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Old 10-05-2009, 07:57 PM
Location: AR/OK
85 posts, read 195,156 times
Reputation: 51


Hello All,

My wife and I are currently in Southern California, paying too much for everything!! As a result of the economy, we are looking to relocate. We love Washington and everything it has to offer; so we are researching it in greater detail.

We are trying to figure out which cities/areas are good areas where the cost of living is reasonable. Resonable enough to raise our two kids, and still have money to save and have fun with...nothing to the extreme of paying 1600/mo for an apt!!! We are a young couple, Im 23, my wife 22, and our two girls, ages 3 and 1. I am a paramedic, training to become a police officer, and my wife is going to school to be an Ultrasound Technician. Being so young, and having two kids....will we be able to survive in Washington without living paycheck to paycheck??

I appreciate everyones help and knowledge. Thank you.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:36 AM
25,828 posts, read 49,712,454 times
Reputation: 19277
Living at or beyond your means is possible anywhere... it all depends on what your priorities are and of course a little luck in the Health department...

WA is a great state in many ways... it's not a panacea...

I have friends that were retired and some planning retirement that had to leave WA because their property taxes increased double digit for 3 years in a row... kind of blows the budget when property taxes are so unpredictable unless it means going up a lot.

Some counties are laying off law enforcement with some of these officers switching to Federal Law Enforcement Agencies...

Medical is traditionally stable... it's one job that is kind of hard to off-shore...

Your young and with a little ambition sound like you're on the right track...

Do you have any extended support network in WA or will you be starting over with very little?

A big plus living in WA is no personal Income Tax and lower home prices in most of the State... Sales Tax, Food and Gas I find similar to many parts of CA.

Good Luck
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:26 AM
2 posts, read 4,104 times
Reputation: 10
Under your circumstances, I think you would have an easier time getting established on the east side of the Cascades. It is much less expensive, and in my opinion, you have a lot of elbow room to live whatever kind of lifestyle you choose.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:38 AM
Location: Long Beach
31 posts, read 134,023 times
Reputation: 38
I am in SoCal as well (Long Beach) but my parents live in Washington, one hour north of Seattle in a farm community. Every time I visit I feel sad to leave. Have you visited yet??? YOu must! It is green, clean, and has everything you need for a young growing family like yours. My suggestion: stick to the surrounding areas of Seattle (not necessarily smack dab in Seattle); possibly even a little more north in Bellingham (that is where my husband and I are looking as his company is sending out workers to that area). In SoCal there are a lot of cons but also a lot of pros. We have a hustle and bustle lifestyle; we are spoiled with options. I have so much to do with my kids here. Moving to a little town may be a bit of a shock for us, but any of the Seattle surrounding areas have plenty. Also, Seattle is near the coast and when we live so close to the beach here in SoCal we get a bit spoiled. You may want to see the water every now and then so stay west. Weather wise it will be cooler but that can also be a plus. The air smells so fresh and crisp.
Stay away from Tacoma. Try not to go South of Seattle in fact. When leaving SoCal you want to trade "up" if you know what I mean.
Definitely visit. Spend a few days driving around. Kern, Puyallup, Marysville, Lynwood, Bellingham; ck out those areas. Especially Bellingham (90 min north of Seattle). I've heard they have great healthcare jobs. It's a college town; plenty of young people and families. It's a beautiful drive there and a beautiful place to be. The train goes from my parents town to Bellingham and its absolutely breathtaking. Then my dad meets us in Bellingham, we shop for the day, and then we drive back on Chuckanut Drive, equally breathtaking. You must try it!
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:23 AM
17 posts, read 10,096 times
Reputation: 26
My advice is to move somewhere in the country where housing costs are really low: Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee. Cars and food cost more or less the same everywhere else, although gasoline can vary. If you can rent a 3 bedroom apartment in Orlando for $950, you can actually afford to eat too. I would try and cross-reference cheap housing markets with places that offer the educational programs you and your wife are planning to pursue. Lots of people are moving from NY, NJ, CT south to (Florida, Carolinas, Georgia, Texas), so don't wait too long to back your bags.
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Old 11-05-2016, 05:32 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,400 posts, read 50,602,810 times
Reputation: 28632
Average Seattle area rent for one bedroom is $1,266, but is reduced by the outlying areas. In Seattle, it's $1,967, and higher on the Eastside. You both do work that is available in any city, so if you want to be in this area, places like Auburn, Puyallup, Kent, Marysville and Everett are far enough out to meet your budget, but salaries are also lower. There is an ambulance company in Mountlake Terrace, north of Seattle that's expanding and always seems to be hiring on and off as they acquire new territories. They also serve Salem, Oregon, which may be a better choice for you.
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Old 11-05-2016, 06:20 PM
15,683 posts, read 3,115,665 times
Reputation: 4419
70% percent of all Americans in all 50 states live paycheck-to-paycheck so I dont think moving to another state will be the magic bullet that will fix everything for yall.
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:14 PM
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,153 posts, read 4,367,714 times
Reputation: 3832
Tacoma is okay. Pretty much the same water and mountain views as Seattle, but costing a quarter to a half less than Seattle.

Median sales price: $239,569
Per square foot: $183
Median Rent: $1,500


Median sales price: $543,000
Per square foot: $412
Median Rent: $2,645

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Old 11-07-2016, 01:09 PM
365 posts, read 213,713 times
Reputation: 823
I moved from Calif to WA. I like the medium cost of living here. But I hate the low wages.

The key to successfully relocating is to find an area with a good rate of pay for what you do and a low cost of living. I don't think western WA is the answer. Perhaps eastern WA is better.

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:03 AM
766 posts, read 1,301,841 times
Reputation: 561
I think Texas is more suited for a low COL and the ability to "get ahead" of the paycheck. Yes, once again the pay is lower, but so is everything else. Especially with young children - swimming lessons, sports/activities, childcare, even babysitters. Just think about childcare costs if you are both working. I know young families that spend $900 a month on childcare and $1700 a month on rent. It's a big chunk that people don't really consider.

I think the biggest question is: If you move to a lower COL area, will you actively try to "get ahead" or will you feel like "we can finally afford to buy things/travel/etc." There are lots of people who move to Texas from CA for the COL and end up in the Jones-Rat-Race.

If you really want to move North, Vancouver WA would give you a lower COL than most of the Puget Sound region and job opportunities if you didn't want to live in Eastern WA.
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