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Old 02-08-2022, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
8,740 posts, read 7,952,236 times
Reputation: 12963

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I'm vaguely planning on returning to the midwest from the Seattle area in 3 years. My husband and I will be in our mid to later 40's, financially independent and bringing along our mildly autistic young adult son that intends to be employable as a biomedical device technician (he will have completed a technical college AA program in this field).

-I don't have much of a relationship with my extended family, but both sides were from Racine and I still have kin around SE and central WI. I could probably reconnect if I got reestablished (and indeed this would be a wonderful thing).

-I lived in Madison for three years while my husband was finishing up grad school. This was 15 years ago... I figured out Madison has changed a lot as I passed through in January 2020 on my way to my mom's memorial service. I don't know if it's too big for us though. Seattle has always been bigger and the changes here have been similar but even more pronounced.

-I will say that I loved my time in Madison and it was hard to leave (especially for East Lansing MI). It had everything I enjoyed... coffee shops, academic and diverse population (at least near the university), I had a couple family members that I'd see on occasion, not too busy... but not boring either... easy access to enjoying the outdoors...

Other reasons to move to WI:

-I'm really fed up with the west coast politics. The major cities like Seattle and Portland have allowed for literal FILTH to overtake the streets. It had been a number of years since I drove down to Oregon and we had to go this weekend it was unbelievable how much it had degraded. I'm sure people feel the same when they come to Seattle... we've all become desensitized to it... in another forum I described it as Wall-E apocalyptic hellhole under the overpasses with mentally ill drug addicts literally getting onto the interstates.

Everybody will agree it's a huge, complicated problem and everybody will agree that it's only getting worse.

-climate change. West coast is increasingly making the news because of our wildfires and smoke. Last year my neighborhood reached 117 degrees, which I learned is the all time high temperature of Las Vegas (Like, WTH? that shouldn't be possible). Our meteorological winter (defined by rain) ended abruptly about three weeks too early and we are warming up.. basically we are gearing up for yet another brutal summer. Models show the west coast as a climate change refuge, and that maybe true for much of the year, but living in smoke for several months and worrying about the fires in the urban/wildland interface zones (where I have my properties) makes me nervous. I would rather move further east and deal with four seasons, humidity but not have the intense risks associated with the smoke and fire.

-wealth management. WI doesn't have estate or heir taxes. WA's estate taxes start at something like $2 or $2.5m which, in this era of home value escalation, means people with paid-off desirable homes will have to pay estate taxes if they die.

What I'm looking for:

-We're Catholics. I'm looking for a community that has a nice, little parish or two. I'm not a fan of large churches.

-Coffee shops. I work as a barista purely because I love the coffee industry and coffee shops. Who knows.. I might even continue to work as a barista or even buy a coffee shop (or make my own).

-A place where my son can find employment. Shouldn't be too hard given his field.

-Places to walk outdoors. Even in the winter would be great.

-Independent bookstores.. I get my books through the library system, but like coffee shops, independent bookstores usually indicate nice, quaint communities that are enjoyable.

What's not as important:

-affordability. We can tolerate some pretty steep prices now. I would prefer to keep my housing to under $1m. (Actually under $500k is most preferred). We like modest living. Either a 3 bedroom home or condo would be fine. We live in 1500 sq ft townhome and it's great.

-jobs. If my husband is still working he'll be working remotely.

-shopping. We are not big consumers.
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Old 02-12-2022, 09:13 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
4,971 posts, read 4,094,447 times
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Just an observation…… I’m a Madison native who now lives near Monterey, CA. I can’t handle the subzero winters - hah! I still have family there. And came here decades ago (in the 1970’s). But it sounds like Madison really would be a good fit for you.

If you look through Zillow - prices aren’t that bad. You WILL get hit with huge property taxes tho. Gosh - my property taxes here in California are cheaper than Wisconsin.

But the community sounds like a fit for you. There’s TONS of support for families with autism. And a great community with a vibe that sounds like what you are looking for. Even the Catholic communities which I understand are still pretty strong there….. (I survived Catholic school at Queen of Peace in Madison).

But Madison has homeless, drug addicts and drunks as well. Just not in the numbers you’d see in Seattle. They may not be seen as much - but they are there.

And I am convinced that you “see” the homeless out west because the weather is milder. No way would they survive living outside in Wisconsin.
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Old 02-12-2022, 11:41 AM
sub
 
Location: ^##
4,627 posts, read 2,749,659 times
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Weather along Lake Michigan is generally less extreme than "inland" Wisconsin.
I'd start with that.
Cooler summers, warmer winters... relatively speaking. Sub-zero happens maybe 3-4 times a year as overnight lows, at least in the six total years we've lived in the area.
I'm from the south and barely even notice the humidity other than what totals about week here and there.
I don't venture inland much other than maybe the northwoods.

Homelessness? Madison and maybe Milwaukee are at the greatest risk of ever becoming like the west coast, but that's still doubtful.
The economy in most parts of Wisconsin is generally very good. People can easily find decent-paying jobs and affordable housing if they want to.
It's not a matter of lack of genuinely good work for the common person, nor is it them being priced out.
Really, homelessness here isn't much of an issue at all... not to downplay what there is of the situation.

Property taxes will be much better outside of Madison and Milwaukee. Sometimes half, sometimes a third as much. When people talk about the high property taxes here, they usually have those two places in mind or they're coming from somewhere dirt cheap.
The more-affordable real estate will likely more than offset any property tax difference. Be warned though, the property taxes can be laughable at those higher price points, and not in a good way.
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Old 02-12-2022, 04:36 PM
 
4,526 posts, read 2,446,631 times
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Sounds like Madison would be a great fit. I’m seeing a lot of Texas and Washington plates in Dane County lately; I think a lot of people are moving from Austin and Seattle to Madison (purely a guess though).

Like others have mentioned, visible homelessness is not as big of an issue in Madison as it is on the West Coast. It is partly because people don’t tolerate people camping in public spaces like they do out West, and also because the stakes are higher (you can easily freeze to death in the winter). Madison’s only homeless encampment was cleaned up a few months ago by the city.

The other good thing about Madison is that the air quality is very good. There isn’t much heavy industry like other cities in Wisconsin and no wildfire smoke from close by (although smoke from Canada is becoming an issue lately).
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Old 02-13-2022, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Kronenwetter Wisconsin
773 posts, read 511,681 times
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I wonder if the LaCrosse Area might be a good fit. They do have the Catholic Cathedral which is lovely. Many smaller towns are around that area. I love the beauty of the area.
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Old 02-14-2022, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Sheboygan, WI
195 posts, read 285,326 times
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I live in Sheboygan currently and am likely going to be moving to Brookfield in the near future. I originally moved to Wisconsin in 2018 to join Holy Resurrection Monastery in Saint Nazianz, Wisconsin. I am glad that your faith is important to you and perhaps you could visit the monastery some day.

The Catholic Parish I have the most ties to is Saint George Melkite Parish in Milwaukee which is just north of Marquette University. Lacrosse was mentioned and they have the Guadalupe Shrine, which is amazing, and that area is just terrific. I have been all over the state and no people from all over the state so unless you have some ideas you want to put out there so we can give you feedback I don't know what more to say at this time.
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Old 02-14-2022, 01:42 PM
 
5,328 posts, read 2,904,480 times
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I grew up in Kenosha and lived there for 32 years. The weather is milder there than in northern Wisconsin such as Lacrosse or Eau Claire. Northern Wisconsin is prettier. Madison is extremely liberal so you may no longer fit there.
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Old 03-12-2022, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
8,740 posts, read 7,952,236 times
Reputation: 12963
Thanks for the replies!

You folks are very reassuring and supportive.
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Old 03-12-2022, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
3,116 posts, read 2,594,527 times
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If you do end up here in Wisconsin, be sure to make a visit to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, just outside of Green Bay, which is and I quote, "The first and only Church-approved Marian Apparition Site in the United States of America." It is absolutely phenomenal.

https://championshrine.org/
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Old 03-14-2022, 12:57 PM
 
7,076 posts, read 8,882,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post



-I will say that I loved my time in Madison and it was hard to leave (especially for East Lansing MI). It had everything I enjoyed... coffee shops, academic and diverse population (at least near the university), I had a couple family members that I'd see on occasion, not too busy... but not boring either... easy access to enjoying the outdoors...
Doesn't East Lansing have everything Madison has minus Lake Mendota and Lake Monona?
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