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Steve Alvest


Where Should I Move?

My wife and I have been toying with the idea of moving for a few years now. We currently live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. I have a work-from-home federal job that allows me to work from anywhere within the US. My wife is affected by the weather and wants to move somewhere that's sunny most of the time.


    1. Gilbert, Arizona

    Currently our #1 choice. We're also looking at areas like Chandler and Queen Creek. A lot of sunshine and good schools. It gets really hot in the summer, but I've been there when it's 108 degrees and it feels like I could live with it. No mosquitos and gnats, but they have scorpions (I hate bugs).

    2. Frisco, Texas

    It was rated the best place to live in America by some big magazine a few years ago. We visited. While it's an affluent town and checks a lot of our boxes, it just seemed to lack a certain level of warm friendliness that's hard to quantify.

    3. Poway, California

    I have friends living in Carlsbad and I've visited the area a few times. San Diego is a nice city, but a bit too much traffic these days. I like Poway and San Marcos. But living there has gotten so expensive!

    4. Beaverton, Oregon

    Nike headquarters. Everything looks good on paper. We visited a few years back and enjoyed our visit. Lake Oswego is very nice. Portland is a cool city. But it's so gloomy all the time. If not for the lack of abundant sunshine, this would be the perfect place to live.

    5. Cary, North Carolina

    I used to live on the outskirts of Durham for almost a year. Durham never impressed me, but I really liked Raleigh. Cary is the massive suburban area in between that makes most sense for a family to live in. All of the college towns nearby give the whole area a nice youthful feel.

    6. Short Pump, Virginia

    In terms of getting the most bang for the buck in terms of lifestyle, it's hard to beat the Richmond, Virginia area. It's only a couple hours away from where I'm living now, but the prices are much more affordable. I single out Short Pump specifically because I've always recognized it as "the nice part" of Richmond.

    7. Blacksburg, Virginia

    I lived here for eight years as I went to college and got my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Virginia Tech. I have a special spot in my heart for this place. Unfortunately, it's probably most well known for Michael Vick and the mass shooting that happened there (I had season tickets to watch Michael Vick play, and one of my friends was shot in the face and survived the mass shooting). But like Beaverton, it's cold and gloomy for too much of the year.

    8. Tucson, Arizona

    A bit more affordable. Same weather and within driving distance of the Phoenix area. I've visited and it's a nice city. But the schools aren't so good. I have three school aged children and good public schools are a requirement.

    9. Denver, Colorado

    I lived here for a year as a kid, and it was my favorite place to live out of the eight states I lived in as a kid (no, I'm not from a military family. I just had a dad who chased engineering jobs around the world). The weather can be extreme though. Lots of blizzards, scorching hot droughts, lightning, flash floods, and hail storms.

    10. Move outside of the United States?

    I wouldn't be able to keep my comfortable government job, but I'm sure I could get things to work out. Some places I've been to that I wouldn't mind living in are Taipei (Taiwan), Copenhagen (Denmark), Stockholm (Sweden), and Koror (Palau). Places I've heard were great to live in, but have never visited yet are Lisbon (Portugal), Quito (Ecuador), San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), and Chiang Mai (Thailand). Also of note are the Italian towns that are practically giving away houses for free (I've discussed this idea with my wife, and haven't ruled it out).

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