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View Poll Results: Best of the West for me
Seattle 3 13.04%
Portland 3 13.04%
San Francisco 2 8.70%
San Diego 2 8.70%
LA 2 8.70%
Bend, OR 0 0%
Napa Valley area 1 4.35%
Santa Barbara/Oxnard 2 8.70%
Vancouver, WA 1 4.35%
Olympia/Tacoma 3 13.04%
Eugene/Salem 2 8.70%
Sacramento/Redding 0 0%
Go work in a tiny/smaller town, make $$, and vacation/buy a 2nd property in the top 5 cities to enjoy on weeks off! 2 8.70%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-08-2015, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
453 posts, read 733,051 times
Reputation: 207

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Hello CityData!

I wanted to talk about lifestyles and geographical locations in the US! As we are all aware, we live in a country of such beautiful mixture!
Such (1) vibrant cultures/peoples, (2) beautifully different geographies (deserts, mountains, swamps, beaches, forests, etc), (3) great food, (4) urban vs. suburb vs. rural (5) weather (6) overall good standard of living with great opportunity. I believe that with these 5 forces mold the place a person lives. I think the following LINK is a pretty good example of what it is to live in a certain city. See the ratings in the middle of the page.


I am currently 31, have a long term gf that I plan to marry soon, no kids, and have a career situation where I would make 160-170K in a big city (i.e. San Diego) with a saturated market or could move to a smaller city (i.e. Colorado Springs, CO) with a better market and make 220-250K easily. I will have an opportunity to work one week on and one week off or 2 on/2off.
I do not own any property and have medical school loans to pay off.
Otherwise have a good family and friends.
I would like to get married in the next few years and would like to have kids.
I think I would prefer urban/downtown living to a rural area for sure. But would consider if the size of the city trades off with a higher salary.
I think I would like to have a house and a yard -- but also have the opportunity/close access to a city center.

Currently spoiled in Portland, OR - which I believe in an incredibly well planned and fun city to live in - my favorite that I have lived in so far in my short experience I call life. I really enjoy the city and all it has to offer - good nature (love the evergreen), great weather (minimal snow), incredible public transport/great biking (*I do not drive to work everyday and I believe it has kinda changed my life*), great food/drink, good culture, great airport, etc.
I do not mind the "negative" aspects regarding the PNW that have been discussed ad nauseam on CD (rainy weather, hipster culture, etc)
What does concern me a bit are the taxes and high housing costs near major cities.

Given my situation, which of the following places/situations would you vote to live in?

1) Seattle
2) Portland - as above
3) San Francisco (way too expensive I think?)
4) San Diego - beautiful city but poor public transport and expensive?
5) LA - don't know much about the city/just know stereotypes
6) Bend, OR area
7) Napa Valley area
8) Santa Barbara/Oxnard area
9) Vancouver, WA *very attractive to me*
10) Olympia/Tacoma area - seem like boring port towns far from Seattle?
11) Eugene/Salem
12) Sacramento/Redding area
13) Go work in a tiny/smaller town, go for making lots of money, and vacation/buy a 2nd property in the top 5 cities to enjoy on weeks off!

I am fortunate to have the opportunities as above and grateful for them. Countless variables will play a part in this decision - job satisfaction, partner's preference, etc. Just thought it would be fun to get outside opinions! Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,969,122 times
Reputation: 3503
I'd need to know the salary levels for the cities listed above to really make a sound decision. But not knowing anything, I'd lean towards making much more money in a smaller city. At least for a few years.
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Seattle
565 posts, read 564,050 times
Reputation: 516
Just thought I'd let you know that Tacoma and Olympia are different and distinct cities and they are not far from Seattle. Olympia is very hippie, peaceful, transient, smaller, community kind of city.
Tacoma is about 4 times larger than Olympia. It is grittier, much more industrial, and much more ethically diverse. It has a noticeable dark side, is very artistic and not very well known.

Also, I feel like some of the other cities you mentioned and slashed together have differences as well.

Also, forgot to mention that Olympia gets colder than Tacoma in the winter but only by about 5 degrees
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
453 posts, read 733,051 times
Reputation: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
I'd need to know the salary levels for the cities listed above to really make a sound decision. But not knowing anything, I'd lean towards making much more money in a smaller city. At least for a few years.
I would say in the top 5 cities (the biggest) - I would probably expect to make 160K.

In the smaller cities I would say 180-220K.

In the smallest cities - had a job offer in Grass Valley, CA for example - could make ~ 250K
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
453 posts, read 733,051 times
Reputation: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaserbrad View Post
Just thought I'd let you know that Tacoma and Olympia are different and distinct cities and they are not far from Seattle. Olympia is very hippie, peaceful, transient, smaller, community kind of city.
Tacoma is about 4 times larger than Olympia. It is grittier, much more industrial, and much more ethically diverse. It has a noticeable dark side, is very artistic and not very well known.

Also, I feel like some of the other cities you mentioned and slashed together have differences as well.

Also, forgot to mention that Olympia gets colder than Tacoma in the winter but only by about 5 degrees
Thank you so much for the information on Tacoma and Olympia. As I had admitted, don't know too much about the area.
I put them together as I thought perhaps they had somewhat of a similar feel being outside of Seattle - but as you have pointed out - maybe not too similar.

Would you live in Tacoma (170K) or Olympia (200K)?
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,436 posts, read 2,123,693 times
Reputation: 2262
You can count out Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Maybe even Santa Barbara. All four cities are not cheap to live in, and based on your opinion of great weather, I highly doubt you'd enjoy living in these cities, especially Los Angeles. You might want to consider Redding.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,969,122 times
Reputation: 3503
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDCB View Post
I would say in the top 5 cities (the biggest) - I would probably expect to make 160K.

In the smaller cities I would say 180-220K.

In the smallest cities - had a job offer in Grass Valley, CA for example - could make ~ 250K
Ah, if it's 160k across the board for the top 5 cities then I think Seattle is your best bet among those. You pretty much get to maintain all the perks of Portland but in an even cooler city (imo ) with no state income tax. Will 160k suffice for Seattle's COL + your student loans? That's the question. Otherwise go for the 250k and experience a change in setting for awhile. That should allow you to appreciate the big city more when you do return.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:19 AM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,463,870 times
Reputation: 2855
If you like Portland you can live/work in Vancouver and still recreate across the river in Pdx.

I'm guessing from what you describe that Olympia will be a bit smaller than what you might prefer. Personally, in your shoes I would be tempted by the Tacoma job, depending on precise location, if it would let me live up in Gig Harbor. But both of those are probably a bit tamer than what you're looking for.
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Old 11-09-2015, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,819,250 times
Reputation: 3281
Quote:
Originally Posted by blaserbrad View Post
Just thought I'd let you know that Tacoma and Olympia are different and distinct cities and they are not far from Seattle. Olympia is very hippie, peaceful, transient, smaller, community kind of city.
Tacoma is about 4 times larger than Olympia. It is grittier, much more industrial, and much more ethically diverse. It has a noticeable dark side, is very artistic and not very well known.

Also, I feel like some of the other cities you mentioned and slashed together have differences as well.

Also, forgot to mention that Olympia gets colder than Tacoma in the winter but only by about 5 degrees
Really great description. Downtown Tacoma is rather beautiful being that it's situated along a rolling bluff that overlooks Mt. Rainier. Of course, Downtown also overlooks Port of Tacoma, a busy industrial port, giving the city a true industrial/almost steampunk vibe.
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Old 11-09-2015, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,971,541 times
Reputation: 6623
Portland. It's a medium sized city that feels big because of the zoning laws limiting sprawl. I think it is pretty clean, and I think it has the best layout and design of any city I have ever been to. Forest Park looks like an incredible place to hike. Most of the parks are beautiful and or have really nice views of Mount Hood or other volcanos. The Gorge is right down the road. It isn't that far from the Cascades, the Coastal Range, or the coast. Also not far from Seattle.
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