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Old 03-08-2007, 08:19 AM
5 posts, read 27,067 times
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Hi. I currently live in a 12,000 population town in Wisconsin. There is virtually no minority population. The winters are frigid and no sun to speak of for the past 5 months. We desperately want to move, but have very little money. We would like to move south, but do not have to be right in the south. My husband can do sales or carpentry or manufacturing factory work. We are most likely going to live in a low-income housing or low rent area. I don't want to put my children, ages 0,1, and 3 in harms way, but we really want to move to a better climate. The more I look into cities in the south, the more I am concerned about the crime rate and high cost of living compared to wages. I just heard that Mississippi has a tax on groceries. I thought I found a place in Overland Park, KS but then it sounds like it might be a little too wealthy and I don't want to not fit in at all. We looked in Phoenix, AZ as I have relatives there, but the crime rate and summers are too much. I would really like to have opportunities for my children and be close to the outdoors. Oh, and I looked into California too, but that is a joke for affordability. Nice weather, though.

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Old 03-08-2007, 08:47 AM
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 6,565,810 times
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Have you considered North West Georgia? There are a number of carpet mills and other manufacturers there, and Atlanta's not too far out of the way, for better opportunities down the road. Other possibilites include the manufacturing plants (mostly automobile) along I-85 in South Carolina and the furniture manufacturers along I-40 in North Carolina. All offer mild winters, low cost of living, low crime, and decent educational opportunities.
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:13 AM
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I am not sure what the question is, All places in the South are safe for children and have been since the beginning, no different than up north.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:30 PM
Location: Gulfport, MS
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You're going to need to narrow it down more from just "Southern State that's good for children".

Weather, for one. The Deep South has hot, humid summers. Can you handle a humid 100 degree MS summer? If not, you probably don't want Mississippi, Louisiana, or Alabama. Will you miss snow in the wintertime? If so, try for a different Southern state, like Kentucky (which does get snowfall).

Do you have any relatives down South? That can help you acclimate to your new community. What's your religion? Unless you live in a big city, you might discover that finding a mosque or a synagogue in the Bible Belt is a challenge. Do you want to live near the ocean? The Gulf Coast and the coastal areas of the Carolinas are beautiful but -- hurricanes!
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:59 PM
Location: Missouri
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Crime in the south is no different than crime in the north. Cities have higher crime rates than 'burbs or rural areas, in general. Low-income areas, the areas you are seeking out, tend to have higher crime rates. This is true no matter whether you are in the north or south. Don't look at crime rates for the cities; look at crime rates for the surrounding 'burbs.

It sounds like what you need is a mid-sized town in the midwest or the southeastern section of the county (not too far south though, since you don't like it too hot), that has low crime, reasonable cost of living, and a decent job market for what your husband does.

This website tells you the job outlook for certain occupations, broken down by state: http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections.asp (broken link)

For carpentry, the top 15 states are: California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Washington, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan
Eliminate the colder states, the states you already ruled out, and the more expensive states and you have: Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri

For sales reps, the top 15 states are: California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Minnesota
Eliminate the colder states, the states you already ruled out, and the more expensive states and you have: Georgia, North Carolina

I personally would look into North Carolina; the weather is mild but you still enjoy all 4 seasons, schools are good, cost of living is reasonable. I personally would be wary of Georgia; it's a lovely state but overall known for poor schools. With three children, that's got to be an important factor. N.C. has areas (Raleigh and Charlotte come to mind) that are experiencing a boom in population and growth, and a person with carpentry skills would have an easier time finding work. I also want to recommend Missouri but I'm biased because I'm moving there this summer. St. Louis is a beautiful city with extremely high crime and I would not recommend it. But Springfield and Kansas City have lovely and safe suburban areas, and are quite affordable.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:33 PM
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I stand corrected about crime in the south. I had read an article that had led me to believe it was more of a problem due to the nice weather and large influx of people. I just saw a list of the top 10 crime cities in the U.S. and it was balanced between the north and the south. I apologize for making assumptions.

I do still need to find a place to move to. If I haven't offended you too much, please do help me find a spot. Thanks in advance.

Does any one have any thoughts on Florida and where might be a good spot to not be hit by a hurricane? I would love to live there. I also looked into Georgia today. Does anyone know anything about Savanah? I would actually like to go south enough not to have winter. But, still not quite complete south, as I would like to avoid the 110 degree summers.

We have friends in Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA. I don't know if these would work due to our lack of money, and we would have to live in a neighborhood that was low-income. I am sure these are nice cities, but as you said no matter where the city is there is crime.

Does anyone have specific names of towns in NW Georgia, N. Carolina, or on I-40 or I-85? Unfortunately my husband does not want to due carpentry any more. He is however open to factory work. Does anyone know how you go about getting a job at one of the automobile factories or furniture factories? What do they pay? I tried to find a way to apply on the web, but it was all engineer and very skilled labor at the factories. Does anyone know where you go to apply for these?

Last edited by SouthorBust; 03-08-2007 at 04:37 PM..
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:36 PM
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P.S. Schools don't matter due to our going to homeschool. However, recreation and other opportunities for children due matter. I am also pregnant and will be delivering in early October.
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:19 PM
2,356 posts, read 2,644,884 times
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Ouch, good luck.

One big difference between the north and the south is unions. My understanding is that factories down here pay much less than they do up north.. which is why they are all moving away from the north in the first place.. but that's another story.

Historically manufacturing took place away from the coasts. You're also going to have lower crime away from the coasts. Check out places like Greenville, SC, Spartanburg, SC, Greensboro, NC, Winston-Salem, NC, Chattanooga, TN, Birmingham, AL - most of those are all mid-sized cities that historically have decent sized heavy industry. Sorry I can't give you names of specific small towns with factories.. but that's a place to start. Break out a map, and look up some smaller towns around those areas. Frankly I have no idea how somebody goes about getting a factory job, but hopefully that helps.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:39 PM
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 6,565,810 times
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For cities in Northwest Georgia, consider Dalton, Calhoun, Cartersville, or Rome. We lived in Rome for a while and the city was nice. I don't know how bad the crime was, especially in the lower income areas, but it's relatively close to Atlanta and Birmingham is about 2 hours away.
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:18 PM
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"Crime in the south is no different than crime in the north. "

Based on my experiences in living in both areas of the country, I don't believe this is true. SouthorBust, I lived in WI for a couple years and now live about 20 miles from it, so I am familiar with small towns here. In the South, you won't find any place that has a homogenous population like virtually all small towns in WI do. Just about every small Southern town has its economically challenged neighborhood where there's lots of criminal activity. You can move to other parts of these towns, but you will still feel spill-over effects of your fellow citizens who come from the "bad" neighborhoods. As I am sure you can in your small town, in virtually all small towns in the upper Midwest you can walk any street in town 24 hours a day and not feel threatened. Sure there are poor areas, but violent crime is almost non-existent. Not true in Southern small towns. People in other parts of the country don't have a clue what truly low crime is like. I didn't until I came to the Midwest.
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