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  • #3752878
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Not exactly sure where to post this, so…here’s as good as anywhere.

    The short explanation is this: my household is going to have to relocate itself due to a commercial buyout of residential property.  Our parcel was included in a large tract of land that a nearby industrial site decided to acquire, and the offer we received for the property was decidedly more than fair.  Papers have been signed, non-refundable deposits have been made, and in about ten weeks we’re not going to be homeowners anymore; there’s a 90-day lease-back option to help us have more time to figure out where we’re going, but as of right now we have no idea where that’s going to be.  The final get-the-f***-out date is sometime around November 17th.  My partner’s job is remote, and I’m so ready for a change of scenery – desperately in need of it, according to some – that I don’t mind walking away from the job that I have and finding something entirely different.  But that brings us around to the question of “where?” and we really don’t know what to do.

    We’re in the US and although we could leave, that may well be a bit too much of a logistical challenge for my partner’s current job, so that’s really the only limit…and if the right opportunity presented itself, moving away from the US would be fine (I just don’t know those logistics at all).  Our prime requisites are a diversity of cultures and environments, progressive emphasis on the arts and education, plenty of access to the outdoors, and communities where people are proud of doing things well.  Privacy is a necessity, and access to a larger city would be nice…but as long as there’s one within about 90 minutes, driving, we’ll be fine; airport access would be of similar priorty.

    Thus far, we’ve talked about Vermont/NH, northern New Mexico, and possibly Washington…but it’s such a big nation, with so many options, that we don’t know where to start.  Any ideas or input from this community would be much appreciated.

    tl;dr, I have to move and don’t know where to go, so, ideas?

    #3752903
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    It would take me more than four months to figure out this kind of decision.

    Do you like rainy winters? Three years ago, I would have recommended Oregon. But housing is becoming increasingly less affordable.

    Do you like hottish summers?  You could locate an hour East of the Pacific Crest and be 90 minutes from a city like Sacramento or Fresno.

    I know folks who have moved to New Mexico for the lower cost of housing.

    #3752904
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    With respect to Vermont, my daugther lives in Waterbury.  The closest “large” town is Burlington.  That being said, flying her out is always a pain.  You either fly from Burlington (and most of the times, you will have to have a connecting flight) or go to Boston.  So, the northern parts may not meet your needs.  My 2 cents.

    #3752905
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Bruce, it’s incredibly difficult to do in four months; effectively impossible, I think.  We’ve definitely nixed more than a few areas, already, but there’s a LOT that’s still on the Possible List…so we’re not averse to trying somewhere out and renting for a few months, and then moving on if it doesn’t seem like a place that we can stay for a few years.  What would be nice is to narrow down a state (or country) so that at least we can have an idea of what we’re dealing with on larger socio-political, economic and cultural scales; we could relocate to that area in general, and then start looking for a home after we’re mostly there and at least in the area.

    I’m good with winter as long as it’s a real winter; give me snow over rain any day of the week…because rain is the absolute worst kind of snow.  I’ve had years of rainy winters and I’m ready for a change!  We can also deal with hot summers, but I don’t know that we want Arizona-in-July levels of heat.

    I’ve met a few New Mexico people lately; housing costs are definitely more affordable there than in other places.  Not sure how I’d feel about being so far from an ocean, though…but I’m willing to give it a shot.  We need horizon lines of some sort, though.

    Jon – most connecting flights are okay with us, because work travel (at current) is minimal and we’re okay with a connector for personal travel.  Very solid point to bring up, though; thank you.

    #3752907
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Surrounded by water, oceans, bay and the sound.. close to City.. and fairly close to mountains.. Harriman.. Catskills and Adirondacks.

    Not sure what your budget is, but Long Island could be of interest.  You will get all 4 seasons.. winters with cold snow.. fall is beautiful time of year,  as is spring. Summer can be hot and humid.. hit the beaches within minutes of a car ride. New york city is very close .. car ride or train..  diversity of cultures.. check.. Arts and education.. check again. Long Island has 2 awesome airports..Republic and MacArthur.  Also you are within a car ride (or train) to Kennedy or Laguardia international airports.  You have neighborhing NJ.. my favorite palce to be Atlantic City or the Jersey shore.. Seaside or even better Wildwood!!!

    #3752908
    Iago Vazquez
    BPL Member

    @iago

    Locale: Boston & Galicia, Spain

    Perhaps it’s worth it to add Maine to the list?

    #3752911
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    I don’t know that I could handle New York or Jersey!  Been through there a few times and it’s a bit too urban for my taste; I like the out-of-the-box thinking, though…and you’re right: you can’t beat a big city for arts, diversity and culture.

    As far as the budet goes, we definitely have one: the less we spend, the better!  I’ve been watching housing markets here and there, and so many of them have been so inflated…so we’ve steered away from them.  In that regard, Washington has been an exception: there’s so much in the area that we’re looking for that we’re willing to spend a bit more if it puts us right in the midst of where we’d like to be.  That’s more affordable, in the long run…but we still need to be conservative.

    Iago, we’ve talked about the Maine coast; we’ve both been through there as well, and it really spoke to us in years past.  It’s definitely on the possible list; it’s got that same proximity to mountains and sea that we seem to find so appealing.

    #3752912
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Bellingham is out, because of the rain. Eugene is pretty rainy too, but a little less so. Grass Valley is just east of Sacramento in the Sierra foothills, but housing prices are fairly high. Some of those little towns in the foothills of Ca. are probably less expensive–Arnold. But remote.

    Frankly, where I live checks all your boxes–on the S.F. bay, 90 minute drive to tahoe, less than that to the coast and wine country, and–shhhh!–the weather is awesome. But housing is a nightmare. I lucked into something affordable to rent 35 years ago. Otherwise, I couldn’t be here.

    #3752913
    R L
    BPL Member

    @slip-knot

    Locale: SF Bay Area, East Bay

    I went from Phoenix Arizona, all the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta, LA. Northern California where the days are warm . Just to find a sweet place to stay.
    Must be the gypsy in me.

    #3752915
    W I S N E R !
    BPL Member

    @xnomanx

    If I were starting over I would put an extremely high premium on moving to an area with a local and sustainable water supply. The greater Southwestern US is very likely headed for a catastrophe that nobody wants to acknowledge. I think very hard about cashing out ASAP, but career and family-wise, I still need about a decade…Perhaps I’m overly pessimistic, but waiting another 10 years is increasingly feeling  like a tremendous gamble on many levels.

    #3752916
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Wisner – very good point about resources and responsible management; I’m going to throw that onto our list of priorities.  Thank you.

    jscott – Yep, that whole housing thing seems to strike every time out in California. Also, we don’t mind remoteness; when I said “90 minutes to a city” I meant a legit 90 minutes of driving to a place that resembles an urban area.  As long as there are some solid local options for necessities and a few of the small luxuries – my kingdom for an independent gear shop of the sort we used to have – then we’ll be in good shape.  Most of what we actually need – employment, transportation, health/vet care, etc. – can be found in most places.  The only thing I really worry about is a quality exotic vet, because my pet bunny needs health care like any other living thing.

    But Bellingham is that rainy?  Huh…I would have thought that it would be snowier, there.  That area is actually near the top of our list.  Hmmmm…guess I need to start looking at climate maps.

    #3752924
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    Well, I grew up around Seattle and lived in Bellingham for two years. I loved it, but when I moved to Ca. I realized that, yes, Bellingham has a rainy, grey climate. Depressing, to be honest. Someone I lived with in those days now lives in Austin. Her brother’s still in Bellingham, and she visits. I told her that I’d like to move back there, perhaps. Not her–too grey, too wet for too many months. Austin is miserable, weather wise, but she would rather stay put.

    Still…What a grand setting for a town, with a University and mountains right there all around.

    #3752925
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    What about the Southeast US – say east TN or western NC?  Decent backpacking and hiking, rock climbing, whitewater, fly-fishing, road and mountain biking – I’m not sure what your outdoor hobbies are.   Snow sports are not good, if that’s your thing.  Cost of living is affordable, and we have major airports in Atlanta and Charlotte where you can get direct flights to just about anywhere.  It’s warm enough in the winters to keep doing most outdoor sports too.

    Outside of that, Northern New Mexico – like the Santa Fe area, looks nice, but I think the cost of living is high.

    #3752927
    Ray J
    BPL Member

    @rhjanes

    This is a tough thing to consider.  We are in our mid 60’s so we have to think about healthcare access.  Others have made very good points.  Have you considered being a nomad for a time?  There is a roving community of people who live in RV’s.  They work seasonal jobs at like Amazon fulfilment centers.  Spend say 4 months working at one in the south during winter.  Pick up and move north, with the ‘house’ behind you.  Years ago I had a work friend with an interesting “Career” path.  He grew up in Southern California.  We worked in the computer field.  He took a first job in Phoenix.  After a few years, he found a job in New Mexico for a few years.  He was in Dallas when I met him.  Then he went from Mobil Oil here in Dallas, to Coke in Atlanta.  Then on to a job for the Fed in DC/Virginia.  He also was in I think Cleveland for a time.  At each of these cities, he’d purchase a fixer upper home and remodel it.  When he wasn’t taking in the sights and feel of the state.  After about 15 years of moving about the country…..he knew where he wanted to be and returned to McKinney Texas (Suburb of Dallas).  Great medical stuff for aging body, lots of fairly affordable houses, which he continues to buy and fix up, arts around….not much hiking/camping but…..  A career plan based on seeing the country so he knew where to “Retire” to.  Consider it in an RV as a quicker way to move about.  You can also be a “Camp Host” at State and National parks to offset costs.

    Since your partner sounds like they need a great online connection, that is a major factor in decisions.

    #3752929
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    I think very hard about cashing out ASAP, but career and family-wise, I still need about a decade…Perhaps I’m overly pessimistic, but waiting another 10 years is increasingly feeling  like a tremendous gamble on many levels.

    I think very hard about cashing out ASAP, but career and family-wise, I still need about a decade…Perhaps I’m overly pessimistic, but waiting another 10 years is increasingly feeling  like a tremendous gamble on many levels.

    I feel this, deeply.

    #3752967
    Dunstan Orchard
    BPL Member

    @dunstan

    “If I were starting over I would put an extremely high premium on moving to an area with a local and sustainable water supply. The greater Southwestern US is very likely headed for a catastrophe that nobody wants to acknowledge.”

    We bought our first house last year and this played a major part in our decision. We’re in the SF Bay Area and basically everywhere we looked at around here was either going to be on fire, or subject to water controls due to low reservoirs or encroaching salinity. We ended up buying somewhere with a well, up away from the salt water, and while we’re on the edge of the fire zone, we’re at least in a cooler, damper, fern-filled part of the hills.

    We used sites like this to check on any houses we were interested in https://climatecheck.com

    Also, we live in a beautiful place, but SF Bay Area rents and house prices continue to be insane.

    #3752968
    Bruce Tolley
    BPL Member

    @btolley

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    “As long as there are some solid local options for necessities and a few of the small luxuries – my kingdom for an independent gear shop of the sort we used to have – then we’ll be in good shape. ”

    OK.

    Some less rainy options:

    Bend, OR which is rapidly being transformed by being discovered.  But there is land outside of the town.

    Bishop, CA right below the Range of Light. The population growth is limited by lack of water but there is at least one independent gear shop downtown.

     

    #3752971
    Tom K
    BPL Member

    @tom-kirchneraol-com-2

    You can’t have it all, so you’re going to have to prioritize.  To me it would seem that reliable water supply has to be the number one priority.  However, that water has to come from somewhere and in some form, usually rain, sometimes snow.  The  area with the most reliable water supply I can think of that meets many of your other needs, e.g. big city nearby, mountains, near ocean, is Washington State west of the Cascades.  The downside is that the water comes in the form of rain, lots of it, for 6+ months of the year, and, yes, it is often cloudy.  I moved to Washington from The Bay Area 37 years ago because I saw what was coming water wise, and have never looked back.  This state has so much to offer besides water in return for adapting to soggy conditions half the year that, for me at least, it is a no brainer.  There are many smaller towns within 90 minutes of Seattle/Bellevue where the housing is still relatively reasonable.  I am no big fan of Seattle, but it has much to offer for those who place a high value on cultural diversity, the arts, a vibrant restaurant scene, and more micro breweries than I can keep track of.  Certainly worth at least considering, IMO.  We live in Bellingham and are very happy with it.  I a mountain person to my bones, and it is hard to beat the climbing, hiking, and backpacking opportunities available up here, year around.  But, it has been discovered and is growing crowded and expensive for those looking to buy into it now.  But, as I said, there are many smaller towns in the corridor between the Canadian border, Seattle, Puget Sound, and the Cascades where good opportunities are still available.

     

    #3752974
    George W
    BPL Member

    @ondarvr

    I did this search just a few years ago in the West, my only requirement was a good sized airport close enough that it wasn’t a hassle to use. Prior to covid I was on a plane several times a month.

    My territory is the West Coast and inland about 3 states, I drove every bit of it looking for a place to move to. There are many great places to live, but it comes right down to the exact address and house, two blocks away with a different house will be a different experience.

    I checked taxes, climate, culture, jobs, cost of living, etc. Many places tax retirement income and SS, and while not a deal breaker, it all adds up, and I wasn’t looking to move again right after I retire in a few years.

    I lived in WA a little northeast of Seattle and liked everything but the extended periods of rain and grey sky, it gets old.

    Most places were a little more expensive than I expected, even in the outlying areas a couple of hours from a city, and this was before covid, plus taxes were higher in most states.

    I looked in Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California and Montana, then back in Washington. Again, there were great locations in each state. I ended up near Spokane and like it much better on the dry side of the state. My dollar went much further here than anywhere else I looked. I will say that now that I rarely fly the airport thing is no longer important, so I may have chosen something in a more remote part of Utah or Colorado if I did it again.

    I live about five miles down a dirt road on the Spokane river, which has direct access to Lake Roosevelt on the Columbia river. The fishing is great right in front of the house and we have lots of wildlife very close. Wolves, bear, cougar, bobcat, moose, elk, deer and the rest. Just got back from turning my dumpster rightside up after a moma bear and cub flipped it last night. I can start hiking right out my door and be gone all day and never see a person.

    It was a fun experience exploring all those states with buying a place and living there in mind.
    Real-estate agents were worthless, I scanned all the online listings every day and checked everything out on my own, then when I found the right place contacted the sellers agent.

    #3752975
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    George reminded me of where my brother lives. Chewela, just north of Spokane. It’s very beautiful, with tons of wildlife and surrounding mountains. Fires in B.C. and all across the eastern side of Washington are an issue though.

     

    #3752978
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    What a tough decision to make! Getting all of what you have laid out as high priority, plus reliable water, etc. I am considering leaving the U.S., but have similar priorities and it’s tough. I worry about coming fascism, and extreme violence heading our way as a nation. 5 years ago I would have thought anyone worrying about such things here to be nutso. Now it seems very, very real, as those who would commit violence meet with minimal opposition. Safety for my family has become priority number one. But where to flee to? then I would be so sad to leave my community where i have deep friendships.

    Come to Alaska – we have most of what you require. Just take out the “progressive” part.

    #3752984
    Bonzo
    BPL Member

    @bon-zo

    Locale: Virgo Supercluster

    Ahhh, the Southeast…that place I’m trying to escape…LOL.  Brad, it’s a good suggestion, but we’ve spent a long time in that area and it’s definitely time to change things up.  You are very right in your assessment of it, though, because a lot of what we’re looking for is there; we’d just like to look elsewhere and really see a different part of the world.  And, not to make this a political or religious thing – isn’t that, like, illegal here, now? – it’s a little too Biblically-belted here for us.

    Ray – we’ve thought more than once about RVing it and hosting at a few campgrounds along the way.  <i>Far </i>more than once.  Biggest holdup is the 135-lb. sheepdog and her best friend, Bonbon the WonderBunny; adding in those two members of our family makes the RV a lot bigger than we need for ourselves (a ten-pound rabbit takes up so much room) and although this isn’t a dealbreaker, it does make us do the adult thing and consider whether or not the kids would actually be happy in that environment.  And yeah, solid internet is an absolute must for remote work; that’s something that we’ve not seriously worried about, and figured that we would solve on a local level once we determined a basic location.

    Dunston – thanks for the climate check website!  That’s a great resource!

    I’ve heard that Bend is a cool place, Bruce.  Haven’t looked at Oregon, much, although I’m honestly not sure why that’s the case.  I don’t know of any serious objections to it, now that I think on it…which was the same for Maine.

    Tom – that corridor around Bellingham is one of the three places in Washington that generally appealed to us; the others are the eastern/dry part of the state outside Spokane – probably around where George is – and the Olympic peninsula.  Yes, that latter one is like, the rainiest place in the world, but I could almost deal with that just in exchange for everything else that’s there.  Coincidentally, I’m going to be right near Bellingham in September, so we’re going to check out that area and the surroundings and see how it feels.  I’ve heard that the eastern part of the state is just so underappreciated, though, so it would be nice to see that as well…but that’s what makes this difficult: we can’t just endlessly travel without making a decision as to where to go.  Funding prohibits it.  So, right now it’s kind of like we’re saying “Maybe New Hampshire or Vermont or Maine?” and putting entire geographic areas together, with the intention of fine-tuning the selection as we move forward.  It’s a very backwards way to go about moving, we’ve discovered: there’s no job or school or other situation that’s forcing it.  We could move down the street if we like and not upset the apple cart in any way…we just don’t want to do that.

    And yes, then there’s Alaska.  That’s kind of a dark horse, because it may well introduce an issue into one or the other of our work situations…but it’s not out of the question.  As far as progressiveness goes – again – without making this religions/political: I don’t care what you believe, what you do with your Sunday mornings, who you’re sleeping with, what color you are, where your family came from or pretty much anything else about you that could possibly be put on a census form.  I don’t care what sports you like, what music you can’t stand, how many guns you have, or how much you spent on weed this week.  I don’t care how many mistakes you’ve made, who you last voted for, or what you drive…all that matters to me is whether or not you’re being a decent individual to those around you, and trying to make the places that you frequent better for your having been there.  Those are the basics of a social conscience, and that’s all I ask…so if people in an area can offer me those things, in general, I’ll not only be happy but I’ll pay them back tenfold…and that’s been very hard to find.

    #3752985
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    One other place that caught me by surprise is Minden Nevada.  I spent a few days there for work a couple of years ago and I could see myself living there. It’s just on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe so it has great mountain views to the west, easy driving to the Lake Tahoe area for backpacking and recreation without the negatives and taxes of living in California   Minden is just south of Carson City – so Carson City may have similar benefits in a slightly bigger city (Minden is small).   About an hour from Reno, which has a decent size airport and about two hours from Sacramento which I imagine has some things to offer as well.    It’s just a thought, as I was pleasantly surprised as my only previous experience with Nevada was Las Vegas, which was not appealing.

    #3752986
    R L
    BPL Member

    @slip-knot

    Locale: SF Bay Area, East Bay

    Although this site, http://www.city-data.com/, seems to have upgraded , it is one of the best I found .  I just browsed it for the first time in many years.

    #3752990
    David Hartley
    BPL Member

    @dhartley

    Locale: Western NY

    Here is something different – how about State College PA? College town with diversity and emphasis on arts and education that goes with that. Big enough to be a real community so you don’t have to travel to purchase things. Being a college town there is good high speed internet. Not that far from Pittsburgh for large city things like air travel. Reasonably close to lots of hiking and backpacking areas in western and central PA. Gets real winter – but nothing like places closer to the great lakes. Low PA taxes and relatively inexpensive (at least compared to NYS) gas. Down side in my view is huge influx of people for division 1 football games – but that might be a plus for some people if they are fans.

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