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Another "Where should we move?" thread


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So, DH and I are discussing where we could move that would be a better fit for us socially, where all of us would be happy living more or less permanently.


I am a socially liberal, governmentally libertarian leaning towards liberal RN. DH is a socially liberal, libertarian leaning towards conservative military veteran and knifemaker. (I voted Obama, he voted Romney, but we'd both prefer someone in between)


We currently live in rural Northern Nevada, about 5 miles outside a large town. We like a lot of things about where we live now, but as socially liberal, non-Christian, non-virtual-academy homeschoolers, the kids and I are feeling pretty isolated. We previously lived in a very liberal area of Northern California. We were both relatively happy there socially, but DH felt somewhat ostracized due to his military history and slightly more conservative outlook, the cost of living was too high, the air quality unlivable for DH (who has asthma), and the regulations such that he had a hard time running his small knifemaking business.


We raise goats, chickens, rabbits, and garden a large portion of our produce, and would like to continue doing so.


Our criteria (in rough order of importance):


Good air quality.

Availability of land where homesteading is possible (ie. at least 2-3 acres, preferably 5-10, access to water, and ok weather) at a reasonable price relative to RN wages for the area. Preferably ruralish, and not on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area.

Decent availability of nursing jobs within about a 45 minute commute (preferably closer). I'm not picky - I'm currently working in a nursing home and am happy to continue with something like that.

Friendly to small/home businesses in terms of taxes and regulations

Active secular or truly inclusive (politically/religiously) homeschooling community within about a half-hour drive, and preferably closer. It doesn't have to be a huge community, just consistently active. I basically just want regular park days (or the like) for the kids and me.

Reasonable homeschooling laws (currently we have basically no regulations. I'm open to yearly testing or something like that, but New York, North Dakota, and Maryland are examples of states that really have more regulation than I'd prefer.)

Access to a VA medical clinic within a reasonable distance


Nice, but not deal-breakers:

Presence of a UU church (or other exceedingly liberal church) within a half hour drive would be nice

Active veteran community

Good library system

Lower cost of living area. RN wages tend to be roughly similar relative to cost of living everywhere, but the supplemental income from DH's knifemaking business is static, and will go further in a low COL area.

Regional airport within an hour drive

West of the Rockies, with more northern being preferred, but I don't mind hearing about other places, too.


Not particularly picky about climate. For reference, we currently live in the middle of a desert (though with water rights and a well), with first freeze possible in mid-September and last freeze frequently in June. We regularly get above 100F in summer, and were below freezing for about a month on end this winter. We'd prefer somewhere where we wouldn't be worse off than this as far as growing things :) Drier climate is better from a mold-avoidance perspective, as long as it isn't so arid that we can't grow stuff.


Areas we're NOT looking in:

Reno/Carson City

Las Vegas


SF Bay Area

Phoenix, AZ

Southern California in general


I think California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado are all more regulation-heavy than DH would prefer.


We have some areas in mind, but I'm curious if someone knows of some gem we don't know about.

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Texas? The Austin area might fit, though I'm not completely sure about the business regulations. For homeschooling, it's got virtually no regs, and Austin's motto is "keep Austin weird".


Dallas is also pretty liberal, though also conservative.

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Alaska and Boise are possibilities (other areas of Idaho are already on our list). I'll add Cheyenne and Laramie to our list of places to look (I have negative associations with that one based on the Matthew Shepherd thing, but a gay student was just severely beaten in the extremely liberal Northern California town we moved away from, so I suppose I shouldn't let that turn me off). Austin isn't rural enough :) Oregon is, I think, off our list due to regulations.


Thanks :)

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