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Old 09-07-2016, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
159 posts, read 162,618 times
Reputation: 177

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This thread is meant to be a place for both humorous anecdote and actual advice alike. I figure both may help us, or others who find it.
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We're moving soon. We're not sure where - we're self employed and can move anywhere we want. This makes it very hard to actually pick a city!

I've been likening it to trying to choose a meal at the Cheesecake Factory, vs co-workers taking you to In-n-out (or maybe Five Guys, for a more country-wide example). In-n-out is basically like having to pick a house after a job takes you to a city - do you want two stories or a single story ranch house? Maybe a bungalow if you're looking to downsize at the moment. Cheesecake Factory is like, "Jeeze, where the heck do I even begin here?!", which has been our situation.

I'm sure other people have had this issue. Any interesting anecdotes or advice on narrowing down a place? In the past we've literally said something like, "Well, both of these are basically the same for all we care. But this city has a Fuddruckers, and I actually kinda like fuddruckers. Let's cross that one off." Not our best decision making process, but true nonetheless

What things have helped you narrow down a place? What about when you got to your final 2 or 3 choices - presumably all good - how did you decide from there?

At last, we're at the 3 finalist-choices phase, but now feel stuck. There's no "main thing" we're looking for this time to help narrow things down objectively, just several priority things, all of which each city qualifies for at varying levels for each. For what it's worth, we've been to all 3 of these cities within the last few years, although at the times we weren't considering moving. And we can't really afford (time or money) to go to all 3 of them again just to see which 'fits' the best. We're confident any of them will 'fit' fine for at least 5 years. Any advice better than "roll the dice" (which is pretty much what we're going to do this weekend if we haven't figured it out otherwise!)
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,845 posts, read 2,975,563 times
Reputation: 3394
Job.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
18,924 posts, read 6,850,118 times
Reputation: 5841
For me, place has to have palm trees, zero snow, but can't be humid either, so that leaves Phoenix and Los Angeles for me, live in the former, going to move to the latter
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:19 PM
 
21,186 posts, read 30,343,833 times
Reputation: 19608
You'll get a lot more action if you call out your three finalists. Not saying any of the responses will be right, but will provide more information to consider most likely than this approach...
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:35 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,764 posts, read 54,390,602 times
Reputation: 31056
Last time, we wanted to be in the Seattle area, and I came up in advance to buy a business. Deciding where to move was easy, with 3 kids we needed good schools, low crime, decent commute, and natural beauty. That was 23 years ago. For our next move in 3-4 years when retiring, we want a bit less rain, less expensive area but within 90 minutes of the grandkids. I actually have prepared a spreadsheet listing the 15 places we think we would like after visiting them, with columns for the data below. Then I weighted each factor by our priority,
And came up with a value for each. We will spend more time in the top 3-4 to get a real eel for them before deciding. They are all within our price range to be able to pay cash with our equity, and hopefully the prices continue to rise more slowly than here. Many of the factors are weather related, but this general area has many microclimates with rain, for example, ranging from 10 to 100" a year.

Median home price
Annual rainfall
Average summer high
Average winter low
Average annual snowfall
Average windy days
Crime Rate
Distance to grandkids
Distance to Costco
Natural Beauty of area
Proximity to major hospital
Proximity to good restaurants
Availability of emergency services
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:41 PM
 
7,700 posts, read 4,554,568 times
Reputation: 8381
If I have it narrowed down to three cities, if comes down to jobs. If you have similar offers in all three, it all comes down to lifestyle.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:34 PM
 
473 posts, read 358,562 times
Reputation: 1030
I never had this problem. I fell in love with the city I now live in when I first visited 10 years ago. I just knew that someday, somehow, I would move here. No other place compared.

I guess for me, choosing a city was never like picking from equally appetizing items from a menu. That's not the analogy I would choose. It was more like finding someone to marry: there was The One and everyone else was just settling.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:32 PM
 
226 posts, read 167,357 times
Reputation: 409
We ruled out large areas due to weather and politics, then looked at cultural and recreational opportunities, schools, community involvement. I was done with suburbs, so we ruled out any place where we couldn't afford to live right in town. I also wanted my kids to grow into some independence so I looked for smaller cities with decent public transportation and bike lanes.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:34 PM
 
35,108 posts, read 40,202,457 times
Reputation: 62049
I usually put a map of the United States on the wall, close my eyes and throw a dart.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:03 PM
 
231 posts, read 154,691 times
Reputation: 294
If your job is not a concern, I think the best way to pick is to think of the area you think of the most. Like what area do you dream about, what area do you constantly flash back to. Then try to figure out a way to move there
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