Where to buy a house in the US?

Apr 15, 2017
Napa, CA.
My mother and I want to buy a house together.

Budget is a concern. So our current location SF Bay Area is obviously out. We could have done Vallejo but I lived and worked in that city for a year and I never want to go back. I don’t even like driving through it.

I’m more conservative so I’d like to move to North Carolina because I have a long time friend there who has a good quality of life there. And I would love to get away from the way CA is going with the way crime is handled (as in, it’s not). But my mother is the opposite… and she’s putting down the down payment so ultimately it’s her choice.

I’m recently single and don’t have many friends so I’m not stuck here. Currently I work retail and could easily transfer to any of the 6000 US locations. My next job is probably going to be a work from home web development job so location for that doesn’t really matter.

My mother wants to stay as close to here to be near the rest of our family. But her partner has family in Portland and my aunt has family there too so she thought maybe there. But my research shows it’s the Vallejo of Oregon and things don’t seem much different up there?

Any suggestions? I know it’s a broad question with no right (or wrong) answer but I’m just curious where people here found a good quality of life place to buy a home. Because we’re both sick of renting.
What kind of weather is in or out? That would be a big factor for many looking to reloacate. So many factors when you think about it.
What kind of weather is in or out? That would be a big factor for many looking to reloacate. So many factors when you think about it.
Apparently my mother doesn’t want anything too cold. I don’t care personally.
The biggest constraint is probably family in that regard so maybe you can find something not an intolerable drive away from everyone.

California’s a big state too with areas spanning the political spectrum, from the city you want to get away from, that ma may want to stay near.

Personally, international mart access and good ethnic food (diversity too, so as a PoC I blend in) is a big factor - and if you head out to a LCoL area, it may make it tougher to return to a HCoL area.

I would also keep an eye out in regards to climate, water access, Superfund site locations, nature things you may be interested in. Great parks in the suburbs outside DC, I’m jealous of all that BLM land out west, how close mountains and the coast are in CA, etc.

Budget, financing, availability probably will dictate more than we’d like though.

I like the PNW idea especially since family is west coast. Haven’t heard bad things about the Triangle in NC.
Stay away from coastal/port cities. They're beautiful but because of this they're overcrowded with infrastructure that can't support the level of immigration they receive. The Meth/Fentanyl/Carfentanil crisis that's been going on is turning people into dangerous, reckless, zombies.

It's also very expensive to live in these places with many being spat out of whatever job they failed at, and when faced with few prospects or even hope, they turn to drugs. Meth is the devil personified.

The port here in Vancouver is set to be expanded, that means even more than the already ridiculous tanker traffic we already have. That's supposed to be a mark of progression, in real world terms it means tons more drugs finding their way onto the streets of the city. No matter what they do at the port, they'll never find all the junk sealed in those thousands of containers.

There's an area here that truly looks like hell on Earth. I couldn't have scribbled a more dire looking portrait as a child having been asked to describe it than what scrambles about in a large part of our downtown core. It's awful, ten square city blocks of tents, open drug use, violent/crazy humans bent at the waist beelining to their next crime to support the fix...

...and nobody seems to have the answer:(
it seems that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_quality_of_life_indices lack of reality!

well according to forbes.com
Στιγμιότυπο 2023-04-02, 10.43.26 πμ.jpg

2 of your initial choices ,portland an north carolina are in there! so, there you go!
I would get out of California. Their property taxing methods (especially on new purchases) , high costs of living and just plain over regulated compared to other states would be my reasons for exiting. Select another state which meets your lifestyle, safety, jobs are plentiful and costs of living are low. This is something you need to decide as others will suggest on areas which please them but may not be for you.
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I'm going through this right now only with my wife. My wife wants Florida, the outskirts of Tampa, I'm having second thoughts. My son is there and hates it. I have to find the right house, and I haven't. Crowded, congested, and taxes are rising, three strikes. My wife hates cold weather, I'm not a fan of blistering heat. LOL Good luck OP. Subscribed.
As a lifelong resident of Illinois, I would quickly eliminate all of the top 5 or top 10 states that are seeing a population decline. If that many people are leaving, as compared to all of the other states, there's clearly a reason (or reasons) why they are leaving.

Of course, that could also be interpreted as a buying opportunity.... Caveat emptor.
Carefully look into the political landscape and structure of how the city of your choice is run, BEFORE you make any type of definite decision. Many cities vary in the same state based on nothing more than politics.

For example, Asheville, North Carolina is having a horrible time with crime, drugs, property theft, and vandalism. The reason is the type of politics that city is governed by. It used to be a beautiful, sleepy little tourist town that offered a relaxed, safe lifestyle. Now it's a stink hole.

There are many other cities like it, that are located in the same state, that are also reflective of their politics much the same. You don't want to buy into any that progressive crap with your hard earned money.

NC is a beautiful state, and it’s changed a lot (like every other state in the past decade and especially the last 3 years). There has been a lot of immigration here from other parts of the country - including California. The poverty in rural NC is real. Driving between major metro areas makes it feel like two different worlds. I’m telling you they could film the Waking Dead in some areas and not do anything to set-up the scene… The COL in metro areas has made it as expensive as the rest of the east coast over the past decade.

The heat and humidity may be a bit of a shock to you and the salaries here certainly won’t match CA, so even though housing is less expensive here the salaries make housing seem very expensive like everywhere else. What many have done is leave HCOL states and cash out equity in homes and buy homes here so the housing market is kind of a mess. You coming from CA may be on the plus side of that equation.

We have beaches and mountains within a 3hr drive where I am which is a plus.

My only advice to you is make sure if you do move somewhere make sure it’s for the right reasons. Just remember you take yourself wherever you go. I know plenty of people who think moving is going to solve all their problems - it doesn’t.

I’ve heard from many that being far away from family is harder than they originally thought. Do research beforehand!
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Listen to @GMFan , if there is a place you are seriously considering, go there and spend a week there, drive around with the folks, go to the stores as much as you can to see what folks are like in that town, see if it's really what you're looking for. Coming from CA the bar is likely set pretty low for friendliness, but, see if the general friendliness, pace, attitude of the people in a potential area is what you're looking for. As someone who left the place that I was born and raised, and that I loved, to move to a place that was more politically aligned with my beliefs, I will tell you, make your own decision, do your own research, don't believe that Texas or Florida are some fairytale land where crime is low, folks are friendly, and everyone has family values, because that is simply not the case. Of course, it all depends on where you are coming from as far as expectations. Coming from California, you may find Texans to seem friendly compared to what you are used to, we came from a very laid back place where folks have at least some common courtesy, so coming to Texas a few years ago was a huge culture shock, folks are very rude, and there is no common courtesy here at all, and crime is pretty awful. SF is pretty extreme, so I can definitely see wanting to get out, but just really do your research, I wish I had 🙂 As @GMFan said, moving won't necessarily solve your problems, it may, or you may find that you traded your problems for a new set of problems.