Author Topic: Making the decision to move to a better place?  (Read 4767 times)

tooqk4u22

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Making the decision to move to a better place?
« on: September 13, 2012, 03:17:04 PM »
This is something that jumps around my brain from time to time (probably more frequently) and a thread started by James about visiting an area that he may consider moving to got me asking questions again. Then CarrieP asked some questions that I am sure many of us who dream about a move would like to ask.

My personal situation is that I fantasize about moving to different areas (like James have thought about CO and NC heavily, and some others focused on a more moderate (well maybe different) climate along with a life that is different than the NE part of the US.  Some of the things I worry about - my kids transition (I am sure they will be fine), whether or not the move will be worth it (i.e. being happy with it), leaving family and the support system (free babysitting), and as I am not yet FI figuring out the job front. 

It would be great to hear about people who are thinking about moving (long distance/major chagne of life), are in the in the process of it or recently did it, and those who did it and are well settled. 

Some questions aside from my thoughts - What are you thinking about, how did you go about it, how was the transition, leaving the community/family, becoming part of a new community, impact on children, if you did it are you glad, advice/comments about whatever, etc.


*****not to discriminate but I am looking for later stage views not quite FIRE (I.e.  Married or w kids, established career, etc.). Needless to say it is easy to move when you have little responsibilities or obligations, been there and did it when I was younger. 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 03:49:33 PM by tooqk4u22 »

RoseRelish

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 03:29:22 PM »
I'm in the process of moving back home to be near family and escape the big city. "Home" is only 60 miles away, but is a world apart as far as lifestyle and the community. What's been giving me pause is that I enjoy my job and have ZERO chance of finding a similar job back home. My wife works as a teacher back home already, so her commute sucks - and we'd only need to find me a job.

What pushed this move to happen now rather than in a few years is that a great house came up for sale in our perfect neighborhood (10 houses from her parents and less than a mile from mine) that backs up to the public golf course - very picturesque. The price was too good to pass up, so we're snatching it up.

We are most likely going to experiment with being a "commuter couple" where I will live/work in the city during the week and spend weekends at home. That is, until we get a bigger 'stash, I can work from home, or we just can't take it anymore. I'm guessing we will be able to do this for a year - which isn't long enough but oh well.

In all, getting the life you want is what's most important. For me, life would be a million times better living back in my hometown - even with less income/a smaller 'stash. If you and your family would be happier living somewhere else I know you'll find a way to make it a reality. GOOD LUCK!

Stacey

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 04:15:09 PM »
This is a great topic.  I'm excited to hear what others have to say.  I'm in the early stages of the process.  We've decided to move when our lease runs out next Spring (we've been in this area for seven years), but we haven't yet decided where to move.  We're planning on taking a several month long camping/road trip to visit places we may want to live and to just visit places we've been wanting to visit.  We're hoping that the trip brings us to some sort of a decision (well - it better), especially since we'll be hopping out of the rat race while we're traveling and we're not yet FI.  If it makes our trip even more exciting, we'll be joined by our toddler on the journey.  We're hoping he doesn't mind living out of a tent for several months. 

James

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 08:16:41 PM »
We are actually wanting to move away from the rural/affordable location toward the city life. We also want to get away from the cold winters up here in northern WI. 


We haven't decided yet when/where to move, and it's really a hard decision to try and work through. We have three kids, 8th grade, 5th grade, and 2nd grade. Moving them half way across the country is certainly a big deal, and we don't want to do that lightly. I know plenty of kids get moved around, but we don't want to move and then move again, so we want to be sure. It would also be nice to move before the oldest is in HS, which would mean moving next summer.  As far as work, I'm less than half way to FI, so I need to continue full time (or close to it) work.


Financially we would be best off staying in northern WI, with high salary and low cost of living. But we value other things more than money, so moving is definitely on the table. At the absolute least we would probably move after the kids come out of HS, but that is 10 years away. If we move we would need to have a lower spending level in order to maintain our path to FI, and the moving expenses would probably also push FI out. But I like my work and can do pretty well wherever I can get a job, so I'm not too worried about the money. Of course there aren't any positions for my line of work in Asheville right now, so moving there would depend on getting a job in the next year.


The other location we would consider is the Boulder area, but we haven't even visited there yet. I guess we simply have a ways to go in figuring it all out, with many many other factors I haven't mentioned coming into play.  I'm looking forward to hearing other thoughts on the issue, it's a good discussion topic.

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 09:27:40 PM »
We're considering moving right now. I've lived in NYC now since '97, and my wife since '00 - we now have 2 kids and a real community here which makes it hard to consider leaving. However, there aren't as many IT jobs here now as there were 10 years ago - nobody wants to pay NYC salaries when they can have the work done remotely in VA or abroad.

For us, the #1 consideration is community / family. Our top 2 choices for other places to live are where we already have friends & family - it's hard to consider starting completely from scratch after 15 years. There also need to be jobs for both of us, of course.

The next factor is that we would like to live somewhere where we can get by on a little less money, perhaps get closer to FI, but still be near some cultural center. We both love the philharmonic, the theater, and visiting museums, and just enjoy the city life in general, including a density that allows us to live in a neighborhood with services and a good group of neighbors, and having most of our day-to-day travel accessible by bike / public transit. This is leading us to look at smaller cities nearer our families.

It's the perfect time for us to look - both my wife and I are looking for jobs, and neither of our kids have started school yet (they're 4 and 2). I feel like if we don't leave NYC now, it may be another 5-10 years before we look again.

I recently did some calculations on cost of living for Dover NH, and found that it should be almost $40K / year cheaper for us to live there, despite the fact that we don't own a car today and get around mostly by bike and live in a cheap (by NYC standards) cooperative apartment with shared maintenance. That part looks appealing!

MsGuided

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 10:57:37 PM »
Thanks for filling in the details of your plans, James.  I certainly understand the weather issue & can vouch for the weather in Colorado.  It really is great, sunny, not humid, and when it gets cold & snows, the cold doesn't last very long.  It's a much milder climate than its' reputation.  The yearly snowfall  totals throw people off.  Your Subaru would be great here.

As far as the Boulder area and the culture there, that's a very personal calculation you'll have to make after visiting.  It sounds like the MMM family lives nearby & are really happy there & have not struggled with living the MMM lifestyle in that environment.   

If you are interested in the city of Denver, I can give you some subjective insights.  For some reason I got the impression that you might be in the medical profession, and if so, there are a few urban infill neighborhoods that are new & planned but right in the city, Stapleton & Lowry.  Both of these neighborhoods are swarming with docs that work at the new medical campus in Aurora/Fitzsimmons.  Lots of young, progressive families. 

I live in a south suburb of Denver.  Love my neighborhood.  We chose it for the schools, which have been excellent.  In most ways I love living where we live.  We have lots of friends and a real sense of caring community, but I find living very frugally & environmentally difficult here.  It's a high income area (not rich, but upper middle class) and I just sometimes wonder if I would do better in a place where my values were not so unusual.  Maybe that's an unrealistic hope.

I also love growing food, which is challenging in our suburban HOA controlled yard and in Colorado itself, b/c of our extremely dry climate.  I may be romanticizing it, but I dream of buying an orchard and building a greenhous to grow lots of vegetables year round.


gooki

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 03:29:37 AM »
I'm toying with the idea of moving. Our situation, we have a 2 year old, and another due November. Currently living of one income. I want to spend more time with our children. Also looking to move to a warmer climate.

Which leads me to wanting to move from our quake ravaged city



to Coopers Beach.



As far as house prices go, now's the time. There is excess demand where we live, and lot of people trying to cash up their holiday homes at coopers beach. If we sell our current home, our options are.

1. Buy a cheap house for $200k, and invest the remaining $200k. About 20 minutes walk from the beach. May need some maintenance.

2. Buy a slightly nicer house than we have now for $300k, invest the remaining $100k. Be 15 minutes walk to the beach.

3. Buy a beach front house for $500k, this requires a $100k mortgage for us. But the up shot is we could rent it out as a holiday home and earn approx $1,000 a week after expenses. This property is also the most likely to see major price increases, so we could sell and trade down in 5 to 10 years, and pocket the capital gain.

The big issues stopping us are.
- No high income jobs in the area. I'd have to be self employed, or look into a different field at a lower pay. Not a lot of opportunities should my wife wish to return to work.
- We'll be a long way from my wife's parents.
- We'll be leaving a few friends behind.
- Wife is slightly petrified of tsunami risk (but this beach alivates much of that risk as all houses are elevated).

The pros of moving
- Fucking cool beach. I can pick shellfish, go wind surfing, go fishing, build sand castles, etc.
- Nice warm climate.
- Better climate for growing vegetables.
- Closer to my parents.
- Quieter lifestyle.
- Less work stress.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 03:51:50 AM by gooki »

tooqk4u22

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 08:05:38 AM »
I live in a south suburb of Denver.  Love my neighborhood.  We chose it for the schools, which have been excellent.  In most ways I love living where we live.  We have lots of friends and a real sense of caring community, but I find living very frugally & environmentally difficult here.  It's a high income area (not rich, but upper middle class) and I just sometimes wonder if I would do better in a place where my values were not so unusual.  Maybe that's an unrealistic hope.

I also love growing food, which is challenging in our suburban HOA controlled yard and in Colorado itself, b/c of our extremely dry climate.  I may be romanticizing it, but I dream of buying an orchard and building a greenhous to grow lots of vegetables year round.

Sounds like you are in Highland Ranch?


tooqk4u22

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 08:10:00 AM »
Aside from my selfish motivations to want to move a couple of other thoughts come to mind (1) in NJ there are not a large number of public universities so kids would be limited when it comes to in-state tuition costs, (2) the way in life in NJ is typical NE style, fast paced, consumerist and I worry about cementing my kids in that world forever, and (3) I actually like my kids (at least now anyway) and I would like to live in an area that will provide them a decent life and opportunity so that they won't need/want to move away when they get older so that pretty much eliminates small towns unless of course they are reasonably close to a decent economic area.

MsGuided

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 08:24:03 AM »
I live in a south suburb of Denver.  Love my neighborhood.  We chose it for the schools, which have been excellent.  In most ways I love living where we live.  We have lots of friends and a real sense of caring community, but I find living very frugally & environmentally difficult here.  It's a high income area (not rich, but upper middle class) and I just sometimes wonder if I would do better in a place where my values were not so unusual.  Maybe that's an unrealistic hope.

I also love growing food, which is challenging in our suburban HOA controlled yard and in Colorado itself, b/c of our extremely dry climate.  I may be romanticizing it, but I dream of buying an orchard and building a greenhous to grow lots of vegetables year round.

Sounds like you are in Highland Ranch?

Not Highlands Ranch, an older area near the DTC in the Cherry Creek School District.  I do live in the burbs, but the area I live in is more established and older than Highlands Ranch, with bigger trees and a lot closer to the city.  We are near a light rail line.   

twinge

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 08:30:06 AM »
Quote
Aside from my selfish motivations to want to move a couple of other thoughts come to mind (1) in NJ there are not a large number of public universities so kids would be limited when it comes to in-state tuition costs, (2) the way in life in NJ is typical NE style, fast paced, consumerist and I worry about cementing my kids in that world forever, and (3) I actually like my kids (at least now anyway) and I would like to live in an area that will provide them a decent life and opportunity so that they won't need/want to move away when they get older so that pretty much eliminates small towns unless of course they are reasonably close to a decent economic area.


These are a lot of the things I think of too.  Where we are now DOES have excellent public university choices so it's one of the things that makes it harder to move.  Your point 2 is key for me--not that I actually believe my kids will be cemented in it, but that they too always feel a little out of step here (DC metro area) and I would like to live somewhere where our family feels aligned with our community.  I think point 3 is too unpredictable to really "plan" for and most places you choose to live will have a city for work within a couple of hours or so.  And who knows what will be the economically vital places by then etc.

Right now, my work is tied here and is hard to displace without major change/restarting. But I still want to and am working towards it as a goal for the next 2-3 years.  And we've moved with kids several times before landing here (all because of work, not intentional choice about locale) and they've done fine.  I think most kids are pretty resilient if you are attentive to what they need to be comfortable with the move. You are upending their world, so you should be attentive to what might freak them out about that possibility,  but it's often surprisingly small things that make them feel okay.  Like when our son was 7 and we moved it was knowing that he'd have a place to store and build his legos in the new house, and that he could go to the summer meet-up for the new school to know some kids before the first day.  That really was all he wanted/needed. We made it a point to do those things and then he felt like he could handle it.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 08:32:28 AM »
Cool -- If you need to work in Denver then being near the rail is good, and gotta love the big trees.  I looked in Highlands Ranch and while it is very self contained it is very pedestrian and cookie cutter - I think I ever figure out  a move (get the stones to do it) I thing Louisville seem a good fit.  Any other suggestions out there?

tooqk4u22

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 08:37:25 AM »
I think point 3 is too unpredictable to really "plan" for and most places you choose to live will have a city for work within a couple of hours or so.  And who knows what will be the economically vital places by then etc.


I realize this but the reality is that most people, even if they go far away for college, migrate back to the areas they grew up and where their families are but to do that requires some economic vitality.  I assure you there will always be jobs of some kind in major metro areas - does it mean it will be a fit and work out but I would like to stack the deck a bit.   

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Re: Making the decision to move to a better place?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 11:17:02 AM »
I'm doing it now.  Moving from the midwest/northest to Texas.  No state income tax, and where I'm moving to there are pretty low property taxes, insanely low cost of living.  I'll see if I like it, but I figure I'll move eventually, but it's a good place to accumulate some dough.

I'm moving because I got a job there.   I turned down a few jobs where the pay was not in line with the area's COL.