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Old 04-15-2015, 04:58 PM
 
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Are there any cities that are:

50,000 to 500,000 people (metro)
Not car-dependent (Ie, I can commute and shop by walking/bus/bike)
At least moderately liberal or centrist, doesn't have to be super liberal though
Cheap rent (possible to rent a one bedroom or studio for $450/month or less)
Located in the Midwest or South
Finding a job isn't a goose chase
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Small metros that are that cheap are probably cheap in part because there are no jobs.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
Small metros that are that cheap are probably cheap in part because there are no jobs.
Not necessarily. The Midwest is cheap largely because of its (deserved) reputation for brutal winters. The sunshine tax is a real thing.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Are there any cities that are:

50,000 to 500,000 people (metro)
Not car-dependent (Ie, I can commute and shop by walking/bus/bike)
At least moderately liberal or centrist, doesn't have to be super liberal though
Cheap rent (possible to rent a one bedroom or studio for $450/month or less)
Located in the Midwest or South
Finding a job isn't a goose chase
Most of the cities that come to mind are in the 500k - 1million metro range

The cities that immediately came to mind were

Des Moines
Madison (might be too expensive I don't know)
Grand Rapids
Chattanooga
Lexington
and Kalamazoo

I left out Asheville because I don't know if it's trendiness has made it too expensive I'm sure someone else can speak to it.

All of those cities meet your criteria except that the top 3 are a little larger in the metro than you laid out. I don't know what the transit situation is like in Lexington or Chatt but the other ones have pretty good systems for the size of city, and they all have pretty strong economies.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:34 PM
chh
 
Location: West Michigan
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Kalamazoo, MI
Champaign, IL
Grand Rapids, MI
Kokomo, IN
What I could think of off the top of my head. Never been to the south so not much help there, good luck with your move
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I don't recommend Michigan for anything.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroninja42 View Post
I don't recommend Michigan for anything.
Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Grand Rapids (Metro Is twice the size of what you are looking for, though)
Kalamazoo
Lansing/East Lansing
Traverse City
Marquette
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti if you rent in Ypsilanti
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
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I have not traveled all that extensively through the South, but I know the Midwest very well. All the cities there tend be very dense and walkable in the respective cores, but they quickly spiral out to suburban sprawl. This is in contrast to a lot of East Coast cities in the 50K-500K range (New Haven, Lancaster, Scranton, Wilmington, Binghamton, Ithaca, and Springfield, MA) that are more dense and compact, and similarly-sized Western cities (Yuma, Las Cruces, Reno, Pueblo, Bakersfield) that are essentially all sprawl.

So, really, anywhere in the Midwest except the more expensive college towns (Madison, Ann Arbor) would work--if you live downtown.

That said, Duluth, Minnesota; Lexington, Kentucky; and Dubuque, Iowa are very nice cities, in my humble opinion.

Though they wouldn't be my first choice, I could live in Kalamazoo, Michigan or Grand Forks, North Dakota for a few year without going totally insane.

Kenosha, Wisconsin is worth considering too. It's a smaller city that has commuter-train access to Chicago. That way, you can enjoy the big city whenever you'd like without living in the big city.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:22 PM
 
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Tucson ,Omaha ,Cincinnati, Louisville come to mind ....cheap ,friendly,bus service ,population 500,000?
Omaha would be the best bet for jobs IMO.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn.Davenport View Post
I have not traveled all that extensively through the South, but I know the Midwest very well. All the cities there tend be very dense and walkable in the respective cores, but they quickly spiral out to suburban sprawl. This is in contrast to a lot of East Coast cities in the 50K-500K range (New Haven, Lancaster, Scranton, Wilmington, Binghamton, Ithaca, and Springfield, MA) that are more dense and compact, and similarly-sized Western cities (Yuma, Las Cruces, Reno, Pueblo, Bakersfield) that are essentially all sprawl.

So, really, anywhere in the Midwest except the more expensive college towns (Madison, Ann Arbor) would work--if you live downtown.

That said, Duluth, Minnesota; Lexington, Kentucky; and Dubuque, Iowa are very nice cities, in my humble opinion.

Though they wouldn't be my first choice, I could live in Kalamazoo, Michigan or Grand Forks, North Dakota for a few year without going totally insane.

Kenosha, Wisconsin is worth considering too. It's a smaller city that has commuter-train access to Chicago. That way, you can enjoy the big city whenever you'd like without living in the big city.
Are downtown Midwest rents much worse than rents in the outlying areas? Would a $300-$400 a month studio be doable there, for example?
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