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Old 06-17-2015, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
129 posts, read 107,261 times
Reputation: 98

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Anyone have an idea of where I could find the 'NJ feel' (access to big city, ocean, woods/farm areas, lived in neighborhoods, mature trees, greenery, history/culture and great schools) but with a lower cost of living? And maybe less snow??

Quick back story DH and I are originally from NJ, we left after we got married (mid twenties) and moved to Phx, AZ. We've been here going on 6 years. Built a brand new house in a newer development.
We are tired of the brown desert, extremely hot summers, lack of culture, history and pool life. 6 years is long enough. We miss the the beach, real green grass yards, rain, thunderstorms, real lakes and a variety of culture. We are water people, we quickly learned the desert is not for us.

We are looking for a neighborhood that is not a 'cookie cutter' development. We live that life now, we never see our neighbors and could care less if all of the houses match. We would prefer to live in a 'lived in' area where the trees are older than I am (29 And where my kids will grow up around other kids that will be lifetime friends. Where we live in AZ it is a very transient area, neighbors come and go..its hard to make friends when they leave every other year. Growing up on the East coast, we had lifetime neighbors. I want that for my girls.

Any ideas? We would need to be near a major city. I would imagine the East coast is our only option as we can't afford Cali, and I need more Sunshine than the Northwest can offer me.

Budget is about $150k-$180k 3b2b house, low taxes and good school district, being less than an hour away to the ocean.

Please and thank you!!
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:01 AM
 
279 posts, read 364,806 times
Reputation: 399
Maybe South Jersey? Although 150k-180k sounds low even for South Jersey.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:17 AM
 
87 posts, read 222,384 times
Reputation: 70
Philly has some great burbs on both the PA and NJ sides and may be worth a look. I lived in NYC for over a decade and Philly has everything I need at a lower price and much less hassle. An hour and change to south Jersey beaches.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
129 posts, read 107,261 times
Reputation: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer71 View Post
Philly has some great burbs on both the PA and NJ sides and may be worth a look. I lived in NYC for over a decade and Philly has everything I need at a lower price and much less hassle. An hour and change to south Jersey beaches.

But the taxes? We pay $1500 a year here in South Phx. No heating costs, electricity is crazy ($250+ June-September), but we don't use heat. We pay $100 a month for water.

Overall, I'd like to keep our monthly payment including mortgage, taxes, HOA (here in AZ), water and garbage under $1400.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:32 AM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,051,521 times
Reputation: 2543
Probably should've never left NJ in the first place.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
129 posts, read 107,261 times
Reputation: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
Probably should've never left NJ in the first place.

We did because of the cost of living. $1500 property taxes vs. $9k?! Apples and Oranges.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:05 AM
 
87 posts, read 222,384 times
Reputation: 70
Ok, keeping your monthly nut around that level might be tough even in Philly burbs. Lehigh Valley? I'm not an expert on taxes in the area, but I hear great things about coastal NH. Access to Boston, Ocean, tons of forest at your doorstep, no state income tax, etc. May be worth a look. DC area is probably out of the question - cost of living has become absurd. Other than that I think you'd have to look further south like maybe the Carolinas. Charlotte may be a bit too cookie cutter for you though. Atlanta burbs might fit the bill but you are a good 3 hrs from the sea. I'd say FL due to COL, but much of it is probably too cookie cutter and transient for you...
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:06 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,271 posts, read 19,566,600 times
Reputation: 13048
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbuminAZ View Post
Anyone have an idea of where I could find the 'NJ feel' (access to big city, ocean, woods/farm areas, lived in neighborhoods, mature trees, greenery, history/culture and great schools) but with a lower cost of living? And maybe less snow??

Quick back story DH and I are originally from NJ, we left after we got married (mid twenties) and moved to Phx, AZ. We've been here going on 6 years. Built a brand new house in a newer development.
We are tired of the brown desert, extremely hot summers, lack of culture, history and pool life. 6 years is long enough. We miss the the beach, real green grass yards, rain, thunderstorms, real lakes and a variety of culture. We are water people, we quickly learned the desert is not for us.

We are looking for a neighborhood that is not a 'cookie cutter' development. We live that life now, we never see our neighbors and could care less if all of the houses match. We would prefer to live in a 'lived in' area where the trees are older than I am (29 And where my kids will grow up around other kids that will be lifetime friends. Where we live in AZ it is a very transient area, neighbors come and go..its hard to make friends when they leave every other year. Growing up on the East coast, we had lifetime neighbors. I want that for my girls.

Any ideas? We would need to be near a major city. I would imagine the East coast is our only option as we can't afford Cali, and I need more Sunshine than the Northwest can offer me.

Budget is about $150k-$180k 3b2b house, low taxes and good school district, being less than an hour away to the ocean.

Please and thank you!!
Maybe try the Miami area and the rest of south Florida. But I'm thinking even there may be too expensive for your price point.

Other options are Hampton Roads, Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah - Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. But I'm not sure whether you'd consider those to be major cities. None of them are as large as Phoenix.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 06-17-2015 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:16 AM
 
87 posts, read 222,384 times
Reputation: 70
All great recommendations. Charleston is an absolute gem but may not be a big enough city for you...
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
5,616 posts, read 3,948,402 times
Reputation: 7917
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
Probably should've never left NJ in the first place.
Anyone who breaks free from NJ deserves a medal in my book.
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