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Old 02-20-2008, 11:26 AM
 
7 posts, read 31,479 times
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My wife and I are currently in deep into constructing her match list for medical residencies (due 2/28). UW is one of her choices. She's going into pediatrics, and it's a top program, so there's not really an issue with that (although they still have to actually choose her...). Our issues come down to finances. We have a 2-yr.-old and one on the way next month. As a resident, she'll be making just under 50K and I'm currently trying to decide whether or not to stay home with the kids (even if I plan to work, I will likely need some time to find a job out there). How feasible does a move to Seattle sound if we're willing to pay a rent of $1,200-$1,400 max? We pay $1,250 now. Seattle is only around 15% cheaper overall than Beantown, and I worry that it's really just a lateral move. I mean, we have family and friends here and my wife could choose Mass General and love it there, too. I don't really need to be sold on the city as I've been there and like it. Just perhaps some general advice on whether it would be a smart move and if so, some reasonably-priced areas that are good for kids...
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 16,258,978 times
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Hi, Oldie. I'm confused. I can't find in your post any compelling reason why you're thinking of moving to the Seattle area! Therefore, I'm not sure how we could figure out "whether it would be a smart move" or not. I can't find any serious motivation in your post. Actually, your post contains lots of serious motivation to stay in Boston...

Lacking that great desire to be near something here, or to do something here, or to be able to see something here every day, I don't know what to say to you.

The Seattle area is expensive and breathtakingly beautiful, highly educated and highly literate, and just chock-full of medical facilities of all kinds, as well as some of the best schools in the nation. You could find an apartment in your budget in any number of locations in and around the city of Seattle.

What are your real desires?
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Austin 'burbs
3,226 posts, read 13,366,215 times
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I do think you are right that it will be a lateral move - but there is not always something wrong with that decision. In the short term, she could do her residency at a top notch place... so while lateral in other ways, there are positives to be gained from it.

If you are looking to get ahead in the housing market, or financially, no - I don't think seattle is necessarily the place to do that, but as I said, positive gains elsewhere may set you up for something better when that is over.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
72 posts, read 285,458 times
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Hi oldie,

My wife, infant son and I are relocating to the Seattle area in early 2009. We're currently in Jamaica Plain. We'd move sooner, but my wife has to finish her grad program first. We're thrilled about the move. I would never say Seattle is "better" than Boston because I personally do not believe cities are "better" than each other; rather, each city has its own unique features and it's up to the individual to decide which features are most important to him (e.g., weather, proximity to recreation, cost of living, prevailing job resources, culture, etc.).

Like the other people who have responded to your post, I am not exactly sure what you're asking people about. Any specifics you want to know? I've done some comparing of Boston to Seattle and vice versa, so let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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Hi BostonBorn-
Sorry if my post seemed a bit scattered. Trying to determine a destination with a child on the way in a couple of weeks doesn't lend itself to lucid thought. I guess it might be helpful if you filled me in on what led you to choose Seattle in general. We're also looking at Portland, OR, Providence, Vermont, Boston and Worcester. I like all of these places, so I'm basically at the point of trying to find reasons NOT to move to any of them.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 16,258,978 times
Reputation: 2675
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldie View Post
Hi BostonBorn-
Sorry if my post seemed a bit scattered. Trying to determine a destination with a child on the way in a couple of weeks doesn't lend itself to lucid thought.
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I have recommended this to other questioners on C-D, and they have found it extremely helpful. Have fun!
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
72 posts, read 285,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldie View Post
Hi BostonBorn-
Sorry if my post seemed a bit scattered. Trying to determine a destination with a child on the way in a couple of weeks doesn't lend itself to lucid thought. I guess it might be helpful if you filled me in on what led you to choose Seattle in general. We're also looking at Portland, OR, Providence, Vermont, Boston and Worcester. I like all of these places, so I'm basically at the point of trying to find reasons NOT to move to any of them.
We're moving entirely because of my career, so I guess it's similar to your decision being centered around where your wife matches. In our case, we knew we wanted to move to the West Coast, we just didn't know when or how. Out of the blue, a company in the Pacific Northwest recruited me and very quickly we realized my taking their offer would be the best thing for my family.

We had a pretty compressed process, but we did spend some time in Seattle and the surrounding area, and we did our research (best resource: talk to friends or other contacts who live there), and it didn't take long for us to find plenty of positive, real reasons to embrace a move to Seattle. I won't list all the favorable attributes we found in our decision-making process, but some of the highlights include:

--Geography (stunningly beautiful to look at and loaded with outdoor recreational opportunities, something we love to do)
--Climate (much more temperate than New England; like all matters of taste, it's personal to the observer--my wife doesn't like the harsh winters here, and I don't like the sweltering humid summers, so we're both benefiting by moving to Seattle)
--Cost of Living (slightly cheaper than Boston, as you noted, and there's no state income tax in WA, so that's an automatic 5% raise)
--People (we have a few friends there already, and the people we've met are super friendly--Caveat: I'm darn friendly myself, so I think every city is friendly)
--Culture (West Coast vibe is our style; I never say it's "better" than East Coast vibe, just different -- we happen to feel more comfortable in West Coast city cultures)
--Newness (as in living out there will be completely new to us, and that always jump-starts the spirit...at least that's what we've experienced in our lives)

I've been to all the cities on your list, each at least a few times. I could imagine living happily in any of them. Each one would provide you with a distinct experience, and that's what makes life interesting.

See where she matches, then trust your instinct. You'll be fine no matter what. It's a nice position to be in.

By the way, CONGRATULATIONS on your soon-to-arrive baby! Our baby boy turns 5 months old next week, and it's amazing. Such a blessing.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:14 PM
 
6 posts, read 21,981 times
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Oldie,

I might be able to help. Based on your posts, we seem to have some commonalities. A little about me just to orient you: I'm a thirtysomething lawyer, native Vermonter, lived in Boston and California after college, and have been in Seattle the last five years. I have a one-year old son. I don't plan to leave anytime soon. My brother and sister in law are also both practicing physicians (cardiologist and pediatrician) in the Seattle area, so I even know a bit about that. This is a wonderful place to live.

Here are a few initial thoughts that, hopefully, respond to your questions:

1. In terms of cost, Seattle is similar to Boston but a little less expensive. There is also no income tax in WA, so that's a benefit once you start really making money (sounds like you will.)

2. The other places your are considering are all quite different, except for Portland, OR. I actually prefer Portland to Seattle. It's smaller but less expensive, and it's got a lot more funk and, believe it or not, has a better urban "scene" than Seattle. But they're pretty similar cities.

3. Seattle is about as family-friendly a big city as you will find. I live in Seattle proper (Seward Park neighborhood) and there are lots of young families in my neighborhood. It's very safe and Seattle is very mellow--too mellow for some people. But I love it.

4. Another poster commented that Seattle and Boston are totally different. I think that's basically true. It's an East Coast/West Coast thing. Even though I'm from back there, I'm just more in my element here, and so that's why I ended up here. I also love the outdoors and, of course, the hiking, skiing, biking, etc out here is just off the hook--there's just no comparison to the outdoors activities here with back East.

5. On the flip side, I don't think Seattle has as good an urban scene as Boston. It's pretty good in terms of restaurants, stores, fun neighborhoods, etc, but probably not quite as good as Boston. Again, Seattle people tend to be focused outward to the mountains, islands, etc for their fun so the city itself is nice but a bit dull compared to Beantown. At least that's my take.

6. Last thing I can think of is: are you OK with living on the West Coast? I ask because this town is a long way from Beantown. Unless you have a lot more free time on your hands than most folks our age, don't expect to get back East too often. Personally, the biggest negative for me in living here is that I so infrequently get back east to see family and friends. As I see it, that's the price I pay for living out here, but for me it's worth it.

Anyway, I just kind of stumbled on this board but will check back if you have additional questions. I'd be happy to give some more specific answers to questions if that will help you. Whatever you and your wife choose, I'm sure it'll work out. Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:35 AM
 
7 posts, read 31,479 times
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Tevis-
Thanks for your response. Regarding the urban scene, I'm not actually too concerned with that not measuring up to Boston. With one child and another pending, we're not at the stage of our lives where we head into the city daily. So, I guess family-friendliness is a big factor for us. While I will miss friends, we do actually see them much less frequently due to having a family, so the blow has been somewhat softened. I do have stepsisters that live in Seattle, and my dad and stepmom will also be moving to the area.
Beyond the normal concerns about COL, etc., I guess I get hung up on the seemingly silly things like leaving the Pats and Sox behind and whether or not I will "gell" with the West Coast. Save for one year, I have lived all my life in New England and am understandably a little apprehensive (like I said, silly).
In echoing your sentiments, I actually like Portland a little bit better- much cheaper, and I got a great "feel" for it when we visited last year. Alas, the residency program is not nearly as prestigious as UW's. While my wife wants this to be an equal decision, I think it should should have ultimate say- I mean, we're moving for her job, so I want it to be the best situation in that respect.
Of course, I took the quiz on findyourplace.com, and Seattle topped my results list, so that may be telling.
I guess if you could fill me in on some neighborhoods in the area that may be reasonably priced/okay for fams (we'll obviously rent to start), that would be very helpful.
Thanks...
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:18 AM
 
1,992 posts, read 6,291,288 times
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I disagree that the urban scene in Portland is better. Although the light rail system is awesome, the downtown area feels much smaller and more provincial than Seattle's.
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