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Old 04-09-2018, 03:53 PM
 
3 posts, read 958 times
Reputation: 10

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I'm originally from the east coast and moved to San Diego shortly after college. I have been at the same little 2 bedroom beach bungalow since the early 2000s. My rent has slightly increased over the years but it's still an amazing deal for where I live. I can walk to the beach, grocery store, restaurants and pubs. It's wonderful...if you're single lol.

Now I'm engaged and starting to think outside of California. I really want to start figuring out potential places to buy a home and settle down. A place where most are young families raising kids and the community caters to that. This is just a beginning of a brainstorm but here's what would be important to me:

- Young families are the majority of people living there. We don't have kids yet but will probably start trying middle of next year after we're married.
- Excellent school system for our kids (even if we have to pay for private)
- Quality built homes at a reasonable price. Ideally something with a basement and a yard for under $350K. Please understand I say this coming from a California setting where an absolute dump built in 1930 will cost you AT LEAST $500K (or in the millions depending on it's location). I would love a basement that functions as a game / fun room for the kids.
- Community appreciates the arts and the town has a focus on it
- People are educated, open minded and are not racists (I understand racism exists everywhere to a certain degree but it seems to be more prevalent in some states than others).
- Few to no CHAIN stores or CHAIN restaurants
- People are into being healthy / eating well and there are places that support that lifestyle (ex. places for outdoor recreation and restaurants that cater to plant based diets and I'm NOT talking about Souplantation)
- Walk / bike friendly or if driving is required it's devoid of the road rage I experience daily on the California freeways
- Lower taxes. Not the biggest item on my list but don't want any surprises (ex. buy a great home at a low price but then pay out the nose on property tax)
- Not a deal breaker but might be nice to be close enough to an airport where it's not a complete headache but far enough away to not be in a flight path or hear the planes. I currently live 10 miles from a major airport and although not in the flight path still hear the large planes taking off in the evenings (and I'm over it).
- This isn't a deal breaker either but would be nice if the city was "tech smart" or at least had fiber for Internet
- Regarding weather, I would not be opposed to 4 seasons but would hope to avoid natural disasters


My s.o. is from Hawaii so that's not much of a cheaper option than Southern California. Most of her family is there and much of mine is in North Carolina. We're open to anywhere in the US. This is just the beginning of our search. I hope to get suggestions on here which could potentially help us in our finding our place to settle down. Thank you.

Last edited by SettlinDownNotSettlin4Les; 04-09-2018 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:42 PM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,930,134 times
Reputation: 12509
Except for property taxes and maybe another thing or two, Ithaca NY came to mind. Outside of Ithaca, the Trumansburg area to the NW is a small town community that has an art scene.
https://tburgconservatory.org
https://www.grassrootsfest.org/art-barn/
Luna Fiber Studio

Hopefully others will offer some other suggestions as well.
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:50 PM
 
1,212 posts, read 601,628 times
Reputation: 1172
Atlanta comes to mind for me. Lots of families and professionals and one of the best airports on the east coast plus reasonable pricing for houses.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:37 AM
 
3 posts, read 958 times
Reputation: 10
I should also add a neighborhoods that decorate for the holidays like Christmas and Halloween would be awesome. I'd love for my kids to go out Trick or Treating like I did growing up on the east coast.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:09 AM
 
21,195 posts, read 30,379,606 times
Reputation: 19627
Quote:
Originally Posted by SettlinDownNotSettlin4Les View Post
- Young families are the majority of people living there. We don't have kids yet but will probably start trying middle of next year after we're married.
- Excellent school system for our kids (even if we have to pay for private)
- Quality built homes at a reasonable price. Ideally something with a basement and a yard for under $350K. Please understand I say this coming from a California setting where an absolute dump built in 1930 will cost you AT LEAST $500K (or in the millions depending on it's location). I would love a basement that functions as a game / fun room for the kids.
- Community appreciates the arts and the town has a focus on it
- People are educated, open minded and are not racists (I understand racism exists everywhere to a certain degree but it seems to be more prevalent in some states than others).
- Few to no CHAIN stores or CHAIN restaurants
- People are into being healthy / eating well and there are places that support that lifestyle (ex. places for outdoor recreation and restaurants that cater to plant based diets and I'm NOT talking about Souplantation)
- Walk / bike friendly or if driving is required it's devoid of the road rage I experience daily on the California freeways
- Lower taxes. Not the biggest item on my list but don't want any surprises (ex. buy a great home at a low price but then pay out the nose on property tax)
- Not a deal breaker but might be nice to be close enough to an airport where it's not a complete headache but far enough away to not be in a flight path or hear the planes. I currently live 10 miles from a major airport and although not in the flight path still hear the large planes taking off in the evenings (and I'm over it).
- This isn't a deal breaker either but would be nice if the city was "tech smart" or at least had fiber for Internet
- Regarding weather, I would not be opposed to 4 seasons but would hope to avoid natural disasters
Maybe a bit off your radar but Bloomington IN nails all of your criteria. Lots of young families, a tradition of excellent public schools, plenty of very nice homes with finished basements under 350K, considerable appreciation for the arts, a well educated/open-minded community (around 60% of residents have a Bachelors Degree, a third have a Master's), very few chain stores/restaurants (Walmart had to build on the far out periphery), it's very walk/bike friendly (one of the bike friendliest towns in the US), vegetarian/vegan diet friendly, has manageable property taxes, is an easy one hour drive to the Indianapolis airport and tech savvy enough to be in process for city-wide fiber (does have current fiber availability with several providers).

https://www.visitbloomington.com/
https://bloomington.in.gov/about
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:22 AM
 
71 posts, read 37,096 times
Reputation: 88
I think Cary, NC is the place you are looking for.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:00 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,010 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by SettlinDownNotSettlin4Les View Post
I should also add a neighborhoods that decorate for the holidays like Christmas and Halloween would be awesome. I'd love for my kids to go out Trick or Treating like I did growing up on the east coast.
Good Grief! You're building up quite a list here. You're not going to find it all. Are you independently wealthy, or do you have to work? That may make a difference in where you locate.

There have been several suggestions of college towns. Those are your best bets for many of your criteria, e.g. arts, high education level, lots of biking, fewer chains (you will not find anyplace that has no chains), etc.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:39 AM
 
3 posts, read 958 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks everyone who took the time and energy to think of and suggest actual cities. I appreciate your valuable input and please keep it coming. I am following up with research on my end on each city suggested.

Last edited by SettlinDownNotSettlin4Les; 04-12-2018 at 10:48 AM..
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