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Old 04-20-2018, 10:58 AM
 
Location: South Pasadena
25 posts, read 12,431 times
Reputation: 17

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We are a two dad family (in our early 50s, with two sons, ages 14 and 9) considering a move from South Pasadena, CA to Boston's North Shore, specifically Ipswich, Mass.

While we like South Pasadena, we were laid off from jobs in the entertainment industry last year, and we haven't been able to find new positions yet. The cost of living in California, and our community in particular, are very high. The South Pas public schools are great, and we have a son with ADHD who is getting the help he needs here, but the class sizes in South Pas (and California in general) are large - about double the size of smaller high schools in Northeast Massachusetts. The property and income taxes are also high compared to MA, where we could get a brand new home that is twice the size and half the price on a much larger lot. We've also seen a transformation of the San Gabriel Valley with home prices soaring, due in part to an influx of buyers from China who pay cash and offer well above the ask. We do have some concerns about affordability for our kids as they grow and venture out. It's very possible they would not be able to afford to live in the community where they grew up.

We are both from the northeast, but have been in Southern California for twenty years. We love the weather here, and we're not very excited about going back to having real winters (though the kids are!). The schools in Ipswich are great, with small class sizes and a well respected arts and music program (our older son is very interested in music). Ipswich High is about half the size of So Pas High.

We've looked at other communities in Massachusetts, and actually gone so far as to visit and tour schools, but after some exhaustive research, Ipswich seems best. We also have family near Ipswich.

Our biggest concerns about Ipswich vs. South Pas are 1) the weather and 2) the size of Ipswich and the relative isolation of the community, with some services (medical specialists, etc.) at least 15-20 minutes away in Danvers/Peabody.

We tried a move to the New York suburbs (Glen Ridge, NJ) a few years ago, but returned to Southern California after having trouble getting acclimated there.

We're also considering Florida, but we're concerned by the size of the high schools (which are mostly 3000+ students). We've looked into private schools in FL, and in the Orlando area in particular (we're not fans of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale) but we can't seem to find the right fit and we're concerned about being accepted as a two dad family in other parts of FL.

If anyone has been in a similar situation, we'd love to hear about your experience. We do like it here but maybe it's time to switch things up!
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
4,763 posts, read 6,922,203 times
Reputation: 6373
I have not lived in MA for over fifty years, but the one thing I remember about Ipswich was Crane's beach.
Loved it.
My advice would be to weigh both the positives and negatives of a move to the north shore.
Which ever one has the most, go with that .
Personally, I could never return to the east coast.
I was born there , but the cold winters, and the humid summers, drove me out.
Best of luck in your decision.

Bob.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:22 PM
 
5,392 posts, read 5,638,461 times
Reputation: 2380
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoPastoBosNoShore View Post
We are a two dad family (in our early 50s, with two sons, ages 14 and 9) considering a move from South Pasadena, CA to Boston's North Shore, specifically Ipswich, Mass.

While we like South Pasadena, we were laid off from jobs in the entertainment industry last year, and we haven't been able to find new positions yet. The cost of living in California, and our community in particular, are very high. The South Pas public schools are great, and we have a son with ADHD who is getting the help he needs here, but the class sizes in South Pas (and California in general) are large - about double the size of smaller high schools in Northeast Massachusetts. The property and income taxes are also high compared to MA, where we could get a brand new home that is twice the size and half the price on a much larger lot. We've also seen a transformation of the San Gabriel Valley with home prices soaring, due in part to an influx of buyers from China who pay cash and offer well above the ask. We do have some concerns about affordability for our kids as they grow and venture out. It's very possible they would not be able to afford to live in the community where they grew up.

We are both from the northeast, but have been in Southern California for twenty years. We love the weather here, and we're not very excited about going back to having real winters (though the kids are!). The schools in Ipswich are great, with small class sizes and a well respected arts and music program (our older son is very interested in music). Ipswich High is about half the size of So Pas High.

We've looked at other communities in Massachusetts, and actually gone so far as to visit and tour schools, but after some exhaustive research, Ipswich seems best. We also have family near Ipswich.

Our biggest concerns about Ipswich vs. South Pas are 1) the weather and 2) the size of Ipswich and the relative isolation of the community, with some services (medical specialists, etc.) at least 15-20 minutes away in Danvers/Peabody.

We tried a move to the New York suburbs (Glen Ridge, NJ) a few years ago, but returned to Southern California after having trouble getting acclimated there.

We're also considering Florida, but we're concerned by the size of the high schools (which are mostly 3000+ students). We've looked into private schools in FL, and in the Orlando area in particular (we're not fans of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale) but we can't seem to find the right fit and we're concerned about being accepted as a two dad family in other parts of FL.

If anyone has been in a similar situation, we'd love to hear about your experience. We do like it here but maybe it's time to switch things up!
I hear a lot of SoCal expats have moved to Idaho or Austin Texas.
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Old 04-21-2018, 02:14 AM
 
80 posts, read 46,647 times
Reputation: 162
I moved from the north part of MA to socal here 3 years ago. I used to go to NorthShore mall often in Peabody. I would stay in Socal. I'm never moving back to Boston due to the heavy snow there.

For home prices, I find MA and San Gabriel Valley similar. I can find a $400k home in SGV (El Monte) and also a $400k home in MA (Billerica).
If I want a larger size lot similar to NorthShore, I can go to rancho cucamonga.

I find my cost of living is pretty much the same in Boston and Pasadena. You can pick very cheap houses in both locations or very expensive house in both locations.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:17 PM
 
Location: So Ca
13,855 posts, read 13,539,572 times
Reputation: 11790
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoPastoBosNoShore View Post
While we like South Pasadena, we were laid off from jobs in the entertainment industry last year, and we haven't been able to find new positions yet. The cost of living in California, and our community in particular, are very high.
I grew up right next to South Pas, have a sister and brother in law who raised their family there, and we have a couple of friends who are long time residents there. It's a lovely community. However, you're correct about all the changes in southern California, especially in the last decade. (And the California public school system has declined in the past 40 or so years, although SPUSD is still highly ranked.)

Quote:
We do have some concerns about affordability for our kids as they grow and venture out. It's very possible they would not be able to afford to live in the community where they grew up.
Few of our children in southern California will later be able to afford to live in the community in which they grew up. In fact, many of us could not afford to buy the homes in which we live--or have lived--if we had to purchase them now.

Quote:
We are both from the northeast
Then the draw to return to that area is strong. I would go with that. It sounds as if you've done a lot of research on Ipswich public schools, and you have family nearby. Go. And you want to do it before your oldest starts high school, or if he already has, then before he enters his sophomore year. Moving high schoolers away from their friends is not easily done.

Quote:
We're also considering Florida, but we're concerned by....
I would be concerned as well. It sounds as if that would be a completely different type of lifestyle than what you've been used to.
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Old 04-21-2018, 04:30 PM
 
Location: South Pasadena
25 posts, read 12,431 times
Reputation: 17
Thank you for all the responses.

We've also considered moving within California, but it's difficult to find the right combination of schools, proximity to downtown/westside and some degree of character. Areas like Oak Park, Calabasas don't hold much appeal for us (and are becoming very expensive). We thought about Claremont, but it's not very close to LA. Further away, Palm Desert is very affordable, but the summer heat is as much a concern as the winter, and ideally we'd like to be no more than an hour from city life. If we were to stay in California, we'd remain in South Pasadena and likely sell once the kids graduate high school, but that really cements their connection to the area, which will likely be unaffordable.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:21 AM
 
Location: So Ca
13,855 posts, read 13,539,572 times
Reputation: 11790
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoPastoBosNoShore View Post
We thought about Claremont, but it's not very close to LA. Further away, Palm Desert is very affordable, but the summer heat is as much a concern...
Claremont is a lot like South Pas, although, as you mentioned, it's quite a distance from downtown Los Angeles --especially if you're commuting to work from the former. The commute from Claremont to the Westside would be horrendous. I think you'd die of culture shock in Palm Desert (as would your kids). Are you and your partner staying in the entertainment industry?
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:50 AM
 
Location: South Pasadena
25 posts, read 12,431 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks! If we continue in the entertainment industry, we’ll work remotely. It’s likely we’ll either stay in South Pasadena or move to Ipswich or Newburyport. Definitely a tough call and we’re agonizing over it. If we wait too long, we’ll stay here by default!
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