How important is location?

If you could make $250k and live in either Laguna Beach or Columbus, where would you live? What inputs are you using for your decision?

I would live in Laguna Beach regardless of what I made. The size of my house would have zero input of where I lived. I cannot understand people willing to commute an hour each day so they can buy a bigger house in the suburbs of SoCal.

For me it is all about schools, weather, outdoor activities.

You can do pretty well in Laguna on $250K. Sure you won’t be in a monster house or driving supercars, but the quality of life (vs. Ohio) will certainly outweigh any negatives. Would you really rather be the richest guy on the block in a college town?

Going to the beach is FREE!

One thing to consider is your ability to save money is much greater in Columbus than in Laguna Beach. So, I guess part of it is how much you like (or dislike) your job that is paying you this $250k.

What variables are we examining though? Is it money? Money and lifestyle? Do children fit in? What about health? What is the important things to consider? We need to define this universe before making a recommendation!

Ayo, so I guess you got a job offer in Columbus…

I will say that down the road from where Abercrombie & Fitch HQ is located there is a huge suburban area that is great for raising a family. I trust the schools are in line with the affluant suburban surrounding. Near downtown Columbus is another story. It’s not the safest area and there is not much to keep a young, single, affluant, very disease free, financier amused.

Knowing nothing else, take Laguna Beach. Places like Coumbus will always be there.

Do you mean literally between those two places or just generally how important is cost of living? Just speaking generally about CoL, sure, it makes a huge difference.

Size of your house doesn’t matter? You don’t have kids. It’s extremely important. If I can get another bedroom and bathroom for the same price, I’d gladly tack on a longer commute. Schools are probably the most important. Apparently most other people think so too, because houses in good school districts tend to be more expensive, all else equal. There’s plenty of other stuff too…property taxes, homeowners fees, cost of general living items at nearby stores…

So, yeah, it matters. Your $250k will go further in some places than others.

In Laguna Beach, $400-500k will get you somewhere around 500-1200 sq feet of living space. In Columbus, it’ll get you about 3,000-6,000. Hope you really, really enjoy the beach.

Laguna. You would never regret that life.

I suppose I should have been more specific about size of house. I just wouldn’t move to a different city or have a longer commute just so I can live in a 4000 sq ft house as opposed to a 2000 sq ft house. My point being, once I have the necessities taken care of, the size of my living room or master suite is not worth fundamentally changing my lifestyle.

I last thing about Cali: the taxes are brutal. If there was one thing that would casue me to split, it it the tax rates. What a ripoff. I am tempted to spend 185 days in Washington state when I retire just so I am no longer a California resident.

Word. Once some of you guys have kids, your perspective will change. You spend a lot less time drinking at the beach and a lot more time playing with them.

And if you’re making $250k, how many hours are you working? You think that won’t cut into your beach time?

Anyone reside in UT?

I think culture is also very important. Presumably you mean Columbus, Ohio. Might be just me, but it seems like Laguna Beach would be more accepting and diverse with respect to ethnicity, political views, being gay, etc.

So, you’re saying go to Columbus?

My dream location.

Well, I’m saying is that Laguna Beach is a safe choice that will appeal to more people compared to Columbus. Barney Frank or Mitt Romney could retire in Laguna Beach (I think Mitt Romney is somewhere around there in fact). But one of them would not be happy in Columbus.

When I chose where to live when I graduated, I was pretty utilitarian and luckily for me, I was already in the state that ticked the boxes I was looking for: 1) Low COL 2) Low taxes 3) At least average wages 4) No snow

Now that I’m here and have upgraded jobs, I make enough money to afford my own house, I can afford to do anything socially that I want (vacations, weekend trips, concerts, bars, etc), all along with saving quite a bit of my income. Since I’m single and don’t have kids my expenses are really low. I also work pretty comfortable hours, 8-6 M-F. Now I just need to ramp up the social part of my life and start enjoying it more now that I have the job, house, and money part all sorted out for now.

It would take a lot to make me want to move. I live in a zero income tax state, 1 hr from a beach (not that I go, but I could), more restaurants and bars than I could ever hope to visit.

It’s statements like this that make people hate Californians. “We’re so tolerant, except of those backward bible thumpers in the fly over states.” It’s really ironic. Unfortunately, public schools in California are so bad most residents are unfamiliar with irony.

^ Respect. Very smug state.

But it is generally true, at least for the more diverse parts of California. I’m not a native Californian, but due to my international background, I do believe that I would fit in better here (or on the East Coast), compared to a less diverse place like Ohio. Call it smug if you want, but this is the experience of many internationally and ethnically different people like myself. Diversity is a measurable thing.

The public school statement needs some qualifications. In many parts of California, schools are not very good. However, in some areas - the Bay Area, for instance - schools are fantastic. It’s a big state. Plus, the UCs are still pretty good, despite financial difficulties.

@ohai - I’m not bashing you personally. Just an observation as someone from the midwest that frequently travels to the left coast.

My brother lives in Berkeley so I hear stuff like this all the time. I’ll go out to visit and a typical conversation with folks goes like this: “You’re from Kansas? Do you love guns/religion and hate gays/evolution?”

First off, that’s a really rude way to start a conversation with someone you barely know. Secondly, it’s amazingly ignorant. I live in a city with over 2 million people. I can, in fact, find decent chinese food. And, no, I’m actually all about the gays and evolution (yes, I realize what I just wrote). So, you narrow minded smelly hippy, it’s you who is the ignorant asshat.