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Old 09-24-2017, 10:30 AM
 
2 posts, read 788 times
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Hello all,
I am a black single mother of a 10 year old son and I live in Birmingham,AL. I have lived in the south all my life and want a change but am not that much into the cold. I want to move in the next 2 years away of the south. I have never lived in a bad neighborhood, always were able to walk out my place and walked around and never felt unsafe. The priorities for me is a great school, safe neighborhood where I can either walk or bike and feel safe. My son goes to a school where the rating is a 10 out of a 10 so that is where I am looking for, great school systems where I will be able to afford a house a a good piece of land and diversity. Diversity means where all walks of life can be in the same place at the same time and there not be a problem. I am thinking about Maryland, Virginia and maybe a little more up north but I am not sure. I know I am going to have to visit to make my final decision but my question is what areas in Maryland is great for my situation, what ares in Virginia is great for my situation I just described and if you suggest any other states and why. My career field is the legal field. I am a paralegal and have almost 3 years. Also are the legal field a demand in these states. Any other suggestions or advice will be much appreciated. Thanks so much.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:37 AM
 
2,701 posts, read 2,365,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lookngldy View Post
Hello all,
I am a black single mother of a 10 year old son and I live in Birmingham,AL. I have lived in the south all my life and want a change but am not that much into the cold. I want to move in the next 2 years away of the south. I have never lived in a bad neighborhood, always were able to walk out my place and walked around and never felt unsafe. The priorities for me is a great school, safe neighborhood where I can either walk or bike and feel safe. My son goes to a school where the rating is a 10 out of a 10 so that is where I am looking for, great school systems where I will be able to afford a house a a good piece of land and diversity. Diversity means where all walks of life can be in the same place at the same time and there not be a problem. I am thinking about Maryland, Virginia and maybe a little more up north but I am not sure. I know I am going to have to visit to make my final decision but my question is what areas in Maryland is great for my situation, what ares in Virginia is great for my situation I just described and if you suggest any other states and why. My career field is the legal field. I am a paralegal and have almost 3 years. Also are the legal field a demand in these states. Any other suggestions or advice will be much appreciated. Thanks so much.
You should give a budget when you ask for specific areas to live.

One thing to consider is that northern Virginia and Maryland is very expensive relative to Birmingham. They also have some of the best public school systems in the nation. With that being said, it's going to cost a LOT more money to get your kids in top notch school systems there as opposed to Birmingham.

Last edited by toosie; 09-24-2017 at 06:12 PM.. Reason: Edited out erroneous advise about cross posting. Thread moved to general u.s.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:52 AM
 
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Also, keep in mind that the rankings that you see for schools on sites like Great Schools and School Digger are based upon the state. So, that 10 is in relation to schools in AL, not nationally. This goes for any schools/state as well.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,569 posts, read 12,665,533 times
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I agree that the DC suburbs would be prohibitively expensive, but somewhere around Baltimore might work. Richmond would probably be a good option as well as would the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Another option might be the Raleigh area of NC. It's still "the south" but not as southern as Birmingham.

If you are willing to go farther north and can deal with the cold, then the Philly metro region might work for you.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:50 AM
 
21,185 posts, read 30,343,833 times
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Given your desire for safe neighborhoods, diversity and good schools you might consider the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights. The cost of living is very affordable with desirable two bedroom rentals priced around $800 a month and a surprisingly good rail transit system to commute in/out of downtown Cleveland if needed.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/shaker-heights-ohio-753155
Academics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaker...chool_District
https://www.trulia.com/for_rent/41.4...0_price/15_zm/
Blue Line | Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:46 AM
 
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I thought about an area like Harrisburg, but I'm not sure about a district that would fit all of the criteria. Maybe parts of the Central Dauphin SD or maybe Hershey, but may not be diverse enough or not completely sure about areas of the district that is diverse enough.

I'm curious as to where in the Birmingham area the OP is referring to, as it could give a frame of reference.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:42 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,263 posts, read 6,343,100 times
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I'd take a guess that outside of the expensive major business centers (DC, NYC, CHICAGO, BOSTON) and their suburbs, the market for paralegals might be high in the places where they make state laws. Interestingly, several of these have been mentioned already like Raleigh, Richmond, Harrisburg, and Columbia. You might add Tallahassee, Lexington, and Atlanta to the mix as well, for warm weather states, though COL and school quality might be issues, especially in Atlanta.


Moving from a very low cost area and having to raise a kid on one salary isn't going to be easy. Low-cost areas tend not to have top-rated schools, which is what makes your relo a tough one, though if the boy could test into a magnet school or you could do private or parochial school that would make life easier. But I wish you well. And good luck.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:40 PM
 
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I also think that the cold weather statement may limit things for the OP. You can find good school districts in some affordable Northeastern and Midwestern metros, but they likely don't fit the weather criteria. For instance, another capital city like Albany has a good school district in Menands north of that city that would work, but weather would be an issue.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I also think that the cold weather statement may limit things for the OP. You can find good school districts in some affordable Northeastern and Midwestern metros, but they likely don't fit the weather criteria. For instance, another capital city like Albany has a good school district in Menands north of that city that would work, but weather would be an issue.
Another capital metro school district that would work, if the weather criteria is relaxed, is East Lansing in the Lansing MI metro. It is walkable, with good schools and a diverse student population. Okemos to the east would/could also work as well.
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:30 PM
 
346 posts, read 756,839 times
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I think that Richmond, VA might be the city and metro that you are looking for. It has the urban and big city amenities without the high cost of living and horrible traffic that you find in larger metros. Also, the city gets four seasons and is within two hours of the mountains, VA Beach, and Washington DC. Another thing is I think you might feel more comfortable in Richmond since it still retains some southern charm/character, but also has some similarities with northeastern cities. I was thinking the DC/Nova/PG County area, but the cost of living is extremely high. The Hampton Roads/Va Beach-Norfolk area of VA might be another area that you might want to consider or maybe even Raleigh NC.
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