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Old 04-15-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Portland, ME
4 posts, read 3,784 times
Reputation: 15

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My partner and I (mid twenties) are looking for a place to move with our 3 year old son.

My partner is in the Media/ Video Production field, so we are hoping to find somewhere there may be more opportunity in that line of work. We both grew up in a Portland suburb but after going away to school found Portland to be better suited for our lifestyle. We don't mind living on the outskirts of a small or medium sized city but if priced right we'd love to live in one. My partner prefers to not to be in or around NYC, BOS, or DC (great for his career,huh? ). Most of our family is in New England, so that farthest West we are thinking is Ohio, and the farthest South is probably North Carolina, but if you think you know somewhere that's perfect and outside these lines, feel free to mention it. I'm open to suggestions, but I'd have to sway my partner.

Some things that are important to us:

-Culture: We are both very active with live music and theatre. This is a big one.
-Sustainability/ Recycling /"Green-ness": eco-consciousness is very important to us as well as availability of local produce, farmers markets, csa's or small local grocers.
-Community for Children: activities, festivals, museums and decent public schools nearby.
-Job market : Is what it is, and I know lots of places are struggling and it can always change. There are plenty of choices for my partner to transfer in his current company so, that helps. Really it's the opportunity for him to further his video production career that matters the most.
-COL : Maine isn't particularly cheap, we'd prefer to live somewhere cheaper obviously, but places in the same range as Portland are fine. We're hoping to find a 2br/1ba rental for less than a thousand a month if possible.
-Natural resources: We adore the ocean, we also LOVE the mountains and are frequent hikers. As long as there is some sort of natural outdoor recreation/state park available within a couple hours driving distance for day trips we will be okay.

We're pretty laid back and tend to try to avoid discussing politics or religion with folks publicly, as we both have very "whatever floats your boat" attitudes towards most subjects and we understand everyone has reasons for their decisions. We'd like to be somewhere with like minded folks, which I find many medium/ small cities offer anyway.

We love Portland, ME as it meets all of our needs, but we just have outgrown it and want to be somewhere new at least for a bit while our son is still young. Also, the media market up here isn't great, and my partner is hoping to find somewhere with a larger network.

Some places we're thinking:
Just about all cities in NC. We love Asheville, but don't love the job market or the fact that it's being over built.
Pittsburgh
Ithaca

Any thoughts, advice, or suggestions on places would be very helpful. I am a travel lover and honestly, willing to try out any place for a year or so if I have good reason to.
Thanks!

Last edited by cheesedoodle; 04-15-2014 at 07:25 AM..
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:06 AM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,930,134 times
Reputation: 12509
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesedoodle View Post
My partner and I (mid twenties) are looking for a place to move with our 3 year old son.

My partner is in the Media/ Video Production field, so we are hoping to find somewhere there may be more opportunity in that line of work. We both grew up in a Portland suburb but after going away to school found Portland to be better suited for our lifestyle. We don't mind living on the outskirts of a small or medium sized city but if priced right we'd love to live in one. My partner prefers to not to be in or around NYC, BOS, or DC (great for his career,huh? ). Most of our family is in New England, so that farthest West we are thinking is Ohio, and the farthest South is probably North Carolina, but if you think you know somewhere that's perfect and outside these lines, feel free to mention it. I'm open to suggestions, but I'd have to sway my partner.

Some things that are important to us:

-Culture: We are both very active with live music and theatre. This is a big one.
-Sustainability/ Recycling /"Green-ness": eco-consciousness is very important to us as well as availability of local produce, farmers markets, csa's or small local grocers.
-Community for Children: activities, festivals, museums and decent public schools nearby.
-Job market : Is what it is, and I know lots of places are struggling and it can always change. There are plenty of choices for my partner to transfer in his current company so, that helps. Really it's the opportunity for him to further his video production career that matters the most.
-COL : Maine isn't particularly cheap, we'd prefer to live somewhere cheaper obviously, but places in the same range as Portland are fine. We're hoping to find a 2br/1ba rental for less than a thousand a month if possible.
-Natural resources: We adore the ocean, we also LOVE the mountains and are frequent hikers. As long as there is some sort of natural outdoor recreation/state park available within a couple hours driving distance for day trips we will be okay.

We're pretty laid back and tend to try to avoid discussing politics or religion with folks publicly, as we both have very "whatever floats your boat" attitudes towards most subjects and we understand everyone has reasons for their decisions. We'd like to be somewhere with like minded folks, which I find many medium/ small cities offer anyway.

We love Portland, ME as it meets all of our needs, but we just have outgrown it and want to be somewhere new at least for a bit while our son is still young. Also, the media market up here isn't great, and my partner is hoping to find somewhere with a larger network.

Some places we're thinking:
Just about all cities in NC. We love Asheville, but don't love the job market or the fact that it's being over built.
Pittsburgh
Ithaca

Any thoughts, advice, or suggestions on places would be very helpful. I am a travel lover and honestly, willing to try out any place for a year or so if I have good reason to.
Thanks!
That place in the bold letters would be a pretty much perfect fit except or maybe the media market aspect.

I'd also would say to consider other Upstate NY areas and an area like Charlottesville VA. Albany-Schenectady-Troy may be a good fit due to being a bigger metro, but it is very close to mountains and lakes as well. I live in the Syracuse area and that may also be a good fit as well due to the criteria.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Portland, ME
4 posts, read 3,784 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks ckhthankgod! I will say we have thought about upstate NY a lot. Ithaca is awesome and we have family in NY also. I will have to start doing more research on the Schenectady area as I've seen it come up in threads where people are looking for similar qualities to ours.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:47 AM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,930,134 times
Reputation: 12509
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesedoodle View Post
Thanks ckhthankgod! I will say we have thought about upstate NY a lot. Ithaca is awesome and we have family in NY also. I will have to start doing more research on the Schenectady area as I've seen it come up in threads where people are looking for similar qualities to ours.
What you could do is to look into towns in between Ithaca and Syracuse, as you can have more options for employment and it allows you to enjoy multiple areas within a short drive. Places like Homer or Cortland come to mind and Binghamton wouldn't be too far away as well. There are some nice towns between Syracuse and Utica, which would put you closer to the Adirondacks too.

With the Albany area, you may like places like Ballston Spa, Scotia or Delmar, among others. These threads may help too: Looking into the area

Walkable downtown and good schools of equal importance - is Saratoga Springs the only option?

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 04-15-2014 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Portland, ME
4 posts, read 3,784 times
Reputation: 15
This is great info, thanks so much! We have family in Binghamton, my partner was actually born in that area and his father is from there. We are taking an extended road trip this summer and had already planned time in Binghamton with family, so I suppose we may be taking some extra time to look at surrounding areas. I do like the idea of looking for towns between Ithaca and Syracuse, but had no idea where to start. I'm going to start looking into Homer and Cortland, as well as the others.

Thanks for the recommendations!
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:31 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,465,616 times
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Cortland itself really isn't much to look at, imo. It's primary selling point is moderate commuting ease to Syracuse while being close-ish to Ithaca.

I like Pittsburgh for the most part. A few spots around Cleveland are actually pretty nice too (including some very good schools), though those markets are generally more favorable for buying than for rent.

Too bad you don't want to look farther west or I'd have suggested Mpls/St. Paul for all those criteria. Rent at 1k would be a bit of a stretch, but jobs there are likely to pay better than what you're used to in Maine as well.

Curious if your partner would consider Philly or Baltimore if you want a city, but don't want it to be NYC/Bos/DC specifically. I'd tend to choose either of those over Albany.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:48 PM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,930,134 times
Reputation: 12509
Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
Cortland itself really isn't much to look at, imo. It's primary selling point is moderate commuting ease to Syracuse while being close-ish to Ithaca.

I like Pittsburgh for the most part. A few spots around Cleveland are actually pretty nice too (including some very good schools), though those markets are generally more favorable for buying than for rent.

Too bad you don't want to look farther west or I'd have suggested Mpls/St. Paul for all those criteria. Rent at 1k would be a bit of a stretch, but jobs there are likely to pay better than what you're used to in Maine as well.

Curious if your partner would consider Philly or Baltimore if you want a city, but don't want it to be NYC/Bos/DC specifically. I'd tend to choose either of those over Albany.
Basically, but it is in a good location, as it is only 20 minutes from Ithaca and about 30 minutes from Syracuse, with Binghamton only about 40 minutes away. It does have Greek Peak with Cascades Water Park in the area and SUNY-Cortland is there as well. I'd say that Homer has better schools. So, that would be something to think about or you could look into other districts like Tully(Onondaga County) or Dryden(Tompkins County). Ithaca, Syracuse and Binghamton all have things for families to do as well.

Also, if you were to go with the Syracuse area, I'd say that a school district like Jamesville-DeWitt would work due to having a decent amount of diversity along with highly rated schools. Adjacent Fayetteville-Manlius is arguably the best SD in Upstate NY and is usually rated only behind Pittsford in the Rochester area according to Buffalo Business Journal. Districts like Lansing, Ithaca City, Vestal, North Colonie, Niskayuna, Saratoga Springs, New Hartford and Cazenovia, among others, come to mind up here in the areas mentioned as well. You may be interested in this: 2013 Upstate New York school district rankings - Buffalo - Business First

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 04-15-2014 at 02:14 PM..
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:05 PM
 
5,694 posts, read 8,764,670 times
Reputation: 4922
Wilmington NC is the first city that comes to mind, similar size, on the ocean, and a thriving movie industry.

Knoxville TN is a bit farther from home, but it has a huge video industry, including HGTV. Knoxville has the cultural amenities you are looking for, but your "beach" will be sand trucked in beside a lake.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:01 AM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,930,134 times
Reputation: 12509
This may help too: Rochester NY apartments, Buffalo apartments, Syracuse apartments, Albany NY apartments listings from The Renters Guide

The Solomon Organization, LLC

I'd say to look into Time Warner, TV stations and perhaps colleges/universities as well.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Portland, ME
4 posts, read 3,784 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
Cortland itself really isn't much to look at, imo. It's primary selling point is moderate commuting ease to Syracuse while being close-ish to Ithaca.

I like Pittsburgh for the most part. A few spots around Cleveland are actually pretty nice too (including some very good schools), though those markets are generally more favorable for buying than for rent.

Too bad you don't want to look farther west or I'd have suggested Mpls/St. Paul for all those criteria. Rent at 1k would be a bit of a stretch, but jobs there are likely to pay better than what you're used to in Maine as well.

Curious if your partner would consider Philly or Baltimore if you want a city, but don't want it to be NYC/Bos/DC specifically. I'd tend to choose either of those over Albany.
I tend to have a soft spot for Pittsburgh too, I went to school around there. How's the job market out that way lately?

I can't say i don't agree about Minneapolis, that place is great, and I do wish we could agree to go father, bit it is what it is for now, maybe someday I'll get back to the west coast to live again.

Also, what areas near Cleveland do you think are the most livable for a small young family?

Lastly, great minds because we're considering Philly as well, we really are in for some research with all these great places.
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