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Old 05-06-2017, 05:02 PM
 
45 posts, read 90,261 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 05-06-2017, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Ken Caryl, CO
686 posts, read 2,428,708 times
Reputation: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimike View Post
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
I will reply to a few things. Have you visited Austin before? If not, do so in the middle of July or August. Yes, Austin is usually humid, not Houston humid, but still it is humid. Add the blazing heat in Summer and it's quite uncomfortable. A good 4 or 5 months of that gets old. I have family in and around Austin and other areas of Texas. Austin can be a cool city...in the city. Otherwise, it's another sprawling metro like the others in Texas. My sister has to have their home sprayed twice a year for scorpions. Even then they will occasionally see one or two. It's just the rocky terrain in that area of the state. I'm not sure I would say Austin is cheap, but probably the least expensive of the other cities you are looking at. Another thing to consider is the outrageous property taxes in Texas, which I think takes away most of the gain you get from lack of a state income tax, if you are a homeowner anyway.

I wouldn't worry about the Winter weather here. Yes, it snows and gets below zero occasionally but the sun definitely helps quite a bit, so it really doesn't seem super cold...most of the time anyway. It warms up in the 50s and 60s quite a bit in between cold snaps. I consider the weather here is quite bipolar. Last weekend I had about a foot of snow in my area. This weekend it's 80 degrees. That said, you can't beat the outdoor activities and the mountain views and accessibility to the mountain areas.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,816 posts, read 34,308,748 times
Reputation: 8935
The big tech hub is se of the city called dtc or Denver Tech Center. The other is called interlocken se of Boulder.

A lot of people live in the suburbs.

I moved here from Sunnyvale in 1989.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:37 PM
 
2,611 posts, read 2,857,950 times
Reputation: 2228
Texas summer is horrible. You need to experience it before you decide to move.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
1,314 posts, read 2,005,481 times
Reputation: 1644
What about SLC?
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:28 PM
 
23,690 posts, read 9,278,776 times
Reputation: 8650
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
Just be sure to visit Austin in July or August.The heat index was like 103 today there and its not even June.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:44 AM
 
975 posts, read 1,319,253 times
Reputation: 1211
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
The big tech hub is se of the city called dtc or Denver Tech Center. The other is called interlocken se of Boulder.

A lot of people live in the suburbs.

I moved here from Sunnyvale in 1989.
Would this be differentiating between old tech and new tech? Because I don't view the SE corridor as being a hub of new tech, rather that's Denver and Boulder's purveyance.
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
8,596 posts, read 14,782,259 times
Reputation: 15350
IMNSHO summer in Austin is considerably worse than winter in Denver.

Winters here are highly variable. It doesn't stay cold, snowy, and cloudy for weeks on end, and you're very likely to see 50 & 60 degree temps between storms.

Summers in the Texas Triangle suck. Highs in the 90s with moderate humidity for weeks on end. No cooling off at night, either. Summer's when you're most likely to be outside and Denver has the better summer climate hands down.

Austin is outdoorsy by Texas standards, but it's not in the same league as Denver. Austin bests Denver in terms of water recreation and that's really about it.

Traffic in Austin is unholy. It makes Denver's traffic problems seem trivial.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,843 posts, read 6,127,050 times
Reputation: 12275
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
IMNSHO summer in Austin is considerably worse than winter in Denver.

Winters here are highly variable. It doesn't stay cold, snowy, and cloudy for weeks on end, and you're very likely to see 50 & 60 degree temps between storms.

Summers in the Texas Triangle suck. Highs in the 90s with moderate humidity for weeks on end. No cooling off at night, either. Summer's when you're most likely to be outside and Denver has the better summer climate hands down.

Austin is outdoorsy by Texas standards, but it's not in the same league as Denver. Austin bests Denver in terms of water recreation and that's really about it.

Traffic in Austin is unholy. It makes Denver's traffic problems seem trivial.
This entire post, as summarized by the bolded, is pretty much spot on. At least from my perspective as a Texan who is very familiar with Austin and has lived in Denver as well.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:26 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
34,617 posts, read 57,620,656 times
Reputation: 46064
40 yrs in HighTech; - After many experiences and locations... working HT (wages, opportunities and QoL on the Left Coast is far superior). Austin can be a pretty 'closed' confined area of you are used to left coast / beach access or Mtn and Snow within an hour of each other 12 months / yr. Left coast avails 12 months outdoors (if you are Wash'n'Wear in PNW). CO avails 12 months outdoors (if you don't mind fighting 500,000 other Denver people seeking precise little free time and precious little SPACE outdoors ! (and even more precious and little WATER)

28 yrs in Colo (Ft Collins / Loveland / Estes Park)
32 yrs in PNW (Seattle climate, but in SWWA)
25 yrs associated with Austin Area (have 6 rural homes there at the moment) Yes... Scorpions, Snakes, Chiggers, Tarantulas, and FIRE Ants!) Winter is pretty nice, but can be plenty cold. 20F at times
--- Frequently in Tustin / Irvine / Costa Mesa (inlaws... we are there today and have been 5x in the last 2 months)

1) If you have family in CA, go there while kids are still young and can be with cousins / Grandparents. Live within biking distance to work.
2) Find a better / more affordable place in CO (Denver is NOT for me, You can do MUCH better) CO is better to visit than to live. (IMHO)
3) Austin is better to visit than to live Yr round (Go there often to enjoy it (NOT in the summer!)Summers in WA are tough to beat
4) Back to WA for FREE FT COLLEGE instead of HS https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_Start Give Camas, WA a look. HT + good Schools and 10 min to PDX. Columbia Gorge recreation is 10 min away, NO TRAFFIC! Portland food and arts scene is 20 min away (little traffic). Yr round gardening? only possible on the left coast (of your choices).
5) Back to CA for college (many and very affordable. Cal Tech @ SLO is a 'favorite!')
6) Very inexpensive and excellent college... = Laramie.

TX and WA (and WY) = income tax Free zone - Worth considering if you make big bucks. (WA helped me retire 15 yrs early) Go there after the kids enjoy G&G / family in CA. Can go back and forth EZ and cheap. (<$100) We also do SEA > DEN for $25 - $50 on Frontier or Spirit

With all that said...Our family did very well by living overseas and working High Tech when kids were pre- High School age. We preferred SE Asia, but Western Europe was nice, and LOTS of places to visit and learn about. International jobs usually pay very well and also pay for your family to accompany and travel with you. When you return after many yrs overseas, you will have oodles of free mileage and hotel points to enjoy. We returned to WA and the kids did Free FT college starting at age 15. They were done with college before age 20, and back to traveling.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 05-07-2017 at 02:52 PM..
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