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Old 05-05-2017, 05:05 PM
 
45 posts, read 64,337 times
Reputation: 44

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My husband and I moved to Silicon Valley from Seattle with our two young children a few years ago, and we're thinking about moving again due to the insane housing costs. Here, we just can't buy the home we want in the neighborhood we want to live in. Whereas, in Seattle we were making less money but living better. We're very familiar with the Seattle and Irvine areas, so any information, particularly on Austin or Denver would be very helpful.

What we're looking for:
- We're in tech, so there must be a decent job market for tech and we're looking for top tech company presence.
- Good place to raise a family - safe, good schools
- Walkable city or town close to city with lots of amenities and fun things to do (good restaurants, shops, farmers markets, art galleries, museums, etc.)
- Decent weather

Our perceived pros and cons (based on experience and some on research):

Seattle

Pros - network of friends, housing is more affordable than here (as is the case almost anywhere else) although not as affordable as some other areas on the list, cool neighborhoods with great restaurants, mountains close by, beautiful scenery

Cons - the weather - this is why we left. However, we were living on the edge of a boring suburb, and I'm telling myself that if we live in Seattle where there's more action, the weather won't bother me as much. I definitely didn't spend as much time outdoors there because of the weather and that bothers me.

Irvine

Pros - family, great weather, beach, close proximity to the city and many amenities, less expensive housing than SV but probably a bit more expensive than Seattle

Cons - not as exciting as living in a city, can be boring, smog, traffic (I guess this can be added to most of the cities on this list)

Austin

Pros - Friendly people, cool vibe/different than the rest of TX, outdoor activities, low cost of living/housing costs

Cons - the heat and humidity (how humid does it get? worse than So Cal?, bugs (are there really scorpions?), it's still TX, far from friends and family

Denver

Pros - sunny, not as far from friends and family, also has cool neighborhoods and amenities, mountains, outdoor activities

Cons - cold, snowy winters, tech scene doesn't seem as big as Austin, housing costs seem to be a bit more than Austin, gun violence??, schools (I can't seem to find a neighborhood where all schools (elementary, middle and high school) are rated 8 or above in Denver proper) Boulder sounds great but perhaps too expensive
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:08 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,562 posts, read 15,036,884 times
Reputation: 12113
Austin has gotten pretty crowded (positive net migration) the past few years. Humidity is far worse than Southern California, which almost has no humidity. Austin itself prides itself on being "weird", but outside of Austin, is Texas, which surrounds it.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:39 PM
 
Location: New York City/San Diego, CA
614 posts, read 885,519 times
Reputation: 892
Honestly, I recommend you stay in San Jose at this point. Incredible tech scene that blows any of those places away. The city of Seattle has awful schools and the average house price is $722,000 and this includes bad areas. The real average for places you want to live is well north of a million. Cheaper than Palo Alto for sure but the weather sucks and the job scene and schools are worse. San Jose is a lot more diverse and much less crime if that is important. The east side areas of Seattle are over $900,000 and they are boring but with good schools. Plus San Jose is close to family with relatively good weather.

Seattle is the only metro that you list with an even comparable job scene to San Jose. Walkable neighborhoods in Austin are extremely expensive with high property taxes and the summers suck. Denver has serious winter. Irvine is not much cheaper than San Jose and has a much more limited job market.

If you can sacrifice the job market, and work remotely, look into Portland, San Diego and Sacramento.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:37 PM
 
93 posts, read 78,425 times
Reputation: 194
With the exception of Irvine, the weather in all of those cities is objectively worse than the Bay Area. You don't go outside in the summer in Austin, in the winter in Denver, or anytime in Seattle. Irvine weather is similar to the south bay, except summer is slightly hotter and winter is much milder.

I also recommend that you try to make things work in San Jose. Once you leave, you can never come back due to salary / housing cost inflation. You think you'll be living better in another city, but is it really better? There is more to life than having a big house. If you move to a second tier city then your neighbors will largely consist of others who couldn't make it in the bay area, which means reduced social capital. Also consider the message it sends to your kids. "When the going gets tough, run for the hills"... not the best life lesson.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:00 PM
 
45 posts, read 64,337 times
Reputation: 44
Default Irvine, Austin, Denver or Seattle?

My husband and I moved to Silicon Valley from Seattle with our two young children a few years ago, and we're thinking about moving again due to the insane housing costs. Here, we just can't buy the home we want in the neighborhood we want to live in. Whereas, in Seattle we were making less money but living better. We're very familiar with the Seattle and Irvine areas, so any information, particularly on Austin or Denver would be very helpful.

What we're looking for:
- We're in tech, so there must be a decent job market for tech and we're looking for top tech company presence.
- Good place to raise a family - safe, good schools
- Walkable city or town close to city with lots of amenities and fun things to do (good restaurants, shops, farmers markets, art galleries, museums, etc.)
- Decent weather

Our perceived pros and cons (based on experience and some on research):

Seattle

Pros - network of friends, housing is more affordable than here (as is the case almost anywhere else) although not as affordable as some other areas on the list, cool neighborhoods with great restaurants, mountains close by, beautiful scenery

Cons - the weather - this is why we left. However, we were living on the edge of a boring suburb, and I'm telling myself that if we live in Seattle where there's more action, the weather won't bother me as much. I definitely didn't spend as much time outdoors there because of the weather and that bothers me.

Irvine

Pros - family, great weather, beach, close proximity to the city and many amenities, less expensive housing than SV but probably a bit more expensive than Seattle

Cons - not as exciting as living in a city, can be boring, smog, traffic (I guess this can be added to most of the cities on this list)

Austin

Pros - Friendly people, cool vibe/different than the rest of TX, outdoor activities, low cost of living/housing costs

Cons - the heat and humidity (how humid does it get? worse than So Cal?, bugs (are there really scorpions?), it's still TX, far from friends and family

Denver

Pros - sunny, not as far from friends and family, also has cool neighborhoods and amenities, mountains, outdoor activities

Cons - cold, snowy winters, tech scene doesn't seem as big as Austin, housing costs seem to be a bit more than Austin, gun violence??, schools (I can't seem to find a neighborhood where all schools (elementary, middle and high school) are rated 8 or above in Denver proper) Boulder sounds great but perhaps too expensive
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Orange County... Arizona bound
3,008 posts, read 1,639,033 times
Reputation: 4054
You pretty much nailed the pros and cons right. I'd probably pick Denver. I noticed it looks just like OC but cheaper (for. now) and I loved the downtown area. Austin is wicked humid but otherwise a great city.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:08 PM
 
17,514 posts, read 10,600,115 times
Reputation: 8431
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimike View Post
My husband and I moved to Silicon Valley from Seattle with our two young children a few years ago, and we're thinking about moving again due to the insane housing costs. Here, we just can't buy the home we want in the neighborhood we want to live in. Whereas, in Seattle we were making less money but living better. We're very familiar with the Seattle and Irvine areas, so any information, particularly on Austin or Denver would be very helpful.

What we're looking for:
- We're in tech, so there must be a decent job market for tech and we're looking for top tech company presence.
- Good place to raise a family - safe, good schools
- Walkable city or town close to city with lots of amenities and fun things to do (good restaurants, shops, farmers markets, art galleries, museums, etc.)
- Decent weather

Our perceived pros and cons (based on experience and some on research):

Seattle

Pros - network of friends, housing is more affordable than here (as is the case almost anywhere else) although not as affordable as some other areas on the list, cool neighborhoods with great restaurants, mountains close by, beautiful scenery

Cons - the weather - this is why we left. However, we were living on the edge of a boring suburb, and I'm telling myself that if we live in Seattle where there's more action, the weather won't bother me as much. I definitely didn't spend as much time outdoors there because of the weather and that bothers me.

Irvine

Pros - family, great weather, beach, close proximity to the city and many amenities, less expensive housing than SV but probably a bit more expensive than Seattle

Cons - not as exciting as living in a city, can be boring, smog, traffic (I guess this can be added to most of the cities on this list)

Austin

Pros - Friendly people, cool vibe/different than the rest of TX, outdoor activities, low cost of living/housing costs

Cons - the heat and humidity (how humid does it get? worse than So Cal?, bugs (are there really scorpions?), it's still TX, far from friends and family

Denver

Pros - sunny, not as far from friends and family, also has cool neighborhoods and amenities, mountains, outdoor activities

Cons - cold, snowy winters, tech scene doesn't seem as big as Austin, housing costs seem to be a bit more than Austin, gun violence??, schools (I can't seem to find a neighborhood where all schools (elementary, middle and high school) are rated 8 or above in Denver proper) Boulder sounds great but perhaps too expensive
Austin can be humid in Summer, but it is not that bad unless you cannot stand it. However it may be better than the rain and over cast in Seattle and snow in Denver. It has a good Tech presence and is growing so more and more to do, but not the insane traffic in OC. Further away but an easy flight to se family, etc and very centrally located for the rest of the Country.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:16 PM
 
Location: South Bay
327 posts, read 859,455 times
Reputation: 190
Husband of the OP there. I recommended she repost in all the different forums we're considering to get the most broad perspective of opinion. We're casting quite a wide net here. Possibly considering trying for an international gig for a few years. Also considering Irvine. We're very familiar with this area and visit it often for family.

Job wise, I'm in software engineering. I realize Irvine is not the hottest job market for this field, but there is is Amazon and Google presences. Amazon is aggressively move into San Diego as well. Overall, I recognize that the job market is softer in Irvine, but we're ranking some of its advantages of moderately better cost of living compared to silicon valley and the ideal climate and safety and proximity to family compared to other areas. We obviously can't have it all. If the job market is softening considerably, that's something to take in consideration.

I think the main consideration is the health of the economy. If SC is not looking so hot in tech, that's a factor to consider. If it's going to maintain it's consistent "okay" ranking, that's good to know as well. Looking for the wisdom of the masses here. Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,558 posts, read 743,256 times
Reputation: 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey_mcmarbles View Post
With the exception of Irvine, the weather in all of those cities is objectively worse than the Bay Area. You don't go outside in the summer in Austin, in the winter in Denver, or anytime in Seattle. Irvine weather is similar to the south bay, except summer is slightly hotter and winter is much milder.

I also recommend that you try to make things work in San Jose. Once you leave, you can never come back due to salary / housing cost inflation. You think you'll be living better in another city, but is it really better? There is more to life than having a big house. If you move to a second tier city then your neighbors will largely consist of others who couldn't make it in the bay area, which means reduced social capital. Also consider the message it sends to your kids. "When the going gets tough, run for the hills"... not the best life lesson.
I guess Austin residents don't flock to the Barton Springs swimming hole and Lake Travis in summer, Denver's populace doesn't get out the skis and snowboards in winter, and Seattle folks don't take their boats out on the lakes and waterways in any season. And people outside the Bay Area offer less "social capital" for interactions and the development of children. What an interesting perspective ...
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,839 posts, read 2,973,256 times
Reputation: 3384
Diverse choices.
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