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Old 10-11-2017, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,690 posts, read 17,660,009 times
Reputation: 27772

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I posted this on the Raleigh forum, but I don't think it's going to be the right fit. Looking at other options.

I'm currently living and working in my small hometown in northeast TN. My employer is likely going through a merger, and while I do not feel my job is at immediate risk, there are practically no other options for me locally. I also don't see staying here longer term practical or worthwhile from several perspectives.

Before moving back to Tennessee in 2016, I spent most of the last five years in West Des Moines, IA and Carmel, IN. These areas have excellent economies, great schools, a lot of amenities, and are very safe. My hometown is none of these. I'm looking for something similar to what I had, but hopefully a bit warmer and closer to TN, although I'm considering other possibilities.

Here's some background and what I'm looking for. I'm probably moving by 2020, at the very latest.

1) I'm a 31 year old single guy working as an ERP business analyst for a hospital system. I've also worked as a core banking application administrator at a small bank, and a trading software support analyst at a software vendor for the investment banking industry. I have a BA in economics from a regional state school.

I'm looking for mainly business analyst positions, or would be willing to take something more entry level outside of IT in finance if I could. Don't really want to be on the infrastructure side again. Would like to stay with a hospital system or large company if at all possible. My experience with smaller firms hasn't been as good as larger firms.

I'm at about $60,000 now. The job market is the primary concern. I want to be somewhere that if the company closes, lays off, whatever, that I won't have to leave the area. I'm planning to stay at least five years in the new location.

2) I've been single since I moved back to Tennessee. I haven't been out with anyone where I thought there was truly long-term potential, and almost no dates at all. It's almost impossible to date in this small town, and there is virtually no single, professional class. It doesn't look like me being single is going to change anytime in the near future as long as I remain in my current area. I had far more dates in Indianapolis and Iowa than I've had here in Tennessee.

I'm not getting any younger. I want an area with a decent 20s/30s dating scene - ideally with more women without kids/open to not having kids. I don't have or want kids myself.

3) Definitely looking for more amenities than what I have now. I was very used to stopping and eating something at Whole Foods, shopping at Costco, liked my gym at Lifetime Fitness, etc. There's really no substitute for any of that where I am now.

I'm a fairly big sports watcher. Mostly hockey, college football, and baseball. Pretty outdoorsy too - into hiking, kayaking, photography, occasional fishing. Area needs to have some decent hiking opportunities and access to recreational water - which was a problem in Indianapolis and Des Moines.

4) Weather isn't a huge factor as far as temps go, but don't want to be somewhere like Indy with virtually no winter sun. I can take cold and sunny. I was in Tampa back in the summer and it was not too hot either.

5) I'm fairly conservative politically but am not religious/gun nut. Politics are more along the lines of Milo than Pat Robertson. I would be OK in a blue area, as well as long as it isn't extremely in your face like Seattle.

Places I'm not considering at all.

1) Texas. I have no desire to live in or ever visit Texas. Nothing appeals to me about it.

2) West coast or Mountain West. Too expensive/isolated. To be honest, I doubt I'd consider anywhere west of the MS River.

Some places I've considered

1) Raleigh/Charlotte. These are my two nearest "big cities." Raleigh seems to be more expensive and more isolated. I'd rather be closer to the mountains/Atlanta than the beach. Both would have a wide variety of employment options. I've been to both, but haven't been to Raleigh in about ten years and haven't been to Charlotte in several years. I plan on trips to both.

2) Greenville, SC. It is one of my favorite cities, but I worry about employment options in a metro of this size. Close to the mountains, easy to get around in, low COL, most of the shopping I need, close to Atlanta and Charlotte.

3) Louisville, KY - I spent a lot of time there when I lived in Indianapolis. Kind of a cool, funky vibe, good cost of living, but again, employment is an issue.

4) Nashville, TN - I've been there a few times and it just hasn't gelled. A lot of folks I know have moved there and loved it, but cost of living is an issue.

5) Tampa area - Been there on vacation a few times and loved it. Seems easier to get around than Nashville, better cost of living. Great weather and outdoors options.

Can anyone throw out some dark horse suggestions I might not be aware of?
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:47 AM
 
29,962 posts, read 27,480,324 times
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To me, your post screams Charlotte. I'd also take a look at Richmond, Jacksonville, Birmingham, and Columbus, OH.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:55 AM
 
Location: 352
5,122 posts, read 3,898,971 times
Reputation: 3494
Greenville is probably smaller than what you're looking for, but I'd give it a look. I think Charlotte could be a better fit though. Much, much bigger, more employment opportunities, likely better salary, and Charlotte has a wealth of amenities for it's size. Charlotte would have a better dating scene as well, and Charlotte is blue, but the surrounding areas are red, so it's a good purple balance.

Greenville would only be a 2 hour day trip away. Atlanta is a 4 hour possible weekend trip. Biggest qualm is you didn't mention basketball, and that's #1 easily in NC lol. But Charlotte offers good places to watch sports, either live or at bars.

If you want a complete change of pace or more of a "restart", I'd try Tampa. I've never been to Tampa, but I don't imagine it being too similar to eastern TN from I've seen, but I can't speak on it how I can speak on Charlotte.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,690 posts, read 17,660,009 times
Reputation: 27772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
Greenville is probably smaller than what you're looking for, but I'd give it a look. I think Charlotte could be a better fit though. Much, much bigger, more employment opportunities, likely better salary, and Charlotte has a wealth of amenities for it's size. Charlotte would have a better dating scene as well, and Charlotte is blue, but the surrounding areas are red, so it's a good purple balance.

Greenville would only be a 2 hour day trip away. Atlanta is a 4 hour possible weekend trip. Biggest qualm is you didn't mention basketball, and that's #1 easily in NC lol. But Charlotte offers good places to watch sports, either live or at bars.

If you want a complete change of pace or more of a "restart", I'd try Tampa. I've never been to Tampa, but I don't imagine it being too similar to eastern TN from I've seen, but I can't speak on it how I can speak on Charlotte.
I went to probably 20 Pacers games a year when I lived in Indianapolis. Not a big college ball fan, but I'd probably see the Hornets at least once a month.

Greenville is only 2.5 hours from here and I go down there pretty regularly. I'd rather be in a Greenville size area day to day but Charlotte will have better job options.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,572 posts, read 754,242 times
Reputation: 1674
Close to your area ... Lexington, KY isn't especially large, but it has a strong economy that includes education, medical and corporate sectors and has a lot of amenities. The dominant demographic is much younger and better educated than the Tri-Cities so I would think it is vastly better from a social perspective. I don't think the winter climate is ideal, but it is a step up from Indianapolis in terms of getting a bit more warmth and sunshine, and local access to the outdoors is great.

It seems like your most positive assessment is for Tampa, so maybe Jacksonville and Orlando are also worth considering. All these cities have plenty of professional job growth and a very mobile, diverse population as well excellent recreational assets. Orlando statistically has a high proportion of low paying service jobs, but there are large white collar sectors as well especially in the northern suburbs (Lake Mary, Winter Park, etc.). Traffic could be a concern if your residence is far from work, but politics should be a non-issue given Florida's status as a well balanced swing state with all types of opinions being well represented.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,690 posts, read 17,660,009 times
Reputation: 27772
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas75 View Post
Close to your area ... Lexington, KY isn't especially large, but it has a strong economy that includes education, medical and corporate sectors and has a lot of amenities. The dominant demographic is much younger and better educated than the Tri-Cities so I would think it is vastly better from a social perspective. I don't think the winter climate is ideal, but it is a step up from Indianapolis in terms of getting a bit more warmth and sunshine, and local access to the outdoors is great.

It seems like your most positive assessment is for Tampa, so maybe Jacksonville and Orlando are also worth considering. All these cities have plenty of professional job growth and a very mobile, diverse population as well excellent recreational assets. Orlando statistically has a high proportion of low paying service jobs, but there are large white collar sectors as well especially in the northern suburbs (Lake Mary, Winter Park, etc.). Traffic could be a concern if your residence is far from work, but politics should be a non-issue given Florida's status as a well balanced swing state with all types of opinions being well represented.
I have stopped in Lexington numerous times and really like it. City seems very neat and clean. I just wonder that it will be too small for jobs.

FWIW, I would be fine with a metro of that size for day to day needs. If I want to watch a pro game or something, Cincinnati is not far. Even Indy is doable from there, and I can beat back here from Lexington in about four hours.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:24 PM
 
Location: 352
5,122 posts, read 3,898,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I went to probably 20 Pacers games a year when I lived in Indianapolis. Not a big college ball fan, but I'd probably see the Hornets at least once a month.

Greenville is only 2.5 hours from here and I go down there pretty regularly. I'd rather be in a Greenville size area day to day but Charlotte will have better job options.
The most similar Tennessee city to Greenville is Knoxville. Greenville's metro is 880,000, but it's not a very urban 880k outside of Greenville itself. Charlotte city is 840,000 and it's a more concentrated 840k.

Since you want Greenville size and Charlotte jobs, i'd take a look at Columbia, SC as well. See what jobs they offer. Columbia is a college town, so lots of sports around, and it has the youngest population in SC. More of a white collar area. Only 1 1/2 hours to both Greenville and Charlotte, and less than 2 hours to Charleston if you like the beach.

I still think Charlotte is your front runner though.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:49 AM
 
6,563 posts, read 13,778,733 times
Reputation: 3030
There are way way more jobs in IT in Louisville than you think. And you can call your own shots there as unlike Raleigh, it isn't over run with IT. It feels bigger than Raleigh because the city is, even though the metros are now similar. That said, Louisville is big enough to feel large, but small enough to have some of the charm of Greeneville. Charlotte, not so much. Charlotte and Tampa definitely feel like larger metros, almost too large for someone who appreciates smaller town charms. Greeneville to me isn't much outside the main street downtown, but it's an excellent town, and also great suburbs, closer to the beach, and extremely friendly. It just feels small and homely to me.

Computershare, Genscape, Humana and a few others are good places to start in Louisville. Entry level salaries aren't huge because it's so cheap to live. And the secret to Louisville is not your first job, but your second...once you get two years in town under your belt, I can guarantee someone will hire you for 50% more.

LVL1 - louisville's hackerspace

High tech company Red e App moves into new offices in NuLu - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Tower cranes up everywhere,and hundreds of restaurants and bars opened in the last year. Louisville has 11 billion in commercial development since 2014, with 2 billion CURRENTLY in construction downtown.

Raleigh is a nice town busting at the seems with tech and population growth, but don't write off Louisville. It's still cheap here, so much so that several downtown midrises/highrises are still well under 1000 a month with EVERYTHING included, including wifi, direct tv, heck even a free gym pass and all utilites.

https://thefincastle.com/

The 13 recipients of the 2017 Cornerstone Awards


11 billion + development since 2014 (8.5 billion not including infrastructure improvements)

Louisville is experiencing an economic boom with $11 billion in investments

Since this was released, another quarter billion plus in announcements have been announced. The largest is a 200 million mixed use soccer stadium with surrounding office, hotel, and retail. It should be like the Banks in Cincinnati when complete.

It seems almost every day a new project is announced. Just yesterday:
https://insiderlouisville.com/busine...ry-apartments/

NC and TN are becoming the new FL. Everyone is moving there. To me Richmond or Louisville are the cities to look at to think outside the box and avoid moving again in 10 years due to skyrocketing prices and traffic which are already starting in NC and TN.

Last edited by Peter1948; 10-12-2017 at 02:02 AM..
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:56 AM
 
6,563 posts, read 13,778,733 times
Reputation: 3030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I have stopped in Lexington numerous times and really like it. City seems very neat and clean. I just wonder that it will be too small for jobs.

FWIW, I would be fine with a metro of that size for day to day needs. If I want to watch a pro game or something, Cincinnati is not far. Even Indy is doable from there, and I can beat back here from Lexington in about four hours.
It's way too small...but that's the beauty of Louisville...less than 2 hours to 3 great cities, each with something unique. 4 hours to STL, 5 hours to Chicago or ATL. 4 equal seasons, and don't count out the beauty of local rolling hills, parks, lakes, and even river boating. Louisville now has direct flights to around a dozen resort or vacation destinations. I went to visit family in Orlando a month ago for 100 round trip, direct, on Allegiant! We went to Savannah for the same price. You are familiar with Louisville and like it...it takes two years to feel comfortable there, but it makes sense.
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:29 AM
 
29,962 posts, read 27,480,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
It's way too small...but that's the beauty of Louisville...less than 2 hours to 3 great cities, each with something unique. 4 hours to STL, 5 hours to Chicago or ATL. 4 equal seasons, and don't count out the beauty of local rolling hills, parks, lakes, and even river boating. Louisville now has direct flights to around a dozen resort or vacation destinations. I went to visit family in Orlando a month ago for 100 round trip, direct, on Allegiant! We went to Savannah for the same price. You are familiar with Louisville and like it...it takes two years to feel comfortable there, but it makes sense.
How fast are you driving to make it to ATL in 5 hours? LOL
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