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Why he ditched the Bay Area for Colorado – buy a house in 15 minutes

Mike Rothermel


The number of people leaving the Bay Area jumped 21% between March 2020 and September 2021, according to a report by researchers at the University of California. We talk to one. (Thinking of ditching your beloved city too? Find out the lowest mortgage rates you can get now hereand below.)

After 8 years in the Bay Area, web designer Mike Rothermel, who is in his 40s, his wife and 9-year-old daughter realized their time in the tech capital had expired. Fed up with the high prices and tougher lifestyle of the Bay Area, Rothermel yearned for the ease of life and lower costs in Boulder, where he grew up. “Everything costs less and people are less competitive. You don’t have to earn more than your neighbor or drive a better car. We don’t feel that pressure here,” says Rothermel of Boulder.

Thanks to the pandemic, the family bought a house without seeing it – a trend that has increasingly happened over the past year. “I grew up in Boulder so we called our old realtor and watched some houses on video and after seeing one of them for 15 minutes we made an offer. We didn’t even get it. not seen in person until we close and own this,” Rothermel says. When moving to a somewhat competitive market like Boulder County, Rothermel said a short video intro is what’s needed. “Even if it’s not as hot as the California market, there are usually multiple offers within 24 hours of listing a home on MLS and we had to win,” says Rothermel.

Now living and working in Boulder – Rothermel’s employer now allows all employees to work anywhere – he has come to appreciate the slower pace of life. “There are fewer people and the people of Colorado are more relaxed. I can always go to the local hardware store and park right in front. In the Bay Area, you have to drive around the Home Depot parking lot several times before you find a spot, and then you have to worry about your car being broken into,” says Rothermel.

Something that struck him after they moved in was that their new neighbors knocked on their door to say hello and greeted his family with handwritten notes and fresh homemade pastries. “You can assume everyone in Boulder is nice, until you have a reason to think otherwise. There’s a sense of community and longevity, that people are here to live, not just to earn. money in technology,” says Rothermel.

It is also a gesture that saves him money. He now lives in a house three times the size and a third as old for less money than he was paying in the Bay Area. “We had to go buy some furniture because when we unpacked, we realized that not all the cupboards were full to the brim,” says Rothermel. Another bonus, “Everything is cheaper in Colorado,” he says. From real estate to gas, groceries and restaurant meals, the cost of living is lower everywhere.

Rothermel says there are things he misses in the Bay Area, including “friends and a few favorite restaurants.” But he adds: “I don’t miss trafficking, crime or taxes.” (Indeed, Boulder has a lower crime rate than San Francisco and commute times are shorter, according to Sperling’s Best Places, and Colorado’s income tax is significantly lower than top tax rates. of California. That said, the cultural offerings in the Bay Area are the best notch, and it has plenty of other perks too.)

Do you also dream of moving to a less expensive city?
Here are some resources to help you make that decision.

  • Lodging: See what type of mortgage you can qualify for here, and see what you could pay in rent here.
  • Cost of living and other lifestyle factors: Compare the cost of living in a new city with your current city hereas well as such elements as taxes, crime and more.
  • Health care: Watch how US News ranks your new state on health care here.
  • Works: If your current job does not allow you to work remotely, you can search for jobs through sites such as In effect and Glass door.
  • Crime, education and other lifestyle factors: look for them on Niche.
Tags : real estate
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