I grew up in Houston, that had a great economy and cheap college education but horrible transportation problems after I graduated from college. My parents were spending 2 hours a day commuting 7 miles. There are also hurricanes. My supervisor at Aerospace lost all the carpet appliances & drywall in his house twice in 5 years due to hurricane floods. He was spending $1200 a month in water district fees. I was offered a 50% raise to transfer to Huntington Beach CA (LA) but viewed LA as a disaster in 1977 even though the big earthquake hasn't happened yet. That salary wouldn't have paid for an efficiency apartment.
I moved a place that has plenty of cheap city water, no transportation problems, earthquake hazards limited to forcel 5, floods limited to 1937 but they built a floodwall along the Ohio afterwards. There are no hurricanes but tornadoes of force 2 every 10 years and force 4 every 30. I have a concrete basement to hide in case of tornado. It is too wet for forest fires, rains 220 days a year. There are city sewers city water & natural gas. I live 3 blocks from a grocery and bank, 8 blocks from a dollar store, a mile from a hospital & doctor's offices, 3 blocks from a bus stop. I've been able to park my car and stop driving. My real estate taxes are 2 1/2% SSI payment a year and income tax is 3.5% excluding SSI. I paid 2.5 years salary for my house, which I bought in a market crash after a nearby nuclear plant closed in mid construction. I paid it off by 1989. Wiring roof & plumbing were renewed before purchase in 1982, insulation was blown in the walls, & owens corning composite roofing lasts 30 years. The one thing I regret, I bought a wood house and mice & raccoons cannot be excluded. They chew their way right through the walls. When I kept a cat the mouse problem was solved but I'm too old for that now. They tell me Great Pyrenese dogs are great on raccoons but I hate barking & I could expire before one of those too.
The neighborhood does include 3 races & illegal immigrants, but they are all employed and working hard. Some car boom noise evenings, but I have a 300 watt stereo & plaster walls. There is a factory across one street; I find the constant whirr from the air compressor soothing. Malemute dogs barking at UPS planes at midnight was a problem for 8 years but that neighbor moved away. I'm 50' from the nearest neighbor's wall and can play my piano or stereo at 3 AM without complaints. There is no bossy neighborhood association and I can exchange engines or transmissions, paint roof or remodel, without complaint.