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Old 03-20-2017, 09:43 AM
 
142 posts, read 74,349 times
Reputation: 373

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljbrandt View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys. One concern I have with these places, Peoria ,IL Madison,WI and Ashland, VA are the mediocre to bad crime statistics I'm seeing on area vibes.
I can assure you, Madison, WI is one of the safest mid-sized cities in the country. One suggestion I have in regards to sites like Area Vibes, is to look at the crime statistics for the metro area rather than the city itself. I have found that this gives more accurate results. I personally prefer the Sperling's Best Places site, on which Madison Metro Crime stats are (scale 1-100, 1=low):

Violent - 23.6 (US average - 31.1)
Property - 29 (US average - 38.1)

As a Madison resident for 4.5 years, I really do love the city. The cost of living is a bit high but definitely affordable (I don't own a house but my 1,000 sq ft condo I got for $90,000), and the schools are excellent. As far as land, It's hilly (I'd consider it very hilly, given I grew up in the plains of South Dakota) and very scenic up around Wisconsin Dells. The only thing I really do not like here is the very long winter season. I love hot weather and dislike anything below 65 degrees. So I'm not too happy with the weather about 8 months of the year. But I'm so hesitant to relocate because I really enjoy everything else Madison has to offer. And if your considering places like Duluth, MN and Rapid City, SD, I really think you should add Madison to the list.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:36 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,796,055 times
Reputation: 11136
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljbrandt View Post
Raleigh, NC (crime, too big?)
Too big is going to be a subjective call on your part but crime listed as detriment to Raleigh is completely misguided. Raleigh's crime rates are actually quite low compared nationally. Raleigh's COL is rising but its incomes are higher than many southern metros as well. It definitely leans progressive politically but its day to day life won't make someone who "leans conservative" uncomfortable. As a rapidly growing city/metro, I think that it might also prove to be a nice balance between north and south.

Last edited by rnc2mbfl; 03-20-2017 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:34 PM
 
Location: 352
5,122 posts, read 3,879,218 times
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Columbia, SC sound like a great fit for you. It's two hours from the beach and mountains, but has it's own scenic areas with 3 rivers and a large lake. City schools are okay, but the suburban schools are great, some of the best in the state.

Columbia just got a Costco last year or so. The metro is currently under 1 million, but could pass 1 million within the decade or so. But size is subjective. Columbia feels bigger than it is, but that's not a bad thing. It makes the place feel more alive, especially when it's game day. Columbia's official city population is around 140,000, but that's misleading. It's really a city of more like 250,000 or so. It's not too big, but not too small. Columbia has plenty of amenities, the city is walkable, and it's a generally safe place.

As far as weather, it's your typical humid subtropical climate. It can get nasty in the summer, but winter is typically very mild to pleasant. This winter had temperatures in the 70s and 80s for a few weeks.

Take a look at Columbia, the outer suburbs, and neighboring Lexington County. Sounds like what you're looking for.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,254 posts, read 1,475,639 times
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No Costco (as Sam's Club is HQed here) but there are three towns in Northwest Arkansas that fit your other criteria.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:56 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,796,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
No Costco (as Sam's Club is HQed here) but there are three towns in Northwest Arkansas that fit your other criteria.
Yeah, but Costco lovers are really quite loyal and obsessed with it. I know that I am!
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
992 posts, read 577,215 times
Reputation: 601
Perhaps you could look Oregon's Willamette Valley (Albany, Eugene, etc.)
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:33 PM
 
12 posts, read 426,989 times
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These are some great suggestions guys, keep 'em coming.

Colorado Springs and Grand Rapids have both peaked my interest before, but it seems to be one of those (many) places that has a roughly equal good side and a bad side of town. I'm looking for a city that I'd be comfortable having my kids walk safely through 90%+ of it.

I will admit though, Grand Rapids has some really nice looking golf courses some a quick search.

I'll definitely have to do some more detailed analysis of the crime stats using other databases, such as Sterlings. But it's quite concerning to see a big red 'F' on the Area Vibes score for some of these places mentioned.

Some of the suburbs of Oklahoma and Indianapolis seem quite well regarded too, Edmond, OK and Carmel, IN for example, although very hilly or mountainous.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:38 PM
 
7,980 posts, read 3,459,774 times
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I vote for Colorado Springs. Great climate. Lived there for a year and loved it. Sure you get snow but it melts off the pavement and sidewalks soon enough. Beautiful place....
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:15 PM
 
56,538 posts, read 80,847,919 times
Reputation: 12490
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljbrandt View Post
These are some great suggestions guys, keep 'em coming.

Colorado Springs and Grand Rapids have both peaked my interest before, but it seems to be one of those (many) places that has a roughly equal good side and a bad side of town. I'm looking for a city that I'd be comfortable having my kids walk safely through 90%+ of it.

I will admit though, Grand Rapids has some really nice looking golf courses some a quick search.

I'll definitely have to do some more detailed analysis of the crime stats using other databases, such as Sterlings. But it's quite concerning to see a big red 'F' on the Area Vibes score for some of these places mentioned.

Some of the suburbs of Oklahoma and Indianapolis seem quite well regarded too, Edmond, OK and Carmel, IN for example, although very hilly or mountainous.
So, are you looking for something within city limits or are you open to other communities within a metro? For instance, a place like East Grand Rapids, while quite affluent for the area, you may find homes within your budget and it is walkable with very good schools. So, these areas may have walkable suburbs that fit everything or almost everything you are looking for.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:01 AM
 
12 posts, read 426,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
Too big is going to be a subjective call on your part but crime listed as detriment to Raleigh is completely misguided. Raleigh's crime rates are actually quite low compared nationally. Raleigh's COL is rising but its incomes are higher than many southern metros as well. It definitely leans progressive politically but its day to day life won't make someone who "leans conservative" uncomfortable. As a rapidly growing city/metro, I think that it might also prove to be a nice balance between north and south.
I keep coming back to Raleigh. Obviously not the most mountainous of areas, but it has a state park within the city and checks off many of the boxes I have...schools, crime, golf, green.

I also like Boise for many of the same reasons. I may have to plan a visit up that way soon from Montgomery. Boise will be more difficult with the family.
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