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Where to live?

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Oct 25th, 2012, 06:18 PM
  #1
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Where to live?

I am hoping to relocate soon and would appreciate any advice. I live in the Washington DC area and would love to get out because of the high cost of housing, horrific traffic and the generally up tight atmosphere. (Things I do like about this area are cultural opportunities, diversity and living near the coast.)
I would probably rather not go as far as the west coast. I would consider the northeastern states but not too far north since I do not want to deal with super cold winters. I am mostly looking at the south, as far west as Texas. I am thinking of a mid-sized city--no smaller than about 80,000. I kayak and would love to find somewhere with outdoor activity options. I am a single woman in my 40s and would love to live somewhere that (like DC) has other single people and dating options. (Small southern towns filled with families with children are probably not right for me, and I am also not looking for a place filled with retirees.) Places I am considering so far are Virginia Beach, Wilmington (NC), Asheville and Austin.
I work in healthcare, in a profession that is in demand throughout the US, so I am not too worried about finding a job.
Any thoughts from anyone would be appreciated.
Wannawander is offline  
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Oct 25th, 2012, 06:51 PM
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Of the places you list, I would take a closer look at Wilmington.

Virginia Beach (500,000) and Austin (800,000) are big, spread out places.

Asheville and Austin aren't on the coast, and I doubt either of them have the kayaking opportunities that seem to abound in Wilmington.

Considering your wish list, Charleston is another city you might want to consider.

HTtY
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Oct 25th, 2012, 07:02 PM
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You mention not wanting to go west of Texas but I'd urge you to consider northern or central California. Besides the milder weather, the cost of housing has dropped precipitously, so much that after 25 years away I've decided to move home. There are any number of mid-sized towns near water for your kayaking and outdoor activities and San Francisco for cultural events and elswhere as well. I think the area is hard to beat.
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Oct 25th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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There are any number of mid-sized towns near water for your kayaking and outdoor activities and San Francisco

I love the area too, but what towns do you have in mind? Santa Cruz? Monterey? Pacifica?

HTtY
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Oct 25th, 2012, 09:34 PM
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Austin has lakes.
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Oct 25th, 2012, 11:17 PM
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Asheville has amazing kayaking in the mountains and is a very cultural place to live, and so beautiful. I've lived in many places, including several in Europe, and Asheville is one of my favs and I would move back there in a sec if there were more jobs in my field, should be fine for nursing though.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 12:45 AM
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I'd urge you to consider northern or central California.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 01:49 AM
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HTtY, besides the towns you mention on the ocean and bays on the coast there are any number of small to medium sized towns on rivers such as the Feather River, Russian River (Santa Rosa), Sacramento on the Sacramento River and delta, wonderful boating in the delta. Low mountain rivers such as the Yuba and American with lovely places to live in the Gold Country along Highway 49. Lakes and reservoirs including Lake Tahoe, Clear Lake, numerous lakes in the Sierras, the list is huge. Look at a map and all those blue lines and blobs are water with nice places to live everywhere you look.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 02:34 AM
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Austin is outstanding for all the things you listed, actually. It's only a few hours' drive to the coast, but there are also a ton of lakes around for kayaking and such. It's right at the edge of the Texas Hill Country, so there are lots of beautiful natural places nearby. It has a very fitness-oriented population, but the general vibe is very laid back and decidedly funky. There's traffic, but you can mitigate or eliminate that by choosing the right neighborhoods to live in. There are eleventy-billion music festivals and venues and a thriving restaurant and cultural scene. Other pros: relatively low taxes and prices, no income tax, much lower housing costs than you're used to. Cons: you have to be okay with hot summers, housing is still more expensive than other cities in Texas, and beware of the hipsters, especially during South by Southwest (I swear I've never seen so many pairs of skinny jeans, ironic tees or rock-star hairdos in one place).
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Oct 26th, 2012, 08:05 AM
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Please add Bend Oregon to your list to check out. St. Charles Medical Center is great to work for. The kayaking and other sports are close by. There is an annual Pole - Pedal - Paddle competition which involves skiing on Mt. Bachelor, riding a bike to Bend and then paddling a kayak on the Deschutes River.
After a few years of slowdown, there are new condos being built along 27th St. near the hospital.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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I would recommend Portland, Ore because of the outdoor activities on the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, and the Willamette River that runs through the city. Not only that but there are many great hospitals right in Portland.

If you are interested in an environmentally & bike friendly city it is unbeatable. Portland has also become a major foodie hot spot.
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Oct 27th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Austin! If I could just pick any place to live... I think it would be there! I have lived in S. California, in NJ, in Florida...and now in Dallas for over 2 years. I love Austin and it is a GREAT place for an active person who likes good food, healthy life style, mild temps over all (hot in the summer) lakes, fun... I love it there!!
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Oct 27th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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I agree MMDD. It is a truly beautiful city especially in the springtime when the bluebells are in full swing! I just find the political climate (I have a ton of relatives living there who are so conservative that conversation is difficult.) I just smile and smile and try to bring the conversation back to past relatives who lives I am trying to research).
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Oct 27th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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Nanabee - I think Austin is one of the few liberal cities in Texas! I have told people from Dallas that I love it in Austin and they smile and say "oh yes, you ARE from California aren't you?"
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Oct 27th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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Everyone's throwing in suggestions--how about Charlotte. 3 hours to the beach 2 to the mountains (Ashville). Incredible healthcare opportunities. Diverse community. The National Whitewater Center!! paddle in the middle of town when you can't get to the mountains.
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Oct 27th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Mme Perdu, we have always felt Northern California is just too expensive for us. Are housing costs really down that significantly ?
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Oct 27th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Austin IS a liberal enclave in mostly conservative Texas. But I agree with the other comments. Texas is one of the most cost friendly places to live, especially for someone use to DC prices and taxes.
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Oct 27th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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We have found the cost of living in N. Dallas to be much easier Betty in comparison to S. California. Our son and DIL were able to buy their first home -they would NEVER have been able to do that in CA.
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Oct 27th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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True, Mom. I am amazed when I watch the House Hunter shows on HGTV and see how much people pay for these tiny houses in other parts of the US. While our property taxes are higher, lower house payments offset those costs.

PLUS, we're very friendly here in good ol' Texas!!
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Oct 27th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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Jubilada-

I moved from N. CA to a small town in SE AZ 25 years ago and never thought I'd be able to go back because of the well known cost of housing. A year ago I was visiting family and, to cut to the chase, found a great house, not a repo or short sale, for probably half what it would have been in earlier times. And in a town I'd always loved, Grass Valley, not one of those places most devastated by the crash like, say, Stockton, or others we've heard about. I can't tell you how thrilled I was, and am.

If it's something that interests you I'd recommend getting right on it as nothing lasts forever. At least have a look.
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