Best States to Relocate to & Raise My Family???

Updated on January 10, 2011
L.R. asks from Philadelphia, PA
11 answers

My husband and I are thinking about relocating in July 2012. We're looking for a good place to raise our two children, good school systems, safe neighborhoods w/ friendly neighbors, and we want warm weather majority of the year :-)))) Thank you in advance for your advice.

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answers from Norfolk on

i agree with Utah! Lots of mormons, but they dont tend to be as pushy about their religion as mormons elsewhere. I have a lot of family out there and went to college in Provo. I wish i could convince my hubby to move there, everything is geared towards families and the people are super nice

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answers from Los Angeles on

It's a long way from Philly, but Irvine, CA has everything you are looking for. Excellent schools, tons of nice parks, walking/biking trails, and always ranked as one of the safest cities in the country. Oh, and it is southern CA so the weather is great. Plus, you are very close to Disneyland and only an hour from LA and San Diego. Easy access to the beach and to snow mountains.

Housing isn't cheap and backyards aren't too big, but it really is a great place to raise a family. I grew up here, moved to LA for 14 years, and then moved back to Irvine when I had kids.

As you consider different cities, visit to get info on the areas you're considering, There is a citymommy site for about 45 different areas across the country. Irvine can be found at

Good luck!

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answers from Anchorage on

I was about to tell you how wonderful it is here in Alaska, but the weather thing knocks us out :)

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answers from Houston on

I love my small town TX. Everything is cheap, jobs in SE Texas have not suffered, and it is beautiful. I am used to the humidity, some may not like it. I'm far enough away from the big city to not have too many neighbors, but close enough to some big things and lots of culture. (I'm talking an hour drive or less and the traffic is nothing.) We paid $25k for our five acres about 8 years ago, and we are getting ready to build our 2,500 square foot dream home for about $125k, everything custom. Families all know each other and look out for each other in small town, TX, and I love that so much about living here. I believe in many polls, TX is repeatedly named as one of the friendliest states! Oh, and football is big here, LOVE that! I've lived here my whole life, (different cities all within 2 hours of each other), and would never consider living anywhere else. We own our own businesses now, but before that finding a job was never a problem, and I love that the houses here are roomier than I see on these shows where the buyers are paying an arm and a leg for nothing!
I will also add we are looking at buying at about 300 acres for a little over $400k.
Just want to add- in my 32 years I've never had softball size hail here? I can count on two fingers the times I remember hail the size of dimes. Also- we are far enough away from the coast to not have to worry about hurricanes.
My brother lives in a small town outside of Austin. It is beautiful, family friendly, and soooo pretty. Just thought of that as being another area to check out. We live in small town SE Texas. It is about a 3.5 hour drive to visit them outside of Austin.

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answers from Provo on

Provo Utah.
It's been one of the best family cities lists several times. It's a medium size city. Hour away from Salt Lake. There are of course Mormons here, but there are a lot of other religions here, despite what people say. I love going to the Krishna Temple for the Color Fest every March. Sooo much fun!
I actually like Orem better. It's the city right next to Provo. The police dept is better, crime rate is the same or better than Orem. Lots of clean parks. VERY family friendly city (so is Provo), great universities (Utah Valley U is a great school that has a lot of top 10 programs)
Or there are a lot of good cities in the Salt Lake Valley. They all do have higher crime rates than Utah Valley, but they are bigger cities. We do have an Ikea! Salt Lake is a great arts community. Art is everywhere. It's also family friendly and has great parks.
If you want any other info, you can just message me.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I would tend to stay away from big cities and SUPER small (one traffic light) cities. Anywhere you go you need to keep your eyes peeled because there are always pedos and freaks wanting to hurt people. I agree about Utah, a lot of mormons here but it seems like there's less crime. I naturally don't trust people so I watch out anyways (I'm from a big city and paranoid lol) but I live in st george and I'm glad I can go to the gas station without a big chance of being mugged or my daughter getting hurt. My brother goes to school in provo UVU and you can't smoke or drink on campus (in dorms etc) or they kick you out. Seems like cops are more prone to act on things. Provo snows in the winter, st george rarely does... I'd say arizona but there is growing violence there (I lived there for 2 years) and I'd be scared to live in Cali with kids from staying there a couple years ago. Good for you for wanting to get out of crime areas though :) If you move to colorado just keep an eye out for pedos and SOME polygamists... some of them pounce on younger kids (my friends ex was a polygamist) and my friends currently lives in colorado.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I am partial to Pittsburgh, PA :)
We came in #7 for the Forbes list of 10 Best Cities to Raise a Family!

Are you looking to make a big move or do you want to stay in the same part of the country...? How old are your children?
I used to live in Florida (right outside Orlando in an area called Winter Springs) and I will say, that was one of my favorite places to live. The weather is great most of the year (minus hurricane season, lol). There is a lot of things to do and because of the weather being nice most of the year, you get a greater opportunity to do stuff. Not to mention.. Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World, etc... :D
Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

We have been considering relocating as least I have!! :) Hubby is a creature of habit!!

Much depends upon what you and/or your husband do for a living. What standard you are used to living now and what you expect. We currently live in Reston, VA - just outside of DC - I love my neighborhood and home. We have a 3sqft, 5bd/3FB 2 car attached garage home...we purchased for 176K now we could probably sell for $550K

We've considered Colorado Springs, CO - although the winters may make it hard on you but the summers are great. The housing market there has not suffered at all and for me to get the same home I have now will cost me more than here.

We've also considered Acworth, GA - I can get a BIGGER HOME on a huge lot for less than $300K...RIGHT NOW - that doesn't mean the market won't change in the future.

I (PERSONALLY) would avoid California like the plague. I'm from there my parents and friends still live there and my parents can't sell their home for what they owe on it. So they are stuck. I have friends in LA and Orange County - while they don't plan on moving anytime soon - they too would be hard pressed to sell and get what they owe on it if they had to sell right now.

Florida is nice - I've never personally been there but my cousin lives in Jacksonville and she LOVES it!! She's originally from Montana. The housing market is depressed there as well - at least it was a few months ago.

Basically, you need to consider if your or your husband's line of work is in the area you want to move to, find out what they are willing to pay there in salary and benefits - those things can make the determining factor for your move.

My husband's job wants us to move to Huntsville, AL - thanks but no thanks. I could get a HUGE home, tennis court, pool and land there for pennies on the dollar. However, my husband would take a cut in pay for the difference in cost of living in AL vs VA. Sorry. I won't do that.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

We know 3 families who moved here in the last year because of the same reasons. I am partial to Pittsburgh as well as another poster. My son and I stay busy every day if we want, compared to other mom friends that we know living in VA, NC, GA, FL, AR, IL. Also, for a lot less. Folks can't believe at how much we do year round. I've lived in other states for 18years and never found what we have here. Cost of living is reasonable, been #1 city to live more than once, have more zip codes as best cities to raise family in the country's top 100, top city for entrepreneural, top city for medical. is a great resource on Pittsburgh and its suburbs. They've also highlighted several families that have moved here after doing years of research on where to live.

There are some sites out there, where you can plug in your wish list, and prioritize them - resulting in recommendations for you. I would try some of those as well. Good luck!!!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I've heard great things about the Raleigh-Durham area of NC from people I know who relocated their families there for work - so long as you don't need to be too near the coast. I'm not leaving the ocean, so a Jersey girl I will stay, for now, and while my town has really good schools, I wouldn't recommend anyone moving here due to cost of living, taxes, etc..

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