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Old 02-14-2014, 11:07 AM
 
6 posts, read 9,938 times
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Hello,

I am looking for suggestions on US cities to consider living in and understand no place is perfect and I will need to make trade offs. However, I only have enough savings for one move with little for visiting places prior to making a move. You have my gratitude for any suggestions.

Job wise, I’m hoping to get entry level $30k salary work likely for a year or two before attending a vocational school to get into the trades for better job prospects.

In order of importance for a city:
  1. Affordable renting (likely less than $1k) with no roommates.
  2. Doesn’t require mass transit, however still walkable if necessary. Safe to walk majority of city w/ street smart precautions, and widespread sidewalks/crosswalks that are maintained and shoveled if winter,
  3. Good public library system and urban parks (examples—Boston city parks, Seattle city parks w/ amenities.)
  4. Doesn’t need to be Boston/NYC dense, but mixed zone use—example, once I needed a part to fix my car and had to walk 6 miles total b/c almost all the commercial areas were in the suburban strip malls. Want to avoid that.
  5. Entertainment, restaurants, and nightlife NOT important. Besides, won’t have the money.
  6. Weather—four seasons, ideally similar to NYC climate, but I can handle a couple of weeks of 10 degrees and snow (it is the wind that make things bad), and a week or two of 100 degree heatwaves, but no more. Rain, cloudiness, not an issue either.
Any similar cities I can adapt to these previous cities I’ve lived in:
NYC—hometown and perfect for me. I wish I could stay, but too expensive.
Boston—very walkable, loved walking from Cambridge to downtown Boston. Great mix of neighborhoods to visit. Again too expensive.
Buffalo, NY—was not as unsafe to me as depicted, but no one else walking around after sunset in most areas, hardly anyone shoveled sidewalks making walking in winter frustrating, except for Elmwood and Hertel Ave, majority of stores all in suburbs. Parks seemed neglected beyond Delaware. Very affordable and able to live on around $18k avg expenses.
Seattle—the downtown core to Cap Hill was a great mix of density and activity, but became too expensive. The buses were decent to get outside the city core and walk the rest for exploring.

Baltimore, MD—only visited, and may consider moving, but seemed still needed a car just to move through the city because of the crime outside the harbor downtown core makes walking risky. Since parking permits rationed in some neighborhoods, does the street parking become a problem?


I enjoy reading, exploring neighborhoods (5-10 mile walks), and spending time at parks. For many years I’ll spend most of my time learning a new career. Will have a car, but don’t want to be trapped when it breaks down while I fix it.

Thank you!
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:16 PM
 
21,220 posts, read 30,443,839 times
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Check out Cleveland, and in particular the westside border suburb of Lakewood. The city has two RTA rail stations, a dense residential/commercial district (overall Walk Score of 71) and affordable rent ($550-$650 per month for apartments).

Lakewood, Ohio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
City of Lakewood, Ohio: Considering Lakewood?
http://www.riderta.com/sites/default...id_Connect.pdf
11700 Madison Avenue, Lakewood OH - Walk Score
http://www.lakewoodpubliclibrary.org/about/
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:44 PM
 
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Pittsburgh is another place that comes to mind. Rochester NY and parts of Detroit(Corktown, the Villages, some of the neighborhoods just off of Woodward) may work too.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,518,448 times
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I love Baltimore. I get along just fine without a car, and I've had no problems with crime. But, I'm a 6'2'', athletic-built man. Though, I'd love to someday move back to Minneapolis.

Though I think the other suggestions (Pitt and Lakewood) are great too, I'd also suggest that Providence and some neighborhoods in Louisville, Cincinnati, and St. Louis might fit your taste.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,768,208 times
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Basically the Northeast and Midatlantic will mostly be way too expensive. You'll need to look to the Midwest, PNW, and Mountain West, but there are a ton of cities that could absolutely fit you really nicely:

Portland
Denver
Salt Lake City
St. Louis
Kansas City
Minneapolis
Milwaukee
Chicago
Cleveland
Cincinnati
Columbus
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh

Smaller cities you might also look at:
Eugene
Boulder
Omaha
Des Moines
Iowa City
Ann Arbor
Grand Rapids
Madison
Burlington
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,273 posts, read 6,361,890 times
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Why not Chicago? If you can handle the weather in Buffalo you certainly can handle it there. And it's got everything you'd want. You could also find a place to live for under a grand a month. Only thing that might be iffy is the job situation, which I can't comment on since I don't know the employment situation there, what field you want, your education, etc etc. But othewrise it has many walkable neighborhoods, four seasons, a wonderful library (main branch downtown), and it does have any entertainment you may want. Bonus: if you look at neighborhoods that AREN'T full of bars, clubs and restaurants and aren't trendy, your rent will likely be cheaper.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,518,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylove101 View Post
Why not Chicago? If you can handle the weather in Buffalo you certainly can handle it there. And it's got everything you'd want. You could also find a place to live for under a grand a month. Only thing that might be iffy is the job situation, which I can't comment on since I don't know the employment situation there, what field you want, your education, etc etc. But othewrise it has many walkable neighborhoods, four seasons, a wonderful library (main branch downtown), and it does have any entertainment you may want. Bonus: if you look at neighborhoods that AREN'T full of bars, clubs and restaurants and aren't trendy, your rent will likely be cheaper.
If Chicago appeals to you, I'd recommend the Albany Park neighborhood. It's safe and inexpensive (heavily Korean and Mexican). You'd be right on the Brown Line that could take you downtown or into the city's trendier neighborhoods in minutes. Or you could walk to charming Lincoln Square.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:31 PM
 
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@Dawn.Davenport
Quote:
I love Baltimore. I get along just fine without a car, and I've had no problems with crime. But, I'm a 6'2'', athletic-built man. Though, I'd love to someday move back to Minneapolis.
May I ask for a bit more information about the possible crime? Would you agree that just taking street smart precautions are enough? I used to walk around Buffalo alone until 9pm as long as I avoided the worst parts of the city, didn't carry anything I wouldn't stand to lose if robbed, kept my car empty, watched ahead for any sketchy spots, and stayed in lit areas. Primarily just want to avoid issues of more than a rare nearby shooting, muggings, drug free parks at day, and would like to be able to work on my car outside (street or off street parking) when it breaks down into the evening without worry. Could I easily walk to downtown?

@citylove101
Quote:
Why not Chicago? If you can handle the weather in Buffalo you certainly can handle it there. And it's got everything you'd want. You could also find a place to live for under a grand a month. Only thing that might be iffy is the job situation, which I can't comment on since I don't know the employment situation there, what field you want, your education, etc etc. But othewrise it has many walkable neighborhoods, four seasons, a wonderful library (main branch downtown), and it does have any entertainment you may want. Bonus: if you look at neighborhoods that AREN'T full of bars, clubs and restaurants and aren't trendy, your rent will likely be cheaper.
I hesitate in looking at Chicago because of my financial and employment situation. I have just enough savings for one move and six months' expenses. Of course I will first get employment BEFORE moving anywhere. However, Chicago seems too expensive on paper to live without roommates. I have a bachelor in accounting with prior experience, although employers tell me I am unemployable and haven't had any real work for years now. This is why I plan on going to vocational school for a licensed trade once I get established and save a little bit from any expected dead end $30k job I could get.

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Old 02-14-2014, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,518,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar_989 View Post
@Dawn.Davenport


May I ask for a bit more information about the possible crime? Would you agree that just taking street smart precautions are enough? I used to walk around Buffalo alone until 9pm as long as I avoided the worst parts of the city, didn't carry anything I wouldn't stand to lose if robbed, kept my car empty, watched ahead for any sketchy spots, and stayed in lit areas. Primarily just want to avoid issues of more than a rare nearby shooting, muggings, drug free parks at day, and would like to be able to work on my car outside (street or off street parking) when it breaks down into the evening without worry. Could I easily walk to downtown?

@citylove101


I hesitate in looking at Chicago because of my financial and employment situation. I have just enough savings for one move and six months' expenses. Of course I will first get employment BEFORE moving anywhere. However, Chicago seems too expensive on paper to live without roommates. I have a bachelor in accounting with prior experience, although employers tell me I am unemployable and haven't had any real work for years now. This is why I plan on going to vocational school for a licensed trade once I get established and save a little bit from any expected dead end $30k job I could get.
Okay, as far as Chicago is concerned, here are some apartment listings for Albany Park, the neighborhood I was telling you about. Most 1-bedrooms seem to be running $700-$900 a month. Furthermore, since you don't need to have a car in Chicago at all, that cuts $150-$400 a month out of your expenses. As long as you can find a cheap place to live, Chicago's not that pricey. And Chicago's economy is diverse.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/apa/4305965893.html

FRESH REHABBED 1 BEDROOM Gem in Albany Park. A MUST SEE!

► NO SECURITY DEPOSIT ($300 Move-In Fee) - CALL TODAY!

As far as Baltimore is concerned, I live in Upper Fells Point, which isn't too bad in terms of crime. But, I don't dress like I have money (cause I don't have money ), I never walk with headphones on, I don't tramp around the city drunk, and I always know where I'm going. And, unless you're looking to score drugs, I can't see much reason to go to the really sketchy parts of the city. Here are some apartment listings for Upper Fells Point. Overall, I'd say it's comparable or slightly more expensive than Albany Park, Chicago.

Apartment available February 1st

Top Floor Unit in Historic Building

Last edited by Dawn.Davenport; 02-14-2014 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:22 PM
 
6 posts, read 9,938 times
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Thanks for the extra effort! That's good to know.

Okay folks, I appreciate all the suggestions. I'll begin digging through Craigslist, maps, wikipedia, and read city subforums for neighborhood info to make a selection on where to focus my job hunting.
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