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Old 09-27-2009, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Hampton Falls, NH
22 posts, read 49,679 times
Reputation: 21

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My boyfriend and I are looking to relocate from SoCa. We'll be getting married soon and want to find a place to settle down, buy a home and raise a family. We have big dreams of raising our children in a place with four distinct seasons, affordable living, safe, clean, non congested and has a bit of that small town feel without being too far from everything. Living in CA - we hate the traffic, homes piled on top of each other, summer all year long and of course extreme high cost of living. We both work - would need to be somewhere with a decent economy. A good place to raise a family, great schools and family festivities. We like outdoorsy activities, love the water (kayaking, fishing, swimming) - close to a lake would be nice. Would love to see the beauty of fall foilage and wake up to snow on the ground Christmas morning. I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and loved it. I know I can handle the winters. We don't want to be too far from an aiport as our family is all in CA. Entertainment wise -we don't need bars or anything like that - but restaraunts nearby (we love to eat!), close to a concert venue as we're music lovers and a movie theater. We want more for our buck. We'd like to buy a nice large comfortable home with some land to spend our life in- in the range of 150-215K. So we've been pondering WI and NH. Not really sure as to where...I visited LaCrosse a few times and loved it - but it's a college town so not sure if that's a good place to go. Onalaska maybe? According to Sperling's report it has a lot of what we're looking for but just looking for a little real life experience direction. Any advice you can provide to help us on our journey to finding a new home would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by rocknrollgirl; 09-27-2009 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:38 PM
 
Location: appleton, wi
1,357 posts, read 5,306,610 times
Reputation: 628
I always recommend Appleton (moved here on purpose myself, always from WI though). We have a lot of good restaurants downtown, (click here for some Appleton Downtown, Inc. > Home )a performing arts center with major acts, it's close enough to all kinds of outdoorsy things. The airport is regional but flies to many major hubs - you'd probably spend more time working your way to the terminal at LAX than you would parking, checking in, boarding, and flying all the way to Chicago from Appleton lol.

Two big movie theaters. There's no big concert venue in town, but Green Bay hosts major shows, Oshkosh hosts moderate shows every Thursday in the summer, Oshkosh and nearby Greenville host a few large music festivals. The economy, like everywhere else, isn't booming. But it's not the worst around. We have major paper and insurance industries here as well as others.

I could write a book, but if you search my username you should find tons of things I've written about it. Or any specific questions?
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:04 AM
 
1,340 posts, read 2,591,743 times
Reputation: 760
Onolaska would be fine.

Eau Claire area sound better because much closer to Mpls.St.Paul which has any sort of culture you might want from Symphony to hip-hop with cheaper real estate and less crime than LaCrosse IMHO.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Hampton Falls, NH
22 posts, read 49,679 times
Reputation: 21
Thank you both very much for the feedback. Will def check both places out. So are the winters there brutal? And if so, explain brutal to me... lol. I was in the airlines for a couple years and used to fly into Lacrosse and Madison all the time. I thought it was so beautiful there and the people were very friendly. Much different from back home. (CA)
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:30 AM
 
Location: appleton, wi
1,357 posts, read 5,306,610 times
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The last two years we had record snowfalls, but normally the snow isn't the worst. Some years we don't get snow at all until Christmas time, and mostly you get just a few inches at a time so it's easy to remove and drive around in. But last year for instance, we had a bazillion inches in December, many of which were heavy each time. So that makes for treacherous driving and PITA snow removal.

The cold and wind are what really get you. We usually have a cold snap lasting say three weeks where the high temps won't get over 10F or maybe 15F. And even the cold isn't so so bad sometimes, since you're inside most of the time anyway. It's when you combine them that its brutal - and the last two years were with snowstorms mixed with low teens temps and strong winds, and lucky us get to go out and shovel/snowblow in it. January and February are the coldest months. Plus the days get really short and you get cabin fever towards the end of the season

This year I hear is going to be colder than average but I haven't heard the snow forecast. I'd suggest getting some good winter wear, get yourself a few shovels, a good snowblower and a few bags of salt to clear your driveway and sidewalks. Winter tires for your car may be a good idea, I have mixed feelings on them though.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Omaha...Until I Get Back To Wisconsin!
84 posts, read 209,614 times
Reputation: 40
USUALLYyou only get one or the other...usually if it's REALLY cold you won't get so much snow...if it's more mild of a winter...you tend to get more wet, heavy snow...I guess coming from CA it's going to "brutal" one way or the other but after a year or two and you know what to expect, they hardly phase you...you just curse wisconsin weather from year one on haha...
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:08 PM
 
279 posts, read 682,308 times
Reputation: 285
you would like the twin cities, we have all of that. 150k-200k isn't going to buy you a house with land but you can get a starter house for that. if you are just getting started, buying your dream home isn't realistic at this stage of your career anyway. if you are hell bent on that path, then you could consider north branch or (puke) hudson or somerset, wi. minnesota has the lakes and everything you need. in wisconsin, the lakes aren't really near the large population centers (or if they are, they are polluted)
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:33 PM
 
61 posts, read 168,159 times
Reputation: 26
Appleton is the best city in Wisconsin. Small town of 75k, great jobs, plenty of things to do, great retail environment, and good restaurants.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:05 PM
 
6 posts, read 23,207 times
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well la crosse is a nice area and yes its a college area. Also there are several towns near La Crosse that are more family areas such as Holmen, West Salem. I myself currently reside in a small town called Sparta (about 20 mins from La Crosse / Onalaska). In Sparta we have about 8000 people I believe with a Wal-mart, several fast food places and a grocery store plus other businesses also. As for the home prices they aren't to bad here you can get a nice house from 90,000 to 130,000 depending on how big and how much of a lot size you want. I have a 4 bedroom 1 1/2 bath with 2 car garage and workshop with 1300 square feet I got for less then 95,000.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:33 PM
 
5 posts, read 10,285 times
Reputation: 10
I would have to agree with the people saying Appleton, and to go one more on them, Greenville, WI. It was a part of Appleton at one point, but the area has been growing like weeds the past decade. It is obviously in close range of the city of Appleton yet, and there are a lot of new housing blocks i'm sure you could find a place to live in.
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