Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Old Jul 17th 2016, 3:04 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 10
CheshireGal is an unknown quantity at this point
Question Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Hello,

First time poster, long time browser. I have used this forum extensively over the past 6 years, researching various things immigration related and it has been beyond useful! I now have a tricky question of my own, and I'm hoping for some advice and suggestions if possible, please.

My husband and I are both from Cheshire England, in our early/late 30s with no children/pets and have been living in California for the past 5 years (3.5yrs in Los Angeles and 1.5yrs in SF). We have green cards and will apply for Us citizenship in 3 or so years once we are eligible.

We have loved living in California, and have come to realize how much we enjoy being outdoors; hiking, biking, swimming and just even brunching! The good weather has been a serious blessing. However, we have itchy feet and a desire to move somewhere else in the US for at least the next few years, one of the main reasons being that we would like to buy a house and the cost in the desirable parts of California are insanely high. We're a bit more frugal and have no interest in buying an over priced place at the peak of the market (ahem, SF, ahem).

We have been thinking quite hard about what's important to us, and have come up with a couple of places on our own but if anyone has any extra suggestions, or any insight into places we have suggested we would be super appreciative.

IMPORTANT
Close to nature/outdoorsy
Easy access to either a ocean or a good size lake (i.e. A Tahoe) - and hour or so commute would be fine.
Vibrant community/town (i.e. Summer movies/concerts, good music scene, abundance of independent bars, restaurants, shops etc)
Good Weather (which for us means plenty of sunshine, not too much rain and snow but ideally somewhere that does to some extent experience all the seasons)
Old houses with Character - we would love to buy a Victorian or Georgian place.
Affordable on a family income circa $120k (possibly more but we like to be a bit more frugal and save)
Near a semi decent airport (boring but important and my husband flies regularly for work)
Not TOO big a place - ideally a population around 100k people (large town, small city size)
Needs to be a Blue/liberal town/city even if the state isn't.
Good location for Road tripping to other towns and cities - we love a good road trip vacation!

UNIMPORTANT
Schools (at least at this stage)
Job industry ( my husband works from home remotely and I am
Working on a small business)
Big Cities (love the city life but we're looking for something a little bit slower paced right now)

Couple of places we really like the sound of (and are considering) are Bend Oregon, and Asheville NC.
We also love Denver (which I don't consider as a big city) but it's smack bang in the middle of the country next to less interesting states that I'm not interested in road tripping too). Chicago and Boston both sound nice too but they're proper cities, plus those winters - no thanks! Same for Austin, sounds great but worry that it would be too hot in the summers and I'd just end up hibernating in the air conditioning! Florida in general just doesn't not appeal at all.

Sorry, I know this a long list but I figure it's better to over share our preferences!

Obviously the US is huge, and I can only imagine how many great little spots there are hidden away (a couple more I'm starting to look into is Knoxville and Chatanooga TN, and Charleston and Savannah, SC) so hopefully you maybe able to offer some insight or recommendations

Thanks so much in advance

Last edited by CheshireGal; Jul 17th 2016 at 3:33 pm. Reason: Added info
CheshireGal is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 3:09 pm
  #2  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 10
CheshireGal is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Oh, should have added for info that our ideal price range for said house will be less than $500k, preferable even $350k if possible
CheshireGal is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 3:33 pm
  #3  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 571
jxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Richmond VA
Raleigh NC
Charleston SC
Atlanta GA - less of a winter though
All three above have access to the Appalachians as well as the Atlantic.
jxv73 is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 3:39 pm
  #4  
BE Forum Addict
 
Guindalf's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,783
Guindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

I live in NE Georgia, in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains and it ticks just about all of the boxes. A big plus is you could buy a really nice house on lots of land for the kind of money you want to spend!

Cost of living is among the lowest in the country, good hiking and outdoor activities are on the doorstep and an hour's drive puts you in Atlanta itself. Ninety minutes to Cherokee for a casino and about two and a half to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge. Four hours gets you to Savannah, Charleston or add one more to the Outer Banks.

Where I am, I can get to Atlanta or Greenville/Spartanburg airports in about 90 minutes too. In fact. Greenville is a great, up and coming city with a small feel and large amenities.
Guindalf is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 3:42 pm
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 571
jxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Helen GA was a pretty fun town .
jxv73 is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 3:45 pm
  #6  
Lt Col (Retd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 46,028
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

I could make lots of suggestions, but you seem hung up on politics, and if that is deal-breaker it is going to rule out most places in The South and/or you're going to pay 2-3 times for a house what you'd otherwise need to.

Politics isn't a big deal in most towns, and if you can just let it wash over you and get on with your own life, then there are many, many places that would otherwise meet your needs, and at much lower cost than your budget.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 4:13 pm
  #7  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 83
DexterBerkeley is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

I have friends who were in a similar situation, wanted something cheaper than SF and neither husband nor wife had specific work locations. Instead of moving somewhere cheaper they decided to buy an RV and spend a couple of years just touring around the country. They have been at this now for 6 months and are having a blast. They usually spend a week at a time in a particular location and then use one of the weekend days to move to the next place to visit.
DexterBerkeley is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 4:42 pm
  #8  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 4,887
md95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond reputemd95065 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Personally, I would stick with the west coast of you can afford it.

While it doesn't meet the "big city" criterion, have you thought about rural Northern California - somewhere north of Sonoma?

(Edited to add - sorry, I missed the bit about needing access to an airport ...)

Last edited by md95065; Jul 17th 2016 at 4:49 pm.
md95065 is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 4:58 pm
  #9  
BE Forum Addict
 
Guindalf's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,783
Guindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Originally Posted by jxv73 View Post
Helen GA was a pretty fun town .
It's about 22 miles from me. A fun place to visit for a day, but you certainly wouldn't want to live there!!!
Guindalf is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 6:53 pm
  #10  
Return of bouncing girl!
 
Joined: Sep 2004
Location: The Fourth Reich
Posts: 4,931
Wintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond reputeWintersong has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

If you can live without the ocean, I'd have thought Boulder, CO would be ideal!

I'm also from Cheshire and now in the SF area
Wintersong is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 9:03 pm
  #11  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 571
jxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond reputejxv73 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
It's about 22 miles from me. A fun place to visit for a day, but you certainly wouldn't want to live there!!!
Yes, that's what I meant. I live in Atlanta and I love it here. As far as the OP's political concerns, cities in the South tend to be Democratic islands in the sea of Republicans.
jxv73 is offline  
Old Jul 17th 2016, 9:25 pm
  #12  
Lt Col (Retd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 46,028
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Originally Posted by jxv73 View Post
..... As far as the OP's political concerns, cities in the South tend to be Democratic islands .....
And also islands of poverty and crime.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2016, 2:21 am
  #13  
 
N1cky's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Google Town
Posts: 7,522
N1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond reputeN1cky has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Originally Posted by CheshireGal View Post
Hello,

First time poster, long time browser. I have used this forum extensively over the past 6 years, researching various things immigration related and it has been beyond useful! I now have a tricky question of my own, and I'm hoping for some advice and suggestions if possible, please.

My husband and I are both from Cheshire England, in our early/late 30s with no children/pets and have been living in California for the past 5 years (3.5yrs in Los Angeles and 1.5yrs in SF). We have green cards and will apply for Us citizenship in 3 or so years once we are eligible.

We have loved living in California, and have come to realize how much we enjoy being outdoors; hiking, biking, swimming and just even brunching! The good weather has been a serious blessing. However, we have itchy feet and a desire to move somewhere else in the US for at least the next few years, one of the main reasons being that we would like to buy a house and the cost in the desirable parts of California are insanely high. We're a bit more frugal and have no interest in buying an over priced place at the peak of the market (ahem, SF, ahem).

We have been thinking quite hard about what's important to us, and have come up with a couple of places on our own but if anyone has any extra suggestions, or any insight into places we have suggested we would be super appreciative.

IMPORTANT
Close to nature/outdoorsy
Easy access to either a ocean or a good size lake (i.e. A Tahoe) - and hour or so commute would be fine.
Vibrant community/town (i.e. Summer movies/concerts, good music scene, abundance of independent bars, restaurants, shops etc)
Good Weather (which for us means plenty of sunshine, not too much rain and snow but ideally somewhere that does to some extent experience all the seasons)
Old houses with Character - we would love to buy a Victorian or Georgian place.
Affordable on a family income circa $120k (possibly more but we like to be a bit more frugal and save)
Near a semi decent airport (boring but important and my husband flies regularly for work)
Not TOO big a place - ideally a population around 100k people (large town, small city size)
Needs to be a Blue/liberal town/city even if the state isn't.
Good location for Road tripping to other towns and cities - we love a good road trip vacation!

UNIMPORTANT
Schools (at least at this stage)
Job industry ( my husband works from home remotely and I am
Working on a small business)
Big Cities (love the city life but we're looking for something a little bit slower paced right now)

Couple of places we really like the sound of (and are considering) are Bend Oregon, and Asheville NC.
We also love Denver (which I don't consider as a big city) but it's smack bang in the middle of the country next to less interesting states that I'm not interested in road tripping too). Chicago and Boston both sound nice too but they're proper cities, plus those winters - no thanks! � ���� Same for Austin, sounds great but worry that it would be too hot in the summers and I'd just end up hibernating in the air conditioning! Florida in general just doesn't not appeal at all.

Sorry, I know this a long list but I figure it's better to over share our preferences!

Obviously the US is huge, and I can only imagine how many great little spots there are hidden away (a couple more I'm starting to look into is Knoxville and Chatanooga TN, and Charleston and Savannah, SC) so hopefully you maybe able to offer some insight or recommendations � ����

Thanks so much in advance� ����� ����
We vacationed in Bend last year, absolutely gorgeous, and somewhere we would consider moving it the work opportunities were there.
N1cky is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2016, 4:48 am
  #14  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
mrken30's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Portlandia Metro
Posts: 7,122
mrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond reputemrken30 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

Bend was the place to go back in 2007, unfortunately the recession hit Bend badly. That means the property is quite cheap. There are great lakes for wind surfing down the gorge. Bend is about 4000 ft elevation from what I remember, so it may get cold in the winter. If you want more civilization Portland is not far from the same amenities.

We have a lot of Californians move up here.

The weather is very much like England but we get more daylight.
mrken30 is offline  
Old Jul 18th 2016, 5:13 am
  #15  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Boiler's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Colorado
Posts: 30,612
Boiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Relocation from California - where should we live? HELP!

North Carolina seems very popular when this subject has come up before.
Boiler is offline  

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.