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Old 12-02-2014, 02:32 PM
 
112 posts, read 77,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
What is your thought process when you say you want a city between 60-300k? What brought you to those parameters? What would you say makes a 500k city too big or a 30k city too small? Just trying to get a better sense what you're looking for.
I'm not stuck on those parameters, they just seemed like numbers we were comfortable with. My wife feels 50k-60k is as small as she would want to live in, for the things she wants. I would just prefer a city with less than 500k, as anything bigger seems too big for me, for what I want. We don't really like the hustle and bustle of large cities, but small town living is not for us either.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:38 AM
 
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Check into Grand Rapids/ Kent County MI as well. Based on your criteria it seems to hit all of your points. Lowest unemployment rate in Michigan(4%), population growth above the national average, rapidly emerging/walkable downtown. One of the faster growing job markets in the country with most of the jobs coming in the STEM/R&D and Bio Sciences sectors. Emerging arts/restaurant/social scenes as well. 25miles from the lakeshore resort cities and beaches. Two hours from the hilly wine country in the north, and 2hours in either direction from the amenities of Detroit and Chicago.

I moved there 5 years ago afraid of what i'd find and was very pleasantly surprised and fell in love. Also I'd check out Louisville which is also emerging quickly.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:32 AM
 
112 posts, read 77,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
Check into Grand Rapids/ Kent County MI as well. Based on your criteria it seems to hit all of your points. Lowest unemployment rate in Michigan(4%), population growth above the national average, rapidly emerging/walkable downtown. One of the faster growing job markets in the country with most of the jobs coming in the STEM/R&D and Bio Sciences sectors. Emerging arts/restaurant/social scenes as well. 25miles from the lakeshore resort cities and beaches. Two hours from the hilly wine country in the north, and 2hours in either direction from the amenities of Detroit and Chicago.

I moved there 5 years ago afraid of what i'd find and was very pleasantly surprised and fell in love. Also I'd check out Louisville which is also emerging quickly.
I keep seeing Grand Rapids mentioned, so I think it may be going on the list to check out. How are the schools around there?
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by memphisblues1986 View Post
I keep seeing Grand Rapids mentioned, so I think it may be going on the list to check out. How are the schools around there?
As I understand it the city schools have struggled but are starting to show a resurgence, as the core neighborhoods have started to re-emerge. There is a strong network of private schools and academies. As one would expected the suburban schools are often recognized for high performance. If it ends up on the list look into the city of East Grand Rapids for Schools. It's an elite area but the schools are among the best in the nation, and it's within walking distance of Grand Rapids trendy gentrified neighborhoods. Only two miles from downtown itself.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
As I understand it the city schools have struggled but are starting to show a resurgence, as the core neighborhoods have started to re-emerge. There is a strong network of private schools and academies. As one would expected the suburban schools are often recognized for high performance. If it ends up on the list look into the city of East Grand Rapids for Schools. It's an elite area but the schools are among the best in the nation, and it's within walking distance of Grand Rapids trendy gentrified neighborhoods. Only two miles from downtown itself.
I second this from my experience with meeting people from there. Rockford, Jenison, Grandville and Forest Hills(in Ada, which is home to Amway) are pretty good too.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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Forget Boulder, it will bankrupt you. Look at Loveland, CO. It's near Boulder and basically an affordable version.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,761,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisblues1986 View Post
I'm not stuck on those parameters, they just seemed like numbers we were comfortable with. My wife feels 50k-60k is as small as she would want to live in, for the things she wants. I would just prefer a city with less than 500k, as anything bigger seems too big for me, for what I want. We don't really like the hustle and bustle of large cities, but small town living is not for us either.
Okay, totally fair. So, there's absolutely nothing wrong with what you're asking, but I'm having some dissonance because you also specified that these parameters relate to city population, not metro area population. This is tricky because once a city is large enough to have suburbs (usually around ~100k), city population becomes mostly arbitrary. There are actually only 34 cities in the US with populations over 500k, and many of the smaller ones are definitely not cities you would call midsize (like Atlanta, Miami, etc). Let me explain...

Basing those numbers (50-500k) on city limit population alone, my recommendations would be:

Minneapolis (pop 400k)
Cleveland (pop 390k)
St. Paul (pop 300k)
Madison (pop 240k)
Des Moines (pop 210k)
Aurora, IL (pop 200k)
...and so on

However those cities are all parts of metro areas between 600k (Madison and Des Moines) and 9 million (Aurora). If you moved to Cleveland, you would have everything you're looking for in spades, and technically the city population is 390k, but in practice you would be living in a city of 3.5 million.

So I think what you're really wanting is either (a) a small/midsize metro between 60-300k, OR (b) a component city of larger metro that is well removed from the urban core, but still vibrant and walkable.

With that in mind, here's what I recommend:

Missoula, MT
Boulder, CO
Duluth, MN
Vancouver, WA (maybe a bit big)
Ithaca, NY
Burlington, VT
Stillwater, MN
La Crosse, WI
Iowa City, IA
Lincoln, NE

Last edited by steel03; 12-03-2014 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:22 PM
 
112 posts, read 77,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
Okay, totally fair. So, there's absolutely nothing wrong with what you're asking, but I'm having some dissonance because you also specified that these parameters relate to city population, not metro area population. This is tricky because once a city is large enough to have suburbs (usually around ~100k), city population becomes mostly arbitrary. There are actually only 34 cities in the US with populations over 500k, and many of the smaller ones are definitely not cities you would call midsize (like Atlanta, Miami, etc). Let me explain...

Basing those numbers (50-500k) on city limit population alone, my recommendations would be:

Minneapolis (pop 400k)
Cleveland (pop 390k)
St. Paul (pop 300k)
Madison (pop 240k)
Des Moines (pop 210k)
Aurora, IL (pop 200k)
...and so on

However those cities are all parts of metro areas between 600k (Madison and Des Moines) and 9 million (Aurora). If you moved to Cleveland, you would have everything you're looking for in spades, and technically the city population is 390k, but in practice you would be living in a city of 3.5 million.

So I think what you're really wanting is either (a) a small/midsize metro between 60-300k, OR (b) a component city of larger metro that is well removed from the urban core, but still vibrant and walkable.

With that in mind, here's what I recommend:

Missoula, MT
Boulder, CO
Duluth, MN
Vancouver, WA (maybe a bit big)
Ithaca, NY
Burlington, VT
Stillwater, MN
La Crosse, WI
Iowa City, IA
Lincoln, NE
I understand that. I know the city pop can be misleading at times, but I'm not sure metro area wise, what size would be too big. We have lived in metros ranging from 400,000 to 1.3 million, and small towns of 5,000. We aren't stuck on those parameters, we just thought they would be a good starting point. If there are larger cities that fit the bill, we will look at those too. If the city is smaller, but it's connected to a larger metro, we would look at those too.

In other words, if a city seems to fit, but isn't necessarily within the parameters, feel free to suggest it. We will look at anywhere that is close to what we want. Just don't go crazy and start spouting out huge metros.

Although we would consider a city that is independent, yet close to a large metro.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:07 PM
 
447 posts, read 579,474 times
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Your search is really too vague. Most of America fits in the range you're describing. I took a look at the list of cities above 100k, eliminated all that were core cities or suburbs of metro areas greater than 2 million, eliminated all the southern/sunbelt states (said you liked winter and water) and I still have 40+ distinct cities across the country. And there are all kinds of medium sized metros like Portland, Maine that have core-cities under 100k, but metro areas exactly in the range you're looking at. Factor those in and you're looking at hundreds of locations.

Do you have any other preferences? Specific/ideal outdoor activities? You said you like fall weather but would you miss the foliage if you moved somewhere out west? You said you like winter, but what about winter do you like? Some places get a *lot* more of it than others and if you're from the southeast you might not be prepared for winters in many of the cities that fit your population guidelines. Do you need to be closer to a larger airport for cheaper flights to visit family? Do you have any political or religious preferences? Even if you're agnostic or apolitical - that matters. Someplace like Colorado or Ohio is going to receive a lot more political attention than New York or Washington. Really annoying if that's not your thing.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:14 PM
 
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Boulder has it's share of traffic problems (compared to city of its size).

Many people live in Denver and work in Boulder and vice versa. US-36 is a parking lot during rush hour
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