimore County, Columbia, and a bit futher out in northern Virginia are afforable, close to big job markets, come with four seasons that are never too drastic, and some can be ethnically quite diverse.
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