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Places Rated, Skeptically

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the eyes-ever-askance-at-the-greener-grass dept.


Readers left more than 500 comments on yesterday's post suggesting that, after accounting for local price differences, the best-paid tech jobs aren't in Silicon Valley or other areas well known for computer jobs, but rather in smaller cities around the country. Quality of life is overall more important than salary, though, and it isn't an easy thing to measure. Several readers pointed to reasons why the most expensive places to live get to be so expensive, and why (for those who can afford to live there in the first place) locations like Silicon Valley are often worth their premiums. Read on for some of the most interesting comments from the discussion in today's Backslash summary.The discussion of just what sort of lifestyle is worth living is at the core of any discussion of "best" places to live:

Reader nick_davison has some thoughts on the cost of living:

  • Job A: $50,000/year, $10,000 annual rent.
  • Job B: $100,000/year, $40,000 annual rent.

Relative to the cost of rent, Job A is phenomenal: You're making five times the cost of rent. Job B sucks: you're only earning 2.5 times rent. By this measure, job A is far and away the better option - by a factor of 2.

The thing is, once you've paid the varying rent, where do you spend the rest of your money? The decent spec new PC will be $2,000 in Rancho Santa Fe, Manhattan or BFI. The new $25,000 car will be $25,000 wherever you buy it. The big TV is the same price wherever. And, most important of all, the internet porn subscriptions run the same wherever you are too.

At that point, would you rather the job that's 5 times "cost of living" but only leaves you with $40,000 or the one that gives a sucky 2.5x but leaves you with $60,000 extra.

Next, on the simple level, let's look at that cost of living. Assuming you get on, buy and pay a mortgage off, in 20 years time the place with the poor salary relative to cost of living will leave you with a $500,000-$1,000,000 home vs. the $200,000-$250,000 place in the "better" area. Now, aged 40, you can up and move to the cheap place, selling your home, buying one of the nicest places in the cheap area and having a nice large nest egg lfet over to let you get to retire early. My in-laws have just done exactly that and apparently a lot of people in Texas are getting seriously pissed at all the Californians coming in, buying huge homes after selling up smaller places in CA and pushing up the Texan cost of living for people who're still paid no more.

And, finally, there's a reason rent and property are so expensive in some areas. Go to California and look out of the window. Rumor has it that other parts of the world have a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Land is expensive in California because you never shovel snow, you rarely deal with crazy humidity, you rarely have the insane heat of Arizona, you rarely get mosquitoes the size of Volkswagens and you can sit on the beach on New Year's Day. In short, supply and demand means that when there's a crazy price, there's generally a great reason for it.

So, yes, some areas have high costs of living and lower salaries in relation to that cost. But I.T. is famous for the fact that we out earn most other professions and, once you get past earning about three times cost of average rent, everything else is gravy. Sure, you reach that point faster elsewhere — but once you do reach it (and you do in I.T.), you keep going even further when the numbers are bigger.

I've watched a lot of friends leave California because they're in other fields and it's just too expensive to live here if you don't earn well. But once you get to the kind of salaries I.T. tends to pay, the cost of rent becomes a relatively minimal part of the total cost of living a great life.

Job mobility (voluntary or involuntary) plays a big role, too: razvedchik writes

The biggest factor for me is to consider the possibility that if your job goes south (project ends, company folds, you don't like your boss), then you are stuck in the middle of nowhere. If you are relocating, you need to understand that at some point you will need to move again.

If you are used to an environment where you can lose your job today and have a new one by the end of the week, then you will be shocked when you spend 6 months unemployed.

Similarly, reader osho_gg highlights the difference between a high salary in local terms and possibilities for advancement in the future:

One could go for one of these highest paying jobs in obscure locations where few companies are there. However, what is the growth potential in such locations? How many companies are there to work for in such locations that can pay high salaries for specialized skills? How many companies can pay more than 100k in places like Idaho Falls, ID? And, what happens if that company goes bust/one is laid off in such areas?

I dislike the high cost of living, traffic, unaffordability of houses etc. in places such as Silicon Valley. But there are lot more companies where one can work for with decent salary. One's chances of finding another job with close to maximum salary in one's field are lot higher there without having to move.

These are not just idle concerns. I have been asking many such questions to myself recently as I am not in high-tech area such as Silicon Valley. There are no easy answers to such questions. These become even more difficult once one has family, house etc. and has established roots in one place.

Several readers contributed endorsements for (and critiques of) locations around the United States and Canada:

"Go to Alberta," says reader Easy2RememberNick:

If you want to know where high paying jobs are go to Alberta, Canada it's insane!

McDonald's workers are getting $15/hour, signing bonuses and $100 extra pay if you show up for all your shifts that week.

Housing is a bit of a problem, there's a booming business finding old homes, ripping them off their foundation and dragging them to Calgary.

Calgary is sprawling outward at an incredible rate, it's bigger in area than NY city.

It's all from oil, tar sands that is, Canada exports oil since we make more than we use. The U.S. gets about 10% of its oil from Canada and that will probably increase due to the U.S. public's of growing concern about "foreign oil."

People are going there by the thousands every day, it's crazy!

Reader NoHandleBars wasn't happy with a move from expensive California to Texas:

I once oversaw moving a firms's HQ and IT functions from Silicon Valley to San Antonio, TX because of the "math" some white collar genius put together like this Forbes nonsense. Sure, the "average" wage was one-half of what it was in Palo Alto, but because of the "quality" of local talent, we ended up hiring THREE TIMES as many staff to do the same amount of work. (For the math-challenged, that meant productivity sucked by 50%.) This wasn't just a drain on company resources, but on the few people who DID know their chops and had to hoist it in for the dullards. Those that made the move and saw the disaster had to in turn move completely out of the area to restore sanity to their careers. And the "icing on the cake" is that San Antonio is the only place I've stood hip deep in mud and had sand blow in my face. No thanky-thanky.

That comment drew some spirited disagreement from reader DaFallus:

That's odd. Southwest Research Institute is based in San Antonio and although they primarily do a lot of government funded research they have a lot of talented people working for them. There are also a large number of smaller technical companies based in San Antonio. I have a number of friends who still live there working in various tech jobs.

San Antonio is a great place to live if you don't mind the slow pace of the city. It is one of the few cities I've lived in where you can do pretty well for yourself making around $30k. There is also a lot of cultural diversity, and I'm not just talking about the Hispanic influence.

I myself would have been happy to stay there after graduating but I just couldn't handle the slow pace that everyone lives at there. Also, the city itself is pretty poor and the roads are in horrible condition, there is a large gap between the rich all bundled away in Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, etc and the rest of the population. The crime there is also relatively high compared to what I've experienced while living in Houston and parts of Southern California. I've had my car broken into at least twice, witnessed a robbery at a gas station, and saw my friend get pistol whipped in the face and pulled out of the window of his car by would-be thieves. So, if you're thinking about moving there, buy a gun and stay in well-lit areas.

And reader kabocox says

This just tell's me that your firm doesn't know how to hire people. There are plenty of talented people in Texas. Heck, there are plenty of talented homegrown people in the Litte Rock, AR area. If your company can't find them, don't blame the area. I personally believe this applies to all of the US. There are plenty of trainable college grads in most major US cities. If you think the talent/gurus are much better in a tech hot spot, then you are willing to pay a premium for equal talent, not better talent. I'd think that most businesses that move to area's where the cost of living is lower end up hiring more people not to do the same amount of work. They hire more people because its cheaper and can get more done if the organization is properly run.

Tink2000 wrote in with comments on a few of the places picked out in the article, specifically Idaho Falls and the state of Alabama:

As someone who lived in Idaho Falls, Idaho, I strongly advise against it unless you think man-made falls are cool and love a few of the Temple at night, and like the idea of living in a city that has nothing around it for miles except scenery, where the tallest building is nine stories tall and it's a hotel.

I lived there for a year and pretty much loathed every moment of it. Of course, I came there from Atlanta, Georgia, so ... it was a bit of culture shock for me.

If you're going to live in Montgomery, you might as well consider Huntsville as well. Although it might be slightly harder to get a job there as everyone has some sort of technical background for the most part, it's a fairly agreeable city and not at all representative of the rest of Alabama.

Burdell wrote to agree with that analysis of Huntsville verus Montgomery:

As someone who lives in Huntsville (born and raised here) and also does some business in Montgomery, I'd have to agree. I'm not aware of a whole lot of tech jobs available in Montgomery; there's always demand in Huntsville (especially as another 7-12 thousand Army and contractor jobs come to Huntsville in the next few years). I don't know how the cost of living compares (Huntsville is a good bit lower than the Atlanta area though). The "metro" areas around Montgomery and Huntsville are about the same size IIRC, but Huntsville has a lot more "outside" influence (German rocket scientists in the 1950s and people from all over the world since).

Huntsville can be an odd place sometimes; mixing rocket scientists and rednecks has interesting results.

(See also everphilski's description of Huntsville as an interesting, affordable place to live.)

Reader Hoi Polloi isn't quite so happy with Huntsville:

I had to travel to Huntsville a few times for NASA work. It got barren pretty quickly when you drove anywhere and it was brutally hot. People who lived there said it was too hot in the summer to do much of anything and the lack of any pedestrian features (like sidewalks) encouraged a lot of the waistlines I saw. One local even said he felt safer visiting Boston than being in downtown Huntsville after dark. Most of the jobs and companies down there are dependent on government which means that they are at the mercy of politics. The focus on the military also means there is little variety in the types of jobs available.

Not everyone's stab at rating places seemed entirely sincere: reader nick_davison decided to stick up for Iowa rather than the hellish coastal regions:

It's the coolest place ever. I'm in California and it's awful here. We have to walk up hill both ways and the hills are steeper here (the land's scrunched up by our daily earthquakes). And hot? Like you wouldn't believe. Don't believe that stuff about coastal areas being cooler — it's hell here. No one should ever move here because, high salaries or not, life's too expensive. Iowa's the place. Des Moines is just super awesome. Off you go!

Further afield, at least for American readers, several comments described the pros and cons of living in poorer parts of the world:

"Good morning, Vietnam!" writes wisebabo:

Well, that's the time here as I post this. Anyway, it's very interesting living in Ho Chi Min (rated the #12th best major city in the world to live in and the best in Asia)*. I've got to say that, in a country that has a per capita GDP less than a tenth that of the United States a dollar goes a long way.

The key is how to make it. If you can make it by working for a major foreign corporation here (read: oil company) and get a Western salary, you will live like a king. Unfortunately local opportunities to make that kind of money are otherwise almost nil. Even if you can speak Vietnamese you will find that even a very high salary here (doing a job like coding) in not much relative to the U.S. Also you may find yourself thought of being overqualified; I do very high end media and some people here told me they were afraid to contact me after seeing my CV because they thought I'd charge a fortune.

While you can make a good living here teaching English I doubt that would appeal to the skilled professionals that make up Slashdot's readers. No, the best job is one in which you can work "at the end of a wire," that is live here but work for some U.S. company via the internet. The internet infrastructure is just sufficient to do that (which is one reason why I can't live in Cambodia). Internet telephony here is good (at least from my location). If your job is portable so you don't have to physically see your clients more than once or twice a year then this might "work" for you!

the way, the cost of living here is not going to be one-tenth that of the U.S. unless you live like a native. Instead if you insist on all the perks of the U.S. it's probably about half the U.S. cost of living (more if you want a car!). On the other hand, wealth is relative; compared to the natives you WILL be very rich and will be treated as such. That has its own perks. ;)

This recent study (which, to my traveled eyes cannot possibly be true) was based on a bunch of factors including how much (or little) the average person "impacted the environment." Since Vietnamese people are still very poor they don't impact the environment very much which led to a inflated score. Still Ho Chi Minh City has its charms; zero violent crime (it's a police state), pace of life (you can actually meet people and develop friendships), scale of the city (more like one giant neighborhood than a forest of skyscrapers). But act soon, things are changing fast and in 5 years it'll be unrecognizable.

Reader owlman17 reports from Manila:

In other third world countries where these tech jobs are being outsourced to, $USD400-$600/month is very high. I live in Manila, and the minimum wage is roughly less than $USD 6.00 daily. Those who work in outsourced tech-support call centers make $300 monthly and they're very happy about it. I had a short web-design stint making about $450 monthly and I was really really happy about it, to say the least. Single people here could live like kings on that.

Not everything's rosy on distant shores, though; phantomfive briefly describes life in El Salvador, and adds adds a few caveats about life in Central America, including a fairly tough psychological challenge:

[...] I would like to mention, COCKROACHES FLY!!!! I just tell you that to lessen the shock that we all feel when we see one of those monstrosities flying straight at us. They don't fly well, but the shock of seeing that the first time is something that can give you nightmares. And don't drink the water. Get bottled water from a reliable company. You might even want to test your bottled water. I am serious with this one, get bottled water. For a while I was purifying my water with chlorine, then I found out that the town water had LEAD in it, and I was drinking lead. I found out that no one in that town drank the water. So boiling water and stuff isn't good enough. Get the bottled water. Also, the two most important things that will keep you from getting mugged: learn to pay attention to your surroundings, what is going on, etc; and secondly, learn to look in someone's eyes and understand what he is feeling/thinking.

Many thanks to the readers (especially those quoted above) whose comments informed this discussion.

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to block this waste of space (0, Offtopic)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848536)

go to preferences>homepage and set it to to go away...

Re:to block this waste of space (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848610)

for a good time, tag it as backwash [] . it's made even funnier by the water cooler icon.

Slashdot on it's deathbed? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848787)

Slashdot is becoming like a man starving to death... since he can't get any nutrients from outside he has started to "cannibalize" himself by the process of wasting. This isn't much like this pathetic re-hash we see nearly daily anymore.
I mean, honestly, what is being covered in this thread that wasn't being covered yesterday?
So long slashdot, it use to be an interesting place.

Re:Slashdot on it's deathbed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849986)

Right on brother! Tell it how it is. I wish other people would see this simple truth. It seems like the same old shit keeps being re-hash here on slashdot. Nothing seems to be orignal anymore. Nothing fresh, nothing genuine. Honest people can't make honest comments anymore. And, those that do may end up getting modded down just because they might go against the slashdot group think. Too much Linux fanboy elitism. Too many dupes.

Well, nothing lasts for ever. Even the Roman Empire fell, so will slashdot. It's invetible.

Re:to block this waste of space (2)

spencer1 (763965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848794)

We get it. Some people don't like Backslashes. If you don't like it, don't read it, but stop bitching about it everytime one is posted. It's getting really anoying having the first 20 comments for every backslash article complaining about them.

Re:to block this waste of space (5, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848810)

It's getting really anoying having the first 20 comments for every backslash article complaining about them.

If only slashdot had some sort of moderation system...

Re:to block this waste of space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848891)

If only slashdot had some sort of moderation system...

And if only someone would use said system to designate parent as humorous...

Re:to block this waste of space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848954)

I find it comforting that this got modded down. It only adds to my concept that slashdot is finished.
Absolutly no criticism of slashdot goes unchecked. Too bad the management of the site doesn't take it to heart and take a serious look around them to see that things have gone WAY downhill.

HELP PLEASE. Advice on technique or materials pls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848560)

My typical MO is I take 3 layers (actually 3 double layers) and then use a down-to-up motion using my index finger as kind of a scoop into the indentation. My problem is, sometimes the index finger breaks through and I'm in a "in up to the first knuckle" situation. So my question for you Slashdotters is: is there a better technique, either in terms of how many sheets of TP to use, or in how to wipe, to get a nice clean wipe every time without the occassional "shitty finger" I currently experience. I like using the index finger to scoop the shit out of my anus, but as you can see, it's a bit perilous and puts a strain on the TP.

Answer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848872)

Thanks for your query. As a regular shitter and buttwiper, I have some experience in the problems that you are experiencing.

First of all, make sure that you don't have a hard-on. As a rule of thumb, take 3 sheets initially and start from the "other" end of the anus, not the one near your nonexistent balls. Push a little (about an inch) and let go of the TP. This will get a huge chunk of shit out. Shit is cohesive as well as adhesive. If you are on a causasian diet, then shit will be cohesive. If you are a spic, then it will be adhesive, i.e., stick to your anus more than itself. If you are a spic, there isn't really much difference between you and your shit, so this doesn't apply to you.

So as I was saying, after you performed the initial "scoop and dump", take another wad of 3 layers and perform the same technique from the end of your anal crack near your balls. You will now be left with only a little shit which is up your creek. Take 4 layers and plough through it, starting from the "other" end. Repeat from the end near your balls.

DONE! you have successfully wiped your butt. Happy shitting :)

Retrospectives dominate the scene... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848563)

And in other news, Slashdot continues to rehash itself... again...

(this is the how-many-th Backslash recently?)

To bad... (0, Troll)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848565)

Several readers pointed to reasons why the most expensive places to live get to be so expensive, and why (for those who can afford to live there in the first place) locations like Silicon Valley are often worth their premiums.

Its a shame though that those silicon valley workers dont' stay in the bay area. Instead, they move into the Central California Valley, dramatically increase the price of housing and the cost of living and those of us who live and work in the Central California Valley have to deal with the outrageous prices of everything. Best yet, most of the commuters live in the bay area during the week and only come out to the central valley on weekends. I think those living and working in the central valley need to kick the commuters out and tell them to never come back!

Re:To bad... (1)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848608)

Wow, that must suck to have these people coming in and driving up the price of the houses that you good central valley folk own. Mabye you should not only kick them out, but find new and innovative ways to intentionally lower the values of your homes so you can... er, wait, where were you going with this?


Re:To bad... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848671)

Mabye you should not only kick them out, but find new and innovative ways to intentionally lower the values of your homes so you can... er, wait, where were you going with this?
I'm not a home owner, but wouldn't a situation like the grandparent described lead to increased property taxes and such? In which case, that DOES suck.

Re:To bad... (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848702)

I don't know how property taxes work in the states, but in my home town, across-the-board house values increasing doesn't lead to increased property taxes. Basically the municipality decides how much money they want from taxes (call it X). Then, they value your house (Y), and add up the values of all the properties in the city (Z). The taxes you peronally pay are equal to X * Y / Z.

Last year my assessed value increased by 8%, but since the average was 11%, I actually ended up paying a smaller percentage of the total property taxes collected by the city.

Re:To bad... (2, Informative)

boingo82 (932244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849018)

In Utah specifically, your taxes are a percentage of your home's market value. For example, I bought my house 3 years ago, for $64,000, and that first year the tax was something like $300. A year later, the house was valued at $78,000 for tax purposes, and our tax was $360. I just got the bill for this year, the house is valued at $112,000, and our tax is $540. (Not that I'm complaining, in Cincinnati you can pay $1500 tax yearly on a $5000 house.)

Now my understanding of California is that your taxes are locked in at the purchase price of your even when it goes up 5x in value, the taxes don't rise until you sell it. I could be wrong though.

Re:To bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848894)

wouldn't a situation like the grandparent described lead to increased property taxes and such?

Not necessarily. Property taxes are generally apportioned, not set at a fixed rate. This means that if all of the property values double at once, no one really sees any difference because the rate will be adjusted accordingly. Where people get screwed is when only some of the properties in the tax district (county, generally) appreciate a great deal. Since their properties represent a larger portion of the total of the properties in the district, they get a larger share of the tax burden.

Re:To bad... (3, Informative)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848964)

CA property taxes are under Prop 13. Essentially, your taxes are fixed at 1% of purchase price (or 1975 assessed value, if you owned the property in 1978). They can increase at 2% per annum.

So, other people buying property at inflated values doesn't affect your property taxes... until you want to move two blocks down the road, at which point your taxes triple....

Re:To bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849149)

I don't live in CA, but I wonder if this doesn't compound the traffic problem. People are afraid to get shafted by taxes and stay where they are but get jobs often farther away and can't really afford to move. I'm just wondering if this is accurate.

Re:To bad... (0, Flamebait)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849725)

No, the inflation in real estate is insane. If you already bought a home more than a few years ago, it's guaranteed better than anything you can buy on the market today, even with the slowing real estate market. The lack of housing means that new buyers will go farther and farther out to find affordable housing if they have to have a single family house with a yard. The farthest suburbs are 70 miles or more out. That is what's causing a lot the traffic.

Re:To bad... (2)

Kirmeo (909604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848766)

Welcome to my world. New York City has been like that for hundreds of years. First the area now known as mid-town Manhatten was considered the boonies, then the other borroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island) and parts of New Jersey across the Hudson River, then Nassau and Westchester. Right now I live 50 miles (as the crow flies) from downtown Manhattan and if I left at 3am and drove with no traffic, it would take me 90 minutes to get there. Yet I know of people who live FURTHER than me and they commute DAILY into Manhatten for 2 or 3 hours in each direction. I think they're crazy. My 25 mile drive takes me between 20 and 45 minutes depending on the time of day and I think that's still too long of a trip. I live where I do because that's the area where my wife's family is centered.

Rent / Income (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848570)

I was working at a nice place in central Wisconsin getting paid ~$60,000 and paying about ~$5000/yr for rent (2BR, garage, washer/drier in the unit, fairly nice place). Some people pay $3000/month for rent? That just seems crazy.

Re:Rent / Income (2, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848635)

I live in central wisconsin and own not one but two homes one of which I rent. Both of my mortgages combined are
barely over 12K a year and I have 5 acres, a three car garage, huge workshop, barn and a huge two story house...yep they can keep that california jazz..

Re:Rent / Income (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849414)

I live in central wisconsin and own not one but two homes one of which I rent.

Same here in Tucson. I have a 2100 sq ft second home that we rent to a family from San Diego (who couldn't afford to stay in San Diego, despite making $65k/year).

But Tucson has had the largest house boom in the US in the past 2 years. My primary residence has more than doubled in price since I bought it 4 years ago.

Re:Rent / Income (2, Informative)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848713)

More than rent is higher, look at something as simple as car insurance. It might cost $50 a month if you live in Arkansas, but it could be $350 a month if you live in Boston or Los Angeles. Let's compare utilities as well.

Re:Rent / Income (1)

derF024 (36585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849152)

More than rent is higher, look at something as simple as car insurance. It might cost $50 a month if you live in Arkansas, but it could be $350 a month if you live in Boston or Los Angeles. Let's compare utilities as well.

Car insurance in Boston is a bit of an oddity; The prices are state regulated, so you pay less for insurance in Boston than you would just about anywhere else. I moved from rural New York to metro Boston about a year ago and my insurance premium dropped by 60%. Had I moved from metro NY to metro Boston, it would have dropped by 80%.

Beyond that, the only utility that went up was electricity. Phone, Cable TV, and Internet were all the same or less. Food prices are lower at the supermarket due to there being competition instead of the "one supermarket for 30 miles" crap that I dealt with in NY. Gas is cheaper, taxes are lower, and my income is much higher.

As a result: 2 years ago I was working as a sysadmin for a start-up in Upstate NY. I rented an apartment and drove a 12 year old car, and I wasn't saving anything. Now I work as a sysadmin for a start-up outside of Boston. I own a house, an '05 model car, 2 boats, and I've got cash in the bank.

Re:Rent / Income (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849869)

Car insurance on one of the most stolen cars in America(Acura integra), is $25 a month in Arkansas.

There's gray area too (3, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848614)

Many small towns are pretty close to medium sized cities as well, so the comments about not being able to spend your money after your rent is kind of silly. I live just outside Milwaukee, WI (grew up in Waukesha, which was recently ranked the 36th small city in the US). Besides the fact that Wisconsin is one of the best states in the country for outdoor activities (hiking, boating, fishing, camping, biking, etc), close to Milwaukee you also have professional sports teams, theater, festivals, malls, and a lot more. We also have Chicago relatively close in case we need even more to do. The only major negative is the winter weather.

I'm sure many other cities like Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cleveland, Pittsburg, etc are similar in that they have small communities around them that give you all the benefits of inexpensive living combined with the benefits of city life within 30 minutes.

Those types of small towns are the ones to focus on if you're looking to relocate. How many people really relocate JUST to relocate anyway? Don't you normally move to a specific job or family?

Re:There's gray area too (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848642)

I grew up 40 minutes north of Milwaukee. Gotta agree with you on Wisconsin being a great place to live. Grew up in the country, lots of stuff all year round. And GO PACKERS!!! Especially appreciate it after spending 7 years in Alabama. (although as I've said if you gotta do it, Huntsville is the place to be).

Wisconsin is a little low on the tech/engineering type jobs though.

Re:There's gray area too (1)

lemaymd (801076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849396)

I agree with you both, Wisconsin is a great place. I lived in Eau Claire all the way through my undergrad years, and since then I've bounced between Urbana-Champaign, IL, and Washington, DC. I'm obviously extremely biased, but I still hope to get back to the Chippewa Valley after
I'm done with school. There are a few tech jobs in that area, but they certainly don't pay as well as those in the Silicon Valley. I worked at Cray for 2.5 years, and my dad has worked there since I was born. Cray is an incredible place to work, but they've become pretty unstable. I hope that more tech companies will move in eventually. UWEC produces relatively good software engineers ;-) and land is still fairly cheap.

Surrounding NYC (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848675)

The small towns immediately surrounding NYC have become rediculously expensive to live in. Even those living an hour and a half away from Manhattan are seeing their real estate values skyrocket. Pretty soon, to see a real drop in your cost of living, you'll have to live 2+ hours away (and probably in NJ, ugh). I don't know about the rest of the country, but there's no cheap small-town living near NYC.

Re:Surrounding NYC (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848709)

Yeah, I was more referring to the small towns surrounding smaller cities. Even though the prices have gone up in recent years, you can still get a decent house for a lot less than houses near NY, Seattle, San Fran, etc. My wife and I bought our house last year for around $150K, and it's in a great neighborhood and location with many parks and things to do nearby. On a decent amount of land, too. I'm sure you could get the same thing in a rural town for a lot less, but we do have the benefit of being able to work/play in Milwaukee if we want.

The comment about tech jobs in Milwaukee is accurate, but there's still plenty of jobs to go around. I know of 6 companies (just through friends) trying to hire on various tech staff right now.

Re:Surrounding NYC (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848852)

2+ hours away parks you square in eastern Pennsylvania. I know a decent amount of people who commute from eastern PA over to NYC. The cost of living is absurdly lower.

That said, northern NJ is actually pretty nice. I grew up in a small suburb out there and there was lots of greenery, tons of parks, very little in the way of crime, and it was something like a 20 minute commute into the city without traffic. Cheaper than similar accomodations in the city itself, too, although still expensive. Of course, now the urban sprawl is picking up and the forests are being decimated for apartment buildings, but I guess that's always the way.

Re:Surrounding NYC (1)

BDZ (632292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15850052)

Good point. I'm back in northern Jersey after being away for about 12 years and the sprawl is quite a lot to take in.

I'm living in the small town bordering the small town I grew up in and the changes are incredible. Or maybe scary is a better way of putting it.

Forest land is disappearing. Watershed and park land is being built right up against. Nothing like hiking with a view of a big McMansion development.

I think the worst though is that developers have actually ground down the tops of some of the small mountains to create the space to bring in important things like...A Lowes, a Home Depot, a Bed Bath and Beyond...and, everyone's favorite, a soon to open WalMart. They've also cut into the side of another mountain to put in a gigantic gated senior community.

Where has seeing all of this led me? Looking to get out of here. I'm happy to be back around some good old life long friends, but this place isn't fit to live in. Ok, for me. Other people love it and I will be happy to leave it to them.


LOL GAS PRICES LOL (911980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848754)

LOL GAS PRICES LOL (do not forget them, lol)

HUH?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848640)

So northern michigan where I have beautiful vistas and views is not worth living in the shithole called southfield?

Sorry but a crapshack in southfield,mi is $250,000.00 a Beautiful home in northern MI costs less than that on acerage.

not all places make sense... Detroit = crazt land.

Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

zephc (225327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848663)

Job A: $50,000/year, $10,000 annual rent.
Job B: $100,000/year, $40,000 annual rent.

So, Product X, where X is a car, xbox360, etc., costs the same in both locations. In Job A, you have to work longer to be able to buy X, despite things like rent.
Also, despite rent, you net 60K a year from Job B vs 40K a year from Job A.

Also, the weather is always nicer in the bay area, but that doesn't mean we want you moving here and further increasing the population ;-)

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848751)

First off, I'm not sure I believe that the guy who gets $50k elsewhere will actually make $100k in the high cost-of-living area. If you're in the Valley, for example, you're competing against a ton of other highly talented individuals. With this glut in potential employees, what's forcing the employer to offer such sky-high salaries?

I'd be more inclined to believe you if you'd said, say, $50k versus $75k. But that defeats your point, since the cheaper place wins. :)

Plus, you aren't taking into account other aspects of cost-of-living. What about food and other essentials? Commuter-related costs, such as gas, car wear-and-tear, etc, that are reduced in a smaller centre? Not to mention the cost of non-essentials like restaurants, which are likely more expensive in a place like Cali.

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848788)

I just want to find out where location A and location B are. Apparently food and clothing are both included in the rent.

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (3, Funny)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848889)

I just want to find out where location A and location B are. Apparently food and clothing are both included in the rent.

Given this is Slashdot, my guess is it's that place... what's it called... oh yeah, "Parent's Basement".

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (2, Funny)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849229)

If your parents are charging you $40k a year for living in the basement, you're being ripped off and should have them replaced.

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

CaptMonkeyDLuffy (623905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849138)

Commuting can be more expensive, but if there's a good mass transit system it might actually be cheaper in the high cost of living/high population density area. Then again, 'good mass transit system' is a rare creature in the USA. Only cities I've seen with anything that comes close would be NYC and Washington DC.

As far as other non-real estate based cost of living expenses... comparing the greater Boston are where I live, with rural upstate New York, middle of South Carolina where family lives and thus I'm familiar with, I find prices are overall notably cheaper in Boston. Groceries, for example are generally at least 10% cheaper, from what I've seen.

Restaurants you can generally find places of comparable quality/price ratio, if not more avantageous if you know where to look in larger metropolis areas. But, if you don't know the area and go in blind, you are likely to get fleeced. But once you know the area, big cities give you as good or better prices for what you get, and a far better selection.

Though frankly, depending on a persons priorities, a lot of it can come down to non-financial issues. Are you the sort who adores living smack dab in the middle of it all, wants to be in the middle of a huge metropolis; are you the sort who likes the opportunities the big cities provide but don't want to be living in the middle of the throng, or are you the sort who doesn't really feel there is any advantage to big cities anyway... Boiling it down to a purely financial question is ignoring quite a few details. There are some people whose priorities are such that it is pretty much the only issue, but how large a population is that?

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849309)

People are also obviously forgetting what a progressive income tax means, since someone that earns $100k in a high-cost-of-living area will also have to contend with paying more in taxes long before being able to deal with paying the higher housing costs and then of course the higher costs for goods and services.

Of course I'd still rather have less disposable income than fall into the Bible Belt or Flyover Country.

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848753)

you forgot C: $100,000/year, $10,000 annual rent.

those jobs are there if you are patient.

Does X cost the same? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848828)

I can see some specific products having a neutral regional pricing, but I can also see other products having a higher regional pricing in an area like the Bay Area, especially items tied closely to fuel costs or transportation or Kalifornia's often more highly regulatory laws. And then there's taxes, which absolutely vary by location and are often lower in states with smaller populations.

My gut instinct is that the market works pretty well to neutralize any easy ability to arbitrage the higher wage regions into a higher net income unless you're young, single and live a more unusual lifestyle. The same is probably true for accomplishing the reverse.

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848848)

I think these numbers a little off but lets say that there is a 40k surplus wherver so there is no argument (A 50k job - 10k rent and B 80k job - 40k rent). Now if you have a remote chance of getting laid off for an extended period of time then the higher rent location is more of a risk. However, you really need to look at buying a house if you plan on staying a few years. Now we are paying 10k a year at Job A vs 40k a year for Job B. I would much rather "own" the house at Job B because you will pretty much have the equity in the home @ 40k per year (baring any major housing bubble). Therefore, I would say that the cost of living is usually a NON factor for where you want to live. I pay 3 bucks for a gallon of gas - Even if cali pays 6 dollars then that only dobules my gasoline bill a year which isn't even a major percentage of depericaiton for a new car. So the cost of living your buying roars, culture, whatever. Dont factor cost in where you live; live where you want (can?).

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (2, Informative)

pizzaman100 (588500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848883)

Job A: $50,000/year, $10,000 annual rent.
Job B: $100,000/year, $40,000 annual rent.

So, Product X, where X is a car, xbox360, etc., costs the same in both locations. In Job A, you have to work longer to be able to buy X, despite things like rent.

Also, despite rent, you net 60K a year from Job B vs 40K a year from Job A.

Not true. First, salaries are not twice as much in the bay area as other places. You might make 80K in the bay area, for the same job that pays 70K in Portland, or 60K in Boise. Second, prices are cheaper outside of California. Sales tax in California is 8% and it is 0% in Oregon. Or compare Gas Prices [] in San Jose and Portland. It's cheaper in Oregon, plus we have attendants that pump the gas for us.

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849295)

plus we have attendants that pump the gas for us.

Yeah, I remember that driving through Oregon I was not able to pump my own gas. What is the reason for that? Is pumping one's own gas in Oregon decidedly more dangerous than in any other location in the United States?

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (2, Interesting)

himurabattousai (985656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848906)


Job A: $50,000/year, $10,000 annual rent.

Job B: $100,000/year, $40,000 annual rent.

So, Product X, where X is a car, xbox360, etc., costs the same in both locations. In Job A, you have to work longer to be able to buy X, despite things like rent. Also, despite rent, you net 60K a year from Job B vs 40K a year from Job A.

Although this simplistic analysis is true, one must keep in mind that in Job A, your extra money goes a lot further than with Job B. When other variable expenses, such as food, electricity, gasoline, etc are thrown in, the scenario changes. It could be that Job A leaves you with an extra 30,000 a year while Job B leaves you with only an extra 40,000 a year. Given that money goes a lot further with Job A, it seems to me that having to buy a Toyota Camry instead of a Hummer H2 is more than enough a price to pay to have, in the end, more discretionary income.

For example, one of the biggest variables outside of rent/mortgage is auto insurance. It's really easy to see the difference between Los Angeles and your pick of small town. Granted, the following numbers are just quick and dirty rate quotes, but the point is clear. I am a 26-year-old single male with a clean driving record. For me to insure a 2006 Chevy Cobalt 4-door base model with AllState, the 6-month premium in L.A. is almost 1600 dollars. In Arlington, Virginia, comprable insurance would be one third of what it is in L.A. (500 dollars for six months).

Personally, I'd rather live in a small city than in Los Angeles. The air quality is so low, I wouldn't dare go outside without at least a hospital mask. The traffic would give me nightmares that I'd have to pass on to my kids because there wouldn't be enough nights in my life to have them all. It's a dirty, unsafe, overly crowded city, in my opinion. I'd much rather have the laid back life that can never be found in a city like Los Angeles. There's a lot more to the quality of life than how much money one makes or what the cost of living is compared to salary.

From a professional standpoint, I believe that if I had a tech job, I could serve my clients much better in a small city than a large one. Again, it's a product of the different lifestyle. Instead of my clients being phone numbers, I could actually take the time to know them personally and professionally and better tailor my services to fit their needs. For me, that's much more rewarding than trying to take care of a dozen clients at once and not fully meeting the needs of a single one.

Re:Why you're better off with a higher sallary: (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849432)

For example, one of the biggest variables outside of rent/mortgage is auto insurance. It's really easy to see the difference between Los Angeles and your pick of small town. Granted, the following numbers are just quick and dirty rate quotes, but the point is clear. I am a 26-year-old single male with a clean driving record. For me to insure a 2006 Chevy Cobalt 4-door base model with AllState, the 6-month premium in L.A. is almost 1600 dollars. In Arlington, Virginia, comprable insurance would be one third of what it is in L.A. (500 dollars for six months).

It is interesting that you bring up the auto insurance point when comparing large cities and small towns because here in California something (Proposition 103 - the prop was passed in 1988 but it has taken this long to wind its way through all of the legal challenges in court) has just changed the whole equation when it comes to pricing your auto insurance based upon your geographic location. For more information see California Dumps Zip Code-Based Auto Insurance Rates [] . What this means for many Californians is an INCREASE in auto insurance rates because the insurance companies are now unable, by law, to charge drivers living in higher accident rate areas more simply because they live in a high accident rate area. The cost of those extra accidents in Los Angeles will now be spread out evenly among the entire pool of insured drivers in California regardless of location. The Los Angeles drivers like this because it means that they will pay less than under the old system, but the people living in the more rural areas will see their rates go up significantly with respect to what they are currently paying. Personally I think that banning the use of a functional statistical correlation, simply because it is unpopular with a large block of California voters, is ridiculous but then again this is the same state that thought it was wise to allocate three (3) BILLION dollars of public taxpayer money, funded by bonds of course so we get to pay interest too (yay!), on stem cell research which, even if it does ultimately prove fruitful, will be hijacked by the drug companies, patented, and sold back to us at ten times the cost (btw thanks for paying for all that risky research for us! and our shareholders thank you too!).

What's wrong with your math (2, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848917)

It's called income tax. Specifically, Federal income tax. If you make 100k rather than 60k, you pay more than 100/60 = 1.67 times as much tax.

How much more? Well, that depends. Are you married or single? Kids? Do you own your home? Do you give to charity? Way too many variables to give a simple answer.

But the simple fact that the federal income tax is not a flat tax blows the parent's math out of the water.

Oh, yeah. "The weather is always nicer in the bay area"? Really? Quoting Mark Twain: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

Re:What's wrong with your math (1)

Tyger (126248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849429)

San Francisco is not the Bay Area.

As we like to say around here, if you don't like the weather, drive a bit. On extreme days, we can sometimes have a 40 degree temperature spread within the area. (Usually with less than 60 miles between the highs and lows.) The area has tons of microclimates.

Re:What's wrong with your math (1)

curunir (98273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849653)

There are lots of ways to lower your income while still reaping tangible benefits. Maxing out your 401(k) drops your income by $15k per year. Various homeownership expenses are tax-deductable, many of which add equity to the house. FSA accounts can pay for medication/treatment co-payments with pre-tax money. Commuting expenses can often be paid pre-tax.

All told, my $100k+ salary drops down to about $55k in taxable salary.

And, as others have said, when it comes time to retire, my 401(k) will be quite large and I'll have a boatload of interest in my house which I can extract a lot from by moving someplace further from good jobs.

Quoting Mark Twain: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
Ahh, but he said nothing about spring and fall...they're great! Add to this that winters are extremely mild and you'll see why people like the weather out here.

Re:What's wrong with your math (1)

Willie_the_Wimp (128267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849668)

Oh, yeah. "The weather is always nicer in the bay area"? Really? Quoting Mark Twain: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

This really is a misnomer; the Bay Area is 5% San Francisco, and 95% everywhere else. The everywhere else is where the weather really shines. The peninsula in particular has fantastic weather nearly year round. I moved the the central CA valley, and as I sit in 100 degree weather, I really miss the 80 degree summer days in the Bay.


Re:Why you're better off with a higher salary: (1)

gwhenning (693443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849654)

Job A: $50,000/year, $10,000 annual rent.
Job B: $100,000/year, $40,000 annual rent.

Should be more like:

Job A: $50,000/year, $10,000 annual motgage.
Job B: $100,000/year, $36,000 annual rent.

Given Job A only gives you $40,000/yr vs. $60,000 with Job B.
Assuming you spend the remainder of your salary with 5% sales tax at job A you can spend $38,000 with 8.5% (Bay Area Taxes) [] taxes at job B you can only spend $54,900.
With Job A you have utility costs of $1,000/year and job B has costs of $3600.
With Job A you pay $100 registration for two cars for two years. With Job B you spend $500 per year.

So now you have $36,990 with Job A and $50,800 with job B.
We still haven't factored in the costs of Gas ($2.79 v $3.20 /gal), or meals (Family of four dining out at a good restaraunt for $25 v $40), or the extra two hours you have as available family time because you don't have a commute (priceless), or that after you pay your mortgage you increase equity in your house but with rent you're only increasing equity with someone else's house (My neighborhood has seen an average of $40,000 increase in the past three years.), or the cost of movies ($5 v $8).

By my account that leaves only $12,500, and you still don't own your home. (In my case the home equity will have made up the difference between the two salaries.)

For the gas and meals I figured two cars with 12 gallon tanks filled up once per week and once per week dining out, and once per week for movies. If you dine out or drive more than I do the differences are even closer.

Somebody forgot Uncle Sam (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849910)

'Cause as your income goes up, so does your tax rate. Sure you can deduct the interest, but the $45k that isn't is taxed at about 5% net (after deductions,exemptions and such) and the $85,000 is taxed closer to 15-18%. Add to that the local real estate taxes - which are usually not just a percentage of home value, but a increased percentage of home value in bigger cities (.6% in rural areas, vs 1.5-2% in populated areas), and the differential keeps dropping.

OF coursem you do have the home-value nest egg. As long as the market doesn't flatten or tank. Remember kids, there's an 8%-9% fee on the front and back end of every house purchase, taxes each year, and maintenance, and if you should hit a flat spot or just the long term average (about 6% annual appreciation), it's just a christmas fund account that you can live in.

...and some forgot state income taxes... (1)

Roblimo (357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15850279)

I live in Florida, where the state income tax is 0%.

I live neither in the boonies nor in a big city.

I live in Bradenton, pop. 60,000, a 1-mile walk from
downtown, a 3-mile bike or car ride from a mall, 30
feet from the nearest art/crafts gallery (my wife's),
and 25 feet from my office.

Nearest launch ramp for my little sailboat: 1.5 miles

Nearest salt water launch ramp: 7.3 miles

Nearest award-winning little theater: 1 mile

Nearest bar: .4 miles

Nearest live music coffeehouse: .1 miles

Nearest more-or-less major museum: 1 mile

Nearest major art museum: 6 miles

Nearest hard-core slum: 16 miles

Nearest area full of too-rich idiots: 9 miles ... and so on.

I've lived in big cities (born in L.A., spent early
adult years in SF), medium-sized cities (mostly
Baltimore), and now Bradenton. It's nice here.

Humid? For sure -- on hot,humid days you go to the
beach or the fishing pier or out on your boat.

Hurricanes? More notice than you get for eartchquakes!

I think real estate is high here -- and it is, compared
to a few years back, but you can still find old houses
in our neighborhood (where it's legal - even encouraged -
to open arts-oriented home businesses) for well under
$220K. I know one for $115K - need lots of work, but hey!

So even if houses are high here compared to - say -
rural Georgia, it's cheap compared to most big cities.

Jobs? Lots of low-wage ones. And a fair number in the
$30K - $60K range. I won't say it's tech mecca, but all
the guys I know in the local LUG seem to be earning a
decent living.

It all depends on what you want. We enjoy having urban
amenities (although on a small scale) while living
someplace where you might run into the police chief or
mayor in a restaurant and you know your city council
being personally. (Sadly, mine's an idiot -- but then,
some friends and I have a fair chance of putting up our
own candidate and replacing him with someone better
on a budget of maybe $1000 or $2000.)

And that driving thing... 95% of the time there's no
need for us to go more than 10 or 15 miles unless
we're going to the Tampa airport, and that's mostly
me, for job-related travel.

- Robin


one idea... (1)

tlacuache (768218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848684)

1. Get tech job
2. Move to Idaho Falls
3. Buy rifle or fishing pole
4. Become Mormon (optional)
5. ?
6. Profit!

What about other factors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848704)

Like taxes and tax rates? Some states have taxes on all kinds of things, while others have next to none.

Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (2, Informative)

Attilla_The_Pun (525777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848707)

I don't know. I moved out of San Diego, CA a couple months back to go back to my home state of Colorado.

I make more than I did when I lived in CA. So instead of that theoretical 40/60 quoted above, when I moved it tipped in the other way.

I was surprised to not see any Colorado cities on that list. You can make a very respectable living in IT out here, the cost of living is lower than CA by a longshot, life is at a much more reasonable pace...oh..and we have JOBS.

If you have a brain, you can get a job in Denver without issue. In fact, my old employer is talking to me again, they want to hire me back on, due to the fact they are having a hell of a time finding people who are qualified. We've got a lot of fiber coming into this state, we've got a ton of tech companies, defense contractors, you name it.

And its only growing.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848827)

Colorado is ugly, square, and flat.

Quote from a friend of mine who lives out there while I was visiting:

Her: Can you see all the [Rocky] mountains?!
Me: Uh, yeah, there's definitely nothing blocking my view. No trees. No hills. Nothing.

Oh, and don't forget the snow. And the THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MIDDLE OF JULY (wtf?!).

But I never laughed so hard as I did when I saw the bathrooms at Denver Int'l double as tornado shelters.

It's one thing to say that there are good jobs, a lower cost of living, etc (and hey, Denver is a cool city). But it's quite another to imply that it's "better". Personally, I prefer the climate and culture of California. If the job landscape changes, then perhaps I'll have to move out of necessity; but as long as I'm able, I'll stick with California, thanks.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

the jerk store (960388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849203)

as long as I'm able, I'll stick with California, thanks
Please do. Encourage all of your friends in CA to do the same. And any friends you may have in Texas. Everyone in the flat(???), square state will appreciate it.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Attilla_The_Pun (525777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849242)

Did your friend live in Limon, for god's sake?!?!?

And ohno, thunderstorms! :O

Seriously, I missed having, you know, WEATHER.

72 and sunny gets freaking OLD after six years. Especially when you know that you'd be dropping a half mil on a condo because it's 72 and sunny all the time.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849595)

Did your friend live in Limon, for god's sake?!?!?
Colorado Springs, but we were in Denver.

And ohno, thunderstorms! :O
Dude, I like thunderstorms as much as the next guy, but it's just weird when you're out in shorts on a sunny July day and then out of nowhere... Thunderstorm. I feel like scolding those clouds like I would a small child: "Look, man, there is an appropriate time and place...!". Then I would beat the clouds.

Seriously, I missed having, you know, WEATHER.
I know of nowhere else where you can surf in the morning and then ski/snowboard in the evening. The mountains are a quick jaunt from the coast. And there are plenty who live in Northern CA (Auburn, Grass Valley, etc) who get all 4 seasons (yep, snow and everything). The weather argument is just silly.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15850007)

Dude, I like thunderstorms as much as the next guy, but it's just weird when you're out in shorts on a sunny July day and then out of nowhere... Thunderstorm. I feel like scolding those clouds like I would a small child: "Look, man, there is an appropriate time and place...!". Then I would beat the clouds.

Hey, at least storms in the center of the country move in predictable patterns. When I lived in Minneapolis, we knew the day before that a front was cruising in from the Dakotas.

Here in Atlanta you don't really know whether the stuff is goign to come from the west, the south, the north, or the east, and they have these things called "pop-up" thunderstorms that sort of spontaneously appear out of nowhere. Something about it being 90+F and humid all the time...

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Bob Uhl (30977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849281)

Yes, Colorado is ugly square and flat. Citizens of the other 49 states: please don't bother coming here! Also, we get 6 feet of snow a day, even in the summer. Our winters see lows in the negative 80s and our summers highs in the 120s. Also, wild Indians roam the plains, scalping tourists. So you might as well stay in California.

Please, stay in California.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848857)

I totally agree, only I am NOT tellin where I moved to. I may want to upgrade my house, my car my xbox, or my girlfriend and I do NOT want to have Valley refugees bumping the prices on me...

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (4, Interesting)

wximagery95 (993253) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849095)

I went to college and started my IT career in Silicon Valley (San Jose State) back in the late 1990's. Right out of college I was making 70K/year and couldn't afford to live in the area. My rent in a somewhat "nice" part of San Jose at the time was costing me $1831/month for a 711 sqft apartment (yes, I remember it to the dollar because I was living month to month, dollar by dollar). When I got notice they were rasing my rent to $2050/month, I had had enough. I tried every single option I could think of to qualify for a jumbo home loan (because the median home price was around $400K), but simply couldn't due to "not enough credit history" and "my debt to loan ratio being too high" (car, student loans). I basically had two options ...

1) Buy a cheaper house in Gilroy or Tracy and commute 1.5 hours to Sunnyvale each way to and from work.
2) Roll the dice, take a job in another state, and hope I like it.

To my surprise, I found positions that paid more than what I was making in California elsewhere in the country where the cost of living was considerably less. The smaller cities don't have the same talent pool to pull from when it comes to local IT professionals, so I think they are willing to dish out a bit more to lure in a good experienced candidate. For example, the position I took in North Carolina (Research Triangle Park) offered me a 20% raise and paid all my relocation expenses. I figured what the hell and left the state. After two years, I found another position in Colorado that offered 10% more than what I was making in North Carolina plus total relocation expenses. I've been here in Colorado Springs (less than 1 million population) for 4 years and can't believe how much it sucked working in Silicon Valley.

I travel back about 2x a years on business and visit college friends who are still living with roommates in apartments. Just seems like time stands still there. I ask them why they still in the area and their argument is "you can't make this kind of money elsewhere in the country in an IT position." I tell them you can't look at the salary number by itself. You have to compare it to cost of living and quality of life for gods sake. The difference between salaries in other places compared to California are not all the much different. He is paying $2200 for rent. I tell him he can buy a house 3x the size of his apartment with a mortgage payment $1000 less than his rent. Not only is he paying $12K/year less in "rent" but he gets to write-off the interest on the home (not to mention home appreciation). That's like another $6K. Car insurance, gas, registration are all much cheaper. That's like another $2000 a year difference. Add it all up and your cost of living makes a difference of about $20K/year. Salaries here in Colorado don't differ by that much compared to what you can make in a comparable position in California.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Attilla_The_Pun (525777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849279)

In all fairness, I did consider a stint in San Francisco, just to see what the big deal was.

But now, unless someone like Google hired me on, I'd not go.

If I were to relocate again, I'd probably look at the Portland area a little more.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849169)

ugh. we made the move from boston to colorado a few years ago, and are itching to return return to a coast. Sure, the cost of living is lower (but housing is damned expensive), there are jobs, and there's less congestion. BUT it's like living on the moon -- denver/boulder are a joke, the locals are cowboys trying to be high-tech, and the weather sucks. bad. The talent pool is extremely limited for what I do, so I'm in high demand, but who cares, I'd rather have a life than live like this.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Attilla_The_Pun (525777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849259)

To each their own, I guess. After growing up here, I couldn't stand the false-ness of California, the rampant consumerism, the dirty air....blah, blah, blah. I could go on.

I'll take those high-tech cowboys any day. At least I know they're keeping it real.

Re:Leaving CA isn't as scary as you'd think. (1)

Bob Uhl (30977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849339)

You think the weather in Denver is worse than that in Boston?!? How?

Shh... (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849192)

Would you just be quiet about Colorado! We really don't need any more people who can't drive in a brief snow shower *cough*Californians*cough* moving here. I'm actually quite happy to see many of them leaving lately.

Here are some quick facts about Colorado for anyone considering moving here:

Sun Microsystems continues to lay off people in Broomfield. HP and AMD are laying off people in Fort Collins. First Data had a big layoff in Denver. We have the highest mortgage repo rate in the nation; property values are dropping like crazy. We run out of water half-way through summer. We've had a month of 100+ degree weather. Traffic into and out of Denver during rush out sucks horribly. Most of the techies in Denver live and work in the Denver Tech Center area, which is the most butt-ugly, soul-draining area in the state.
So, yeah -- lots to offer here. Please stay where you are.

Re:Shh... (1)

Attilla_The_Pun (525777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849230)

Whoops, my bad. Though the cat is really out of the bag, man. I went to get my license plates reinstated, and the clerk told me she'd had no less than a dozen people from CA coming in for new plates. Oi.

California transplants (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848716)

My in-laws have just done exactly that and apparently a lot of people in Texas are getting seriously pissed at all the Californians coming in, buying huge homes after selling up smaller places in CA and pushing up the Texan cost of living for people who're still paid no more.

It's mostly because they bring their 'fruits and nuts' politics along with them. ;)

Re:California transplants (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849200)

I'm moving from Connecticut to North Carolina next week and I've seen the same complaints there about Yankee politics raising the cost of living down there.

Taxes? (2, Interesting)

lockefire (691775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848739)

So how do you feel about tax differences in these areas? Any comments from people in Alaska (no income or sales tax) or New Hampshire (only tax on dividends/interest and no sales tax)?

Re:Taxes? (2, Informative)

Davethewaveslave (641693) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849035)

From my experience here in the state of Washington, lack of an income tax can be both a benefit and a burden. We pay no state income tax. Sales tax is 8.8%, but it's zero for basic food items. My property tax (in a suburb of Seattle) is about 1.5% of the assessed value of my home. Right now I'm paying about $3/gal for gasoline (I'm not sure how much of that is tax).

While that's great for keeping money in my pocket in the short-term, I've been disaoppinted with the lack of state spending on basic needs--and that leads to expenses that you don't see right away. For example, what would be a 30-minute drive to Seattle under 'normal' traffic conditions turns into 60-90 minutes during your average weekday commute. Rather than build new highways or expand existing highways, the state has focused on expansion only for the purpose of adding HOV lanes. Don't even get me started on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the SR520 floating bridge, the Tacoma Narrows bridge, or the average state of the asphalt on any major roadway around here.

Police? Ha! I can count on one hand the number of people I've seen pulled over in the last three years. Drivers around here run red lights, pass in no-passing zones, speed, and weave through traffic with impunity. Two weeks ago I was threatened with a gun because I honked at a guy who almost hit me when he made an illegal left turn.

Environment? Ha-ha! The trees and water here are beautiful, but it's sometimes hard to see them past the piles of cigarette butts, dumped mattresses, empty beer cans, and other trash that piles up on the roadsides.

I understand that these are the same issues that people face every day in other communities all across the country--even ones that do pay state taxes. But I can't help but wonder what could be accomplished with the steady income provided if a state tax was implemented.

(Any bets that I'd still bitch?)

Re:Taxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849702)

Where the fuck do you live man, Puyallup?! I agree about the insane drivers, that is a definite growing problem - fucking californians keep moving up here, they suck at teh car. There are a lot of homeless people but WA is a hell of a lot cleaner than Southern California.

I'll give you the tax issue though - fucking Eyman and his car tabs, he's screwed the DOT budget to hell. The gas tax should fix a lot of that once and for all though after it is in full swing. If we could just get a damn state income tax we wouldn't have to deal with all this shit and could do more to fix the roads. ALSO, the Alaska Way viaduct is a worthy project, the existing one is not structurally sound and the insanely expensive replacement will be worth the cost because it frees up some prime real estate and will make the area more conducive to tourism. In the long term it will pay for itself in increased business revenues, in the short term we are stuck paying for it.

As someone who has lived outside of the I-5 corridor I think you don't know how good you have it (unless you live in Puyallup or Renton or wherever the fuck - FIFE!).

Re:Taxes? (1)

douthitb (714709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849205)

You're only half right about Alaska. While we have no state income tax, many cities do have a sales tax. One major exception is Anchorage, where I live (along with about half the state). Instead, we have some of the highest property taxes in the country. The cost of living in Anchorage is not much higher than the lower 48, but anywhere outside of Anchorage is typically 20-30% higher.

The salary for IT jobs is not that great either. My first job out of college I started out making $40k; I have friends in the lower 48 that started at almost twice that. Now, with about 3 years of experience under my belt, I'm up to $55k.

Living in Alaska definitely isn't cheap, but for most of us, it's about the quality of life. Alaska is like no other place I've ever been to, and I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Taxes should not be considered in isolation. (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849537)

Yes, taxes should be considered. A $55,000/yr job in one place is NOT the same as a $55,000/yr job somewhere else, if the net cost to you after State taxes, County taxes (Multnomah County, OR, has its own taxes for example), -and- Sales Tax are different. Taxes are hard to figure in, because paying less on State taxes but more on Sales tax can end up far more expensive if you spend a large percentage of your income.

(This is why poor people are generally screwed with sales taxes, as they spend a much higher percentage of their income just to keep going, and therefore get taxed more heavily. Rich people generally get screwed with State taxes, as they get taxed even on the income they're saving. Being your typical left-leaning Brit, I tend to take the line that the rich can afford to get screwed a little.)

However, we've only factored in the costs here. What about the benefits? A State that has more money to play with can have better roads (so you spend LESS on expensive car maintenance), can have better schools and Universities (so you're not limited to sending the kids to some fundamentalist haven so that they're at least capable of adding correctly), can have decent public transport (saving you gas money and usually time), and can have some excellent public museums, public art galleries, etc, which gets you direct access to stuff only the world's megarich can even think of affording.

So, if taxes are spent by Government wisely (yeah, like that happens!), the net cost can end up being lower than the hidden and not-so-hidden costs of living in areas with lower taxes or no taxes at all. This does, however, require wisdom. High taxes that don't benefit anyone at all are simply a drain on the pocket.

(And, yes, I deliberately said anyone, not just you. If high taxes produce a good schooling environment, then it doesn't matter if it doesn't benefit you directly. Better educated kids will produce a better quality workforce. What does it matter if you're a richly-paid genius, if the rest of the company can't figure its way out of a paper bag and goes under? The brighter your co-workers, the more profitable the company and so the better your job security. Oh, and the better your pay.)

So, to correctly factor in the REAL cost of the taxes, you must factor in the real cost of what those taxes buy you, both directly and indirectly. Let's say your income is I, the total direct tax over the same time is T1, the total average indirect tax is T2, the total direct benefit to you because of superior infrastructure and/or superior facilities is B1, and the total indirect benefit is B2, then your actual salary S is calculated as follows: S = I + B1 + B2 - T1 - T2.

B1 and T2 are extremely hard to calculate. B2 is virtually impossible to know. However, without knowing those values, you cannot say how the real cost of living compares to your effective salary.

Is this the end of it? Uhh, no. Each State, each county, has an effective rate of inflation which is dictated by the change in the price of those goods that have a floating value across the country. Gasoline is an example of something subject to local inflation. When businesses move in, there are more people with disposable income, so prices will rise to what the market will bear and local inflation goes up. When businesses move out, there are fewer people buying, so to conserve profit margins prices must rise and local inflation goes up.

This is why you do not want to be in an area that is undergoing a boom OR a bust. It's expensive. You want an area that has a fairly stable economy and is growing at a fairly steady, gentle pace. How steady and gentle? Well, it needs to grow faster than the population, but not by very much.

You also want an area with superb social welfare. No, I don't mean people get paid for doing nothing - that's what politicians are for. I mean you want to ensure that those who are unemployed are retrained and that there is minimal involuntary homelessness. This is whether you give a damn about the other people or not. If you give a damn, then the reason is obvious. But even if you don't, then you still want this. The unemployed, the homeless and the hopeless are ideal fodder for gangs and drug dealers. If you were to spend the extra you pay on insurance towards getting these people OK, then that extra would soon not be needed. REAL welfare (not the Luddite fiasco the US calls "welfare") will always save more than it costs.

The more self-sustaining a community is, the more self-supporting, self-perpetuating, etc, the cheaper it will be in the long-term.

Re:Taxes? (3, Interesting)

kimanaw (795600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849628)

Here in Nevada we have no personal income taxes, and corp. taxes are nearly nonexistant (unless you're in the gaming biz...but since they mint their own money, its not too big an issue). Sales taxes may be considered high (7+%) and gas taxes are pretty high (which I consider a great idea).

Not to mention that, despite severe rises in the past few years, real estate prices are much lower than those for our neighbors to the west in the People's Republic.

Which may explain the significant stream of both small and large businesses escaping across the border to Las Vegas or Reno-Tahoe. In fact, there are a number of small s/w outfits just across the border from CA in the pleasant surrounds of Lake Tahoe. And that short trip from CA to NV usually comes with a massive decrease in insurance costs.

And from Northern NV, I can be in SillyCon Valley with a pleasant drive of a few hours (well, at least up to SacraMoscow).

As someone who lived in LA, CA for many years, and has done biz in SillyCon Valley, I can't imagine why people still consider the Bay Area so damn great. Since it costs the same, but the weather and lifestyle in SoCal is much better, why not get a life while you work ?

Other things to consider:

  • Bill Gates chooses to live in Seattle, WA
  • Linus Torvalds chooses to live in Portland, OR
  • Microsoft maintains its Licensing operations in Reno, NV
  • Apple just opened its own "capital management" firm in Reno

wrt "what happens when you lose your job", keep in mind that being unemployed in Reno-Tahoe for 6 months - esp during the winter - is often something people look forward to!. Plus the savings from living outside of SillyCon usually mean a 6 to 12 month vacation is actually affordable/survivable. If you make US$120K/year in SillyCon, but lose your job, you damn well better start humping for a new job. If you make US$75K/year in NV and lose your job, you can usually wait until ski season is over.

I guess its a matter of choice: "live to work" vs. "work to live".

In closing: The FOX channel here in Reno is just a feed from the Bay Area. So when I get up in the morning, I turn on the news on FOX...and just laugh and laugh..and laugh!.

On Internet porn subscriptions... (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848832)

Internet porn subscriptions run the same wherever you are too
I [] beg [] to [] differ [] .

The problem with California.... (4, Informative)

Temkin (112574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848854)

Prop 13. Seriously. That's the key.

Prop 13 limits property taxes to 1%/yr. of the assessed value, and limits reassessment to sale or major renovation. My parents are paying 1% of the value of their house as assessed in 1978. Ok.. So what, right? Voter revolt and all that... Kali has income tax, and a geek salary will loose 10% for that and another 1% for a nice car registration... But... Those go to the state. Property taxes fund the local schools and municipalities.

The net effect is that cities and towns in California are hostile to housing. They get a bigger take via sales taxes from strip malls and retail operations. Housing demands services that cost money. This hostillity is obvious when you look at permit fees for new houses. One city I'm familiar with slaps almost $100,000 worth of planning & permit fees on a new single family home. That in turn means that every existing house with a valid occupancy permit is worth $100k in that city, no matter what kind of shape it's in or what kind of location its in. That's why housing is so expensive. You're just paying the city all the taxes up front, while the banks laugh at you paying them APR+% on the taxes. You probably thought it was all those green belts surrounding Silicon Valley, and "smart growth". Nope. Those are just the political tools used to refine the system. The tree huggers are played like fiddles out there. They're just a means to an end. It's the perfect "screw you, I got mine" system too. Utterly unrepairable. No existing homeowner is going to willingly give up their tax protection or their obscene capitals gains. Voting to end prop 13 will never happen. The housing market has to implode first.

I made the move to Texas some time ago... Texas has no income taxes, and steep property taxes. So steep that most Californians show up here thinking they can plow all their equity take into their new house, and have a for-real mansion on acreage. And then they find out what the property taxes will be! The result... You can still buy a house 5 minutes from Dell HQ in Round Rock for just a bit above $100k. Not much of a house mind you... But 3bd/2ba on 1/4 acre, and that's enough for most. One of the local high schools has a jumbotron screen on their football field. Yep... I'm hearing tax revolt noises.

Re:The problem with California.... (1)

mfrank (649656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849413)

Tax revolt over a high school with a jumbotron screen on their football field? In Texas? Pwah. Maybe if they start handing out Corvettes to players on teams that *aren't* going to go to state. . .

Re:The problem with California.... (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849631)

The housing market has to implode first.

5.. 4.. 3..

Depends on the life you want (1)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 8 years ago | (#15848896)

I think this depends on what sort of life you want to live and what sort of climate you want to live in. If you like fast paced surroundings, you'll naturally enjoy a big city more than a small one. Personally, I like where I live (Dayton, OH). It's a decent sized city with a good amount of decent paying jobs, relatively low cost of living, within 45 min to 1 hour of a larger city (Cincinnati or Columbus), and we have just about everything you could want to do within a short driving distance (well, except for anything mountain or ocean related). There's also a VERY diverse culture here. You can't walk down the street without passing at least one hispanic, asian, middle-eastern, or other "foreign" person. The only bad thing about Dayton is the crime rate, but as long as you don't go to the east side of the river downtown, you're generally ok.

Re:Depends on the life you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849879)

ha ha ha ha -- which way did the turnip truck turn after you fell off?

thanks for all those words

Just to express a different viewpoint... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848933)

My wife and I agree that we will never live in CA or north of Mason-Dixon, we'd live in a trailer and both work at WalMart instead (opposite shifts, so our kids aren't threatened with public school, etc.) I think I'd actually like Canada, but she can't take the cold.

I make about 3 times the average wage here in east TN, so we're very comfortable (we bough a 2600 sqft house on a golf course for $133K.) We've both lived in large cities over the last 20 years or so: 7-11 here is preferable to (and safer than) pretty much anything we saw in DC, thank you. Admittedly there are zero jobs in my field if something happens to this one, but I've been with the same company for 5 years and have no plans to change unless forced.

I'm starting telecommuting soon, so we can move to NC. The cost of living is higher, but we're moving to a smaller town with a high retired % and an even slower pace of life. I originally came from Asheville, the biggest city in western NC, but the cost of living and pace of life there are skyrocketing since it's become the place all the northerners want to come (and join every committee they can find, and try to turn Asheville into the same expensive cesspool they supposedly moved south and/or west to escape.) It's too noisy, too much traffic, too many people, and not much to compensate if you're not interested in nightlife, etc. Ideally I'd like to live in Mayberry (it's near here, actually, but it's also changed for the worse in the 40 years since the show.)

Very few sidewalks or streetlights in these parts but it's safe to walk in the road most of the time. That pretty much describes it: I'm not sure what people get from a "fast paced" life, but I've never found anything I wanted in it. It's like talking to people who need a "career": I have no interest in management, no desire for promotion that takes me away from software engineering, no need to feel important by making money for someone else. I figured out the Peter Principle long ago, and now I'm mostly interested in enjoying life.

I moved from CA to TX, : Pros and cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15848937)

Here's what happened.

I started a small company in LA, CA. Needed to expand, and had a kid.

So, moved out of my 1400 sq. ft. house and 2400 sq. ft. warehouse in LA and moved into a 3200 sq. ft. house and 6000 sq. ft. warehouse in San Antonio (SA).

Costs: SA House, about 1/2 the cost of the LA house. (WooHoo!)
              SA Warehouse, same cost as LA warehouse, but in SA I have to pay "triple net" which added another $400/month to the rent. (well, it IS bigger, so ok...)

Taxes: TX has no income tax, but the property tax on my house is almost double the tax on my LA house. In TX, I can afford to buy a house that I can't afford the property taxes on.
TX has no income tax, but add in the CA income tax to the property tax, and I still pay more taxes in TX.

Insurance. I pay more for insurance in TX, and so far I've had three break-ins, vs. none in LA. Statistically, you're more than twice as lilely to be the victim of a crime in SA vs. LA.

Industrial supplies: Much more expensive in SA vs. LA. In some cases, I've been able to buy things in LA and have them shipped to SA cheaper than buying them from SA sources.

Wages: In LA, I could hire people at $7/hour and actually get work done from them. In SA, even at $8/hour I can't get any respondants to my ads, and when I do get people to work here, they tend to quit, show up late or not at all, or steal from me. I had much better employees in LA, and they were easier to find. (it's an unskilled light manufacturing job)

Food: definately cheaper in SA, but it took me a year to get used to the lack of variety and lower quality of food. There's only ONE grocery chain in SA- it's called HEB. Oh, you can also get some food at Wal-Mart and Target now too. Restaurants- about 80% mexican. Don't even think about asian food. If you like burgers, tacos and enchiladas, you'll survive.

Water: Oh my god! In LA, I kept my yard watered and very nice looking. In SA, There's a tax for automated sprinkler systems, and an accelerating rate based on water usage. To keep my yard watered like I did in LA would cost more than $300/month in SA. Consequently, my yard is desert and I still pay more for water than I did in LA.

Attitudes: There's more damn churches here than grocery stores. And I don't mean little neighborhood churches. These are wal-mart sized behemoths, and they usually have signs and parking lots bigger than wal-mart. "I go to ______ church" is the most common thing overheard in conversation. Don't even mention anything scientific in polite company unless you want to be alienated. And oh, you ARE a republican, right?

So, the bottom line is- I get a lot more space for the money in SA, but I pay more for just about everything else, including taxes, and I have to keep my mouth shut most of the time too. Quality of life is much lower- if you use food, entertainment and an enlightened population as benchmarks for quality of life.

Short story is- I can't wait to move back to California.

One man gathers what another man spills (1)

stox (131684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849012)

Every place has a different balance of attributes, as do people. One man's Nirvana may be Manhattan, while another's is Napa Valley. We also change with age. Personally, I started my career living in the city, and as I grew older moved to the suburbs, and now find rural living to be more and more attractive. There is a time and a place for all of us, the adventure is finding it.

You've prolly never been to california before..... (1)

exklusve (991442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849040)

And, finally, there's a reason rent and property are so expensive in some areas. Go to California and look out of the window. Rumor has it that other parts of the world have a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Land is expensive in California because you never shovel snow, you rarely deal with crazy humidity, you rarely have the insane heat of Arizona, you rarely get mosquitoes the size of Volkswagens and you can sit on the beach on New Year's Day. In short, supply and demand means that when there's a crazy price, there's generally a great reason for it.
There's plenty of parts of CA that you have to shovel snow.... I live in an area in CA that has crazy humidty, and crazy heat. It's been 115 for a while now, just cooled off a bit to 100 a day or so ago. Yeah, not like Arizona, but Arizona is getting expensive too now. Some of the beaches are nice on 'New Year's Day', but the ones in Mexico are even better than we have in California.....and Mexico is cheaper than living in CA..... You should come visit sometime and see what CA is like. I'd rather pay out the nose in California than live in Texas.......We have better weed, less honkey republicans, and we're a blue state :)

Re:You've prolly never been to california before.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849411)

......We have better weed, less honkey republicans, and we're a blue state :)

So that would make you a pot head, a racist , and an idiot?

Montgomery (0, Flamebait)

brood (126904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849124)

Speaking as someone who lived and worked in Montgomery for 2-3 years as a programmer, I wouldn't recommend moving there. The tech jobs are mostly government related (Gunter Air Force Base) and there's an incredible amount of racial tension. If you're single there's little to nothing to do. If you have kids you're going to have to pay for private school if you want them to have a half-way decent education. If you're going to move to Alabama at all (depending on if you can stomach all the Baptists and hardcore Republicans), try Birmingham. More to do, more jobs, better pay, better schools. I've been here for 3 years so far and haven't regretted the move at all.

Milpitas: Quest to become average America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15849215)

Of course, if you moved from Middle America, to the "Bay Area", but the "Bay Area" was Milpitas, you didn't move very far. You moved to a place that decided that rather than have a town center with libraries and movie theaters, they would replace that with a grocery store, strip mall and retirement center.

They were apparently on a quest to become "Average American City with Bay Area Home Prices!!". If you live/work there, are they succeeding?

And Mipitas smells bad too. Anyone notice?

Re: Relocating company to San Antonio... (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849470)

I think there was a chapter in Peopleware about companies like the one mentioned that relocate from Silicon Valley to San Antonio. An employee's willingness to relocate is generally inversely proportional to their skill. Your best people know they can find another job without relocating, your worst people won't want to risk being unemployed. As a result, the people who open the new location won't be as good as the people at the old one. You also lose a lot culture and experience. You can hire good people at the new location, but it will take them time to get up to speed, and the people teaching them what needs to be done will be the below-average employees who were willing to relocate.

Sorry but it's still bullshit from Bug Eye Forbes (1, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849678)

You are being sold a bill of goods. When your 'employer' sends you to West Gopher where the median salary is $10/hr you better be prepared to spend the rest of your life there because any other employer is never going to give you a 100% raise to come work in a place with sidewalks and mass transit. Assuming of course you actually get sick of doing fun things like cow tipping and hanging at the DQ.

This is a typical Forbes "Isn't it great to find a place that pays third world wages in the US!!!" column.

Herd mentality (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15849724)

Some of the value of a place has to do with herd mentality. Take a look at the rise and fall of the SUV. A few movie stars start driving them and everyone wants one. Now the dealers have to practically give them away. And gas is not even that high.

Many of the places people want to live is the same way. I live in a particular area of town where everyone want to live, so prices are very high. OTOH, there is a bunch of land not far from where I live that is completely undeveloped, and has remained so for a very long time.

Certainly herd mentality leads to some irrational decisions. Several years ago I knew of one company that wanted to move from Texas to california. They had a good real estate deal in texas, all the workers they needed, and extremely good connectivity. More importantly, they had electricity. Cheap. And reliable. You see Texas does not connect to the eastern or western power grid, so it is not so easy to finagle the interconnects and cut off supply with phantom transactions.. Likewise, a hiccup in the middle of nowhere, for instance ohio, is not going to take down entire regions.

Califronians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15850337)

"...and apparently a lot of people in Texas are getting seriously pissed at all the Californians coming in, buying huge homes after selling up smaller places in CA and pushing up the Texan cost of living for people who're still paid no more."

Apparently the people of Texas aren't familiar with the game. People from California have been doing this for years all over the western states, even before the latest housing boom. It's just too bad we can't send them back.
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