This business insider article about an SF Bay Area house that sold $1 million over asking caught my eye.
Here in Boulder, we’re up 100% over the last seven years. Most of the increase has happened in the last 2.5 years.
Notwithstanding our big local increase, the “coasts” and luxury vacation markets look expensive from here.
The coasts look even more expensive when I factor in…
Schooling – Can I use the local schools? If not then my cost of living jumps by $25,000 per kid, per annum, after tax – see the linked article – public, in-state education will save my family $1 million per kid.
Tax Base vs Legacy Liabilities – How heavily taxed is the location? How large are the legacy liabilities (health care and pension) from former city, county and state employees? The large cities of the oldest parts of the US look awful in this regard.
Other costs of living – Cali always surprises me when I run the numbers. I suspect it’s similar in places like New York and Seattle. Costs are 50% more expensive for the rest of my budget.
I am not recommending that you sell. I’ve made a decision to hold through the next recession.
However, the relative trade into “states with great lifestyles” strikes me as attractive — North Carolina, Montana, Idaho and Colorado.
If you are considering taking-the-leap…
Live where you don’t need to leave — can I create a long-term, year-round, local life here?
When I worked in international finance the “top guys” had homes in three or four countries. That kind of overhead has two negative impacts on your life: (1) your ethics are easier to purchase; and (2) you’ll need (at least) an extra decade of full-time office work.
Kill your commute — can I live within an easy walk, or a short ride, of where I spend my time?
When I was thinking about moving to Cali, I plotted my life in Google Maps. I did the same thing for my prospective life in Palo Alto. That gave me two geographic “triangles” and I calculated real estate and family costs inside the triangles.
Finally, surround yourself with people that live a life you’d like to follow. I do best with an active, outdoor life in a location with abundant sunshine.
This last point is important — know what you want — know where you do best.
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