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Old 03-29-2010, 05:36 PM
 
102 posts, read 485,526 times
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Here’s our situation, more or less. If you have any experience like this or thoughts about it, I would love to hear from you. It would be great to hear what people who aren't emotionally invested in this might think:

We have lived here in Northern Virginia for about 10 years and enjoy it. We have 2 kids, ages 9 and 11, and live a comfortable lifestyle, with friends and activities that keep us happy. My husband has recently learned about a very strong possibility of having a good job transfer to Va Beach, a place we’ve vacationed many times and enjoy very much.

My basic question comes down to this: Would you move your family if you didn’t really HAVE to? It’s so hard to figure out what to do… we like where we are, but it’s awfully tempting to start a new adventure in a place we think we’d like, too.

A few more basic facts: We don’t have family nearby, and by moving we wouldn’t really be much further away or closer to our family, so that factor is a ‘wash.’ The schools here are good, but schools In Va Beach are good, too – so we don’t feel like we’d sacrifice the kids’ quality of education by moving. I wouldn’t want to move when the kids are older (esp in HS), so if we are going to do something like this, our time frame would be within the next year or two.

Financially, the move would make sense for us. We have a lot of equity in our house here (even with the adjustment in prices of the past couple of years), so we’d come away with plenty of $$ for a down payment and also a chunk we could put into savings. (We don’t have much savings now due, in part, to the high cost of living here.) We could probably buy a house that’s a bit newer and nicer than the house we live in now.

The downside, of course, would be leaving our friends and the roots we’ve established here, and having to deal with the general stress and logistics of moving. I know we’d miss our friends and our favorite places around here. I believe my husband and I would be fine, but I worry about uprooting the kids from people they’ve known their whole lives. Then again… kids are pretty resilient and would make new friends in their schools and activities, right?

I know we can’t predict the future, but I guess I’m scared about moving and then feeling like we’ve made a mistake. However, part of me thinks a less rat race lifestyle would suit us nicely, especially at this point in our lives (mid-40s). Plus, I guess I forgot to mention how much we all LOVE the beach – and the thought of living so close to our favorite vacation spot is really appealing.

What do you think??? Are we nuts for thinking about moving?
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,794,063 times
Reputation: 17500
Who is paying for this? Did he get a full relocation package?

Realize it costs about 8% to 10% of the price of the home you are selling to move. So, you got a $400K home that's $32K to $40K out of pocket.

Another way of looking at it, at 10% in an S&P500 index fund, that $35K is worth $70K in seven years and $140K in 14 years (and $280K in 28 years).

Are you sure you want to move?
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:36 PM
 
1,143 posts, read 1,845,005 times
Reputation: 1131
We just moved from the west coast to Richmond, VA. I'm extremely homesick.

it's a different situation then yours in that we're very, very far from anything we knew/know. We can't just pile into the car and go and visit friends, our favorite librarian, play in our favorite parks etc. etc.

For us, it will be a melancholy once a year thing and, I'm afraid, horribly sad. Obviously I'm not in the best place about all of this.

I have twin 6 years olds. We pretty much had to move and it involved the CA economy.

I would say conflicting things: 1) yes, friends, roots, familiarity DO matter. 2) you'll be close enough that you can return when you want to. 3) moving kids is very hard at the ages your kids are. My parents did it to me every 3 yrs. and I didn't adjust well at all.

I thought I was bored to pieces in CA and wanted adventure. Well, now that I'm here: I only want to get back to my "real life." I don't know what the future will bring. Maybe I'll adjust just fine and get on w/ life. Or maybe I'll use every skill of persuasion I've ever had to get my husband to relocate closer to what we know.

Feel free to PM me. I was in your shoes in many ways. Until I took the plunge. Also, it didn't help that I didn't know Richmond (Glen Allen) at all and trusted my husband to make a good choice.

I'm not always a total sad sack. Thanks for letting me vent.

Alley
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,794,063 times
Reputation: 17500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia64 View Post
We just moved from the west coast to Richmond, VA. I'm extremely homesick.

it's a different situation then yours in that we're very, very far from anything we knew/know. We can't just pile into the car and go and visit friends, our favorite librarian, play in our favorite parks etc. etc.

For us, it will be a melancholy once a year thing and, I'm afraid, horribly sad. Obviously I'm not in the best place about all of this.

I have twin 6 years olds. We pretty much had to move and it involved the CA economy.

I would say conflicting things: 1) yes, friends, roots, familiarity DO matter. 2) you'll be close enough that you can return when you want to. 3) moving kids is very hard at the ages your kids are. My parents did it to me every 3 yrs. and I didn't adjust well at all.

I thought I was bored to pieces in CA and wanted adventure. Well, now that I'm here: I only want to get back to my "real life." I don't know what the future will bring. Maybe I'll adjust just fine and get on w/ life. Or maybe I'll use every skill of persuasion I've ever had to get my husband to relocate closer to what we know.

Feel free to PM me. I was in your shoes in many ways. Until I took the plunge. Also, it didn't help that I didn't know Richmond (Glen Allen) at all and trusted my husband to make a good choice.

I'm not always a total sad sack. Thanks for letting me vent.

Alley
You didn't even mention the crummy weather compared to CA. Having kids stuck inside for six months sucks. In CA, the kids are outside all year, in shorts, playing, de-energizing. Just about everywhere else in the US the are stuck inside a lot of the time.
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Dallas TX
14,993 posts, read 21,635,335 times
Reputation: 22099
We did this about two years ago. It was a really tough decision, but we thought it was best for us. The biggest factor for us was finances. The taxes where we lived just kept rising and for us we were never able to get ahead.

So we looked around and found a great place to move, bigger house, less taxes and we ended up close to family (not planned, it just worked out that way!) It has been really tough on myself and my son. I miss my friends, I had a fabulous group of women I had spent years getting to know, lived through good times and bad times. Now I have to rebuild relationships, and for me it has been really hard. I have never had trouble making friends, but for some reason here, I am.

My son has had a terrible time. He went from having dozens of friends and being well liked in school, to having only a couple of friends and bullied in school. He is getting better by the day, but misses our old neighborhood.

I think you have to really evaluate why you want to move. If you have a great community IMO there is nothing better. I would trade my big house for a smaller house and a great community in a second.
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 4,796,500 times
Reputation: 672
I did this exact same thing 6 years ago. I was born and raised in Arlington, then moved out to Centreville as an adult - so I lived up there for 41 years. 6 years ago my mom had passed away, my daughter had graduated high school (son still in elementary) and I was ready for a change.

I did not HAVE to move, but I was sick of the DC area craziness and I hated throwing all my money away on mortgage pmts (as you know, taxes up there are insane). I have family in Hampton Roads and it felt like a second home anyway, so the move was a no brainer.

6 years later, I know I would never ever go back to NoVa. The cost of living here is so much less - for everything. Things like car repairs, food etc - all cheaper. The weather.... well, unless you absolutely LOVE the snow and love the traffic that comes with it... you will love this area. Summer weather is the same, but it is already spring here and I have worn shorts through Thanksgiving before.

My son was originally not happy to be changing schools, but after a year he said he loved it here. Even though the school he attends is not as good as the Fairfax County schools, he is getting a good education and we are pleased.

The biggest change for me was the overall stress factor. NoVa is always rush rush rush - traffic at all times of the day. Here it is just much calmer overall. Sure there is traffic at the tunnels mainly (and it can happen at any time), but I can travel on the weekends without worries of major backups.

There is plenty to do here, and the weather allows you to spend more months involved in outdoor activities.

And yes.... I would move out of Northern Virginia again in a heartbeat - even if I didn't have to.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Here
413 posts, read 754,970 times
Reputation: 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandriaVa11 View Post

I know we can’t predict the future, but I guess I’m scared about moving and then feeling like we’ve made a mistake. However, part of me thinks a less rat race lifestyle would suit us nicely, especially at this point in our lives (mid-40s). Plus, I guess I forgot to mention how much we all LOVE the beach – and the thought of living so close to our favorite vacation spot is really appealing.

What do you think??? Are we nuts for thinking about moving?
I think you've already answered your own questions by posting this and are looking for affirmation that you SHOULD move. You cite lots of good reasons to stay but I sense there is a HUGE desire to move to VA Beach. If you're ready for something different, go ahead and make the move. You know what you're giving up, but are unsure of what you're going to gain. That's the adventure. That hardest thing will be the lack of routine, lack of established restaurants, doctors, etc. that you have already in place. You'll start all over and won't be able to "go back". You'll reminesce about what you miss in NOVA. Don't do that or you WILL be miserable. I think that's the mistake most people make. They try to compare the place they've moved to from where they moved from. We made that mistake.

Our situation is not different from yours. We have a good life where we live currently, good jobs, good environment to raise our kids. But, we are bored of the area, have no family, no established network of friends (despite having lived here for almost 20-years). Our current area is not very welcoming to transplants. We too are looking to move shortly.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:31 AM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,186,017 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandriaVa11 View Post


What do you think??? Are we nuts for thinking about moving?

Think long and hard - are you sure you don't have "The grass is greener" syndrome? Remove the emotional aspect out of your decision-making.

I also agree with Charles when it comes to finances. In this economy you don't want to spend unnecessarily.

After saying those 2 things -- No, I would not move your family if you didn’t really HAVE to. But that's my opinion.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:38 AM
 
Location: FL
304 posts, read 654,169 times
Reputation: 113
This is a tough-y!! We have ben facing a similar situation and just decided to stay and not move for 2 reasons: financially there were no aspects of moving that would have not been scary, and our son who has autism just made a best friend here 2 months ago for the first time in his life and I cant tear him away from that. sometimes its the very little things that make your life. Of course we dont have a home and equity or job proscpects where we wanted to go, and it is also a matter for us that we will end up there as my husband's grad school is there, but we werent ready yet. Its amazing how you really need to TRY and take the grass is greener glasses off and almost meditate on this and see how your heart would feel without all the little things that make up your lives now. Location, I think its super important, but as someone else mentioned, so is community. On the one hand I agree that your kids will adjust but you can never predict how quickly or how well etc. Also, comes to mind the cliche if it aint broke dont fix it. However in contrast I think of how nothing in life happens if we dont take risks and make changes and get out of our comfort zone. I think you should try analyzing this in that light. Are there so many things in your daily lives that you cant imagine yourself without? My sister and her husband in their late 40s just made a major move from CT to CA and are thrilled that they took the plunge and are embracing the change. Whatever you do to decide, try not to get dreamy, try to ground your thoughts in reality and remember how you feel now, how you feel driving around your town, going to your local hang out places or what your kids do and where and try and picture yourself not there any more. And remember, change is good and normal and healthy and risks are necessary, but I wouldnt say you definitely should not move if you dont have to. You are in many ways lucky to have this option before you. Especially if you think you would be thrilled at the beach town. Best of luck!
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,565 posts, read 33,282,476 times
Reputation: 32116
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandriaVa11 View Post
Here’s our situation, more or less. If you have any experience like this or thoughts about it, I would love to hear from you. It would be great to hear what people who aren't emotionally invested in this might think:

We have lived here in Northern Virginia for about 10 years and enjoy it. We have 2 kids, ages 9 and 11, and live a comfortable lifestyle, with friends and activities that keep us happy. My husband has recently learned about a very strong possibility of having a good job transfer to Va Beach, a place we’ve vacationed many times and enjoy very much.

My basic question comes down to this: Would you move your family if you didn’t really HAVE to? It’s so hard to figure out what to do… we like where we are, but it’s awfully tempting to start a new adventure in a place we think we’d like, too.

A few more basic facts: We don’t have family nearby, and by moving we wouldn’t really be much further away or closer to our family, so that factor is a ‘wash.’ The schools here are good, but schools In Va Beach are good, too – so we don’t feel like we’d sacrifice the kids’ quality of education by moving. I wouldn’t want to move when the kids are older (esp in HS), so if we are going to do something like this, our time frame would be within the next year or two.

Financially, the move would make sense for us. We have a lot of equity in our house here (even with the adjustment in prices of the past couple of years), so we’d come away with plenty of $$ for a down payment and also a chunk we could put into savings. (We don’t have much savings now due, in part, to the high cost of living here.) We could probably buy a house that’s a bit newer and nicer than the house we live in now.

The downside, of course, would be leaving our friends and the roots we’ve established here, and having to deal with the general stress and logistics of moving. I know we’d miss our friends and our favorite places around here. I believe my husband and I would be fine, but I worry about uprooting the kids from people they’ve known their whole lives. Then again… kids are pretty resilient and would make new friends in their schools and activities, right?

I know we can’t predict the future, but I guess I’m scared about moving and then feeling like we’ve made a mistake. However, part of me thinks a less rat race lifestyle would suit us nicely, especially at this point in our lives (mid-40s). Plus, I guess I forgot to mention how much we all LOVE the beach – and the thought of living so close to our favorite vacation spot is really appealing.

What do you think??? Are we nuts for thinking about moving?
Actually me and my family did the reverse of what you are doing. Moved from the Hampton Roads area (which contains VA Beach) to Alexandria in 04. We didn't really have to do it but it just provided more opportunities.

The move definitely wasn't easy on me since I would be starting 11th grade at a different HS. But I was a loner anyway. Once I left HS however the move started paying off. I got a good education out of a local comm college here I got jobs which I could take public transportation to which I would not have been able to do in Hampton Roads. I've visited some interesting places.

Even though I hate living here in Alexandria, I would still make the move if I had to do it over again. Mainly because this area has helped to give me some good experiences. I don't think you are nuts for thinking about this. Moving and staying both make good sense.

I wouldn't worry about the kids. Most kids in VA Beach are transplants who have moved a lot so they will at least have kids that understand their situation.

Personally, I think the move is a good idea. Not just b/c I love Hampton Roads and hate NoVA. But you have the opportunity to live a laid back lifestyle which you seem to like.

Good luck.
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