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Old 09-02-2014, 06:51 PM
 
46 posts, read 46,943 times
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My other half and I lived in Michigan our entire lives and wanted new adventure. We moved to Rochester, NY in November of '12. Then lost our jobs and decided to throw even more caution to the wind, sold everything and moved to Hawaii because we have always wanted warmer climate. Now we realize Hawaii is absolutely NOT US for our own personal reasons and want to find something in the middle. We are thinking our next adventure will be the southeast somewhere. I have been doing a lot of research and we are slightly picky, but will probably have to let go of something in order to find that perfect place where we can reside for at least three to five years. Here are the things that are important to us. Let's roll the dice and see if our place even exists. We will be open minded but I think it's smart to list ALL of our desires.

1. We've ruled out Northern California for now because we need to work for a few more years before we are debt free and can afford it.
2. We prefer to be near a city but don't have to be IN the city necessarily. A 20-30 minute drive is fine.
3. We are originally Michiganders...some nearby large lakes or ocean would be awesome. We would love to get a small boat and kayak for the weekends. We really want to get into kayaking. Again, to be 30-40 minutes from water is fine also.
4. After moving to New York we realized hiking is a must. Waterfall hiking is our absolute favorite past time. This usually means we need to be close to mountains. By close I mean we are willing to drive an hour and a half on the weekends to waterfall hike but aside from waterfalls it would be great to have nice trails nearby to use during the week. If we had five places in the woods to walk a couple of miles each night after work we would be in heaven in that aspect. We appreciate places that invest in nature.
5. We like historical cities and plan to buy a big old beat up Victorian house to renovate over the next few years. We would rather rent a luxury apartment than buy a home built beyond 1930ish.
6. We are looking southeast because of the climate. Florida will not work for us because we are over the tropical thing. We want somewhere that doesn't really freeze in the winter. We miss fall colors. An average low of 38 would be totally fine as we enjoy winter clothes, fireplaces, camp fires and warm drinks. Summer months can be hot. We have no issue with the warm weather. Humidity sucks but after living in Michigan we've come to appreciate the heat since there is such a lack of summer months there.
7. We would like to find a place that is safe of course. We ruled out Atlanta because the crime appears to be so bad as per city-data's map. I'm not sure just how much attention we should pay to those. It seems you can find warnings of gangs for just about any city on the map while surfing the web.
8. We love great food and friendly people, including being a few hours from wineries might be nice.
9. We are healthy and holistic people so a Whole Foods Market or natural foods stores are always a plus. Good organic farmers markets can often take place of a Whole Woods Market for the most part.
10. Bar/night life is NOT important to us any longer, unless it's a comedy club or arts theater.

Again, I'm not trying to sound picky, just giving all of the things good to us to help you guys help me. We have plenty of time to get a list of places in our sights. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks everyone!

Last edited by MI2NY2HI2; 09-02-2014 at 07:02 PM..
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
3,518 posts, read 4,403,569 times
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Greenville, SC. You may get a couple of freezes but it's near the mountains. No natural lakes exist in SC, though.

Charleston area is nice for some of the things you listed, but no mountains.

I'm SC biased though.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:04 PM
 
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I'd say look into Greenville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Asheville, Charleston, WV, and northwest Arkansas.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:14 PM
 
46 posts, read 46,943 times
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Default Kayaking...

I just realized we could probably kayak in the mountains, huh? Might be way more fun than a lake.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:16 PM
 
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A sleeper may be Huntsville AL. Roanoke VA, Winston-Salem NC and Lexington KY may also work.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:26 PM
 
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It's going to be impossible to find somewhere in the SE near the mountains that rarely freezes in the winter.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:30 PM
 
46 posts, read 46,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
It's going to be impossible to find somewhere in the SE near the mountains that rarely freezes in the winter.
OK, that may be one thing we have to be OK with then. Freezing isn't necessarily a terrible thing for us. We are more concerned about snow and salty roads. We've had enough of that in our lives. The salt destroys our vehicles and we like having sports cars and driving, which is one reason we are leaving Hawaii. Driving is waaaaaay more fun than riding a plane. Something we thought we could get over. Turns out not...
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:55 PM
 
5,693 posts, read 8,760,259 times
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Here in Knoxville they've started putting down brine instead of salt. I think this is becoming a trend in cities with mild freezes. You still need to rinse the underside of your car at some point - but I don't think it does as much damage as rock salt.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
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I highly recommend a swing tour. In laws did that and found out pretty fast where they preferred.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:45 PM
 
46 posts, read 46,943 times
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Thanks so much for the suggestions folks. Can anybody give me any particular advice on Greenville, SC VS Asheville, NC? Or should I post in a separate forum? It looks like Greenville may be slightly more historical and affordable. Can anybody elaborate on this?

Edit: I take that back. Asheville looks a little more historical but Greenville still more affordable. The more we look into Asheville the more we are falling slightly in love. It obvious it has all the beauty and hiking we could possibly ask for. Unemployment rate is merely 4.1 percent. That's a big plus. We both have BA in Business MGT and Marketing so we should be able to find something. Rent looks extremely affordable. Can anybody give me feedback on drawbacks of this particular city? How are the people? The food? If I should post someplace else to ask this question please just say so.

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by MI2NY2HI2; 09-02-2014 at 11:24 PM..
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