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Small Cabin Forum / Off Topic / Seeking input on new opportunity....
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# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 08:16

As some of you may or may not have noticed, i've been MIA for the past several weeks. The primary reason being is that an opportunity has presented itself that my family and I are strongly considering. Since it's one of which we nor many people we know have experienced so i'm soliciting feedback from this community in the hopes that someone here has gone through it themselves.

The opportunity is that of a job offer for me in southern California (we're currently in NE Wisconsin). The company is one that i've had an occasional relationship with over the past 15 years doing design work for them as a side gig when they've needed help. It's a privately owned company that i'm very familiar with and they are very familiar with me and my capabilities. Things at my current employer are fine, it's just a matter of me lacking challenge thus resulting in me becoming bored. So i made a call to them to see what their interest was and needless to say they made an extremely competitive offer.

My wife hates her job and has little to no other opportunities to stay in her field within an hour of our current home. She's fine with finding a new, less stressful career, but it would likely mean taking a steep pay cut which would affect our lifestyle drastically. So needless to say, aside from the stress involved with this sort of move and everything that goes with it, she's on board.

My son is currently in 8th grade and will be a Freshman in fall. He doesn't have alot of friends as he is a gamer and most of his friends are online. In reality he will only be leaving 2 friends that are local...but they're primary interaction is always online as well as they are both gamers to. So he's not really gun-ho about the idea of moving, however he can't give a good reason not to. He has an interest to do something in STEM (either software engineer or electrical engineer) so I feel like California would fit perfect given it's the heart of most of that stuff.

With him not being on board, my wife is hesitant because of it. The other kicker is that since the fine state of California funds their schools based on enrollment, the districts don't offer open enrollment. So in order for us to get him enrolled, we have to be living in the district for whichever school we pick. This will become more and more difficult the closer we get to Aug/Sept when school starts in fall.

We will need to sell our home in WI before we can buy in CA, so our plan would be to rent when we got to CA. This would allow us to immerse ourselves out there a bit and figure out where we want to be. Again, keeping in mind we have a deadline for school as i want to be situated for him as moving him to a different school once we are out there is not an option. Housing out there is substantially different than WI. We will pay at least double for a home that's going to be smaller in sq. ft. both in the house and lot size.

We only have 2 family members left here in WI. My aunt, uncle and his 2 grown daughters all live in the area we would be in.

It's easy to wrap your head around the things you are going to give up as you have been and currently are immersed in it. I can envision what i would assume will be the positives and potential negatives of moving out there and living that lifestyle....but those unknowns are what have been keeping my wife and i awake at night.

So....anyone else go through something like this recently that can share some input?!

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 08:42

I have not gone through something like this however I have a couple thoughts....

In my experience kids will generally not want to move, afraid of the unknown. Once the change occurs they tend to adjust quickly.

I have never been to CA, but its seems like the taxes/real estate/cost of living in CA is likely going to be shocking coming from WI. Is your pay increase going to cover that and allow you to maintain/improve your lifestyle?

Finally, I used to work pretty much nonstop at my full time job and starting a real estate business on the side on the nights/weekends. I wouldn't say I regret doing it because it has put me in a good place. However, I am now moving toward the reality that we are meant to live our lives and not live to work. So making decisions based on money rarely improve our happiness. Time is our biggest asset that is most certainly limited. So if I was living a good life in WI I would eliminate any pay increase potential from the decision and decide where I believe I would be happier.

Good luck with your decision either way!

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 09:39

A raise is only relative to the cost of living. So you may need to balance both. Also a private company can down size, sell or outsource any part of there company at any time for any reason. Apparently now (after covid) they can also be shut down.

5 yrs ago after working 9.5yrs at the same job I had a chance to take more pay but not be 9 minutes from work. I'm now 1hr 15min to work but nearly doubled my pay in the first 3 yrs. I'm not saying dont take the jump to a new job, just be aware what comes along with it.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 09:40

SoCal is a big place, have you been to the area? From wonderful seaside communities to inland cities full of homelessness, crime and English is a second language. Freeways jammed with traffic moving at a snail's pace. I'm a native (NorCal), if not for that I'd likely be elsewhere now. For the first 40 or so years of my life I loved it but it's changed a lot since then.

One thing you can count on though, terrific weather.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 09:40 - Edited by: pabear89

From one who moved from Michigan to So Cal back in the late 70s, And left there after 36 years I would say no way to that move now days.

The shock of rules and regulations alone will be an eye opener.
Next is the cost of living and the poor management of the state and local gov.
Be ready to be tax and fee poor added to the monthly budget cost.

The weather is ok, But that is about all. They say you can go from beach to mountians to which is correct but it means driving a long way in crowded traffic.

I totally understand your position but the first thought that came to mind is WHY are they offering the job. Many are leaving that state for a reason and the businesses will be the next on the road out.

Think before you reach for that brass ring.

P.s. Forget any small cabin plan in that part of the state.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 11:29

My read of your post left my gut telling me that I wouldnt do it, that before reading these few post after you.
I have friends that moved here from S.Cal two years ago, they return to visit friends and fam a couple times a year and upon return say, "are we ever glad we dont still live there, should have left sooner".
Some thoughts for your consideration:
Moving across country is one of the most stressful things a family can do.
Some 'stress' is a good thing, it gets creative juices flowing and gets things done, too much and it tries to kill you (btdt).
For most the job isnt an end in itself, it allows you to do the things you really want to.
What a man thinks he wants and what he really wants aint necessarily the same thing.
You cant buy back any part of your lifetime you sold to the job.
I know there's more, I just cant think of them right now.....

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 11:40

California companies are actually having a hard time finding talent for their needs. People are moving out of California, not because of the weather, but because of the high cost of living. Spinning their wheels does not mean movement towards a goal.

I have an aunt that lived in LA and they made good money. In the last 10 years, poor management by all levels of government made it impossible to get ahead. They moved out of LA to near Palm Springs with a one day a week commute to LA for work. They make more money by working less in a less regulated area. The final straw was when the county was going to mandate solar for their home at a huge cost for just arbitrary reasons.

You couldn't pay me to live with the overhead of rules and regulations that state has. They killed the golden state by killing the golden goose.

A lot of poeple have realized this crazy

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 11:58

California would be at the top, or very near the top of my list of places I would not want to move to. Too many people, too much traffic, house prices are nuts, etc. Nice weather though. I visit friends there reasonably often, but have never felt I would like to trade places with them. But then I would not want to live anywhere in the northern states either; too much winter.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 12:23

Thanks for all the great input so far!!

Yes, i've been to Cali many, many times in my life to visit my uncle i mentioned. I've visited as far south as SanDiego and even went across to Tijuana (late 80's, early 90's as a kid) and as far north as SanFran. The job is in Ontario which is just east of LA. Our goal would be to leave in the San Bernadino mountains near Lake Arrowhead. The community/enviroment up there is more like here in WI and less hustle/bustle than down in the valley. Housing up there is mostly seasonal so not everyone is around all the time. The houses up there are more like cabins for the folks in the valley. For that reason, housing is cheaper up there and has more room for us to renovate and build an investment for if/when we moved.

I have no concerns about the stability of the company. I know the owner and some of it's employees very well. No one can predict the future, but i have less concerns about that company than i do for my current employer who is likely one of the largest privately owned companies in the world. Part of the job will be preparing to take over the company in a few years, so the outlook career wise is very positive for myself. Their offer to me covers the cost of living differences and then some.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 14:07

I lived in California (San Bernardino county) for 20 years before I was able to escape back to the Midwest. The only positive thing I can think of would be higher quality and cheaper fresh vegetables and before the lock down, 24 hour access to almost anything. Property taxes aren't actually that bad, but the homes are overvalued. It is much more expensive to drive as the gas prices are high and your insurance will go up about 2-3 times higher than Wisconsin. The public school system is very poor. The commutes are enough to drive you crazy. Lake arrowhead to Ontario is probably an hour plus each way (that is a short SoCal commute). Last I heard, the welfare rate was about 38% in San Bernardino; Crime, gang activity, and drugs are huge issues in that area.
I made the mistake of staying in California when I got out of the Navy. One of the biggest regrets of my life.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 14:18

Dont forget that seasonal/weekend homes now became full time homes to city dwellers about this time last year.

The town I grew up in was 60% weekenders pre you cant even drive through town durring the week. I think theres also only a hand full of houses for sale in the area and most are 700k plus. That's quite a bit for a county wide median house price of less than 200k.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 17:48

I don’t want to offend anyone from CA.
I’ve traveled there hundreds of times. I didn’t like it.
To hot, dry, expensive.
Not to mention all the climate change and weather. Drought, fires, earthquakes.
I love WI. I love the mid-west. People are nicer in WI. I love grass and trees.
There are cost of living calculators you can utilize online to compare how much more money you will need to live the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to in WI.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 20:13

kalifornia is a overtaxed, overregulated, overvalued swamp. 5 permits and a environmental impact review to put in a fencepost.
Homeless camps where there living in there own shit and piss.
Why do you think there offering you a job?
Because everybody`s leaving.
Sorry If I offend anybody but thats how i see it.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2021 23:31

Yes, california has extrememyl high taxes, high proprty taxes, highest gas tax, cost of homes are massive. Northern Cali is much nicer, pretty counntry, south is warm, weat is crowded, east is desert, dry.

Personally, I would never move to California, many are moving out, probably why they are trying to recruit outsiders.

But this is my reasons, I would say do what ever you think its best for you and your family.

You can look at the county you are pondering, the state has a census site, you can see average cost of homes, average incomes, population density etc, all good info to look into ahead of time.

# Posted: 9 Apr 2021 06:32 - Edited by: paulz

Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
Northern Cali is much nicer, pretty counntry, south is warm, weat is crowded, east is desert, dry.

Right you are TMT. It's a big state, over half the west coast. On the east coast it would stretch from Florida to New York. There are forests, deserts, beaches, mountains, sunshine, snow, hot, cold, cities, towns, farms, ranches. Wealthy areas and poor areas, same as everywhere else. Through a lifetime of hard work and saving I am fortunate to live in the former.

Yes we've had climate issues in the last few years, fires, drought. Are humans to blame, I don't know. Earthquakes, I have lived through them for 60+ years, not worried about it. But no tornadoes, hurricanes, freezes, floods as other state suffer.

As for all the other problems, if only the millions and millions who've flocked here over the last 30 years felt it was so terrible and left, much of it wouldn't exist and I'd be much happier. Supposed to be happening but I have yet to notice. Still building and overcrowding.

A friend of mine actually has a cabin in the area WILLIE mentions in the San Gabriel mountains, it's quite nice there, removed from the masses below.

# Posted: 9 Apr 2021 09:40

I won't bag on your choice to move to California, I guess I'd offer one alternate consideration:

In the nicest way possible without sounding like a total dick, have you considered what your own (and your wife's) future looks like on your own and do you want that to be in California?

You mention wanting to go there to get your son off to the right start but consider that in four short years he may be off to do any number of things that might have him staying in the area, or going off to adventures somewhere else.

I personally would be hesitant to make a decision based on that alone unless I was 100% sure I'd be ok even if he picked up and left the day he turned 18. I can see the argument for a grade schooler easier as it's a much longer investment and gives you the ability to settle in as well.

I guess to summarize, make sure the decision you're making is also considering what you and the wife want as you guys look to your own futures. You're getting ready to spend a lot of money and effort to make a huge change, everyone should be on board.

# Posted: 9 Apr 2021 11:41

Kids do leave home. Ours did. I did.

# Posted: 10 Apr 2021 08:35

Parts of California are very beautiful, and it can be a fun place to visit, but you couldn't pay me enough to live there. Especially anywhere near LA.

My sister and her husband just got out of CA. He lived in San Diego all his life, loved it until fairly recently, says it's getting worse every day. Now they're in NC.

And consider whether you really want your son to spend his adolescence in the cesspool of SoCal schools?

# Posted: 10 Apr 2021 13:05

A guy once told me (and it stuck)
'Dont set yer sights on a bright and shining star
that just happens to be going nowhere'.
Now I admit that it can be hard to figure if an 'opportunity' is a step forward and up or not....
My inclinations at age 68 (and long before) are that a cross country move to end up basically 'lateral' is not a step forward and up unless it is where you want to make your stand and find yourself 20-30 years from now.
Project out what that place is going to be like then and you in the middle of it.
If that works for you And Your Wife, fine. If only one of you, not so good to worse.

# Posted: 14 Apr 2021 11:39

Well....the decision has been made. Looks like we are staying put in WI.

Part of me is happy (get to keep working on the new land...and i don't have to worry about selling & packing up our entire life) but part of me is sad i was excited for a new adventure (unlike my wife and son).

So...looks like i'll be sticking around and back to the forum!

# Posted: 14 Apr 2021 12:01

Coming from Ontario Canada I have little experience with CA. However my wife and I did move to Toronto at an early age for better career opportunity from a small affordable community in Southern Ontario. Mind you that was before we had kids.

The way I like to look at career opportunities is that I am willing to go wherever in world needed to support my family and live a good quality of life with my family doing well.

When I moved to Toronto most people could not understand why I would move somewhere that is so expensive, full of traffic and not desirable in their minds. I tend to not pay much attention to those factors and look at what is a good long term move for my career and family. We now have lived in 3 cities in the GTA region and all have been great places to live. My move to Toronto early on has afforded me the opportunity to also invest in my rural cabin escape.

What I might consider is can you work out a situation to work remote for this company for the next 5 years and re-consider relocation once your son is done HS and an adult. I have worked for US companies remotely in Canada and there is a big acceptance now of remote working. That might mean taking a little less pay and a few trips a year out for facetime in CA. If you are really interested in the job and they are interested in you, there might be an opportunity to negotiate. In my view everything is part of the negotiation.

Nate R
# Posted: 14 Apr 2021 13:00

Quoting: WILL1E
.the decision has been made. Looks like we are staying put in WI.

Well, if nothing else, at least you're not in limbo now!

# Posted: 14 Apr 2021 18:02

Make the adventure here!

# Posted: 16 Apr 2021 17:34

Congrats for being out of limbo, not sure what work you exactly do, but maybe you could find something a little more exciting or challenging that is completely remote. Might allow you and yours to to have your cake and eat it too.

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