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Old 09-27-2013, 11:35 PM
1 posts, read 728 times
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My wife and I (and our infant son) have recently and temporarily relocated to my hometown of Trenton, NJ to be closer to my family after discovering we'll be having another baby. We're staying with family for the moment while we look for more permanent arrangements, but I'm feeling a bit lost, honestly. I've spent most of my adulthood in the Midwest and have forgotten any inside knowledge I had of the East Coast.

- We're looking for a 2 bedroom apartment (or townhome, or house, or whatever) with a soft budget of 850 per month in rent. We could go up to 1000 per month, but I'd really have to love a place to do that, especially with the new bundle on his/her way.

- Proximity to New Jersey is important but relative. We were over 24 hours away before. Anything less than that, driving, is an improvement. The shorter the better, but I should point out that we have no desire to stay in NJ. I'm not a fan of the Mid-Atlantic (even if it's home) and enjoy exploring new areas. Go ahead and mention places in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland if you think I've overlooked them or am judging too harshly, though.

- We're both mid-twenties homebodies. It's a bit of an oddity at our age and with our friends, but neither my wife nor I like to go out much. We stay at home and play with the baby or read. Trendy or fashionable neighborhoods are great, but I don't know if it makes a lot of sense to pay a premium price to live in such an area if we wouldn't make use of the amenities. What we do like (and what our previous home kind of precluded us from enjoying) is the outdoors. National parks, hiking areas, hospitable weather, and, my personal priority-- beautiful natural scenery. I don't mind (and even prefer) the isolated feeling of certain towns and cities (I'll expand on this below) and I honestly feel a bit suffocated in dense urban areas.

- This is by no means a priority, but something my wife would enjoy is a town or city close to the ocean. Not necessarily waterfront, but nothing more than, say, an hour or two inland.

- New England feels like it's calling-- Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire. I don't think we'd find much to enjoy with our budget though, from looking around (Or am I wrong? What does 850 get you in Burlington?) We're not categorically opposed to a more southern locale, but I'll readily admit my total ignorance on all things south of the Mason-Dixon. That's why I come to you.

For comparison's sake, I'll say that my favorite places I've ever been to would be Bellingham, Washington, and Golden, Colorado. (All of the Denver metro, honestly.) The wife loves Manitou Springs, Colorado and Savannah, Georgia.

Thank you for the insight, CDers!
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:15 AM
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I think Staunton, Virginia could be the perfect fit. It's in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley surrounded by stunning scenery and the mountains just to the west. The area has weather far less grim than New England in terms of winter yet has four distinct seasons. Staunton has a thriving, well-preserved downtown area full of shops/restaurants and is a great place to get out and walk. There is a good selection of housing at the lower end of your price range to choose from as it's the "norm" versus most other areas where it'll be rather difficult. It's a five hour drive to Trenton.

Visit Staunton Virginia
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:19 AM
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This screams Upstate NY, except you will have lakes instead of ocean. I'd say to look into the Plattsburgh or Watertown areas. In fact, Plattsburgh is across Lake Champlain from Burlington and is more affordable. Watertown is minutes from Lake Ontario, the 1000 Islands and is within an hour of the Adirondacks, which is the case with Plattsburgh. Plattsburgh also has a free, fresh water beach for city residents. Both cities have at least solid public schools(Plattsburgh is probably a little bit "better") and even have private options(K-12). Watertown is a bigger city and area.

Watertown is an hour north of Syracuse and about a couple of hours south of Ottawa. Plattsburgh is about an hour on the ferry from Burlington and is about an hour/hour and a half drive to both Burlington and Montreal. Plattsburgh has 2 SUNY campuses(a 2 and a 4 year) and Watertown has a 2 year campus.

Also, both have an overall cost of living at, if not a little below the national average as well. Both are around 5 hours away from Trenton.

Ithaca and vicinity could work due to the proximity to the Finger Lakes and state parks. It is a bit closer to Trenton as well. It is essentially Burlington, but a little more affordable.

Some other Upstate NY locations that may work are Oswego, Cicero, Sylvan Beach, Auburn, Geneva, Canandaigua, Cooperstown, Waterloo and Seneca Falls, among others.

If you want really secluded, with lakes and mountains, look into Old Forge, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 09-28-2013 at 07:38 AM..
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