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Old 12-30-2018, 05:05 PM
 
3 posts, read 2,655 times
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Hi all,

I'm in the process of relocating from NYC to Austin, and the city is not at all like I imagined. Other than downtown, there are precious few areas (SoCo and a couple strips in East Austin, like E 6th and E Cesar Chavez) with bars and cafes that one might hop around. And homes in those areas are expensive (700k+ for a 3br house with yard). Domain and Mueller are technically walkable, but feel kind of corporate and sterile. The rest of the city seems to be a mixture of auto body shops, Church's Chickens, and "We Buy Ugly Houses" billboards. I'm not trying to hate on Austin -- the parts that are cool are really cool.

Meanwhile, Portland OR seems to have multiple areas (e.g., Montavilla, Hollywood, Alberta, and it looks like 20 others) where one might want to walk around and hang out. This increases the area in which I might find a reasonable house within walking distance. And many of those neighborhoods are within a 20 min drive of Downtown, where I'm more likely to end up working. It's not cheap by any stretch, but I'd much rather have a $400k house where I can walk to the local tavern, than one where it's a 2 mile ugly drive.

Other big bonus features would be:
  • In a state with no or little income tax (CO at ~5% seems like a good compromise between 0% in TX and 10% in OR).
  • Lots of nature (trees, ideally mountains, ...)
  • Decent weather (Denver winters are not dreary like Portland's, with occasional days of sun and warmth).
  • Near a major airport and some tech industry.

Seattle was a really good choice right up until 5ish years ago when prices exploded. I even grew to love the drizzle.

I realize those bullets severely limit my options, but maybe there are cities we haven't considered. We haven't signed any leases or mortgages in Austin yet, so there's still time to reconsider.

Cheers,
F
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:17 AM
 
56,640 posts, read 80,952,685 times
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Nashville comes to mind, but from what I'm hearing, such areas are not as affordable as they once were.

I dare say, if you loosen things up in terms of criteria, a sleeper may actually be the Albany area. It actually fits some of the criteria and you may be able to get into some sleeper urban neighborhoods like this one in Troy: https://www.google.com/maps/place/10...!4d-73.6824827
WPA-TROY.org

Or this street in Schenectady near its Downtown and Stockade neighborhood: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8162...6!9m2!1b1!2i37
This area is further down the street: Upper Union Street BID | Schenectady, NY | Capital Region Businesses

Or this Albany neighborhood: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6662...6!9m2!1b1!2i37
http://pinehillsna.org/

It does have a tech industry as well: https://www.albany.com/hotspot/tech-valley/
Startup Tech Valley
https://capitalregionchamber.com/networking/tvypn/

So, it may be an area to consider...
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:07 AM
 
1,306 posts, read 1,204,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy216 View Post
Hi all,

I'm in the process of relocating from NYC ...

Meanwhile, Portland OR seems to have multiple areas (e.g., Montavilla, Hollywood, Alberta, and it looks like 20 others) where one might want to walk around and hang out. This increases the area in which I might find a reasonable house within walking distance. And many of those neighborhoods are within a 20 min drive of Downtown, where I'm more likely to end up working. It's not cheap by any stretch, but I'd much rather have a $400k house where I can walk to the local tavern, than one where it's a 2 mile ugly drive.

Other big bonus features would be:
[list][*]In a state with no or little income tax (CO at ~5% seems like a good compromise between 0% in TX and 10% in OR).

F
FYI Oregon has 0% (that is, zero) sales tax, and Portland property tax rate is about 1.3%. Austin sales tax is 8.25% and property tax rate is about 2.3%. That closes the tax gap quite a bit.

My personal choices for walkable urban would be PNW or inland NE/Great Lakes. But, I also like cold and snow.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:53 AM
 
295 posts, read 106,695 times
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Chattanooga near downtown may be a good choice. It would fit a lot of your criteria (no state income tax, decent weather, near really pretty nature, etc.). A lot of it's areas are more bike able than walkable. Cool city though.

New Orleans, maybe? It has a great bar/restaurant scene that you could hop around to.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:11 PM
 
1,987 posts, read 1,239,046 times
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Dallas could work. It's not a walkable city in general and you'll have some similar issues like in Austin (ugly strip malls, billboards, etc). However, it does have more walkable non-Downtown areas than Austin. It's slightly more affordable as well. I would check out the North Oak Cliff area (main hub is known as the Bishop Arts District) or Lower Greenville. The plus for North Oak Cliff is that there's a free trolley from there to Downtown. Downtown is also a major transit hub so it's possible to take the DART train to other city neighborhoods or even DFW Airport. The plus for Lower Greenville is that it's not too far from White Rock Lake for outdoor activity.

The cons for Dallas are that it's far away from mountains and not a lot of nature, despite some rolling terrain and man-made lakes here and there. The most walkable areas (Uptown Dallas) is almost as expensive as in Austin.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Beautiful and sanitary DC
1,506 posts, read 2,173,471 times
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Yeah, Austin is the most overrated city in America, in my book -- and I've spent at least a few days walking (not driving) around 90% of America's 50 largest MSAs.

Walkability is at a high premium in America today, and so's non-dreary weather. Sadly for you, most places in the Sunbelt were built long after Americans made walkability all but illegal (via single-use zoning and minimum parking regulations); even the largest cities, like Atlanta and Dallas, have just a few pockets of walkable urbanism, and even those are pretty bland. (In these cities, walkable places are mostly relatively newly built, and anything new is expensive -- thus "corporate and sterile," in your words.) New Orleans is a rare exception, but it's not much of a bargain these days; even if housing is cheap, little else is.

My only recommendations are Philadelphia, Chicago, or Pittsburgh. Or Montreal. Many other rust-belt cities are cheap and have a few good neighborhoods, but not much of a choice.
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:53 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,522 posts, read 8,768,030 times
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Paradise is expensive. Way back when, I spent 13 years in the Tri-Cities of Eastern WA (Richland, Kennewick, Pasco). It was affordable, then, a great place to raise children with good schools in Kennewick and Richland, and a great central location to travel to both the Pacific Coast and throughout the "Inland Empire".

I went back to Richland last summer and much had changed: North Richland was much more charming than I remembered, but the rest was overgrown. Later we drove through the Blue Mts into the Willowa Mts. in NE OR and that was just as I remembered it.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:23 AM
 
21,196 posts, read 30,388,339 times
Reputation: 19627
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy216 View Post
I'd much rather have a $400k house where I can walk to the local tavern, than one where it's a 2 mile ugly drive.

Other big bonus features would be:
  • In a state with no or little income tax (CO at ~5% seems like a good compromise between 0% in TX and 10% in OR).
  • Lots of nature (trees, ideally mountains, ...)
  • Decent weather (Denver winters are not dreary like Portland's, with occasional days of sun and warmth).
  • Near a major airport and some tech industry.
Proabably until now completely off your radar, but you might consider Richmond VA. Virginia's state income tax sits in the middle at 5.75%. There is plenty of greenspace, a major river (James River) and the Blue Ridge Mountains/Shenandoah Valley an easy 90 minute drive to the west. The climate is moderate with four equal seasons and not sun deprived. Neighborhoods such as The Fan, Carytown, Church Hill, Museum District and VCU/Downtown are just some of the walkable options with lots of restaurants/bars and shops in close proximity. The average home price is around 275K as well which gives you plenty of options. While not "major" Richmond International is very well served with most of the major carriers and has a sizable schedule of nonstop service to varying US cities (170 flights a day).

Last edited by mjlo; 01-05-2019 at 07:32 AM..
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:51 AM
 
56,640 posts, read 80,952,685 times
Reputation: 12518
Quote:
Originally Posted by paytonc View Post
Yeah, Austin is the most overrated city in America, in my book -- and I've spent at least a few days walking (not driving) around 90% of America's 50 largest MSAs.

Walkability is at a high premium in America today, and so's non-dreary weather. Sadly for you, most places in the Sunbelt were built long after Americans made walkability all but illegal (via single-use zoning and minimum parking regulations); even the largest cities, like Atlanta and Dallas, have just a few pockets of walkable urbanism, and even those are pretty bland. (In these cities, walkable places are mostly relatively newly built, and anything new is expensive -- thus "corporate and sterile," in your words.) New Orleans is a rare exception, but it's not much of a bargain these days; even if housing is cheap, little else is.

My only recommendations are Philadelphia, Chicago, or Pittsburgh. Or Montreal. Many other rust-belt cities are cheap and have a few good neighborhoods, but not much of a choice.
With the last sentence, it may seem that way, but some of that may be attributed to size versus lack of choices. Many “Rust Belt” cities are smaller in terms of land size. This is an example of such a city with multiple options on just one side of town, but has some other viable neighborhoods in that regard: https://rocwiki.org/Southeast_Quadrant (some listed are actually in other quadrants)
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:45 AM
 
2,166 posts, read 1,465,573 times
Reputation: 2176
Quote:
Originally Posted by paytonc View Post

My only recommendations are Philadelphia, Chicago, or Pittsburgh. Or Montreal. Many other rust-belt cities are cheap and have a few good neighborhoods, but not much of a choice.

I'm not familiar much with housing in Chicago, but in Philly and Pittsburgh you can I think still get a nice rowhouse or SFH with small yard for under 400K in many walkable decent neighborhoods. Much of the selection is going to be older housing but for 400K should be in good shape. There are newer infill available, but selection will be less and price may be more.
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