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Old 10-01-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Rolando, San Diego CA 92115
7,990 posts, read 24,502,079 times
Reputation: 3863

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Quick background:
15 years in San Diego, grew up in NYC suburbs. 10+ years exp IT professional (SW developer). Married, small child with more planned. Own a modest home. Love San Diego but feel like I have done all there is to do. Looking for more opportunity / better CoL / better schools / better culture or some combination thereof. Not particularly tied to sunny weather or surfing or anything like that.

Looking for:
- Better job market or similar job market and salaries
- Lower CoL or high CoL offset by higher salaries
- Great schools, culture that really values education
- detached home / backyard / picket fence lifestyle
- older property, larger lots, no tract homes.

Research so far:

Denver
Pros:
- best CoL
- job market / salaries comparable (or better) to San Diego
- easy to afford good schools, nice 'hoods, parks
- lots of outdoor activities, sunshine

Cons
- isolated location
- conservative culture?
- long term job opps/salary growth seems limited

Seattle
Pros:
- lower CoL than California, although not dramatically lower
- much better job market than San Diego
- easy to afford good areas with good schools
- lots of outdoor activities, Vancouver, Portland, mountains all nearby
- Green and beautiful

Cons:

- long grey winters
- seems a bit of a counterculture area

Washington DC (most likely NOVA)
Pros:
- tremendous job opps with high pay
- tremendous cultural opps
- near my family in NY

Cons:
- horrendously expensive (but could be offset by higher pay)


Appreciate any comments anyone might have!
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:58 PM
 
Location: SF,CA
167 posts, read 348,417 times
Reputation: 191
I'll address Seattle. I was surprised at the COL, rent for me wasn't much less than I paid IN SF.

I found the job market to be limited compared to the Bay Area, but I'm sure that depends on your field.

It is beautiful and there are lots of things to do outdoors in the area, just be prepared for a severe change of climate coming from SD.

No kids for me so I can't address the schools issue.

People from CA tend to either adapt and love the weather or hate it and never adjust. Only you and your family living there for a while can determine that one. Visiting won't do it justice.

The counterculture talk of the area seems overblown to me, mostly talked about by outsiders from smaller towns who aren't used to seeing social and political diversity. I thought it seemed stuffy compared to SF for the most part, and the counterculture heavy areas are easy to avoid if you're not into that. The burbs there are like the burbs anywhere else, and the city and surrounding neighborhoods tend to have a more left leaning, alternative lifestyle vibe. Felt like typical PNW to me.

Lastly, I noticed the board in your sig, prepare for indoor park sessions for lots of the year.

Overall I liked Seattle and I wouldn't hesitate to live there again given the right opportunity presented itself. Best of luck to you.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,207 posts, read 5,137,249 times
Reputation: 1097
You forgot that DC Metros CoL is the same as San Diego. Plus the traffic is 2nd only to LA so you'll spend a lot of family/me time in your car unless you live in DC proper (bad schools) or can work from home.
A house in Rolando is not going to buy you anything better in DC Metro. Maybe less--DC and FFX County is growing like gangbusters due to low unemployment and the highly educated workforce here.
But it will have the East Coast attitude you grew up with and your children will have the same. That might make you feel more comfortable as I have gleaned from years of reading your posts that you are very uncomfortable at the thought of your kid growing up as a typical SoCal kid.
Good Luck.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Rolando, San Diego CA 92115
7,990 posts, read 24,502,079 times
Reputation: 3863
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighland View Post
You forgot that DC Metros CoL is the same as San Diego. Plus the traffic is 2nd only to LA so you'll spend a lot of family/me time in your car unless you live in DC proper (bad schools) or can work from home.
A house in Rolando is not going to buy you anything better in DC Metro. Maybe less--DC and FFX County is growing like gangbusters due to low unemployment and the highly educated workforce here.
But it will have the East Coast attitude you grew up with and your children will have the same. That might make you feel more comfortable as I have gleaned from years of reading your posts that you are very uncomfortable at the thought of your kid growing up as a typical SoCal kid.
Good Luck.
Good post, thanks.

It is true I will face higher CoL but in my field I will make 30-50% more money so that offsets it a bit. DC area has the most cons as high CoL tends to be a bigger factor than all others.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,944 posts, read 4,164,391 times
Reputation: 1756
Well, when I moved out of San Diego it was to Chicago. I would not recommend it unless you are looking for an urban lifestyle, but here are some other places you might want to check out:

Philadelphia: It is the cheapest city in the BoWash corridor and seems like a pretty good place to live, especially if you have family in the region. It certainly has a lot of character, great suburbs, and excellent cultural amenites. It's also not too far from the ocean and mountains. Personally I think it's better than DC.

Baltimore: A cheaper alternative to DC that is right down the road. Might be more ideal for a family lifestyle while offering similar amenities.

Pittsburgh: Yeah, I know what you're probably thinking but this city is very under-rated. It has neighborhoods with character, nice parks, good cultural amenities, is close to mountains, has a strong university presence, and is mad cheap compared to the other cities you are looking at. It is also weathering the recession better than about any other metro area. The downfall is that some of the locals can be provincial.

Portland:
Maybe you're not looking here due to the job situation, but it seems like an ideal place to live on the west coast. Like Seattle it has great neighborhoods, parks, and scenery.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Rolando, San Diego CA 92115
7,990 posts, read 24,502,079 times
Reputation: 3863
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Lakes View Post
Philadelphia: It is the cheapest city in the BoWash corridor and seems like a pretty good place to live, especially if you have family in the region. It certainly has a lot of character, great suburbs, and excellent cultural amenites. It's also not too far from the ocean and mountains. Personally I think it's better than DC.
I have looked at Philly quite a bit, it is on my list. A concern I have with Philly is that it seems very racially tense?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Lakes View Post
Portland:
Maybe you're not looking here due to the job situation, but it seems like an ideal place to live on the west coast. Like Seattle it has great neighborhoods, parks, and scenery.
Big concern there is the job market, it appears to be even worse than San Diego.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:59 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
81,413 posts, read 91,889,307 times
Reputation: 28071
Denver proper is not conservative; nor is Boulder. Colorado is a purple state with a huge independent streak, long known for electing people regardless of party. Right now, we have a Dem. governor, two Dem senators, and 4 Dems and 3 Repubs in the House. The Dems are the majority party in the Colorado legislature.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,207 posts, read 5,137,249 times
Reputation: 1097
[quote=Sassberto;11009248]I have looked at Philly quite a bit, it is on my list. A concern I have with Philly is that it seems very racially tense?




I lived in Philly (Ritt square for a summer then Bryn Mawr for a year). I came directly from SD to Philly. I could feel the stranglehold racist nature of the area before I noticed the humidity. "Tense" is an understatement. I"ve been in DC for over a year now. I don't feel that "Tension" here in DC but I wonder if it's just because I've acclimated to it. Like I've acclimated to not hearing spanish very much and not having good mexican food anywhere.
IN SD the only racist stuff I heard/felt was against Mexicans (Hispanics) but it didn't feel so intense as it does in Philly. This is just more of the crappy stuff about the East Coast that you have forgotten

BTW I hated Philly-like DC much better. But I'd rather have my kid in Grossmont HS than these FFX county schools that are ranked so much better.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Rolando, San Diego CA 92115
7,990 posts, read 24,502,079 times
Reputation: 3863
Quote:
Originally Posted by leighland View Post
This is just more of the crappy stuff about the East Coast that you have forgotten

BTW I hated Philly-like DC much better. But I'd rather have my kid in Grossmont HS than these FFX county schools that are ranked so much better.
Yeah I remember it. I think it's a bit more of a black/white issue in Philly than in NY or DC which are the more global cities.

Why would you rather have your kid in Grossmont than FFX schools, may I ask? You are right I don't want my kid to be a "california kid".
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Town of Herndon/DC Metro
2,207 posts, read 5,137,249 times
Reputation: 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassberto View Post
Why would you rather have your kid in Grossmont than FFX schools, may I ask? You are right I don't want my kid to be a "california kid".
A) I was a SoCal kid so if my kid was a SoCal kid, it would be just peaches with me
B) Have you spent any time reading the NoVA forums on the schools? Its just maddening!
C) FFx County has a huge deficit so I don't know how long the schools will be good (and they all are right now)
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