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Old 02-22-2017, 10:21 AM
 
44 posts, read 42,215 times
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We are a family of four living in MN (our entire life). We have 2 small kids and 2 dogs. I have employment that allows me to work anywhere in the US, my husband would need a job but he is in the financial/banking industry so he is flexible. We plan on listing our home here this spring but are having issues trying to decide where to relocate to. Our main reasons for relocating are that the winters up here are too harsh, we do not have access to enough activities during Nov-April. We were dead set on Colorado Springs but after looking at the schools/housing affordability near good schools/availability of land in our budget, we feel sort of turned off to Colorado. It's a gorgeous area but just not quite our first choice anymore. We looked into Salt Lake City but are turned off by the amount of religious interference within schools and government. We have nothing against Mormons, I actually really enjoy SLC and find Mormons to be the nicest and most accepting people, but we are firm believers in separation of church and state.

I'm hoping if I put a list below of things that are important to us, people can chime in and offer some ideas of good metro areas that seem to fit our needs (or mostly fit) They are in order of importance.

-Forgiving Climate (By this I mean winters mostly above freezing. Don't mind snow, just hate the ice cold. We love warm weather but don't necessarily enjoy Summer-In-Florida warm)

-Adequate access to average/above average schools from elementary and up.

-Primarily a Progressive/Liberal area. I'm aware there are pockets and areas within each metro that will not fit this requirement, but I'm hoping the majority of the area fits this description.

-Cost of living is not ridiculous, and by ridiculous I mean NYC, LA, San Fran, etc. Denver is about as expensive as we can afford at this point.

-Metro size is average to large. We want to be within 1.5 hours of a major airport, have access to zoos, parks, amenities, access to lakes/ocean possibly? (not required) public transportation (not required but cool)

-Clean. This is lower on my list because I realize that MN is one of the cleanest and least polluted states and I am spoiled by this and have a warped reality of what clean really is. I realize this is all based on opinion but hopefully will find an area that has low smog/pollution.

-An area we can buy a move-in ready 3br home, with at least a quarter acre of land, in a safe neighborhood for $260,000 or less.

The only issue I have is that I feel like I have not explored enough of the USA to really say what cities apply to my criteria. I've been a few places, but not enough which is why I'm hoping to find some opinions and ideas on this board to look into. Also I am 100000% aware that this is all subject to interpretation, I realize that every metro area is seen and experienced differently by everyone. Just hoping to start a discussion/gain some new perspective on areas that I might not have considered.

Thank you!!!
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,238 posts, read 24,446,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat12510 View Post
The only issue I have is that I feel like I have not explored enough of the USA to really say what cities apply to my criteria. I've been a few places, but not enough which is why I'm hoping to find some opinions and ideas on this board to look into. Also I am 100000% aware that this is all subject to interpretation, I realize that every metro area is seen and experienced differently by everyone. Just hoping to start a discussion/gain some new perspective on areas that I might not have considered.

Thank you!!!
I'm sure you can find this in the eastern half of the United States easily enough, however:

If you simply drop the 1/4 acre requirement (out west, this is far less common), you can add the following:

-Seattle-Tacoma, but you won't be in the *best* areas, and will likely be a longer commuting distance from job centers in Seattle/Bellevue. Traffic is awful.

-Portland-Vancouver, similar story, and traffic here is hellish

-Sacramento

-Phoenix, if you can can handle the heat, also more of a conservative overtone here

-Albuquerque, but this may be a bit of a culture shock coming from MN

-Colorado Springs, but it is not progressive

You can't afford SF, LA, San Diego, or Denver, and I'm not going to recommend Las Vegas here.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:44 AM
 
21,206 posts, read 30,412,852 times
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Given your desire for a warmer climate, safe/family-friendly with good schools, clean more/less environmentally, plenty of city amenities and a major airport within reasonable distance I would recommend the Atlanta area. The NE suburbs around Auburn and Lawrenceville provide a good selection of housing options in your price bracket. Gwinnett County is fairly progressive (as is Metro Atlanta/North Georgia for the most part) and considered pretty solidly Blue majority. The cost of living is moderate and banking/financial jobs should be somewhat plentiful (and well-paying) for your husband.

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...32_rect/11_zm/
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:49 AM
 
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Thank you! I do love the PNW area in theory but the rain would drive me insane. I don't want to be stereotypical since I haven't visited or lived in that area of the US, but rainy, damp and cold are my least favorite feelings LOL
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:50 AM
 
44 posts, read 42,215 times
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Kyle - Thank you! I had not really considered Atlanta due to the humidity... is it just as bad as Florida in the summer? I've only been through Atlanta a few times, never actually stopped and spent any time there. Thank you for the advice!
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,238 posts, read 24,446,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat12510 View Post
Thank you! I do love the PNW area in theory but the rain would drive me insane. I don't want to be stereotypical since I haven't visited or lived in that area of the US, but rainy, damp and cold are my least favorite feelings LOL
Yes, I failed to mention that part. It can be gloomy in Seattle and Portland virtually all months not between July-September, but there are occasional breaks from it, and some winters aren't as bad as others, and are mostly rain or drizzle (however, Portland was completely paralyzed by snow 3 times this winter, and Seattle was once).

Spokane is another consideration, but I'm not sure it really fits your criteria:
-it's only gloomy during winter, more of a 4 season climate
-only 1 million people between it and a county in Idaho
-it leans conservative (but that's by Pac NW standards, the WA side is very much about the greater good still)
-it's cheap
-the schools are EXCELLENT (particularly IN the city)
-the airport only has as many destinations as you can count on both hands (Delta has at least one non-stop to MSP in each direction each day I believe)
-it will appear very run down and old
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:59 AM
 
44 posts, read 42,215 times
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David - I have actually looked into Coeur De'Alene (I know I butchered that) and Boise by the way. Gorgeous area, affordable, good schools from what I've seen, just concerned over how remote it can be and not very progressive or liberal. I think ultimately my goal would be to find somewhere more progressive/liberal than MN.
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Old 02-22-2017, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,238 posts, read 24,446,503 times
Reputation: 13010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat12510 View Post
David - I have actually looked into Coeur De'Alene (I know I butchered that) and Boise by the way. Gorgeous area, affordable, good schools from what I've seen, just concerned over how remote it can be and not very progressive or liberal. I think ultimately my goal would be to find somewhere more progressive/liberal than MN.
Take a closer look at Sacramento.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:56 PM
 
21,206 posts, read 30,412,852 times
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Originally Posted by Kat12510 View Post
Kyle - Thank you! I had not really considered Atlanta due to the humidity... is it just as bad as Florida in the summer? I've only been through Atlanta a few times, never actually stopped and spent any time there. Thank you for the advice!
Atlanta isn't really unpleasantly humid outside of a couple of months of summer, and like about 75% of the nation as well July/August can in fact be brutal. Unlike however where you live now Central Air Conditioning is standard equipment everywhere you go, so it's really largely a non-issue being that short of time each year. If still not fond of the idea you do make up for it with a lot more sunshine, very rare snows, a couple of icy days each January usually and winter temperatures no where near the northern tier of states. Many seem to have an image of Atlanta much further south than it really it is, which is at the northern tip of Georgia an hour southeast of the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and as close to the Indiana state line as it is to the Florida state line. So it's hardly the "deep south" it's often portrayed as...
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:27 PM
 
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Richmond Virginia's counties meet all the requirements on your list. I don't know if you've ever thought of it here before but on paper it sure sounds like you described it here.
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