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Old 03-02-2013, 16:53   #1
audiomechanic
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Moving Advice Wanted

So, the wife and I dislike the city in which we live (Houston). Ok, we hate it. HATE IT. H8! And we want to move. We're going to stay in Texas (most likely) but move to the San Antonio/Austin/Kerrville area. We're trying to set up a ~3 year plan to get out of here and are trying to figure out the logistics of it all. Neither one of us has ever moved out of the city or moved a long distance before so we're trying to wrap or brains around this.

Both of us have jobs here in Houston. I *might maybe* be able to transfer in my job, but my wife works for a small law firm so transferring is out for her. We've got to finish doing some repairs and whatnot to this house before we can put it up on the market (which we should get done this year) and then we'll save for ~2 years for our 20% down, plus moving expenses, plus some padding to cover for a couple of months in case one or both of us is out of a job when we get move. We should be able to get some money out of this house when it sells (we have paid the mortgage down plus done worth while upgrades to it to increase its value like remodel the kitchen, master bath, new HE AC system, etc). This all translates to a (roughly) 3 year plan.

Questions for you guys:
- What is the best way to negotiate selling this house and buying the next? In other words, do we throw it up on the market ASAP or wait until closer to moving time? Is it smart to look to buy a house right away to move into, or rent for a year first?
- How does one go about finding a job in a situation like this? Do we look in advance or when we get there? What if we find one but aren't quite ready to move yet or wont be moving for a little while?
- Do we just fly by the seat of our pants?
- What is the best indicator to look for to tell us "it's time to move" (is it the job(s), buying the next house, selling this one, etc)?

Thanks in advance gents and gent-etts!
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Old 03-02-2013, 17:54   #2
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I've moved several times since I graduated college in '86. I have some insight.

I think it would be easiest to rent at first in your new city. That would relieve you from the pressure of trying to overlap the sale/buy process. It might even take a bit for your house to sale, it will be tougher trying to time everything with a sale/buy in place.

The job situation. You mention your wife works for a law firm. That's ideal as she has some marketable experience in an industry that every town has. So I think I'd do it like this:
1) Look into your transfer. If you can get one to where you'd like to go, you're basically done. You either try and get a month or two period where you have been "approved" to move and you spend that time putting your house on the market, and maybe driving over and trying to find a place to live. Houses for rent are available, but it might take looking at 6 or 7 to find one that you like.
2) In the month or so before your transfer is approved, your wife starts looking for new job. Contacts job agency in the new town (headhunters), or starts using Monster and such. Or both
3) You didn't say if you could temporarily afford to be paying your current house payment AND rent in the new city, but you might have to be able to do that for a few months. Or your wife be without a job for a few months
4) You mentioned saving up some money... instead of worrying about buying new house right away, think about using that as cushion to be able to pay old mortgage and rent in new town, and to serve as wife's paycheck while unemployed.

The biggest reason I advise NOT buying a house right away is twofold.... you probably don't know the new city well enough to know where the best places are, or maybe you don't know where wife will be working and be able to add commutes into the picture. If you rent for a year (or two), you can learn the city better, talk to co-workers about neighborhoods, schools, etc.

It's very doable, the wife (well, soon to be ex-) and I did this just in 2004, moving from Orlando to Charlotte. The only difference was that we didn't own a house in Orlando but were renting an apartment. In our case, I landed a job up here, she didn't even start looking until we moved here. But like your wife, mine had many years of law firm experience. I think she went 6 weeks without a job. I had come up one weekend and spent 3-4 days looking for houses and found a nice 3 bedroom. So we rented the biggest u-haul, moved all of our stuff up, I started work.... and she got the house squared away while looking for work. It couldn't have been smoother.
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WTF?! How a cheap can an old, the old fart get?!

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Old 03-02-2013, 17:59   #3
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That is excellent advice! Thank you very much, kind sir!

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Old 03-02-2013, 18:18   #4
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Similar advice here. I would never buy a house UNTIL I was convinced I wanted to spend a long time in the new location. Renting a house is the only way to go. I have moved long distance twice for career changes and rented each time.
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Old 03-02-2013, 18:21   #5
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Make certain the you get the house in Tip Top shape!

We moved from IL to TN last year, and the realtor told us initially that we would only be able to ask 199 for our house. We put it on the market for 229, after we painted inside, painted the deck, cleaned the property all up, refinished the bad places in the floor, staged it right, and sold it for 220 to the first person who looked at it.

As was already suggested, rent for a year or two until you figure out where you want to be, and that you want to be there in the first place.
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Old 03-02-2013, 19:32   #6
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Hey, why you hatin' on Katy?
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Old 03-02-2013, 19:35   #7
audiomechanic
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Renting does make sense since y'all explained it.

We're in the process of getting our house in tip top shape now. We've got to repair some rotted siding and face boards, redo the master bath and install new windows. After that it's little stuff like paint, interior door knobs and some minor landscaping.

If we rent, we may even be able to be out sooner than expected! Much depends on the sale of this house, but we ought to make a bit on it. Worse comes to worst, we can sell low if we jeed to move it quickly, but I don't think it'll come to that.

Much appreciated advice!

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Old 03-02-2013, 19:40   #8
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Hey, why you hatin' on Katy?
Lol

Katy's not a bad suburb of Houston, and Houston is not a bad city, but it doesn't fit us. It lacks a lot of things that appeal to us, socially and otherwise. Couple of examples are, there are no women's shooting groups or leagues for my wife to join. She really wants to find a group of women to shoot with and is not finding it in Houston. Another example is good roads for motorcycles. We love to ride, but we're not the long straight road riding types. Houston is as flat as it gets and good motorcycle roads are sparse at best.

There are other things too, but Houston just doesn't fit us, whereas San Antonio and Austin seem to have the things we're looking for.

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Old 03-02-2013, 20:34   #9
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I'm moving to Katy this summer. I grew up in Corpus Christi and am currently in Iowa. The hill country is nice and we considered moving there at one time.

I've got a brother in Katy and it is a nice area.
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Old 03-02-2013, 21:19   #10
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Lol

Katy's not a bad suburb of Houston, and Houston is not a bad city, but it doesn't fit us. It lacks a lot of things that appeal to us, socially and otherwise. Couple of examples are, there are no women's shooting groups or leagues for my wife to join. She really wants to find a group of women to shoot with and is not finding it in Houston. Another example is good roads for motorcycles. We love to ride, but we're not the long straight road riding types. Houston is as flat as it gets and good motorcycle roads are sparse at best.

There are other things too, but Houston just doesn't fit us, whereas San Antonio and Austin seem to have the things we're looking for.

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I think you'd be lucky to find something like that *anywhere*. Shooting for women is just not as popular as it is with men. Many of the women who do it want to just go WITH their husband or something. I shoot in USPSA, and most of the women who participate shoot with their husband.

I gave you the advice in post 2. And funny thing, my wife is ALSO from Houston. AND lived in Katy! LOL. But she moved to California and we met shortly thereafter. I went to Houston a few times, and yeah.... don't think I'd want to live there either. Way too big and crowded, and the air quality sucks. We made a trip over to Austin and that seems like a really cool town. More hills too. There's a great BBQ place on the lake there we really enjoyed.

So... I'm sure you guys will find a town that you like better than Houston, but I just wouldn't hold my breath on that "women's league" thing. I've been actively shooting IDPA/GSSF/USPSA around the greater Charlotte area for over 4 years, and there's nothing like that around here. But heck, a sport like IDPA or Steel Challenge is very "newb" friendly, I've seen several women there who weren't great shooters having fun. Try doing that and maybe meet some women that she could go practice with.

Anyway.... best of luck on the move. Having something new to look forward to is fun. It'll be an adventure. Don't be too stressed out, people do it all the time. The wife and I moved from California to Orlando in 2002, then a year later the move to Charlotte (I was in Orlando for a 13 month tech school thing). Both moves went smoothly. It *really* helps to be employed in a field that is commonplace, such as nursing or law firm work. She shouldn't have too much problems finding something, and if you can get that transfer, that's 90% of it. And hopefully the house sells in 2-3 months.
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WTF?! How a cheap can an old, the old fart get?!

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Old 03-02-2013, 22:27   #11
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My wife has informed me there are several women's shooting groups in Austin. She's found them on Facebook.

Thank you for the advice, man. I (we) appreciate it very much!

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Old 03-02-2013, 22:40   #12
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My wife has informed me there are several women's shooting groups in Austin. She's found them on Facebook.

Thank you for the advice, man. I (we) appreciate it very much!
Well then, sounds like you have a plan all around.

Again, best of luck to you.....
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Old 03-02-2013, 23:38   #13
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Just remember...renting = moving twice.
Moving sucks.

When we moved TX -> IN, I went first, leaving Mrs. Airmotive behind in Texas for a year. I lived in a combination of hotels, condos and craigslist 'roommate wanted' ads. I scouted neighborhoods and real estate, then wifey would fly up and tell me how wrong I was. Repeat.
It still sucked less than moving twice.
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Old 03-03-2013, 00:03   #14
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Hated Houston also. Moved out of there in 79. Moved to Austin. Joined the dang Army and guess what Ft. Hood of all things. One hour away. Still here. San Antonio is another arm pit like Houston in my book.
Being in the construction business to sell your house just do the dog and pony show and paint inside and out just to have curb appeal. Did that for a pilot buddy of mine and added 6K to his house and sold in less than two weeks.
As for Lawyers in this town, there is more than DC. Little lady should not have a prob getting a job.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:58   #15
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I'd want to move too. Hey, if you both have good jobs is it possible to move but still be in reasonable driving distance to work? That would be a lot easier.

The other thing I would say is do it if you must. I've lived in MI,MS,WA,GA & here in WI. Do what you have to do.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:24   #16
audiomechanic
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Well then, sounds like you have a plan all around.

Again, best of luck to you.....
Muchos gracias, senior.

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Just remember...renting = moving twice.
Moving sucks.

When we moved TX -> IN, I went first, leaving Mrs. Airmotive behind in Texas for a year. I lived in a combination of hotels, condos and craigslist 'roommate wanted' ads. I scouted neighborhoods and real estate, then wifey would fly up and tell me how wrong I was. Repeat.
It still sucked less than moving twice.
That's true but I figure we could just unpack the daily use items and leave everything half packed in the rental for a year or two.

It would be very difficult to find a place in a good area to buy from a long distance (3+ hours away). And one of us moving while the other stays behind isn't really an option for us.

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Hated Houston also. Moved out of there in 79. Moved to Austin. Joined the dang Army and guess what Ft. Hood of all things. One hour away. Still here. San Antonio is another arm pit like Houston in my book.
Being in the construction business to sell your house just do the dog and pony show and paint inside and out just to have curb appeal. Did that for a pilot buddy of mine and added 6K to his house and sold in less than two weeks.
As for Lawyers in this town, there is more than DC. Little lady should not have a prob getting a job.
That's disappointing to hear about San Antonio. I've always liked the city every time I visited, but I don't know a lot about it as far as living there goes.

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I'd want to move too. Hey, if you both have good jobs is it possible to move but still be in reasonable driving distance to work? That would be a lot easier.

The other thing I would say is do it if you must. I've lived in MI,MS,WA,GA & here in WI. Do what you have to do.
You mean move locally and stay here in Houston? Hellz no. We want out.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:58   #17
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Step 1: Make sure insurance is paid up.
Step 2: Remove important belongings, but not furniture and things that would alarm the arson investigators.
Step 3: Accidentally burn current house down.
Step 4: Move into new place.

Cmon...we've all thought of it.

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Old 03-03-2013, 09:14   #18
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Originally Posted by airmotive View Post
Just remember...renting = moving twice.
Moving sucks.

When we moved TX -> IN, I went first, leaving Mrs. Airmotive behind in Texas for a year. I lived in a combination of hotels, condos and craigslist 'roommate wanted' ads. I scouted neighborhoods and real estate, then wifey would fly up and tell me how wrong I was. Repeat.
It still sucked less than moving twice.
She might can say "no" to a house design or a subdivision, but that's still not it. When we moved here to Charlotte, we moved into Union county. Nice place. Only thing is? It's the FASTEST GROWING county in the U.S., at least it was back then. There's only one main artery into and out-of where we lived, and traffic was atrocious. We hated it.

You will not be able to determine things like that until you move somewhere and talk to lots of peoples about pros/cons of particular areas.

Yes, moving twice isnt' so great. I also don't like the "living apart for a year" idea. Ugh.

I like the "keeping things boxed up" idea. Things like books you won't need, and other doodads work great like that. Make sure you label boxes well so you know what's inside in CASE you need something, but getting to know the lay of the land is invaluable when you decide you want to buy. You can only do that by living in the new town for awhile, and asking around.

ALSO, here's a piece of advice even then... when you think you found a house you like that's not close to where you live? You need to try the commute 2 or 3 days from that potential new house. Even if you have to stay the night in a motel, try to be at the new house at the time you'd normally be living to go to work. Then drive to work through the commute traffic you'd have. Do the same going home a couple of evenings. This doesn't apply if you live in some small, dinky town, but for larger towns it can make an impact on your decision.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:02   #19
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She might can say "no" to a house design or a subdivision, but that's still not it. When we moved here to Charlotte, we moved into Union county. Nice place. Only thing is? It's the FASTEST GROWING county in the U.S., at least it was back then. There's only one main artery into and out-of where we lived, and traffic was atrocious. We hated it.

You will not be able to determine things like that until you move somewhere and talk to lots of peoples about pros/cons of particular areas.

Yes, moving twice isnt' so great. I also don't like the "living apart for a year" idea. Ugh.

I like the "keeping things boxed up" idea. Things like books you won't need, and other doodads work great like that. Make sure you label boxes well so you know what's inside in CASE you need something, but getting to know the lay of the land is invaluable when you decide you want to buy. You can only do that by living in the new town for awhile, and asking around.

ALSO, here's a piece of advice even then... when you think you found a house you like that's not close to where you live? You need to try the commute 2 or 3 days from that potential new house. Even if you have to stay the night in a motel, try to be at the new house at the time you'd normally be living to go to work. Then drive to work through the commute traffic you'd have. Do the same going home a couple of evenings. This doesn't apply if you live in some small, dinky town, but for larger towns it can make an impact on your decision.
This is excellent! Thank you for this.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:22   #20
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Similar advice here. I would never buy a house UNTIL I was convinced I wanted to spend a long time in the new location. Renting a house is the only way to go. I have moved long distance twice for career changes and rented each time.
Totally agree.

Rent, rent, rent. I would put the house on the market now, and do repairs as needed. The market is soft right now, and you might find it takes a little longer to sell than you hope. Use a realtor to sell it. It will be worth it in the long run.

At least if you find you're in a crappy neighborhood with a rental... you're out in no time. A house, you're saddled with it.

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