Leaving San Francisco but to where?


Sep 21st, 2015, 10:04 AM
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Leaving San Francisco but to where?

A little background:

My wife and I are in our mid 30's with a baby on the way. We lived in San Francisco for over 10 years. We have seen it morph to what it has become now - a really nice city that we enjoy very much but with the cost of $3000 (now probably worth $3800) for a decent 1 Bedroom with no garage, no laundry, no pets and a long list of other no's. Buying a house with a budget below $900K will get you the low end of the market even in the suburbs and there is no end in sight for this madness. Our budget would get us a tiny house with 2 hours commute minimum everyday with moderate traffic.

I found a list from a thread created 3 years ago that checks everything we need that I modified a bit:

- Social equality and a diverse culture: I think it is pretty important to mention that I'm Muslim and my wife is Christian - We want our kids to grow up accepting people of all colors, religions and backgrounds.

- A decent economy with growth potential

- Moderate cost of living: we live in SF and I don't think it can't get more expensive than that.

- Warm winters: preferably no snow

- Small to medium size city with some history. We love cities with craftsmen style homes. You just can't find that kind of detail anymore with newer homes.

- Possibility of getting a small weekend home 1-2 hours away, a little farm or a small house in a little beach town

- Farmers markets over Walmart: we are avid supporters of local farmers

- Access/exposure/opportunity for kids

- Good schools/pride of education - Definitely asking for too much but a French school would make us very happy

- A somewhat relaxed low pace of life/low crime, down to earth people and family values
brock1 is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2015, 10:20 AM
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Can't think of many places that tick ALL of your boxes but do look at:

Sebastipol, CA
Los Alamos, NM
Maitland, Fl
Coos Bay, Or
Twin Falls, ID
clarkgriswold is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2015, 10:28 AM
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Los Alamos has good schools, but winters are cold and you would get snow at least a few times during the winter.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2015, 10:50 AM
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For relocation info try city-data.com
jamie99 is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2015, 12:22 PM
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What is your budget for the house? What sort of work do you do?

Portland, Oregon would fit some/most of the bill if you are in the $500k range. It isn't terribly diverse, but it seems pretty welcoming to diversity.

Continuing in the theme of "places that are a cliche for having a lot of ex-Californians", Denver might be an option. Or a bit smaller, maybe Boise.

Since you tagged NC, the RTP area has a strong economy (for certain industries), some communities with good schools, a good cost of living, and good weather. Diversity is a little light, but it isn't that bad. And you might have to give up the dream of a Craftsmen house.

Austin might be an option, but my understanding is that the commutes have become insufferable in certain areas. That and you will have to listen to all the people in Austin talk about how Austin isn't really Texas.

Minneapolis would fit much of the bill, but the weather is terrible. Still, I think it is a very underrated city. Tolerant, if not terribly diverse.
travelgourmet is online now  
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Sep 21st, 2015, 02:24 PM
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In terms of I'd lean towards university towns as a possibility.

Seattle, Portland...?

Montreal comes to mind, but that's not in the US and it's too cold!
welltraveledbrit is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2015, 06:26 PM
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Northern Virginia is one of the most diverse areas in the country but I'd recommend Charlottesville as the place in Virginia that would cover many of your requirements. There is snow but you can get snow in any part of the state.
Birdie is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2015, 07:21 PM
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Portland, Oregon checks off most of your boxes. Racial diversity and snow (an inch or two once or twice a year) are the two weak ones,. Lots of Craftsman homes, and there's even a French elementary school.
lcuy is offline  
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Sep 23rd, 2015, 08:22 AM
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Seattle is a possibility. It has a lower average precipitation than Portland.
Michael is offline  
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