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Old 11-07-2017, 04:53 PM
 
3 posts, read 2,866 times
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Hi all! I'm looking to move out of California (Bay Area) soon as one half of a young couple planning on kids in a few years and seeking any input on towns that would match the following criteria:

1) Decently small/moderate population size. Between 30,000 and 50,000 would be ideal, but up to 100,000 could work if it still has the feel of a smaller town.

2) Beautiful natural surroundings. Preferably forested, hills and/or mountains, lakes and/or rivers, etc. Green!

3) Four seasons but mild/moderate. Ideally would like a place that gets a bit of snow in the winters but not a lot, a small to moderate amount of rain, and warm summers.

4) Job opportunities in public service with good pay within a 30 minute commute. I am a high school English teacher and my husband will be a police officer. Bonus if the state has a reciprocity agreement with California for teaching credentials and police officer certification (California standards are high so most do).

5) Good cost of living in relation to median salary. Coming from California - and the Bay Area at that - cost of living in most places seems reasonable to us.

6) Availability of conveniences and entertainment. A wide offering of restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Bonus for good, authentic Mexican food. Multiple grocery stores and other stores like Target, Costco, etc. within a 15-20 minute drive. Nothing fancy for entertainment - movie theatre, bowling, maybe a festival or two. Lots of outdoor activities would be nice.

7) Moderate or left-leaning political environment. Somewhere where life isn't dictated by religion.

8) Within 2 hours of an airport, bonus points if the airport offers nonstop flights to SJC or SFO.

9) Crime rate at or below that of the national average.

10) Good schools.

11) A decent population of young people (20s-30s).

12) Preferably in the western US, east coast down to North Carolina, or the northeast. (Basically not in the South or the middle of the country).

So far, I've looked at Bend, Oregon and the suburbs of Charlotte, NC but the sheer number of possibilities are overwhelming. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by kt_bug; 11-07-2017 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 21,201,573 times
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The first places that leaps to mind is Denver, CO. Seems like that would fit all your criteria.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:47 PM
 
56,618 posts, read 80,930,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboys fan in Houston View Post
The first places that leaps to mind is Denver, CO. Seems like that would fit all your criteria.
In terms of looking east, perhaps Morgantown WV; Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Blacksburg and Roanoke in VA and Newark DE, among others.
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:54 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,266 posts, read 6,348,204 times
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Small city with these criteria and the first thing that comes to mind is Asheville, NC instead of Charlotte. Cannot speak to the employment situation there for teachers or cops, but I'd urge you to check it out, as the town ticks off all the other boxes on your wish list.


If you like the vibe in Portland OR, you'll probably feel really comfortable in Asheville, as it has the same back-to-nature, hipster, lefty political vibe as Portland. It's a place that sells t-shirts proclaiming "Asheville: Cesspool of Sin" -- which is what one conservative state politician once called the place. Nearest big airport is in Charlotte, about 60-90 minutes away, the place is nestled in the beautiful Smokey mountains, and lots and lots of entertainment, eating, and drinking options, as Asheville has a healthy tourist trade. That pushes up the crime rate a bit, but of course that happens in almost every city with tourists. (The most crime-ridden part of NYC, for instance is usually Midtown/Times Square). But you don't actually live in those areas, and nobody I've met there --and I've been many times as I have family there-- considers crime a day-to-day worry. And of course housing, while a bit on the high side for NC, is still far cheaper than the Bay Area.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:58 PM
 
Location: I is where I is
2,097 posts, read 1,525,383 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboys fan in Houston View Post
The first places that leaps to mind is Denver, CO. Seems like that would fit all your criteria.
Considering Denver is massively over the population the OP desires, maybe one of the burbs or surrounding areas would work
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:05 PM
 
Location: I is where I is
2,097 posts, read 1,525,383 times
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Upstate New York sounds like it could be an option. It may snow a little more than what you might be wanting/expecting but it’s a great area.

Great affordability, schools, decent weather, outdoorsy options, etc... Ithaca specifically could be a match, population around 40K.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:24 AM
 
157 posts, read 99,342 times
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I'm thinking Asheville, NC
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:38 AM
 
21,193 posts, read 30,379,606 times
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Durham-Chapel Hill NC nails all of the criteria like Asheville (other than mountains but still green/wooded though) and has much more job opportunity too.
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