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Please recommend the ideal place to live in the U.S.

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

My wife and I are currently considering moving back to the States (I grew up in Bay Area, California), and we're considering places outside of the Bay Area, because it's just too expensive. We did a lot of research online, but we'd like some opinions from different folks who have lived in various parts of the U.S. to share their experiences with us. 

 

It's just the two of us--no children, and no pets. What we're looking for in an ideal city are the following:

 

Weather - We're quite spoiled by California weather (never too cold or too hot), so we would like to find somewhere that's as close to the mild California weather as possible. Ideally, no extremes like lots of snow, rain, heat, or any other dramatic climate. 

 

Housing - Of course, cheaper housing is better. We can't afford to buy houses in the Bay Area--just too expensive. Even just renting, the same price we'd pay for a modest apartment in the Bay Area could get us a really nice place elsewhere. 

 

Crime - Definitely no high crime rate cities. I grew up in Foster City, one of the safest cities in all of California, where I can walk around at night during all hours and not feel insecure.

 

Culture - Diversity, tolerance and progressive thinking is better. Definitely don't want any area where there are lots of bigots, racists, intolerant religious zealots, and so on. 

 

Proximity to civilization - As beautiful as countryside can be, the wife and I are mainly city dwellers. Too out there makes us think of slasher horror movies. We'd like to enjoy decent shopping and dining and a bit of culture within acceptable driving distance. But on the other hand, we don't like living in big cities--they feel very impersonal, where everyone is a stranger. We actually like the suburb, even if we are by nature somewhat subversive and rebellious.

 

Employment - We really don't care if there are lots of employment opportunities in the area. I work at home, so it doesn't really matter to me.

 

 

Just for reference, here are some of the places we've lived at and how we felt about them in terms of weather:

 

Bay Area, California - Pretty much perfect. Almost never gets too hot or too cold. 

 

San Diego, LA, California - A bit warmer than Bay Area, but otherwise, similar.

 

Louisville, Kentucky - Summer too hot and humid. Winter not too bad, although it does snow a little bit.

 

Malaysia - Too humid and all year-round hot summer is just too weird. We didn't like having to sweat all the time.

 

Hong Kong - Summer is too humid, and sometimes too hot, but rest of the year is quite mild and comfortable. 

 

Fuzhou, China - Too humid almost all-year round, and there's barely any autumn or spring. It's just very long, hot summer and then winter. 

 

Taipei, Taiwan - Similar weather to Fuzhou. 

 

Anyway, that's about it. Thanks!

 

 

 


Edited by Lunatique - 3/17/12 at 9:32pm
post #2 of 67

Denver fits the bill quite well, except that it has true seasons - a plus if you ask me ;)  300 days of sunshine though

post #3 of 67
The places with the best weather have the most expensive housing prices. Compromise or pay, really.

Oklahoma City is in the middle of nowhere, has a very low cost of living and plenty of space. There isn't really much 'city' it's one big suburban area it's so spread out. We have mild winters (usually 3-10 days of light snow, rarely more than a few feet a year), but hot medium humidity summers (last year was like 50 days over 100 degrees). We don't have anything really world class here, no high end restaurants, etc. Very low head-fi population too frown.gif

Apparently according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate our crime rate is on the higher side, but it all depends where you live. Like any other city there are safer areas and less safe. One of the safest places on that list I noticed was Plano Texas, north side of Dallas, which gets you access to lots of amenities. About the same weather as here, but maybe slightly hotter average yearly temperature.
post #4 of 67

Born in Taipei

Grew up in Los Altos

Now live in Los Angeles

 

One place that really caught my fancy from having to travel there a few times for business is Colorado Springs.

 

I don't know... maybe it was the constant air pollution/smog we have in LA but that fresh cool (a bit dry) air is very refreshing and the scenery is not too bad there.

 

In one of my trip there I arrived in one of the worse blizzard of recent years and it wasn't that bad... Of course I didn't have to live with it for more than a few days at a time but I quite like it there.  

 

Not too far from Denver. 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 67

Move to Taos, New Mexico, build an Earthship (on really low cost land), no water bill, no electricity bill, no gas bill, grow food with used toilet water.

House stays about 70 degree all year around.

And you get a few hard working Hippy neighbors.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 3/26/12 at 6:08pm
post #6 of 67

Austin is pretty awesome, may be too hot though.

post #7 of 67

Winter condo living in Florida, Saint Pete Beach (Bay View) and Summer cottage on four acres in the wood(s) of South County R.I. IMO&E ;')  

 

Pick 'em up together @ teh cost of either 5yrs ago ...

 

 

post #8 of 67

And just how many "Hippy neighbors" does it take to maintain 70 degrees in this fore-mentioned Earthship ;?)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Move to Taos, New Mexico, build an Earthship (on really low cost land), no water bill, no electricity bill, no gas bill, grow food with used toilet water.

House stays about 70 degree all year around, hippy neighbors.



 

post #9 of 67

NOT Las Vegas... There are a lot of cities just outside of the giants in California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, ect.) that would fit your requirements quite nicely. 

post #10 of 67

I've been researching the same thing, as my partner and I are considering moving to the states for a year a couple of years down the track.

 

One of the front runners for us is Portland. The summer's are dry, but not overly hot, though the winters may be too cold for your liking? That being said, it's a big enough city that it has all you need, a low crime rate, great cultural diversity, close proximity to lots of beautiful outdoor areas (which is important for us).


Not sure if it's your thing, just somewhere else to consider. I'll be watching this thread with interest as it may help us out too :)

post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Finthen View Post
And just how many "Hippy neighbors" does it take to maintain 70 degrees in this fore-mentioned Earthship ;?)


My pour grammar.

The Earthship house faces south, so the sun gets lots of daytime to warm up the thick walls of the house.

The thick walls store the heat, so at night time when the temperature starts to drop inside the house, the wall release the heat, warming the house back up.

It just happens that the first builder/owners of the Earthships and the ones who now help build other Earthships have that hippy look to them.

 

 

post #12 of 67


I respect your outstanding bilingual abilities, my friend !

 

My humor just did not transpose well in written form  ;)

 

I nearly built (did research building) either an earth sheltered or geodesic dome home in New England circa 1980 during that fuel crisis (Iran import trade sanctions) .... I did build a hyper insulated 1000sq ft ranch home with south facing solar gain just without the thermal mass you refer to ...

 

/ Hippys can be sensitive (lol) though I consider the term one of endearment ;')

 

Rock-on PurpleAngel 

 

Back on topic and sorry for the detour OP ;')

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post


My pour grammar.

The Earthship house faces south, so the sun gets lots of daytime to warm up the thick walls of the house.

The thick walls store the heat, so at night time when the temperature starts to drop inside the house, the wall release the heat, warming the house back up.

It just happens that the first builder/owners of the Earthships and the ones who now help build other Earthships have that hippy look to them.

 

 



 

post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Finthen View Post
My humor just did not transpose well in written form  ;)


I did get your joke.

I though it would be funny acting like I was not smart enough to get it.

 

 

post #14 of 67

New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Just kidding. I'm not sure what would fit your needs, but I do know that you need to stay realllllllyyyy far away from the southeast region. You'd really hate it here (except for the cheap housing).

post #15 of 67

I live further up north on the west coast in the valley in oregon, if you don't mind a bit of rain (we are a temperate rainforest area after all) it is a fantastic place to live, especially if you like to go fishing.

 

So, aside from the weather part the portland metro area fits your bill


Edited by Deltaechoe - 3/27/12 at 2:23pm
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