Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

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Allagash
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Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:31 pm

In my monthly budget rent is by far the biggest killer for me. And in my area Seattle rent has been inflating very quickly the last few years. Some rents up 50% in the last 4-5 years. I'm 46 and the last 28 years I have lived in very expensive areas on the west coast (SF Bay, San Diego, now Seattle area). Since I'm now retired and can live anywhere, I'm considering moving to a cheaper state where rent or home prices are radically less. Has anyone done this? Where did you move from and to? How was your experience? What are some ideas of interesting affordable places to move?

I don't want to live in a RV or get roommates, so really my only option if I want to significantly lower my monthly housing cost is to move to an area where rents are lower or a place where house prices are dramatically lower and buy. I have cut all of my expenses way down except rent and ObamaCare....those are the two that are the most difficult to "hack". I have no kids and no ties to the area, so not difficult for me to move.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Kriegsspiel » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:44 pm

What do you consider low rent?

Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:03 pm

Well I'm paying $1,250/mo right now for a nothing special 1 bedroom in a average suburb north of Seattle. I would love to get that down to $950/mo, even lower would be terrific. Buying a low cost 2/1 house or condo that I could put 20% down and finance and get the total payment under $1,000 (mortgage + taxes + insurance) OR paying all cash for it, is also another option.

General Snoopy
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby General Snoopy » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:18 pm

Many, many, many people when retired relocate to a state with a cheaper cost of living and less taxes.

The pitfall is to always complain about your new state and not do any research ahead of time. Example: you're from New York City and in retirement relocate to Florida. Once there you spend the rest of your days complaining how Florida is not like NYC and for good measure also complain incessantly about the humidity. This is exceedingly common.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Kriegsspiel » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:57 pm

Hell, you could live in tons of cool places at that price range. Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Memphis, Morgantown, Ithaca, Buffalo, Santa Fe, Portland..... Almost anywhere not on the west coast.

Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:32 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:Hell, you could live in tons of cool places at that price range. Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Memphis, Morgantown, Ithaca, Buffalo, Santa Fe, Portland..... Almost anywhere not on the west coast.


That's a good list. Thought about Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Brunswick area of Maine. I'm not a huge fan of the Southeast but who knows. Morgantown is interesting. Do you mean Portland ME? Portland OR is no longer cheap, it's very expensive and the taxes are very high, traffic is terrible.

I found Maine to be very cheap + beautiful. Bangor ME is interesting, as it is quite cheap for housing/rents close to lots of lakes and wilderness, close to beautiful rugged coast, has a Univ of ME close by, has an airport with surprising decent priced non-stops to ORL and Tampa for a winter break.

I've never been to Buffalo or Pittsburgh. They look to be close to some nice nature, decent airports, low cost of housing, colleges close (I enjoy attending college athletics). I wonder what I could get a small 2/1 house for in these areas or condo.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby James_0011 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:39 am

I would move to a developing country like Thailand or Mexico if I was retired and had no particular reason to stay in the US. You can live great at a fraction of the price. My buddy was paying $400 a month rent in Thailand, and had a maid included in the cost. Areas like chiang mai have a lot of Europeans/americans living there.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Kriegsspiel » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:04 am

Allagash wrote:
Kriegsspiel wrote:Hell, you could live in tons of cool places at that price range. Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Memphis, Morgantown, Ithaca, Buffalo, Santa Fe, Portland..... Almost anywhere not on the west coast.


That's a good list. Thought about Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Brunswick area of Maine. I'm not a huge fan of the Southeast but who knows. Morgantown is interesting. Do you mean Portland ME? Portland OR is no longer cheap, it's very expensive and the taxes are very high, traffic is terrible.

I found Maine to be very cheap + beautiful. Bangor ME is interesting, as it is quite cheap for housing/rents close to lots of lakes and wilderness, close to beautiful rugged coast, has a Univ of ME close by, has an airport with surprising decent priced non-stops to ORL and Tampa for a winter break.

I've never been to Buffalo or Pittsburgh. They look to be close to some nice nature, decent airports, low cost of housing, colleges close (I enjoy attending college athletics). I wonder what I could get a small 2/1 house for in these areas or condo.


Yea Portland ME. Also, down the coast a bit is the very nice Portsmouth NH. I felt like Harrisburg PA also looked very livable and cheap when I blew through it; It might be a hidden gem. I went to Gettysburg to look over the battlefield and found out that it's a perfect little town with a college. They're both near some great outdoors areas.

As far as Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, if you want a list of neighborhoods to narrow down your real estate search, I thought these were the best ones:

Pittsburgh, PA (Sewickley, North Side, Southside, Squirrel Hill, Bloomfield, East Liberty)
Buffalo, NY (Elmwood Village, Downtown, North)

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Chris
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Chris » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:51 pm

If Obamacare is your other expense concern, I'd skip NY. NY disallows insurers from discriminating based on age. Result: higher premiums. For me the difference between NY and PA would be about $300/month.

Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:41 pm

James_0011 wrote:I would move to a developing country like Thailand or Mexico if I was retired and had no particular reason to stay in the US. You can live great at a fraction of the price. My buddy was paying $400 a month rent in Thailand, and had a maid included in the cost. Areas like chiang mai have a lot of Europeans/americans living there.


I've been to Thailand and I like the north of it. I don't think I'd want to live there though. Too hot and humid for me. And I think I would get bored. I was bored after two weeks there ready to come home. I've done a lot of world travel, and I like knowing the culture and language in the U.S. I also like the access to great hiking, camping, wilderness, varied volunteering activities, libraries, and access to tons of choices for healthy grocery shopping we have here. There is a lot of conveniences to living in the U.S. you take for granted. Mexico doesn't turn me on that much for full time living. Both Thailand and Mexico could be nice winter escapes though from a cold U.S. climate region. I've heard that a really high % of U.S. retirees that try living abroad end up returning back to the U.S. after a few years. When they find living abroad is different than vacationing there.

Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:42 pm

Chris wrote:If Obamacare is your other expense concern, I'd skip NY. NY disallows insurers from discriminating based on age. Result: higher premiums. For me the difference between NY and PA would be about $300/month.


I would have to look at that. Not a fan of ACA at all.

Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:06 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Allagash wrote:
Kriegsspiel wrote:Hell, you could live in tons of cool places at that price range. Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, Memphis, Morgantown, Ithaca, Buffalo, Santa Fe, Portland..... Almost anywhere not on the west coast.


That's a good list. Thought about Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Brunswick area of Maine. I'm not a huge fan of the Southeast but who knows. Morgantown is interesting. Do you mean Portland ME? Portland OR is no longer cheap, it's very expensive and the taxes are very high, traffic is terrible.

I found Maine to be very cheap + beautiful. Bangor ME is interesting, as it is quite cheap for housing/rents close to lots of lakes and wilderness, close to beautiful rugged coast, has a Univ of ME close by, has an airport with surprising decent priced non-stops to ORL and Tampa for a winter break.

I've never been to Buffalo or Pittsburgh. They look to be close to some nice nature, decent airports, low cost of housing, colleges close (I enjoy attending college athletics). I wonder what I could get a small 2/1 house for in these areas or condo.


Yea Portland ME. Also, down the coast a bit is the very nice Portsmouth NH. I felt like Harrisburg PA also looked very livable and cheap when I blew through it; It might be a hidden gem. I went to Gettysburg to look over the battlefield and found out that it's a perfect little town with a college. They're both near some great outdoors areas.

As far as Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, if you want a list of neighborhoods to narrow down your real estate search, I thought these were the best ones:

Pittsburgh, PA (Sewickley, North Side, Southside, Squirrel Hill, Bloomfield, East Liberty)
Buffalo, NY (Elmwood Village, Downtown, North)


Thanks. Portsmouth NH is extremely expensive and very congested with day trippers. Charming town, but way out of my price range and the NH property taxes are massive and rents are quite high. Maine I found is the real bargain of northern New England. It's amazing how cheap rent and houses prices are there as long as you stay out of the Portland area and the tonier parts of Southern Coastal ME. Also ME has much lower property taxes than NH, especially outside of Portland. ME has an income tax, but it's not bad if you can engineer your income pretty low. I think for a retiree ME is much more affordable than a lot of NH. There is a TON of wilderness, lakes, rugged coast if you like the outdoors in ME, untouched out of the way kinds of stuff.

ME also has a lot of ERE and back to the land types. Famous simple living residents of ME are Jim Merkel author of "Radical Simplicty", Amy Dacyczyn's author of "Tightwad Gazette" and the grandfather/grandmother of the simple living/homesteading movement Scott and Helen Nearing author of "The Good Life".

As for Northern NE....I like VT too as long as you stay out of the Burlington area which overpriced, has traffic and feels the least like the "real Vermont"....which is found in the smaller towns. But outside of Burlington, VT is a collection of tons of quaint small towns, probably too small for me. VT's property and income taxes are on a sliding scale. You get clobbered if you are high income, but it's really not bad if you engineer your income low. Heating costs can be high in VT and ME.

If I get a chance to take recon trips to Pittsburgh or Buffalo I will touch base of best areas. Kriegsspiel did you look at these cities and decide not to move there?

Buffalo and Pitt both have a lot of colleges which I like, & is great for me to attend sporting events as low cost entertainment. For Div I college athletics Buffalo has Univ of Buffalo, Canisious, Niagra Univ. Pitts has Univ of Pitt, Duquense, Robert Morris. Pitt seems to have a nice hilly topography too.

So no one who has actually made a move yet for ERE they can talk about????

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Dragline
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Dragline » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:13 pm

Look around Missoula, MT, especially on the outskirts of town or in the Bitterroot Valley to the south if you like the country.

If you wanted warm and dry, I'd probably be looking in New Mexico (but not Santa Fe!)

But look closely at real estate taxes wherever you are looking if you are planning on buying.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:26 pm

Dragline wrote:Look around Missoula, MT, especially on the outskirts of town or in the Bitterroot Valley to the south if you like the country.

If you wanted warm and dry, I'd probably be looking in New Mexico (but not Santa Fe!)

But look closely at real estate taxes wherever you are looking if you are planning on buying.


Thanks for the suggestions Dragline.

I like MT and have been there a few times. One thing about MT though is everything is a long, long way away from everything else:) One thing about New England, is you can live in the country or small city with a country feel, yet there are a lot of other towns and places close by. In a few hours from most places in New England you could be in Boston, Cape Cod, Maine Coast, VT/NH mountains, NYC, etc.. Not that I would go to NYC much though:) But there is certainly an appeal to that big sky and all the space you get in MT.

I've spent some time in New Mexico and it has its charms for sure. But the state has pretty high poverty levels, a lot of areas with higher crime levels, and the starkness of the desert and arid landscape is an acquired taste. I think NM is pretty affordable though outside Santa Fe. Taos and Northern NM can have some pretty areas. Albuquerque is a pretty affordable major metro and you have a lot of access to outdoors, Santa Fe, Taos and a lot of sunshine...but it really just wasn't for me. NM is also pretty isolated. Summers are on the hot side for me.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Kriegsspiel » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:32 pm

Allagash wrote:If I get a chance to take recon trips to Pittsburgh or Buffalo I will touch base of best areas. Kriegsspiel did you look at these cities and decide not to move there?


Well, I have family ties to Pittsburgh so I've been there plenty. I'm heading there this week to housesit. After that I'm probably heading to Cincinnati. I was very surprised at how nice Cincinnati was when I visited for the first time earlier this year. I was imagining a sort of "warmer Detroit" but it has very interesting architecture and a good urban fabric. I thought Buffalo was cool but I wouldn't live there because of the high taxes.

Buffalo and Pitt both have a lot of colleges which I like, & is great for me to attend sporting events as low cost entertainment. For Div I college athletics Buffalo has Univ of Buffalo, Canisious, Niagra Univ. Pitts has Univ of Pitt, Duquense, Robert Morris. Pitt seems to have a nice hilly topography too.


Well, if you want to live in a college town with a lower COL than the west coast, throw a dart at a map of Ohio and you'll probably hit one! But between Buffalo and Pittsburgh college athletics, I don't think it's close. Pitt plays in the ACC, and Robert Morris has a solid basketball team too.

So no one who has actually made a move yet for ERE they can talk about????


Both of my moves after I got out of the Army were influenced by ERE, but I doubt you'd want to go to either place if you weren't working there :lol:

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby theanimal » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:44 pm

My first move out from college was influenced by ERE but it was to Arctic Alaska (where I now live). Housing costs are great (i.e. $0) but it doesn't seem to meet most of your other criteria ;).

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby ether » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:03 pm

Charleston South Carolina.
Clean, low taxes, warm temperature, historic, affordable, and tons of retirees from across the nation.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Riggerjack » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:37 pm

My first question is, "do you like the weather where you are?" If so, you are pretty much limited to the west coast, between Humboldt county and BC. If not, get out, the world is full of places where the sun shines, decide on ideal winter, go to that latitude.
Next question is "how urban you prefer?" Cities cost more than the sticks.
So either move regions, or move to the sticks. Or both.

Aberdeen, Alger, Anacortes, all come to mind. I live on whidbey island, but when I don't need to commute to Everett, I'll move about 15 mile from Sequim.
Costs are always under your control, you simply have to align outlays with what is important to you, and cut out the waste. If you don't like the city, why pay for it? If you don't like the rain, there's no reason to be in Shoreline, or wherever.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:45 pm

I'd like to visit Alaska but probably not an option for me for living.

I've been to Charleston, it's really been moving up in price the last few years. Landscape is a little flat for me. It has a quaint downtown, almost thought I was in New Hampshire looking at the old church steeples. Summers would be long and tough. I had a meeting in Atlanta back in 2014 and I took a week off and drove around GA, NC, SC. There were areas I liked, but nothing really jumped out at me.

Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:10 pm

Riggerjack wrote:My first question is, "do you like the weather where you are?" If so, you are pretty much limited to the west coast, between Humboldt county and BC. If not, get out, the world is full of places where the sun shines, decide on ideal winter, go to that latitude.
Next question is "how urban you prefer?" Cities cost more than the sticks.
So either move regions, or move to the sticks. Or both.

Aberdeen, Alger, Anacortes, all come to mind. I live on whidbey island, but when I don't need to commute to Everett, I'll move about 15 mile from Sequim.
Costs are always under your control, you simply have to align outlays with what is important to you, and cut out the waste. If you don't like the city, why pay for it? If you don't like the rain, there's no reason to be in Shoreline, or wherever.


Thanks Riggerjack for the suggestions. I do overall like the climate in Western WA. I have got used to the overcast from Oct-May (sometimes a lot of June too). I like the cooler summers up here. For me probably the outer ring of a mid sized or larger city. If I can do a few sun escapes in winter (AZ, CA) and drive over the Eastern WA for sun in spring, should be good.

I've been all around the state of WA. Aberdeen is too isolated and low end for me. Anacortes for now too small and far out I think. I think at least for the next 10 or so years I need a city that has a bit more of an educated population and some modern elements to it. I took a hard look at Bellingham, but it has really moved up in price lately and is growing VERY fast. Everett and Tacoma I was not crazy about and they are moving up in price fast + terrible traffic. Olympia's downtown was just a bit too depressed feeling for me with a lot of homeless. If I leave Seattle but stay in WA my top choice (for now) would probably be Vancouver WA because I get the benefit of no income tax in WA, but I have all the amenities of Portland OR close by (live music, sporting events, OR Coast, great airport PDX with REALLY cheap flights to sunshine.... Frontier Air $79 RT to Denver, Spirit Air $69 round trip to San Diego!). But Vancouver has now moved up in price a lot. WA state RE was a DEAL from 2009-2012 (even in Seattle metro)...but I missed that window of buying opportunity as I just moved here in 2013 and it has shot straight up since 2013.

I think Spokane WA is a bit underrated . More affordable than Western WA but isolated. Tons of nature around but no coast.

I don't think at this point in my life (46 year old and single) I'm ready for isolated rural. I like the opportunities to get out and meet a large amount of interesting diverse people in decent sized metro areas. But in say 5-10-15 years I may go more rural.

The main issue with WA is finding a place to live I like with house prices or rents that work. The number one enemy in my monthly budget is RENT. That is the #1 challenge. I can handle the traffic (not as much of an issue because I'm retired and don't have to commute), but the high rents and house prices are a ERE killer.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Laura Ingalls » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:14 pm

from this and other threads I get cheaper housing, nature, and expanded Medicaid are all pluses. All are generally too cold for my liking. :(

My midwest centric list is:

La Crosse, WI
Dubuque, IA
Duluth, MN
Des Moines, IA
Iowa City, IA

Smaller places
Grand Portage, Mn
Ely, MN
Fairfield, IA
Amherst, WI
Veroqua, WI (not sure I spelled that right)
Lansburo, MN (or this either)
Pepin, WI
Decorah, IA
Bayfield, WI
Fort Madison, IA (definitely the grittier and poorer cousin to some of the other towns on the list) distinction of being the warmest.

My list might be a bit too touristy for real life. They also tend to be river or lake centric. But I had fun when I visited :D them.

Allagash
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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Allagash » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:25 pm

Laura Ingalls wrote:from this and other threads I get cheaper housing, nature, and expanded Medicaid are all pluses. All are generally too cold for my liking. :(

My midwest centric list is:

La Crosse, WI
Dubuque, IA
Duluth, MN
Des Moines, IA
Iowa City, IA

Smaller places
Grand Portage, Mn
Ely, MN
Fairfield, IA
Amherst, WI
Veroqua, WI (not sure I spelled that right)
Lansburo, MN (or this either)
Pepin, WI
Decorah, IA
Bayfield, WI
Fort Madison, IA (definitely the grittier and poorer cousin to some of the other towns on the list) distinction of being the warmest.

My list might be a bit too touristy for real life. They also tend to be river or lake centric. But I had fun when I visited :D them.


Laura Ingalls where do you live now? The Midwest of the U.S. is the area I know least. I have been extensively to every state in the West, New England, much of the Southeast, Texas....but not the Midwest or rust belt.

Have you been to SD... Brookings, Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Rapid City? How about Omaha or Lincoln NE? (NE has high taxes though...but low priced housing). South Dakota has the RARE combo of NO state income taxes, moderate property taxes, and low house prices.

I would like the check out some of the towns you mention in IA, WI. MN seems very flat to me. Iowa is a bit more hilly right? Are their decent state parks and hiking in IA? Hot and humid summers + cold winters are a downside to the Midwest. Iowa City would be good for college sports for me with Univ of Iowa. What about Cedar Falls IA?

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby theanimal » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:29 pm

southern MN is flat. Middle to northern has larger hills. I'd check out Duluth, MN. Right on Lake Superior and not so hot in the summer. Close to large natural areas in the form of national forests and state parks.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Riggerjack » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:12 pm

So, you like the weather, need people, don't need a job. Juneau, AK comes to mind. Also, Springfield/Eugene Oregon.

I like Vancouver, but the Portland drivers/traffic are just too much. And really is there enough of a price difference to justify the move?

Rent has gone up, and as a landlord, I enjoy that. But my predilection for rural really limits my recommendations. I can say that from Clinton, it is just a 20 minute ferry ride to the sounder, and you are downtown. But I have no need to ever be downtown, so I have never made that trip.

I guess I'm just fishing for what it is that you do, that makes where you are in the Seattle sprawl the right place. Because it pretty much stretches from Olympia to Marysville, and soon to Burlington. Rents vary greatly within that corridor, but population demographics far less so.

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Re: Anyone moved to a different state for cheaper housing?

Postby Laura Ingalls » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:21 pm

Allagash wrote:
Laura Ingalls wrote:from this and other threads I get cheaper housing, nature, and expanded Medicaid are all pluses. All are generally too cold for my liking. :(

My midwest centric list is:

La Crosse, WI
Dubuque, IA
Duluth, MN
Des Moines, IA
Iowa City, IA

Smaller places
Grand Portage, Mn
Ely, MN
Fairfield, IA
Amherst, WI
Veroqua, WI (not sure I spelled that right)
Lansburo, MN (or this either)
Pepin, WI
Decorah, IA
Bayfield, WI
Fort Madison, IA (definitely the grittier and poorer cousin to some of the other towns on the list) distinction of being the warmest.

My list might be a bit too touristy for real life. They also tend to be river or lake centric. But I had fun when I visited :D them.


Laura Ingalls where do you live now? The Midwest of the U.S. is the area I know least. I have been extensively to every state in the West, New England, much of the Southeast, Texas....but not the Midwest or rust belt.

Have you been to SD... Brookings, Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Spearfish, Rapid City? How about Omaha or Lincoln NE? (NE has high taxes though...but low priced housing). South Dakota has the RARE combo of NO state income taxes, moderate property taxes, and low house prices.

I would like the check out some of the towns you mention in IA, WI. MN seems very flat to me. Iowa is a bit more hilly right? Are their decent state parks and hiking in IA? Hot and humid summers + cold winters are a downside to the Midwest. Iowa City would be good for college sports for me with Univ of Iowa. What about Cedar Falls IA?


I currently live in central Iowa. Some of the Midwest is very flat. Fargo has got to be the flatest place on earth. The glaciers missed a big chunk of NE Iowa, SE MN, an SW WI. My list covers that area pretty well.

I have been too all the places you listed. I have lived in Cedar Falls but have not spent any time there since college. I also lived in Sioux Falls. I am personally a bit burnt on SD. The no income tax thing is great but the winters were far worse than Minneapolis or Green Bay. Read the Long Winter for a semiautobiographical account of my winter of 2012-2013. Food is taxed pretty high which is not the case for the rest of the Midwest. I ended up working in MN when I lived there so we still filed and payed state income tax.
MN, WI, and SD all have excellent state parks. Iowa not so much :(.
Iowa City is great but likely the most expensive on my list.

I like Omaha. I went to a wedding in Lincoln once and my DH used to go to Grand Island for work (he hated it BTW). Nebraska football might be a bit much for even you.


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