how do you find a new area to live?

blitzyblond_protegeAugust 30, 2012

My DH, bro-n-law, & I are bouncing ideas of where we might move to besides the area we live in. Because of health issues we would like to find a region with the same basic temperature range/precip totals.

Any ideas how we could find out which areas of the U.S. have similar temps/rainfalls?

This is just something long term we are considering, but your input would be appreciated. l.marie

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh I would think your best bet would be the computer.
I am sure you could find out in a short few mins. what areas of the country would be best suited for you.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There's a book called something like "The Places Rated Almanac" that compares all parts of the US with data and information about everything, including cost of living. It's got to be online by now.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just come on down to NW Florida - we have everything except snow and ice!!!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree that you need to do internet research. Obviously, climate is important to you, but you should also consider economic conditions, employment opportunities, housing market, natural disaster history, and area demographics. Happy searching!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You might try the site I've linked. It has a comparison feature for climate, economics, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Place

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think for similar climates, Hawaii would be a good choice. Heck, Hawaii'd be a good choice no matter what!! If you are used to low humidity, Arizona may be ideal.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You say "area" but what do you mean by that?

A different neighborhood in your city or a suburb? Moving across state lines within the same region? Moving to a different part of the country?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Get the magazine Where to Retire. As you begin to read through them, I think a pattern might develope and give you a direction to start in.
You can also start making a check list. Do you want a condo in a gated community, a small house but in a senior community? Do you want to be able to walk to places? Do you want to stay in the US? (Costa Rica is supposed to be a great place to retire.)
The list can be overwhelming. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hawaii has one of the highest costs of living anywhere in the U.S.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Moved from Germany to Oklahoma, because I was in LOVE. LOL

Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Moved to Oklahoma City, cause of husbands job change.

Moved to Tahlequah Oklahoma, cause of husbands job change.

Moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, cause of husbands job change.

Moved to Edmond, Oklahoma trying to keep a marriage alive, no, trying not to give up on it.

Now, live in Oklahoma City, cause I have a daughter nearby, and it is way cheaper to live here than in Albuquerque, where the other daughter and the grandkids live.

So, almost all my moves were for ex husbands job.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Like Moni, I have followed DH around for 58 years, mostly far from where we graduated from highschool together. Our life motto was 'if you don't like it, you will learn to love it' and it always became a truth....and every leaving of a place was so hard. We have gone back...we have checked out some of those former homes, and my conclusion is that: "Home is where we live and it is always the best". Also, whatever effort you put into a new community, it will come back to you.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Easy for us. We love FL and moved from there to Houston to be near grandkids. 6 years later they moved to CO. We don't want to do CO cold. Then DD had a baby and moved 3 months later to FL. We were able to move to FL 2 months later (a job literally fell out of the sky for DH!) We are where we want to be. Figure out where you want to be and then let things fall out of the sky to have it happen.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yep, decide what are the things most important to you and go from there.

When we decided to move from Northern VA we knew we wanted to be near a base that wasn't going to close anytime in the near future. We're both military retirees and wanted to be able to use our base privileges. A friend retired near a base in CA that closed two years after they retired and they had a heck of a time. We know Dover AFB isn't going to close anytime soon.

Neither of us was a big fan of warmer states, i.e., FL, AZ, CA etc. George is originally from CA and didn't want to go back there. I'm originally from MI, but there were no bases in the state which is why we settled on VA originally. When taxes got to be unreal, road construction and road rage incidents, we decided to make the move. We love it here and are still close to the kids, grand kids, great-grand kids and friends.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe you just want to relocate *within* your same area.

About 10 years ago DH and I built a new house 15 miles farther north of where we'd lived for 30+ years. After DH retired, we no longer needed to be within one hour of his work. We love our new house and the quieter location.

We enjoy three seasons north of Chicago. We spend a month or two on Maui to break the winter -- may extend that.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've never found the need to live anywhere but here in SW IOWA. Born here, raised here, married here and raised our family here. All of my children still live here and most of my grandchildren do too.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

At this point in my life it would be location. I would want an environment I liked, hills/mountains, trees and water. A small town nearby with a library and a good restaurant. Library is not so important anymore with computers, e readers and my books. I wouldn't care about the economy or lifestyle just as long as I was in a location like that.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I went through this same exercise as we approached retirement age. There are many factors to consider. One major factor is the natural environment, and this is what I came up with. Yours will vary depending on what you enjoy. For me, I decided I'd like to have less winter, but I don't want to bake to a crisp in summer. For me, both are equally bad. We also decided that we are not 'desert rats', but prefer green grass to desert sands. Deserts are ok to visit, but not to live in permanently.

My formula boiled down to:

o south of the Mason-Dixon line
o avoid costal areas where threat of hurricanes exist.
o avoid 'tornado alleys'.
o avoid high heat and humidity.
o avoid areas with significant earthquake threat.
o look at locations at elevations of 1500 ft or more. These elevations help night time cooling in the summer. Elevatons above 2500 ft may have negative effect on some folks with poor health issues.

This environment screener narrows the landscape in which to look. Next, look for other items you desire.

Other items might be, cost of living, taxes, stores and shops within walking distance, safety of neighborhood, dental and medical services, and cultural niceties.

After this exercise, do not be surprised if you find that your present location is desireable.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley in California. Hot in the summer, windy in the spring, very foggy in the winter.
I didn't see the central coast until I was 19 and I decided it was where I wanted to live.
I have lived here on the beautiful central coast of California....(Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County) for 50 years and I plan on staying here until I die.)
Great weather and excellent scenery for the most part.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Carol, I lived in the San Joaquin Valley for almost 3 years. I don't remember the weather you described. Maybe it was different where I lived, it is a big area. We spent every week end we could camping in Yosemite. The weather was very nice, didn't need AC, a lot of people used water coolers. I didn't miss Kansas, but I missed the 4 seasons. It is ironic now it seems we only have cold and hot seasons, I am missing spring and fall.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, Chisue: You KNOW that the Chicago area doesn't have 3 seasons! There are only 2: winter and road-work season!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard the drivers of the Super Shuttles at the airports told that joke ...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have always found it curious, people who move to live in an "area". I can't imagine moving from where you built a life. I grew up a military kid. We moved around a lot. One place is as good as the next--it has always been about the people for me. I would never disconnect from people for 'climate', a view, etc. Other than employment I can't imagine moving just to move. If one has health issues, I can see the need but it would be a depressing move. The whole "snow bird" thing confuses me too. Life is where your people are!!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 6:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good point arcy, but sometimes "your people" move! Some of us have children in other states. If you live in an upscale area and were there basically for the schools, you will find many people leaving when their children graduate high school. So, there are many factors that contribute to wanting a change of location.
Many people just can't take the winters. It get worse as we age. My husband hates it whn it goes below 60 dregrees!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
carol_in_california was over 50 years ago.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I, too, am familiar with the San Joaquin Valley and can't believe many folks survive without an AC. Sacramento hits 100+ degrees several times a summer, as does Bakersfield and the foothills. (Think Angels Camp, Murphys...even Yosemite gets hot, hot, hot). And, from Bakersfield to Redding there ARE four seasons. Only the coastal areas have temps that are mild all year round and do not have definite seasons. Mostly rain...fog, sun, fog, rain. (Think San Francisco, Monterey) And, SLO and Santa Barbara have the most ideal mild climate, and up the coast and inland a bit to Paso Robles....4 Seasons, including snow in the perfect amount!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

jemdandy, your criteria sounds perfect! Where did you end up?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was in the Merced area in the late 50's and I am sure it wasn't that hot back then. I think would have remembered it, especially in Yosemite, but I was younger then and having lived in Kansas, hot was the norm. I remember having a water cooler in Kansas before we went to California, but we didn't have one there. I remember talking about the weather and WC with the other Boeing workers that went there with us.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pammyfay -- Some road work is good. (And some is mainly good for contractors with city clout. lol) Right now, the whole nation needs to renew roads, bridges, rail, etc. while Congress is the *roadblock*.

We decided that we just wanted a nicer, newer house in a quieter location in our same area, and that we could survive the 'winter' problem by escaping to Maui. (Our vaction rental condo pulls some of its' own weight.)

We still have the advantages of being *near enough* to a major city. We just lost the closer-in road and air traffic. We built a new single-level house in an established neighborhood in an established town with good services.

Maybe the OP should look closer to home for a new home.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How about OP coming back and telling us more, or thanking the good ideas?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 1:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ah..ha....1950's. We were so young and they did not have Air Conditioning to any degree. Some "swamp coolers" and electric fans to move air and we were much 'tougher' then. I grew up in San Francisco, but spent many summers in Ohio near Lake Erie...sweltering, humid heat and we just got used to it. I remember my grandmother ironing on Tuesday...did not matter that the heat was enough to melt you and was grateful for a fan to move the air. I lived in Merced County from 1992 until 2004....I assure you we had AC and needed it. It is not uncommon for the temps to reach 110 and 113 frequently, the farmers even have air conditioned tractors now days.

But, now days I don't think you can discount hot summers as a reason for not wanting to live somewhere. Air conditioning in homes, vehicles, etc. for a number of days of a year just evens out when you have lovely evenings, mild winters, fantastic spring and fall for the rest of the year. Our long rainy winter...that lasts most times well into June, make me want to move back to California. But, this is where family has landed, and the bottom line always is that "people and family" are the glue that makes life better. That can include a church family, a military family.....a human connection.

After family, since my health was not good at the time; good medical facilities were close to the top of our list, and 'smaller' towns. After living in many smaller towns, big cities and traffic make me anxious and I think that we will be able to remain more independent as we age and face the inability to drive ourselves. Our small town 75,000 pop with a county pop of 200,000 is a good fit. At least most of the time. Being 'root-less' during our 58 year marriage, we still have not quenched our wanderlust so the RV sits beside the house, always ready for a new adventure (when the diesel price is reasonable).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guess one could say I cheated on this one..

When I was in the Air Force I was stationed in Texas, Arkansas, Massachusetts & W.German.
After I got out of the AF I drove 18 wheelers on long trips for over ten years and where I would be out on the road 4 or 5 months at a time. I have been in all 48 continuos states plus Alaska and 5 Provinces of Canada.

From there I went into the construction trades and I have lived an worked in 10 different states from Arizona, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,Georgia to Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylania and Massachusetts.

I was born in Idaho and have made a couple extended visits with kinfolks there and I was raised on a dairy farm in Ohio.

I was living in Youngstown, Ohio when I first retired and to put it mildly, I was not the least happy there. Try to imagine a city of 90,000ppl that averages in excess of 50 murders a year. In that area it is not a matter of whether your house might be broken into, but rather, when and how often.

I was sitting there contemplating this very question, where do I want to retire too, when one night the phone rang. It was my old friend Jan from Massachusetts. She and I had a friendship like brother & sister way back in the late 70's and over the years we had managed to stay in touch even though it was from a distance. She informed me that when she upgraded her cell phone plan they gave her 4 phones and she has a national plan, so she was sending me a cell phone to use. She said she averaged 600 rollover minutes a month so if I kept it under 600 minutes I could use it free and all calls between she and I were free.

A week later I had the phone and we talked about an hour a day for three or four weeks until we realized that we were both single at the moment (before that, when she was single I was married & vice versa,LOL) so we began discussing the idea of sharing her house until we could decide where we wanted to move to. A week later I was in Massachusetts, where I have been for the last two years.

When we began discussing our future retirement plans we both agreed that we wanted four seasons.

We then wanted a quiet comparitively low crime area and one that has features for seniors.

Then a good selection of shopping facilities within a short easy commute and finally, plenty of parks and recreaton areas as well as rural scenic areas.

Then I tossed into the mix that I had once again taken up serious photography so I wanted plenty of historical sites, points of interest and both indoor and outdoor activities

And finally, just to add to the mix, a good public transportation system.

When we looked around, we realized we have it all right here. Not one, but three huge world class hospitals within 10 miles, the Bay State Medical Center is a teaching hospital that is actually rated in the top ten in the USA and higher than Boston General, which is the Harvard Medical School hospital.

We have a very low crime rate and a top notch police force, but then all our govt services are top notch. Our city has its own electrical generating company and they have only had three power outages that lasted more than 15 minutes since 1940. In fact, last year, after the tornado went through here the power company had to cut the power to our street for one hour while they cut some trees and repaired the lines, and we got a written appology and a $20credit in our next electric bill.

Last year we had two 40" snowfalls within a week and many of the local cities and towns around us were snowed in for days, but in our city the deepest the snow ever got on a street was 2".

We have recycle pickup one day and trash pickup the next, and there is no limit as to how much trash you can set out, by example, last week a lady across the street set out two couches, a huge chair and about 7 huge trash cans, and they took it all without question. Our street is swept by a street sweeper truck twice a week.

Now for our shopping commute...It's 1.2miles to Walmart superstore & Home Depot, B.J.' wholesale(like Sams Club) and Big Y grocery is closer, and CVS pharmacy on the wasy. A huge polish meat market about three blocks away, the farmers produce market 1/2mile, 8 major groceries within 5 miles, or we can go one block and jump on the interstate and go two miles to the mall at Holyoke.

The local PVTA(Pioneer Valley Transit Authority) buss stop is about a 1/2block from the house and the PVTA routes cover 11 cities and towns within a 34 mile radius adn senior can get a monthly buss pass for $21, which provides unlimited rides on the entire routing.

1/2 mile from the house we can get on the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90) and go 90 mile east to Boston or 3000 miles west to Seatle Washington or we can take I-91 south to Long Island Sound or north up through Vermont all the way to the Candian Border.

Now add to that, I have a list of over 300 historical sites, some dating back before the Revolutionary War, all within 30 miles of our house.

When all was said and done,we decided to stay right here.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You always surprise me, LP and I enjoy hearing about the way your "root-less" life has sifted thru all those places you have been and found such a perfect place for you. I just learned today that I live exactly on the west side of the continent from Boston and probably as far inland as you are from the Atlantic coast.Aren't we the lucky ones!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 6:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How wonderful to come back from a crazy situation caring 24/7 for my DM's cousin and find such wonderful insightful answers.

To address a few points: We have aprox. 27 years before we can retire. I have always hated the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) because so much of the time it is excessively HOT and dead grass/weeds; DH doesn't like it either. We were raised here. I'm just scouting area's outside of SJV to move once I am no-longer responsible for DM's cousin. I do Caregiver/hospice work & DH does manual labor, so there's generally a shuffling of those types of work anywhere. I'm leaning towards a rural area so I can keep a few goats, bunnies, chickens, a hog, & a garden. 30-45min access to a 75K+ city is necessary for supplies. We wouldn't mind 4"-8" snow 2-3 times each winter, but can't stay that cold. Coastal areas is not a special draw or dis-qualifier. Plan to avoid the "Great American Dust-bowl area", "tornado alley", & "hurricane target-zone".

I know areas like MT, CO,... get extremely cold, yet have small valleys that are more temperate and that is the types of areas I'm interested in comparing.

The methods & contacts to compare these areas is as much of what I'm curious about as the methods/reasons others have chosen their settling-place.

Thank you all for such insight and wonderful conversation. Looking forward to any updates.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh My come up to Southern Oregon and join the many refugees that have made the Rogue Valley home. I (and my DH) keep saying we wish we were 20 years younger so that we would have the ability to have a bit of acreage. Our little 10,000 sq ft subdivision lot, which houses our home and RV, garden and many fruit trees needs a chicken or two and no space. There are dozens of 'assisted living' residences and two really great hospitals and best of all, real 'back to the land' and 'eat locally' campaigns with lots of support. Everyone can't move here, but fellow refugees from Ca do keep coming. And, best of all....I haven't seen a feed-lot or chicken battery since I left the I 5 in Ca.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am still impressed with the amazing answers I've received. The Best Place link will definitely come in handy. I'll have to ask my local librarian about "The Place Rated Almanac". I never thought about the elevation of a area helping make it livable, but now an elv. 1500- 2500 sounds good. You all make the areas you settled sound so inviting, I'll have to check into them.

Fifteen years ago I moved home to 5 family elders that have no children to help take care of them & my parents. Now I have DM's cousin & Mama. Mama & my younger bro. have both made it plain they intend to move to AZ in a few years. The only one I have left to worry about is DM's cousin; then hubby & I would like to settle somewhere else.

Thank you all again for the wonderful ideas and conversation.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 3:52AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Dinner at 8 (#4)
Tonights celebrity guest is Julia Child. What do you...
Amazing Aunt Audrey
Rant about dog rescue
So I look at the form for a German Shepherd rescue....
Time zone change?
I looked briefly but cannot find where to change my...
Made the chocolate covered peanuts in the crockpot....
how do you clean black scuff marks off vinyl flooring?
A quick web search mentioned using the rubber sole...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™