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Old 01-23-2023, 01:54 PM
 
383 posts, read 391,819 times
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My family and I are considering moving to Milwaukee. We currently live in Charlotte, NC, but we have lived in a lot of other cities, including Madison for 13 years (which we really loved). With that being said, we visited Milwaukee a lot and enjoyed the time we spent there. However, living there is an entirely different ballgame. We absolutely HATE living in Charlotte and cannot wait to get back to WI, as we consider it home. But, the proverbial grass is not always greener, as we have discovered with 10 moves over the years. We are trying to be very measured about this. We plan on visiting in the near future as we cannot move for 2.5 years when our son finishes his master's degree and our oldest daughter finishes undergraduate. Our son would consider getting his PhD. from UW Madison, and our oldest daughter is considering her Master's from somewhere in Miwaukee. (We are a close family and like to be near each other).

A few questions: First, is it worth the expense? Charlotte is a lot cheaper in many ways, especially with housing. For example, our house would probably sell for around $700-750,000, with the property taxes being around $3,000 per year. As Madison, I know the property taxes are obscene in Milwaukee. However, the traffic and driving are so bad. The influx of New Yorkers is amazing. In fact, it's like living in NY! It's hotter than Hell, and the cultural options are pretty pathetic. I could go on and on but won't. We would love to have a smaller and much less expensive house in Wauwatosa. We are really stuck on living there because of the location. I know this is a question only I and my family can answer, but I'm interested in hearing viewpoints as mine are so skewed with hatred of this place.

Secondly, what is Mount Mary University like? What is the reputation? Is it Catholic in name only? Is it in a safe area? I would consider any WI university to be superior to the universities here in NC. Education as a whole seems much better in WI, frankly. However, our youngest daughter really wants to go to a Catholic college. We have Belmont Abbey here, which our oldest is attending and our youngest could, but everyone is so discontent with Charlotte it might just be worth the move.

Thanks for reading and giving any insight. We made the mistake of moving here, which was very costly and has made everyone miserable, so I am trying to avoid the same error again!

Thanks, again!
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Old 01-23-2023, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Madison WI
51 posts, read 72,349 times
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MKE>Charlotte.
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Florida & Arizona
5,975 posts, read 7,365,693 times
Reputation: 7591
I'm sorry I can't answer the expense question, but as a participant of a number of moves around the country, including one that returned us to the city where we grew up, don't expect things to be the same. We returned after an absence of 20 years expecting things to be better/more progressive, but they weren't. For that matter, they hadn't really changed at all.

As a former resident of SE Wisconsin among a number of other places in this great country as well as overseas, I can say without question that the quality of life in Wisconsin was the best of anywhere I have lived. It's not really something that's tangible, but it was just better.

That being said, as I have told anyone who is contemplating a move to another part of the country that is "better", please let me know when you find the best place to live. Life is full of compromises, and that plays heavily in the decision on where to live. I would return to Wisconsin, but I've found other places that I like better, not because of the quality of life aspect, but for things that have more value to me for various reasons.

I used to visit Charlotte regularly for business. Never cared for it myself, but that was a passing observation. At least Heritage USA is gone, eh?

You're lucky that you've already lived here, so you're coming in eyes wide open. Best of luck to you and your family. At least you have prior knowledge and time to make your decision.

RM
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Old 01-23-2023, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
3,368 posts, read 2,886,587 times
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I think Wisconsin is much cheaper than 700K. I don't know how big your house is, but most houses in 3000 sq ft area goes in 400-500K here. It can be even cheaper if it's a rural area. Taxes are about the same, if not in Milwaukee or Dane counties. Generally speaking, if you can find a job here, it's worth the expense. East Coast is just too crowded.
Having said that, I had tenants who where unhappy in Wisconsin and ran to NC at the very first opportunity.


I have no idea on any particular colleges, you need to go to the campus and talk to the advisors and students there.
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:04 AM
 
383 posts, read 391,819 times
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Thank you all for the very thoughtful responses.

As far as things not being as remembered, that did happen to us. We lived in St. Louis twice and returned a third time for work. The first two times I loved it, the third time I absolutely hated it. The city hadn't changed that much, but I had. Also, I grew up in the South and loved it. Now that I have returned, I hate it! (Of course, this really isn't the South as far as people go, but the weather is the same). So, yes, that is a huge concern to me - that we are seeing WI through rose-colored glasses. However, we do enjoy the distinct 4 seasons (here we have our daylilies and other perennials coming up and trees budding), the size of the city, the proximity to other cities, the fact the city actually has character, the abundance of outdoor activities, and the people (unless NY has invaded WI, too). Having lived in TN, MO, NE, TX, MI, NC, and spending a lot of time in GA, WI far surpasses the others. I do have a lot of concerns, but, like you all have said, there are compromises to be made.

Regarding taxes, specifically property, they do seem a lot higher. Our house in Madison was about $6-7,000 when we left 10 years ago. It was a 2,300 sq. ft. starter home. I am shocked, even now, at how much houses in Wawautosa sell for (I really like that area) and the taxes. I would love more rural, but I am 54 and am trying to look to the future so I don't have to keep moving. Our house here is a new build (5 years old). The price has increased $300,000 over the 5 yr period, and it looks like Milwaukee increased about the same pace. Scary. I want a much smaller and cheaper house as this one is killing us (we do all of the yard/maintenance ourselves). Actually, we will probably rent for the first year to see where we want to live.

MortonR - sorry you had to come here. I really don't get the allure, but people are moving here in droves. This place is all about big houses, fancy cars, and constant consumption. It's just strip malls and big box stores/houses (yes, mine fits into this).

You all are great, and I really appreciate the feedback. Blessings!
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Old 01-25-2023, 01:31 PM
 
Location: RI, MA, VT, WI, IL, CA, IN (that one sucked), KY
41,938 posts, read 36,935,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyjudy View Post
The city hadn't changed that much, but I had.
This is always the issue, I think. Not that places can't change, they do, but if I returned to Madison in retirement (which is something in the back of my mind), it won't be the same because I'm not.
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Old 01-25-2023, 02:12 PM
 
509 posts, read 432,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twb0392 View Post
MKE>Charlotte.
Agreed and speaking from experience as I went to college and grad school at UNC Charlotte and lived there from 2003 - 2010, I found Milwaukee to be a much more interesting and better city (in things such as architecture, people, walkability, history, local bars and shops, lakefront, museums, and parks) from just one visit there for four days in 2021 than my entire 7 years in Charlotte. Can't wait to get back.
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Old 01-26-2023, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Florida & Arizona
5,975 posts, read 7,365,693 times
Reputation: 7591
I lived in Sheboygan and Port Washington, which is an area you might want to consider. I don't think prices in Port Washington are all that outrageous for the area, in fact, I'm a bit surprised they're not higher. Taxes won't be as bad as Madison, either.

Property taxes were an issue when we lived there as well, but there was some relief when the city did a reassessment. That being said, WI has always had high property taxes, I don't think you're going to escape that no matter where you go in the state. Look at it this way - they are one of the reasons the quality of life is so good there. I was always amazed at the number of parks there were everywhere I went - those are a product of tax dollars, for example.

You don't have to apologize for Charlotte - I had to go there for business, that's all. I never went there for personal reasons and likely never would.

I think the observation about you changing and not the area is very astute. As we age our values tend to change, which can often alter our perceptions, easily affecting how we look at a place where we have bene previously. I totally get that. I lived in California for a while, and at the time it was great. Fast forward a couple of decades and while I have fond memories, I wouldn't want to live there now under the same circumstances.

RM
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Old 01-26-2023, 07:28 AM
 
383 posts, read 391,819 times
Reputation: 593
I have looked at Port Washington in the past. It's a little far for my husband's commute and the kids to go to school. Of course, they are almost out of the house. I really want to be in where I can walk to a lot of places and be near shopping, etc. That might just mean we have to "buck up" and pay the taxes. Here in Charlotte we live so far from everything, which is fine for now since I cannot stand going into Charlotte. Of course, the road systems here are so poorly designed and are so overloaded with the rapid growth. I agree with the quality of life probably being directly related to the taxes, unfortunately. It's funny how the little (or not so little) costs add up-like mandatory termite insurance, pest control, electricity (air conditioning 9 months out of the year), water (a huge yard), HOA fees, gas, etc. Those expenses might just off set the increase in property taxes!

I don't think WI people know how good they really have it. The state is beautiful with, 4 distinct seasons, wonderful state parks, the lakes, fabulous farmland, great proximity to other major and minor cities, colleges with great reputations, and on and on! (Don't forget the people!)

As far as aging and changing, the past 5.5 years has certainly done both for me - AGE and change! Frankly, the change is really good. My entire family sees the ridiculousness of this crazy conspicuous consumption. It has made us really thankful for each other and for the small things in life that really bring true happiness and pleasure. So, not all is bad, I guess.

Regarding the comment about my son being crazy smart. No, he's not (but don't tell him I said so!) He just works hard, likes what he does, and understands the pointlessness of modern traps (like social media, pop culture, money, possessions, partying, etc.). He's great! I'm proud of him and hope he never loses his way like so many of us!

Thanks again to everyone responding. Blessings to you all!
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Old 01-26-2023, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Florida & Arizona
5,975 posts, read 7,365,693 times
Reputation: 7591
Too bad about Port. It's the quintessential "small town" with a great downtown and wonderful local businesses and parks. We loved it there, but I can totally understand the issue of commuting. In our case I worked in the Sheboygan area and my spouse in Milwaukee, so it was a perfect fit for us logistically, among other things.

Even though we don't live there any longer, we still get a semi-monthly "care package" from Bernie's Fine Meats! Gotta have that summer sausage, among other goodies. And I still buy Allen-Edmond's shoes, too!

Good luck!

RM
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