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Old 10-17-2015, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Lawless Wild West
660 posts, read 748,622 times
Reputation: 985

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I recently left Arizona and now reside in Texas (El Paso). We are at my in-laws for a few months saving money. El Paso is good but I hate the driving here. I miss AZ's easy to understand grid system driving. In El Paso, the driving centers around I-10, and I can't understand it, I keep getting lost and thinking I'm going in one direction but I'm going the opposite. Also, I'm used to California drivers, I thought they were bad until I met the Mexican drivers. OMG, they tail gate non stop, barrel down the highways at 90 mph, and drive as crazy as NYers (I lived in NYC).

I already love the weather (10-15 degrees cooler than AZ), but I deeply miss green and four seasons. We plan to move when we have $6000 or so saved up (we moved to el paso on less than $200, so it gives you an idea of how frugal we are). But we don't know where, I want to go to MN but I'll be open to other states.

Here's our requirements:

* Good economy, from entry level to professional level
* Amazing schools and college, I'm planning to have kids soon so gotta think ahead.
* Low cost of living like AZ and TX, basically a 1 bedroom being $700 max is okay. Or if the cost is higher, cheaper food and utilities to offset the living costs. We're used to only spending $1,500 max a month.
* if cost of living is higher, the wages must reflect that. I don't want one of us to work 50+ hours a week to afford our current lifestyle.
* A Deaf community
* Greenery/Nature
* Four Seasons
* Exercise friendly. I couldn't exercise in AZ because I get heat strokes easily. TX is abit better. I'm mainly looking for perfect weather where I can go outside without feeling like I'm being burned alive (have mild thermophobia, and the heat makes me depressed)

* Walkability and Transportation. I've been dying to get rid of my car because I hate driving. I am used to places like NYC where you never need a car, I miss that. I miss walking around for miles and feeling like I'm going somewhere instead of only like 5 blocks (looking at you AZ!).

* Small town, big city feel
* Not that noisy at night, fire trucks every night in NYC I'm used to, but I hated AZ's rap music and street racing every night outside of our apartment.
* Food. We're foodies and we love ethnic food, the more authentic the better.
* Geeky stuff like anime conventions, game conventions, electronics conventions, etc. Is a plus
* Welfare benefits. In case we are down in the dumps because of bad luck, the benefits has to be good so we can bounce back easy. In AZ, welfare was horrible, they stiffed us in everything and even denied Medicaid even if we were qualified! We're not planning to move just because of welfare, but this would be just in case something bad really happens. Better safe than sorry.

That's about it.
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:26 AM
 
21,323 posts, read 30,674,333 times
Reputation: 19869
Check out Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It has a low cost of living, low unemployment rate (3.4%), very good schools generally speaking and a couple of good colleges close by, a number of walkable neighborhoods, decent public transit, greenery, four seasons, big city amenities without the noise/congestion, plenty to do and Michigan continues to be one of the best states for social assistance when needed.

Grand Rapids Hotels, Events, Restaurants & Things to Do
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:57 AM
 
57,320 posts, read 81,717,098 times
Reputation: 12698
Look into the Rochester NY area. I say that due to fitting much of the criteria and in particular the deaf community aspect: Deaf Community - Rochester Wiki

I would look into apartments in Brighton near the Twelve Corners area. It has some walkability and you could take the bus into the nearby SE Quadrant of the city of Rochester. Brighton has very good schools that have received acclaim up to the national level. You could also look into apartments/rentals in area villages like Pittsford, Brockport, Fairport and Spencerport, among others.

Employment will depend on what you can do, like any other area. You can find more info here: Rochester Wiki - The People's Guide to Rochester

Page 1 Monroe County, NY Rental Apartments & Homes - Renters Guide
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:24 AM
 
68 posts, read 63,748 times
Reputation: 90
Some tough criteria, but I have two suggestions. Both are college towns, because I think such towns offer the best "small town, big city feel."

Olympia, WA is my first suggestion. It is part of the Intercity Transportation System, a highly praised network in Washington with connections to other cities. I think Olympia is a place you may reasonably get rid of your car. The COL is higher than the national average, but I think that if you search outside of the nicer neighborhoods you will find cheaper rent. Washington has seasons but is mild. The cloudy, rainy winter season may be tough coming from AZ (although it sounds like its the heat that gets to you).

Ithaca, NY is another suggestion. I grew up pretty close to the city and it is a beautiful area, a city I would be happy in if I were to ever return to Upstate NY. Once again a college town that may have a "small town, big city feel." It has decent public transportation and a car share network. However, I think living in Ithaca without a car would definitely prove difficult. Upstate NY has beautiful seasons (except most of spring... which is a muddy, cold and sometimes snowy mess) and there is bus service to NYC from many of the small Upstate towns. Some folks like myself find exercising in the winter there fine for the most part, others find it too cold. Once again, for COL, you will have to look outside the "happenin'" parts to find something affordable, but it is doable in a small town.

Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
706 posts, read 520,307 times
Reputation: 412
I find El Paso far easier to navigate than other Texas cities.
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Miami, Floroda
650 posts, read 612,705 times
Reputation: 372
I think states in the Midwest would fit your needs. I would look at Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

I think New York State would work too. Rochester NY was a good suggestion. Syracruse would be another city to look at too.
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:46 PM
 
1,000 posts, read 955,246 times
Reputation: 567
St. Louis actually fulfills a lot of that criteria. Avoid the city and live in the burbs, and you'll be in good shape
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:10 AM
 
Location: The Springs
1,770 posts, read 2,163,001 times
Reputation: 1851
I humbly recommend considering Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs and Boise. Each comes close to meeting most of your requirements, with the obvious exception of "Greenery". Nature yes, greenery, not so much.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:02 PM
 
4,417 posts, read 4,650,841 times
Reputation: 3875
Quote:
Originally Posted by kehkou View Post
I find El Paso far easier to navigate than other Texas cities.
When I visited El Paso I learned my way around quickly. It didn't seem confusing to me. I liked the service roads which I noticed are common in Texas.
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
706 posts, read 520,307 times
Reputation: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
When I visited El Paso I learned my way around quickly. It didn't seem confusing to me. I liked the service roads which I noticed are common in Texas.
Ah yes. The "Gateway" blvds. Those frontage roads, along with the Texas Turnarounds and the block numbers on the street labels, are some of the things I miss about the Sun City. That and a big damn star on the mountains!
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