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I am still not sure if I will be able to keep my house, and if I end up renting, I would consider moving somewhere else, where it would be easier to live on less, but somewhere that has good nature nearby of some kind, which is important to my family morale. Where do you recommend?
 

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If you don't mind living in the middle of nowhere... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I live in Coudersport, PA... It is a teeny tiny town, not all that AP, not very diverse, BUT... It's in the middle of the PA Wilds. Forest eeeeeeeeeverywhere. There is an astronomy field 15 minutes from here with the best view of the stars in the NE. We have an organic farmers market in the warmer months, a great community pool, itty bitty library, totally crappy grocery store (haha) but a HFS about 30 minutes away. There are other homeschoolers here. I get our eggs and raw milk locally. The cost of living is very very low, mostly because Time Warner laid off something like 500 people when it bought out Adelphia. I have a very very nice 3 bedroom apartment for $750 a month in the colder months/ 500 in the spring and summer. You can find A LOT cheaper. It really is in the middle of nowhere though. You have to drive an hour to get to the nearest larger towns, and we're about 3 hours from Erie. I drive 5 hours to visit my parents in NJ. I might be leaving when my lease is up, but only because I want to take yoga and there is just no place to do it here.
 

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All of the places I can think of that are cheaper are also economically depressed on the jobs end of it.<br><br>
Have you tried:<br><br><a href="http://www.findyourspot.com?" target="_blank">www.findyourspot.com?</a><br><br>
It is kid of interesting and shows you the COL in the areas it generates for you based on your survey responses. It wants me to move to Arkansas! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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Check out Idaho Falls, Id. If you or your SO have good work experience, you can make more then we did and live there well. The COL is soooooo low.
 

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I live in Arkansas. I think it's affordable. Not the cheapest ever, but definitely a far cry from NYC, Seattle, LA, etc. Arkansas is really a very outdoorsy state. Tons of parks, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. I find it hard to enjoy much of this because I don't do well in the heat.<br><br>
I think the South (so long as it's not along the coast or in a big city) is generally a very affordable place to live. I can't stand the summers, though, so I am looking for an affordable place with cooler or shorter summers.<br><br>
I often go to realtor.com or apartments.com just to browse through prices on homes and apartments to see how affordable they are. It doesn't give me the entire picture of teh cost of living in an area but housing prices is a big chunk of our budget.<br><br>
My husband is retiring from teh military soon and I am pushing a move to the Spokane, WA area. Lots of wide open spaces and the COL isn't too bad (compared to Seattle, which is where I really want to go).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sallyg6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7944709"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My husband is retiring from teh military soon and I am pushing a move to the Spokane, WA area. Lots of wide open spaces and the COL isn't too bad (compared to Seattle, which is where I really want to go).</div>
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The COL is not too bad but the job market is awful. Unless you know you have a job or are in a high demand healthcare profession, it can be a gamble to move there and look for work. We just sold a house in the Spokane area (that we inherited- we never lived there) and the price was better than we guessed (from our perspective as the seller). My husband grew up there and we both attended college for a time there. We are happy in Seattle because while the COL is much higher, the income we make over here is much better. Well, that and the fact that I grew up here in Seattle and we just plain like it better here for other reasons. Frankly, my income would easily be 1/3 to 1/2 less in Spokane and the COL is not proportionally lower. Of course, that fact that the ILs live there could be impacting my opinion some. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> There are some lovely areas and parks in Spokane and if you can count on work, housing is cheap.
 

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I live in Urbana-Champaign Illinois, and I pretty much love it. It's a college town in the middle of a corn field, but within a 2 hours drive of several gorgeous state parks, with 3 within 30 minutes. It's also less than 3 hours away from 3 major cities; Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. The city is relatively liberal, and there's a pretty big natural family living group here that I'm involved with. Yes, there are a lot of noisy conservatives and the town has some pretty notorious race issues (look up The Chief) but it's mostly a nice and diverse place.<br><br>
As for expenses, you can get a decent small house for less than $100,000, and a decent large house for ~$150,000. Of course, we have our share of McMansions. Rent is pretty cheap off campus. We're renting a decent 2 bedroom house near both campus and downtown Champaign for $775. Also, it has one of the best public transportation systems in the country, was listed in the top 10 green cities recently, and has a thriving arts scene.<br><br>
I'm not sure what you're looking for in terms of affordable vs. amenities, but Chambana is pretty much a small artsy-ish city in the country. I think it's the best of both worlds.
 

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We live in Spokane, and while housing is incredibly cheap, the job opportunities are scarce. Even with a job, most people find that the COL isn't low enough for the low wages that jobs here pay. I wouldn't move here. We're just here while my husband finishes school, and then we'll be back to city living (Seattle area).
 

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A lot of towns in rural north Louisiana are very affordable. You can live in Springhill, Shongaloo, Haynesville, Leton, Evergreen, Dubberly, or Sibley and still have the opportunity to work in Minden or even Shreveport/Bossier, where there are tons of jobs available. I live in Shongaloo, which is about a 30 mile drive from Minden, and you can buy a top-of-the-line house here for a little over $100K. And we have a population of 162 people and a ridiculously safe PK-12 school that has about 200 kids in the whole school.
 

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Like others have said, the rural Midwest and rural South have very low COL areas, but it's because they're economically depressed. I live near Decatur, IL, and the economy here is so bad that the population is declining fast. However, I agree with the PP who said that Champaign and Urbana, IL, are wonderful. DH and I have talked about moving there, but we have family connections here.
 

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I will have to ditto central IL and most of the rural midwest. But not Northern Illinois. Good golly I about faint when I look at some of the prices up there!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kijip</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7945514"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The COL is not too bad but the job market is awful. Unless you know you have a job or are in a high demand healthcare profession, it can be a gamble to move there and look for work. We just sold a house in the Spokane area (that we inherited- we never lived there) and the price was better than we guessed (from our perspective as the seller). My husband grew up there and we both attended college for a time there. We are happy in Seattle because while the COL is much higher, the income we make over here is much better. Well, that and the fact that I grew up here in Seattle and we just plain like it better here for other reasons. Frankly, my income would easily be 1/3 to 1/2 less in Spokane and the COL is not proportionally lower. Of course, that fact that the ILs live there could be impacting my opinion some. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> There are some lovely areas and parks in Spokane and if you can count on work, housing is cheap.</div>
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Mommydeville and kijip,<br><br>
Thanks for the info. When DH decided to retire I said "Seattle!!" but he was worried about teh COL and suggested Spokane. I grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula (Silverdale) and would really like to go back but...I don't know. Lots of factors going in to the decision. We've lived in the South for so long that COL anywhere but here is going to be a real shock to our pocketbook. I really do appreciate the input, though, because I can take it back to DH. I'm sure that in teh end we'll go where teh job is adn I'm just praying it's somewhere with a bearable summer.<br><br>
Sara
 

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Do not move to FL! At least not central FL down to southern FL. COL is insanely going up. If we didn't have family I would talk DH into moving. Maybe we should mive anyway because we fight about our families....and they drive me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sallyg6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7950070"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Mommydeville and kijip,<br><br>
I grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula (Silverdale) and would really like to go back but...I don't know.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hola.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hola">:<br><br>
I lived for a time as a child in the Poulsbo area.<br><br>
The thing about Seattle is that while the COL is high, in many areas the wages are higher. Also, there are a variety of housing and mortgage programs for moderate income workers and public employees. We have always managed here ok for not all that much money. Now that I have a better job, we are buying a house but we are getting a mortgage from <a href="http://www.wshfc.org" target="_blank">www.wshfc.org</a>.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>becoming</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7947129"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I live in Shongaloo...</div>
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I just have to say that I love the name of your town. That is a name with a lot of personality and it makes me want to move there too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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If you are lucky enough to find a job, many parts of upstate NY are very affordable. Aside from a handful of cities, NYS is really quite rural, and we have an pretty good state park system.
 

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I love Seattle area, but COL is so high!<br><br>
We moved from there to the midwest....missouri....and COL is way better here! We are renting a house, 2000 sf, for $550 a month. To buy it, would be in the $80, 000 range.<br><br>
We are moving to Kansas City next month and things are a bit more expensive. Same size home for $119,000. Still, to try and get the same in Seattle would cost us closer to quarter million.<br><br>
Las Vegas used to be resonable, but I think thats changed.<br><br>
I would look at the midwest for sure. Its pretty, cheap, and really friendly people which is super important for me.<br><br>
Good luck! And do check out the findyourownspot link.<br><br>
rebecca
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wifty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957541"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We are moving to Kansas City next month and things are a bit more expensive. Same size home for $119,000. Still, to try and get the same in Seattle would cost us closer to quarter million.<br></div>
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Correction- <b>a 2000 sf house</b> in much of Seattle would be 400-700K. $250K buys almost nothing here- a couple of fixers in bad areas and some small condos. We will be paying $300K for a tiny townhouse with a postage stamp of a yard. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: And that is shopping very carefully in the not so great areas. In a nice area, the townhouses are $400K. Still, compared to some markets it could be worse. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kijip</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7958483"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Correction- <b>a 2000 sf house</b> in much of Seattle would be 400-700K. $250K buys almost nothing here- a couple of fixers in bad areas and some small condos. We will be paying $300K for a tiny townhouse with a postage stamp of a yard. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: And that is shopping very carefully in the not so great areas. In a nice area, the townhouses are $400K. Still, compared to some markets it could be worse. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:</div>
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Oh ugh!!! I stand corrected! I haven't lived there in almost 6 years and I know prices have risen.<br><br>
I just can't imagine trying to survive in that kind of economy!<br><br>
Good luck to you!<br>
rebecca
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wifty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7958530"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh ugh!!! I stand corrected! I haven't lived there in almost 6 years and I know prices have risen.<br><br>
I just can't imagine trying to survive in that kind of economy!<br><br>
Good luck to you!<br>
rebecca</div>
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Every time we think about moving, we have to remember that I make more here than I would elsewhere in my field. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> And having family near is nice. But it is nuts on housing and we would not be buying a house without the first-time, moderate income buyers program the city runs here and the added boost of an inheritance. Consider that if I made my salary most other places, I would be super comfortable but that here, we qualify (by a hair) for public HUD housing. So that helped a lot.
 
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