Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

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8foot7
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:52 pm

srt7 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:58 am
OP,

You don't mention what YOU want. I suppose that should be a higher priority considering you are the sole breadwinner.
This. It seems like you're letting your wife drive your location decisions when you're the one with the employment. (That's in no way to diminish how hard it is to be a stay at home parent--it's a full time job and then some.) But it's odd when you're the breadwinner working for others to have her controlling the location of your work.

There is probably more to this story and I'm sure it's more nuanced than that, but it is what we're reading.
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:46 pm
I think you and your wife need to deal with reality.

She doesn't want to stay in ATL, but you can't afford the same lifestyle in CA. Is she willing to go to work full time to be in CA? Or is she ok with the thought that you'll never own a home again?
Agree that a fuller, richer discussion needs to happen about the consequences of what your wife wants.

I buy into the 'happy wife, happy life' sentiment to an extent. Both spouses should be happy and if one is very unhappy, care should be taken to figure it out. But I'm sorry, if my wife stayed at home, our location would be controlled by my career. If I stayed at home, our location would be controlled by her career. We would not just up and move because she wanted to be somewhere else. At least until we were financially independent and could somewhat control our own destiny.

quantAndHold
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:06 pm

OP can apparently work in any of these places. You’re confusing price of housing with career options.

We don’t know exactly how unhappy his wife is, we just know she’s unhappy. If she’s unhappy enough, the cost of spousal and child support will be more than the cost of living someplace they both agree on.

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8foot7
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:18 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:06 pm
OP can apparently work in any of these places. You’re confusing price of housing with career options.

We don’t know exactly how unhappy his wife is, we just know she’s unhappy. If she’s unhappy enough, the cost of spousal and child support will be more than the cost of living someplace they both agree on.
OP said he is not sure he can transfer back to OC. Also OP said he would have to find a job in Vancouver. Neither are sure things.

quantAndHold
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:42 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:18 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:06 pm
OP can apparently work in any of these places. You’re confusing price of housing with career options.

We don’t know exactly how unhappy his wife is, we just know she’s unhappy. If she’s unhappy enough, the cost of spousal and child support will be more than the cost of living someplace they both agree on.
OP said he is not sure he can transfer back to OC. Also OP said he would have to find a job in Vancouver. Neither are sure things.
I don’t think OP or anyone else is suggesting moving anywhere without a job lined up first. But it isn’t like he’s CEO of Coca-Cola, and his job must be in Atlanta. People find jobs in new cities and move, for all kinds of reasons, all the time.

Wife and I moved to Seattle for my job. After a year, she announced that she wanted to move back to California. Moving back to California cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income, but gave us both more than that in quality of life. It isn’t always about dollar signs. We have enough.

trinc
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by trinc » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:16 pm

... iirc the weather channel said Portland is in the third driest June on record. :D

I've been in Portland since 1989. The PNW region is amazing.

Tim

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wander
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by wander » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:39 pm

jrbdmb wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:49 pm
wander wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:47 pm
You have already got a family of your own. Since you are the only source of income, whatever decision you make, your family should be on top. This is a financial forum so I would pick the option that best provides financial mean which is to stay in GA. Closer to family is nice, but if you lose your job or you cannot make enough money to live in Orange County, not much family can do for you as they also have to take care of themselves.
Deciding to stay in Georgia when your wife has made it clear she wants to move closer to family may eventually result in other financial issues that I'd rather not discuss. :(

IMHO, your family needs to decide which alternatives are acceptable, and *then* bring finances in the picture to help make a final decision.
We had this discussion before marriage. The main key is communication. I technically can discuss anything with my wife. It’s okay to tell your spouse that you are afraid that you cannot support her 100% if living cost is higher than your job can afford. I get it “happy wife happy life”, but life won’t be any happier if you cannot tell your spouse what’s on your mind.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:36 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:05 pm
Officially moved from just east of Vancouver yesterday. We were there for a decade and loved it.

Here’s the stickler though, my husband needed to find a new job and could not in the Portland area. And living in Vancouver you don’t really want to work in Portland because of the income tax and the horrific bridge traffic. High paying jobs are difficult to find depending on your field.

So we’re back on the east coast but if you do it, Vancouver is great. Camas is even better. :wink:
Yes, Camas is where you want to be if schools are a priority. We moved from Texas to Camas WA (next to Vancouver) 3 years ago. For me it was a return home to the Northwest as I grew up here and have family here going back 5 generations so parents, brothers, and a bazillion extended family scattered throughout OR and WA. But then for my wife and me it was moving home. Coming from SoCal via Atlanta the climate here may be something of a shock. Not everyone adjusts to the long grey wet winters. There is a very stoic nordic vibe compared to the sunny south or southwest. But on the other hand, the place is full of CA transplants so people do adjust. Half my neighbors are CA transplants who moved up here with Fisher Investments when the firm relocated to Camas from CA.

My advice? Don't think of Vancouver as a stand-alone city or destination. It's really a suburb of Portland. If you are seeking work, cast your net across the entire Portland metro area as there are limited corporate headquarters in Vancouver itself and a couple next door in Camas. And don't move out here with a family without having employment lined up first. The economy is decent but this isn't Atlanta or Dallas where it is relatively easy to move from one corporate job to another. It is a much smaller world and more insular.

Second, if you land a job somewhere else in the Portland metro area that isn't just across the bridge then give SERIOUS thought to living in OR instead. There are nice suburban residential areas next to all the main job centers in the Portland area. Traffic in the greater Portland area is getting worse and worse every year and I promise you there are no infrastructure proposals that will happen in your working lifetime that will make things any better. You do not want to buy a house in say Camas and then wind up with a job in Hillsboro across the metro area where you will be spending 1.5-2 hours in the car each way during the rush hour. The two bridges are MAJOR congestion choke points but all the freeways in Portland descend to a standstill during peak rush periods. If you are living in WA and working in OR you pay OR income tax anyway so you lose the tax advantage of WA. Yes schools on average are better in WA but all the affluent suburbs around Portland have decent schools. It is the poorer and more rural parts of OR that really have school quality issues.

IMO
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by IMO » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:26 pm

leftcoaster wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:40 am
One advantage to being close to family is that vacations can be fun trips and not an exercise in filial obligations.

Less of an issue if relations live in a fun place though.
This is absolutely an issue for many who moved away from where the bulk of family is located. Nothing funner than having to make the Thanksgiving and Christmas trips to visit family. Not only does one use up vacation time, but usually it's $800+ (for 3) and lots of time/hassle to visit, while other family members spent $15 in gas and an hours time. Sure one doesn't "have to" but it's a fairly typical thing to feel the need/desire to make to home for these and many other important dates. From many I've talked to on the subject, there seems to be this unwritten rule that it is the obligation of those that moved to come back to visit vs. having others who never moved travel out to see you. When the parents get older and have health issues, they often can no longer make the effort to travel.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:19 pm

This question is really about what is of importance to you and your wife. For me, this is what matters: my family, a work schedule that allows for lots of time off, and nice weather. I (nor my wife) really care about a mansion-sized home, fancy cars, and lots of money with jewels mixed in. So, we've built our life around those things that we do care about. You and your wife should probably do some soul-searching and then sit down together and talk about your values and priorities. Your question isn’t just about where to live but what you want your life to look like. That’s a question which isn’t easy for others to answer. Personally, I’d pick Orange County if I were you because family is very important to me and I like the nice weather. The thing is, I’m NOT you and can’t possibly make such a decision for someone who might have very different preferences. I honestly wish I could be more helpful but, really, it's such a personal decision. It's time to have some deep conversations with your spouse. Hopefully, you can find a solution which works for you both.

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coupleofcents
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by coupleofcents » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:06 am

texasdiver wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:36 pm
Isabelle77 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:05 pm
Officially moved from just east of Vancouver yesterday. We were there for a decade and loved it.

Here’s the stickler though, my husband needed to find a new job and could not in the Portland area. And living in Vancouver you don’t really want to work in Portland because of the income tax and the horrific bridge traffic. High paying jobs are difficult to find depending on your field.

So we’re back on the east coast but if you do it, Vancouver is great. Camas is even better. :wink:
Yes, Camas is where you want to be if schools are a priority. We moved from Texas to Camas WA (next to Vancouver) 3 years ago. For me it was a return home to the Northwest as I grew up here and have family here going back 5 generations so parents, brothers, and a bazillion extended family scattered throughout OR and WA. But then for my wife and me it was moving home. Coming from SoCal via Atlanta the climate here may be something of a shock. Not everyone adjusts to the long grey wet winters. There is a very stoic nordic vibe compared to the sunny south or southwest. But on the other hand, the place is full of CA transplants so people do adjust. Half my neighbors are CA transplants who moved up here with Fisher Investments when the firm relocated to Camas from CA.

My advice? Don't think of Vancouver as a stand-alone city or destination. It's really a suburb of Portland. If you are seeking work, cast your net across the entire Portland metro area as there are limited corporate headquarters in Vancouver itself and a couple next door in Camas. And don't move out here with a family without having employment lined up first. The economy is decent but this isn't Atlanta or Dallas where it is relatively easy to move from one corporate job to another. It is a much smaller world and more insular.

Second, if you land a job somewhere else in the Portland metro area that isn't just across the bridge then give SERIOUS thought to living in OR instead. There are nice suburban residential areas next to all the main job centers in the Portland area. Traffic in the greater Portland area is getting worse and worse every year and I promise you there are no infrastructure proposals that will happen in your working lifetime that will make things any better. You do not want to buy a house in say Camas and then wind up with a job in Hillsboro across the metro area where you will be spending 1.5-2 hours in the car each way during the rush hour. The two bridges are MAJOR congestion choke points but all the freeways in Portland descend to a standstill during peak rush periods. If you are living in WA and working in OR you pay OR income tax anyway so you lose the tax advantage of WA. Yes schools on average are better in WA but all the affluent suburbs around Portland have decent schools. It is the poorer and more rural parts of OR that really have school quality issues.
Good insider information here. The job market does concern me since I think I agree with you. The only reason to live in Vancouver and work in Portland is for lower housing costs, but I don't like anything longer than 30 minutes. Camas does look interesting. We are planning to home school so location i that sense may not matter as much.

texasdiver
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by texasdiver » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:41 pm

coupleofcents wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:06 am
texasdiver wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:36 pm
Isabelle77 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:05 pm
Officially moved from just east of Vancouver yesterday. We were there for a decade and loved it.

Here’s the stickler though, my husband needed to find a new job and could not in the Portland area. And living in Vancouver you don’t really want to work in Portland because of the income tax and the horrific bridge traffic. High paying jobs are difficult to find depending on your field.

So we’re back on the east coast but if you do it, Vancouver is great. Camas is even better. :wink:
Yes, Camas is where you want to be if schools are a priority. We moved from Texas to Camas WA (next to Vancouver) 3 years ago. For me it was a return home to the Northwest as I grew up here and have family here going back 5 generations so parents, brothers, and a bazillion extended family scattered throughout OR and WA. But then for my wife and me it was moving home. Coming from SoCal via Atlanta the climate here may be something of a shock. Not everyone adjusts to the long grey wet winters. There is a very stoic nordic vibe compared to the sunny south or southwest. But on the other hand, the place is full of CA transplants so people do adjust. Half my neighbors are CA transplants who moved up here with Fisher Investments when the firm relocated to Camas from CA.

My advice? Don't think of Vancouver as a stand-alone city or destination. It's really a suburb of Portland. If you are seeking work, cast your net across the entire Portland metro area as there are limited corporate headquarters in Vancouver itself and a couple next door in Camas. And don't move out here with a family without having employment lined up first. The economy is decent but this isn't Atlanta or Dallas where it is relatively easy to move from one corporate job to another. It is a much smaller world and more insular.

Second, if you land a job somewhere else in the Portland metro area that isn't just across the bridge then give SERIOUS thought to living in OR instead. There are nice suburban residential areas next to all the main job centers in the Portland area. Traffic in the greater Portland area is getting worse and worse every year and I promise you there are no infrastructure proposals that will happen in your working lifetime that will make things any better. You do not want to buy a house in say Camas and then wind up with a job in Hillsboro across the metro area where you will be spending 1.5-2 hours in the car each way during the rush hour. The two bridges are MAJOR congestion choke points but all the freeways in Portland descend to a standstill during peak rush periods. If you are living in WA and working in OR you pay OR income tax anyway so you lose the tax advantage of WA. Yes schools on average are better in WA but all the affluent suburbs around Portland have decent schools. It is the poorer and more rural parts of OR that really have school quality issues.
Good insider information here. The job market does concern me since I think I agree with you. The only reason to live in Vancouver and work in Portland is for lower housing costs, but I don't like anything longer than 30 minutes. Camas does look interesting. We are planning to home school so location i that sense may not matter as much.
There are a LOT of homeschoolers in Camas and the greater Vancouver area so lots of support groups and that sort of thing. As a public school teacher I’m not really attuned to that world. But I know they are around. But also remember that a small minority home school all the way from K through 12 so at some point you may indeed care about the local schools. It is one thing to home school your 6 year old. A different thing entirely to home school your 11th grader in AP Physics or Calculus or advanced coding.

PS, housing costs are not very much lower in Vancouver. I mean yes, houses cost less in Vancouver than posh inner Portland neighborhoods like the west hills. But that isn't really the correct comparison. Houses in Vancouver don't really cost much more than their equivalents in comparable suburbs on the Oregon side like Clackamas or Wilsonville or Tigard.
Last edited by texasdiver on Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Watty
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by Watty » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:47 pm

One other thing I thought of about Vancouver is that if you can get your family interested in snow skiing you may actually look forward to winter. You would have your choice of cross country or downhill.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:39 pm

Does your wife realize that you could use the savings by NOT moving to CA to fly there 4 times a year? (or more!).
I'd stay put in Atlanta if you are happy there. If you wife is home-schooling she should be able to make some extended visits to family in CA.
Start playing the points game to get some free flights and hotels - and then use your savings by not living in CA to pay for additional flights and time out there.
CA is a nice place to visit - but living in Atlanta is better for the wallet.

texasdiver
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by texasdiver » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:12 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:47 pm
One other thing I thought of about Vancouver is that if you can get your family interested in snow skiing you may actually look forward to winter. You would have your choice of cross country or downhill.
Yes, we live in the Vancouver area and ski all the time. For downhill cross the river and go over to Mt. Hood where there are 3 big ski areas that are 1-1.5 hours away depending on traffic. For cross country we stay on the WA side of the Columbia. There are a lot of lightly-used snow park nordic ski areas on the slopes of Mt. Adams near the town of Trout Lake and in the Wind River area. So endless groomed and ungroomed trails for nordic skiing and snow shoeing. And lots of good brew pubs in the small towns in the gorge on the way home. For multi-day ski vacations there is Sunriver and Mt. Bachelor 3 hours away or Whistler about 6 hours away. Or Sun Valley ID about 10 hours away.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by Traveler » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:43 pm

I grew up in Portland (1972-1997) and have lived in Atlanta since 2001. I can't comment on southern California. Below are things I would consider in the debate of Vancouver vs Atlanta. I think the most important items are jobs, housing cost and weather.

Jobs: Atlanta has a ton more jobs than Portland/Vancouver and most pay much better too. I would probably have to take a 20% pay cut for the same job in Portland. Portland is a regional area with very few large companies headquartered there so there are fewer jobs.

Traffic: Atlanta is horrible as many know. Vancouver is not good if you live there and work in Portland because there are only two bridges across the Columbia.

Taxes: Atlanta is reasonable. The ideal for Portland/Vancouver is to live and work in Vancouver and shop in Portland - no state income tax in Washington and no sales tax in Oregon. I think that if you live in Washington and work in Oregon, you still have to pay Oregon income tax.

Housing cost: Portland/Vancouver is quite high. Unless you're living in the heart of Buckhead, Decatur, Inman Park or another nice in-town area of Atlanta where housing is higher, housing will be much higher in the Portland/Vancouver area, although you get more for your money in Vancouver.

Weather: there is no comparison. Portland weather sucks the majority of the year unless you like drizzly, damp, dreary, rainy and cloudy weather. They can go weeks in the winter without seeing the sun. August and September are usually the nicest months. Don't ever count on an outdoor event unless it is last minute. I like seeing the sun almost every day in Atlanta.

Outdoor activities: both places are green and while people brag about the activities in the PNW, unless you like hiking in mud or skiing, you can't do those activities more than a few months out of the year. You can golf, hike, etc almost year-round in Atlanta. While Vancouver is closer to the ocean than Atlanta, the weather at the beach is usually much worse than in the valley meaning it is almost always rainy and cloudy.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by leeks » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:30 pm

1. There are more than 3 cities in the world, don't accept that these are your only 3 options. Perhaps the right path is something different. I would reassess and consider if there is someplace where you can find a decent job that may not be in the exact place as the wife's family but is within driving distance (or train or short flight) and also within easy weekend trip distance (perhaps in the opposite direction) of somewhere else less expensive for your own parents to relocate. I don't know enough about the west coast to really recommend a set of places but some wild guesses are San Diego, Nevada, Arizona, Mexico.

2. Is there any chance that trying out a different neighborhood in the Atlanta area might give her a different perspective? At least in the short term, something like rent in a different area for six months or a year to see if it changes her feelings at all. I am willing to bet there are some really different cultural and lifestyle aspects between some of the most urban areas, areas near the colleges, older walkable suburbs, outlying newer car-dependent suburbs, and rural areas. Perhaps there is a better fit for whatever amenities or kinds of neighbors (or lack thereof) your wife might prefer.

2. I do not agree at all with the posters who implied that her opinion should be discounted because she is currently the stay-at-home partner. But of course your opinion matters too and you have to figure something out together. I can identify with the situation where spouses have completely different opinions on where to live as I am also currently a stay-at-home parent who desperately wants to move away from a city where my husband has a very good job setup. If she continues to hate living in Atlanta, I hope you will figure out a way to move somewhere else.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by EddyB » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:51 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:39 pm
Does your wife realize that you could use the savings by NOT moving to CA to fly there 4 times a year? (or more!).
I'd stay put in Atlanta if you are happy there. If you wife is home-schooling she should be able to make some extended visits to family in CA.
Start playing the points game to get some free flights and hotels - and then use your savings by not living in CA to pay for additional flights and time out there.
CA is a nice place to visit - but living in Atlanta is better for the wallet.
I wouldn’t want to set up a system where my spouse expected to visit family (with the kids, and perhaps even with me) four times a year. I would expect that to have a real impact on other travel, even disregarding the cost.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by texasdiver » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:22 pm

EddyB wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:51 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:39 pm
Does your wife realize that you could use the savings by NOT moving to CA to fly there 4 times a year? (or more!).
I'd stay put in Atlanta if you are happy there. If you wife is home-schooling she should be able to make some extended visits to family in CA.
Start playing the points game to get some free flights and hotels - and then use your savings by not living in CA to pay for additional flights and time out there.
CA is a nice place to visit - but living in Atlanta is better for the wallet.
I wouldn’t want to set up a system where my spouse expected to visit family (with the kids, and perhaps even with me) four times a year. I would expect that to have a real impact on other travel, even disregarding the cost.
This:

We spent a decade living in Texas with my family mainly in the Northwest and my wife's family mainly in Chile (South America). Texas was actually something of an unintentional compromise as it is sort of half-way between the two. And much cheaper and easier to visit South America from Texas than from the Northwest.

That said, for about a decade, nearly all our family trips were to see family in the Northwest or Chile. Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Both destinations are nice and we had tremendous vacations in Chile where my wife's parents have a beach house on the coast in addition to their place in Santiago. But it was hard to ever get away and do something just with your own family. In a decade we only did one major family trip that wasn't to see family and that was to Costa Rica. We did have a camping trailer and did lots of local extended weekend trips around Texas and New Mexico and Arkansas. But this is right. If you live a long way from family you end up focusing your travel to see family. Especially when parents start to age and are less able to come visit you.

Now that we are back in the Northwest we have one set of parents nearby and the other farther away. That has introduced its own complications and jealousies. And we are muddling through. But also spending a lot of time and money flying back and forth to South America and sending our kids down there on their own for vacations with the grandparents and such.

Of course if we lived next door to my wife's family that would introduce a whole different level of Latino obligations such as spending every Sunday afternoon having long endless dinners with grandma. So you do what you do and just muddle through.

texasdiver
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by texasdiver » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:27 pm

leeks wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:30 pm
1. There are more than 3 cities in the world, don't accept that these are your only 3 options. Perhaps the right path is something different. I would reassess and consider if there is someplace where you can find a decent job that may not be in the exact place as the wife's family but is within driving distance (or train or short flight) and also within easy weekend trip distance (perhaps in the opposite direction) of somewhere else less expensive for your own parents to relocate. I don't know enough about the west coast to really recommend a set of places but some wild guesses are San Diego, Nevada, Arizona, Mexico.

2. Is there any chance that trying out a different neighborhood in the Atlanta area might give her a different perspective? At least in the short term, something like rent in a different area for six months or a year to see if it changes her feelings at all. I am willing to bet there are some really different cultural and lifestyle aspects between some of the most urban areas, areas near the colleges, older walkable suburbs, outlying newer car-dependent suburbs, and rural areas. Perhaps there is a better fit for whatever amenities or kinds of neighbors (or lack thereof) your wife might prefer.

2. I do not agree at all with the posters who implied that her opinion should be discounted because she is currently the stay-at-home partner. But of course your opinion matters too and you have to figure something out together. I can identify with the situation where spouses have completely different opinions on where to live as I am also currently a stay-at-home parent who desperately wants to move away from a city where my husband has a very good job setup. If she continues to hate living in Atlanta, I hope you will figure out a way to move somewhere else.
I don't know the Atlanta area at all. But I have heard interesting things about this place: https://serenbe.com/ on some urban design forums that I frequent. Here's an article: https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/03/ ... ia/555329/ might be in completely the wrong part of the metro area for your job geography. But it would be a change of pace from the typical southern suburban sprawl.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by LilyFleur » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:41 pm

TheMadEph wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:32 pm
I vote with the majority for Vancouver, WA. Great tax arbitrage, PNW winters are dark it is true, but Hawaii is "close" (or at least easy).
Plus, much better location for mitigating climate change effects than Georgia or California. Now the earthquake on the other hand.....
If you/spouse have family there, I would highly recommend it compared to your other options.
Your parents should move over to Tri-Cities/Walla Walla, and then in the winter you can drive east to the sun and enjoy some good wine as a break from the sometimes dreary Vancouver/Portland weather.
And your wife and children could visit her parents easily for long visits (one of the advantages of home schooling). I have a friend who just went to Vancouver to look at rentals, and rents are very high there right now. You'd have better luck buying something.

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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by IMO » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:30 pm

leeks wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:30 pm

I don't know the Atlanta area at all. But I have heard interesting things about this place: https://serenbe.com/ on some urban design forums that I frequent. Here's an article: https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/03/ ... ia/555329/ might be in completely the wrong part of the metro area for your job geography. But it would be a change of pace from the typical southern suburban sprawl.
This is really nothing new in design thought. An example of many: https://www.verrado.com/life-verrado/#filter=.shopping
I've seen other attempts at this fail because the economics of scale didn't support businesses thriving with the limited number of customers within the developments.

srt7
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:19 pm

Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by srt7 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:00 pm

coupleofcents wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:48 am
Good points. I'd prefer to stay in ATL or Vancouver probably. My wife has made sacrifices already earlier on by moving over seas for a few years since I wanted to try something different.

We have a very healthy emergency fund of at least 6 months, with option to stretch up to 2 years if we had to take money from a fund we have for our next home down payment.
Looks like ATL is what works best for you then. A "sacrifice" is what something one gives up expecting nothing in return. Just saying ... :wink:

Good job on the savings/emergency fund!
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

lostinjersey
Posts: 213
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by lostinjersey » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:41 pm

OP we have been on a similar journey/similar decision points. I'm from a Rocky Mountain state; my DH is an immigrant but CA-based since he moved here in his early 20s. We met and got married in CA, then moved to NJ for our careers. Had a kid and knew we didn't want her to grow up so far from family and friends, so started looking for where to put our roots.

It was a real struggle. First we moved to the Bay Area where all his family is. We loved a lot about it, and we both had good jobs, but we just couldn't afford it. Buying a house was a big deal for us and it was never going to happen in the Bay. So we headed to the Midwest, where we did great financially (kept our CA pay but cut our COL in half), bought a house in the suburbs, living the dream, but we were miserable. The culture, the weather, the lack of diversity, long expensive trips back to CA to take care of aging parents...there was more, but suffice it to say where we landed was not a good fit. So at that point we knew we had to move again and this time take more than just finances into consideration.

We ended up in your "Vancouver" option (Seattle). We chose it because it's the same time zone as CA, easy flight, has that BA feel, great economy, beautiful outdoors to explore, lots of diversity, lots of travel options, also close-ish to my family. We bought a house but it cost twice as much as our last one; a big sacrifice but one we're willing to make. My DH has been to CA every month since we moved, his brother comes here for work so we get to see him frequently; kid is in school with others of her race(s), I have extended family close and my family is coming out for a long visit this summer. So unlike the past when all the onus was on us to visit the relatives (and as others have pointed out, this takes up a lot of your vacation and leaves you with little to explore other parts of the country/world) we are now seeing family in our town too.

If I were you I'd take Atlanta off the table. As your kids grow, being close to family (assuming you like them) is a huge perk and the benefits can't be understated. My cousin has a daughter the same age as ours, the girls love hanging out, but didn't at all during the three years we were in the Midwest; we've seen them twice in the last six months. Stuff like that is really hard to quantify but very valuable nonetheless. Life is about more than money; as long as you have enough for all the needs and a decent amount of wants, then it's enriched by other things like social connections and whatever else brings you joy. I'd encourage you to factor those into your plans.

Topic Author
coupleofcents
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by coupleofcents » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:12 am

Traveler wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:43 pm
I grew up in Portland (1972-1997) and have lived in Atlanta since 2001. I can't comment on southern California. Below are things I would consider in the debate of Vancouver vs Atlanta. I think the most important items are jobs, housing cost and weather.

Jobs: Atlanta has a ton more jobs than Portland/Vancouver and most pay much better too. I would probably have to take a 20% pay cut for the same job in Portland. Portland is a regional area with very few large companies headquartered there so there are fewer jobs.

Traffic: Atlanta is horrible as many know. Vancouver is not good if you live there and work in Portland because there are only two bridges across the Columbia.

Taxes: Atlanta is reasonable. The ideal for Portland/Vancouver is to live and work in Vancouver and shop in Portland - no state income tax in Washington and no sales tax in Oregon. I think that if you live in Washington and work in Oregon, you still have to pay Oregon income tax.

Housing cost: Portland/Vancouver is quite high. Unless you're living in the heart of Buckhead, Decatur, Inman Park or another nice in-town area of Atlanta where housing is higher, housing will be much higher in the Portland/Vancouver area, although you get more for your money in Vancouver.

Weather: there is no comparison. Portland weather sucks the majority of the year unless you like drizzly, damp, dreary, rainy and cloudy weather. They can go weeks in the winter without seeing the sun. August and September are usually the nicest months. Don't ever count on an outdoor event unless it is last minute. I like seeing the sun almost every day in Atlanta.

Outdoor activities: both places are green and while people brag about the activities in the PNW, unless you like hiking in mud or skiing, you can't do those activities more than a few months out of the year. You can golf, hike, etc almost year-round in Atlanta. While Vancouver is closer to the ocean than Atlanta, the weather at the beach is usually much worse than in the valley meaning it is almost always rainy and cloudy.
Appreciate all the details you added and the comparison between Vancouver and ATL since you have experience in both. My traffic is really good in ATL but I'm lucky because I commute away from downtown. This was intentional when I moved. I am concerned about the job market and weather in Vancouver and am worried about commuting into Portland from Vancouver. But then the whole point of moving to Vancouver would be to be closer to family so I haven't decided if moving to Portland instead of Vancouver makes sense.

Topic Author
coupleofcents
Posts: 221
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by coupleofcents » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:17 am

lostinjersey wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:41 pm
OP we have been on a similar journey/similar decision points. I'm from a Rocky Mountain state; my DH is an immigrant but CA-based since he moved here in his early 20s. We met and got married in CA, then moved to NJ for our careers. Had a kid and knew we didn't want her to grow up so far from family and friends, so started looking for where to put our roots.

It was a real struggle. First we moved to the Bay Area where all his family is. We loved a lot about it, and we both had good jobs, but we just couldn't afford it. Buying a house was a big deal for us and it was never going to happen in the Bay. So we headed to the Midwest, where we did great financially (kept our CA pay but cut our COL in half), bought a house in the suburbs, living the dream, but we were miserable. The culture, the weather, the lack of diversity, long expensive trips back to CA to take care of aging parents...there was more, but suffice it to say where we landed was not a good fit. So at that point we knew we had to move again and this time take more than just finances into consideration.

We ended up in your "Vancouver" option (Seattle). We chose it because it's the same time zone as CA, easy flight, has that BA feel, great economy, beautiful outdoors to explore, lots of diversity, lots of travel options, also close-ish to my family. We bought a house but it cost twice as much as our last one; a big sacrifice but one we're willing to make. My DH has been to CA every month since we moved, his brother comes here for work so we get to see him frequently; kid is in school with others of her race(s), I have extended family close and my family is coming out for a long visit this summer. So unlike the past when all the onus was on us to visit the relatives (and as others have pointed out, this takes up a lot of your vacation and leaves you with little to explore other parts of the country/world) we are now seeing family in our town too.

If I were you I'd take Atlanta off the table. As your kids grow, being close to family (assuming you like them) is a huge perk and the benefits can't be understated. My cousin has a daughter the same age as ours, the girls love hanging out, but didn't at all during the three years we were in the Midwest; we've seen them twice in the last six months. Stuff like that is really hard to quantify but very valuable nonetheless. Life is about more than money; as long as you have enough for all the needs and a decent amount of wants, then it's enriched by other things like social connections and whatever else brings you joy. I'd encourage you to factor those into your plans.
Wow, I think I need to show my wife your response. Mirror situations almost. I think the Vancouver hose would only be about 30% more expensive than our ATL house. At first I thought you were going to say you moved back to CA. So this is encouraging that rainy grey PNW has worked for you guys.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:35 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:15 pm
Vancouver is not a bad place, if you can handle the winters, but the job market there is not nearly as large or diverse as either Orange County or Atlanta.

There are places in Southern California that are within “Sunday visit” range of Orange County, that are much less expensive than Orange County. What about someplace in Riverside or San Bernardino counties?
There is no free lunch in S.Cal. Riverside/other inland areas have lower housing costs but tough commute to OC and greater crime.
I thinkyou are into the family thing so go back to OC. Maybe that ethnically close family of your wife could help out with expenses.That is very common certainly with Asian families,or East Indian famlies, to pool wealth or live together. Maybe not in your case.

School quality is an issue even in OC. Do you have the money to send your kids to charter schools or home school them?

Just decide to go back to OC and you will make it work.Give it a year, if it does not work out then you are done with OC,period, regardless of the family thing. Maybe your wife will have to go to work or you could get a better job. Salaries there are higher than Vancouver WA. Above all, pay more rent and don't commute far.Likely a 2 br in a good part of OC like Irvine is running about $4k a month minimum.

LesBleus**
Posts: 57
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by LesBleus** » Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:21 am

Ron Ronnerson wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:19 pm
This question is really about what is of importance to you and your wife. For me, this is what matters: my family, a work schedule that allows for lots of time off, and nice weather. I (nor my wife) really care about a mansion-sized home, fancy cars, and lots of money with jewels mixed in. So, we've built our life around those things that we do care about. You and your wife should probably do some soul-searching and then sit down together and talk about your values and priorities. Your question isn’t just about where to live but what you want your life to look like. That’s a question which isn’t easy for others to answer. Personally, I’d pick Orange County if I were you because family is very important to me and I like the nice weather. The thing is, I’m NOT you and can’t possibly make such a decision for someone who might have very different preferences. I honestly wish I could be more helpful but, really, it's such a personal decision. It's time to have some deep conversations with your spouse. Hopefully, you can find a solution which works for you both.
I really like this Ron.
Wife and I moved from South OC 4 years ago to Houston, TX. Wife wanted to open a restaurant and we wanted to buy a nice house. Now that the restaurant is sold and we experienced what it is to have a nice big house, we are planning to move back to OC. Like OP we have a 2 months old and a 3 years old and I want to be able to take my kids to the playground any time and not worry about the humidity or the heat or unpredictable rain. I'll be honest as father I am VERY concerned about money. Wife and I consistently openly discuss our wants, needs and dreams/goals. We both realized that our lifestyle and creating memories is worth more than owing a big house. I think the key here is to truly communicate with your wife make sure the entire family is onboard with the moving decision.

Good luck.
Last edited by LesBleus** on Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Ron Ronnerson
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Location: Bay Area

Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:17 pm

LesBleus** wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:21 am
Ron Ronnerson wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:19 pm
This question is really about what is of importance to you and your wife. For me, this is what matters: my family, a work schedule that allows for lots of time off, and nice weather. I (nor my wife) really care about a mansion-sized home, fancy cars, and lots of money with jewels mixed in. So, we've built our life around those things that we do care about. You and your wife should probably do some soul-searching and then sit down together and talk about your values and priorities. Your question isn’t just about where to live but what you want your life to look like. That’s a question which isn’t easy for others to answer. Personally, I’d pick Orange County if I were you because family is very important to me and I like the nice weather. The thing is, I’m NOT you and can’t possibly make such a decision for someone who might have very different preferences. I honestly wish I could be more helpful but, really, it's such a personal decision. It's time to have some deep conversations with your spouse. Hopefully, you can find a solution which works for you both.
I really like this Ron.
Wife and I moved from South OC 4 years ago to Houston, TX. Wife wanted to open a restaurant and we wanted to buy a nice house. Now that the restaurant is sold and we experienced what it is to have a nice big house, we are planning to move back to OC. Like OP we have a 2 months old and a 3 years old and I want to be able to take my kids to the playground any time and not worry about the humidity or the heat or unpredictable rain. I'll be honest as father I am VERY concerned about money and wife and I have and continue to openly discuss our wants and needs. We both realized that our lifestyle and creating memories is worth more than owing a big house. I think the key here is to truly communicate with your wife make sure the entire family is onboard with the moving decision.

Good luck.
Thanks, LesBleus. I think the importance of having relatives nearby can vary greatly depending on family dynamics. However, sometimes, it can be a very big positive. In our case, our daycare costs were lower because we were able to drop off the kiddo at grandma’s a couple of days a week. My sister and her family live next door to us. They have three kids, including two who are very close in age to our daughter (age 5). She gets to play with her cousins daily, a great thing for an only-child. If we run out of milk or I need help moving a piece of furniture, I can go next door and ask my brother-in-law for help (a stay-at-home dad). We’re celebrating our anniversary this week and going into San Francisco for a couple of days to watch a play and have some nice meals. The kid will be with the in-laws during that time. My mother is getting older and lives on her own. She is only five minutes away and it’s nice to know she gets to see her kids and grandkids often.

We have not only saved money by having family nearby, but also have a support network and that can be huge. Most importantly, we get to spend time together and make memories. The kid has so much love in her life that, well, it's just awesome. However, everyone’s family is different. In some cases, moving far away might even be a smart move. So, the OP should discuss things with the spouse and see what they want their life to look like. If one spouse is unhappy, that doesn’t bode well so these conversations really couldn't be any more important.

On a side-note, the California weather is amazing as well. Personally, I'd rather have that than a bigger house. I know not everyone has that same preference, though, and that's just fine.

truenorth418
Posts: 437
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by truenorth418 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:23 am

coupleofcents wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:46 am
truenorth418 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:25 am
What is this obsession with "living near family"?

1) you have your own family now - wife, 2 kids. Everyone else is now just "extended family"
2) Atlanta has a major international airport - you can fly anywhere to visit your extended family or whoever you want, on your own timetable
3) How about your extended family comes out and visits you once in a while?

Come to think of it, if you meant that much to your extended family, they would be investigating ways to spend more time with you in Atlanta... or maybe even relocating to Atlanta to be close to you. Has any of your extended family considered that?
Haha! We do visit and family visits but my wife's family are a tight knit ethnic community and very close. 3 times a year is not the same as getting together every weekend. We also have nieces and nephews who love our kids.
Fair enough. My family is not so tight knit so these things are hard for me to appreciate.

My extended family have at times tried to make me feel guilty for not visiting them more often, and yet if they really wanted to see me they could easily visit me. It's been a very lob-sided situation over the years and kind of insulting to me, so I'm sensitive to it.

I hope that you don't make a big decision like this for your own family based on guilt. I agree though that ensuring your children maintain good relationships with cousins, aunts and uncles is an important consideration.

Bob Sacamano
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by Bob Sacamano » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:24 am

i hate to be that guy, but i couldn't imagine being able to afford a decent lifestyle on a ~$130K HH income with 2 small kids in Orange County.

does this move offer any type of advantage in regards to career path?
Last edited by Bob Sacamano on Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

quantAndHold
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:49 am

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:24 am
i hate to be that guy, but man, i couldn't imagine being able to afford a decent lifestyle on a ~$130K HH income with 2 small kids.

truthfully, that type of income might not be comfortable in anywhere but a low to mid COL region - certainly not two of the most expensive in north america.
And if they moved to a LCOL or MCOL place, they would probably make $95k instead of $130k. So there’s that.

Bob Sacamano
Posts: 233
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by Bob Sacamano » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:00 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:49 am
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:24 am
i hate to be that guy, but man, i couldn't imagine being able to afford a decent lifestyle on a ~$130K HH income with 2 small kids.

truthfully, that type of income might not be comfortable in anywhere but a low to mid COL region - certainly not two of the most expensive in north america.
And if they moved to a LCOL or MCOL place, they would probably make $95k instead of $130k. So there’s that.
well he's making the $130 in ATL - a MCOL place, no?

Topic Author
coupleofcents
Posts: 221
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Re: Where to Live? N. Orange County, CA or Vancouver, WA or Atlanta

Post by coupleofcents » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:17 am

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:00 am
quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:49 am
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:24 am
i hate to be that guy, but man, i couldn't imagine being able to afford a decent lifestyle on a ~$130K HH income with 2 small kids.

truthfully, that type of income might not be comfortable in anywhere but a low to mid COL region - certainly not two of the most expensive in north america.
And if they moved to a LCOL or MCOL place, they would probably make $95k instead of $130k. So there’s that.
well he's making the $130 in ATL - a MCOL place, no?
Correct. My current salary is quite comfortable in ATL and allows us to have the wife stay at home full time which is a big priority for us. We spend about 65K per year in ATL and don't have to follow a budget. CA would be a different story now that my wife is not working anymore since leaving CA.

If I go back to CA, I think I can transfer back to the same company and make the same money with cost of living increase each year. The only way to significantly increase salary in California is to get a different job with growth potential but I'm not an engineer or computer software etc, more business generalist so the path to and increase might take awhile for me to work up into management.

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