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Old 05-23-2010, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Everett, WA
271 posts, read 657,966 times
Reputation: 81

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I am being forced to move by the end of summer. It's a long story so I won't go into all the details; let's just say that legal issues are not involved.

So...this is me and this is what I need:

I am a single male in my early 40's. I am generally a quiet, laid-back person which is good to some extent but makes it difficult to meet people, make friends. I don't need to be "Mr. popular" but it would be nice to meet people to do things with occasionally.

I work in the low pay, high turnover social service sector. I wouldn't mind getting out of it but I don't mind it either. The problem is that the low pay sucks when you live in an area with a high cost of living. I have no experience with anything else outside of hospitality, (another low-paying industry) nor do I desire to get into the high-pay, high tech industry.

I do have a bachelors degree in sociology. I might consider going back to school in order to get a masters but, I don't want to feel that I have to in order to make a livable wage.

I need at least 3 distinct seasons. I could live with or without a cold, hard winter.

I am pretty "open-minded". I don't mind gangster's, hillbillies, hippies, mountain-men, country-folk, etc. What I don't like are people that are too judgemental towards others

Sports: I love to watch but I'm ok with the minor-league, college and/or high school scene. I don't need pro.

What else?

Let's see........The area needs to be "pet-friendly" (dogs) and conducive to a "take it as it comes" attitude.

Please help me decide.
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
10,138 posts, read 16,069,441 times
Reputation: 4047
I'm guessing you want to stick to inexpensive areas, and since you don't mind the winter;

- Indianapolis
- Columbus
- Austin
- Houston
- Charlotte
- Jacksonville

The first three and Charlotte, are pretty nice cities, all growing, and can be inexpensive maybe Austin is pushing it a tad bit, but it's relatively cheaper than national average and way less than Washington State. Their job markets are growing really fast, and they're becoming large cities.

Houston is already a large city with a lot of potential, the job sector is diverse and the economy is good with inexpensive cost of living and pet friendly environment, and it has professional sports. Basically it meets all your criteria.

Jacksonville has a growing economy and it's a nice city, and it tends to be inexpensive compared to it's Florida peers.

All of them have friendly people, but Jacksonville is a bit hard for you to meet people so openly, that's the only downside to it.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Sanford, FL
596 posts, read 1,708,270 times
Reputation: 296
The choices above are good, I'd also recommend Nashville. It has a growing economy, a low cost of living, a moderate four season climate, pro (NFL and NHL) and collegiate sports (Vanderbilt), it's surprisingly diverse due to the music scene/colleges/major medical centers, pet-friendly, is very laidback and it has good opportunities job-wise for you.
Relocating to Nashville
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,694 posts, read 3,625,844 times
Reputation: 709
I would check out either Austin or San Antonio both cities have great growing economies
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,515 posts, read 5,029,096 times
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You're in Washington now; I'd suggest Portland, OR. It's more laid-back than the Seattle area.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Everett, WA
271 posts, read 657,966 times
Reputation: 81
These are good choices and I'm checking into all of them.

The more I think about it though there are a couple of other criteria.

Although I am fairly "open-minded", I do lean a little more conservative than liberal.

I prefer slow but steady growth over "explosive" growth. (Actually, as long as the area is large enough for me to meet some people and get a decent job in my field, a population decline would be ok too )

I'm guessing that is going to eliminate Portland, OR and Austin, TX. What about others? Any additional areas/regions that I'm not thinking about?
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Sanford, FL
596 posts, read 1,708,270 times
Reputation: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacx View Post
These are good choices and I'm checking into all of them.

The more I think about it though there are a couple of other criteria.

Although I am fairly "open-minded", I do lean a little more conservative than liberal.

I prefer slow but steady growth over "explosive" growth. (Actually, as long as the area is large enough for me to meet some people and get a decent job in my field, a population decline would be ok too )

I'm guessing that is going to eliminate Portland, OR and Austin, TX. What about others? Any additional areas/regions that I'm not thinking about?
That final bit of information made me think of Denver. It's an open-minded city that sits pretty evenly between liberal and conservative. I still think Nashville would be a great fit, but Denver could be a finalist too.
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:45 PM
 
6,353 posts, read 11,606,950 times
Reputation: 6314
Quote:
I don't mind gangster's, hillbillies, hippies, mountain-men, country-folk, etc.
Welcome to Knoxville!

Quote:
What I don't like are people that are too judgemental towards others
It's possible you could encounter a few of these, but they aren't the norm.
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:48 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
10,138 posts, read 16,069,441 times
Reputation: 4047
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacx View Post
These are good choices and I'm checking into all of them.

The more I think about it though there are a couple of other criteria.

Although I am fairly "open-minded", I do lean a little more conservative than liberal.

I prefer slow but steady growth over "explosive" growth. (Actually, as long as the area is large enough for me to meet some people and get a decent job in my field, a population decline would be ok too )

I'm guessing that is going to eliminate Portland, OR and Austin, TX. What about others? Any additional areas/regions that I'm not thinking about?
The city of Houston is moderate. The inner city is more lefty and the more out you go into the outer ring and then into suburbs it gets conservative.

I think you'll love the city, big city, big city amenities. Friendly people, great food, inexpensive, and good job growth. Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Jacksonville are good alternative too. But you won't be meeting many people there that openly.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:42 AM
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Location: Ohio
17,107 posts, read 38,136,542 times
Reputation: 14447
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacx View Post
I prefer slow but steady growth over "explosive" growth. (Actually, as long as the area is large enough for me to meet some people and get a decent job in my field, a population decline would be ok too )
That should eliminate all of Texas. State laws in Texas don't give local government much control over development. Developers in Texas build where they want to, without much that local government can do to rein them in or ensure that roads and infrastructure are adequate to support their development.
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