Should they move to another state? And if yes, where is the best place to raise a family? The children are all relatively young, so they could very easily adapt to a new environment. And with family spread out around the country, there was nothing holding them back from relocating to a different region.
While I’m sure they are a little terrified about the future and finding employment, they also find themselves in this unique situation to make a major life change, and I know they are wrestling with the opportunity very carefully.
I’ve lived in Southern California my entire life, with the exception of a summer spent in New York City for an internship after college. I suppose I could have stayed on the East Coast, but the weather and my family beckoned me home. I now have a solid career, as does my husband, a nice home with a hefty mortgage, and three children – two of whom have started school and have formed tight friendships in our community.
We love our neighborhood. We live on a kid-dominated street where the boys and girls scooter and skate and play sports on the front lawns. My own parents live a mile from us, and my in-laws live about 10 miles away. Thus, the grandparents are a huge help with watching and shuttling our kids around. And it’s not uncommon for my boys to have a cheering section with extended family at their various sporting events.
The downside of So. Cal living? Taxes are insane. We just filed and it was heartbreaking to see A LOT of our hard-earned income go to the state and federal governments. My commute is a beast. Oh, and our mortgage is big. I know if we wanted a comparable-sized home in another state, we’d likely pay half as much.
Relocation is not in our future – at least not anytime soon. But every once in awhile, I daydream about a slower-paced life, a life where our dollar goes further.
I also don’t know if we’d really like living somewhere else. In Southern California, we are certainly spoiled with great weather and lots to do. We’re a short drive from the beach, the mountains and various cultural centers.
I took a quick Facebook and Twitter poll on this topic and my Southern California friends were split. Some want to leave and are sick of our bankrupt state. They cite Colorado and North Carolina and Texas as potential relocation states. A few others said they’ve lived in other states, and are willing to pay the premium to live in California.
A family that recently moved here from Georgia noted that it was tough to make connections here. She said her new neighborhood wasn’t very friendly, and reminisced about he hospitality of the South. I can see her point. While the street we live on now is very friendly, we’ve lived on others where we never even spoke to our neighbors.
Bottom line, I suppose there are many things to consider when deciding on your hometown. For my family, we’ve placed a heavy emphasis on staying close to our parents, finding a location where we can have rewarding careers, and ensuring our kids feed into good schools that are safe and generally attended by other families who place a value on education too. In all those areas, I’d rank our quality of life as high. There is always room for improvement, but that’s where we stand today.
I actually think my mom said it best. She replied, “In a home with a loving mom and dad who share parenting responsibilities, work hard and teach them strong moral values … where ever that home might be.”
How did you decide where to raise your family? Do you dream about moving somewhere new, or are you content in your present community?