Post # 1
Hi bees! I could use some outside general advice on this as absolutely everyone in my life is extremely biased with this topic, haha.
My fiance and I are currently a couple years out from finishing our master’s degrees (while working full-time) and are in the process of building up our savings. We’ve been living in an extremely high cost of living area (Boston), but the plus side is our jobs do pay relatively well. We’ve been able to save for our wedding and work down our student debt comfortably, though admittedly with some sacrifices (ex. tiny apartment).
Where I’ve been lost lately is deciding where to live after we graduate. We’d have to save for much longer to be able to afford a house in the Boston area, therefore potentially putting off having children longer than we hope. Plus, I’m not too fond of city living (that’s putting it mildly). Sometimes I think about moving back home (Maine), but then I start to have doubts that are hard to explain. Mostly, I feel guilty uprooting my fiance to a location with limited career options (hardly any for his current field) and where we’d be surrounded by only my family, not his. Also, small towns can be rather small minded and sometimes I feel unhappy when I visit home. However, my mom is older and has started having some minor health problems, making me feel guilty for living so far away and not seeing her more.
To sum it up, nothing feels right. Staying here in a city that is too costly doesn’t feel right, but moving back home doesn’t feel right either. Moving somewhere else away from BOTH our families (his family is currently close to us in Massachusetts) also doesn’t feel right. When I ask him what he wants, he gives the ol’ useless “Whatever makes you happy!” Yeah, thanks.
How the heck did you all decide where to settle down?!
Post # 2
CloverBells : I’m a Boston girl so I’m biased to loving it here, but is it just living in the city that you hate? Because you could live out in the suburbs and your husband would still have the career opportunities in the city if he wanted. Somewhere on the north shore would put you close enough to work in town and also not too far from your family in Maine (depending on where exactly they are). We live just outside the city so that we have that cosy community feeling, but still make Boston salaries.
Post # 3
LilliV : Definitely more that city-living isn’t my style (no shade on just Boston! Haha. There are some great perks such as having so many stores and restaurants so close! So much to do!). But even the suburbs have a pretty high cost of living that is hard for me to swallow. I feel like in order to get down to a price range we can afford, with enough property space to breath, we’d have to have a pretty long commute (we already spend 2.5 hours each day commuting and it’s becoming very unfun). I guess between the cost of living, the long commutes, and the cramped space, I’m becoming bitter towards city-life.
We have played with living in the suburbs (ideally west or north of Boston) but I’ve recently been reminded just how competitive home-buying is here. I know a few people who actually commute from New Hampshire because of it, but again, that commute distance makes my head spin, plus it’s putting us in a state with neither of our families so it doesn’t feel like a great solution.
I dunno, I know I’m spinning around with this too much, I guess I just feel discouraged. Who said being an adult was fun?! Haha
EDIT: I should add that we are both looking to change our jobs once we graduate. My job is much more flexible on location, but he’s still hoping for a job related to his studies, but doesn’t want to remain at his current place of work. So it will be a good time to move, we just have to be mindful of future opportunities for him. It doesn’t help that he’s not quite sure exactly what he wants to do next. We’re just a heapful of unknown right now, haha.
Post # 4
Another (recent) Boston bee here. Similar to LilliV we settled outside the city but super near a commuter rail station so the commute downtown actually isn’t horrible. We get the benefits of community feel but Boston salaries. Added bonus is that my family are an easy drive away so will be very useful when we have young kids in the (hopefully) near future.
Houses are expensive here, I sympathize there. Even out where we are they are better but still pricey. Plus we pay $$$ in daily commuter fares.
Our plan is to save aggressively with our higher salaries for 5-10 years and then try to find a smaller city to settle in (e.g. Burlington, VT or Portland, ME or similar). The hope being that aggressive savings will set us up to be able to take paycuts. But we’ll see where our careers take us.
It’s a tough decision. If you and SO are still finishing masters, I’d probably spend the first few years after that still in an urban setting to set your careers up before moving to an area with really limited opportunities.
Also – there’s no reason a house has to come before kids! Lots of people have their youngest children in rented apartments and then buy later.
Post # 5
TravelingBride31 : Very true regarding growing our family. I guess in my mind I just know it will be that much harder to save for a house once we have kids, plus renting a 2 bedroom versus our 1 bedroom will increase our rent and make saving on top of child expenses even harder.
But thank you both for sharing your own decisions! I know it’s impossible for anyone to tell us what’s best for us, but it helps hearing how other people came to their own decisions.
I guess part of me really misses my family as well. The idea of everyone living so far away when we have kids breaks my heart. I also recently had a scare where my mom was out-of-touch for 6 hours and I have never felt so helpless, fearing the worst. But then I go home to visit and always leave thinking “Oh my god, I could never move back here!” But then we pay our rent and I think “Oh my god, we have to get out of here!” Hahaha! I just hope to find somewhere in between those extremes.
Post # 6
Have you thought about moving to Portland, ME? Not sure where your family is from, it sounds like they may be in Bangor or further north but at least from Portland it’s an easier drive North to visit them. My Darling Husband has been pleasantly surprised at the job opportunites in Portland, he moved back a year and half ago after working out of Chicago for 4 years. I’ve been in my current position for 7 years and am finding lots of room for growth.
Housing is still expensive in the Portland area but still much cheaper than Boston.
Post # 7
mainebride092018 : We actually have thought about it before! My family isn’t as quite north as Bangor, but still live about an hour and a half north of Portland. And my fiance would have job opportunities there (he works in the biotech field).
Maybe we should give it some more thought as I think it would be a good possible compromise of what we’re looking for. Thank you for the reminder!