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Thread summary:

Family of 5 seeking advice on how to decide where to move, strategies used by other families to make decision, how to research cities, pros and cons of moving

 
Old 10-17-2008, 03:53 PM
 
Location: In God's country
1,059 posts, read 2,418,196 times
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I'm curious to know how others decide where to make home. I'm originialy from Pa. My husband has lived in several states. We currently live in Mo. We want to move. We are a family of 5, and basically starting over from scratch. In Pa. i only have my father, and few friends, oh yea and an ex-husband. Which is one main reason i do not want to move back too close, long story short, our daughter does not want to see her dad very often. (strained relationship) So i do not want to put her in that position. But i do miss my father and the few friends left. We looked at Michigan, my husband wants to go back to college for a change. With looking and searching, there isnt much for people like us, that have to start life over again. So we keep tossing "where to live" question back and forth.
How does others make the same decisions? Especially families like us? I look forward to hearing all comments.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:27 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 34,162,598 times
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My wife and I struggled with this same question several years ago. We did a LOT of research of all areas of the Country that suited us weather wise (I can't take too much heat and she can't take prolonged bitter cold.) Plus we had to factor in cost of living and quality of schools because we have 4 kids. We had it narrowed down to several locations and visited each to get a general "feel" for each. Granted, we are not made of money so each visit tended to be short, and grouped together if possible. That narrowed it down to the top 3 or 4 and we sat back down and went over every single expense we had where we were at and called around to the utilities, garbage collections, papers, etc... as well as going wages for our respective jobs in each area. (She is an RN and I am an Electrician so we can go just about anyplace we choose.) We ended up in West Michigan where I grew up. Low Cost of living, high wages (for our jobs), demand for our jobs, GREAT schools for the kids (more than test scores, but in attitude toward education and attitude of teachers and staff.) Plus the weather is 4 seasons without any of them dominating the year. Winters with snow, beautiful Springs, Warm Summers, and colorful Falls. The people are quiet and somewhat reserved, but real friends when made. the general attitude is "what you see is what you get" very few of keeping up with the neighbors mentality and nobody gives a rip if you drive a Clapped out Vega or a Brand new H1 Hummer. There are prime Universities close to us for the kids when they get older, and smaller colleges and universities if that is what they want instead. Plus the ones close to this area offer continuing classes in both our career fields so we don't have to travel for continuing education.

But in a nutshell how we found what we were looking for was a long search that looked at EVERYTHING and didn't gloss over items that may seem minor. Looked at realistically each and every aspect and then decided which of the places that fit our weather "wants" fit our life "needs" the best. Good Luck! It can be done, and it can be very rewarding to finally find a place that "fits" as perfect as a place can.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:33 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 34,162,598 times
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I forgot to mention that when we visited an area one of the stops we made was to the local schools. We tried to do so during the school year and planned on stopping while school was in session. A talk with Principals and Secretaries can reveal a lot of the character of a school. Plus one look at the kids gives you a good snapshot of how the school does for them as well. When we narrowed down our choices, one of the calls was back to the schools our kids would be going to and had a short list of questions we asked each place. The real short list was made by the districts that answered the questions as best they could, then transferred us over to one of the teachers in those grades so we could get it right from the teachers. Short and abrupt answers to a parent will almost assure that those are the same types of answers a kid will get when asking a question in class.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: In God's country
1,059 posts, read 2,418,196 times
Reputation: 608
Thank you for the wonderful advice, and look into your searches for a home. It's a great tool when you can have insight to someone else's endevours. My husband is a truck driver but wants to hang up his keys, he's getting burned out. He wants to do something with cooking, which is his passion. I worked for a health ins. and pharmacutical company about 5 years ago, and im doing online college for medical transcriptionist. We were looking at Traverse City because my husband talked to NWMC. But everything still seems to be high, what we were finding were places to rent until may. but i dont want to uproot my girls again come may.
We'll find "home" when the time is right. Thanks again for your reply. it's much appreciated it.
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