4 votes

Looking to relocate, need ideas please

My wife and I are looking to move out of California, but we are unsure where. We love the feel of a big city like San Francisco, Boston and New York, but we can't afford that. I would like as much input and advice as possible of where we might move. An idea of what I would like is this: a smaller city or large town, low cost of living (in comparison to Los Angeles or anywhere in California), racially excepting (my wife is asian and I am a white boy), and something not too hot (Florida) or too cold (Buffalo, NY), we prefer weather like that of San Francisco, between 30 and 60 degrees during winter, and 50 to 70 during summer (we enjoy heavy overcast). We would like something with a big city feel, or a very nice European feel (like historic streets in Boston). We do not want to live a place that is like Mayberry (population 20,000 or less), that is too small. We would love to live somewhere in New England, but it is not set in stone. That is all I can think of at the moment. I thank you for your thoughts ahead of time. :)

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Cyril's picture

On SF bay area...

Man, I'm in the SF bay area, but I don't live in SF... there are suburbs, too, you know. Various sizes. If you have kids, the school thing needs serious homework, though, of course.

(I'm east bay while I work west bay.)

Granted, all spots aren't cheap either, quite varying, but there are still a few places affordable, I suppose, with a not-too-bad standard of living. It took us a while when we moved from east coast but we did manage to find a landlord to deal with directly, no intermediaries.

I prefer not to name here the places "to avoid". Not very constructive and always a bit subjective.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Look into places in Washington State

I know there are a few towns there that are good.

Thanks everyone

Texas does seem like the logical choice, and is in consideration, I just can't handle weather above 100. :)

Find your spot


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

8 pages of questions to make

8 pages of questions to make you to sign up at the end to see the results. :(


like duhh...? i thought that would be a no-brainer.

Texas retains the last vestiges of what is left of any kind of economic activity in the country. Texas is also the 15th largest economy in the world. Look at the numbers, everything's bigger in Texas...lol.

no, no, but seriously... Dallas/Ft Worth is definitely big. Im from Amarillo, which is like 190k in city limits, 250k in surrounding area included....

I'm an electrical contractor, and I have been working all over Texas the entire time we have been in recession making more than i ever have before.... and it isnt just me...

Think for yourself......Question authority...


Texas is the heart of the resistance.... AJ, Dr Paul, Sheriff Mack... awesome people are everywhere.... and we all grew up with a gun culture... so we wont be gelded easily...lol.

Think for yourself......Question authority...

I would say move to Austin

but everybody from California has already moved here. Try DFW area.

I understand your aesthetics, but consider the culture

I've learned from my many different moves that climate is something that you get used to. Also, each part of the country has it's own beauty to be appreciated, it's own style of architecture, it's own history. I've found them all interesting. Never regretted a single place, including Cleveland and St Louis.

However, there is a huge difference in culture from one place to the next. I'm talking about what people value, how they live, and how they relate to each other. While there are good people everywhere, some cultures are more closed than open, more standoffish than friendly.

I've found the friendliest people, the most open and accepting, in Appleton, WI. It is a 'small town' of only 72,000 people, but it is very eclectic. Homes from the late 1800's, as well as modern. An alive downtown. While mostly of white European descent, there is also visable Mexican, Hmong, and Black populations. Racially mixed couples are common. Also, a complete acceptance of gays. Crime is nearly non-existent. While there are poor people there, there are no slums. No neighborhoods too dangerous to walk through.

I have not lived anywhere else where people were so completely uninhibited around strangers. The kids here don't seem to have learned about 'stranger danger' as my son learned in St Louis. We've had surprisingly open conversations with complete strangers, kids, teens, and adults. We call it our "Appleton experience."

There is an arts college in downtown, as well as a first rate performing arts center with regular touring companies from Broadway. The Mexican restaurants are authentic. There are also Japanese and Chinese restaurants run by ethnic Japanese and Chinese owners. Shopping includes everything you can find at big city malls, if that is a concern at all.

The people here have a deeply engrained gun culture. They grew up with them, know how to shoot, and are not intimidated by them. It's not something that is top-of-mind, just a quiet unstated reality.

Climate: the Spring, Summer, and Fall's are glorious. Winter is cold and crispy...and beautiful. Skiing is less than two hours away. Lake Michigan is one hour away. If you've never seen the Great Lakes...they are oceans in the middle of the country.

Houses, by the way, are cheap...we're going to buy the house we're renting. 2200 square feet, it will cost us around $150,000. Unemployment is low.

Some people have described this as 'Mayberry,' because it is much like the world as it was in the 50's and 60's...with some new-millenia tolerance thrown in.

Good luck in your search. Hope you find what you're looking for.


MA is too expensive, and getting much worse.

Asheville, NC

Asheville does not fit all of your criteria, but it's a great small city surrounded by mountains, with a very hip downtown vibe, very unique and unlike the rest of the south.

Denver is a very nice city. I've never been to Austin, but heard good things.

If you want to live in New England, I'd check out some of the historic towns and small cities in and around NYC and Boston, though they will be very expensive, and it gets cold.

You might want to concentrate on college towns, as many of them are "walking" towns with a big city vibe, but without the minuses of big cities.

city-data.com is a good website to narrow your choices, but beware locals who hate outsiders and constantly post negative comments. If you go on the western states boards, don't mention you are from CA, as they won't have nice things to say to you. Many of them feel there are too many CA expats "invading" the rocky mountains.

Best places is also a good tool: http://www.bestplaces.net
Good luck with your relocation! :-)

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
― Albert Camus


Ashville was one place that always stuck in my head, it is wry beautiful there. Thanks for that.

New England is Freezing...

...in the winter. You'd be lucky to have 30 degree days in the winter. I used to live in Boston and I had my share of below zero days and walking to work on icy sidewalks, with warm boots and thermal socks -- but still lost all feeling in my legs by the time I got to the office. Not fun.

Look up Raleigh -- the cost of living is good, the winters are mild, the people are friendly, and the city is large enough to have pretty much everything. Not far from the Outer Banks either, which is lovely.

Start here:


I love my country
I am appalled by my government

You mentioned New England...

but also the fact that you don't want to go anywhere that gets too cold. Not too many options there.

There are some very nice, low cost of living places in western MA (in comparison to Boston, anyway) with plenty of towns in the 10,000 to 30,000 population range. Also, western MA is a LOT different than the Boston area, might as well be two different states.

There's always NH, it's cheap to live here and there's lots of history in cities such as Concord and Portsmouth (stay away from Manchester), but the cold is enough to drive most people away during the winter. The rest of the year has generally great weather, though.

A signature used to be here!

Houston or Austin seems to fit your description

Although the climate isn't exactly desirable. November-March is 30-80 degress (60 on avg) / April-May is 60-80 degrees (70 avg) / June-October is 70-110 degrees (90 avg).

Both cities have a low cost of living (at least compared to cali or NY) and from my personal experience living in Houston all my life, racially accepting.

I'll see

I'll see what I can find out and get back to you. :)