My wife and I are getting sick of the cold winters here(upper midwest), but I can never really think where to move to. Does anyone have any ideas where nice places to live in the US are? Here are some items that would be important:
1) We don't want to live in a big city, and preferably a place where we could get at least 1/2 acre lot. Not just constant miles after miles of development.
2) Need to be able to afford a house without too much of a mortgage. We currently have paid off about $200K of our house and owe about 50K.
3) Someplace it isn't uncomfortable for people left of center on the political spectrum.
4) Not uncomforable for nonreligious people.
5) Good public education.
6) Weather: Winters that aren't harsh. Can get cold but no more than 2 months of regular sub freezing temps. Want the majority of the year to have weather where it is nice to get outside and play tennis, bike, etc...
7) We like the mountains, but it isn't mandatory. Mild weather is more important.
8) Want to avoid any impending big problems like water shortage, lots of tornados, etc..
I realize that it may not be possible to satisfy everything, but does anyone have any ideas? I'm just spitballing here to maybe fuel some ideas.