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Old 05-27-2015, 09:48 AM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,719,704 times
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I live in Oregon and I'm tired of the high cost of living, unfriendly people, and lack of economic opportunities here. I've done research and it seems like this is the case throughout the West, even in Denver. I've been considering a bunch of places on the other side of the country including Madison, Raleigh-Durham and Pittsburgh.

I also dislike the weather here. It's constantly damp and it's awful for my allergies, I feel sick all the time. I also hate hot and dry weather so the Southwest would not be an improvement. The infrastructure out West is also really sub-par and quality of construction is low. Employers and property management are also very predatory in Western states because of the libertarian sociopolitical climate and the tendency of the general public here to be apathetic and pro-elitist.

People always say the West has the best quality of life in America but I disagree, I think it's the exact opposite. Your dollar does not stretch as far out here and we get a lot less for our taxes than other regions do. People also tend to have smaller yards and such compared to the Midwest/South/Northeast and housing is 2-3x as expensive and like I said generally cheaper in terms of quality. Only the immediate BosWash area is as much of a ripoff as anywhere out West and at least there they have more job opportunities.

I already bettered my situation by leaving Portland for Eugene but I still feel like eventually I need to leave the region altogether. Does anyone else who lives in a western state feel the same way?
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
42 posts, read 50,504 times
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I would leave the West, but not for any of the reasons you listed.

Here in Albuquerque the weather is nearly perfect all year. Never really gets too hot, never gets that cold. Maybe it's just because Albuquerque has only recently started to boom (despite being a 300 year old city), but infrastructure is pretty decent throughout the city. As far as elitism goes, I think it's pretty well agreed upon that elitism is much more engrained into Eastern US culture.

Are you sure you aren't just judging the whole region based on the West Coast? Because Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas etc. all generally have relatively affordable costs of living for the country. And smaller yards? That's confusing to me, because from my personal experience in NM and CO at least, it seems like we have tons of private space compared to back East. Western states have much lower population densities, so you would probably find that you get a lot more acreage here unless you're looking at rural Pennsylvania or something.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmboltsfan View Post
I would leave the West, but not for any of the reasons you listed.

Here in Albuquerque the weather is nearly perfect all year. Never really gets too hot, never gets that cold. Maybe it's just because Albuquerque has only recently started to boom (despite being a 300 year old city), but infrastructure is pretty decent throughout the city. As far as elitism goes, I think it's pretty well agreed upon that elitism is much more engrained into Eastern US culture.
That might be the general consensus, but I don't really agree with it. I think economic inequality is more visible on the West Coast (ie, the homeless in Hollywood or the Pearl District in Portland) and Westerners in general seem to look down on the East Coast or even neighboring states more than the East Coast thumbs up their nose at us. Out west there is a widespread acceptable of this inequality too - even liberal people are really into the whole "bootstrap" mentality and don't understand that it's a result of structural oppression. Most East Coasters seem to like the idea of living out West, while West Coasters generally don't have anything good to say about anything outside the West or even their own state.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nmboltsfan View Post
Are you sure you aren't just judging the whole region based on the West Coast? Because Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas etc. all generally have relatively affordable costs of living for the country. And smaller yards? That's confusing to me, because from my personal experience in NM and CO at least, it seems like we have tons of private space compared to back East. Western states have much lower population densities, so you would probably find that you get a lot more acreage here unless you're looking at rural Pennsylvania or something.
I always thought so too, but actually even the inland West is considerably more expensive in terms of rents and buying a home than comparable places in the Midwest, South and Northeast. There seems to be even less opportunity too, it's almost impossible to find a good job in the Rocky Mountain states outside of a few very select fields. I also notice on Street View that in states like Ohio and Connecticut, people have much larger yards (as much as 1/2 to 1 acre!) with trees. In California yards are generally microscopic, like 1/10 of an acre and generally it was the same way when I lived in Montana and here in Oregon.

Another thing is that while back East has more heritage architecture than out West, they also have a lot more quality new buildings. In the West it seems like most of the housing stock is poor quality, generally being either worn down stuff from the mid-20th century or shoddily built plasticky stuff from the 1980s-present.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,250 posts, read 19,550,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini-apple-less View Post
I live in Oregon and I'm tired of the high cost of living, unfriendly people, and lack of economic opportunities here. I've done research and it seems like this is the case throughout the West, even in Denver. I've been considering a bunch of places on the other side of the country including Madison, Raleigh-Durham and Pittsburgh.
You may need to be a little cautious about leaving a place mainly because of a lack of good economic opportunities. Most places that have a lot of opportunities tend to have a higher COL as well.

However, smaller and mid-sized metro areas like the ones you mentioned may offer the right balance in terms of what you're looking for. So, I agree that those are a good starting point. Fortunately, you have a lot of options to consider in the eastern U.S.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:32 AM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,719,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
You may need to be a little cautious about leaving a place mainly because of a lack of good economic opportunities. Most places that have a lot of opportunities tend to have a higher COL as well.

However, smaller and mid-sized metro areas like the ones you mentioned may offer the right balance in terms of what you're looking for. So, I agree that those are a good starting point. Fortunately, you have a lot of options to consider in the eastern U.S.
That's the main problem out West. Not only is it more expensive to live here, generally the economy is less diverse and jobs pay poorly compared to other regions. The exceptions are a few fields like IT and medicine, but not everyone is capable of doing those jobs and they are stressful and expect you to work extremely long hours. It really is STEM or bust here, the only other alternative is working near minimum wage or starting your own business.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:34 AM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,443,906 times
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Speaking for Madison, the property taxes in WI are one of the highest in the US, the town is crammed with 40,000 students at UW Madison, primarily from the farms of Wisconsin, who mostly act like drunken sailors on shore leave. The locals put down anyone who is from a "city." There have been racial incidents and a cop shooting there lately. The State capital is there, too, so there's lots of politics.

Then there are the bitter winters with winds that cut right through you, and steamy summers with waves of humidity and mosquitos rising from the two lakes that surround the city on 3 sides. It's damp a lot because it's on an isthmus. Historic houses, sure, but I lived in a 1920's house built with no insulation, not so uncommon then.

College degrees are a dime a dozen there, cab drivers have Ph.D.'s because they don't want to move back to the farms or to Milwaukee.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:36 AM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,719,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Speaking for Madison, the property taxes in WI are one of the highest in the US, the town is crammed with 40,000 students, primarily from the farms of Wisconsin, who mostly act like drunken sailors on shore leave. The locals put down anyone who is from a "city." There have been racial incidents and a cop shooting there lately. The State capital is there, too, so there's lots of politics.

Then there are the bitter winters with winds that cut right through you, and steamy summers with waves of humidity and mosquitos rising from the two lakes that surround the city on 3 sides. It's damp a lot because it's on an isthmus. Historic houses, sure, but I lived in a 1920's house built with no insulation, not so uncommon then.

College degrees are a dime a dozen there, cab drivers have Ph.D.'s because they don't want to move back to the farms or to Milwaukee.
Hmmm, yeah that doesn't sound appealing. Do you know anything about Raleigh-Durham? I've heard great things about it and that it's relatively progressive and very affordable, though I've also heard North Carolina is a very conservative state and that worries me.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:43 AM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,443,906 times
Reputation: 12308
No, but have you considered Nevada? It is rebounding economically.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:48 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 1,154,105 times
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I wanna leave the COUNTRY
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,398,911 times
Reputation: 2895
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightlysparrow View Post
Speaking for Madison, the property taxes in WI are one of the highest in the US, the town is crammed with 40,000 students at UW Madison, primarily from the farms of Wisconsin, who mostly act like drunken sailors on shore leave. The locals put down anyone who is from a "city." There have been racial incidents and a cop shooting there lately. The State capital is there, too, so there's lots of politics.

Then there are the bitter winters with winds that cut right through you, and steamy summers with waves of humidity and mosquitos rising from the two lakes that surround the city on 3 sides. It's damp a lot because it's on an isthmus. Historic houses, sure, but I lived in a 1920's house built with no insulation, not so uncommon then.

College degrees are a dime a dozen there, cab drivers have Ph.D.'s because they don't want to move back to the farms or to Milwaukee.
Only around half of the new freshman undergrads are Wisconsin residents. I realize you don't like it (seems pretty obvious to all of us), but at least keep your facts in line
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