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  • What does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share? See all answers
    • Idyllic
    • This is a topic that I’ve thought a lot about since I first started looking for places to live permanently. I came up with my top eight cities that I could live near based on certain community features using Coldwell Banker ‘Best Places to Live‘.

      After selecting which is more your style – Suburbanite or Social Seeker – you can get a basic list of top cities in those categories once you select a state. OR using the Lifestyle Search there are areas of consideration [Hip & Trendy, A+ Schools, Transit, Price, Art & Music, Amenities, Fresh Air vs. Times Square, and Fairways] that you rate on a scale of importance [slightly to very]. You must choose the state you’re interested in looking in and can narrow down to county and/or nearby metro, but that’s not required.

      The best site though is called Find Your Spot, which covers a broad range of topics and narrows down your location and choices to create a large list of places for you to browse through. Downside – you have to create an account.

      weather & climate – Do you like cold, snowy winters? Hot, humid summers?
      culture – museums, zoos, theaters & performances.
      school, health, & travel – public or private? Need a big hospital? Major nearby airports a must?
      great outdoors – beach, camping, fishing, mountain biking, etc.
      location, location, location: small, medium or large city? are crime rates important? pick a region of the US to consider as well as general geography types you want to avoid.
      demographics – local organizations, high Spanish speaking community, LGBT support, etc.
      religion – how important is it to have it in your community?
      housing – target housing cost, rental rates, and taxes.

      Using this criteria for me definitely narrowed down my results to help pick a city for me to live in. I want a Suburban-Urban location in either Michigan, Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin, California, Texas, Washington, or Tennessee. Average cost for a nice house should be no more than $350,000. Rentals – max $1300/month for a house or $900 for a large 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. I love sun and warmth so having a mild climate would be nice, but I’ve lived in all types of weather and can adapt.

      As far as activities go, I don’t really do nightclubs but that would be fun to try. Movie theaters are a must. Museums would be nice to check out but not a necessity. Outdoorsy things would be fun, like nearby hiking, biking, camping, etc., but could be a couple hours drive away. Traveling is big in my life so access to a major airport is kinda important. Having a big hospital nearby is big also because that’s where I want to work! Crime should be low in the area I live, I want to feel safe. A community college should be close by to take classes for advancing my degree. A university would be nice but there are lots of online programs to choose from.

      That’s pretty much it for my ideal place to live! It’s pretty broad but in short I want a nice place in a suburb of a metropolitan city. One day when I settle down it’ll happen but for now I’ll keep checking out the places for potential schools and living locations.

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