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Old 06-14-2010, 12:21 PM
Location: Riverside
18 posts, read 91,276 times
Reputation: 12


My husband and I and our two kids currently live in Riverside. We really like the warm weather and have lived here our whole lives. As much as we love southern CA we just cannot afford to stay here any longer. The rent keeps going up and up and the pay on jobs is going down and down in our area. The unemployment rate seems to be out of control. Last I checked it was about 15%! My husband has been out of work for almost 2 years. He has been unable to find anything with decent pay and is currently staying home with the kids. I work basic retail in the day but we need more/better income. We want to buy a home with a big yard and a pool and that was our plan before the economy crashed. It has hit us really hard the last 2 years.

I’m a little concerned about living somewhere where it snows and how that would change our day to day life but we have to do whatever we need to. Leaving CA seems to be the answer (we sadly) agree on. We want to relocate to an area with more available jobs, affordable housing, and just be able to catch up on bills and save to buy a nice home.

We are not really worried about high schools because our kids are smart enough that they will be able to learn from any decent school. I don’t know if we would be able to afford Universities so having a community college close by would be a plus. We do care a lot about safety and want to live in a nice area with low crime. For me or my kids to able to walk alone after dark and be safe is a priority. Also affordable apartments and homes are important. And available decent paying jobs are very important. Having jobs close by so we wouldn’t have a very long commute is something we do care about too.

From friends we have talked to who live out of state and research we have done online we have narrowed it down to 3 places we would like to live. Salt Lake City, UT or Austin, TX or Bolder, CO. We are positive that one of these places will work out as a new home for us. But since we have never been to any of them we were hoping to get some feedback from Residents of these states.

What is the weather like? What are the people like? How is the economy and what kinds of jobs are available? How far do people have to generally commute to work? How affordable is the rent on apartments or how much to buy a nice home with a yard and pool? Are there any nice shopping malls or supercenter Wal-Mart’s or Supercenter Targets in the area? Are there any good parks or hiking trails or fun things to do outdoors in the area? What is the health care like? Health care plans, family doctors, plastic surgeons, hospitals, dermatologist? We have Kaiser health care and love it! I think that is mainly a CA health care. Any input would be great.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:41 PM
139 posts, read 491,932 times
Reputation: 159
We live in SLC (suburb) and moved here from Austin...so I can give you some informed info...

SLC, great town, average cost of living (not cheap), but weather wise, you'll be miserable. It's cold here...and if you are looking for warm weather, you'll get it in the summer, but keep in mind, it's a winter destination for skiiers for a reason. Lots of cold and snow.

It's a metro area of over a million people so, we have shopping malls, Walmarts, Super-Targets...it's like any other city in the country in that respect...there's a Home Depot very 4 miles and a Chili's on every other corner (not saying it's a good or bad thing...but it's just suburbia!)

Commute wise, it's a dream...particularly coming from Southern Cal...you'll be in heaven. There is traffic here, but in general, it's incredibly do-able, pretty much most of the time.

Jobs...the job market is tight all over right now. SLC is no exception. Wages are lower than you'll find in Cali however, and I suspect most retail won't offer great benefits. It's a low wage state.

I'm not sure about apartments....but I'd think you could get a 3 bedroom for around $1000 - $1200 for a nice complex.


Austin -

Hot...I mean really really really hot...the humidity will beat you down for 7 or 8 months out of the year. But the winters, or lack of them, are incredible. If you like warm weather, Austin will definately be on your short list.

Job-wise, I never looked for a job there...I had it when I got there. Lots of high-tech with Dell, Motorola (freescale), IBM, and other companies that have large presence there. Lots of temp agencies hire for these companies, so a lot of the workforce are temps that just keep getting new contracts.

Lots of state jobs, but in this economy, that's probably slowing down as well.

Cheap place to live...but the wages reflect that. It's a low wage state in general, and Austin is no exception.

Traffic is horrendous. I've driven all over the country, and Austin traffic is some of the worst I've ever been in. The city grew much faster than the infrastructure could keep up with, and it's not getting any better. You definately choose where you live based on where you work....otherwise, you'll be stuck in a godless commute.

Good town though...laid back, fun activities, and pretty liveable.

Keep in mind though, that "Austin" and "suburban" Austin are two completely different animals...and that funky vibe one gets around downtown, University of Texas and South Congress fades pretty fast once you hit suburbia...then, it's like suburban SLC, suburban Denver, suburban Phoenix..etc......

Just my $.02!
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:23 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,855 posts, read 64,829,175 times
Reputation: 19370
We didn't get to 60 degrees in the day time all last week. Also it rained every day. As said above, we get snow and cold! Last Dec., we went for over a week where the day time high never hit 32, it was really cold.

Most people don't have pools here as it is too cold to use them except for late June through early Sept. The area has a very good public recreation system with lots of indoor public pools - fun to swim and watch it snow outside! There are some rich folks who have indoor pools inn their basements.

When I moved here from the South, I thought housing costs were high in comparison. If you get an older home with the right insulation and design, you don't need a/c. I have an evaporative cooler (swamp cooler) that keeps my house at a good temp and my summer elec bill about $45.

Read the threads and see what people are asking and the responses - it seems that every 3rd person in CA is looking to get out and asks the same questions.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:51 PM
146 posts, read 486,790 times
Reputation: 104
In this economy I would focus more on the jobs than the cities. Go to where you can get the best and most stable job, then make it work.
In this economy just packing up and moving to a city based on what others have told you is not wise, but packing up because a stable job is waiting for you is smart.
Denver is a much larger city, but Boulder is very very expensive, so you may want to look along the entire front range. Denver is cold like SLC, Austin is warm. I would seriously check out San Antonio if you are open to Austin, as well as Austin.
You may want to look into Phoenix and Albuquerque as well. AQ actually has a pretty strong economy and the cost of living is a lot less than SLC, better temps, more like California weather.
Good luck.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:56 PM
Location: Riverside
18 posts, read 91,276 times
Reputation: 12
So it pretty much sounds like if I want a lower cost of living or more affordable rent Im going to either have to freeze or be burning up most of the year? Am I right? We love our sunny beach weather here in CA and Im sure thats way its so overpriced to live here. If our economy was strong we would stay in CA but its only been getting worse and we have no idea when it will get better. We could just keep riding out the storm and hope things get better but love the idea of paying such affordable rent. A 2 bedroom here can cost $2000! Just for a 2 bedroom. We love the idea of a 3 bedroom for $1000! When you say the wages are lower Im wondering how much lower??? Like half of what we would make in CA?? It would be worth it to be cold if we could make decent money and pay affordable rent. Thanks for sharing with us.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:33 PM
Location: South Jordan, Utah
8,182 posts, read 8,975,357 times
Reputation: 3632
moving from CA was the best thing we ever did. I love it here.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:31 AM
Location: Riverside
18 posts, read 91,276 times
Reputation: 12
Thank you Hilgi
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:21 PM
Location: Austin, Texas
23 posts, read 58,578 times
Reputation: 18
Hi Valerie,
The job market here in Austin is comparatively good. The unemployment rate is right at 7%, but long-term job growth looks good. Recently, Samsung announced expansion plans on their facility in far north Austin. This should bring 200-300 more jobs to the area. The metropolitan population is expected to grow by 1 million people over the next 30 years due to a lower a cost of living relative to many parts of the country(although Austin is among the highest within Texas), job growth, and climate. Speaking of climate, as lisamikefoster said, it is hot in the summer with high temp's in the mid-high 90's nearly every day from May - early October. If you can make it through the summer, though, you'll absolutely love the rest of the year.
The housing market is very good. Prices have actually fallen from last year so, with interest rates for qualified buyers under 5% it's a great time to buy here. Moderator cut: prohibited There's lots to do for the family that doesn't require a lot of money with great city parks, hike and bike trails, several state parks within 40 miles of downtown, minor league baseball in nearby Round Rock, and Lady Bird Lake in the city center where you can canoe, kayak, bring the dogs in a leash-free park, or perhaps catch a free outdoor concert(there's always live music somewhere in Austin.) There's even an annual birthday celebration for Eeyore(from Winnie the Pooh) that brings out thousands of people every year.
Moderator cut: prohibited Best wishes!

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 06-19-2010 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:19 PM
Location: Jones, Oklahoma
602 posts, read 1,845,378 times
Reputation: 212

None of your three cities will be like Riverside, but are all good choices I think. I love the vibe that Austin has. There are a lot of tech sector jobs there as well as federal government agencies. It is hot and humid there just like anywhere else in the South. We moved from Oklahoma to SLC last September. The weather hasn't been too bad and I don't really miss the humidity, but my S/O's job situation has been a real problem for us. There does not seem to be much private sector job opportunity here and the wages are pretty low, even compared to Oklahoma which is considered a low wage state. The cost of living is a bit higher than we expected as well, although coming from California you should feel some relief. All I can say about Colorado is I absolutely love it! However, Boulder is a relatively expensive area and I don't know how much relief you would see financially moving there. I'd say out of the three, Austin has the best employment opportunities and it is a bit cheaper than SLC to live there (Texas gets you with property tax though so watch that carefully if you purchase a home there). My advice would be to start looking for jobs beforehand and not commit to any place until you've received a job offer or have made some connections.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:11 PM
2 posts, read 14,789 times
Reputation: 20
I've lived in SLC, next door to Boulder and in Texas -- tho not Austin. Salt lake is a nice sized city not too big and not too small. Winters are cold. Falls and springs are nice, but very short. Summers are hot, but it's a dry heat and very doable, plus the mountains are at your feet if you need to cool down. While not super cheap like the southeast or the midwest, I would think housing prices would be a dream for you. I don't know if you're Mormon. There are certain areas of Salt Lake that are very Mormon i.e. Sandy, West Jordan. I don't know if it would bother someone who is not LDS to live in a very Mormon area and be a "minority." If you're near downtown, the Avenues, Sugarhouse you'll find some Democrats. If you're just about anywhere else you are in a very Republican environment.

Boulder is expensive, I don't know how it compares to Riverside, but it's pricey. Of course I've heard Colorado's housing has tanked, so it might be more affordable now. Boulder is beautiful. It's very LIBERAL. My sister had a baby while living there and she felt like people gave her dirty looks for doing so. You know you're not a responsible citizen of the world if you procreate when the earth is suffering from overpopulation. My sister always said, "People in Boulder have dogs not kids." It's a gorgeaus town tho.

My brother went to law school in Austin and loved it. However it is HOT -- uncomfortable HOT. If I had to live in Texas I would probably live in Austin, but that's only if I had to live in Texas. Texas is a very conservative state, but Austin is more liberal. Don't know if you care about the political stuff, but I live in metro Wash DC an it's always on the brain for me) I would think Austin would have more potential for a new job if one was lost compared to Salt Lake and Boulder.
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