Author Topic: Should we move out of Seattle?  (Read 26459 times)

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #50 on: July 23, 2014, 06:51:40 PM »
I think you should move out of Seattle for two very important reasons: 1.)  Hipsters.  Hipsters everywhere.  *shudder* and 2.) Grunge is dead, so that removes the best reason to be in Seattle.  *sigh*

LOL!

Have you seen the hipster map for Seattle? Beards and fedoras are on the rise.
http://www.yelp.com/wordmap/seattle

Cressida

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #51 on: July 23, 2014, 09:40:52 PM »
Yes True.....I should have mentioned that Seattle has one of the best public transport systems in the country too. :)

Is this a joke??

Wolf_Stache

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2014, 09:52:10 PM »
Yes True.....I should have mentioned that Seattle has one of the best public transport systems in the country too. :)

Is this a joke??

It's about 10000% times better than the system I grew up with, where buses all stopped at 6Pm, and didn't run on at all on Sat, Sun, or Holidays. Oh, and did I mention there is only one route?

RootofGood

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #53 on: July 23, 2014, 11:55:41 PM »
Hey zippyc, that's cool that you're looking at places like Richmond VA and Raleigh NC.  And thanks to ch12 for citing my COL here in Raleigh!  I think both cities (Richmond and Raleigh) have places where you can buy a reasonable house in a decent area for $150-200k.

As for specifics of COL, there are a bunch of online data sources (sorry I can't point to any in particular beyond what's mentioned in this thread.  I have some specific cost data on my grocery shopping habits I can share if you're interested (a full month's worth of grocery shopping where every item and its cost is presented). 

I realize I live in a lower income area of Raleigh (not my neighborhood itself, but areas around the neighborhood).  That means cheap eats at ethnic restaurants, cheap groceries at lower end grocery stores, cheap ethnic groceries at a wide variety of Asian or Latino groceries, cheap stuff at thrift shops, and discount bakery outlets.  And we're on 2 different bus routes. 

hexdexorex

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2014, 08:11:44 AM »
Yes True.....I should have mentioned that Seattle has one of the best public transport systems in the country too. :)

Is this a joke??

It's about 10000% times better than the system I grew up with, where buses all stopped at 6Pm, and didn't run on at all on Sat, Sun, or Holidays. Oh, and did I mention there is only one route?

I gave up my car when I moved to Seattle. Was really ez to get around. Unless I wanted to leave the city proper : )

sarah8001

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2014, 05:10:25 AM »
I'm not trying to be an asshole here, and maybe I'm projecting on you a little bit, but what if moving doesn't solve your problems? My dad used to tell me "You can't apply a geographical solution to a non-geographical problem. Wherever you go, there you are." I sense a lot of nostalgia, and discontent, and boredom, and some anger or maybe regret in your post. In my limited experience, moving won't fix any of these things. Also, maybe your SAD is made worse by some situational depression? There are a billion incredible things to see and do in the PNW. The raw beauty and poetry of the land around us and the fascinating complexity of the society we live in keep me entertained daily. But I've felt this way wherever I lived. Maybe you need to try to find that wonder and fullfillment before relocationg? Sure would suck to move, and feel exactly like you do now in six months.

zippyc

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #56 on: July 27, 2014, 10:24:30 PM »
Yes, it is very likely that the grass won't be greener and that I'm sure I will miss many things. However, I've been talked out of leaving here multiple times in my life (mostly by people that no longer live here). I agree that this is one of the most beautiful and scenic parts of the country. In fact, I consider myself a bit of a scenery snob. Yellowstone, eh, it's ok. Glacier National park on the other hand is a knock out.

Getting rid of a $2400 mortgage and owning a house outright would definitely be a change and an improvement. The question is, is that one thing worth is if we don't enjoy ourselves in other ways. Probably not. However, how does one ever find out if it would be fun to move to another part of the country if they don't try?

I am so pleased that you are enjoying the area and I'm happy that you've been able to try out other places to live. I have not lived more than 1.5 hours from Seattle ever in my life and after 45 years, I'm kind of bored with the whole thing. I also don't appreciate how much more crowded, expensive, and fast paced my city has become.  I think there are areas that would provide a more kid friendly experience for my children, and really that is one of the most important things to me right now. Wouldn't an outdoor pool for the kids to play in during the summer be amazing???!!!! My kids LOVE to swim, but don't love the indoor pools. Do you feel like people who want to move out of NY city for their kids are making the wrong move because they can't find contentment where they are?

I think, at first, the move would be pretty stimulating. I kind of crave culture shock a little and that might explain why I'm kind of bored here. I've traveled to 14 other countries around the world and would really truly like to explore more of the US. I've seen a lot on the west - driven down to California and around, driven out to Chicago twice, driven through the Desert SW, once made the drive from New Orleans back to Seattle. But I'd really like to check out the East coast more. It is really so hard to reach from here. And once you have kids, that's 4 plane tickets where ever we go, so someplace within driving distance is helpful.

If it was just me, I would have been out of here years ago, but I'm part of a family. The kids will adjust. In fact, it wouldn't hurt for them to experience change and adjustment. My husband, on the other hand, is the one I'm most worried about. He doesn't like change, but I think he would do fine once he adjusted (he adjusted to Seattle from Chicago, right?).

We don't have the type of careers that pay super well and are in demand in just this area, so the more I think about it, the better I think the idea of moving is. If Hubs lost his job, we could easily scrape together $30-$40K per year to pay our bills if we didn't have a mortgage. It's that darned mortgage that makes things so stressful.

I also know for a fact that I will not be retiring here. I like hot weather. I like humidity. I hate that damp windy cold at 40 degrees that covers us for half of the year. You might like it, but I truly loathe it and I think 45 years of living here has been giving it a fair shake. I think it would be nice to get my kids out of here before their roots grow too deep, then I might have half a chance of seeing my grandchildren some day.

I was a tad more emotional when I posted originally. I feel very good about the fact that moving would be the right move for me, I just have to wait until my family gets on board. In the meantime, I'll just keep paying that mortgage. :-)

I'm also pretty sure they don't slam the gates closed behind me when I leave. If we want to come back, we can come back. What have been your reasons for moving?


surfhb

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #57 on: July 27, 2014, 10:32:58 PM »
When you told your husband everything you've told us here....what did he say?  ;)

pdxvandal

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #58 on: July 27, 2014, 11:45:18 PM »
Come to Portland. Better weather, less-shitty traffic, 30-35% cheaper housing and just as good as food. The hipster quotient may be higher here, though. :)

Seattle is the prettiest city in the U.S. (on a nice day), but I have no desire to live there. Move.

Dicey

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #59 on: July 28, 2014, 12:05:59 AM »
Okay zippyc, I have read all of your posts and most of the responses. Interestingly, though I'd been there for business and several weekends, DH and I just spent over a week in Seattle in May on nobody's schedule but our own. We are such geeks that we wandered around the Queen Anne District one *sunny* afternoon and googled every house that had a "For Sale" sign, just to see what they were going for and what they looked like inside. Cost us nothing and we had a few laughs. We're from the Bay Area, so we weren't shocked at the prices. Mostly we were amazed by the variety of styles and the craftsmanship. BTW - Who the hell owns that giant yacht on the west side of Union Lake. WTF???

We had a great trip, but I would never consider a move there because of the dreary weather, which we miraculously experienced very little of.

With that as background, here are my suggestions. First, culturally, Seattle is an awesome town. There is so much to see and do and learn. See it. Do it. Learn it.
City Pass, Chinook Book, Living Social and the freakingly awesome Seattle Public Library are your friends. Suck the marrow out of Seattle while you develop your mustachian muscles and build your savings. You are in enviable position with your house. Moving, downsizing, selling and renting all come with very expensive "hidden" costs. Living within cycling distance to work is invaluable, especially in Seattle. You live in a lovely, affordable (for a high COLA) home in a good school district. It will most likely continue to appreciate above national averages for some time. Sit on it, watch your children grow, learn how to save like a pro. Stop treating your equity as if it was burning a hole in your pocket.

Given your husband's family ties and personality, it is uncertain that you will convince him to move. Even if you do, he could hate it and make your life miserable until you agree to move back, none of which would be cheap or easy. It will suck a ton of your life energy, which could be better spent on developing your frugality muscles and enjoying your family while your children are young.

Take all the advice offered here about dealing with SADD. It truly may be clouding your judgement. You have so much going for you, but you don't really seem to know just how much is good in your life. Blame SADD, fix it and focus on blooming where you are planted for now. You're going to be one helluva garden, baby. And you have a lovely writing style. Please keep us apprised of your progress.

P.S. Have you read "A Girl Named Zippy" by Haven Kimmel? I loved it!

pdxvandal

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2014, 12:15:08 AM »
I'd advise to not take advice from anyone from N. California. I would never move there because of the dreary, rat-raced Californians.

lhamo

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2014, 08:04:43 AM »
Why not arrange to do a short-term (1-2 weeks) house swap or something similar with a family from an area you are interested in moving to?  Try on a few different places for size.  Shouldn't be that hard to arrange, and then you wouldn't just be guessing.

Personally, I dream of the day I can return to Seattle.  Hate, hate, hate the weather and so many other things about where we currently live (Beijing).  Back home for vacation now and I was seriously depressed the first couple of days because we had to submit our visa applications to go back.  Do not want to go back.  Want to stay here and let my skin remoisturize and my brain de-stress.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #62 on: July 28, 2014, 09:08:30 AM »
It is too hot in Seattle right now.   About 82 degrees today.

zippyc

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #63 on: July 28, 2014, 10:34:52 AM »
My husbands whole family is in Chicago. We would actually be much closer to them - a one day drive instead of a four day drive. Most of his best friends are also in the Midwest. He just likes it here and doesn't like change.

I have sucked the marrow out of Seattle. For heaven's sake, I was an elevator operator at the Space Needle when I was 19. My dad used to work for them and my grandfather helped to build the roof on the tower (not saying that the Space Needle is indicative of culture). Interestingly, I'm not feeling much into "culture" these days. I want some more nature - no, not the type that I have to drive 1.5 hours to get to and pray traffic isn't too much. I want to feel the space to sit still, read a book, work in a garden (my yard is too small and patiod over for a veggie garden). I also want to explore more, but something new.

I used to like camping, but I've since declared western WA off limits for camping, since I spend most of my time cold and wet (my 2 most hated things). If we can't go over the mountains, I won't go. Really, I just need to get out of the city, but I won't go out of the city here, because of the traffic and the weather isn't worth it. I would prefer a much smaller town with bigger cities within a days driving for when I want it. I actually enjoyed living in Bremerton for my stint over there. Are there still places where kids' social life isn't dependent upon scheduling play dates and organized activities? I don't mean to be a Scrooge, but I really hate scheduling play dates. In fact I need to go to the grocery store and get food, so I can invite someone else's kids over. Do kids ever just run outside and play down the street anymore?

The weather is Spectacular right now!! This is one of the best weather years we've had in a very long time. In fact, it was the 3 years of truly miserable, damp weather (this includes the summers) that really had me in a tizzy. Right now, I'm doing pretty good, but I still want to move on. I don't have SAD's right now. That is at it's worst between Feb and June. I just wish it wouldn't cool down so much at night.

We have a rule in my house that mom doesn't go in the water unless it's 85 degrees or hotter. We're almost there! I've actually gotten mild hypothermia in the Caribbean and in Hawaii. I'm a pretty big wimp! To me, all that water around here is only for looking at. I don't sail and I won't swim in it. I also don't ski, so the mountains are for hiking and looking at. If you are a boater and a skiier, this is definitely your mecca!

Anyhow, that's enough for now. I know I want to leave, but we aren't going any time soon, so I'm just belly aching and it sounds awful. Thanks!

Dicey

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #64 on: July 28, 2014, 01:53:48 PM »
Zippyc, Since it's free, bellyaching could be considered a very mustachian pursuit, albeit in limited doses. Sometimes it really does help to sort things out.

I wholeheartedly agree with you about traffic. UGH, it was far worse than SF or LA, in my experienced opinion. I was a road warrior in both cities. Even with a company car, it sucked, but nowhere close to Seattle. You have my complete sympathy on that one.

One of the reasons for our trip was for a wedding in Spokane. We spent additional time there and in Coeur d' Alene. I loved both places for their small town feel, ease of navigation, friendly people, and overall cool vibe. I was stunned by the new-ish Cd'A library. Who builds a big, beautiful library on prime lakeview property these days? The fine folks in Cd'A, that's who. RE prices were lower in both places than Seattle, too. Not sure who your husband works for, but would those areas be worth exploring?

Glad the SAD has abated. Sorry about the unclarified mis-spelling of "SAD". One of my former customers who suffered greatly from it used to always say "I'm SAD, Dammit!" When his happy light was on, we all knew to tread carefully. That stuck with me as SADD, as in, really, really bad SAD.

BTW, I don't know who pdxvandal is, but if anything in my post came off as deserving of this comment, you have my sincere apology. I tend to read the forum threads without commenting these days. I was intrigued by your situation and your clear writing style and decided to offer another perspective that I hoped would be helpful.

zippyc

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #65 on: July 28, 2014, 11:34:08 PM »
No worries, Diane. My whininess can provoke a different type of face punch! :-) I have received a lot of advice on my moving as an emotional move, but what I was looking for here was advice on moving as a financial move. That said, I added way too much emotion into the game myself.

I LOVE Coeur d'Alene! We drove through last year and I looked it up right away. Unfortunately, their warm season is the same or shorter than Seattle's. The scenery is amazing, though. I've definitely chosen the east coast with purpose. As a family, we love to travel and I see it as a great opportunity to see more of the eastern half of the US (and Canada!!) and has shorter, cheaper flights to Europe. It's even quicker to visit my dad in Ecuador. Helena MT was another really neat town. It's just so darn far from everything. Taking my husband out of a big city will also require a smaller let down, meaning he will need big city amenities nearby. If we move, I imagine it will just the next step, not the final house.

That being said, if I lived in Gary IN, would everyone tell me to stop drivelling and stay put? I understand that we make more in Seattle now, but if that changes, or we find a way to make a similar income in another town I can't see why we should stay put. That is the plan we have in place right now - if things change, we may move. I feel like so many people are crazy high on Seattle right now and their own experiences/desires with this town make them feel that no one should ever move away. Sometimes it's that thing that I feel I'm fighting against. Maybe I should listen more and not be so defensive about that.

You totally nailed it about the equity burning a hole in my pocket though! Part of that is paranoia. I've watched my house value go from $390K up to about $800K, crash down to $500K and climb back up again - much of that gain being made in the last year. Our neighborhood has become suddenly very popular and is very fueled by Amazon. I've been told I even live on the "right" side of the street. My feeling is, if someone wants to pay crazy stupid money to live on my street, I will gladly hand it over and move on. I just bought a crappy house to fix up and didn't realize I had picked one in such a great spot. I have no issues with slumming it in a smaller house on the lesser side of the street. I happen to live on the right side of the street in a very popular neighborhood, in an exceedingly popular town and it just doesn't matter that much to me. That being said, I want a clear picture of where we're going before I start selling it off. But that's a lot of money in a relatively short period of time and I do kind of feel like we should be leveraging it better before something happens and it disappears again.

You know, as a side note, I actually did go to a counselor when I knew my job was disappearing and one of the things we talked about a lot was my desire to leave and my intense dislike of the weather. She basically said she felt the only thing I could do was move. Pretty funny! Guess I tried that. I just don't want to pay more money and have that be the answer again. Kind of like I could choose to go on antidepressants with all their horrible side effects and continue to live here, or just move to sunnier weather. Hmmm.... The worst of my depression has subsided, but my desire to move has never budged in the last 4 years. I'm trying to be practical, but those damned emotions keep getting in the way. :-)

ch12

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #66 on: July 29, 2014, 09:21:48 PM »
As a family, we love to travel and I see it as a great opportunity to see more of the eastern half of the US (and Canada!!) and has shorter, cheaper flights to Europe. It's even quicker to visit my dad in Ecuador. Helena MT was another really neat town. It's just so darn far from everything. Taking my husband out of a big city will also require a smaller let down, meaning he will need big city amenities nearby. If we move, I imagine it will just the next step, not the final house.

That being said, if I lived in Gary IN, would everyone tell me to stop drivelling and stay put? I understand that we make more in Seattle now, but if that changes, or we find a way to make a similar income in another town I can't see why we should stay put. That is the plan we have in place right now - if things change, we may move. I feel like so many people are crazy high on Seattle right now and their own experiences/desires with this town make them feel that no one should ever move away. Sometimes it's that thing that I feel I'm fighting against. Maybe I should listen more and not be so defensive about that.

Unless your husband's entire family lives in Gary, I would not move there. I'm a native Hoosier myself, and that's probably not the best of destinations. There'll be a major culture shock coming from Seattle. The Chicago area is nice enough, but, as you know, it's even colder than Seattle. Humidity and sun, to me, are Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. You could pull a Marc Hardekopf and move to Orlando.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-itk10RHF_g

Chranstronaut

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2014, 11:17:09 AM »

Unless your husband's entire family lives in Gary, I would not move there. I'm a native Hoosier myself, and that's probably not the best of destinations. There'll be a major culture shock coming from Seattle. The Chicago area is nice enough, but, as you know, it's even colder than Seattle. Humidity and sun, to me, are Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. You could pull a Marc Hardekopf and move to Orlando.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-itk10RHF_g

I think she's making a Music Man reference.

ch12

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #68 on: July 31, 2014, 07:45:00 PM »

Unless your husband's entire family lives in Gary, I would not move there. I'm a native Hoosier myself, and that's probably not the best of destinations. There'll be a major culture shock coming from Seattle. The Chicago area is nice enough, but, as you know, it's even colder than Seattle. Humidity and sun, to me, are Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. You could pull a Marc Hardekopf and move to Orlando.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-itk10RHF_g

I think she's making a Music Man reference.

Ah, then I took it way too seriously. :) My mistake.

aeliz

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #69 on: July 31, 2014, 08:32:09 PM »
I moved to Seattle from Sacramento when I was 18, and I lived there for 12 years.  I loved it, I love it still, but there came a time it was time to go.  I felt like I hadn't put down roots after all that time.  And once I decided I was leaving, which was about a year before I did, I stopped investing in Seattle, and nothing could have kept me there.

I left last July 2013, and moved to Oakland, CA. I found a great place to live (that is a STEAL by COL standards like anywhere), found a job I love (after I moved, btw), met an incredible man, and now a year after my move, and contemplating how to convert him to MMM because I am fantasizing about just how much money we could save with his (much larger than my) income. I'm the happiest I've been in years, even though I wasn't miserable in Seattle, and moving catalyzed that.

I am a HUGE believer in, at some point in your life, moving away from the place you grew up in. While a move won't solve, like, big underlying problems in your life, it can give you new energy, allow you to purge, break old habits (including mental ones), and help you reset those habits. There are real and valid reasons to move that are more than monetary.  People will try to discount those reasons, which has happened in this thread, which is what's making you defensive. It's okay to have non-monetary reasons to want to move, but if you're getting defensive about those reasons, I think that's a sign to yourself that you do need to really spend some time clarifying them for yourself.  I find that if I'm getting defensive about something, there's more exploration I need to do into why.

The upshot it, it doesn't sound like fixing your budget so you're saving more will make you any more invested in Seattle.  Your budget and your desire to leave Seattle are separate issues, and I think you should treat them as such.  However, emotions around each issue are, it seems, exacerbating emotions around the other, so to alleviate that and help you clear your head and make a plan, I would:

1. Build an emergency fund to take some of the panic about thinking about money/jobs etc.  I don't have a house, but sounds like a HELOC is a good way to do think quickly, then you can start stashing some cash.  You are in an advantageous situation.  Time is on your side.  There's nothing to panic about, and a few tweaks to what you already have should make you feel calmer.

2. Build a moving timeline the same way you would a budget.  Sit down with your husband.  Explore possibilities and contingencies.  You're not committing to anything, you're just creating a picture of what different possibilities would look like.  Decided what steps you need to take to get there.  Write Pro/con lists.  When I decided to leave Seattle, I made a 3 year plan.  I made it when I was 27, and I moved a month before my 30th birthday.  Now, I was single, so it was pretty simple, but I still started planning logistics nearly a year out.  Now that my boyfriend and I are planning to move to Portland next year, we're making a similar plan together.  I would personally in your situation like a 2 year plan, just because there are so many logistics, assets, and people involved.  Plus, 2 years is a long time for the other people involved to get used to and maybe even excited about the changes.

3. Don't make any big decisions about the house until you've done 1 and 2.  In fact, if I were you, I'd take making any decisions about the house off the table for at least 6 months while I sorted out those first two steps.

4. During the ensuing time, work on your budget and saving money.  Build and emergency fund and a moving fund.

Good luck!

zippyc

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #70 on: August 01, 2014, 01:19:36 AM »
Thanks, Aeliz, that's some great advice.

I have plans to start looking for a HELOC next week. I think that will ease my mind a lot.

I have to work on my future plans alone right now, as my husband has made it clear that it's too stressful for him to think about. We have talked about it enough, however, that I have a pretty good idea what kind of move he'd be willing to make and under what circumstances. I just can't pin my hopes and dreams on getting out of here, because I'm not sure he'll ever fully agree to it.

I think I get defensive mostly because I kind of feel trapped here (unless I want to divorce, I'm stuck) and I'm surrounded by so many people that love living here so much, that all they try to do is persuade me never to move anywhere. That doesn't feel like helpful info to me. It just feels like me dealing with someone else's passion for this place.

At the same time, I also agree that it's good to really examine reasons that I want to leave and explore how I might handle it if things didn't work out the way I hoped. Although, lord knows, one of my favorite pastimes is to over think everything. And thinking about ways that we could fail by moving is exactly what keeps many people from making any changes at all. But making pros and cons is a great way to help with the decision to move.

I think the positive reasons that you listed for moving are excellent points and you are the first person who has really articulated it in that way (and I mean first everywhere, not just here).  Thank you for that.

House decisions are on hold until next Spring or when/if a big job change happens. The HELOC will give us time to catch our breath, get the house ready and make a decision about where to go next. In the meantime, we are doing a big purge this week, which doesn't require any decisions about moving, but still feels really good. It's nice to have breathing room around us, by eliminating some clutter.

Thanks again for the thoughtful feedback.

mozar

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2014, 08:24:27 PM »
This reminds me of my situation a bit.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 11:58:02 AM by mozar »

aeliz

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2014, 08:28:57 PM »
People trying to talk you out of what you feel is the worst!  But I think that's one reason you're tempted to make it about money, because then you have cold, reasonable math on your side, and they'd look unreasonable to talk you out of math.

But emotions are essential in our decision making. People like to think they make entirely "rational" decisions.  But then they follow logic like, "Well, I just got a big raise, so now I can afford that fancy car I've always wanted.  The math works."  Really, they're making an emotional decision, but cloaking it in mathematically reasonability.

What I get out of the MMM philosophy is that you should thoughtfully make decisions based on their effect on your quality of life. And "quality of life" is basically all about happiness, i.e. how you feel.  So taking into account the emotional aspect of your decisions is just as important as taking into account the monetary effects.

At the same time, I also agree that it's good to really examine reasons that I want to leave and explore how I might handle it if things didn't work out the way I hoped. Although, lord knows, one of my favorite pastimes is to over think everything. And thinking about ways that we could fail by moving is exactly what keeps many people from making any changes at all.

Ha, you know, when I gave that advice I wasn't really thinking that the timeline would include thinking about how things could fail.  I don't even know how a move could fail, really, when you've done it carefully and are in a financially good place to do it.  I mean, the worst that happens is you move across the country and you hate it and you move elsewhere.  You will have already moved once, so you're experienced, and moving again becomes way less of a big deal.  I find moving also makes me feel way less attached to my stuff.  In my move to Oakland I came to peace with the idea of my entire moving crate going up in flames, and it was an incredibly freeing revelation.

And I'm someone who lived in the U-district for 10 years because I was so afraid of how hard moving would be, so it's not like I've always been zen about this.

Roses

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2014, 04:13:20 PM »
Same thing happened to my house in NE Seattle and Iíve also been tempted to cash in on the appreciation.  However, I think itís true what people are saying that this bubble may never burst so Iíve decided to hold on to my place, but I like where we live.

I have another suggestion.  If your husband does get laid off, or even if he doesnít, you might try talking him into a trial move for a year or so.  You could rent a home in your desired city and time it so your kids start and end a full school year there rather than in the middle (donít take all your things just get cheap craigslist stuff there).  If you all like it you stay, if not you come back and pick up right where you left off in the same house, same school, etc.  So instead of selling your home in Seattle you could advertise it as a short-term fully furnished rental.  My parents and sister do that in the Greenwood/Ballard area and they get way more than market rent because they are short-term and furnished.  The key is not to do an airbnb thing where people rent your place for a week and there is a lot of turnover.  You want to advertise on Craigslist, Ballard momís list, etc and then youíll see how many people need short-term housing in this area.  Most stay between 3 and 9 months.  The reasons vary but you get a lot of hospital residents/interns, visiting professors, researchers on temporary projects, also consultants & interns at boeing, Amazon and other companies.  Lots of people who relocated here for a job but havenít decided where they want to buy so they look for something temporary until they get the ley of the land.  And then the biggest category is families remodeling their home (lots of that right now) who need a place to move to for 6 months or so. Oh and also people who sold their home and have to move out but still havenít found something to buy.  My family seems to never have vacancies.  You have to get someone locally to help if there is a move out/move in.  I just did that last weekend for my sister who has been travelling the world for the past year and is living off her rental townhome.   To give you an idea, a 1300 sf, 3bd, 2ba townhouse on a busy street in Greenwood rents for 2600K/mo, furnished, and average stay is 6 months.  Sounds like your house is bigger/nicer/better located so youíd get more.  By the way, most of these short-term renters are professionals and damage to property has never been an issue.  But you have to screen people just like you would a regular rental.

I know this plan doesnít take advantage of the equity on your home but you can always sell your home at the end of the trial period if you decide to stay (I bet the market next summer will be just as hot as this one).  And this gives you a little flexibility and maybe peace of mind for the hubs. 

Roses

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2014, 04:16:33 PM »
Iím wondering about your car situation.  In your first post you said you donít drive much and your husband bikes to work.  Maybe I missed this but why do you have two cars and spend $100 on gas?  You could sell one car and save on insurance and maintenance.  I assume your kids go to Ballard schools.  Iím sure they have other activities but since your neighborhood has pretty much everything you can think of Iím wondering where all the driving is to.  Ballard is so walkable.  And even if you drove within the neighborhood it couldnít be that bad.

Iím in a similar situation Ė also SAHM, also freelance from home.  Weíre in NE Seattle.  I walk my son to school, walk or bike to parks & playgrounds, friendís houses, grocery store, even restaurants and other non-mustachian activities.  I do use our car every couple days but I have no reason to sit in traffic.  Neither does my husband (he bikes/buses to work).  Weíre so oblivious to the traffic that weíll occasionally do something really dumb like try to leave on a road trip on Friday afternoon.  Then we look at each other and say ĎOh yeahÖ. Traffic sucks here!  DuhÖí  So then next time we just leave earlier or on a weekday and itís no problem. 

As for 'been there done that', I often feel the same (been here 2 decades) but somehow new places and activities are always popping up.  Iím not saying you should stay if you donít like it but if you do stay for a while longer to accommodate the family, might as well make the best of it.  Iím certain there are new experiences you havenít had.  Iíd be happy to share some of my favorites.  BTW, Iíve never reserved a campground in E WA and I always find something good Ė but I try to go during the week and never on holidays.

As for the playdate issue, I hate that term too.  Check out this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-bernholdt/banish-the-playdate_b_5577558.html  Seems to be a trend all over the country, not just Seattle.  For what itís worth, my kid bikes and scooters all over our neighborhood and has met lots of neighbor kids in the process.  They play on the street all the time.  Several homes have put up slides, swings and even a zipline on the sidewalk that all kids are welcome to use.  We still get asked for playdates by school friends but most live close enough to just walk over and once the families get to know each other it becomes much more informal. 

CDP45

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #75 on: August 03, 2014, 12:24:33 AM »
Zippyc is stressed about money because they are spending almost 50% of take home pay on housing.

You should consider housing options that cost 25% of your take home, or about $1250/mo. This may necessitate moving further from downtown , but I couldn't tell where your DH worked amid the blathering. Taking public transit will reduce transit expenses. I recommend living on the same side of town he works on so he doesn't have to community across a downtown metropolis daily.

Your family is in a precarious financial situation due to your high spending, don't pursue additional debt such as a HELOC. Don't plan on "trial moves" either, real estate transaction costs will be at minimum 5%.

Don't worry about any other expense category, as all of your spending besides the house only adds up to $2400 for a family of 4, commendable.

RapmasterD

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #76 on: August 03, 2014, 02:23:09 AM »
I'd advise to not take advice from anyone from N. California. I would never move there because of the dreary, rat-raced Californians.

Unnecessary.

Dicey

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #77 on: August 05, 2014, 11:59:39 AM »
I'd advise to not take advice from anyone from N. California. I would never move there because of the dreary, rat-raced Californians.

Unnecessary.

Thanks, RD. I was surprised that the mods didn't pick up on this. Initially I was puzzled by it, but not for long. Nobody who's FIRE can be described as "dreary or rat-raced", no matter where they live. Since my time is my own, I looked up this relative noob's posts and found this:

I grew up in Boise...you won't find nicer people.

I've lived in Oregon for 15 years and would never return to Idaho full time. People are friendly, but not as friendly as Boise.

I don't see much CA experience. Perhaps a visit to Boise would restock his supply of nice.

Roses

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #78 on: August 05, 2014, 03:05:47 PM »
I gotta show my husband this thread. He was brainstorming retirement places and was all enthused about Seattle.
On the other hand...for the OP, something you said jumped out at me about Seattle not being what it used to be. Where I live, the neighborhood was solid working class 1900-late 1990s, then it gentrified. I've heard people say how much they miss the old neighborhood and I see their point, even though we bought in 2008. We wanted a small prewar home in an established neighborhood with small businesses, and that's what it is. But I also wonder if there isn't some rose colored glasses when looking back.  I don't know the  answer, wherever people flock they bring change.

It depends on what your husband was attracted to about Seattle.  There are areas near Seattle that would be good for retirement and still reap some benefits like natural beauty, being near the water, lots of outdoor activities, etc..  And you could still come into the city (at non-traffic times) if you wanted.  But if you want to live right in the city then it's pretty expensive. 

zippyc

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #79 on: August 05, 2014, 05:01:50 PM »
Basenji, I know a couple that moved here from "near DC" for retirement and they Love it. They came from MD and bought a $1 mil house here with a view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. He is the first person to declare my insanity when it comes to my desire to move. They really like the cooler weather (a couple years ago, it didn't hit 70 degrees until after July 4th). I also have friends that love the cooler weather. Unfortunately, it's just not for me. Also, it would be an adventure for you. It really is one of the most beautiful areas of the US here and there's plenty to explore, if you're so inclined. It's just that I have been there, done that for 45 years and I'd rather experience something different and slower.

Living near DC, you are probably used to much worse traffic and housing that is just as expensive, if not worse, so unless you are looking for cheaper, this could be a fine move for you.

I'm not a huge fan of the Seattle burbs or outlying areas, so I will either stay here in the city or move elsewhere, but you could save a lot of money by living near the city, but not in it, especially since you won't be working. I do believe the Seattle burbs are very different than those on the east coast or in the midwest. Hard to explain. If you do live in the city, learn to take the bus. They just announced all the areas of free parking in the various neighborhoods that they will be metering. In my own neighborhood, if I can find a parking spot in the town center, they charge about $4/hr to park. Of course, that's all the more reason to park the Clown Car and bike, walk, or bus. :-)

Also if you boat and/or ski, this is a great area. I don't do either. I told my husband if we stay, I want the kids to learn to ski, as I think that is the key to getting through the winters here.

I'm just a cranky, cold Seattleite looking for a change, so don't put too much weight on my woes.

zippyc

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #80 on: August 05, 2014, 05:58:26 PM »
No way would my husband ever do rural. Getting him to an area of $300,000 people would be hard enough. :-)

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the US right now. It's being bantered about a lot these days and I think it makes a lot of people start thinking that this would be a great place for them to live. If you can live without the sun for 6 months at a time, you could be fine, but lots of people have no idea how the lack of light will affect them until they get here. For some it takes a year or two before they start to go stir crazy. I swear half the people I know are on antidepressants. Then, of course, everything is hunky dory. :-) But for some, it never affects them and they wonder what all the hoopla is about. You can see the dichotomy of opinions of the residents on the city data forums.

New Orleans might be fun! Talk about culture!

mozar

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Re: Should we move out of Seattle?
« Reply #81 on: August 05, 2014, 07:40:54 PM »
I do believe the Seattle burbs are very different than those on the east coast or in the midwest.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:01:42 PM by mozar »