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Old 04-30-2013, 08:08 AM
 
6 posts, read 8,711 times
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My wife and I are in our late 20s and have lived in the Midwest our entire lives. We've decided that it's time to make a move before we really settle down. Coming from the Chicagoland area, we're mainly tired of dealing with the winters, though the humid summers aren't great either.

Understanding that every location is going to have its own set of trade-offs and that we will ultimately need to visit before making any kind of final decision, we're trying to narrow it down in order to plan such a trip.

Here's a basic overview of what we are looking for:

- Southern/Southwestern location. No further east than TX.
- Warmer winters, not too humid during the summer. The fewer natural disasters, the better
- Mix between downtown and suburbs. My wife prefers city-living while I prefer the openness of the suburbs, so something in-between might be just right.
- Decent job market. I'm in IT and she's in business, so being near a bigger city would seem to have many more opportunities.
- Manageable cost of living. We live a comfortable middle-class lifestyle now and don't want to sacrifice that during the move.
- As few bugs as we can get away with. Our condo was somewhat infested a few years ago and it really leaves you on edge.
- Decent place to raise a family with good schools nearby. We don't have any kids yet, but would obviously want to plan for the future.
- Fairly accessible location. With family mainly back in the Midwest, we wouldn't want to make it impossible for them to visit us or for us to visit them.
- Moving sometime in the next 6-18 months.

Based on a few weeks of browsing around here and other sites, the two main cities that pop out are Phoenix and Dallas. Phoenix takes the lead for me from a gut feeling, possibly because it's so vastly different from what we're used to. Dallas would seem to be the better choice in terms of economy and education, with the huge benefit that I would be able to transfer there with my current job instead of going through an out-of-state job search. California seems too expensive to maintain our same lifestyle and New Mexico doesn't seem to have a whole lot going on economically, but that's just my initial impression.

Anyway, we're trying to plan a trip this summer to experience these places in some of their worst weather. Does anyone have any other ideas for places we should visit? Or any comments on either Phoenix or Dallas? I know there are threads comparing them, but most seem to be a few years old.

Thanks!
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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If you're looking for a city that's not too humid during the summer, I'd definitely pick Phoenix over Dallas. Dallas summers are hot and humid, whereas Phoenix is in the desert so it's a dry heat. As far as natural disasters, the Phoenix area does have its share of wild fires but Dallas has tornadoes. I'd also throw Las Vegas and Albuquerque into the mix.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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Thanks.

Phoenix is absolutely more appealing than Dallas weather-wise, but does lag behind in some important areas. Albuquerque is on our radar, too. Being located between Dallas and Phoenix would make it pretty easy to visit. As far as Vegas goes, we've been a few times (only to the Strip, admittedly), but it comes across a little over the top for a place to raise a family and obviously has a huge dependence on tourism.

I could also mention some other places we'd previously considered, like the Atlanta area (was pretty nice overall and all the people were very friendly) and the Pacific Northwest (Portland and Seattle seem like great cities, but we wouldn't enjoy the gloominess).
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:51 PM
 
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Oklahoma City perhaps?
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:50 AM
 
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I would throw Atlanta back into the mix as it suits your criteria well and comes without the heat for months on end. A "dry heat" is still hot despite what some might say. Atlanta doesn't get the extreme humidity of other places in the Southeast and has a nice mild change of seasons which you won't see in the two-dimensional Southwest.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,166 posts, read 1,448,575 times
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Not officially part of the Southwest, but how about Colorado Springs? I know you're trying to get away from the snow and cold, but winters in Denver and Colorado Springs are actually quite tolerable. It snows, but more often than not it melts quickly and 50+ degree days in January are not uncommon at all, unlike the Midwest.

Also, it's less than a day's drive from much of the Midwest. The same can't be said about say, PHX or Atlanta.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
Not officially part of the Southwest, but how about Colorado Springs? I know you're trying to get away from the snow and cold, but winters in Denver and Colorado Springs are actually quite tolerable. It snows, but more often than not it melts quickly and 50+ degree days in January are not uncommon at all, unlike the Midwest.

Also, it's less than a day's drive from much of the Midwest. The same can't be said about say, PHX or Atlanta.
Actually it depends upon your definition of the Midwest. Atlanta is about 8 hours drive time from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Colorado Springs is by comparison 15 hours away from Indiana for example.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:11 PM
 
85 posts, read 176,930 times
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OP and I are in almost the exact same situation. Weird...

In our searches, Phoenix/Tucson, Albuquerque, and most of Texas has come up in our searches. NC and FL have spots that would be possibilities, too. PM me if you find out anything, and I'll let you know too, but I thought I'd post what we've found for others who see this thread.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:43 PM
 
6 posts, read 8,711 times
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Thanks for the responses so far!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Oklahoma City perhaps?
We didn't really consider Oklahoma City too much... It's not really nearby anything besides Dallas, is right in Tornado Alley, and seems kind of boring overall

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I would throw Atlanta back into the mix as it suits your criteria well and comes without the heat for months on end. A "dry heat" is still hot despite what some might say. Atlanta doesn't get the extreme humidity of other places in the Southeast and has a nice mild change of seasons which you won't see in the two-dimensional Southwest.
It's still on our radar. When we visited, it was the last week of December and was still pretty warm overall. The suburbs around the Alpharetta area were very very nice looking. Another plus would be that we've got family in IL/MI and FL, so GA would be kind of right in-between.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post
Not officially part of the Southwest, but how about Colorado Springs? I know you're trying to get away from the snow and cold, but winters in Denver and Colorado Springs are actually quite tolerable. It snows, but more often than not it melts quickly and 50+ degree days in January are not uncommon at all, unlike the Midwest.

Also, it's less than a day's drive from much of the Midwest. The same can't be said about say, PHX or Atlanta.
We haven't looked into CO at all. When you think of Denver, you tend to think snow, which was what we were trying to get away from. I'll definitely take a look into that area. As far as the driving time, most of our family is in the Chicago/Detroit suburbs, so pretty much anything past Kansas or Nebraska would have to be flown or driven over a couple days.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:18 AM
 
21,208 posts, read 30,427,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestNoMore View Post
It's still on our radar. When we visited, it was the last week of December and was still pretty warm overall. The suburbs around the Alpharetta area were very very nice looking. Another plus would be that we've got family in IL/MI and FL, so GA would be kind of right in-between.
That area is beautiful, I like Roswell especially. You might also look inside the Perimeter at neighborhoods such as North Decatur and North Druid Hills which provide the same look/feel minus the long commute if you were to work in/around downtown.
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