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Old 09-21-2016, 01:44 AM
 
15 posts, read 15,857 times
Reputation: 17

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Hi guys, so, I am looking ahead and hoping to move out of SoCal with my family in about 4-6 years and am trying to narrow down where to focus my research. I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but I have a 1 year old and a baby on the way and I don't want don't want to uproot them multiple times so I want to make sure that when we do make the move it is one that will work well for us.

Now, I know I'm asking for that unicorn that *everybody* wants. Safe, good jobs, scenic, inexpensive, and mild weather, and I am well aware that we will have to compromise, but I figured if I put out the entire wish-list its easier for people to give me ideas that are close-ish.

For some more background, my husband and I are both young, in mid to late 20's with BA's. Student loans will be paid off before we moveand we will *hopefully* have $10-20k saved up towards a down-payment. My husband works in a very niche field but there is a chance my husband will eventually be able to bring his job with him and work remotely. If not, his work is related to IT and political campaign finances. Until now I've been working random jobs such as maintenance and retail, now I am working in an entry level Tech Support position. I am facing the decision of trying to break my way into the IT spectrum of fields or to take advantage of the excellent continuing education programs available where we live and work towards something like Medical admin/billing/coding or just general accounting/bookeeping.

Most Important

- Cost of Living - The main reason I want to move is because of the ridiculously high COL out here in SoCal, especially the high housing prices. We just cannot afford to buy a house here. If possible I would like to move somewhere where it is not unreasonable to find a modest 3/2 with a yard (and if possible even space for a decent garden) for under $250k, under $200 would be even more ideal.

- Low Crime - I know this is somewhat subjective, but it is important to us to live in an area that feels safe for our kids.

- Weather - This is one one of our biggest problems. We have been spoiled by mild weather. I am fully aware that we are *not*going to find a LCOL area with coastal SoCal weather but we would like to avoid extreme weather as much as possible. Especially extreme heat. I would die if I lived in Phoenix or Las Vegas and I'm pretty sure my husband would too. We both vastly prefer weather in the 60's/70's to weather in the 80's90's or even higher. Also, if its going to get hot in the summer I would prefer to avoid humid heat and to live somewhere that at least cools down nicely at night. I also actually really like the idea of a full four seasons and even some snow, but, I've never had to really live with the reality of snow, so I realize that will take some serious getting used to.

Semi-Important

- City Size - We're open to a pretty big variety in size. Rea;;y anything from 50k up to something as large as San Diego. If its as small as 50k though it would be nice to be close enough to a bigger city with the extra amenities. I think ideal would be somewhere between 100-500k. If it is going to be as large as San Diego it needs to not really feel like a giant city. I am definitely more of a small city girl but I have been really pleasantly surprised by San Diego. Where we are it doesn't feel like a huge crowded city and we are about 15-20 min drive from most things.

- City feel - If possible it would be great to live in a city where people are friendly and especially are friendly and open to larger families. I don't really care about political leanings as much so long as that won't make it hard to find your place in the community/ build up a good support/friend network. If it makes a difference we tend to lean conservative but definitely do not agree with the republican party on everything.

- Schools - My husband is strongly biased against public schools, so this isn't as important to us as it normally is for families. What would be more important than public schools is having good Private/Charter schools and/or a strong homeschooling community.

- Scenery - The more beautiful the better. Having scenery similar to the mountains north of Boise would be a dream.

- Outdoor Activities - Having access to outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing etc would definitely be a definite plus.

- Air Quality - The fresher/cleaner the better

- The Food - Again, we are spoiled with all sorts of fantastic food options near us, if possible it would be great to have good ethnic food options available.

Not Important

- Ethnicity - I couldn't care less about the ethnicity of the people areound me so long as they are firiendly. If it makes any difference, my husband and I are both caucasian.

- Beaches - Neither of us are huge beach people, so proximity to beaches really isn't important.


So far, the three main areas I have started to look into are either Boise ID, Reno/Carson City NV, or somehwere in Michigan.

Thanks for putting up with me and reading this novel. I appreciate any advice/input you may have.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
19,744 posts, read 7,400,088 times
Reputation: 6081
Hate to tell you, but for the price of house you want, with good schools, you are going to have to move to the plains or midwest, which have the worst weather in the country, cold cloudy windy snowy icy winters AND hot muggy humid summers.

If you could just settle in a townhome rather than a house, you could stay in California
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:06 AM
 
7,973 posts, read 4,845,164 times
Reputation: 8726
Do you really want to live IN the city, or will suburbs suffice?
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:42 PM
 
15 posts, read 15,857 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
Do you really want to live IN the city, or will suburbs suffice?
Suburbs are fine so long as we can avoid a commute longer than 45 min.
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Old 09-21-2016, 12:47 PM
 
15 posts, read 15,857 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FirebirdCamaro1220 View Post
Hate to tell you, but for the price of house you want, with good schools, you are going to have to move to the plains or midwest, which have the worst weather in the country, cold cloudy windy snowy icy winters AND hot muggy humid summers.

If you could just settle in a townhome rather than a house, you could stay in California
I'm well aware we are going to have to compromise on this list, im just hoping to get a bunch of suggestions that fit it as best as possible so that we can see what our best options are realisticly an go from there.

That said, are you talking about areas with good public schools? Again, we dont plan on sending the kids to public school unless we absolutely have to, my husband is very adamant about not wanting them in public schools, we are more interested in private/charter schools or the possibility of homeschooling. Obviously, that may change, but for now I'm not concerned about neighborhoods with the best public schools.

Edit to add:

Where in the world are we supposed to find a 3/2 in CA, in a decent safe neighborhood, even if it's a townhome or condo, for under $250k?

Last edited by Just_A_Gal; 09-21-2016 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:23 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
18,085 posts, read 20,165,259 times
Reputation: 14034
Sounds to me like somewhere in Colorado might fit the bill.

Maybe Colorado Springs?
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:35 PM
 
860 posts, read 1,101,881 times
Reputation: 1131
Metro Detroit/Ann Arbor have many of the features you are looking for. Also, our winters are milder than the rest of the state.

A lot of the public schools here are better than the private/charter options. There is also a huge homeschooling population here.

Honestly, don't make any decision about schooling until your kids are a bit older. We always thought we'd homeschool, but that plan didn't work out because neither of us are really patient enough and/or organized to do it right. And if your kid has a learning disability, then public is a lot better than what tends to be offered by charters/private schools. All I'm saying is keep your options open.

A general rule - the bigger the city, the more options you'll have.

There are plenty of IT jobs in the area.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:59 PM
 
7,973 posts, read 4,845,164 times
Reputation: 8726
Norfolk/Virginia Beach, maybe. You're either going to have to buzz on those high temperatures or the low temperatures. The range you're looking for is pretty much only found in California. Virginia will give you more comfortable lows, but you're gonna have to deal with some real heat.

I think people on this site tend to undersell Colorado's winters
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
19,744 posts, read 7,400,088 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_A_Gal View Post
I'm well aware we are going to have to compromise on this list, im just hoping to get a bunch of suggestions that fit it as best as possible so that we can see what our best options are realisticly an go from there.

That said, are you talking about areas with good public schools? Again, we dont plan on sending the kids to public school unless we absolutely have to, my husband is very adamant about not wanting them in public schools, we are more interested in private/charter schools or the possibility of homeschooling. Obviously, that may change, but for now I'm not concerned about neighborhoods with the best public schools.

Edit to add:

Where in the world are we supposed to find a 3/2 in CA, in a decent safe neighborhood, even if it's a townhome or condo, for under $250k?
Sacramento or Fresno maybe
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:19 PM
 
597 posts, read 417,024 times
Reputation: 833
"Closest" (which may not be THAT close), maybe Raleigh-Durham?
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