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January 05, 2005


I've mentioned a few times that I don't really want to leave San Diego. I love it here. It's sunny most of the time, there isn't any ice on the ground at any time of the year, and my immediate family all live within a five mile radius. I'm not really a risk taker and I've lived here my entire life. I always thought I would.

However, there is the growing concern that purchasing a house in Southern California is not in my future. Between Frinklin and myself we make a pretty good living, especially when you compare it to what I used to make on my own 5 years ago. However, "a pretty good living" is almost nothing when the median house price in San Diego is over $450,000. These houses might as well be four million dollars, because we can't afford them and by the time we can, inflation will push them that much further out of our reach.

Being the rather selfish creature I am, I never really considered that I might meet and/or marry someone who wanted to move out of San Diego, for whatever reason. When Frinklin told me shortly after we met that he always saw himself moving back to the Seattle area where he grew up I snorted at him and told him, "Too bad. Hope you don't expect me to go." I firmly believed that at the time, but the combination of housing costs and his desire to return to the Pacific Northwest have pushed moving to Washington into a real possibility.

Our Christmas trip to visit my In Laws became my chance to decide if I could live "up north." Surprise, surprise--I think I might be able to. As much as I would miss my family and my life here, it is incredibly beautiful in the PNW, and I've always wanted to live somewhere with actual trees. Trees so tall (and climate so damp!) that moss grows on the roof of your house. Seattle itself was fantastic. We wandered around Capitol Hill and ate at the Space Needle. Toys In Babeland was even better than I expected, and Pike Place Market was awesome to explore. The place just smells cleaner, and the people seemed much friendlier (not to knock So. Cal, but they let you actually merge onto the freeway without having to promise your firstborn to the car next to you).

The weather, which is the thing everyone seems most concerned about considering my history of depression and love for the sun, was fantastic while we visited. We had fog (but not the thick, pea-soup stuff we have here), clouds, a couple of days of rain, and one day of totally blue sky--not a cloud visible. The temperature never rose above 50 degrees, and at night dropped to the 20s. Cold, yes, but with a jacket and a scarf, very refreshing. I figure I can drop a couple hundred bucks on a light box to combat SAD.

Unfortunately, purchasing a home within Seattle itself or in the surrounding areas where Frinklin grew up is still out of our price range. However, my Father In Law, Dan, is a Real Estate Agent, and recommended Tacoma to us. For those not familiar with Tacoma, I'm told it was a rather downtrodden, mostly a blue-collar town that reeked of burning paper products (the "Tacoma Aroma") due to the lumber mills in the area. In recent years, Tacoma has really taken on new life. The famous Stadium High School, best known as the school in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, is located in Tacoma. The downtown area is currently being revived with coffee shops and new businesses, the housing market is growing, and the city itself is working on cleaning itself up. It's located South East of Seattle, about a 20 - 30 minute drive without traffic. I have to admit, I LOVED it when I saw it.

Most importantly, and this is the best part--the houses are affordable! They're in our price range--and they aren't horrible dumpy houses. They're fantastic. It's as though they picked up whole areas of Hillcrest and Mission Hills here in San Diego and dropped them on bigger lots with year-round green grass and trees! I'm a huge fan of Craftsman style homes and they're everywhere up there!

So, now we're looking at moving to Tacoma. This is potentially the biggest decision of my life to date, after marrying Frinklin, of couse. As though we needed a push, the company Frinklin works for will be closing their California (San Diego) office on February 14th, prompting him to look for a new job. I'm trying to keep my sense of adventure open, and am searching for signs that will tell me if moving North is the next big chapter in my life.

His thoughts on Tacoma are here.

Posted by Ensie at January 5, 2005 07:05 PM


Yay for you!! That's great! I'd totally come visit you there! Do you have a timeline? Does Bob's Hogs have a place up there?

Posted by: violet at January 6, 2005 07:42 AM

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