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Old 09-11-2016, 04:21 PM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,485 posts, read 14,320,905 times
Reputation: 23286

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingTime1102 View Post
In the spirit of transparency I will share why those places are not a good fit for us. This will probably make some people angry, but I apologize ahead of time. These are just my opinions based on the visits I made to these locations...
A lot of that seems to be climate related. With that in mind I have a site you may want to visit to help you narrow down areas you might find acceptable, the bad news is that most of them seem to be sparsely populated. If you can tolerate a bit more humidity perhaps Madison WI, I've heard good things about it.
Climate Zone 5B | Open Energy Information

If you can tolerate a bit more humidity perhaps Madison WI, I've heard good things about it. Climate Zone Number 6 | Open Energy Information
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:14 PM
 
1,676 posts, read 742,594 times
Reputation: 800
Why not the suburbs of Atlanta? There's some hilly areas not too far away, plus the Smoky Mountains. The beaches of Savannah or the Gulf Coast are a number of hours drive, you've got a number of lakes in the area, and a milder version of the 4-season climate.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Texas
57 posts, read 57,612 times
Reputation: 101
You should look into downtown Pittsburgh. If you take the culture of Boulder and rub some blue-collar on it, that's the vibe you get in Pittsburgh. With your budget, you can technically afford a 5 bedroom old Victorian home in the heart of some of the most sought-after areas with so much character that you'll feel like you've time traveled 150 years to the past. So many of the homes are gorgeous, though old, and so come with old home problems which could be a negative. But the cool thing about the city is that so much of the downtown housing comes with a nice, green back yard, possibly with some old established trees, and some of them even come with garages (though usually only 1 car garages). You can be outdoorsy without leaving the city. Before I moved two years ago I used to rent a kayak on the river downtown where you can get views like this: http://www.pointpark.edu/StudentLife...rghskyline.jpg. If you want to leave town for outdoor recreation, you're located at the base of the Appalachians so nature is all over ( especially if you go east). Lake Erie isn't too far of a drive either. As far as 4 seasons, that's a certainty. And I think the snowfall is bearable. It's far enough from the Great Lakes that the city only normally sees 1-4 inches from the lake effect snow most of the time, and far enough from the east coast to miss out on most coastal blizzards. One negative though, is that it tends to be dreary. It isn't like the Pacific Northwest where it's a constant drizzle- it's normally just grayness. Summer and fall are better but winter and spring can be pretty BLAH at times. We can check off your airport box. Let's see, yes you will get tons of unique places to eat in downtown Pittsburgh, and parts of it are highly walkable. Pittsburgh tends to be made up of micro-neighborhoods. Most neighborhoods have their own 'mini downtown' area that's usually within walking distance. And Pittsburgh is actually very compact, so you could probably walk through 2-5 different neighborhoods within an hour in some places, but it depends on the area.

Other things that I think make Pittsburgh interesting:

- 3 rivers so tons of bridges and interesting city layout, though this also makes traffic worse than it needs to be for a city it's size.
- Very green. Literally green. Pittsburgh is one of the most heavily treed cities in the US and has a lot of great parks. Barely any leftover decayed factories and steel mills.
- Location is relatively close to the east coast, so if you want a nice getaway Philly, NYC, Boston, DC, ect aren't too far away.
- Mt. Washington: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...a_at_night.jpg
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:07 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,201 posts, read 10,418,037 times
Reputation: 11214
Check out Madison WI and Ann Arbor MI. Both are liberal college towns in the vein of Boulder. Both are driveable to even bigger cities and near outdoor activities. Madison in particular is right on a few lakes so is popular with outdoor activities....it's also been rated one of the most environmentally-friendly cities in the country.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:11 AM
 
14 posts, read 18,732 times
Reputation: 39
Default Hometown Hunt

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillingTime1102 View Post
I have searched and searched and have not found an exact answer so firstly, I apologize if I missed the answer somewhere in the forums! Secondly, thank you for any help you can offer!

My husband and I currently live in Colorado. We are looking for the right town to settle in and buy a house. We have been hunting (visiting) various towns for the past two years and have yet to find a good match.

Here is what we are looking for:
-If you are familiar with Boulder, CO that city has the vibe we love! It is bikeable, there are so many restaurants, it is clean, it has fabulous access to the outdoors... BUT it is WAY out of our price range. We would need over $750,000 to get a decent house there (i.e. one with a two car garage and maybe granite counters in the kitchen).
-A place where we can get a decent house (two car garage and *fingers crossed* granite counters in the kitchen for under $600K.
-We are extremely active outdoors so we need a town that is close to hiking, camping, and fly fishing spots.
-It would be ideal if the town had 4 seasons! We don't need as much snow as CO provides, but we do not want to go back to 100+ degree days constantly in the summer (we lived in Austin,TX).
-We love to travel so a town that is within 2 hours to an airport would be great.
-I am a teacher so I can work anywhere and my husband works remotely as a computer engineer so the job market is not an issue.
-We want a town that has unique, locally owned restaurants. If chain restaurants are the main source of dining, then we are most likely not interested in the area. We really do not want to live in Suburbia.
-A neutral religious/political scene. We are not active in either of those areas and would rather everyone go about doing their own thing without pressure from one end or the other.
-A walkable downtown is an added bonus!

We have visited the following towns and they were not right for us for one reason or another: Asheville,NC / Austin, TX / Bend, OR / Ashland, OR / Eugene, OR / Corvallis, OR / Portland, OR / Seattle, WA / Logan, UT / Flagstaff, AZ / Missoula, MT / Bozeman, MT / San Francisco, CA / San Diego, CA / Pretty much every town in Colorado

Again, thank you for any help you can give me in our hunt!!
UPDATE:

So we are still on the hunt for the perfect town for us. Since the original post we have visited Coeur d'Alene, ID (not a good fit culturally for us) and Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat is a place we love, but the weather[SO much snow] + Remote location[3.5 hours to airport] + Pricing[Similar to Boulder] won't work for us long-term). We would love any new input that the community can provide!

I would say in general we are looking for a place that meets the above criteria, but here are the MOST important things to us:
-Climate (we need sunny days & are not a fan of really gray winters)
-We really love mountains and it would be difficult for us to live in a place with a flat landscape.
-Amenities (we love small towns, but would like a place that has a restaurant scene outside of chain restaurants & coffee shops, etc.)
-We can deal with a remote place, but everything else (weather, pricing, amenities, etc.) would have to be on point.
-Pricing (we would like to be able to buy a 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom house that is updated for under $500k.
-Culture (a place that is politically/religiously middle of the road or non-oppressive would be a place that we would fit in the best).

Again, I in no way want to offend anyone with my opinions. I would just REALLY appreciate the help & ideas!

Last edited by KillingTime1102; 02-11-2017 at 08:33 AM..
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:12 AM
 
5,427 posts, read 2,825,425 times
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You want big-city-metro amenities without the population or the chain stores, an impossible combination, especially in CO.

Seems like Bend or Ashland would've been somewhat like Boulder. But they aren't good enough for you, either, from the comments you made.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:58 AM
 
3,908 posts, read 4,054,709 times
Reputation: 2614
If Eugene "doesn't have enough amenities", wow. Then you need to look at Boise (North End neighborhood for hip scene) or probably stay in a even bigger metro. But Asheville is too big? Sounds like you want the most amenity packed mountain town of 200,000. Which is Boulder and everything else will be less to you. Maybe re-think the single family house or just move x miles out til you can afford and commute to the too popular for most people to afford to live there Boulder.


Even though Missoula and Bozeman have the big box stores there are plenty of locals who rarely or never use them and enjoy their cute, hip downtown scene fine. Closest alternatives to the hip CO college towns. The weather might be a big enough of a turn-off for you but others get over it to get a lot of the rest of the same other stuff you want.

Last edited by NW Crow; 02-11-2017 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:10 AM
 
5,427 posts, read 2,825,425 times
Reputation: 10166
Eastern towns would probably have something for them. Northhampton, MA or the little Pioneer Valley towns nearby. The ORIGINAL Portland, in Maine, maybe.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:27 AM
 
3,908 posts, read 4,054,709 times
Reputation: 2614
Depends how important cute restaurant scene is to too big mountains and massive wilderness.


If 10-20 independent restaurants is enough to find a few with appealing to you cuisine & scene and the right price point, then there are a lot of potential good places in West. If you need a selection of 50-100 then you need to stick to college towns and the biggest resort towns. If you need more choices than that, stick to the bigger metros.


Hailey Idaho is probably too much snow like Steamboat but you hadn't mentioned / crossed it off to my knowledge. You can have a small local scene, some big resort amenities like decent air connections, and big mountains, when not covered by that too much snow.

Last edited by NW Crow; 02-11-2017 at 10:57 AM..
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:29 AM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,485 posts, read 14,320,905 times
Reputation: 23286
You seem to have taken eastern cities out of the equation, is there any particular reason why? You don't think anything in the areas of the Appalachians might fit?
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