So in a blog last week I was talking about how to handle the unexpected; how to handle plans getting derailed. One recent example I gave is when we were strongly considering moving to Denver, CO at some point this year (but then plans changed). I think a lot of people were really surprised by this 1. Because I hadn’t talked about it at all (I was just waiting to share until we knew for sure – not even any of our friends knew) and 2. Because we’ve always talked about how much we like Raleigh. If you want to read about why we like Raleigh, I’ve recapped that in this blog.
But I wanted to fill you all in on why we were considering moving for anyone that is curious! You can read in that blog above why we like Raleigh and we still stand by all those points. It really is a great place to live. However, there is a part of Stephen and I that would prefer to live in a bigger city, somewhere that isn’t quite as traditional, and less humidity wouldn’t hurt either haha. But the main thing is the desire to live in a bigger city. To be fair, Raleigh is a great mid-size city and even though (home) prices have gone up a ton since so many people are moving here, it’s still much more affordable than other bigger cities that people desire to live in. I’ve always felt like Raleigh is a good “sweet spot.” But at the end if the day, it’s not what is considered a big city and it can feel more traditional at times. I mean, even though I wouldn’t classify Raleigh as “super southern” we are still part of “the south” at the end of the day. And if I’m being really honest, being mid-30s married without kids and just focusing on our business(es) sometimes feels a little isolating here. There is definitely more of that focus on “but when are you having kids?!” vs. it feeling more normal to do what we’re currently doing (if that makes sense).
In a perfect world, we would love to live in New York City. I lived in that area for several years when I was in my mid 20s and every time I go back I just love being there. It’s never something that I’ve really blogged or talked about because in the past it just hasn’t seemed realistic unless we wanted to totally change our lifestyle. As we’ve gotten older and more financially secure, it feels more realistic but there are still a lot of things for us to consider as it is a big lifestyle change in terms of day to day living and also the cost. By no means do we need a 4K square foot home but when we would have to pay double our mortgage for less than half the space (and you may not even be building any equity) – those are big decisions! I am all for taking “calculated risks” and making the most of your life but I am also an advocate for not just doing whatever the f*ck you want because you feel like it lol. You have to really weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best in the short and long term. I like to think of it like when I was working as a RN and was debating leaving to blog full-time. There were no guarantees and I was all for taking a calculated risk and taking a leap for something I really wanted, but it wasn’t an overnight decision.
That being said, NYC would probably be our ideal place to move but we started to consider Denver because it was a bigger city that felt a little more realistic in terms of cost of living (compared to NYC). Plus, we liked that it isn’t as traditional, there isn’t humidity like NC has, and we are really more mountain people than beach people (so we loved that there were a ton of easy getaways to the mountains). We went to visit there in December (trip recapped here) and overall just really loved the vibe and could see ourselves living there. After we got home, we were pretty set on moving so we had our realtor come by and give us a ballpark of what our house could sell for.
Fortunately, living in Raleigh and buying our home when we did, we have built up a ton of equity in less than two years. However, after visiting Denver we knew we wanted to live in a few very specific neighborhoods, all of which were not inexpensive. To put into perspective, one of my friends is from San Diego and lived in Denver briefly last year and we were talking about how prices are almost as high in Denver as San Diego. And sure, we could have moved further out of Denver but a big part of moving was feeling like we were in a bigger city. We wanted our day to day to feel different versus having to drive 30 minutes into the city. So moving away from the city center of Denver would kind of defeat the purpose of moving.
That being said, when we were looking at houses in Denver in the fall of 2021, we didn’t know the neighborhoods as well and didn’t have the neighborhoods narrowed down yet. So even though inventory was limited, similar to here in Raleigh, we felt like we were seeing some good potential options. But after visiting and narrowing it down to just a few neighborhoods, that not only limited the inventory even more (in an already super scarce market) but we realized that homes we could consider buying with our budget, were not really even remotely close to what we want in a home. Basically, we felt like we would be paying a significant amount more for a home that we weren’t even in love with just to be in Denver, and we realized that it wasn’t worth it to us. Sure, we loved Denver and would love to be in a bigger city but the pros just didn’t outweigh the cons in this case. To be honest, for the Denver prices, we would rather pay slightly more and just go live in NYC and be where we really want to be lol.
The other thing that weighed into our decision was Parry. It would be one thing if we didn’t have a new business and we wanted to invest more money into a property (in Denver). And while we were willing to increase our mortgage a little bit in order to be in Denver, we started to see that the financial cost of being in Denver was more than we initially had anticipated and we wouldn’t be able to invest in Parry nearly as much (which is not what we want). So that was another factor that went into our decision of staying put – at least for now!
Since we are staying in Raleigh, we have been discussing what our plans are with the house as we would definitely like to re-do the kitchen and our bathroom to make our home even more of a space that we love. But like I mentioned above, Parry is definitely the priority so we’re currently exploring some options of what we may be able to do, especially given the amount our home equity has increased by. So I will keep you posted on that front! Stay tuned 🙂