Ideal City to live in?

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cbr shadow
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Ideal City to live in?

Post by cbr shadow »

My wife and I are both 37 years old and have jobs that allow us to work remotely indefinitely. We live in the Bay Area currently, and we love it, but the cost of living is very high here so I'd like to consider other areas.

- We have our first child due in a month.
- We have a pretty solid nest egg (Investments = ~ $1.1M)
- We rent currently, so moving isn't complicated
- Both jobs are pretty secure. Both can work remotely indefinitely. Household income = $340k/yr


What area of the USA should we look at which might satisfy most of our needs?
- Warm weather! No snow
- Good schools, low crime
- Near a reasonably large airport. My wife is in sales and will need to fly out at least 1-2x per month to visit customers in the future
- No mosquitos is a big plus
- Outdoor/active culture is a huge plus. I love cycling, which is huge in the bay area (some of the best cycling in the world) so I'd hate to live in a place that doesn't have much of a cycling/active/outdoor culture
- Somewhat close to a downtown area where there are cafes and restaurants would be nice
- Cost of living that is significantly less than than the Bay Area

I saw in an older post that someone suggested Temecula California, which checks almost every single box above. The biggest issue is the proximity to a decent sized airport that my wife can fly out of. She'd have to drive quite far to fly each week from Temecula.

Any thoughts on places to look?
Thanks!
inverter
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by inverter »

Colorado?
jerrysmith
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by jerrysmith »

That lists most of the cities in the southeastern part of the US. Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte. Chattanooga isn't that big but has amazing natural resources. St. Louis does get chilly but I really enjoy visiting and could see myself living there. I live in Birmingham which checks some of those boxes but I can't recommend living in Alabama, whatever you've heard... it's worse.
mrmass
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by mrmass »

Sounds like a unicorn. I'd say someplace up in the Sea-Tac area, or Portland. Maybe Austin TX. No bugs means no SC, NC, or Boston.
bloom2708
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by bloom2708 »

With a new kid coming, stay put. Your world is about to get smaller. :D

A perfect place doesn't exist.

A northern suburb of Phoenix would likely be a match with a somewhat lower cost of living. Hiking and outdoors. Hot in the summer, but low humidity and better "spring/fall/winter" weather. Maybe Palm Springs area.

Orange County area, CA would not really meet the lower COL criteria. Maybe a bit less.

Colorado = snow. Even if it melts and is 50 several days later. Lots of snow.
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climber2020
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by climber2020 »

Parts of Colorado east of the mountains fit most of your requirements. It does snow, but most of the time it melts within a few days.

Cost of living has crept up, but it's nothing compared to where you're at now.
Isabelle77
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Isabelle77 »

How warm? Are you thinking Scottsdale warm? San Antonio warm? Or just not Minneapolis? If it's flexible, you could come join us in the PNW with everyone else from the Bay area :)

We live on the Washington side of the Portland area. Great schools, great airport, hardly any mosquitos, outdoor lifestyle, no income tax, access to Portland when the pandemic ends. Rains a lot, occasional snow in the winter.
Topic Author
cbr shadow
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by cbr shadow »

Isabelle77 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:30 pm How warm? Are you thinking Scottsdale warm? San Antonio warm? Or just not Minneapolis? If it's flexible, you could come join us in the PNW with everyone else from the Bay area :)

We live on the Washington side of the Portland area. Great schools, great airport, hardly any mosquitos, outdoor lifestyle, no income tax, access to Portland when the pandemic ends. Rains a lot, occasional snow in the winter.
Warm enough for no chance of snow, and not many "gloomy" days. We're both from Chicago and feel like the gray/gloomy/rainy days are a real bummer. My wife suffers from seasonal depression which doesn't seem to happen here where we never get more than a couple of days without nice bright sunshine.
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cbr shadow
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by cbr shadow »

bloom2708 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:27 pm With a new kid coming, stay put. Your world is about to get smaller. :D

A perfect place doesn't exist.

A northern suburb of Phoenix would likely be a match with a somewhat lower cost of living. Hiking and outdoors. Hot in the summer, but low humidity and better "spring/fall/winter" weather. Maybe Palm Springs area.

Orange County area, CA would not really meet the lower COL criteria. Maybe a bit less.

Colorado = snow. Even if it melts and is 50 several days later. Lots of snow.
All good points. I think the Bay Area (for us) is the perfect place, but the COL here feels crazy. I guess that's how supply and demand works. Still, I can't see us dropping over $1M to purchase a house.
slyfox1357
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by slyfox1357 »

I live in San Diego and Temecula is a good choice (hits on many of your factors)...so are other areas east and north of San Diego proper.

You won't find that one unicorn spot so weight each one of your factors from 1-10, then score some places and see what place gets the highest score.

Choose from the Top 3-5.
Isabelle77
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Isabelle77 »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:41 pm
Isabelle77 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:30 pm How warm? Are you thinking Scottsdale warm? San Antonio warm? Or just not Minneapolis? If it's flexible, you could come join us in the PNW with everyone else from the Bay area :)

We live on the Washington side of the Portland area. Great schools, great airport, hardly any mosquitos, outdoor lifestyle, no income tax, access to Portland when the pandemic ends. Rains a lot, occasional snow in the winter.
Warm enough for no chance of snow, and not many "gloomy" days. We're both from Chicago and feel like the gray/gloomy/rainy days are a real bummer. My wife suffers from seasonal depression which doesn't seem to happen here where we never get more than a couple of days without nice bright sunshine.
Skip the Pacific Northwest if you're looking to avoid the gray days. I'd probably aim for somewhere near Phoenix if you really like the sun.
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vitaflo
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by vitaflo »

No snow, scratch off the top half of the US.
No mosquitoes, scratch off the entire eastern half of the US.

Somewhere southwest it is. Map out the large airports in the SW US and it should be easy to narrow it down based on your other criteria.
mgensler
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by mgensler »

Someone mentioned PNW or Austin. Since you said PNW is out due to cloud cover, take a look at Austin. Lower cost of living, lots of cycling, a growing tech scene, ability to live within an easy walk/ride from downtown.
Kompass
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Kompass »

Pretty much anywhere along the coastal edge of the west coast will tic most of your boxes. All of the metro areas will be expensive with the Bay Area, Seattle and LA being the worst. As someone who lived in Seattle metro for 40 years, Bay Area for 10 years, and recently relocated to San Diego County 1.5 years ago I would plug the areas around San Diego as a probable good fit.

You are in a good position to craft the life you want, go for it! :beer
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cbr shadow
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by cbr shadow »

slyfox1357 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:48 pm I live in San Diego and Temecula is a good choice (hits on many of your factors)...so are other areas east and north of San Diego proper.

You won't find that one unicorn spot so weight each one of your factors from 1-10, then score some places and see what place gets the highest score.

Choose from the Top 3-5.
What areas should I look at in San Diego area? I looked at a few areas but found that the school ratings weren't very good. I'm sure there are areas of San Diego that do have good schools though - I just haven't found them yet.
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cbr shadow
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by cbr shadow »

Kompass wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:03 pm Pretty much anywhere along the coastal edge of the west coast will tic most of your boxes. All of the metro areas will be expensive with the Bay Area, Seattle and LA being the worst. As someone who lived in Seattle metro for 40 years, Bay Area for 10 years, and recently relocated to San Diego County 1.5 years ago I would plug the areas around San Diego as a probable good fit.

You are in a good position to craft the life you want, go for it! :beer
That is helpful, thanks! If you could recommend any areas around San Diego I would appreciate it. It seems to check all the boxes except for the school ratings. I'd hate to feel like I was trading good weather and outdoor activities for my son's education.
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

San Diego and if the schools don't meet your standard, private. You make more than enough money to do that.
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Tingting1013
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Tingting1013 »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:42 pm
bloom2708 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:27 pm With a new kid coming, stay put. Your world is about to get smaller. :D

A perfect place doesn't exist.

A northern suburb of Phoenix would likely be a match with a somewhat lower cost of living. Hiking and outdoors. Hot in the summer, but low humidity and better "spring/fall/winter" weather. Maybe Palm Springs area.

Orange County area, CA would not really meet the lower COL criteria. Maybe a bit less.

Colorado = snow. Even if it melts and is 50 several days later. Lots of snow.
All good points. I think the Bay Area (for us) is the perfect place, but the COL here feels crazy. I guess that's how supply and demand works. Still, I can't see us dropping over $1M to purchase a house.
You’ll easily drop $1M on a house in San Diego.

Have you considered Dallas? Boring as %!$& but Lance Armstrong grew up there so that counts for something right? 😁
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Watty
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Watty »

A couple of things to add to your list;

1) Low income taxes since these can be a lot different.

2) Good medical care that would be in-network with your medical insurance. The problem is that if you move to some other state your work provided health insurance may not have any in-network doctors or facilities in the city you move to. Something to watch out for is that if you have something like Blue Cross insurance that is really Blue Cross of California which may not have the same networks of some state like Blue Cross of Iowa so just because there is Blue Cross in Iowa that does not mean that you could use your insurance there.

3) Not more than one or at most two time zones from your main office. During a merger I was in the west coast and I was mainly working with people on the east coast and the time difference was a big problem. Not long after I started work in the morning the people on the east coast would be breaking for lunch, later on not long after my lunch break the people of the east coast would be getting ready to leave for the day. Occasionally I would need to get up at 4:00 AM or 4:30AM to be in a 5:00 AM conference call that started at 8:00 AM east coast time. You can shift your hours around some but that is not ideal and at least in my case there were some meetings that I was not invited to just because people did not expect me to get up that early for a non-critical meeting.

4) A really good internet connection. In many smaller towns and especially rural areas this can be a big problem for working remotely and it can even vary by what neighborhood you are in. Do not trust what they say is available, that is often overstated.
cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:04 pm - Warm weather! No snow
.....
- No mosquitos is a big plus
That is a tough combination. Even in Phoenix and North Florida they will get a dusting of snow once in a while.
cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:04 pm My wife is in sales and will need to fly out at least 1-2x per month to visit customers in the future...?
If she has to fly to the same place each then one thing I would do is to look at the airport she would be flying into to see where there are multiple direct flights to and from.

That could save her a lot of trouble with making connections or missing a flight.
cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:04 pm Any thoughts on places to look?
College towns have a lot going for them and many college towns are located an hour or so from a large city where there might be a good airport.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... ted_States
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JamalJones
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by JamalJones »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:04 pm
slyfox1357 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:48 pm I live in San Diego and Temecula is a good choice (hits on many of your factors)...so are other areas east and north of San Diego proper.

You won't find that one unicorn spot so weight each one of your factors from 1-10, then score some places and see what place gets the highest score.

Choose from the Top 3-5.
What areas should I look at in San Diego area? I looked at a few areas but found that the school ratings weren't very good. I'm sure there are areas of San Diego that do have good schools though - I just haven't found them yet.
Bro.... Poway. It's about 22-23 miles north of San Diego. Best school districts in the county. Everyone I know with kids buys a house there. Or private schools are an alternative: Francis Parker, La Jolla Country Day.
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quantAndHold
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by quantAndHold »

Temecula looks good on paper, but it’s not a place I would actually want to live, unless I was looking for a place where all of my neighbors leave at 6:30am and don’t return until after dark, because they have 90+ minute commutes, and they make up for it by completely clogging every road all weekend. It doesn’t have the walkability and bar/restaurant/cafe culture that you’re looking for. It’s also a long, long way from any decent sized airport.

Where does your wife fly to? Up and down the west coast, or does she travel cross country? If she’s staying in the west, San Diego has all you want, with the advantage that the airport is right downtown. If she goes all over the US, San Diego’s position in the lower left corner of the country, and the fact that the airport is a little on the small side, are disadvantages. Austin would work except for some terrible hot weather, or Denver if you can deal with occasional snow. Both are very livable places.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
BogleFan510
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by BogleFan510 »

Consider that sometimes you get what you pay for. Happily pay the HCOL costs to stay in east bay. To me that is what money is for.
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JamalJones
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by JamalJones »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:25 pm Temecula looks good on paper, but it’s not a place I would actually want to live, unless I was looking for a place where all of my neighbors leave at 6:30am and don’t return until after dark, because they have 90+ minute commutes, and they make up for it by completely clogging every road all weekend. It doesn’t have the walkability and bar/restaurant/cafe culture that you’re looking for. It’s also a long, long way from any decent sized airport.

Where does your wife fly to? Up and down the west coast, or does she travel cross country? If she’s staying in the west, San Diego has all you want, with the advantage that the airport is right downtown. If she goes all over the US, San Diego’s position in the lower left corner of the country, and the fact that the airport is a little on the small side, are disadvantages. Austin would work except for some terrible hot weather, or Denver if you can deal with occasional snow. Both are very livable places.
Completely agree with you about Temecula. In fact I had a former coworker who had one of those 90+ minute commutes. Drove 130 miles round trip everyday into San Diego and back. Total nightmare. But, hey, he saved like 200-300K on the purchase of his house, so worth it, right? (nah, nah, not worth it. Not worth it at all).
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Kompass
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Kompass »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:05 pm
Kompass wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:03 pm Pretty much anywhere along the coastal edge of the west coast will tic most of your boxes. All of the metro areas will be expensive with the Bay Area, Seattle and LA being the worst. As someone who lived in Seattle metro for 40 years, Bay Area for 10 years, and recently relocated to San Diego County 1.5 years ago I would plug the areas around San Diego as a probable good fit.

You are in a good position to craft the life you want, go for it! :beer
That is helpful, thanks! If you could recommend any areas around San Diego I would appreciate it. It seems to check all the boxes except for the school ratings. I'd hate to feel like I was trading good weather and outdoor activities for my son's education.
I would suggest the area referred to as “North County“ sort of between La Jolla and Carlsbad and over to about Escondido but I’m partial because that was my choice.

Someone else mentioned, $1m is easy to spend on housing here and could easily go higher but there are quite a few opportunities for slightly less. In essence, the further you get away from the beaches the more attractive the pricing becomes. It depends on how important that is to you.

I can’t weigh in on the schools because I am retired and that wasn’t part of my decision making.

Where I am there is a lot of lifestyle focus on health and fitness as well as top-notch medical resources. These were strong motivators for me. There seems to be a large cycling community, it is quite common to see the clubs and other groups riding up and down the 101 as well as further inland especially on the weekends.

Airport proximity, where I am it is 30 minutes via Uber to the airport and the airport is small enough to be easy to navigate yet big enough to get me to most domestic hubs and some international. I don’t know where your wife needs to go but if it is heavy on international travel she might have to use LAX a couple hours north and that could be inconvenient.
antwerp
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by antwerp »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:04 pm My wife and I are both 37 years old and have jobs that allow us to work remotely indefinitely. We live in the Bay Area currently, and we love it, but the cost of living is very high here so I'd like to consider other areas.

- We have our first child due in a month.
- We have a pretty solid nest egg (Investments = ~ $1.1M)
- We rent currently, so moving isn't complicated
- Both jobs are pretty secure. Both can work remotely indefinitely. Household income = $340k/yr


What area of the USA should we look at which might satisfy most of our needs?
- Warm weather! No snow
- Good schools, low crime
- Near a reasonably large airport. My wife is in sales and will need to fly out at least 1-2x per month to visit customers in the future
- No mosquitos is a big plus
- Outdoor/active culture is a huge plus. I love cycling, which is huge in the bay area (some of the best cycling in the world) so I'd hate to live in a place that doesn't have much of a cycling/active/outdoor culture
- Somewhat close to a downtown area where there are cafes and restaurants would be nice
- Cost of living that is significantly less than than the Bay Area

I saw in an older post that someone suggested Temecula California, which checks almost every single box above. The biggest issue is the proximity to a decent sized airport that my wife can fly out of. She'd have to drive quite far to fly each week from Temecula.

Any thoughts on places to look?
Thanks!
I'm a cyclist too!

1st Choice - San Diego
2nd - Tucson, AZ
quantAndHold
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by quantAndHold »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:05 pm
Kompass wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:03 pm Pretty much anywhere along the coastal edge of the west coast will tic most of your boxes. All of the metro areas will be expensive with the Bay Area, Seattle and LA being the worst. As someone who lived in Seattle metro for 40 years, Bay Area for 10 years, and recently relocated to San Diego County 1.5 years ago I would plug the areas around San Diego as a probable good fit.

You are in a good position to craft the life you want, go for it! :beer
That is helpful, thanks! If you could recommend any areas around San Diego I would appreciate it. It seems to check all the boxes except for the school ratings. I'd hate to feel like I was trading good weather and outdoor activities for my son's education.
San Diego proper. In particular, the neighborhoods around Balboa Park. There are several good, walkable neighborhoods 10 minutes from the airport. If you don’t like the schools, then go private, but my kids went from the public schools to elite colleges. There are plenty of other threads where I’ve expressed my opinion on the uselessness of GreatSchools.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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JamalJones
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by JamalJones »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:41 pm
cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:05 pm
Kompass wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:03 pm Pretty much anywhere along the coastal edge of the west coast will tic most of your boxes. All of the metro areas will be expensive with the Bay Area, Seattle and LA being the worst. As someone who lived in Seattle metro for 40 years, Bay Area for 10 years, and recently relocated to San Diego County 1.5 years ago I would plug the areas around San Diego as a probable good fit.

You are in a good position to craft the life you want, go for it! :beer
That is helpful, thanks! If you could recommend any areas around San Diego I would appreciate it. It seems to check all the boxes except for the school ratings. I'd hate to feel like I was trading good weather and outdoor activities for my son's education.
San Diego proper. In particular, the neighborhoods around Balboa Park. There are several good, walkable neighborhoods 10 minutes from the airport. If you don’t like the schools, then go private, but my kids went from the public schools to elite colleges. There are plenty of other threads where I’ve expressed my opinion on the uselessness of GreatSchools.
Second time in a few minutes I agree with you! Yes "GreatSchools", I believe as well, are overrated and not likely to provide any significant value over the long-term.

P.S: I'm going to look up your posts on what you said about schools!
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ktd
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by ktd »

Sierra Foothills towns. Think Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Neveda City, Grass Valley, or Placerville. Very scenic views and very affordable.
Last edited by ktd on Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tingting1013
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Tingting1013 »

ktd wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:50 pm Sierra Foothills towns. Think Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Neveda City, Grass Valley, or Placerville. Very scenic views.
Agreed. Get out there before all your fellow Bay Area transplants drive up the home values even more.
Wellfleet
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Wellfleet »

JamalJones wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:30 pm
Completely agree with you about Temecula. In fact I had a former coworker who had one of those 90+ minute commutes. Drove 130 miles round trip everyday into San Diego and back. Total nightmare. But, hey, he saved like 200-300K on the purchase of his house, so worth it, right? (nah, nah, not worth it. Not worth it at all).
This thesis has been thoroughly blown up by the pandemic. My past hour commute by train is gone and not likely to return. The extra space is NICE.
ThankYouJack
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by ThankYouJack »

What about Santa Barbara? May not be cheaper than the Bay Area and not the biggest airport, but what an incredible place.
Hockey10
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Hockey10 »

A recent episode of the Financial Samurai podcast addressed the question of San Fran living in the age of the virus. Check it out.
Suntan1
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Suntan1 »

San Diego/North county (Scripps Ranch, Poway, Carmel Mt, Mira Mesa).

Close to the beach, mountain, lots of hiking trail (see potato chip rock), excellent school (Poway unified and Scripps Ranch), short drive to airport, excellent medical facilities, work (Qualcom other megacorp) , grocery store (Costco, Vons, Albertson, Trader Joes), restaurants.
No bugs. Great for cycling, lots of craft beer. San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Seaworld just a short drive and 1.5 hours to Disneyland in Anaheim and the weather is awesome :D .

Quiet, safe and nice place to raise a family. That should do it :sharebeer
Last edited by Suntan1 on Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
thedane
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by thedane »

You are looking for a unicorn, and will need to compromise some.
Thoughts:
  • Phoenix: Low cost of living. Poor schools. Great outdoor scene. Lots of biking. HOT summers. With the cheap(er) market, you could buy a cabin 2 hours north and escape the heat during the summers (depending on school schedule of course)
  • Tucson: Similar to Phoenix, but not as busy. 5-10 degrees cooler. Nights are better.
  • North of San Diego: Amazing weather. Coastline. Crowded/Traffic. Medium expense.
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gr7070
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by gr7070 »

Austin's very nice. However, it doesn't come close to making the shortlist of best cities in the country.

Traffic, weather, ocean, mountain. That's missing way too many of the important check boxes.
7eight9
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by 7eight9 »

Las Vegas

Send your child to private school.
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Armoured
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Armoured »

You could look into Tampa and the surrounding areas, but you will get mosquitoes. Lots to do and very mild winters. The summer, May-September :) , are hot! I do think one of the other posters brought up a good point about the time differences.
Mr.Chlorine
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

Dallas/Fort Worth area. Find a suburb and enjoy! Mosquitos may be an issue, but they sprayed enough when I lived there that it was not an issue.

If you change your mind on snow, I would say Minneapolis suburbs. Have a handful of friends who live in the area and love it! Plenty of towns with ample diversity, good schools, and close to MSP.
Starfish
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Starfish »

Phoenix is a depressing place in my opinion. The heat is unbearable about 6 months a year. Kids live inside over the summer, in AC. There is no shade anywhere. Some people get valley fever. The dessert landscape, although changing over the seasons, is not for everyone. I would take a state in the northern half any day.
On the plus side, they have some good schools.
There is no city in US remotely comparable to San Francisco, with all its faults.
I would look at Austin, although for me it's too hot too. But infinitely better than Phoenix.

Anyway, shouldn't one chose a place based on friends and family? If you show up in a place you know nobody, with no work to go to, you will be socially isolated. I wouldn't want to live like that.
Last edited by Starfish on Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by BolderBoy »

antwerp wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:38 pm 1st Choice - San Diego
2nd - Tucson, AZ
+1. Based on the OP's strict criteria.
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FrugalConservative
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by FrugalConservative »

You are literally looking for a city that doesnt exist. I would say, get out of the bay area while you can. Have two friends that sold their places ($1.5 and $1.2 mm homes) because of how awful the bay area is.

Good luck.
MJS
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by MJS »

For weather, buy* the Sunset Western Garden Book and look at the climate zones. The Garden Book provides the very best climate overview available.

* If you plan to get a house, you will need a copy. :mrgreen:
btenny
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by btenny »

Reno Nevada for nice MCOL city with great out door stuff and a growing tech industry. No bugs and true four season weather. It gets a few day with some snow and a few hot summer days. But it is mostly nice year round. Or maybe Carson City Nevada if you want a small town and LCOL. Both cities are close to the Reno airport and Lake Tahoe and tons of outdoor stuff. Plus no income taxes and modest property taxes. Only 4 hours to bay area by car for home office check in and special meetings.

Good Luck.
tibbitts
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by tibbitts »

btenny wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:04 pm Plus no income taxes and modest property taxes
No income tax for investments, etc. It's not as clear for employment income. Many employers who say "work anywhere" probably don't mean that, given the complications of having employees in different locations.
dewey
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by dewey »

Isabelle77 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:30 pm How warm? Are you thinking Scottsdale warm? San Antonio warm? Or just not Minneapolis? If it's flexible, you could come join us in the PNW with everyone else from the Bay area :)

We live on the Washington side of the Portland area. Great schools, great airport, hardly any mosquitos, outdoor lifestyle, no income tax, access to Portland when the pandemic ends. Rains a lot, occasional snow in the winter.
+1 for the Vancouver, WA area.
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rich126
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by rich126 »

Starfish wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:41 pm Phoenix is a depressing place in my opinion. The heat is unbearable about 6 months a year. Kids live inside over the summer, in AC. There is no shade anywhere. Some people get valley fever. The dessert landscape, although changing over the seasons, is not for everyone. I would take a state in the northern half any day.
On the plus side, they have some good schools.
There is no city in US remotely comparable to San Francisco, with all its faults.
I would look at Austin, although for me it's too hot too. But infinitely better than Phoenix.

Anyway, shouldn't one chose a place based on friends and family? If you show up in a place you know nobody, with no work to go to, you will be socially isolated. I wouldn't want to live like that.
The heat gets to me in July-Aug-Sept due to the bump up in humidity. And if I had a job where I was outside or had to get in/out of a car during the day it would be rough. And a lot of the attraction of a place like Scottsdale, is people watching, restaurants, going out, etc. all of which are tougher to do right now.

And right now with the peaking (IMO) of housing here, I would avoid AZ for a while. The inevitable drop will come. Salaries here are too low to support the housing prices.

I personally wouldn't live in Phoenix since it seems like a nothing place. Scottsdale, yeah although it has some attitude (Snobsdale is what some call it). I recall years ago walking around downtown Phoenix with some friends who were in town for a class. This was before I moved here. We were wondering what was going on because, literally, the roads/city was nearly vacant. Nothing like any other city I had been in. I'm sure it is more crowded now but that was only about 20 years ago.

What you are looking for actually would require a couple of cities. For example Scottsdale for 6-8 months and then somewhere else in the summer months. And similarly for places with nasty winters. Of course if you can afford SF now, you could do two lower cost places and rotate based on seasons.

As someone who is nearing retirement, my original plan was Arizona but I just sold my place and have no idea where I will go in retirement.
2tall4economy
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by 2tall4economy »

jerrysmith wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:25 pm That lists most of the cities in the southeastern part of the US. Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte. Chattanooga isn't that big but has amazing natural resources. St. Louis does get chilly but I really enjoy visiting and could see myself living there. I live in Birmingham which checks some of those boxes but I can't recommend living in Alabama, whatever you've heard... it's worse.
this.

That said, if you're in California, moving to the south / south east is probably a huge culture shock politically in our current environment.

Won't go into it given the board's rules, but being someone who is fairly central politically and having lived somewhere that leaned one direction politically and moving to another area which leaned the opposite way was an unpleasant / uncomfortable experience and hard to meet people and build friendships for quite some time as you re-learn what is off topic for discussion and what people want to talk about, how you see issues, etc...
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Godot »

mrmass wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:26 pm Sounds like a unicorn. I'd say someplace up in the Sea-Tac area, or Portland. Maybe Austin TX. No bugs means no SC, NC, or Boston.
Or small towns just outside of Portland. For example, Camas is beautiful and checks all boxes.
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Godot
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Godot »

dewey wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:25 pm
Isabelle77 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:30 pm How warm? Are you thinking Scottsdale warm? San Antonio warm? Or just not Minneapolis? If it's flexible, you could come join us in the PNW with everyone else from the Bay area :)

We live on the Washington side of the Portland area. Great schools, great airport, hardly any mosquitos, outdoor lifestyle, no income tax, access to Portland when the pandemic ends. Rains a lot, occasional snow in the winter.
+1 for the Vancouver, WA area.
+2
Estragon: I can't go on like this. | Vladimir: That's what you think. | ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
ThankYouJack
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Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by ThankYouJack »

2tall4economy wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:07 pm

That said, if you're in California, moving to the south / south east is probably a huge culture shock politically in our current environment.

Won't go into it given the board's rules, but being someone who is fairly central politically and having lived somewhere that leaned one direction politically and moving to another area which leaned the opposite way was an unpleasant / uncomfortable experience and hard to meet people and build friendships for quite some time as you re-learn what is off topic for discussion and what people want to talk about, how you see issues, etc...
Where did you live?

There are pockets (typically cities and university towns in swing states) in the South that are very progressive. Voting heavily blue (around 80%). In terms of voting, I'm not sure if a more progressive area in the country exists.
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