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VictoryHill
Army Fan
Kenner, LA
Member since Nov 2013
1062 posts

Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
Hi all,

Reaching out to gauge the feel of living in or near these 2 towns as we are ~9 months away from very likely accepting a medical residency at one of them.

I've read some blogs, watched some YouTube videos, and done research into the areas as far as housing markets and whatnot, but wanted to see if any of you would extend the courtesy of providing your experienced input, if applicable.

I am leaning towards Tuscaloosa due to its relative closeness (~4 hours) to our families in Louisiana, as well as the big college town feel we've always talked about wanting. Housing looks good. Of course, I assume the further you get from campus the worse the areas are.

Waco is nice too, and there are opportunities in Texas for sure. But the ~8 hour drive is a little much.

Any suburbs or other areas around these 2 towns that we should know about and look into?

Any valid input will be much appreciated.


Arksulli
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville
Member since Aug 2014
21511 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
In all honesty I would lean towards Tuscaloosa.

It seems like a doable drive now but if a concern is proximity to family I can attest to you that that 4 hours away is vastly better than 8 hours away, especially as you grow older. 4 hours is doable. 8 hours turns into a major trip once you get some miles on you.

I have friends who lived in Waco, they all thought it sort of sucked. Tuscaloosa, while not an upper tier SEC college town (sorry guys), is still a pretty decent place to live.

If you have a vastly better job set up in Waco I'd go there. Otherwise I'd lean towards Tuscaloosa. Waco is within driving distance of the beach for a vacation. Tuscaloosa is within driving distance of the beach and the mountains (Okay hills).

Plus if you want a true college town experience than Tuscaloosa is much higher on the list.


VictoryHill
Army Fan
Kenner, LA
Member since Nov 2013
1062 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
Thank you for the reply!

I'm thinking the same regarding the drive time. On a 3 or 4-day weekend, we'd make the drive home no sweat if all we had to do was 4 hours. 8 hours on the other hand is like a full day's work and I already know I'd be less inclined to drive that.

This is all hypothetical of course, because this is pre-interview with these residencies and even pre-interview invite. But from what we do know, her scores, interview ability, and overall packet will make her extremely competitive.

As far as jobs, I'm not worried about me finding something to do - I can work from anywhere. But the residencies she's applying to are actually pretty similar.

I'm really digging the homes for sale in our range around the Tuscaloosa area as well as the electricity of that campus, college-town feel.


Draconian Sanctions
LSU Fan
Markey's bar
Member since Oct 2008
77556 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
Tuscaloosa is a fun college town but that's it

Waco is a hole in the ground but closeish to two big cities

touch call tbh


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53
Bama Bird
Alabama Fan
Pittsburgh, PA
Member since Mar 2013
13844 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
If it means anything, I would move back to Tuscaloosa tomorrow and it's probably the only place I've lived I would say that about.

quote:

Of course, I assume the further you get from campus the worse the areas are.


Depends on what you mean by "worse". The 'bad' parts of Tuscaloosa (nothing compared to Birmingham even in the worst parts) are west of I-359, but some rougher parts in Alberta/Holt. Almost everything north of the river is fine. I can draw out a map if you want. If you're talking about restaurants/things to do/etc., it's all pretty close- no more than 15 minute drive to anything in the area

Students are everywhere but they don't really overwhelm the city outside of the "Strip" (University Ave, just west of BDS).


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awestruck
Auburn Fan
Member since Jan 2015
8583 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
What are your extracurricular activities?


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10
Arksulli
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville
Member since Aug 2014
21511 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
quote:

I'm really digging the homes for sale in our range around the Tuscaloosa area


That can be a major factor. I've looked at houses in the Tuscaloosa area and they are quite affordable for what you are getting. I'm not sure how Waco is but there is some very good value in the state of Alabama for homes... well it can get a bit expensive on the Gulf Shore but that is true for anywhere on the ocean.

Best of luck to you and your wife!


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blueridgeTiger
Auburn Fan
Granbury, TX
Member since Jun 2004
15842 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
I lived in Tuscaloosa for five years and really enjoyed my time there (except for all the Bama fans around). Great area, and highly recommend it.

Waco - my son attended Baylor for four years. I was not too impressed with the city.


TopFlightSecurity
UTEP Fan
Watertown, NY
Member since Dec 2018
1318 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
I spent a lot of time in Waco. It's nothing special and has high property taxes.

Hour and a half or so to DFW or Austin for stuff to do but traffic is horrible going to either. Some good local restaurants and Hill Country isn't too far if you like camping and such.


Tiger in the Sticks
LSU Fan
Comeaux
Member since Jan 2007
822 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
I think the drive from Louisiana to Tuscaloosa is way less stressful than to Waco. T-Town has easier access to the mountains, although I’m guessing you won’t have much free time.


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10
uaslick
Alabama Fan
Tuscaloosa
Member since May 2011
249 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
I live 13 miles NE from my work that is just west of downtown Tuscaloosa. Takes 20 minutes and includes driving through the northern edge of campus along the river. If you decide on Tuscaloosa, look in zip code 35406. Includes areas near lake Tuscaloosa. Most areas near campus are rental houses for students. The nicer areas are near the lake and across the river north of town.


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20
AustinAggie
Texas A&M Fan
Behind Enemy Lines
Member since Jul 2021
1466 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
I’ve never been to Tuscaloosa but Waco sucks man


PoppaD
LSU Fan
Texas
Member since Feb 2008
3527 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
quote:

Waco is nice too, and there are opportunities in Texas for sure. But the ~8 hour drive is a little much.


I live north of Austin and go to Waco all the time as part of my territory. I work with the medical community in Waco and know several of the Doctors.

Waco is a very sleepy small town feel with a major interstate going thru it. It is very Republican (good thing in my opinion) and has no crime issues. Parts of the town are rundown but the nice parts are very affordable compared to DFW or Austin.

Keep in mind Baylor is a big Baptist University and the town follows that theme. Its great for raising a family or buying acerage out in the country, or if your big into deer hunting, but it may not be a great fit for a young person in residency. It might be to much of a country feel. You are definitely correct that Texas has huge opportunities for Doctors.

One thing Waco does have going for it is it almost right between DFW and Austin. I dont think thats enough reason to choose it because you will be so busy in residency.

Considering how much closer your family is I would think Tuscaloosa would be better.
This post was edited on 8/5 at 10:45 pm


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macjonesgoat
Alabama Fan
Member since Feb 2021
898 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
Tuscaloosa easily. It is 45 minutes from Birmingham, which offers enough of a city feel. I've lived in Birmingham, Eugene, Tuscaloosa, Portland, Atl, and soon NYC. I still miss Tuscaloosa, but the economic prospects are too small to make it my permanent home unless I become a professor.


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41
Trumansfangs
Missouri Fan
Town & Country
Member since Sep 2018
3392 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
I've never been to Waco and I'm sure its a great place, but for some reason the stigma of that Branch Davidian massacre there pops into my mind when I hear Waco. Wow 28 years ago ?


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20
RockyMtnTigerWDE
Auburn Fan
Co-Captain PosiBarners
Member since Oct 2010
90074 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
WACO all day long. Love it there. May be where we end up when I retire.


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alphaandomega
Alabama Fan
Tuscaloosa
Member since Aug 2012
8906 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
I have lived in Tuscaloosa all my life. I rarely go across the bridge. The houses on this side of town are a little more expensive but there is virtually no crime.

I wouldnt live south of town (past skyland blvd) if you doubled my salary. The traffic and riff raff around there would be unbearable.

If you move here look in 35406 (city of Tuscaloosa north of the river) or Northport. Good schools so resale of your house will be better.


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30
starkvingrad
Mississippi St. Fan
Florida
Member since Apr 2021
4222 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
Can you elaborate upon what you like in a place?

Climate preferences? (Though they won't be too different; both are warm almost year-round with mild winters.)

What are your hobbies? For example, are you an outdoors person?

Would you like access to large cities nearby?



If you would like my opinion, I would prefer to live in Tuscaloosa over Waco. It's prettier, and you're not far at all from Birmingham, which is a nice city contrary to what people like to say about it. You're 3 hours from both Nashville and Atlanta, and you have access to nice beaches on the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast. The beaches in Texas are ok, but they aren't as nice or pretty as those east of the MS River.

And to be frank, Waco isn't very nice. I've been. It's one of Texas's less pleasing cities. But, if it's the city you choose, you will be able to find plenty of things you like about it, like any place. The best thing about Texas is it's very easy to spread out and have your personal space.

I hope this helps!


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20
sjmabry
LSU Fan
Texas
Member since Aug 2013
17733 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
quote:

Hour and a half or so to DFW or Austin for stuff to do but traffic is horrible going to either.
I-35 is still a cluster-frick.


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washparkhorn
Texas Fan
Member since Jul 2021
94 posts

re: Living in Tuscaloosa, AL and Waco, TX
Tuscaloosa. Don't give it a second thought. Good luck!


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