Author Topic: Am I being a sentimental weenie?  (Read 7106 times)

DoItYOURSELF

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Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« on: October 21, 2014, 08:26:22 PM »
Dear Mustachians,

I have a potential dilemma that I'd appreciate everyone's take on, since I'm torn about it.  We (wife + four kids 5yo to 12yo) live in North Dakota and I spotted a job on LinkedIn that seemed to be written especially for me.  The job is in Florida.  Normally, I wouldn't have even considered it, but showed it to my wife in jest and asked if you wanted to move to Florida.  Surprisingly, she is up for it.  The kids were excited about it too.  Neither of us has ever been to Florida, so I'll admit we probably have a stereotypical image of white sandy beaches and orange trees.  To get the real picture, we've been doing a lot of research on the area.  Long story short, I applied and was called to schedule a phone interview the next day.  The interview was today and I thought it went great.  The job sounds better than I had expected.  I really think they are going to ask me down for a face to face interview.

The heart ache I have is with leaving our house.  We spent a year designing and building the house ourselves and have been living it for two years.  The yard is finally done and the list of small projects is getting pretty short.  I am really quite proud of what we have accomplished.  On top of that, I spent a lot of time working on the house with my father.  I owe him tremendously.  I dread the thought of telling him that we are selling the house.  While we will get paid for the work my father and I did, the house has become more than just a house. 

Some more of the pros and cons:
Pros
- No winter!
- While we love the house, we picked a horrible location.  12 miles from work and school.  This would give us the chance to design a more efficient, bikeable lifestyle.
- FL Houses seem to be 50-60% of the cost of ND houses.
- FL taxes are lower
- $10-$15k raise plus slightly better retirement.
- I have not been enjoying my job lately.  A change would be good.

Cons
- This particular area of FL's crime rate is twice ND's
- $3-4k per year in air fare to visit family
- The retirement is mostly a pension with a 5 year vesting period.  I need to be prepared to stay 5 years.
- It will cost us $30k to hire a realtor to sell our house.  Not sure if we can get the employer to pick part or all of this up.
- ND's economy is going strong and is likely to keep going for the foreseeable future.  FL?  Not so much.

Of course, I may not get the job and all of this worrying will be for nothing. 

My mind tells me this house needs to go (even if we stay in ND).  But, my heart isn't so sure.  Should I quit being a sentimental weenie and grow a pair?  Or should I follow my heart?

Thank you for your advice.


GizmoTX

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 08:36:56 PM »
Wait until after you have an on-site interview & offer to worry.

lizzzi

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 08:47:37 PM »
Yes, first of all go to the interview if you are asked. While there, drive around and check the neighborhoods that it would make sense to live in. I'm going to guess that you've already been reading their local newspapers on line, which would already have given you a "feel" for the area--but there is nothing like actually being there and picking up the "vibe." You may find you love it, you may find you hate it and just don't feel like you could ever live there. Your "gut" feeling is going to be very important. But you are worrying way too soon.

kaetana

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 08:54:25 PM »
To answer your question, no, I don't think you're being a sentimental weenie. I feel I stray from the norm at least on these forums when it comes to houses. I don't think the value of a house is just in how much it costs you. I don't think there's anything wrong with having a sentimental attachment to a house, especially one that you have worked on with your dad. That's what is important to YOU. In my opinion, what would be wrong is if you used your attachment to the house as an excuse not to even explore an option that could lead to a better life.

In short, I agree with lizzzi - go to the interview if invited, and go there with a few carefully chosen neighbourhoods in mind. Have a look around and actually try to picture yourself living there. Think about the effect of a big move on your retirement. Then go with the option that makes you happier, however you define that for yourself.

2ndTimer

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 10:23:05 AM »
Something else to think about is quality of school systems.  I know nothing about North Dakota but when I lived in FL many years ago, the schools were famous for being terrible.

MayDay

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 10:34:24 AM »
Is your airfare estimate accurate for 6 plane tickets?  Is that just going back once a year?

TN_Steve

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 10:43:29 AM »

The heart ache I have is with leaving our house.  We spent a year designing and building the house ourselves and have been living it for two years.  The yard is finally done and the list of small projects is getting pretty short.  I am really quite proud of what we have accomplished.  On top of that, I spent a lot of time working on the house with my father.  I owe him tremendously.  I dread the thought of telling him that we are selling the house.  While we will get paid for the work my father and I did, the house has become more than just a house. 

***

My mind tells me this house needs to go (even if we stay in ND).  But, my heart isn't so sure.  Should I quit being a sentimental weenie and grow a pair?  Or should I follow my heart?

Thank you for your advice.

I'll address only the house question, assuming that you get the job offer and that everything else looks great.  Been there, done that.  More than doubled our basis (and sq. ft.) in our home with me doing much of the work myself, as well as overseeing the contractors.  Was our (and most everyone else's) "Dream Home."  Planned to die in it and have hypothetical grandchildren visit, so we knowingly over-improved for the zip code.   Job climate got a little frostier, although we could have toughed it out.  Decided to leave--after delaying a year because of the attachment to the house.  Huge "loss" on sale, but we've never really regretted the move.

New-to-us house in another state (closer than your options, but a long drive) is much more down to earth and, after customization by us, is arguably more comfortable and will definitely be more liveable in retirement.  Don't let the house be an anchor.  It is a place to live and you can make another. 

Good luck!

EDIT:  P.S.  My dad also helped a lot on our house and we lived close to family before the move.

Shortbus

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 08:54:58 AM »
Keep in mind that almost everyone who says "yay! no winter!" seems to completely forget the fact that as a replacement we have about 8 months of utterly miserable heat and humidity. I'm not talking about the humidity everyone up North bitches about but a thick, hard to breathe, walk outside to get the paper and you're soaked with sweat type of humidity. I'm a native and never have gotten used to either. Some people love it but if you've never been down here I recommend a trip down in August or September to get an idea of how bad it can get. Also, "no winter" means no real Fall or Spring either, that can get old quickly.

As to the house, let it go. I get sentimental about things like that too. We had a hard time with this recently when we moved. We left my hometown and our "dream house" to pursue my dream job and a long time dream of ours to live down here. We had to get rid of a ton of stuff to fit into a much smaller place, much of the stuff was sentimental items from my childhood (now collectables apparently). Since the stress of the move has passed and we have gotten settled in it's been great! Now I'm selling even more stuff and we can't wait to be rid of our old place.

skunkfunk

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 09:22:23 AM »
North Dakota sounds like a great place to me. Florida I'm a bit meh on. I understand where you're coming from, definitely. Staying near family is 100% a priority for me.

For you, your current house, is it too big? Is the 12 mile route really not bike-able? That's really not too bad a ride. It'd suck for a few weeks for sure, but not bad if you're any good (unless the hills are ridiculous?)

Keep in mind cost of living might actually be lower in Florida. That's a pretty decent raise. Any chance of making more money at your current employer? What are the chances you'll like the Florida job better?

lizzzi

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 09:57:30 AM »
Just wanted to say that I've moved more than once from houses I loved-- especially remember two that both were houses I thought I'd live and die in. What I've found is that home truly is the place you and your family hang your hats. You will have fond memories of places you've lived before and the happy times you had there…but home truly is wherever you and your loved ones are at the time. You'll find (I think) that just finding that new nest, fixing it up to suit yourselves, and settling in and living day to day will make it HOME. If you go back to the old places, especially if new people have made even fairly insignificant changes to make it look a little different…different annuals planted, new mailbox, different cars in the drive--you will drive by with a smile, but I don't think you'll feel that that house is HOME anymore.

frugalnacho

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2014, 10:12:44 AM »
Keep in mind that almost everyone who says "yay! no winter!" seems to completely forget the fact that as a replacement we have about 8 months of utterly miserable heat and humidity. I'm not talking about the humidity everyone up North bitches about but a thick, hard to breathe, walk outside to get the paper and you're soaked with sweat type of humidity. I'm a native and never have gotten used to either. Some people love it but if you've never been down here I recommend a trip down in August or September to get an idea of how bad it can get. Also, "no winter" means no real Fall or Spring either, that can get old quickly.

As to the house, let it go. I get sentimental about things like that too. We had a hard time with this recently when we moved. We left my hometown and our "dream house" to pursue my dream job and a long time dream of ours to live down here. We had to get rid of a ton of stuff to fit into a much smaller place, much of the stuff was sentimental items from my childhood (now collectables apparently). Since the stress of the move has passed and we have gotten settled in it's been great! Now I'm selling even more stuff and we can't wait to be rid of our old place.

I think it depends on the person.  I lived in florida (in port charlotte) for one summer between HS graduation and the start of college (so early june to end of august) and LOVED it! It was hot, humid, and the sun was blistering, but it was awesome and I would take it over michigan winters any day.  Have been in discussions with the wife about permanently moving to FLA.  Most of our family is in michigan though, and we have a nice little rut for ourselves, so it's hard to just pack up and move away.  I would definitely take FLA weather over michigan though.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2014, 11:04:55 AM »
Keep in mind that almost everyone who says "yay! no winter!" seems to completely forget the fact that as a replacement we have about 8 months of utterly miserable heat and humidity. I'm not talking about the humidity everyone up North bitches about but a thick, hard to breathe, walk outside to get the paper and you're soaked with sweat type of humidity. I'm a native and never have gotten used to either. Some people love it but if you've never been down here I recommend a trip down in August or September to get an idea of how bad it can get. Also, "no winter" means no real Fall or Spring either, that can get old quickly.

I think it depends on the person.  I lived in florida (in port charlotte) for one summer between HS graduation and the start of college (so early june to end of august) and LOVED it! It was hot, humid, and the sun was blistering, but it was awesome and I would take it over michigan winters any day.  Have been in discussions with the wife about permanently moving to FLA.  Most of our family is in michigan though, and we have a nice little rut for ourselves, so it's hard to just pack up and move away.  I would definitely take FLA weather over michigan though.

+1 for it depending on the person, not to mention where in FL you're talking about.  Don't know if you're willing to share which area of FL the job is located in, because it's a pretty big place.  There are a good number of Floridians hanging around the forums if you have any location specific questions as you get closer to a decision. 

And OP, you might be surprised at the migration you might incite with a move this way.  Many of our friends have had parents (and then other siblings and their families) move down here after visiting a few times who see what kind of lifestyle they can have down here compared to the tundra (recent migrations from Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania) up north.  Mr PoP's mom is literally counting the days until she retires and moves down here permanently in December - and it's at least partly a countdown to the last time she will ever drive in snow! 

OSUBearCub

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2014, 11:38:25 AM »
Keep in mind that almost everyone who says "yay! no winter!" seems to completely forget the fact that as a replacement we have about 8 months of utterly miserable heat and humidity. I'm not talking about the humidity everyone up North bitches about but a thick, hard to breathe, walk outside to get the paper and you're soaked with sweat type of humidity. I'm a native and never have gotten used to either. Some people love it but if you've never been down here I recommend a trip down in August or September to get an idea of how bad it can get. Also, "no winter" means no real Fall or Spring either, that can get old quickly.

As to the house, let it go. I get sentimental about things like that too. We had a hard time with this recently when we moved. We left my hometown and our "dream house" to pursue my dream job and a long time dream of ours to live down here. We had to get rid of a ton of stuff to fit into a much smaller place, much of the stuff was sentimental items from my childhood (now collectables apparently). Since the stress of the move has passed and we have gotten settled in it's been great! Now I'm selling even more stuff and we can't wait to be rid of our old place.

I think it depends on the person.  I lived in florida (in port charlotte) for one summer between HS graduation and the start of college (so early june to end of august) and LOVED it! It was hot, humid, and the sun was blistering, but it was awesome and I would take it over michigan winters any day.  Have been in discussions with the wife about permanently moving to FLA.  Most of our family is in michigan though, and we have a nice little rut for ourselves, so it's hard to just pack up and move away.  I would definitely take FLA weather over michigan though.

frugalnacho: Before relocating here for my job, I had visited in the summer and early fall (the worst of the heat).  I hate to disagree but once the novelty wears off and you realize there's still MONTHS of this weather to contend with, it stops being as tolerable. 

DoItYOURSELF:  Florida is a HUGE state that is a patchwork of many different styles of living.  I can speak to Central Florida (specifically Orlando).  There's nothing seaside or beachy about our life here.  It's strip malls, concrete, mega-sized and mega-expensive theme parks, and a 45 minute drive to the nearest beach.  Benefits: We're slightly insulated from the full impact of a hurricane.  Drawbacks: Orlando can be rather devoid of an urban identity/culture and you have to drive so much more than a typical city due to sprawl and poor city planning.  YMMV, especially if you can afford to buy into the rather expensive suburbs.

If your job has you headed toward any of the coastal towns the above info doesn't apply.  Up in the pan handle, you're in the only part of Florida the South will bother to claim as part of their own.  :-)

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2014, 12:09:48 PM »
Exciting! Visit and keep an open mind.  I spent a summer in Tallahassee and have visited other parts of the state several times. School quality and crime rates for areas will be heavily dependent on your work location.

+1 to the posters saying it is different for everyone.  It sounds like your family is pretty open and that's a huge benefit but it is a huge climate shift.  If you and your family hate the ND summer heat and love snow... Florida will probably not be for you.  If you and your family curse winter every year... Florida may be a very attractive place to move.  Bonus to your current situation - if you started over the winter, your family would also get some time to acclimate to the hotter temperatures and humidity before the worst part of summer hit.

If you do move, consider credit card rewards and other travel hacking to bring down costs of visiting family.  On the other hand, family may want to visit you more depending on what part of Florida you would potentially move to.

If you're going to have high costs for a move and they make you an offer, consider negotiating for that as well.   Job market growth may also be heavily dependent upon your industry, so make sure you check those stats.

Dicey

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2014, 12:32:48 PM »
I love the way you phrased your question!

Sorry if this has been asked and answered. Would it be possible to rent out the house? I agree that it is just a house, but it's also near the grandparents, who won't be getting any younger. Are they in good health? Will you feel awful if something happens to them and you are too far away to drive over to help? These and all the others posed by others can only be answered by you and your spouse.

I can't answer for you, so I'll tell you a story. At one point, my parents considered moving our large family from boring suburbia to a rambling old Victorian in a cute college town. Ultimately they decided not to take the risk of moving. All these years later, we still speculate about how our lives would be different had they done so. No one's unhappy with how our lives are turning out, but we all believe it would have been a risk worth taking. YMMV, I just thought I'd share my tiny tale. Good luck in your decision making.

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2014, 01:19:17 PM »
I didn't read the other responses...

We spent about a year designing and building our dream home on 20 acres. I did the GC work and was involved heavily every step of the project. It was my full time job for a while. :) my father also gifted us a large chunk of cash to support the project. We have lived here almost 2 years.

My DH has been told that we will have the opportunity to transfer to Singapore next summer and we are considering the move.

It was difficult to talk to my dad about listing our house, but I just framed it like this-

The most important thing in life is family. Having flexibility in where we live allows us to have a secure family.  If DH needed to take or refuse a job, we need the flexibility to stay together as a family and not be tied down with a farm. So, we are being proactive by listing the house for sale and allowing ourselves flexibility and freedom.




Melody

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2014, 05:18:36 PM »
I grew up in the same house for 21 years. My parents sold it an moved. I don't even think about the old house anymore except if its the backdrop for something I did with my family. To me, home is where my parents are (yep, I have my own apartment but whenever I go to my parents house I truley feel home) and I bet its the same for your kids no matter the age. Home is where we live our lives with the people we love, not  specific place. With your own things in it and the people you love in it, the new house will be home in no time.

retired?

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2014, 09:33:51 PM »
What part of Florida?  It varies a lot.  I will echo a few sentiments:

 - schools generally are not that impressive, but like elsewhere if you apply yourself you can do fine (dad grew up there and got scholarship to school "up north").  Also, there are several top schools, but you have to look for them.
 - don't spend to much time worrying until you get to the offer stage.  I know it can be hard since I often do it myself.
 - when the time comes, negotiate for full relo, which includes sales commission, transport of property, etc.
 - I have lived in Chicago, DC, Atlanta, and Houston.  We prefer heat to cold.  It's a trade-off either way.  In either locale, there will be several months that you simply don't want to go outside.  In FL buy a house that has a pool.

Is ND really booming other than energy?  Perhaps that is your area.  Florida, other than tourism, doesn't have any significant industries (others, correct me).

I think of ND as being fairly rural as compared to FL (much of which is countryside).  On average, I would expect more to do in FL, but I really don't know ND.

Main thought, given kids appear up to it, is where would you prefer to be in the long run?  Taxes in FL are nice (like ND, if I recall correctly). 

Could be a tough call.  But, my view is FL is not bad.

Goldielocks

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2014, 11:20:29 PM »
You will get over missing the house eventually, we did.   Missing family may be different, but you never know, they may rent a condo to be closer to you and grandkids a few months of the year too....

Good news is that with the oil, North Dakota market should be heating up a bit.  You may be able to negotiate with a Realtor on fees, use a discount realtor, etc.   Do that for certain if the company does not pay moving costs (and many don't pay realtor fees)

Definitely look into moving on your own, if you are a MMM. There are many services that drop a trailer or large container off at your home, you load it (or several), over a few days,  and it is delivered to your new location on your requested date.

Family will love Florida, but may miss cross country skiing.   There are few states with good cross country skiing, and free outdoor pretty skating rinks.

Rural

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2014, 06:02:03 AM »
I don't know. I won't leave this house my husband and father built, will probably be buried here, for that matter. Unless I leave for the house my father, grandfather, and uncles built -- the one I grew up in -- in old age. I won't inherit the house my grandfather built with help from his sons, the house of my father's teenage years, nor the one my great-grandfather built with his sons and "help" from a couple of very young grandsons, including my father.


Houses are either just places or they're an ingrained piece of history and identity. The ones I'm describing are all tied to land, the farms or woods that are part of the property, to the homes of other family members, and to the nearby or onsite graves of still more family.


I think only you can decide which kind of house you have. Who built it is part of the equation, but it's only part.

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2014, 07:35:40 AM »
Florida, other than tourism, doesn't have any significant industries (others, correct me).

Since Florida is a popular retirement/snowbird destination, healthcare and senior services will probably be significant and see growth as the Baby Boomer generation retires.

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2014, 09:06:14 AM »
Florida, other than tourism, doesn't have any significant industries (others, correct me).

Construction: Remains a very strong industry down here, especially if you build hotels or planned housing communities.

Agriculture: We have the nation's largest cattle ranch.  And, oddly enough, it's owned and operated by the Church of Latter-day Saints.  Other than that, our agriculture has scaled back in recent decades.  We remain the top domestic producer of oranges (66% market share), grapefruits (70% market share), and sugarcane (44% market share).

Ancillary Services for Theme Parks: Walt Disney World alone employs 66,000 cast members (employees)  Then there's Universal Studio's 12,000 employees for their parks.  Add in SeaWorld, Busch Gardens Tampa, and Legoland - that's a lot of uniforms, power, transportation, financial services, construction, apartment landlords, etc. 

And Floridians really do need to tip a hat to tourism even though it's a pain in the ass:
Theme Parks and Tourism: Florida surpassed nearly every other destination in the world for total number of vacation visitors last year (95 million visitors).  This always boggles my mind.  59 million people visited Orlando alone which is more than visited New York City and Paris*.

*These numbers are domestic and international visitors combined - Paris is quibbling with just about everyone on the list and it's pretty-much agreed that they're fudging the numbers a bit.

Last, the best aspect of Florida is no state income tax. Zero. :-)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 09:12:35 AM by OSUBearCub »

retired?

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2014, 08:58:09 AM »
Florida, other than tourism, doesn't have any significant industries (others, correct me).

Since Florida is a popular retirement/snowbird destination, healthcare and senior services will probably be significant and see growth as the Baby Boomer generation retires.

True, very true.
Florida, other than tourism, doesn't have any significant industries (others, correct me).

Construction: Remains a very strong industry down here, especially if you build hotels or planned housing communities.

Agriculture: We have the nation's largest cattle ranch.  And, oddly enough, it's owned and operated by the Church of Latter-day Saints.  Other than that, our agriculture has scaled back in recent decades.  We remain the top domestic producer of oranges (66% market share), grapefruits (70% market share), and sugarcane (44% market share).

Ancillary Services for Theme Parks: Walt Disney World alone employs 66,000 cast members (employees)  Then there's Universal Studio's 12,000 employees for their parks.  Add in SeaWorld, Busch Gardens Tampa, and Legoland - that's a lot of uniforms, power, transportation, financial services, construction, apartment landlords, etc. 

And Floridians really do need to tip a hat to tourism even though it's a pain in the ass:
Theme Parks and Tourism: Florida surpassed nearly every other destination in the world for total number of vacation visitors last year (95 million visitors).  This always boggles my mind.  59 million people visited Orlando alone which is more than visited New York City and Paris*.

*These numbers are domestic and international visitors combined - Paris is quibbling with just about everyone on the list and it's pretty-much agreed that they're fudging the numbers a bit.

Last, the best aspect of Florida is no state income tax. Zero. :-)

Thanks for the reminder.  As a Texan, I should have recalled that FL's cattle industry is so large.  No income tax like Texas, but much lower property tax than in Texas.  We'll be moving to FL at some point.

Nords

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2014, 09:38:43 AM »
Whichever way you decide to go, hopefully you take lots of photos and videos of your ND home to share the experience with your Dad and your family.

Will you owe your Dad a share of the profits from the sale of the home?  That might salve some of the sting of selling.

If you're going to uproot your entire family across the country for this job, then the employer should darn well pay for the moving expenses-- including at least half of the realtor's commission for selling your home.  You can negotiate this as an allowance or a hiring bonus, which they may be more willing to pay for than a higher salary.

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Re: Am I being a sentimental weenie?
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2014, 07:50:56 PM »
- It will cost us $30k to hire a realtor to sell our house.  Not sure if we can get the employer to pick part or all of this up.

What do you mean by this? You'll pay a realtor $30K in a commission fee? You'll need to spend $30K in improvements before you sell? I'd kick the tires on this assumption.