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Old 07-08-2009, 05:23 PM
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Hello, myself and my girlfriend are looking to move in the near future. In two and a half to three months I would like to make the move. I currently reside in Orlando, FL and have been here for about two years attending college. I've lived in Florida for a total of about five years coming and going and now wish to pursue somewhere a little different. My girlfriend has lived in Florida her whole life and is looking to branch out and see new things.

Generally we are looking for a place that has four distinct seasons, beautiful surroundings, low crime, affordable housing, and to get that big city feel in a less populated place. Also a good place to start a family.

More specifically milder summers and winters [no where the snow is too abundant or the summers are full of extreme heat.]

As far as surroundings go lakes would be ideal, somewhere to go fishing. A place with natural wildlife. We would both really enjoy a greener surrounding, and like having mountains in the area, but are not too keen on the desert. Both have a love for the beach and would hate to be too far from one as we are now [would like a beach within 10 miles or so.]

We are looking to rent a house and no longer live in an apartment so areas with a good deal on houses is a must. Would not mind living in a quiet neighborhood just so long as entertainment and hospitals are not far from reach.

We are just overall looking for the perfect place for us. We are excited and cannot wait to start a new life in a nice beautiful place that we can call home.

Thank you so much for all your feedback, your help is appreciated greatly.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:45 PM
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What do you consider "mild" summer weather and "not over-abundant" snowfall? It's going to be tricky to find a place that has mountains and lakes and lots of greenery, and also has four seasons with mild weather in both summer and winter. My first thought for mild weather during winter and summer was the Northwest coastal region, but then you'd not be looking so much at the classic four seasons.

What would work would also depend on your preference for type of settlement--big city, small city, suburb, rural. Depending on this, I might suggest interior regions of the Northwest--Idaho, and eastern WA and OR. Milder winters than interior areas in the Midwest, and the summers can get kind of hot, but without the humidity you find east of the Plains. Still, maybe not quite as green as you'd like except when you're actually in the mountains.

I might suggest Denver, and the CO Front Range area more broadly, except that it's pretty snowy there. However, people from the area say that after a snowstorm, it usually won't be long before a mild spell will melt most of the snow, so you don't see the snow piling up, getting deeper and deeper, all through the winter. They get their share of heavy snowfalls, however, even if it doesn't stick around. Denver is another area where you'll need to get into the mountains to see a lot of forest, if that's the kind of greenery you're talking about. The Front Range cities themselves are on the prairie, so a lot of the green stuff will be grassland. Not so sure there are a lot of lakes around there either.

I'd suggest Albuquerque, except that there's a lot of desert scenery around. The climate is fairly mild most of the year, though.

Depending on what you mean by mild summer weather, you might consider areas in or near mountains in the mid or upper South. The Piedmont region of the Carolinas, VA, and northern GA, as well as places in the lower elevations in the mountains in those states, plus TN and northern AR will have fairly milde winters. The summers may seem fairly mild since you're used to Florida, but really, they're still going to be fairly warm and muggy compared to what you'd find in some interior regions of the West. But then, many of those interior Western regions won't have as much greenery. You may have to make a compromise somewhere.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:52 PM
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You described Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:58 PM
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
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Maybe somewhere like Ithaca or Syracuse in upstate NY, maybe western Massachusetts.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:02 PM
Location: Key West
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Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
Maybe somewhere like Ithaca or Syracuse in upstate NY, maybe western Massachusetts.
Upstate NY gets a ton of snow in the winter otherwise it is not bad.

I would choose Louisville or Lexington which are not too big and have relatively mild winters. Definite 4 seasons

Boise idaho is a wonderful city as well. The winters are not bad there and beautiful scenery and endless outdoor activities
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:11 PM
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Okay, I just re-read your original post, and see that you also want a beach nearby. One more reason you may have to compromise on your expectations. Again, though, it depends on how you define your subjective criteria, like mild summers and not-over-abundant snowfall.

I'm also unsure what you mean by wanting the big-city experience in a less populated area. Does that mean you want to have that experience without living anywhere near a large city? That's tricky, another area where you may have to make a choice about what you want more. I'd say that generally, small cities with colleges are good places to find more in the way of an eclectic restaurant scene, and some arts and culture, than you would usually expect in a small city. However, you also say you want a good place to raise a family. Some college towns might fit the bill, but many are so heavily oriented toward the student, young adult scene that they may not be such great places for families, with the variety of ages you find in families.

Tricky stuff here. I might suggest some small coastal cities in the mid-Atlantic region. The summers will be kind of warm and muggy, being that you'd be on the east coast, but maybe compared to what you're used to in FL they'd seem mild, plus proximity to the coast could cool things off a little. I'm thinking maybe Annapolis. If more of a mid-sized, rather than small, metro area might work for you, maybe somewhere in the southeastern VA Hampton Roads area would work. Both areas are on the coast, yet just a few hours' drive from mountains.

If you can compromise a bit on mild, not so snowy winters, some towns along the southern coast of New England might work. Lots of expensive towns along there, but others that are a bit more reasonable, and in many areas you'll be fairly close to one city or another. The winters there tend to be milder than they are farther up into New England, but it's still New England, so it might be more of a serious winter than you'd really like. I think you really may have to compromise somewhere, however, so maybe some winter weather that's a bit more hefty than you'd really prefer would be a possibility. If that area sounds interesting, I'd look more toward eastern CT, as places near NYC tend to get really expensive, and into Rhode Island. I don't know much about individual towns and small cities, but somewhere in the vicinity of New London or Newport might work. Maybe the Providence metro area would work if you could compromise on being within ten miles of the beach. In all these areas, you're in the coastal region, and a few hours' drive from the mountains in NH. Rhode Island might especially offer the possibility of the big-city experience while you could still live in a smaller community, because you'd be near both Providence and Newport, which both pack some punch for their size in terms of nightlife, and then Boston is about an hour up the road from Providence.

Okay, a few suggestions. Once again, you'll probably have to compromise on some of your criteria.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
Maybe somewhere like Ithaca or Syracuse in upstate NY, maybe western Massachusetts.
I second that. Maybe Rochester or Buffalo too.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:30 PM
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Well, you're basically describing CA 40 yrs ago and NC 20 yrs ago. Today, I'd say SC, maybe. Hot tho. Greenville, Summerville, Mt Pleasant (actually a beach town) and Lexington County. It's one of the few places that have that Cali beach/mt thang going, sorta (the mts and beach are 4 hrs apart). Family-oriented, not way overdeveloped yet. You're still in the East and can drive to NYC, DC, etc in a day or two. Also look at Eastern TN.

In the West, there is no place where you can swim in the ocean that is not expensive. Oregon, Idaho, Utah, AZ...you can at least drive to the beach in a day.

If you want 4 seasons FOR REAL...upstate NY, PA or New England. Decent summer beaches not too far away.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:47 PM
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Mikes_Lemon - If education, jobs, family, clean community and, hardly any crime is important to you, then why don't you explore North Dakota. You don't have to reside in the capitol but many couples/families relocate to the country/rural areas and they are only around 30-40 minutes (no traffic whatsoever) to and from work in Bismarck which is our capitol. Let me know if you need further information relating to Bismarck or smaller area towns. Good luck to both!
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:47 PM
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I know this thread was dead (until it just got resurrected ), but I need to add one place. HAMPTON ROADS, VA! More specifically, Virginia Beach.

It has all you want, nice landscapes, tons of fishing, 4 seasons, it has beaches with 20 miles, pretty well no matter where you are (and NICE beaches at that). Housing is really reasonable there too.
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