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Old 04-28-2009, 10:41 AM
7 posts, read 28,408 times
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I am desperately needing some guidance as to where to live, work and raise a family while living in a safe place with lots to do and great weather that is also affordable!

My husband is a mechanical engineer and as soon as he is done training here in Dec or Aug. we are allowed to move to anywhere in the US except Alaska and Hawaii because he works from home. I am currently a homemaker but may go back to get my masters once our 2 and 3 year old go to school. We make around $60K right now and are 25 and 27 years old.

We are currently in Minneapolis and love all it has to offer but hate the harsh winters. We both grew up in Iowa and that is where all our family is but again the harsh winters and humid summers and nothing to do make it hard to want to move back.

If you could raise a family anywhere that is safe and affordable where would you move to?? We really can not agree and whenever I travel someplace warm it's during the winters here so I have no idea how hot the summers are in places like FL, TX and AZ. My husband travels a lot so being near an airport is important but I am home alone with 2 kids for a week at a time so being safe is also very important as well as great schools. Would love San Diego but I am pretty sure we can not afford to live in CA!

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Old 04-28-2009, 12:29 PM
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
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Black Hills in SD. Low cost of living. Rapid City is still urban and offers decent shopping. If you like the outdoors the sky is the limit. Only a one days drive back to the Twin Cites to see friends family if you have any there. Decent schools, low crime. Many of our schools offer laptops to all kids -- kinda cool. There is definitely not as much to do in regards to indoor entertainment as you will find in the twin cities though. We do have many museums in our region, a semi-pro hockey team. Concerts are quite regular between Rapid City and Deadwood, but nothing compared to the cities. Unemployment is fairly low as well. Oh ya its cooler than Min. in the summer and warmer in the winter. Won't compare to San Diego of course.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BirchElm View Post
I have no idea how hot the summers are in places like FL, TX and AZ.
Join a gym and visit the stream room or sauna a few times a week. You'll build a tolerance rather quickly...
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:17 PM
Location: North Texas
2,482 posts, read 6,419,898 times
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Flordia and Texas Humid Summers, decent winters
AZ is DRY heat...totally different from Florida or Texas.
Texas you can live just fine on that income and have many colleges to choose from.

I like AZ, we were going to move there when we left California...but I wanted to move back home. So this is where it bought us. And I don't think I am going anywhere any time soon.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:19 PM
7 posts, read 28,408 times
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Thanks for the replies! I think we are going to travel to AZ and TX this summer to see if we can handle the high heat. Is it really so hot in the summer that you can't go outside to play?? I'm just thinking of what kids do when they are out of school for the summer and they are cooped up in their homes??
eric#1 though I love the black hills area, my mom grew up there as a child and we visited a lot while I was growing up I don't think I could handle the harsh winters.

How is TX and AZ doing with the Mexican border and drug issue?? I've heard there has been some violence creeping over and was wondering if places like Houston and Austin will no longer be great places to raise a family??

We also have Colorado and some East coast states that we thought might be great as well. We really have too many options. Though Colorado gets snow I was always there to ski and don't remember it being that cold in the winter and they always had beautiful summers. Don't know much about the East Coast just heard they have some mild winters.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:29 PM
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
15,655 posts, read 20,262,659 times
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Have you looked into any of the areas around Knoxville & Chattanooga TN, or Asheville NC? Lots of outdoor activities year round. Mild winters, but with skiing and other snow sports up in the mountains.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:12 PM
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I live in Austin and there I have not heard of any spillover problems from Mexico. It's one of the safest big cities in the U.S. I think Austin fits your criteria well.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:37 AM
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 18,526,723 times
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If you want to be still within like 500 miles of your family in Iowa, you could try southern Missouri or Northern Arkansas. Still a winter, but not as harsh. And not as much snow. And I know that fall and spring are beautiful in Southern Missouri (as far as aesthetic beauty, the weather can be annoying). Around here (although it depends on the city) $60k is usually enough to live fairly comfortably. Baseball is really big around here. Hockey not at all really, unless you live around St. Louis (but more snow up there).

Humidity in the summer can be a problem, though. You probably won't have as much humidity in the desert (from what I've heard). On vacation in SW Missouri we met a family from Arizona. They were saying they enjoyed the humidity. We complain about it, though. You get out of the car and suddenly you're wet.

I'm not sure if lower temperature and humidity is worse than higher temperature and dry air. I guess you have to experience both to know for sure. Different people have different tolerances.

Missouri has Lake of the Ozarks, and the area around Springfield and Branson has some lakes (like Table Rock Lake). Northwest Arkansas has Ozark Mountains as well, and Bull Shoals Lake, Beaver Lake, Norfork Lake. And there are lakes nearby in Northwest Oklahoma. Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri is a tourist area, but it is beautiful, and relatively affordable. We're going back for a few nights this summer. If you like to fish or water ski, these areas may be good to look into.

This area doesn't have a lot of major cities. Springfield is about 100k. Jonesboro has a little over 100k metro. Tulsa is nearly a million metro, though. Memphis Metro is over 1.2 million. Little Rock about 850k metro. But overall, if you want a metro the size of Minneapolis, this area may not be for you. Only St. Louis comes close, and its winters are a bit harsher (not as much as Chicago, though). St. Louis had about 20 inches of snow in 2008. Although it varies from year-to-year. Anywhere from 3 to 33 inches (since 1990).
St. Louis, MO Annual Snowfall Since 1884

Anyway, you may want to get as far from the Midwest as possible, but it's just a suggestion.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:56 AM
16,381 posts, read 28,492,052 times
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Here are the places I recommend:

-Savannah, GA
-Wilmington, NC
-Nashville, TN
-Raleigh, NC
-Asheville, NC
-Knoxville, TN
-Chattanooga, TN
-San Antonio, TX
-Austin, TX
-Albuquerque, NM
-Santa Fe, NM
-Tuscon, AZ
-Sacramento, CA
-San Diego, CA
-Huntsville, AL
-Augusta, GA

Great climates. Manageable cities. Good for families. Things to do.

I hope this helps a little. Good Luck!
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:26 AM
7 posts, read 28,408 times
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Thanks everyone for your replies. There are so many good choices and so little time to visit them all! I think we will have to do a lot of traveling this summer!
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