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Old 05-11-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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My husband and I (both early 30's) currently live in DC, which we love. It's a city that has everything we like to do: museums, cultural events, lots of events/activities, great location (short road trip to the beach, NYC, etc.). We would settle down here permanently except for one problem: the real estate prices. We've always rented and are now ready to buy, but we don't want to buy an $800,000 crap can that still needs work, which we would need to do because we don't want to live an hour out from DC and have a horrible commute every day. We've been to many open houses and it's just depressing. For what you can get in Indianapolis for $300K costs $900K or more here. So, we're planning to move in the next year.

We can move anywhere, and are a little overwhelmed by that. We don't have any ties to anywhere, but we prefer to stay in the mid-Atlantic or the NE, because we love this area of the country. I included Cleveland as a possibility because it seems to be a good-sized Midwestern city with a lot to do but low cost of living. We are definitely big city folk, and prefer to live in a large or medium-sized city. We'll consider the midwest, but not the NW, SW or South.

We have never been to any of the above-mentioned cities. We're looking for a place that offers some of what DC offers, is in the mid-Atlantic or NE (except for Cleveland), and offers a more reasonable cost of living than DC. What are your thoughts about these cities for someone who has never been to any of them? We are also considering Minneapolis, but I used to live there so I know what that city is like (I love Minneapolis!) We briefly considered Boston, but the housing prices are worse than here.

Last edited by doglover29; 05-11-2008 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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Atlanta is comparable to DC in many ways, but a lot more affordable. The southern colonial architecture, the progressively northern vibe, the population size, the diversity, the nightlife.

Of the cities on your list though, I'd probably say that Raleigh is the most similar to Washington. A booming local economy, a decent size, and plenty going on.

Baltimore, Hartford, and Richmond may feel too small. Philly is a lot more gritty and urban (which some people like, and some people don't). And, really, midwestern cities, don't really feel anything like eastern cities (especially DC!).
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by radraja View Post
Atlanta is comparable to DC in many ways, but a lot more affordable. The southern colonial architecture, the progressively northern vibe, the population size, the diversity, the nightlife.
We've thought about Atlanta but I am not a hot weather person, which is why we decided not to consider any Southern states. I also love the four seasons and have no problem with long winters. I can't stand the summers here in DC. I've never been to Atlanta though, don't know what the weather is like.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Philly offers everything you are looking for and more. Its cheaper than DC, has many cultural assets and is smack dab in the middle of Boswash. It has more of an edge and is grittier than DC so depending on what you are used to you may or may not like that. Philly has a lot of hidden gems because the city is so huge. Itd be best if you came and discovered it for yourself.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Atlanta weather...40s in the winter, 60s and 70s in the spring and fall, and up to the mid-80s in the summer (cooling down to the 70s at night).

Really, though, anywhere on the eastern half of the country is going to have sticky, humid weather in the summer (which is what makes DC feel so uncomfortable). To avoid sticky, hot humidy, you have to look west. If you're not opposed to looking that far, how about Denver?
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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Given that Baltimore is the closest city to DC on your list, you should really check it out. I actually live in downtown Baltimore and commute to DC for work, so I'm relatively familiar with both cities. They are very similar which shouldn't be a surprise given that they're really part of the same metropolitan area. There's not much you can find in one but not the other. Prices are a little cheaper up this way, but not a lot. It's all absurdly overpriced. Unfortunately, I doubt you're going to find midwest prices anywhere but the midwest, at least not for another couple of years. I'm originally from Kansas City, and find it more appealing all the time. Summers are brutal out there though. People think things are bad on the coasts, but trust me, the midwest is hotter, more humid, and more unpredictable. Still you can't beat the cost of living, and honestly, except for the beach (to which you can always fly), there's really not a lot that DC offers that cities like KC, St. Louis, and Minneapolis don't.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Philly is definitely at the top of our list. Can anyone recommend some nice suburbs to look into?

I'm not sure how I'd feel about Colorado or the West. I think it might be too much of a culture shock for me. While I like the snow I don't do any winter sports--I like museums, cultural events--things like that. I also like the denseness of the East Coast and the topography of the East. I think Colorado/the West would be too much of a change. Of course I've never been to Colorado/anywhere in the West except for California.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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It seems like you don't mind a bit of a gritty urban atmosphere, so Philly should be a good fit for you.

I'll leave it to someone else to recommend neighborhoods.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:12 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
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Originally Posted by doglover29 View Post
I can't stand the summers here in DC. I've never been to Atlanta though, don't know what the weather is like.
I'm sitting in my office with the windows open tonight and it's just delightful.
Yes, the days in late June/July/August/early September can be dreadful (not always), but the rest of the time is great. One advantage that we have in this area over DC is that we sit on top of a ridge in the foothills of the Appalachians, while DC sits in the Potomac Basin...the result on summer nights is that we cool off a lot faster after the sun sets.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:21 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
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Originally Posted by radraja View Post
Of the cities on your list though, I'd probably say that Raleigh is the most similar to Washington. A booming local economy, a decent size, and plenty going on.
I'll have to agree...I have three friends who ended up in Raleigh...one (married) from New Orleans (Katrina refugee), two (single) from Miami (Coral Gables and Coconut Grove). What they found was a friendly town with great neighborhoods, good weather, a surprisingly 'urbane' feel, and a great variety of leisure activities.
Plus, Raleigh is home to two of my favorite siblings, David and Amy Sedaris...how bad can it be if it produced them?
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