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Old 07-07-2016, 10:15 AM
 
10 posts, read 11,254 times
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Looking for a new start, or at least a break for a little bit, and we're having trouble deciding on a place to move to. We're a young geeky homebody couple looking to broaden our horizons, meet new people, and spend a year somewhere new. Here's what we would like:

- AFFORDABLE, we need cheap rent
- small-ish city or large town (preferably 20K - 100K)
- friendly people
- diverse and/or liberal and/or bohemian and/or collegetown atmosphere
- high availability of restaurants (including ethnic foods), bakeries, coffee shops
- some kind of outdoor activities nearby, or at least some kind of pretty nature
- fairly safe, no extravagant crime rates
- preferably within a 10 hour drive of Richmond VA, and closer is better

Employment rates aren't that important to us, we both work remotely.

So far we identified a few places that we thought we'd like, but thought we'd open our search to the city-data community. Our top contenders right now are Wausau WI (too far), Durham NC (too big, too much crime), Morgantown WV (worried that WV may not be for us), and Roanoke VA (too much crime).

Please help!! Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:07 AM
 
21,218 posts, read 30,435,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketfish View Post
So far we identified a few places that we thought we'd like, but thought we'd open our search to the city-data community. Our top contenders right now are Wausau WI (too far), Durham NC (too big, too much crime), Morgantown WV (worried that WV may not be for us), and Roanoke VA (too much crime).
Not sure how you arrived at the too much crime conclusion unless you're putting all your eggs into the crime stats basket which is foolish in my opinion. Like most cities Durham's crime is largely compartmentalized and not part of the daily equation for most. I lived in Durham for 7 years and can attest to many great neighborhoods lacking in any legitimate crime issues. However if you find Durham is still too large you might consider neighboring towns like Carrboro or Chapel Hill which have the same criteria you find attractive about Durham.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:26 AM
 
56,750 posts, read 81,082,761 times
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Ithaca NY can work if you can find a rental within your budget. Other NY cities within that population range like Troy, Schenectady, Utica and Binghamton fit most, if not all of the criteria to some degree. If you don't mind a little bit smaller, Geneva(14,000) is another NY community that would fit most, if not all of the criteria.

All have a good degree of racial/cultural diversity, a college/university presence in/near the city, a variety of restaurants/food offerings, are all close to mountains and/or lakes/water, do not have extravgant crimes or have relatively safe neighborhoods and aren't hectic like bigger cities. COL will be around the national average, give or take and depending upon the city/area.

Binghamton is the closest to Richmond out of those mentioned.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:32 AM
 
10 posts, read 11,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Ithaca NY can work if you can find a rental within your budget.
Couldn't help but laugh a lot about this because I'm originally from Ithaca. I would consider the area except that I'm trying to spend a little time away from my family. Also, Ithaca's going through something of a housing crisis where affordable housing is nearly impossible. But thanks for the suggestions, some of these could be really useful if I change my mind.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:40 AM
 
56,750 posts, read 81,082,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketfish View Post
Couldn't help but laugh a lot about this because I'm originally from Ithaca. I would consider the area except that I'm trying to spend a little time away from my family. Also, Ithaca's going through something of a housing crisis where affordable housing is nearly impossible. But thanks for the suggestions, some of these could be really useful if I change my mind.
Got it....If you are open to PA, places like Bethlehem, Easton and perhaps Lancaster could be options. All are diverse cities within your population range. Bethlehem has Lehigh University and Moravian College, while Easton has Lafayette College. Franklin and Marshall is in Lancaster.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,155 posts, read 45,714,466 times
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You would like Savannah, GA very much. Lots of geeky types, lots of young people because of SCAD. Lots of quirky little areas to live, hundreds of great bars and restaurants, and its close to the beach. We are close to other areas worth exploring, like Hilton Head, Charleston and Jacksonville.

There is a crime issue here, but they are cracking down hard on it, and for the most part it doesn't affect the vibrancy of the area.

Here's a plan for your first day:
Breakfast, www.backinthedaybakery.com
Lunch, www.greentruckpub.com
Dinner, www.hueysontheriver.net

Last edited by gentlearts; 07-07-2016 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:04 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 17,821,024 times
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Mark a radius on a map and take a road trip.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,055 posts, read 6,036,351 times
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I realize it's a ways from Richmond, but also look at Sun Prairie, a few miles north of Madison, WI. You might really like the vibe in Madison but don't have to live right in town, and prices drop as you get farther out.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,146,250 times
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Maybe also Northampton, MA. Or Athens, OH.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:45 PM
 
10 posts, read 11,254 times
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Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Maybe also Northampton, MA. Or Athens, OH.
Can you tell me a little more about Athens? I've had it come up several times in my searches, but the only times I've been to Ohio I thought the area was kind of depressing. So am I generalizing way too much? What's Athens like?
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