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    mouse-girl's Avatar
    mouse-girl Posts: 15, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 07:05 PM
    Trying to Decide - where should we live?
    My husband and I are trying to find a good place to settle with our 2 small children, and we each have pretty different views on the subject, so it looks like some compromise is needed.

    I come from Australia, and have family there, and although my family are spread out and we didn't get to see them more than a few times a year, I loved those times very much, and I miss them a lot.

    My husband comes from Hawaii, and moved to Australia for 8 years when we first go married. We always talked about living in Hawaii, and I was always open to the idea, but now we are here we are struggling sooooo much, and I just wonder if it is not meant to be. His parents still live here, but his brother and sister moved to California (sister is married with 2 small kids).

    So we are finding things really tough here. We both work, but money is not plentiful. We are currently living with my parents-in-law, which is very generous, but also very difficult - it is a bit like being a teenager all over again! And then add 2 toddlers! It gets a bit nuts.

    We both made good money in Australia, but times like Thanksgiving etc my hubby would get really sad and feel like something huge was missing (which it was, of course). We had good friends there, but somehow life was so busy and we felt that getting time to see them was a huge laborious epic, so we didn't make that effort as much as we should have.

    So we moved. But to me, it seems no better, and in many ways worse. We are still struggling financially, not going so great with jobs, no independence, and I just wonder should we go back or press on. My husband gets frustrated even talking about it, and is annoyed with me for wanting to quit after just 1 year, but I am just exhausted and want stability for my 2 small children and a home that is affordable. I am tired of living in expensive shoeboxes!! Or worse, leaning on relatives for help.

    We still own a 2 bedroom flat in Australia - yes we have outgrown it, but it is something at least. We could sell it, and use the down payment to buy something small and horrible here, and it would be better than renting, but I'm scared to commit to living here when I don't really like it much yet, and am unsure about calling it 'home' in a long-term way. I feel bad that I am not liking it here. I feel like I'm being unfair on my husband, who stayed in Australia for 8 years despite missing his 'home'.

    nikosmom's Avatar
    nikosmom Posts: 1,611, Reputation: 488
    Ultra Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 07:37 PM

    So you're currently in Hawaii or California?

    Both are nice places (I've heard) but very expensive to live. I do have a friend that lives in Hawaii and she's actually planning to move back to the mainland someday because it's so expensive in HI (she came here for college).

    Perhaps certain parts of California aren't so expensive; depends on which area you're comparing. I agree that stability is very important for children so I would suggest to start looking at a small suburb in Cali as a starting place and that way he'll be close to his sister and not incredibly far from his parents. If you find something you like, look into selling your home in Australia to use for the downpayment.
    mouse-girl's Avatar
    mouse-girl Posts: 15, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 07:48 PM

    We're in Hawaii just now, but we do have family in California (or Australia)
    nikosmom's Avatar
    nikosmom Posts: 1,611, Reputation: 488
    Ultra Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 07:56 PM

    Have you checked out any places in California?
    mouse-girl's Avatar
    mouse-girl Posts: 15, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 08:11 PM
    We've been to San Jose once, but I didn't like it enormously. I like San Francisco, but not sure where I would want to live if we were there.

    I would like somewhere that is affordable and has reasonable job prospects (I know that last one seems a big ask these days!)
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
    Ultra Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 08:12 PM

    Where do your sister-in law and brother in law live? I kind of agree that it's worth considering moving to be near them. It's a compromise that might appeal to your husband. Of course, California's economy is not greatest right now, so it wouldn't necessarily be easy to get jobs. We have high unemployment, but most places do... And some parts of the state are still really expensive to live in. But your husband could have family and you might not be suffocated by 24/7 contact with your parents in law. You could search for an area with good schools. There are websites that rate schools.

    Also, have you considered a house swap with someone who wants to live in Australia for a couple of years? That might be cheaper than buying and selling a house and gives you the option to go back. That might feel safer to you, and so easier to try still another place. I think California is pretty different from Hawaii. I live in Northern California, but I have friends from Hawaii.
    mouse-girl's Avatar
    mouse-girl Posts: 15, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 09:25 PM
    Thanks for the suggestion - that is a pretty good one to kick around for a bit, I think. We have talked about moving to CA on and off over the years, so maybe we will give it some harder thought.

    The economy is a consideration, but hopefully that will pick up again a bit in the next year or 2.
    mouse-girl's Avatar
    mouse-girl Posts: 15, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 10:23 PM

    Oops, I forgot to say my sister-in-law lives in San Jose.
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
    Ultra Member

    Jul 25, 2009, 11:03 PM

    The median price for a (non-luxury) condo in Santa Clara County (San Jose-ish) is currently about $340,000. In Contra Costa County (more towards Berkeley), the median price for a basic condo is $250,000.
    mouse-girl's Avatar
    mouse-girl Posts: 15, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 26, 2009, 02:23 AM
    Thanks Asking, that is helpful to know :)
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
    Uber Member

    Jul 26, 2009, 06:35 PM

    Maybe check the employment ads on the internet like and craigslist to get an idea of what the jobs and houses are like right now in the areas you are considering.
    You can then do Google maps street level to get a better idea of any areas you think you might decide on.
    justcurious55's Avatar
    justcurious55 Posts: 4,360, Reputation: 790
    Ultra Member

    Jul 26, 2009, 09:18 PM

    This is kind of funny you brought up the two areas I know best. Lol
    I lived in san jose when I was little, up until about middle school. Then I moved to contra costa (I don't live there anymore) maybe I'm a little biased because of where I lived in contra costa, but I don't like san jose at all. I still have family that lives there and I hate going out there.
    I thought san francisco is really expensive to live in? That's what I've always heard. I've never actually looked into it though since I would never want to live there. The big city setting is just not for me. What about someplace like pleasanton? It's about a half hour to 45 min from san jose. Very pretty. The schools seem to be good (my cousin went to public school there and seems to have come out of it just fine lol). It might at least be a place worth looking into. I have a friend who lives there. There's a cute downtown area with lots of yummy restaurants and a great farmer's market on weekends. And its not too far from major shopping areas.
    asking's Avatar
    asking Posts: 2,673, Reputation: 660
    Ultra Member

    Jul 26, 2009, 09:50 PM

    I mentioned Santa Clara and Contra Costa Counties because they are the two cheapest counties in the Bay Area in which to buy houses.

    Dublin and Livermore are both cheaper than Pleasanton--which is of course very nice. has real estate prices and is an entertaining place to think about houses. For example:
    California Home Prices, Home Values, and Property Values - Zillow Local Info

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