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Old 03-31-2015, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
173 posts, read 134,345 times
Reputation: 331

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After 17 years down here in Houston.. we really want to get away. We are tired of the heat/humidity.. even during the winter. Sorry.. when I'm running the AC in my car in December.. something just isn't right

I grew up in Oklahoma.. so I'm not opposed to warm/hot summers as long as I have the other seasons to go with it.. and i don't start sweating like a pig from the humidity as soon as i step out the door. I don't ever remember sweating while I was hauling hay in the summer like I do down here just walking to the mailbox or walking behind the self-propelled mower.

We've taken trips from Texas to Florida.. so I can safely rule out any Gulf Coast areas right off the bat. Heck, even our summer trip to Carlsbad was better (though hotter) and we at least felt like we could go outside and hike around some. We've also visited relatives in the New Jersey area (just across the river from Philly), but aren't particularly keen on the summer weather up there either, which is odd because we always enjoyed summers in Arkansas and Missouri, which I don't think are really any drier than the Philly area.


Climate - ideally we are looking for somewhere with low humidity and 4 real seasons (it isn't really winter without snow... but at the same time we don't need Snowmageddon). I'm good with anything down to around 0 F for short periods (so places like Anchorage are probably out of our comfort zone) and the same up to about 100 F as long as the humidity is low (no Orlando/Houston/New Orleans). We enjoyed summer vacations in south-central Idaho (Rupert area), but never experienced it during the winter since my wife's relatives always went to New Mexico for the winter. We really like areas with drastic temp changes (warm/hot days and cool/cold evenings).. the ones were you leave the house at noon in short sleeves and by evening you are regretting not bringing a jacket. Not to mention having a fireplace with an actual purpose, unlike here in Houston where homes have them but they are really just ornamental


Geography - we really want mountains. Mountain views would be spectacular.. but at least able to have good hiking/backpacking/rafting areas within 1-2 hours. Land is another "would really like" piece. Not a lot, but 1-2 acres. Just enough to not have neighbors right next door, grow our own vegetables, yard for the kids to play, build a pool, etc. That's usable land of course, not the 1-2 acres that are all mountain-side like this (as beautiful as the views are). Unfortunately the only mountains I've really seen are the Rockies (Colorado mainly, the drive from Salt Lake to Rupert, ID and Yellowstone). Lakes/rivers would be nice for summer swimming and fishing, something I grew up with in OK, at least within a couple hours drive... so somewhere like Las Vegas is pretty much out of the running (even with Lake Mead there are other factors against it ). Not opposed to the Appalachian range (including the Smoky Mountains), just haven't been able to visit them, other than the Poconos. Along with the mountains.. any caving/spelunking opportunities are a huge bonus as I loved crawling through the muck in the limestone caves of Missouri back in high school


Population/city/employment - This one is tough. As I've gotten older the urge to move "away from it all" is getting stronger. I was ecstatic to leave OK after college because of the lack of big cities and culture. I was born and raised in a small town (around Stillwater, OK). If we wanted a mall, Best Buy, Toys R Us, etc. we had to drive to OKC or Tulsa for the "city". Heck, just getting groceries was a 1/2 hour drive there an another 1/2 hour drive back. Of course, things change and with Amazon/Newegg/etc. you don't even have to leave your couch to buy things now and have them delivered to your door. Other shopping.. we still have to drive 1/2 hour or more with all the traffic and we are less than 8 miles away. For my wife, it is culture and amenities. Theater, museums, activities for the kids (children museums, swim/dance/gymnastic lessons, girl scout troops, science/art summer camps).

Housing is another hard one. My wife prefers the suburb feel (though with bigger lots). She likes some of that "community" feel. Myself.. I grew up a country boy with a 1/2 square mile to roam/explore/hunt. If we wanted to skinny dip in the creek or pond.. no one knew I don't need that much space now.. but if the kids are out of the house and I feel taking a dip in a backyard pool in my birthday suit.. I don't want nosy neighbors making a ruckus. Otherwise, single-story, two-story, etc. doesn't matter, just enough room (3-5 bedrooms) with a mortgage within my salary range.

As for employment, I do IT work (sys admin/system engineer) and my current salary is around $100k. A lot of that can be done remotely.. or locally, just depends on the company from my experience. I've been with the same company for 15 years, but have reached as far as I'm going to go without getting into management, and transfer options seem really limited. My wife has a chemical engineering degree and worked for a major oil/gas company, but has been out of the market now for 5 years to be a stay at home mom. With our youngest going into Kindergarten, she's not sure what she wants to do though, as the corporate environment burned her out (if you weren't constantly striving to advance and were not aggressive, you weren't trying hard enough). She liked it enough at the beginning and got a lot of praise, but she wanted to go to work, do the job and come home.. and they wanted people that would arrive early, leave late, and take their work home with them every night.

Areas/cities that are easier to find jobs while in another state are a plus since we can't afford for me to just quit my current job, pack up and move, and hope to find something there. No 1.5-2 hours commutes.. I've done that long enough, even a 1 hour commute sounds like heaven.

Religion/politics - couldn't really care less. We attend church, but I wouldn't say we are diehard Christians. i lean a little more towards the conservative side, she leans more liberal.. but I consider us both "independents". For example, I'm pro-guns (concealed carry, open carry, etc.) and for stronger immigration laws (follow the process if you want in the country), but at the same time I strongly support the LGBT and same sex marriage. I firmly believe everyone is entitled to their religion... and that they should keep it to themselves I won't bad mouth Christians as long as they don't bad mouth Hindu's, Islamists, Buddhists, etc. As soon as anyone starts spouting their way is the "only" or "right" or "true" way, then we have issues.

So.. with that all said.. let the suggestions start rolling I know... it's a pipe dream!
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:44 PM
 
Location: O4W
3,744 posts, read 3,708,613 times
Reputation: 2059
Denver
Seattle
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
173 posts, read 134,345 times
Reputation: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by afdinatl View Post
Denver
Seattle
Thanks. Those two were already on our short list as well as Portland.

Denver - love the area and love backpacking/hiking in the Rockies
Seattle - have yet to visit but I have friends up there already which is a plus
Portland - my wife has family there (cousins)

Housing would be the main concern in Denver and Seattle though. House prices and rentals are going through the roof in Denver, and my friends in Seattle always mention how expensive housing is up there.

Boise, ID is another option we have thought about as we used to visit family in Idaho.. just don't know how well their economy is doing. Not the mountain views.. but we always enjoyed the area when we visited.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,199 posts, read 10,411,824 times
Reputation: 11213
You might consider Pittsburgh, which is in the Appilacians and has had a considerable "brain gain"/strong economy over the past several years. It seems to be a pretty moderate area politically, with nice rolling countryside outside the city.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
173 posts, read 134,345 times
Reputation: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
You might consider Pittsburgh, which is in the Appilacians and has had a considerable "brain gain"/strong economy over the past several years. It seems to be a pretty moderate area politically, with nice rolling countryside outside the city.
Hmm, see that's one I hadn't thought of. When I think Pennsylvania I just immediately think of Philly over by the coast and forget that it extends quite a ways in-land. Would put us about 5 hours away from my wife's parents in NJ. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:42 PM
 
Location: A subtropical paradise
2,069 posts, read 2,197,912 times
Reputation: 1329
Quote:
Originally Posted by farscapesg01 View Post
After 17 years down here in Houston.. we really want to get away. We are tired of the heat/humidity.. even during the winter. Sorry.. when I'm running the AC in my car in December.. something just isn't right
Sorry, not buying it; temps/weather conditions in Houston, and the rest of the Coastal South during winter are much to comfortable to be running the AC.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:05 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19627
You might consider Greenville/Spartanburg SC which is booming and fulfills all of your criteria quite well in my opinion. Not to mention the cost of living and real estate are well below the other cities on your list thus far and would allow for a much easier way of life versus your salary.

Greenville, South Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Spartanburg, South Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Mount Juliet, TN
173 posts, read 134,345 times
Reputation: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yn0hTnA View Post
Sorry, not buying it; temps/weather conditions in Houston, and the rest of the Coastal South during winter are much to comfortable to be running the AC.
To each their own I guess... People down here think I'm crazy because we keep the AC set at 78 vs. 74 or below, and it kicked on multiple times during the "winter" months. Yes, the weather temps are very mild during the winter... too mild
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:39 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,399 posts, read 4,799,834 times
Reputation: 3201
I say Denver sounds right for you, but housing with land may be the challenge. Seattle is nice, but COL is much more and Portland is not far behind.
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
5,616 posts, read 3,936,707 times
Reputation: 7917
Albuquerque, Denver, and Flagstaff sound about right for you.
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