So, it’s decided, we’re moving! To North Carolina! Hooray! (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, see yesterday's big reveal post)
Can you tell I’m excited? But also scared (I've only been to the east coast once!). And a little sad too (I love living in California!). However, this means that we’re only a year and a half away from being able to buy a house, instead of 10+ years, like we would be if we stayed in California.
It wasn’t an easy decision to get here though.
Back in September when we started talking about the possibility of moving somewhere more affordable than the Bay Area, we kept expecting to find some way to be able to stay here. We did a ton of number crunching, savings projections, and even did a comparison against several cities across the country, looking at average home prices, salaries for similar jobs to what we have now, etc. Nothing looked good for us staying here, considering a 20% down payment on a comparable house to what we currently rent in the Bay Area is at least $200k. We didn't want to have to make the major sacrifices that a lot of people do around here, like living in ultra-tiny homes, living in a bad neighborhood, or commuting 3+ hours a day.
And then we started talking to our friends about the possibility of moving, and not a single person could help us out. Nobody knew a magic answer that would allow us to stay here and be able to afford a house before we’re 40, and be able to retire before we’re 80. As it turns out, our friends who didn't sacrifice what type of home/location they wanted all had their parent's help with their home purchase. Definitely not something we wanted to do, even if it was an option. We wanted to be able to buy a good sized house, in a good area, on our own.
So slowly, even though we didn’t want to, we gave up on living the rest of our lives here (although the minute we win the lottery, we’ll be back in a flash). After lots and lots and lots of research, we narrowed down our choices of where to move, to either Colorado or North Carolina, and visited both places. Which I wrote about here, but made you all think they were just vacations, and not scouting missions. ;)
Denver was amazing, and we probably would have picked it, if we hadn’t also visited Raleigh/Durham. But the fact that your money goes further in NC than it does in Denver won out, even though the east coast weather does still scare me.
After visiting both places we made a crazy-big matrix of all our criteria for a place to live, and then weighted the categories by personal importance. Then, we individually ranked each city, and it came out to about a one percent difference between the two! You can’t argue with the numbers though, and I think it will be great living near at least one of our siblings, since there was no way we would move back to the Pacific Northwest, where my sister still lives.
So now it’s December, at the time I’m writing this, and we’re trying to figure out all the logistics and when we can even move. There’s a lot still up in the air at the moment, and it’s going to be a pain in the ass, but one thing that is certain is that the short term headache of a cross country move will put us in a much better place for our long term life goals!