19 votes

Where should I move to?

I haven't posted at all on Tildes, but I've been here! I've seen how great of a community it is, even if it isn't that popular yet, so I wanted to ask you kind people for advice on where I should move to. Please tell me if this is the wrong group.

I can't decide where to move. I really want to live in a giant city like NYC because I have a degree in CS and computers are popular in big cities, plus I just enjoy them, but (as I'm sure everyone knows) it's super expensive. I also really love rain and snow. If any of you could recommend a relatively inexpensive city that rains and snows a lot, I'd greatly appreciate it. It doesn't have to be in the U.S. Thank you all so much!

17 comments

  1. [3]
    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    Minneapolis, MN. This is the "big city" top of the list for me, because reasons. Housing costs are within the realm of reason, even though the city has an impossibly low unemployment rate. It's...
    • Exemplary

    Minneapolis, MN. This is the "big city" top of the list for me, because reasons. Housing costs are within the realm of reason, even though the city has an impossibly low unemployment rate. It's bitterly cold with an average temperature of -15°C during winter, but sunnier than other Northeastern and Midwestern big cities. There's no question your desires for rain and snow will be met.

    Minneapolis is compact enough that it has functional mass transit. If you work/live downtown, you can walk much of the area without outdoor exposure during the depths of winter. The city also has a reputation for bike-friendliness.

    There's a great community; you've heard of "Minnesota nice"? That's not an exaggeration. For practical purposes, think of Minnesota as South Canada, both interpersonally and politically.

    Minneapolis is surprisingly multicultural for the Great White North, there's an exciting food and craft brewing scene, fun arts and attractions, and good hiking, winter sports, and water activities within reasonable driving distance.

    The city is competently administered (there's actually a 25-year plan to ensure affordable housing and sustainable development). The schools and colleges are among the best in the U.S.

    11 votes
    1. rkcr
      Link Parent
      As a programmer in the twin cities area, it makes me happy to see this without having to post it myself! I'm not a native - I actually moved here from California - but I love it here. If you can...

      As a programmer in the twin cities area, it makes me happy to see this without having to post it myself!

      I'm not a native - I actually moved here from California - but I love it here. If you can get past the winter weather, then everything else is great - reasonable cost of living, plenty of things to do, and good people.

      That said, if you want a bustling city on the caliber of NYC, you're not going to get that here. That's part of why I like it (big enough to have activities, not so dense as to feel stifling), but if you want that giant city feel it won't happen here.

      If you've got any questions about the twin cities (and its tech scene), let me know. I've been here for over a decade so I've got a decent amount of experience.

      5 votes
    2. Petril
      Link Parent
      Yeah, come hang out with us! Skyways are helpful if you're downtown and want to walk around and not die of frostbite or general cold-annoyance. One thing people don't always understand about MN is...

      Yeah, come hang out with us! Skyways are helpful if you're downtown and want to walk around and not die of frostbite or general cold-annoyance.

      One thing people don't always understand about MN is that it actually can get quite hot here (particularly in southern MN)! Our summers aren't particularly long, but there are often stretches in the 90s. A few years ago, we were continuously over 105 for two weeks. It was awful, living in a house without AC!

      Also, we love Target. You could work for Target!

      4 votes
  2. Adys
    Link
    Oh man I feel this post. One of the great things about being able to live wherever you want is you're able to live wherever you want. But good luck finding a place, you'll be stuck deciding for...

    Oh man I feel this post. One of the great things about being able to live wherever you want is you're able to live wherever you want. But good luck finding a place, you'll be stuck deciding for months.

    I finally settled on Brussels after deliberating for over a year (seriously). My personal criteria were this:

    • Large city, but not too crowded/packed.
    • Healthy air and lots of green.
    • Good internet
    • Colder weather; Snow in winter if possible
    • Excellent international access
    • Cost of life <$1000/m for 2 bedroom
    • No visa requirements (French passport) = in the EU

    In the end, something I also realized I needed the most was an anchor. I moved several times in the past, but there was always something attached to that (a friend, a girlfriend, a job) that would give me an actual reason to move. This was the first time I had nothing like that.

    So I settled on a city where I knew at least one person, and Brussels checked all the correct boxes. That was my approach, hopefully that helps you :)

    13 votes
  3. demifiend
    Link
    Have you considered looking for work in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Iceland?

    Have you considered looking for work in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Iceland?

    5 votes
  4. [6]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Remember, you'll get paid relative to the cost of living. I tried a bit at getting a job in Seattle (I love rain) but had much more success in the San Francisco area. My rent is more, in fact most...

    I have a degree in CS and computers are popular in big cities

    If any of you could recommend a relatively inexpensive city

    Remember, you'll get paid relative to the cost of living. I tried a bit at getting a job in Seattle (I love rain) but had much more success in the San Francisco area. My rent is more, in fact most things cost much more than I'm used to, but I also get paid way more than I would in Seattle (or Philly where I came from).

    3 votes
    1. [5]
      rkcr
      Link Parent
      Alternatively, if you want to overcharge your savings, my trick is to work remotely for a company in a higher cost of living city than where I'm currently residing.

      Alternatively, if you want to overcharge your savings, my trick is to work remotely for a company in a higher cost of living city than where I'm currently residing.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        umbrae
        Link Parent
        Many companies will pay relative to your locale, though, so you have to make sure you find the ones that pay based on HQ rates.

        Many companies will pay relative to your locale, though, so you have to make sure you find the ones that pay based on HQ rates.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          rkcr
          Link Parent
          While that's true, I have this sense that you still generally make out better than you would otherwise when working remote. The main reason I feel like that is because there are floors to how low...

          While that's true, I have this sense that you still generally make out better than you would otherwise when working remote. The main reason I feel like that is because there are floors to how low you can pay someone.

          For example, according to this calculator, if you're working an $90k tech job in Manhattan you should be paid $40k in Minneapolis. But you cannot pay someone that in Minneapolis, because that is way below the market rate for devs here.

          1 vote
          1. umbrae
            Link Parent
            I hear that. It definitely varies but long story short companies have lots of signals for how to pay people, especially if they are larger. Radford is one company that provides salary data to...

            I hear that. It definitely varies but long story short companies have lots of signals for how to pay people, especially if they are larger. Radford is one company that provides salary data to companies and can be adjusted based on industry, company size, percentile you want to hit in the market, etc. it’s often out of date especially in tech but models like that do exist so that simple COL isn’t the main calculation.

            (I’ve been a manager in tech for about a decade and have dealt with exactly this problem at 3 different companies varying from 20 people to 1000 people.)

            4 votes
      2. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        That'd be a pretty sweet deal if I could get my company to do it.

        That'd be a pretty sweet deal if I could get my company to do it.

  5. Sahasrahla
    Link
    How about Montreal? Plenty of rain and snow, not too far from other big cities in Canada/US, interesting culture, can get by in English or French, and (last I heard) more reasonable housing costs...

    How about Montreal? Plenty of rain and snow, not too far from other big cities in Canada/US, interesting culture, can get by in English or French, and (last I heard) more reasonable housing costs compared to other large Canadian cities.

    1 vote
  6. Bishop
    Link
    don't have much info to make any informed suggestions - so these are the places i would move if i had the opportunity! :) if i had like any option? Svalbard, Norway Berlin, Germany Munich, Germany...

    don't have much info to make any informed suggestions - so these are the places i would move if i had the opportunity! :)

    1. if i had like any option?

    Svalbard, Norway

    Berlin, Germany

    Munich, Germany

    Paris, France

    Barcelona, Spain

    Stockholm, Sweden

    Warsaw, Poland

    Budapest, Hungary

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Brussels, Belgium


    1. Have to stay in North America?

    Montreal, Canada

    Vancouver, Canada

    Chicago, IL

    LA, California


    1. Gotta stay somewhere reasonably cheap?

    Boston, Mass.

    Denver, CO.

    Portland, OR.

    Seattle, WA.


    1. Am I in love?

    St. Louis, MO

    1 vote
  7. MajorMajorMajorMajor
    Link
    Sadly (but unsurprisingly), the largest tech cities are all going to have relatively high costs of living compared to smaller cities with less booming industries. Of course with your career path,...

    Sadly (but unsurprisingly), the largest tech cities are all going to have relatively high costs of living compared to smaller cities with less booming industries. Of course with your career path, assuming you land at a decent company, you should be able to get paid a nice salary proportional to that cost. There are some exceptions, such as NYC and San Francisco, which are so ridiculously expensive that you have to resign to worse living amenities even though your salary will be significantly higher than other cities. It's a tradeoff - some people don't mind living in worse conditions if they get to live in a place like NYC or SF. It's all a matter of personal preference.

    I'd say that Seattle and Austin are potential good fits. Seattle is obviously a huge tech city, and the weather is close to what you desire. I can't speak much more about it other than that. I have lived in Austin all my life and am in the tech industry. It's an amazing city, but has a lot of growing pains, and is a superb place to be for this line of work. Obviously, however, it won't meet your weather preferences.

    I personally would suggest checking out Raleigh, North Carolina/the Research Triangle metropolitan area. There's a growing tech presence there, and I believe it gets the rain and snow you're looking for (though maybe not as much as places further north). North Carolina is a beautiful state. I don't know how high the cost of living is, but I would imagine you get a lot more bang for your buck there than you do in the more popular tech cities.

    1 vote
  8. balooga
    Link
    Estonia has a burgeoning tech economy and may strike the balance you're looking for between affordable and abundant in computer work. Tallinn looks like a pretty cool place that meets your...

    Estonia has a burgeoning tech economy and may strike the balance you're looking for between affordable and abundant in computer work. Tallinn looks like a pretty cool place that meets your criteria. I've never been there but it might be worth a look.

    1 vote
  9. Analogorithm
    Link
    Lol, come to detroit. It's certainly inexpensive. I would give a quick hunt on indeed or something, but i've seen plenty of jobs open at any given time. It certainly snows and rains here. Honestly...

    Lol, come to detroit. It's certainly inexpensive. I would give a quick hunt on indeed or something, but i've seen plenty of jobs open at any given time. It certainly snows and rains here.

    Honestly though, I would just keep your eyes open and your searches wide. Maybe the job hunt will make the decision for you. It seems like you aren't set on anything in particular, so go with the flow.

  10. Cosmos
    Link
    Pittsburgh. The old steel mills are all being replaced by tech jobs. They really did an amazing job making sure they didn't follow the rest of the rust across the midwest. It is incredibly...

    Pittsburgh. The old steel mills are all being replaced by tech jobs. They really did an amazing job making sure they didn't follow the rest of the rust across the midwest. It is incredibly affordable and the city life is very vibrant.