Author Topic: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?  (Read 6624 times)

mubington

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Given a fresh start, would you choose to live somewhere very expensive if that meant being closer to friends, or would you live somewhere cheaper and start a new life that suits your financial plans?



« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 05:35:54 PM by mubington »

Fuyu

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 06:20:05 PM »
I'm planning on moving to a more expensive area next year in order to be closer to friends from college. I was kind of tempted to stay where I am until I reach FI, but I think being able to see friends more frequently would bring me more happiness than being able to quit my job. I like that I can growing vegetables and fruit in the backyward where I live now, but for me I wouldn't mind giving that up in order to be closer to friends.

gooki

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 06:22:39 PM »
Move and just visit them often.

pka222

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 06:33:33 PM »
mubington- why not live with your friends for a year- take an extra room in one of their houses, spend lots of time with them, see if its worth spending the money to be in the area. Or head north- FIRE early and then visit them whenever you want and they have time?

MissStache

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 06:51:36 AM »
If it was me, then I would move away from friends and somewhere cheaper, but I am a pretty solitary person in general and my friends already live all over the country.  I think the more important question would be if you can be happy without having your friends close to you for frequent visits.  I know plenty of people would who languish in depression if they didn't hang out with people several times a week.

stevesteve

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 09:24:51 AM »
So, I'd really want to analyze your "expensive part of the country" claim.  There are expensive places but for most areas (maybe DC and SF are the exceptions) there are cheap areas within an easy trip.  You really need to think about what you value in terms of housing stock and its access to friends and job markets.  I live in an expensive (ish) area but make it cheaper by having a small house which also saves on electricity, and I commute by walking, biking, or sometimes public transportation.  My friend moved to a marginal area and that's why he pays less.  There are areas in the 'rich county' by me in the great school district with smaller but still good sized houses, near bike trails that would take you to the job market.  In most housing markets there are usually options.  Housing is never just about minimizing price so make sure you're getting the best bundle of housing and locational benefits.

rockstache

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 09:54:18 AM »
If it was me, then I would move away from friends and somewhere cheaper, but I am a pretty solitary person in general and my friends already live all over the country.  I think the more important question would be if you can be happy without having your friends close to you for frequent visits.  I know plenty of people would who languish in depression if they didn't hang out with people several times a week.

+1

My DH and I live in a very expensive part of the country right now. We are both originally from here, and living here now for the sole purpose of taking care of my grandmother. At some point in the future, we are excited to move. I love my friends, but we'll make new ones. And a few of my friends are around the country also, so we may actually be moving closer to some.

Melody

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 04:28:16 PM »
Can you live somewhere cheap within 2 hours drive of your friends? One of my best friends lives 2 hours away... we still see each other at least monthly for a whole weekend (we do sleepovers!) That's what I would aim for...

higgins2013

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 08:23:34 AM »
Having lived in the "expensive suburb w/great schools" scenario, I'm ready for move to a less-expensive home (read: apartment) in a more expensive downtown metropolitan neighborhood instead.  We're thinking of a one bedrm plus den for two of us plus a semi-independent child in college.  Schumacher's vintage slogan "small is beautiful" still holds true.  I think it's far more advantageous to live in a less-expensive small home in a great/convenient neighborhood, even if overall neighborhood housing costs are "more expensive" relatively speaking, than an outer-ring suburb or exurb where multiple cars and extra commuting-time are needed to navigate.  There are always lower-priced housing units in expensive communities.  They might be smaller and/or older, but with some judicious remodelling, can easily be as "nice" a home.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 08:50:06 AM »
I'm not sure I'd move to an expensive area for friends alone, but I would think about the trade-offs in terms of quality of life between the two areas.  In short, where will you be happiest?

I live in a very expensive area, and the net result it that FIRE is going to take much longer than it would if I lived out in the sticks like some of my relatives.  Even when my condo is paid off, I'll have HOA dues, high property taxes, and so on.  But I *love* my city and my home (I've got vacation-style amenities right outside my doorstep, and much of the entertainment here is free).  So for us, it's worth it.

My siblings on the other hand live in a super-low-cost-area with lots of natural beauty but zero "things to do" outside the home except for hiking or with a 2 hour drive.  They are just as happy as I am.  I'd be miserable there.

You can always rent for a year or two and try out your choice. 

Let us know what you decide! :)

Melody

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 06:52:30 AM »
My reference to within two hours drive was "somewhere cool within 2 hours drive" not an exo-burb or the middle of nowhere ;-)
My friend lives in a small city where wages are lower, as a result, rents are much lower (approx half) and going out (drinks, meals) is slightly cheaper... If an option like this exists for you, give it a go (as you earn the same wherever you live). My friend wasn't sure about moving to this small city but she loves all her new friends there, and her old friends still visit regularly. But you want to be somewhere where you can make new friends, not the middle of nowhere...
I'd move to this city in a heartbeat if I could maintain my Perth wages... but I'd be looking at a significant cut so I wouldn't be any better off...

Johnny Aloha

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 10:59:41 AM »
We live in a very expensive place (Hawaii) and I can tell you there are lots of ways to drop your spending much further than you would initially believe.

When we moved to Hawaii we were told it was too expensive and we would never save any money.  We are saving more now than when we lived in a low cost area!!

How, you might ask?  Well, expensive areas tend to have lots of free stuff to do.  In our case, that involves surfing, hiking, etc.  In other expensive areas (DC, SF, Seattle) there are things like top notch libraries, museums, etc.  And amazingly, those locations have outdoorsy-type stuff to do in close proximity to the city!  Hiking, camping, etc.

For us, quality of life was paramount.  We knew there was a chance our expenses would have a negative impact on our savings rate.   But over time you learn where the good thrift stores are, you make great friends who would rather have a beer at the beach at sunset than go to happy hour, etc. 

In fact, it's very possible that if we were living in a midwestern city with low COL but long, cold, grey winters (which is where I grew up!), our spending would INCREASE because we might feel the need to go to movies, out to eat, and other silly things.  I'm not dissing those kinds of cities because of course there will be fun things to do; it's just not our first choice.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 11:45:02 AM by Johnny Aloha »

anastrophe

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2013, 01:59:58 PM »
Well, I would love to move to NYC, where many of my friends are, but I don't think I can justify the high cost of living. I mean, I pay 20% of my net income on rent where I live now---they're all spending 50-70% easily. For now, I've settled for just visiting. It's a 4-5 hour trip which sucks if I want to go out for a weekend, but since I'm saving all this cash, I guess I can afford to spend the time.

Tyler

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2013, 02:18:30 PM »
The thing about choosing your home based on friends is that eventually they may be the ones to move away.  Friends are priceless, but building your own happiness is also a valuable skill.

Something like this is a very personal choice.  It comes down to priorities, and in my experience those priorities absolutely change over time.  So there's no single right answer for everyone.

mm1970

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Re: My friends live in a very expensive place. Should I move somewhere cheap?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2013, 03:07:45 PM »
I would opt for a cheaper place with things I like to do and people I like to spend time with.

I grew up in a cheap place and it only got worse from there.  After college, I've lived in DC and Santa Barbara.  Ouch.

I wouldn't mind living somewhere cheaper, and have thought about it (but the two most likely options for our jobs are SF Bay and DC area, so, not cheaper).

What I like about SB is the ability to spend time outdoors and the people.  Lots of access to organic local food, a fair bit of liberalism.  I'd want to keep that.