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Old 06-09-2015, 09:07 PM
 
58 posts, read 105,580 times
Reputation: 51

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Quote:
Originally Posted by engrvet View Post
Thanks for the advice. It's good to hear from someone who knows what I'm talking about. I wouldn't make the commute, my husband would and he will do anything to make this move work. Being from W. MI you know that I'm used to big green yards, very affordable housing, good schools, no crowding. I absolutely would freak out from claustrophobia living in Queens or LI. We will only move if I can find a town somewhat faintly similar to MI even if it involves a nightmare commute.
You will find lovely towns with big green yards, no crowding, and excellent schools in Northern Westchester, but housing costs will be astronomically higher. I assume you're already prepared for this. Some towns I might look into are Bedford Village, Pound Ridge, South Salem, Somers. The commute will be very difficult, I really wouldn't recommend living in Northern Westchester and commuting to Queens, but those towns are just what pop into my mind with your descriptions. There are also many lovely towns in Southern Westchester (Larchmont, Rye, Irvington....) but you will get way less for your money, and, in my opinion, a snootier vibe.

For more of a Midwestern-ish feel, I might look at certain towns in Fairfield County, CT (Ridgefield, Redding, Bethel, Wilton, Weston). These towns are more spread out, less congested, and have some semblance of the small town, Midwestern feel. But honestly, commuting to Queens from there would be insane.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
227 posts, read 243,474 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by newnewyorkers View Post
So where do you live for your commute to be so unbearable?
I don't find the commute to be unbearable at all. I commute to GCT from Mamaroneck. I just mean that it will be quite brutal coming straight from Western Michigan, where a 20 mile commute takes 25 minutes. I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area, so I eased into the brutality.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
227 posts, read 243,474 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by engrvet View Post
We will only move if I can find a town somewhat faintly similar to MI even if it involves a nightmare commute.
Have you visited some areas? Having lived in California for over a decade, it all kind of LOOKS like Michigan to my wife and I now. But it is a LOT more expensive. Until you actually look, it's really quite hard to fathom.

Here's an exercise that you might find helpful.
  1. Go to a site like greatschools.org or niche.com, and find the ratings for the schools in your area today.
  2. Search for school districts with a similar rating close to your husband's workplace.
  3. Search a real estate website like zillow.com or houlihanlawrence.com to see what is available in those districts
.

You might get a better sense of how "faint" the resemblance can be. When we moved to California from Western Michigan, we met a couple who had relocated also from Michigan who moved back in two months because the reality was worse than what they expected. My wife even suggested it, but I wouldn't let us go back until two years had passed. It really is different, in good and bad ways, so you'll really have to figure out how faint a resemblance you're willing to accept. Good luck!
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:40 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,478 posts, read 5,731,604 times
Reputation: 2858
Quote:
Originally Posted by KensingtonPark View Post
Have you visited some areas? Having lived in California for over a decade, it all kind of LOOKS like Michigan to my wife and I now. But it is a LOT more expensive. Until you actually look, it's really quite hard to fathom.

Here's an exercise that you might find helpful.
  1. Go to a site like greatschools.org or niche.com, and find the ratings for the schools in your area today.
  2. Search for school districts with a similar rating close to your husband's workplace.
  3. Search a real estate website like zillow.com or houlihanlawrence.com to see what is available in those districts
.

You might get a better sense of how "faint" the resemblance can be. When we moved to California from Western Michigan, we met a couple who had relocated also from Michigan who moved back in two months because the reality was worse than what they expected. My wife even suggested it, but I wouldn't let us go back until two years had passed. It really is different, in good and bad ways, so you'll really have to figure out how faint a resemblance you're willing to accept. Good luck!
People who need the new place to be like the old place shouldn't move. It never is because it can't be.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:27 PM
 
105 posts, read 97,792 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by newnewyorkers View Post
Wow. How selfish of you. I just moved to ny as well and i have a 1 hr commute door to door. However more than that will become a burden.
Excuse me? MY FAMILY IS SACRIFICING EVERYTHING FOR MY HUSBANDS CAREER!!! I have a career too!!! Go **** yourself.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:57 AM
 
1,245 posts, read 1,268,668 times
Reputation: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by KensingtonPark View Post
Have you visited some areas? Having lived in California for over a decade, it all kind of LOOKS like Michigan to my wife and I now. But it is a LOT more expensive. Until you actually look, it's really quite hard to fathom.

Here's an exercise that you might find helpful.
  1. Go to a site like greatschools.org or niche.com, and find the ratings for the schools in your area today.
  2. Search for school districts with a similar rating close to your husband's workplace.
  3. Search a real estate website like zillow.com or houlihanlawrence.com to see what is available in those districts
.

You might get a better sense of how "faint" the resemblance can be. When we moved to California from Western Michigan, we met a couple who had relocated also from Michigan who moved back in two months because the reality was worse than what they expected. My wife even suggested it, but I wouldn't let us go back until two years had passed. It really is different, in good and bad ways, so you'll really have to figure out how faint a resemblance you're willing to accept. Good luck!
how would you compare all 3 areas? always wanted to move to the bay area. grew up in NJ and live in Westchester now.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
227 posts, read 243,474 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefastlife View Post
how would you compare all 3 areas? always wanted to move to the bay area. grew up in NJ and live in Westchester now.
Michigan
PROS
  • Fantastic cost of living. You can have a really nice house for $300K.
  • Lots of room - you can have a reasonable property size if that's what you want.
  • Really nice tight-knit communities. This is because your turnover rates are quite low.
  • Fantastic access to clean water. This is a resource for Michigan, and they will probably need to find a way to leverage it the way that the oil states do for their oil.
  • Sidewalks in neighborhoods. Neither the Bay Area nor Westchester towns I live in have them. I understand why, but I still like them.
CONS
  • Sense of isolation from what is happening in the country. Even as companies based in Michigan expand, for example, they tend to need to leave Michigan in some measure. Kalamazoo Gourmet Grills, for example, is now owned by a Chicago-based firm. I would have thought at least this kind of business could have stayed in Michigan. There are exceptions (Amway, Kellogg's), but the list is long.
  • Small cities, so little real city life to access.
  • SLIGHTLY larger pockets of small-mindedness
  • The worst weather of the three, unless you like a really long winter

Bay Area
PROS
  • Very dynamic and close to lots of things that are happening globally. Venture Capitalists, Private Equity is all based there for a reason and funds a lot of great startups that are based there. So you see a lot of what is going on.
  • Great weather. Hard to convey this adequately. Only the coastal areas of Southern California can argue that they have better weather.
  • Great access to global culture and cuisine.
  • Tax RATES are significantly lower than in Westchester. If you buy a $1M house in the Bay Area, you'll pay ~$11K in property taxes. In Westchester, that's more than $20K.
  • Utilities are cheaper, since you don't need to heat houses by anything more than +20degrees.
  • Great ethnic diversity. I realize that this is not necessarily a pro for everyone.
CONS
  • Crazy cost of living. Hard to explain, but property values can get quite frenzied. I know that there are people in Westchester that think that their areas have "hot" housing markets, but it's an order of magnitude worse than that in the Bay Area.
  • Drought Risk. It's getting quite bad there, and they will need to really bear down if things don't change. It doesn't feel like they've really figured it out yet. The worst part will be the fires. This one strikes me as the worst one, because it will affect how you live.
  • Earthquake risk. People nationally worry about it, but you get used to this. Everyone has some kind of natural disaster risk.
  • Intense technology adoption path. More than even Westchester. My son had a working and activated iPhone when he was 8 years old; so did over 50% of his classmates.
  • Rail Commuting not as "civilized." Metro North is nicer than BART. Less urine, and you generally get to sit down. They're taking more seats out of the BART trains to stop pretending that sitting is part of the experience.
  • High population turnover rates. People move in and out of the area a lot. If your kids make it from 9th grade through 12th grade in the same school, they will likely be only among 50% of the class that can say that.

Westchester
PROS
  • Proximity to NYC. Still the best urban city in the world, really.
  • Better job market for my business area. If you're not in technology or related field, you'll find a few prominent companies, but you'll typically be a slave to some other regional area.
  • Best public schools in the country. You're paying for it, though, so they better be great. No region of the country has the number of schools in top lists.
  • Great proximity to many top companies in my field. That's personal to me, but it is always nice to have potential options.
  • Better access to water. Drought is a concern to me.

CONS
  • Mediocre weather. Only slightly better than Michigan. Winter is shorter, so that's good. But the best day of the year in Westchester probably would rank in the 100s of the days in the Bay Area.
  • Really old housing stock. Except in the priciest areas, houses are too old to be attractive to me. Chopped up floorplans, inefficient buildings raise the cost of living even more than people realize. The charm and character of these homes is vastly overrated to me.
  • Crazy property tax rates. The rates virtually guarantee that older empty nesters will be pushed out of their homes. Good for newcomers, though, since it encourages turnover. Bad for continuity.
  • High population turnover rates. Less than the Bay Area, at least it seems.
  • Strange local legal structures embedded in "old world" roots. The Bay Area has its own, but at least you know what craziness was behind the thinking. Here, no one can even remember why.

The funny thing for me is that the pros and cons most people talk about I don't really see lots of differences:
  1. Snobby people. I don't really see differences. I encountered plenty of snobby people in all of these areas. Frankly, there is less money overall in Michigan, so I suppose it's easier to avoid, but people who have money and have crappy attitudes toward people who don't have it are everywhere.
  2. Materialism. Same for snobby people. Again, less money in Michigan, so I suppose you see fewer Bentleys and Teslas, but I have always thought that this is a smokescreen for people who simply wish that they didn't have to see evidence that people have more money than them. Seems like people who have money are entitled to spend it however they wish.
I am only a very recent resident, so my impressions may be not fully developed yet, but that is mine.
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
227 posts, read 243,474 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by engrvet View Post
Excuse me? MY FAMILY IS SACRIFICING EVERYTHING FOR MY HUSBANDS CAREER!!! I have a career too!!! Go **** yourself.
As the instigator in my family of the same sacrifice, I am particularly concerned and sensitive to your sentiment. I, too, have specifically told my family that I was willing to commute to any location in order to make sure that my family was happy with the house, neighborhood and schools. So I am with your husband on this one.

I think that the sentiment that was being expressed here is that you seem still angry/bitter about the move and that it's possible that this could cloud your consideration of what is acceptable from a commute standpoint. Commutes can wear on commuters and families alike, and we are simply saying that you should also consider as a factor what that could mean to your family. He will be there less. In the Bay Area, with a less than 50 minute commute (short by most suburban commuter standards), I miss more than 50% of my kids school functions involving parents. My colleagues with longer commutes miss a higher percentage. Just be careful about trading your family for a house.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:39 PM
 
105 posts, read 97,792 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by KensingtonPark View Post
Have you visited some areas? Having lived in California for over a decade, it all kind of LOOKS like Michigan to my wife and I now. But it is a LOT more expensive. Until you actually look, it's really quite hard to fathom.

Here's an exercise that you might find helpful.
  1. Go to a site like greatschools.org or niche.com, and find the ratings for the schools in your area today.
  2. Search for school districts with a similar rating close to your husband's workplace.
  3. Search a real estate website like zillow.com or houlihanlawrence.com to see what is available in those districts
.

You might get a better sense of how "faint" the resemblance can be. When we moved to California from Western Michigan, we met a couple who had relocated also from Michigan who moved back in two months because the reality was worse than what they expected. My wife even suggested it, but I wouldn't let us go back until two years had passed. It really is different, in good and bad ways, so you'll really have to figure out how faint a resemblance you're willing to accept. Good luck!
Thanks. I have already done all of that (I'm very type A). I cried when I looked up housing costs.
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:42 PM
 
105 posts, read 97,792 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
People who need the new place to be like the old place shouldn't move. It never is because it can't be.
Very true because it is completely impossible to have our life in MI 'transferred' here. I just want my hubby to be happy in his career. It is what it is. If it doesn't work, then thank God we have other options.
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