Ideal City to live in?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
radiowave
Posts: 2567
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by radiowave »

OP, if you can be open minded about the snow/winter, Denver may be worth considering, find a place downtown, great cycling along the Cherry Creek trail which goes through downtown and 30+ miles south, train to the airport DIA which is a major hub for United and Southwest, winters can be cold but very sunny so its often in the 20s (temp and humidity) with bright blue sky, plenty of culture downtown, some of the best cycling in the US just a little west of the city among 12-14K ft mountains and trails, relatively low property taxes, and of course some of the best camping, hiking and dry powder snow skiing you can find anywhere. Plus 300 days of sunshine and no mosquitoes or other pesky bugs (I lived in Charleston SC and central FL before coming out here so know about bugs).
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page
Carefreeap
Posts: 2973
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Carefreeap »

2tall4economy wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:07 pm
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...
Lol, this is an important point. Moving from the SF Peninsula to the Far North Scottsdale area was culture shock 17 years ago. It's gotten better but cultural diversity is still an issue.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the area but there are things that make you pause...
Every day I can hike is a good day.
BionicBillWalsh
Posts: 328
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:56 am
Location: Sandwich Islands

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by BionicBillWalsh »

Lots of places in Hawaii that meet your criteria.

Some of them wouldn't be significantly less in cost than SF but probably way better quality of life.

Kona on the Big Island would likely be the best choice looking at your criteria.
Jerry Garcia: If I knew the way...I would take you home.
jello_nailer
Posts: 376
Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:20 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by jello_nailer »

BolderBoy wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:43 pm
antwerp wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:38 pm 1st Choice - San Diego
2nd - Tucson, AZ
+1. Based on the OP's strict criteria.
I would have Prescott, AZ on my short list instead of Tucson. Only about 90 miles to PHX, 4 seasons, summer is quite comfortable. Just throwing that out there.
User avatar
goodenyou
Posts: 2604
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:57 pm
Location: Skating to Where the Puck is Going to Be..or on the golf course

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by goodenyou »

Texas Hill Country. No income tax, but expect 2-2.5% property tax. If you make a lot of money, the no income tax will dwarf the property taxes. The best city is where my family is close (enough) and where I could reach financial independence the fastest. Plus, superb grocery stores, close jet airport and great healthcare are a must.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | “Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains”
azianbob
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:53 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by azianbob »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:04 pm 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 believe these criteria is what everyone wants. As such, these areas will be expensive (Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Diego). Even cheaper areas like east Texas, Arizona, Portland, Nevada, New Mexico will have some cold months. Florida might be another option.
Topic Author
cbr shadow
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by cbr shadow »

FrugalConservative wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:45 pm 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.
I don't understand responses like this, since I clearly stated that we love the Bay Area. I also mentioned that we're renting, so we're able to leave anytime we want. The Bay Area isn't for everyone, but there are reasons why the COL is so high.
Last edited by cbr shadow on Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
pasadena
Posts: 1037
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:23 am
Location: PNW

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by pasadena »

Since you don't say you want lower taxes, San Diego. It'll be expensive but not nearly BA-expensive.

I wouldn't recommend WA or even OR because you mention warm weather, no chance of snow and no gloomy days. That doesn't leave many candidates tbh.
Last edited by pasadena on Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Random Poster
Posts: 2375
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Random Poster »

El Paso.

Or maybe ABQ.
marcopolo
Posts: 4040
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by marcopolo »

JamalJones wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:46 pm
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!
You guys are coming up with some great suggestions, with the exception of the OP not wanting to spend $1M on a house. Where in San Diego proper, around Balboa park, etc., are you going to find a nice SFH in a good school district for less than $1M?

Even in North County, that seems like it would be a challenge.

Nice places to live are expensive for a reason.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
Topic Author
cbr shadow
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by cbr shadow »

Thanks everyone for the responses so far. I'm researching all of the areas mentioned.
It seems like some of the suggestions check all of the boxes except "good schools", which is a deal breaker for us.

Someone mentioned that the Great School's Rating is not good to go by.. is there another tool that can be used to compare schools in different areas?

Good points on the political climates for certain areas. I should have mentioned in the OP that we are fine with a liberal areas or an area with a good mix/diversity of political views, but small towns in the deep south would likely be a poor fit.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions so far!
User avatar
Christine_NM
Posts: 2791
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:13 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Christine_NM »

Temecula looks good. Also Palm Desert or Palm Springs in the same area.

I have to laugh at the first suggestion -- CO has tons of snow and the biggest mosquitos (when the snow melts) I've ever seen.

I don't think you would like ABQ or El Paso. I love it but judging from the OP you want something a bit fancier. Maybe you are in CA for a reason?

Good schools and mild weather? Maybe Virginia?
18% cash 44% stock 38% bond. Retired, w/d rate 2.5%
aristotelian
Posts: 8928
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by aristotelian »

In addition to Denver, Boulder CO and Fort Collins CO. Both have big universities and university towns generally have good schools. Flagstaff on paper looks really nice but I have never spent time so can't really say. It is in AZ but has some altitude so it's cooler and has seasons.

I've heard good things about Idaho. Seems to be on the rise with overflow from Portland and Seattle.
boosnark
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:31 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by boosnark »

Houston would tick some of those boxes. Has an airport that is fairly large, with direct flights to Europe and a big hub for United and Delta. The Texas Medical Center is world renowned, food is cheap, good private and public schools are abundant (if you know where to live), but the weather can get extra hot in Summer. Fall and Winter are nice, though. There are lots of bicycle trails you can try as well. Housing/rent is cheap compared to the other big cities and the food selection is good. Houston has a prominent symphony, ballet, and opera if you're into the arts.
Z3roCool
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:30 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Z3roCool »

Lived in both Houston and Atlanta. Airport is usually a little far from the great areas in both cities but they check all your boxes.
John88
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:57 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by John88 »

We live in the Bay Area as well, father is in Austin. No doubt, you can get a very nice home there. They rarely go out in the summer. It’s too hot and humid and if they wait until sun down the bugs are out. Unlike the Bay Area which naturally cools down from ocean/bay breezes, Austin stays hot even at night.

I didn’t notice many bikers there. To the contrary it’s mainly SUVs are on the road.

We love the central coast Monterey area but not sure if the airport is big enough for you.

In the central valley, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, and Granite Bay check off most of your boxes. Hotter than the Bay Area but also much more affordable.
Last edited by John88 on Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
shess
Posts: 955
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 12:02 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by shess »

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.
Around 2000, we were living in the bay area, planning to start a family, so we started looking. The cost of living was crazy. The big problem we had is that we really liked the bay area. The only place up and down the coast which we really seriously considered (~6 visits over ~6 months) was the San Luis Obispo area. The airport situation was a big downer, as our families are both closest to second-tier airports (meaning no straight shots, and possibility of two layovers). Also a big downer was that SLO itself felt like a HCOL area, well, maybe MCOL, but as a software engineer I'd either be working remotely (so airport issues), or working locally for much less money. We decided that being a software engineer pretty much meant that the bay area was the place to be, and that if we moved we should just MOVE rather than half-moving. We stayed on the peninsula and it worked out, but since housing is up 2x since then, I can see the dilemma.

You mentioned cycling - I've ridden in the Poway/Escondido area, and while it was enjoyable, I don't think I'd care for it long-term (I'm used to the Santa Cruz Mountains). Some regions of the Bay Area are really just special for cycling. I have friends who moved to the Boulder area who seem to like it enough to not miss us. IMHO hiking is easier, there's a lot of the west coast and the east side of the Rockies which I think would work really well for hiking. Boulder or Portland are very default targets for bay-area people to move to, and maintain much of that outdoorsy sense. I've also noticed a lot of people moving to Boise, more recently.

Something I'll toss in about remote work is that if you had a job which has transitioned to remote work in response to the coronavirus, you need to think REALLY hard about that route. I worked remotely in the 90's by choice, and had some really great experiences, but it was an entirely different deal than working onsite for a company, and was also an entirely different deal than working offsite with other people onsite. You can do it! But keep in mind that you'll be making very different decisions about advancement, and you'll often find yourself frustrated about being left out of decision-making. Personally, I ended up moving to onsite work because I found remote working somewhat lonely, and I say this as an introvert. The things children bring into a household help mitigate that over the long term, but IMHO if I had any kids younger than school age, I'd under no circumstances choose to work remotely.
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 23516
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by willthrill81 »

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.
Property crime in the Sea-Tac area is among the highest in the nation. Also, real estate prices there are insane.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 23516
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by willthrill81 »

Isabelle77 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:51 pm
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.
Contrary to popular belief, the weather west of the Cascade mountains (e.g. Seattle) is not at all indicative of the general weather across all of the PNW. We live near Spokane and only get 18" of precipitation annually. In the summer, we get particularly abundant sunshine.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
User avatar
geerhardusvos
Posts: 1794
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:20 pm
Location: heavenlies

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by geerhardusvos »

willthrill81 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:11 pm
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.
Property crime in the Sea-Tac area is among the highest in the nation. Also, real estate prices there are insane.
Yep, don’t come near King County... Portland isn’t trending well either...
VTSAX and chill
rockstar
Posts: 1326
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by rockstar »

Sounds like Boulder, CO might be a good match.
EddyB
Posts: 1542
Joined: Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by EddyB »

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.
Then farther out in the Bay Area.
Ron Ronnerson
Posts: 1925
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:53 pm
Location: Bay Area

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

At your ages and with your assets and income, I would think that you could live very comfortably in certain parts of the Bay Area if you wanted to stay.

We're in the tri-valley region of the Bay Area (Pleasanton/Dublin/San Ramon area) and love living here. I would check out Walnut Creek and Pleasanton before you pack up and move out of the region. They both have nice downtowns and the schools are good, particularly in Pleasanton. There are three airports relatively close by, no mosquitos, warm weather (much more so than the towns right on the coast) and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Both towns have a BART station so that you could get to San Francisco easily by train and wine country wouldn't be too far either.

The median home price is right around $1M but interest rates are low these days. So the mortgage payment will be lower than if the rate were higher and more of each payment will be directed toward the principal. If you can figure out the housing piece, the rest of the expenses don't have to be so bad unless you let them get that way. On your income, you might not be able to get a mansion but you could definitely live a nice life in either of these towns. Personally, I wouldn't want to move away. I think I'd give up more than I'd gain but that is, of course, a personal decision.
yadayada
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:56 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by yadayada »

If you are willing to compromise on the no snow criteria the DC metro area is a good fit. While it's does snow 3-4 times a year, the days are bright and sunny and can trick you until you set foot outside. The schools are great. Plenty of culture and natural beauty. Amazon was on a similar search a couple of years ago and settled on this area after all.
toomanysidehustles
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:09 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by toomanysidehustles »

radiowave wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:27 pm OP, if you can be open minded about the snow/winter, Denver may be worth considering, find a place downtown, great cycling along the Cherry Creek trail which goes through downtown and 30+ miles south, train to the airport DIA which is a major hub for United and Southwest, winters can be cold but very sunny so its often in the 20s (temp and humidity) with bright blue sky, plenty of culture downtown, some of the best cycling in the US just a little west of the city among 12-14K ft mountains and trails, relatively low property taxes, and of course some of the best camping, hiking and dry powder snow skiing you can find anywhere. Plus 300 days of sunshine and no mosquitoes or other pesky bugs (I lived in Charleston SC and central FL before coming out here so know about bugs).
I'll second this. I moved to Fort Collins, Colorado from Atlanta metro in 1999 and never looked back. Met my wife here, had kids, and we own a small online high end kids mountain bike company based out of Fort Collins. It does snow and get really cold a few times a year, but very manageable. I ride my gravel bike year round, you can ride dry dirt probably 300 days a year. 6-7 hours away in all directions from some of the best riding (Moab, CO mountains, New Mexico, Wyoming, etc.) and it is pretty easy to chase good weather and drive a few hours. We have 3 Southwest pilots that moved from CA (1 San Diego, 2 San Jose)in my neighborhood and they moved to Fort Collins for quality of life and still about an hour from DIA to fly in/out. https://livability.com/list/top-100-bes ... ve/2020/10 Always in the "Top Places to live" list. Great schools, low crime, semi-affordable housing still (getting more expensive, 1/2 what you are paying probably) and CO has 4th lowest property taxes in the nation.
stocknoob4111
Posts: 1820
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:52 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by stocknoob4111 »

What about Boise, Idaho? Lots of outdoor activities, and I have heard there is a little snow but the winters are generally very mild.
7eight9 wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:30 pm Las Vegas

Send your child to private school.
Las Vegas has scorpion problems... so i've heard, been to Vegas more times than I can remember but only as a tourist but it's strategic location makes it an interesting choice.

Colorado is promising except the winters seem extreme, I don't have much experience with CO so can't validate the accuracy of that. But nobody can dispute the natural beauty of CO, it looks amazing!

Good question - I am looking also. One thing, if you are into outdoor stuff DO NOT come to Texas, it isn't an ideal spot for that kind of stuff. I am in Dallas but came here for a career opportunity and will be leaving in a couple of years, also TX is ridiculously hot 4 months of the year which prevents any kind of outdoor stuff. Plus TX is just super boring as far as nature goes. I am a SoCal native and very much into the outdoors as well ;) I have literally gone from doing hikes in the San Gabriels - 10,000 foot peaks to now walking in the neighborhood park LOL! :mrgreen:
User avatar
FrugalProfessor
Posts: 339
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 11:34 am
Contact:

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by FrugalProfessor »

Here's MY personal list (for me). Not sure how much is relevant to you.

* Vegas suburbs (Henderson, Summerlin).
** Pros: No state income tax. Good schools. Safe. Good weather 9 months out of the year. Red Rocks for mtn biking + world-class rock climbing. Direct flights are close to free anywhere in the country. Property tax is super low.
** Cons: Miserably hot a couple months per year. Global warming will eventually make the place uninhabitable and they'll eventually run out of water. Real Estate has somehow stayed inflated during Covid which has tanked the local economy.

* Reno / Carson City.
** Pros: Easy access to Tahoe (boating, hiking, climbing, skiing). Same tax advantages as above. Less hot than Vegas.
** Cons: Airport is significantly less good than Vegas. Don't think public schools are fantastic.

* Bellingham WA.
** Pros: Beautiful PNW. Easy access to the beautiful Cascade mountain range. Nearby sea kayaking in San Juan islands. No state income tax. Easy access to stunning British Columbia. Decent regional airport in Bellingham keeping you from having to slog it to Seattle. Fun local triathlon (Lake Padden). PNW summers are the most enjoyable 2 month period of any place I've ever lived.
** Cons: Drizzles for much of the year (you get used to it). Winters are dark. It'll snow a couple days a year.

* Colorado Springs
** Pros: Gorgeous. Mountain biker, climber, & hiker's paradise. Garden of the gods, Pikes Peak, charming Manitou Springs. Fantastic weather most of the year. Somewhat easy access to Denver's airport which is of the cheapest in the country (Frontier). Most affordable city in the front range.
** Cons: Forest fire risk. Tax situation is decent, but not as favorable as NV & WA, particularly pre-retirement.

Honorable mention: Spokane WA, Ft Collins CO, Ogden UT, St George UT, Camas WA, Santa Fe / Albuquerque NM

Worth reading: https://earlyretirementnow.com/2018/12/ ... t-a-house/
I blog. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha. I eat tax alpha for breakfast.
srt7
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:19 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by srt7 »

Let's use a process of elimination ...
You said no snow so forget Colorado or Great North or MidWest or North East.
You said no mosquitos so forget Austin or Texas or South / South East region of the country.
You said no grey skies so forget PNW.

That leaves South West (Arizona, Nevada) and California.

Unlike many others you don't seem to whine about state income tax (because you are smart and consider the overall tax burden instead of cherry picking?) so my recommendation is Sacramento metro area.

Lived in Austin for couple decades then moved to Denver. Runner-up was Sacramento.
phxjcc
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by phxjcc »

San Luis Obispo.

Done.
User avatar
2pedals
Posts: 1313
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:31 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by 2pedals »

Bend Oregon comes to mind.

p.s. not all towns in the PNW are mostly grey.
interwebopinion
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:21 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by interwebopinion »

We love the Bay Area, but are eyeing the exits, especially because it looks like summer will mean more days of smoke and fires for the foreseeable future.

Climate change may be a factor you might want to take into consideration - see https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 ... erica.html

Somewhere not rainy in the PNW seems like a solid long-term bet.
User avatar
Hub
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Hub »

Another vote for Dallas/ Fort Worth or Austin. The heat and mosquitos suck, but the culture of success permeates in these places. People are very ambitious, the cost of living is still good, and opportunities abound. Austin is probably more a fit for a Californian, but DFW airport is tops and the affordability of housing in DFW is way better than Austin. Bike culture is going to be very strong in Austin though. Traffic there is a beast unless you go to $1MM+ Westlake homes. $1MM+ homes in Highland Park (Dallas) get you the same top notch public schools as Westlake, with less natural beauty, but more of an urban cafe/city atmosphere.
NBKCF
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:14 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by NBKCF »

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!
Greenville, SC will require some sacrifices in the mosquito requirement, but it’s a amazingly cheap yet growing city. You’ll be living very well on that income.
TheGreyingDuke
Posts: 1835
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

If I were in your position, I would stay (relatively) put. If I had my druthers I would be living in the Bay area, had extended visits there while son was in graduate school, biking, hiking, great food choices (Monterey Market), and many ways to get around without a car.

I am always a bit amused that folks earning good money think they need to move to some less desirable part of the country in order to save money. Spending your hard-earned money on a desirable place to live is a sound financial decision, in my opinion. Your $1.5 million home in some East Bay community on BART will not (likely) imperil your financial future.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells
ensign
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:18 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by ensign »

There are lots of midsize cities NOT on the West Coast (heaven forbid!) with mild winters and lots to offer — Nashville; Asheville, N.C.; and Lexington,Ky., are progressive places with a relatively LCOL. A few mosquitoes but you won’t have worry so much about the impacts of climate change.
theplayer11
Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by theplayer11 »

TheGreyingDuke wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:54 am If I were in your position, I would stay (relatively) put. If I had my druthers I would be living in the Bay area, had extended visits there while son was in graduate school, biking, hiking, great food choices (Monterey Market), and many ways to get around without a car.

I am always a bit amused that folks earning good money think they need to move to some less desirable part of the country in order to save money. Spending your hard-earned money on a desirable place to live is a sound financial decision, in my opinion. Your $1.5 million home in some East Bay community on BART will not (likely) imperil your financial future.
who said anything about less desirable? Many people believe CA is not desirable at all.
Having said that, these types of threads always end up insulting someone.
TheGreyingDuke
Posts: 1835
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

theplayer11 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:08 am
TheGreyingDuke wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:54 am If I were in your position, I would stay (relatively) put. If I had my druthers I would be living in the Bay area, had extended visits there while son was in graduate school, biking, hiking, great food choices (Monterey Market), and many ways to get around without a car.

I am always a bit amused that folks earning good money think they need to move to some less desirable part of the country in order to save money. Spending your hard-earned money on a desirable place to live is a sound financial decision, in my opinion. Your $1.5 million home in some East Bay community on BART will not (likely) imperil your financial future.
who said anything about less desirable? Many people believe CA is not desirable at all.
Having said that, these types of threads always end up insulting someone.
I used the term cognizant that the OP's only objection to stay put was the cost of living, so it was his assessment, not mine.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells
J295
Posts: 2850
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by J295 »

I don’t know if it’s been mentioned up thread or not, but if we were going through this exercise the “culture/vibe” of the location would be highly important.
stoptothink
Posts: 8959
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by stoptothink »

theplayer11 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:08 am
TheGreyingDuke wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:54 am If I were in your position, I would stay (relatively) put. If I had my druthers I would be living in the Bay area, had extended visits there while son was in graduate school, biking, hiking, great food choices (Monterey Market), and many ways to get around without a car.

I am always a bit amused that folks earning good money think they need to move to some less desirable part of the country in order to save money. Spending your hard-earned money on a desirable place to live is a sound financial decision, in my opinion. Your $1.5 million home in some East Bay community on BART will not (likely) imperil your financial future.
who said anything about less desirable? Many people believe CA is not desirable at all.
Having said that, these types of threads always end up insulting someone.
I guess it can be helpful to get opinions about what other places have to offer, but otherwise I agree. California is very polarizing, 90% of my extended family has left in the last decade (including the families of my brother, a SIL, an uncle, and 4 cousins...this year) and not a single one would return, but there are clearly many people who believe it is the best place on Earth to live. FWIW, I've lived pretty much all over the west and I've found that several of the places I thought I'd hate (especially two different areas in Utah and Houston), I actually really liked.
stan1
Posts: 9796
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by stan1 »

Draw a rough square between San Diego, Bay Area, Denver, and Austin. Inside (or close to inside) will also be Tucson, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, Reno, Maybe Boise. That would be my short list and I am deliberately leaving out Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Dallas.

The above all have local airports that at least connect to major hubs. Several have a large Southwest presence. Snow east of Colorado Front Range is not too bad (Denver, Boulder, Longmont, COS, etc). Near Salt Lake City is also Utah Valley and Midway. Catalina Foothills in Tucson cover a huge area. Reno has no state income tax and is easily driveable from Bay Area. Albuquerque might be lowest cost, but it just has not gotten economic traction for decades despite best efforts and a research university.

For San Diego:
I-5 corridor (e.g. Carmel Valley, Del Mar Heights, Encinitas, Carlsbad e.g. San Dieguito High School District but not only)
I-15 corridor (e.g. Scripps Ranch, Poway School District which is much larger than Poway and includes parts of the City of San Diego like Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, Black Mountain Ranch, etc)
Can still find houses under $1M that are well located, but they will be older and won't be 3000+ square feet.

Temecula is an exurb and that would not be my focus. It is filled with people pursuing the American dream as best they can in a HCOL area.

As for neighborhoods you can use the Whole Foods/Trader Joe's search in each city and that will get you started.
User avatar
wander
Posts: 3578
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by wander »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:20 pm
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.
+1. "indefinitely" doesn't mean "forever".
User avatar
BolderBoy
Posts: 5367
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by BolderBoy »

rockstar wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:23 pm Sounds like Boulder, CO might be a good match.
I dunno. OP said, "No Snow!" and Boulder had its snowiest winter season on record 2019-2020. Also, we got 8" of wet heavy snow on Sep 8 which may be shocking to the mentally unprepared.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 23516
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by willthrill81 »

BolderBoy wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:23 am
rockstar wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:23 pm Sounds like Boulder, CO might be a good match.
I dunno. OP said, "No Snow!" and Boulder had its snowiest winter season on record 2019-2020. Also, we got 8" of wet heavy snow on Sep 8 which may be shocking to the mentally unprepared.
Here close to Spokane, WA, we typically get no more than 1-2' feet of snow, and it typically doesn't stay on the ground very long. But the mountains surrounding us can get crazy high amounts of snow. A couple of winters ago, Schweitzer ski resort, about a 90 minute drive, got over 35' of snow by the time they closed in mid-April.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
Colorado13
Posts: 1143
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Colorado13 »

inverter wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:21 pmColorado?

No snow was #1 on the OP's list so that eliminates Colorado.
rockstar
Posts: 1326
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by rockstar »

Colorado13 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:48 am
inverter wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:21 pmColorado?

No snow was #1 on the OP's list so that eliminates Colorado.
Maybe Las Vegas then.
User avatar
Pizza_and_Beer
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:23 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Pizza_and_Beer »

As others have remarked, there probably is no place that is an exact fit.

I'll nominate Asheville, NC. It has a bit of the SF vibe going for it plus a ton of outdoor activities.
User avatar
MP123
Posts: 2141
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:32 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by MP123 »

Colorado13 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:48 am
inverter wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:21 pmColorado?

No snow was #1 on the OP's list so that eliminates Colorado.
Along with most of the rest of the country. There are very few places that truly get no snow ever.
ThankYouJack
Posts: 3705
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by ThankYouJack »

cbr shadow wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:04 pm
- We have our first child due in a month.


Do you have any family you'd like to live close to? Being close to family is very nice especially when you have young kids and considering how much your wife travels.

I still vote for Santa Barbara. I enjoy cycling too and have lived all over (Northeast, Southeast, California, Hawaii), traveled cross-country twice, been up and down both coasts multiple times. Take a trip and cycle through wine country or along the coast around there before looking at home prices :)

Good luck where ever you decide!
Dottie57
Posts: 9725
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by Dottie57 »

vitaflo wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:53 pm 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.
No mosquitoes means low humidity. To me that is the Southwest U.S. Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos?
finite_difference
Posts: 2335
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: Ideal City to live in?

Post by finite_difference »

MP123 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:00 am
Colorado13 wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:48 am
inverter wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:21 pmColorado?

No snow was #1 on the OP's list so that eliminates Colorado.
Along with most of the rest of the country. There are very few places that truly get no snow ever.
MidAtlantic/South/Southwest is basically zero snow.

I personally love snow.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
Locked