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Old 02-27-2008, 08:40 AM
34 posts, read 193,765 times
Reputation: 42


Hi. I don't know if this has been addressed in this way, but here it goes.

I am currently in college for x-ray and my husband is a heavy equipment operator. We live in the NW and have our entire lives. We are thinking of moving but do not know where. We have not traveled a whole lot although I did visit my sister in Orlando about 10 years ago.

Here's the thing. The NW is getting extremely expensive. I know, it's all over. But, we have the highest minimum wage in the country. Not as good as it sounds. All it does is drive the cost of everything else up, and does not help the people it was designed to help because they still cannot afford things. We may move when I am out of college as both our jobs will be available anywhere and he is facing layoffs due to budget cuts.

So, this may be wishful thinking, but if we can narrow down some of the things that we want, then it might help if we only have a few places to check out before we move (if we move. We don't want to make it worse!)

1. We would want to be less than 4 hours from a major airport. We are 4 hours from Portland or Seattle airports now, and that's about maximum otherwise you need to stay the night just to catch a flight.

2. Less than 4 hours from skiing. We are beginners, so it doesn't' have to be Vail or someplace like that But, we do like to go 3 to 4 times per winter.

3. Less than 4 hours from a recreational place such as dunes. We have ATVs and like to ride on the dunes. They are not the 4 x 4 kind so they are dunes only, not for the woods.

4. We are not into typical "artsy" things. Occasional, sure. But, not all the time. We like the outdoors, we ride motorcycles, swim, exercise etc. We are pretty down to earth, so fancy-wait in line 3 hours for dinner-does nothing for us! Give me a good cook out any day!

5. We don't have kids so I don't care about the schools (in regards to looking for a good one).

6. Political-wise, I guess that we are more Republican, but not even that all the time. We are not liberal and believe that most of the people "on the system" are "working the system". Please don't comment on that. I know too many people who are doing it and even turned my sister in because she was getting welfare, food stamps, & free housing yet lived with her boyfriend and rented her free apartment out to a friend for extra money. I don't go for that and that's not what this link is about.

I guess those are the major things. The NW has two seasons. Gray and raining, and hot and dry It's not that bad, but I am sick of the six to nine months of gray during the winter. The summers are nice here. We don't have a lot of humidity and it's usually pretty dry, but it's just not a lot of sun. Our cars don't even have A/C! We do not think that we would like to live in the Midwest or plains or northeast. I would rather have extreme heat than extreme cold so that leaves the "U" of the country (as someone else told me).

So, I don't know if anyone can help us out there. If we move, than the NW is out. No sense moving across the street. We are just getting ideas.

Thank you.

Last edited by xray chick; 02-27-2008 at 09:25 AM..
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:39 AM
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,825 posts, read 6,524,196 times
Reputation: 1746
I doubt you will fill all of your requirements and have a cheaper place to live. Comparatively speaking, where you live now is cheap. You could try South Central Kansas (Wichita has an airport) or Oklahoma. You probably need to spend some time with a road atlas and look at areas that may have most of your wishes. Good Luck!
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:59 AM
518 posts, read 2,447,886 times
Reputation: 312
western pennsylvania fits almost all of your needs, except there are no dunes. there are several ski resorts, such as seven springs and hidden vally, both within a couple hour drive of just about anywhere in western pa. pittsburgh international airport is in western pa. it has a low cost of living. you can find a decent house for $100,000 in many parts of western pa. there are lots of jobs in the healthcare fields in hospitals all throughout western pa. if you want to stay away from lots of snow, find a place south of Interstate 80. its pretty much the dividing line for heavy snow and light snow.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:11 AM
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 37,520,773 times
Reputation: 16989
Other than not thinking you want the Midwest, you just described the West side of Michigan to a "T". Silver lake sand dunes to ride on, world class beaches as far as the eye can see and beyond, lower cost of living, Great outdoor activities, slower pace. 4 seasons, with warm Summers, cool Springs and Falls, but the winter can get cold. Several major airports close, Ski areas all over the middle part of the State (none huge, but all of them fun), moderate in politics, and very friendly people. Check out Grand Rapids for a larger city, and any of the smaller towns along the Lake Michigan shoreline if you want small town living.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:26 PM
34 posts, read 193,765 times
Reputation: 42
Thank you everyone. I've lived here all my life and grew up in a town of about 15,000 people. I had a pen pal in school who lived in Portland which is about 500,000 people and I remember her saying that even they were tired of living there and couldn't wait to get out. I guess we always want something different!

I have not been to many places and I know there are good and bad things about every place and there is no Nirvana, so it's nice to get some input from other people. If our jobs hold up, then we will probably stay, but there are currently no job openings for me where we live when I graduate and they don't open that often, so it's nice to keep options open.

We'll just have to travel and see what's out there! Maybe when I'm done, I'll have a different outlook on things, who knows!

Thanks for the replys
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:51 PM
Location: Phoenix metro
20,004 posts, read 74,963,247 times
Reputation: 10332
Utah comes to mind, maybe Salt Lake City? Albuquerque would be another idea, as would Phoenix or Tucson. Denver might be another possibility too.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:19 PM
13,161 posts, read 37,744,257 times
Reputation: 10526
How about East Tennessee? Or western North Carolina? There's snow skiing in the southern Appalachians, the Knoxville job market is booming, Asheville NC is also a growing city, you've got major airports in 3 hours away in Charlotte, Atlanta and Nashville with smaller airports in Knoxville and Asheville (the Knoxville airport has a whitewater river running through the middle of it--very cool).

Taxes around here are very low, the cost of living is low, the political climate here is conservative, and each of the four seasons is very distinct and beautiful.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:03 PM
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 18,151,540 times
Reputation: 3381
Anywhere in the midwest should be cheap enough. Missouri has a lot of outdoors areas as well, and a fair amount within 4 hours of St. Louis or Kansas City (airports), but I couldn't tell you about skiing or dunes. Dunes sounds more like Michigan to me.

Rural Missouri is usually more conservative while the cities are more liberal. And the weather is not boring. It snowed this morning and we've had almost 2 weeks off due to ice. But in summer it can get into the 90s. And you have plenty of sunny days as well.

Here's a site listing some ski places in Missouri Skiing in Missouri, but I haven't experienced any of them personally. Eureka is just outside of St. Louis. There's a Six Flags out there, too. Here's some more Skiing in Missouri, MO - Yellow Pages - Switchboard.com (broken link)
Here's skiing in Illinois: Skiing in Illinois

Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:10 PM
Location: City of North Las Vegas, NV
12,569 posts, read 8,915,030 times
Reputation: 3424
Southern New Mexico meets your criteria except maybe the political one.
Check out the town of Las Cruces. You will love it! Great and unique outdoors, wide open areas and a big city with airport, El Paso, only 50 min away. IMO the best weather in all of the US!
To five best places to retire and a university town of about 100K.

Las Cruces awards and recognition

Go to New Mexico forum for more.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:07 PM
Location: Near L.A.
4,111 posts, read 10,336,646 times
Reputation: 3434
Try Texas, particularly Houston. Let's see: like Washington, no income tax (although sales and property taxes are more expensive). Cheaper housing. Cheaper utilities except maybe electricity. Electricity deregulated, meaning you're supposed to have say in your electric provider. Very close to Gulf of Mexico, although some of the beaches at Galveston are dirty. The Galveston strand. The Kemah Boardwalk. Katy Mills. The Galleria with its 375 stores. A gleaming skyline. An expansive freeway system. Terrible traffic. Very smoggy. Very humid. Scorching summers. Mild winters. Very little snow. Very heavy rains 3-4 times annually. Very friendly people--the natives, anyway. Montrose. Uptown. Midtown. Rice Village. Texas Medical Center. Downtown. The Astros. The Rockets. The Texans. The Woodlands. University Park. Rice University. Houston Heights. Third Ward (bad in some spots, though.) University of Houston. The Houstonian Hotel. Westheimer Boulevard.

I'm just thing of adjectives, adverbs, traits, and objects to describe Houston as I go along. I'm considering moving to there, Ft. Worth, Atlanta, and Charlotte, but Houston is my first choice by a longshot!
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