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Old 11-07-2015, 12:39 PM
 
19 posts, read 18,082 times
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My wife and I continue the never-ending search for a place on the East Coast that fits our admittedly-extensive-and-conflicting criteria, and folks on this board have been helpful in giving us places to examine, so I thought I'd try once again based on our last move and what we now know (and we now have a 3-month old that I'm sure would like us to figure this out). I've also narrowed our list a bit (believe it or not):

Needs
-------

- Low crime rates (including property crime).

- Somewhere with a rural feel (where houses are far apart), but only 30 minutes or so from cultural events like plays, music (folk, world, classical), talks/lectures, vegetarian food options, etc. It's the access to cultural events that conflicts the most with a number of the other "needs" on this list.

- Within 90 minutes of at least a regional airport with commercial carriers.

- Within 30 minutes of a) a body of water that allows swimming; and b) quiet nature (where you won't hear highway or other road noise).

- Somewhere where it's affordable to purchase a 3BR single-family detached home for around $200,000. We know this potentially conflicts with a number of items on the "needs" list.

- Within 30 minutes of a professional baseball team (minor leagues preferable).

- At least somewhat diverse (i.e., not 95% white)

- Progressive would be ideal, but at least not very conservative/religious.

- Quality schools at the elementary school level.

Our prior residences
-----------------------

Last year, we tried out renting in Asheville/Black Mountain for 4 months, as it's a place that in theory fits a lot of our needs. Besides the fact that house prices were really out of our range, the distance from water was an issue for my wife. Prior to that, we lived in Montgomery AL, which was okay until the crime started to spiral out of control (and it's not close to water either).

Places we've considered
----------------------------

- Fayetteville and Little Rock, AR: concerned about the crime rates, esp. in Little Rock.
- Peachtree City or Decatur, GA: these are "compromise picks", in that they don't excite us but they do meet a number of the criteria above and it has low crime rates.
- Portland, ME: we like Portland a lot, but a) it's very white and b) we're not certain we can find an affordable place outside the city that's still close by.
- Northampton, MA: we like it, but it's not close to water. We're also not sure about affordability.
- Burlington and Middlebury, VT: although we really like these places in theory we determined it's just too cold in the winter and the winter lasts too long.
- Ithaca, NY: too expensive
- Takoma Park, MD: we can't afford it, and it's a bit too urban
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:40 PM
 
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Any of the blue collar towns in NJ like Bergenfield, Delran, or Springfield.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:35 PM
 
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Decatur/North Druid Hills GA would be an excellent pick in my opinion. It hits pretty much all of your criteria and is in a very nice area overall.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:45 PM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,952,685 times
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Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse fits all of that criteria. When I say that, I'm talking about the metros. Smaller areas in Upstate NY like Binghamton and Auburn may work as well.

With the bigger areas, you have college areas and Downtowns that have the events/cultural needs you are looking for, the housing prices, good school districts, international airports and more.

I'd say to look into school districts like Amherst Central, Sweet Home and Williamsville Central in the Buffalo area; Brighton, West Irondequoit and perhaps Rush-Henrietta in the Rochester area and Jamesville-DeWitt and perhaps Liverpool in the Syracuse area. All are suburban school district that have good schools and at least a "notable" degree of cultural diversity. There may be other school districts that may work. You may even be able to live in select areas of the cities and get into the better public schools or go with charter or private schools.

As for the airports, I believe that Rochester and Buffalo have lower rates than Syracuse.

In terms of overall cost of living, they are all essentially around the national average. I'd say that in terms of the 3 areas, I'd say it goes Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester.

With the smaller areas mentioned, in the Binghamton area, Vestal and perhaps parts of Maine-Endwell, Union-Endicott and Johnson City would/could work in terms of school districts. They have minor league baseball and it is an hour or so south of Syracuse, an hour from Scranton and about 2 and a half/3 hours from NYC and Philadelphia.

Auburn has minor league baseball and has a Black population that makes up about 10% of the city, that helped settle the city. It is about 30-35 minutes west of Syracuse and about 40-50 minutes east of Rochester. Ithaca is about 40-50 minutes to the south. It is also just north of Owasco Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes. Schools are pretty solid and there are private options from Pre K-12.

I totally forgot that this area has minor league baseball, but the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area would also work. They have a team in Troy and has all of the other cultural offerings. It has mountains and water nearby. COL is a little bit higher than the other Upstate NY areas mentioned. In terms of school districts, I'd look into North Colonie, South Colonie, Guilderland, Saratoga Springs and Niskayuna. Again, select city neighborhoods may work.

Hopefully, others will chime in with more suggestions.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 11-07-2015 at 02:55 PM..
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,847 posts, read 11,024,591 times
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I grew up in Dutchess County, NY (Hyde Park/Poughkeepsie). I say try the Mid Hudson River Valley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkSxvBheuwM
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Richmond, Virginia
150 posts, read 151,573 times
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Chapel Hill/Durham, NC
Charlottesville, VA
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,512 posts, read 2,974,101 times
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Anywhere in New Castle County, honestly.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:48 AM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,952,685 times
Reputation: 12518
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse fits all of that criteria. When I say that, I'm talking about the metros. Smaller areas in Upstate NY like Binghamton and Auburn may work as well.

With the bigger areas, you have college areas and Downtowns that have the events/cultural needs you are looking for, the housing prices, good school districts, international airports and more.

I'd say to look into school districts like Amherst Central, Sweet Home and Williamsville Central in the Buffalo area; Brighton, West Irondequoit and perhaps Rush-Henrietta in the Rochester area and Jamesville-DeWitt and perhaps Liverpool in the Syracuse area. All are suburban school district that have good schools and at least a "notable" degree of cultural diversity. There may be other school districts that may work. You may even be able to live in select areas of the cities and get into the better public schools or go with charter or private schools.

As for the airports, I believe that Rochester and Buffalo have lower rates than Syracuse.

In terms of overall cost of living, they are all essentially around the national average. I'd say that in terms of the 3 areas, I'd say it goes Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester.

With the smaller areas mentioned, in the Binghamton area, Vestal and perhaps parts of Maine-Endwell, Union-Endicott and Johnson City would/could work in terms of school districts. They have minor league baseball and it is an hour or so south of Syracuse, an hour from Scranton and about 2 and a half/3 hours from NYC and Philadelphia.

Auburn has minor league baseball and has a Black population that makes up about 10% of the city, that helped settle the city. It is about 30-35 minutes west of Syracuse and about 40-50 minutes east of Rochester. Ithaca is about 40-50 minutes to the south. It is also just north of Owasco Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes. Schools are pretty solid and there are private options from Pre K-12.

I totally forgot that this area has minor league baseball, but the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area would also work. They have a team in Troy and has all of the other cultural offerings. It has mountains and water nearby. COL is a little bit higher than the other Upstate NY areas mentioned. In terms of school districts, I'd look into North Colonie, South Colonie, Guilderland, Saratoga Springs and Niskayuna. Again, select city neighborhoods may work.

Hopefully, others will chime in with more suggestions.
After reading the original post again, some school districts with a more rural feel in Upstate NY that would/could work are Onondaga Central and LaFayette in the Syracuse area; Newfield and perhaps Lansing in the Ithaca area; Lyons, Clyde-Savannah, Newark, Sodus, Brockport, Wheatland-Chili, Albion, Medina and parts of Churchville-Chili in the Rochester area; parts of Niagara-Wheatfield, Akron Central, Evans-Brant(Lake View), Silver Creek, Gowanda and maybe a portion of Lockport City in/near the Buffalo area; Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and perhaps Chatham in/near the Albany area. You have rural parts of school districts like Rome City, Cortland City, Geneva City and Batavia City that still put you within minutes of the criteria mentioned.

Some of these districts could have relatively notable Native American student populations. Some may have some Black, Asian and/or Hispanic students as well. For instance, Native Americans make up about 25-30% of LaFayette schools, with a sprinkle of Black and Hispanic students or in the Geneva City SD Black and Hispanic students make up about 40-45% of the students. So, some of these districts may work too.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 11-08-2015 at 08:06 AM..
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Lil Rhodey
680 posts, read 464,604 times
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You can look at areas west of Providence .. Towns like Scituate and Smithfield are pretty rural (by RI standards) very wooded areas and only 10 mins from Providence, 50 mins from Boston, 2.5 hrs fron NYC, and less than 30 mins from the beach (ocean or bay) Providence has tons of cultural opportunities for a city its size. And, Southern New England has much milder winters compared to Northern NE.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:24 AM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,952,685 times
Reputation: 12518
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse fits all of that criteria. When I say that, I'm talking about the metros. Smaller areas in Upstate NY like Binghamton and Auburn may work as well.

With the bigger areas, you have college areas and Downtowns that have the events/cultural needs you are looking for, the housing prices, good school districts, international airports and more.

I'd say to look into school districts like Amherst Central, Sweet Home and Williamsville Central in the Buffalo area; Brighton, West Irondequoit and perhaps Rush-Henrietta in the Rochester area and Jamesville-DeWitt and perhaps Liverpool in the Syracuse area. All are suburban school district that have good schools and at least a "notable" degree of cultural diversity. There may be other school districts that may work. You may even be able to live in select areas of the cities and get into the better public schools or go with charter or private schools.

As for the airports, I believe that Rochester and Buffalo have lower rates than Syracuse.

In terms of overall cost of living, they are all essentially around the national average. I'd say that in terms of the 3 areas, I'd say it goes Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester.

With the smaller areas mentioned, in the Binghamton area, Vestal and perhaps parts of Maine-Endwell, Union-Endicott and Johnson City would/could work in terms of school districts. They have minor league baseball and it is an hour or so south of Syracuse, an hour from Scranton and about 2 and a half/3 hours from NYC and Philadelphia.

Auburn has minor league baseball and has a Black population that makes up about 10% of the city, that helped settle the city. It is about 30-35 minutes west of Syracuse and about 40-50 minutes east of Rochester. Ithaca is about 40-50 minutes to the south. It is also just north of Owasco Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes. Schools are pretty solid and there are private options from Pre K-12.

I totally forgot that this area has minor league baseball, but the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area would also work. They have a team in Troy and has all of the other cultural offerings. It has mountains and water nearby. COL is a little bit higher than the other Upstate NY areas mentioned. In terms of school districts, I'd look into North Colonie, South Colonie, Guilderland, Saratoga Springs and Niskayuna. Again, select city neighborhoods may work.

Hopefully, others will chime in with more suggestions.
For more information on these school districts, you can look here: Counties | New York State Education Department Data Site

A - Districts | New York State Education Department Data Site

This could help in terms of seeing the location of school districts: USA Location information - USA.com

Here's an example: Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District - USA.com™ This site can allow you to view information on the map by different census divisions as well.
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