Best, Most Affordable, Gun-Friendly Places to Live?

This is a discussion on Best, Most Affordable, Gun-Friendly Places to Live? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; If I were looking at moving to any of these places seriously (which I just might be), what cities should I focus on? Priorities important ...

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Thread: Best, Most Affordable, Gun-Friendly Places to Live?

  1. #16
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    If I were looking at moving to any of these places seriously (which I just might be), what cities should I focus on?

    Priorities important to me:
    1. Low housing costs
    2. Low crime rates
    3. Beautiful scenery (I miss mountains. Florida is flat and boring)
    4. Some evidence of culture / education / things to do
    This resources is well worth the $$:

    Take the list from here, and stratify it with this data:

    David Savageau's Places Rated Home Page | Places Rated

    Work with facts, and stratified data in addition to opinions you get.
    And let us know the results. Be careful though, because the Places Rated Series pretend like everybody is rich (e.g. they don't rate cost of living high enough as a criteria).

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  3. #17
    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Tumbleweed, Fire Ants, and Flash Floods.... ahhhh, Texas!

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    There probably aren't many places that fit your description better than East Texas. Afterall, it is in Texas, you can't get better than that.
    I don't know anything about anything in Texas except for Dallas, which was quite pleasant except for being flat as all get out. Silly that my school (SMU) calls it's campus "The Hilltop". Just enough hill to cause flash floods every time it rained. I have to say, though, it taught me that Dodge makes a very durable vehicle. Remarkable that I could start the engine and drive it away when it was top-of-the-steering-wheel deep in water.

    I did spend a rather memorable weekend in Lubbock, Texas, and I'm convinced that there's exactly nothing between Dallas, Lubbock, and the western border that's of interest to me as a possible future home. I'm not partial to tumbleweeds or tar, I'm afraid. And I made the trip north straight-as-a-shot to Kansas City a handful of times, and was not much impressed with the Dallas-to-the-northern-border path, either. My trips to nearby Fort Worth convinced me that it's the poor, crime-filled sister to Dallas and of the 2 it's Dallas I'd choose.

    I did travel down to Austin for a memorable weekend or two, and liked it very much. The existence of Lake Travis in the vicinity and some hills and such made for a very attractive landscape. Also liked the city itself. Bit pricey, though, I'd imagine. Spent one overnight in Houston, once, and I will never forget the hot humid hell that it was and the countdown amongst my friends for just exactly what moment it would be appropriate for us to leave.

    What is in East Texas? I have driven through Texarcana more than a few times but never stopped for anything but gas, or noticed much of anything. What is the landscape like? What are the people like? Are there any notable towns/villages of character with perhaps nearby colleges or something cultural to recommend them?

    I'm mostly not considering Texas because of the heat, red ants, and unbearable flatness of being. If East Texas can eliminate one or more of those three, I'm game to add it to my list!
    People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
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  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapnketel View Post
    I relocated from Illinois (Chicago) to northern Kentucky last Feb, and while I miss many of the things about Chicago (I lived there since 1982) I have found my new home state to be a breath of fresh air. KY is a very gun friendly state, and I find the cost of living dramatically cheaper. Housing is half the cost and the taxes are way lower. For example, I still own a 1300 SF townhome in the western Chicago burbs-value is 175K, property taxes are 4000/yr. I live within 20 minutes of Cincinnati yet have a 2500 SF home on 2 acres on a lake values at 275K and taxes at 2500. Don't even get me started on a sales tax comparison...

    The pace of life is slower and took some time to adjust to, but from a quality of life perspective I am way ahead. The locals have been great and are very friendly. I do take some grief when I wear my Bears jersey or Cub hat, but good natured ribbing.
    N.Ky. is no more than an hour and a half from Lexington, louisville, or indy. The only problem with this area is Cincinnati. But it's no big deal, do what most Kentuckians do... don't go to cincy.

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    The more land you own the more control you have about what goes on around you.
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  6. #20
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    South Georgia is affordable and Gun friendly. My rural dirt road has new residents from Florida they came after the Hurricanes a few years back. and another family that retired from Jacksonville and moved to the country. Around here gun racks on the back windshield of your truck and riding four wheelers down public roads with guns on them are the norm. I passed a Deputy sheriff awhile back on a public dirt road, with two rifles on my 4wheeler and a pistol in between the handlebars. and she just waved me down and asked if i had seen a stray dog that might look rabid, no questions about my guns or four wheeler.
    You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
    You might not believe in God. That is your choice.
    However, if someone breaks into your home at 3AM the first two things you are going to do are:
    1) Call someone with a gun.
    2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man

  7. #21
    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    This resources is well worth the $$:

    Take the list from here, and stratify it with this data:

    David Savageau's Places Rated Home Page | Places Rated

    Work with facts, and stratified data in addition to opinions you get.
    And let us know the results. Be careful though, because the Places Rated Series pretend like everybody is rich (e.g. they don't rate cost of living high enough as a criteria).
    I did this yesterday and referred to the #2 result, Smith Mountain Lake, VA. Which has no apparent yearlong rentals to speak of. I will still dig.

    Of course, my browser crashed and relaunching it did not re-create my results, so I just took the survey again. Here's what I got this timef:

    This is the overall priority of alternatives with respect to the goal of your decision. Please review it to make sure it makes sense to you. If not, you may navigate back to review and edit your judgments.

    Name Participant results ▼ Graph Bar
    Charles Town-Shepherdstown, WV 100.00%
    Woodstock, VT 98.81%
    Whidbey Island, WA 98.32%
    Monadnock Region, NH 97.14%
    State College, PA 96.96%
    Smith Mountain Lake, VA 95.07%
    York Beaches, ME 94.70%
    Litchfield Hills, CT 93.76%
    Door Peninsula, WI 91.43%
    East End Long Island, NY 91.39%
    The very interesting thing, is that SML, VA is still in the list, only this time it's farther down. Also interesting, this time my results include states I did not include in the target area at the beginning of the survey. Also interesting, although clicked both times on the "relocate" button, all questions are geared towards someone who is planning retirement.

    Whidbey Island, WA happens to be quite lovely. I have been there a few times (once upon a time lived and worked in Seattle-Redmond area). It had already quadrupled its real estate prices from the time my parents wanted to retire there to the decade later when I moved nearby, and was then out of all of our price ranges. I do not imagine for even a heartbeat that I could afford anything there. Like, anything. Ever.

    Woodstock is also lovely. Also waaaaaay to "quaint", "picturesque", and "touristy" to be a place I could really afford to live. Not to mention being in ugh gun not-friendly NY.

    State College, PA. I've been there for a weekend. Interesting and quaint little place. Seemed a bit pricey and touristy for a college town, to me, then. But that's based on basically a single afternoon's outing and probably isn't a very fair assessment.

    Monadnock Region, NH came up in both lists. Searching various real estate websites and mapping tools to get an actual town name for that purpose, seems like there's not much going on in rental properties there. Perhaps also not much going on elsewise, as well. Anyone know anything? I would live with the snow to have the benefit of living in such a truly, truly lovely place as New Hampshire. I have many fond memories of summers off the coast of Portsmouth and staying with friends in Concord way back when. It's (Portsmouth, anyway) also close enough to Boston to be within driving distance of a lifelong friend and her young family.

    West Virginia tops the list. I have only the experience of eating very yummy food at roadside restaurants that were memorable in being both truckstops and actual, real restaurants. Like, log cabins with rustic atmosphere and hearty food. Friendly waitresses. Not icky ugly chain-junk architecture kinda places like all the rest of the stops between NJ and Knoxville, TN were. The other thing I remember (IIRC) was that it was weird to me that folks on the WV side of the border had a different time zone and radically different accent than the folks on the VA side of the border - folks just one gassing-up distance away (or in those days, one small-bladder rest stop for Dad, hardly ever the entire distance of a gas tank).

    Been to Maine once and fell in love. Don't think its gun friendly. My impression was also that it's hardly inexpensive, just about anywhere. If I had scads of money and could afford bodyguards, I'd live there in a heartbeat. Can't beat the lobster bisque!

    Litchfield Hills, CT, besides not being gun friendly is also a place generally stereotyped among the NY set (when I was one of those in Manhattan) as being where all the CEOs go to live, taking mostly car service to and from work. Not sure if that stereotype rings true, but being Connecticut and not friendly to my Glock, it's not going to get researched anyway.

    Long Island, out. East End Long Island, uh... isn't that basically The Hamptons? No, I cannot afford to live in the Hamptons. Unless that means the very southern tip/base of LI? I lived in West End Long Island for a time (Queens). Also not in my price range for the most part. Plus, not gun friendly.

    I don't know Jack about Wisconsin, except they make delicious cheese.

    Gonna go back and do the test again, AGAIN selecting (this time I hope it will take) the gun-friendly states. Except Oregon. Not looking to live anywhere within spitting distance of Medford, not by a long shot!
    People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
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  8. #22
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    re: Farronwolf, Nacogdoches

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    There probably aren't many places that fit your description better than East Texas. Afterall, it is in Texas, you can't get better than that.
    Nacogdoches!!!

    East Texas. Piny woods. Moderate size university. Smaller city.
    Not that bad a haul to Dallas or Houston if a big deal medical issue crops up or serious shopping is necessary. Also not that big a haul to either Baton Rouge or New Orleans. Not too bad a haul to Texarkansas.

    I think it is the site of the first major defeat of the Mexican army by the Anglo settlers. A fellow named Stern got hold of a cannon and turned it on them. Great story, almost as good as Jackson and New Orleans. Someone should write a song.

    At one time (maybe still) there was a plaque / statue honoring him near the center of town.

  9. #23
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    I did this yesterday and referred to the #2 result, Smith Mountain Lake, VA. Which has no apparent yearlong rentals to speak of. I will still dig.

    Of course, my browser crashed and relaunching it did not re-create my results, so I just took the survey again. Here's what I got this timef:
    I've never used it online, so I don't really know how that works. Good luck though, and have fun too!

  10. #24
    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Ok, third time's a charm?

    Name Participant results ▼ Graph Bar
    Monadnock Region, NH 100.00%
    Smith Mountain Lake, VA 97.48%
    Loudoun County, VA 90.92%
    Hanover, NH 90.18%
    Northern Neck, VA 87.95%
    Hendersonville-East Flat Rock, NC 86.88%
    Scottsdale, AZ 82.32%
    Charlottesville, VA 81.86%
    Wickenburg, AZ 81.56%
    Nelson County, VA 80.90%

    Basically this list took the gun-friendly states and then the ranking I basically chose cost of living as highest priority, setting safety as second highest, education as third highest, and healthcare, when asked, as having some priority but never rated as highest priority. "getting around" also got some weight added but not a whole heck of a lot.

    at least, if it asked for an actual order of priorities, that's what it would have been. instead, the questionnaire pits prioties against eachother. (never saw a safety vs. cost of living juxtaposition, but healthcare vs. education yes, jobs vs. education, yes. etc.)
    This is the list that resulted.
    People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
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  11. #25
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    Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Alaska and Missouri.

  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post
    I don't know Jack about Wisconsin, except they make delicious cheese.
    CC is completely illegal in WI.

    Oh, and it did say Woostock, Vermont not Woodstock, New York. Much nicer place
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

  13. #27
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    I live in Virginia now, and I can tell you that Northern Virginia is not exactly "gun friendly". Yes it's an open carry state, and getting a ccw isn't difficult at all. However finding a friendly shop is difficult at best, finding one with acceptable prices is worse. I'm in the process of getting my FFL right now, simply so I can avoid going into the stores up here. The further south you get, the more gun friendly it is, but the less desirable it is to live (no offense to anyone, just my opinion).

    I was born in Vermont however, lived there up until almost two years ago. It's a great state to live in if you're used to winter. They aren't overly extreme, but it's not unusual to get an easy 12 inches overnight. Chittenden county is one of the more "desirable" places to live in the state. Mainly because you're close to cities that aren't Rutland (again no offense, kinda a lousy place). Vermont manages to somehow mix the conservative and liberal perfectly. You'll find plenty of good old boys, who are more than happy to take up an entire afternoon telling you about the buck they got back in '58. Head into Burlington and you'll find some nice restaurants and micro brews (state really has the best beer in the country, and I do mean offense to those that disagree....Switchback reigns supreme). However you will also find that it's a college town to some extent, so people that enjoy marijuana are....well everywhere, in the whole state. It's a fairly lax MJ state, which can either work for you or against you depending on your mindset. I do get upset when people classify the entire state as filled with hippies though, as hippies are a relative rarity. There's great hunting to be had, beautiful forests and mountains to hike, the winter offers numerous excellent choices to ski (Smuggs, Jay Peak, Stowe, etc.). You don't need a license to carry concealed, or open. Every gun shop I've been to has been incredibly friendly, though it does seem to be a prerequisite for store owners to have long wiry bears. It truly is a great state, and I hope to move back at some point. The main draw back is the job market. Population wise it's small (smallest in the union last I checked) about 800,000 people, at one point we had more cows than people. So finding a job can be difficult, some of the larger employers are IBM and General Dynamics, both of which have been laying off workers at a steady pace the last 20 years. Also the heating utilities can get to be a bit expensive in the winter depending on what part of the state. Though from my experience every house seems to have function fireplaces, there's nothing like waking up to a warm house heated by wood, so comfortable.


    Take my opinion with a grain of salt. I'm clearly prejudiced from growing up there, and damn proud of it.

  14. #28
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    Vermont is great, but I fear it will be anti even sooner than VA. Or, maybe not. My main experience with VT is the Burlington area...I lived up there for a short while...and everytime I go back I am surprised at how much more things have been built up.

    On the other hand, I feel the same way just walking 4 blocks here in Arlington.

    One thing I was curious about: are there any ranges near Burlington? I looked into it a little awhile back and came up empty. The impression I got was that everyone in the country just shoots in their backyard, and nobody in town shoots period. That and IIRC all of Chittenden county is under a discharge ordinance? Where do people who live in the area shoot?
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

  15. #29
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    Once upon a time more than a decade ago I went skiing up in Killington, Vermont with some Manhattanite friends of mine... one of us had taken a few months off work to find herself, and found herself in a cute little one bedroom cottage in Killington for $400 a month, cuddling her cat at night and skiing by day. Dunno if rents are the same now, or if that was a freak short-term rental thing she found, but Killington was lovely.

    All my time was spent up at Killington, and of course my impressions are more likely related to the ski tourism trade than really a reflection on Vermonters. Definitely seemed, at the time, like your MJ comments were on the money. However MJ friendly the state is, I'd prefer to stay away from that scene.

    These days, post major leg surgery, skiing is not likely what I would be doing with my free time in Vermont. Not sure quite what I'd do with my time, actually. I am new to guns and am very pro self-defense, but I don't know whether I could make the jump to hunting. Reading, writing, yutzing around on my computer, going out for coffee with locals, hopefully adopting at least one very large dog and walking with him/her all over God's creation. I'm guessing that the regular daily ocean swim thing most of the year will be out once I leave Florida. I can handle that. A job will be in order, but I'm caring mostly right now about building a lifestyle based on very very little money since jobs are so hard to come by everywhere anyway.

    Since my education and career have not once helped me out jobwise in Florida (languages, literatures, anthropology; database marketing) I'm figuring wherever I go and the economy right now, chances are I'll be working in a bookstore. I can do that anywhere.... assuming I can get the job. But, remote and rural places like Bisbee, AZ are no less likely a place to get a bookstore job than NYC, so I'm not really thinking "job" in my relocation decision right now.
    People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
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  16. #30
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post
    I'm guessing that the regular daily ocean swim thing most of the year will be out once I leave Florida.
    Funny, that sounds like a dream to me. Why leave FL? Is it too expensive?
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

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