U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-16-2014, 05:03 PM
 
45 posts, read 90,281 times
Reputation: 20

Advertisements

I need your help! My husband and I are "all over the map" when it comes to finding the right city and home for our family. We've researched Austin, denver, Seattle, Charleston, Raleigh, and beyond. Mperjaps we have paralysis by analysis. Currently we live in San Diego, but the cost of living is a little high for us, at least when it comes to neighborhoods with strong schools. We have a 2 year old and another baby on the way. Realistically we are looking to relocate in 2-4 years. I work in higher education and my husband from home.

Anyways I feel like we really have no clue where we should raise our family. I thought this board could help. Here are a few things we are looking for:

1.Suburban area pretty close to urban environment. We are not ones for a half hour drive to mall or basic stores.
2. Walkability into a town/urban area would be awesome, but not a requirement.
3. Homes in the 350-500k range. We do not want an old home, fixer upper, or 50s ranch.
4. Educated/open minded friendly people.
5. Great schools.
6. Short commutes to higher Ed institutions (20 mins max).
7. Community feel. We want engaged neighbors who care about the area's improvement.
8. Access to an airport (ideally under an hour).
9. Access to water, it can be ocean, large lake, etc.
10. My husband works in tech so access to tech companies would be great, but are not a requirement.
11. Great activities for kids!
12. Prefer neighborhood not to have a million stop lights to get anywhere...that drives me crazy!

Basically we want a reasonably priced, medium sized home in picturesque neighborhood surrounded by friendly educated people. I know this sounds "pie in the sky, and no place is perfect, but any suggestions are welcome!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-16-2014, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,531,075 times
Reputation: 2935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmd413 View Post
I need your help! My husband and I are "all over the map" when it comes to finding the right city and home for our family. We've researched Austin, denver, Seattle, Charleston, Raleigh, and beyond. Mperjaps we have paralysis by analysis. Currently we live in San Diego, but the cost of living is a little high for us, at least when it comes to neighborhoods with strong schools. We have a 2 year old and another baby on the way. Realistically we are looking to relocate in 2-4 years. I work in higher education and my husband from home.

Anyways I feel like we really have no clue where we should raise our family. I thought this board could help. Here are a few things we are looking for:

1.Suburban area pretty close to urban environment. We are not ones for a half hour drive to mall or basic stores.
2. Walkability into a town/urban area would be awesome, but not a requirement.
3. Homes in the 350-500k range. We do not want an old home, fixer upper, or 50s ranch.
4. Educated/open minded friendly people.
5. Great schools.
6. Short commutes to higher Ed institutions (20 mins max).
7. Community feel. We want engaged neighbors who care about the area's improvement.
8. Access to an airport (ideally under an hour).
9. Access to water, it can be ocean, large lake, etc.
10. My husband works in tech so access to tech companies would be great, but are not a requirement.
11. Great activities for kids!
12. Prefer neighborhood not to have a million stop lights to get anywhere...that drives me crazy!

Basically we want a reasonably priced, medium sized home in picturesque neighborhood surrounded by friendly educated people. I know this sounds "pie in the sky, and no place is perfect, but any suggestions are welcome!
It seems like numbers 3 and 12 might be in conflict with numbers 1 and 2. I can't see how you could have walkability without a lot of stop signs/lights. Nor is there much new development near urban areas, so I might suggest ranking your priorities.

But I think Wayzata, Minnesota is exactly what you're looking for if you can handle cold weather. It's a cute third-ring suburb on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. It has a lovely "main street" area, but it quickly spins off into new housing developments. The public schools are among the best in the country, and there are tons of great outdoor activities. The economy is great, and unemployment is low. The people are well educated, and you'd only be 12 miles from downtown Minneapolis.

Otherwise, you may want to consider one of the smaller California city such as Santa Rosa or San Luis Obispo.

Westchester County, New York could be a good option too.

Last edited by Dawn.Davenport; 11-16-2014 at 07:00 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-16-2014, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,361 posts, read 7,032,584 times
Reputation: 3511
^Thought the same thing in terms of walkability, older homes, and stop lights.

Anyway, I generally like Raleigh, Dallas, and Atlanta for you although I can't actually single out good neighborhoods. Hope you find the right place! I think you'll know it once you find it though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-16-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,534,238 times
Reputation: 12318
Sacramento and surrounding areas. Check that forum.

Across the country, Madison, WI. also fills the bill.

Last edited by nightlysparrow; 11-16-2014 at 07:38 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-16-2014, 09:55 PM
 
57,088 posts, read 81,507,041 times
Reputation: 12656
Does size matter, because college towns may generally fit what you are looking for.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2014, 06:00 AM
 
21,286 posts, read 30,595,867 times
Reputation: 19787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmd413 View Post
Anyways I feel like we really have no clue where we should raise our family. I thought this board could help. Here are a few things we are looking for:

1.Suburban area pretty close to urban environment. We are not ones for a half hour drive to mall or basic stores.
2. Walkability into a town/urban area would be awesome, but not a requirement.
3. Homes in the 350-500k range. We do not want an old home, fixer upper, or 50s ranch.
4. Educated/open minded friendly people.
5. Great schools.
6. Short commutes to higher Ed institutions (20 mins max).
7. Community feel. We want engaged neighbors who care about the area's improvement.
8. Access to an airport (ideally under an hour).
9. Access to water, it can be ocean, large lake, etc.
10. My husband works in tech so access to tech companies would be great, but are not a requirement.
11. Great activities for kids!
12. Prefer neighborhood not to have a million stop lights to get anywhere...that drives me crazy!
You might check out the southwest Raleigh suburb of Apex. It's very close to both Raleigh and Durham which offer all kinds of things to do, is fairly walkable with plenty of sidewalks, has new construction homes in close proximity to the restored/historic downtown area, excellent public schools, an easy commute to the University of North Carolina, Duke University or North Carolina State University (plus other smaller colleges or community colleges), around 50% of residents have a four year degree (twice the national average), Jordan Lake is a short drive away, RDU airport is less than 30 minutes away, Research Triangle Park is one of the most concentrated areas for tech jobs in the country and is 20 minutes away, and there are tons of organized kids activities in town. In terms of #7, I think it's what you make it. Reaching out and initiating is often the best way to get other neighbors to interact, no matter where you go. Invite neighbors over for a BBQ or organize a block party to meet everyone. In terms of #12/stoplights, I don't know how many constitute a "million" for you...but don't think you'll find it excessive.

Apex Downtown Business Association
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2014, 09:57 AM
 
57,088 posts, read 81,507,041 times
Reputation: 12656
Is weather a factor? I've seen some newer homes, here and there, in parts NY State that have colleges.

I was thinking of western suburbs of the Detroit metro not too far from Ann Arbor that may fit like Plymouth or Northville, which are walkable. Maybe even Oakland County suburbs along the Woodward Corridor or Farmington could work, with some other colleges not too far away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2014, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,604 posts, read 10,359,737 times
Reputation: 9909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmd413 View Post
I need your help! My husband and I are "all over the map" when it comes to finding the right city and home for our family. We've researched Austin, denver, Seattle, Charleston, Raleigh, and beyond. Mperjaps we have paralysis by analysis. Currently we live in San Diego, but the cost of living is a little high for us, at least when it comes to neighborhoods with strong schools. We have a 2 year old and another baby on the way. Realistically we are looking to relocate in 2-4 years. I work in higher education and my husband from home.

Anyways I feel like we really have no clue where we should raise our family. I thought this board could help. Here are a few things we are looking for:

1.Suburban area pretty close to urban environment. We are not ones for a half hour drive to mall or basic stores.
2. Walkability into a town/urban area would be awesome, but not a requirement.
3. Homes in the 350-500k range. We do not want an old home, fixer upper, or 50s ranch.
4. Educated/open minded friendly people.
5. Great schools.
6. Short commutes to higher Ed institutions (20 mins max).
7. Community feel. We want engaged neighbors who care about the area's improvement.
8. Access to an airport (ideally under an hour).
9. Access to water, it can be ocean, large lake, etc.
10. My husband works in tech so access to tech companies would be great, but are not a requirement.
11. Great activities for kids!
12. Prefer neighborhood not to have a million stop lights to get anywhere...that drives me crazy!

Basically we want a reasonably priced, medium sized home in picturesque neighborhood surrounded by friendly educated people. I know this sounds "pie in the sky, and no place is perfect, but any suggestions are welcome!
Denver meets most of your requirements except #9. There are lakes around but the water can be chilly and they're fairly small.

If weather is a concern, winter in Denver may be a little off-putting, but so will summer in Dallas & Austin. 90+ is the norm there from mid-June to mid-September. With the humidity the heat index will regularly be above 100 degrees and it does not cool off much at night. If you like being outdoors you will hate Texas during the summer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
1,423 posts, read 1,288,489 times
Reputation: 1702
Since you have small children, I assume that safety plays a major role as well?

Henderson, Nevada fits a lot of what you are looking for. Many people have suggested places like Madison and Detroit... But trust me (I'm from Wisconsin) the weather is absolutely atrocious and you will basically only live half the year.
Cost of Living was the first thing you brought up.
Nevada does not have a state income tax and property tax here is very, very low.
If your budget is between 300-500k, you will LOVE what kind of a home that would get you in Henderson.
There are a lot of retirees living in Henderson which keeps the neighborhoods stable and kept up nicely.
McCarran Airport separates Henderson and Vegas, so access to it is very easy.
Traffic itself in Vegas flows VERY well compared to most mid size metro regions. The freeway system is newly updated and is built to handle expansion of the city.
The Vegas area needs teachers and they get paid well here. Masters bonuses are honored and usually experience is rolled over as well. My wife is a high school teacher here and gets paid a LOT more than she did when she left Wisconsin.
There are two large bodies of water near Henderson... Lake Mead and Lake Las Vegas.
We are also surrounded by mountains which provides endless hiking opportunities and offers ways to escape hot summer days by traveling up.
Henderson is also the safest community to live in as far as cities with a population of over 250,000 in the US. Check city data and wiki figures for cities over 250k and you'll see (typing from phone and too lazy to cite).
Nit all of Vegas has amazing schools.. As with most major cities... But Henderson is definitely above average.
Vegas also has one of the fast growing populations of college graduates... Increasing by about 75% since 2000.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2014, 11:35 AM
 
31 posts, read 36,212 times
Reputation: 54
These suggestions might be too cold for you and/or a big culture shock from San Diego, but we did a similar relocation from LA county last winter and these are some places we looked at:

- Minneapolis/St. Paul and suburbs. Great schools there, and Minneapolis is a very nice city if you can handle the cold.
- Suburbs of Portland, ME. There are some excellent school districts in the area with nice homes in your budget. It was our second choice in the end because there aren't a lot of jobs in our fields there. If we could find work more easily there, that's where we would be! Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Cumberland, etc. I think you could get all 12 criteria there, plus the beauty of northern New England.
- Madison WI (near where we ended up, though in our case it also had to do with being closer to my husband's family).
- MA suburbs. Great state for public education, and of course, lots of opportunities to work in higher ed near Boston or Amherst. You might end up at the upper end of your budget.

Seattle or Seattle's suburbs may also work, but I don't know the real estate costs these days. Lived there back in the early 2000s. Much closer to you, we have friends in Poway who like the school district there, and we considered moving there. It was too expensive for us, though.

We definitely miss the climate in SoCal, among other things. We have snow on the ground and the high today is 15 here. It's only November! I'm dealing with it since we think it's worth it in our situation, but if you do consider one of these colder climate locations, visit in the winter and see what you'd be getting yourself into...

Having been in a similar situation of trying to relocate a young family, you might want to pick a region of the country just to narrow it down. We ended up deciding that proximity to family in New England (mine) or the Midwest (his) should be a factor. We were too overwhelmed trying to research the entire country.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top