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Old 11-12-2015, 06:11 PM
1 posts, read 728 times
Reputation: 10


A few years ago, I moved to Portland, Oregon, and I had no intention on living anywhere else. As rent skyrocketed, my partner and I realized we can longer afford to live here andimmediately began planning to move within the next 1-2 years. I know this issuch a broad ask, but I hope others might give their input on where we can landnext in the US. I will be as specific as possible regarding our needs below.

About us:
-We're both in our late twenties and make roughly $60,000 combined. This will likely change depending on where we move, but I'm an Executive Assistant with 6+ years of experience, and my partner works in retail.
-We will not move until I receive a job offer. I know this requires a lot of coordination, but I don't want to end up somewhere without having some income. This really helped when I moved to Portland
-We will have enough saved to cover the cost of moving (I have estimated the worst case scenario for moving across the country) as well as 2-3 months of living expenses just in case a position falls through. I know this isn't as much as many recommend, but we're at the point saving money is very difficult to do
-We do not own a car but are willing to drive if the city we want to move to requires it.

Amenities we'd like:
-We hope to rent a small home for around $1,000.00 a month (1 bed, 1 bath is fine). We have two cats and a small dog and ideally, I would like to have a small outdoor garden. Duplexes will work as well, but we're both trying to stay away from apartment life.
-Mild weather: we both don't mind lots of rain and a bit of snow, but we really want to stay away from anywhere that's incredibly hot for extended periods of time.​
-Public transportation: we'd like a city that has decent public transportation. We realized that in order to live somewhere that will accommodate our rentalrequirements, we might need to buy a car. That is totally okay, and I have factored that into our planning.
-Cycling/pedestrian friendly
-We'd like to be near a decently sized park​
-Our interests include walking, cycling, hiking, attending concerts. We also enjoy being homebodies and watching television, playing video games. I am heavily into photography, music, reading/writing and cooking.
-Low crime rate
-Smaller city

Things we don't care about:
-Schools - we don't plan on having children, nor do we plan on taking any college courses, so this isn't necessary.
-Bar/restaurant scene isn't a huge deal. I love cooking, so I'm more interested in having decent grocery stores/butchers.

​If there's anything I've missed, please let me know.

Thanks for reading and thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:57 PM
718 posts, read 686,834 times
Reputation: 1085
Richmond, VA.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:26 AM
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,965,178 times
Reputation: 3502
Can you do Eugene or Corvallis?

I think Minneapolis might work if you can handle the cold winter and it's not too big of a city for you. Other than that I don't have ideas as I'm much more knowledgeable about large cities.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:12 AM
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,655,251 times
Reputation: 35449
I empathize with your need to relocate from Portland. After nearly forty years of living there, I was also pushed out due to the high COL. Completely not worth it. I relocated to Cleveland and love it. It has everything I could have in Portland and more. The summers here have been much milder than Portland's have been for the past two seasons which surprised me originally being a native Midwesterner but then climate is changing everywhere.

If you can handle the harsher winters, I would recommend my new city. I know it gets bad press, but if you keep an open mind, you can find some pretty nice things here you may not expect including those on your list. Best of luck in whatever you decide your next move should be.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:33 PM
56,539 posts, read 80,847,919 times
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What is the population limit, when you say that you want a smaller city? I was thinking that maybe parts of Pittsburgh could work.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:25 PM
Location: Northside, Cincinnati Ohio
26 posts, read 28,027 times
Reputation: 36
What about Asheville NC? Small city, more progressive than many parts of the South, very scenic, seems like a good spot for someone into photography.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:54 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,083 posts, read 22,934,448 times
Reputation: 35202
Why do people think they have to move across the country?

You've basically described wanting to live in Portland. So, as someone else mentioned, why not look at another town in OR? You don't have to move across the country. And if you are used to living without summer humidity, or really snowy, longer winters, it's not going to be better if you leave the west coast.

I think you should look to buy a small home. Look into FHA financing that will let you put down 3.5%. Make that your goal. According to this article, your maximum mortgage would be $150,000.

How Much Mortgage Can I Afford if My Income Is $60,000? | Home Guides | SF Gate

So, I did a search for Eugene, OR with a distance up to 5 miles, for a SFH and maximum price of $150,000:


It's do-able.

Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees. I made the same mistake more than once in my life. Sometimes you just have to move a little - not across the country.
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Old 11-14-2015, 01:25 PM
4,011 posts, read 2,526,340 times
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:52 AM
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19614
Given all of your criteria I think you would find the Durham NC metro area an ideal match. The cost of living is well within your comfort zone, jobs are quite plentiful, it has a moderate equally-distributed four season climate with mercifully short summers (along with mild winters and little to no snow), a fantastic food scene with excellent farmers markets/grocers/coops, it's bike-friendly/walk-friendly and has adequate public transit thanks to the presence of Duke U/Duke U Med Center, tons of cultural opportunity, lots of greenspace and outdoor recreation, and many safe neighborhoods to choose from. Also if reading between the lines correctly it's very LGBT friendly with a substantial/visible presence throughout town and the neighboring towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, which are also very much worth looking into as well as more transit friendly....with FREE public transit.
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