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Old 08-03-2016, 08:20 AM
 
59 posts, read 65,171 times
Reputation: 41

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Hi Everyone,
My husband and I would like to relocate in the next couple of years, but we have NO IDEA where to move. There are a lot of factors, and we would like your input!!! About us: We are in our early 30's (31 & 33) My husband is an Astronomer and I am a School Psychologist. He has a Master's in Astronomy (not a PhD, unfortunately...) and I also have a Masters and EdS. (advanced graduate certificate). My husband is considering getting a second Masters in Computer Science to improve his job prospects.. His family is located in Southern California and mine is in Florida and Massachusetts (all east coast)... We currently live in Maryland and I hate it. We have no children and one cat. We both also have cars. Our combined income is around $100,000. But we do have a lot of debt- student loans and credit card.

What we are looking for: Good jobs for both of us, proximity to at least one side of our families (since they're on opposite coasts, we understand that we need to compromise), a city-we both HATE the suburbs. We want to live in a city that has many cultural offerings, restaurants, activities, and events, FRIENDLY PEOPLE/easy to make friends, liberal, and natural beauty. Near the beach/ocean would be a plus, but we could live without it. We can also compromise on housing situation: we are fine either renting or buying, even a small condo. We don't need a yard, huge house, etc... We also do not want long commutes or TONS of traffic, like in the DMV area. Currently, we both commute 45+ minutes to and from work. It's terrible!!!

Here are some of the cities we are considering: Boston (although housing/rent prices are high), Austin Texas (but never been there), Chicago (never been there), Portland, OR (never been there), Denver or Boulder, CO, San Francisco Bay Area (hubby went to UC Berkeley for school-he likes that area). Our plan is to visit some of the above mentioned cities and see how we like them, but of course, input from people who have actually lived in these places would help us even more!!! Also, if you live in a city that you love that isn't on the list, let us know!

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,635 posts, read 3,986,758 times
Reputation: 6631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cutea View Post
Hi Everyone,
My husband and I would like to relocate in the next couple of years, but we have NO IDEA where to move. There are a lot of factors, and we would like your input!!! About us: We are in our early 30's (31 & 33) My husband is an Astronomer and I am a School Psychologist. He has a Master's in Astronomy (not a PhD, unfortunately...) and I also have a Masters and EdS. (advanced graduate certificate). My husband is considering getting a second Masters in Computer Science to improve his job prospects.. His family is located in Southern California and mine is in Florida and Massachusetts (all east coast)... We currently live in Maryland and I hate it. We have no children and one cat. We both also have cars. Our combined income is around $100,000. But we do have a lot of debt- student loans and credit card.

What we are looking for: Good jobs for both of us, proximity to at least one side of our families (since they're on opposite coasts, we understand that we need to compromise), a city-we both HATE the suburbs. We want to live in a city that has many cultural offerings, restaurants, activities, and events, FRIENDLY PEOPLE/easy to make friends, liberal, and natural beauty. Near the beach/ocean would be a plus, but we could live without it. We can also compromise on housing situation: we are fine either renting or buying, even a small condo. We don't need a yard, huge house, etc... We also do not want long commutes or TONS of traffic, like in the DMV area. Currently, we both commute 45+ minutes to and from work. It's terrible!!!

Here are some of the cities we are considering: Boston (although housing/rent prices are high), Austin Texas (but never been there), Chicago (never been there), Portland, OR (never been there), Denver or Boulder, CO, San Francisco Bay Area (hubby went to UC Berkeley for school-he likes that area). Our plan is to visit some of the above mentioned cities and see how we like them, but of course, input from people who have actually lived in these places would help us even more!!! Also, if you live in a city that you love that isn't on the list, let us know!

Thanks everyone!
Boston and the Bay Area are both extremely expensive. Portland and Chicago really suffer from a sluggish job market (and the traffic is just as bad as where you currently are...going 30 miles between two suburbs well away from Chicago took me about an hour and 20 minutes last week). Austin and Denver are your best bets. Based on what you have written, Austin over Denver. Not only is traffic in Denver getting bad, but it is starting to get expensive and the job market has really slowed down from where it was (it's still better than Chicago and Portland though)...Austin is also inland, but you're within a 4 hour drive of the Gulf Coast and there are no Arctic cold fronts or spring blizzards.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Rome, Georgia
2,706 posts, read 3,344,772 times
Reputation: 1919
I can't believe how many times the city of Asheville, North Carolina seems to fit what people are looking for.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:57 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,289 posts, read 23,777,350 times
Reputation: 11719
Do a job search in Philadelphia--if prospects look good, then the city would meet all your criteria in regards to the amenities you've listed, be somewhat close to your family, and would be decently affordable.

Chicago's a good choice (the previous post about terrible commutes can be true if you live in the suburbs and have to deal with peak direction traffic to get to your jobs, but not such an issue if you live reasonably close to your jobs or have rapid transit access from your home to your jobs), but it's definitely neither close to you or your husband's family. Boston and the Bay Area would require a very substantial boost to your combined incomes. Portland's great, but the job market isn't particularly great. Austin meets a lot of your requirements and is pretty low cost compared to the others, but again, isn't that close to either of your families, same goes with Denver and Boulder (and Boulder is very small in comparison to the others).
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:07 PM
 
21,244 posts, read 30,495,025 times
Reputation: 19710
I started to recommend Seattle-Tacoma but the "friendly/easy to make friends" part is a bit of a disqualifier. Chicago could be a really good option for you as it fulfills all of your criteria for a big city, minus the killer costs.
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:25 PM
 
56,895 posts, read 81,238,350 times
Reputation: 12580
If you don't mind a small city and can find jobs, Ithaca NY and Burlington VT are a couple that came to mind.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,726,563 times
Reputation: 35455
Of the places you listed, I can't see jobs for either of you in the PNW. In Portland you would have to live in the most expensive areas in order to avoid a Hellish commute. And the friendly city thing would not apply. Chicago would fit the bill in every way but I couldn't be certain about the job situation. If both of you get good ones, you could possible find a reasonable rent. Boston would be too expensive, likewise the Bay area. Don't know about Denver or Boulder so can't say.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Illinois
1,001 posts, read 603,906 times
Reputation: 1104
Forget the bay area due to costs. With your income and debt, you would really struggle with COL there.

I'd like to recommend Chicago, but you will also have a hard time with the costs if you want to stay in the city and not have a long commute.

Austin, TX might work.

Also might want to consider Nashville or Charlotte
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,927,904 times
Reputation: 3843
You'll have to identify areas where astronomers are employed first. I don't imagine that's everywhere. School districts are all over.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:12 AM
 
613 posts, read 980,653 times
Reputation: 704
Other than proximity to family, Minneapolis could be a good fit.
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