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Where should I move?

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A U D A C I A | About to graduate!
October 20th, 2019 10:17:20am
57 Posts


Hi everyone!

I'm at an exciting point in my life! I'm about to graduate in may with my BFA in Interior Design, and I'm starting to look for full time employment as we speak. The problem is, I know I want to move, but I'm not sure where to.

Currently, I live in Iowa near Des Moines with my partner Mike. We both grew up here, haven't traveled a ton, and really just want a change of scenery. I'd love to go somewhere warmer, but I still like having an inkling of all 4 seasons. Mike would prefer somewhere where he can fish, ideally a coast. We're looking mostly at larger cities because they have more job opportunities for me - Mike is a welder so he can find a job anywhere we go. We'd love to find somewhere with great restaurant, nightlife, and outdoor recreation options.

- The one place I have traveled to is the Seattle area. I have family there and I love it but am worried about the cost of living (I have college loans to pay off) and traffic. Also, Mike hates rain, lol.

- Houston or elsewhere in Texas might also be an option. Cost of living seems cheaper but again, traffic is a downside. Both Houston and Dallas have a lot of great firm options for me but I don't know much else about the area.

- North Carolina is high on our radar, specifically Raleigh-Durham. Raleigh-Durham has some great firm options for me and is closeish to the coast. We've seen mostly good things about it, but we're looking for honest opinions if any of you live there or have visited. Mike lived in SC for a year and loved it so we have a good feeling about this one. 

We plan to narrow down our selection and visit over my winter and/or spring breaks, but it's a big decision and has been pretty overwhelming. Really, we're open to anything warmer than Iowa and looking for any suggestions/advice you all might have.

Thank you! 


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Hera --Basset Hounds--
October 20th, 2019 8:00:28pm
81 Posts

I live in the Portland area, and we LOVE it! But the cost of living sucks, rent and housing prices are steep. But it's absolutely beautiful, the traffic isn't terrible terrible, (not as bad as Seattle traffic, and much better then Houstin or Dallas traffic) we live about 20 minutes South of Portland, so close enough to the city to work, and visit, Portland has great food and is a really fun city! We almost moved to Texas a couple years ago, and the housing prices were SO appealing! We don't mind the rain, we way prefer it to the heat. But it does rain a lot, though that's what makes everything so green and pretty. Summer can get hot, in Winter sometimes we get snow, sometimes we don't. My sister live North of Seattle and it rains more up there then it does here.    


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Community Ambassador ConBob | PCA | Lilith, Serenity, and Calaca for Mascot 2020!
October 20th, 2019 8:03:09pm
1,909 Posts

We are currently looking at NC and FL and a few other states. We were looking at Texas but opted against it (I cannot remember why now - I believe it had something to do with our kiddos...). I will talk to my husband and figure it out again, cause my memory hasn't been the best.



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October 20th, 2019 10:21:49pm
231 Posts


Born and raised so ask me anything :D



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Moderator Maharet
October 21st, 2019 1:05:40pm
2,308 Posts

siib is in raleigh

I personally live in corpus and want to move to houston

I vote houston for yall (houston is a general term for houston)

you could say live in cypress tx, katy tx, league city, tx but its technially a subburb city of houston so keep that in mind
there is also Houston proper (which jumps traffic up alot)
especially for your partner and his skill set (refinery work everywhere)

gulf coast holds the best fishing basically anywhere and its WAY more entertaining fishing wise, Salt > fresh XD
with that being said the hill country is 2-3hrs away (texas does not believe in miles, we drive in hours)

if yall are looking to buy, make sure to check flood zones as it does rain quite a bit up there
home prices are AMAZING for the sqft you can get. 
 you can also get land a house for inexpensive up there.

houston does get hurricanes/tropical storms but again, just look at flood maps 
hurricanes really are a piece of cake to deal with. They very rarely get below freezing

I personally WILL NEVER move to dallas. thats traffic hell tornados no thanks


There were tornados just last night in dallas, nope nope nope






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Master Administrator BossBOB
October 21st, 2019 6:31:52pm
4,337 Posts

Yay! That's so exciting!

I didn't know you were already so close to me! I'm in Omaha. I totally feel you about the weather. Have you thought about Albuequrque? It's much warmer, but they do still sort of have seasons because it's a "high desert".


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A U D A C I A | About to graduate!
October 22nd, 2019 3:47:56pm
57 Posts

Awh thanks everyone for the replies! I keep getting more excited!

Hera - I've also thought about Portland! I know I would love it there but am worried about cost of living like you said. I'll have to do some more research on firms/what my salary could be in the area. What is the weather like day-to-day? Do you get snow at all?

Concourse - We also looked at Florida! I actually applied to a few places in Tampa but then found out there's a ton of income disparity and heard from a family friend who lived there that it sucked... That pretty much pushed us out of Florida because Mike would prefer to be on the Gulf coast.

Yamasawki - Mike's biggest concern about NC is that it'll still be cold, haha. How would you describe the weather? Are there distinct seasons? Also, I did find some sites saying Raleigh-Durham is being gentrified pretty quickly and cost of living is rising. How reasonable would it be to find good housing on a budget? Also, about how far of a drive is it to the coast?

Maharet - Thanks for all the insight! I really like the idea of Houston and I know Mike would LOVE to be on the Gulf coast - we just visited the gulf coast of Florida in May and he had the best time fishing there. I really appreaciate the flood map tip - I would never have thought of that! We'd love to find a house/land and the prices in TX seem to be our best bet. Really the only thing scaring me about Houston is that most of the firms I want to apply to are located in Houston proper. Would commuting traffic be doable or make my life hell?

Sam - I didn't know we were so close either! I love the midwest and it'll be hard to leave, but I know if I don't go now I never will. xD I hadn't thought about Albuerqurque but I think it'd get a veto from Mike based on distance from the coast.



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October 23rd, 2019 1:38:24am
231 Posts

So Raleigh itself is getting pretty expensive, but I technically live in a town about 20 minutes from it. Not as expensive here and you get land :D 

There's a joke here that there are 12 seasons:

It doesn't snow. If it does snow, everyone freaks out and buys all the bread and milk and school is out. We then get like an inch of snow. Stuff resumes the next day. It's not cold, it barely ever gets to freezing. I'm still wearing shorts and tank tops here at the moment. Well, a cold front did come through and now it's 70 degrees. Winter won't happen until January or so and the extreme will be freezing temps. Mostly it's hot and humid. But not as humid as Florida. 

The closest beach I would say is Wilmington, from my house is a little over an hour and a half. My grandma lives at Atlantic Beach which is about 2 hours 45 minutes away. Then we have fake beaches locally, like sandy banks by the Neuse River. 



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a z a l i e -pandemic paints
October 23rd, 2019 7:50:40am
1,655 Posts

Houston is super hot and humid...just sayin!

I live in stephenville, tx(6 hrs away from maha!)

(1hr from ft worth and 2 hrs from dallas)

Tons of lakes and areas around for fishing.

We can get all 4 seasons in 1 week lol


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Community Ambassador Saturnia ♄ || Support Foxfire !!
October 23rd, 2019 9:45:49am
1,223 Posts

I live in SC! But - we may be moving to Utah next year. I've lived in quite a few places, so my vote is for Seattle or Raleigh! 
NC is absolutely stunning, has all your seasons, and also has quite a lot to do there! 



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Moderator Maharet
October 24th, 2019 1:04:08pm
2,308 Posts

aza lies, we  can get all 4 seasons in a day XD

traffic would be a pain but honestly its something you can easily get used to and really isnt that bad :)



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October 24th, 2019 1:11:48pm
231 Posts

We can get all four seasons in one day too. We are at a point where you have the heat on in the car in the morning and the a/c when you go home.



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araminta { straight spanish arabians }
October 24th, 2019 1:46:52pm
933 Posts

Eastern Maryland (Annapolis) :) Coastal, 4 seasons, within commuting distance of two major cities re: job opportunities. Plus crab cakes! 🦀


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Moderator Maharet
October 24th, 2019 2:35:49pm
2,308 Posts

also I should say texas has heb, so that alone is reason enough to move ;)



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Eyre {♥}
October 24th, 2019 5:15:29pm
4,272 Posts

Wherever you go, stop by AR to say 'hi'! :)


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peach ⚛ got a dog!
October 24th, 2019 8:13:49pm
401 Posts

Would you consider anywhere else? I'm from Northern Ohio and my entire childhood was the lake because it was 10 minutes from my house. Plus, where I grew up was about 30-45 minutes from Cleveland. Cleveland isn't a huge city but the lake is literally right there so there's plenty of fishing. 


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A U D A C I A | About to graduate!
November 1st, 2019 8:39:28pm
57 Posts

Ooh, Kismet, I hadn't thought about Annapolis. That might be a really good spot for us - I also have a professor with connections in the D.C. area who might be able to help me out. Thanks for the suggestion!


We have some serious thinking to do! Mike is still pushing for the Gulf Coast and I'm still pushing for all 4 seasons. I'll update this as we reach more conclusions! Thanks so much to everyone for all of the suggestions, and please feel free to offer additional advice if you have it! You're all the best!


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Moderator CrunchyBoB 🍍🗿
November 2nd, 2019 8:22:59am
13,120 Posts

-lives vicariously through audacia-

I'd love to move to somewhere like Texas or NC but I'm soooo close to my family and my mom especially. I only finally moved 2 hours away after all my grandparents had passed because I didn't want to miss spending itme with them. 

MN is so dang cold tho. xD I'm so over it. That's why I travel as often as I can haha



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Administrator OriginalBOB
November 8th, 2019 8:26:39am
404 Posts

You could always come to Columbia SC ;) Plenty of night life, growing city, only about an hour and a half from the coast (If you move into the east side) AND low cost of living! :D WIN WIN ya? 


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panorama [paints]
November 20th, 2019 12:03:08pm
27 Posts

Great fishing year round in kentucky and some of the lowest living costs in the US. Plus tons of horses. And beautiful countryside. And so many festivals and events!!! Between Louisville and Lexington, there's something big every month.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi


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LUMOS. 🔮 a light on the water
November 23rd, 2019 12:31:32am
107 Posts


I didn't have time to read through all the replies but I will later XD

But I'm close to Des Moines, in the Clinton Iowa area!

And I say NC. I used to live there as a child, and went on vacation there this year. It's where my heart lives lol. 



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