Author Topic: Make a big move? Where to start?  (Read 2776 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Make a big move? Where to start?
« on: July 26, 2014, 09:48:11 AM »
Hello!  We (me, husband + 2 kids (6 and 4) live in NJ.   We live in an expensive house which we put a lot of money down on.  Most of our family is in the NE (CT, NJ, NY and Maine).  I sometimes dream of moving as that would mean we could buy a house outright and live a simpler life.  Has anyone made a big move?  Where could we start to discover the best place for us and disturb the kids life as little as possible.  I like water, prefer warmer weather but ok still having seasons.  Part of me thinks it would be cool to live on a farm.


  • Bristles
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  • Location: Silicon Valley
Re: Make a big move? Where to start?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 10:54:42 AM »
In August/September 2012 some friends were to be house-sitting in Santa Cruz, CA for a week.  Coincidentally, the Sunday starting that week I was to be participating in a wedding in Monterrey, CA (very near Santa Cruz) and had requested the entire week off work so decided to join them.  We mostly walked around the town, ate ice cream, played board games and generally lazed about (ages ranged from 20-35 in our group with the majority mid-20s and seasonally employed).  We did make it to the beach south of SC one day for boogie boarding & body surfing.  The trip was enlightening and I coordinated with some friends to go back and stay for another several days in October/November and decided to try surfing.  That sealed the deal.  When I returned home (to Northern Nevada) I started looking for work in Santa Cruz.

I did not end up finding work in SC but saw a position in my field in nearby San Jose and spent the month of December working on the application.  February brought a call for an interview and I took one day off work to drive to San Jose, interview, and return home to be on call for work that night (10+ hours driving).  I also had a severe cold that day so it made it even more difficult!

April 2nd, 2013 I started the new job.  The only time I had been to San Jose before moving here was for the interview.  In the middle of March I quit my NV job, packed up my life and moved to SJ the last week of March, 2013. 

Granted, it's not Santa Cruz but now instead of 6 hours of driving, it's only about 35 minutes to get to the ocean and I surf a couple days each week.  I made more in the first 6 months this year than any other 12 month period of my life (and I wasn't necessarily making chump-change before the move, either).  AND I met and started dating and even moved in with a spectacular woman (dating 13 months, lived together 3).  (And I found MMM and have been cleaning up my finances!)

It was a huge, terrifying move and I had no friends in San Jose but now I see it as probably the best thing I could have done for myself and am far happier than I was before the move.  I've met new friends (although mostly in Santa Cruz) and even had friends move to SC to join me in surfing! 

tl;dr: if you have the money, just move.  if not, find work then move.  either way, do it!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Make a big move? Where to start?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 11:09:30 AM »
When we did it two years ago, my H just started applying for jobs in areas we were interested. We were only going to move if the company offered relocation, so we didn't worry much about that. As far as timing for school years, etc, we figured it didn't matter much, as in some ways it's easier for kids to change schools mid year.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Make a big move? Where to start?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 11:14:05 AM »
We uprooted and moved states twice with a little kid - once when she was 5 and once when she was 7. It is true that children are remarkably resilient and many make transitions easily, make new friends, and hit the ground running.

My young'un isn't like that. She's an introvert, and she grieved the loss of her close friends both times we moved. In fact, the second move was in the hope that it would be the last move and we would not have to uproot her again during her childhood.

I still think we did the right thing making that move when she was 7, but my opinion is the younger the better, before they've established roots in schools. If you're thinking of moving sometime, say, in the next five years, I encourage you to look at sooner rather than later. Each year a kid spends in a school, they dig deeper roots there.

You probably won't find "warmer" if you're looking at CT, NY, or Maine... were you thinking of moving closer to family?

Land is cheaper in the South, and it's warmer, for sure. But it's a long, congested, unpredictable drive to see family, even if you chose Maryland or Delaware (mid-Atlantic more than South). We drive from PA to NC three or four times a year, and we dread the drive each and every time.

So my advice is to consider whether there's a place you could move that's in relative proximity to family, where you could afford to buy a piece of property where you could garden, raise backyard chickens, etc. You don't have to have a "farm" per se - a couple of acres might provide plenty of space for what you want to do. And make sure the school system is decent in a place where you can afford to buy land outright. That combo might be hard to find in the pricey Northeast.