With that, I have received severl requests asking “Why Austin?”
2012 was a really bad year for us. You can read http://vmsfan.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-ugly-side-to-being-hero.html to see how 2012 started and its impact. In short though, we got a serious kick in the pants last year and with us soon to be out of our current home, we are seeing this as a chance to start over in a lot of different ways.
One of which is that I have been looking for work for almost a year now. I am currently employed, but the impact of last year and then have this year start off with the sequester (I sell software services to the government), I need to make a change.
Over the course of the last year, I have submitted numerous resumes for opportunities here in WA and have not had a single call back. On the other hand, I have submitted only a handful of resumes to opportunities outside of WA and have gone through several job interviews. I have not been getting job offers though as the companies want to hire locally and until recently, we have not been in a position to cover the relocation and not worry about what to do with our home.
On the job front, economically, Texas has the best job growth, some of the lowest unemployment and greatest work demographic diversity. I get 2-3 emails each week from potential Texas employers showing interest in my resume, mostly from Austin followed by Dallas/Fort Worth – the #2 and #1 best places in the USA currently for finding a job.
Being in a position to have to move and find someplace affordable, Texas cost of living is significantly less. Income- Katherine’s would remain the same where mine could drop a little. When looking at the total tax picture, TX ranks in the top 5 (lower taxes) for our family where WA is 11th.
Katherine suffers from Raynaud’s, a circulation problem that is aggravated by cold and damp that makes her fingers turn white and loose feeling. This condition has progressively worsened as she has gotten older. The damp and cold that is a significant part of what we have come to expect for a large part of the year here in WA has made the thought of moving to a warmer climate appealing.
There are things that we love about the Seattle area, in particular, the eclectic blend of diversity of food, people, arts and activity. Austin is well known for these things too.
We love the outdoors and having access to being active outside. Austin area often is listed as the best place in TX for outdoors activity and ranks middle of the pack for top 20 places in the USA for an active outdoors lifestyle. Not to mention Austin has on average 20% more sunshine per year than Seattle.
In short, Austin may offer the same income, better job opportunity, lower cost of living, lower taxes, and warmer, sunnier weather potentially increasing our outdoor activity.
The downsides to moving out of state at this point in time include:
The lack of nearby immediate family. The bulk of Katherine’s family is within a 15-20 minute drive from where we live. Her parents are here in WA (my parents are in VA and they have never met the kids). While we get together with Katherine’s parents at least once every 2 weeks, we only see her local siblings and their families a few times a year.
The cost of moving and relocating. Hiring a moving company is not cheap. Nor is renting a U-Haul. Then there is the cost of driving (or flying) our family cross country. When we are there, there will be the cost of starting up a new rental home and associated utilities/services. While this is steep, we have been able to put enough money aside to handle this.
The starting over with finding new friends, a new church and in general – figuring out what the new location has to offer. This can be seen as a new adventure, but it comes with its own stresses and we will not know the impact this may have on our children. Although, Texas hospitality is internationally known and we have more friends with good TX connections than any other state and some of our closest friends are either from TX or currently live there.
Feel free to comment on your thoughts as to why or why not Austin…your input counts and may be enough to encourage the move or to stay put.