Move to small town???
So I am considering a move to a relatively small town. Currently I live in Salt Lake City. Having lived in other warm climates before (Phoenix and San Diego) I long for year-round warm weather. Also, the air quality in SLC is getting exponentially worse every year and unless they can move mountains (literally) it's only going to get worse. So I am considering moving to St. George, so that my wife can be near her grandmother for support.
-Real estate is ridiculous. We can easily afford a very nice/large house with a pool there.
-Close to friends/family in Salt Lake and support for grandmother in St George.
-Close to Vegas for entertainment and friends
-Closer to San Diego (maybe a stepping stone back to my favorite city)
-Weather (it can get really hot there, but it bothers me much less than the cold)
-Mormons- I'm not discriminatory, but I've heard that they may be in St. George and the local govt. is pretty well representative of the aging Mormon population without much room to budge toward any other perspective.
-Nightlife... extreme lack of quality bars. I can dive it up for a bit but the novelty wears off quick and I don't drink Bud Light.
Music: I'm not sure what to expect. I know the scene is likely small, but that also may offer opportunity to pick from the top shelf (assuming there is some) of projects if I can get out and meet some people.
It's kind of a strange fantasy wondering about the lifestyle and maybe less distractions. I never really thought I would be seriously considering it but ...
Anybody make a move to a smaller town and have any advice or experience to share?
I moved to a very small town, about half the size of St. George. I came from a city about the size of St. George. Have you been to St. George before? How well do you know the area?
The biggest shocker for me was the lack of resources and amenities around us. I don't see any mention of that on your list, apart from nightlife. Have you counted the cost in regards to access to things like Costco, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, city services, hospitals, dentists, eye doctors, family doctors, shopping, etc? What about the conditions of the infrastructure? Can you get the TV stations you want and internet speeds you want? How is cell service for your provider in that area?
St. George gets a big thumbs up for its proximity to Zion Canyon but I'm not sure about the nightlife. Maybe casino gigs across the border in Mesquite?
Oh, and by the way. St. George is not a small town. It has a Walmart AND a Home Depot, the hallmarks of civilization! :p
While you say that you can afford that kind of house, make sure that you can still make the money that you need to afford the house.
I live in a small town, but I can be to practically anything I need in about 35 minutes of driving; so, not bad.
I guess it's not as small as some towns, but it's smaller than I ever thought I'd go... The infrastructure is fine for the most part, I've heard that it is growing pretty rapidly and that traffic could be an upcoming issue but no more so than dealing with weather torn/constant construction roads of SLC. I'm not crazy active in the nightlife scene (getting married and finishing my degree have slowed me down a bit), so it is a bit less of a detractor.
One of my main unknowns is with the music scene in small places... Anyone find it more or less difficult to get plugged in?
St. George has been repeatedly voted as one of the best places to retire.
IE: Old people, so not much of a music scene.
I would look a bit further down the road at Mesquite Nevada.
There is a bit more going on at night, it's cheaper, and St. George isn't very far away.
(that's just me though)
Time to pull out the ruffled tux for some worn-out casino fun... ha ha... "I wrote this song on the back of a dixie cup, this one goes out to all the women with the sky blue hair and the men workin' hard to keep the slot machines spinnin'!" oh, boy...
I grew up in the quintessential small town in Southern Arizona. Then I lived in major cities... Hamburg, London, NYC... before moving back to a small town. There are definitely things I miss about the City: Cinemas that are showing more than four features, bookstores I can walk into (that aren't mostly selling bibles and "spiritual" books), radio stations that play more than one genre of music.
But you know, I like having a house that isn't sitting on land that's going to disappear if the sea rises, and I like feeling like I actually know who my patients are, and I like that FedEx will bring me books and other things from the "real world."
So I say, if you've got a job there, and you're reasonably happy with the kind of house you can afford on the salary, go on and try it. Worst case scenario, you discover it's not for you, and you move to a bigger city after a while.
I've lived in a small town most of my life, as well as a city and a suburb part of a larger town at other times. All things equal, I prefer the open space, freedom, safety, and laidback lifestyle of a small town.
However, economic reality and small towns don't always align. If you don't already have a job lined up, making the move to a smaller town may be easier if you have a more "portable" career, such as health care, construction, sales, etc. It may be more difficult if you have a more niche career profile, such as being a chemical engineer, journalist, or operations manager.
As far as a music scene goes, all areas are different. But in my experience, quality bands usually can find gigs much easier in less urban areas. You're essentially a big fish in a small pond. However, the flip side of that coin is that the supply of good players with their heads on straight is smaller.
I moved to a small town a few years ago because of my girlfriend's career opportunity and I like it, but I'd be sure to make sure you have a surefire plan regarding your future job. I practice law and it was tough getting someone to hire me since (strangely) there's a stiff competition and not everyone is willing to do business with a "stranger". I don't know how big St-George is, but if the community is tight-knit, it can make for a harder time readjusting.
You also have the usual stuff: no malls, limited restaurant/grocery choices, limited entertainment, but I am more than willing to trade for all of this since I'm very near a lot of opportunities for solid fishing, hunting and skiing.
I spent most of my life living in a smallish town (~8,000 population), certainly not something I'd do again.
I born and raised in a big city ( 4 million people) , then I moved to Grand Rapids MI (200,000) ..Did not like it at all, not a city no a town, then I moved to Holland MI (33,000) and love it :).
We have one thing of everything we need for living: One walmart, one cinema, one music store, one micro brewery, etc.
Life is peaceful, beach is only 10 minutes from home, no traffic, very low crime index. Perfect for me, my wife and four kids.
And Chicago is two hours away, just perfect for those days when I need some action.
I have considered the same thing. Especially the older I get. I don't want to be elderly and have to deal with "city" crap...like traffic and trying to drive or just trying to get around in a very unfriendly "road" environment.
There are disadvantages as well (many times good medical care is miles away), and other resources are less available. But a slower lifestyle in many ways is very appealing to me.
Latch onto a lady torch singer, a drummer that knows his brushes, a guitarist with an archtop, a fake book, copy of 'chord chemistry' and start booking low key jazz dates. You'll be home makin' whoopee by 10 with no ear ring in the morning :-)
This can also work with 'grass if you have an upright and depending on the instrumentation available. Learn to sing harmony the 3rd and 7th ...
I live in a fairly small but touristy area about an hour from portland, or. I would go back to the city in a heartbeat... If someone were holding a gun to my head.
I'm calling it a sort of speculator move. St. George has a population of 75K+ so it has a fair share of amenities... it's just not a metro area.
I'm guessing that more people will be moving down there due to the bad air in SLC. Hopefully, that means, job market growth and housing price increases in the next few years. We are trying to beat the curve to move at the optimum time. Buy low/sell high... move to San Diego is my plan.
75k?!!! That's no small town.
I'm in a town of 7k 10 minutes outside Madison (240k). I really like the small town and I'm close enough to Madison.
If you love a big city, night life, foods, bars all the fun stuff than a small town is not the place. If you love it quiet ,peaceful, folky, and love the outdoors for hunting and fishing etc..it is.
Small towns can be great, if you know what you are in for. As others have said, the trade offs are generally food, culture, activities and the critical mass of population.
I grew up on a farm, in an isolated area, and moved to a small city of about 200,000 for university. Since then, I have lived all over the world, in enormous cities. I currently live in a northerly small town, and there are lots of things I like about it (terrain, work opportunities, friendly) and just as many things I don't like (food desert, small-minded, anorectic arts scene).
It's all about making compromises, so choose ones you can live with.
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