Considering a big move — The Bump
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Considering a big move

Over the past two years, my husband and I have been thinking more and more that where we live may not be for us. I'm from here (just outside of Washington, DC) and my husband is from another part of the state. Moving here was the safe choice after grad school because of the job opportunities and because our parents would be within driving distance (mine about 20 mins away, his about 2hrs). Eight years later, we own a home and have a three year old and a new baby. We both have stable (although not terribly lucrative) jobs as public school teachers. Our parents are very involved in our kids' lives and help out whenever we ask.
Despite the pros, there are many cons that seem to be carrying more and more weight lately. It's expensive to live here, it's fast-paced and competitive, and although we have friends and great neighbors, in general people here are not very friendly and it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. Although there are many opportunities here, we're concerned about the effect of this environment on our kids as they grow up. Ideally, we would like to be in a much smaller, slower-paced and more friendly community. We're drawn to the idea of moving to a completely different part of the country but realize that comes with more risks than a shorter-distance move. 
I'm curious - has anyone else made the decision to move for these reasons? Or maybe just some validation that we're not totally crazy to consider it. 

Re: Considering a big move

  • I haven't done this. I am born and raised in Southern California and 90% of family is here, not to mention ALL my friends. That said, I do not think you're crazy. I fantasize about moving because of the cost of living and also the potential for work elsewhere that would really be a career boosters. Leaving family/support would be hard so I would think on that a lot. Is there somewhere you could go with friends or family near by? I think that would make it easier. Then there is obviously finances, but I'm sure you're already thinking on that. Good luck either way! My boyfriend lived in 3 states growing up (with no family nearby) and a 4th for college. People do it all the time. :)
  • You are not crazy.  DH and I are in a similar situation as you: both have decent jobs, close to family and friends, area has great schools, and we are expecting our 2nd baby in February.

    We have been fantasizing about moving South for years, before we had our first child.  We live in a HCOL area and we aren't fans of the prolonged winters (NJ).  But the guilt of moving our kids away from their family makes me feel so guilty and I often wonder if that would be something I'd come to regret.  I never lived close to my own family growing up and while I have relationships with my cousins, I imagine it might have been different had we lived closer.

    As far as advice, I don't really have any.  My gut tells me that the possibilities of having a better quality of life would be paramount in another area but that's mainly financial (which is huge, of course).  But does that outweigh a better quality of life in terms of being close to family?  We haven't determined that yet.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one!



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  • You aren't crazy at all. I've been daydreaming of doing that for years! We live outside of Boston, where it's almost impossible to find affordable housing in a safe area with a commute shorter than 1-1.5 hours. The cost of living is horribly high. However, as tempted as I am, I don't think we could ever move away from our family and friends. At least not a major move to a different part of the country. I'm relatively biased with this though because most of my family lives 800 miles away and my brother moved to the other side of the country and it bothers me quite a bit.  What about just moving to a different part of the state or a state or two away? That way you could still be relatively close to family/friends and still probably hit most of what you want quality-of-life-wise. Our main reason for not doing that is availability of jobs at the moment but we are hoping to do this in the future.


  • I live in NoVa and work/take the train into DC so I know exactly how you feel.  We have often considered moving somewhere slower paced and more "friendly".  I feel like I go through phases where things are cool and I am fine, and other times when I can't believe this is my life.  It is SO expensive (family and friends from other areas are usually astounded at how much of our income goes to mortgage and daycare), people can be pretty unfriendly, and it is definitely a rat race.  However, although we have talked often of moving, I think we are here to stay.  We both love our careers, and the area we ended up living in.  It is hard to find a sense of community in a place like this, but I think we have.  My daughters' daycare has been a great way for them to be involved in things actually.  And while we have some crappy neighbors, we also have some pretty great ones.  Plus, my daughters will be going to a pretty good school system with a pretty good track record.

    Good luck.  I know living here can be rough and I hope you're able to find a way to be happy here or somewhere else.


     

  • My husband and I just moved from Illinois to North Carolina with our 15 month old. But our reasons were mostly opposite yours. We both had lucrative jobs for our area, the cost of living was more than manageable, and our daycare was just amazing- not too expensive and just amazing with our daughter. But the schools there weren't great, we didn't yet own a home so we didn't have to worry about selling it, and the nearest family was 3 hours away. We decided to move here since most of my husband's immediate family is here and they could help. The schools here are better too. But I'm not sure if I'd do it again. I'm now a 12 hour drive from my family and all my friends, the daycare here is much more expensive, and it took me 3 months to find a job and I'm making less per hour than I was back home. My husband found a job within 6 weeks but is also making much less than before. The cost of living for housing to rent is more expensive here but we're making significantly less money. We're not going back because honestly we can't afford another move right now and we wouldn't be guaranteed to get our old jobs back, but I miss my people. The people that we built up around us to care for our child. They all love her and we miss each other a lot. We are getting help from my husband's family for childcare and we're even temporarily living with my MIL until we can save enough for a place of our own, but I just wish we had done a little more research before leaving. Maybe secured jobs first- I did try that, but apparently job market here goes extremely slow. If you really are interested in moving, you could consider north Carolina yourselves. They pay their teachers pretty well (my MIL is a teacher) and it's not too far from DC area. I just highly advise securing jobs first. 
  • MrsFL2015MrsFL2015 member
    edited June 2016
    I can't give you any advice regarding your move and your happiness; however, I will speak to you regarding your career and money.  I am a public school teacher and grew up in the Northeast.  Public schools teachers in the Northern states do much better financially than some of the other states.  I moved to a Southern state because of my husband's job and I make about 10K less than I did in my old state.  My state doesn't have a strong union (or really a union at all) and we rarely get pay raises or salary increases.  I have a master's degree and 5 years of experience but I only make 43K a year.    The cost of living is somewhat less expensive in the South, but not always.  Housing and utilities are less expensive, but other items are the same.  I find clothing, food, cars, furniture and other items cost the same in the South as up North.   I still pay the same amount on my student loan payment even though my income is much less than when I lived up North.  

    I would consider this because you're a family living strictly on two teacher incomes.  Teacher salaries and the working conditions/expectations are much different in other areas of the country.   I would advise you do some serious research on schools, school culture, teacher culture/expectation/evaluation systems and salaries before making any decisions.   I was in shock at how different the education system was when I moved and I had difficult time adjusting at first.   
  • I think it is courageous to think about moving your family.  My family moved from CT to VT to be closer to my family (more cousins closer to our daughter's age).  What seemed like a no brainer decision was actually really tough.  My husband is from CT, never lived out of state and has aging parents.  At the time we had a 6 month old daughter.  I was always waiting for the right time, but there was never going to be a right time.  Good jobs are hard to find in VT.  One came up that I had passed up twice in previous years and I said to myself "you pass this up, then forget about moving".  I took the job.  It was rough selling our house and my husband was way out of his comfort zone, but we made the move.  The cost of living is still high in Northern VT, but family was calling me back. You will make the right choice.  The best choice isn't always easy to make.  Quality of life ia key in my opinion.  Happy parents make happy children.  Good luck!
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