Roberta asked what calls to me about Texas.
Anyone who knows me would probably not expect me to start talking and thinking about moving to Texas. Montana, Idaho, Washington, yeah.. But Texas? And all the areas we are thinking about are city areas. Fort Worth, Katy, and a little bit, San Antonio, though I think we've pretty much ruled that out. I've always wanted to live in the country. For years I schemed and plotted and searched real estate ads. Had my poor husband drive all over the blessed world to check out this area and that...
Well, really, the same ideals that I wanted to move to the country for are the same ones that get me thinking about Texas. Property values in our area are pretty high. No, not as bad as California but still, higher than is comfortably attainable by a single income, large-ish family. We do have our own house, and I don't mean to make it sound like we just can't make it here, that's not true. But it has always been pretty much month to month. My husband is self employed and he has always worked very long hours. He comes home tired most of the time and doesn't have a lot of energy left to give the kids and I. I feel like if we could move to where the cost of living is lower we would be able to afford a larger house for less money, and maybe it would help to free him up. This is true of Texas. Here is an example of what about $150,000 will buy in the Fort Worth area.
Any of you who are familiar with real estate around here know that if you search for $150,000 in the Portland metro area or anywhere even remotely close you will come up with condos. And either they won't be in the best neighborhoods or they will be very, very small. There is just no comparison!
So that is a big draw. But also, there is a church in that area that looks (on the surface) to be pretty doctrinally close to us and is affiliated with our denomination, the Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals, which is really important to us. This one, Heritage Covenant Church looks like one that we could find ourselves fitting into. S. especially approved when she saw that there appears to be dancing. :) She really enjoys the contra-country type dancing that they do in the Jane Austin movies.
So this is a little of what we are mulling over. I can hear what you're thinking... "But it's so hot" I KNOW that's what you're thinking! And I can't deny that concerns me. We are talking about not selling our house here but if we do this (and this is all daydreaming and mulling and internet snooping and nothing further so far.) we will rent for a couple years and see if we can take the heat. :) Maybe we'll find a house with a pool.
Except you, Mrs. Darling. I already know what you think. :) But you know, Fort Worth is right by Dallas and Dallas is supposed to be some sort of shopping Mecca, so you could come visit me and we could just go shopping for days on end. :)