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Old 09-13-2019, 04:59 PM
 
7 posts, read 717 times
Reputation: 10

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My husband and I live in a suburb of the Twin Cities (Minnesota). We now both work remotely and want to escape the horrid, never-ending winters. We have not traveled extensively and are relying on the recommendations of others to create a "short list" of towns to consider for relocation.

I'm dropping our wish list here in hopes someone out there can help us find our next home. In no particular order:

(1) Climate - we'd prefer a mild year-round climate; winters are fine...just not 6 months of sub-zero temps
(2) Cost - we're coming from semi-rural Minnesota
(3) Space - we'd like 1+ acres
(4) Schools - we have two young children and need a strong school district
(5) Water - would love to be near a lake/water community
(6) Walkability - can we walk to school, restaurants, shops?
(7) Safety
(8) Community
(9) Good healthy food - a nearby coop would be great

We've looked at places like Portland, ME; Asheville, NC; Coeur D'Alene, ID...any other ideas would be most welcome. Many, many thanks!
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,299 posts, read 24,702,417 times
Reputation: 13129
I can speak to CDA a bit (I lived in Post Falls for 1 month, and lived in Spokane as well. I visit the area twice a year).

1. 3 solid months of winter, a couple of months of mud, a couple of months of paradise, and a couple of months of meh. No humidity though. Some blazing dry heat during the summer.

2. More expensive in ID than WA. No real justification for it IMO.

3. Pretty easy to find on both sides, but no acreage in the area would be walkable.

4. WA schools seem better than ID's.

5. You can also consider living on one of the off-sides of Lake CDA, Lake Pend Oreille, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, and several others. The Spokane River runs through the area and is spectacular on its own too.

6. This is car land, unfortunately.

7. Safe comparatively speaking, the whole area has problems with property crime.

8. Both WA/ID have good senses of community, but in ID it seems more forced (mostly non-NW transplants on the ID side {particularly Californians}).

9. Surely you could find something in Spokane at worst.


None of the cities on your list are "Best Kept Secrets". Going further south within the Midwest would be a good start to finding somewhere off-radar IMO.
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Old Yesterday, 07:22 AM
 
21,421 posts, read 30,863,824 times
Reputation: 19990
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloomtown View Post
My husband and I live in a suburb of the Twin Cities (Minnesota). We now both work remotely and want to escape the horrid, never-ending winters. We have not traveled extensively and are relying on the recommendations of others to create a "short list" of towns to consider for relocation.

I'm dropping our wish list here in hopes someone out there can help us find our next home. In no particular order:

(1) Climate - we'd prefer a mild year-round climate; winters are fine...just not 6 months of sub-zero temps
(2) Cost - we're coming from semi-rural Minnesota
(3) Space - we'd like 1+ acres
(4) Schools - we have two young children and need a strong school district
(5) Water - would love to be near a lake/water community
(6) Walkability - can we walk to school, restaurants, shops?
(7) Safety
(8) Community
(9) Good healthy food - a nearby coop would be great

We've looked at places like Portland, ME; Asheville, NC; Coeur D'Alene, ID...any other ideas would be most welcome. Many, many thanks!
If you can forgo the 1+ acre criteria which is almost impossible in walkable areas I think Bloomington, IN would be perfect for you. It's a friendly, small city of around 85K (home of Indiana University) with great schools, affordable homes, safety in general, plenty of healthy food options and access to Lake Monroe just outside town.
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 AM
 
814 posts, read 1,076,192 times
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I think some of the smaller cities in Michigan (Lower Peninsula) would fit well.

It's hard not to be close to water in Michigan. A lot of our communities have a reasonable cost of living and the climate isn't very harsh compared to MN. Michigan tends to have good schools in most communities. It's not weird for people to want and have acreage along with their house. We are very car-centric, but most of downtown areas in our communities are walkable and generally safe.

Would you enjoy being on one of the Great Lakes or would you prefer something inland? Water is a way of life here - so it really depends on how much you love the water that's going to inform where you want to live. There are plenty of lakes and recreational areas to go boating, swimming, etc. So, it's really a matter of what you'd prefer.

Living in a lakeshore community is a lot different than living inland. I've lived in both and there's definitely a different vibe to living on the lakeshore.

Do you want to be near a huge metro area, live in a huge metro area or do you want to keep it as rural as possible? There are a lot of options when it comes to wanting to be near the water in my state (and each has their pros and cons).
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Old Yesterday, 08:52 AM
 
7 posts, read 717 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for the insight and suggestions! I will definitely check out Bloomington, IN and some areas in Michigan.

snoopygirlmi - we would love to be on the water. I grew up in a lake community outside of Minneapolis and connected with the vibe. We live about 45 minutes outside of Minneapolis right now, so being near a decent size city would be great amenity-wise. I've found our semi-rural community to be fairly isolating but found living in the suburbs too confining. (Not sure if this makes any sense! We like space, but not too much space? ) We have six acres and are able to walk to our local downtown area right now - which consists of two bars, a liquor store, and a bank - but, on the whole, folks in our town keep to themselves and we very much miss the sense of community. I've heard Holland, MI is quite nice. Any other towns in Michigan you might recommend?
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Old Yesterday, 09:12 AM
Status: "Fall is in the Air!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,372 posts, read 103,511,621 times
Reputation: 33384
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloomtown View Post
My husband and I live in a suburb of the Twin Cities (Minnesota). We now both work remotely and want to escape the horrid, never-ending winters. We have not traveled extensively and are relying on the recommendations of others to create a "short list" of towns to consider for relocation.

I'm dropping our wish list here in hopes someone out there can help us find our next home. In no particular order:

(1) Climate - we'd prefer a mild year-round climate; winters are fine...just not 6 months of sub-zero temps
(2) Cost - we're coming from semi-rural Minnesota
(3) Space - we'd like 1+ acres
(4) Schools - we have two young children and need a strong school district
(5) Water - would love to be near a lake/water community
(6) Walkability - can we walk to school, restaurants, shops?
(7) Safety
(8) Community
(9) Good healthy food - a nearby coop would be great

We've looked at places like Portland, ME; Asheville, NC; Coeur D'Alene, ID...any other ideas would be most welcome. Many, many thanks!
I think Portland ME would have as bad a winter as MN, not the same maybe, but different badness.

Some of your criteria are, as someone said, mutually exclusive, such as walkability plus 1+ acre lots. Not to knock rural/small town schools, but sometimes the urban/suburban areas have better schools. Also food coops and the like tend to be more abundant in more populous areas. College towns tend to have good schools, and often amenities like food coops and the like as well. They also tend to be walkable.
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Old Yesterday, 09:14 AM
 
21,421 posts, read 30,863,824 times
Reputation: 19990
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloomtown View Post
Thank you all for the insight and suggestions! I will definitely check out Bloomington, IN and some areas in Michigan.

snoopygirlmi - we would love to be on the water. I grew up in a lake community outside of Minneapolis and connected with the vibe. We live about 45 minutes outside of Minneapolis right now, so being near a decent size city would be great amenity-wise.
Bloomington is actually an easy drive into booming downtown Indianapolis (just over an hour) so not far removed at all there either.
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,596 posts, read 55,658,682 times
Reputation: 15670
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloomtown View Post
(3) Space - we'd like 1+ acres

(6) Walkability - can we walk to school, restaurants, shops?
If youre in a neighborhood of homes on several acres each, it doesnt even seem practical to expect walkability, no?
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Old Yesterday, 09:24 AM
 
7 posts, read 717 times
Reputation: 10
I know the walkability + acreage seem mutually exclusive, but we do live in a farm community now (5 acre minimum lots) and can walk to our "downtown" in less than 15 minutes. So I know places like this do exist...just trying to find one without months and months of sub-freezing temperatures!
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Old Yesterday, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,596 posts, read 55,658,682 times
Reputation: 15670
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloomtown View Post
I know the walkability + acreage seem mutually exclusive, but we do live in a farm community now (5 acre minimum lots) and can walk to our "downtown" in less than 15 minutes. So I know places like this do exist...just trying to find one without months and months of sub-freezing temperatures!
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