To help me decide where to relocate to, I created a spreadsheet summarizing some of the vital statistics of various cities under consideration in the U.S. The spreadsheet is here, with cities arranged in order of decreasing preference:
All of these cities were visited in my Great American Road Trip of 2005.
10/1: Added Ashland & Medford. I have now visited every single city that was on my list, concluding the Great American Western Road Trip! A recap of the GAWRT will be coming soon. Right now I am revisiting Bend, which is still on top of the rankings! Also added property tax data for each locale. With the exception of Portland, property tax rates are low in the west (esp. CO and UT), and much higher in the eastern and southern U.S.
10/14: Final amendment: Note that the spreadsheet gives my subjective rankings regardless of cost of living, so it’s not just a simple matter for me to pick the top-ranked city as the place I will move to. And in truth, I would be happy to live in any of the top 7!
Some people have asked why I am moving from Fremont. Reasons primarily include cost of living and wanting to be closer to the mountains for rock climbing and skiing. Secondary issues include Bay Area traffic and lack of a sense of community. All that said, I am proud of the All-America City of Fremont and will be the first to say that it is a great place to live.