Since you said you're ok with snow, you may want to look at NE PA. Housing costs are reasonable in the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. There are quality hospitals in both cities, and you will find lots of lakes and streams with good fishing nearby. Casinos have just started operating in PA this yr, and there's one in Wilkes-Barre and another opening nearby in the Poconos.
There are many small, quaint towns in the region (Tunkhannock, Honesdale, etc) that aren't far from the two cities, and if you prefer you can find rural areas that are still within a half-hour's drive to either city. Both cities offer plenty of shopping and dining opportunities and share a symphony, AAA baseball and a minor league hockey team. THere are plenty of ski resorts nearby as well. Crime is comparitively low, and many people in the rural areas and small towns still leave their doors unlocked (though I wouldn't suggest that in the cities).
SUmmers are mild, with only a few days here and there that get either hot or humid. In winter the valleys (cities) don't get as much snow as the higher elevations (the more rural areas). The latter typically gets a few heavy snowstorms every winter.
Good luck in your search, wherever it takes you!