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Old 06-27-2013, 08:43 AM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,573,137 times
Reputation: 4022

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We currently live in Texas and have always had long term plans to move out of the state. It's now looking like we'll be doing just that within the next 2 to 4 years. Depends on if I stay here for grad school or not. So, since we're a same-sex couple with kids let's assume we were going to narrow our criteria to states where our Iowa same sex marriage would be recognize. Makes sense to us.

That would mean our choices were Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Plus D.C. and California. Right of the top we can eliminate California, too expensive mainly. Also D.C. for that same reason. And we can nix Iowa, just because my wife grew up there and she doesn't want to live there again.

I'm sure some of the others on that list are not exactly affordable either but I am not sure of specifics. We are still both full time students but when we move, my wife should be certified to teach (k-12 special ed) and I am most likely going to be in some sort of social services work, if I don't end up teaching too.

Here's what we prefer:
Mountains, or at least a hilly landscape. Had enough flat for a lifetime between me growing up on the Texas coast and my wife growing up in a particularly flat part of Iowa!

Beach within 4 hours, ideally. Something about growing up near one and spending most of your time there, it gets in your blood I guess. So while I dont' care to live right near one I need to get my "ocean fix" a few times a year.

Mid-sized city, or smaller okay if reasonably close to a larger one

Four seasons with at least SOME regular winter snow. We can deal with hot summers (obviously) but don't want any more of these loooonnng summers like in Texas. As long as it's just June/July/Aug. we're good. A good thunderstorm here and there is a pleasure.

Nothing through-the-roof expensive. We expect to be earning a moderate middle-class income. We are frugal people but don't want to be living with no $ for modest travel or a dinner out here and there. A modest place on the outskirts of town would suit us just fine.

Rich history and old buildings with a European feel would be a bonus, even if just to visit a downtown area.

Trees and green spaces are a must.

We value an aesthetic pleasure from the landscape over fancy restaurants or theater/art galleries -- we are homebodies and like to take road trips, see the scenery, maybe camping, occasionally a musical event when a favorite band or artist comes to town.

Schools that are decent with decent special education services for our youngest -- by the time we move we might just have her at home (she is 10 now) since it's a few years away and the middle child is 15 now.

Hmmmm so that's about it! Curious to see what people think about these places. The only one I have any experience with is Maryland, through summers spent there for a good chunk of my childhood, but I was a kid. I just remember it being pretty, woods in my Grandma's backyard, eating crab cakes and taking frequent trips to Virginia and D.C.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:06 AM
 
Location: NY, NY
1,208 posts, read 1,459,512 times
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Based on your criteria, the only places I would recommend would be NY, CT, DE, or RI. Just so you know, the beaches in RI are very cold though, about 10-20 degrees colder then NY or CT. And CT's beaches are on the Long Island Sound so they are rock beaches, not sandy ones.

Honestly, I'd recommend NJ based on all your criteria. Close to mountains and beaches, reasonable cost of living compared to southern NY and CT, and a better shot at getting a teaching job. Also, even though gay marriage is not yet legal, its gonna happen very soon. I heard a report on our local news last night that they actually may be able to override the governor's veto and legalize gay marriage.

Unfortunately Chris Christie has said he will veto any gay marriage bill the assembly and senate passes. However, he will be out of office in about 3 years probably.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,446 posts, read 2,288,971 times
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Maryland is a good fit except for the mountains (although you can drive to mountains pretty easily from Maryland). It is close to the water, has a decent climate with four seasons, and there is history in some of the cities like Baltimore and Annapolis. Anywhere in MD is fairly close to several big cities (Baltimore, DC, and Philly). And you already have some familiarity with the state.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:59 AM
 
56,595 posts, read 80,890,793 times
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I would say NY, only because Special Ed may allow you to get a teaching job. If you want mountains close by and to be within that range of beaches, then you may like the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area. It is only 2 hours or so away from Boston and NYC too. Ithaca would be an obvious choice and perhaps a sleeper is the Binghamton area. Binghamton is close to the Catskills and the Poconos and you can go to the Jersey Shore within that time frame. All have colleges in the area too. There may be others depending upon how strict the criteria is.

A place like Newark Delaware may work too.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,245 posts, read 19,541,004 times
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Based on your criteria, I would look into New York, Maryland, Massachusetts or Connecticut.

Plenty of great areas to live in all of these states - close to population centers as well as natural scenery/beaches.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:58 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,573,137 times
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Wow, thanks everyone for the replies so far! Plenty of places to investigate And as for NJ, yeah, I am hoping since we aren't moving for a few years the places with legal gay marriage will have increased by then anyway!

As for cold water beaches, it's okay. I like to walk the beach, wade a bit, hear the ocean and just let it humble me. More important than swimming, for me.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,438 posts, read 4,224,762 times
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If cold water is OK, look at Washington state. Seattle is expensive, but there's a lot more there. You've got mountains, trees, and ocean. For a European feel, check Visit Leavenworth Washington, USA | Hotels, Lodging, Festivals & Events - that's in the middle of the state near Wenatchee and Lake Chelan.

In a year or two you'll probably be able to add Oregon to your list.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Suburbs of Cleveland
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Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont sound like they meet all of the criteria, or at least most of it.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:30 PM
Status: "Got the rocking modern neon sound" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Boston
2,038 posts, read 1,991,711 times
Reputation: 1730
I think Portland ME would suit everything except maybe schools (I'm not so familiar with Maine schools). Providence is another mid-sized city, but its farther away from the mountains, and I think that the schools might not be so great. Eastern MA has some great schools (for the most part), beaches, and mountains, but its expensive and there aren't really any mid-sized cities, only large and small.

Otherwise, VT, NH, NY, and MN are all kind of far-ish from the ocean. Delaware and Maryland don't have many mountains I don't think.

CT might work, but I don't really know...
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:58 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,299,537 times
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Any of the New England states would work as far as your basic criteria. Only VT does not have a sea coast ( yes NH has a small sea coast too). However, VT is only a couple/ few hours drive to that NH
seacoast and in some places just a few hours to the CT shore. Most of the CT shore has sand beaches.

The northern New England states are cold and snowy in the winter. The southern New England states less so . CT & RI in particular have areas with mild winters.

The problem you have parts of with New England is cost of living. RI, MA & CT have some of the highest costs of living in the country. Property taxes are very high, thousands a year for even small homes, taxes overall are high, winter fuel costs are astronomical. Parts of VT, interior NH and parts of Maine are cheaper. Rents are correspondingly high also.

However, you would be well accepted anywhere in New England. it's peaceful and tolerant. Visit the region, do lots more research. It may be just what you want if you can both get decent paying jobs. Since you're both starting out, you'd need two incomes to live comfortably there.
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