Escape From New York
It's been a while since I posted anything to this blog
as I haven't been working on Wenpress since the early part of this year
due to a change in personal circumstances, job circumstances to be
exact. With both me and my wife having gained permanent resident status
she was looking to switch jobs and I was looking to do the same as my
work had become boring and unrewarding due to a change in management and
restructuring. As we both wanted to move on at the same time there was
the possibility of leaving New York and starting a new chapter in life. I
liked New York, it made for an easy transition from London, but I
missed having a car and the idea of paying near 3/4 of a million dollars
for a 1 bedroom apartment was not appealing especially as it would
never meet my needs for space for my ever growing vintage computer
collection. Having commuted in to New York City from Connecticut for a
year when I first arrived in the USA, I didn't want to repeat the
experience so the search for a new state was on. Researching where to
go, finally acquiring some industry certifications that I had put off
for a year, and applying for work become my primary activity out of work
and hence all development work on Wenpress was put on hold.
California had always appealed to me, living along its coastline had been a dream since the first of many vacations there over the last 2 decades, and while a job in Silicon Valley would be fairly easy to come by, property was just as expensive as New York and sitting in traffic would likely be a common occurrence. The Pacific North West was a part of the US I had never visited however I was always under the impression it would feel quite similar, in weather at least, to back home. With Amazon and Microsoft having large offices up there finding a job should again not prove a problem, however property was still on the expensive side and traffic was another issue. the plus side was no state income tax which was an appealing thought. With that in mind another option presented itself: Texas.
With companies flooding in to the Dallas Fort Worth area jobs were plentiful, and while property prices were naturally increasing the good thing about Texas is that space is the one thing is has plenty of and some quick research showed that property prices were still far below that of say Seattle with square footage being extremely generous too. My wife had lived in the area in the past and found people to be friendly and the general culture quite laid back so with her on board everything would hinge on my finding a job that didn't pay too much less than I was already making in the Big Apple.
The stars aligned when a friend and ex-coworker informed me his company was looking for my skill-set and although the job wasn't intended for Texas, could be moved there. To cut a long story short I went through several brief interviews and after some negotiating with HR ended up with a pay increase over my New York salary, a better bonus and a paid relocation. Cha-ching! Some quick analysis in a spreadsheet showed me I could rent a3 bedroom house and get a lease on a prestige car for the same as just the rent on my 1 bed New York apartment, with the pay increase covering the other new expenses (insurance, gas and further utilities) and the reduction in tax therefore being an untouched windfall every month that could be added to the house fund. My wife's own research suggested her pay would be close to if not the same as what she was getting in New York, so a nice and fully paid for house could be ours in around 4 years. So the decision was made: we would move to Texas!