U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-19-2016, 03:03 PM
 
3 posts, read 2,202 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

This website is a great resource, and I am glad to have stumbled across it!

I'm a late 20's gay man currently living in San Francisco and potentially looking to relocate in the next year or two. I love the Bay Area weather and access to nature, but have found it difficult to make friends here and the cost of living is definitely a challenge for those of us with non-tech salaries. Additionally, with housing being the way it is here currently, it seems unlikely that I would ever be able to live alone or potentially buy a home down the line. I am a huge fan of Oakland, but unfortunately I seem to have missed the boat on the inner East Bay cities and can no longer afford to move there.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what cities would be appropriate for someone like myself. Affordability is obviously subjective, and in my case it would mean being able to rent a studio or 1-bedroom apartment by myself or potentially purchase property with a ~$55-60K salary (before taxes). I've also outlined below what I'm looking for in a city. Obviously one place can't have everything, so this is more of a dream list than anything else:

- Mild climate (would prefer warm/sunny vs. cold/cloudy)
- Affordable housing market
- Large population of singles in my age range
- Large LGBT population
- Progressive/liberal political views
- Easy access to museums, plays, independent movie theaters, bookstores
- Diverse population
- A great variety of restaurants/types of food
- Easy access to hiking/nature
- Hilly topography
- Walkable neighborhoods
- Public transportation that runs on a frequent schedule

Thank you!

Last edited by echo1134; 07-19-2016 at 03:36 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-19-2016, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,135,139 times
Reputation: 7075
I would suggest Atlanta.

Atlanta doesn't have what I would call a mild climate, because it gets hot in the summer, but most of the year the temperatures range from the 50's to the 80's. So it never really gets cold. Rents are not what I would call cheap, but they are certainly reasonable, and you can still get a decent home for an affordable price in many areas. You can find a decent apartment for under $1,000 and a decent house for around $170K. Much cheaper than the Bay area! The Atlanta metro area is large, with 5.6 million people, which means a large LGBT population and a lot of young singles, particularly in the central area of the metro.

Although Atlanta is in a fairly conservative state (Georgia), the Atlanta area is quite progressive, so it shouldn't be a problem. I don't know too much about museums and entertainment, but I can't imagine there wouldn't be a decent amount of those in the area. Atlanta is very diverse and has a very prominent African American population and Caucasian population, among others. Plenty of restaurants and food options scattered everywhere. And there's very easy access to hills/mountains and hiking/nature. The whole area is very hilly and forested. Even most of the city of Atlanta feels like you're in a forest, rather than a concrete jungle like NYC.

Atlanta in general is a very car-based city/metro and has severely bad traffic because of that. The only real public transportation there that I am aware of is the MARTA train line, but from what I know, it's not comprehensive enough. It has limited reach and access. If you consider airplanes to be public transit....lol...the Atlanta airport is HUGE and is a major hub with nonstop flights to numerous other airports in the country and world. It is the busiest airport in the world, in fact. So getting decent flights shouldn't be a problem.

One other potential negative that I heard about Atlanta is that the gay community there can be a bit pretentious and challenging. But honestly, I think that's the situation in any large metropolitan area. I'm sure San Francisco is no different...or possibly even worse! Being gay myself and having lived in four different places (CT, NYC, Columbus, etc.) I would say that gays will be gays, no matter where you are, so don't let it bother you too much. Just be yourself and focus your attention on those who you get along with best.

So, although Atlanta may not perfect fit 100% of your criteria, I think it fits about at least 80% of what you're looking for.

I am LGBT and have been to Atlanta a few times for business reasons, but before you move anywhere, be sure to visit at least once and be ready to commit to living there for at least a few years!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 04:19 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
9,066 posts, read 4,132,457 times
Reputation: 7703
I would say Austin, Denver, or Portland.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,135,139 times
Reputation: 7075
Quote:
Originally Posted by bawac34618 View Post
I would say Austin, Denver, or Portland.
You would be surprised that the LGBT population in those cities, although significant, is not what I would call "large." They're still rather limited. And none of those cities are affordable, really. Austin has become rather pricey in recent times. I still think Atlanta provides the best balance for everything that the OP is looking for, being the 9th largest metro area in the nation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,233 posts, read 1,514,026 times
Reputation: 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by bawac34618 View Post
I would say Austin, Denver, or Portland.
None of those places are "affordable". In Denver you can expect to pay $1,000 a month to rent a room in someone's home with multiple roommates. Portland is the same, and from what people post on here Austin is catching up fast if it hasn't already.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,233 posts, read 1,514,026 times
Reputation: 1861
What size city do you want OP? Many of the bigger cities are getting pricey, even historically cheap ones. Gotta look at the 1 million to 2.5 million range metro now to find affordable.

Lots of Midwest and bordering midwest cities like Cinncinatti, Indianpolis, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee are still cheap. I bet a lot of Southern cities like Memphis, Birmingham, Richmond, etc are still cheap too.

Any place with any type of "hip" label is pretty much out of the question until the current market cools down or building picks up drastically.

Florida cities aren't bubbled as much as some cities out west, but I would be careful if looking to buy in any of the Florida metros.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,135,139 times
Reputation: 7075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happiness-is-close View Post
What size city do you want OP? Many of the bigger cities are getting pricey, even historically cheap ones. Gotta look at the 1 million to 2.5 million range metro now to find affordable.

Lots of Midwest and bordering midwest cities like Cinncinatti, Indianpolis, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee are still cheap. I bet a lot of Southern cities like Memphis, Birmingham, Richmond, etc are still cheap too.

Any place with any type of "hip" label is pretty much out of the question until the current market cools down or building picks up drastically.

Florida cities aren't bubbled as much as some cities out west, but I would be careful if looking to buy in any of the Florida metros.
And that's why I suggested Atlanta. The OP wants a large LGBT population, which ATL has. Any metro with less than about 4 million people isn't going to have a reliable large LGBT population. Although rents in Atlanta are getting higher, you can still find something decent for under $1,000 there.

However, if the OP is willing to forego a large LGBT population, I can make many more suggestions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,233 posts, read 1,514,026 times
Reputation: 1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
And that's why I suggested Atlanta. The OP wants a large LGBT population, which ATL has. Any metro with less than about 4 million people isn't going to have a reliable large LGBT population. Although rents in Atlanta are getting higher, you can still find something decent for under $1,000 there.

However, if the OP is willing to forego a large LGBT population, I can make many more suggestions.
That is nonsense. How many hook ups does someone need? Most metros I have lived in my adult life have been in the 2-3 million range (Tampa, Denver, Orlando) and there is plenty of a gay scene in these places to please someone. I'm currently in a city of about 1.5 million and there is even a noticeable scene here. "Large" is up to perspective. Try living as a gay man in a 300,000 metro and then anything over a million seems large.

I have also lived in Atlanta, and could write a report on why I would advise the poster not to pick that city, but I'll let others speak of that particular city's positives.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 05:57 PM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere
9,066 posts, read 4,132,457 times
Reputation: 7703
If Atlanta is a possibility, then Dallas might be worth a look as well. It isn't quite as expensive as Austin and has a large LGBT population.

One of the problems the OP will run into is most of the LGBT-friendly cities are also the trendiest and are expensive. Places like Birmingham or Memphis are much cheaper but they also aren't known for being gay friendly. Louisville on the other hand might be worth a look. It's a smaller, undiscovered metro area that has some very progressive undertones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happiness-is-close View Post
That is nonsense. How many hook ups does someone need? Most metros I have lived in my adult life have been in the 2-3 million range (Tampa, Denver, Orlando) and there is plenty of a gay scene in these places to please someone. I'm currently in a city of about 1.5 million and there is even a noticeable scene here. "Large" is up to perspective. Try living as a gay man in a 300,000 metro and then anything over a million seems large.
Depending on what you are looking for, culture is a lot more important than the actual size of the city. The dating scene will be better in a smaller but more progressive city with an open LGBT population as opposed to a larger city that is more conservative and closeted.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-19-2016, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,135,139 times
Reputation: 7075
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happiness-is-close View Post
That is nonsense. How many hook ups does someone need? Most metros I have lived in my adult life have been in the 2-3 million range (Tampa, Denver, Orlando) and there is plenty of a gay scene in these places to please someone. I'm currently in a city of about 1.5 million and there is even a noticeable scene here. "Large" is up to perspective. Try living as a gay man in a 300,000 metro and then anything over a million seems large.

I have also lived in Atlanta, and could write a report on why I would advise the poster not to pick that city, but I'll let others speak of that particular city's positives.
In my opinion, any metro less than 4 million is not a large metro. But that's just me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top