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Old 07-01-2013, 01:03 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,142 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi, so I posted a thread awhile ago and I guess I included too much info. I couldn't figure out how to edit the original post so I'm starting a new thread here.

Hello everyone! As the title of the post stated, my family is thinking of relocating and we'd like some ideas on where.

Cost of living: If we do move, our combined yearly income will be between $50,000 and $70,000 for three adults and at least 4 dogs (possibly 5).

Population: We'd like to be in or near a large city.

Weather: We want snowy winters. We'd like summers to either be between 60 and 75 degrees or to feel like they are. No Deep South style humidity. We'd also like rainy weather but not constant.

Geography: We love mountains, forests and lakes. We like the ocean and rainforests. No tundra, plains or deserts.

Politics and Religion: Two liberals, one libertarian. One Presbyterian, one spiritual, one agnostic. All of us are live and let live.

Demographics: Good dating scene, without being Party USA. Good place for retirees without being an Old Folks Village.

Entertainments: Theater, museums (history, science, strange (think Mutter Museum) and the more the merrier), restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, an aquarium, a zoo and well stocked libraries. Also, we do want a place that is animal friendly. We have 4 dogs (5 if we move) so dog parks or dog friendly parks are a must. If they have water to play in, bonus points.

Crime rate: We would like a fairly safe crime rate. Salt Lake is a pretty good example. There are some scary places here but there are also places where it's fairly normal. To that end, if you could include the normal areas, it would be appreciated.

Economy and Cost of living: My sister is a beautician, I'm currently unemployed and our mom is looking to retire. So low or average cost of living, and good employment is a must.

Extra notes: We would also like a place that is fitness friendly. Jogging paths, bike paths, affordable gyms and where a car isn't necessary would be nice. We do have a car and will be getting a second one when I find work but gas is such a pain in the butt that we'd prefer not to have to be dependent on one. However for the right place, walking schmalking. Either way, good public transit is a must.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:39 PM
 
24,436 posts, read 38,431,073 times
Reputation: 25725
Check out Salem, Oregon.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,815 posts, read 29,745,731 times
Reputation: 38358
I do remember you. I think I suggested Bellingham, WA, and that's what came to mind again today.

Bellingham can be dreary with being overcast, but other than that, it has everything you want. Lots of mountains, woods, water, snow in winter, cooler summers, no humidity. Pretty reasonable cost of living. You can drive to either Vancouver, BC or Seattle if you want big city stuff.

I did a Craigslist search and found the site for Bellingham:

craigslist: bellingham classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events

I looked at the housing/rentals and found a lot that were dog friendly. Even figuring your income at only $50,000, that would work out to $4167/month (I'm assuming this would be gross income). Most landlords want you to pay only 30% of your income on housing. Anyway, 30% would be $1375/month.

I found a dog friendly single family home, 3 bdrms, in Bellingham proper for only $1650/mo.

Large 3+ Bedroom home Ready 09/09/13

When I lived there, salaries weren't really great, which is why I think it would be affordable.

Also, I did have to ride the bus for a while while I lived there, so there is transit.

I believe the ferries run out of Bellingham now (they didn't when I lived there), so you can take the ferry to Victoria, BC, or even to Seattle, I think. You'll have to check it out.

Anyway, I personally can't think of anywhere that would fit your needs better, keeping your income and cost of living requirements, especially, in mind.



San Juan Islands



Whale watching in the San Juan Islands



Western Washington University



Downtown

EDIT: Here's some salon/spa job listings for your sister:

http://bellingham.craigslist.org/search/spa?query=+

Last edited by NoMoreSnowForMe; 07-01-2013 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:42 PM
 
78,260 posts, read 106,210,286 times
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What kind of work would you be looking for? That could help determine where to look.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:51 PM
 
78,260 posts, read 106,210,286 times
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What about Boise ID? It has the museums, the aquarium, the zoo, the mountains nearby and it snows there. Summer weather may be a bit too warm though.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Denver Metro
107 posts, read 108,233 times
Reputation: 51
Valdez, Alaska? You could try Juneau, as well.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,959 posts, read 5,298,089 times
Reputation: 12255
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I do remember you. I think I suggested Bellingham, WA, and that's what came to mind again today.

Bellingham can be dreary with being overcast, but other than that, it has everything you want. Lots of mountains, woods, water, snow in winter, cooler summers, no humidity. Pretty reasonable cost of living. You can drive to either Vancouver, BC or Seattle if you want big city stuff.
At this writing, there is an open and active thread on Bellingham in the Washington State section of the forum. Good, and the bad. (Chuckle): 52 pages and counting, thus far: now THAT is a lot of opinion to sort, but much of it interesting. Half say come, other half say go, it started in 2007 (the thread) and a lot has happened since.

Hey, we're all about opinions here, so mine as-well: SOME parts of Washington can be questionable places for those of less-than-stellar income. That's the hard truth. High sales tax, property expensive and growing more so, thus higher property taxes, salaries not keeping up with expenses, etc. Totally, completely depends on what you want, need, and can/cannot live with based on your stability of revenue stream.

I live in Seattle metro (long term), work in Tech (longer term), wouldn't have it any other way, and that's what I'm seeing all across the Pacific side of the state in medium to larger metro areas. No idea if same holds true in OR and CA: depends who you ask. I will probably, though not definitely, leave the state and country when I retire though that's some decades away and a lot will happen in the interim.

Further, don't discount the "dreary" aspect of PacNW, gorgeous summer picture(s) notwithstanding. And the San Juans, downtown Bellingham, etc. really are spectacular late spring to late Fall, agreed. It really, really drags on some: climate data is rather dry (bad pun), and people have a tendency to read/believe whatever we want, facts notwithstanding. My observation is climate may be the single largest limiting factor to living PacNW in-general, closely followed by cost of living. If it wans't, everyone would be here ala Los Angeles or Mexico City.

Bellingham is an outpost of eclectic NW life near the Canadian border, with Vancouver much closer than Seattle (though crossing the border can be a bit tiresome). If you can find decent-paying work, great. If you don't mind living on less, for potentially greater quality of life, and living with quirks in the area, also great. Small town...not quite, but neither is it terribly big. Scenic, yes, for part of the year. The remainder is clouded over, raining, and/or snowing (winter). Outdoor activities almost limitless, given how rough the surrounding country is.

Keep eyes-open for pluses and minuses alike, please.
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