Would You Move To A Completely New Place?

Would You Move To A Completely New Place?Last year here on Making Sense of Cents, I talked a lot about us buying a new home. However, I’m sure you’ve noticed that we have not bought a new home yet. Some of you have even emailed me asking if something went wrong.

So, what gives? Why haven’t we bought a house yet even though the plan was for us to buy one in 2013?

Well, the thing is, we don’t know what we want to do. Do we want to stay here in St. Louis? Do we want to move to Memphis where W’s parents just moved? Do we find an entirely new place that has awesome weather and is beautiful?

Now that we are both location independent (because of the business), we can really live anywhere as long as we can afford it. We don’t have to feel stuck in any one area. We have a lot of options and a lot of things to think about, so we are trying to take our time and not rush the process.

There are many different factors that we are thinking about:


Living where you are comfortable and have a life already.

We have both lived in St. Louis for a very long time. I lived in Chicago for a little bit when I was younger (from the ages of around 8 to 13), but for the most part I have always been here in St. Louis.

Many people have asked me why I would even want to live in St. Louis. Well, I like it here! It’s affordable, there are outdoorsy things to do, all my friends are here, I grew up here, and it’s a great place to eventually raise a family.

However, I have lived in St. Louis for all of my adult life, and it sometimes makes me wonder if I am missing out by not moving somewhere else and trying something new.

I wish I could just pick up my friends and move them with me honestly! A recent article on Newlyweds on a Budget pretty much summed up what I’m afraid of – leaving my awesome friends and being lonely wherever we move to.


Moving to save money.

St. Louis is a cheap place to live. However, there are even cheaper places to live. We were looking at homes in Memphis, and the homes are incredibly cheap. They are a great value compared to what you can get in many other cities, including St. Louis.

I will say that I am not interested in moving to a place where housing is super expensive. Just can’t do it. I’m too cheap :) I like my low cost of living cities.


Moving for the perfect weather.

Hawaii would be amazing, but it’s expensive. If you are interested in Hawaii (many people are), I recommend that you read Budget and the Beach’s article The Cost of Living in Paradise, and also Young Adult Money’s article Why Living in Hawaii Sucks.

We’ve ruled Hawaii out of our list (it’s expensive and far away), but we are now thinking about Florida. I’ve been reading a lot about it, and there are many positives, but also many negatives that I found as well. If you live in Florida, tell me what you think about where you live!


Moving somewhere to be closer to family.

W’s family moved to Memphis earlier this year, and we have been thinking about following them there. My sister is planning on moving to Chicago, and once that happens I won’t have any other family here in St. Louis. We will have W’s side of the family here still, but we still want to be closer to his parents and his younger siblings.


Do you plan on moving eventually? Maybe for retirement? Why or why not? 



  1. says

    Hi Michelle. New reader to your blog and caught this on Twitter.

    I think it can be an extremely growing to move to another city. You might not know any people, you won`t really know where anything is or what the people are really like unless you went there a few times.

    I have never been scared of living in other countries and have so far lived in 5 different countries and will most probably still move to 1 or 2 other countries. I currently find myself in Scotland now for the past 3 years. Before my wife and I moved here we did not know anyone who lived in Scotland. We never visited the country and only knew 2 people who have stayed there for a few months. We asked them what it was like and they said it was OK. So did a pro and con list, and even though the move was difficult and we had to overcome a lot of obstacles we made it. I must say it was hard in the beginning without the support system of friends and family, but we have put ourselves out there and made new friends with which we have very strong bonds.

    I must say that the move was worth it. Our living standard has improved quite a bit and we are doing things we were never able to do before, plus we have the beautiful Scottish countryside right on our doorstep plus a beautiful view over a large river.Sometimes you just need to make that jump and things just sort of work out in the end.

  2. says

    It would make financial sense for us to retire to the provinces where it’s affordable but I just don’t know if I could do it. I’m a city girl. Or maybe even to another country. Who knows?

    But for our working lives Auckland is where we want to live, $$$ and all. In the US, NYC would be great for a few years but not long term (and also weather extremes!) and California would be nice climate wise (maybe too hot actually) but honestly while I’d love cheaper everything and Mexican food all the time, I don’t know that as a Kiwi I could move to a country that has such poor employee rights, and where healthcare is messed up and guns and religion play a part in politics. Scary. It was so surreal to me to be chatting to our friends in Chicago about the previous night’s shootingS (as in, multiple) over breakfast.

    • says

      Thank you for replying and stopping by. We are hoping for something that has a similar cost of living or cheaper.We also want awesome weather year-round, but that may be hard to find!

  3. says

    I understand completely Michelle. My wife is from Kansas, and would like to move closer to her family in the future. We currently live in Florida. Extreme Eastern Kansas or Southern Missouri are both appealing. We also have family in Colorado, which is awesome…..but way too expensive for how we like to live.

    We’ll probably stay here another 5 to 7 years, and then move to the midwest when my wife goes back to work. There is no perfect place, but I do love Florida. I’m glad to see you guys are keeping your options open.

    • says

      Oooh where in Florida do you live? We are thinking about Florida and we have been asking everyone that we know who lives there what they think :)

      May I ask why you two live in Florida? Or is that where you are from?

      • says

        No problem Michelle. We live around Tampa, and I have to agree with Mrs. Pop’s comment below. Different parts of the state are wildly different. South Florida is much more expensive than other parts of the state. On the upside, most of Florida is very inexpensive to live. On the downside, the pay is very low for non-professional jobs.

        I grew up in the Tampa area. I really like this part of Florida, as long as you’re near the coast the weather is great. If you’re not near the coast it’s much hotter. Send me an email if you would like to discuss the area further. I enjoy your content and am happy to help.

  4. says

    We have moved to a completely new place. Me, several times. Yes, making friends is challenging, but it only gets more so the older you get (at least until you have kids as far as I’ve heard – then it’s easy when they’re little again).

    As for Florida, I think it’s great. But you’ll have to do some research since the state is huge and diverse. If you have any questions on the southern end of the state, I’d be happy to help!

    • says

      I was hoping that you would read this post actually! :)

      Why did you decide to move to Florida? Also, if you don’t mind me asking, what city do you live in? Do you like it?

  5. Carol says

    Go for it! The worst case scenario is that you are unhappy & move back to your comfort zone. You are guaranteed to learn more about yourselves & each other – plus if you move somewhere wonderful, your friends may eventually join you. That’s what happened when my husband & I moved to Florida a few years ago.
    Many less expensive places to live here, within a few miles of the ocean or gulf. Try Pensacola on the pan handle, Clearwater & Fort Myers on the gulf side, west palm Beach, or Jacksonville on the Atlantic. If you are willing to try a smaller town, there are hundreds of choices. Commercial over. 😉

  6. says

    My advice – move somewhere completely new! If it helps your mindset, think about it as a sabbatical. Tell yourself you will move to Florida (or wherever you decide) for just one year and then plan on moving back (either to STL or somewhere else, you can decide that later). Then, the move becomes less daunting and if you fall in love with the place, obviously you can stay longer! You are location independent now, but sometimes it’s hard to realize that you can be location independent next year and the year after that, etc!

    Also, with this different mindset, you might even be able to consider moves abroad! Imagine living in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a year – sure, you would be far away from family, it would be scary, but it would be SUPER cheap, an amazing experience, and best of all, temporary – 1 year too long? Plan to go for 6 months! I am very jealous of location independence because there are no rules about where you have to be and for how long!
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    • says

      We would love to go to another country, but once we move we plan on starting to have children as well, and well that would be a lot to handle all at once! :)

  7. says

    Florida would be neat because there are so many different types of towns/cities. You could go for a laid back beach town or stick to one of the bigger cities with lots to offer. Plus, the weather is obviously great!
    I wouldn’t worry about having to make new friends. Everywhere you go, people always tell you they have the best friends ever and that’s cause good people are all around…if you’ve got a solid set in STL, I’m sure you & W have the skills to make great friends in Florida as well!
    Keep us posted, Michelle :)

  8. says

    For the U.S. I am at the point where I can’t imagine living anywhere but Colorado. It’s just awesome and it’s also pretty fantastic that I grew up here. HOWEVER, I would absolutely be interested in living abroad again-specifically in a Spanish speaking country think Colombia or Panama for awhile. Or, Europe for 6-9 months. Have been thinking about that a lot.

      • Meghan says

        I left Colorado because I hadn’t lived anywhere else as an adult and wanted to see what else was out there. I regret the whole “grass is greener elsewhere” approach. Sometimes it’s okay to stay with what you know! Friends are important and aren’t easily replaced. My Mom is from St. Louis and there are many things to love about the citty.

        That said, if you do decide to move, Colorado is worth checking out!

  9. says

    I say go for it! It can be challenging to form new friendships, but generally should be a bit easier once you have kids. I’ve lived in 8 different states and have loved it because it has allowed me to see and live in different areas of the country. That, however, was all before we had kids and moving like that becomes a little more difficult. I think there is definite potential for us to move once the kids are older, especially if we continue our business, or when we retire.

  10. says

    I can totally relate! My husband and I currently live in a cute little house in downtown Raleigh, NC which is a great place to live. I have lived here my whole life and the idea of leaving was kind of hard to swallow. However, we recently made the decision to move to a small town in the mountains on NC where my husband is from. His Grandmother left her historic house to him and we have decided to rent out our Raleigh house and restore the family home. It will be a great decision financially as we will no longer have a mortgage and will allow us to live in a smaller, more close-knit community. I know moving from something comfortable can be scary, but I think now is the time to do it! I would hate to look back in 30 years and wish that I had tried more new things or lived somewhere else, but never had the courage to take that extra step.

    • says

      We sound so similar Elizabeth! I don’t want to regret anything, but I would be a liar if I didn’t say it’s a little scary.

      And that is awesome about the house.

  11. says

    I’ve lived in Ontario all my life, but I’ve lived in 5 different cities/towns. When I was in Grad School, my plan was to move to Toronto. My sisters live there, it was still close enough to my parents, and there was a lot of job opportunities. But instead, I moved back up to Northern Ontario – back to the area that I grew up in, and swore I’d never return to after being exposed to city life. I couldn’t turn down the job offer, so my plan was to live in Northern Ontario for a couple years to build up my resume/experience, and THEN move to Toronto.
    I’ve now been up here for nearly 5 years, and have NO plans to leave. In fact, I’m trying to convince my family to move here instead :) There are some cons, for sure, including fewer job opportunities and the fact that I’m the only one that’s far from my immediate family, but the pros make it worth it.
    I’m excited to hear what you guys decide to do :)

  12. says

    We’ve been talking about moving for a couple of years now, but the motivation for us is cost of living. Los Angeles has awesome weather (minus our current drought) and the thought of shoveling snow just isn’t appealing. But, the traffic and affordability is really bringing the happiness level down. We just don’t know where that “perfect” place would be and we’re not completely location-independent. So much to think about!
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  13. says

    I’ve moved to a completely new place several different times :-) It all depends on the situation that’s at the other end, how easy it will be. For example, you’ll have to make sure you find ways to get out into the community, as you’re self-employed.
    When I was in NZ, one of my American housemates picked her college based on temperature and climate :) She only applied to schools that met her warmth requirements!
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  14. Kathy says

    My husband and I are considering this now. It has become an ongoing conversation. Do we stay where living is relatively inexpensive and currently, for us, the tax climate is decent. Or do we move closer to our son, incur higher taxes than we now pay, and get no benefit from better weather. Weather and taxes are very big considerations for us. Also, my mom is nearly 89 so we don’t feel we can move until she is gone and we obviously don’t know when that will be & how old we will be then. I seriously don’t have a clue what our decision will be.

  15. says

    Yes is sorta the obvious answer for me. I’ve moved to completely new places dozens of times. Sometimes it’s just something you have to do to chase what you want, whether that’s money, doing the right thing, making a difference, or whatever.

    Being able to see family is definitely important, but I’ve managed to work that in — definitely something to budget for
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  16. says

    I already did :) 8 years later, and I’m still adjusting :) We are planning on moving again int he next five years because we want to be in a different school district but I don’t think I’m ready to move across the world again.
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  17. Sarah says

    I second the other readers who said go for it! I’ve lived in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Germany, and finally Arizona. I moved to AZ, where I didn’t have any family or friends, because I got a great job offer. I quickly made friends through my job and a website called meetup.com. Your worries about being lonely are completely justified, esp. since you work from home, but you never know until you try. :)

  18. says

    Almost 5 years ago I moved from the Midwest to Arizona for a job. I was only out there about 3 months before calling it quits. Loved Arizona, hated the company. Luckily I still had my house to come back to. As long as you move to an area that fits your personality and lifestyle, meeting people isn’t too much of an issue.

    The boyfriend and I talk about moving after he retires, probably in the next 5-10 years. Florida, Arizona and Tennessee are all on our short list. Of course, we both have a lot of family here, so it may not happen. We may do a split; with a small summer and winter home. We’ll see. He keeps finding really great deals through his friends on 55 and over communities, and I just have to laugh and remind him that we’ll have to check the rules. After all, I’m only 35 now!

  19. says

    Great post! We’re looking to make a move to florida in a few years hopefully. Besides the amazing weather compared to the Northeast, cost of living is lower and there are more job opportunities. Plus no income tax is nice.

  20. says

    As brutal as the Minnesota winters are, I think we will live here long-term unless some sort of career opportunity came up that we couldn’t pass up (i.e. like my wife gets her phd and gets an offer to be a prof/do research elsewhere). I like that we are near family and friends here. I would much rather go on short-term trips around the world (or just some place warm in the winter) than move to a new place.

  21. says

    Not long after we get married, we moved to DC for Chris’ job. Then we eventually moved to Dallas for my job and finally my job took us back home, where we had always wanted to eventually return. I imagine California is off your list since lost-cost living is a priority. California offers many great things but it is expensive. :) I will say that we faced similar concerns when we moved as we both left our families and friends behind and moved to places where we really didn’t know anyone. And you know – we made new wonderful friends at every place we lived. As hard as it can be to leave great friends behind, if a move is the best choice for you and W, then know that it’s a real treat when your old friends come to visit. And thanks to social media, etc. you never really leave them behind!
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  22. says

    Yup, that’s been my plan! Though it’s the opposite from the third scenario… I am moving to be AWAY from my family. Right now, my primary choice Chicago suburbs, but I am trying to explore more alternatives. And saving for it! I have a friend from China who has been telling me to go move out there, but that’s a little TOO out there for me. I prefer staying in the states, somewhere priced reasonably, and with all 4 seasons. I hope you share the top choices your research yields. Good luck!
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  23. says

    I moved away from my home town last year after living there 27 years. It was for a job, not the cost-of-living… but that was a nice perk. It’s cheaper for pretty much everything, but honestly I am missing that sense of community. I miss knowing people, or being able to pop by my parents or brothers place (within 30 minutes from where I used to live). We’re only 5 hours away, but it’s enough that I haven’t been home since Christmas due to crappy winter weather.

    The thing is, with you being fully work from home, you’ll have to definitely be assertive in trying to make new friends.

  24. says

    My wife and I live in NYC and it is expensive…sometimes we wonder how much better we’d be if we lived in a lower cost of living area. Sure, it’s a great city, but I don’t know if we’d ever be able to afford a home. We do have a lot of family and friends here which is the main reason we stay. But I’m pretty jealous of the home prices in other places.
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  25. says

    We moved to Florida last July for my husband to complete a 9 month internship for his master’s degree. We will be leaving May 1. The weather is great and I definitely see the appeal to snowbirds. I have joked with my husband that we should both find jobs that we can work remotely and be 26 year old snowbirds. It is nice to be able to be outside year round, and there is always something to do. Anyways, I don’t know what the cost of living is like in St. Louis, but we have lived in Michigan and Pennsylvania and the cost of living is much higher here. We live in St. Petersburg, so the cost of living might be less if you are inland. The housing costs are about double here from what we could get up north, and it is impossible to find a house on more than a quarter acre here. Being near the coast, you have to factor in the cost of flood insurance if you purchase a house. Car insurance is pretty pricey – we are paying 2.5x what we were paying monthly in Pennsylvania. Groceries are slightly more expensive here, and no grocery stores here double coupons (when we lived in PA, everywhere doubled coupons). The cost of gas is similar to PA. To register your vehicle the first time they charge a large fee. However, there is no state income tax, which is kind of a nice break. Where we live it is very commercialized, but inland can be much more rural. I can’t vouch for the price of utilities, since those are included in our rent. Recreation costs are often more expensive in the winter, with the snow birds here (golf doubled in price!). We have enjoyed our time in Florida, but are looking forward to heading back to Michigan!

  26. Jim says

    I would move for weather in a heartbeat! I’m a Canadian that moved to the USA via marriage and where did I end up? Buffalo!
    Cheap living here, but it would be nice not live in the cold. It’s every Canadians dream to live in warmer climes. (well, mine anyway)

  27. Wade says

    I am 42, married with 3 kids (14, 10, 6). We live in Fargo, ND and I constantly am thinking about somewhere warmer. This hasn’t always been the case. Right out of college I was busy “building a career”, then we got married and were busy “building a family”. When we had small kids, we felt “stuck” anyway and the weather didn’t bother us. Now that the kids are older, I really feel we are missing out on life. In Fargo we have 6-7 months were you really can’t be outside. I know, you can do winter activities. But I’m talking about just being outside. Walks, bike rides, just being.

    I think I am firmly in a mid-life crisis. My sister (40) lives in the same area and she has wanted to live somewhere warm/beachy her entire life. I hope she gets to do it.

    Based on our 7 months of winter, I think Fargo is over priced. Everything should be 7/12th off. Many days we are just inside watching tv, reading, playing games. We can go out to eat, go shopping, that type of stuff, but that is just spending money. It isn’t what we want to do.

    Unfortunately my wife thinks I’m nuts when I talk about moving. I admit all our family is in this area. It would be hard to move, but my plan is “we all move!!!”. Not that simple, but could it be? Lots of people move. It isn’t all that complicated. Plan the work, work the plan.

    I don’t see my disdain for the weather here lessening. Send warm weather please.

  28. Wade says

    Forgot about Florida. My sister thinks Navarre or Destin, FL is the place to be. Reasonable weather, reasonable housing prices.

    The job situation could be iffy, but I work from home and could move anywhere. Miles of beaches, but the chance of being blasted by a hurricane. Interesting tradeoffs.

    If retired I could spend a good chunk of the year in Marathon, FL. Vacationed there. Awesome weather, peaceful, but would have to be retired.

  29. says

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I know that want to live where we live for at least the next decade, but maybe not forever. I haven’t experienced enough of the world to be 100% sure that I want to live in any one place. I am not into living in a tropical environment; I love my seasons. But maybe abroad somewhere.

  30. says

    I have thought about moving quite a few. I’ve been back in Atlanta for 3 years but I’m almost ready to leave again. There are a few places where I would consider moving to. Florida is definitely on that list.
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  31. says

    We are finalizing our plans to move this week. We’re moving at least 600 miles away from the place we both grew up. Homes and apartments are too expensive for us to stay here over the long run. My boyfriend got a promotion and job transfer which makes it a bit easier. My parents also moved last summer and I’ve been wanting to move closer to them. We can’t wait!
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  32. says

    Being location-independent is certainly the goal for my husband and I. We live in LA now and it is certainly not the cheapest place to be. There are priorities for us to think about as well: weather (we’re very spoiled here), proximity to great food and cultural centers (music, theater, museums, etc.) and family/friends.
    We aren’t opposed to moving to other places – but I think we’ll at least make California our home base. I heard great things about living in Kauai too – although admittedly it’s still expensive because of Hawaii – at least it’s somewhat cheaper than Maui or Oahu. If we had our way, we’d probably just travel the world and be in 2-3 places per year :-)
    We’re working towards that…

  33. says

    We’d like to move to NYC and, the moment it’s possible, we’ll make the move. Won’t save money, it will be costly and we’ll need to work more, but it’s something we’d like to do. Let’s hope it will happen 😉

  34. says

    I think for me it depends on what stage of life I am. Now that I’m young I don’t mind to move to another city or even to another country because I’m not ‘socially’ bound. When I get older though and create relationships with more people in the place where I live, I think it will be hard to move.

  35. says

    Funny that you use Hawaii as an example, since I just transferred to Maui with my job in November. 5 months in and I’m having a great time. After living in Denver for 8 years, it was hard to leave my friends, church and work community, but the company I work with is great and everywhere you go, there is a new family (or in my case now, Ohana) that greets you. My daily cost of living isn’t much more than when I was living in Colorado, gas is more expensive, but I drive much less. Most activities are outside and many of them are free. I don’t know if I’ll live here forever or just a few years, but it’s an experience of a lifetime. I’m enjoying spending time exploring a place and culture that most people only see for a week of vacation. Flights back to the mainland to see family and friends? That is definitely more expensive (no $79 rates on Southwest that’s for sure).

  36. says

    I moved 3,000 miles away from my family and friends in snowy CT to sunny Los Angeles almost 4 years ago and could not be happier. I miss my family and life there everyday but I am in love with the sunshine and life I have here in LA. I know I wouldn’t have been as driven as I am now without being this far away from my family. I probably won’t stay in California forever, but I love new adventures and places.

  37. says

    The most important thing to me is our support network of friends and family. I know we can make new friends elsewhere, but it took us the last decade to round up the awesome ones that we have. And both of our sets of parents live within an hour of us too. So, we’ll probably live around Houston, TX until our network leaves…
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  38. says

    We’ve been thinking of moving since we moved last April. We moved because of my fiances work that he ended up quitting a few months in and starting his own business :/ with us being first time home buyers though, we’ll be stuck here for a while I’m sure lol!

  39. Dana says

    I think that you should absolutely go for it! Every new place brings something good and different in your life and in my opinion it is all worth! Good luck! Thank you!


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