The search for the perfect fit
The research and travel done by Tony and Mary Cocciolo shows the impact people, places and government can have on a couple looking for a home.
Here is what they thought about some of the other cities and states they studied (some of which are shown above on map):
Laughlin, Henderson, Pahrump and Las Vegas in Nevada: Too hot at 123 degrees and too close to Death Valley, with no trees or shade, just cactus. “They have a lot of senior citizens and no state tax but nothing to do there. They just go to the casinos and drink. I went over for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and a little lady in a skirt offered me a drink,” Tony said.
Flagstaff, Ariz.: Too much snow, perhaps 6 or 7 feet in the winter, plus water issues.
Tucson, Ariz.; Lake Havasu City; Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.: No changing seasons.
Green Valley, Ariz.: The average age is 78.
Fort Smith, Ark.: While they were eating in that high-growth area, a waiter came up and said, “Nobody gives a darn about anybody else around here.”
North Carolina: He spent too much time at Fort Bragg while in service in the 1960s and recalls saying then that he never wanted to live in the South because of racism.
Birmingham-Hoover-Pelham area: The 13 percent to 14 percent growth concerned Tony, because a city can grow too much too quickly, he said.
Scottsboro: He read the forums on al.com and wasn’t impressed with local government problems and spending.
Huntsville: Photos of tornado damage scared her.
Florence and the Shoals, as well as Pulaski and Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and Corinth, Miss.: Too far from a major airport.
Hartselle: No wine served there.
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