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Old 05-05-2015, 09:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,097 times
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Note in advance: This post is being EXTREMELY picky with specifics and I'm most likely describing a mini-utopia that doesn't exist. I'm aware of this. But, I am just posting my ideal place in the hope that somehow there is a place that at least meets a large majority of the specifications listed.

I am 23. She is 27.
I have four years of warehouse experience with some university (not completed) but I am striving to move onto more. She is an illustrator with a master's degree in Graphic Design. She is also into craft-making and attending craft events and selling her own works.
The jobs I can typically land are in the $25,000 per year bracket and she is just now beginning her career in the U.S. so we will just go by my income for now. As a result, we can't live in any extremely expensive areas (such as New York City, San Francisco, etc.).
We have a sizable savings in order to help us establish ourselves.

Neither of us can tolerate the heat and humidity (we currently live in the South and are hating the weather).
60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is when we feel the most comfortable.
We love cloudy days.
I don't like heavy snow or having to scrape ice off of my car every morning for half the year.
Light wind is nice, but extremely windy places can get annoying real quick. So preferably not too much wind.

A good public four-year university is a must. I still intend on completing my degree when I find the opportunity to do so.

As for geographic desires, we'd like to be in a larger city with many cultural activities (theater, concerts, fairs, events, and parks) but at the same time be within easy driving distance to nature. Preferably mountains, water, and green forests with hiking trails.
We wouldn't mind living in a smaller suburb of a city if it is in such an areas as I'm describing. I know that in my income bracket that I may not be able to live in the city itself.

As for shopping/dining options... I come from a boring, small suburb which only offers chain restaurants and such. So I'd like more independent, unique places to eat and shop at.

I'm sure I could think of more to say, given time. But for now this is all.
Thanks in advance for any advice and support.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:07 AM
 
892 posts, read 1,097,008 times
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Outside of the weather, the rest seems like living somewhere affordable in the Pittsburgh area would be great. Between Pittsburgh, and Cleveland which isn't that far away, there are a lot of craft events throughout the year. If she's willing to go a little further, one of the largest craft fairs in the US each year is in Columbus. Western Pennsylvania is one of the cloudiest areas east of the Rockies. The University of Pittsburgh is a member of the American Association of Universities, and is public.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:34 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,654,765 times
Reputation: 3625
I thought of the PacNW but I don't know if they are affordable to your income. I heard both Seattle and Portland are expensive, however the other towns in the region with similar weather might be more affordable. Possibly Eugene, Oregon? Eugene has University of Oregon and appears to be a nice place.
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,235 posts, read 1,361,008 times
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Oregon or Washington outside of the two big metro areas (Portland/Seattle).
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:45 AM
 
Location: O4W
3,744 posts, read 3,714,391 times
Reputation: 2059
Nashville, TN
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,364 posts, read 21,930,528 times
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I too was going to suggest Nashville for you, and I'm thinking Sacramento for your wife
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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Salt Lake City
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
124 posts, read 207,597 times
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Metro of well over a million and your never more than 20 minutes from the outdoors. Always something going on in the city, and around 300 days of sun a year. More diverse than it gets credit for as well.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Sacramento, CA
1,196 posts, read 4,343,172 times
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Definitely sounds like the northwest. Eugene or Portland would be good choices.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:06 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,471,649 times
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Depending on your field, Portland probably doesn't meet your criteria of a "good public 4 year." It's also very expensive.

Elsewhere in OR, Eugene/Corvallis have the stronger universities, but neither has a large market for warehouse jobs. And while Eugene is cheaper than NYC or Boston (and a bit cheaper than Portland), it's notably higher than the national average, and assuming you can find any job, getting by on 25k a year is still going to be a challenge unless you're camping out or maybe doing the co-op life. Corvallis is an even smaller job market and a bit more expensive to boot.

As for crafting, there is a robust crafting community there, but it also means you have to really stand out to make any money doing it.

Sacramento would be a no go I'd say - not very humid but summers are brutally hot.
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