Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

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randomguy
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by randomguy » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:22 pm

goodenyou wrote:The disparity in taxes between states for a high income earner can be as powerful as the lower cost of living. Additionally, the temptation to spend more in a HCOL area to create the lifestyle that is afforded in a LCOL can be anathema to wealth building (ie belonging to a fancy country club or buying an expensive house). I would not spend the kind of money needed to "create" the lifestyle I have in a LCOL in a HCOL area because I would be not be able to save at the same rate.


Basically you are saying that LCOL areas create lifestyle inflation:) Instead of being happy living in a 1200 sq ft house you buy some 2500 sq ft mcmansion because it is cheaper:) And since you aren't spending money on housing, you can join that fancy country club:)

Surveys have consistently shown that HCOL create more wealth (combo of house appreciation and higher pay) on average. You are not an average though. The person who wants to live in a huge house in a HCOL will find it very expensive. The person who underhouses might find out they are coming out better than expected.

In the end where you live is a pretty personal choice. Some people like big cities, some like rural locations, and some like stuff in the middle. If you live in the city and hate it, move. Or vice versa. Moving though is rarely a pure financial move. People want to live near family, where they can do their hobbies (i.e. the skiing in FL isn't great, neither is the golf in alaska), and they can get employment/afford. You need figure out what trade offs you want to make.

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goodenyou
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by goodenyou » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:38 pm

randomguy wrote:
goodenyou wrote:The disparity in taxes between states for a high income earner can be as powerful as the lower cost of living. Additionally, the temptation to spend more in a HCOL area to create the lifestyle that is afforded in a LCOL can be anathema to wealth building (ie belonging to a fancy country club or buying an expensive house). I would not spend the kind of money needed to "create" the lifestyle I have in a LCOL in a HCOL area because I would be not be able to save at the same rate.


Basically you are saying that LCOL areas create lifestyle inflation:) Instead of being happy living in a 1200 sq ft house you buy some 2500 sq ft mcmansion because it is cheaper:) And since you aren't spending money on housing, you can join that fancy country club:)

Surveys have consistently shown that HCOL create more wealth (combo of house appreciation and higher pay) on average. You are not an average though. The person who wants to live in a huge house in a HCOL will find it very expensive. The person who underhouses might find out they are coming out better than expected.

In the end where you live is a pretty personal choice. Some people like big cities, some like rural locations, and some like stuff in the middle. If you live in the city and hate it, move. Or vice versa. Moving though is rarely a pure financial move. People want to live near family, where they can do their hobbies (i.e. the skiing in FL isn't great, neither is the golf in alaska), and they can get employment/afford. You need figure out what trade offs you want to make.


Yes, there are trade offs. I chose to live in an acceptable, yet not ideal, area in order to race to FI. Having a career that lent itself to geographic arbitrage was important. I knew I could get to FI much faster and still have a lifestyle that allowed me to pursue passions. Being able to afford paid help that gave my wife and I a lot of free time was important as well. Not having to work by 50 and having choices to live where I wanted by 50 was important to me. There were a few downsides and concessions to not living in an area that was in my first choice.
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lynneny
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by lynneny » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:38 pm

I've moved a lot for work, including 5 different countries, and lived everywhere from a duplex penthouse to a one-bedroom apartment (extreme range of LCOL to HCOL countries).
All were wonderful, unmissable experiences. My latest/longest move was to HCOL nyc at age 44, and I expect to be here here until I retire in a few years (I'm 60). With a decent job, NY is affordable as long as I don't aspire to live in Manhattan. And the money I saved in my last job in a relatively LCOL country covered the downpayment on my NY co-op. When I sell it, the amount I walk away with after paying off whatever remains on the mortgage and selling costs will be my budget for my retirement home in the LCOL area I hope to retire to.
But I could easily see doing it the other way around, working in a LCOL city and saving a lot of money so I could retire in a HCOL area.
I guess my point to the OP is that I've been going back and forth between LCOL and HCOL areas for more than 30 years, and it's always worked out.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:57 pm

Most of my moves were to higher cost of living areas. And the higher cost of living was the more I liked the area. Now, I am living in the Washington DC metro area and enjoying it greatly. I probably would have liked Manhattan and central London even more.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by Jazztonight » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:44 am

If the OP leaves a place he likes to move to a less expensive place, hoping to move back to the more expensive place "someday," he will need to amass a large sum of money to get back into an extremely expensive housing market. I once found myself in a similar situation:

I learned an important lesson about the value of "quality of life" when I left N. Calif. after grad school to pursue a job on the east coast (I'd forgotten how unhappy I was growing up there, and now I was unhappy again).

From day one, I wanted to move back to CA. The climate, the vibe, the people--it all worked for me, and I decided I was willing to pay the price of living in a high COL area.

I was lucky, and was able to move back to the Bay Area after seven years. I learned an important lesson: some things ARE worth paying for if they increase your happiness and quality of life.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by goodenyou » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:01 pm

Raising children in a LCOL area was also easier. Having more affordable space for a large family, less traffic to cart kids around to their sport and school activities and a lot of cheaper paid help to give parents time to coach and travel with the kids was a bonus.
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Young Fellow
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by Young Fellow » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:20 pm

surfer949 wrote:Hello,
has anyone made the decision to move to another state/location for financial reasons? Wife and I decided to move from S. Cali to Houston, TX two years ago. The wife opened a restaurant and I placed a great job here (I’m 44, wife is 31 we have a baby). So far so good, we bought a nice home (reasonably priced), business is doing well and financially we're a bit stronger now. Not that we were struggling in Cali but we felt that Houston would provide us with the opportunities to reach our long term financial goals. Which is to build financial equity, have a comfortable life and return to S. Cali in about 10 years.

However, there are a few things that I am struggling with. Adjusting to living in a new place is harder than I tought (since I lived in Cali for over 30 years) and the other is not having a clear road map to get back to Cali.
So far, part of my plan is to first be well established here in Houston. That alone, I believe will take 5 years. During this time we will increase our net worth by saving and hopefully the business will flourish.

I want to get more detailed with my plan but I’m not sure how to do that. I hope some of you can share your experience and success story to give me some inspiration and motivation. I don’t want to get complacent and too comfortable living here in Houston. I want to add that there is nothing wrong with Houston and I appreciate all that it has given me.


When you move to SO. CA after a long time, you might experience shock and you may not feel at home. It is like expat living long time in foreign country and coming back home. Read this.
http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/201504 ... oming-home
As this article says, may be come to SO. CA for vacations and maintain secondary home there, that might make you happy.

surfer949
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by surfer949 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:53 pm

I just want to say thank you all for the replies. Lot's of great suggestions e.g.SMART goals
So..wife and I talked about it and we both agreed that we love SoCal too much and we are planning to move back in due time. What clicked for her was that one of her customers told her they were moving back to their HCOL home town. Even with no income tax, great school system ect. they weren't happy. However I truly believe the move to Houston will give us a financial forward jump with the ability to live comfortably in sunny Cali.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by FloRidaRocky » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:34 pm

I'm living in California right now. Once I get enough money to buy a house with cash, I will move to a lower cost of living area. I have done some research and believe my after housing income will be about the same if I were to stay in the SF Bay area and take on a typical mortgage, compared to moving to a lower cost of living city and buying a house with cash. I'll lose the great weather, but I'll be able to sleep better at night without having a huge 30 year mortgage hanging over my head. My only concern is job prospects in lower CoL area compared to SFBay area.

coupleofcents
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by coupleofcents » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:57 pm

OP, we moved from Southern California in late 2015 to Atlanta primarily for lower cost of living. Our condo in CA bought in 2012 had close to doubled in price and yet we still were looking at homes starting at $600,000. We wanted to start a family, by a detached home, and have my wife stay at home.

We have enjoyed it so far but the toughest part has been moving away from her family. We have budgeted to visit twice a year. The hot humid summer is not as nice as CA but there are lots of other things about the weather we like... fun to have 4 seasons and we actually like a little bit of winter.

The location was never our favorite thing about SoCal though, mostly just the family thing. But we can so much more easily afford the lifestyle we wanted, and I think we will become financially independent much earlier than if we had stayed.

One thing about your 10 year timeline... people will change since you left. Although sounds like you mostly like the vibe of Socal which will probably be mostly the same in 10 years.

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Watty
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by Watty » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:05 pm

FloRidaRocky wrote: My only concern is job prospects in lower CoL area compared to SFBay area.
The flip side to that is that there may be a lot fewer qualified job applicants in a smaller job market when there is a job opening.

I'm in Atlanta now and I retired out of IT and my son has a C.S. degree and is a software engineer now so I am still somewhat familiar with that job market. Even though Atlanta has a lot lower costs than the Bay Area there is still a lot of demand for computer people with the right skills and the salaries are VERY good, but there don't seem to be as many stock options.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:36 pm

surfer949 wrote:I just want to say thank you all for the replies. Lot's of great suggestions e.g.SMART goals
So..wife and I talked about it and we both agreed that we love SoCal too much and we are planning to move back in due time. What clicked for her was that one of her customers told her they were moving back to their HCOL home town. Even with no income tax, great school system ect. they weren't happy. However I truly believe the move to Houston will give us a financial forward jump with the ability to live comfortably in sunny Cali.
If you are 44 and your wife 31 you are far from retirement, so definitely have options. One visit to Houston for a meeting in March years ago convinced me I would not live there. I was living in Phoenix, and remember coming out of my hotel room in the morning in Houston and noticing that the air outside was no cooler than inside, and that was March!

I lived in metro Phoenix for over 20 years, and in Tucson before that for 4 years, and also on and off several years in L.A. and Orange County.I was earning a good salary for that time, but that was pre-Reagan tax reform, and as a single person, I was paying 50 percent federal and then state on top of that, so could not even afford a down payment on a condo.

I have always preferred the S. Calif climate, but the socioeconomic changes are too much. I assume you want to live a few miles from the coast, not inland.

We are talking Coastal California!

Go inland from San Diego even just to El Cajon and you have a demographic/crime problem. Even shacks in very bad neighborhoods in San Diego or San Jose stretch affordability. The huge rise in property values, coupled with Prop 13, has kept people living in the same homes for generations now, their housing COL is low. You buy the shack next door and it costs you a fortune compared to Texas.

At your age, you might consider a cooler climate that Houston and better COL than Calif. Otherwise be prepared to live in a small condo in Calif. Maybe you could buy one in a place like Oceanside, but I bet it would still cost you over $800k, and you have to live in that town.

Small town California, whether in Southern or Northern, can be weird. They are not the small towns of the Midwest, they have issues.

If I had moved to Texas it would have definitely been more to San Antonio or Austin, not Houston. But you are in Houston. Maybe think of getting out of there first. Take a trip back to Calif., go around with a real estate agent, see how you will live. And we won't even talk about the schools, or the problem with getting into a good university. Forget the UC system, it is "gone" from what it once was.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by DC3509 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:47 pm

I think for the OP this was ultimately an emotional issue. I was in the same type of boat for awhile -- I lived in a HCOLA and moved to a LCOLA for graduate school. I moved to another LCOLA after graduate school. I liked the first LCOLA more than the second LCOLA, but neither of them topped the HCOLA. Yes, I was saving a lot of money, and both of the LCOLA's had things that I enjoyed and appreciated, but I really missed the HCOLA and it became apparent to me after awhile that's where my heart was. Eventually, I was able to use the job experience I gained in the second LCOLA to land a job in the HCOLA at a much higher salary than I ever would have made at that point in my career in the LCOLA. I have had subsequent salary bumps as well. So I basically used the LCOLAs to achieve my goals and put me in a dramatically better financial position in the HCOLA. It sounds like that is what you are doing too. Best of luck!

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by MJW » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:55 pm

duckcalldan wrote: We'll be empty nesters next year and, unless youngest DD needs in-state tuition, we will most certainly move back West. Puget Sound, Clark County WA (OR taxes too high), Sonoma County, Davis, East Sac, SLO and maybe an older San Diego neighborhood would work out nicely. Our requirements: sense of community, close to a major airport and a teaching hospital, bikeable and walkable downtowns, progressive feel.
I moved to Clark County WA five years ago and can't believe how much it has grown even within that time period. It seems like it's just turning into vast subdivision sprawl. Also, not sure how the "progressive" aspect of your goals would align........ I'm happy to discuss over PM but would rather not derail the thread with my perspective on my experiences living here.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by inbox788 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:30 pm

Not personally, but I know some folks that did make a similar move. They were able to buy a home twice the size for half the cost (they did spend quite a bit furnishing the place but they could easily afford it). Property tax rate doubled, but because the cost was half, the actual dollars paid was similar. They are concerned that the property tax will go up (no prop 13). On the income tax side, they saved a whole lot. And they got some nice raises in salary. In total, they estimate they'll gain enough each year to send their kids to private colleges and more. A bonus is that they moved to a better area, so while they had the kids in private school in CA (average public school district), they moved to one of the top public school districts in TX. If the kids end up going to UT, even better. They weren't struggling in CA, and now they have more disposable income than they know what to do. They do miss friends and family in CA, but they visit frequently and don't have any plans to move back.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by clutchied » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:37 pm

surfer949 wrote:Hello,
has anyone made the decision to move to another state/location for financial reasons? Wife and I decided to move from S. Cali to Houston, TX two years ago. The wife opened a restaurant and I placed a great job here (I’m 44, wife is 31 we have a baby). So far so good, we bought a nice home (reasonably priced), business is doing well and financially we're a bit stronger now. Not that we were struggling in Cali but we felt that Houston would provide us with the opportunities to reach our long term financial goals. Which is to build financial equity, have a comfortable life and return to S. Cali in about 10 years.

However, there are a few things that I am struggling with. Adjusting to living in a new place is harder than I tought (since I lived in Cali for over 30 years) and the other is not having a clear road map to get back to Cali.
So far, part of my plan is to first be well established here in Houston. That alone, I believe will take 5 years. During this time we will increase our net worth by saving and hopefully the business will flourish.

I want to get more detailed with my plan but I’m not sure how to do that. I hope some of you can share your experience and success story to give me some inspiration and motivation. I don’t want to get complacent and too comfortable living here in Houston. I want to add that there is nothing wrong with Houston and I appreciate all that it has given me.

We moved from socal to Ohio. It was a job opportunity that popped up and we decided to jump. We were doing fine in Cal and were on the path to "winning the game."

We're doing better financially now in Ohio and we kept our house in Cal which also contributed to us doing better as it has run up significantly in value.


I like to think that if we like a place I probably won't sell the house so we can go back if needed without "losing ground."


we like california but I've been surprised at how much I enjoy Ohio and being close to the Great Lakes. Now I want a summer home somewhere up North...

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by EddyB » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:25 am

duckcalldan wrote:We'll be empty nesters next year and, unless youngest DD needs in-state tuition, we will most certainly move back West. Puget Sound, Clark County WA (OR taxes too high), Sonoma County, Davis, East Sac, SLO and maybe an older San Diego neighborhood would work out nicely. Our requirements: sense of community, close to a major airport and a teaching hospital, bikeable and walkable downtowns, progressive feel.
I know this is a late response, but I'm curious about the emphasis on a "progressive feel" combined with the opposition to the OR tax system. The absence of a sales tax, reasonable property taxes and the reliance on a steep income tax, as well as its political "feel," seem to make its state government among the few that may really be said to be "progressive" in the U.S. I'm not surprised when well-off people aren't interested in that, but it does strike me as odd to hear someone express the view that she or he values it (as a "requirement"!), but wants to avoid paying into it. Granted, with a huge state tax bill and a job that can be done from anywhere, I sometimes question my own choices, but ultimately I really like where I live, including the (imperfect) progressive efforts of state and local government, and I've made my peace with th fact that it ultimately relies on a relatively small number of taxpayers footing the bill---including me.

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teacher
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by teacher » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:56 pm

We live in NorCal, smack-dab between Tahoe and San Francisco, a couple hours either way. We take advantage of overnight, or even just day trips to the Pacific coast, the Sierra Mountains or Lake Tahoe on a whim. We also take advantage of everything SF and enjoy Napa a couple times a year. As someone said, the COL in California is higher than other states, but so are incomes. We plan to stay in Cali for the duration, and it looks like our children will, too. I doubt you could get any of us out with a crow bar.

When Dad brought us here in '54 from Wichita, he told us he had chosen a home where it would get hot, but it's a dry heat, and that the Delta breeze kicks in and cools down to the mid 50s and low 60s degree almost every night. (He called it, 'God's air-conditioner'.) It's a Mediterranean climate without weather extremes except when the temperature climbs above 100 degrees about a dozen times a year (this year more), and unlike SoCal, we have four seasons (minus snow). The point I'm trying to make is the cost of living, climate, lifestyles and sensibilities differ across this very big state.

This cost of living calculator developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology illustrates cost variances across the state:
http://livingwage.mit.edu/states/06/locations

vbdoug
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by vbdoug » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:48 am

Re Phoenix:
It is currently 10:48 pm in Phoenix.
The current temperature is 98°
FWIW

IMO
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by IMO » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:02 am

vbdoug wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:48 am
Re Phoenix:
It is currently 10:48 pm in Phoenix.
The current temperature is 98°
FWIW
yes but it's a dry heat :happy
(that's a joke as I'm sure the monsoon's are in full swing)

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by mlebuf » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:29 pm

I moved from New Orleans to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area over 20 years ago. Cost of living here is slightly higher but quality of life is 100 percent better.

As for summers in in the Arizona desert: After experiencing the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast, Phoenix summers are a walk in the park. I actually enjoy the summers here. Traffic is less and I don't continously drip with persperation as I did in the South. High humidity is an energy drainer that I don't experience out here and everything is air conditioned. The heat doesn't bother me unless I'm outside for an extended period of time.

Some residents who want cooler summers buy or rent a condo/house in Payson, Prescott or Flagstaff and spend the summers there. All are within a 2 hour drive from Phoenix. Others who want the beach get a place in San Diego, about a 6-hour drive from here.
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tj
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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by tj » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:20 pm

vbdoug wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:48 am
Re Phoenix:
It is currently 10:48 pm in Phoenix.
The current temperature is 98°
FWIW
I really don't mind it at night. I play outdoor sports in the high 90s (or in triple digits) and it's no big deal at all. I can't handle a bunch of sun during the day though.

I moved from SoCal to Phoenix a couple months ago and I love it. I bought a 1 bedroom co-op for less than $50k and my monthly housing costs are under $250/mo. Electricity in summer time is only around $100. I feel like there are so many more social opportunities, I live in a super convenient location with a lo of amenities.

I'll definitely continue to visit SoCal to see my family, but I can't imagine moving back there knowing how much I save by living here. I can definitely see myself eventually traveling during the summers for a more moderate climate though.

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Re: Anyone moved to another state for lower cost of living?

Post by rattlenap » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:46 pm

surfer949 wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:28 pm
Hello,
has anyone made the decision to move to another state/location for financial reasons? Wife and I decided to move from S. Cali to Houston, TX two years ago. The wife opened a restaurant and I placed a great job here (I’m 44, wife is 31 we have a baby). So far so good, we bought a nice home (reasonably priced), business is doing well and financially we're a bit stronger now. Not that we were struggling in Cali but we felt that Houston would provide us with the opportunities to reach our long term financial goals. Which is to build financial equity, have a comfortable life and return to S. Cali in about 10 years.

However, there are a few things that I am struggling with. Adjusting to living in a new place is harder than I tought (since I lived in Cali for over 30 years) and the other is not having a clear road map to get back to Cali.
So far, part of my plan is to first be well established here in Houston. That alone, I believe will take 5 years. During this time we will increase our net worth by saving and hopefully the business will flourish.

I want to get more detailed with my plan but I’m not sure how to do that. I hope some of you can share your experience and success story to give me some inspiration and motivation. I don’t want to get complacent and too comfortable living here in Houston. I want to add that there is nothing wrong with Houston and I appreciate all that it has given me.
What county did you move too?

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