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Old 10-09-2015, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
904 posts, read 449,870 times
Reputation: 1493

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Hello City-Data,

I am trying to gather as much information about relocating from Long Beach, CA as I can. I will try to give as much information as possible to get good answers. I appreciate all feedback.

Quick Data:

Mid-20's
Married
Devout Christian that is accepting of others
BS, MS Mechanical Engineering
1-2 years experience in Oil & Gas, 1.5 years in Fuel Cell Manufacturing research

Wife:
Soon to finish Masters in Social Work
Interesting working with homeless

Climate: We prefer a much cooler climate. We like seasons with very mild summers. We can handle rain and snow. Southern California doesn't appeal to us really at all. We are literally just here for her to finish her school.

Demographics: We would like mid range city (150,000 - 500,000), but are flexible.

Cost-of-Living: We want to stay under $1000 a month for a decent 1 bed 1 bath in the city if at all possible. Our target home range would be 200k-300k. I make $81,500 in Long Beach and would not want to take a pay cut if I can help it.

Community: We want a solid church for sure. We want people to be very warm and friendly. High community participation rate in local affairs or events would be valuable for us.

Scenery/Outdoors: Need green and trees. We cannot do concrete and dry grass. We want to be closer to mountains and/or forest. The coast would be a good addition, but I have lived in Colorado and didn't miss the beach.

Politics: We are center-right, but don't care about the politics to much. We are accepting of people.

My top 20 results from a certain popular questionnaire site were:
Fort Collins, Colorado
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Provo-Orem, Utah
Tacoma, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Kent, Washington
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Missoula, Montana
Denver, Colorado
Spokane, Washington
Billings, Montana
Ogden, Utah
Loveland, Colorado
Seattle, Washington
Albany, New York
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Salt Lake City, Utah
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Boise, Idaho
Anchorage, Alaska
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Bellingham, Washington
Great Falls, Montana
Cheyenne, Wyoming

I don't really want to go back to Colorado because I want to see something new and I want more rain.

Where do you think I would fit in best?
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:15 AM
 
21,231 posts, read 30,469,580 times
Reputation: 19705
Of your list I would say Tacoma WA would be a good option given your line of work and the remaining criteria listed.
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Old 10-10-2015, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Bangor-ish Maine... brrrrrr
16 posts, read 14,927 times
Reputation: 21
You might want to consider Maine, probably Portland area.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
4,102 posts, read 4,753,379 times
Reputation: 5379
Just about any city in New York's southern tier/southern finger lakes or central/western Pennsylvania would suit you well. Even consider perhaps Wheeling or Morgantown, WV.

If you're interested in northern Appalachia it sounds like you'd fit in fine.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
904 posts, read 449,870 times
Reputation: 1493
I appreciate the responses I have gotten thus far.

My wife and I are very excited about Portland, Oregon lately because of their emphasis on sustainability. The list of places is nothing more than results based on an in depth survey. I was slightly disappointed by it and only posted it for reference.

My impressions of the places listed thus far are:
Tacoma, Washington - I have heard nothing, but bad things about it due to gang violence and crime. I have done some research on apartments and home values. It is cheaper than Seattle and Portland, but still higher than the crime would justify. I also didn't see an apparently booming engineering industry. My question: What is specifically attractive about Tacoma?

Portland, Maine - I have researched it a little. Seems to have the weather we like, but the industry seems to be lagging. I like that it is close to Boston. Cost of living is seemingly high for an economically depressed city. Are people there friendly? I have read New Englanders come across as very cold.

Finger Lake area in NY - I have done a lot of research of this area when toying with the idea of going back to get a PhD from Cornell. I found the cost of living to be adequate and the job market looks OK. i think it will be somewhere we will try apply for jobs, but it might be a blue moon chance compared to Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington, Minneapolis, Minnesota; etc. Great suggestion.

West Virginia - I doubt the wife would agree to move to West Virginia.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:20 AM
 
774 posts, read 715,890 times
Reputation: 1048
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsnicker3 View Post
Tacoma, Washington - I have heard nothing, but bad things about it due to gang violence and crime. I have done some research on apartments and home values. It is cheaper than Seattle and Portland, but still higher than the crime would justify. I also didn't see an apparently booming engineering industry. My question: What is specifically attractive about Tacoma?
Tacoma isn't nearly as bad as it's reputation suggests. Yes, it did go through some significant crime/gang problems during the 80's/90's, but has much improved since (Although the east and south areas still aren't the best). Tacoma continuing to be cleaned up, along w/Seattle's skyrocketing rents, are making it an attractive urban alternative to working/middle class folks, and artists being priced out of Seattle, as Amazon/tech workers take over.

The main drawback though, is that there aren't a lot of high-paying white-collar jobs in Tacoma itself, so you'd likely end up having to commute to Seattle or Bellevue for work, which can be a brutal commute during peak hours (Though if you're coming from the greater LA area, you're probably used to that).

And Portland ME is great, just a small city, so the job market is limited. Personally, I find people in New England to be a bit warmer/friendlier than those in the PNW. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:05 PM
 
56,827 posts, read 81,169,050 times
Reputation: 12565
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsnicker3 View Post
I appreciate the responses I have gotten thus far.

My wife and I are very excited about Portland, Oregon lately because of their emphasis on sustainability. The list of places is nothing more than results based on an in depth survey. I was slightly disappointed by it and only posted it for reference.

My impressions of the places listed thus far are:
Tacoma, Washington - I have heard nothing, but bad things about it due to gang violence and crime. I have done some research on apartments and home values. It is cheaper than Seattle and Portland, but still higher than the crime would justify. I also didn't see an apparently booming engineering industry. My question: What is specifically attractive about Tacoma?

Portland, Maine - I have researched it a little. Seems to have the weather we like, but the industry seems to be lagging. I like that it is close to Boston. Cost of living is seemingly high for an economically depressed city. Are people there friendly? I have read New Englanders come across as very cold.

Finger Lake area in NY - I have done a lot of research of this area when toying with the idea of going back to get a PhD from Cornell. I found the cost of living to be adequate and the job market looks OK. i think it will be somewhere we will try apply for jobs, but it might be a blue moon chance compared to Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington, Minneapolis, Minnesota; etc. Great suggestion.

West Virginia - I doubt the wife would agree to move to West Virginia.
If you are open to the Finger Lakes region in NY, I would consider the metro areas that "sandwich" the region in Rochester and Syracuse. Both have lakes from that region within their metros and would yield more results for employment. Corning, which is home to Fortune 500 company Corning Incorporated may be another option for employment. Ithaca may be another option in that region.

In terms of churches, at least in the Syracuse area, I think Abundant Life and the Vineyard Church would be a couple of good options. Welcome | Abundant Life Christian Center

The Vineyard Church | Come as you are... and be loved

As for getting your PhD, you could also look into Syracuse University, University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology. This will depend on the program you want to get into and availability as well.

If you want something within city limits in either Rochester or Syracuse, look in the Eastern half of both cities and specifically the SE in both. There are other areas in both that you could consider, but those are the nicest, most affluent parts of both cities due to proximity to universities and hospitals. There may be villages or smaller cities that you may like within and in between both areas, as they can offer some degree of walkability.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
904 posts, read 449,870 times
Reputation: 1493
The biggest plus for us for the Finger Lakes area is the presence of forests, lakes, and mountains to the east. I have never been there personally (actually have never been to New York State). I have abandoned the idea of a PhD for a while until we pay off all of our debt (USC is very expensive). I will want to work for 2-3 years. How much does New York's tax structure affect people? Do people generally get services that commensurate the higher taxes? How does the winter time compared to Colorado? I can handle very cold, but have worked in North Dakota and didn't handle THAT cold too well. Are summer-times humid and hot? What could I expect to earn in terms of salary based on my qualifications? I want to at least maintain my current salary. Is that likely in finger lakes region?

Appreciate your input.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:47 PM
 
56,827 posts, read 81,169,050 times
Reputation: 12565
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsnicker3 View Post
The biggest plus for us for the Finger Lakes area is the presence of forests, lakes, and mountains to the east. I have never been there personally (actually have never been to New York State). I have abandoned the idea of a PhD for a while until we pay off all of our debt (USC is very expensive). I will want to work for 2-3 years. How much does New York's tax structure affect people? Do people generally get services that commensurate the higher taxes? How does the winter time compared to Colorado? I can handle very cold, but have worked in North Dakota and didn't handle THAT cold too well. Are summer-times humid and hot? What could I expect to earn in terms of salary based on my qualifications? I want to at least maintain my current salary. Is that likely in finger lakes region?

Appreciate your input.
What you get for your taxes may depend on who you ask and where you live. You may get trash pickup, you will get roads plowed in the winter, much of it goes towards schools, law enforcement/fire, etc.

Expect snow from after the Thanksgiving weekend until mid March, give or take.

Summers can be humid, but generally aren't as hot as places further south.

Pay may be a little bit lower due to the lower overall COL, which is around the national average. This may help though: Jobs Express: Job Openings in New York State - New York State Department of Labor

Employment News Releases : Employment News Releases: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjourna....html?page=all

http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjourna....html?page=all

More info: Widgets Magazine

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 10-11-2015 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
904 posts, read 449,870 times
Reputation: 1493
That link is really great. Thank you for sending it.

It sounds like an excellent area from my end. Do you have any idea of the market for grassroots homelessness alleviation? Obviously, the greatest effort would be in NYC, but that isn't on our radar for living. My wife will want to find employment that she thrives. She isn't too fond of the cube life.

As for the salary, I will just have to poke around. I am flexible, but I am a quality candidate and demand a lot in terms of salary. I took a pay cut from the oil fields to come to LA. I would like to not go down again if I can help it. We plan on leaving mid-May/June. I will start applying for jobs in January. I think this region will definitely be of interest.

Much appreciate the insight.
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