General chatter - help me find a state to live in!

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01-09-2006, 09:41 AM
ok, here's the deal. we want to move. desperately. but we are having trouble deciding on where to look!

my husband is pretty flexible. he doesn't much care about the weather. me, i don't particularly like snow. we get too much of it here on long island for my liking. plus, its so dang expensive here!

i guess i'm looking for someplace with relatively mild winters. and lots of sunshine. and where you can buy a house with at least a half acre of property. would also prefer to keep the humidity to a minimum. i mean, it doesn't have to be desert... but comfortable enough for someone with a decent case of rheumatoid arthritis.

wow. i'm picky. so, does a place like this exist? or even close to all those criteria? if you think your state might work, can you tell me so i can look into it?


01-09-2006, 10:04 AM
Well, I guess Canada is out of the question. :lol3:
Good luck, Susan! I hear ya on wanting perfect weather. :snowfight :snow4:

01-09-2006, 10:44 AM
North and South Carolina might fit your bill for mild winters, but as my mother use to always say, in the US no matter where you live one season is generally indoors.

Winters in the south last about 2 months and never get much below 40. But the summers can be hot. the cost of living is lower, but it can be a little difficult to find something as some areas are less developed.

I have spent some time in the Southport, Willmington NC area, as well as mertle Beach, (Close accually) and a little bit of time in Hilton truth many of theses places it is best to look in some of the gated comunities. They have regulations of what can be built on a property. Lots of NY'er and east coast northeners relocating down that area.

I too am looking to give up winter too, but my kids like their friends and school so not just yet...

01-09-2006, 11:26 AM
Arizona is the place for you. Mild winters (snow in the mountains), although the summers are a bit toasty (but it is a dry heat-and we all have air conditioning).

You can get homes with lots of land, in and near the cities.

I live in Tucson, nice city. Lots of shopping, restrauants, things to do. Easy 8 hour drive to Las Vegas, 6 hour drive to Los Angeles.

Winter gets cold, only up to 50 degrees sometimes in the day, and we do get a few freezes in the night. Fall and Spring are really nice, we leave the doors open all night for the nice breezes. Summers are HOT, but that dosent keep us from doing things outside.

The cost of living is lower than back east. A 3 bedroom house on a half acre lot can run you about $225,000 (newer houses usually are built on zero lots).
You can go up on a realtor web site (like LongRealty or remax or any national realtor and type in the city name).

It is a hard choice to make. We retired here because my parents we here and they needed some care (my mom has since died and my dad lives with us now).

Lots of luck finding a place.


01-09-2006, 11:34 AM
hi tucsonchris...
thanks! tucson has long been on my list of places to visit. i am mostly just worried about finding any land... the one's i seem to see around are all on like .08 acres or something! holy cow, i could move to queens, ny and have that! LOL! but you say there are some with land. so, i think we will have to schedule a visit to tucson this year.

california looks great too, but tres expensive. and, again with the land. oregon looks nice, but i understand its very rainy.

anyone know anything about kentucky? or new mexico?

01-09-2006, 12:00 PM
I grew up in Florida, so of course that is my first love! The humidity is worse in some parts than others. The Orlando area seems to be much more hot and humid - I grew up in Jacksonville/Amelia Island which is closer to the Georgia state line.

I do live in North Carolina now, Raleigh area. We get some snow, maybe once or twice a year, enough to build a snowman or two and then it melts, and we have great summers, and it is not nearly as humid.

Ahh, but for low humidity, you know, there's always California!!

Good luck

01-09-2006, 12:55 PM
New Mexico. Definitely. I LOVE it there! And I'd say northern New Mexico....near Taos or Santa Fe. It's not too hot in the summer compared to southern New Mexico, the people are SO nice, and the culture there is seriously like a whole 'nother country. There's great concerts, museums, architecture, and food in and around Santa Fe. The history is fascinating...fabulous art, etc. And oh, how cool would it be to live in a adobe house????

My mother keeps "threatening" to move there from Colorado and I can't WAIT until she actually does it!!

01-09-2006, 09:27 PM
California! But it definitely depends on your budget. It sounds like with the humidity situation you would want something more inland. Which is good because then you can find more land and it's cheaper (I use that term losely). Look up houses in Temecula, Murrieta, and the surrouding areas. They are about an 1.25 to 1.5 hours north of San Diego. A little further inland. Lots of new houses. And actually the real estate market in the area is starting to go down because of the rising interest rates. Look it up on (hopefully the link doesn't get removed!) and good luck!

01-09-2006, 09:42 PM
Stacy and I live in connecting cities on the coast. It is gorgeous here most of the time in southern California, however, the price of housing is outrageous! Stacy is right about Temecula being more affordable.

My wife and I built a home this last year in Washington State, the tri-cities area of Richland~Kennewick~Pasco. It is in south east Washington. Very affordable and mild winters (if you are used to WINTERS! ~~ here in southern Cal. we are not.) It is a growing area, new wine country....might be up your alley. We had a gorgeous brand new home for the summer, a second home for us, we decided though that it wasn't quite time to leave our family and friends here so we sold it. It is the most affordable area in Washington, located just a few hundred miles from Seattle, Spokane, Boise and Portland. It is dessert, but considered mild for dessert.

Enjoy your search!


01-09-2006, 10:24 PM
OK, I'm a California NATIVE but I moved away several years ago. Make sure when you do your research that you look at a LOT of things. Are there some cheaper places in CA? yes. But....what about weather? (some of the inland areas are STAGNANT and I could NEVER go back to that). Smog?? Some inland areas you will be lucky to see BLUE sky a couple weeks a year. Other things to think about that I've run into based on the state I live in: car registration (California sucks in this respect), taxes--sales, property, etc. One of the problems with poor California is that the state seems to jump from one natural disaster to another. I knew somebody once who thought we must all be living in the middle of a fire because there were so many reported that year! It's not that it's THAT bad, but between earthquakes, floods, fires, landslides, etc. the taxes keep going up and up in so many ways.

I would add Nevada to your research list too (in line with places like Arizona & New Mexico). And NOT Las Vegas or Reno--check out some of the other areas. Also...Idaho could be a possibility. Oh! which makes me add--politics--to your list. If you strongly political (either left or right) you should consider that with the region/town you move to. When I'm working on my wish list, I also list my hobbies and the kinds of places I couldn't live without or that need to be within an hour or two shop (for me quilting), pet store, is the hospital and or vet care up to snuff? Do you bowl? Like dancing? What about the school system if you have kids? If you're a smoker (or rather avid non-smoker) checking out the laws for that could be important too ( in Washington we just passed one of the strictest anti-smoking laws in the state). What about "high culture"--like to you feel that your life wouldn't be complete without an occasional trip to a live theater or concert? Etc., etc.

Can you tell I've moved states a few times?? :lol: I think each time I move my list is longer, but basically, I think it helps to look at more than just climate and housing--it's a really big quality of life thing. One of my favorite research sites is They have a lot of calculators and resources to help you out :)

01-09-2006, 11:18 PM
Hey Now or Never, I have lived my entire 51 years in southern California and NEVER been in a fire, flood or an earthquake that damaged anything within a hundred miles of me or more. The state is quite diverse...coast, mountains, will change 30 degrees in 30 minutes.

We all can't live in Sequim!!

01-10-2006, 12:04 AM
Well, I don't live in Sequim. I was born in 1959 and have been in several "small" quakes in the 4 and 5 variety, in at least two 6ish quakes, and I spent the 1989 Loma Prieta quake in an elevator that fell half a floor in downtown San Jose (and then I waited out about an hour's worth of aftershocks listening to the metal in the elevator shaft shriek while waiting for the fire department to arrive). Im well aware that the state is diverse. Most of my family lives in the Central Valley and they've been dealing with flooding lately. My point really wasn't that no matter where you live, you'll be flooded, burned, shaken, or stirred, but that the tax rates for the state are reflective of one disaster or another that the state seems to be recovering from. State fiscal problems did seem to be the primary reason for the gubernatorial recall and election of Schwarzennegger. I was a state employee for many years in the CSU system and I sure as **** remember the days of being told I would get a *voucher* instead of a paycheck because the state budget for that year hadn't been approved yet (luckily this was declared an illegal action by the legislature which was handy since I was trying to figure out how to pay my rent or buy groceries with a voucher).

Gary if you're thinking that I'm not REALLY a Californian, then you called the wrong person (for some reason, your email has just REALLY rubbed me the wrong way tonight).

Where in SoCal are you? My aunt and cousin live in the LA area and anybody near that area definitely felt the 7-ish quake of a few years ago (I don't remember the exact year). Also, if you're 51, then you should remember the '71 San Fernando quake if you're in the LA area.

01-10-2006, 12:25 AM
My apologies to everybody and especially Gary--I didn't mean to get so snappish. I'd like to blame it all the hormones tonight, but my brain is still attached to the rest of my body and I should have thought more before hitting "send."

01-10-2006, 01:04 AM
Well I am from Illinois, and we all know the winters here are pretty cold and snowy. However, this year *knock on wood* hasn't been too bad so far. Fortunately though, this is my last winter to live in IL as I am moving to the Orlando area in May (hopefully). yeah I know the humidity is going to be sticky icky but the weather, not including June-Aug is beautiful IMO! Can't wait to get there!! :)

01-10-2006, 01:19 AM
Hey NoworNever, my husband works in CSU system as well. He's been warned several times they they could be put on mimimum wage until the budget was balanced but it's never happened! I've been here for 4 years (my husband is a Ca native) and have only experiened a couple *tiny* earthquakes. The only thing that gave it away was it sounded like someone was knocking on the sliding glass doors. Never any mud slides around here. We did have fires a couple years ago. No fires close by but there was some smoke for about a week. I'm in Carlsbad by the way.

01-10-2006, 01:30 AM
Hi Stacy--one of my sisters still works for the CSU (she's in Turlock--at Stanislaus (or more commonly known there as "Turkey Tech") and yeah, it seems like it's one threat after another the last couple years directed at higher ed (I mean, we don't actually need an EDUCATED population, do we?!). The day that PERS goes will be when it's no longer worth it (just my opinion). As a kid we lived in Clovis (in the country, outside Fresno) and I remember small, but definitely noticeable quakes that could actually be heard as they traveled THROUGH the house--we'd hear the windows start rattling at the back and then move toward us in the living room! Very weird. (our neighbor saw the ripple move up the road--like...Tremors critters)

I moved to TN for my doctorate and you'd think those kinda folks would know better but....(laughing) my advisor got all panicky one day because there had been a, like, 1.2 quake in the middle of the night and he was wondering (based on my quake experience as a Californian) if I thought the state was going to crumble or something! I had a good laugh and then told him that a 1 point ANYthing didn't really even count as a quake! Remember the movie Independence Day? There's a scene in there where Will Smith is in the bathroom and sees all the neighbors outside and then makes some crack about it probably being an earthquake and only a 4 pointer or something. Anyway, I was the ONLY one in the theater (again, in TN) to get the joke and laugh. Very weird.

Carlsbad--you're way down there! The farthest south in CA I've lived was Fontana/Riverside--a year while in junior high best forgotten

01-10-2006, 02:51 AM
Well, I've lived in West Virginia, Connecticut, Virginia, and now Hawaii in addition to my home State and true love--Texas. We'll probably be heading to AZ from here, but we know in advance it's only for five years to get some civilian work experience for DH and save up some money and then we'll move back to San Antonio. There is no place else I want to live. But I'm not sure I can honestly recommend it to you on the basis of the weather. :lol:

I love it because of the food, and how much there is to do there, and the culture, and the people. Texans are congenitally polite, we're like Canadians in that regard. ;) (Seriously, watch COPS some time when they're in Texas. Even when the dudes are struggling with police, they still say "Sir"!) I kept thinking I was romanticizing it after I moved away, but every time I go home for a visit I realize I'm not. People still, by and large, yield at the yield signs, let you into their lane, that sort of thing. I still remember my trip home in '02, my mother and I were on the freeway in downtown during rush hour and I was flipping out on her (thankfully, I wasn't driving) just yelling "Look! He's not tailgating! Neither is he! None of these people are tailgating!" :dizzy:

FWIW, my mother has a severe case of RA and usually has no trouble on account of the weather. There are also several very good hospitals there.

01-10-2006, 03:15 AM
I am from Idaho- I have lived here my whole life so it is kind of hard to compare but it is techinically a desert. I live in south central Idaho, we get very little snow every year (possibly 6 inches throughout the season) and hardly any rain. The summers are not too bad, a little less mild than the 110 degrees+ in the south and it's a very dry heat as well. No flooding, no hurricanes, possibly forrest fires but I have never seen one.

I can guarantee the price of living is much lower here. It's a big thing for people from California to save up some money and move up here and buy a 5 bed 3 bath ranch house for the same price they could rent a studio apartment there. Plus, plenty of rural areas to build on for cheap.;)

It is a very conservative area. A bit much republican for my taste, honestly, but a good place to raise a family.

Oh, here is a link if that helps at all.:) Let us know what you decide!!

01-10-2006, 10:30 AM
TRUCE? NowORNever?;)

I never thought once that your WERE NOT from California as you said. I was just trying to point out that I was born and raised here. I have lived my entire life in southern Ca., Oceanside (next to Stacy's city) since '66. I do remember all the fires, earthquakes, is all around and near us...just not ON us here in our far...

We have felt earthquakes, makes us a little nervous too, just in our area there has never yet (knocking on wood here!) been major damage.

I think you have weather disasters in all states from time to time.

I have spent time visiting, building and looking for second homes in other states too. It seems to me that every state has the same "budget" problems. I think sometimes you could do the same newscast for the entire nation and just "add" the names of your governor, senators, etc.

Yes taxes are sky high here, and STNKS! That is why we have looked around....but keep coming back too (although we never left either).

Thanks for sticking up for me Stacy ;)

01-10-2006, 04:48 PM
california sounds beautiful, i've never been there, so i might have to add it to my list of visits, even if its just for a fun vacation.

hmmmm. idaho does sound nice. :cool: really, you make it sound so lovely. i'll have to definitely check out the links.

texas would be ideal, too, as i am still tossing around the idea of applying to med school at the tender age of oh... i'd probably be around 35 by then. :D and texas has LOTS of med schools, some of which are known to be "geriatric student" friendly. LOL and monstermomma... thanks. my mom has pretty severe ra, and my parents will probably follow us wherever we go(they'll be retired by then, and are ready for something new, too). so i worry about the weather and its effect on her, ya know?

well, i definitely got a lot of neat information from you guys. i copied down all the links in case they get removed, so i have new stuff to work from!

thanks to everyone! and, if you still want to respond, i'm still listening! :D ;)


01-10-2006, 05:38 PM
If you want low humidity, NC or SC is NOT where you want to be. It's not quite as bad as FL, but July and Aug humidity levels are killer!

01-10-2006, 08:12 PM
I live in the same area as lucky_me (hey there! :wave: ) and I would have suggested Idaho too, but my mom has also Rheumatoid arthritis and she came up here for a week for Christmas and the cold weather really made her hurt - bad. She's still feeling some pain from the trip. Idaho is great, but I don't know how your mom would handle it. Good luck on finding a great place to live though!

01-10-2006, 09:28 PM
oooh, yeah. the cold would be bad, too.

hmmm. maybe i need to just go find another planet! :dizzy: maybe a little closer to the sun. LOL!

that RA stuff is awful. :( i have bad joints myself. however, my condition is genetic and its quite the opposite of RA... my joints sort of just dislocate at their own will. so, i understand how difficult it is to have painful joints during extreme weather.

well, i guess texas, arizona, nevada and new mexico are still on for a visit!

01-10-2006, 09:51 PM
I agree with Kate Santa Fe,New Mexico All the way, my boyfriend has a house there, it's great... I live in Oklahoma though, I love it here too...

01-10-2006, 10:51 PM
Pretty much anywhere in the South/Southeast you are going to encounter outrageous humidity levels in July and August -. I'm in Tennessee. Born and raised here and I've spent time in every one (there are 8) of the beautiful states that border our great state at various times of the year and some that border those states. We're all pretty much the same...some a little hotter in summer...some a little cooler in winter...some more mountainous than others...some, like mine, can give you the grandeur of the Smokey Mountains in the east of the state to the more flatlands in the west along the Mississippi River.

Geez, sounds like a sales pitch. ;)

DH is from Oregon. Central Oregon is snow covered from November through March and warm and dry in the summer. Western Oregon is mild, not humid, but yes very wet. Eastern Oregon is a desert.

Besides the cost of living, ever consider Hawaii?:D

01-10-2006, 10:59 PM
HA! have i ever considered hawaii, you ask? only every other day! LOL!

i read somewhere that you can buy a fixer upper house for 100K there...

but add on another million and a half or so if you want that house on land!



destiny's mom
01-11-2006, 03:39 PM
Move to North Carolina. I am from the Raleigh area and am desperately trying to get back by this summer. I currently live in Jackson, Mississippi. Don't waste your time researching Jackson, it ain't worth it. North Carolina fits the bill for what you are looking for.

01-11-2006, 04:42 PM
Just a mere million to have a house on some land, huh? :dizzy: Yeah, my brother was stationed at Pearl Harbor for 3 1/2 years. He spent about one of it on land and the other 2 1/2 submerged somewhere in the ocean BUT he loved everything about it except how far from home it is.

Oh well, we can dream! :)

01-11-2006, 05:49 PM
Personally (assuming you don't need jobs), I would consider cost of living, taxes, real estate prices, weather, culture, local or closeby attractions (other places to visit), architechture (sp?) (because if you want a big open land, moving up north east may land you a condo or townhouse instead), how close are you to your family (do you want to be?), and gas prices. Those are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.

01-11-2006, 06:02 PM
yeah right Orlando is Horrible Humid in the summer.......I hate it ...the traffic here stinks to...but i love the nice spring , winter and fall...LOl

01-12-2006, 06:14 PM
Just a mere million to have a house on some land, huh? :dizzy: Yeah, my brother was stationed at Pearl Harbor for 3 1/2 years. He spent about one of it on land and the other 2 1/2 submerged somewhere in the ocean BUT he loved everything about it except how far from home it is.

Oh well, we can dream! :)

Hah, everything looks good once you're no longer submerged! :dizzy: Pearl Harbor is great though. Well, OK, Pearl Harbor is butt-ugly, but it connects to Hickam AFB,and Hickam's really nice. (Seriously, it's like Dr Jekyl & Mr Hyde, you go from this ugly, rusty, industrial area type thing into a green, treed place where all the houses are the same color...)

Hawaii's a pain for any foodies trying to lose weight, though. A plate lunch tends to have more calories than a large-sized Big Mac value meal! And they're everywhere. Once you add in Zippy's--which are more prevalent than the 7-11s, even--there's just so much good food!

01-12-2006, 06:34 PM
Hah, everything looks good once you're no longer submerged!

:lol: LOL! Good point!

01-12-2006, 09:24 PM
I have never been, but I have alot of friends who live there and they love it! I convinced my husband to move there someday because of how nice it is, we just can't afford to move right now although we are saving. You can find a fairly new home, 3-4 br, a garage (or two!), sometimes with an inground pool for as low as $150K. Because it is close to Houston, jobs wont be hard to find and you will have an easy commute to the city if you work there. Crime statistics are one of the lowest in the country and the schools are amazing! Check out some of these links....


Community Info....

01-12-2006, 09:28 PM
Oh and it is a 45 min drive to Galveston Beach from Sugar Land too, if you like the ocean!

01-30-2006, 06:50 PM
I think anywhere you go, you have to deal with issues. It's just a matter of what issues you are willing to deal with. For example, I've lived in, humid, hurricanes and tornadoes, drought and water rationing
Arizona...HOT, not humid, a hippie kind of feel to the North part, windy
Nevada...only about 6 weeks (was preggers and in the middle of a divorce)
Wyoming...beautiful, but winters can be brutal, windy
Colorado...OK, but winters are hard and then you have all the new age stuff right now and we love it. of course tornadoes are a possiblity as is drought and wind.
Kentucky...really pretty, but you have tornadoes there too

No place is perfect...because we'd all want to live there. But do your research. Good Morning America recently did a spot on 5 up & coming towns to move to...Enid, OK (we're here & LOVE it); but I really can't remember the rest. You should check out their website to see if they have anything on it. It was recently...last couple of weeks, definitely this year.

Good luck and remember no place is perfect. It may seem perfect, but the people may not be very nice.


01-30-2006, 10:36 PM
Well I personally believe Texas is practically perfect, but I have lived in Houston and Galveston, and if low humidity is what your looking for then stay far far away. I live in the Dallas area now, and its tons lower in the humidity, and the traffic is much more manageable, and the Austin area is so amazingly beautiful. Good Luck!!

01-30-2006, 10:56 PM
Hey, someone mentioned Kentucky up here, and I think it was the host of this thread. I have to be very blunt about Kentucky here which is where I'm living right now. If you have any kind of sinus problems, bad knees, arthritis, etc, DO NOT PICK KENTUCKY! It is a very damp state, and tends to be wet and rainy a lot during the winters. My whole family needs to move out of this state because our sinus problems are so bad (doctors have even told us to move!) but we haven't due to money, kids, and jobs yet. So keep that in mind as well.

01-30-2006, 11:51 PM
I'm not saying this because I live in Virginia, but Virginia is a great state to live in. However we do experience all four seasons faithfully...Summer's can be hot, and winter's way cold, well at least in the area in which I live, which is South Western Virginia, we nearly border W.Va., Ky, Tenn.....And you wouldn't have a problem finding nice homes @ reasonable prices, in the area I live... you could find a really nice home in the range of 75-to-100,000, and you rarely find one much higher...sometimes even lower depending on how nice you have to have it....Crime in this area is not bad either....:) and we never experience things like tornado's....We have our beautiful mountains that block a lot of that kind of weather....


01-31-2006, 05:03 PM
Come to south Texas. It is only mildly cold at 60s for like one week. Seriously. It is hot sometimes, but not Nevada hot and is cooler then some central TExas cities, probably cause I live a few miles from the coast but where talking about 30 miles or more. A lot of days, this last year, it was sunny but not hot which is kinda of a suprise. It seems to be getting cooler every year for whatever reason. I've been to a lot of places out of state and Florida was okay but sometimes it is hotter than heck. Others it was fine. Just don't move into Tornado alley area cause who needs the hassle unless it's about money.

01-31-2006, 05:45 PM
I lived in Tucson about 20 years ago. It may be the sort of place you're looking for. Warm winters (40 degrees was considered a serious cold spell), and a mostly dry climate, although you can expect some pretty heavy storms in the summer.

The down side is that it was (and probably still is) a fairly high-crime area. Between the homeless who like the area because of its mild winters, the drug traffic coming up from Mexico, and the scammers who move in to take advantage of the elderly "snowbirds", the area attracts some rather strange people.

But it is a beautiful area, and there are times when I wish we could have stayed there. The desert is gorgeous, and the sunsets can be awe-inspiring.

02-01-2006, 09:33 AM
Well, you definitely don't want to live where I live...Northern New in next to Canada. Very, very cold!

But, my brother in law is looking to move from Southern California because it is monsterously expensive and he picked Spokane Washington. We've been looking into Denver, ourselves. Both seem pretty nice. Not sure of the humidity factor, but they both seem like nice places to be with a good balance of population and activity without being too crowded and filled with nice people.

02-01-2006, 09:51 AM
I am originally from New Mexico but left 20 years ago. Still, for what you are describing, I would say definitely NM or Arizona. You can't beat it for the requirements you are looking for!

02-01-2006, 10:55 AM
WE moved from Joisey to NC for some of the same reasons as you.. We haven't regretted it at all! Loving it in the RTP area!