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Old 09-06-2007, 08:22 PM
 
6 posts, read 17,201 times
Reputation: 11

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this post is not meant to offend anyone- just MY opinion.

utopia ? where is it?
Looking for a warm sunny place, nice, safe, have school-aged kids so decent schools, small town, friendly people, mountains and lakes a plus, any job-not picky. Rent first-the look around to buy.

Everybodys idea of utopia is something different. Some people like small towns; some like big towns; some like it cold; some like it hot; some want the beaches; some want mountains; some want deserts and so on and so on.

For years (many many years) I have been searching the internet for someplace to move my family, kids and dog. I bought a huge walmart road atlas and I have looked up information on dozens of towns in almost every state in the USA.
I have sent for information from more towns than I can count and the towns and states always seem great until I read and read and go on the internet and read some more.. Now thanks to this highly informative city-data site that we sit here and read - gaining knowledge of almost every city and town in the USA is right at our fingertips. ( I do love this site )

Now to the problem:
the USA can be split up in a couple of ways- the top is cold, the bottom is hot (hot is good), the oceans to the outside and the rest is in the center. Bare with me- it will all make sense.
I did searching in texas, arizona and new mexico and other areas. they're all beautiful- but as I start digging into the towns- some parts of arizona and new mexico (and other states) are so filled with Indian reservations which you can't live on unless your an Indian and then there's the National preserve lands that you can't live on either. After you've eliminated these 2 factors- the other areas that are left are either so expensive that a small town person like me cannot possibly afford to buy let alone rent in these areas, and when they're not expensive they are loaded up with Mexicans and illegal immigrants that have crossed the border. I love mexican food as much as the next person but this is ridiculous.
So, move to the states above these and it starts to become so cold that unless your a real snow lover- forget it. When I read in one of the Wyoming board forums that you need a special heater for cars and trucks.......BBRRRR!!! To cold for me. Montana also-too cold-but beautiful. When I did some checking in the lower left corner of Utah (hurricane area and surroundings) and the lower left corner of Colorado (ridgeway area and surroundings) people made so many negative comments and I read their local papers on the internet about the huge growth they're all having with developments coming up all over the place and again- the prices are so high - I can't afford it.

Back over to my own side of the USA. ( I'm from PA-small town).Florida, Georgia,North and South Carolina are all great warm states but again- they are so expensive- I couldn't even afford to live under a bridge, or the areas are so racially mixed that all you hear about is gangs and stuff like that,or white people are the minority and I don't want to live in an area where
I'm the minority. Been there-done that. Very unsocial to say the least.I've looked in idaho, kansas, arkansas, alabama, kentucky and nothing. It would start off good-then go bad ( high crime- too cold, etc..).

I sat and just cried in disbelief that if it's not one thing it's another. Please don't even suggest to stay where I am- many many personal reasons for leaving.

Then for some reason I decided to try Tennessee down in the Etowah area and it all seemed pretty good from what I read, and when in the Tennessse Overlook website how close it was to Dollywood-Dolly Parton is great , also
nice weather, good people statistics and the crime seemed to be really not that bad (seemed to be improving); but theres no pictures, and then I read
numerous comments that it's not a good place. I am so confused, just so confused. How can this possibly be a bad area. I've never been to the area and
unfortunately we will just be coming down like gypsys- so I guess we'll see.
any utopia's out there?
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Mountain West
531 posts, read 1,566,185 times
Reputation: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather33 View Post
any utopia's out there?
Only temporary ones. Any time that a "utopia" gets discovered, people start flocking there, and then it is ruined; that's just the nature of the beast.
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Florida
1 posts, read 2,419 times
Reputation: 10
Default Re: Utopia

I too have looked for the so called Utopia. Even moved to one you mentioned Hurricane Utah. Beautiful but just kind of a weird place. People not too friendly unless you are LDS. Wages very low too. We moved back to Tampa. Still looking for Utopia though. I have small children, don't want them to be a product of the Florida Public school system. After much online research we are moving to Edmond Ok sometime next year. There is no perfect place. I have moved several times during my childhood and my parents are still moving around to this day looking for that ideal place. They are like wandering gypsies or nomads. The currently live in Florence Oregon. Tampa is not nice. Traffic, rat race, heavy crime, rude people, not a good place to raise children, so you can cross that one off you list. I didn't chose to live here either the military sent me and we just stayed. 11 years ago it wasn't too bad now its just crazy. Good luck on your search.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,725 posts, read 9,786,708 times
Reputation: 3488
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather33 View Post
this post is not meant to offend anyone- just MY opinion.

I've never been to the area and
unfortunately we will just be coming down like gypsys- so I guess we'll see.
any utopia's out there?
heather33, having never been to the area that you are relocating to may be the biggest part of the problem. There are no real utopias out there for anyone. What we look for is to find a spot that feels like "home" - comfortable financially, emotionally, socially, spiritually. Then when you find it that place is always going to change from year to year. It'll get bigger or smaller, job growth soaring or rising unemployment, good weather or long strings of awful weather, good, loyal friends and friends moving on.

If we adapt to those changes, take the good with the bad, embrace our family and friends, our "home" never changes - only the place surrounding it.

I personally made this discovery 35 yrs. ago when my husband accepted his first job transfer and we left family, friends and everything familiar in PA and moved to SC. I was so lonely and unhappy until I realized that I could make any place "home" just by having my husband and children happy, getting involved in their school activities and community, and finding a Christian place of worship.

Until you visit, talk to residents of an area, check out the local parks and libraries, you won't know if you will find your own "utopia". If possible, visit first, then decide if that spot is for you.

Best of everything to you in your quest. I hope you find home.
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:01 AM
Status: "Without freedom of speech, we won't know who the idiots are." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Florida
11,598 posts, read 7,607,577 times
Reputation: 8951
Default Try it on ....

Heather;

Like clothes... you have to try them on before you buy'em. You will not find the "right" place looking at maps and searching the internet. It's a good place to start... but you have to get your feet wet.

Your expectations are to high. Utopia doesn't exist on earth. There is no such thing as perfection. Finding the right place is about priorities. You must establish them, you need to be consistant, and persistant.

A failure to plan is a plan for failure. You'll find a vast majority of people who do their reseach and homework will find the right place... those who just "up and run" do not. Always expect the unexpected. You must process information thru YOUR filter not mine... or someone else's.

You are on the right track.... but you must visit before you move.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:09 AM
 
1,318 posts, read 4,514,685 times
Reputation: 1052
Dave_n_Tenn is correct. You must visit an area that you are interested in several times at different times of the year before you make a decision. I recommend that you plan a trip to Etowah. Stay for several days and visit the businesses in the area. Eat in the local restaurants. Talk to people. Find out how the residents feel about outsiders moving into their area. Explore the area around Etowah. Talk to a local real estate agent. They can usually provide you with a lot of information about the local area and the cost of housing in the area. Reading posts on this forum and research will provide you with information, but that is not enough. You must visit the area. Plan your first trip in the fall. Your next trip should be in the winter. If possible, visit the area during each season so that you will know what to expect (weather-wise) during each season

Last edited by jguillot; 09-07-2007 at 09:13 AM.. Reason: Added to text.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:16 AM
 
Location: at the foot of my mountain
459 posts, read 1,218,940 times
Reputation: 216
Smile Try this

try the **** website. You type in your opinion on everything from crime to colleges to weather and they come up with 25 potential "utopias" based on your criteria.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,725 posts, read 9,786,708 times
Reputation: 3488
Thumbs up Very good site, tsimmu!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsimmu View Post
try the **** website. You type in your opinion on everything from crime to colleges to weather and they come up with 25 potential "utopias" based on your criteria.
I was very skeptical about this website when I first found it some time ago, BUT I now put a lot of stock in it!

My husband and I went through the questionaire and it came up with 4 of cities that we were actually looking at. It just reconfirmed our feelings about our choices.

It's a great place to start, tsimmu.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:01 PM
 
6 posts, read 17,201 times
Reputation: 11
thanks for all the comments.

I did actually try the " find your spot" website a couple of weeks ago and even thought I would check off the lowest rent and home prices and also check the small town areas- it would give me towns with 30,000 people and up and houses starting at 250-300 thousand. I think the site is more geared toward bigger named towns, rather actual smaller towns.

It call just be so frustrating and mind consuming at times.
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburb
4,725 posts, read 9,786,708 times
Reputation: 3488
Heather33, I think you are right about **** because it did give us back Knoxville, Lexington, Charlotte, NC, etc. All of these cities are larger than 30,000, of course. But, it provided a reference point then to start our search, which in turn required several visits to each area to zone in one that really felt right. For us, it was the Knoxville area.

**** does give you a smaller geographic area to explore rather than blindly picking an area like "somewhere in the SE" or "someplace in NC". There can be huge differences in population density, economy, unemployment rates, etc. in a large general area.

Maybe it will help to look at it from that angle. I hope so.
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