This weekend, we are making our trip to Brookings (Oregon, not South Dakota!). Tony's been offered the office there, and we need to make a decision as to whether we want to take it or stay here. It's about a 4 hour drive from where we are now, which makes it 5.5 hours from our family.
We are leaving early tomorrow morning. We have a fun stop planned along the way at Prehistoric Gardens, which is a roadside attraction featuring 23 life size dinosaurs. My great-grandparents practically lived right across the road from this place, so I remember going there a number of times as a child and have always wanted to go back as an adult. I'm so excited to get to experience this with my own kids. I don't know if it will be as cool as I remember, or if it's just something I have built up in my mind and will all be sort of anti-climatic. Either way, it will be a nice break in our drive and something fun for the kids.
Then we are meeting with a realtor in Brookings in the afternoon, to get a better idea of what the housing market looks like there. From what we can tell, houses cost about 100k more in Brookings than they do around here in the valley. It's a beautiful coastal town, where people go to retire. Thus, the cost of living is higher. But that also brings in more clientele to the office there (Tony's a hearing specialist).
Sunday, we will spend some time just getting a feel for the town, and might meet with the realtor again to see a few houses. We will specifically be in town for Tony to work the open house that the office there is running on Monday and Tuesday. He's helped out in that office before, but it was before the kids were born. This will give him a chance to refresh his memory and decide if it really is a place he would want to work. After the office closes Monday, the plan is for him to come have dinner with the kids and me, but then go back to the office to count all the files/potential customers to determine the amount of income the office brings in.
To give you an idea of the difference, the office there has brought in about $40,000 more than his office here so far this year. Now we just have to determine if the income potential will be significant enough to offset the higher cost of living, and make it worth moving so far from family and friends. Ayden and Rylee are already saying how their new horsey is too far away. It could get even more further away real soon.
The positives to moving:
- has a very low crime rate, which also means drug usage probably isn't as high (one of my fears as a parent)
- we have two sources that tell us it's an outstanding place to raise a family
- it's a beautiful coastal town, close to the California Redwoods, which we love
- it's a significant pay raise
- will potentially allow us to raise our kids the way we want to, with me being able to continue staying home with the kids until they start school; and then once they start school only needing to get a part time job instead of a serious full time job
- we will have the option of moving back in a few years if we really don't like it there
- the climate is pretty darn perfect; it rarely gets above 80 degrees in the summer and very rarely gets below 40 degrees in the winter.
- we will be within driving distance of San Francisco, which would be an awesome place to spend a long weekend trip.
The negatives to moving:
- the obvious is that it is so far away from family and friends (but at least still within driving distance)
- we most likely won't be able to buy the kind of house we really want to buy right now, because the market is so much higher there. However, the good part about that is that in real estate, you can always get that money back when you turn around and sell it.
- the schools aren't ranked on the high end
- moving sucks (but we are becoming pros)
While Tony is working on Monday and Tuesday, the kids and I are going to be playing around town. I plan on visiting the local library, find a few parks for the kids to play, go to the beach, and just explore what the town has to offer. The forecast says it's supposed to rain, so we might be a little (or a lot) limited, but we'll find something to do! I'll pack their rain suits just in case. wink wink
I'm hoping that this trip will give us a clear answer and make the decision easy. I'm afraid that it's not ever going to be 100% clear though. I fear that if we don't end up moving to Brookings, that we will always question the what if's. But I also don't want to go, and then feel like it's the biggest mistake we ever made!