One of the places that we are seriously considering making our new home is California. I'll have to admit, the weather is a big factor in this. After spending almost six years in very hot weather, I know that I would prefer to avoid hot and humid. Our visits to cold weather climates have made me realize that I don't want to live in the cold either.
We have targeted Southern California; specifically Irvine, San Diego and Ventura County. Although I have done a lot of research (schools, housing, economies, weather, crime, quality of life) for the area, the fact is that neither Tim nor I have spent a lot of time there. So we decided that we would spend this Christmas in California to at least experience it as a family before making a decision to move. In addition to vacationing, we are going to do some house shopping.
I looked a little bit at the San Francisco area, but it is so expensive to live there. To get a four bedroom home with ~3,000 square feet in a great school district, you can easily end up in the two million dollar price range.
My big concern with California is the state of its economy and spending. Things are a mess there, and I'm not sure how quickly they will get better.
Some other places that we are considering are Seattle and Austin. The big concern about Seattle is the rain, and Austin's very hot summer months give us pause when thinking about moving there.
I'll actually spend five weeks in California, while Tim and the kids will be there just over two weeks. By arriving early, I can start our housing search early, so that we can use our time with the kids more efficiently. Even if we decide not to move to California, it should be a fun trip.