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Old 02-27-2014, 10:42 PM
 
11 posts, read 20,188 times
Reputation: 13

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Hey guys I recently accepted a job at a company where I get to select my five top locations in order out of a list of around 30. I've narrowed the list down to about 5 or 6, but I am not sure which order to place them in. I have done some research, but I was hoping to get some ideas from you guys:

Milwaukee, WI
Pittsburgh, PA
St. Louis, MO
Oklahoma City, OK
Cleveland, OH
Baltimore, MD

Further information about my situation if it would help:
-I currently live in Raleigh, NC and have lived in NC my entire life.
-job pays ~60K
-getting married shortly and my wife will need to find a job in this city
-We are both young and active!

Thoughts?
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:26 AM
 
56,565 posts, read 80,847,919 times
Reputation: 12499
What are you looking for in a city or neighborhood?
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,659 posts, read 3,642,101 times
Reputation: 16588
In terms of your soon-to-be wife finding a job . . . the job market in Baltimore is good, thanks for our medical institutions and our proximity to the federal employment in Washington. The market is also good in Oklahoma City, thanks in part to the energy boom and also, I'm told, to the state's sound fiscal policies and non-oppressive regulatory regime. Not sure about the other places you mentioned.

I live in the Baltimore area, and though there are some cons that annoy me, in general I like it here. I used to have this image of Oklahoma City as a dust-bowl wasteland, but I have visited it a few times in recent years and have come away surprisingly impressed. The other cities you mentioned don't do much for me; they just have this worn-out, post-industrial, "our best days are behind us" feel to me. (Keep in mind, these are impressions I've gained during brief visits; people who actually live in these places will be able to give you better advice.)

Though it may or may not matter to you, something else to think about is the ways in which the cities you listed are different from what you have become accustomed to as a lifelong North Carolinian. Oklahoma City and St. Louis, while not barren by any stretch, have much less tree cover than Raleigh, or any of the other cities on your list. You will find the winters in Cleveland and Milwaukee to be far harsher than you're used to. (It can get pretty chilly in Baltimore and Pittsburgh as well, but it's not nearly as bad.) If you enjoy having lots of water (big lakes, bays, and/or major rivers) nearby, scratch Oklahoma City from your list. However, if you don't like snow, it should move to the top. (It does snow in Oklahoma City, but not as much as it does in the other places on your list.)

I think it would be helpful if you gave us more of an idea of what kind of people you and your future wife are, and what kinds of things you're looking for in a place to live, other than job prospects.

Once you've narrowed it down to your top 3, I would highly recommend a visit to each one, if you haven't already been there. If one of them feels much better, or much worse, than the others, go with your gut. And if you still can't choose between them . . . well, at least you will have seen them with your own eyes, so you can picture them as you continue your research.

Good luck.

Last edited by bus man; 02-28-2014 at 08:16 AM.. Reason: add more details
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:21 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
4,009 posts, read 5,509,130 times
Reputation: 4545
Hello!

My husband and I relocated to St. Louis from North Carolina a year ago (my husband had lived in Raleigh since he was 15 and then joined the Marine Corps at 21 and was stationed in NC). Personally, I love it here!

Out of your list- my top two picks would be Pittsburgh and St. Louis, but I've only ever visited all of the cities other than St. Louis so from a residents point of view I can't really give you a true comparison.

Of your choices though, Cleveland is the cheapest of all of the cities and Baltimore is the most expensive. The rest of the cities (including St. Louis) are within about 1% of each other, cost of living wise. Either way, St. Louis is a very affordable city so you will get a lot of bang for your buck here when it comes to housing (more so than Raleigh).

While we don't have the coast or the smoky mountains within easy driving distance, there is a lot to love about the city and the region. It's older and grittier than Raleigh, but I think it adds to the overall charm!

What sold us on St. Louis was:

-Cultural Amenities (far superior to what NC has to offer when it comes to Museums, Galleries, Theater, etc)
-Low cost of living
-Low cost of housing (a huge, huge factor- buying a house here is very affordable. You can still get a nice house in a good neighborhood for $100k or less)
-Aesthetic Beauty (some parts of the city are decaying / gritty, but other parts are absolutely stunning. The architecture in some regions is incredible)
-Location (easy drive to Chicago, Nashville, Kansas City, Indianapolis, etc for a weekend getaway)

Also, there is a lot to love about the rest of Missouri- the Ozarks region for instance is gorgeous and an easy drive if you're into outdoor / lake type activities.

Overall, I absolutely love it here and never want to leave!

I agree though that you should narrow it down to a top 3 and visit each one. Also post in the forums for your top 3 choices to see if you can get some better insights as to what neighborhoods and amenities to check out on your visit.

Good Luck! ♥
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:00 PM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19627
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBadWolf1991 View Post
Milwaukee, WI
Pittsburgh, PA
St. Louis, MO
Oklahoma City, OK
Cleveland, OH
Baltimore, MD

Further information about my situation if it would help:
-I currently live in Raleigh, NC and have lived in NC my entire life.
-job pays ~60K
-getting married shortly and my wife will need to find a job in this city
-We are both young and active!

Thoughts?
I would opt for Baltimore. The overall economy/job market is strong, is affordable given your salary alone, offers a lot to do for young professionals and is close to DC which has so much going on as well. The climate difference won't be as noticeable either compared to most of the other choices.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,965,178 times
Reputation: 3503
Are you more into urban or suburban living? Is your company located in the CBD of any of the cities? What industry is your wife in?

Although I've been to all of those places, I don't know any of them well so take my thoughts with a grain of salt:

My personal top choice would be Pittsburgh. It's doing very well, is aesthetically beautiful and certainly can offer an urban lifestyle with cosmopolitan amenities (my preferred environment). Also not far from all the great cities in the northeast. You're also only a 70-minute flight from Raleigh or a manageable 6-7 hour drive away.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:41 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,423 posts, read 18,320,690 times
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Out of that bunch I'd probably pick Pittsburgh, in part because its the most scenic and pretty city on the list and it seems to have a good amount soul and character.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:48 AM
 
419 posts, read 446,926 times
Reputation: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
Out of that bunch I'd probably pick Pittsburgh, in part because its the most scenic and pretty city on the list and it seems to have a good amount soul and character.
I would recommend looking past the beautiful scenery. The sky is completely overcast and gray 55% of the year. A lot of rain and snow as well. Outside the universities, you won't find much of a sophisticated, well traveled, and open minded culture of locals. The roads are in horrible shape and navigating around the city with the hills and rivers are very challenging. Jobs are extremely competitive with the plethora of colleges/universities there and pay is lower than national average. Look beyond the rare sunny day pic of scenic Pittsburgh. I recommend doing a bit of research.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:41 AM
 
13 posts, read 50,855 times
Reputation: 20
Being that you guys are southerners and have lived in NC all your life, may want to go with Oklahoma or St Louis. The northern cities might not be your cup of tea, or shall I say...you may not be 'their' cup of tea.

If you can handle the DC-NYC traffic, Baltimore may be it. I personally would go with DC over Baltimore. But it's not on your list.

Oklahoma is one of those fly over states, that is 'America's best kept secret' in my opinion. There's lots of wealth there, yet it's not as pretentious and cut-throat as Texas. There's also a decent amount of attractive, fit people as well as they get a similar climate to Raleigh that you may can relate to...sunny, hot summers but very frightening thunderstorms and ice storms.

I didn't ever consider OKC myself, because the type of clothing and dress style, and they were missing a ton of my favorite shopping stores. Driving to Dallas and getting a hotel just to go shopping may be fine if you're making $60,000 a year. But overall, the attitude there seems really ho-hum and 'blue-collar', and 'hardworking'. Not that it's a bad thing, but not for me. Also not much in the way of international tourism either. I'm from the coast, and I'm not a fan of flat plains states.

Last edited by Disconcerted; 03-01-2014 at 01:54 AM..
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:20 AM
 
1,709 posts, read 1,673,918 times
Reputation: 1838
What exactly are you looking for in a city? You said that you enjoy an active lifestyle for one thing. Well, Forest Park in St. Louis is a vast expanse with plenty to do in the way of exercise and an active lifestyle. There's plenty of cultural facilities (art museum, history museum, zoo, etc.) around the park to visit, and they are tons of jogging trails, bike paths, and sidewalks for running/biking/walking on. And it's all 100% free. A pretty good deal if you're into an active lifestyle (and if it influences your choice of cities). Also, as far as I'm aware, essentially all of the other cities you mentioned lack any similar facility.
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