Remote worker family: move to lower COL town with family or stay in large city?

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  • #93304 Reply

      We sold our house 2 years ago, paid off all debt (except for our current mortgage), and moved to a different state. We are now weighing the pros and cons of moving out of state again.

      We moved to this state mainly for better schools, but the schools have been disappointing and we are now homeschooling. I am a SAHM and my husband works fully remote.

      We are currently in a large city with a high cost of living. Our property taxes almost doubled this year, homeowners insurance is increasing 42% this summer, energy company is raising costs, etc. The pros are that its a large city, lots of things to do, cultural events, homeschool groups, great higher education universities and colleges. However, we put a lot of our profits as a down payment into this house before we started our FI journey and we regret that.

      The city we would move to is a small town–like, no target. It’s 2 hours away from the nearest airport. Income taxes are about 1% higher, car property tax is higher, but houses and property taxes are much cheaper. My husband can stay remote. We can afford private school. Public schools are also an option. We would be near all of my husband’s family for support with our kids. We would also have more liquid cash to invest.

      A big plus is that our kids would be around their 7 cousins, multiple aunts and uncles, and my in-laws.

      Are we thinking too much into this? To me, it seems like moving is the right thing to do.

      #93305 Reply

        It’s interesting that you are asking for opinions as only you know what is best for your family. If the numbers are good and you feel it’s the right choice for your family, then I think the answer is obvious.

        #93306 Reply

          Move, it is worth it for the family support. Assuming you guys can at least break even on your home now, I think its a no brainer. Best to move while they’re younger too.

          #93307 Reply

            I would encourage you to have candid conversations with your family about their vision of life with you nearby before you stake an entire move on their support. I made lots of assumptions about quality of life with family nearby that haven’t held. I have other friends who have done the same. Some worst-case scenarios may include:

            • How would you feel about moving to that city if your major supporters have significant health issues that make it impossible for them to care for you or your kids, and may require you to care for them instead?
            • How would you feel if you moved to that community and the elders who have been waiting for retirement decide to become snowbirds and spend the majority of the year in Florida or on some other traveling adventure?

            I would also add that the difference in religion and politics between me and the majority of my community does take a toll on me. We consider moving often but feel tremendous guilt moving away from family. It is also quite difficult to choke down the prices of moving to a HCOL area after becoming accustomed to our LCOL area.

            #93308 Reply

              Haven’t read every single comment but another thing to consider, especially with the way of healthcare these days is what access to healthcare looks like in the new area. Yes there will be cheaper costs for many of the things you mentioned, but I’ve found that also sometimes comes with a lack of good quality healthcare options.

              May or may not be a factor for you now – but when a need arises it’s nice to know you have options to quality care.

              This holds true for pets as well (if you have them).

              #93309 Reply

                Unless you need to be near an airport, it seems like moving checks all your boxes. I moved to a small sized city from one of the country’s largest and I regretted it.

                So, I moved to a medium sized city near that large city and am liking the in between. Find out if there is anything you could possibly miss and mitigate for it then move.

                Make sure you get along with your family too!

                #93310 Reply

                  The family portion sounds great! My hesitancy would be the airport. I started learning travel hacking a few years ago, it’s changed our lives being able to discover the world without paying money. I live in fairly LCOL though costs have been on the rise, 20 min from a small airport and 2 hours from a large international airport. We go to the large for really big trips, but to just fly to Washington DC or something like this for a long weekend, that would be tough if I had to go to the far airport.

                  But travel is not everything and you mention family around abd that sounds great.

                  #93311 Reply

                    Mind me asking what city you’re in? I’d look into Dallas/Ft. Worth areas (if you need recommendations on specific cities I’m happy to send you some great communities like you are describing). Texas has room for new residents! That would solve a lot of these problems as silly as that sounds. Lower cost of living, no income state tax, better bang for your buck on property, lots of people and things to do- more space to do them.

                    I work in the real estate world and have lived in DFW my whole life, so I know it well. Happy to give you any info you need if interested!

                    #93312 Reply

                      Life is short. You need to do what makes you happy. I do believe that where you live can truly factor into your happiness.

                      I live in the Cincinnat area, bordering Kentucky. Moving away from a city and being 2 hours from an airport would be a hard no for me. But it is hard to put a value on living near family (and friends).

                      #93313 Reply

                        My wife and I are considering a similar move. We currently live near Phoenix AZ and debating to move to Atlanta GA or Macon GA. Macon is a small town, schools aren’t great but there is a private school that is really good.

                        We have never lived in a small town, but we have family there. We have a 17 year old (about to go to college) and a 15 month old and 9 week old. We are struggling in AZ without family.

                        Downside to the small town is jobs aren’t as plentiful and not very gay friendly. 1.5 hours from the airport. Everything else is fine, I can order what we need online or go to Walmart.

                        I’m leaning more towards being near family. Like you, we drive with young kids anyways.

                        #93314 Reply

                          Why not. Life is about options and choosing the ones that best fit your ideal life. Your personal career and family circumstances allow that flexibility. If you feel like this leads you closer to your ideal life, then it sounds like it makes sense. Everything is about priorities so if this checks off your top priorities great.

                          I personally put more value in family, building wealth, and better educational opportunities.

                          Also sounds like the housing situation will be favorable as well.

                          #93315 Reply

                            Move to the LCL area as a staging ground to prepare for the next phase. Universal energy is always in motion. $ is just an energetic exchange for goods or services.

                            Keep moving, growing, learning & producing love. Being near family is a great place to create more love that’s desperately needed in this world. Your steps after that will be revealed as you move down your path. Best of luck on your journey.

                            #93316 Reply

                              Sounds like family support and activities together would make this move make sense. If you were just picking a random area I’d be more concerned.

                              #93317 Reply

                                I would move somewhere that gives you the lifestyle you want. You don’t need good schools if you can home school. Focus creating your life you enjoy and being able to help your kids with college later without doing 529.

                                We’ve noticed we can rent in California for half the amount of a mortgage and will have no surprise expenses that way. Something to think about. California for all its negatives has locked to only 2% increase yearly taxes on primary homes.

                                #93318 Reply

                                  The answer lies in a cost benefit analysis of the things you value relative to where you might live. I moved from a big city to small cool city to little college town in deeply red flyover country (near Paducah). It works for me but I know many people who would hate it here.

                                  #93319 Reply

                                    It sounds like moving is what you want to do and has a lot of pros. I made a similar move across the country 4 years ago from a super big metro area to a local cost area/ better schools/ closer to family town of pop 12,000 and it was a great decision.

                                    However, there are a few things I didn’t consider too much in advance. I do like living in a town with no Target, no Starbucks and supporting local farmers and businesses. People are generally friendly and welcoming. Cons: We drive a TON more here. It’s rural with dirt roads and hills so hard to bike safely and there’s no public transit. We had to go from up from one to two cars.

                                    It also means kids are more dependent on us to get them to activities. As my older says sometimes, “I miss sidewalks.” It’s also harder and more expensive to get any sort of services, like plumbers, roofers, contractors, not to mention childcare. And harder to do any side gigs if they are not entirely online (we don’t even have taxis, let alone Ubers). Internet can be spottier, as someone else mentioned, and there’s not the amount of coworking spaces or cafes you would get in a city.

                                    And there’s less diversity of background, education, culture so you really have to seek that out for kids.

                                    #93320 Reply

                                      As a person that grew up with a very large extended family, I can honestly tell you that the greatest thing me and my siblings had growing up was the ability to grow up with a lot of our cousins and aunts and uncles around.

                                      Giant family vacations are some of my fondest memories and the support from family through hardships is unmatched. Id trade all the money in the world for time spent with family.

                                      Good luck

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